Jersey Shore Finale & Reunion Leaves Too Much Left Unanswered

22 01 2010

Photo courtesy of Life & Style

Anyone thinking that the MTV hit reality show Jersey Shore was going to go out with a bang might have been disappointed in its finale last night. Afterall, this is the show that habitually showed the cast partying, creepin, fist pumping and hooking up so what less could the last episode of the season bring? Unfortunately, the hard partying ways were put aside in favor of a more emotional goodbye.

Everyone (except for Pauly D, unfortunately) seemed to get their time to shine during the finale. Vinny finally got The Situation back for the cottage cheese/smelly room incident, albeit not in as nasty a fashion with his “Situation’s best girl” joke; The Situation proved just how big of a man-whore he was by creepin it on a girl who may or may not have been legal; JWoww got to chase her gorillas; Snooki brought the only glimpse of a party by living it up on the boardwalk as she talked to guys; and Sammi and Ronnie dealt with being apart for the first night since they got together due to Ronnie’s stupid actions.

Seeing the aftermath of Ronnie’s arrest at the beginning of the episode was interesting, if not a little out of place. I’ve heard from other viewers that they thought last week’s episode was running long so they changed the channel. It’s understandable that MTV would want to leave Ronnie’s arrest as a cliffhanger, it didn’t make sense to use it as a lead in to the season finale — viewers were going to be watching last night no matter what.

While I’m disappointed that the cast didn’t party it up on their last night, it was nice to see them all together at the house. If they had been at a club they would have been all over the place, but them sitting down and reminiscing about the summer was a good change of pace no matter how staged or scripted it was. Ithelps that I swear the chair Vinny was sitting in was the one I picked up from St. Vincent dePaul for my old dorm room. And here’s to hoping that The Situation’s dreams of a second season,  no matter how stale the material may become over the next few months, becomes a reality.

The cast exit was also a little awkward and stilted. Did anyone else notice that Sammi didn’t actually ever leave the house? Each person was shown hugging everyone else and peacing out, but Sammi hugged Ronnie as viewers were treated to a nauseauting vignette of their short relationship in Seaside and then he leaves, but she was never shown exiting the house, though Snooki was apparently the last one there.

And then, viewers were treated to the reunion show, which begged so many questions. Why was Angelina there? What caused Sammi’s emotional breakdown? Did Ronnie and Sammi really break up?Does the cast really hate each other? They sure seemed to last night.

Angelina left on the third episode of the show. Everyone in the house seemed happy to see her leave, and viewers at home were given a lot of time to forget she even existed. Yet, yesterday she showed up on both Rachel Ray and the reunion show. Get it through your heads MTV, no one wants her at events like that. Please don’t invite her back for a second season.

And thankfully, a quick google search led to the information that Ronnie and Sammi did NOT break up for good last night, Fox411 is reporting that they’re giving it another shot here. The information isn’t suprising as Ronnie and Sammi had a pretty volatile relationship on the shore as well. They seemed to break up more times than any healthy couple should, but as they explained last night, most people don’t start living together before they start dating. Hopefully the fact that they aren’t around each other 24/7 has led to some normalcy in the relationship.

The reunion show provided some great fist pumping memories, and the unseen footage at the end only endeared me to Snooki more. I hope that we can see her Snookin’ for Love, maybe sister-station VH1 can pick that show up….

I guess all that’s left to do is wait and see what happens to our favorite Shore friends next summer, or, if you’re lucky enough to live near a club that is being graced with their presence, to hit up the club and try to get a picture with them. Anything more than a picture would probably scare me…

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Palomino mixes excellent views of city, with Mediterranean flair

10 12 2009

We’re going to try something a little different today at The Good, The Bad and the Really Crappy – a restaurant review.

While this blog is devoted to reviewing books and movies on a timely basis – I promise there are quite a few in the pipeline (Rhett Butler’s People and The Angel’s Game, as well as a fun breakdown of holiday movies perfect for any occasion) – a restaurant review is necessary because I couldn’t find any online when I was trying to discover anything about a particular restaurant in downtown Cincinnati.

Palomino Restaurant Rotisseria and Bar

505 Vine Street

Cincinnati, OH 45202

Hours: M-Th 11 am – 11 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am – 12 am, Sun 3 pm – 11 pm

CINCINNATI – An excellent view of Fountain Square, some delicious food and a contemporary ambiance all recommend Palomino Restaurant Rotisseria and Bar to the savvy diner in downtown Cincinnati. But small portions, high prices, loud music and a confusing atmosphere may keep just as many people away.

Palomino, located on the upper level of 505 Vine Street in the same building (but separate from) Macy’s, is upbeat, trendy and elegant. The menu, featuring a European inspired re-imagining of American classics, is broad enough – from the hardwood fired pizza and the fresh seafood, to the pasta, steaks, chicken and pork – for anyone to find something they’d like.

The waiter, was very attentive and even moved our table so my friend and I could both see the windows, recommended the spit-roasted pork loin with mustard apple au jus over the baked four cheese penne, which he said was good, but no where near the pork. Served on a bed of Parmesan mashed potatoes, the succulent pork melts away from the bone. The hint of mustard in the au jus, which serves to further marinate the meat, provides just enough flavor to the dish and complements the potatoes excellently.

My friend sampled the Pan seared chicken piccata which was also served with potatoes and fresh green beans. The piccata had a light lemony taste that didn’t over power the rest of the dish, while the meat was very moist.

The atmosphere is casual elegant, and while most people were wearing slacks and a nice top, there were a few that didn’t seem out of place in jeans and hoodies, and still others that took their style to the opposite end of the spectrum and came in semi-formal wear. The dining area is decorated with splashes of deep, rich colors while an entire wall is devoted to windows looking out over Fountain Square, which, at this time of year, contained the city’s Christmas tree and a bevy of ice skaters.

The bar is a different story as it was as crowded as expected on a Friday evening. With hardly any room to maneuver and even less to catch a bartender’s attention, the bar is not the place to dine unless you arrive well before 7 p.m. Wine and beer seems to be decently priced as a glass of white was around $6, but mixed drinks, even simple ones like a vodka cranberry cost closer to $11. This doesn’t make sense as their menu espouses Long Island Iced Teas and Candied Apple Drops for $8. Drink prices aside, it’s impossible to hear in the bar area as the bass from the new age music being played pounds and everyone in the room continuously raises their voices to be heard over each other. If loudness and appetizers are your thing, though, the bar is for you as it has a community feeling to it with long, shared tables and seated enclaves tucked in corners.

Reservations are recommended, though the hostess will take names and cell phone numbers so you can wander downtown as you wait – with Macy’s less than 500 feet away, this option is very useful. The hostess, however, forgot about us as we browsed the department store and we had to repeatedly remind her that we were still waiting when we returned to get drinks and check on the wait time 45 minutes later.

The most confusing and frustrating part of Palomino is not the lack of service by a hostess, but rather the fact that an all-day happy hour with $4 drinks and $6.50 appetizers is advertised if you sit in the lounge, which would be very helpful in keeping the bill within a fairly decent budget. This lounge, however, is either non-existent or is a very small corner of the restaurant that had four or five tables for two as it was we couldn’t find these cheaper drinks and appetizers, though it wasn’t for lack of trying.

All in all, our bill was about $57 for two people. While this is not outrageous, it was disappointing as a lower-priced menu was advertised.

Aside from the hostess’ lack of attention, the overpowering noise in the bar and mid-level prices, Palomino is a great experience. The food tastes wonderful and the waitstaff is friendly and attentive. Now if only we could find that lounge….

Final rating:  Good, but it could have been better

(We might need to expand our rating system from Good, bad and really crappy)