Ivon considers his menu options.
Ivon considers his menu options.

Last night, I went to dinner with Special Features Producer Ivon Bartok and actor Brian J. Smith (SGU’s Lt. Matthew Scott). We ended up at Quattro (now Q4) on West Fourth for an Italian extravaganza. We ordered and were immediately presented with a wonderful little amuse-bouche of bacon-wrapped sablefish (?) served with a sundried tomato pesto.

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Then, we moved on to our first course – the house antipasto platter that included, among many other things, a heavenly grilled radicchio-wrapped mozzarella and proscuitto in cherry vinaigrette.

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Then, we moved onto a second course served family style – a double pasta portion – the house special Spaghetti Quattro (black beans and lots of garlic!) and the not-on-the-menu-but-you-should-ask for it-anyway Fettuccine Tartufati (Portobello mushrooms and truffle cream). The latter, by the way, has the Carl Binder seal of approval.

Fettuccine Tarufati (left) Spaghetti Quattro (right).
Fettuccine Tarufati (left) Spaghetti Quattro (right).

 Speaking of Carl – the first few times I took him out to dinner, he would ignore my recommendations, much to his regret. Eventually, he got into the habit of actually listening to me when I said “Try the crispy duck!” or “Get the squash agnolotti with black truffle butter!”. Last night, both Ivon and Brian went with my suggestion for their mains – the Galleto al Mattone (marinated de-boned Cornish game hen grilled with Riviera herbs, garlic and pepperoni), another house specialty. Needless to say, no one regretted the choice.

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For dessert, we decided to go with a platter comprised of four selections: house tiramisu, warm chocolate cake with home made ice cream, a vanilla crème brulee, and the sour cherries with phyllo and mascarpone cheese. After seven long sugarless weeks, I finally partook.

Desserts!
Desserts!
Ivon is stunned!
Ivon is stunned!
Brian is overwhelmed!
Brian is overwhelmed!
I'm armed and ready!  Note the crazy eyes.
I’m armed and ready! Note the crazy eyes.

All around, a most satisfying and delicious meal. I believe I counted about a half dozen “Wow!”’s from Brian.

Brian J. Smith is hankering for a fan Q&A.
Brian J. Smith is hankering for a fan Q&A.

Anyway, in addition to food and the wine, we talked – about the show, the franchise, and the future. Yesterday, I mentioned that the people who worked with Zac Efron described him as “very professional, incredibly focused, grounded, courteous and kind”. Well, the exact same words could be used to describe Brian as well. Thoughtful and well-spoken, he’s also surprisingly low-key, not at all interested in the trappings of celebrity. Rather than partying it up, he prefers quiet time spent reading, watching a good movie, or working out. He expressed a desire to do some stage work this winter. I’ll keep you all posted should you find yourselves in the New York area in late 2009 and early 2010.

Brian, by the way, is super keen to do his own fan Q&A on this blog.  So, once I’ve organized and sent off the questions for David Blue, I’m going to start taking questions for SGU’s very own Lieutenant Matthew Scott!  So, what would you like to ask him?

Julia Benson (Lt. Vanessa James) - photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.
Julia Benson (Lt. Vanessa James) – photo courtesy and copyright MGM Television.

Speaking of our impressive cast, I want to make mention of yet another recurring player who has really stepped up over the course of this first season. Julia Benson (formerly Julia Anderson – She claims the name change was the result of her recent marriage but I suspect it has more to do with that whole fugitive from justice thing. But I digress.) plays the role of Second Lieutenant Vanessa James and, like much of our supporting cast, impressed early and continues to do so with performances that have won her the respect and confidence of the entire writing-producing team. I mention Julia because we were watching the director’s cut of Pain the other day, an episode in which she delivers one stunner of a scene. I’m also looking forward to her nice, meaty moments in an upcoming episode.

Running through a scene with stunt coordinator James Bamford.
Running through a scene with stunt coordinator James Bamford.

Well, with my Tokyo trip a mere two months away, I’m putting the finishing touches on my travel plans. On past visits, I’ve relied on the city’s cab drivers to get me where I want to go – with varying degrees of success. On this visit, however, I’ve decided to be a little more adventurous and hazard the Tokyo subway. Last time I was in town, my friend Jessica took me through the paces (http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/december-1-2008-tokyo-travel-day-9-my-big-subway-adventure-checking-out-the-iron-chefs-dark-digs-and-i-take-the-day-off/) so I sent her an email today requesting her input. I wrote:

“I’m thinking of using the subway and wanted to now about that all-inclusive card you had. Does it allow you to travel everywhere in the system? For how long? What is the cost?

Thanks,

Joe

P.S. Tokyo Times article, February 12, 2010 = “Remains of Tourist Found”: Yesterday, transit officials discovered the desiccated remains of a Canadian tourist almost two months after his mysterious disappearance. It is presumed he got lost on his way to eat some matcha opera cake at the Sadaharu Aoki Patisserie in Roppogni and perished after getting stuck in a turnstile on the Hibiya line. Next of kin have been notified.”

Hey, check it out. Stargate: Universe made the list of TV Guide’s 10 Most Anticipated New Falls Shows: http://www.tvguide.com/News/10-Anticipated-New-1009428.aspx

Pics of Zac Efron with actress Ming Na (SGU’s Camile Wray): http://twitpic.com/gcrz4

Some on set photos from Stargate: Atlantis’s fifth season:

Actress Leela Savasta (Captain Alicia Vega) at gun school with armorer Rob Fournier.
Actress Leela Savasta (Captain Alicia Vega) at gun school with armorer Rob Fournier.

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Today’s entry is dedicated to DemonHunter’s niece Hannah (Happy Birthday!) and Netty (Happy 1st Anniversary!).

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RebeccaH
RebeccaH

Regarding the Q&As with SGU personnel, it’s a bit difficult for some of us to come up with questions before we’ve seen the actual performances in the actual show. Is it possible that some of these actors etc. will be willing to do a second Q&A down the line?

deeinsouthafrica

Ohh, so this is what it feels like. I’m never usually awake when Joe posts a new blog. I feel honoured.

…and sleepy…

chevron7
chevron7

Gah!

Cheers, Chev

cherluvya

Hey Joe,

The dinner…the pictures of the food are the best. I like the desserts the best I think. Bartok was moaning over how full he was..went looking for tea. Brian is even quite on twitter. Tweets, but is very reserved in comparison to others. The Q&A will be interesting. Have no idea what to ask? hmmmmmm

Brian: You were in theatre…did you have hopes of TV or movies while there? Do you find yourself missing it? Loved the poster, did you know you had been chosen for the center, or did it come as a surprise?

That’s about as good as I can do for not knowing SGU. That will change and then I will give you more questions, with or without a Q&A. hehehehe

Thank you for the pictures. It was a light and fun blog.

Best to you Joe,
Cheryl

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

very nice meal. The dessert tray made me gain 4 pounds just looking at your pictures. And I have to admit to becoming hooked on creme brules after eating at Fuel. Luckily, there arent that many place around here capable of serving such fare, so my wallet and my beltline might be able to maintain some balance.
I also agree with RebeccaH. While I can IMDB or google the actors, it’s hard to decide on questions for someone whose performances I’ve not seen on screen. This is especially true of your generally younger cast. Of course, others in here do an excellent job of generating questions, so any I come up with tend to be redundant anyways.
As far as the subway system. I managed to navigate it solo as a child. On the other hand, my adoptive mother got lost on her second day taking me to school(luckily I had already memorized the way). I have every confidence you’ll manage to find your way out of the maze. And there is always the cabs for when you get lost,frustrated, and run out of time. And besides, you fail to post for a day and the Tokyo police will be overwhelmed with missing persons reports from overseas.

sylvia
sylvia

Love the photos.
And, so very glad to see Brian J. Smith with a proper and overwheliming feeding! More than makes up for the saimin snack.

Hope no one’s hands got in the way of the “crazed man’s” fork when the dessert platter showed up.

Ming and Zac photo – nice! Zac looks different without the long hair covering his face – looks good.

duneknight
duneknight

so how are you gonna kill them when you become too close to them.

Sparrow_hawk

Dinner looks delicious. A friend just moved to Seattle, so now I have a good excuse to travel to the Northwest corner of the US, and it’s just a short hop from there to Vancouver – and Fuel! Maybe I’ll get to try it eventually.

Last trip to Tokyo we took the subway which then became an elevated train (kind of like in Chicago) from the stop near Tokyo station out to Akihabara. It was quick and easy. Just remember to retrieve your ticket when you put it in the little turnstile gate – you need it to get out at your final stop. Or you may ride forever ‘neath the streets of Tokyo and be the gaijin who never returned!

Rob Ward

I’m always so jealous, the food you seem to pick always looks so good, now I’m really hungry, shame it’s 2 o’clock in the morning here all good food places are closed and I have already had tea/super sad

Quick question, what are the dimensions of the Destiny?, I don’t think it has being stated, is it a secret?

Night all

Rob

Amz

Wow that meal looks nice. I think you make the best food critic ever, particularly with those photos. The presentation alone made my mouth water! Although I probably would have liked some greens with the main meal.

I’ll be thinking up some questions for Brian Smith just as soon as I’ve finished work for the day! I’m really enjoying all your blog features at the moment, by the way!

Cheers,

Amz

CatholicDenise
CatholicDenise

The food looks great but beyond my budget. Thankfully I have an Italian restaurant near me that prepares delicious meals I can afford. smile

I have to say that you guys are all gorgeous! (Special wink to Ivon!) grin (Don’t worry, it’s just a wink, I’m the wrong generation to be making a pass! LOL!!)

I have just one question for Brian, since, like the others, I don’t know what to ask:

Have you decided on a Cavalier King Charles or is that still an open question?

pastrygirl
pastrygirl

Beautiful food pix, as usual! I have to know, what is the orange garnish on the tiramisu and the sour cherry/ mascarpone Napoleon? Professional hazard…

The new foster husky is settling in well, so far. Hasn’t stolen anything yet and carted it out the doggie door!

Gen
Gen

Alicia Vega! I loved her. Sorry we didn’t get more time with her on Atlantis. Ah well.

Hey, am I the only one who is often hungry after reading this blog?

Sherry Harris
Sherry Harris

Yeah, the food looks great. BUT! Look at the lights that shine above Ivon’s head, I mean come on. He is really cute.
Brian is so crazy for food, I imagine he was in awe.
Thank you so much for the blog tonight. I’ve got a Question for Brian: Where the hell is my poster?

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Mmmmmm…tiramisu… I recently said getting stuck between Elric and Zenith was like being the ladyfingers in the tiramisu. It’s a long story, involving an inn, pole dancing, whips, and too many spirits.

Sparrow will understand… wink

Everything on the menu looks delicious!!! Including Ivon and Brian!! grin Oh, ha!! I thought that pic of you was Ivon…you look so young there, Joe, crazy eyes and all. I guess then you all look delicious, in a totally non-creepy kinda way. (Todd thinks so, too… wink )

So, hey!! Guess what I just did??! Well…see…it’s been a craptastic week. C.R.A.P.T.A.S.T.I.C. I even had to go to work today to catch up on some stuff – and it was a gorgeous day too – 80 degrees, sunny and low humidity – clear, deep-blue sky and a gentle breeze. Perfect. And I had to sit in the trailer of horrors. So, after work I did what any normal person would do – I had a couple glasses of wine out on the deck of a local bayfront restaurant, then had a few bites of dark chocolate…and finally had my hubby drive semi-numb me over to our urgent care facility, where I bravely (and for the first time ever) got a steroid shot in my shoulder. Yes…yes…I finally caved and sought treatment for my ‘keeps me awake at night and I can’t even lift the milk carton’ shoulder.

Hopefully the steroid will work, but I dunno – thing still hurts like the dickens. I am determined not to take pain pills unless absolutely necessary…but it’s looking like I might have to if this doesn’t work. I live with so much pain that my tolerance is very high, but this is finally wearing me down. He also is sending me to a pain specialist…just to see if I have ‘we don’t know what the hell’s wrong with you’, a.k.a. fibromyalgia. I really hope I don’t, seeing as how doctors just lump everyone they can’t diagnose with anything else into the fibromyalgia category. But I do know if my cat just steps on my thigh, it about sends me through the roof…so…yeah…there’s something going on, so I better find out what it is while I have the medical insurance.

Now I’m gonna go curl up with Wolverine, or Elric…haven’t decided which. Take care, Joe – and everyone – and have a good evening!

das

amber
amber

I went to Tokyo for the first time this summer – I speak about 3 words of Japanese and recognize about that many characters, and I managed just fine. It is well organized and most things are posted in English.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Wait…I can’t remember…is Sherry Harris somehow related to Brian??

If so…I meant the boys looked delightful

So, I’m reading this thing the doc gave me. Might have ‘frozen shoulder syndrome’…which can take over 6 months to see improvement, and up to 2 years for it to get better on it’s own.

Oh, yeah…THIS is gonna be fun. razz Of course, I got over the plantar fasciitis in 6 months, without steroids, when they told me it would take at least a year. Of course, I had come down with pneumonia, and I think it was all being off my feet and in bed so much that really helped me heal up from that.

Joe – do you suffer from any chronic pain (besides that caused by disgruntled fans and annoying smilies)? If so, how do you cope, and if not…count yourself lucky, old man. wink

das

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

‘…its own’. I’m not only smilie-happy, I am also apostrophe-happy. grin

das

Deni
Deni

@Das: No kidding “bravely” – oi. Flu shots here today, and while Mr. Deni is like nothing happened, my arm is aching and red and on fire. Re your shoulder pain, I went through it for YEARS and can relate to what you’re going through. I’ll email you tomorrow with something I found works absolute wonders (no pills or drugs) if you’re interested. Feel better!

ytimynona
ytimynona

Is that chocolate dribbled in weird designs all over the dessert plate? Mmmm.

Oh YAY!!! I have so many questions for Brian as well! I pretty much love him and David! Hopefully there are no repeats…

Questions for Brian Jacob Smith:
1) I have heard you are a classically trained stage actor (at Juilliard!). What is your favorite part of being on stage/performing before a live audience?
2) I’ve heard of your exploits with Crossfit (differently fun, but effectively painful). Do you workout because Lt. Scott is a buff person, or for your own reasons, or both?
3) Have you had any adventures in Vancouver you can regale us with?
4) How do you get into the mindset of your character? How much research did that require?
5) What is your favorite kind of cookie? How about your favorite kind of candy?
6) Have you had any experiences where you overhear people talking about Stargate and they have no clue you’re an actor in it?
7) What is a “corpser”? Or is that something I hafta wait until the show premieres to find out?
8) You are living every fan’s dream. Were you (like David) a fan of Stargate before you got the job?
9) Which do you prefer: Star Wars or Star Trek?
10) You and the rest of the cast all seem like best friends. Did you know any of the cast members before you got the SGU gig?
11) Does Cassie come to work with you every day? Does she hang out in your trailer or come to the set with you too?
12) Having puppysat Cassie, do you now think you will be getting a dog?
13) Just out of curiosity: are you single? ;-D
Seriously: thanks for answering our questions, and for the pictures and updates on Twitter, and for being so awesome to your fans so far!!! It’s people like you that make us so excited about SGU!!!

ytimynona
ytimynona

@Das Sherry is his mom =D

ytimynona
ytimynona

I agree with Das, the haircut makes you look MUCH younger, Joe!!!

ytimynona
ytimynona

@Das Oh, and I hope you find something that works and feel better soon!

Airelle
Airelle

Probably a good idea to look into the pass for the subway, if you want to give it a shot again. Might be cheaper. (good luck)
Weather wise for your trip,(temps) cold, hot?, not sure I remember if you said.
Man that cornish hen and all those food pictures, wow, thanks, looks soooo delicious. Making me hungry, as usual. will grab my bottle of water and head far away…such temptation. and all you fellas too!! (**heavy sigh*) Good night Joe.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Deni – Oh, yes! I would be very interested in the information! When I was a toddler, my shoulders used to dislocate quite easily – I’ve had weak shoulders all my life since (which was a real pain when I used to do weight training, because I couldn’t do any shoulder exercises without suffering for weeks afterwards ).

I really don’t mind needles (Mr. Das, on the other hand, nearly faints at the sight of one). When I was young I loved getting tetanus shots because my arm felt ‘bruised’ for days afterwards, and I liked to touch it and make it hurt – I dunno, kinda felt good to me. Of course, if my sister dared touch it, then I went crying to mom that she hurt me. twisted

@ ytimynona – Oh, great. Well, I’m just gonna shut up now. This is the one disadvantage to the younger cast – we ‘cougars’ really have to watch what we say now with all the moms roaming about, keeping an eye on their boys. razz Well, I’ll just keep gushing my imaginary men…Elric, Zenith, Hathaway, Wolverine…

Speaking of which…

Joe, just read the Wolverine arc, Not Dead Yet (Ellis/Yu – collecting Wolverine #119-122) from c. 1997. I have it in hard cover, and finally had some free time to read it. Pretty good story…good ending with Wolverine questioning his morality (as opposed to his usual animal/man conflict). I thought it was well worth the read.

das