NAMES & FACES
Actress Marisa Tomei and celeb chefs Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich (of PBS's "Lidia's Italy") hit Cafe Atlantico's second floor Minibar on Saturday for a relaxed evening of wining and dining. According to staff at the downtown restaurant, Batali was the only name on the reservation, so it was a nice surprise when the two women came with. Perched upstairs at the exclusive six-seat Minibar, they dined off the tasting menu attributed to prolific restaurateur Jose Andres. The three amigos posed for photos with staff, and Batali autographed a pair of orange Crocs brought in by Minibar's chef. The trio were in town as guests of honor for the Smithsonian symposium "Food, Film, and Friendship, Italian Style" yesterday at Lisner Auditorium.
Aguilera's New Project
Christina Aguilera, a pop diva who can actually sing, seems to have a bun in the oven, according to E! News. The proud mom of five Grammys and her music exec husband, Jordan Bratman, 30, are expecting their first child. About to hit New Zealand and Australia with her act, Xtina, 26, has sold more than 30 million records, and her most recent album, last year's "Back to Basics," just went double platinum.
Singer Clay Aiken got a hand after resting his foot on another passenger's armrest during a flight to Tulsa over the weekend. The woman gave him "a minor shove" and a piece of her mind, the Associated Press reports, but the Continental Airlines flight crew managed to defuse the situation. The incident Saturday still required FBI attention upon landing, leading to the holding for questioning of several passengers. FBI Special Agent Gary Johnson confirmed the dispute but not that the male party involved was in fact Aiken. The former Clayton Holmes Grissom, 28, rose to fame via Fox Television's "American Idol."
Prince, Hitting the Limit
Musical chameleon Prince got a groove on in his home town of Minneapolis until the wee hours yesterday, when the cops shut him down. The prolific Purple One played a series of three 7-7-07 performances around town within the span of 12 hours. The first show kicked off at Macy's, followed by a concert at Target Center. He finished the night rather late at the legendary First Avenue club, featured in the movie "Purple Rain."
When the Minneapolis live-music curfew of 4 a.m. kicked in, with the Artist about two-thirds into a 24-song set, he stopped short to announce: "The authorities say we gotta go. We always listen to the authorities."
Miss New Jersey Amy Polumbo has received a second threatening package from someone trying to blackmail her into relinquishing her crown, the Associated Press reports. Lawyer Anthony Caruso said that he was notified about the package Saturday and that it contained a threatening letter and possibly photographs of his 22-year-old client. Caruso did not disclose what an earlier set of photos showed, but said that it was the captions that troubled Polumbo, not the images. The student at Wagner College in New York did not step down and has declined to comment publicly.
-- Compiled by Allison Wolfe from staff and wire reports