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Let's Just Talk About

Michael Landrum

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Let's just talk about all the really good stuff we've eaten, and all the hard work that must have gone into it.

I know I could fill pages upon pages of just that--and that's just me.

Dinners at Liberty Tavern? Oh my god! So much better than they need to be!

Eventide? Even my own mother doesn't know how to spoil me more!

American Flatbread? Frost and Whitman singing the body non-electric together deliciously!

Artisans Chocolates? Seriously, I think I might just need to trade my coke habit in for a bon bon habit!

Posto? Sitting at the bar, what trattoria could serve you better?

Palena? Corduroy? Central? Obelisk? Proof? Komi? Cityzen? Are you joking? A European city or two's worth of special finds--enough to live a lifetime's worth of stories of great dining and exceptional people!

Kavita? Cunningham? Gillian? Now I'm just rambling...

On and on I could go, and I'm still missing more than half. And the one thing that ties them all together? Outstanding kitchens filled with insanely dedicated staff and servers, bartenders, hosts and owners working to care for you far beyond the demands of mere professionalism.

World maps of ethnic dining and history in the making to be found reflected in no greater place than here?

Globally conscious members of an irrevocably drawn-together-despite-our-differences-and-dislikes community coming together to make a difference and argue passionately along the way?

Picnics? Gatherings? Events? Nights at DCCK? Births, weddings, passings, arrivals, causes, calls to duty, flipped cars? Calls to sing together the Internationale (you all suck for not knowing it by heart, by the way)?

With so much to treasure, can't we all just celebrate the blessings we have, and leave the gossip and innuendo alone?

Oh, and my wine splits suck!

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I'll take this in a different direction, and say that the best food I ever ate was the after church banquet at my Grandmother's Primitive Baptist Church in Worthington Springs, Florida. I was small, and sat rather impatiently through the services knowing that outside was a potluck spread from Southern heaven. Greens, potato salad, cakes, sweet potatoes, biscuits, sweet corn, deviled eggs and everything else, all along huge tables, and all made from scratch and with love. Everyone would get the produce from their fields and gardens the day before, and they all caught the fish in the nearby river or raised the animals that provided the meat and eggs, so it was about as seasonal and local as you could get. I'm fairly certain that nobody realized they were so precocious in food fashion. I was about as tall as the tables, so she would walk along with her plate and mine, pausing to ask what I wanted. Sigh. Second place goes to family reunion food. Almost the same, but no suffering beforehand to make it taste that much better.

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A simple "proper" meal on a snowy night made all the better by an unexpected guest and my daughter stepping up as sous, cooking and serving with aplomb: pistou, gnocchis in cream w/hazelnuts, arugula with anchovy dressing, cheese, crepes with apples. A little Gevrey Chambertin.

Also decided that exile on Main Street is the best album ever for doing dishes -- special focus on Torn and Fraid, Lovin' Cup and what aging geezers like myself still refer to as"side four."

The tortilla soup from Super Taco is not to be dismissed lightly, either.

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