The 14th-best restaurant in America — L’Etoile
During my very first visit to Madison — I believe it was around February or January, but it was so damn cold I can’t recall — I visited a nutritional science advisor about my then so-crystal-clear career plans.
After our 45-minute chat about lipids and bran, my dad, being the foodie he is, inquired about the city’s culinary gems. L’Etoile was the immediate response, and from that day forward every dining experience on the Isthmus has been sort of a letdown. Well, not a letdown, more of a regression.
So why did Gourmet rank the North Pinckney Street wunder spot in their top quarter? It’s simply the combination of farm-fresh ingredients and a master’s touch. Chef Odessa Piper uses a vast backyard-crop/foodstuff emporium known as the beloved Farmer’s Market to concoct a truly humble yet elegant style referred to by the editors as “farmhouse French.” L’Etoile is simply the epitome of the upper Midwest palate — and we aren’t talking Applebees. –MR
The Internet can be so handy — buy a car, find a job, donate money, take pointless personality tests. And no site is more proficient in the latter then Emode.com (www.emode.com).
With first exams right around the corner, here are some tests you are guaranteed to pass. What breed of dog are you? Who is your inner rock star? Is he the one? Is she? What’s your theme song? Are you a slacker? Chances are, if you are spending time on this site, you don’t need to take that particular test to get your answer.
Take the celebrity matchmaker to find out who in Hollywood is meant for you, and then “Wedding Date Predictor” will tell you when to expect to walk down the aisle to your celebrity spouse. Some of Emode.com’s assessments are developed by Ph.Ds, and some are about as valuable as the Dirty Bird’s football skills; but they’re fun, and they pass the time when you’re stuck at work or procrastinating at Helen C. –AR
This sardonic “journal created by nervous people” sells out fast every time Canterbury receives its shipment every, oh four or five months — it really depends on when the editors (Dave Eggers, Neil Pollack and Dave Moodie, to name a few) put it together. But when their “gut-wrenching” layout process is complete, a multilayered collage of word, song and picture remains for the masses’ hiccup-inducing consumption. In a recent cloth-bound issue, New York underground mainstays They Might Be Giants provide the soundtrack for a laundry list of social critics’ (Zadie Smith, Ann Cummins, Ian Frazier) expression via short story, essay, poem, postcard and eulogy. Outside of maybe the Softskull catalog, this is underground publishing in rare form. –MR
Downy Wrinkle Releaser
Wrinkles are for retirees and shar-peis. Ironing is for housewives and Marcia-Brady types. But when your favorite black shirt has been lying on your bedroom floor for a few days, or your entire sweatshop-produced wardrobe sat in the dryer while you studied or slept, you have to do something. Forget the Donna Reed-esque pose, and reach for the flashy bottle of this pretty-fying potion. A few sprays, a tug here and there, and a good smoothing, and your duds are ready to be rocked again. The scented version covers up that gross bar musk, (at least until you get to the first tavern of the night) and the added benefit of releasing wrinkles beats the pants off Febreze. Think of it as Amnesty International for your clothes. –AR
Blog of the Week
“Football game = major ass whipping. Yep, I had a football game tonight. Against the Mead Raiders. We got killed. Though I got to play a lot and I played pretty good for the most part. So overall I’m happy. Then we had a little Village Inn party with some 20 people there. I bet that was a nightmare to wait on. Tho [sic] the owner was pretty cool. He was all like ‘you guys are a better crowd then that other big group of kids, they were all making fun of me for the way I look and because of the whole New York thing’ because the dude was obviously from some Middle East place. I thought that was cool that he was telling me that. I was all just like ‘yah, people like that are just ignorant and stupid.'”