How the food gets in

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

"There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." Possibly channeling Martin Buber, Leonard Cohen said, sang, prayed those very words during the most unforgettable concert I've ever seen (read a review written by musician John Wesley Harding of the same tour I saw here).

Now why mention Cohen and his hopes for serendipity in a broken world in a food blog? Well, several reasons. First of all, when writing a blog entry a couple of days ago, out of the blue, I thought about that Cohen line because it occurred to me that in all my experiences lately, there was a crack through which a connection to food flowed.

Then last night while watching Spectacle, Elvis Costello's music and talk show, I saw Costello interviewing a one-time hero of mine, Lou Reed (the Velvet Underground invented my favorite kind of rock and roll) along with Lou's best friend, the famously unrestrained painter Julian Schnabel (who also directs movies now, like last year's extraordinary The Diving Bell and the Butterfly). The group started talking about how Lou had been the one to induct Leonard Cohen into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year in Cleveland and went on to share some other stories about Cohen.

The minute the show was over, I swear, I flipped over one channel, and that station (Retroplex) was playing a movie I love -- McCabe and Mrs. Miller (directed by Robert Altman) -- which features music by... Leonard Cohen.

But wait, amazingly there's more. Listening to the radio today, I heard NPR announce it was going to play one of Cohen's concerts (the same tour I saw in May) taped in New York (the broadcast will re-air on WOSU Friday at 10 a.m.). I started to think about Jung. I started to think there was a crack in everything and that's how the Leonard got in.

Anyway, if you happen to be near a radio Friday, you should definitely listen to one of the greatest "pop" songwriters of the last 50 years in a rare concert. OK, here's how the food gets in: I saw the Cohen show in Detroit & only a five-minute walk from the wildly ornate Fox Theatre where I saw it, is a terrific restaurant run by Cleveland's Top Chef, Michael Symon, where I ate before the show. It's called Roast, and if you find yourself in Motown, you should definitely check it out, too.