How can a Batali completist visit the chef's new place in L.A. and get back in time to pay the babysitter? Here's one option: Dial-A-Dinner, the concierge service that dispatches tuxedoed drivers to deliver grub from upscale eateries, runs a side business called Jet Dining. Founder David Blum says George Hamilton, Paris and Nicky Hilton, and Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman are among the clients who've requested, on as little as four hours' notice, private jets to take them to far-flung restaurants. We dialed what Blum confusingly calls the "unlisted listed number" (212-643-1222) to find out how much it would set us back to check out some recently opened NYC-restaurant sister eateries around the country. (Blum says you can request an onboard meal from your favorite local eatery, but we discovered that you might have to settle for substitutions.)
Dinner for two at Rao's in Las Vegas, December 6 (opening night).
Plane: Learjet 35
Hotel requested and received: Caesar's Palace, where Rao's will open.
Onboard meal from Rao's New York? No. Substitution: The Palm (Monday Nite salad, shrimp cocktail, five-pound steamed lobster, filet mignon, cream spinach, hash browns, chocolate cake, strawberries).
Dinner for two at Pizzeria Mozza in L.A., tomorrow night.
Plane: Learjet 35
Hotel requested and received: Downtown Standard
Onboard meal from Babbo? No. Substitution: Harry Cipriani (mozzarella di Bufala and fresh tomatoes, prosciutto tower, mixed green salad, tagliardi al ragu, veal picatine al limone, vanilla meringue, fruit plate).
Dinner for two at Buddakan in Atlantic City, tomorrow night.
Plane: turbojet or helicopter.
Hotel requested and received: Borgata
Onboard meal from Buddakan New York? No. Substitution: Hatsuhana (assortment of sushi and sashimi).
Price (turbojet): $5,000
Price (helicopter): $3,000