Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by VeryApe77

  1. Ate at the new Hot Doug's last Saturday (and will most certainly eat there tomorrow). I really like the new space a lot. Although we were in line for quite a long time, I was surprised at how easy it was to get a seat once you had given your order. This was certainly not the case at the last place. We split the Pheasant Sausage with blue cheese and the Duck Sausage with foie gras, goats cheese, sauternes and white truffle oil. Both were really good, especially the latter (although, as Doug himself said, using those ingredients is kind of like cheating). Also had the duck fat fries which were as good as ever and the normal fries too, which made for a nice contrast. Incidentally, my girlfriend was there this Monday (her third visit since it reopened) and she saw Homaro Cantu there. Or maybe it was a similar looking chap who was also called Homaro Well, however it was, hopefully he enjoyed his sausage.
  2. Great report Tarka! The situation with the wine service (and service in general I suppose) sounds like a bit of Catch-22. The cream of the crop aren't going to start beating a path to the restaurants door to work in the middle of nowhere for (I imagine) not much money until it gets a bit more of a rep, but it might not get more of a rep until the wine program and service improves. What to do eh? Like PS I'm I have to say that I'm not remotely surprised by the local reaction, and am somewhat shocked that a place as uncompromising as L'Enclume can survive in the location. Still, I hope that it continues to thrive this year as it sounds very good, very fun and also very interesting (which is a nice combination) - hopefully I might make it there myself sometime this year. We shall see...
  3. Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, and I can't find the links anywhere now (so maybe I dreamt it), but I'm pretty sure that I read on Caterer-Onlne that Claire and Iain both quit the Connaught a few weeks after starting. A shame...
  4. I would guess that its Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares...theres a thread about it somewhere.
  5. Thanks Gary, I've been waiting for this for a while now...doubt I'll find myself in Leeds anytime soon, but at least I can look at some pictures now Was pleasantly surprised to Goose Island on the Beer List, I didn't know you could get that in the UK.
  6. Actually, my Dad lives there (about half an hour outside Auch), so the meal at that Bistro was the only time we ate at a restaurant during my stay (although I'm sure he wouldn't mind you dropping in ). We went to some great farmers markets in the area though and bought a bunch of great stuff back (mainly pates and sweet wines).
  7. Well, we might still be waiting for news about the opening of Alinea, but I'm happy to say that Hot Doug's is open for sure. My girlfriend went yesterday (the first day of re-opening) and it sounds like it was pretty crazy. She reports lines stretching far out of the door and estimates that some people were probably waiting for an hour or more. Apparently the new space is a bit bigger, but there is less room to wait in line indoors, meaning that lines stretching out into the street are likely to be a regular occurrence. Not much fun when the weather is like this, but what can you do eh? For the record, she also told me that Doug seemed to be his normal chipper self, everything seemed to be going smoothly and her lamb, mint and feta sausage was as good as ever. Most of the menu items have changed names as well - for example, the Britney Spears is now the Jennifer Garner (not, as I had expected, the Lindsey Lohan). Well, I have a strange feeling that I'll be there this weekend (along with hundred of other folks I imagine) - I can't wait.
  8. OK then, In no particular order - Moto (Chicago) - Probably not everyone's cup of tea, but for me it was one of the best experiences I've had for a long time - and one of the best meals I've ever eaten. Nameless Bistro in Auch (SW France) - Can't remember what it's called, but the Duck Cassoulet was quite incredible. Hopefully I'll be back in Auch later this year, so I'll make a note of it then. Lunch for Fergus Henderson at Avec (Chicago) - The menu was a mixture of Avec's greatest hits with some typical Fergus Henderson stuff - very, very good. In fact, probably slightly better then the meal at St. John that I had this year (although that was very good as well). "Business" trip in New Orleans - I can't choose between the tasting menu at Upperline, the turtle soup (and 25 Cent Martinis) at Commanders Palace and the Fried Chicken at Jacque-IMOs so I'm going to put this all together. The Kifta Kabob pita sandwich at the Olive Mountain (Evanston) - I eat this for lunch at least once a week and it still tastes pretty damn good to me. The Trouble House (Tetbury) - Strange to think that the old pub down the road from my Grandma's house has a Michelin Star now. I had some good risotto and even better sweetbreads here. L'Os à Moëlle (Paris) - Certainly the best meal we had during our 3 days in Paris, although it still wasn't quite as memorable as... Lychee macarons from Pierre Herme - Good Lord. Finally, It's not really one meal (more like 16-18 or maybe more - I can't remember), but I really need to mention - Lula Cafe (Chicago) - You can't underestimate the importance of a good neighborhood spot, especially when the food and ambiance are as good as this. It gets mixed reviews from some people, but this will always be my favorite restaurant in Chicago. The fact that I live less then five minutes is reason enough to stay in this town.
  9. Interesting question. I've never done this kind of meal twice - but I'm pretty inexperienced in this field (Trio and Moto - and I haven't made it back to Trio for obvious reasons). I am certainly looking forward to going back to Moto, but after thinking it over, I think I'll wait a while, so the menu I try is different from the last time. Having said that, I have to admit that I did come very close to making a return visit to Moto last week...but my more sensible side thought better of it. Still, I am itching to return. I agree with Tarka that going with someone different might be fun as well. I'll see what I can work out...
  10. Great report + pictures. WD-50 is probably the one restaurant in the states (outside of Chicago that is ) that I will (hopefully) be making a special trip to in 2005.
  11. VeryApe77

    Breath Mints

    That does sounds awesome. It also sounds a bit like something you might be given as a palate clenser at a restaurant like Moto or Alinea. Mmmm....
  12. VeryApe77

    Breath Mints

    Thats a fantastic idea. I'd buy 'em by the crate.
  13. Good lord, that looks remarkably pleasant! Of course, I suppose that I should expect nothing else from a town named Berwick on Tweed... I'm actually getting quite into the idea of spending some time up North the next time I come home to dear old Blighty...I must make a note of this place.
  14. VeryApe77

    Breath Mints

    I second the ginger altoids vote. I love those things. One of my greatest hopes for the next year is that Altoids introduce a Wasabi flavoured mint. I might even start a write-in campaign.
  15. Why's that? WD-50 does very well in NY and they are serving the same genre of food (even if they don't have the same ambience) ← True, true. It did occur to me that WD-50 is the exception that proves the rule here. I guess, in my defense, this boils down to three things - 1. WD-50 is not quite s "hardcore" as Moto - for example, you can order a la carte, instead of having to go with the tasting menu option, and they have a wine list. This instantly make it a lot more accessible for the speedy urban diner...for example, I know people who have been known to grab a quick bite at the bar at WD-50 on their way to the movies or a gig, which I can't imagine ever doing at Moto. 2. I believe that Jean-Georges in a partner at WD-50. I think he probably comes under the "serious moneybags" category. 3. I probably don't really know what I'm talking about.
  16. London has some great food options, but I think it's true that at the moment, the restaurants that are most interesting (to me, at least) on the high-end scale are outside of the city. The last time I was in London, the only "fancy" place that really seemed all that interesting to me was St. John (and that was more for nostalgia then anything else), which really isn't all that fancy anyway. I was vaguely interested in going to one of Ramsey's places, but in the same way that I'm vaguely interested in Charlie Trotter's place in Chicago - more of a sense of duty then a sense of real excitement. I agree with Gary that a lot of this has to do with the huge price of opening a place in a city like London. This probably also explains why most of the more interesting places in the states are outside of NYC. Moto probably wouldn't last 5 minutes in Manhattan (unless there were some serious moneybags behind it), but in a desolate meat packing neighborhood in the Midwest, it can do quite nicely, thank you.
  17. OK, I finally have a few minutes to write a more detailed report of my meal at Moto last week. I may get some details wrong (as it was a wonderfully long, boozy meal) but here it is. Sorry, but I don't have a digital camera, so no pictures! I'll also try not to say "I liked it" too often...although I really did! Amuse - one bite - I believe that this was ricotta with some serano ham and some puffed amaranth. Delicious, and a great way to start the meal. *Experimental cell phone course* - As I said in my first post, not sure that I should give this one away just yet (as I think we only the second diners to experience it) - one of the best parts of the meal though First course - Champagne & Oysters. This was grapes and oysters that had somehow been carbonated in a nitrogen canister (I think?) so that they popped on the tongue like Pop Rocks. Lovely, and made even better by the large heaping of caviar on top (apparently locally harvested, although again I could be wrong. After this course, we were told to turn our dish (although dish is really not the word, it was a z-shaped metallic object - not sure how else to describe it) over. On the other side was a little Ziploc bag containing the somewhat infamous "Moto Maki". I liked it. It tasted like Nori, which I love, so... Second course - a soup with cotton candy. This was actually two soups - one was a cold melon soup, the other a hot squash soup. They were both served in the same bowl, but (I imagine one was thicker the other) did not combine at all! A neat trick. This was served with beet cotton candy. I love cotton candy and beet so this worked for me. You were advised to try each part of the course by itself at first, and then have fun mixing them all up. Which we did. Third course - fried salad with bruleed untensils. This was a fried globe containing some yummy fennel, served on top of a more conventional fennel salad. It was eaten with the famous herbaceous utensils, which had springs of thyme in them, with a clove of garlic that had been bruleed right at the end of it (so that when you took a bite, your nose almost hit the garlic). Very nice. I wasn't sure about these utensils, but they actually really worked well, and added a whole new dimension to the course. On a side note, my SO come very close to eating the garlic (she loves garlic) but thought better of it. Forth Course - winter squash & curry. This was actually 3 little one-bite courses. They were all nice, but the best by far was a piece of squash that had braised (if memory serves) that was served with a curry sauce. This sauce apparently had 30 or so spices in it, and was very complex. The best thing about this, though, was how well it tasted with the wine that was paired for this course (a Domaine Marcel Deuiss "Gruenspiel" from the Alsace, I think). I've never had a wine that really went with curry before but this was awesome. Fifth Course - Sea Scallop with Keeta Roe. This was one of the best course we had. It was a nice large scallop that had been sautéed, along with some little bay scallops, some little deep fried sea eels (I forget the exact name) and some of the potato chip sauce discussed earlier in this thread (in Scott DFW's review). On top of this sauce was some roe that had apparently just come from Japan and was AMAZING. It had a very, very Smokey flavor. This dish was full of very bold flavors, but also felt very simple, and the little deep fried things were very welcome. Sixth course - Duck Pull Apart. Scott DFW already described this, so I won't. I liked it a lot...duck is probably my all time #1 meat, so this was always bound to be a hit with me. Seventh Course - Sunchoke Sorbet with a lemon-thyme jello. A palate cleanser. This was very nice (I believe that yuzu was also involved here), although my SO said that she didn't get enough of a sunchoke flavor. I agreed with her until my last bite, which tasted like a sunchoke slushie! Very refreshing. After this, we were served an extra course, not listed on the menu. I believe it was called the "potato box" or something like that. It was a little one-bite course and was just that - a little delicate stick box made of one piece of carved French fried potato, served on a stick. Inside was a ball of potato. I truly wish I could have taken a photo of this, as words fail me somewhat. It tasted like a very good French fry, but the best thing about this was truly the way it looked. This must have taken a very long time to make and all for something so quick to eat. The attention to detail was much appreciated. Eighth Course - Pizza and French Fry. I was a little taken aback to be served another French fry course, after the last one. I didn't mind though - who doesn't like French fries? This was also a very delicate presentation of the French fry. It was actually a chain of little French fries, not unlike a strand of chain mail, or a daisy chain. However, it was all made from a single strand of potato (hence the singular plural), which, once again, must have taken ages to carve (and, once again, I am doing an awful job of describing). Our waiter mentioned that Chef Cantu had learned this method from a French Chef, who apparently thought that it was a cool method, but far too time-consuming to actually have on a menu. I guess Chef Cantu took them as fighting words! This was served on top of some braised red pepper, which was cooked with 30 different spices that one associates with pizza. It did, indeed, taste like pizza! A very fun, comforting course. My SO mentioned that a glass of coke might be a good pairing with this, but we were happy to have some nice red instead! Ninth Course - Bass Prepared Tableside. This has been described a lot here, so frankly I won't bother except to say that fish was cooked perfectly, and was served with a puree of caramelized cauliflower and some baby corn shoots. I'd never had the latter before and was surprised at how they tasted (kind of an spicy aniseed taste - very nice with the bass) Tenth Course - bobwhite quail with a Swiss chard squeeze. Once again (at a risk of sounding lazy) Scott DFW described this dish in his review, so I won't. I really liked the quail though - lovely and fatty tasting, not unlike duck (I'd never had quail before). Eleventh Course - Long Island Capon & Kentucky Fried Ice Cream - this actually looked a bit different then the picture in Scott DFW's review. The Ice Cream is now served in the same manner as dipping dots (in fact, it looked a bit - although not exacty - like this). A very nice dish, and the ice cream really did taste like KFC - not a bad thing in my book. The beet and squash purees also really went well with the capon. Twelfth Course - Margarita with Chips and Salsa - A great little course. I could be wrong, but I think the table next to us raved about it so much that they were served it twice! Two little spoons, containing one looked like a scoop of green sorbet on one and a scoop of some kind of puree on the other. We were instructed to eat the puree first and then the sorbet. The puree (if that’s what it really was) tasted just like chips and salsa. The sorbet (if, once again, that’s what it really was) tasted just like a Margarita. Within the space of 10 seconds or less, the inside of my mouth suddenly tasted like I was in one of the many great little taquerias near my house, waiting for my main course. This course really made us laugh (although this could have been the wine) and I mean that in a good way. Thirteenth Course - New York Strip with Cauliflower Mushrooms - If I recall correctly, this was some slices of steak that had been cooked sous-vide, some that had been cooked another way (I really can't remember), some oxtail meat that I think had been braised, the mushrooms and a yellow sauce described as "baked potato with the works" - which, yes indeed, tasted like a baked potato with bacon, cheese and chives. The steak was nice, but the star of the show was the oxtail (which nice and really sweet) and the "potato". I enjoyed this course, but was frankly ready for the desserts at this point. I liked it, don’t get me wrong, I was just getting in the dessert mood I suppose. Cheese Course (not listed on the menu)- a nice big slap of Maytag Blue Cheese (I think), which had printed on top of it some text (and I think even some little drawings) describing (in some depth) the history of the cheese! A fun, and even educational, course! The table next to us actually was so interested that they leant over and had a look, which we were fine with. This was also served with two little accompaniments, the best of which was some crushed nuts that I think had been frozen somehow (???) as they were very cold tasting. They tasted great with the cheese. Fourteenth and fifteenth Course - Oatmeal Stout and Venezuelan Chocolate/Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Pellets with 125-Year-Old Balsamico - These were listed separately on the menu, but were served together. The stout and chocolate was almost like a little hot smoothie - it tasted much as you might imagine. I love stout and it went really well with the chocolate. Even better were the pumpkin pie pellets, which, once again were like little dipping dots. It had never occurred to me how good pumpkin pie might taste with balsamico (esp. balsamico as rich as this) but this tasted amazing. Sixteenth Course - Breakfast Cereal and bananas - once again this is the dish that Scott DFW had. At this point, my SO was getting very full, and could only eat half of this. I leapt at the chance to finish hers, which probably tells you all you need to know about this (then again, I never can have just one bowl of cereal). Seventeenth Course - French Toast with Blueberry syrup - probably my least favorite dish of the night - I liked it (and was probably getting a little full myself) but it didn't really do it for me. The blueberry syrup was served in a little dome in the middle of the plate, which you pierce yourself, and then watch as it leaks all over the French toast. That was pretty cool, I have to admit. Eighteenth Course - Chocolate Rice Pudding Made Your Way - This has also been described here. Very nice, and a very rich way to end the meal. At this point, my SO was so full that she couldn't manage more then one bite. She later confessed that she thought this was amazing and was so annoyed that she didn't have room for it that she almost shed a few tears. Gawd bless 'er. OK at this point, I was really full myself. Still, we both somehow found room for the mignardise - a truffled truffle. I really can't remember the details of this except that it involved A)White Truffles, B) Black Truffles and C) Chocolate. How can you go wrong with that? We both loved this, full or not. So that was my meal. I should also add that that service (both food and wine) was pretty much flawless. Everyone who worked there really seemed to know what they were talking about, and also seemed to have a good sense of humor. We had a really, really good night, and I am definitely going to come back as soon as I can!
  18. They also have Pickled Onion Monster Munch at no. 4, which is highly dubious. I love those things (or used to, when I could get them).
  19. Funny you should say that, I consider the Hispanic food in Chicago to be some of the best in the country! The two places in America I have lived are Austin and Chicago, so (although I've never really thought about it before) I consider Hispanic food to be a huge part of the American food scene. Whenever I go back to London, one of the main things that seems strange to me is not seeing a taqueria on every corner.
  20. As a pretentious 16-year old, I went through a brief period of drinking whiskey (not bourbon, I should add, because my mum didn't have any, although at the time I didn't know the difference anyway) and milk, because a few characters in some Raymond Carver stories drank it Sad but true. It was pretty nice actually and there was certainly no curdling or chunkiness.
  21. I had a really, really good meal at Moto last night - one of the best I've ever had in a restaurant. We ended up going ahead and having the GTM with wine pairings, and am very glad that we did. I'm slightly baffled by some of the reviews I have read that have levelled charges of pretension at this place - we had a very un-pompus evening, with a lot of laughter. The food and wine service was pretty much perfect, as was the food, which was very creative, but also very delicious (quite a balancing act). My SO's appetite gave up the ghost around the 15th or 16th course (which is hardly the restaurant's fault - hopefully no one in the kitchen took offense at the last couple of courses coming back only half-eaten), but aside from that, this was a great, great evening. It also had hands-down the most memorable opening of any meal I've ever had - I would go into more detail, but fear someone reading this might be planning to have the GTM there soon (in which case, describing what happened would be something like giving away the ending of 'The Sixth Sense' - the surprise was part of the fun). I'd love to go into more detail about the various dishes we had - but I need to go back to work I'll try to write more soon though...
  22. Chef Adria, Before I ask my (somewhat basic) question, I would like to thank you for taking the time to do this. I believe that during the six months of the year that El Bulli is closed, you spend part of the time traveling. I was wondering which restaurants and cuisines you have found most interesting on your most recent travels. Thank you again!
  23. Can't believe that I'll missing the floating food by such a narrow margin...I'm sure it'll still be a pretty good experience though
  24. It isn't? Luckily, I come from a long line of people who have no idea how to manage money in a senisble manner, and I have some cash saved up for times like this....so the GTM with wine pairings it is! I am, as they say, totally excited.
  25. Well, I really, REALLY can't afford it, but after something of a rough year, I'm going to give myself an early christmas present and take myself and the missus to Moto on Wednesday for the GTM (or the 10-course menu - any suggestions as to which one would be best would be welcome...I assume the GTM) with wine pairings. I will certainly report back, although I said the same about Avenues a few weeks back and I still haven't...I haven't been near a computer much lately. Not thats there's anything wrong with that...
  • Create New...