The Tuscan city of Lucca, famous as Puccini's birthplace, doesn't need any more publicity—especially if it carries the taint of "culinary racism." But that's the accusation being lobbed in response to Lucca's ban on new ethnic eateries in its city center.
"I had dinner with Nicole Kidman." Hmm... I hadn't known my friend Christian, an Italian journalist, was a celebrity hound. Like most New Yorkers, we make a point of ignoring such people. "Where?" I asked. "At the Mercer Kitchen." What did you talk about, I wanted to know.