Comfort and Joy?

Not so much. Behold a critic's holiday woes that hit home.


How’s your holiday season going? So far, mine has been … interesting.

In the past 10 days, I’ve had two fillings crack, which has involved five visits to the dentist (two of them in one day); a Thanksgiving oven disaster; and an unfortunate porcelain misadventure.

Actually, when I think about it, everything that has happened is peripherally involved with food and ceramic or porcelain. The teeth need no explaining, except to say that the only thing possibly worse than a filling crumbling from your mouth is having a temporary plastic crown do the same thing the next day. You may shudder now.

The stove: Two days before Thanksgiving, with the family already on the road, our stove (full of food) decides that heat is a concept it no longer understands. Five o’clock, big box stores have nothing (I mean NOTHING) in stock and as I’m eyeing the barbecue grill in desperation we decide to try our pals at Aggressive Appliances, who have hosted for several years the Couples Cookoff charity benefit, which I have been honored to judge. Yes, they have a stove (ceramic top, you see). No, they can’t deliver it. So at 7 p.m. we were driving with a very large appliance in the back of the van, dragging it into the house and installing it ourselves. The sounds of cursing were heard throughout the land but yes, my friends, it worked.

The day after T-Day, a family member came into the living room wearing a look of dismay. “Something disastrous happened in the bathroom,” he said. Upon investigation, amid much consternation and wet floors, it turned out that the toilet tank had, for lack of a better term, exploded. Shards of vitreous china (fortunately, none piercing flesh—I understand it is a very real danger) and the hysterical laughter of grandchildren were everywhere.

The bathroom is now back in order, the oven is settling into its new home, and my tooth ordeal will one day be a distant memory. The cycle of cooking, eating and, well, eliminating, returns to its universal order. I can’t wait to see what Christmas brings …


* Local chefs take this time of season to break out of the routine and offer fascinating dinner events. Chef Bruno Zacchini at Pizza Bruno takes his wood-fired oven skills to dizzying heights by presenting a classic Feast of Seven Fishes on Tuesday, December 19 from 7-10 p.m. The seven-course Christmas feast features five savory seafood courses, plus two dessert courses and optional wine pairings. Tickets are available here.

* Outpost Neighborhood Kitchen is throwing their prohibitions away with a Repeal of Prohibition Whiskey Tasting on Dec 2. Whiskey samplings, two drink tickets, a dinner buffet including prime rib, live music and more are included in the ticket. Proceeds will benefit the Covenant House.

* The new owner of K Restaurant revives an old K tradition on December 4 with a truffle dinner, seven courses with wine pairings featuring truffles from Italy, France and the United States (American truffles, did you know?). Menu items include truffle soup, pasta truffle gnocchi and honey truffle crème brulee.

Digging up old holiday favorites? Comments? Questions? Recommendations? Stay in touch with Joseph at You can access a comprehensive list of his print and online reviews here!


Categories: Savor Orlando