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, July 05, 2006

Parea: First Ever Bruni Digest Gratuitously Graphic Novel

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I know it’s my job to be excited about Frank, but I just can’t handle another upscale Greek place. I sit down with my zinger-laden quill and my Webster’s Revised Scatological Dictionary to poke fun, and I find myself soundly passed out by paragraph two.

“And once you've perused the menu and begun to sample its highlights, you'll know that you're indeed encountering something more than a taverna with a better tailor, something beyond Hellas in Hermès”

Really? Did I encounter Dona? Oh sorry that was 2 weeks ago. But when Times get boring, the boring get kind of cray-cray, i.e., it’s time to spruce things up. Get ready for a first, mes amis: it’s the Bruni Digest GRATUITOUSLY GRAPHIC NOVEL!!

In his intro today, Frank decides that "above all else, [Parea is] a fittingly arresting showcase…"

"I HAD NO IDEA I COULDN'T TAKE MY PANTS OFF!!! Officer, please! And then, as a matter of logic, since I'm wearing a unitard, I had to take it ALLLL OFF! Even YOU can understand that, sir... Are your legs waxed?"

“…for a sophisticated chef's efforts to recast Greek cuisine by approaching it with atypically high standards, unearthing neglected traditions and finding novel assignments for commonly used ingredients.”

"I want you to find the Pope and bring me his underwear!"

"Michael Psilakis, another chef determined to tweak Greek, is building on his work at Onera on the Upper West Side. Parea builds on work from a more distant and even less glamorous place: Cleveland."

"YOU SHUT UP ABOUT CLEVELAND! Cleveland's a classy place! So we had that lake explode in '44. What's the big deal?"

“Mr. Symon presents 'spinialo,' a term and concept he encountered while rummaging through old Greek recipe books....He said in a telephone interview that spinialo refers to the unsold… seafood that Greek fishermen would save and store in salty liquid...”

"What will I do with this disgusting fish?"
"Dunk it in some saltwater, it'll be fine. We'll sell it to a restaurant or something."

"[salmon marinated in vinegar and paired with pickled veal tongue] appeared on Parea's evolving menu precisely when an appetizer of pickled lamb's tongue vanished, and Mr. Symon conceded it was an…attempt to slip diners some tongue..."

"I had no idea! In Greece, sometimes "no" means "I'd like to be frenched on the mouth by a stranger!...Are your legs waxed, officer?"

"[The chef] regards [yogurt and feta] as clutch players to be recruited for, and bent to, his own pleasurable purposes."

Sometimes you just gotta admit defeat.

"Mr. Symon had wrapped the fish in grape leaves before roasting it, and the payoff was pudding-like flesh."

"An array of cured meats hewed to a Greek tradition of spicing — with nutmeg and cinnamon, for example — that Mr. Symon described as aggressive. I'd call it downright bellicose."

He must've ordered the "Cyprian Moustache-Tickler."

"Our voices were shot. Although the word Parea means 'group of friends,' the restaurant retards their conversation."

Hey Frank? You know who still has the verb “retard” in common use? Yeah, the French. Not us. The French. Mkay. Just so you know.

I think signing off with a helmet is perfectly appropriate. Two stars. That's enough outta me.


Blogger psnd1969 said...

Oh, oh, oh.... you are just sooo right.

6:47 PM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your art work never stops amazing me.

1:25 PM, July 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your art work never stops amazing me.

1:26 PM, July 16, 2006  

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