Sommelier Later! Forbes wine guy makes a flap at Phillippe

Looks like wine writer Nick Passmore won’t be writing a review of Philippe any time soon – you’ve probably all read about it in Page Six again but in case you haven’t, he kicked up quite a fuss at the door when he was told he would have to wait (five minutes) and actually pulled out the old “Don’t you know who I AM?” line, which always guarantees good service and no spit in your food. (Actual more obnoxious quote: “Do you know who I am? I am here to write a review for Forbes magazine and [I] do not wait.”)

Then Passmore allegedly refused to pay the check, allegedly “growling” (oh Page Six, you make it so dramatic!): “I do not pay when reviewing a restaurant. If I pay this check, I will write an unfavorable review about Philippe.” I love how the restaurant has a French name but somehow they’re making this guy named Nick sound like an uppity Euro. In any case, Passmore and Phillipe co-owner Stratis Morfogen, who sounds like a character from “Lord of the Rings,” got into a tussle over the ethics of food reviewing and whether that was an oxymoron in this case, which apparently it was because Passmore was invited for a free meal and whaddya know, he accepted. Upshot: everyone’s blaming the flack, and Forbes has been quick to point out that Passmore is a freelancer and that comp-for-ink is certainly not done at Forbes.

I wonder how much this happens outside Page Six; it’s not the first time we’ve seen kerfuffles break out between restauranteurs and their reviewers (recall the fall flap about Esquire’s John Mariani). Just so you all know, when I reviewed Kebab House II I totally paid for my chicken shish platter.