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whining & dining by michael whiner | contact:

Week 6 - Lingham's Brasserie

Michael returned to his old stamping ground this week by turning up at Linghams Brasserie some old school, post theatre booze and nosh. The late Paddy Lingham was the most successful restaurateur drunk of his generation, a legend of mayhem and managerial cunning that made him the industry's pariah and saviour, he sniffed the stale air of the restaurant scene in the early 70's and breathed life and hard liquor, burgers and debauchery. In essence, he conceived the concept of informal dining and his vulgar, hilarious and most importantly, insulting exploits are now restaurant folklore. As usual Michael is already in full flow…
"How do you do the Eggs benedict here? Sounds bloody awful, I’ll have the burger and fries instead and I know it's not on the menu but I was ordering it here before your Mum squeezed her first spot. Can I have it with fresh gherkin though? The last one you tried to foist on me looked like a startled prune. Tell Ciro to mix me up a Cosmo pronto, I'll have a Punt e Mes while he's doing it with a gulp of Canadian Club on the side and fetch me a bottle of the oldest Rioja in the joint and don't spare the horses decanting it.

So we finally got the Oscars out of the way, I see. As usual they gave the awards to completely the wrong people. I’ve been hearing a lot about how shocked Russell Crowe looked when he won Best Actor. What they didn’t see was Tom Hanks hitting him across the back of the head with a baseball bat when he realised he’d been beaten again - he’s a very sore loser. He dropped a live lobster down the front of Kevin Spacey’s trousers last year. I assume that Mr Crowe is currently appearing in a remake of ‘Grease’ given his extraordinary teddy boy outfit.

Julia Roberts lived down to all my expectations with her spectacularly idiotic acceptance speech. She may not be the greatest actress in the world but she’s an utterly dreadful public speaker. She kept banging on about "the oneness of sisterhood". What the hell does that mean?! Silly tart. Talking of which, I’ll have two of the calves liver with extra bacon, rare, oh and a large Caesar with extra anchovy and garlic - it's a heartburn night in memory of poor old Paddy. Here's to you you old bastard! Incidentally, I was right about the high-definition television prize being a waste of time wasn’t I? And can somebody tell me what exactly a Bjork is? As far as I could tell she was a Scandanavian pixie dressed in a dead swan. You wouldn’t catch Maggie Smith wearing something like that.

The British did very badly this year, that’ll teach us to put the BAFTA’s on first. If there’s one thing the Yanks can’t stand, it’s being upstaged. If we want to win Oscars we have to make the right sort of films first. Don’t people realise that there’s a simple formula? You need to make either a costume drama, a film about disability or overcoming some sort of religious, racial or sexual inequality. If Judi Dench wants to win Best Actress next year she needs to play a one-legged, black Jewish lesbian in a film set around the turn of the century. Do that and it’s a virtual certainty.

Waiter! I want a wheel of explorateur, my stash of aged cheddar and bottle of port and make it snappy! My vision’s starting to un-blur over here!"

recent whines...

January 2002 - St John - Clerkenwell EC1

December 7 - Hell

November 30 - Birthday at Brula

November 23 - Picnic on the Heath

November 16 - Les Trois Soeurs

November 9 - Ed's

November 2 - Burger King: Piccadilly

October 26 - Lindsay House

October 19 - Darcy's

October 5 - Spitz of Spittlefields

September 28 - West Street

September 21 - St John's

September 7 - Southeast W9

August 31 - Rogues

August 24 - Royale With Cheese

August 17 - Rules

August 10 - Manana

August 3 - £15/head at Mazzo

July 27 - La Scala

July 20 - La Putain de la Tour

July 13 - The Real Zorba

July 6 - Palefico

June 29 - The Moon and Pigeons

June 22 - Post Theatre

June 15 - Danang Vice

June 7 - La Crebiche

June 1 - B.A.N.G.E.R.S

May 25 - The Ritz

May 18 - The Harpo

May 11 - Trading Braces

May 4 - Hijo De Puta

April 27 - Broadway!

April 20 - Escoffier Steakhouse

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