Friday, October 07, 2005

Michael Wolff Ditches Michael's


(image via

How long, do you think, before media elite primadonna Michael Wolff is back on the phone, cooing into the receiver, trying, desperately, to get back his old powertable at Michael's?

(The Corsair pours himself a martini and savors the schadenfreude) What's that, Old Boy? You say you haven't heard? (The Corsair downs his glass in a single gulp) Wolff -- the Vanity Fair's resident media scribbler -- has relinquished "Table 5" at the venerable media eatery. Let the jockeying for position begin!

According to the NYPost's Keith J. Kelly:

"Michael's, the West 55th Street restaurant, is getting so popular with the media elite that some of the regulars are having trouble getting choice seats in the front room � and at least one long-time patron is looking elsewhere.

"Vanity Fair writer Michael Wolff devoted a whole chapter to Michael's and the view from Table 5 in his last book, 'Autumn of the Moguls.' Still, when he called for a reservation Wednesday morning, he was told the place was filled to the brim for lunch that day.

"Wolff was further incensed to find that his usual Table 5 was ultimately taken over by Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman and Tommy Mottola."

Incensed, you say? Granted, there is testosterone and ego involved. These things in the rarified air of the Manhattan media elite must be handled delicately; diplomatically, even. One can imagine Wolff, his legendary "big, sexy lips (tm)" moistened nervously, being told, over the phone, that his table -- his table! -- is not vacant, as expected; rather, the table is being occupied by the billionaire owner of the NYDaily News and the former Mr. Mariah Carey.

Now: Imagine the social vertigo involved in hearing that you-who-were-once-somebody are reduced to the unfortunate rung on the New York social ladder beneath Tommy Mottola?

A bitch-fit is not out-of-school, you can imagine. Kelly continues, clarifying:

"'It's war,' fumed Wolff, who vows he is never going to eat there again. 'I'm officially shopping for The Next Place,' he said.

Hasty words, spoken by a fevered and clearly ... irrational imagination. We know Michael's somewhat. We've met Steve Millington, who is a total gentleman. This Wolffian characterization of the situation sounds oddly out of character with the tenor of the joint that we know, however slightly. Of course, there is a logical explanation; to wit:

"Said Michael's General Manager Steve Millington, 'I'm very surprised, he sounded very calm on the phone.'

"Millington said the restaurant had a computer glitch that day and was overbooked.

"'Normally, we keep a certain number of tables for our regulars. I'd have loved to have helped him, but I couldn't.'"

So, now you know. A cooler head would have prevailed. (A considerable pause) Mr. Wolff may commence the grovelling phase of his mini-media meltdown forthwith.

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