Sunday, May 21, 2006

You know I did it.

So I settled on the New York Culinary Festival. It was $50, give or take, well-spent. As this was a three day festival with an apparently rotating assortment of restaurants and caterers, I did not get to sample any exceptional cuisine--nothing approaching the glory of now-benchmark dining trysts at Bouley and Alinea. Nothing, save Ureña. Now, please keep in mind, I was often eating standing up, food shoveled from catering troughs into plastic dishes, which were then precariously perched atop my Bass in one hand, plastic cutlery in the other, wandering through crowds, being forced to listen either to a Staten Island country band on one stage or dueling adult-contemporary pianists on another. Anything but fine dining. Ureña made it all worthwhile. Or, more precisely, the little braised veal cheeks and green gazpacho dishes doled out by the Ureña contingent made it all worthwhile. I know veal is tender, but should you be able to cut it with a plastic spoon? Anyone? Because that veal was buttah. Gorgeous, gorgeous food. Sigh. Clearly I'm going to have to find a reason to spend more time in that whole Flatiron area. I'm not going to bother describing anything else. Nothing else even approached the perfection of those little baby cow bits. Well...there was a fine raviolo with truffled butter and parmesan from San Domenico, actually, that was delectably rich and worth the tiny wait I endured to procure it. Are you wondering why I am declaring a single veal medallion and one big raviolo worth the $50 I spent to discover these gems? Yes? Well I will tell you, because you would never come close to guessing, because it has absolutely nothing to do with the food festival. After the nosh, I decided to do a bit of Internets sleuthing about Mr. Alex Ureña, obviously the head know, Ureña. What I came across first was this NYT review by Frank Bruni. Go ahead, read it. It is silly, frivolous, and over-the-top goofy. Is it a poorly-conceived comedy routine? No. No, Mr. Bruni, apparently, is totally serious. Despite this review's chronological proximity to April Fool's Day, that is indeed the way he writes. Like, all the time. I ignore his review, and move on to do more sleuthing, but I end up The Bruni Digest. It's a blog devoted entirely to spanking Mr. Bruni's reviews, every blessed week. And man, does he get spanked. I laughed until I cried at some of the posts. And then I laughed until I couldn't breathe. And then I laughed until I almost blacked out, which is when I stopped reading, and laughing, because, you see, anymore would have killed me. The Bruni Digest. Totally worth $50. Oh. And Ureña. Absolutely my soon-to-be favorite.


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