Enrique Olvera’s daytime Noho hotspot Atla is a destination for all kinds — including disgraced chef Mario Batali, who dined at the restaurant Friday morning in his signature crocs. A tipster said that Batali looked noticeably thinner as he ate enfrijoladas and talked about David Chang, Fuku, and Joe Bastianich with his companion at a corner table. Staff greeted him warmly.
At a totally separate table, known spicy-food chefs Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese and Andy Ricker of Pok Pok were eating together in the stylish Mexican restaurant as well. No word on what they were eating, but before Batali left, he stopped at their table and had a friendly chat for a couple minutes.
Batali’s been in the process of deciding what to do next following accusations of sexual misconduct over the course of his career as a celebrity chef. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, multiple women alleged that Batali touched them inappropriately; he has admitted to bad behavior.
Bowien, too, has faced scandal as of late. In February, four former Mission Chinese sued the restaurant and the chef for fostering “a hotbed of racial discrimination.”
Atla’s an odd choice for disgraced celebrities as it’s a see-and-be-seen kind of restaurant. The stylish all-day restaurant has been busy and a bit of a fashion folk scene. But then again, despite the news surrounding Batali, he hasn’t shied away from appearing in the public — he’s also been spotted riding around on his signature vespa and hasn’t changed from his immediately-identifiable outfits, continuing to carry around that bright orange bag.