Pucker Up, Film Fans!

And the Winner REALLY Is…: The definitive ranking of the greatest actors and actresses in Oscar history

By Ken Grout

Lemon Yellow Books


While my readers and listeners may wonder why a review of a book about the Academy Awards is on my food-related blog, older fans will remember that, before I was talking about food with Jordan Rich as part of “Connoisseur’s Corner” (weekdays at 11:55 AM on WBZ AM 1030), I was a film reviewer for multiple publications and have always been a fan. Also, in addition to the fact that the publisher of this book is LEMON Yellow Books, it is just a DARN FINE BOOK- so there!

As an actor, teacher, and bon vivant, Ken Grout knows how to communicate ideas and engage audiences. And that is proven in this book as much as it is in any of his classes or performances. While there still may be uncomfortable giggles about the “La La Land” / “Moonlight” fiasco, Grout uses his encyclopedic knowledge of film along with a tiebreaking scheme that is the stuff of “Good Will Hunting” or “A Beautiful Mind” to establish a series of lists that serve as the mic-dropping ends to the “who is better?” conversations all film fans have.

Whether you want to know who has the most nominations in which categories 9and so “rank” higher in Grout’s impressive and comprehensive system), the gender, last name, or even the first initial of the most winners, or who dominated the silver screen decade by decade, Grout’s slim and bright (inside and out) volume has the answers. In addition to providing this information (in a way that admittedly hearkens to “Rain Man”), the book is also a great way to find out more about favorite stars and films and also to discover new ones, compete with recommendations for “must see” roles for each winner. There is even a section on film stars who crossed over to TV (and vice versa). So whether you like the big or small screen (or waiting for big screen pics to be available on the small one), this Lemon Yellow Book is absolutely sweet!

Make a Bee-line for Red Stripe (Originally posted 8/17)

While we wait the triumphant return of Boston-based Chef Rachel Klein, it is good to know that she has landed so well…and so close!

Only a 20-minute ride on the Commuter Rail (who wants to drive 95?), the dynamic duo of Red Stripe restaurants (http://redstriperestaurants.com) in Providence and East Greenwich are perfect places for a family meal (including Parents’ Weekend at Brown or RISD), a special night out, or anything else you can think of. Continue reading

More Than Just Roosters: RI food tour offers the world in one city (Originally posted 8/17)

Living in the Boston area, I am more amazed (and frankly more spoiled) by the diversity and quality of the booming food scene. Many is the time when I have been enjoying a meal in my home state and felt there really could be nothing better.

It’s amazing what a $6 train ride can do to one’s perspective!

Recently, my mom asked to take our beloved twins for a weekend. Eager to get away but not keen of dealing with airports, etc., we hopped on the commuter rail and headed south to Providence. As a Brown kid born and bred and a perennial Newport Jazz goer, I had been to the smallest state before, but usually just for day trips that involved a quick bite and maybe a Del’s frozen lemonade. This time, we had the opportunity to take in all the great food and culture Providence had to offer, and we took full advantage of it!

While the Gondola Tour (www.gondolari.com) and the nostalgic visit to Dave & Busters (www.daveandbusters.com) were great, the highlight of the trip had to be the food! We started the weekend with dinner at Al Forno (www.alforno.com) and ended it with a visit to our neighbor Chef Rachel Klein at one of her appropriately-famed Red Stripe restaurants (www.redstriperestaurants.com), In the middle- like the delicious filling in a Boston Cream pie donut from Knead Donuts (www.kneaddoughnuts.com) was the Rhode Island Red Food Tour (www.rhodeislandredfoodtours.com).

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It’s Famous For You: Rhode Island is a GREAT small trip (Originally posted 8/17)

This piece also appeared in The Homesteader

While it may take longer to say “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” (which is the state’s official name) than it is to drive through it. Rhode Island punches well above its weight class in many divisions. In addition to being the world HQ for such international juggernauts as CVS, GTECH, Hasbro (see sidebar), Narragansett Brewing Co. (and over a dozen other breweries), and Textron, it is also the home of Brown University, RI School of Design (aka, RISD) and the original campus of Johnson & Wales University, all of which add to the breadth and depth of intellectual, creative, and culinary clout of the first state to declare independence and still one of the most independent states in the union.

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Lips That Touch Liquor…Are WELCOME Here!: Carrie Nation cuts the line to deliver fine food and fun! (Originally posted 7/17)

While Lizzie Borden may have used hers for matricide, perhaps the most famous ax in Boston is that of (in)famous Temperance leader Carrie Nation. Combining tight morals and loose-fitting clothes, Ms. Nation wielded a weapon that wrecked many a good time.

Perhaps ironically, it is her name that now appears on one of the most fun drinking and dining establishments in Boston!

Located steps away from the State House (the source of Prohibition in the Commonwealth), Carrie Nation Cocktail Club (www.carrienationcocktailclub.com) is a perfect place for legislators, lobbyists, lawyers, and even lovers (or those who want to be such) to linger and lounge while enjoying delicious food, delicious drinks, and perhaps a bit of delicious debauchery.

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The (Copper) House on the Corner: Contemporary Waltham eatery serves booming business sector and beyond (Originally posted 6/17)

As more and more companies pour into the 128 corridor in Waltham, the hospitality industry has being working overtime to handle the traffic.  From new eateries like Whole House Group’s family-friendly Flank to suburban outposts of Bonefish Grill, Posto and Ruth’s Chris, the area is getting to be known for much more than a highway-side Market Basket. While the hotel scene also strives to keep pace, one rentable residence offers the best of both worlds, having tucked into its lower corner a hotel restaurant that is well worth a visit even if you do not intend to stay.

With its tap-laden bar and beer-inspired décor, Copper House Tavern (http://copperhousetavern.com) in the Best Western may appear at first like an after work bar. And it is that- with over 40 craft beers that are conveniently organized by type (e.g., IPA, Pilsner, Belgian-style, cider, etc.) and available in flights so guests can find new favorites all the time, as well as glasses and bottles of wine from near and far, entire menus of Bourbon, Whiskey, Scotch Tequila, Port, and Cognac, and craft cocktails that range from a signature Tito’s vodka-based Kicking Mule to a tantalizingly tasty cinnamon-spiced cranberry whiskey sour to seasonal selections and a handcrafted Sangria.

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