BY MARIANNE GARVEY, BRIAN NIEMIETZ AND OLI COLEMAN
Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 2:00 AM
George Who-ney? A buzzy downtown restaurant declined to seat George Clooney and his wife, Amal, when they tried to make a last-minute reservation on one of the busiest nights of the week, Confidenti@l has learned.
The globe-trotting pair had their people call hot Italian eatery Carbone about two hours before they wanted to arrive. But staff at the Greenwich Village boite — where halibut piccata goes for $ 53 — said the restaurant was too packed to seat the newlyweds.
Dropping the “Ocean’s Eleven” star’s name didn’t make any difference, said our insider. Even when their nervous go-between said the couple would be willing to come to the notoriously hard-to-get-into spot an hour later than they’d hoped, the hapless assistant still had no luck.
“They tried to get reservations at 8:30, which was a no-go, so they tried 9:30,” said our source. “It says a lot about New York restaurants: If a dining room is full, that’s the end of the story. They don’t care if you’re an A-lister or a regular — they treat everyone the same.”
The story had a happy ending, however. While they didn’t get special treatment, a source close to the couple tells us the pair were able to sample Carbone’s famous delicacies at a quieter time.
On Monday night George attended the SeriousFun Children’s Network’s event at Lincoln Center honoring Paul Newman. Confidenti@l chatted with the star about the Hollywood legend’s legacy. “He was just the best,” Clooney told us. “He was one of the most talented people you ever met and one of the funniest people you ever met.”
When Clooney flubbed his lines in a speech at the fete about Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang camps for sick kids, Clooney got a big laugh from the audience and quipped, “My wife’s the smart one.”
The actor shouldn’t take the restaurant’s snub too personally. Amanda Cohen, chef at Dirty Candy in the East Village, recently told the N.Y. Times that she refused Clooney pal Leonardo DiCaprio’s request for a late reservation at her tiny restaurant. Cohen told the newspaper that she refused to bump her “nonfamous guests” when the “Titanic” star called. “It was very hard for some of my staff,” Cohen told the paper.
Happily, Clooney had an easier time getting into Taverna Kyclades, a Greek restaurant on Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria near his filming location. We’re told the dashing star had a late lunch there with his “Monuments Men” co-star Bill Murray on Tuesday.
A rep for Carbone didn’t respond to our request for comment.