Ethan Stowell's Rione XIII is Now Open, So Says Facebook

By: 
Leslie Kelly
Chef Ethan Stowll serves guests in his newest restaurant

Rione XIII is now open. At least that’s what I read on Facebook.

Ethan Stowell’s latest – named for a neighborhood in Rome the well-traveled chef is particularly smitten with – might still have a hoop or two to jump through as far as final inspections go, but it was a busy weekend at this gorgeous-looking new space.

I watched – slightly jealous – as friends checked in there on Four Square for special sneak peek tastings. I drooled over the dazzling shots posted on the restaurant’s Facebook pages. (Oh, man, I really want two orders of those fried artichokes!) Chef de cuisine Brandon Kirksey posted a comment on a pic of the front door signage: “It’s here! Come and see us!” Oh, heck yes, I’ll be there.

It’s such a curious phenomenon, though. It wasn’t so long ago that restos would have a truly hush-hush soft opening, so the kitchen crew could work out any kinks. Then, there would be the official grand opening to the media and the public. Critics used to wait at least a month before commenting.

Social networking has changed all that. It’s become quite the sport to check in first, to get the dish before anybody, even if the information is half-baked. I’m sometimes guilty.

Like a bazillion other people on the planet, I now worship at the church of Twitter, Facebook, Four Square and Foodspotting. I devour juicy tidbits about openings and closings and get sucked into clicking on the endless lists. Yes, Canlis just made it on to CNN’s roundup of top 10 classics to visit. Congrats and maybe I should compile a Top 10 list of the all the Top 10 lists Canlis has been on.

Oh, and I also learned via Twitter that Vessel is reopening in its new location on the corner of Seventh and Olive later this week, thanks to a friend Tweeting that he loved the new look. He was invited to a friends and family pre-opening party.

As much as I cannot seem to unplug from this constant Internet feeding frenzy over the next newest, shiny venue, I am going to try to add a bit of balance to the celebration of all things making those splashy debuts and go back to revisit some old favorites that fly under the social networking buzz. After Ali’s review of Branzino, I’m jonesing to get back in there. The Crumpet Shop never disappoints. And it’s been way too long since I’ve been back to the meatacular Dot’s Deli.

Hear that? No?

That silence is me enjoying my meal, without jumping on to my social network to share.

 

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