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Everything posted by reesek

  1. that doesn't surprise me. i have a lot of theories about why zaffarano didn't work. it's the kind of place i desperately wanted to love - it's walking distance from my house! but i just couldn't. chefturnedbum - any ideas what's next up for that spot?
  2. reesek

    Picnic Foods

    i love picnics! i third (or fourth) the weighted sandwich idea. i usually go with a roasted red pepper, goat cheese arugula, balsamic combo with crunchy salt. some salami in there wouldn't suck either. i live with a potato salad fiend. i make all kinds, but for warm weather, i like to cook potatoes (sometimes roasted, sometimes boiled) and add some capers, tarragon and parsley, some diced celery and dress while it's still warm with sherry vinegar, whole grain mustard and olive oil. olives! skewers of marinated cherry tomatoes, basil and mozz would be good too. if i want something to stay cool for a while, i'll freeze some grapes and rest or nestle the cool thing in the grapes. mmm, white sangria. if it's a picnic where i can keep things reasonably cold - it's lobster salad or lobster rolls all the way. with champagne. for camping - we made mussels a couple of years ago in cannon beach over an open fire - steamed as usual, but they took on some smoke and were just wonderful.
  3. that's annoying, andrew, because that provolone is very good. i wish you'd been properly informed. it's also a little odd, since the folks working there are generally very knowledgable. i did notice a couple of guys who i hadn't seen before - maybe they're filling in for others who are on vacation. in addition to the provolone piccante and fresh mozzarella, they also have a gorgonzola (well, i should say it's a soft italian blue) that comes with the meat, cheese and (3 token) olive plate. the day i was there (i think the day after you) they also had as the veggie side dish some seasoned (pickled or vinegared i think) italian peppers. i agree that the peppers and onion that top the sandwiches don't add a lot, but the seasoned ones looked bright and fresh. i think you're totally right that meat is the focus - but when aunt izzy is there making gnocchi...even the meat takes a back seat.
  4. yesterday's special was fennel sausage (on italian) i think salumi's marinara is exceptionally good. perfect salt, perfect tomato flavor. clearly a very simple recipe with nothing but top-notch ingredients. i agree with andrew about the round rolls - doughy and bad. i always pick the good stuff off of them. next time i suggest getting the meat and cheese plate (i always get one to go) it's got a great variety and comes with a few slices of baguette, or you could swing by essential bakery just up the road in pioneer square.
  5. reesek

    Dinner! 2005

    night before last - a couple of wild prawns cooked in their shells and topped with an (m. lucia inspired) dice of nectarine, mint, thai basil, a minced thai chili and a tiny squeeze of honey. tuna salad - seared albacore cooled and chunked with diced lemongrass, scallion and cabbage. dressed with a nam pla, chili sauce & rice wine vinaigrette. served with: boston lettuce for rolling, thinly sliced english cucumbers & shallot soaked in mirin and white vinegar for tangy crunch, diced thai chilis in vinegar for addictive fruity heat and rice to cool. last night - beer.
  6. oysters at the Brooklyn or Elliot's (good happy hour there that's been written about a lot) small menu but impeccably prepared fish at Matt's in the Market. Chez Shea (or the more relaxed Shea's Lounge) would also fit the bill, and all 3 are so Seattle. In a good way. i'm not a fan of eating downstairs at Ray's. i think it's overpriced and undergood but i'm just one opinion. Union is arguably the best restaurant in seattle right now, and chef ethan stowell does a great job with fish. in general (as you can probably gather) i suggest non-seafood places which prepare seafood/fish well. kiliki's suggestion is a great one - i also suggest Monsoon on 19th in capitol hill. excellent vietnamese fusion with terrific seafood.
  7. reesek

    Dinner! 2005

    m. lucia, your peach and basil salsa sounds lovely...what else do you put in it? you guys have peaches already? we're only just starting to get tomatoes in seattle. no crab can touch the sweet flavor of lump maryland blues.
  8. thanks fiftydollars. my grill does have a lid, but i think the vent is too small - the fire tends to smolder, and the coals usually go out before they turn white. how often do you need to replenish the coals? for baby backs - how long would you let them go? (i see above you note 6 hours for spare ribs) i agree with snowangel in that i like my meat pretty bare (salt and pepper - or maybe brine and pepper) but i'm not opposed to a little wood in there too. i'll give it a go. sigh...and find spareribs.
  9. ok ya'll, i'm a rib neophyte. i had ribs the other day cooked by a friend who cranked his gas grill to high and cooked off 2 half racks (baby backs) in about 30 minutes. i looked on with concern. i may not have cooked ribs, but my butt kicks ass. i was convinced they were going to be inedible - tough, dry...and flavorless. they weren't. they seemed a little greasy, which i attributed to the short cooking time. they weren't super tender, but really, i was surprised at how very not bad they were. ok. i really liked them - but i need your help - i want to improve on them without losing the spartan simplicty. he used no sauce, just salt and pepper. he let the s&p sit on the meat for maybe an hour. even on gas, the char was wonderful - crisp but not burned. there was no smoke in these, and i liked the assertive porkiness. (the words that come out of my mouth on this site...) but i like smoke. here's my main problem - i've only got a (really crap) charcoal grill...no way to properly regulate the temp - can i slow roast these and then slap on the charcoal grill to crisp? if i'm cooking for so much longer - do i want/need some liquid? cali's ribs looked awesome, and she only cooked them for an hour in the oven...some people cook for 4. i'm trying to figure out the right timing - i like a little snap - but not whiplash. help gulleteers - must i wait until i have a new grill? oh - i also have a stove top smoker - can i make something work?
  10. FFR - deepest sympathy - please know that even the agnostics are thinking of you and your wife.
  11. wine (is it alarming that i'm kind of stuck after wine?) cheese pears if wine doesn't count, add chili peppers.
  12. hate buttered popcorn...but toasted marshmallow are my favorite - makes eating them in the dark a little more exciting. i also hate cantaloupe & bubble gum and just barely tolerate watermelon. love the sours and almost all the other fruit ones. i'm always disappointed when i mistake butterscotch for peanut butter. cream soda, cinnamon, coffee bean (actually coffee + cinnamon is very good) are tops on my list. juicy pear is wonderful. you guys rock - now i know just what i'm having for dinner.
  13. we saw some hilarious news coverage in auckland. Barmy Army spokesperson says something like, "these are upstanding devotees of sport not mere lager louts." at which point the camera pans to a shot of 40 drunken, red-faced englishmen/lions supporters shouting and clutching their pints... we're seriously considering buying the package (replayed) of games...we'd get to see them all in a row! thanks for the congrats julles.
  14. back! Julles - i was already there when you posted, but fortunately - i think i covered some of your calls. first night - dinner at dine - peter gordon's new restaurant in the grand hotel across from skycity. wine markups in nz seem much lower than in the states. this is a good thing. don't recall what we drank, but we loved it. something from central otago. the food was good - a little over manipulated for my taste, but i would return. dinner was followed by a drink at bar lenin - for a passionfruit infused vodka that was absolutely luscious. dinner and drink were followed up by a taxi to devonport and a stop at the (very closed) ferry terminal. we'd asked our driver to take us somewhere with a nice view. the tiny beach at devonport reminded us of our view of downtown from our west seattle neighborhood...a perfect place to get engaged. we went back to town searching for champagne, ended up (midnight on a sunday) back in the lobby of the grand, the staff of which could not have been more gracious or accomodating. in fact, i've never met such uniformly, unsardonically nice people in my life - everywhere we went we were treated so kindly. incredible. we ate lunch earlier in the day at a place called bar mezze - it's not on vulcan, but on an alley-street just parallel and upstairs. wonderful lamb meatballs, good bravas, disappointing tortilla and the best coffee i had in nz. we decided to change our routing due to rumors of bad weather in the upper bay of plenty. so we flew to wellington. we thought wellington was a very cool city. a lot like SF, a bit like Vancouver. We liked it better than Auckland in all ways except coffee-wise - so Helen - you can tell your sister that i'm on her side! the food we had there was largely marginal - with a couple of exceptions...but i don't think that's wellington's fault! the major exception was logan brown. we had lunch there. 2 of us had the $35 prix fixe and 2 of us ordered off the menu. the prix fixe were outstanding and absolutely knocked my meal out of the water. totally empty at lunch... we had dinner on the water our last night in town...i want to say it was called shed? it was a holiday and many places were closed. the food was decent, but not great, desserts were terrible and the service was truly awful. our waitress was truly awful, and not nice. she was german. (no slam on germans intended, but i would like to point out that our streak of insanely nice kiwis was not broken) went twice to the (famous?) chocolate fish, a favorite of my b-i-l. good sandwiches, panini and tea. we spent an afternoon in martinborough, talking to the vintner at dry river - that was a wonderful experience, and then had lunch in town at pub...decadent wedges. we flew down to blenheim to visit a couple of wineries and visit some friends of my sister. we ate nothing memorable in blenheim, including at the fancy hotel. the room was so cold, it was pretty miserable. actually - i take that back - we had an excellent kebab. wonderful wine. hic. hic. hic. the woman who runs the tasting room at wither hills is incredibly nice. she drove us back to town, as rob and i were kind of stranded. we also visited seresin, villa maria, cloudy bay, and one other i can't recall. we had lunch at another i can't recall that felt sort of mediterranean. quite nice. from wellington we flew to taupo and then rented a car. we drove up to rotorua and then over to whatakane. no memorable food there, except that if the lunch served by PeeJay's tour company (also a hotel, and cafe) was any indication - they make the best food in town. white island is also not to be missed. it's like a moon walk with stink. after white island we wended our way north on the (as previously mentioned) gorgeous coastal route on our way up to the coromandel peninsula. holy moly. sweet faced-sheep, rolling hills with grass so lush, shiny and verdant i wanted to eat it. add that to (empty!) beaches - including hot water beach, stunning walks - to cathedral cove, among others and *more* kindness...it was really almost too much. i loved whangamata (sp??) the dinner we had at the local pub was not special - but there was a rugby game on, and we'd become slavishly addicted by then. what made it so special, aside from it's perfect size were the wonderful beach, amazing stars and a great (daytime only) bakery and deli all the way at the end of town. it's a woman's name. we had a chicken and brie panini for breakfast on the beach while grinning at the splendor. in general, the east coast of the coromandel was prettier in my opinion, and i was glad we stayed in whangamata instead of whitianga which was larger and not nearly as sweet. the next night we stayed in coromandel town and aside from one perfect moment just outside of town with a magnificent view and sheep nearby - it wasn't wonderful. we saw a lot of deforestation around there, and even a huge controlled burn. necessary? no idea...just not pretty. in thames we had lunch at taj's curry house and had the best dal makhani i've had since chicago. it was early so his tandoor (!) wasn't on yet, but he made us some chapathis (not on the menu), which i thought was a lovely touch. the green peppers in the chicken were a little odd, but no matter - it was flavor! we were in tears due to spice...our tastebuds had grown thick and weary of fried food and braised lamb. the tears were joyous. dinner that night (our last) was at o'connell street bistro. we got to drink our new favorite wine (mt. difficulty) and we are spectacular food - i far preferred it to dine. i have to say - we didn't sample the list nearly as much as we would have liked, but we were a bit tipsy already after the all blacks painful humilation of Fiji. finally - our flight was late enough to allow us to watch the new zealand maori humilate the lions. how's that for a ramble. i loved it there. next time - a month in a camper on the south island. go blacks!
  15. i'm confused about something...they open at 5 but pass the (single) menu around at 6? is there bread? are you supposed to sit there drinking wine for an hour before you get to order? i can drink a lot of wine in an hour...
  16. white anchovies. variety and freshness of herbs and produce. there's no beating it for one stop shopping. fish sausages...very tasty. my favorite recent find isn't from wfm - it's from PCC...Dr. Kracker. there are 3 kinds - pumpkin cheese, spelt cheese and seeded spelt. addictive. good with hummus, cheese, whatever - and perfect for lunches. i now return you to the wfm report.
  17. thank you so much for the driving (and pit stop) advice helen, and pg - (with great taste in tea - i know you can be trusted) thanks for the advice - we'll plan to go to Rocco (any idea if they're open sunday evening?) helen, i think we'll be more in wellington than anywhere else - so your sisters assertions are probably safe - true or not... i will definitely report back. soooo excited!
  18. right now - asparagus. blanch quickly toss with olive oil and coarse salt 500 degrees until black in spots hit with a bit of lemon juice or truffle oil. magnificent!
  19. i'm sure someone here must have the back story about the jack's space. it's been vacant for 5 years. it seems to undergo sporadic papering and unpapering, but until now it hasn't seemed seriously about to open. who left that (prime) space vacant for so long, and why? do i smell another capitol hill evil landlord situation?
  20. holidaywise- apple pie with crumb topping (and soggy crust) day after thanksgiving turkey soup - thickened with leftover stuffing ambrosia sweet gherkins olive (fingers) everyday-wise egg rolls and shrimp with lobster sauce - every sunday night for 15 years... pork loin - in (too) many guises wet spaghetti oversized salad ingredients entenmanns cookies fiery chili
  21. the WS space that closed down (admiral cafe)? is being turned into a Bank of America. clearly the one in the safeway half a block away is insufficient.
  22. hello, i have the great privilege of spending 14 days in new zealand at the very end of may and front side of june. my sister has recently moved to wellington, so we'll be there (and environs) for much of the time, but are flying into auckland and driving to wellington via whakatane (to see white island). we've got at least a day between whakatane and wellington, plus 2 or 3 days in auckland - i'd love any advice - what can't we miss? - where should we eat? near wellington - any recommendations on the wineries in martinborough? do they tend to be casual, or are appointments required? we're on something of a budget, but hope to use the (slightly) favorable exchange to our advantage. i'd love recommendations from natives or travellers. many many thanks in advance!
  23. no bubbles? but they're so much fun to spit out the window while driving! just try not to laugh too hard...promotes choking. yes, i am 16.
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