MARIO BATALI DOES TEQUILA SHOTS: The wine was flowing at Lela Rose’s spacious TriBeCa apartment on Thursday evening as the designer welcomed Mario Batali, Celerie Kemble, Trey Laird, Ken Downing, Alix Browne and Adam Rapoport, among others, for line-caught tuna sashimi, roast suckling pig and peach and blackberry crostada cooked by ABC Kitchen chef Dan Kluger. The dinner was part of Bon Appétit’s new “Feast or Fashion,” program, which included Rag & Bone’s postshow dinner at Frankies 570 Spuntino.

Rose, who has a living room long enough that it could double as a fashion runway, knows how to throw an over-the-top party, from her dining room table that rose from the floor to another table filled with donuts, cookies and coffee that, at one point later in the evening, seemed to magically lower itself from the ceiling. “I have no idea how they let me in here with all of these fashionable people,” said Batali, who was later found doing shots with Kluger in the tequila room downstairs. Batali talked food and food writing, taking a few guesses at who could succeed Sam Sifton as the new restaurant critic at The New York Times. “I think it could be Julia Moskin [who’s been a reporter for the Dining section since 2004 and served as a restaurant critic for the New York Press in the early Nineties.] I loved Sifton though. He gave me four stars.”

This story first appeared in the September 19, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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