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| Columns |

News And Abuse: Philippe Chow, Por Fin, Victor Café, and Sappy Coffee

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It's A Crazy, Mixed-Up World
Off the EaterWire: "Now open in the Hotel Victor, Victor Café is a Mediterranean bistro belonging to the Bice family of restaurants. Executive chef Julian Baker has opened Bice restaurants around the world and brings to South Beach a menu of classic pasta dishes, salads and sandwiches as well as entrees including Atlantic Salmon bathed in a Mushroom & Bok Choy Teriyaki Broth..."

In related news, later in the year the Hotel Victor will be opening a sushi joint that makes a mean lasagna.

Now Will Mr. Chow Get Steamed?
Philippe Miami has introduced six steamed dishes to its menu:
Dumpling sampler; chicken and broccoli; Chilean sea bass with black bean and garlic sauces; whole fish with scallions and ginger; live Maine lobster with ginger, scallions, and cracked black pepper; and a seasonal vegetable platter available with options of either tofu or flavor.

A Drink For Your Object

This Friday, February 5th, Por Fin

is holding a pre-Valentine's Day sweetheart soirée: 2-for-1 cocktails

and $5 tapitas from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the upstairs lounge. From the

press release: "Gentlemen receive an extra third drink to treat the object of your affection."

I'm not sure what they mean by that, but a free drink is a free drink.

Joe Blows

Not a single one of the 37 caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties of coffee tested by experts at Consumer Reports earned an Excellent or Very Good rating. However, Starbucks House Blend and Green Mountain Signature Nantucket Blend Medium Roast perked to the top of the 14 caffeinated blends that at least earned a Good rating.

Of course you can always do what I do to avoid such common brews: Have your maids deliver a silver tray with fresh cappuccino with

chocolate syrup flower drizzled on top, sugar-filled pourer,

and chilled Fiji water alongside (have your staff check above photo for

presentation ideas).

Anyhooz, details on the coffee tests are in the March issue that's on newstands now -- and here. You might want to make yourself a cup of coffee before reading this -- Consumer Reports can be sort of dry.

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