“Nerds are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’”—
*tablescape? Do we hate that word? I think maybe I do.
oh and in case you were wondering, no one hit the million dollar jackpot with their scratch-off lotto ticket…but I did win a dollar, which I could use to buy one of the cheap songs on itunes. This one would be fitting.
…and that about wraps things up for Turkey-Coverage 2011.
The one thing that would have been really interesting in yesterday’s announcement of the 2012 Michelin stars— which were 95% the same as the 2011 Michelin stars— would have been the question of how Michelin would have reacted to the restaurant that everybody is talking about— Next. On the one hand, it’s a totally new concept on so many levels, and Michelin is about nothing if not the preservation of the old old ways. On the other hand, while it lasted it was almost certainly one of the best, and undoubtedly one of the most traditionalist, French restaurants in America, which made it a slow pitch right over home plate for Michelin. But on the other other hand, it was only that great French restaurant for three months, at which point it became something else which they don’t seem to be any too expert on (Thai restaurants). So where our interest in whether, say, Spiaggia gets its star renewed was fairly academic, we were genuinely interested in the question of whether Next would blow Michelin’s mind, or leave them befuddled. Which makes the dog-ate-my-homework excuses in Kevin Pang’s The Stew post yesterday, explaining why Michelin didn’t even bother trying to say anything about Next, that much more exasperating.
Pang talked to the (anonymous and, he reports, female) editor of the Chicago guide, who explains a little of the rationale behind some of the more inexplicable decisions. Then he asks why Next was left out:
"The food at Next was incredible. But we needed to see consistency. To receive Michelin stars, we have to go a number of visits. We’re playing that game with the reservation system, because we operate as regular consumers. We went as many times as we can get in. With the concept changing on an ongoing basis, for us it was problematic to accurately reflect (the experience) to our readers."
But that is the experience that you needed to convey to your readers— that Next is a place where the same kitchen puts on radically different meals. Everyone in Chicago understands that; no one goes there looking at Childhood and saying “Hey, where’d the pad thai go?” As for the issue about not getting tickets— we’re a blogger, we can have trouble getting tickets. You’re a giant tire conglomerate that blows $24 million a year putting out these guides; pay through the nose for a few extra ones on Craigslist and go. If you spent 2011 returning multiple times to Crofton on Wells (opened 1997) and Moto (opened 2004) so you could make an exquisitely calibrated microjudgement about their one-starness this year versus twelve months ago, and yet you couldn’t get yourself to the most talked-about restaurant of the moment in America enough times to say anything about it at all, was that really the wisest use of your time in one of the top restaurant cities in America? And to what is, in the end, the point— is it worth $18.99 to us, your readers?
3 absolutely insane events…1 little weekend! I couldn’t possibly be more excited for the adventures-in-eating (& drinking) ahead:
Friday: Nite Market - A new underground food event for artisan purveyors & food geeks of chicago, started by a local googler. The event is described as an open venue for sharing ideas in food coming out of small kitchens across the city.
Saturday: Chef’ Culinary Garage Sale & Bake Sale - Treasures from top kitchens around the city are being sold to benefit Green City Market Farmer Education Programs (I am hoping so hard to score a service piece by Martin Kastner!) Plus, there will be a bake sale featuring goodies from 2 dozen of the top pastry chef’s in the city.
Sunday: Eleven Madison Park’s book launch party hosted by Chef Achatz’s at the Aviary (!!!!!!!!!!!!)
It was a wonderful day on campus, exploring highlights from D&D’s time at Wake: their favorite corners of the library, on-campus employers, and the bench David branded with their initials
A grand tour and then…GAMETIME! Wake Forest vs. Notre Dame (we were a friendship divided)
First up - our makeshift tailgate in the alley of a netless tennis court, positioned between the SigmaChi’s and some frat that attracted girls in impressively short skirts (like so short that I can’t actually be certain they were wearing any bottoms underneath their coats.) Dueling jams blared from stadium-sized speakers propped up on beer pong tables Kanye from one corner, Outkast from another. Some girls asked Simon & David if they were freshman (the guys liked that) And we drank beer. Our canned bud lites made us the fanciest fans in the lot (which, obviously, is more of a commentary on shitty college beer than proof of our own elevated tastes.)
Our party of 4 was one of the best of the season!
40 degrees at Kick-Off. We all nestled under a blanket shared handwarmers and a round of hot-cocoas delivered by DPC An early Wake Lead… but the Irish squeaked out a victory!
After the big win we took to the field and played I’d venture to say we played darn near as hard as the gentlemen who just finished their game Cheerleading jumps, touchdown dances and a couple 100-yard dashes. (That field is longer than it looks!)
Playing that hard with people you love is good for the soul. What a great Saturday!