Hash Over

Midnight snack
"Mico" Rodriguez of the M Crowd Restaurant Group, operators of Mi Cocina, Taco Diner, The Mercury, and Mainstream Fish House, says the defunct Mainstream Fish House outlet on Oak Lawn Avenue will open as Citizen in June. Citizen will feature a lounge aura with diffused lighting filled with voiceless ambient music. The menu will be Eurasian cuisine--French technique accosting Asian ingredients. Expect platters of sushi and sashimi, stuff Rodriguez says is good to chew 'round midnight, though somehow it seems foolhardy to expect raw fish to swim without consequence through bellies laced with Martinis and Cuba libres in the middle of the night.

Casual hash
California vintners, who produce 90 percent of all U.S. wine, squeezed some 2.5 million tons of grapes last year, roughly a 13 percent decrease from '97's record crush of 2.9 million tons according to recently released Wine Institute figures. Blame it on El Nino. Maybe. El Nino rains delayed budding by about a month, allowing spring rains to wreak havoc on grape sexual relations. Red varieties represented the larger chunk of the crush at 1.3 million tons. Still, white varieties captured the first two top-five slots. Chardonnay had the largest share followed by French Colombard, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot...There's been lots of hype over the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' recent approval of wine-label verbiage suggesting moderate wine consumption may have health benefits. The tepid statement advises sippers to consult federal dietary guidelines--which state that current evidence points to reduced coronary disease risk among moderate drinkers--"to learn the health effects of wine consumption." Bureaucrats previously held that any commercial references to the health effects of alcohol were inherently false and misleading, regardless of their truthfulness. Regulators read way too much Orwell. The liquor industry is reportedly considering slapping the statement on bottles of hard stuff. I'm looking at a green press release ballyhooing a St. Paddy's Day quaff made with Jägermeister, Irish Cream, and Midori tagged "Dirty Leprechaun." I, for one, would like to learn more about the potential health benefits of lipping a dirty Leprechaun--regardless of truthfulness...Representatives from AquaKnox point out that Greg Nelson, chef of the newly conceived Zeitgeist Cafe on Oak Lawn Avenue, was not a sous chef at Stephan Pyles' pricey seafood restaurant, as I had stated (per Zeitgeist manager James Winkler) last week. He was just a line cook there.

--Mark Stuertz

E-mail Dish at markstz@flash.net.

 
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