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, September 13, 2006

Trestle on Tenth: Break out the Juice!

Well it’s only midafternoon but I’m about to open a bottle of Chateau British People, aka Gin. The Count’s review of Trestle on Tenth is all about the wine list, probably because, as the headlines of all the other articles in the Dining section suggest, it’s Beverage Theme Week at Times Dining! Everyone has to come to work dressed up like their favorite beverage.

That Bittman’s such a sport!

Bruni delves into chef Ralf Kuettel’s past so that we can better understand Trestle on Tenth’s wine list, which Frank calls a “principled document”.

In short, “From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Kuettel wallowed in wine.”

Sure, it sounds like fun, but it made household chores difficult.

Over the years, Mr. Kuettel “became a grape geek of the most fetching, infectious kind.”
“Fetching” and “infectious” haven’t been the happy conclusion of something since that pack of hunting dogs got mono.

Best infection ever!!!

Ralf Kuettel’s years of careful research and learning (“What smells like bloody pennies?” “Oh, Ralf soaked his pants in Grenache last week to see if they’d rot”) have yielded a list heavy in the unusual (lagreins, gamaret, savagnin).

In comparison, “so many other wine lists seem to have been assembled by a computer program — with France and California meted out in predetermined measure and enough generically velvety pinot noir to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool…”

An Olympic size swimming pool full of wine? … mmmm…that’s my second biggest wish come true!

My first biggest wish? I just wish my ex-boyfriend would talk to me, you know? It’s so awkward when we see each other at parties and he just rearranges his cloth diaper and pretends not to notice me.

CALL ME, Eustace!!!!

A term Frank has employed before for cute places, he calls Trestle “a hug” : “a warm little hug that beckons those at hand.” Which is actually an underhanded insult: it’s not good enough to travel for. If it were, maybe Frank would call it a “lively hickey” or “embracing dry hump” of a place.

GET IT? DRY HUMP? (Cut to me hi-fiving myself as I’m pushed offshore in a burning rowboat.)

Speaking of burning rowboats, Frank is really unimpressed by the food at Trestle, unfortunately. Such a letdown after the all the boozing and the hugging.

I’m also surprised at Frank's ambivalence, since he tends to reward food that refuses to pander to South Beachers, and according to Frank, Trestle “challenges vain, health-conscious New Yorkers to wade into the starchy and dive headlong into the flabby."

This would be the "About Me" on Frank's MySpace profile.

But Ralf’s helmets-on approach to fat may have been a little overboard: “Trestle on Tenth is the kind of restaurant at which, no matter what you ate, you feel as if you had brisket.”

I guess that’s an insult, but brisket happens to be my fave. I mean, I don’t like to advertise my other projects on this site, but this seems a propos:

What's for dinner? You are, with my line of savory, high-quality kosher baubles.

But it’s not just the brisketiness at Trestle that did it in:
Generally, "too much at Trestle on Tenth didn’t stand out or succeed.”

If Ralf is looking for constructive criticism, he’s not going to find it here: cauliflower soup, sautéed frogs’ legs, roast chicken and steak are just “bland” and a pig’s foot terrine is “unfocused.” Inscrutable, no? -- “Hey Ralf, your spatzle was illiterate your paté was rococo.” ?????

Even though the fatty food got no more than one star from The Count, I think I might check it out. Something about this Octobery weather screams "Eat Fat!" and lord knows I love to drink.
Which reminds me, one more quick plug before I sign off:

The Jules doll from Mattel (not included: handle of gin, karaoke set, and twelve gay Kens.)

PS: If you've not had your fill of the Count, check out a Hamburger Today's burgerrific interview with Frank Bruni. Be prepared to have your heart broken a little-- turns out he's a ketchup only man, which to me is like leaving the house only wearing a top.


Anonymous e said...

hahahah this is great. this is hysterical. i love it. thanks for the laughs.

4:08 PM, September 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant work. Just discovered your site. Please keep it up. You now have a new loyal reader.

12:30 AM, September 17, 2006  
Anonymous Ken said...

It is Wednesday and I am obsessively checking to see how you will respond to Frank's backhanded bitch-slapping of the snidely uppity Freeman's...I am huge fan! keep up the sidesplitting work! But the snot pic of your "ex" crossed the line!! ACK!!! GROSSS!!!!

11:08 PM, September 20, 2006  
Anonymous Ron de Rancid said...

some of the best humor seen in years, keep it up, thanks

5:26 PM, September 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Ken -- hope you get to weigh in on the Freemans review. C'mon, that bit about the bitchy server NOT LETTING Bruni and his party order some appetizers and peruse the rest of the menu for a while -- what a set piece for your muse.

BTW, the whole act of reading Bruni's reviews turns into a different 'sperience when one is constantly snickering in anticipation of what the Digest will make of them.


7:53 PM, September 21, 2006  
Blogger Jules said...

I've seen a lot of stupid shit on the internet. But that picture-- whoo. Wow. Yeah. I'm sorry. But I thought, if there's a chance someone else will laugh half as much as I, I have to risk it.

So nasty, you're right.

12:55 AM, September 23, 2006  
Anonymous ken said...

however i will forever be indebted to you for the piglet-suckler in the Blue Hill piece...will probably have my xmas cards made with that image...

6:24 AM, September 23, 2006  

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