The South Florida edition of the Chicago-born series Check, Please! premiered last night on WPBT Channel 2. Along with San Francisco, South Florida becomes one of three metro areas with the program which picks three diners from different walks of life and has them pick their favorite restaurant to review. All guests on the show dine at all three restaurants (at different times). The three meet at the show's taping and discuss their picks as well as those of the other guests.
Tonights premiere episode featured a beauty pageant president, an assistant librarian, and a skydiver (didn't know that was a profession). Restaurants reviewed were Sheba in Miami, Cafe Maurice in Miami Beach, and Jeff's Beach House Grill in Fort Lauderdale. Info on the show, restaurants, guests, etc. can be found here.
Instead of the restaurants, I wanna focus on the episode itself. Michelle Bernstein hosts the show and without her presence I think it would crash and burn. Last night at least, she was the most personable person at the table. She was trying to extract whatever information she could with friendly questioning; however, the skydiver guest just seemed uptight. You could tell whenever he was asked a question that his mind was tinkering to come up with something witty but it never happened. The other guests were friendly and chatty but not very sophisticated when it came to dining at least. One described having a "California wine" with dinner and it was spectacular. How's about telling us the wine?! But the show is exactly what it purpots itself to be, three people off the street sharing places they like, trying new ones and talking about them. Michelle, either throught questions or comments, gives a much more educated dimension to the show, whether it's explaining kofta or embellishing on a guests description of a restaurant's decor.
I just hope enough South Floridians tune in and keep the show going. It gives a great cross-section of our community and culinary landscape which many cities don't have and it's something we should show off.