4 Ways Gorsuch Can Win Over Democrats

Neil Gorsuch

Not enough. What Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch said was apparently insufficient. The appellate court judge used the terms “disheartening” and “demoralizing” to express his views on criticisms of the judiciary. According to Sen. Richard Blumenthal, “I think that telling me that he finds these attacks to be demoralizing or disheartening behind closed doors is not enough.” The Connecticut Democrat insisted Judge Gorsuch “needs to make that statement publicly and condemn this attack on the independence of the judiciary and show the American people that he will be independent.”

Fridays With Tommy

Tommy Jacomo (right)

Tommy Jacomo opens with a joke:

Trump’s got the pope on his yacht. The pope’s hat flies off. It’s in the water. The Secret Service is trying to get it. All the pope’s people are trying to get it. Trump goes, “Hang on, hang on.” He walks across the water, bends over, picks up the hat, walks back across the water, puts in on the pope’s head—the pope’s baffled. Next day’s newspaper headline reads, “TRUMP CAN’T SWIM.”

The Art of the Meal

Trump steak

The first thing to remember is the name of the restaurant. It’s called BLT Prime by David Burke and not BLT Prime by Donald Trump. At the restaurant’s homepage, the address is listed simply as 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, with no mention that this is the location of the Trump International Hotel—formerly the Old Post Office Pavilion. I imagine this is all intentional.

Royal Banquet: Feasting on the Burger-Burrito Hybrid

The Whopperrito / Burger King Twitter account

Toms River, N.J.—Suppose I were to tell you a story about a simple burrito, the kind that contains ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles, dressed in a light queso sauce and wrapped snugly in a warm flour tortilla. You’d be the first in line, wouldn’t you? Why take a chance on a Chipotle burrito when you can have something so light and fresh at the low, low price of $3.99?

Michel Richard, 1948-2016

Michel Richard, right, accepting the 2008 James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant (AP)

I last saw Michel Richard a few months ago at his eponymous restaurant, Central Michel Richard, in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, D.C. He didn’t look well. He was barely managing his diabetes and his memory seemed to fade from time to time. He also had a bit of a temper—at least more than usual. We sat outside for lunch, surrounded by his clientele, although I doubt these diners, some of whom looked like tourists, knew who he was. He started mindlessly banging a spoon on the table, which led his publicist Mel Davis, to chide him about the noise. “I can do whatever I want,” he said, and banged the spoon with a definitive whap! The diners at a nearby table snapped their heads in his direction–they looked annoyed. I felt like saying, “Do you have any idea who this man is? What a genius he is? What a legend?”

Raise a Glass for Liberty

Green Dragon Tavern, Union Street / Wikimedia Commons

On December 16, 1773, members of the Sons of Liberty, disguised as Mohawk Indians, boarded three British ships docked in Boston Harbor and dumped overboard their entire cargo of black tea. This event, of course, became known as the Boston Tea Party. But did you know just prior to the raid, these war-painted colonialists were mustering their liquid courage at the Green Dragon Tavern down the road? And afterward, the men returned to the Green Dragon, composed a song to stick it to King George, and, I’m just guessing here, got wrecked.

Downstairs at Eric’s

Eric Ripert

He almost became a waiter. When Eric Ripert was finishing his first year at culinary school in Perpignan, France, his instructors were so impressed by his front-of-the-house skills that they were planning on ending his kitchen studies to have him focus fully on service. But even as a 16-year-old, Ripert knew his passion was cooking, not waiting tables.

The Mother of All Appetizers

Loaded Bloomin' Onion

“This appetizer is meant to be shared.” I kept remembering those words by Elizabeth Watts, director of media and community relations for Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., when the piping-hot dish arrives. And, in fact, I enlisted my family to help tackle this feast of golden goodness—a creation of culinary genius made from a kitchen where there are no rules, just right. I am, of course, referring to the Outback Steakhouse Loaded Bloomin’ Onion.