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, May 10, 2006

A Voce: Stop, Duck and Balls

Ah, Andrew Carmellini. What a stud:
“During his six years at Café Boulud, the chef Andrew Carmellini achieved something remarkable.”

He crossbred a greyhound and a vegas showtranny?

Guess again.

“Although [Café Boulud] restaurant bore the last name of one of New York's most celebrated culinary figures, Daniel Boulud, ... its many fans came to see it as Mr. Carmellini's place. They gave him the credit, along with their trust.”


And so, Frank notes, everyone anticipated a Carmellini breakaway from Boulud. But in what form?

Frank asks: “Would it be French and somewhat fussy?”
People who anticipated this outcome for Chez Carmellini were mostly basing their anticipation on his French culinary background and/or perhaps they had previously met Carmellini’s immaculately groomed French poodle, Tresor Bisou Pouffiasse III.

Tresor prereparing for a Brazilian bikini wax.

But back to Carmellini's new venture: “Would it strain for invention and strut for attention?”
Or would it strive for convention and sweat for detention?

Sweating for detention. Brought to you by Frank Bruni, Dr. Seuss, Google Image and B.O.

But the Count is here to cast aside all those anticipatory jitters with one swoop of his girlish, ruffle-sleeved arm: “A Voce, which means ‘word of mouth’ and is generating plenty of it, doesn't fit either of those descriptions.” It’s just delicious, inventive Italian, where there’s a “premium on sating diners as opposed to wowing them.”

This is brave of Carmellini. I think we’re all aware of the astronomical success of the recently opened Jerry’s Wow ‘Em Eyeful Bistro, where the order of priority is quite the opposite.

The ladies can’t get enough! And when he starts masturbating, FORGET ABOUT IT! The B & T crowd goes nuts.

Among the dishes that snapped Frank to attention were the many and expert uses of duck: “Duck doesn't get as much play in Italian cooking as in French, but Mr. Carmellini isn't about to let a good bird go unplucked.” And the Archaic Lexicon Society will be presenting Frank with an award tonight for bringing that expression back from the dead.

“Goodie Spritefart, would you hence be aft for a roll in the hay once I spit this snuff out?”
“Why, Sir Whiffleshitte, I for one am not about to let a good bird go unplucked. To the barn?”
“Anon, m’lady.”

Frank’s language actually centers on the food in this review, which tends to mean that he’s gearing up for some real star action. An agnolotti in a foie gras sauce gets the paragraph treatment, and Frank touches on everything from the well-executed classics (asparagus with parmesan, egg, truffle) to the “unforgettable” version of meatballs, and on that note, pins a last suggestion to his 3 stars:

“For his inevitable next venture, maybe Mr. Carmellini, now 35, should consider an all-meatball restaurant. I wouldn't put it past him. And I wouldn't want to miss it.”

Definitely hard to miss.

At least it's good to know I've hit immaturity rock bottom. It's all intellectual uphill from here, gang!

Next week: Julia rides a dodo with copies of the Aeneid in her underpants.


Blogger The Write Stuff said...

Hey! Don't underestimate what we mothers would appreciate on Mothers Day. Balls are definitely on the list. Hotdogs and donuts, too. My, how you young 'uns underestimate us. (And, see? We can be plenty immature, too.)

9:49 AM, May 11, 2006  
Anonymous Kenny T said...

Best one yet!

3:19 PM, May 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see the inscription on that last picture? "Grandpa Riding Ostrich". Genius!

4:30 PM, May 16, 2006  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

Jules, you are so fucking amazing. How amazing? You don't need Bruni to be kick ass, but I am glad you kick his ass. Archaic Lexicon Society? Oh you make this English Teacher giggle. Cheers.

9:03 PM, May 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Sweet Jesus! Have you seen the shit Bruni just came out with for tomorrow? Count Bitchula went all high-concept on us! It really is one of his true masterpieces. It manages to be totally incomprehensible yet distinctively catty and cruel at the same time. All while expressing dismay at the vague incomprehensible mess that is Sascha. It's almost meta and I love it! PoMo Bruni has totally stolen my heart and he won't give it back.

2:13 AM, May 24, 2006  
Anonymous Hair Removal said...

Those poodle owners really pamper their dogs. A Brazilian bikini wax ... what's next liposuction and laser hair removal? Some people just have way too much money and too little sense.

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7:23 PM, May 24, 2006  

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