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whining & dining by michael whiner | contact:

Week 9 - The Escoffier Steakhouse

On a moody Tuesday I joined Michael for one of his most daring choices to date - dinner on opening night of Marco's 'The Escoffier Steakhouse.' This horrendously expensive 'bistro' (Marco's words) has opened slap bang in the middle of a meat crisis but the ebullient owner hasn't even blinked. Blaming the governement and stating categorically that Londoners don't 'give a toss' about foot and mouth, the millionaire's latest is supposed to cater to his working class brethren. Stuck in a strictly residential Knightsbridge cul-de-sac with a cutthroat Parisian maitre d'hotel, Michael begged to differ. As usual he is already in full flow…

"I ask for something different. Something fresh, original and daring. Something that says "Yes, Britain really is at the cutting edge of world cuisine". What am I offered? Chopped liver and fat cut chips. Is that absolutely the best that you can do? I despair, I really do.

I had a similar reaction upon hearing that ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ has had the highest grossing opening weekend of any British film in history. Perhaps I shouldn’t really be surprised, after all there is a large swathe of the female population who seem to use the book as some sort of lifestyle guide. In my experience women with any sort of intelligence are dangerous. That’s why I only go out with models and television presenters. Working Title Films are currently preparing a Bridget Jones sequel. Can’t somebody stop this madness? Apparently they’ve also got a new project in development where Hugh Grant is filmed reading aloud from the Yellow Pages. Since Hugh can seemingly do no wrong, I predict that it will be a massive hit.

Has the tube strike also affected table service in here? Don't stand there like a skint farmer, get a move on boy!

A few weeks ago I mentioned that it should be obvious to anybody with ears that Gwyneth Paltrow cannot sing. It’s a fact that seems to have escaped the whole of the Australian continent who this week gave Gwyneth her second hit record. Is there some genetic quirk in the Australian make-up which renders them tone deaf? I ask only because when it comes to musical appreciation they don’t seem to have the first clue. One only needs to think of Jason and bloody Kylie for proof of that. Lets hope that all this doesn’t to Ms Paltry’s head and persuade her to embark on a full-blown musical career. It’s bad enough having to put up with Jennifer Lopez stomping all over the charts with her Latino-styled warblings without Miss Stick-insect joining in.

Have you heard that they’ve begun the final negotiations with the Script Writers Union in America? The writer’s strike is due to start on the first of May if they can’t reach a settlement. What I want to know is given the appalling state of the average Hollywood script these days who the hell is going to notice if the buggers down tools?

Have you buggers gone on strike in that kitchen or what?!"

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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