Paul Gerard is a famous gourmet whose books about restaurants can decide the fate of a chef. In his way, Paul is a very powerful man, but Paul is threatened by Vittorio Rossi, the proprietor of a renowned restaurant, and one night, after a fight with Paul, Vittorio is poisoned by a bottle of wine he himself had uncorked. Lt. Columbo begins to investigate and we have no doubt that, between a steak and some Chinese dim sum, he will find out who killed Rossi, his motive, and the way he did it.Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
Portions of this episode were shot at a favorite location of Hollywood stars -- Perino's, on Wilshire Bvld. After over 50 years of business, the restaurant permanently closed its doors just a few years later (in 1986). See more »
In his brief TV segment, Paul Gerard shows what is purportedly a Tiger Fugu fish, and correctly describes it as the most delicious variety of Fugu fish. However, the fish he holds up to make his point is covered in long spines. Like all pufferfish, the Tiger Fugu (species Takifugu rubripes) is smooth until it is inflated. The fish shown is likely the otherwise closely-related porcupinefish, whose spines are visible even when uninflated. See more »
One of Columbo's most elegant opponents appears in this episode. It is Louis Jourdan well known gourmet and food critic who's gotten himself quite a nice racket. For a good review he takes nice kickbacks and one fine day restaurant owner Michael V. Gazzo decides he's not paying any more and is going to expose the whole thing. After dining with Jourdan at his own restaurant, Gazzo takes sick and dies within minutes.
A rather rare and exotic poison that only someone like Jourdan would know about is used. But this particular Columbo is about how it was administered. Jourdan is even helped by the fact that originally suspicion falls on busboy Anthony Alda from the old country who speaks no English. Columbo has to communicate with him in Italian.
The final confrontation scene between Jourdan and Peter Falk is about 20 minutes and it's a classic. Columbo wants Jourdan's professional opinion on his veal scallopine and it's over some fine dining that Falk tells Jourdan how he did it. The dialog is some of the best ever done for a Columbo story and both the players are superlative.
You ought to see this episode for that alone.
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