Some Final Thoughts on L’Affaire Bourdain

Never bite off more than you can chew. – Anonymous

Since our post on Mr. and Mrs. Bourdain was driving so much traffic to the site (a five fold increase in hits) we were told by people in the know (and by “in the know” we mean “our staff“) to leave it up as the lead story for a couple of days. First of all, we want to thank all of our loyal readers for the traffic and for the thoughtful comments. ….which almost all of them were.

All we really did was something and (let’s face it) no serious journalist would do, which is question Ottavia Bourdain’s trashing of a steak dinner she had in our humble burg, and speculate about who or what could have pissed her off so much with such an inferior performance from such a name chef. In a town internationally renowned for its steakhouses, and its celebrity chef steakhouses at that, it read as quite a shock that a top-flight meat emporium could fail so miserably, especially when serving an even more famous guest in the rarefied air of the food world.

That the offending steakhouse in question turned out to be Charlie Palmer STEAK did not surprise us at all …but that’s another story.

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101 Crazy-Awesome Desserts in Grub Street

ELV note: The following article appears in today’s Grub Street, and can be accessed in its original form by clicking here. Or you can scroll down to read it and continue to the slideshow on the Grub Street site. Congrats to Comme Ça, Crystal Whitford (Spago) and Theresa Gwizdaloski (RM Seafood) for their recognition. (Their desserts are numbers 55-57 of the slide show.)

Crystal Whitford’s Amaretto Eskimo Pie at Spago

It’s time to think seriously about sweets: When Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and the doldrums of winter (even one this mild) have taken hold, there’s something about dessert that speaks to everyone. And these days, more than ever, pastry is getting the due that it deserves: Food & Wine is launching a search for the country’s best new pastry chef; Top Chef keeps churning out seasons of its pastry-only spinoff; Johnny Iuzzini and Michael Laiskonis were rightfully heralded as stars when they recently departed their respective restaurants; and every other show on TV is about cake wars. We won’t call it a sugar renaissance, because dessert never went away, but pastry is undeniably playing a larger part in the culinary conversation than it ever has before.

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