THE LINGUINE INCIDENT

The showbiz legend didn't like the pasta served him at a restaurant and, to impress everyone with his displeasure, threw the food on the floor.

Usually such stories end with an embarrassed chef fixing up another batch of pasta or the star storming out, vowing never to return. But this generic scene had a new denouement when Frank Sinatra and wife Barbara recently dined with three guests at the Beau Rivage in Malibu.

Claiming his pasta was cooked well past al dente, Sinatra hurled some of it on the floor—and some of it on tablemate Steve Lawrence, exclaiming, "Steve, see how mushy it is."

According to restaurant owner Daniel Forge, Lawrence promptly threw it back at Sinatra, who turned and dumped pasta on Dinah Shore. Whereupon the normally proper Shore flung pasta at Lawrence, who surprised his wife, Eydie Gormé, by making her the next target.

As laughter erupted throughout the restaurant, and a waiter brought bottles of club soda so the food fighters could clean their clothes, the Chairman of the Board apologized to everyone. Forge adds that Sinatra also met the chef who created the offending dish and said, "You're not Italian, so you're forgiven."

DENIM MADNESS

The $100,000 that Marky Mark pocketed to profess his allegiance to Calvin Klein underwear and jeans look-like chump change next to Jason Priestley's new contract for making Pepe his jeans of choice. Sources tell us the Beverly Hills, 90210 costar spent the first weekend of October in New York City filming Pepe spots for lensman Bruce Weber, who also shoots ads for calvin. Priestley even got to spend time with girlfriend Christine Elise, who flew in from Toronto, where she was guest starring in a new USA cable series, Matrix.

Priestley's fee for his two-day gig? Try a million, give or take.

FANGS A LOT

There's a joke going around Hollywood aimed at both Francis Ford Coppola, director of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Mark Canton, chairman of Columbia Pictures, which will release the picture on Nov. 13. Since an August rough-cut screening of the $40 million movie (starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins), cynics at Columbia have dubbed it Bonfire of the Vampires—a play on The Bonfire of the Vanities, the $45 million 1990 stinker that Canton championed when he headed production at Warner Bros.

A Columbia spokesman calls the flak "ludicrous" since "movies change a lot" between rough and final edits. "Not even [Canton] has seen it since August," says the rep, adding that speculation about the finished cut is "cheap and baseless rumor."