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Everything posted by hathor

  1. Hi Kelley!! Full disclosure re Il Clandestino: it was a gorgeous summer night, a full moon rising, Jeff's birthday, romance in the air and we had the tasting menu. No canned tuna. In fact, the tuna pictured had urchin sandwiched in between and it was luscious. They were ambitious in their flavor and texture pairings and almost everything worked perfectly. The only trying-to-hard moment was the house apperitivo, some sort of lemongrass tea with tapioca pearls, a shot of nitrogen....I can't remember why. It was lame, but overall it was a truly delicious meal. Maybe we just got lucky. However, the place that we can't wait to go back to is Anna's, also at Porto Nuovo. If you go to the Napolean fort hotel...can't remember the name but it's that fancy dancy hotel, and go to the left side. It's far funkier, fishing boats, more locals...and a bunch of fish restaurants. Anna's mussels are to die for....huge chunks of lemon and fennel...we fought over them and licked the plate clean. It's our favorite beach by far...next summer, there should be an eG party. And we got a local tip...but you have to swim to the restaurant. Seriously. Or take a boat. We're bringing our fins next time.
  2. I've never seen it served with a "traditional Jewish" style brisket, as the sauce is usually made from the cooking liquid, but it sure sounds good to me...and rather than save a piece, we'll just make a nice, fresh one...and play around with some horseradish as well. ← Sounds like a plan to me!
  3. "If you find a good butcher, give him a kiss. They are a dieing breed." - Fergus Henderson Or words to that effect, spoken at an IACP conference a few years ago and truer words were never spoken. Jeffrey is fantastic! Perhaps crazy as loon, but in a very good way. I was feeling sort of depressed thinking about coming back to NY and having to shop there. Sorry NY'ers, but I'm a little spoiled with lots of cheap rabbit, guinea fowl, great pork, lamb...... Then I remembered Jeffrey, and I felt a whole lot better. His meat is excellent, his prices are fair, and he's always entertaining.
  4. Gorgeous Mitch! I can almost smell it from here. Browning is a good thing! I have a question, does anyone else like a horseradish sauce with brisket? We just came back from Friuli, and up in the northern parts, they shave fresh horseradish on all sorts of things. I think it would be excellent on that brisket. Save me a piece.
  5. hathor

    Bologna Dining

    Slightly north of Bologna is Il Sole Antica Locanda del Trebbo. We had a truly outstanding meal there..but it was a few years ago. Contemporary in the sense that the preparations and flavor combinations were unique, but still firmly rooted in classic E-R cuisine. Il Sole Via Lame, 67 40013 Trebbo di Reno Tel: 051 700 102
  6. hathor


    Ciao! You might try tracking down Divina Cucina (Judy Witt) on this board. She's the Firenze oracle. How's your Italian?
  7. Hey Pedalforte, I have two words for you: walkie talkies. We started carrying them skiing in the back country and they have saved our necks more than once. No more standing at the intersection wondering which way did he go?? Your June trip sounds great! It's usually a busy time of year for us...but maybe we'll see you...at least on a downhill. I think you are made of sterner stuff than I am. Still no rain. Still no truffles. 2 weeks until our truffle festival...hmmmm.....
  8. Lead me. Take me. Meet me? I'll second the Il Saranghino rec. We had an outstanding meal there in July. I also really like Il Clandestino at Monte Conero, Porto Nuovo. It's a shack on the beach, probably closed now...but outstanding. Chic shack.
  9. Weighing is the most accurate method of portioning. I always use a scale and it's amazing how when I'm teaching, you can see the light bulb go off in people's heads when they see how consistent and easy it is to use a scale.
  10. The only good funghi I've seen was last week in Friuli in the Prealps. Guys were coming out of the bosco with huge baskets of mixed funghi...and yes, they were delicious!
  11. Ciao Piedmontese, no rain in Umbria either. Our truffles are not like yours, but I'd sure like some anyway. We had a little rain on Friday, but we need some soakers and some fog. Not even a lousy porcini to be had. And to add insult to injury...the ad banner at the top of this page is urging me to eat mushrooms. Cruel.
  12. Judith. It's a slightly complicated issue. In order to legally cook "sous-vide", you need to get clearance from the health department and start a very complicated HAACP (google it) plan documenting every detail of the process daily. The sort of cleanliness standards required to do sous-vide properly make 95% of all restaurants below par. That being said, the concerns are storage and cooking temps that may be in complete conflict with FDA cooking guidelines in some cases. Philadelphia Health Department as far as I know has no actual HAACP guideline for sous-vide therefore it is up to individual operators to come up with one. Fact is they do not even have enough inspectors to handle basic violations before even attempting to delve into extremely detailed scientific data. Cooking fish sous vide I think is totally out of the question for the HD becuase the temp is just too low, however it is the best technique for such things as butter poached crustaceans. Sous-vide would be superflous at Amada, there is nothing on that menu that benefits from SV. So "Legally" speaking, it is "NOT" legal. Astute diners can tell what has been cooked sous-vide either visually or texturally based on what it is exactly, either way the term "sous-vide" even if allowed does not belong on a restaurant menu. It's a technical term that is subject to one or more finishing methods. ← Thanks.... seems as if nothing has changed then. FYI, even the Italians are supposed to follow HAACP guidlines, and they even call it by the same name. Fortunately the Italians still leave a little room for common sense so you will occasionally find chefs using the sous vide technique.
  13. Ciao! We just got back late on Monday evening...and have had internet issues ever since. I'm organizing my photos and info, but overall....it was OUTSTANDING! Mangia bene, beve bene, in bici bene. Here's the sound byte version: Udine: It's much easier to get a cocktail or a good glass of wine in Udine than it is to find a good restaurant. Absolutely fantastic bar culture and a gorgeous city. Cividale dei Friuli: beautiful town and a good base for exploring the wine region. Wonderful enoteca in the piazza. Cormons, La Subida: a little slice of heaven. A divine restaurant, in the sense that it satisfied all of your senses. Great food, atmosphere and genuine hospitality. Riding around the Cormons-Prepotto-Dolegna area was just lovely. It was the height of vendammia and we followed tractors filled with grapes, smelled grapes everywgere and were swarmed by fruit flies (not exactly romantic, but what do you expect with a lot ripe grapes around). Gorizia: we got a strange vibe here, there is a sense of sadness, as if what happened during the last war is still an open wound. However, we did find a charming, delicious restaurant, La Locandareria that made the trip worthwhile. Monfalcone: truly the armpit of Italy. Trieste: Go. Go. Go. Go now. What a city! And the costiera strada between Monfalcone and Trieste is a real treat to ride. Grado: not our cup of tea but lovely all the same. As soon as I get it together I'll post some photos and addresses of the good places. We were very sorry to leave....but, of course, happy to be home.
  14. "Legally" speaking, is it permitted to use the sous vide technique in a restaurant? I remember a few years back it wasn't....anyone who was doing it, did it quietly. Is that still an issue?
  15. Carolyn, you nailed it....Tupac is a force to be reckoned with! And skinny to boot....life can be so unfair.
  16. One more quick ketchup story. I've held it all summer and need a place to vent. We're strolling down Via Veneto in Roma, kind of a fancy neighborhood, nice shops, sidewalk restaurants (the glass enclosed kind), and sitting at a restaurant are two young Americans who have covered their proscuitto and melone in ketchup. The waiter's face was made of stone. A true professional.
  17. Sort of an off topic question: do you think calling these chefs 'stars' is a good thing? "A Rising Star"? Just a meandering thought....I'm wondering if that puts too much emphasis on celebrity, then again celebrity brings money.... Meandering, like I said. Very happy to see that cocktails are getting their due. I would have loved to be at that bitter workshop.
  18. sorry, but where's the romance? Standing over a hot, steaming pot, working away in the back.... romance? For me the romance is when I'm sitting in front, with lipstick on and a real glass glass of wine. I can't imagine that any of the top, great chefs do not pay homage and tribute to the chefs and creators that went before them. Can genius be interchangeable? Even after 5 years, can Steven Hawking do what Grant Achatz does? Probably not. And I'm not saying Achatz is or isn't a genius, only that genius is not necessarily commutable from one area to another.
  19. Grazie mille John. I know how much work it takes to do a report of this depth, and believe me....I appreciate your efforts and your sons. Grazie! The Heston Blumenthal section is certainly thought provoking....
  20. Grazie tante!! Si, lego e parlo Italiano. Non molto bene, ma abastanza bene. Great info. We are in the final stages. Picked up our bikes after a good controllare, new bourse, and we are nearly ready to roll. Anyway want to watch 2 adorable cats for 10 days?
  21. Peanut gallery piping up here: do you know if it was corn or grass fed? Just curious. I've been in Italy for awhile, and they cut meat very differently here, so looking at that carefully cooked piece of meat....reminded me that I haven't seen meat like that in awhile. Meat here has a ton of grizzle, and fat and it's 'hard' compared to soft American meat. Could that softness result in a loss of flavor? Just idle wondering....not that this will help you find a good cut of meat in Philly.
  22. Grazie Man! We were planning a trip to Sardina and I was hoping that you would come back with some info. Our plans changed and we are heading up to Friuli....and no one on eG seems to have much beta on that either. Maybe we should start writing the off the beaten track guide??
  23. -BUMP- 70 views and no replies. I'm beginning to think no one has ever gone to Friuli! When I've tried to find guide books here in Umbria for Friuli, they look at me as if I want the guidebook for Mars! If I find anything good....I'll let you know!
  24. hathor

    Erba Luna

    My, you dug this thread up.... Not sure how to put this as there are legal issues, but our partners turned out to be less than honest and things got ugly. We're in litigation. I've spent the summer catering and giving cooking classes for visitors to our beautiful area. Much less stressful than being afraid to turn your back on your partners. 'nuff said?
  25. Jeff and I are planning a bike trip to Friuli at the end of the month and if anyone has words of wisdom regarding places to go and wines to drink, speak up now, or forever hold your peace. The plan as of today, is to take the train up to Udine, then head to Cividale di Friuli, spend some time in the wine towns around Cormons. I want to take Jeff to La Subidia, I've been there and it was such a treat I want to share it with him. Then we are heading south to Grado for a little view of the ocean. Oh, yeah, we'll take bike trip advice as well. The info regarding taking bikes on TrenItalia is a little vague, and totally Italian!
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