Eat This: Batali Sued for $75K Over Unpaid Rent

Take a bite out of this. Celebrity chef Mario Batali and his longtime partner Joseph Bastianich are being sued for nearly $75,000 for not paying rent, according to a published report.

Batali and Bastianich neglected their rent and other charges relating to the now-closed restaurant the John Dory, Landlord 85 Tenth Avenue Associates claims in court papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The restaurateurs, who own Del Posto, didn't manage John Dory, which closed on Aug. 29. But they agreed they would back Dory's operators, Spotted Pig chef April Bloomfield and restaurateur Ken Friedman, reports The New York Post.

John Dory got fantastic reviews, but Friedman griped that its location under the High Line didn't propagate enough business to keep the restaurant on the black.

The lawsuit charges Batali and his partner didn't pay July or August rent for the spot -- a whopping $22,102.09 base plus separate water and sewer fees, real estate taxes and other various charges, including a strange $7,500 per month for "chilled water," according to the Post.

A Batali rep didn't immediately return the paper's e-mail for comment, and the landlord's attorney didn't return a call.

Batali and Bastianich own seven restaurants in the Big Apple and five more across the country. The superstar chef also has authored a bunch of cookbooks and formerly starred one the Food Network's "Iron Chef America."

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