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Member Since 16 Dec 2008
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Topics I've Started

Saying Goodbye to the Last Decade - How/What/Why/Where We Ate

20 December 2019 - 05:58 PM

What was good? What sucked? What broke ground? Where did you just have to go and have a meal?


What will influence restaurants from here on out?


Do we care?


Wells does, and did, in a somewhat interesting way.


In his (perhaps penultimate of the decade) piece, 8 Ways Restaurants Have Changed in the Past Decade, he implores others to answer the question. 


Recently, I asked Twitter to help make sense of the American restaurant scene, 2010 to 2019. 

Pete Wells   @pete_wells

OK all my Zeitgeist-surfing food media friends: What the hell WAS the past decade in restaurants all about? Sum it up so I don't have to write a 2000 word essay about it.

He got plenty of answers, and threw in his own thoughts as well. On the often loathed by myself and others small plates, for instance:


At restaurants like Estela and Wildair in New York and hundreds of others across the country, the new paradigm meant that it could be hard to tell whether you were in a wine bar, a tapas bar, some other kind of bar or even that antiquated institution known as the restaurant.

A multiplicity of plates eliminated “entree fatigue,” the condition of growing bored after just a few bites of a massive pork chop; suddenly, you never had to move past the appetizers. Small plates were supposed to encourage sharing, too, although some kitchens seemed to forget that as they carefully arranged three anchovies on a dish that was going to be enjoyed by four people. 

Yet somehow, as this fashion became mainstream almost everywhere, servers still felt they needed to waitsplain the concept.




Nos. 7 & 8 are good too: "7. The future looked grim.  8. And yet, everybody agreed that there are good restaurants almost everywhere."


And now I'll go one further and also ask what changed about the way you cook and eat at home? 


Some people began cooking more, some less. Some went keto, some went vegan. You know, that sort of thing. 


Me - I started using a steam-injected countertop oven for the first time in my life, and it has changed how I cook at home.  Sous vide, though these day I use it less and less. More beans; thanks, Rancho Gordo.  Stopped trying to bake breads at home (exceptions would be focaccia and pizza). Bread baking is a pain in the ass, and there's really good bread available to buy, so really, why bother? Started drinking wine more than cocktails. Tried Fresh Direct - once, and while it may certainly come in handy down the road, not my cup of tea. Have never used a delivery app (Grub Hub, et al.).


Any takers?

Bob Kinkead

17 December 2019 - 12:07 AM

Fuckity fuck.


At 67.


He was a good one, and his restaurants were definitely pioneering to the DC food scene.



Roy Loney

15 December 2019 - 02:27 PM

At 73 - RIP, you flamin' groovie, you.


Roy Loney, lead singer and songwriter of the San Francisco retro rock band the Flamin’ Groovies, died Friday, Dec. 13, at the CPMC Davies Campus. The cause of death was severe organ failure, said Vivian Altmann, his longtime girlfriend. He was 73.


“Roy was born on a Friday the 13th and he died on a Friday the 13th,” said Altman. “That is a very rockin’ thing to do.”


A charismatic, if sometimes drunken, stage presence, Loney ran contrary to the hippie motif of the acid rock bands in the 1960s. He delivered his vocals in more of a fundamental ’50s style, like Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran, and gained fame in Spain for his sound when he went on to a solo career.




The New MoMA

08 December 2019 - 01:56 PM

After a couple of visits so far, including one on a Saturday (yesterday), I just really like it.


Of course, of course, the 5th Floor and its most classic works, is gonna be crowded; but even up there, the flow and the spacing of art is quite well done.  And curatorially, the rearrangement of works is in my opinion, quite excellent.


Guernica hasn't been here in years, but The Charnel House may send chills up (or down) your spine, sitting and admiring it from the bench strategically in front of the work. the 5 Matisse Jeannettes grouped together - just great. Haring on 3 walls in his own little gallery - lovely; Matisse's cutouts get a similar treatment. Brancusi, Giacometti, Weston and Lange - all the classics, now showing in all their glory.


And the Nouvel tower itself is quite a piece, sitting and staring as it does at Saarinen's Black Rock.


What a fine job. 


This piece, from this past October, shows how the museum has grown since its inception in the early 1930s.


Oh - don't necessarily go on a Saturday or Sunday during the holiday season (maybe if there's a blizzard?). I got off the F at 49th and 6th, and I might as well have been in the middle of...well, let's just say there were more people on the street than I really care for. 

Gary Regan

16 November 2019 - 11:32 PM

Anyone who really wanted to start learning about serious cocktail stuff, and did so or came of age at places such as Milk & Honey, Pegu Club, and yes, Bemelman's et al., knows the name Gary (Gaz) Regan. 


The author of such seminal cocktail/booze books as The Joy of Mixology and The Bartender's Bible, he was both a legend...and legendary.


RIP - and we'll raise one of your favorites, a Negroni, to you tonight Gaz.