— Eataly chef Mario Batali’s signature orange Crocs are so iconic that even President Bill Clinton has taken notice. At the Food Bank for NYC’s Can Do Awards, Clinton showed up as a guest and teased Batali for the shoes. “I knew it was cold today,” he said. “I thought this might be the only chance I have in my advanced years to see Mario Batali in long pants and at least wearing socks with his Crocs. I love this guy.”
— Columbia University dorm-room chef Jonah Reider has graduated and has apparently found some wealthy Brooklyn benefactors who wanted to help him continue his supper club. A hedge fund manager and his wife invited Reider to live and cook in their three-story townhouse near the Navy Yard. Reider likened them to “the rich parents I never had.” He also wants people to stop calling him a dorm room chef. (Sorry, not sorry “dog.”) Tickets for his April dinners are sold out.
— After Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he went vegan and turned his office into a bonafide kitchen. It hasn’t been as hard as it might seem, but being an elected official does mean a lot of dinner meetings where he can’t dine. “Sometimes people are offended because you’re not eating and they want to compel you to eat, but once you explain and do it in a good way, they understand,” he says.
— Does Gwyneth Paltrow read Eater? Her lifestyle website Goop posted a list of their 13 favorite New York City restaurants, topped with Olmsted, Pasquale Jones, and Le Coucou. For some reason, she also decided to include yet-to-open Major Food Group Four seasons revamp The Grill as number 13.
— Ligaya Mishan files a dispatch from La Roja de Todos, a Chilean restaurant in Corona, Queens. She particularly enjoyed the pastel de choclo, a dish akin to a shepherd’s pie but with a black crust and a layer of charrec pureed corn on top.
— Esquire food & drinks editor Jeff Gordinier tries his hand behind bar for the first time at Coup, the new non-profit, anti-Trump bar. Results as expected.
— Two coming attractions to get on your radar: Headed to 130 Saint Mark’s Place is a pizzeria called La Pizza Di Tramonti; sneakily-named Brooklyn Diamond, which is actually a coffee shop that started as a pop-up, is going into 234 Lafayette Street.
— Lastly, in honor of Balthazar Day, check out how the baller seafood tower is made: