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Monday, May 31, 2010


Joanthan Toews (he's somewhere in there) is made available to the media on Sunday (on off-day) May 30th, 2010. (notice how they've taped off the area that the chief's head and Hawks emblem is in the dressing room-guess players don't want to be using up all their energy to yell at reporters and crew to step off).

Source plus pretty "awww"-inducing picture of Huet's son, Ewan, scoring on dad.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Why you should watch the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals

So, your team didn't make it into the Stanley Cup Finals. Maybe, a team you hate did and so you've lost any interest you would have had in watching to see who will win Lord Stanley's Cup. If you consider yourself a hockey fan then you should be ashamed. This year's contest promises to be a doozy with storylines galore and two teams that boast solid defense corps, high-powered offensive lines, plenty of superstars who aren't named Crosby or Ovechkin and rabble-rousing fanbases (trust me I was in Chicago for Game 4 of the conference finals and if the Hawks win the cup that town might just explode from cheer joy). So, I present to you 6 reasons why you should watch the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals:

1. Jonathan Toews vs Mike Richards: Two of the best all-around centres in the league going head to head...well maybe not very often but these two young captains, both members of Canada's gold medal winning men's Olympic 2010 hockey team (they even played on a line together-as evidenced by the photo above) are both exciting players who aren't afraid to go to the dirty places to make plays. Both have been playing exceptionally well this post season and it's going to be fun watching one of these youthful leaders steer their team to victory.

2. The Flyers haven't won a Cup since 1975. The Hawks haven't won a Cup since 1961. Someone's drought ends this June.

3. The Hossa Curse.

4. The very high probability to see goals like these:

5. A great match-up. The Flyers may not be an Original 6 team but this is still a storied franchise. The Blackhawks, well, what can one say about the team that has "the best looking jersey in professional sports" that hasn't been said before. Both teams are passionate, deep and filled with players that you love, hate or love-to-hate. Fans can expect a hard fought series with plenty of heroics, turning points and, of course, chirping. While everyone is wondering about the Pronger/Byfuglien meeting infront of the net I'm more interested in what Toews and Kane will do once Philly's big, 30-minute-a-game-man is otherwise occupied. Will one young team loose its cool? Can detested players such as Hossa or Carcillo overcome their bad reputations to win it all? Will Jeff Carter brake one or both of his feet, again? Which team will rise to the challenge to lift the best trophy in pro sports?

6. Both teams are located in strong hockey markets that happen also to be populous US cities. The NHL will be happy with the ratings and interest it creates south of the 49th parallel while Canadians can take solace in the fact that these two teams combined are made up of 34 Canadian players, 17 for each team. Just knowing that The Cup will be spending a lot of time in it's rightful country this summer, no matter who wins, should be enough for those of us North of the border to stop being bitter about the lack of a "Canadian" team-just pick a Canadian player and root for him. It's a win-win for both fans and the league.

my prediction: well you know what I think... but it bares repeating, hawks in six.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hawks Western Conference Finals 2010 Game #4 - Post Game

For as much as I admire him as a hockey player the guy wearing the C, the centreman who wears #19 (just like Yzerman and Sakic) gives press conferences that leave no doubt as to why his nickname is 'Captain Serious.' Below is Toews' cliche-filled Western Conference Final 2010 Game #4 post-game. After what is a fairly humorous start in rolls the endless parade of sports cliches. In this press conference the 22 year old probably uses every major sports cliche that exists (playing 60 minutes, doing the little things, finding ways to win, character, etc.). Above is Patrick Sharp's post-game interview. You can see why Sharp is known as the prankster and locker-room clown. This interview contains the perfect amount of humor, personality, clichés and bare-bones information/critique-I wish all press conferences were this fun. Leadership, two ways. Well, three ways if you count that other guy who wears a letter for the Hawks and took a puck to the face, lost 7 teeth, numbed is mouth & stayed in the game.

btw I was at this to come


L2O restaurant, Chicago
Located in the ornate, regal and conservative Belden Stratford on Lincoln Park West is an oasis of modernity, simplicity and sophistication. Chef Laurent Gras' restaurant L2O is a must-stop for anyone who loves food (especially seafood) and who appreciates culinary innovation. Everything is streamlined yet elaborate, take for example the concocting of my strawberry-basil caipirinha-a cart was wheeled out, on it a silver tray with three beautiful glass beakers, a tall, slender mixing vassel, small silver orbs holding fresh strawberries and basil leaves mixed together with friendly efficiency by our attentive but never over-bearing host. Our server, Keira, went out of her way to be helpful even handwriting a descriptive menu (along with a copy of the full menu, which is written using the most sparing of language), gave a detailed description of the dessert menu and answered all of our questions with friendly professionalism. Chef Gras sources many of his ingredients from Japan, so, although he tries mostly to use seasonal ingredients he is, obviously, not a locavore. It doesn't matter, I would dine here again in a heartbeat.
What we ate:
(spring seasonal tasting menu 12 courses +2 amuse bouche and 2 sweet treats $165/person)
- medai (japanese butterfish), ume, sudachi, fried garlic (np)
continued below...

- tuna tartar, cucmber ball, dehydrated corn, salsa verde in a gelatinous corn shell
- silken tofu, ginger, white miso sauce (np)

- fluke wrapped in cucumber, green dressing, tapioca, daikon & carrot roll
- peeky-toe crab, foie gras emulsion (np)
- halibut, english peas, ramps, arugula dumping (with sundried tomato), fiddleheads in bacon butter
- salted cod, whipped fingerling potato, smoked ribbon and caviar
- shabu-shabu: hiramasa (australian-caught hamachi), mushroom, shiso, konbu boullion, seasme, fresh-grated wasabi with miso-soy sauce (the leftover bouillon from this dish is then served with noodles in the 4 course tasting menu)
- king salmon, baked in clay, dusted with cinnamon and North African spices, grits, lemon gelé dusted with dehydrated meyer lemon crumbs, caramelized date-injected daikon
- beef short rib baked and then seared, grilled ramps, spring onion, pinot blanc vinaigrette, ginger-beef consommé
- chocolate ganache, soysalt, olive oil (np-and also the 3rd dessert we had on this trip that featured olive oil)
- Raspberries with raspberry gelé pellets, yuzu, 14K gold leaf, mascarpone, crispy white chocolate tulle

- whipped kafir sorbet with pineapple and coconut (LN2 treatment)
- Grand Marnier souffle w orange marmalade & peanut butter souffle (np)
- extras: passionfruit marshmallow and strawberry & cream macaron

Deep Dish Pizza

Deep Dish Pizza, Giordano's Chicago
So, I did not set out on a quest to find the best deep dish pizza in all of Chicago. Truth be told I prefer thin crust, Italian style pizza but what do you do after a hot dog lunch and a few beers at the Hawks game (game 4 vs the sharks) when your stomach starts growling? If you're me you figure you should continue your day of eating terrible yet delicious treats and indulge in the oozing and gooey mess that is a North American institution and what better place than the city of it's birth. We didn't go to some out of the way mom n pop shop where everything is lovingly handmade, locally sourced and exorbitantly priced, no, we went for the over-the-top, value loving wreck that is the famous Giordano's stuffed pizza. It's basically deep dish pizza with a tomato sauce covered dough hat. If you like deep dish pizza, you'll probably like this. I found that the dough, though crisp, tasted bland and undercooked and, as a cheese enthusiast I can't believe I'm saying this, there was too much processed cheese to the point that it tasted a bit like plastic. Basically, all the things that in my experience I've come to expect from deep dish pizza.
What we ate:
- small (and I use this term loosely) stuffed pizza with sausage, green pepper, mushrooms, onions & mozzarella
- large house salad

Charlie Trotters

Charlie Trotter's, Chicago
Wildly and frequently praised as one of the best restaurants in the world Charlie Trotter's in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighbourhood is located in an inconspicuous yet large house. We had a 9:30 reservation on our first night in the city and although the food was good our server left a less than desirable taste in the mouth. Kind of like that one dessert (pretty to look at, terrible taste, can you guess which one I'm talking about-it's pictured here). Bad service can ruin a decent meal and when you're sitting at a world renowned table for a 3 hour, 8 course $165/person ($135 for the veggie) menu you come to expect a certain amount of professionalism, courtesy and knowledge. The rest of the service staff seemed very pleasant and accommodating, ours must just have been having a bad day. Too bad, because I won't go back and I don't suggest you do either. There are too many wonderful restaurants in this city.

What we ate (one of us had the meat and the other the vegetarian menu):
- marinated zucchini w fennel pollen & ricotta (not pictured)
- razor clams w fava bean & green almond (np)
- soft shell crab tempura w green papaya & lemon verbena (np)
- white asparagus w miner's lettuce & blackberries
- j. eggplant soufflé w curry & green peppercorn (above)
continued below...

- steamed tasmanian ocean trout w green tea & coriander dusted garbanzo beans
- poached squab breast w black sesame, annatto & radish (np)
- Oaxacan mole w spinach & roasted cashews (np)
- whole roasted porcini w rosemary & caramelized cippolini onions (np)
continued below...
- salt-crusted veal loin w toasted brioche, morel, burnt oak & creme fraiche
- lavender custard w honeycomb & black tea
- meyer lemon sorbet w lemon basil & creamed olive oil (bottom)
- muscat grape sorbet w caray (above)
- meiwa kumquats w frozen meringue & cured black olives
- condensed cinnamon milk ice cream w lime & pequin peppers (np)
-milk chocolate-praline semifreddo w pistachios & mint (np)

The Purple Pig, Chicago

The Purple Pig-Chicago
This was a delicious pork filled meal. This casual European-style bistro is very popular so be prepared to wait (about 20 minutes during the lunch rush). The dishes are priced reasonably ($5-$18) and easy to share. I definitely recommend stopping by for a pre or post mag mile meal.
What we ate:
- arancini with ricotta, mint and spring peas
- Serrano ham
- crispy strips of pig's ear with a fried egg and deep fried seaweed
- milk braised pork shoulder with mashed potatoes

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why I Love the Bowtie

Oh my god, look, a post that's not about hockey and the Stanley Cup playoffs! It's been rare these days, I know. I love Lanvin and I adore Alber Elbaz, Lanvin's bowtie wearing creative director and head designer. In a recent interview he gave as part of's Future of Fashion series he said the follow in regards to celebrity fashion lines:

I feel that some celebrities think that because they are famous, they can do fashion. Imagine if I want to be now a dancer. Trust me, I can’t. I can’t jump. I can’t even limp from one point to another. I feel that there is this kind of confusion.

I totally agree.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Conference Finals

and then there were four.
The East
Philadelphia v Montreal: Who would have guessed that the number 7 and 8 seeds would be in a showdown to represent the East? Both of these teams had to go through grueling 7 game series in the 2nd round to get to this point, but the Habs also had a lengthy 7 game series in the first round. I've bet against them every time (figuratively, not physically) and they won each time. Traditionally I cheer for the Habs and cannot really stand the Flyers. However, I have been really impressed by the play of Jeff Carter this season and though he is injured and out have to admit that I am impressed with the way this club stepped up after going down 3-0 to Boston (getting Gange back into the lineup was quite the shot in the arm). The Habs, well, despite playing disciplined, defence first hockey and potentially getting Markov back into the lineup, I'm a bit worried. Most of their offence has pretty much come from one guy and they've won most of their games on the one-two-three punch of defence, Halak & Cammalleri...and after two straight 7 game series, how long can this keep going? I'm not sure who I want to win this one, because if the Habs go to the finals their already insufferable fans are just going to make me angrier and more dissappointed in les Quebcois and if the Flyers win, well, just two words: Dan Carcillo, I mean, really, who wants to see that guy succeed? However, I've picked against them twice and both times they've shown their will to win, so, I'll go with the Habs in 7.

The West
San Jose v Chicago: Here, on the polar opposite side, are the number 1 & 2 seeds in the Western conference. If you have read my other posts you know I've picked Chicago to go all the way, so, no sense in stopping now. I hope that this series can bring the edge-of-your-seat excitement I was expecting from the Hawks v Nucks series. Thorton, Marleau and Heatley have played well, especially in the last two games of the Detroit series but really it's been the Sharks secod line of Pavelski, Clowe and Setoguchi that have powered SJ to their first Conference Final since 2003-2004. Dan Boyle has been great but I feel like Rob Blake, though still playing big minutes, is a bit of a geriatric and who are the other SJ defensive pairings again? On the flip side there's Kane and Toews who have combined for 35 points (20 for Toews who has been dominant against the Sharks and 15 for Mr Mullet) in 12 games. The NHL 2010 bromance of the year, Keith and Seabrook, did a great job shutting down the Sedins and I look for them to frustrate the hell out of the Sharks big three. We'll see if Hjarlmarsson and Campbell can be equally successful against SJ's second line. I can see the Sharks winning but really, Hawks in 6.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Disgruntled Sports Musings

Things I don't like that I've noticed during the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs:
1. That Habs fans feel the need to boo the opposing side's best players. Happened to Ovechkin in the first round and now it's happening to Sidney Crosby and (to a lesser degree) Evgeni Malkin. I'm all for chirping opposing players but every time Crosby or Ovechkin touched the puck in le centre bell it was accompanied by a large chorus of boos. What makes this booing so pathetic is that it's happening not because Crosby has been a particular thorn in the Habs side (because he really hasn't) or because he hassled them to the press (god forbid) or because he made a dirty hit that took one of the Habs players out but just because he's Sidney Crosby. What's even worse is that one can be sure that every single one of those booing assholes were cheering and weeping like little girls when Crosby scored that OT goal on February 28th, 2010 in Vancouver. Lame sauce.

2. You know what else is lame sauce, the fact that Habs fans sing that Olé Olé Olé song at all points in a game. We hear it when: the Habs are down but just scored a goal, when the game is tied and then if the Habs are winning. The ONLY appropriate time to hear that song is when a team is running away with the lead or at the end of a match when your team is winning.

3. NHL conspiracy theories. Detroit lost because they were outplayed and out of gas. They took stupid penalties and although there were plenty of phantom and missed calls every team is a victim of these things. Trust me, I'm a Vancouver fan, we love to make up bullshit conspiracy theories as an excuse for our team's poor play.

4. Inconsistent officiating. Referees are human and so, much to the chagrin of fans everywhere, they make mistakes. What I don't understand is when you call a penalty, say slashing (especially the much-used slashing the hands), and then 10 minutes later it happens, in front of you and you don't call it. Or, when a blatant infraction happens 3 feet away from the referee but because they missed a call on the opposing team earlier in the game it goes uncalled. Also, when a play is an infraction for a notorious player, like Burrows or Byfuglien, but not for players of good reputation, like Toews or Bergeron.

5. Towel Power in cities other than Vancouver. Find another way to get your fans engaged and Get off our jock. (note: If your city participates in this but the towels aren't white then I guess you're off the hook).

6. That the Chicago Blackhawks arrived in Vancouver for Game 6 with their bags already packed for San Jose. Hawks fans will call it practical planning and to be sure it is but for a team that claims not to be looking ahead and to be taking things one-game-at-a-time as Captain Jonathan Toews has asserted many times in this and the Nashville series this move reeks of arrogance. This makes the possibility of extending the series to it's maximum all the more sweet for the Canucks and their fans.

7. Press scrums with players. Conferences with NHL coaches can usually produce some smirk-inducing quotes and occasional glimmers of insight but interviews with players are about as mundane and cliché-filled as they come. That's maybe why I like Cabbie on the Street-his interviews are usually a little more revealing and the players seem a lot more relaxed and willing to show some personality.

photo via emptynetters.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Clean and Clear's Best Cleansers

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Ball of Boring

Gisele (in Alexander Wang) & Tom are here simply because they're so hot

MIA in Alexander Wang (for the GAP but really this isn't going to be in any GAP stores)

The Met Gala was last night and for a crowd that was filled with fashion's biggest names (and many of Hollywood's as well) the outfits were Yawn-inducing. Sure, there were plenty of very pretty red carpet worthy picks but they all seemed tired and done before. Anne Hathaway in a glittery, nude ballgown that I could have sworn I'd seen her in 100 times before, Gwen Stefani in a gauzy white backless column dress with black bustier peeking through that was feminine but with the right amount of rocker "edgy" and Melissa George in a ruffled mustard dress that hinted at the glamour Diane Kruger and Michelle Williams displayed in dresses of that same hue at the Golden Globes this year and Oscars years ago. Even perennial favourtes failed to inspire Kruger, with her freshly signed Calvin Klein contract, was in a conservative, body-hugging all-white Costa creation and Marion Cotillard in bejeweled, old-Hollywood Dior both brought their regular brand of sophisticated fashion but no risks were taken and thus no rewards to be had.

If there were ever a time to go out on a limb and wear something that might never be able to be worn out in public on any other occasion save for potentially losing one's mind (but in a good way) this is it! Where was the texture, the trends, the interest?! Gisele had all this but I wasn't crazy about the look still (but she and Tom are at the top simply because I love them so much). Some wore couture but not enough...or maybe it's just that couture wasn't as outlandish this year? Some took it to the extreme-I'm looking at you Rosario Dawson and Maggie Gyllenhaal, who looked like a massacre in purple ruffle gone wrong and a black tie-dyed denim trash bag respectively. Many tried too hard: Kristen Stewart looking monstrous and upset in what I think was Chanel, Blake Lively's skin looking like an oompa-loompa, January Jones-there are no words and Emmy Rossum's desperate look-at-me eyes but most just seemed like they weren't trying at all. It was like the majority of the crowd got dressed on automatic while in the dark and the results were boring. boring. BORING.

So, here's who didn't bore me to near tears or make me want to scratch my eyes out:

Tom Ford in what I can only assume is Tom Ford (love the blush dinner jacket)

Jamie Bochert in Rodarte (scary looking face-lovely dress)

Hilary Rhoda in Prabal Gurung

Amber Valleta in RM by Roland Mouret (conservative choice but it's so lovely I forgive the lack of interest)

Karolina Kurkova in Altuzarra

Naomi Watts in Lanvin

Coco Rocha in Zac Posen

Chloe Sevigny in Proenza Schouler
Thanks Fashionology for the pics