Dining with the stars
Feeling hungry for something more from your favorite A-listers? Whet your appetite with these 11 celebrity-owned restaurants in the greater New York City and Los Angeles areas. Think star maps...for your stomach
The Farmhouse at Bedford Post
954 Old Post Rd., Bedford, NY 10506 914-234-7800 bedfordpostinn.com
Why You Would Go Like some of the many black-card holders who frequent this upstate inn and restaurant, you may be looking for a glimpse of the Pretty Woman hunk. But Gere tends to play the role of doting dad here, coming early with his son and snacking from the informal patio menu (available from 4 to 6 p.m.).
Why You Should Go To help chef Jeremy McMillan break in the new outdoor grill, alongside the likes of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Martha Stewart.
Scene-Stealer The menu, with its locavore and Italian leanings, is top-notch, from starters like the minty shaved vegetable salad to yummy homemade pasta courses (our favorite: the ”Fagottelli di La Pergola,” doughy pillows filled with a carbonara custard with peas). But McMillan’s wood-fired fare — the perfectly cooked branzino and pork chop are savory, smoky delights — can be enjoyed just as he cooks it: outside, under clear, starry skies.
Price A tad pricey ($250*), but still less than a night with Vivian.
Jay-Z, Michael Stipe, Bono, Fatboy Slim
The Spotted Pig
314 W. 11th St., New York, NY 10014 212-620-0393 thespottedpig.com
Why You Would Go The seven-year-old West Village restaurant, credited with starting the gastropub trend, has more celebrity patrons than Barneys.
Why You Should Go Because it boasts one of the best burgers — assuming you like your meat smothered in Roquefort cheese…and who doesn’t? — in the city.
Scene-Stealer If you’re seated on the brownstone’s ultraexclusive third floor where the owners dine, the star sightings (Chris Martin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matt Damon, Kate Hudson, Beyoncé, Rihanna — the list goes on) should sate you. If not, the sheep’s-milk ricotta gnudi (basically, a cheese dumpling) with brown butter and sage appetizer most certainly will.
Price About the same as one ticket to Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark on Broadway ($150), though Bono’s burger is better than his score.
Robert De Niro
377 Greenwich St., New York, NY 10013 212-925-3797 locandaverdenyc.com
Why You Would Go Robert De Niro is a co-owner, but chef Andrew Carmellini — who’s also behind new SoHo foodie hot spot the Dutch — is the real star. His immaculately crafted Italian food attracts fans like Gwyneth Paltrow, Bradley Cooper, and Mary-Kate Olsen to the clubby-rustic Tribeca eatery.
Why You Should Go Carmellini’s ingredient-focused menu. Try the flavor-bomb lamb sliders and don’t-miss pasta ”My Grandmother’s Ravioli,” and go at lunch for some of NYC’s best sandwiches.
Scene-Stealer Order the sheep’s-milk ricotta crostini, a mound of simple and perfect creamy cheese.
Price Dinner’s not cheap ($175), but do you really want to pick a fight with Travis Bickle?
554 Fulton St., Brooklyn, NY 11217 718-624-2677 buffaloboss.com
Why You Would Go Jay-Z himself is such a fan that he gets these barbecued chicken wings delivered (for free, naturally) from the tiny Brooklyn chicken joint to his best after-parties.
Why You Should Go Don’t let the KFC-style decor fool you. The chicken’s all organic — which must make patrons like Diddy and Warren G feel better about washing it down with a deep-fried Twinkie.
Scene-Stealer The ”N’Sinerator,” a wing so spicy it’ll make you forget how to spell.
Price At fast-food prices ($30), it’s about one-billionth the cost of Beyoncé’s new chinchilla vest.
55 Carmine St., New York, NY 10014 212-414-1224 dohwanyc.com
Why You Would Go To watch co-owner (and frequent visitor) Quentin Tarantino guzzle down a Mr. Blue, his signature Reservoir Dogs-inspired cocktail of Stoli Vanil, blue curaçao, and lime juice. It’s not on the menu anymore, but the bar is happy to make one special for Tarantino — or you.
Why You Should Go Tucked into a West Village side street, D? Hwa offers some of the neighborhood’s most authentically fiery Korean food, including red-hot dukboki (rice cakes in red-pepper sauce) and umami-packed pork wraps.
Scene-Stealer With its spare East-meets-West look, the dining room is just one Asian-schoolgirl assassin short of the Tokyo club in Kill Bill—Vol. 1‘s climactic fight scene.
Price Roughly 20 times as much ($90) as a ”Royale With Cheese.”
Ashford & Simpson
254 W. 72nd St., New York, NY 10023 212-579-0222 sugarbarnyc.com
Why You Would Go The ”Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” songwriting duo of Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson incorporate their love of music into their role as restaurateurs, with this Afro-Caribbean-themed space featuring bands and singers most nights.
Why You Should Go The food is decent (the red snapper meunière was expertly done, but the collard greens and rice and beans were unmemorable), and the music is lively.
Scene-Stealer Thursday’s open-mic nights are your best bet, with performances from aspiring artists, surprise guests, and, on occasion, the ”Solid” singers themselves.
Price Roughly the same as two tickets to the duo’s Dec. 10 concert at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville, Ind. ($100). Though there you’ll also get to see the Whispers!
132 North Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211 310-360-7535 taginebeverlyhills.com
Why You Would Go Tagine head chef Ben Benameur serves up Moroccan cuisine in an intimate, romantic setting ideal for date night and just a credit card’s throw from the trendy shops along Beverly Hills’ Robertson Boulevard.
Why You Should Go Savory, sweet, and exotic spices intermingle in traditional dishes like bastilla, quefta, and lamb with dates and honey. Plus, the Crazy, Stupid, Love star shows up at least a few times a year, and has even been known to wait tables now and then.
Scene-Stealer The generous seven-course tasting menu, culminating in a dessert of chocolate soup and apple tarte.
Price If you spring for the tasting menu and drinks ($170), it will set you back the equivalent of about 10 full-price copies of The Notebook on DVD.
6350 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 323-467-7991 besohollywood.com
Why You Would Go Stars like Brad Pitt, the Beckhams, and Ashley Tisdale dine in the dark corners — usually on weeknights — and Longoria’s there at least three times a month.
Why You Should Go Celebrity chef and co-owner Todd English oversees the kitchen in this Latin-flavored steakhouse.
Scene-Stealer ”Eva’s Avocado Guacamole” has enough personality to rival any Wisteria Lane vixen.
Price We’re not going to lie: For what it is, it’s a lot ($180) — but Carlos can afford it.
972 Gayley Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90024 310-208-5070 fatsalsdeli.com
Why You Would Go The outdoor sandwich shack near UCLA may be run by Ferrara’s childhood buddy (i.e., Fat Sal), but it attracts the likes of Chelsea Handler and regularly sends off as many as 17 bags’ worth of takeout to the Entourage set.
Why You Should Go The greasy, yeasty, messy subs smash whole meals — cheese sticks, french fries, onion rings — inside a sandwich. Perfect for a 2 a.m. beer buzz, sure, but undeniably tasty (if hardly well-balanced) no matter what the time of day.
Scene-Stealer No one has yet finished the 27-inch ”Big Fat Fatty,” so for the sake of UCLA Medical Center, please don’t try. Instead, enjoy the welcome company of the engaging staff.
Price It’ll cost about as much as a 375-milliliter bottle of Avión Silver ($20). You know, Turtle’s favorite tequila.
Robert De Niro, Ridley & Tony Scott, Bob & Harvey Weinstein
8478 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90069 323-655-6333 agorestaurant.com
Why You Would Go The L.A. outpost of De Niro & Co.’s mini-chain (which also has branches in Miami and Las Vegas) is one of the few West Hollywood hot spots that’s been around since all the way back in the 20th century.
Why You Should Go In a town where most waiters are simply biding their time until they’re discovered, Ago’s staff is as authentically Italian as the homemade meatball antipasto.
Scene-Stealer The jasmine-lined outdoor patio is the go-to escape for heavyweight clientele — including Simon Cowell, George Clooney, and Warren Beatty.
Price It’s not a bargain ($190), but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than an Oscar campaign.
6633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 323-460-6300 dolcegroup.com
Why You Would Go In walking distance from the Hollywood & Highland Center, Geisha House serves up contemporary Asian cuisine against a sexy, red, tri-level fireplace. It’s also a shooting mecca, having been featured in Knocked Up and The Hills.
Why You Should Go It’s your best chance to spot Valderrama (TV’s Fez!), who recently threw his 31st birthday party here. At full price, it’s hardly worth it. But on Mondays, when most of the menu is 50 percent off? Absolutely!
Scene-Stealer Once a celebrity hangout, but now you’ll just have to settle for the two-way eggplant appetizer or crab hand roll. (And a possible Danny Masterson sighting?)
Price Wait. We’re talking about the price of a dinner ($90), not a geisha, right?
*All prices reflect dinner for two, and include tax and tip.
Written and Reported By: Jason Adams, Annie Barrett, Jon Barrett, Rob Brunner, Dave Karger, Melissa Maerz, Adam Markovitz, Josh Rottenberg, Jessica Shaw, Keith Staskiewicz, and Adam B. Vary