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Everything posted by wattacetti

  1. I concur that Raza is a nicer choice for Nuevo Latino (tasting menu with the empanada is a great way to go). Jolifou was a uneven for me and it's a pretty even hit/miss with the people I know who've also eaten there. il Sole was nice the last time I ate there. As for Ginger, the last time I was put off by the constant offerings of "smart drinks" and the video of the crabs killing one another on the beach (Discovery Channel it was not). Sushi was quite forgettable. I'm not personally so sure about Jun-I since I never liked Soto in any of its iterations. Why not Lémeac for French? Or is it a "been there, done that" with you not having been to Le Chou?
  2. No, I have not returned to Pintxo. chopper’s description is more or less correct in that it’s “modern” Spanish so nothing really sits on a slice of bread; some things you can pick up with your hands and others you'll definitely want the spork. I found my notes and this is what I had as my selection of 5 pintxos: Vieras con su TXapela Lightly seared scallop on a small pool of herbed oil topped with tobiko. Crocantes de morcilla de burgos The only pintxo I saw that involved bread; the bread was formed into a small cone and the bits of morcilla were placed into the cone. Pintxo de pulpo a la gallega Small pieces of octopus served atop slices of potato drizzled with olive oil. This was actually the best of the 5. TXampis rellenos como me enseno Arzak Two white mushroom caps served with a duck confit. Crujiente de TXipirones a la pelago Small squid hoods stuffed with rice that had a mildness that didn’t quite do anything for me. This was a replacement choice - I had originally ordered “Mondatido de bacalao con su pil-pil y tocino” but they ran out of cod. If you want their salad pintxo, it's a big bowl and a steal at $3. Since I've only been once, it is much too early to comment again on Pintxo but I definitely think that tapas bars where pricing isn’t exorbitant could work in Montreal. Bu Wine Bar is proof that the city can support a place where people can have a glass (or several or bottles) and small plates to go with it. Once they iron out the kinks, Pintxo should be a good addition for the neighborhood. As for the clientele when I arrived that one time, there were slightly more people at the bar than sitting at tables but there was no one at the bar about 40 minutes into my visit. For that population it was literally one drink, no food and out the door.
  3. I have been to APDC 7 times in the last 2-3 years; 3 times when I thought the food was quite good, and the last four just felt like a continuing downward slide. My last meal was a considerable disappointment. Regardless of the food, service has been a habitual problem at the restaurant and it's irrespective of how busy the place is. I'll be letting others report on improvements before electing to go back again.
  4. Usually happens because said individual knows that your version is as good or more likely (considerably) better than his/hers.
  5. Pesce? I thought that was the Italian seafood place. No sushi that I was aware of from briefly glancing at the menu, but definitely a couple of big-ticket lobster items.
  6. I do it all the time. W?BIC! It's an even stronger urge when I'm forced to participate in potlucks.
  7. Potatoes. They'll have a wonderful taste.
  8. I think it is all-caps (passed by a couple of days ago); it occupies the space formerly known as Tsirco. No clue as to the origins of the name.
  9. Your point being? So… wasn't that first one good? I'm pretty sure that your inner child is reminding you of that right now, so just suck it up and stop buying so many potatoes. Besides, the confit's also pretty good (and a bit less wintry) on a nice arugula salad.
  10. I have found the 2004 Crawford in Pierrefonds of all places (4777 St John's); all other outlets I've checked thus far carry the 2003. So, I now have a bottle on hand to do a side-by-side comparison between the two vintages.
  11. Pinxto 256 Roy East 514-844-0222 For those interested, a new Spanish concept has opened in the Plateau. The room seats about 40-odd and is divided into two sections: the left hand one houses the bar and three tables, while the right-hand one carries the remaining seating and is somewhat more quiet. Straightforward bistro stuff with a lot of brick, lot of wood, gas fireplace and three really big paintings. The menu consists of 14 pintxos running between $3 (9 selections) to $5 (that for a foie gras pintxo), 4 mains ($15 to $17) and two desserts. Jamón serrano is on the menu as is morcilla de Burgos. There is a tasting menu available for $28, which consists of 5 pintxos (they pick) and a main (whatever one of the four that piques your interest); I didn't pay attention so I don't know if dessert is part of that (I think it is though). Wines are moderately priced and consist of 19 selections (18 Spanish): 2 sparklers (a cava and a crémant), 5 whites, 11 reds and a stickie (moscatel). 11 of the 19 are available by the glass, and two are available as half bottles. I didn't bother to check what was available at the bar, but I did see someone with a pink martini (cosmo?) and the staff asked if I wanted a glass of fino. Went for a quick look around Thursday night and picked 5 pintxos to go with my glass of Casa de la Ermita (Jumilla) just to see what they were up to. Of the 5, I liked the polpo a la gallega best: small little chunks of octopus served with confit onions on a slice of potato. Teething problems? Yes there were but then again, I was there on Pintxo's seventh day of operation/existence (they apparently opened on April 29). Let's see what happens once they have a bit of time to work out the kinks.
  12. And don't forget to ensure that they're thoroughly cooked, unless you've a lot of time available to sit and read.
  13. I have been to Japon and I have done that; let's just say that our opinions diverge.
  14. wattacetti

    Australian Wines

    I'm saying that you / I / we should keep tasting. Cos is a very nice St-Estephe; it does it for you, but it doesn't really turn my crank. The best wines are the ones that we like.
  15. Could be. This essentially makes Raza the only non-fish-centric opening on the south side of Laurier. Italian seafood, Nuevo Latino, Japanese. Oh - if you're interested, I think Pesce has a main that goes for about the same price as Raza and Jun-I's tasting menus.
  16. Well, it's a sushi bar for one thing and I think they've been open for a week of so. I had a quick look at the posted menu, and it appears to be sushi by the piece (I think $4 to $9 apiece?) and two tasting menus (featuring amberjack) for something like $40 and $55. Not sure what else is on the menu nor what they have on their wine list. The room looks to be all creams (very soft colors). Guess it'll go on the "to visit" list.
  17. wattacetti

    Australian Wines

    I will look into Main Ridge immediately and check if my favorite shops in Calgary carry any of the others. Stefano Lubiana is the Tasmanian Pinot Noir I've been trying to source but all New World PNs have suddenly become hard to come by thanks to Sideways.
  18. wattacetti

    Australian Wines

    Yellow Tail appears to be the new party wine in Canada, and it's very popular with the people I know who don't drink wine. I've only tasted the Cab, and I'm very sorry for doing so.
  19. wattacetti

    Australian Wines

    Nice dig, but somewhat patronizing, don't you think? I have already drank wines from 19 of the 20 producers you list (Cape Mentelle has a really nice Zinfandel), but I like the Magill Estate and Greenock Creek bottlings better. Grange? Cos d'Estournel? Have them in verticals, but again, I like Hill of Grace and Pichon-Lalande better. I'm not too sure about your statement that there's better value for money with European production probably because I suspect that transport and EU subsidies and trade tariffs go a long way to making non-EU production that much more costly. I can make a parallel case for the reverse, though my argument would be based more on the strength of the Euro versus the US or Canadian dollar. I also believe that great terroir doesn't mean squat if the owners don't know what they're doing.
  20. wattacetti

    Australian Wines

    I have been a fan of Australian bottlings, but resource limitations (e.g. rack space) and my preference for Pinot Noirs have resulted in my trimming down my Aussie acquisitions. Since much of the available production is still on the big wine side, I have restricted routine purchases to Penfolds Magill Estate and production from Greenock Creek (if you can find it, GC's Grenache has been very good). Pinot Noir from Tasmania has been interesting as has been the odd Riesling I've come across; higher-end sparkling Shiraz has also been a conversation piece. Unfortunately, all three categories are difficult for me to obtain. Speaking of blends, Shiraz/Viognier is starting to make the rounds (they're different).
  21. Kim Crawford is not available in Quebec; it is in Alberta, Ontario and BC (where there are cases of it because no one knows what it is). The best we can match for now is the Oyster Bay. A top-end Sancerre if we're going along the lines of a crisp Sauvignon Blanc?
  22. You may have a peek at Maiko's price range yourself on their website; the menu (and pricing) are presented intact. Been a while since I was last at Mikado but it had been okay.
  23. I subscribe too, but I get all of the invites and none of the catalogs.
  24. I received the Napa invitation via the Courrier Vinicole, but a conflict in the schedule meant no participation. Well, that and what I recall was a $300/person entry fee.
  25. I will confirm that. You will have a nice time, and their lobster maki and kaki-age (crab with uni mayonnaise) are interesting warm rolls to try. Be different and have a Pinot Noir with your meal too. Maiko on Bernard is also better than Maiko on Sources; the kitchen team is more aware/adept and the service is more fluid.
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