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.

My Photo
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, April 20, 2005

BLT Fish: Don't Tell Rita!!!! Tom Hanks Has a Bastard Baby...

There are two things that have become apparent to me:
1) Frank’s feverish nightmare is to wake up in a bin of The Aviator DVDs. So much as seeing the eponymous glasses and he throws up a teaspoon of nervous acid (which probably retails for $400/oz).
2) The only thing Frank loves more than sex/courtship language applied to food is NAUTICAL language! He’s totally on point in both cases. We all know how much fun it is to make up knot names (“higglesnitch the ginnywhip to the tack!”) and we all know how much food loves to flirt with other food.


“Like many an Oprah's book club selection or a typical Best Picture nominee [such as per esempio the Aviator], BLT Fish affirms the enormous appeal of the middlebrow, the special spark when high tips its hat to low, refinement links arms with accessibility and art consorts with commerce.”

First the hat tip, then the arm linking, and pretty soon we’re consorting. Just wait: in about two paragraphs we’ll get goosed and later rubbed, but don’t worry, we’re gonna use a condiment. Or several. Rrrrawrr. He continues:

“If Le Bernardin took Bubba Gump's Shrimp Company as an illicit amour, the precocious, spirited love child might look like this.”

Any excuse to picture Eric Ripert in a speedo, huh, Frank? [see Le Bernardin post]

P.S. I'm no mathematician but no matter what you put on the high end of that equation, factoring in Bubba Gump's Toxic Crill Hut For Brain-Dead Iowans in on the low end is a lot grosser than I think he intended, considering in this review he is basically going to take a plastic inflatable lady wearing a BLT Fish bib out of his bag and make out with its face for like 13 paragraphs.

BLT diners can choose between simple or flashy fish, between “…whole fish as pure and clean as anything likely to swim in the direction of dinner, or seafood done up in cheekier fashions.”

Like this clownfish entree, decked out as a retarded human princess.

“[BLT Fish] has the flexibility of a yogi master, the balance of a Romanian gymnast." AYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I were a cartoon, my head would be spinning 360 degrees, but since I’m not, I guess purple steam will just have to shoot out of my ears. I mean, literally, the following scenario is now possible:

You: Hey, Laurent, I heard the Times reviewed your restaurant!
LT [filetting a dolphin]: Yes, zey did!
You: Oh yeah? What’d they say?
LT: Actually zey said zat ze restaurauhhn is flexible like a yogi master and also balanced like a Romanian gymnast.
You: Literally?
LT: Word for word.
You: Really?
LT: [pause] Yes.
You: Congrat…u…really?
LT: Yes. Additionally zat we are as if the baby were to be made between Eric Ripert and Tom Hanks.
You: [aside] I knew that already, that’s why I asked. [wink] Love you, Frank.

It would actually take a very few unskilled “outsider” illustrations and some quick editing to turn this review into a children’s book where Laurent Tourondel is a little duckie who has to find his way out of the city and back to the sea:

“But in 2002, just three years after Cello opened, it suddenly closed, leaving him adrift.”

“But for all BLT Steak's finesse and instantly brisk business, it seemed like a landlocked layover. Didn't Mr. Tourondel belong at the shore?”

"...the verdict: Laurent Tourondel is back in the swim.”
YAAAAAY! Again again again again!

Aw, I love Children’s literature.

Aaaaanyway, not only does he make it back to sea, he does so triumphantly, at least in the eyes of Bruni, with fish that is apparently as fresh as any he’s had. But before we ninny the jig and dock in at Port Three Star, further highlights from a memorable, coked-up-with-my-thesaurus-and-some-lipgloss review:

- "Mr. Tourondel gets [the snapper] from New Zealand and bakes it in a salt crust as thick, enveloping and showy as a floor-length mink."

Mmmm. Salty. In. Deed.

-"The grilled octopus is as fine as any in New York, and if its ablution of bergamot oil sounds like an eccentric marriage of gastronomy and homeopathy, it's really just a route to a subtle citrus zing, which is an effect Mr. Tourondel relishes."
wordy wordy wordy word word wordnado of words lalalalala I am a medieval monk and like to use a million words

-"Yuzu joins avocado, shallots and American caviar to goose a tuna tartare that's silkier and more sumptuous than most. A grapefruit vinaigrette bathes Dungeness crab meat."
Goose? I was pretty sure "goosing" involved an unsolicited insertion of something unpleasant in someone's, eh, blowhole. Whatevs. Toot toot!

-"There's a rub, and it's the size of the final bill." There's a rub. Isn't that like a direct quote from Shakespeare???

Usually when there's a rub, it's your neighbor, but this time it's an insanely high check at the end of your meal. But hey, at least little Laurent made it back to the sea.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am officially dead of laughter. Congratulations.


2:35 AM, April 21, 2005  
Blogger Rachel said...

Jules - Where's the poop? is indeed hilarious. Go you with the Gawker-linking and hilarity. I had to go home and try to sleep but good to see you guys briefly last night.

10:40 AM, April 21, 2005  
Blogger Backyard Chef said...

Oh-my-flipping-god...that is too funny!

You rock.

2:59 PM, April 21, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home