Here are two sentences from John Kessler's review of The Spence: "I don't remember ordering a bong," and "It’s a frisky thing that caresses and then slaps until the last shard disappears." Here are three ways he describes Richard Blais, whose restaurant he awarded two stars this week: "the man, the brand," "burger baron," and "overwrought punster." In between these phrases, Kessler compliments the restaurant, which focuses more on "good, simple cooking" (albeit with a few parlor tricks) than gimmicks and science tricks. He suggests focusing on appetizers and small plates and sharing meals family-style so that the table can sample a little bit of everything, just in case some of the dishes are better than others. Final verdict: The service at The Spence is great, the sommelier and pastry chef are just as talented as Blais, and the atmosphere is fun (but loud), so go in with a group and expect to have a good time.
THE BLOGS AND THE ELSEWHERE: My Little Foodies try out Bhojanic, Hot Dish Review goes to Park Tavern, Waiting on Martha says people must eat at Haven, Insatiable also takes on The Spence, ATL Food Snob reviews Octopus Bar, and Our Libatious Nature tipples at The Pinewood.