It's Wednesday, January 9 and Mario Batali Won't Be Facing Sexual Assault Charges

Plus, you could win a year of free beer if you're better at field goals than an NFL kicker.

Jan 9 2019, 5:26pm

Welcome to Off-Menu, where we'll be rounding up all the food news and food-adjacent internet ephemera that delighted, fascinated, or infuriated us this morning.


  • Mario Batali will not face any charges or arrests in the wake of numerous sexual assault allegations. In December 2017, Eater published a sprawling overview of sexual misconduct allegations made against him by multiple women spanning decades, and a New York Times exposé on the Spotted Pig included an allegation that Batali had assaulted an unconscious woman in the so-called "rape room." These culminated in three separate investigations by the NYPD, two of which were found to be beyond the New York State statute of limitations. The third was closed when the Special Victims Division failed to find sufficient evidence of a crime. “Something happened to that victim in that room, but we don’t know if it’s criminal or not," a police official told the Times.
  • The Chicago Bears' season ended Sunday night when their kicker choked on a 43-yard field goal with the team trailing the Eagles by one with ten seconds on the clock. Because Cody Parkey literally had one job to do and failed, fans started insisting they could've done it better. So now, Goose Island Beer Company is calling their bluff. This weekend, the brewery is offering armchair kickers the chance to win free beer for a year if they successfully complete a 43-yard field goal (set up in the street, apparently, you see this Chicago PD?) But what I want to know is: Will the Eagles Treyvon Hester be there to block it?
  • The Atlantic has a smart piece out today on what we've gained and lost with the almost unassailable rise of the Instant Pot. It retrofits into Anne Helen Petersen's sweeping account of Millennial burnout the missing aspect of how women increasingly working outside the home has not lessened the demand of domestic labor when it comes to food, which in turn has forced technological solutions to feeding a family.
  • The government shutdown is soon-to-be record-breaking. It's incredibly generous—and a decent reminder that society is not all bad—that some restaurants are offering comped meals to furloughed federal employees. (But let's not be careful not to categorize citizens eating the cost of government incompetence as some kind of good news.)

Not News

Of course Lucia Riina—daughter of the late Salvatore Riina, the mob boss from Corleone, Sicily—is "trying to capitalize financially on infamy of her murderous father by trying to attract customer’s with his hometown’s name," by naming her new restaurant in Paris "Corleone." Don't like it? Don't eat there.

Something Nice

I'm just so glad that this is the first and only TikTok video I've seen.

Buy This Bucket

Maldon tub

This 3.3-pound tub of Maldon Sea Salt available on Amazon Prime is the surprisingly delightful (and super easy for you) gift to get for all your friends-who-cook-but-whose-kitchen-situation-you-don't-know-a-ton-about.