Monday, August 16, 2010

I’m Infatuated: Spotlight on Immaculate Infatuation

Here at Where The Style Things Are I browse through hundreds of restaurant reviews looking for the newest, most fun, the best. I look at professional food critics reviews, popular food blogs, and the random promotion of a place by a blog like mine, without much direction. Like menupages reviews, I feel like the reviews are all over the place and nearly every place has some horrible review by a competitor and one praising it from the owner’s brother. What’s a gal to do?

Presenting to you Immaculate Infatuation, the fresh, user-friendly no BS food blog by Andrew Steinthal and Chris Stang. How it works: They give the restaurant a rating on a scale of 0-10 (if you’re one of those types that likes numbers, this is awesome) and a price category with a comprehensive review of the food. They were kind enough to chat me up about everything from their restaurant lust lists to coupons.

AMNY So you guys are in the music business. How exactly did you get started writing about food? What's your favorite part? What's the hardest part?

Well, we've always loved food and dining out, and after years of being our friends' and co-workers' go-to resource for the "where should we eat tonight?" question, we decided it was time to take our recommendations public. The music industry is a social business, and being out all the time seeing shows and eating dinners really paved the way for this whole thing start. Since we post a new review or feature every day, the most difficult part is finding the time and energy to grind out reviews late at night or early in the morning. And paying the credit card bill every month is painful. Without a doubt, the best part is when we get random emails from people we've never met telling us how awesome our site is. That makes it all worth it.

Glad I could be the random email this time. A blog cared for and written by two people must be difficult - how do you divide up the responsibilities?

We split everything right down the middle - two reviews each a week.

I love your approach - no BS, just good food. If something sucks, you'll tell it like it is. Have you had any just absolutely terrible meals? If so, would you discount that restaurant forever or do you give second chances?

The worst meal we've ever had in NYC was at Shang. The review speaks for itself. Worst. Place. Ever. How that dude did well on Top Chef Masters is beyond us. That place is terrible and we'll never go back there.

Noted. What are your thoughts on things like Groupon, Scoutmob, etc? Lame or cool?

We definitely support them. We're totally down with making it more affordable for people to eat out at good restaurants in New York City. We just want to know how many more of these deals-on-meals groups can possibly exist. The marketplace seems very crowded. Even Gilt Group and Rue La La are getting in the game. It feels like we get an email every day from some new service offering 50% off at Boqueria. Of them all, our favorite is Blackboard Eats. It's simple, easy to use and their restaurant selection is excellent. Scoutmob has been impressive too. But we just don't see how they can all survive.

Agreed. My inbox is inundated with daily emails from so many places, I just end up deleting them all in frustration. I know asking you your one favorite restaurant or dish is like asking me what my one favorite pair of Keds is - so just give me a lust list. What do you go back to time and time again?

Some of dishes we’re always in the mood for...

Artichoke Dip at Freemans
Pork Buns at Momofuku Ssam/Noodle Bar
Ramen at Ippudo
Oysters at Marlow & Sons
Ribs at Georgia's Eastside BBQ
Clam Pizza @ ABC Kitchen
Baked Skate @ Apizz
Lobster Roll @ Luke's Lobster
Shack Burger @ Shake Shack
Fried Chicken @ Pies 'N Thighs

We could go on and on...


mmm…Luke’s. image via Thrillist

I can single-handedly destroy 3 shrimp rolls from Luke’s. True story. Favorite categories on your site? I love "Wasting your Time and Money" and "Laughing at Euros in Crazy Outfits." Because sometimes all I want to do is go to Felix and laugh at Euros in Crazy Outfits.

Yeah, obviously the Wasting Your Time and Money tag is a fun one. Bad reviews, by nature, tend to be more entertaining than positive ones. That being said, we're not going out looking for places to slam. We just hate pissing away money on bad food as much as anyone, and sometimes a place needs to be called out.Laughing At Euros In Crazy Outfifts is another good one, but we generally stay away from most Euro spots...that's not really our scene. Of all the "Perfect For" tags, some of our favorites are also some of our most popular: First/Early In The Game Dates, Chronic Brunch, Dinner With The Parents and Girls Night Out.

Any place you're dying to try that you haven't been to yet?

Neither of us have had the luxury of eating at five star restaurants like Per Se, Le Bernardin, Daniel or Jean-Georges. Those are all places we'd love to go, but can't fit into our already ridiculous restaurant budget. If anyone out there wants to take us, we promise to be good company.

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take us there, too. image via luxury insider

Let's try a little word association:

Prix Fixe - Torrisi Italian Specialties
Daniel Boulud - Divorced
Broccoli Rabe - Can I order a different side?
Restaurant Week - Blows...
Betty Crocker - Nice ass?
Transfats - Put way too many of them in my body
Chick food - Pinkberry
STK - Worst Place Ever

What's next for Immaculate Infatuation?

A lot more focus on video. A redesigned, easier to use website. An app, and so much more. It's all happening.

Support the guys by visiting their site, Immaculate Infatuation, get their twitter feed @immaculateinfat , and become a fan on Facebook. Check out the new video with Surf Lodge Executive Chef Sam Talbot in their webseries, launched today here.

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