By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Bride's Parents Vs. Ridgewells in a Kosher Food Fight
The ceremony was at the Corcoran, the write-up was in the Times and the spread was a cornucopia of smoked salmon, hoisin duck, mushroom caps, Mediterranean salads, an Oriental buffet . . . and those were just the hors d'oeuvres!
So we're guessing a good time was had by all at the April 2 wedding of young lawyers Rebecca Siegel and Craig Baron -- until the sushi tray came out.
That's when the night unraveled into slams and counterslams between the bride's parents -- veteran lobbyist Mark A. Siegel and State Department official Judith Siegel -- and the well-known caterer Ridgewells. In a suit filed in late August, the Siegels claimed that Ridgewells failed to deliver a properly kosher reception as agreed to and "marred" their daughter's big day. In a new countersuit, Ridgewells claims the Siegels never agreed to pay for a kosher wedding, and still owe $13,000 on a $40,000 bill.
Trouble began, according to the Siegels' complaint, when the mother of the groom, whose family observes a strict kosher diet, noticed shrimp sushi. Not kosher. Nor was the replacement tray, with its bounty of octopus and eel.
Also not kosher: dairy products such as butter and cream cheese in a meal that had meat.
"Some people think this is a kind of a religious issue," said attorney Nathan Lewin, who filed the family's suit. "It's basically consumer protection with expectation that food will satisfy the kosher consumer."
Ridgewells principal Susan Niemann insists that the order was not for kosher. "We priced it out for him kosher" -- an additional $15,000 -- "and he said he didn't want to pay for it kosher." She acknowledges that the shellfish sushi was a mistake, counter to what had been agreed upon. Otherwise, said the caterer's attorney, Jeff Schwaber, "we find the lawsuit a frivolous attempt to get a free wedding."
Mark Siegel acknowledges raising his voice and making "remarks that might, in other circumstances, have been unseemly and inappropriate" and complains that a Ridgewells official retaliated by calling him "vulgar" and threatening to make the scene public. Ridgewells, in claiming defamation, says Siegel tried to injure the company's reputation by publicly calling it a "bunch of morons" and accusing its employees of trying to steal his wine.
No word on whether VIP guests Morton Kondracke or Judy Woodruff will be subpoenaed.
Hey, even we've been tempted to throw a pie in the face of Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, for making women bigger than size 4 feel like cows. So we're torn about the pie Wintour received in Paris on Saturday before the Chloe spring runway show: amused to see anything short of her oh-so-perfect look -- then bored when we found out the pie was a vegetarian tofu tart thrown by PETA anti-fur demonstrators. So last season.
ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth.
Asking price: $3.5 million.
Details: The "This Week" anchor and his actress wife are selling off their 1810 Georgetown townhouse on 28th Street NW. The six-bedroom, four-bath Federal-style brick residence with a modern addition, terrace and garden -- purchased for $2 million in 2002 -- is apparently too tight. "We love our house but our family is growing," says Stephanopoulos. In June, daughter Harper joined big sister Elliott, and the two family dogs. (Gawkers at last week's open house say photos of the family are all over the place.) No word if they're moving up, but they're shopping in the same neighborhood.
This Just In . . .
Hillary Clinton confidant and Democratic adviser Harold Ickes took a bruising yesterday morning when a car and his motor scooter had a run-in near Pennsylvania Avenue. Luckily, the 66-year-old was wearing a helmet and his injuries apparently weren't too serious -- but we don't think this is what he meant when he became president of America Coming Together last March.