John Curtas is …

Letter of the Week

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Letter of the Week – Where Has All The Quality Gone?

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An obvious avid foodie, professional cook and thinker of deep thoughts writes in this week with some cogent observations, cogitations and ruminations about what has happened to our local (and national) food scene. Taken in its entirety, it summarizes much about the state of our restaurants.  ELV’s response will follow after the LOTW:

Dear ELV,

I’m curious what you think about Michael Mina opening all these eateries all over America? What do you think about all these talented chefs from days ago assimilating under his brand? Such as Adam Sobel, Gary LaMorte, Gerald Chin, Dave Varley? I mean the list goes on.

I’m also wondering if the Mina brand has somewhat standardized and factory-o-ized fine dining, upscale dining, gentrified dining? I say all this because I watch some of my friends post pics of the new Giants Stadium location and this Locale Market thing in Florida, and all I see is his consumption houses. I am seeing a crossbreed between culinary and media…. For example at the locale Market place in Florida there was talk about an alligator wrapped in bacon? For me all imagine is upscale dining dumbing itself down to cater to the reality TV obese couch sitters that patriotically support the idea of ‘Murica.

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Letter(s) of the Week – WTF Are People Ordering?

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ELV note: Our recent post about our foodie friend David Greco’s dining exploits in our humble burg drew a number of comments,  not about his main point —  being denied a table in a restaurant with plenty of open seats — but rather about his menu choices at one of our finer frog ponds (Twist by Pierre Gagnaire). The debate over whether to blame the resto or the customer when a dish is lackluster is one we’ve had with many food fans over the years, and we’ll weigh in with comments of our own below, after you’ve gotten a taste of the debate.

(BTW: This contumacious, contentious controversy  is the just the sort of creative, conversational convergence we crave in our confutation man-cave. We realize such conscientious confrontational conflict doesn’t have the currency of more considerable, constructive discourse — such as whether Tim Lincecum has lost is fastball, or Rene Zellwegger her face — but we must conspicuously concede to coveting and conflating such controversial cacophony.

 Let’s examine the positions of the respective parties, shall we?

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Letter of the Week – WTF with “Fully Booked”?

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David knows his Weiners

ELV note: One of our favorite paisans – David Greco – who owns and runs Mike’s Deli on Arthur Avenue in da Bronx, was in Vegas recently, and filed this report (the kind we at ELV love to get from our favorite foodies) on some of his experiences. He also ends his mini-reviews with a question that often bugs us as well as our staff

Dear ELV,

Having a craving for fancy French during my recent visit, I wound up at Twist. I dare say I was disappointed. Dreadfully boring room. OK sure, maybe great place to impress a hot brunette, but service was spotty. For example, no one removed the dirty plates from the entree course until the dessert course arrived.

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