Celebrity Restaurants: Can They Stand the Heat?
Even though celebrity-owned restaurants have the success rate of mating pandas, that doesn't stop egotistic VIPs from trying. Case in point: Britney's Nyla barely lasted through one of her marriages, DeNiro's Ago is still reeling from that horrid New York Times review, and now Madre's, Jennifer Lopez's spot in Pasadena, has shut its doors (thanks for the breaking news, TMZ).
This begs the question, are there any celebrity-owned restaurants that survive beyond the paparazzi photo ops? For the answer, we sought the wisdom of Conde Nast Traveler's food tzarina, Mollie Chen. To say that Mollie is food obsessed is like calling Pamela Anderson a bit racy.
Here are a few celeb eateries where the food doesn't play second fiddle:
Justin Timberlake's Southern Hospitality: Judging by the nightly rush of spry young things trying to flirt their way past the doorman, Justin has hit the right note with this comfort food spot in New York City. Order the spare ribs, and be careful you don't smear the barbecue sauce on those white D&G jeans.
Paul Newman's Dressing Room: Sustainable food and a cozy country atmosphere are the focus of this Westport, Connecticut, restaurant. But locally grown, organic, and environmentally friendly food ain't cheap. So enjoy every bite of that $25 wood-fired burger.
Michael Jordan's The Steakhouse: Quality steaks and an old-school boy's club vibe overlooking New York's bustling Grand Central Terminal. Nothin' but net.
Danny DeVito's DeVito South Beach: With superplush decor, hearty homemade Italian fare, and a high-wattage clientele, the diminutive actor can't go wrong . . . or can he? The place just opened in 2007, so we'll get back to you in a few years.
Ashton Kutcher's Ketchup: Say you're tall, handsome, successful, and married to über-cougar Demi Moore. Your recent foray into the restaurant scene was a hit and the Dolce Group wants a sequel. Where's the logical place for the next Ketchup? Why, Huntsville, Alabama, of course! Don't ask us why, but it works. The Huntsvillians are lining up for the Kobe beef hot dogs and truffle mac 'n' cheese.
Approve/disapprove of our picks? Let us know in Comments.