Big Pond

Bigfish Stephen Starr gets one in the New York Times - Morimoto's Manhattan transfer reviewed.

It's "a stunning piece of work: a sparkly wonderland for glittery people," writes restaurant reviewer Frank Bruni today. "It's Morimoto's moment."

Unfortunately most of the raves in this one-star review are reserved for the decor. Some over-roasted the critic's lobster - just about all the shellfish felt left too long on the flame.  "And limp ribbons of beef in a soy and mirin broth tasted as if they had been adrift in hot water three times longer than they should have been."

Bruni finds the Philly Starr's concept a little too high:

Even more troubling than the unevenness was the way high concept repeatedly supplanted sound judgment, resulting in dishes more amusing to behold than to ingest. The utensils provided for appetizers of toro and hamachi tartare were wood sticks not unlike tongue depressors in their feel and lingering taste. The tartare was accompanied by a beautiful but exasperating spectrum of colorful condiments and herbs (an avocado purée, crème fraîche, micro radish sprouts, wasabi and so on) arranged in contiguous bands so slender that it was nearly impossible to isolate any one from another.

He goes on - it's plenty expensive, "often undisciplined," prone to sillyness, staffed with friendly but error-making servers. Still, Bruni is drawn to the humor, the style, the sex appeal. In Timespeak, one star = merely "good." (The Inquirer's Craig Laban awarded three bells to the original in Philadelphia.) The New York kicker: "if only more of the food lived up to the frisson."

He seemed to like it better on his blog.


We'd applaud the IRS for saving taxpayer money by relying on e-mail, but it looks like those official-looking missives from the revenuers are just official-looking phishes. Brad Gough sent around a MarketWatch column from Tuesday that warns that if the IRS has informed you electronically about an impending audit or refund, delete it.

An IRS spokeswoman told MarketWatch's Andrea Coombes, "We do not communicate with taxpayers via e-mail. We may send you a letter, we may call you, but we do not send out e-mail."

Despite the IRS seal and the return address of, these are bad guys who want your Social Security Number, your bank details, your scratch.


Sometimes all you need to read is one great line to want to invite a blog into your life. How about this observation from A Socialite's Life about La Donald:

Why not just name the child Bling Trump? Barron William Trump? Jesus.

But ASL keeps clawing, quoting Trump's comments to People Magazine: "It's a beautiful baby and she's a beautiful mother. I just think she's looking forward to being a great mother. I have no doubt how good she will be."

Our Socialite blogger writes: "We love the fact that Donald has all the confidence in the world about the mothering skills of his wife, and needs to comment on them. He's not going to go and say something like, let's hope she doesn't accidentally kill the child. On a total side note, does anyone still watch The Apprentice? If so, could someone please tell me when Brent went way, Way, WAY WAY over the line?"


Image003 Speaking of which, didn't take long for's pr firm to jump all over La Donald's blessed event and pitch a custom line of bitty calling cards:

When it’s time to make play dates for young Barron Trump, he can simply leave his card! Between the new Apprentice season and Melania’s modeling gigs, busy mommy and daddy Trump don’t have time to dig for a pen and paper in their bag filled with diapers and pacifiers. These custom calling cards are the perfect answer! Melania and Donald will be able to leave Barron’s name and number without having to do all the work!

I myself would have gone with hell-on-wheels publicist Lizzie Grubman, but she's busy enjoying her nuptials. In the meantime, visit the Lizzie Grubman video tribute, courtesy of Gawker.


The Washington Post's ombudswoman suggested late last year that the paper hankered for a right-leaning blogger to compliment Dan Froomkin, but yesterday's debut of its "Red America" blog still triggered all sorts of fire from the left.

Red American blogger Ben Domench, a former National Review Online contributor, drew blood with these opening words:

This is a blog for the majority of Americans.

Since the election of 1992, the extreme political left has fought a losing battle. Their views on the economy, marriage, abortion, guns, the death penalty, health care, welfare, taxes and a dozen other major domestic policy issues have been exposed as unpopular, unmarketable and unquestioned losers at the ballot box.

Some have wondered whether a home-schooled, politically connected 24-year-old conservative actually balances a left-leaning newsroom vet, whom Atrios calls "the liberal blogger they don't actually have." Others have gleefully sifted through Domenech's college-era work. The Post has answered some of American Prospect's questions about his hiring.

Progressive Philly blogger Karl Martino wrote:

Please. Please stop. Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America. You are partisan... what do you call it...hacks.

The link is to the Washington Post's new blog - meant to speak to just one segment of America's population - its largest - in the WaPo's quest to connect with the part of the nation it seeks the most sales, subscriptions, and click thrus from.

If the Washington Post meant to reach out to an underserved audience maybe it should have launched a blog with a focus on 'BlackAmerica' or 'HispanicAmerica', 'JewishAmerica', 'MuslimAmerica', 'WomenAmerica', 'GayAmerica' or 'CatholicAmerica'?

Many commenters wrote in to praise the Post's efforts to reflect strong conservative opinions. This piece summarizes the temperature of an online chat later in the day with political reporter Thomas Edsall.

Meanwhile, Protein Wisdom dug the new blog's name:

sounds vaguely like some Tony Kushner one-acter that imagines a forbidden tryst between Joseph McCarthy and Lillian Hellman

And, not to be outdone, Wonkette decides it must hire a conservative blogger for balance. Sgt.Wonkette's Real America?


Where have you gone Willie Montanez?


Somebody get Villanova coach Jay Wright and Fox Sports a room.


jay lassiter
Posted 03/22/2006 10:26:49 AM

Well this was juicy, juicy and jucier. First of all, wow, looks like Philly's fave restauranteur got skewered! Definitely not a ringing endorsement, but not exactly scathing either. Listen Dan, in some circles you're *nothing* until you've been excoriated by the press. Hey, there is NO better business model than driving down expectrations then exceeding them. With regards to the new righty blog on WoPo, it seems link a poor choice. Froomkin should be insulted but hopefully he has the ego strenght not to take this persoanally. And with regards to the IRS....i got a bona fide Audit letter in the mail. I wish i could just shred it and pretend it's a case of SS# "hooking." (sigh)