Thursday, December 14, 2006

Much to Discuss

1. What on earth is going on with Bentara? I hate to slam restaurants I like, especially when it is a restaurant that was the lynchpin of the much-touted New Haven Restaurant Renaissance, but the food and service are both losing stars in my mental Michelin. One of my friends had the worst service of her life there recently, involving a sommelier screaming at her (and heads at other tables turning) for being flexible in her choice of wine when her first, second, and third choices turned out to be unavailable. A few weeks later, I had a mediocre lunch, but chalked it up to... it being lunch on a weekday. However, we took a visiting professor there for dinner a couple of weeks after that -- touting Bentara as "one of our favorite restaurants in town" -- and ended up being embarrassed about the bland, improperly prepared food that was clearly not at its freshest. And just the other night, some other friends went for a big night out and reported the same findings about the food. Bentara, please! Don't rest on your laurels! Keep making the Ninth Square proud!

2. Barcelona is now open! Rejoice! New Haven needs more excellent, casual, reasonably-priced restaurants. We have enough fancy places and we have enough Irish pubs. Barcelona may be a mini-chain, but it is the first mid-priced, popular, comfortable place to have a glass of wine and a delicious snack to appear downtown. (Full disclosure: Andy designed the interiors.)

3. Tom took me over to Berkeley College for lunch a couple of weeks ago so I could sample first-hand their sustainable grass-fed burgers and other organic/local/sustainable dining hall cuisine. More on this later -- it deserves its own post.

4. I sing a song of aspic. Andy's firm's holiday party was last night, which involved our all going to Union League and ordering off the menu. I had rabbit and smoked pork in aspic with frisee salad and a quail egg, then a roasted pheasant breast with sauteed foie gras. The pheasant was a little mild, a little dry, but the aspic? A REVELATION. I now feel the need to encase all of my foods in meat jelly. Every bite was like sinking my teeth into a fresh piece of meat-flavored Freshen-Up gum -- a liquid flavor explosion each time. Ooooohhhmmmmmmmmy goooood.

4.5. Latkefest at Jen and Tom's tomorrow! Gingerbread-making party at Sonya and Ted's, too! I love December! We are hoping to make a gingerbread model of the New Haven Coliseum (which is being torn down as we speak).

Photo by the amazing folks at The Bridge and Tunnel Club.

5. We are off to Texas next week! I am anticipating barbeque brisket, smoked turkey, Joe T. Garcia's, and further weight gain. Happy holidays, everyone!


At 6:09 AM, Anonymous Dead Author said...

Have a great holiday! It's been forever since we've seen you. :(

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Mrs. Delicious said...

We will have to get together in the new year! Have a great break.


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