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Everything posted by agnolottigirl

  1. Was just in Missoula last week and thought I'd update this thread in case anybody is headed that way. Riverside Cafe, which was wonderful, has closed -- tax problems, according to locals. I was working through dinner while I was in town so can only speak to lunches ... I had a fantastic lunch at Dolce (order at the counter during lunch: soups, panini, cold sandwiches, salads, a couple of house-made pastas). Arugula salad with grilled beef was wonderful -- good beef, perfectly cooked, very tasty. More expensive than most places in town, but really good. Also had a lovely meal at Scotty's Table, downtown: more formal setting, pretty dining room near the river, emphasis on local and organic foods. There I had a grilled chicken salad with mixed greens, lentils, roasted beets, and goat cheese -- excellent. Also stopped in at Plonk, on Higgins, for an afternoon pit stop -- Italian wine flight and snack of burrata with tomato, hearts of palm, and grilled toast. Perfect, and a big selection of wines, spirits, cocktails, with generous pours -- a bit more grownup than the zillions of coffee shops and pubs that line Higgins. Service was friendly and attentive in all three establishments, which may just be the face of Missoula. All three also feature outdoor seating when things warm up a bit. Also stopped in at Le Petit Outre, bakery on the other side of the bridge from downtown -- excellent breads and French-style pastry (palmiers, croissants, etc.) as well as the usual scones and such.
  2. What a lovely place! I was in town for a meeting and looking for something within walking distance of the conference center that has good food but is not super-touristy. Cafe Chloe was all that and then some. I was there in time for happy hour -- an unbelievable array of bargains -- and it was warm enough to sit outside. Service was fantastic, food (salad, blue cheese/mac gratin, pistachio bread pudding, vino) delightful. Reminds me a lot of one of le Pichet, one of my favorite places in Seattle. Strongly recommend -- and thanks, SD Gulleteers, for saving me from mediocrity!
  3. I was visiting Stamford last week and had checked this thread prior to my trip to see what the local eG crew had to say. I know this is an old thread, so maybe this place wasn't open yet, but I could go on and on about the wonderful dinner we had at Duo on Bank Street. (http://www.opentable.com/rest_profile.aspx?rid=12151; their own website seems not to be up yet...but here is the NYT review: [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/21/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/21dinect.html]) Their "shtick" is to take a main ingredient and prepare it two ways--a la Thomas Keller and many of his disciples. In contrast to lots of those places, though, the serving portions at Duo are substantial, and the prices are very reasonable for what you get. The Japanese-Euro approach works better than it might sound like. We split a bottle of sake and had the goat-cheese appetizer, which was fantastic. My husband ordered the beef two ways: one was a fantastic tenderloin and the other was a wonderful, falling-apart tender Bourguignon-like preparation. I ordered two sushi dishes, River and Ocean (4 pieces with smoked saltwater eel and 4 with river eel) and Two for Tuna--one spicy, one not. Desserts were great too, especially the molten chocolate cake and the hazelnut ice cream (gelato?). Severs were attentive and knowledgeable. There's a sushi bar/kitchen, and the hot kitchen is also open-ish, though it's in the back of the restaurant. Highly recommended!
  4. I've had the unbelievably loud experience there too--unfortunately, while my parents were visiting! Wonder if Cafe Presse is any more mellow? (Though it seems unlikely...)
  5. The Seattle-Bainbridge ferry is actually a 35-minute crossing, not 20 (as someone has mentioned above). If you are driving during rush hour on a weekday (any Seattle-bound boat before the 8:45, or any Bainbridge run from the 4:40 to the 6:20), plan to arrive 20 - 40 minutes prior to scheduled departure or you might not get on--it's first-come, first-loaded. One smart, and cost-efficient, option for lunch is to pick something up at the Town and Country (T&C, the locally owned grocery store on the main drag) and eat on the ferry on your way into town. Check out the sandwich selection (panini and custom sammies), big salad bar, and hot case -- lots of good stuff to choose from. Top recs for eating on Bainbridge: Shima Sushi, http://www.shimasushi.com/ -- very good, fairly casual Four Swallows, http://www.fourswallows.com/ -- fancy option Treehouse Cafe--good sandwiches, pizza, salads, beer (Guiness on tap) -- way casual The Harbour Public House--cozy, crowded, no kids allowed: http://www.harbourpub.com/ (Also check out Pegasus coffee--on the same website) Casa Rojas (do not eat at Isla Bonita!) Bainbridge Bakers Mora Ice Cream--expensive but awfully good: http://www.moraicecream.com/ Farmers' market info here: http://www.bainbridgefarmersmarket.com/ Depending on when in October you are coming, it may be getting sparse: unlike markets in Seattle, we don't have any vendors from the east side of the state. Enjoy your visit....
  6. India Bistro in Ballard ← Seconded on India Bistro. Even after being away from Seattle for 3-1/2 years, I still remember that place with great fondness. The only drawback was the tiny dining room--you had to either get there right when they opened or be prepared to wait for a table. Maybe they've had a chance to expand the place since then ... even if they haven't, though, I think it's well worth the wait to get in. ← Thirded on India Bistro.
  7. Sides, definitely. We've been throwing them directly on the grill this summer. Leftovers (when we have any) can go into all kinds of things--salmon/potato cakes, salmon patties, ravioli, a carbonara-ish thing with fresh peas and pasta, quesadillas, etc. And here's another point to think about: when you buy the whole fish, whether or not you have it filleted at the store, you are working on becoming a "known seafood customer." If you know the fish folks, and they know you, and know you're a person who knows something, is interested, etc. etc., then you do better with things like--what's really fresh today, or where to find Stellar Bay oysters, or when will the dry-pack scallops be in (instead of the previously frozen, chemicalized ones), etc. Oh yeah--and I'm with you on the sockeye. Though I have to admit, I'm not at all sorry we tried the Yukon king!
  8. I thought it was weird that he didn't mention Kerry Sear by name. . . when he was (iirc) pretty goopy about Sundstrom. Also--where was Union in this review?!
  9. Pass on the burger. Pass on the fries. Bring on the SHAKES!!
  10. Tried the Yukon the other night (grilled, s&p, lemon)--yummy. Richer tasting, with more of a mineral edge than any CR we had this year. Really did melt in your mouth! By the way: if you buy a whole salmon and have it filleted, ask to keep the spine. which has a lot of meat on it. A little s&p, throw it on the grill. Eat the meat off the bone. Yes, you will look like a caveman (-person?), but it's good eating. . . and a different texture from the rest of the fish.
  11. and speaking of rose, does anybody know how to make rose hip preserves? How 'bout tea? I vaguely remember both from childhood vacations in Maine, but I haven't the foggiest idea how to reproduce either. . . but do have rose hips in abundance.
  12. Just one eG table for the Bourdain event, huh? I feel a riot coming on.
  13. Raspberry bismarck. Mmmmmm. Lemon is a close second. I wouldn't think they would freeze well. . . one of the things that makes TP's donuts so very very excellent (imo) is that slight crunch of the outside crust (that would be the, um, fried part)--which I would think would not make it successfully through freezing and thawing.
  14. If you don't need a full-size chef's knife, and you're spending all your money on just one knife, I'd recommend the MAC utility knife. It is AWESOME, as are their other knives. . . and relative to other good stuff, not too expensive. It's not great if you have to do a ton of chopping, or for cleaver-type work, but it works for practically everything else. Alternatively, if you aren't swayed so much by brand names and don't care what it looks like (these generally have white or brown plastic or rubberized handles), you can do just fine if you go to a restaurant supply store and buy what most restaurant cooks work with--Mauviel or Dexter-Russell type knives. Most of these are perfectly servicable--not intended as "lifetime" knives--but if you're only able to spend $40, you're basically priced out of that category anyway.
  15. Maybe. My grandfather served in the Navy during WWII, so perhaps he brought it back from somewhere. He's passed on and she has Alzheimer's so I can't ask either of them, but maybe it's in their letters somewhere. I have those. It's the one thing of hers that I asked for in her will. Heather, "spoon rings" were very popular at NY/NJ flea markets and craft shows in the early-mid 70-s..just fyi. Interesting. I know she's had hers since the 50's, and they lived in New England. Maybe it was a fad that slowly worked its way south. I remember spoon rings, too--Towle Silversmiths, in Newburyport, MA, used to make them. Others may have too, but that's where I know them from.
  16. Dry ribs and pulled-pork nachos at Red Hot & Blue, the DC-area chain. Fresh mangoes in the Philippines. Homemade red raspberry and black raspberry ice creams, in season only, from a tiny family-owned stand in Boxford, MA. Embarrassing, I guess, but true: the fajitas at Fajita's, a SW chain. They make their own tortillas. . . I could just eat the tortillas and be pretty happy. The "wet wimpy," a BBQ sandwich with homemade potato chips and sweet onions on it. Forget the name of the restaurant, but it's (was?) in Old Town Alexandria, VA. Cannoli from Modern Pastry in Boston's North End. Dark chocolate blueberry bark from a lady in Harpswell Neck, ME. Pork belly at Hugo's in Portland, ME. And I sure wish there were a Pagliacci's on this side of the water!
  17. Hiya, Mayhaw Man-- I just stuck more information on the orchard mason bees (including links) on the Gardening thread here: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...00entry604755 But if you have more questions, feel free to PM away. . . they're so cool!
  18. New to this thread, having posted info on orchard mason bees elsewhere. . . though this is a better place for it (thanks, fifi!). At this year's PacNW Flower & Garden Show (or whatever it's called), I bought 3 tubes of orchard mason bees more or less on a whim. We'd had a couple sparse years with the old fruit trees, and I figured what the heck. Well, I can't recommend them enough--it is idiot simple, seems to have worked (ie, there already seems to be a lot more fruit forming this year, presumably because we had our own little pollinating crew), and it's strangely entertaining to watch the critters do their thing. You buy 'em in winter or early spring in paper tubes/straws. Store in the fridge until it gets warm enough. Then put the tubes outside in some kind of container on a sunny wall, together with about 3 times as many more tubes (you can buy more tubes and a "nesting box," or you can just drill some holes in scrap wood) for the mama bees to lay eggs in. That's IT. . . they aren't honeybees, so there's no smoking, honey-gathering, etc. involved, and they are completely non-aggressive. Kids are fascinated by them. They leave their tubes each morning once it's warm enough to fly, and they return every night until they've filled a tube (or two) with eggs. Then--sadly, because by then I was feeling a peculiar attachment to them--they croak. You just repeat this process each season until. . . whenever! You can also, of course, share your bees with your friends and neighbors. Here are links: Washington State University extension service has good info http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/inse006/inse006.htm Knox Cellars (where my bees came from) http://www.knoxcellars.com/ The other big discovery for us this year was that Bt (bacillus thuringiensis, I think) spray works like a charm on tent caterpillars. . . completely nontoxic to everything but caterpillars. All that to say. . . fruit trees are doing well--cherries, apples, plums, and pear all look like they'll bear well. Two kinds of peas (not counting sweet peas), favas, broccoli, various lettuces, Early Girl, Super Fantastic, and Green Zebra all going to beat the band. Very warm and dry so far this year--great for now, but gardeners in this corner of the map are worrying about drought come the summer.
  19. If they are tail meat, as they most likely are, they could be dry and chewy if you do anything other than poaching. . . then again, you could chop them up fine, bind with a little ricotta, throw in some tarragon, and make killer ravioli.
  20. This is a bit OT, as it's about bees rather than tomatoes. But re your lament about the bees in your initial post: have you considered orchard mason bees? They're great pollinators and it couldn't be simpler to give them a place in your garden. You buy 'em in winter or early spring in paper tubes/straws. Store in the fridge until it gets warm enough. Then put the tubes outside in some kind of container on a sunny wall, together with about 3 times as many more tubes (you buy more, of course, or you can just drill holes in scrap wood) for the mama bees to lay eggs in. That's IT. . . they aren't honeybees, so there's no smoking/gathering/etc. involved, and they are completely non-aggressive. Kids are fascinated by them. It's early yet, but so far it looks like we have much more fruiting on all our trees this year--pears, plums, apples, and cherries. Feel free to PM for more info.
  21. Yup--toooo much dressing, generally. It has also happened that I have been served a salad that was obviously dressed waaaay before I ordered it, so that the greens are now soggy and the dressing separated--which is truly adding insult to injury. Again, as others have said, at a decent restaurant, I'd trust them to do this properly, but if I'm uncertain. . . on the side, natch.
  22. Last year on Bainbridge, whole swaths of the island were just crawling, literally, with the nasty little buggers. A few won't do much harm, and it's probably not worth worrying about a couple now and then. Last year, they were so bad here you could *hear* them munching away on the fruit trees. We had to clear them off the sidewalk with a pushbroom. And if you were thinking of sitting outside in the shade, forget it--unless you enjoyed the surprise of these things falling out of the sky onto you, into your drink, etc. Oogy! The birds don't eat 'em, and the good wasps (which burrow into the caterpillars' heads to lay eggs. . . don't ask) weren't out in sufficient numbers last year to do much. So when we saw them coming this year, we hit them with Bt (bacillus thuringensis) early, and it's worked great. Bt is a bacterium that shuts down the caterpillars' digestive systems when they ingest it. You can buy it as a concentrate, then spray away. . . cheap, effective, and totally nontoxic. You do have to reapply every few days. According to Ann Lovejoy's most recent column on this, the weird temperatures we have been having have meant that they're emerging from their tents in waves--so if you're still having trouble, probably not too late to try Bt. Edited to add: Oh, yeah--and the trees that got chomped last year came back just fine this year. . . apparently the infestation is more distressing to us humans than to the plants.
  23. At a garage sale being held by an elderly couple moving from a house into a condo, $5.00 for the following: Monster-size pot for canning, complete with racks and original manual 2 china caps w/ metal stands and wooden mashers Jar tongs Assorted jars, lids, caps Mind you, had never canned anything in my life before, but for $5.00, at the height of berry season here in the PacNW, how could I go wrong?!
  24. Hey, F-G-- Hugo's, Hugo's, Hugo's. Link here: http://www.hugos.net/ Chef Rob Evans was just named one of Food & Wine's top 10 new chefs, so I would call for a reservation if I were you. I believe they are still offering this screaming deal: 3 courses for $30, midweek (I think it's Tues-Thurs but could be wrong). Tasting menu is not to be believed, and the bar menu allows all kinds of flexibility if that's the mood you're in. Can't say enough good stuff about this place. Also: try the pork belly.
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