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Everything posted by reesek

  1. i went to a local vietnamese restaurant a few weeks ago, and encountered a taste sensation. it was a complex, smoky, slightly fermented flavor. the waiter insisted it was simply "soy sauce." knowing full well it was not my mother's kikkoman, i asked to see the bottle. it was "golden mountain seasoning." after a fruitless search on the gorgeous vietnamese cooking thread, i found it on Abra's Thai cooking lesson thread. interesting, but not hugely surprising that a seattle vietnamese restaurant would use a thai product (or is it??) i love this stuff. i've braised pork belly in it, marinated chicken a paste made from it, lemongrass, shallot, cilantro stems and ginger and eaten it with jasmine ice and a runny fried egg. it's so damn *other* tasting. in the vietnamese cooking thread i saw mention of "magi/maggi" sauce...what is it? is it as magical as GMS? can anyone with a thai and/or vietnamese cookery background weigh in on my new find? what's your secret sauce? how do you use it in a novel way?
  2. i haven't lived in DC for years...but when i was a kid, i loved a (likely terrible) italian place in a silver spring basement. mama regina's. my dad used to get a sambuca and i was entranced with the 3 (always 3!) coffee beans floating in the cold syrupy liquid. one of the owners also cut hair. somehow this made the place even more appealing. there was a little mediterranean place next to the dancing crab when i was in high school. (mediterranean cafe?) which simultaneously introduced me to the charms of schwarma and brooding men, who cradled tiny cups of strong coffee and smoked cigarettes with an air of practiced disgust.
  3. not sure if your daughter has already made a decision, but i am just finishing up at seattle central and would be more than happy to give her (or anyone interested) the rundown. overall, it is a great program that will only get better. the dean (new in the past couple of years) is amazing, and the chef-instructors are all very dedicated and talented. in the next couple of years, they are planning to add another kitchen, a wine and cheese program and a greenhouse. i'm very proud to have been a student there. *however* culinary school at central will not prepare anyone to open a restaurant...the program is simply not long enough to learn all aspects of the business. the associated classes (managment, resume writing, etc.) are simply not comprehensive or targeted enough. just my $0.02
  4. marcus whitman (yes - well-located, reasonable) a large, impersonal hotel. with wine keys. definitely avoid the howard johnson's...think bloodstains for $100/night. not awesome. we liked dinner at whitehouse crawford better than 26 brix, though brunch at brix was good (much better than at the hotel) if you can splurge (and are planning well in advance) check out Abeja. They are a winery with 3 or 4 rooms. Absolutely stunning, romantic and charming. i didn't love petit creek...but i did love a little bakery in town (right across the street from the new place - winebar i suspect - that used to be a car dealership) i also heard there was a little deli/charcuterier in town that could help put together picnics, but they were inexplicably closed Mem. day wknd last year when we were in town.
  5. i love celeriac. it purees beautifully, and can be added to riced potatoes for a twist. i love making soup from it (sweat leeks and a bit of shallot in butter. add a little peeled, diced potato for body and peeled diced celeriac. add veg/chicken stock and simmer until tender. blitz in blender, strain and season to taste w/salt & lemon. i am using it in my culinary school final project - in a fennel & celeriac hash. it's also (classic french) julienned and eaten raw. it's very versatile. sadly, here (PNW) it's very expensive. ($4.50 each)
  6. this morning they had several candies, most including hazelnut (always a wise choice). they also had 3 types of macaroons - raspberry, pistachio & coffee. savory items included a ham & cheese croissant, 2 mini quiche (chicken broccoli & caramelized onion & bacon) and several sandwiches (mufaletta, apple & brie, croque monsieur and a couple others). Lots of broiche (baby, chocolate, etc), all the items Ling pictured in her first post and several more classic pastry treats. i am currently enjoying a pan au chocolat. the chocolate is rich, dark and fruity. the croissant itself is fluffy and quite tall...well-proofed, it seems. there's something about it i'm not in love with - maybe beslau (sp?) adds a little more salt to their dough? they are still my gold standard for croissant. i had a coffee macaroon as well. these are thinner and slightly chewier than le panier's, and the un-sweet, dense, coffee/chocolate ganache was sublime. most importantly, it was applied in the correct proportion to the cookie. they are a little spendy at $1.50 each, but having made them myself, i have to concede they are a pain in the neck to make, and very hard to make well. (ahem) also picked up a sourdough loaf...i think it's wheat. it tastes like wheat. the crust is fantastic, crumb is dense and very rich tasting. maybe i'm tasting the fat from the germ, but my palate isn't normally so atuned. i think there may be some added fat in there. i am way happy BN is in my hood. once they start accepting credit/debit cards, i will be even happier. cash & check only for now.
  7. Hi Mark, Good luck! I'm in my last quarter of culinary school in Seattle. Also a career changer with a life that is not compatible with restaurant hours, I wish I could tell you it all miraculously falls into place and by the end of school you'll have a better idea of what you want to do with the new knowledge. Maybe it will be like that for you - personally, I feel just like I did about 10 years ago when I left college. (Now what??) Then I got a job as a waitress...now I guess I could get a job cutting salad...leading me to think I have a vaguely self-destructive personality. Fortunately, I have loved culinary school. Never in my life was I a leader or much of an (over)achiever. Until now. It's an amazing feeling to be so committed to personal excellence...There's a difference between showing up and doing something well because you have a strong work ethic, and compulsively doing something over and over and over again because doing it well isn't good enough, it needs to be a part of you. Having the opportunity to devote 15 months of my life to something I love has been the best gift I could ever give myself - even if it doesn't turn into anything else. I hope the ride is the same for you!
  8. Palace Kitchen! The only downside is that I don't think you can make a reservation for 3, but on a Monday you should be ok. Great wine, superlative burgers, and plenty of other great food. I've also never had remotely bad service. Noise levels can certainly get up there, but again, not on a Monday. Have fun in Seattle!
  9. Beato (pronounced bee-ah-toe) ...is open and busy in west seattle in the old O2 space. rob and i braved gale-force winds to try it out last night. the short: it has potential, and we'll go back, but there are some issues in both sides of the house which need some work. the good: good wine list, decent price range, some WA wines which relate to the italian wines (like the yellow hawk sangiovese) and some interesting varietals overall. they also offer a wine flight each week to compliment their food. the menu looks great - we had trouble deciding what to order. they haven't done too much to the space, but they classed it up a little - padding the wood benches, new carpet (i think) new lighting over the bar and the overall effect is warm and upscale. the bad: we waited 15 minutes to be noticed after we were seated. the weekly wine flight list is on the back of the wine list, but no one ever mentioned it to us, and we didn't know it was there. our server was very sweet, but not a natural - maybe she was young...? we ordered 4 things and told her we were splitting them. i did not clarify that we wanted to course them, and she didn't ask, so i'll take that as my fault, but the first 2 dishes came out not together, not separated far enough apart to be courses, but way too far apart to be served together. when the second dish came out i asked the waiter who brought it (who was working the next section over) to slow things down and asked him to tell our waitress that we wanted things coursed - he kind of threw her under the bus by saying she should have known better. frankly, that didn't really endear me to either one of them. the final service frustration was that they didn't split anything for us. the waitress brought out one tiny (not bread) plate each time - very awkward. i understand not splitting the duck confit or the shortribs, but the pasta? the salad? i just don't get that - but whatever, i would have been less baffled if she had said something like, "the chef doesn't believe in splitting dishes, but i'll be happy to bring you a couple of extra plates." at least then i would have understood it was policy, not oversight that drove the decision. finally, the room is really narrow in one spot - i don't remember it being an issue at O2, but if the restaurant is full, people are *squeezing* between 2 back-to-back chairs, or have to go around the entire room. they have to re-stagger those tables, it's kind of absurd, a busser could get himself gored if a patron picked an unlucky moment to push back from the table. the food: amuse: a bit of shredded radicchio with a dollop of squash puree. very good, always a nice touch. duck confit (pulled & shredded) with perfect green beans and frisee. loved the walnut oil in the vinaigrette with the beans, lovely presentation, great flavors, an excellent dish. salad: mixed greens (watercress & radicchio) with guanciale, red onion gastrique, and sunchoke puree. the salad was on a bed of the puree. we're still trying to figure out why it was there at all - it added creaminess, and helped to tone down the sweetness of the dressing, but there was too much of it. interesting concept, but i'm not sure i get it. the gastrique tasted wonderful, but was more like taffy or a gelee - very sticky and hard to cut. it was also on top of, and persistently stuck to, the guanciale. a little hard to eat. despite all my nits, we really liked it...it was not your run-of-the-mill, boring mixed greens. fresh fettucine with oxtail ragu and truffle: we were very excited about this dish, and it had potential, but fell short. the pasta was a little too done, the truffle was missing and the ragu needed some brightness. we had a bit more time between this and the next course so the kitchen sent out little palate cleansers of strawberry and prosecco sorbet. a really nice touch, and despite my confusion about the choice of strawberries in january, most appreciated. veal shortribs with swiss chard and candied fennel. the candied fennel was very good, but not on this dish which already had plenty of sweetness. in fact, eaten without the chard, it was entirely too sweet for my palate. eaten with the chard, the dish was marvelous, the veal tender and succulent. the portions were all very nice - not too big, which was reflected in the moderate prices. i am dying to like this place, but hope that they work out their kinks. a kitchen that sends out palate cleansers is so thoughtful - so why don't they split a plate of pasta? maybe that was all the fault of our server...which may be another issue entirely.
  10. haven't seen an update on this so thought i would bring it back to the top. the new la spiga is open. they did something like 700 covers at their grand opening on sunday night. we went there for our class field trip yesterday - they opened just for us to have lunch...unbelievably sweet. the space is insane. modern-intimate is what i think they're going for - and imo, i think they got there. several different spaces, including what will be the best summer patio ever. very exciting. we ate fluffy gnocchi al pomodoro, tagliatelle with truffle butter, porcini ravioli with sage & butter, piadina (plain) with a salumi platter and a very nice salad. the bar (with a limited menu) will be open until 1:30...many things to try, and such lovely people.
  11. we went tonight. they are now serving beer, and i got the sense that perhaps the original owner took on a partner... we had chicken tikka masala (i know, i know, but ctm is freaking good) and the ctm at naan n curry was exceptional. also loved the naan and the (lamb) seekh kebab. we had the prawn vindaloo (grew on us - barely cooked prawns were great but it lacked a little depth) the owner proudly told us they use no premade pastes. the place was a little odd - mostly the service, but the music was loud and there was a bollywood video on the tv so it was easy to get distracted. good solid food - totally cheap. we will return. thanks for the tip tighe!
  12. i too wish there were more cheap/neighboorhood/everyday *good* places in seattle proper. i wish dearly that we had street food. i wager that the existence of street food - hot, fast, cheap and plentiful makes everyone better at their game. however, for a city as small as seattle, i think there are a remarkable number of those quality pockets jason mentioned. i can think of several excellent bakeries, 3 local spots that make and sell their own charcuterie *retail!*, 2 places i love to get pho, a couple of decent sandwich shops, insanely good oysters that needn't cost a fortune if you know where to have them...and then, of course, there are tacos. i live in west seattle and so die a slow death every time a new restaurant opens on alki - it's bound to either be terrible or close again immediately. unless it's a fish and chips shack (oh, hey - fish and chips!).
  13. i ate there. maybe i was in just after lunch hour - i think i got there at around 12:45 or so. i almost PM'd you to see if you wanted to go! so strange. tonkotsu - noted. thanks jason. i liked the noodles. i thought they were very tender and very fresh yesterday. i saw the lovely little nests, so that might have reinforced. mine did not really soften as i ate, so i assume i got them beyond al dente.
  14. LOL I was just there too, we must have just passed each other! and I ran into another eG pal too very funny! I had the shoyu also, loved the pork in it...question, what is "flavored egg" as an extra? what is it flavored with?? ← creepy! i was there too...the woman clearly pegged me for a naif so i had "regular" noodles...almost creamy and lovely. jason - the tonkatsu is pork-broth ramen - no fried cutlets involved. lmf - there were slices of pork in the shoyu? i loved the noodles and the pork in the tonkatsu, but i have to say the broth was a little too rich for me. liquid bacon is *not* an exaggeration. the broth was creamy and almost a little sticky. very rich. those noodles though...i will crave those.
  15. stopped into serious pie today for lunch with a friend from school. great sexy space - lofty, beamed ceilings and cozy leather (tall) chairs. my friend and i had the tomato/anchovy/kalamata olive and the foraged mushroom pizzas. i'm an east coast girl, so i was a little bummed to see a crust so thick on the edges, but it was much lighter than it looked. very good texture, with light and even toppings. the anchovy pizza was very strongly flavored (a good thing if you like anchovies as much as i do) the mushroom was good, but it seemed to me that the truffle flavor was on top of, not in the cheese. i like truffle, but i thought there was plenty of it...maybe they're listening kiliki? we had the affogato to finish - the advertised hazelnut was nowhere to be found, but the espresso was divine and the resulting super sweet rich latte-ish beverage was great. *most* important - open everyday 11-11...has anyone but me noticed the dearth of mid-day wine drinking and noshing establishments in this city? does a girl have to drink beer to have a nip at 2pm?
  16. my husband awoke with the grippe with red eyes and nose poised to drip to cure him of croup, i'll make him some soup chicken noodle will fix him up quick
  17. yes. soooo good. the rillettes are also insane. i've only had rillettes twice in my life. what is wrong with me? how much time do i have left? must find more rillettes. (other sampling was at le pichet. <insert drooling homer.> ← the rilettes are great, but the parfait is out of this world... ← the lemon parfait? agreed. ethereal.
  18. yes. soooo good. the rillettes are also insane. i've only had rillettes twice in my life. what is wrong with me? how much time do i have left? must find more rillettes. (other sampling was at le pichet. <insert drooling homer.>
  19. dinner for 3 at lark last night. we got there around 8:45 and were advised that we'd be waiting "less than 30 minutes" but quickly brought us wine & a cocktail to the seating area in front. 2 sips in and we were shown to our table! a nice surprise. i started with a NZ sav. blanc and rob had a glass of cesari something (i used to be obsessed with their amarone, so i always remember them, just not the wine. it was a ripasso. very nice) we shared - salumi (finnochiono) with grape mostarda, wild smoked salmon with egg salad, tomato and strawberry gazpacho topped with goat yogurt, quail with wax beans and summer chanterelles, rosti potatoes and hangar steak with tomato & chimichurri. everything was good (tho the salmon was very mild) but the steak, gazpacho & quail were extraordinary. thin rare rounds of steak drizzled with garlicky chimichurri and served on achingly ripe beeksteak tomatoes - divine. the gazpacho was more an essence than a soup - very thin but packed with flavor. i'm still thinking about the garlic + strawberry flavors. really good, but my favorite was the quail. a whole boned (minus the legs) quail with dynamite mushrooms and a grainy mustard sauce. the quail was just pink and very juciy and tender. we shared the lemon parfait for dessert as our friend is allergic to nuts - but the raspberry and nectarine crisp sounded great. the lemon parfait was a perfect end. creamy and tart in a pool of lemony soup with tiny slivers of sweetened lemons. my mouth is watering! 5 hmm, or 6? glasses of wine, 1 cocktail & 7 plates came to just under $160 including service. a total steal. service was gracious - they brought us new plates and silver at some point, and different bread - we had sourdough first and then they brought rye & wheat - not sure if they were matching or what. actually, the rye would have been fantastic with the egg salad & salmon, but they brought it later. lark rocks.
  20. The ice cream at Fran's is very good - i actually even prefer the sorbets - so they're worth a visit. Chocolate-wise - you needn't wait - Fran is online!
  21. thanks to all for the replies. i tried it and feel fine, so assuming i blended properly and am not more resilient than the average bear - i guess i'll just pray and let people know.
  22. we've got a neighborhood potluck tonight. i decided yesterday (slightly distracted) at work to make this. i scrawled down the ingredients and didn't think anything of it, except that it looked pretty good, easy and relatively fast. as i was making the filling i noticed something a little odd: the recipe calls for 8 eggs to be blended with 1 cup of butter 1/4 cup of jam and 3/4 cup of sugar. to that (ugly, curdled mixture) is added the magic of 20 oz of cooled melted chocolate. then the (magically smooth and luscious) whole lot tops the chopped nut/sugar/butter crust and is chilled. it looks gorgeous - the filling tastes wonderful - but 8 raw eggs?? is there enough sugar to make it ok? i know chocolate mousse (basically what this is) uses raw yolks, but it just seems like a lot. i'm not that social, but i'm really not trying to kill anyone.
  23. reesek

    Dry ribs

    Dave, do you lower the temp or cooking time with a convection oven?
  24. this is a great topic. last night, i was overwhelmed by the smell of pork blood. i got some pork from the sunday market and the smell of the blood as i removed it from the package for brining was intense. usually it smells like sunshine, dust and whatever garlicky spread i'm whipping up at the time.
  25. i love that stuff. i mix it with a little canola oil, fish sauce, sugar and rice vinegar for an addictive thai/viet style salad dressing. wonderful with tuna (thai tuna salad) and on cabbage. i usually also use some of the dressing as a marinade for the fish - it would be killer as a marinade for grilled steak too. mix with sour cream and sweet chili sauce - use to top anything potato (chip, tot, baked potato, fry) add to fried rice, mix with mayo and use on sandwiches....mmm lunchtime!
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