5@5 - The razzle dazzle of Champagne
December 30th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

New Year's Eve is all about giving the ol' razzle dazzle: Sparkling garb, sparkling balls dropping, sparkling wine.

For the latter, many opt to toast to the New Year - and the subjective lyrics of "Auld Lang Syne" - with capital-C Champagne.

Daniel Lobsenz, the sommelier at Poste Moderne Brasserie in Washington DC, is one such appreciator of the razzle and dazzle of a bottle of bubbly - but it's a love-hate relationship, especially because Champagne tastes so darn exquisite.

Five Reasons To Not Like Champagne: Daniel Lobsenz
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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Bubbly • Holidays • New Year's • Sip • Think • Wine


$100 popcorn, $20,000 booze and a bougie-free New Year's Eve blowout
December 30th, 2011
02:45 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Maybe you’re part of that now infamous 1 percent. Or maybe you just feel that New Year’s Eve, like your prom, is going to be the single best time of your life. Here are some amazing opportunities for you to shine bright, including a truly epic NYE party.
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Filed under: Bite • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holidays • Las Vegas • New Year's • Travel


Box lunch: Belligerent Boston and caviar-filled morgues
December 30th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Congratulations Boston, you are America's drunkest city. We tip our glass to you, sir. - The Daily Beast

  • Memories of Paul Steffen and the best truckstop in Italy. - Gadling

  • The dearly departed in St. Petersburg were skimped on the Champagne wishes but full of caviar dreams: Police found 175 kilograms of black and red caviar stashed in a city morgue. - Moscow Times

  • You can now view Chicago restaurant inspection results online. - Chicago Tribune

  • Skip the Champagne rain this New Year's and raise a pint to 2012. - The Oregonian
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


How to buy Champagne (or its cheaper, just as cheery cousins)
December 30th, 2011
10:30 AM ET
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So, the New Year's Eve shindig hosting has fallen to you. Your guests will likely expect Champagne or some analogue thereof. Now is not the time to defy expectation. Here are a few tips for getting a banging bottle of bubbly without breaking the bank.

Bubbles, bubbles - no toil, no trouble

- If you wanna go big with the Dom Perignon or vintage Veuve, do that for the first glass. Raise a toast, make a fuss - then switch to the less expensive (but just as delicious stuff).

- Less expensive, you say? Oui. It needn't be capital-C Champagne, which to be labeled as such, must come from the Champagne region of France.

There's some smashing stuff out there to be sure - and a side effect of climate change may be that Champagne grapes are yielding their tastiest, earliest crops in ages. Master sommelier Richard Betts swears by Champagne Krug as the "pinnacle" and says "Their entry-level Krug M.V. Cuvée is rich, round, complex and a great partner to food, family and friends."
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Filed under: Bubbly • Holidays • HolidayShopping • New Year's • Shopping • Sip • Wine


Breakfast buffet: National baking soda day
December 30th, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Shake and bake, baby - December 30 is National Baking Soda Day.

While this holiday may not exactly make you want to stick a spoon in the baking soda jar, don't forget that this little white powdery miracle is what makes all of your favorite baked treats come to life.

Baking soda is a leavening agent, meaning it releases carbon dioxide and has a nifty way of poofing up batter, especially in treats like cakes and pancakes. It also enhances the texture of fried foods and gives them a little uplift.
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Coffee klatsch
December 30th, 2011
05:00 AM ET
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Pssst! Got a sec to chat?

We are utterly thrilled when readers want to hang out and talk – whether it's amongst themselves or in response to pieces we've posted. We want Eatocracy to be a cozy, spirited online home for those who find their way here.

Consider the daily Coffee Klatsch post as your VIP lounge – the primary comments thread for readers who'd like to chat about topics not related to the articles we're running. That way, everyone knows where to find each other, and each post's comments section remains on topic.
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Filed under: Buzz • Coffee Klatsch


5@5 - You might be an amateur diner if...
December 29th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Editor's Note: Ron Eyester is the owner and chef of Rosebud restaurant and Family Dog bar in Atlanta. He doesn't like when people come to his restaurant and move around the chairs or pretend it's their birthday. You can also find him on Twitter as the Angry Chef.

As a chef and restaurateur, although the nature of food is undoubtedly the primary source of my passion, I am very intrigued by human behavior and how our relationships with people truly impact the dynamic of our business. As the owner of a neighborhood restaurant, I feel it is absolutely essential to have a vested interest in my immediate community and allow our neighborhood’s character help shape the culture of our restaurant.

I am very proud of the relationships that my staff and I have developed with many of our regular guests, but there is also another “special demographic of folks” that are worth mentioning.
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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Etiquette • Restaurants • Think


Second helpings of 2011's most popular posts
December 29th, 2011
03:45 PM ET
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Lists! Lists! Lists! At this point in the year, our brains are collectively ground down to cornmeal mush, and second helpings of some tasty posts from the past twelve months seem like just the ticket. Tomorrow, we'll share our personal favorites, but today, we're serving up the top ten most read, shared and commented-upon posts from 2011.

Pull up a chair, strap on your feedbag and feast on the posts that posts that got folks clicking, chatting and passing along.

Most read

1. My first Thanksgiving with white people

2. Most honey sold in U.S. grocery stores not worthy of its name

3. Chocolate company CEO Pietro Ferrero dies in biking accident

4. The truth about Mexican food

5. Starbucks barista spills the beans, gets canned
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Filed under: Favorites • Feature • List • Year In Review


Box lunch: The World Series of Beer Pong and grape strategies
December 29th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Our kind of athletics: The annual World Beer Pong Series returns to - where else? - Sin City. - Las Vegas Review-Journal


  • In Spain, eating 12 grapes in 12 seconds at midnight on New Year’s Eve is held in high superstitious regard. Here's how to do it without choking. - Food Republic


  • Velveeta Cheesy Skillets take a bite out of Hamburger Helper sales. In related news, we're now "a nation whose Hamburger can no longer be helped." - Gawker


  • Sorry Charlie, no more topless restaurants in Montreal. - CTV News


  • You can now ponder that new Honda Accord purchase over your Salade Niçoise: Car dealerships rev up on-site restaurants. - Nation's Restaurant News
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


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