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remember food tv's "dining around"

dining around was an old tv food network show that i rather liked. very simple and straightforward. alan richman and nina griscom sat in a restaurant booth on a soundstage and reviewed three restaurants from arounf the country per show. film footage in each place. brief interviews with owners/chefs/etc. brief discussion about the restaurant by alan & nina. done. not very flashy or sexy so we will probably never see the format again, but i enjoyed seeing actual places. kind of like chowhound, used it as a resource to hunt down a specific places on road trips.

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  1. I used to love this show -- when my son was born it was my favorite distraction for feeding time, so it must have been on around 1991 -- or perhaps it was my daughter in 1994. Anyway they had a good chemistry, although I certainly don't remember any of the places they talked about!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty

      When did the Food Network begin? (didn't know it was even around in 1991...)

      1. re: Chowpatty

        I just Googled "Dining Around" because I also loved the program. I just wanted to give you a heads up about one of the restaurants that I learned about. It is a place in Newark, NJ named Seabra's Marisquierra, on Madison just off of Ferry ave in the Ironbound. Me and my Friends still go there every time we travel to NYC from our homes outside Philly. Unbelievable food, greatly priced. Check out the Paella Valenciana. The best ever. And there are many other great dishes.

      2. I absolutely LOVED that show! Smart, funny, intelligent. Alan Richman was brilliant and brutal. I loved when they argued about a place. I wish Food Network would get some folks of that caliber back on the air.

        1. Did you know David Rosengarten was the co-host on Dining around for a while?

          During the early days of FoodTV he was on half the day between the food news show, Taste and the restaurant review show.

          There used to be a pretty entertaining restaurant review show on KVCR (Inland Empire) called Table for Two. It was a great show, entertaining give and take between Alan and David (the hosts). Unfortunately there was some kind of struggle over control, and David Cohen was pushed out.

          1. The Food Network has unfortunately moved in the same direction as the rest of the television industry. All that they provide is mindless "fluff" for North American audiences that have little interest in educational value and even less attention span.

            The best shows in the past were Dining Around with Alan Richman, Wine A-Z with Alan and Kevin Zraly, Michael's Place with Michael Lomonaco and the brilliant Taste with David Rosengarten.

            This was the golden era, when chowhounds and even industry people used to pay attention. Unfortunately, with a wider audience, the network now has to appeal to the lowest common denominator of TV viewer.

            Many of us have tuned out because Bobby, Giada and Rachel just don't inspire like the hosts that came before them.

            1. one of the funniest moments on dining around was an exchange between nina griscom and someone that was subbing for or had replaced alan (maybe his name was bill or something) at the end of the run for the show. the two were wrapping up a segment on a place and "bill" was under-impressed. nina is touting the place and bill made a crack about their best dish being a "coney island whitefish." (google it if you don't know what it is). nina clearly didn't know what he meant and said something along the line that she would have to get there and try it, prompting "bill" to start laughing. the good 'ole days of tvfn.

              2 Replies
              1. re: xman887

                Forgot how good the show was. You know who should have his own show? Jeffery Steingarten. He's great. Wasn't there another old show with Jeffery Steingarten and Jancis Robinson? I think they reviewed wine.

                1. re: xman887

                  i had mixed feelings about that show. i loved the concept, and richman could be snarky and funny. but griscom was a debutante and socialite, married to a filthy rich plastic surgeon. there seemed to be lots of stuff she didn't "get."

                2. Thanks for bringing up great memories original poster...

                  I loved this show as well and wonder why we have such a low chowhound factor on the Food network compared to the time when this show was on air. Pity.

                  1. It was Bill Boggs. He had his own show for a while -- Corner Table with Bill Boggs, or something like that.

                    Yes, Food Network has been dumbed down beyond belief.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kagoo

                      I knew of Bill Boggs mostly for hosting Midday, a long running show (1975-1986) on channel 5 WNEW. Sort of like the Today show except local, and on around the lunch hour.


                    2. it was so fun reading all this! i loved that show. remember back in the day when you had to write a letter to them and send self-addressed-stamped envelopes when you requested a recipe?!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: calypsogirl

                        What a strange place the web is. I was looking for my former boss at the food network. She was one of the producers of Dining Around. I stumbled on the thread. I actually produced for Dining Around. I did the piece on 'The garbage plate' among others. It's nice to know that people still remember the show. As far as I know, it's not possible to get copies. Cheers!

                      2. Funny I was thinnking of that show recently. I liked the fact that they didn't always do five star places. For instance, they reviewed the "Garbage Plate" at Nick Tahoes in Rochester New York.

                        Now, I would say that 99% of the food network shows are almost unwatchable.

                          1. Would anyone happen to know where to get a copy of this series? I have looked everywhere and cannot find it anywhere.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: esgable

                              Unless someone had videotaped any of the episodes of the series, you are not going to find a copy.

                            2. This thread is just another example of how the FN has gone completely non-Chow. Look at the list of real Chow shows in this thread. All really about food and eating, not a tatooed something or another being obnoxious.