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Pasta for Your Troubles? Dinner’s on Bernie

Bernie Madoff may have made off with their money but victims of the confessed Ponzi schemer are enjoying a nice meal —on him.

In a timely promotion for his new Manhattan eatery, restauranteur Nino Selimaj is offering victims of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme a free dinner at Nino’s 208 at 208 E. 58th Street.

All they have to do is show an account statement from Madoff’s firm and they’ll get a free entrée for themselves and a guest, worth about $60.

Selimaj told the Daily Newsthat he had noticed a drop in business after Madoff’s Ponzi scheme collapsed and wanted to offer customers some some consolation for everything they’re going through.

Plus, he knows what it’s like to lose everything — he lost a lot of money when the tech bubble burst.

“I lost every penny I had in 2000,” Selimaj told the Daily News.

"Although I can't give these unfortunate people back their money in cash," Selimaj said in a statement, "I can pay them back in pasta for their losses."

No one has yet taken up Selimaj on his offer, but my colleague, Jane Wells, reports that they do have four or five reservations for tonight from people who say they were victims of Madoff.

So, while, neat freak Bernie is scooping up his prison slop in perfectly rounded spoonfuls and fretting that he’s too pretty for prison, his victims will be enjoying Veal Scaloppini and Nino’s homemade meatballs while being serenaded by piano music.

Oh, sweet justice. Sweet tomato-based justice sprinkled with fresh parmesan and a sprig of basil.

Pony Treats:

The Recession Special. Not a victim of Madoff? No problem! Try Nino’s Recession Special, featuring 25-percent off at all Nino’s restaurants when ordering from the a la cart menu.

The Recession-tini. What better way to cap a perfect dinner on Bernie than with a recession martini? New York’s famed Algonquin Hotel, home of the $10,000 martini, is offering an $18 recession version called the Buddy Can You Spare a Dime? Martini, made with pomegranate vodka and served with a dime. Twenty percent of the proceeds will go to City Harvest, a hunger-fighting organization in New York City.

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Questions? Comments? Write to ponyblog@cnbc.com.

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