Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Last night, Chip and I went on a culinary adventure. I have an assignment for a local rag that involves three different restaurants. Chip has been hoping to get into the "food picture" business. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to team up--especially since he was willing to work for free.

Normally when I do food write ups, I just eat something I like somewhere and write about it. Then the paper sends out a photographer. It's all very incognito.

For this assignment, I needed to kill three fish with one hook as I would not likely get a chance to eat at three fancy restaurants on three separate occasions. And it just seemed like it would be way more fun and economical to take the pictures at the same time.

Our first stop was Automatic Slim's at 5:15pm. They seemed pretty used to having people come in to take pictures of their food and were incredibly gracious. Chip set up like an old pro and took picture after picture until I finally demanded to eat the pretty food. (Actually I was quite patient since Chip was technically losing his virginity.)

Chip, of course, helped me eat the pretty food and I noted his comments in my little notebook.

Mmmmm....grilled salmon with mango, cabbage, pistachios, star anise, and spinach. (You'll have to wait for publication to see the pretty picture!)

Next we went to Chip's building to get in his car and drive to our next destination. I just had to take a picture of the bizarre color coding system they use in his garage. Peach, Dk. Green, Lt. Green, Dk. Blue, Lt. Blue, and Cordovan. WTF?

Next stop, Spindini, where we were interrogated heavily ("Did you talk to Judd? Did YOU talk TO JUDD?") and were forced to relinquish my editor's name and number before being allowed to take pictures of the halibut.

"This is where they usually do it," the second interrogator stated matter of factly as he pointed to the counter next to the large pizza oven.

The lighting was much more challenging here, but Chip was up to the challenge.

Once he was done with the pictures, I took the plate over to the bar where I planned to take a few notes while waiting for Chip to get his camera put away. A waiter rushed over and said, "Are you going to eat that??"

I replied in a very small voice, "Yes...I have to write about it."

The waiter exclaimed, "It's not cooked! Let me get you a cooked one!"

Big sigh.

"No wonder you guys got it out so fast," I said jovially and we all had a good laugh.

Mmmmm...red pepper pesto encrusted halibut with lump crab meat risotto. (Again, you'll have to wait for publication to see the pretty picture!)

Our last stop was Tsunami, where we had THE MOST AWESOME DISH EVER, of course involving raw tuna. By now Chip was an old pro and anyone would have thought he'd been doing this his whole life.

While he took pics, I drooled over the sushi that chef Marisa was making in the lounge. (Tsunami only does sushi on Monday.) Sushi with bacon, I should add. I also got a chance to chat with Justice, a waiter and the lead singer for Secret Service. I got him to promise to play at one of this year's Rock-n-Romps!

Chip and I devoured the tuna, had a beer, and headed to our respective homes to downplay our fancypants-ness to our respective spouses who had been left home to eat frozen foods with our respective children.


Anonymous said...

Hope you weren't too rough with Chip, being his first time and all...then doing it three times in one night.

Stephanie said...

I think the photog usually goes seperately so that the reviewer can remain anonymous. I'm glad you were with him, though. My baby is all grown up!

The Saucier said...

I've never been, but everything I've heard leads me to believe that Spindini is a pretentious crapdump.

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