HotAIR - Scholarly Romance Restaurants

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Scholarly Romance Restaurants™

Where professors go to begin their love affairs

compiled by Alice Shirrell Kaswell, AIR staff


The scholarly pursuit of l'amour typically begins at a romantic restaurant.

Ah, the romance of academe!

In every college town there is one special restaurant, a discreet, intimate place with moderately good food, modest prices,* and a liquor license, where professors take their favorite grad students. In this restaurant many a professor has begun nurturing the more personal aspects of the professor-student relationship. In the proper setting, love of learning can lead to love of professor.

As a public service, the Annals of Improbable Research is compiling a list of these special restaurants. (NOTE: This project was announced in mini-AIR 2001-10.)

==> The Newest Additions to the List
==> The Full List

*RATINGS
Modest prices, while desirable to junior faculty, are not always required. Prices are rated as follows:

  • $ -- affordable on an assistant professor's salary
  • $$ -- affordable on an associate professor's salary
  • $$$ -- affordable on a full professor's salary
  • $$$$ -- affordable on Stanley Fish's salary
  • ? -- the reviewer declined to limit the establishment to a single rating
  • HOW TO ADD AN ITEM TO THIS LIST: We invite you to contribute to this helpful list. Please include the name and location of the restaurant. We also welcome first-hand reviews (a max of 50 words). Please send items to: "SCHOLARLY ROMANCE RESTAURANTS " c/o <marca@chem2.harvard.edu>.


    Newest Additions to the Scholarly Romance Restaurants List

    Here are the newest additions to the list.

    MISSOULA, MONTANA, USA: THE OXFORD CAFE
    RATING: $
    "After a night of dancing at Missoula's many music venues, this is the favored spot for a 2 a.m. breakfast. The house specialty is Brains and Eggs. The waiter relays the romantic couple's orders for same to the cook, by shouting, 'They need 'em.'"
    (Recommended by investigator Nick Baker)


    The List of Scholarly Romance Restaurants

    Here is the complete list (as we have it, anyway) of restaurants where professors like to begin love affairs. (Also see the list of New Additions.)

    BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA, USA: CHEZ PANISSE (upstairs)
    RATING: ?
    (Recommended by investigator Alan M Dunsmuir)

    THE BRONX, NEW YORK, USA: DOMINIC'S
    RATING: $$
    "The best place near Fordham University to be in cahoots while being beheld is Dominic's, the wildly popular eatery on Arthur Avenue in Little Italy. You eat family-style, with strangers or acquaintances who would have to figure out the whole table to sort you out. The waiter tells you what he's going to bring out, so there's no clue there. He tells you what you are going to pay, which you do in cash, so that's no clue (basically $$, but you can see him beforehand and arrange a menu and a price). Nobody stays for the coffee, and there's no gelato. But you need a walk, and there are some very quiet dulcerias around the corner."
    (Recommended by investigator Michael Dowell)

    CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, USA: THE HARVEST
    RATING: $$$"
    "Impressive ambiance, excellent food. Consistently produces the desired results."
    (Reviewed by an experienced professor who requested anonymity)

    CLEVELAND, OHIO, USA: THE BARKING SPIDER
    RATING: ?
    "One of those dark, cozy places with live entertainment - very conducive to being somewhere in public yet not being in "the spot light". Perfect for dancing the line between the professional and the personal. Great for the younger prof to get to know their grads informally."
    (Reviewed by investigator Andrew A. Sokal)

    CLEVELAND, OHIO, USA: THAT PLACE (on Bellflower, in a neighboring carriage house to THE BARKING SPIDER)
    RATING: ?
    "For the tenured professor who cares less for appearing proper."
    (Reviewed by investigator Andrew A. Sokal)

    CLEVELAND, OHIO, USA: CLUB ISABELLA
    RATING: ?
    "A sultry and romantic establishment with great food."
    (Reviewed by investigator Andrew A. Sokal)

    DURHAM, NORTH CARLINA, USA: JAMES JOYCE PUB
    RATING: $
    "Small, dark, potentially intimate, and not very crowded during the day."
    (Recommended by investigator Kara N. Slade)

    IOWA CITY, IOWA, USA: DEADWOOD
    RATING: ?
    "For at least the last 30 years, the DEADWOOD in IOWA CITY, IOWA has been the place for professor-student meeting. On occasion, this status has dropped to the point that professors have even held classes there, lingering into the evening as students precipitated one by one until only that 'special' student remained...."
    (Reviewed by investigator Bill Rutledge)

    ITHACA, NEW YORK, USA: THE ANTLERS
    RATING: $
    "Antlers on the wall, good food, nice polished wood, excellent shrimp cocktail, located out on the edge of town. Discreet staff. A good, quiet place to start things off right."
    (Reviewed by an experienced professor who requested anonymity)

    KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, USA: EDEN ALLEY
    RATING: $
    "Live music on weekends and vegetarian cuisine in the basement of a temple of God can be the perfect accompaniment for the, or response to a, suggestion that anthropological research might possibly be directed more inwardly. Shares a parking lot with the new multiplex."
    (Reviewed by investigator David Nicol)

    PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, USA: ALI BABA (on Craig near Forbes)
    RATING: $
    "A good place to start things off. Close to campus, so there's some risk of being seen. You can break the ice by popping pita with hummus into each other's mouths. If things go well, the baklava you take home could be eaten off of each other later."
    (Recommended by an experienced professor who requested anonymity)
    Supplementary data: "As an employee of this fine establishment, I eagerly concur with the 'experienced' professor's assessment of my restaurant, insofar as the intrigues of certain unnamed philosophy departments afford me constant delight in my mundane job. I see and hear all -- and tell none!" (-- correspondent's name suppressed by request)

    SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, USA: MISTER PEABODY'S
    RATING: $
    (Recommended by an experienced professor who requested anonymity)

    STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA, USA: THE TAVERN and DUFFY'S TAVERN
    RATINGS: THE TAVERN ($$) DUFFY'S TAVERN($$$)
    "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in State College, PA it matters which of you is to be beheld.
    If it's OK for the professor to be beheld with the student, you should just go across S. Allen to The Tavern ($$). As far as anyone knows, you could just be having an upscale pizza. Things can get interesting over the drooly desserts... "
    If it is more appropriate for the student to be beheld with the professor, you should remove to Duffy's Tavern in Boalsburg ($$$). Old stage coach stop on Victorian town square, candlelight on antique furniture, serious bar and let beer never be spoken between us... this is risky business. If your concentration lapses, you'll go away engaged.
    (Recommended by investigator Michael Dowell)

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