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whining & dining by michael whiner | contact:

Lindsay House

I was set a ghastly challenge on Monday. Michael was expecting a rather influential film executive with an unhealthy penchant for broad bore Puerto Rican Churchill's and he needed a reservation in an excellent yet liberal minded restaurant. No easy task I assure you, and thank God this is London and not New York where our, "we ask customers to have consideration for others whilst smoking cigars or pipes" translates as "no smoking cigars or pipes if you want to eat here."
I pounded Soho pavement and punched a hundred digits into my cellular telephone in my quest but kept coming up against the interminable, "We respectfully ask customers not to smoke cigars or pipes before 10:30pm." That was hopeless - the exec was arriving at 7pm and it was already 5:44pm. I call in to ask a friend from the club at 23 Romilly St, he always has the answer…he's at home ill.
"Damnit all to Hell! How hard can it be?" I yell at Jupiter, and I'm now about to return home a failure when, inexplicably, a door opens behind me and a short barrel-chested maitre d' steps out and asks me if, "I can perhaps be of assistonce, sir." I whimper "Table for three, 7pm, heavy smoker?"
The reply, naturally, was positive. The saviour (and it pains me that I could not think of it) was Richard Corrigan's exquisite 'multiple magical morsel' cuisine at Lindsay House. A graceful waltz of sparse Georgian architecture, divine food, and genuine, well mannered service. Oh, and don't forget the beautiful Poet's Room….entirely devoted to smokers.
As usual Michael's in full flow...
"...of course, I got a tremendous fright later on when I discovered that she’d been a fella all along! Disgraceful business, really. Rather like this questionable object. Is the chef a blind sadist? This ballotine resembles something other, if you get my meaning.

Speaking of people being blind what on earth were the jury at the British Independent Film Awards on? For a start they named ‘Sexy Beast’ as independent British Film of the year but then go and give Ben Kingsley the award for Best Actor. Now for kick off surely there must have been a better British film then that? Wasn’t there? Actually now I think about it I’m not sure that there was. What a sad state of affairs. I do know that anybody would have been better then Ben Kingsley was in the film though. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a damn good actor in the right role. Unfortunately he was less convincing as a gangster than Angus Deayton was in another turgid British film I was forced to endure a few years back. In fact it was so good I can’t even remember what it was called. One major problem with Ben’s performance was his alleged cockney accent. I haven’t heard a worse one this side of Albert Square. Shocking really. I’m surprised the American Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences didn’t ask for their Oscar back.

One man who’d probably agree with me over the state of the British film industry is Nick Moran. He as you’ll recall was one of the stars of ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’. Well now he’s smoking himself because his new film ‘Christie Malry's Own Double Entry’ can’t get distribution despite it being - he claims, "the best thing I’ve made". The excuse the distributors are using is that it doesn’t fit into the current idea of what a British film should be. Not enough gangsters, you see. Now whilst I’m on young Mr Moran’s side, it does strike me as slightly ironic that he himself was part of the film that’s caused so much of the problem. If ‘Lock, Stock…’ hadn’t been so successful I doubt the distributors would be quite so keen to shoehorn a few gangsters in do you? Maybe one of the other problems is that calling it ‘Christie Malry's Own Double Entry’ does make it sound awfully like a low-rent porn film.

You know there are many things in life worth paying for, fine wines, a good perigord truffle staright from the dog's mouth and the assassination of Dale Winton spring to mind. One thing I’d have paid through the nose to see would have been Steven Spielberg being locked out of Dreamworks studios earlier this week. It seems that security has been beefed up there of late and the guards wouldn’t let him in because he didn’t have an ID card. That was despite his protestations that he co-owned the studio and so didn’t actually possess one. Eventually he showed them his driving licence and they let him in. I believe his ID card is now on order.

Speaking of which – waiter! Where’s that wine list?"

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

archive >>>

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