Last night, I was so frustrated with the New Coke version of the WordPress Dashboard that I feared I’d go all Naomi Campbell on someone. Well, today, things are improved. And by improved, I don‘t mean improved over the original version of Dashboard which was, in my opinion, far superior in its appearance and functionality (but has, it seems, gone the way of Bennifer, GM’s electric car, and Hogan Knows Best). No, it is a huge improvement over last night in that I am finally able to post pics.
Thanks to everyone who offered me advice. For now, I think I’m going to stick it out. WordPress has been a terrific host so far. This new version of dashboard apparently offers several interesting additional functions (which I no doubt will never use much less figure out). Also, I’m very, very lazy and fear change.
So, before this blog was interrupted by a technical glitch, I was going to tell you about…
Thursday night, we were back for round two of Fan Fuel Dinner 2008. As we walked into the restaurant, Martin confided: “Tonight is IT. Starting tomorrow, I’m on the program!” On the program?! Hmmm. I wasn’t exactly sure what had precipitated my buddy’s shocking decision to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It could have been the four year old picture of a younger, slimmer him that a fan had gifted him the previous night. Or the fact that speedo season fast approaches. Or, upon further reflection, that foie gras terrine for two we enjoyed way too much on Tuesday night. Well, whatever the reason, I respected my Martin’s decision to take better care of himself and supported him 100%. But that didn’t stop me from slipping away from the table at one point to relay the information to Chef Belcham. “It’s his last night, so you’ve got to go all-out.” But Chef Belcham was way ahead of me, having prepared a very special five course menu – just for us.
Martin and I settled in and, like the previous night, worked the room between courses. A smaller turnout on this night (as we were competing with the Gateworld charity dinner) meant more time for us to chat with the different attendees. It was less of the frantic table to table quick hops that typified Tuesday night’s meal and had some of the restaurant regulars wondering whether Fuel was hosting some sort of speed-dating event. We chatted, posed for pics, revealed enormous spoilers (but only after swearing everyone to secrecy) and ate.
We started off with Rob’s charcuterie – a savory selection of cured meats. A great way to start a meal. The house chorizo is spectacular.
Fuel has given me a whole new appreciation of the wonderful world of soup. No insipid consommés here. Instead, on this night, two fabulous new creations: a smoothly textured but surprisingly hearty Cannelini bean soup with salsa verde, and an exquisite truffle broth with a hen yolk, root vegetables, and chives.
For the next course we enjoyed Marty G.‘s fave smoked albacore tuna with scallion, crisp shallot and crisp-crumbled ham(!), and tasty shrimp with rocket, guanciale, and onion puree.
The pasta course was comprised of a To-Die-For aged goat cheese agnolotti with lardo, squash and hazelnuts, and a finglering potato agnolotti with stessa and chives that set Martin aswoon.
Next up was a delicious silverback salmon with radish, lemon butter, and capers, and what Martin proclaimed “the best fish dish I’ve ever eaten” (I’ve noticed a number of “best of” proclamations from the various guests I‘ve taken to Fuel) – the sablefish belly with swiss chard and hollandaise. It was exceptional. I showed Fondy the pic the next day and she was extremely jealous.
Our final main was a fantastic saddle of lamb – cooked medium-rare, natch – with cornmeal spinach, long pepper, and kidney.
We finished with the Dolce de leche pound cake with pumpkin confit and cinnamon cocoa sorbet, and the new dessert – the Frozen organic Granny Smith apple partfait with nutella, chocolate genoise and hot crème anglaise.
An incredible meal, and one that Martin will no doubt reflect back on fondly in the coming weeks when he struggles to enjoy his steamed chicken and boiled veggies. Bon Appetit, Marty!
Thanks to Chef Rob Belcham and his incredible kitchen staff for being so damn great at what they do.
And thanks to everyone who attended last night‘s dinner. Martin and I had a lovely time.
And, by the way, Patricia, Lulu is having an even lovelier time with her new duck toy.
Today’s pics: Hopefully the captioning feature worked so I won’t have to tell you. Unfortunately, not all of the pics I snapped turned out so apologies to certain fans, the truffle broth, the charcuterie, and the Dolce de Leche poundcake.
Let’s do some mailbag:
Madtricks writes: “Will we be lucky enough to see new battleships in season 5?”
Answer: We will definitely see some new alien ships in season 5.
Gilder writes: “So, which team do you like? North Carolina, UCLA, Kansas or Memphis?”
Answer: I like Memphis, don’t mind UCLA, am ambivalent about Kansas, and hate North Carolina.
Lily writes: “I just read an article at Gateworld about Stargate Universe. From what I understand from that article, the idea is not to make both Atlantis and this new show simultaneously. Does it mean that if this show gets a go, Atlantis will be canceled just to have this new show?”
Answer: It’s far too early to say how things will develop. As Brad pointed out, producing 40 episodes of television a year aint exactly a picnic. It‘s an exhaustive schedule and one that isn’t made all that much by simply hiring more writers. Still, it’s a classy problem and if that’s the scenario we’re faced with, I’ve no doubt we’ll make it work. One show? Two shoes? At the end of the day, the ball is in SciFi and MGM’s court.
Charles Schneider writes: “Will you guys have any representatives at this year’s New York Comic Con?”
Answer: I don’t believe we will. However, both there will be an Atlantis and Continuum panel at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. The Atlantis panel will be moderated by none other than our very own Marty G.
DasNdanger writes: “Is there any chance we can have the best of both Wraith worlds – discover a way for them to gain nourishment from regular food, without taking away their ability, or desire, to feed on humans (much like a reformed alcoholic still craves a drink)?”
Answer: Let’s just say there are some very interesting developments on the wraith front this season – and one that will be of particular interest to you…
Mackenzie’s Momma writes: “I was just wondering where you want me to email the link to the pictures we snapped?”
Answer: Hey, it was great finally meeting you! Baron Destructo would love to check out the pics.
Lily writes: “My concerns about “First Contact”, based on the info available:
1) I hope this is a team episode, with all the cast […] and not a Rodney and Dr Jackson centric episode. 2) I hope Rodney is written as the Rodney we know in Atlantis, and not the “SG-1 version of McKay”, just to please the SG-1 fans who might watch the episode because of Michael Shanks.”
Answers: 1) The mid-season two-parter will include various other team members as well. 2) Since it is being written by Martin Gero, a guy who has written more McKay than anyone on staff, I don’t think you have to worry on this count.
Rebekah writes: “Do you have any episodes in the can – or are they all still in varying stages of production? More importantly, my husband heard a rumor – which I know you will not confirm – but he was telling me that he heard that you all are killing off a “major” character.”
Answer: There are no finished episodes (we are still several months away from finals). At present, we are shooting episode 5 (Ghost in the Machine) and prepping episode 6 (The Shrine of Talus). As for that rumor…hunh. Interesting.