De Niro's Ago: Bruni's Dinner from Hell

Note to restaurateurs: spilling wine on Frank Bruni's dining companions is not the fastest way to his heart. That's what we learn from the Bruni's hilariously abusive zero-star review of Ago, Robert De Niro's Italian restaurant in the Greenwich Hotel. Said downpour of sauvignon kicked off his train-wreck of a meal. But this wasn't any old spill—"I'm talking about the "Poseidon Adventure" of wine spills. Shelley Winters could have done the backstroke in it." And this happened before Bruni was even seated. Somehow, some way, everything went downhill from there. Other amusingly terrible aspects of his dinner:

The wait: By the time Bruni and his (now wine-soaked) co-diners were seated, it was 9:22; their reservation had been for 8:30. Apparently, the restaurant's name is a reference to "Should have been seated 52 minutes ago!" Har.

The size of the tables: His was "little bigger than a bike wheel,"so teensy that the waiter "audibly contemplated balancing a fifth, communal appetizer that we'd order on top of our wine glasses."

And, last but not least, the food: On the pork: "No pig should perish for a pork chop as dry as one at Ago."

We're guessing Bruni won't be having his celebration dinner at Ago when his forthcoming memoir is pubished.

No Trouble Drawing a Crowd [NY Times]