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Everything posted by reesek

  1. there is another ovio thread, but the title is specific to lemony's experience, so i decided to start a different topic based on ovio's recent move to just south of the alaska junction. we dressed as we would have for the old ovio, but felt foolishly overdressed in the new space where half the patrons wore jeans. the new ovio is big. and LOUD. increasing their space 10-fold, and remodeling the former guppies-nee godfather's pizza space must have taken some ingenuity. but it fell a little flat with me. the open plan, (mostly) bare walls and painted exposed pipes create an urban loft-like feel. the small seated bar area, and large bar added to that feel. perhaps in an effort to soften the space, perhaps to simply cover the acres of ugly tile, the owners of ovio installed ugly, vegas-esque carpet, which (for me) pretty much killed the urban feel. the martini glass shaped sconces didn't help either. after some flat prosecco, which our waiter was happy to change out for us - we got to the eating. honestly i think the food is better. much better, actually than it was before. my duck was very slightly overdone, but we lingered a bit over salad (roasted beet & blue cheese), so i'm willing to take reponsibility for that. the oysters (kumamoto) were perfect, with hardly a speck of shell, and rob's clam, mussel and rock shrimp saute was delicious and perfectly cooked. our typical finale of creme brulee was as consistently vanilla-y and well crusted as ever. but it's not the same. this, for me, is a case where better food doesn't translate into a better experience. i'll definitely come back, but i'd almost certainly sit in the bar. i'll order less and might only have a glass of wine - not a bottle. it will be a (welcome) weeknight spot, but they've lost the intimacy that made it a romantic destination for us. I'm disappointed with what's left to me; a restaurant that tries to ignore the difference between neighborhood and downtown and therefore fails to nail either.
  2. the admiral way cafe is up for public auction today between 10-12. we were just wondering the other day how that place stayed in business...it was kind of like Mel's diner. in a way, i'm sorry to see it go. the food was bad and the service pretty indifferent, but older people went there because they knew what to expect.
  3. oh i so agree. i can smell the soil clinging to the salsify from your photos. i think i read the first blog and the montignac blog 3 times each, just to imagine france again. thank you so much for doing this again. now, i'll be by in about 30 minutes - i can bring some fennel braised pork and wild salmon...anything else from seattle you'd like?
  4. i love celery. the leaves add nuance to sauces, stalks (when stripped of hard strings) add tender crunch and are irreplaceable in cold salads (tuna, shrimp, chicken, lobster) it's also loaded with water, self-salted, and lasts longer than 2 days in the fridge. i'd love a recipe if anyone has a winner for braised celery. i've heard it's revelatory. celery is the toast of the vegetable world - underappreciated, but highly satisfying.
  5. thursday night i had deviled eggs and a carrot cupcake yesterday lunch was a damn tasty turkey club dinner last night was steamed mussels and rock shrimp with lemongrass, coconut milk, jalepenos and roasted tomatoes. cheese and muscat grapes for dessert i prepared the tomatoes yesterday afternoon while also soaking and cooking marrow beans for tonight's dinner. also slow roasted 2 small shoulder blade steaks rubbed with a fennel-corriander rub (ala michael chiarrello) for eating with the beans and some broccolini tonight.
  6. creepy girl, i like the finnochiona (too many n's?) from Met Market. they have great cheese too. i second the rec for molinari as well. the other benefit (IMO) to WF &/or met market is the pickle/olive situation. i am a big fan of cornichon and olives with my cheese. none of the meat is as great as salumi, but it definitely enables the graze whenever.
  7. tango hooked about 15 of us up about a year ago. you can set a per-person price and they'll feed you. the room was lovely too. i think the palace minimum is $500. i hated marrakesh, but i'm kind of a spoiler. i wanted a fork. or bread that wasn't baguette sliced into thin rounds. it really was a little perverse. also i was there with a very large (30) person party and they sat us at 3 large adjoining tables and then sat 3 people (woe is them) in the tiny 2-top corner table next to us. i know that (i'm blanking on the name) the wood pizza place in columbia city has a private space. i've done events at brasa upstairs - that's a great rec. no minimum i don't think and i've always had excellent service when in a group. they're always super cool about bringing off menu wines.
  8. yes - i totally agree. and thank you daddy-a for pointing out the tiling around the window. i love hearing about the touches that make something feel perfect, but that are so subtle as to miss notice otherwise. amazing blog. that italian grocery?? my gawd yum. do they house-cure? i love vancouver - or as i used to call it when US exchange was more favorable to me: vanshoever.
  9. So I have to pass on some kudos to the Southeast forum for some very comprehensive suggestions for visitors to Orlando. I now know I can get my mother a lovely gift (dinner at Victoria and Albert's) and have some good ideas about where to go when I'm in town. ...and in town I will be. My mom lives in Ocala, and I'll be visiting for just a few days at the end of March. Since I'm flying out of MCO early on a Sunday morning, we'll spend the night relatively close to the airport on Saturday. I've tasked myself with finding a place to go on Saturday. I'm leaning toward blue bistro, but want to make sure that it's the right blend of cozy, tasty and reasonable. Mom is one cool lady, but I don't want to take her to a scenester restaurant. She's also a smoker, so I'm always on the prowl for a bar that allows smoking. Can anyone give me a rough range of wine prices for Blue? Their site lists bottles, but no prices. I've also considered "K" but think that it might be a little trendy. I'm also contemplating Primo - is that considerably (+ $50) more expensive than Blue? Susan's pasta and that duck dish both sound great. Am I missing something obvious? Thanks so much! (I'll happily return the favor should any of you find yourself in Seattle) reese
  10. it's wonderful on vanilla ice cream. and drizzled on steak instead of a pan sauce. also good on melon with prosciutto. i'm pretty sure i've heard it used like a flavoring syrup - added to seltzer for a beverege. from food reference "Balsamic means 'like balsam’ - and balsam is an aromatic resin - balsamic vinegar simply refers to the fact that it is thick (resin like) and aromatic."
  11. And that's a co-worker, not a customer. A customer has every reason to take that question at face value. I'm in the middle on this issue. Personally, I don't complain unless food is uncooked or burned or clearly different from the way it was described on the menu, i.e. unless it seems like there was really some kind of mistake. If a dish I liked seemed to be different all of a sudden, I might ask, "Have you changed the way you make this?" as a matter of interest, not as a complaint. (I want to know if I should order it again.) But I don't get what seems to be the idea that because chefs are professionals and their job is challenging, they shouldn't be questioned. What professional in this world has a job where his or her work is never under scrutiny from customers? And, yes, you do know more about your field than the average customer, but the customer is paying you. You're not in the business as a favor to the customer. ← yes, my example was perhaps not a very good one - though frankly i am irritated when anyone asks a question expecting a specific answer - be it "fine thanks" or "of course your ass doesn't look fat in those pants."
  12. maybe you should stop asking if you don't care. i'm not trying to be hostile, but i'm with halloweencat here. if i ask suzy how she is in the hallway of my office and she starts moaning about her in-laws and their bunions - i would sorely regret having asked, but i'd have no business blaming her for answering. i'd much rather not be asked than be asked by someone who doesn't care. edited to clarify last point.
  13. reesek


    i can barely help at all - but i offer you both of my tiny shreds of wisdom. 1) supremes - yes 2) i wouldn't let the fish sit in the marinade all day, i'd worry about it breaking down - even something as sturdy as salmon - but you could certainly cut the oranges - even macerate them in the vermouth ahead of time, cut the parchment and jullienne the vegetables and just assemble right before baking. i usually treat roasting in papillote the same way i treat plain old roasting - your timing looks pretty good to me - especially if you're assembeling at the last minute as fridge-cold salmon would take a little longer. i love to serve steam-roasted salmon with saffron mayo or tarragony hollandaise. with your menu, i might make a basil or a red pepper mayo instead. sounds lovely. *oh - and about the red wine - pinot noir is the generally recommended pairing with salmon here in the PNW - and it's definitely not unusual to see a fuller bodied red served with salmon.
  14. well, maybe...the scrolling menu says "small plates and bar until midnight" right under the regular hours. a bit inconsistent. hope the food's better. the menu looks pretty good.
  15. Malawry, I love your blog. I wasn't in a sorority, but my dorm didn't have any cooking facilities either. i used to have lunch at a friend's "house" occasionally...no made to order there - ever. no homemade soups either. but there was a big cereal wheel i think. and always dessert. better than saga. (food service)
  16. holy moly those look good. i've got my 5T of cinnamon at the ready...erm, what else do i need? (if you don't mind posting a recipe)
  17. reesek


    i make a horseradish tofu sauce which is delicious on sandwiches as a mayo substitute. it's main purpose to top potato latkes. i made it up for a vegan friend. ingredients are simply extra firm tofu (pressed,) horseradish, salt & pepper and a bit of rice wine vinegar to thin. silken tofu would work too, but i find it gives a powdery end taste, so i use extra firm and just blitz it in the mini-prep. tofu can also make a nice base for vegetarian dips and such. i also love smoked tofu. i've been thinking about smoking my own (with a small stove-top smoker). i like to make tofu salad with pre-smoked stuff. it tends to be super firm, and i dice it and mix it with walnuts, mayo, celery and grapes - like chicken salad. i also love shallow-fried tofu. sprinkled with lots of salt and a squeeze of lime at the end.
  18. strawberry and coffee are my favorites. HD strawberry was the first "real" food i remember eating. tastes like being 2.
  19. you've brought up a huge pet peeve of mine about seattle...i understand that waterfront dining is often expensive...but so much of it is mediocre. that steams me. i'll offer a couple of WS suggestions... though the food is mediocre, people seem to like dukes on alki. the deck is great, and i'd happily sit on the deck for drinks and an appetizer or for lunch in the summer. i've been wanting to take the water taxi forever and i've heard the fish and chips shack right by the taxi is good. la rustica is across the street from the water, but in summer it's really nice to have dinner and then walk along the water at sunset. is lowells the place in the market with the upstairs section and the downstairs? it's an institution, but i don't get it. it's not bad, but it's basically diner food. there's much better food to be had in the market. with a view (in addition to wendy's maxmillien suggestion) i nominate matt's for lunch.
  20. is that anything like the cider (sidra) produced in asturias in spain? unfiltered, not sweet...but fruity and unbelievably good with octopus? professional at work
  21. sigh thank you. less impressive in spring, but i bet that view is dazzling in fall. how does one get into your will? btw - those aren't mung beans are they?
  22. holy crap, he defiled your cheesecake! verjuice you're a saint in my book for turning that into something positive. personally, i think his justification was unbelievably selfish and cruel. i'm not suggesting that you had a right to set the stage for his consumption and subsequent enjoyment - but he rewarded your careful effort on his behalf with no respect at all.
  23. Vermouth? I bought some Cinzano bianco today. I like it chilled, over ice, and with a slice of lemon. ← Okay, then, I think that settles the question of our having been separated at birth conclusively: my preferred aperitif is vermouth, on the rocks, with a twist. Except that I generally take sweet red vermouth. Which would make me Rose Red to Jensen's Snow White. This beverage is similar to vermouth, but a bit fruitier. A bit more like sangria (though not sangria). ← lillet rouge?
  24. therese, even with a miserable cold i'm enchanted by your blog. the view from your kitchen reminds me of western maryland - gorgeous! you mentioned a hearth-like feel was important to you when designing your kitchen...show me the hearth, lady! and full-frontal (kitchen) shots...i'm sure the suspense will be worth the wait, but (call me camille) i may not make it. show me the kitchen! oh - do you drink beer at home more than wine? tell me more about the dessert wine you enjoyed at the restaurant...is it similar at all to ice wine? you mentioned that it was demi-sec...right? what's that like? (i'm no expert, but i adore pear-y dessert wine but don't like raisin-y ones - or port) i'm always looking for new ones to try.
  25. i'm recovering, though since i never stopped eating fish, i didn't call myself a vegetarian. i stopped eating meat for a couple of reasons: 1) pork is delicious. i was perhaps somewhat less judicious than i should have been in my use of it in my youth. i wanted to make it "easier" to say no to bacon. 2) i have always loved to cook, but found myself relying on standards for flavors (smoke, moisture, creaminess etc) and wanted a challenge. 3) i live in seattle - it's really easy not to eat meat here so it seemed like an interesting experiment. it was, and it lasted about 6 years. i started again very randomly. i was in london for work and i just adore english breakfast sausage. had to have it. then i was in spain in july and i knew i had a date with salchichon that i couldn't miss. when i came home i started experimenting timidly. i had started to feel like i'd been missing something and so my experiment came to an end. i think now it would be hard for me to go back. i'm still really fussy about the meat i eat - i don't enjoy fatty meat, or the texture of a thick steak and i'm barely ok with chicken - though i'm crazy about pork. i appreciate your question about slaughtering and animal care. i've thought about that a lot and i'm at peace with my decisions, but it's still hard. i won't eat veal or foie gras - and try to eat meat that's raised organically and treated humanely...but i eat in my (sodexho) work cafeteria every day - where even the lettuce suffers from cruelty. one thing that as a food lover i feel i can do (more effectively as a meat eater than not) is support small artisan shops. a small independent butcher whose business doesn't rely on factory farming is one i can feel good about supporting. a salumeria that treats meat with reverence (and makes a hell of a finnochiona) is one i'm glad i can enjoy and support at the same time.
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