Liv Tyler and Mario Batali Share Grilled Cheese at N.Y.C. Diner

04/14/2014 at 12:16 PM ET

Empire Diner Grilled Cheese Recipe
Courtesy Mario Batali

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that give you the most pleasure. For Mario Batali and Liv Tyler, it was noshing on grilled cheese sandwiches together at an iconic New York eatery.

On Friday, the pals met up at the Empire Diner, led by chef Amanda Freitag, in N.Y.C.’s Chelsea neighborhood, and ordered a couple of the restaurant’s popular grilled cheese sandwiches.

But rather than the standard yellow-American-on-white-bread found in most diners, Freitag’s take on the classic is a delicious mix of melty fontina and cheddar cheeses layered with roasted tomatoes on toasted brioche.

The friends were so psyched with their meal, they shared their dining experience on Instagram.

“Grilled cheese day w @misslivalittle,” Batali wrote, along with a photo of Tyler chomping down on her sammie. “Wheeeeee!”

The actress matched the chef’s exuberance in her own post.

“Diner date with this beautiful nut,” she wrote, before giving her meal high marks. “Most delicious grilled cheese!!!! Mmmm mmmm good!!!!” But instead of posting another food shot, the actress got creative and snapped their feet — Batali in his signature orange Crocs and Tyler in classic Chuck Taylors.

How can we get invited to lunch with these two funsters?

—Nancy Mattia

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 7 comments

Jaynes on

Grilled cheese sandwiches make me gag, who eats that crap? Even as a kid I wouldn’t eat it, mom would make them with crap white bread and slices of crap American cheese, I took one bite and spit it out, think I was five, never again did I taste one, yuck! Same thing with macaroni and cheese, tried it and spit it out, yuck food, ugh.

Diane on

You had me at ‘grilled cheese’. Yum….

Elaine on

@jaynes: Of course white bread and elastic American cheese is crap. You should try grilled cheese with good gooey cheese and quality bread. I like mine with caramelized onions.

HiC on

Roxy’s Grilled Cheese in Boston is the BEST!!!

Nikki on

@jaynes…who piddled in your cheerios this morning? You sound like a complete joy as a child.

Melissa on

@ Nikki : lmao🙂
@ Jaynes : Sarah Lee White bread with Velveeta cheese slices is actually pretty good on grilled cheese sandwiches. Velveeta cheese shells also tastes yummy. Try those and you might change your mind🙂

Erika on

@Jaynes Geeze. Debbie downer over there. I make my grilled cheeses with a good bread. Sometimes with Provolone, sometimes with Pepperjack, but I never use American cheese!