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December 14, 2000
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Santa Says You've Been Naughty

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Christmas 2000

Ho ho ho ..no that's not the name of a new outcall service featuring three dancers direct to your room dressed like Santa's salacious elves. I'm Santa Claus and that's my signal that Christmas time is nigh, and Santa knows whose been bad and good in restaurants over the past year. But I'm not in a charitable mood today...so I've got a bag of switches for the places who weren't good for goodness sakes...and they better not shout or cry.....

Santa knows when you've been sleeping Julian Serrano, and he knows when you're awake....which isn't often, to his way of seeing things. What has displeased Santa most is that you've barely altered your menu at Picasso over the past year. For a restaurant that got the full big deal p.r. push from the Bellagio Flackmeisters, and one with world class aspirations, this cookie cutter approach to gourmet dining is inexcusable. So they'll be no milk and Mrs. Fields for you this year---only a cookbook, and some free advice to get some inspiration, or lose the pretensions.

Speaking of cookbooks, Santa says don't pout and don't cry Julian, because Hubert Keller's French Laundry Cookbook may be just the ticket to wake you up. It is one of the few recipe books beloved by professional chefs and home cooks alike. It makes a perfect gift for any serious foodie.

Sad to say Serrano that you're not the only naughty one getting no presents this year. They'll be no rooty toot toots or rummy tum tums for Alessandro Stratta either. All he gets is a big piece of rancid headcheese for spending more time globetrotting than at the stoves at Renoir. And Renoir's waiters, and the ones at Aureole, get only a bag of coal for having the worst service at any restaurant where Santa has dropped over two hundred samolians for dinner. Not even that trio of sexy little elves I was with was impressed. But let's leave santa's personal life out of this. Ho Ho Ho.

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