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, June 22, 2005

Bar Americain: Orange You A Little Exhausted??

Bar Americain, suggests the headline on Bruni's review today, is "Not the Place to Wear Hot Pink."

Why, you ask? Because the cuisine reflects that of the Southern United States, where hot pink can prove an unwise wardrobe choice for men? No such thing! In fact, it’s because hot pink would clash: the whole place is orange, from the food to the décor to the red-headed stepchild of a chef, Bobby Flay.

At Bar Americain, I guess the rug DOES match the curtains. LITERALLY!

“NEW YORKERS have seen many a thoughtfully designed restaurant, but I'm not sure we've yet seen one where the décor and food are as color-coordinated as at Bar Americain, which finds a union of palette and palate in one bright hue.”

He really hammers home the orange thing. He highlights every orange food item, and decides that colors that aren’t orange are in fact orange, just in different moods.

“The lights glow orange. The walls are painted orange. The leather that upholsters some of the seats is orange - or, to be accurate, caramel, which is just orange in a retiring, pensive mood.”

Brown as retiring, pensive orange? Or orange as hopped-up brown? Or both as kind of poopy and 70’s? Food for thought, friends. Food. For. Thought.

big fans of brown and orange.

But Frank also got into the orangeness:

“As I dressed for one of my visits here, I found myself putting on the sole orange button-down in my closet.”

What? It’s a button down! There are buttons down the front, under the ostrich trim. He got it on sale at Banana (not the Republic—the leather store on Christopher.)

“I figured that if the restaurant's chef, Bobby Flay, and designer, David Rockwell, were going this far with chromatic integration, I should do my part.”

Frank frequently "does his part" to blend in with the decor of the restaurants he's reviewing.

Frank blending in at The Modern

Feelin' the spirit of BLT Fish

At Greek spot Periyali

And Prune

This review shed light not only on Frank's wardrobe strategies but also on his career ambitions:

"At this juncture Mr. Flay had two options. Like Julia Roberts in 'Closer,' he could choose a nuanced vehicle, challenge his image and assert the existence of an underappreciated aesthete beneath the megawatt luster. Or he could go with the flow and try to pack people in."

This is the third film commentary in recent weeks. Last week, he noted that tamarind and kaffir lime provoked and seduced each other like Brangelina in “Mr. And Mrs. Smith,” and let’s not embark on prior mentions of “the Aviator.” Note to A.O. and Manola over in Movies: if you see THIS guy hovering around your office, don’t worry, he’s only trying to replace you.

Two stars!!! YAAAAY!! ORANGE IS FUN! And Frank and I are alarmingly similar journalists:

"According to my exhaustive semiotic research, by which I mean a few clicks on Google, it's a color that connotes enthusiasm and is 'very effective for promoting food products and toys.' Simply put, it's fun. So is Bar Americain."


Anonymous meemoma said...

Jules, I am your #1 fan and also your savior. Plus, you had my mom laughing so hard as she read this post that I asked her to please log off and pay attention to me instead. Happy? Happy that you're singlehandedly eroding my mother's love for me with your excessive talent?

4:14 PM, June 27, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very funny

3:06 PM, November 13, 2005  

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