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By Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
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Harvest Beer Festival
By Parties Editors
The Morning After
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Arts Off The Cuff
by Arts & Nightlife Editors
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Stephanie Wilbur Ash
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Coming Soon: Ryan Burnet's Eastside
AWP Great Author’s Eating & Drinking Guide
By: | Posted: 08/05/2011
In case you missed it, a timeline of el Bulli last meal Tweets.
And here is a great Colman Andrews blog about the last night as well.
I have had the privilege of dining at el Bulli on two occasions, and also spent about 18 hours there one day a few years back, cooking and hanging out in kitchen with Albert and Ferran and shooting an act for Bizarre Foods Spain. Any doubt that this is the most important restaurant of the last 50 years should be gone by now, but on a thousand levels el Bulli was a miraculous place. I am only sorry so few got to experience it.*****
I went to Mozza Mia in Edina for lunch yesterday. It was disappointing, in an odd way. My expectations were high because I love Parasole restaurants, and they are all reliable, not cutting edge in any way, but over the years they seemed to have stepped up their game in the food department. At MM, the modern day pizza-trattoria-taverna, styling is well represented, but the simplest little correctable food issues went unnoticed, so odd . . . the cooking itself was deft, but the ingredients and formatting were oddly more Nashville than Naples. And when it comes to pizza, that ain’t good. A fennel salad was skimpy on the fennel, offered a limp lettuce lesson, and a dressing that was pretty bland. It seemed as if no one in the kitchen ever tasted it to see how it might be improved flavor wise or plated with more elan. A Greek salad was mostly coarsely chopped head lettuce, but that didn’t matter because all you could taste was the olive brine anyway. Pizzas were both well cooked, nice looking crust, nice blisters, but the dough tasted flat, no pun intended. The flavor of great pizza dough straight from the oven should be bright and toasty with a nice mild aroma and flavor of the yeasty starter. It should also be seasoned. The sausage pizza with hot peppers would have made a great sandwich, but the ingredients overwhelmed the dish when placed on top of the pizza. There was way too much diced sausage that was too finely ground and cut into little shreds. It was unattractive in a school lunch kind of way. The pie needed acid to cut the richness of sausage and cheese and it screamed for tomato sauce, but there was none on the pie at all. Now I like pizza without tomato sauce, there are huge swaths of pizza culture that applaud that idea as well, but that sausage pie needed it. The fig and prosciutto pie was the better of the two I tried but the overload of fig and drizzles of balsamic syrup made the pie way too sweet. It all begs the question: Does anyone taste this stuff on a daily basis? Odd, anyway, it was one visit, and I will definitely go back for a variety of reasons: crisp service, genial staff, family friendly, and near my house, but with all the competition for pizza these days I think you really gotta bring it to survive out here on the Prairie. The meatball sliders would have been killer if the balls weren’t so finely ground and there had been more sauce on the slider. Again, is anyone tasting the food? I guess I am so curious because its so close to being really, really good. And attainable. Many restaurants don’t have the staff or the resources to be good. This place has both. And one last mention, the mozzarella issue . . . here in Minnesota we have one of the great dairy cultures in the world. Why not offer artisanal mozzarella, ricotta, burrata
and from goat, sheep, cow etc.? What a cool idea . . . would love to see that from the Mozza Mia folks. Just a thought.
*****Anyone looking to travel at all should look at the following Apps I am loving these days . . . mTrip itinerary planner, iFly Airport Guides, 8mm for video treatments, Eat St for mobile food truck finder, Wikihood+ for sussing out neighborhood finds anywhere in world and RadarScope for weather issues. LOVE THEM ALL!
The 10 New Rules of Dining Etiquette
by Tim Zagat Chivalry is dead. Maybe that’s not so great. At least the old rules of etiquette were clear-cut and made life easy. For example, in yesteryear when dining, men did the inviting, held doors, chairs and coats for women, tasted the wine, paid the bills and gave the tips. Women in turn were supposed to be pleasant companions. Clearly things have changed since then. Here are 10 proposals for new rules:
Women and men should be treated as equals. Still, a plurality of diners says that men are treated better than women. The explanation given is that men are more likely to pay the bill and tip. H dated can you be? She probably earns more than you.
2. PAYING FOR IT
Whoever initiates a dinner date pays. Long ago, women were handed menus with no prices on them. Nowadays, whoever did the inviting should be expected to pay for the meal, unless you’ve worked out another arrangement in advance.
3. ORDERING FOOD
Forget gender - people should order when ready. Sorry, Emily Post, but gone are the days when women were expected to go first. Since menus can be long and complex, regardless of your sex it’s a courtesy to order first and buy your tablemates a bit more time to decide.
4. HANDHELD VICES
Do not talk, text, tweet, e-mail or surf the web at table. It’s rude, say 63% of diners. A whopping 73% advise turning off ringers. If you have urgent business to deal with, step away from the table briefly to handle matters.
5. KIDS, KIDS, KIDS
It’s fine to bring children to dinner in most restaurants. But don’t do it at places where they’d elevate the decibel level or that are meant to be romantic. Zagat surveyors split over the age at which children should be allowed: 38% say from birth while the same percent argues five years or older. Tellingly, 61% believe restaurants should be able to ban children.
6. DRESSING DOWN OR UP
Dress casually. This is known as the “Los Angelization of dining.” Hardly any restaurants require ties and jackets anymore. Even the tiny minority that do won’t object if you put your jacket over the back of the chair. About the only rule left is “don’t be a slob.” Alternatively, you may want to “dress up” to impress your companion.
7. SERIOUS RESERVATIONS
Honor your restaurant reservations or cancel them on time. People should treat dining reservations as the important commitments they are. Holding an empty table for a no-show does real damage to a restaurant. If you make reservations and fail to cancel in advance, you’ll deservedly become persona non grata at the restaurant.
8. OK, NOW GET OUT
Don’t overstay your welcome at a busy restaurant. To clarify: Take your time and enjoy your food, wine, conversation and after-dinner treats. Nobody should ever feel rushed. But interestingly, 60% of Zagat surveyors nationally support restaurants setting time limits on tables during peak hours. Remember, next time you may be the one waiting in line.
9. LONG LIVE CHIVALRY
Men go through doors first, and then hold them open for women. We know, we know. This is the one rule of chivalry that will never die, even if it’s been updated (men used to allow women to go first). Bottom line: two people can’t go through a door at the same time. So to the women out there who find this notion antiquated, please, humor these poor men. Let them get the door - they’ll let you get the bill or walk on the outside once out on the street.
10. REMEMBER YOU’RE THE CUSTOMER.
And the customer is always right. Too often customers feel they are being judged by the wait staff. That’s exactly wrong. Short of berating the waiter, you should expect to receive hospitable, efficient service and good food at any restaurant. If that doesn’t happen, take your money elsewhere and tell the next 10 people that you meet
The 10 New Rules of Dining Etiquette
by Tim Zagat
Andrew Zimmern is a columnist for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and the host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.See bio
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