We're a few weeks into 2016 and there are still a couple papers that haven't quite gotten the machinery churning out new reviews yet. In particular, the Omaha World-Herald has been silent since Christmas (though, spoiler alert, a new review posted today, which will show up in the next Flyover Friday). Right now I'm thinking about a different kind of absence, though -- that of my dad, who would've been 73 today. He's been gone for just shy of 20 years now, which is entirely surreal to consider. The acuteness of his passing isn't always sharp, but there are times. He'd dig that I'm writing criticism, and I wish he could've read some of my stuff. Somber closing note, but it's all good. Here's your new Flyover Friday.
Closed for a decade between original life and rebirth? Well okay, The Lexington, I guess you've earned a little slack. Must be a St. Paul thing. Readers of last week's Flyover Friday will note that the phrase "supper club" is uttered here. Upper Midwest represent.
Well okay, the old Fyfe's space was closed that long, too, before becoming Pasqual's Cantina. It's hard for me to get excited about Pasqual's, though, even with the big shiny new HQ.
I don't know if I could endorse a restaurant that deploys Margaritaville signage without even being affiliated with Jimmy Buffett Conglomerated Beach Bum Enterprises (TM), or one that unintentionally encourages the common WES-consin mispronunciation.
Sula's right, it's an awful name. But oh, man, the dishes he describes sound serious as hell. There's definitely some Bayless drifting around in there, but some of those combinations are totally new and pretty exciting.
"On our visit" -the best way to start the food criticism portion of your review if you don't want me to take the rest of it seriously. Sorry not sorry.
I don't know if the phrase "Pinterest-worthy silverware chandelier" is meant to be neutral, a compliment, a left-handed compliment (as one commenter notes the review may be full of), or a straight-up dig, but it's evocative, that's for sure.
Pickles: a pretty common inclusion when it comes to a lot of Middle Eastern food that I've encountered. A slight review, but fine.
That first graf is a pretty flowery way of saying "gentrification." The restaurant sounds like a good deal on real estate that needed a concept, which isn't to say that it can't be tasty, but it does come off as something of a stretch.
Now this sounds like a place that needs to exist. Indeed, it landed on the Eater Minneapolis Essential 38 list that just came out on January 5. And it's even in St. Paul!
Baehr's on the same scent I am with those last two reviews: what's essential, and what's trend-humping fluff (or "trend-chasing caricature," in Baehr's more polite terminology)? A good review fights through preconceptions and finds a truth. In this case, Retreat ain't bad at all.
"The night I was there": see "On our visit."
I guess Italian and American South can mash-up okayyyy, but if a critic ever needed to show more awareness of what was reaching for hotness and what was effortly achieving it, it's probably Benton with this review.
I'm not sure I'd call a "government cheese" joke indicative of a welcome sense of humor, considering the context, but okay. Abraham at least appears to have eaten a bowl of soup at this ridiculously-named restaurant.
I suppose it's time for me to let go of the notion that SoHo's brick and mortar is going to be a dumpling restaurant. Falkenstein hits a lot of specials, which is smart, because I think those are going to reflect the future everyday character of the menu.
Way too much owner profile going on here. Spend more time eating!
I want everything about this restaurant. Been missing these acutely-tuned Vettel reviews.