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Tipping Point: Our picks and pans (Surfridge Brewing East, 'Flown,' Stanley Tucci)

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Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy

9 p.m. Sundays on CNN

Season two of this series is as much comfort-food-TV as season one was. By that, I mean that being in the company of the urbane Tucci as he wends his way through impossibly scenic European locales and samples sensational dishes is a pretty relaxing and wonderful way to spend some time. In a Venice episode, for instance, you get some history about the iconic city, along with Tucci asking chefs about whatever they are making him. Tucci then samples the food and invariably raves about it. The only thing better than watching would be actually traveling with Tucci and getting to taste the culinary creations.

— Kristina Dorsey 



Dim Gray

This conceptually flowing album was released in June 2020, just as the pandemic was kicking into high gear. As such, it stayed under my radar. (Well, that and considering "Flown's" status as a quiet but intensely melodic and atmospheric art-rock recording from a Norwegian trio that, plague or not, has little chance of attracting much attention in America.) Glad I found them. There are antecedental elements of fellow Norwegians Soup, The Autumn Chorus and Robbie Lloyd/Wilson, Anthony Phillips and Sigur Ros. The songs are delicate and expansive, wintry in their beauty and enriched with the pastel tones of chamber music. Vocalist Oskar Holldorff can capture operatic longing with the grace and sincerity of a young Greg Lake or Keane's Tom Chaplin, and I strongly recommend "Flown" for the melancholic dreamers amongst us.

— Rick Koster


Surfridge Brewing East

6 Main St., Building 3, Essex

I’m always willing to cut a brew pub some slack when it comes to food. I figure that their focus is the beer, so I should just be happy to have any sandwich or appetizer available to sop up the ale. But Surfridge Brewing East — a new brewery/restaurant in Centerbrook that boasts a big, open, industrial-chic interior — has it all. The IPA ($8) I had was quite good, and the wood-fired bacon onion pizza ($14) was downright delicious. The menu says that pizza features Surfridge oatmeal stout braised onions and bacon lardons, but all I know is I could eat it every night for dinner.

— Kristina Dorsey 


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