Digging into what should have been a buttery, tender plate of branzino at a ritzy restaurant and coming away with a two-inch fish hook in your mouth is not exactly what we would call a four-star dinner. That’s exactly what Aliona Russo claims she experienced at New York’s Villagio on the Park at 40 Central Park South.
According to DNA Infofiled a lawsuit for $50,000 against the Central Park location of the nationwide chain after biting into the two-inch metal hook, attached to part of a plastic fishing line, that was hidden within her $38 fish. She claims not only physical damage (she had to be rushed to the hospital), but also emotional trauma.
“The restaurant and its representatives have taken the position that they are not responsible, which defies the imagination," Russo’s lawyer, Jay Dankner, told DNA Info. "They even refused to pay her medical bills, basically forcing us to sue."
It does sound fishy, but there may be more to this story. The restaurant claims that Russo’s accusations are attempts at extortion, according to Grub Street. Villagio on the Park representatives say that their fish is always farm-raised, so it would be caught in a net, rather than with a traditional fishing line.
Restaurant partner Alexander Kalas is also reportedly baffled that Russo bit into the hook without noticing it was there. Villagio on the Park will be filing a countersuit, and thus far refuses to pay the settlement.