Cookshop: Like UNICEF but more delicious
Frank’s review of Cookshop this week begins with a focus on the restaurant’s sanctimonious streak:
At Cookshop, “they don’t list daily specials." Instead, they “celebrate the restaurant's ‘favorite farmers,’ an honor roll of principled stewards and good shepherds who aren't exhausting their land, immobilizing their livestock, tweaking genes or toying with hormones.”
Candyslot Van der Muff: sadly not among this week’s gold-star organic champions.
“Along with an elite fleet of chosen fishermen, these farmers stock Cookshop's larder, and they are more or less local, or at least regional; the governing religion demands it."
Religion?...Frank has a habit (much mocked here) of using religious language to talk about food-- the sins of flesh, the redemption of sauce--
"In Habitus Homo Smokus" as the Latin goes.
But this week, that tendency hit its pinnacle:
"On a given night the number of them on those boards may rise as high as 10, just like the Commandments.”
10, just like the Commandments! I was hoping to this sort of exclamation would be repeated(the chicken was nailed to a plancha—just like Jesus!) but alas, the references remain general: cookshop is “selling virtue,” and is “suffused with it,” from domestic oak tables to recycled menus. But you want to know what I think when I think virtue? I think BORING. There’s a reason everyone loves hookers, cable, and the Netherlands, and it has nothing to do with being made out of thrice-processed domestic balsa mulch.
“So you can sip, sup and simultaneously congratulate yourself, all of which might be a bit much but for this: You can also have a merry, heedless time.”
When I go out with my friends, there’s nothing I want to do more than SIP, SUP and be MERRY, even HEEDLESS. Additionally, nothing makes me more jubilant than putting ribbons in my hair, skipping about in my pinafore, and waiting for papa to return from the Franco-Prussian War!
Jules and her Boo, ready to get crunk.
No matter how anachronistic the slang, the point here is, Cookshop is as purely enjoyable as weirdly ethical. Frank is getting poetic about it!
“With the exception of those chalkboards, Cookshop renders its call to conscience as a murmur, audible to anyone soothed by the sound and ignorable by those who just want to chow down.”
And now, I will finish the poem that Frank started:
It’s hard for a hard-hitting journalisto,
A J-school man with talent ‘nuff to flaunt
To find his pride burned like neglected frito misto,
To find he’s a for-hire bon vivant!
I used to have John Paul and Berlusconi,
Not to mention Dubs and all his crew,
On my Buddy List under the title “Homies”
And now I spend my time with saumon cru.
And I’m dropping like three thousand dollars nightly
On the world’s best kitchens, (not to mention cellars!)
My compunction is acute ‘til I remember
That the money in the end is all Bill Keller’s. (phew!)
So a place like Cookshop feels like a cold compress
Pressed against my horseback-riding rash.
It makes you feel like Ol' Mamma Theresa
Except your makeup's better (obvie, natch!)
So: delicious? Yes, it is! But that’s not why
I’m giving Cookshop stars galore and raves:
I applaud their bold not-serving Snowy Owl,
And their moralistic not-hiring of slaves!
Cookshop, says Frank: "a place where eating well and doing good find common ground."
Hey hey hey! Retract your awkward dog paws, Mister Owl: you're 100% safe here!