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Designer Isaac Mizrahi Gripes on Too ‘Precious’ NYC Dining

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The newly minted cabaret star dishes on where he’s a regular

ASPCA Hosts 20th Annual Bergh Ball Honoring Linda Lloyd Lambert Hosted By Isaac Mizrahi With Music By Samantha Ronson - Inside Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for ASPCA

Isaac Mizrahi claims he’s no longer the guy to ask these days for fashion hot spots, though he does mention La Grenouille, Majorelle, and Fred’s. Instead, with his new cabaret lifestyle, Mizrahi is dining at longtime theater haunts like Bar Centrale, Joe Allen, and Orso.

The designer’s restaurant switch-up comes as he prepares to kick off an alt.cabaret tour — a lane change for the campy fashion-designer-turned-personality who’s taking his Xanax-focused show “Does This Song Make Me Look Fat?” on tour starting at City Winery on September 8.

“I love those places,” he says of the theater spots. “It’s such a treat for me because they’re always there — they’re never not going to be there.” He says he’s been going to Joe Allen since he was 14 years-old. “It has that same damn decor, that same little bathroom, and I love it.”

There’s reason he’s such a creature of habit. “I honestly can’t afford to hate my meal, and there are so many places that are so terrible, so if god forbid you hate something, you have to have enough time to recover. If I go to a bad dinner, it takes me three days to recover,” he says.

That’s not his only restaurant gripe: Enough with the ingredient sourcing lectures and allergy interrogations, he says.

“If you’re going to be that precious about things I don’t really care that much about, like where the lettuce is from — I guess I care globally,” he says, “but when I’m sitting there for dinner, I don’t want to hear about it. I just want to take it for granted that it’s the best lettuce you can get.”

He says a few newish places are nailing it, namely Le Coucou — “just excellent” — Cherche Midi, and Upland.

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