December 20, 2008 - NEW YORK CITY, NY - Noted Discovery Channel celebrity and survivalist Bear Grylls walked out of Manhattan's Ristorante Mario in disgust earlier this week.
The small but quaint, highly regarded Italian restaurant has been very popular since it opened in 1987, drawing not only New York City area residents, but also notable celebrities from around the globe, from Chuck Norris to Alessandra Ambrosio.
Arriving at the Manhattan hot spot for lunch shortly after noon this Thursday, Mr. Grylls was seated and shown a menu by the hostess. He requested a bottle of unfiltered water, at which point he excused himself to use "the loo." Upon returning to his table with unwashed hands, he was greeted by the waiter, who asked if he needed a moment to look at the menu. Grylls replied, "No, that's okay. I'll just have the Pasta Primavera lunch special, if you don't mind."
When the food arrived, a surprised Grylls gestured at the side of broccoli accompanying the dish, asking, "What do you mean, bringing me this lot?" The waiter claims he then sniffed at the bright green, steamed vegetable, recoiling with a grimace, and spitting out a monosyllabic "Bwaughg!" before pushing it away. When the waiter informed him that this was the only side dish available with the lunch special, Grylls reportedly became "cheesed off," and abruptly left the restaurant.
Most popular in "The States" for his show Man vs. Wild, aired on the Discovery Channel, the survival instructor and former British Army Special Forces member has been known to eat such haute cuisine as pine needles, brush, roots, dung beetles, caterpillars, maggots, poisonous lizards and snakes, raw zebra meat swarming with flies, goat testicles, and the contents of a camel's stomach. He has also been filmed drinking stagnant pond water filtered through his own underwear or socks, as well as his own urine.
A customer arriving at Ristorante Mario immediately after the incident reportedly overheard Grylls muttering that there are "some things you just don't want to eat" as he left the restaurant in disgust.
"Certainly not the least repugnant thing I've ever been served," complained Grylls. "Just dreadful."