Posts for November 6, 2012

Martha Stewart Ventures Into Sitcom Territory

Can't wait for this.

Gordon Ramsay is not the only TV food personality signing on to produce a fictional television series: Deadline reports (via Vulture) that Martha Stewart will produce Tao of Martha, which follows a "highly disorganized former party girl" who finds purpose in proper napkin-folding technique, true love at the specialty yarn-store parking lot, and heaven in a hot-glue gun. We're making those things up, of course, and plan on tuning into Fox next fall to find out how to really flip an omelette. [Deadline via Vulture, Earlier]

What To Eat at BEL 50, Opening November 19

From the so crazy it might just work department at Grub Street: we announced BEL 50, the waffle sandwich place from Joey Altman (of various food shows including the Food Network's Appetite for Adventure, and San Francisco's Bay Café) and executive chef Robert Bruno, a few weeks back. But we sort of didn't believe it, or appreciate the full majesty of its concept. But now we have an opening date— Monday, November 19— and even better, a menu. And if "braised short rib & horseradish creme fraiche" waffle sandwich doesn't speak to you, we don't want to know you. (Unless you're a vegetarian, in which case you can let the portabello mushroom, roasted tomato and goat cheese one speak to you instead.) Anyway, here's the menu; the location is 738 N. Clark Street.

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Slideshow: Preview the Earthy Comfort Food of Found, Opening Today

Found talks the talk that a lot of places talk— comfort food, farm to table ingredients, an eclectic mix of cultures. But the Evanston restaurant from Amy Morton, the owner of 90s hits like Mirador (and daughter of Arnie Morton), and Nicole Pedersen, the former chef of C-House, will make you a believer when it opens tonight. Actually, this slideshow by our man Huge Galdones ought to do the trick— the food looks so honest and inviting, and the duo in charge seem to get along so well, that the fun, funky restaurant filled with cool old stuff and amusing slogans on the wall should feel like it's been there forever, giving the north side and Evanston a place to hang out and feel comfortable as much as it's a place to get something nourishing to eat. We ran the menu last Wednesday; now see what we're talking about in our slideshow below.

Alan Richman (Finally) Discovers Portland

He's a little behind the pack on this one, but GQ critic Alan Richman today is among the last critics in the country to decide that Portland, Oregon, is now "the most fascinating gastronomic city in America." Eric Asimov in the NYT declared Portland food's "golden age" to have begun five years ago, and US News & World Report named Portland the No. 1 city in the world for street food not long after. The exporting of Andy Ricker (Pok Pok) and Matthew Lightner (Atera) to NYC has only helped build the city's legend. Also, Andrew Knowlton at Bon Appétit has made sure to swing through the past few years for his Best New Restaurants list, crowning Luce one of his top ten this year. [GQ]

No Reservations Ad Prompts Bourdain to Unleash Anti-Cadillac Twitter Bluster

More of a Chevy guy?Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Last night marked the series finale of No Reservations, but Anthony Bourdain isn't leaving the Travel Channel without pulling his own mini-version of a Keith Olbermann-style Twitter anti-corporation Twitter rant. The host took a break from live-tweeting during the episode to, once again, express his frustration over a promotional spot (which Eater has embedded at the bottom of this post) for Ann Romney's favorite car company.

"Greedy venal #travelchannel ad sales motherfuckers." »

Trotter Wine Collection Goes To Christie's; $1 Million+ Estimated

4000 bottles, kept in perfect storage conditions (as you could see for yourself in the back dining room, which was lined with a floor to ceiling wine refrigerator). That's what Charlie Trotter's had when it closed in August. And now it can be yours! The 4000 bottles from around the world (but heavy in top French labels), a collection started and largely shaped by legendary sommelier Larry Stone, will be auctioned off by Christie's in two events this month. A live auction of the top wines in the collection will take place in New York on November 16th at the Rockefeller Plaza location of Christie's; you can page through the catalog and salivate here. Online sales will begin November 20 and extend through December 4. For oenophiles, it's a chance to own history— not just their own as Trotter's patrons, but a piece of a collection that played a significant role in shaping American tastes in wine. As Christie's Per Holmberg puts it in the introduction to the sale, "As the kitchen is to the chef, the wine list is the sommelier's toolbox, and no sommelier in America found himself better equipped to change the way we drink than Larry Stone, M.S... a true collaboration between sommelier and chef with the goal of the best possible harmony for guests of the restaurant." [Crain's]

Watch This Liquor Store’s Vodka Smolder and Explode

This display of Karkov vodka inside a Burnsville, Minnesota, liquor store was positioned underneath a ceiling fan and aligned with the shop's windows with such bizarro, Final Destination-esque perfection a few weeks ago that just the rising sun pouring through the vodka bottles set a fire that ignited the boxes. It took an hour and a half for the magnified sun to ignite the paper into a full smolder, but once it got going, tops blew off bottles, vodka geysers erupted, and twelve-foot flames shot through the air. "The firefighters were standing next to me like they were watching a new video game," the store's owner tells Fox. "They were going, 'This is so cool!'"


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Grace Reservations To Begin at Noon; A Little More Insight Into Menus

With various food-crazed Twitter feeds announcing that Grace is already accepting reservations, Curtis Duffy popped up on Twitter to say that the phone lines will open for real at noon today at 312-234-9494, with reservations for December and January. (If, the City willing, they open before December 1, they will offer those reservations via social media.) So what, exactly, are you letting yourself in for with a Grace reservation? We spoke with Duffy yesterday, and although he's keeping a lot of things about Grace quiet— so as not to spoil the sense of discovery he hopes the meal will produce— he did say that there will be two menus, of about 8 official courses each (with other surprises along the way, depending on guest preferences, pace of the meal, etc.).

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Brandon Baltzley's Book Now Orderable on Amazon

What exactly is the story of Brandon Baltzley? It's been told in print at least twice— once in the Tribune and once in Details. Yet there seems to be inexhaustible demand for a tale on the cutting edge of chef bad boy-dom, because Gotham Books, part of Penguin Group, has now listed Baltzley's 320-page memoir, Nine Lives: A Chef's Journey From Chaos To Control, on Amazon, complete with cover art and comparisons to books like Blood, Butter and Bones— and a release date of May 16, 2013.

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