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.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Cendrillon: I Almost Entrechat Myself

Frank was promenading around SoHo the other day when he fell upon a peasant in rags wearing one glass slipper and decided that he’d be her savior. You know, maybe not MARRY her but definitely give her some Listerine FreshStrips and a new pinafore:

“Cendrillon should be attracting many more fans and much more interest than it does. It certainly shouldn't be only about one-sixth full, as it was during the first of the many recent times I dined there, or one-fifth full, as it was the third.”

How appropriate it is that Cendrillon, the name of Romy Doratan’s Filipino restaurant, refers to a French ballet about Cinderella! The whole review is a sort of Cinderella story, and I’ve always thought of Frank as a little lexical ballerina--

And by the time he gets to the end of this particular review, a few pretty glissades and a battement later, you may have entrechat yourself.

Brunisms of the Week...

"Cendrillon's SoHo location and vaguely hip, loftlike décor would seem to augur Asian food tailored for a broad audience, which often means potent gusts of sweetness, pointed blasts of heat, a deluge of coconut milk, a riot of peanuts."

AAAAH ze sans culottes have breached ze sac!!! Bon dieu!

No but seriously, remember what happened when green peas rioted?

This kid remembers.

"[Cendrillon] doesn't serve dishes that are merely anagrams of what's available a block or two in any direction."

Good thing, too. I don’t want Oprahs Dandy Man Tit any more than I want Nasty Random Pad Thai. And as painful as Vegetables in Garlic Sauce can be, it’s nothin’ like Snug Near-Green Sciatic Balls syndrome, which is anything but snug.

Green Sciatic Balls alert!!

“Cendrillon probably uses as much vinegar per ounce of food as any restaurant in Manhattan”
Well, I wouldn't go that far. Frank has clearly not been to Balsamic Rita’s Pucker Shack in a while.

Rita’s world famous key lime pie.

"Cendrillon may not be easy or sexy. But it's daring, different and a sure remedy for the malady, too widespread these days, of dining déjà vu."

Sure, she’s “pretty” ‘cause she’s “different.” If there are any ugly young children out there reading this, it must sound familiar to you. You've probably frequently been told you were different, just the way an uncle will pat his flaxen-haired retard of a nephew on the head and call him "unique." But instead of entrusting Cendrillon to a special care facility, Frank charges us, the dining public, to be kind to little Cendrillon: "food lovers" have a "real investment in the survival of this unconventional place.”

In other words, Frank backs off slowly, arms raised: I’M not gonna marry the princess. But you guys should. She’s great! I mean, she's not perfect ("Admittedly, there are a few too many unremarkable dishes on the menu, and the service can veer from poignantly attentive to epically absent-minded") but someone should keep her afloat. Here! Look! Two pretty stars for a pretty lady!

GOTTA GO! Bon apetit!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh man. Sometimes I read a line and it's so funny I can't quite believe it and I have to reread to make sure it wasn't in my imagination. Because sometimes I hallucinate some funny shit too.

That first line about Chelsea though is confusing. Isn't the restaurant in Soho? Did he get a cab?

Would you call your humor "dry" or "wet"?

2:05 PM, August 04, 2005  
Blogger Jules said...


I would call my knees and elbows "dry" while my grasp on reality and facts comparatively "wet" or "loose".

Thanks, anony. You're my bestie.

2:18 PM, August 04, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you amaze me.

10:09 PM, August 04, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't there some kind of Ministry of Humour you could run? You make me guffaw like a hick every time.

9:50 AM, August 12, 2005  
Anonymous scootr grrrl said...

now we know what miss piggy sees in kermit!

3:40 AM, December 01, 2005  

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