Dustin Hoffman reportedly turned the tables Saturday on a Wisconsin TV weatherman cum video paparazzi at Bar La Grassa.

Dan Rectenwald, an architect at the Minneapolis firm HGA, was at the hot spot with his wife, Lynne, celebrating 19 years of marriage -- congrats! -- when he noticed the Hoffman party of four sitting at a table in the bar. "I actually thought the redhead with curly hair looked familiar, so I scanned the table; maybe I'd recognize one of them. I'm like, 'That's weird, that guy looks like Dustin Hoffman.'" Next thought: "Bingo, DH!"

Also at the restaurant was Charlie Shortino, a weatherman for NBC 15 in Madison, Wis. "I don't know him at all. I met him that night," Rectenwald said of Shortino. "He actually tried to pull out his camera and get video of Dustin Hoffman. It was kind of funny because Dustin pulled out his camera and took a picture back at him, kind of joking, while a woman sitting next to him was gesturing for him to knock it off."

Hoffman sounds like a fellow who has fun with his fame rather than finding it a burden.

I sent an e-mail to Shortino Monday telling him that I needed to see the video he took of Hoffman. Although I identified myself as this newspaper's gossip columnist and left a phone number, this was Shortino's response: "Who are you and how do you know me?" Thanks, Charlie, just what my workday doesn't need -- another TV person who's Shortino on reading skills.

Then I telephoned Shortino (Rectenwald also may have tried to smooth things over with this sorry Charlie), who called back for an un-enlightening interview.

Moving mercifully on, Rectenwald teased, "You're supposed to be the woman in the know, so I checked your column first thing" to find out why Hoffman was here. For reasons unclear, the Oscar winner does not notify me before coming to the metro to visit his grandchildren.

A Bar La Grassa rep confirmed that Hoffman was there and that after dining, he graciously signed autographs and took pictures with fans who apparently never asked: Who are you and how do you know me?

Rectenwald felt like he was getting the celebrity treatment. "It was my first time at Bar La Grassa, in the recently renovated Tractor Works Building, the hottest spot in the North Loop. Guess who renovated it," said Rectenwald. I think we can all guess right on that.

Continuing with his restaurant/seating review, Rectenwald said, "It was excellent. I highly recommend it," even though, he said, "I had one of the crappiest seats in the place and [even Hoffman had] a bad seat, facing the bar." I know where Hoffman sat, and thought he had an OK, if not secluded, table facing the bar.

The Magics do Vegas

Alternative magic is flying into Vegas for David Copperfield and his employees.

Plymouth's Mr. & Mrs. Magic, aka Michael and Terri McKay, are headed there to give a private performance for David Copperfield and his crew of about 30.

"We're friends," Mr. Magic said, and "I don't know of any other magician who's done [this for Copperfield], and I've been friends with David for about 20 years.

"He always gets a kick out of my ideas and the videos I send him. He thought it would be a nice time for his crew to check us out. Our biggest show ever," Mr. Magic said.

How can it be their biggest show ever if only about 30 people are going to be there? I asked in a partial hyperbole check.

"Since he's the biggest magician ever, even bigger than Houdini, quite an honor," said Magic.

'Blind Side' connections

Quinton Aaron looks like the hefty plaid filling in a "Talebi Sandwich."

The co-star of Oscar winner Sandra Bullock's "The Blind Side" attended the opening of the Orlando, Fla., Crave, where Aaron took this photo with Minnesota-based restaurateurs Keyvan and Kam Talebi.

In unrelated "Blind Side" news, the people on whom the movie was based, Michael Oher and Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, are scheduled to be in the Twin Cities along with Amy Grant for TreeHouse, an organization that helps at-risk kids and their families. The TreeHouse gala is slated for May 27 at the Minneapolis Depot.

Quinton Aaron and Michael Oher look like a couple of guys capable of wiping that stupid look off the face of a certain disgusting California vehicle "customizer," as Wikipedia describes Bullock's cheating husband.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.