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Everything posted by Schneier

  1. I'm looking for a restaurant recommendation tonight. Something local -- there seems to be no Dubai cuisine, so I'll take Syrian, Lebanese, Moroccan, Iranian, etc. suggestions. I'm staying at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, but I can take a taxi anywhere. Is this list from the NY Times worthwhile? http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/middle-east/united-arab-emirates/dubai/restaurants.html Thanks, Bruce
  2. Never heard of it. Sounds like fun. Bruce
  3. I went back to Wasaw a couple of weeks ago. I wish I had better news to report: 1) Kurt Scheller's is closed, and 2) Restauracja Polska Tradycja wasn't nearly as good as it was three years ago. Bruce
  4. I regularly do multi-course shrimp-truck dinners, and like to start off with a single grilled jumbo shrimp. Shrimp wrapped in bacon is a stand-by, but lately I've been serving the shrimp with a single accompanying flavor. Two days ago I served one shrimp with a not-very-sweet mango-apricot marmalade, and then another with a brushing of vanilla cream and a drop of Marie Sharp's hot sauce. Lots of things work: pepper jelly, chesnut cream with a bit of hot sauce, mole. I tend to cook up a few shrimp, cut them in pieces, and play around with whatever's in the fridge. Bruce
  5. Minneapolis sorely needs a place like this. Congratulations and good luck. I'll try to bring a group in on Friday. Bruce
  6. Turns out the Rockpool is now open on Monday nights. That's my second reservation. I'm done. Thank you.
  7. Quay is open on Sunday, and I got a reservation. Thank you.
  8. Near as I can tell, all the top Sydney restaurants are closed Sunday and Monday. I'm looking for suggestions -- two of them -- for dinner restaurants on those days. I'm flying halfway around the planet, and want a pair of memorable meals. What's good and impressive, and open Sunday and Monday? Bruce
  9. I had the tasting menu at Foliage last Wednesday night. Not a cheap meal -- thankfully, someone else was paying -- but a very good one. I'll post more details if I have time, but I want to give a special mention to the wine pairing. Very nicely done. Bruce
  10. The best thing I've found to do with it is add it to champagne for a before-dinner drink
  11. Sometime around the turn of the last century, when King Edward got his first horseless carriage, his doctor worried about him tootling around the dank and drafty countryside. So he requested this warming drink from Berry Bros and Rudd. It's a ginger liqueur: 41% alcohol, and very strong. (No common brandy for Edward VII; it's good to be king.) I believe this is the only alcoholic drink specifically created for drinking while driving. It's hard to find, but a friend brought me a bottle from England.
  12. Watch a block of Cheddar age in real time. It's more fun than watching paint dry, but only slightly.
  13. Of course. The members of this board include a broad spectrum of the foodie public.
  14. I think you're confusing two audiences here: us foodies and everyone else. Me, I agree with Busboy. I don't need a long review. Just tell me what the place is like and what kind of food they're going to serve. I'm just going to order the tasting menu if they have one, so tell me if there any dishes in particular that I should ask for or avoid. Anything more than that I don't need. But that's us. We know what we're going to a restaurant for, and we know how to figure out what we want. Most readers of restaurant reviews -- the actual audience for restaurant reviews -- aren't like that. They need more information. They need more hand-holding. A good review will make them more comfortable with the restaurant and help them have a better dining experience. I don't get a lot of e-mail from readers -- my wife and I write reviews for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune -- but we regularly get thank-you mail from people who have eaten at the restaurants we recommend. I don't think those people would have tried a new restaurant, or a new cuisine, with a two-line foodie review. They need more than that. A completely separate issue is the general quality of restaurant reviews. Criticism is hard -- whether it's literary criticism or film criticism or restaurant criticism -- and lots of newspapers get them all wrong. Restaurant criticism is not a menu summary, just as film criticism is not a plot summary.
  15. When I was in London two weeks ago, I fought off sleep and went to La Noisette. The restaurant is real hard to find. There's only a small sign on the wall, and a very non-restaurant-looking lobby area. The restaurant is upstairs, and reasonably pretty. Nice and friendly service. I had the winter tasting menu. The amuse bouche was a white asparagus cream with pistachio and parmesan. Good, but I wanted more asparagus flavor. First course: Braised pork belly -- rich and almost caramelized -- with watercress sauce, pork jelle, toasted nuts (I forget which kind), and coconut foam. This was good; the light flavors worked well with the pork. Second course: Scallop carpaccio, served with sea urchin, Beluga caviar, and "sea urchin vinaigrette." I liked the delicate crunch of the sea salt -- actually, all the dishes crunched in some way -- but the salt and the sea urchin flavors overpowered everything. Third course: Tiny souffle with a warm egg yolk inside and dotted with black truffle, served with a baby leek salad. Good. I couldn't taste the truffle, though. Fourth course: Broiled red mullet with braised oxtrail, clementine bits, and olive tepenade. This was real tasty. On the plate was a gnocci with parmesan cream, which didn't really go at all. Fifth course: "Baklava of king quail" -- basically, quail wrapped in spinach and then phyllo -- served with a rhubarb marmalade, frisee, and a pistachio dressing. Delicious all around. Sixth course: Lemon sorbet with lemon foam and a bit of citrus vodka. Also delicious. Seventh course: Apple millefeuille, served with a glass of apple jelle, Calvados, a marshmallow, pistachio, and basil. Very good. And that was it. I really liked the various textures; most dishes had something that crunched. I liked the commonality of flavors between dishes. But there are better meals in London, and certainly for 60 pounds.
  16. It's sad to see Levain, Auriga, and Five go down so fast. But restaurants do come and go, and I'll bet we'll see all those chefs again soon. Meanwhile, Jean-Georges has come to Minneapolis an opened Chambers Kitchen at the Chambers Hotel. And we're a big fan of Willie's Wine Bar. Bruce
  17. Glad you enjoyed it. Alma is definitely a keeper. Bruce
  18. That hypothesis doesn't stand up to cross-cultural comparison, though, does it? Because if we accept that top restaurants in Europe rarely if ever do course-by-course pairings, then we have a large body of "wine people" who don't fit the hypothesis. ← I don't think European restaurant traditions matter in this regard. I've seen wine people in European restaurants read the wine list first and then do their best to match the food with their choices, and I've seen food people do the opposite. People simply do the best they can given the constraints of what is allowable, either because of restaurant rules or social convention.
  19. What happens when you get a wine and food person? ← They become completely paralyzed, and starve because they can never eat.
  20. I think this is 100% a question of focus. I know wine people -- people who pick the wine first and then find food to match it -- who will discuss these subtlties endlessly. On the other hand, food people -- who pick the food first and then find a wine to match -- find it a bit too much.
  21. Just did it again. Inch-and-a-half steaks: 5-minutes on a side. This is the easiest best way of cooking steaks I know.
  22. Serve them all at once.
  23. About a dozen of us went to La Belle Vie for dessert. One of us had just received his doctorate, and wanted a something-less-expensive-than-dinner celebration. They were happy to have us, and gave us a large table at the bar. Unfortunately, desserts were way less impressive than expected. Nothing was actively bad, but nothing was worth recommending either. Certainly not for the prices. I was very disappointed, actually.
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