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Eating like tourists

By BRIAN DUFF  |  December 23, 2008

A city should support the quirky along with the novel, and so more people should try Chef et al., another notable new spot this year. They have that hanger steak, like the rest of the crowd, but it's amid an ambitious menu that the chef has the skill to deliver. The food is served in an atmosphere that is so oddly eager, in a USM-side space strange enough both inside and out, that it develops into the sort of meal you enjoy and then find yourself talking about afterwards in slightly ponderous tones.

The sensation is a bit like becoming a tourist yourself, visiting a slightly skewed universe here in our own city. Your visit is not likely to spoil, by way of ontology, anything about the experience there, unless you are a stickler for certain tropes of formal dinner service. It is not better and realer without you but rather an unreal improvisation that your presence can only enrich.

Brian Duff can be reached at bduff@une.edu.

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