The Wednesday Food Sections: Radius Review & The Food Riots of ’11

The Food sections today were odd: End of the year, I reckon, so we’re talking lacksadaisical at best.  Or: Feckless as we say ’round here.

Still, here’s our close, penetrating analysis:

The Boston Globe

The reviewer writes about Radius.  The reviewer gives Radius three out of four stars.  The reviewer writes, “Tuna tartare was so fresh you could taste the fish’s last quiver.”   Leaving aside the fact that tuna is flash frozen, has anyone here ever tasted a quiver?  What, I wonder, is the tastiest quiver you’ve ever enjoyed and why?  Prize of a tuna quiver for the best answer.

The reviewer continues and notes pleasure taken in, “Robuchon potatoes.”  By this we’re sure she means potatoes cooked in the style of Joël Robuchon: Tiny Yukon golds peeled and boiled in salted water, put through a sifter, and whipped with butter.  Why go to Radius to eat a knock-off?

The mystery is the three stars.  The reviewer, just before signing off, describes the gnocchi as, “leaden,” the monkfish as, “greasy,” and, the calamari as coming with, “burned garlic.”  With the least expensive entree, she notes, at $32, why is the restaurant given three stars?

The reviewer concludes by noting a phone interview with chef-owner Michael Schlow who waxes about a new Mexican restaurant he is opening this Spring.  The reviewer wonders, given Chef Schlow’s interest in rustic Italian and now Mexican food, would he do it again?  Would he open Radius as his first restaurant?

Well, of course, he would.  For one thing, it’s doing well.  Or: It would close.  Pickings are slim lunchtime in its location in the Financial District for those out to impress.  For another thing, no Armani Exchange without an upscale Armani store.  Meaning: It’s Schlow’s brand.  It gives credibility to his low-key establishments.

The New York Times

More or less a solid round-up of dishes and new restaurants.  Why the reviewer included Osteria Morini is a mystery given his diss in a recent review, but happy to see he included Maialino though no doubt it’ll be harder than ever to get a table.

The best food story in either paper was in neither Food section.

Page 2 in the NYT Business section: “Food prices face a perilous rise.”  From 6/10-11/10, wheat, corn, and rice commodity prices rose 26%.  While this means nothing to chowhounds, gourmands, and foodies, the impact is felt and will be harsher in communities and nations of poverty.   Why is this happening?  The article notes: “First, investors have bought exposure to commodities as an economic hedge.  Second, the price of foodstuffs has been bid up as low interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of hoarding them…”

The article wonders about riots and protests as people starve…maybe we can call in The Iron Chef!  He’d know what to do, I know he would.


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