Thursday, November 13, 2008

Andrew Carmellini is Coming To Seattle to Promote His New Book , Urban Italian

When: Wednesday, Nov 19th
Who: Andrew Carmellini and his co-author wife Gwen Hyman
Where: Tavolata

More Details: Chef Ethan Stowell of Tavolata will be creating a multi-course Italian feast inspired by the recipes found in URBAN ITALIAN. Dinner begins at 6pm and cost to attend is $100/person (excluding tax and gratuity), which includes all food, wine, and a signed copy of the book. Reservations are required
Tavolata (206) 838-8008

For more about the book, click here

Andrew Carmellini's Urban Italian is that rare breed of cookbook: written by a skilled, top-tier professional, yet at all times accessible, unintimidating, and inspiring to the home cook. In short, it's everything a cookbook should be. The conversational style provides both a thrilling introduction and the feeling, while cooking, that the chef is standing next to in the kitchen, forgiving your mistakes, urging you along, painlessly expanding your reservoir of knowledge. In a world awash with Italian cookbooks, this one's a must-have."--Anthony Bourdain

This is a Kim Ricketts event, for more info,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What the Heck are You Yelping About?

The New York Times published an article about the Yelp phenomenon.

I myself am a yelp reader. I admit it. I look everything up on Yelp.
Do I believe what I read? Nope, most of the time I don't. So why do I read it?
I ask myself the same question.

First of all, most of the people who write on Yelp are under 40, like stated in the article above. Yes, I am 29 years old but I actually seem to think that most of the people are under 30 or mid- twenties from the way they spend. I have seen Yelpers call 'reasonably priced" restaurants, "over-priced" time and time again.
No I can not afford to eat at restaurants that charge between 12-18 dollars an entree every day but they are by far not over-priced in my book. Sure it's nice to have a Vietnamese pho dinner for under 10 dollars, but that's just what it is.

There is no reason to compare an everyday eatery with a restaurant in which a chef has a full menu of different dishes all made from scratch, a higher standard of food and seasonal ingredients. If you are going to review a restaurant, make sure you review it with other restaurants of the same status in mind.

Yelpers have no mercy.
I will use Seattle's newly opened Poppy as an example. I chose Poppy because I have not tried it yet and have no opinion on the place.

The day after it opened there were so many reviews. Many of them on the " I am disappointed" side. It was the opening night. Have Mercy. No restaurant reviewer in their right mind would go in to a restaurant on the first night and criticize the wait staff for not knowing their stuff. Everyone knows that a restaurant needs a few days to figure out how things go. If you want to be the first to review a restaurant, that's fine but take everything into consideration. That's like calling a writer unskilled while reading their rough draft.

I have to admit there is one thing about Yelp that I love. That is the events page.
Whenever freebies are being given out, the yelper will be happy to yelp it to the world from the top of their whiny little lungs. I appreciate that.

So yes, I will continue to read Yelp but the restaurant reviews, I will continue not to take them too seriously. I might use Yelp as an indication of what to order, if everyone loves the duck maybe it is worth a try. I will use Yelp to find out the address of a place. I won't use Yelp as a strong opinion. Yelp won't prevent me from trying a restaurant.
Yelp has taught me one thing.
Every little Pisher can find a place to exercise power.
Any thoughts?
What do you think?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Theo Chocolate Events

I got this email yesterday from Theo Chocolate with chocolate events for November. After trying to decide which chocolate events I would like to post about it, I came to the conclusion that I would post the whole list as is and make sure you don't miss out on any chocolate. I couldn't live with the guilt if you missed out on chocolate because of me.

The list as is....

NOVEMBER 7 @ 6:30 – 8pm
Cheese & Chocolate
Who knew? These two decadent foods are
complex and wide ranging in flavor profiles but
we have discovered some pairings that will inspire
sensory shockwaves. The experts from Delaurenti's
superb cheese department will help guide us
through a revelatory tasting.
$25 per person (call 206.632.5100 for reservations

NOVEMBER 14 @ 8pm
Cozy Movie Night
We will be showing the sexy movie, Chocolat,
and serving up hot chocolate and snacks. Bring
some pillows to curl up by the fire.
$15 per person (call 206.632.5100 for reservations)

NOVEMBER 15 @ 11am
Ganache Demonstration
Have you ever wondered what ganache is or how it is
made? Then this demonstration is for you! Our head
chocolatier Autumn Martin will steward you through
the entire process of our ganache making from flavor
development to decorating!
$20 per person (call 206.632.5100 for reservations

NOVEMBER 20 @ 6:30 – 8pm
Wine & Chocolate
Come and taste amazing wine & chocolate pairings
with an innovative approach presented by Pike and
Western Wine shop. Please call Pike & Western
206.441.1307 for reservations.
$40 per person

DECEMBER 6 @ 11am – 4pm
Confection Workshop
Have you been interested in making your own
chocolate confections for holiday gifts or as a treat
just for you? We invite you to spend the day with
our head chocolatier, Autumn Martin for a
hands-on confection making class. You will learn
how to make ganache, temper chocolate and enrobe
the fillings! We will explore different methods for
decorating and wrapping your delicious creations
and you will walk away with the fruits of your labor!
All materials and light snacks are included.
Space is limited so make your reservation soon!
$125 (call 206.632.5100 for reservations)
DECEMBER 12 @ 6:30 – 8pm

Port & Chocolate
Come and enjoy port and chocolate by candlelight.
This evening will bring a warm glow to your cheeks
and tummy as we enjoy 4 styles of this wintry
favorite: Ruby, Tawny, Late Bottled Vintage and Vintage.
$40 per person (call 206.632.5100 for reservations)
DECEMBER 15 @ 6 – 9pm
Theo Social & Sale
Theo will be staying open late to accommodate
your last minute shopping needs. Come and take
advantage of some very special sale prices, while enjoying
complimentary samples of our signature
sipping chocolate. No reservations necessary, just
come on by!