April 23, 2007 | Insatiable Critic

Spotlight Live

Star Chef Kerry Simon does comfort food at Spotlight Live. Photo: Steven Richter
Spotlight Live
is braced for flocks of free-spending fame freaks, wannabe American Idols and karaoke fans hungry for fame, popcorn shrimp, and mini-burgers. Besides digging into comfort-food classics, diners can cut a track in a private recording booth, shimmy onstage in front of a live munching audience backed by professional singers, and know the world can catch their act on the JumboTron outside, overlooking Times Square. Mere voyeurs can rate and insult the players through a complex interactive screen at each table—if it’s working—while eating pigs in blankets, nicely gooped-up iceberg wedges, and first-rate pepperoni pizza by Las Vegas star chef Kerry Simon, who seems dazed but philosophically willing at a tasting two nights before opening. “Friends can’t understand why I’m cooking here,” he confides, but “life is about having a little fun.” Signed up at the last minute, Simon still sports his signature eighties Prince Valiant coif. He left an early spotlight in Manhattan to run Jean-Georges’s Vegas outposts, then segued into his own eponymous Vegas place, recently cloned in Los Angeles. Now he’ll be back here monthly to make sure the kitchen stays true to his aïoli-smothered “tuna dynamite,” pretzel-crusted pork, and buttermilk onion rings. A few items still need refining, if I may use that word. Still, I’d be back for the irresistible mac and cheese, so like my mom’s, if I could handle the clamor that Gen X, Y, and Z thrive on.

1604 Broadway nr. 49th St. 212 246 2693



Cafe Fiorello