An update from the editors:
Today, we posted a Friday Fives from Robert De Niro - one that we were excited and honored to have, much like we are any time we get a big celebrity to take the time and give us a few words about their favorite restaurants.
Unfortunately, a few hours ago, we began receiving takedown requests from Media Maison, the very same PR agency that we got Mr. De Niro's quotes from. They represent the vodka company that he is involved with, VDKA 6100. This type of relationship is typical for us - some of our Friday Fives come directly from the personality him or herself (like Seth Rogen), while others come via a PR or marketing team in charge of whatever that person is currently promoting.
As we began responding to Media Maison's requests this afternoon, we began to doubt the authenticity of the quotes that we were given. As we pushed for further explanation, we were not able to get the PR rep to attest to their authenticity beyond a reference to this Refinery 29 article as an example of something similar. Here you will see that they are also promoting the vodka brand.
Taking all of this into account, and due to the fact that we still can't get a clear explanation, we have made the executive decision to pull down the Friday Fives and update you with the situation. We can't tell you the quotes we got were definitely fake, but we also now can't tell you that they definitely came from Robert De Niro. Being that we value your trust above all, we felt that removing the copy and providing an explanation was our only option. From here on out we'll probably start having to ask for DNA samples.
Regardless, you should still go eat at all the very great, very real restaurants that appeared in the original article: The Leadbelly, The Musket Room, Raoul's, Bâtard, & Distilled. And you should still go check out the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend.
-Stang & Steinthal