After a grueling day of Jury Duty, I made my way over to Tom Douglas' Palace Ballroom this past Monday night.
I met Mr. Pants, looking sharp in a striped suit jacket and we hung out with fellow foodies, trying to unobtrusively check out name tags as we mingled. Met the charming French father of Phillipe Thomelin, chef of Olivar. His name tag said (French Only) so I nudged Mr Pants in his direction so he could parlez with him, which he bravely did. I don't mean to rhyme, but Mr. Pants is from France, and fluent. I did a lot of nodding and smiling and lent all of a word or two to the conversation.
Briefly saw Julie Oleson of Cakespy fame, surrounded by a bevy of admirers, and lingered by the panel discussion featuring Tamara Murphy of Brasa and the soon to be opened Terra Plata, Ethan Stowell of his many fantastic joints, and Kurt Dammeier of Minimus Maximus, Pasta & Co. and Beechers Cheese. Words of wisdom such as "you are never stuck where you are" "you can always improve" hit home for me. Interesting thoughts from Stowell about the future of food writing in general. He thought there's no longer that air of intense anticipation for the restaurant review to hit the presses, that food bloggers have gradually taken over. Makes me a little sad, but thems the breaks.
We sampled fantastic frogs legs (surprising how many people said they were tasting them for the first time!) stout floats, pot stickers, Joule's head cheese on toast (yep, I said head cheese) and steak tartar from Campagne among many other items.
Fun times, topped off our drinking and snacking with octopus and salmon at the Palace Kitchen. Not bad for a Monday night.