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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tipsy tales of the rich and famous

The rich may be different from you and me, but when they consume too much alcohol the line between The Four Seasons and Connor's Pub gets pretty blurry.

A story by Frank Bruni in the Dining section of today's New York Times chronicles some pretty spectacular cases of drunkeness at top-tier restaurants. After all, alcohol is alcohol, and while Bordeaux and Montrachets may be exclusive (and expensive) beverages meant for those with refined tastes, after a few bottles the effect they have on judgement and motor skills is pretty much identical to what can happen after glugging down a dozen shots of Jägermeister.

If anything, Bruni's article suggests, the well-heeled can go on benders of more epic proportions then even the most determined of college students, simply because their actions carry no consequences for them (other than the inevitable massive hangover, that is). In a city where taxis are the preferred method of transportation, where's the incentive to cut off a blotto customer who is treating his friends to $7,000 magnums?

Author Phoebe Damrosch includes a few drunken-patron anecdotes in Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter, a memoir of her time of employment at Per Se, the New York restaurant owned by Chef Thomas Keller, who is perhaps better known for his Napa County restaurant The French Laundry. Such anecdotes make amusing reading, and serve to remind us that the rich aren't really that different — except, as Ernest Hemingway said, they have more money.
M. Zane Grey, 8:04 AM