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Everything posted by fredbram

  1. I have mixed feelings about this discussion--ie whether Frasca has lost any of it's edge or is still as absolutely wonderful a place as it was the first 4 years they were open. I agree with you, Robin, that the attitude, service, feel, atmosphere of Frasca are every bit as good as they ever were--and those aspects of the restaurant are excellent. The place that I've been just slightly disappointed the times we've been in the past year (and we don't go in nearly as often as you do, but we have been 3 or 4 times) is the food. Mostly I have the feeling that they have lost sight of what makes them so distinctive. Lachlan has such a wonderful touch and feel for the Friuli influenced cuisine that I have become acquainted with through Frasca. Lately the menu items have seemed less distinctive--more similar to the types of items that are more common on the menus at other chef-driven restaurants like Fruition, Rioja etc. The food is still very good, and executed almost flawlessly, but it doesn't (to me) have the uniqueness it has in the past. The Zlikrofi, for instance, hasn't been on the menu lately, I don't mind the menu changing, in fact that is certainly part of it's appeal, but it's becoming more similar to other chef's menus, and that's a shame.
  2. You can almost always get a walk-in table (or seats at the Salumi bar or bar) at 5:30 or 9ish.
  3. I believe it is about a 40 minute train from Venice to Padua, but I don't know what's involved in getting from the train station to the restaurant, and I don't know how late the trains run. I haven't had much luck getting train schedules online Venice-Padua.
  4. Unfortunately, they were out of the bread, as I recall, and the sandwiches were wraps made in very stale tortillas. At least, I believe that was it. At any rate, we enjoyed our stay and food very much, with this exception.
  5. We stayed there last fall, and it is a very special place. I really liked the feel of this town, lodge and restaurant. The service is quite leisurely (or the kitchen, I couldn't tell which), and the sandwichs we took on a hike were not up to par, but breakfast and dinner were very nice, and the atmosphere and feel of the whole area is wonderful.
  6. That sounds like a great place to try, and, as you say, the experience is half the fun. It reminds me of a Bcn version of eating at Katz's Deli in Nyc--watching the locals who know the ropes, and trying to keep up in another language and another culture without making too much of a fool of oneself.
  7. Well Eric, you never lead me astray in Lisbon, so I'm going to have to add this place to my list for our August visit to Bcn. It sounds like a great find.
  8. We were there in October, so I don't know the weather in August, but Calf Creek Info might have some temp estimates. And they have some nice photos.
  9. I don't honestly remember the list that well, we found a nice bottle of wine for our one dinner there. Of course, you are in Utah, so liquor laws are interesting. I have no idea if BYO with a corkage is an acceptable practice there.
  10. We stayed at Hell's Backbone in Boulder overnight last fall and it was a very positive experience. The fact of a restaurant run by Buddhist women in a very LDS town is fascinating. The room at the Inn was comfortable, and it is a very peaceful setting--birds, sunsets, a pond etc. The food was good, especially breakfast, dinner wasn't quite as good as I had hoped for, but for small town Utah it was fabulous. The service is relaxed (read--the food comes out slow), but if you just accept their pace it is a wonderful time. Do not miss taking a hike up Calf Creek Falls Trail--it is a relaxed 3 or 4 hour hike (round trip) with a beautifull waterfall and pool at the end. We took several great drives/walks in the area, but Calf Creek was a highlight.
  11. We were pleasantly surprised by the Bit and Spur in Springdale. Upscale mexican and mexicanish food, we ate there twice when we were in town last fall.
  12. I would say that you can't do better than El Taco de Mexico for a good taqueria. Taqueria Patzcuaro on 32nd, near Zuni is quite good also, just ever so slightly more upscale than El Taco de Mex (which is to say not very upscale).
  13. Just to add my two cents worth, the only Parador that we have eaten in was the one in Granada, for breakfast, and it was well worth it. Nice buffet with a large selection of local meats and cheeses, and some very nice fresh pastries, fruits, etc. Beautiful patio and view.
  14. What places do you enjoy eating at yourself--types of cuisine, style of restaurants (fine dining or small family restaurants, casual or formal, etc.), cities you enjoy dining in, specific restaurants or chefs?
  15. The areas of the country who have local markets or stores that sell most of the products that Whole Foods sells should worry about the locals being driven out. In Denver, however, we don't have a history of markets like the one in Philadelphia that is mentioned or Pikes market in Seattle etc, so there is a hole in the market that Whole Foods is addressing, and not many others are. We do have some small local cheese shops and independent "gourmet" grocery stores that address it also, but Whole Foods doesn't have much competition here. Not much competition for the high end ingredient dollar, although there is healthy competition for the natural, clean, unadulterated ingredient consumer.
  16. I have eaten at Yazoo's a couple of times and it is absolutely worth a visit. Great smoke flavor, I don't think I've had the ribs yet, but the pork was very good. I'm afraid the whole sweet tea thing doesn't really do it for me--unless it's that mint stuff that they do at morrocan places, I'll take my tea without. I agree with you Amy about M & D's--I like the place, it was busy last time we were in to pick up an order, and it is a great asset to the neighborhood. But the BBQ was nothing special.
  17. Well, this is my third year attempting for a reservation (which I mentioned in my request, in what I hoped was a respectful and gracious manner), and on the 19th, I received an offer from Luis to dine on July 24th. Like you Butterfly, I also jumped for joy, and am truly looking forward to planning a trip to Spain for the occasion. We haven't been in Barcelona in 20 years, and never in other parts of Catalunya. I'm considering a week in Barcelona, and another week or possibly a bit more heading north and into the Pyrenees.
  18. I actually use my nonstick sheet pans more for things like roasting slices of eggplant or non-baker type applications.
  19. An interesting evening at Frasca. We had an 8:30 reservation for three on Saturday night. We arrived at 8:20, the place was packed, they told us it would be about 10 minutes, we told them we would wait outside. I checked in 15 minutes later, they again assured us that they knew where we were and would find us soon. 10 minutes later another employee came out to see who we were, offered to buy us drinks because of the wait. At 8:55 we still had no drinks, went inside and I got a bit irate with Bobby because they had obviously lost track of us. We were seated at 9:00 and Bobby proceeded to spend the rest of the evening turning our experience around, and he was very successful at it. He bought me a glass of the tokai, my wife a glass of Champagne (I don't remember what), and my BIL a tequila. We had the Salumi, the prosciutto, coppa and brasaola were all very good, served with a delicious horseradish sauce called Rafano and grissini that seemed to be house made. I had 1/2 order of the potato gnocchi with beet vinaigrette, excellent texture and combination of flavors--loved it. Mary had the duck pate which was a soft untraditional texture--it was molded with a spoon like sorbet, topped with simple applesauce. She wasn't wild about the texture--I liked it. The green salad was unremarkable, but fine. I thought all 3 entrees were very good. I had the butter poached ribeye with roasted potatoes, leeks and shallots, Mary had the shaved pork and BIL had poached swordfish with turnip, coconut slaw and thyme sauce. The chef's style seems to favor a delicate poaching process for meats that traditionally would be cooked with some form of searing or caramelization, and the flavor of the meat really comes through this way. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed his method. Bobby bought me a glass of a 2000 super tuscan that was great, he brought my wife a sample of a single malt style rye, and a single pueblo Mescal for my BIL. He stopped at the table after almost every course arrived to check in and chat with us, offering up tidbits of info about the food or beverage. He sent his digestif expert over with glasses of Amaro for all of us after dessert. He completely won us over. With his expertise, and charm, not just his free booze. I had hot chocolate with coconut mousse and housemade marshmallows for dessert--very rich, and very good. It was an excellent meal, the best I've had in Boulder ever.
  20. Go to Masalaa without hesitation, rlm. Dosas, Idli, and many other wondrous things that I can't remember right now, 'cause I get out to Aurora so rarely. They are extremely fairly priced also, big portions, lots of choices and combo plates with a little of many flavors on them. PS-- have you had that veg ass platter yet?
  21. Maybe I'm just a gambler at heart, but I'd double it.
  22. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will help also, but I'll give you what I can. The formula looks pretty good--2% yeast (you are using cake yeast, right?), 65% hydration, 2% salt. Does the dough feel and look developed when you take it off the mixer? Are you familiar with the autolyse method, where you mix a short time (without the salt), let rest and then mix a short time with the salt? Some prefer that method. What temperature is your dough when it comes off the mixer? Sorry, I'm not good in Celsius, but you should be aiming for maybe 76 or so Fahrenheit. I think you should give it bench time--after the first proof, scale it into whatever size piece you are using, then proof 15-30 minutes before forming. Does it seem proofed correctly when it goes in the oven? Does it rise and then fall in the oven, or just not rise enough? It could be over or under proofed. Have you considered adding a little ascorbic acid-- it makes the dough a little more forgiving to slight over proofing.
  23. fredbram

    Quiznos Subs

    It's a major national fast (or quick) food chain--the expectation is the key. To me, Quizno's is significantly less mediocre than their competition. That's all I expect from them--to be somewhat less disappointed then I would be at Subway. And the Classic Italian is the way to go. Cut the dressing in half so that it moistens, but you can't taste it too much.
  24. Yeah, I had to reschedule the Frasca reservation due to some football game or other taking place in Boulder at the same time. Go figure.
  25. Well, we went back to Adega last week, there were 6 of us. It was not as stellar an experience as our last visit. Our waiter was somewhat stiff and pretentious. We attempted to loosen him up, which only had an effect after he poured a glass of champagne down the back of one member of our party. He, the restaurant and Brenda (the victim) all handled it as well as could be expected. Business cards were exchanged, dry cleaning bills were discussed, apologies were made etc. 5 out of the 6 of us ordered the tasting menu, 4 out of the 5 had the accompanying wines. I didn’t save the menu, so I have only my notes, which do not include wines or dessert. 1) The Amuse: rabbit braised on a round of brioche w/ apricot sauce and a bit of apple reduction Delicious. Italian sparkler, also delicious. 2) crème fraiche latke topped with cooked egg whites, formed into a disc with caviar, topped with an almost raw egg yolk, a little beet sauce. I found this dish to be less than successful. The latke (which was really more of a custard), was great. There wasn’t enough caviar to notice, which was the dishes downfall. It basically was a deconstructed soft boiled egg since the caviar flavor was missing in action. The beet sauce was nice, but the too typical a few drops here and there on the plate, so it was more of a color than a flavor. 3) diver scallop w/foie gras and crystallized orange rind. Good flavor combination—the orange rind and foie gras were delicious together, B+. 4) rabbit cooked 3 ways. A mini rack on a bed of white truffle risotto w/white truffle foam, a crepinette—caul fat wrapped around leg meat wrapped around loin w/a demi sauce, and dipped in batter and fried on a bed of mache w/ some kind of little ham chips in it (was supposed to be a cobb salad variation). The mini rack and risotto was very good, the crepinette a little overcooked and the demi pretty salty, the cobb salad good. 5) veal cheeks on julienne romaine w/ a demi sauce. The veal cheeks were delicious—fall apart tender, flavorful, moist. The romaine underneath was a waste of time—it added nothing to the dish. The sauce was fine, but nondescript. The veal cheeks came parading out of the kitchen—I watched 2 servers, 3 plates apiece approach our table, realize that we weren’t cleared and set for it yet, and parade right back into the kitchen. Much scurrying and readying of table, and they reappeared 3 minutes later. Half way through this course we received the wine that went with the cheeks. 6) 3 year aged gouda w/ pumpernickel croutons. There was something else on this plate—a little chutney or something--I can’t remember. This dish was just silly—literally 2 tiny chips of cheese on each plate, would have worked for an amuse, but if you’re serving a cheese course then give me a little cheese to eat please. 7) dessert—I fell down on the job. Good chocolate ice cream with some other stuff. All in all the food did not seem to hit the mark as well or as often as on our first visit, and the crew just seemed out of sync, too many glitches for the caliber of restaurant and the price.
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