The marketing squad behind Robert De Niro's latest film may not have an especially well-developed touch with movie posters, but you can't say it isn't getting its money's worth with the brilliant new cross-promotion, "Righteous Kill Tuna — Only at Nobu!" While the summer's blockbuster superhero crop nickel-and-dimed their way through Happy Meals and Whoppers, De Niro and restaurant's London outposts ventured waaay outside the box recently with high-priced helpings of the rare Atlantic bluefin tuna — a species that activists contend has been overfished to the point of near-extinction and which Nobu should apparently know better than to serve:
"Nobu and Robert De Niro are clearly making a great deal of money serving up endangered fish," Willie Mackenzie of the environmental group Greenpeace told the Telegraph of London. Greenpeace activists went undercover at the chain, a favorite haunt of Madonna, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, and discovered menus failed to disclose the species of tuna served.
The mouth-watering fish was actually bluefin, a species so endangered the World Wildlife Federation has called for a ban on its sale. Even though Nobu's New York restaurants were not cited in the report, one diner said it made him think twice about eating at the swank Tribeca eatery. "I come here for good food, not to be part of some exterminating force," said Lawrence Clay-Williams, 34, of SoHo.Whatever. It's not like it's illegal or anything, making for an exotic, ultimately guilt-free alternative to less-righteous kills you'll find between bread at Subway or lesser eateries. And think of the exclusivity, with satisfied diners forking over a reported $600 apiece for the privilege of sensually living out a variation on Kill's tagline: "Most tuna respect the fisherman. Every tuna respects the chef." Someone's a genius.