Friday, February 1, 2008

Cheery and Chatty, The Lesser Known Dwarves.

When I first started this thing way back in the heady days of mid-January, I stated that I would not give credit where credit is due; that I would leave that to the foodie sycophants and apologists out there. You know who you are. Well, I guess I have to take a step back and humbly admit that I was wrong not to want to give credit; and that I can not go another day without giving credit to a job well done, and a tip of the hat to, well, to....ME. I have to say that, perhaps, after all my obnoxious heckling from the balcony, there was at least an attempt by VPE in the Herald this week, in her valentine to Cantina 27, to expand the traditional 'wine sentence'. To three sentences. But my pat-on-my-own back was short-lived. The last of the three sentences reads, “Many of the wineries represented are little-known here, but the knowledgeable staff is happy to help.” Oh, they're happy to help. How delightful of them! Perhaps they might be helpful in other matters, as well? I can't wait to meet them. And I believe, in reality, that when VPE says the wines are little-known here, she means BY HER. No point in helping us morons out by mentioning any of them except two, one of which is the “rare and intriguing 1999 [a vintage year! Yeaaaaaa!} Brunello di Montalcino.” “Rare and intriguing.” Translation: Never Tasted It.
There was “perky arugula” and “perky fennel and arugula” in back-to-back sentences. Apparently Sally Fields works here. And there are “friendly owners.” I guess that means they tied her bib for her. Incidentally, in the next-to-last paragraph (when the decor's to her liking it comes up at the beginning of her column. Odd.), she mentions that the place is separated from the notorious crap-hole The Office, and its “noisy bar”, by a curtain. “Worse,” she goes on, “the bathrooms the two businesses share are foul.” Maybe someone could educate the “knowledgeable staff” about the business end of a mop?
But VPE saves the best for the next, and last sentence. “Still, this delightful neighborhood joint just steps from the beach would be just as appealing for the family as for a first date.” Noisy and foul. Not sure my family'd appreciate that kind of ambience. Maybe a family of bounty hunters? And a first date? I guess that means that at least the condom machine in the bathroom is working. Oh, and this week? *** means 'very good'. Again, thank me.

Lee K. of the New Times calls out New Yorkers in another in his endless, over-the-top gabfests (sue me); this one about the best Italian restaurant Lee's ever known, Il Gabbiano. Isn't it funny that Lee likes to get tough with New Yorkers so that he can then kiss the ass of OTHER New Yorkers? This man has some complexes. And for a restaurant that Lee claims will “...stop those whiny...New York refugees from complaining about a lack of quality Italian food in this city,” isn't he troubled that the first thing he orders takes forty minutes to NOT arrive? (And I'm sorry, isn't Klein from New York? I guess he only whines on paper.) It seems that half the dishes Mr. Klein orders here never arrive, or don't exist. Cool! Think of the calories you save. He doesn't seem to mind, though, because the pastas “...are all good.” At least the two he describes. I suppose he could divine that the others were good. (Or maybe he meant they were 'all good', as in 'Yo, it's all good, homey.' He's your hip, urban uncle now.) And how about all those poor non-New Yorkers here in Miami. Doesn't Lee think maybe they would like to see great Italian here; and that they too have been clamoring for such for years? I say Thank God for those discerning New Yorkers finally getting Lee's attention. Too bad for the rest of us.
The Branzino special is $48. The dover sole is “presumably least $10 more.” He says presumably, because god help the poor man to ask a fucking question. I guess the journalist in Lee died a long time ago. But now Lee is on this whole 'green' thing all the kids are talking about. He'll stay relevant that way. (Works for me.) My guess is someone finally made Lee read Omnivore's Dilemma after two years. Maybe it was his “dining companion/osso buco enthusiast” ( Lee employing a food-taster now?) Although I'm pretty sure the poor, abused calves, ripped from their mothers to be tortured and have their flesh made into veal (osso buco is veal shank, baby), probably wish he would re-read a couple of chapters. And like your sweet old grandfather, who just discovered something everyone else has known about for years, he can't stop talking about it. Whether restaurants are serving organic produce and meats “...will be noted in future reviews of establishments that serve entrees of $30 or more.” Wow, this guy can get tough...every other sentence (and I guess not in this review. Because it's about some New Yorkers. The good kind. The kind's whose asses he puckers up to.)
We got it man. You read a book. So I guess all those past paeans to foie gras, etc., etc., were all a mistake? Thanks for getting on the bandwagon two years too late.
I'm not going to say anything about the following 'wine sentence': “A worthy Barolo, though, doesn't come cheap ($80 for an Alba to $250 for a Gaja).” There is so much wrong there that I just want to cry. I'll leave it to my fellow wine-geeks to roll their eyes and type in why. And anyway, my constant companion just cooked up some tasty Chilean Sea Bass (above). To quote the Greek poet Leemus Kleinus, who once walked the earth and beheld a poached pear, it is a “vision to behold.”

And, one last thing. Why, you may ask, do both major dining critics in Miami bring up NYC in the same week? Maybe they hear the sirens calling. I say go, my children, fly up to the Big Apple and disappear like the muck in the gutter. We will mourn you; but we will carry on.

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