Thursday, May 30, 2024

Hamptons Weekend: Bon Jovi, Howard Stern Help Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Famed Eatery


I heard over the weekend that 1988 was 25 years ago. This is a shock. Also, in East Hampton, Jeff Salaway and his wife Toni Ross, daughter of Warner Communications founder Steve Ross, opened a restaurant. They called it Nick & Toni’s. Ever since then the A list has clamored to get a reservation. It’s never stopped. On Saturday night Nick & Toni’s celebrated its quarter century without any fanfare except the celebs were there, trust me.

Howard Stern and wife Beth were eating on the patio. Then “Goodfellas” author Nick Pileggi came in with his family including stepson Jacob Bernstein. George Stephanopolous, sporting heavy black glasses, arrived with his very funny wife Alexandra Wentworth. (Why isn’t she joining “The View” permanently, I wondered. She’s perfect.) They were joined very quickly by two couples: Jon and Dorothea Bon Jovi, and Ronald Perelman and his wife Anna. I also ran into Marc Glimcher of the famed Pace Gallery wining and dining not one but two –unframed– beauties! He just had Jay Z in to perform his “Picasso” song– and it’s on YouTube.

There may have been others but proprietors Mark Smith and Bonnie Munshin were literally running around, trying to find everyone seats, and showing off the spectacular renovations from over the winter. We had a drink to Jeff, who died tragically at the end of the summer of 2001, much too young, in a car accident. He’d be so proud to see his vision has lasted and lasted.I still remember Jeff in the early days, when the place was so packed. He’d get up on a chair, cock a menu over his eyes to block out the lights, and survey the room for empty seats. Somehow he always found an extra table when Steven Spielberg or Billy Joel came in!

And by the way, the food cannot be beat–it’s the absolutely best meal anywhere. This week the menu has some old standards from various menus of the past, including a sensational squab. Many of the dishes are also served at Nick & Toni’s on West 67th St. in Manhattan–the go to place after the movies at AMC Lincoln Square. Mazel tov!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News