March 22nd, 2008

belgium

La Rusticana, Heverlee

Prompted by juleske here and jenmarya here we went up the road to try La Rusticana in Heverlee last night. Well, on the good side, the food was indeed excellent, the complimentary starters fantastic, my penne boscaiola really heavenly. On the less good side, Anne's after-dinner cup of tea was made with heavily salted water ("Sorry! We used the wrong kettle!"), they initially forgot to bring our tiramisu (which was indeed delicious when it finally arrived), and two euro were mysteriously added to the bill (I don't normally check, but I couldn't actually read the total, added the numbers up for myself, and discovered the mistake). So good marks for food, and considering what juleske and jenmarya have said, we may just have been there on a bad night for service.
earthsea

March Books 35) Wandering Stars

35) Wandering Stars: An Anthology of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction, edited by Jack Dann

Not really very satisfied with this collection of "Jewish sf" stories. Perhaps I am over-sensititve to ethnic stereotypes, even by the ostensibly stereotyped, as a result of too much exposure to paddywhackery myself. It may seem an odd criticism, but I found it much more ethnocentric than I had expected: despite a recurrent theme of various non-human creatures claiming to be Jewish, in fact most of the stories totally play to stereotypes based on the mid-twentieth century Jewish experience in the United States, rather than on any broader exploration of Jewish identity or history. I'd be surprised if a European or Israeli Jew felt there was a lot here they could identify with. There is a truly awful story by George Alec Effinger. Rather disappointing.