Chris Noth Purim Party Interrupted By Broken Glass Ceiling; "Jersey Shore’s" Snooki and Vinny React – Speakeasy – WSJ

March 1, 2010

At Chris Noth’s Purim party last night in midtown’s Sony building, the security was tighter than Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport. Still, that didn’t prevent hundreds of fun-loving Jews from having a smashing time celebrating the holiday (for Gentiles: Purim is the Jewish version of Halloween, just with more food).

Smashing, indeed. Halfway through the evening, ice fell on top of the roof, which caused several glass squares of the atrium to shatter and rain shards onto the dance floor. And, this being a Jewish event, many thought it was a bomb. “Calm down, everybody,” someone shouted, “it’s just glass!” Right. Ambulances arrived on the scene to take care of the nine or ten injuries, but fortunately no one was hurt too badly.

Before the roof fell in, though, we had the chance to chat with Snooki and Vinny from MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” No, their true names aren’t Snooki Polizziwitz and Vinny Guadagninostein, but they were willing to party with the Jewish party-goers anyway. Snooki told us she was sure she’s met “guido” Jews on the Shore, and while we’re still trying to figure out exactly what that heritage would entail, she seemed excited at the prospect of throwing down with Chris Noth (who wouldn’t give any interviews).

Vinny laughed when we asked him whether he celebrates Purim every year. “Never, actually. I’m still looking for Jews who fist-pump.” He was open to the idea of kosher chicken cutlet night, though, after we explained some of the Jewish dietary laws. “Definitely. We’d have one.” (Empire kosher chicken, want to step up?)

We also ran into Eli Kirshtein, the Top Chef Season Six contestant and current Executive Chef at Solo, the upscale kosher restaurant that catered the event. He told us that cooking kosher food – in this case, no dairy – is a creative challenge not unlike ones he faced on Top Chef. “In Japanese cuisine you don’t use olive oil, and in Mediterranean cuisine you don’t use soy sauce. It’s just a different set of rules and there’s no excuse not to produce beautiful food.” He pointed to the lamb meatballs and fresh salad being served at the buffet as an example.

Did his mother mind, we asked, that he cooked so much pork on Top Chef? “Well, it’s my dad who’s Jewish, and I’m from the South, so it wasn’t really an issue.”

Kirshtein doesn’t let his restaurant laws override his culinary cravings all the time, though. He said the favorite thing he’s eaten in awhile is a chocolate egg with maple caramel foam he sampled at Le Bernardin, compliments of pastry chef Michael Laiskonis.

After the building was evacuated, guests headed next door to Solo, which stayed open until 1:30 a.m. Vinny G tweeted shortly after: Roof just collapsed at Purim event…. I think me and @sn00ki felt the wrath for not being Jewish.

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Posted by Noah Simon