Here’s what food editor and restaurant critic Jill Wendholt Silva is into right now:
“The Get Down”
I got my Netflix notice that the second season of “The Get Down” dropped on Friday. This flashback series traces the death of ’70s disco and the convergence of pop, rock, jazz, funk — all before rap and hip-hop entered the mainstream. It stars a superb but mostly unknown cast of teens trying to claw their way out of the crime-infested South Bronx, with grainy news flashbacks, great sets and outrageous fashion.
Now, I’m a Jimmy Smits fan from way back (“L.A. Law”), so I might have watched the first season just for that fact, but my 18-year-old daughter is more interested in Nas (who narrates), singing along with Herizen Guardiola and relating to the poetic side of Jaden Smith (Will Smith’s son). I was her age for “Saturday Night Fever.” But the story told here merges both our musical worlds into a conversation for the generations.
A few years ago, I was accidentally hooked on the ’Hawks during a buzzer-beating game at Allen Fieldhouse with Iowa State. A game, I might add, I attended only so I could see my son play trumpet in the Men’s Basketball Band. To my utter surprise, the atmosphere was electric and the athleticism sheer poetry in motion. But what really keeps me coming back? Forget those one-and-dones. I get attached to the Frank Masons, Jamari Traylors and Landen Lucases. You know, the ones who struggle, stick it out, become great players — and get a dang degree. For me, the personal story arcs are the most interesting. Thanks, sports staff and columnists Vahe Gregorian and Sam Mellinger, for further sucking me in.
I was a latecomer to “Downton Abbey,” then spent a vacation binge-watching multiple seasons to catch up with the Crawleys. Then I gathered with friends for a cup of tea every Sunday night for the next season or two. And then, all too soon, it was over. Or so I thought. While on spring break, the same friend who got me started on this PBS period soap opera handed me a copy of “Belgravia.” Knowing that I rarely find the time to read novels of the non-food variety, she insisted it was perfect beach reading. At 400 pages! I figured Lin-Manuel Miranda got the idea for “Hamilton” while beach reading, so I pushed myself to dig in, despite a huge cast of characters to keep track of.
But it was worth sorting out: Julian Fellowes spins another tale of aristocratic England in the mid-1840s London. Not surprisingly, Fellowes uses historical consultant Lindy Woodhead to get all the important details just right.
Ladies, do you have space for this in your reticule? Hint: It’s not as magical as Hermione’s, but it’s still important to solving the mystery of an artistocratic inheritance.
I spent the last few months zeroing in on sustainable seafood for a project I was working on. And, hey, octopus is a weird food that’s really not so weird. It has been a staple on Lidia’s menu for years. It’s showing up on an increasing number of menus lately, including Jarocho Pescados y Mariscos (where it is sometimes served in tacos) and the Antler Room (where it was recently served with cassava). When properly prepared, it is tender and delicious, with a bit more chew than scallops. Like oysters, octopus is a sustainable seafood choice. Now I’m moving on to barnacles. Seriously.
Ibis Bakery’s cheese slipper
I never tire of cheese slippers, a loaf of sourdough bread marbled with bubbles of Tillamook medium-aged cheddar cheese, Alma Creamery smoked cheddar and Cedar Grove garlic cheese curds ($9). My favorite ways to eat it are straight up, as an egg sandwich or with fresh sliced tomatoes, when in season.
The slipper got its start at the legendary West Side bakery Fervere. Since Ibis in Lenexa bought Fervere, I’ve had a better chance of snagging the cheese slippers because what was once a Saturday-only offering moved onto the regular breads menu at both locations. The cheese slipper still sells out, but I’m thinking that when Ibis moves into its in-the-works Grand Boulevard location across from The Star, the world will be a much cheesier place.