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Originally published Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Dishing on a top chef with "Runway" Jack

Because you may be in "Project Runway" withdrawal already, we found designer Jack Mackenroth shopping at the Lifelong AIDS Alliance thrift...

Seattle Times columnist

Because you may be in "Project Runway" withdrawal already, we found designer Jack Mackenroth shopping at the Lifelong AIDS Alliance thrift shop in Seattle. (Three dress shirts and a pair of vintage pants: $42.)

Jack was in town for Black Tie Bingo at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, where he was supposed to rendezvous with his crush, Dale Levitski of "Top Chef" fame. They met on MySpace last year and are attempting to make it work long-distance, or what Jack calls "dating lite." Sadly, Dale (who lives in Chicago) couldn't make it due to a family emergency, but naturally that didn't stop us from talking about him behind his back:

• On Dale: "He's adorable. We have fun with each other, and we try to get to see each other. ... He hasn't cooked for me. It's one of those things where you leave your job at your job. If he said, 'Can you make me a shirt?' I'd be like, 'Hell, no.' "

• On returning to "Project Runway" next season: "I definitely think there's an opening there for me. When I left, the [producers] said maybe you can come back next season; we'll fast-track you to the auditions. I don't even know what that means, and I still don't really know whether I want to go back or not. I'm kind of leaning towards it."

• On upcoming projects: "I have a meeting with a big menswear company. I can't say who, but it's so exciting. I also have a monthly segment on Sirius radio, The Derek and Romaine Show. And someone wanted me to write a book, so I actually have an outline for it. I think I'm going to write a memoir."

• On "American Idol" contestant David Archuleta: "He's by far the best one. I want to marry him, which I know is inappropriate since he could technically be my son."

• On playing bingo: "My grandmother was the queen of bingo, so genetically I think there's something there. She can do 38 cards at once and smoke a cigarette." ...

SPEAKING OF DESIGNERS: Celebrity favorite Jenni Kayne has created a free-with-purchase cosmetics clutch exclusively for Bellevue-based online retailer Beauty.com. Which we suppose makes her the Anya Hindmarch of beauty bags. ...

WHEN YOU CARE ENOUGH to send Seattle's best: A new Hallmark card features music from Seattle band The Irish Experience. Hallmark chose the song "Morrison's Jig" for a St. Patrick's Day card after its creative team heard it on iTunes. Which is great and all, but printing greeting cards for a "green" holiday seems kind of counterintuitive. Just saying. ...

RANDOM END NOTES: The W Hotel debuts gourmet and all-natural "Haute Dogs" on its new happy-hour menu this month. We'll take a side of SexyFries ... Obama/Oprah chocolate truffles are selling out at Seattle's Chocolate Box. Say what you will about politicians, but in this instance they're full of espresso cognac or raspberry ganache ... Who says there's no nightlife in Bellevue? Lucky Strike Lanes has two bars, a deejay and a dress code. Oh, and it's a bowling alley.

Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376 or psitt@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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