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Everything posted by adegiulio

  1. Tonight, and every Tuesday, Mercato will be offering an antipasti-only menu, and a live jazz band. The last two weeks have been a real blast, more like a big party than a private dining experience. Just order one of everything, grab some wine, and have some fun. Past dishes include spicy grilled baby octopus, local chicken livers on crostini, local asparagus with parmigiano, various arancini, and very tasty meatballs. It is a very fun night, and a great way to spend a Tuesday evening.
  2. Thank goodness I live in the Hudson Valley, where it is easy to find humanely treated animals offered for sale. Whether it's Fleishers or Highland Farms or Flying Pigs Farm, I feel a little less guilty when I sit down to eat. Oh, and as a bonus, the food tastes better. This sort of practice is deplorable, but not surprising. There are too many people who see animals only as a source of revenue.
  3. I sometimes wonder why I never mentioned this place before. Mercato is a wonderful enoteca/trattoria in our lovely town of Red Hook. Francesco the chef/owner uses local ingredients (as much as possible) to assemble a fresh menu everyday. An all Italian wine list has certainly broadened my wine drinking horizons. The dining room is open and airy, perfect for casual meals with serious food. Up here, Rhinebeck and Hudson get all the attention, and rightfully so. Mercato is a fantastic destination for a great time, one that deserves a trip.
  4. adegiulio

    Cooking in grass?

    Well, I have a vacuum sealer, which should help prevent smells from getting out and bacteria from getting in. Thats not to say that the low cooking temp couldn't foster an explosion of bacteria already present in whatever I am going to cook. Since I cant get to the store, and will be gone for most of tomorrow, I am going to hold off until my next fresh batch of clippings...
  5. adegiulio

    Cooking in grass?

    I cant take this peer pressure anymore!! Maybe I'll throw a piece of salmon or something in there...Heck, I started this stupid thread, I should be the one to try it.... I'll report back when I get some salmon...or short ribs...lamb?
  6. adegiulio

    Cooking in grass?

    For S&G, I just went outside with my cellphone and thermapen. I got a reading of 145 degrees, which I think would probably be high enough to cook some sous vide short ribs. I will note that it is still chilly up here AND the pile is probably cooler than it was a couple of days ago...
  7. adegiulio

    Cooking in grass?

    When the heap is really smoking, you can't keep your hand in there for more than a second. It's REALLY hot, and stays like that for a long time, definately longer than it would take to cook meat... Farmers know to never store fresh hay inside, as it can get hot enough to ignite and burn the place down. If that's possible, I'm sure a little sous vide slow cooking is possible...Not that I am trying it anytime soon. Hot decaying grass doesn't perfume food the way truffles or herbs do...
  8. So, this weekend I mowed a lot of grass. Acres of it. I piled it all up next to my compost area, but never mixed it in to the piles. I got out there today to do it, and noticed something I've noticed many times before; the interior of the pile was smoking hot. Anybody who composts (or stores hay for that matter) knows about this bacterial induced heat. My question is, anybody ever tried cooking in there? I wouldn't think it would be appetizing, but there are worse things out there that people eat. I can see wrapping up some meat or fish, chucking it in the middle of the pile in the morning, then coming back to some slow cooked food...
  9. There is a store near me that carries several varieties around Christmas time. One brand go so far as to declare itself "the thinnest". I'm with you, the thinner the better. My favorite was Bonomo's Turkish Taffy. There is a website implying that someone is bringing the product back. I contact them and they said they are still working on it. That was last year. The website is here...
  10. What did you find objectionable with the way they cooked your duck?
  11. What's a bit amazing to me is that we're at a time when $140 for two, without booze, is considered very reasonable... ← word, with that said, that was a heck of a lot of food apparently. ← It was a lot of food for sure. We left very well satisfied, and we are both pretty big eaters...
  12. Our server during saturday lunch was a woman. And for once...especially these last few years it was nice to see a menu not take three lines to describe a fish's whole lineage. I understand your point but it is a bistro menu. I take that as meaning it should read as simply as possible. We also asked a ton of questions to fill in some of the blanks. Not least of which was asking if they'd serve us the cassoulet even though it's only on the dinner menu. They were unable to do so. ← I agree with both sides of this argument. While I don't need to know the duck's credit score, I would have liked to have known it was served the way it was. Every duck a l'orange I've ever had was a slow cooked half duck. If they want to take a classic dish and add a twist, that's great, but the waiter might mention it (especially while the restaurant is young and word hasn't really gotten out as to their plating tendencies). I guess my point is, keep the menu sleek and elegant, but have the waitstaff offer quick comments about the dish. Sure, I could ask, but some things come with expectations. That was some damn good duck though.
  13. I may be wrong about this, but since the restaurant has opened, anybody who has had any criticism of the restaurant has actually eaten there.
  14. Well, yes and no. The food price is the food price, with or without wine. The two times I ate at ADNY, I felt the wine was exorbitantly marked up, even for a place of that quality and implicit cost. I'm sure the markup will be less pronounced at Benoit, but I'll make that judgement when I buy my first bottle there... But yes, 140 bucks is very reasonable...
  15. I ate at Benoit on Saturday. We were enthusiastically greeted when we arrived, and quickly seated. We were presented with some tasty gougere and bread. The menu was attractively laid out and filled with a lot of things I wanted to order. We settled on the charcuterie plate, served for 2, Duck a l'orange, and the lamb. Charcuterie plate was huge, chock full of salty meats. It was served with pots of cornichons, pickled onions, and dijon. For a first course, it was almost too much rich and fatty meat. We worked through it with smiles. The duck was served as two thick slices of very succulent breast, a braised leg, a small puck of orange confit, and a small boat of sauce. The breast was extremely rare, but very tender, and though I would have liked a little more crispness of the skin, it was very delicious. The lamb done three ways was very tasty, though a smidgen over-cooked. It came with a small dish of dauphonois, which was scrumptious. We ordered a side of creamed spinach, which redefined to me what creamed spinach could be. Dessert was some ice cream and a baba au rhum. The baba was forgettable, nothing like the one at ADNY. The service, while very friendly, showed a lack of polish. I guess that is to be expected in the first week of service. As others have echoed, the BYOB policy makes this a huge bargain in the NYC dining market. Our total was just shy of $140, before tip. Add the two bottles of Burgundy and 1/2 bottle of Sauterne, and that total pops a little. In my view, a good way to start a new restaurant....
  16. Since I was flying solo for the weekend, I decided to eat dinner before my long trek home. Without a companion, I thought it would be smart to go where everybody knows my name (NORM!!). I ordered a nice romaine salad, a NY Strip (how provincial of me), and a side of wild mushrooms. The salad was just what I was looking for, crisp greens with rich, but not mayonnaisy dressing, all topped with white anchovies. Perfect. Then came the moment I was waiting for, the arrival of my steak. I was told they were no longer serving their steaks with jus, and this meat was right on. The crust was crisp and well seasoned, the meat was super tender and cooked just right. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said it was the best steak I have ever eaten in NJ. The mushrooms were an excellent pair, though I would have loved to have substituted the oyster mushrooms with some in-season morels. No complaints though. All in all, a fantastic meal. In my view, SCP has gotten it right, much faster than some NYC competitors (craftsteak?) [[{Jedi mind trick}]] You should go to South City Prime.
  17. The full website, including menus, is up and running... Click here.
  18. Trace...nice call on the Zetinya. Good steaks, and an excellent selection of other foods. Since I was already running late, I picked up my meat and quickly perused the rest of the store. Next time I will spend some more time shopping... Mmmmmmeat
  19. I've never heard of this place till now. I'm going to have to stop by on my way home Friday. Is it in the strip mall with the DMV?
  20. It won't be boring if it is really good. If it is just ordinary, then yes, boring. ← Agreed.
  21. Shoot, that really DOES look boring...Hopefully the dinner menu will be more inspired (as I would expect). Eating there 4/26...we'll see.
  22. Just got an email saying that the new Gary's store is opening today at noon. That was fast!
  23. So we have all had those pre-peeled "baby" carrots they sell by the sack in the produce aisle. My question is, why do they have no discernible carrot flavor? How are these carrots processed to simultaneously remove the skin and the taste?
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