Confirmed: Waitress Tell-all Depicts Otto, Not Babbo. Plus, a Sneak Peek!

We’ve gotten hold of an advanced copy of Sara Barron’s memoir, People Are Unappealing, and the chapter about her time serving spoiled celebs at Hell is just as juicy as the "Page Six" item implied. But the Post was wrong to identify Hell as Babbo. The celebrity chef Barron worked for, “Luigi,” does indeed seem to be Mario Batali (nice Super Mario Brothers reference). However, when we called Babbo, the longtime maître d’ told us Barron worked there for only two days, as a hostess and not a server, in July of 1998. So we called Otto (the book describes a long hallway leading into a big dining room) and a reservationist informed us that Barron worked there for a period of years. With that cleared up, let’s get to the book, shall we?

First, Twat Waffle (whom the Post identified as Michael Stipe — indeed, Barron says he appeared on Iconoclasts with chef Luigi) isn’t the only obnoxious musician Barron says she served. There’s also “the son of a very famous musician,” whom she calls Stella McCartney (perhaps it’s a Lennon/McCartney reference and she’s talking about Sean Lennon? Who knows). McCartney tells her “the music you’re playing sucks,” and when she doesn’t change it (because Luigi forbids it) he leaves an 8 percent tip with the note “terrible service.” He returns four days later and insists she plug in his own iPod: “The music’ll be better that way, thanks.”

Barron can’t do it, of course, because Luigi forbids employees from changing the music, just like he forbids them from modifying the menu. “This last point proved especially difficult for a slew of famous actresses, one of whom appeared one night in an expensive camisole and oversized boho sweater on a quest for steamed halibut.” Needless to say, the thorny thespian doesn’t take it well when she’s turned down — “The cami-sporter’s cheeks got flushed. ‘WELL THAT’S RETARDED!’” She demands to speak to Luigi, but he is, of course, in Aspen. So she calls him on his cell. Barron wisely gives a fake name.

Then, of course, there’s the customer who’s the “worst of the worst,” Twat Waffle (apparently Michael Stipe), who got his name when he sent the chefs into a tizzy by ordering blueberry waffles at 3 a.m. (Twat Waffle’s meals are comped and Luigi allows him to smoke in the restaurant). Though Twat Waffle is Barron’s idol and she’s happy to serve him when all the other servers shirk, she ends up despising him when he rolls into the restaurant with “an entourage of gaunt homosexuals all in matching fedoras and Ray-Bans” (Twat Waffle himself is wearing affected, Bono-y sunglasses), talks to her only through a member of his entourage when he’s asked what kind of water he prefers, and then, after keeping the staff up till 5 a.m., leaves without tipping on a compensated meal worth $2,000 (par for the course, a fellow staffer informs her).

Barron concludes her story by saying she still works at Hell, but that seems to be out of date. The reservationist at Otto says she’s no longer at the restaurant.

Read more posts by Daniel Maurer

Filed Under: babbo, Book Shelf, luigi, mario batali, michael stipe, otto, people are unappealing, sara barron, twat waffle

Copyright NYMag - NY Mag Grub Street
Contact Us