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Sundance 2014 – Day Three

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To Be Takei
at Rose Wagner Center in Salt Lake
My Score – 93

3:00 pm
at Broadway Centre Cinema 6 in Salt Lake
My Score – 87

6:45 pm
Obvious Child
at Broadway Cinema III in Salt Lake
My Score – 88

9:30 pm
Young Ones
at Rose Wagner Center in Salt Lake
My Score – 89

Movies seen thus far: 11
Today’s Favorite: To Be Takei
Festival Favorite: Whiplash

Written by ireviewsomething

January 20, 2014 at 12:05am

Sundance 2014 – Day Two

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at Rose Wagner Center in Salt Lake
My Score – 94

3:30 pm
at Rose Wagner Center in Salt Lake
My Score – 60

at Broadway Cinema III in Salt Lake
My Score – 74

9:15 pm
The Babadook
at Tower Theatre in Salt Lake
My Score – 90

Love Child
at Broadway Cinemas VI in Salt Lake
My Score – 24

Movies seen thus far: 7
Today’s Favorite: Whiplash
Festival Favorite: Whiplash

Written by ireviewsomething

January 19, 2014 at 1:56am

Sundance 2014 – Day One

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6:00 pm
at SLC Library in Salt Lake
My Score – 92

9:00 pm
Blue Ruin
at Tower Theatre in Salt Lake
My Score – 60

Movies seen thus far: 2
Today’s Favorite: Locke
Festival Favorite: Locke

Written by ireviewsomething

January 17, 2014 at 11:01pm

Delmonico’s Italian Steakhouse

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2950 Erie Blvd E
Syracuse, NY 13224
(315) 445-1111

The menu had plenty that on another night might have appealed, but nothing spoke to me, and it was my last night in town. We ended up at Riley’s for dinner, but only after we acquired our quest item.

East Utica Greens.

I’d hoped my trip to Syracuse would include some local fare. I’d done my homework and figured that salt potatoes were the thing to try. As I found after a few quizzical, you-aren’t-from-around-here looks, salt potatoes are summer fare in Syracuse. So, if it was going to be something local, it had to be Utica Greens, a dish made with sauteed escarole, hot peppers, and prosciutto with a broiler toasted breadcrumb topping.

And the verdict? I dig it. It’s a definite upgrade from creamed spinach when it comes to a side at a steak house. The heat from the peppers showed up to the soiree immediately and definitely heightened the flavor. While there’s not quite enough protein in the dish to make it a meal on its own, there’s plenty of porky flavor in the dish to make it disappear off the plate. The $10 full order was generous enough that the two of us didn’t have room to finish it, but I’ll admit that I’ve had a moment or two of hankering since then. I think I smell a new Thanksgiving side dish.

Despite our unconventional greens-and-out meal, the wait staff couldn’t have been more friendly. When I quizzed our server about the unique decor and the provenance of the restaurant, she coughed up the information like a stoolie under a spotlight. I managed to leave my credit card and had to drive back 90 minutes later to retrieve it and they had carefully locked it in an office and asked me for ID before surrendering it, a step that put appreciation in a race with humiliation over the whole thing.

Delmonico's Italian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Written by ireviewsomething

November 12, 2013 at 10:04am

Posted in food, Syracuse


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312 Park St
Syracuse, NY 13203
(315) 471-7111

My favorite stop of the Syracuse trip, bar none. Even better than Dinosaur BBQ, which I loved with only minor reservations. And to think that I wouldn’t have made it here at all were it not for a sandwich place that I didn’t even get to visit.

Let me back up.

The menu at Darwin looked delicious and it was second on my list to visit. They are, however, a lunch-only establishment, and all my lunches were being handled. So, no Darwin. I did some poking around the website and found that Darwin was run by the people from Riley’s. So, figured I, next best thing.

By the time I got to Riley’s, though, the thought of a full-blown entree was too much. That and I noticed about three things on the dessert board that sounded delicious, so I was going to need to save room.

That said, maddest of all props to the Riley’s menu. On one side, you’ve got a standing selection of burgers, sandwiches, and sides. Everything I tried on that side (read: one thing (because it was so delicious that I didn’t bother moving on)) was outstanding. It’s the other side that’s impressive, though. A hand-written menu of dishes that changes daily, complete with illustrations. We’re not talking about a big place here. It’s a small neighborhood tavern. I’d love to know who on the staff has time to create that thing daily, but I really do appreciate the time that goes into its creation, as well as the herculean task of creating new dishes every night to populate it with. My co-worker Todd got a scallop in pineapple curry dish the second night I was there and it was spot on, with the sear on the scallops being particularly impressive.

As I scanned the sandwiches and burgers, the Knickerbocker was the only thing that wasn’t easily sussed. When I asked the waitress, she let me know it was an open faced sandwich with turkey, ham, cole slaw, tomato, and Russian dressing on rye, served either hot or cold. I was hooked by the description alone and got it hot. I chose very well. It’s a saucy, messy fork-only sandwich that comes out on the plate as a glorious mound of food. The sweet dressing combined with the rough-cut slaw and the salt of the ham was just about perfect. It’s clear that they roast their own turkey in house, as it was Thanksgiving fresh but also featured in one of the entrees. I loved this sandwich enough to make it back the second night and order it again.

It’s served with Irish chips, a fried potato side that hits notes from crisp potato chip all the way to fluffy french fry depending on how thick each chip was cut. The overall effect is like some mad culinary instructor’s lesson in the Maillard reaction. They are unsalted but served with malt vinegar, and they are highly addictive. There’s a bit of joy in grabbing one after the other and waiting to see if you’ve gotten one of the thicker, softer chips or a dark, caramelized crispy one.

Dinner was topped off with a slice of chocolate chip walnut rum pie. I’ll let that combination wash over you for a moment. It’s twice as good as it sounds. I took them back to the hotel to eat, and the second night the server gave me the tip that a few second in the microwave would turn things gooey and lovely. He was not wrong, though the unwarmed version was good on its own.

For Wednesday and Thursday nights, it was plenty crowded. That said, I’m surprised that there aren’t lines out the door for this place. It was pretty perfect both nights and I can’t wait for my next trip back.

Riley's on Urbanspoon

Written by ireviewsomething

November 11, 2013 at 8:38am


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268 S State St
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 779-4747

Tonight’s dinner was delicious. They are still in their soft opening, so things were a bit more leisurely than a usual meal, but certainly not unexpectedly so. The staff could not have been more accommodating and friendly, taking care of my wife, two daughters, and I very quickly when we showed up right at opening.

We started the complimentary chips and habanero salsa, which had a pronounced heat that sneaks up, and also with with queso fundido. It’s served on a black iron skillet and the baked corners of the dip were my favorite part.

We also ordered two sides. The fried plantains were caramel goodness on the outside and creamy and sweet on the inside. When they call these sweet plantains on the menu, they aren’t kidding. Had I not known better, I’d have mistaken them for ripe bananas.

The second side was the corn. We got it mostly because it sounded like something our girls would eat happily. They barely got a chance. The sweet roasted corn, creamy sauce, chili and lime was pretty much a perfect dish. I was reminded a lot of Eva’s brussels sprouts, not because of the flavor profile, but because it might just be the perfect vegetable dish. When we go back, I’ll be ordering a plate of this for myself.

We had the mole poblano enchilada as our main. My first taste of the dish was to taste the sauce, and I was immediately struck with a strong bitter note. I found that when it was paired with the tortilla and fried pork, however, it was a beautiful and complex combination, and the bitter flavor melded nicely with the other flavors of the sauce. Whether this was intentional or not, I’m not sure. The bitter flavor was something my wife mentioned without my saying anything,

The meal ended with delicious, fresh churros. It sounds as if a full dessert menu will be available starting tomorrow, so we’ll have to check that out on a subsequent visit.

Written by ireviewsomething

October 14, 2013 at 9:38pm

Posted in food

Bistro 222

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222 S Main St #140
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 456-0347

Had a lovely early lunch today with the place to myself. You can rail against the merits of many things, but I’m afraid arguments against lunch at 11 am are going to find no purchase here. The place was quiet and the staff was attentive without hovering.

Anyway, I started with the mushroom bruschetta. Absolutely delicious, even given my bias against tomato jam as a general concept; it seems like an excuse to use bad tomatoes, covering them over with a bunch of sugar. Sure enough, this particular jam was on the sweet side, but the sweet note wasn’t wholly unwelcome. It did verge on overwhelming the flavor of the mushrooms, which were beautifully roasted and meaty.

My main was the mahi mahi tacos. I love seafood, but tend not to order fish tacos very often after having been spoiled by ubiquitous and amazing versions in San Diego. However, the extremely helpful server sold me on house made corn tortillas, so I jumped. There are three tacos in the order. They are on tiny tortillas, around three inches in diameter. The fish, on the other hand, it copious, and the result is a very protein-heavy dish that I really enjoyed. Rather than eating a mouth full of tortilla, I was eating fish, and that’s a nice change of pace when it comes to my fish taco experience.

The condiments on the tacos were a bit clunky. The pineapple relish was too chunky for the tiny form factor of the taco, though the flavor was nice and surprisingly spicy. The pickled onions were also a bit hard to manage. That said, the flavors were dead on.

The price was right, the food was delicious, and I’ll be back very soon. It looks like they have a few dinner-only items, which will probably be when I’ll return.

Bistro 222 on Urbanspoon

Written by ireviewsomething

October 14, 2013 at 9:34pm


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