Feeding frenzy

What does the word "Mezzaluna" mean to you?

The restaurant where Ron Goldman worked and Nicole Brown Simpson ate her last meal is profiting nicely from a public still hungry for O.J. morsels. Founded in 1984 by Aldo Bozzi, Mezzaluna opened restaurants last year in Miami and Atlanta -- and Istanbul. And more are under consideration for Washington, D.C., Seattle, Chicago, and Las Vegas. Could it be the carpaccio? We asked:

In Miami Jordan Finger, a retired lawyer, eats at Mezzaluna because, he says, "it's the same place as in Brentwood -- I was addicted to the trial." Alexandra Rizzo, another patron, agrees: "I thought of O.J."

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In Atlanta "I get women calling all the time saying they left their glasses on the table," says manager Luis Jimenez. Diners ask what Nicole's last meal was so frequently that new employees are taught the answer: rigatoni.

In Austin Jay Knepp, the manager at a Mezzaluna that's not affiliated with the chain (the Texas restaurant opened in 1989 and only coincidentally bears the same name), says the murders "changed the image of all Mezzaluna restaurants. People eat here because of O.J."

But when owner Bozzi is asked, he says diners associate Mezzaluna with its name's literal translation, "half-moon," and not with the gruesome knife slayings at the core of the Simpson case. He does offer a keen observation, though: "Many people don't realize that the mezzaluna is also a tool used for cutting and chopping."