Monday, July 30, 2012

Boca Tampa Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club The Samba Room

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Dead Horse

I truly understand, respect and acknowledge the importance of the critic and their ability to elucidate some of the more minute and overlooked details of the dinner experience, but I’ve also realized that there are a few topics that I just generally have no interest in hearing about any longer. At some point, certain topics can be left to be addressed by the diner and does not warrant a discussion so frequently. There are also a few topics that every critic seems to pick at despite how it sensibly has no technical use or application for their actual job. The writing is fantastic and eloquently argued at times, but increasingly, the topics are becoming self serving. Here are a couple of lists of things that I would like to see the critics and writers to move on from…

The “Let It Die” topics of yesteryear:

-Restaurant noise

-Charging for or not serving bread and water

-Pizza and Burgers


-Urban Spoon, Yelp, etc.

-Top Chef

-Bacon (soon to be the “Tuna Tartare” of this decade)

-Bourdain comments on Alice Waters and Food Network (it was fun… a year ago)

-NY vs. SF

The “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” self-serving topics of restaurant critics:

-The importance/relevance of critics

-The unimportance/importance of bloggers or blogging

-Being a critic today versus critics of the past

-Creating new diner etiquette based on personal opinion/value/digression

-Defending ratings systems

Monday, November 23, 2009

Deleted Star Trek Kirk Scene

Those of you regular readers know I was on the new Star Trek bandwagon well before the movie came out. The release of the DVD last week only confirmed my pick as the best movie of the summer of 2009.

Now comes CONFIRMATION of this deleted scene that contained Shatner's Kirk, What might have been...

For those who might be interested, this is from the script before shooting began. It's got Shatner in it. I can tell you that I could not imagine Shatner as Kirk anymore. He has kind of turned egg shaped. I guess they could have thinned him via computer imagery (a la the DirectTV/Star Trek VI commercial).
This begins during the scene where Spock Prime meets Quinto's Spock at the end of the film:

Then I ask that you do yourself a
favor... put away logic, and do what
feels right. The world you've inherited
lives in the shadow of incalculable
devastation... but there's no reason you
must face it alone.
And from around his neck, he removes the PENDANT that until now,
we've only caught glimpses of. Places it on the table beside
his younger self. The feeling in his eyes is profound...
This was a gift to me. Representing...
a dream. One we were unable to fulfill.
The way you can now.
And moves to the door. Stops. Offers the VULCAN SALUTE:
As my customary farewell would appear
oddly self serving, I will simply say...
good luck.
Their eyes hold. Spock turns, disappearing into the corridor.
Young Spock stares at the empty doorway a beat, his mind a
jumble of thoughts. Looks to the pendant... and realizes it's a
HOLO-EMITTER. After considering a beat, he hits an activation
button and a MOVING HOLOGRAPHIC MESSAGE materializes before him:
confident -- and SINGING:
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to
(stops, grins)
I know I know, it's illogical to
celebrate something you had nothing to do
with, but I haven't had the chance to
congratulate you on your appointment to
the ambassadorship so I thought I'd seize
the occasion... Bravo, Spock -- they tell
me your first mission may take you away
for awhile, so I'll be the first to wish
you luck... and to say...
(beat, emotional)
I miss you, old friend.
... and we're PUSHING IN on Young Spock, taking in the image of
Kirk's future self, the message, but above all -- the clear,
unquestionable friendship these two men had...
As Spock Prime walks off down the corridor, he passes right by a
man conferring with a nurse -- the man pauses, turns... it's
SAREK. Suddenly overcome by a feeling that the stranger who's
just passed him is... oddly familiar.
I suppose I'd always imagined us...
outgrowing Starfleet together. Watching
life swing us into our Emeritus years...
MUSIC BUILDING -- glass walls reveal THE ENTERPRISE at dock,
UTILITY CRAFTS floating around it, repairing. Standing at
attention in rows, THE ENTERPRISE CREW -- over four hundred of
them wearing DRESS UNIFORMS -- TRACK DOWN the faces, all proud:
I look around at the new cadets now and
can't help thinking... has it really been
so long? Wasn't it only yesterday we
stepped onto the Enterprise as boys?
That I had to prove to the crew I
deserved command... and their respect?
And we STOP ON YOUNG KIRK. Composed, focused, proud. A man.
And to every fan's delight, finally wearing his YELLOW SHIRT.
The FEDERATION COMMANDANT stands at a podium:
This assembly calls Captain James
Tiberius Kirk...
Kirk breaks from formation, pivots, marches down the hangar --
past UHURA... SULU... CHEKOV... SCOTTY. All Beaming. Notably
absent, is Spock. Kirk ascends the stairs, snaps to attention:
Your inspirational valor and supreme
dedication to your comrades are in
keeping with the highest traditions of
service and reflect utmost credit to
yourself, your crew, and the Federation.
By Starfleet Order 28455, you are hereby
directed to report to Commanding Officer,
USS Enterprise, for duty as his relief.
Kirk turns. Walks to... PIKE. In a wheelchair now, wearing an
ADMIRAL'S UNIFORM. Overnight, his hair's turned totally grey --
but despite his trauma, his pride's overwhelming. They SALUTE
each other:
I relieve you, Sir.
... I am relieved.
He opens a BOX in his lap -- glorious in repose, a MEDAL:
And as Fleet Admiral, for your... unique
solution to the Kobayashi Maru, it's my
honor to award you with a commendation
for original thinking.
Pike containing a smirk, pins the medal to Kirk's chest...
(a touch choked)
Congratulations, Captain.
Thank you, Sir.
Kirk turns to the crowd. Eyes shining. WILD APPLAUSE. OUR
MUSIC SOARS. Bones leans in to Sulu, rolling his eyes:
... Same ship, different day.
As Kirk rejoins his crew for hugs and congratulations, we go to
the BACK of the hangar... SPOCK PRIME. Watching. Moved beyond
words. He turns and leaves them to it... as he goes...
I know what you'd say -- `It's their turn
now, Jim...' And of course you're
right... but it got me thinking:
Our montage comes full circle as we END on Kirk's transmission:
Who's to say we can't go one more round?
By the last tally, only twenty five
percent of the galaxy's been chartered...
I'd call that negligent. Criminal even --
an invitation.
You once said being a starship captain
was my first, best destiny... if that's
true, then yours is to be by my side. If
there's any true logic to the universe...
we'll end up on that bridge again
Stops, grins. Because this is the part he needs to say most...
Admit it, Spock. For people like us, the
journey itself... is home.
Young Spock's face. Lost in feelings that flood through him.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beaujolais Nouveau

Why should you care about the third Thursday in November? It's the day that Beaujolais Nouveau -- a French wine called BN for short -- arrives in stores all over the world.

This is a light-bodied, fruity, fun red, made from the Gamay grape in the region of Beaujolais. "Regular"

Beaujolais is released the year after the grapes are picked, but BN is released a few weeks after the grapes come in. So the wine you taste was made with grapes picked just a few weeks before. The tradition started when winemakers wanted to use up their Gamay grapes and realized they could make a passable wine quickly with the use of the carbonic maceration method, where the fruity quality is preserved without the bitter tannins of the skins and seeds. What began as a winemaker trick became marketing genius. French law requires that BN be released no earlier than the third Thursday of November - no exceptions.

This is not a serious wine - it's just fun and cheap and can be served chilled or at room temperature, and it pairs with virtually every food on the planet. Just don't keep it too long - it's meant to be drunk within six months of purchase. And in these financially precarious times, you'll be happy to hear that BN is one of the best values out there; most bottles are about $10. A few producers are going green and bottling their BN in plastic bottles rather than glass; it keeps the shipping weight down.

Most wine stores carry three or four types of Beaujolais Nouveau, and here are some of the better producers to look for: Mommessin, Georges Duboueuf, Joseph Drouhin, J. Arthaud, and Michel Picard.

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