The Bruni Digest

In which I sit on a dirt mound somewhere in Brooklyn with my ears pricked, waiting for New York Times head restaurant critic Frank Bruni, who I imagine to be a Venetian count in a huge ruffled collar, to dole out stars from the inside breast pocket of his brocaded chamber robe. This blog is predicated on the suggestion that every Wednesday, in the Times Dining Out section, Frank lays a huge faberge egg of hilarity.

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Location: New York, New York, U.S. Outlying Islands

I am fiscally irresponsible, which means I have weak bones and a dorsal fin. And a penchant for dining out, even though I am, in the words of many rich people, a "poor people". I make a different face when speaking each of the foreign languages in which I am shittily proficient.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Bistro du Vent: Meat n' the form of a bra n' panties

I feel like for the past several weeks I have been gearing up for Wednesdays, excitedly slipping on my cat-ears headband, painting whiskers on my face, and ringing Frank's doorbell with an empty plastic pumpkin outstretched in my hands.


But before I can even yell “Trick or Treat??” Frank has stuffed a handful of Kashi in my mouth, spanked me with a pine plank and sent me home with a copy of “Little Women” tucked somewhere in my unitard.

Frank’s all humility and values these days. I want candy! Where are all the indulgent Butterfingers and Charleston Chews I will later throw up on a Jenga tower?? I’d love to see Frank, in his present fit of monasticism, review the Enchanted Chateau in Beauty and the Beast: “The thousand gilded dancing spoons inviting me to ‘be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test’ were like specious diamonds on the bosom of a gigolo-mongering Bathsheeba, yet the giant ham hock spat out by a talking oven certainly failed to seduce me.”

So with a lumberjack’s fist-pump, Frank applauds Bistro du Vent for its uncanny courage in serving what those Upper East Side you-know-whats (rhymes with "kunts," starts with a "c") refuse to eat: potatoes.

“At Bistro du Vent, Mr. Pasternack, in partnership with Joseph Bastianich and Mario Batali, has created his own private Idaho, a place where, if I may mix my geographical metaphors, diners heretofore victorious over starches are bound to meet their Waterloo.”

May I point out?: not exactly the words of a true Dan Connor. The Count’s anti-snob reviews may indicate that he has traded in his ruffles for a Carhart jumpsuit and a Cubs hat, but clearly he’s still turning in his Tuesday night copy in the form of sequins hot-glue-gunned to his servant’s ass.

Amazing Brunisms of the Week:

- “This cake is oily in the center and crunchy at the edges to precisely the right degrees, like an order of hash browns that's been to finishing school and graduated first in its class.” And below, her sister, who tested retarded at birth, went to public school, eats with her toes and farts at the table:

- “The restaurant fries [the pommes frites] in a combination of peanut oil and lard, with blissfully addictive results. A friend of mine suggested that they be advertised, in the manner of special fish, as ‘line-caught.’” This is his friend the marketing genius:

But literally, what does that line-caught thing even mean?

- “Desserts proved to be a trickier arena. Only the apple tart thrilled me, while pot de crème and a lemon tart simply accomplished their pleasant paces. The pink peppercorn ice cream with spit-roasted pineapple actually frightened me. The profiteroles were irritating.” Rrrrrright: because obviously an unfussy everyman who just wants his 'taters gets "thrilled" by tarts and "irritated" by profiteroles...

And so, despite the pink peppercorn ice cream, which apparently hopped up from under Frank's table in a Tutsi war mask covered in blood, he still feels that Bistro du Vent deserves 2 stars. Whether an extremely refined place like Café Gray, where one person spends all afternoon to make the berry topiary that garnishes your working animatronic marzipan laptop, should be on the same two-star level as a casual midtown bistro doing Frenchie staples, is a worthy question. But so is, “Essscuse me?” because this conclusion, Paula-Abdul style, casually pretends to be real English, and then, dramatically, isn’t.

“It's a place for diners who are suffering dazzle fatigue, and who have the wisdom to recognize a potato thoroughbred and the flexibility to submit to its spud service.”

The last time I had the flexibility to submit to someone’s spud service, I came in to work 6 hours late with a condom in my hair YOW!!

P.S. By “dazzle fatigue”, do you mean "sexy cargo pant"?


Anonymous patrick said...

ummm....I love you

1:06 PM, March 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nnoooo, I love her.

3:06 PM, March 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trannie McGynie says...

the last time I had a potato, I hallucinated that an Algerian goat herder broke into my bedroom and sang me a lullaby while he plucked his harp culled from balsa wood and the hairs of a gazelle's coochie

3:13 PM, March 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank: the living, breathing, contemporary counterpart to Parmigiano's Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror; an exemplar of High Mannerism that gaily reflects upon himself, hilarious because he's pitifully earnest.


6:46 PM, March 09, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmmm... starchy. also, i think those blindingly pink cargo pants just gave me dazzle fatigue.


1:18 AM, March 10, 2005  
Blogger Zach said...

I'm convinced that through some wormhole between fiction and non-, Bruni is really Ignatius Reilly from "A Confederacy of Dunces."

1:53 AM, March 10, 2005  
Blogger Jules said...

Whoa, Zach, something smells like consensus around here. An email from a friend, circa last week:
"Did you ever read A Confederacy of Dunces? I just finished it and
Frank Bruni equals Ignatious J. Reilly. If you haven't read it, you should solely for that reason. You'll know why by page 2."

12:34 PM, March 10, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Line-caught" means caught by hook rather than net, so not dragged dead for hours through the ocean and further injured/bruised/degraded. It generally indicates a higher quality of and better treated fish.

2:32 PM, March 10, 2005  
Blogger Jules said...

Oh I get it. So this potato cake was so delicious, it should be advertised as something that jumped out of the earth and bit a sailor on the ass. Or something. Got it.

3:26 PM, March 10, 2005  

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