Those not still preoccupied with parsing Miley Cyrus' hyper sexual performance at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday can now turn their attention to Drake and Rihanna, who kicked back at a Manhattan restaurant on Friday night with their respective security details.
The music stars, who not so long ago formed two-thirds of a love triangle with Chris Brown, were seen together at Sons of Essex, a trendy tavern-style hotspot on the Lower East Side. Sources cited a family style spread that included lobster tacos and crab cakes – in addition to bottles of Canadian Club (that's our boy!) and watermelon jalapeno margaritas.
The gossip sites have stopped short of calling it a date but there's no question this was a successful night out … simply because it has generated chatter.
Listen, if Drake and Rihanna wanted to reconnect in any meaningful way, they would not have done it so obviously, so visibly. A rendezvous would have been arranged on the down low to avoid attention. Moreover, the source cited by e-online "spilled" an impressive amount of detail; beyond items ordered, there was also mention of a $500 tip.
So the question is, why were they trying so hard to be seen together?
Rihanna has already praised Drake's new single, Hold on, we're going home, engaging with fans in a call-and-response of its lyrics before declaring it, "My new fave record, period."
But then, during Drake's performance during the awards show, she put on her best poker face (find her at 1:49 on the video segment here).
Anyway, they're clearly up to something – something that seems less romantic than strategic.
Canadian gossip sleuth Lainey Lui points out that the Toronto-born artist seems to feel no urgency in being "linked" to someone, as is often the case with celebrities. But then she also theorizes that Drake may be holding out for Rihanna.
In a June GQ profile, Drake tells Michael Paterniti, "Sometimes I feel like I'm so focused on training my body and getting my mind right to create this album that sex isn't one of my main priorities. If someone is around that I know and trust, I'm down. But I'm not going to end up with some stranger at this party."
Drake's forthcoming album release was pushed back from right around now to September 24. Maybe his manager or publicist or image consultant or all of the above want to make sure he remains in the headlines (positively, of course), until then. You know, a classic stalling maneuver known as bait and switch. Or maybe Drake is sincerely attempting to rekindle an old romance. In which case, there's more to this story than the lobster tacos.