Everybody knows that Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton is the place to see and be seen. More importantly, to me, the food is terrific-tasting rustic Italian and a real treat.
Lisa Tamburini and I decided to go for brunch yesterday before taking in a movie during a rare free Sunday. We headed to my favorite area in the restaurant–right in the back by the pizza oven, which is always warm and yummy smelling, and where we could enjoy Eric Fischl’s beautiful tile mosaic–when I spotted a friend at the next table. Or so I thought.
Lisa looked at me and gave me a “You know who that is?” look and I nodded. “Yep. I’ll go over and say hi in a bit,” I mouthed.
We sat down, ordered our Hearts of Romaine salads (get the crispy chicken version–it’s decadent!) and Pizzetta al Rucola (with mozzarella, local arugula and Prosciutto di San Daniele) and caught up on Hamptons news. Lisa told me a terrible tale about how she had seen Alec Baldwin being stalked by a handful of paparazzi at Mary’s Marvelous in Amagansett. They goaded him and he didn’t respond, didn’t even look their way. But the next day The Post ran a mean-looking photo of him looking like he was scowling with a caption stating just that, which was totally made up and gross.
Finally, deciding since I didn’t want to interrupt my friend Mark and his two friends but also not wanting to appear rude, I got up and took the three steps to his table. In a playful mood–again, since Nick & Toni’s is always filled with notables–I walked up to him and grandly announced, “Oh, aren’t you somebody famous?” Because I’m funny.
It wasn’t Mark.
It was somebody else who I’ve met a few times, architect Paul Goldberger, a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. But it was clear that he couldn’t place me and I looked kind of like an ass. Serious crickets.
Then I looked back over to my table, where Lisa was quietly and calmly reading the menu. –She told me to put that part in. : )
I slunk away the three teeny tiny steps back to our neighboring table feeling sheepish about my grand mistake, which was meant to be funny.
Lisa looked up from her menu and whispered to me.
“I thought you knew who that was,” she said.
“I did too. I thought it was Mark ____,” I said.
“No, sitting next to him.”
She waited a beat.
“That’s Toni Ross. The artist. And owner here,” she informed me.
“Great. Now I look like a stalker idiot,” I sighed.
Oh well. So I made a slight social faux pas. The food was delicious.