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Everything posted by jamiemaw

  1. Nowhere but on eGullet would I read that! Now for $10 worth of foie, my loyalties can be rented ... A. ← Only on eGullet would I read that! [, etc.] One hall monitor admonishing another, I mean. And how very confluent with the subject matter at hand and in the most egulletarian of ways!
  2. In London, I recommend the Firmdale Hotel group. They have a number of charming and quiet properties scattered around the town, some more expensive than others. We've stayed in most of them and have enjoyed their peace and common rooms that feature comfortable furniture and honesty bars, both of which we have cheerfully abused. Another aspect that should not go unconsidered in August: Each property features quietly efficient air-conditioning that removes humidity whilst restoring jet-lagged sanity. Our favourite restaurant in London (neither budget nor outrageous) remains Racine, where Henry Harris cooks sturdy French rather better than its progenitors. Just be sure not to walk by the Dodi-'n-Di Memorial in the Harrod's windows on your way to dinner as this can provoke instant dyspepsia. To launch yourself into the proper mood for exploration of exurban England, read Notes From A Small Island, by Bill Bryson, or Falling Towards England for Capital conturbations; it's by Clive James. AA Gill Is Away is quite amusing as well, although you'll note that Amazon companion-sells it with Suzanne Sommers' "Eat, Cheat and Melt the Fat Away". Perhaps three is company after all. Please remember that easily the most reliable English restaurant critic is Michael Winner of The Sunday Times. Although some would say his surname is an oxymoron, His word is law and he writes his reviews with the same egalitarian viewpoint and silken prose that described his earlier movie screenplays. According to him, you shouldn't detour to the Chester Crabwall Manor Hotel and Restaurant. In the northern provinces, we found time to make a triangular tour, hooking York and the Lake Country together with a visit to Durham a worthwhile gambit. Although York Minster garners much publicity (and stages periodic fires to ensure same), we found Durham Cathedral a rather more soulful place. Besides, the Venerable Bede used to call it home, whereas York's only real claim to fame was having a New World village named after it.
  3. Thanks for acknowledging that, Steven - a fair assessment I'm sure. I thought that an earlier post that you made neatly summarized a Latin phrase that I hold dear: Sine Timore aut Favore - 'Without Fear or Favour'. You said: I quoted you extensively upthread to let other members know that no one is immune from occasionally trumpeting praises too vigorously or even the reverse, although that of course is illegal in Canada. Those foibles describe our human condition, inspire debate on subjects we hold in common, and apply equally to Member 12,924, Member No. 1, and, I hope, many more members to come. But I also hope that they take to heart that honesty is best, and that honest explanation is better. For that is precisely what makes this machine the more beautiful.
  4. Hopefully not through rose-coloured glasses, Derek. I trust that you perceive my post upthread as having brought this topic squarely back on track.
  5. Here's an interesting comparison of so-called 'old media' versus 'new'. The two quotations below are from the same author and, ironically, also champion chef Fowke in an earlier incarnation, when he was executive chef at Joe Fortes, a high volume seafood house in Vancouver's West End. Perhaps no one is immune to his puppy dog charms . . . This next quote might illustrate the slightly looser and, ahem, if not frivolous and petty, certainly more provocative style of 'new media'. I've highlighted a couple of the more germane passages: The balance of the thread is here. Of course both of these excerpts were written by you, Steven. In your theme of 'getting the best possible meal out of any given restaurant', perhaps some of the local eGullet members simply took your advice and did exactly that. Can you fault them? For the record though, in 2002, Joe Fortes placed 9th in the Vancouver magazine Restaurant Awards 'Best Seafood' category. Although I've only attended a couple of Vancouver eGullet events (the Bourdain Dinner, which raised funds for The Chefs' Table Society of BC, and the Sustainabilty Luncheon that was decidedly informational), I'll respectfully tell you that my fellow forum members have loads of objectivity and credibility - much of it hard won here - but scant agenda. Other than to learn and make fair comment that is. As a leggy blonde, I also take offense re your cheap shot that we might gain preferential treatment in certain precincts. Jamie [Post Script: I should add add that it was C Restaurant (see 'crap', above, a word also used indelicately by Ms. Gill I believe to describe another establishment), that hosted the Sustainability Luncheon. In the opinion of those who might lack credibility, it was an informative, delicious and challenging afternoon.]
  6. Oh yes indeed. They are neatly summarized in Post # 112, above, which was originally published April 1st.
  7. You've gotta love the concept of wellness at Walmart. I'm predicting ubiquity and homogeneity, although the impending global shortage of shortribs may mitigate against this notion.
  8. That is what mama always taught me ← Hmm. Got me to thinking . . . There There Now Eva and I have been travelling quite a bit, and yet thankfully on the way home from the airport, a friend, who is also the author of "Vegan Cooking For One" (you may remember her much-admired recipe for Lack of Ram) hijacked us to There. We were appreciative that she did. There is hard to find, and perhaps that explains why even the Richmond Mentor's erstwhile food critic took almost a week to write it up in her column, Unamused Bouche. The location has buried a number of restaurants, including Here and Whatever. The storefront was also briefly a florist, and then a taxidermy parlour. The article in the Mentor that put the restaurant on the map was called "There There Now" and it was apocolyptic in terms of questioning if more restaurants shouldn't have apostrophes in their names. I don't know if you saw the review but it also addressed the question of ubiquity in recent restaurant openings and the global shortage of shortribs. Well, first impressions count for Eva and me and we really liked the design riffs. That cobalt blue paint that Here was known for has been replaced by a fresh lick of white at There. "It's so different," Eva exclaimed, "that I feel like I'm neither here nor there." It's a veritable soup opera, with many seasonal, sustainable versions (a small donation from each sale goes to helping restore the offshore kelp forest) available by both the cup and the bowl! No more hassle with "One Size Fits All" soups here; the daily specials from "The Potagerie" are even available in special flights of three demi-tasse called soupçons. What an adventurous concept in this time of restraint and it's so refreshing to find a room that the food critics haven't completely sullied with their gossamer prose. So we had the 42-Poems Tea. It was ephemeral and yet provocative in the way that your hot cousin can get under your skin. We followed with the 'Just Say Ahi', a combination of sneered yellowfin and gruyère brulée leavened with Second Beach sea foam. Eva thought it her penultimate dining experience, and I have to say I wondered if I had another meal left in me too. We were reminded of that when an order of 'Avian Blue' arrived, a brace of thrice-coddled game birds in a stew of curaçao-piqued lentils. "Quelle melange!" Eva exclaimed. "A farrago fit for a rinse," I soon agreed. Restaurant director Rod Spumata eventually slumbered over to share some other flights of fancy. As you may know, not so many Richmond restaurants have wine lists of reputation. Spumata, it seems, is single-handedly out to change this notion, even if he encouraged us to spit. "You just never know where this has been," he said, pouring us shots of Kirzinger Blanco, a meritage of travelling willberries and pinot grief. Despite what you may have heard about this wine, it was average. The live fish tank served up other extremities, some more willing than others. The dim sum of its parts brought a still-live ling, hand caught by the gills! Which chef convincingly cut and thrust. Soon enough though, it stopped squirming although we were momentarily distracted by a steaming dumpling trolley that overturned on a family of four, killing the father by degrees. The restaurant owner graciously offered to adopt the children and comp the desserts. These gestures made me proud to be Canadian. As I said earlier, There is hard to find. It's near the intersection of No. 9 Road and Westminster Highway, not far from where Double Exxtacy Gardens used to be, and pretty much where jumbo airliners would crash if they were so disposed. Good fortune! And blessings for an Enchanted April!
  9. It's in Rancho Mirage, not La Quinta, but no visit to the desert is complete without a visit to Lord Fletcher's Inn, that retro mid-century palace of Pre-Ironic Era comfort food, such as: Pot Roast-Potatoe Pancakes-Sir Matthew 19.95 Old Fashion English –Style Pot Roast, Country Red Cabbage, Apple Sauce Olde Fashion English Chycken & Dumplings 19.95 Our Large, Fluffy, Homemade Dumplings, Garden Vegetables Roast Prime Rib of Beefe-Sir Michael Roasted in the Time-Proven Manner, Yorkshire Pudding, Red Cabbage Lords Cut Prime Beef 23.00 Kings Cut With Bone 26.00 The chicken and dumplings is one of my favourite meals anywhere, but you must start with the salad - real iceberg with 1000 Island. More delicacies here!
  10. jamiemaw

    Le Cirque

    That tie was a giveaway - covered with disdains. Like the condescension on my gin and tonic, complimentary.
  11. Abra performs cadabra with Phnomenal 'cherry' rice pudding right here.
  12. jamiemaw

    Halibut cheeks

    The halibut is absolutely prime right now - and plentiful. And yes, there are a lot of unsmiling ones right now. Last night we enjoyed halibut fillets underscored with a light curry sauce finished with heavy cream. But several times we'll cook cheeks in a brown butter sauce with capers.
  13. Do you take an AYCE Bandage flowbee? Or just fall back on the traditional cummerbund gambit?
  14. I'd vote for the Swiss Farmer's Buffett at The William Tell as well. Sturdy food for accomplished trenchermen. What school of etiquette do you follow in the buffeteria line-up? In my family, certain protocols are tolerated if not actually encouraged. 1. For breakfast buffets, if they only have those teensy 3 fl. oz. glasses, it's completely fair to take the whole juice pitcher back to the table. 2. Eating in line is also fair game, especially at weddings. This way, you can pile through the cheap fillers (salads, cold cuts, chicken legs, vegetables etc.) while ensuring you arrive at the prime rib carving station with a completely clean plate. 3. At the carving station, thrust out your plate to the carver and plainly state "Rare-Medium-Rare", husky boy portion, please, even if you are not. Continue to hold out the plate (with two hands so your arms don't tire) until it has been filled to the desired level; he who blinks first loses. Avoid the jus. Hog the horseradish. 4. Things to avoid in a buffet line-up: Virtually anything on the steam tables, especially moldering chicken in hunter sauce or pre-sliced roast pork - these are sure to end in tears; scrambled eggs unless they've just been replaced; pasta salads - a cheap filler; luncheon meats with rainbows on them; 'seafood' ravioli'; sushi rolls unless the hotel you're in is called The Four Seasons; nerf rolls (they expand in the gut, disallowing extra lashings of roast beef); poor conversationalists - if you're talking you're not eating; rice of any description (see pasta salads, above); 5. It's entirely permissible to eat entire plates of freshly picked crab-meat with Louis sauce, then get back up for a load of shrimp with red sauce, then gravlax, then poached salmon etc. These frequent waddles to the smorgasbörd encourage the kinds of social interaction that makes Canada a great country. 6. When your server is only serving coffee, filling water glasses and removing crockery that looks like a re-enactment of The Battle of the Somme, should you tip out at the regulation 15% plus? In a word, yes, but let him/her know at the outset that a.) you are a trained professional and don't look kindly on dirty plate gridlock, and b.) that bringing by extra helpings of quality proteins during bussing lulls will be remembered fondly. 7. Queue jumpers should be quickly but cheerfully dealt with. Preferred deterent: tip the tartar sauce into their blazer pocket of purse. 8. It is rude to bring a doggy bag to a buffet and in several provinces, actually illegal. So be discrete, or just bring the dog. I hope this is helpful, J.
  15. Charming. Thank you very much indeed. Only sorry that you had to prematurely evacuate.
  16. Surly and not getting any thinner either. Sounds like your coffee horizon could use a little widening? Bring your service staff along, we'll make a party of it. ← Been there. Done low-fat.
  17. It's the fastest growing sector in the food service industry - in fact it's exploding and the newscast tonight is just one example. But first, let me declare: Dinnerworks is owned by my niece Allison and her husband Chris Roscoe. They first tripped over the concept in the Phoenix suburbs and have tried to translate it to an urban location. It's not necessarily for eGulleteers with an intense interest in cooking, but rather aimed at families or folks with very busy lifestyles, especially two-income families on the fly. The theory being that a family can eat healthfully together at the table for about $4.50 per head - or about the cost of a fast food 'meal'. Is it as good as my two-day coq au vin? No. But is it better than pizza in a box? Having now tried out a few of them, I can report that I think it is. Certainly the early response has been positive, with numbers growing every week. >> Here's the link to the discussion in General Food Topics. <<
  18. The best hamburger in Vancouver is at Chez Jim in Lower ForMiCa, but alas that's by appointment only. The second best I've had was at The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel last summer. But to ensure quality control, I'd recommend a reconnaisance foray - that means you - before commiting the whole club. I hope you have a similar experience.
  19. The Easy Meal Preparation concept will be examined tonight on the NBC Nightly News at 6 pm, 6:30 in Newfoundland.
  20. NBC Nightly News will overview this concept tonight at 6pm; 6:30 in Newfoundland.
  21. Thanks for knitting these together, Arne. I had forgotten that - just a scant two years ago - it was this thread that drew all the attention to that cult favourite, Chatters Restaurant in Richmond, British Columbia. You'll The much-storied F. Morris Chatters, wifr Doris, other family members and colleagues were a little overwhelmed with the initial attention and celebrity status that the Straight's Golden Plate Award delivered (slammed 24/7 with line-ups clear to the border) and of course the family soon came apart at the seams. Life's lotteries can be like that. F. Morris Chatters is now a park ranger in Estonia; his son Boris has launched a fortified wine called Nunavit (you may have seen the ads "I'll have Nunavit!"). Doris Chatters married Chef Sven and, well known around here, together they launched the Sino-Swedish fusion palace in Richmond called Kung Pow Phat Soy that sustained unemplyed hockey players during The Strike. For those of you who haven't actually visited (hard to believe), here's the address: Chatters Restaurant 23180 Gilley Road, Richmond 604-528-9255
  22. Fly fishing is indeed a fine Canadian tradition, Katie, especially on one's honeymoon. The point of this story though is that you'll have a great time wherever you find yourselves around here - the topography is pretty convincing evidence that you're not in Kansas anymore . . . Please get married in our garden at Treetops (link upthread) at the top of the apple orchard. If the proprietor is in residence he may be easily convinced to buy you a cleansing ale after the cermony. Go for a swim. Play tennis. if you're particularly well behaved, you may be escorted down the street to pick some tomatoes at Milan's. Or to fetch some wine at CedarCreek. Have a drink at the Eldorado Hotel on Lakeshore. Order the lobster cocktail. Enjoy the view. Go for a boat ride; admire the McMansions recently built for hockey players. Perhaps if the Canucks played with those schticks they'd score more. Goals, that is. Downtown Kelowna is underestimated by many outsiders. Enjoy the galleries. Fresco is a lovely spot but there are quite a few alternatives. The Waterfront Wine Bar is particularly lively as is La Bussola. The rooftop bar at Earls is a useful vantage point for studying local flora and fauna. Or toss some wedding confit at Bouchons. Pick up some housemade gravadlax and good bread at La Boulangerie in Pandosy Village and head to Gyro Beach for the afternoon. The Cove Beach Resort in Westbank, five kilometres south of Mission Hill, will be open by the time you arrive. Have lunch on the dock. Go for a swim. Have a meal either at Quail's Gate or The Terrace at Mission Hill. Both offer sweeping lake views; the tour at MH is worthy. Many people head south into the wine country, and Naramata is gorgeous. The Cobblestone Wine Bar at the Naramata Inn can be useful, although the rooms can be a little pokey, and because the walls are thin, only semi-private. Be prepared if you head farther south into Oliver and Osoyoos - it can be very hot. Some visitors spontaneously combust. But as others have pointed out, the wineries are lovely. Cool off by tubing down the canal in Penticton, or have a burger on the beach at any one of the interchangeable cafes. To the north of Kelowna, and often overlooked by whinies, Kalamalka Lake and Ellison Park near Vernon are also attractive. Beside Ellison Park, the newly developed Outback Resort is getting going but is still a bit of a construction site. Explore Peachland, which takes approximately 7 minutes. Have a beer and bratwurst at Gasthaus. Admire the local citizenry. Walk on Chesterman Beach in Tofino. Take in the clam bake in front of The Wickinninish Inn. Have lunch in the garden at Sobo. In Victoria, have lunch at Canoe looking over the Inner Harbour. Alain Leger is cooking very well there now. Dinner at Brasserie l'Ecole, Zambri's, Paprika Cafe or Rosemeade. At Whistler, fly fish on The River of Golden Dreams. Walk into Cheakamus Lake. Take the gondola up the mountain for lunch. Take a walk around Lost Lake. Although the nude dock is in disrepair, so are we. Sit on our dock on Alpha Lake. Go for a swim. Pat the dogs cheerily. If the proprietor is in residence, he may be easily persuaded to buy you a cleansing ale. Click heels twice.
  23. Chez Jim in ForMiCa gets my vote for their French press and extarordinarily atttractive service staff. There's something to be said for their Pemberton Valley scalloped potatoes too, although the owner is a surly bugger.
  24. Maybe Jamie could comment on how the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards voting system is implementing- or has largely already done so - just such a system so as to avoid the arbitrary voting-for-the-sake-of-voting that I'm sure is not just the provenance of Georgia Straight readers . . . ← I don't want to sidetrack this topic, which was meant to be fun, and arbitrary. But for a look at the formal protocol, here you go.
  25. [host] Let's keep this thread on topic folks. I don't believe anyone is pretending this is anything as serious as survey as The Golden Plates <-- closest thing to a sarcasm smiley I could find ... but at least it's a discussion about regional cuisine. Eye rolling is not. [/host] ← I agree. I was speaking with a regional, seasonal cow just the other day. The cow just happened to be for sale and he said to me: "When I was a lad, this line was frequently used as an argument for not getting married. In that context the line had some merit - or so I thought - until I discovered that buying the cow has its own rich rewards which have very little to do with drinking the milk."
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