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Talk Around Town

Originally Posted: May 01, 2008

Jennifer Tuesday

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With Memorial Day right around the corner, I've been getting lots of tips about new entries on the dining, nightlife, and shopping scene (yeah!) - and all very welcome additions I might add.

Gabby Karan DeFelice and Donna Karan at the Watermill Center Opening Gala.

The really big news is that Gabby Karan DeFelice and her mom Donna Karan have announced that they are going into business directly adjacent to one another in Sag Harbor.

Donna had a pop-up store in Sag Harbor last year, but it's now official: she's opening her second Urban Zen boutique on Bay Street and Gabby will be right next door with her husband, Gianpaolo DeFelice. The DeFelice's have purchased an interest in Tutto Il Giorno, the fabulous Italian restaurant co-owned by the late Steve Florio, at 6 Bay Street. Donna is reportedly very proud that Gabby's handling the design of the restaurant and helping with the décor. The other partners in the restaurant include Maria and Larry Baum (who co-owned it with Florio) and Gally and David Mayer.

The tiny eatery will officially reopen over Memorial Day weekend to coincide with the debut of Urban Zen boutique. The 2,000-square-foot store will stay open year-round and will stock the women's and men's Urban Zen Collection, jewelry, accessories, books, and beauty products. It will also serve as a home for rotating art exhibits. A quaint garden separates the store from the restaurant - just perfect for those mother-daughter consults!

Further out east, Jamie Mulholland, Jayma Cardoso, and Rob McKinley - the trio behind such hot spots as Cain and Gold Bar - have taken over the Surf Lodge, a 30-room hotel in Montauk that features a restaurant, bar and 3,000-square-foot deck - you just know this will be one hot scene!

I promised you that I would nail down four-star chef Peter Dunlop and get the 411 on his new steakhouse, OSO, at the Southampton Inn. I did - and it's a winner (and easy on the wallet). There's a full range of fabulous steaks and local fish dishes, which won Peter legions of fans during his stint at the award-winning American Hotel, at reasonable prices, including a great prix fixe menu. The best part is you can have all this al fresco on the Inn's gorgeously landscaped grounds. And yes, there is a children's menu, but Peter knows that East End kids are a little more sophisticated, so in addition to the regular children's menu, the young ones can order anything from the main menu for half-price.

Soon-to-be Southamptonite Rachel Ray and former President Bill Clinton are opening a pop-up restaurant called Café Una Notte on Washington Street in Greenwich Village. It will offer just one dinner service for 70 people to benefit Ray's nonprofit organization Yum-o!.

Launched by Rachel in 2006, Yum-o! empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking by teaching families to cook, as well as feeding hungry kids and funding cooking education and scholarships. By providing the tools to create easy, affordable and delicious meals, Yum-o! is hoping to change the way America eats. Hey Rach, how about a Hamptons outpost?

Last week, Mort Zuckerman submitted a bid of $580 million for Newsday - the exact amount media mogul Rupert Murdoch has offered. The bid sets the stage for the battle by the owners of New York's two tabloids: The Daily News (Mort) and The New York Post (Rupert).

The very savvy Mort chose not to submit a higher bid. Instead, he'll make the argument to the Tribune Company (Newsday's very-much-in-debt parent) that his bid is more attractive, because it doesn't have the potential to fall into regulatory mire, which will no doubt happen when the FCC looks at all of Murdoch's holdings. This will be fun to watch as the takeover unfolds.

Chantelle Group CEO Patrice Kretz with Stephanie Seymour, the new face of the
brand, at a party celebrating the new ad campaign.

Hamptonites are mourning the tragic death of George McFadden, who was killed in a plane crash last week. His wife Carol, children and sister, designer Mary McFadden, are devastated. Carol and George had recently sold their sprawling Grosvenor Atterbury-designed Southampton mansion on exclusive Lake Agawam.

Splits & Links:
To hardly anyone's surprise comes the news that the Reynolds marriage is wrapped (couldn't resist that!), and Star Jones and hubby Al Reynolds are officially kaput. Seems Al did the walking on the former talk show host, who earned the moniker of Bridezilla during her pre-nuptial wheeling and dealing. Star, who is looking better than ever, is reported to be quite calm about the situation.

Months ago, I heard rumors of a romance between Padma Lakshmi and Teddy Forstmann, one of the Hamptons' most eligible bachelors. Snooping around, I was brushed off with an "it's just business." The leveraged buyout mogul is the owner of IMG, which represents the model host of "Top Chef" and ex-wife of writer Salman Rushdie. Well, business turned into pleasure. Now, the two are an item and were spotted canoodling at Elton John's concert for Evelyn Lauder's breast cancer efforts.

French lingerie brand Chantelle wants to spread the notion of something that French women seem to instinctively know - a good bra with the right fit increases a woman's sense of femininity, and that equals more confidence. I'll say! To help raise the profile of the company, Chantelle signed on supermodel Stephanie Seymour as the face of the brand. Her curves are well known to every man and a lot of gals, as she was once a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, as well as a Victoria's Secret Angel. "Put the right undergarment on and you are transformed," said Seymour at a luncheon on Friday, April 18, in New York to celebrate the new Chantelle ad campaign shot by Peter Lindbergh. I intend on really checking her out at Polo this year when she comes to cheer on hubby Peter Brant. I want to know what transformed looks like.

Speaking of bodies, when Dame Anita Roddick, founder of the cosmetics retail chain The Body Shop, died last year, in her will she gave away her entire fortune (about $101 million), to charity. She believed that leaving money to family is "obscene" and wished to use her money to support environmental causes and issues in developing countries. Anita was one of the early pioneers in the chemical free, all natural beauty products Green Movement and revolutionized the industry.

Mayor Bloomberg cut the ribbon to open Deluxe NY, the newest facility of the movie post-production business owned by Ronald Perelman. Big-screen powers Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, and the Coen Brothers were on hand to welcome Deluxe to town. Maybe they have a part for a snappy billionaire - the Mayor will be looking for work soon.

While the principals are staying tight-lipped, there is every indication that downtown fashion label Heatherette has finally reached the end of the road. Sources say Richie Rich is working on a fashion line of his own to be called Rox and Riley (after his dogs). My spies say Richie is over New York and wants to move to Los Angeles, where he is considering music and TV projects to go with a book about club kids that he is writing. Buzz is Traver Raines, his partner - and some say the real design force behind the label - is not sorry to see Richie head west.

John Cusimano and Rachel Ray in NYC.

"The Real Housewives of New York" is now in the eternal re-run stage - until the ladies re-sign with Bravo. The show has been picked up for a second season, but there's a problem. The behind-the-scenes word is money - more of it. "They made under $10,000 for the first season, while the Orange County housewives got $100,000," says one insider. "They can't even get their hair done at those prices".

I was shocked when I heard about their paltry salary and wanted to ask Countess Luann de Lesseps what was up. At Upper East Side watering hole Elaine's, the Countess co-hosted a kick-off party for the upcoming Fred & Adele Astaire Awards attended by such Hamptonites as Anne Jackson, Eli Wallach, Jacquelin Murphy-Stahl, and Mark Mitchell. I tried to get her to dish, but being the well-mannered aristocrat, she demurred, and took off to chat up Tommy Tune. She did mention that a book on etiquette might be in the offing, but not a word on re-upping for the cameras.

Fellow housewife Jill Zarin, whose feud with on again/off again friend Ramona Singer, is starting to move into "Dynasty" proportions was all smiles as usual, but seemed to beat a hasty exit when Ramona was spotted alighting from a cab outside the trendy eatery. Jill grabbed her husband Bobby and made a bee line for the door. I didn't even have a chance to ask her for one of her fabulous Team Jill t-shirts!

Seen Around The Villages:
I know the high season is soon a comin' when I start receiving tips about celeb sightings and catch a few myself. This weekend offered a bumper crop for star oglers. Ethan Hawke was spotted having a quiet dinner for two with his expectant girlfriend Ryan Shawhughes at Matto in East Hampton. The pair sat next to the owner and dined on fresh pasta and local seafood and seemed to be really enjoying themselves.

Young Southampton actor on the rise Emanuel Sylvano was seen on Hill Street chatting up an exuberant Renee Zellweger, who had just finished her workout. The star of the recently released "Leatherheads" with George Clooney gave the young actor some tips. This kid's got all the luck - last week he was shooting a scene with Julia Roberts for the film "Duplicity". This week he's getting pointers from an Oscar winning actress. You can catch him in the season finale of "Gossip Girls." You go, sweetie!

More on "Gossip Girl", I hear that Lydia Hearst is set to be a TV star. The model flew back from London over the weekend to start rehearsals for "Gossip Girl". Hearst just joined the Gersh Agency for acting, and they landed her a minor role. "She's beyond excited," said my source.

Saturday afternoon, Main Street in Southampton was a-buzzin' to see Regis Philbin's co-host Kelly Ripa window shopping. We spied the bubbly Kelly admiring the antiques in the window of Old Towne Crossing. If she's choosing a redo, that's a great place to start.

'Til next week, cheers! And keep those sightings coming in!

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Guest (RR) from Southampton says::
Well, the Orange County housewives require much more upkeep than our neighboring New York housewives, therefore, demanding a much higher salary. But do we really care about their daily dilemmas, from where to get their nails done to the next $600.00 haircut? How about the "real" housewives that are at home budgeting for their family and worrying about how they will pay for the latest gas increase, healthcare and other "real" issues. Maybe we need a reality show about that! I guarantee you a family won't get paid $100,000.00 to show us how they would spend that $600.00.
May 1, 2008 2:46 pm


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