This may fall under the category of shooting fish in a barrel, as there is no list like this that is not immediately vulnerable to criticism, but this list of Mario's fave tunes has some surprises, in having few surprises.The list has the feel of being put together by Mario's people, rather than by any individual. When I was wooing the cinetrix, there was once a grad seminar that met at one of my classmates' houses. He happened to be dating someone I had dated previously, so I gave his crib more scrutiny than otherwise. My grad student self was impressed by his ownership of curtains, an undreamed of refinement for me, but dismayed by his cd collection, which I described in a letter to the cinetrix all the hallmarks of having been assembled by a a team of FBI agents charged with creating a plausible CD collection for someone in the Witness Protection Program, part whose cover was that he liked "indie rock." Mario's list is kind of like that in its predictability.
Just wondering. There are significant differences. Many kinds of food are legal in many parts of the country. In moderation, food can be good for you. There is no cocaine pyramid. However, in yesterday's DI/DO, when Pete Wells stepped down from the quarterdeck and checked out the Spotted Pig employee party, the consumption he described was on a level of conspicuousness that reminded me of nothing more than the scene near the end of Scarface, when Al Pacino consoles himself with a salad bowl full of cocaine:
He left the kitchen for a moment, carrying a blowtorch. This was to
ignite the grappa he’d poured inside two hollowed-out wheels of
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. When the flames died, Mr. Ladner filled the
wheels with boiled rigatoni, grated cheese, olive oil, butter and what
the menu called “mad amounts of large chunk Black Truffle.”
Freebasing parmigiano, followed with large chunk black truffle? You can read the whole menu here, if you dare. Lavish, to be sure, but too perverse to be strictly Rabelaisian, viz:
"Foie gras and monkfish, Whole roasted, and served with Molto’s world famous 'Starburst & Red Bull sauce.'" Between Grub Street and DI/DO, you get a pretty good sense of the scope of this thing, but two points might bear further reflection. One: Mario's celebrity has reached a level where his absence from a dinner is news. Two: Lavish as it is, six pigs plus foie, plus all the other goodies, plus the fee for the "babes" passing the cakes, is still a pretty good investment for the publicity it generated. I may have to clip and save this piece and suggest an upgrade from the miniquiches that plague the holidays at my job.