Terrified By TOC: Dr. Strangelove Ruins Our Dinner

Heather Shouse must have had a really awkward time trolling around with Dr. J Michael Bailey for her article on sexy and romantic Chicago dining spots.

Bailey, a professor of psychology at Northwestern, is an expert on human sexuality. Well, unless you listen to his peers in the field, who dismissed his controversial 2003 book on transsexuality “reductionism” and “not science” by fellow researchers, according to Wikipedia, but we definitely remember reading about it when it dropped four years ago. This is also the guy who, in 2005, claimed that male bisexuality does not exist. Well okay Dr. Bailey, thank you for clearing that up for all time! We’re glad that a hundred men and a penile cuff are all you need to figure out human sexuality!

We weren’t going to bring any of this up, but some of the quotes in the article are really bizarre. None of his commentary seems especially insightful in an academic sense, at the very least, and some of it borders on the inappropriate. For example, while discussing Coast Sushi Bar, Bailey says, “the texture of sushi is also erotic: soft and moist, like the body parts we like to put in our mouths.”

• On the Zebra Lounge: “It’s got a kind of cheesiness that if you can let down your hair and just get into it, you might just get lucky.”

• On Russian Tea Time: “I suppose, though, who hasn’t had the fantasy of having a Russian or Eastern European lover? This place evokes that kind of feeling.”

• On Juicy Wine Company: “Overall, it’s a good place to get lucky on a third date.”

• On Avec: “Regarding the communal seating, I think it could be hot for some people to be put in a position, unusual for this country, where one has to be close to other people…especially when those people tend to be attractive.”

Take a minute to register your discomfort. You know who this guy reminds us of? The Pickup Artist, armed with a doctorate in douchology. Now, don’t get us wrong - we more than respect the right to conduct controversial research and report controversial findings. And since we’re not a psychology doctoral candidate or whatever, we don’t really know whether his research was up to the rigorous standards necessary for such work. But taste is an issue we believe ourselves to be more than qualified to discuss, and ICK: this makes us not want to eat at any of these restaurants again. So dirty!

OKAY, there are other things in this issue as well, mostly restaurant reviews and writeups. Two Italians (Macello and La Madia), an authentic Mexican (Sol de Mexico) and a French brasserie (Brasserie Ruhlmann). In a shocking twist, we have all four on our site! Links below.

As for the rest, good ideas all around: 1) Wagyu milk 2) not trying to use your Jack-o’-lantern for food 3) local/seasonal/vegan(!) soaps. With which to wash our brains out.

Macello [MenuPages]
La Madia [MenuPages]
La Madia [Official Site]
Sol de Mexico [MenuPages]
Brasserie Ruhlmann [MenuPages]

[Photo: oh yes, this guy. Thanks/sorry, Northwestern!]


Terrified By TOC: Dr. Strangelove Ruins Our Dinner