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2009 May 29

A Model Birthday

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(NEW YORK) It was a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition reader’s dream--the stunning Alessandra Ambrosio throwing a birthday bash for the equally gorgeous Fernanda Motta at the recently revamped restaurant Le 55 (formerly Merkato 55). Balloons, a delicious dinner of fish and oyster risotto, plenty of champagne to go around, and an extravagant cake (more on this later) capped off the intimate night. It may be a faux pas to ask a lady her age, but Motta had nothing to hide (and with good reason--have you seen her?). “At midnight, I’ll be 28!” she said. “There’s a club downstairs, so we’ll go to the club, and then maybe I’ll go to the Hamptons this weekend to celebrate.” The model had more to celebrate than just her birthday, though; as one of the owners of the restaurant, she was also welcoming the a brand-new chef. “We used to have a sort of African style, and now it’s more of a Mediterranean style,” she said, tucking into the first course.

Guests like Lorenzo Martone (conspicuously missing Marc!) and Julie Henderson were smart to save some room for dessert, though. Post-meal, the restaurant staff carried out an enormous, 5-level cake complete with sparklers and candles galore. “It doesn’t mean that I’m old!” she laughed as she posed with Ambrosio and attempted to blow out the myriad candles. “It’s the opposite!”
EMILY GYBEN




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