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Everything posted by eatrustic

  1. Now all we need is a full Tequila/Margarita report (I'm hoping they are as serious about this as their name implies). I'll see what I can do in the next week or so.
  2. Hey, this sounds good. I passed by the other day before they opened for the evening service and was slightly worried that this was an attempt to fancify rustic mexican cuisine but it sounds like they pulled it off. Thanks for the review, I look forward to trying them.
  3. Top Pot donuts aren't bad. I'm from Seattle so I've had them fresh. I really don't think they're anything too special. That's just me though. There are loads of places in Seattle that make a much much much better donut. ← Top Pot is a cool place in Seattle but the donuts they make aren't anything special. Hard to believe that they would even compare with Donut Plant. Are we talking yeast raised vs yeast raised? From what I understand Top Pot uses palm oil (at Starbuck's urging) to make their doughnuts, not really one of my favorites for frying.
  4. What no banana dishes?? There's a deal killer right there Thanks for the synopsis. I'm looking forward to this (but not the hassle it's going to be to get in.)
  5. So did anyone catch the CFUN interview? I missed the damn thing and would love to have heard it. Podcast anyone?
  6. I originally thought I'd ignore the above statement as it was a bit too "trollish" for my taste but as the conversation continues it's worth replying to. What the hell does it matter who was in the building before? If Chef Boulud had orchestrated the exit of Rob Feenie I would then agree with the "knife in the back" reference. Rob Feenie, whether he is a great chef with poor financial skills or a media hungry jerk who played fast and hard with his investors and lost, is no longer associated with the restaurant he was perhaps foolish enough to sign his name away to. Whether it's Normand Laprise or Martin Picard who have left their business due to difficulties with partners they have taken on and signed legal agreements with it's all the same at the end of the day as long as a new and different restuarant rises from the ashes. There remains a viable business location, zoned and equipped with a world class kitchen. The current operators rather than pretend that the old chef is still around (right, though, on the time to remove the old awards and plaques) have sought out the best possible (in their mind) replacement to ensure that their investment will hopefully pay off. Better a world class operator than a schmuck who would trade off on the name/location until it ran itself into the ground. Of course there will be talk regardless, but under the proper circumstances let the show go on. With the Olympics on the way this will be too high profile a location for Chef Boulud to only pay lip service to the kitchen and food quality. The only mistake he could make in that aspect would be to pull a Ducasse (with his first New York location) which was over the top even by New York standards (although this is a DB location and not a Daniel there could still be the risk of ridiculous price points for the food being served). This will be a fabulous opportunity for local chefs and FOH staff to pick up on Daniel's style and techniques. Hopefully at the press luncheon on Friday there will be less fawning and more interesting questions asked as to why here and now for DB. It will be interesting to see what the extensive menu planned for the press lunch on Friday does for the local food cognizenti but a suggestion to Chef Boulud: we don't need P.E.I. oysters to be brought in, some of our local ones aren't bad
  7. Hmmm.... Dolce de Leche might just give the all time best Liberty version: Mocha, a run for it's money. Anytime you combine the consistency and richness of whipped cream and sour cream with a serious dose of mocha (best served over a large spoon!), you've got a winner. (Sadly, seriously caloric as it's almost impossible to stop eating).
  8. My guess would be with a $300-per-head "Olympic" tasting menu for fourteen days straight, turning the tables three times a night. Sounds like a sharp business decision to me. ← I thought of the Olympics as well but the PR hit would be more the reason than the not inconsiderable revenue that they'll generate for three weeks. If they open well they'll be packed regardless of the Olympics. The exposure here and subsequent word of mouth is more likely the reason we got the nod (along with a possible very generous financial incentive from the Sidoos).
  9. I'd love to see the deal that was signed with the Sidoos as DB has probably had offers from wealthy local investors in every major city in the U.S. over the last few years. Why us? This will have to be incredibly worthwhile for him to have chosen this location (other than perhaps a test market for future roll-outs of his concept).
  10. Yes, I noticed this a couple of days ago over on the CityFood website. It will be interesting to see what happens. Will Vancouverites automatically support a "franchise" from New York? I have huge respect for Daniel Boulud and I'm sure that he will be a much better fit than the debacle a few years ago with Jeremiah Towers at the Hotel Vancouver. It remains to be seen how much he will actually be here in Vancouver though. He is famous for the quality of his chefs so it should be interesting to see how he incorporates our food scene with his N.Y. style. DB burgers anyone? (that's where Feenies burger came from).
  11. Guanciale, which is the cured cheek from a nice piece of pork is one of those amazing Italian regional products that has taken forever to be created in Vancouver. Mario Batali raves about it in Molto Italiano, his latest cookbook, and the New York Times just did a piece on Pasta all'Amatraciana with the focus being on the key ingredient - Guanciale. (NYT, Jan. 16, '08). Finally, after lots of begging on my part (as well as many others) John and Christine van der Lieck from Oyama agreed to make up a batch using the heirloom pigs that John makes most of his excellent products with. Basically Guanciale is sort of like Pancetta in that it's cured with salt and spices and then sliced like bacon and cooked. The difference is that the pig's cheeks, once cured, are much more flavourfull than pancetta and although they lack the smokiness of bacon are the traditional ingredient in Bucatini all' Amatriciana as well as Spaghetti Carbonara. The first batch arrived at their shop on Granville Island on Thursday and the quality is fantastic (better than the ones Mario Battali's dad Armandino makes at Salumi in Seattle!). I have no idea what quantity were made but I can only imagine that with two servings per pig there cant' be a lot. Each piece weighs just over and pound and you have to buy the whole piece, trim the skin off the back and slice it yourself. (I can only imagine the price is an introductory special as it is a steal.) My Bucatini all'Amatriciana, tomorrow I'm making Spaghetti Carbonara!
  12. That's who I would recommend but I would not make a reservation instead wait until the day (or perhaps the afternoon before) to ensure that the weather is going to cooperate. They almost always have kayaks available at short notice (weekdays being better than weekends).
  13. It's a nice boutique hotel. The rooms although not large are quite nice and better than Blue Horizon. There probably won't be much in the way of a view though as it's not real tall. Forget the restaurant. It's a bit of a toss up as to which is the better location though. Le Soleil is closer to Gastown but Blue Horizon should have better views, is closer to Stanley Park and is right on Robson. You're only talking a few blocks difference and a taxi won't break the bank if walking is not an option.
  14. There was a nice little piece on Global news this evening (the human interest segment that Mike McCartel does every night). It was about the young chef at Hi Genki (Andrew Yakamoto) out foraging in the landscaped bushes around the Japanese Senior Center for different leaves and greens to use in the menu. He talked about using bamboo leaves to wrap around prawns and the new maple leaves that will be coming out soon to be used in Tempura. I ate there one New Year's Eve about three years ago and as Canucklehead mentions the food is fairly basic but perhaps with Andrew in the kitchen we can look for a few more traditional items. Good country cooking would make me happy!
  15. Yeah, I've taped the Moose, Giant Lobster and Salmon episodes (Radio Canada versions) but somehow missed the other three. I assume they've all run. That's it for now as far as I understand. This is a good series and hopefully there will be more. If you hear of it being run again let us know.
  16. Ha! I see that Dunkin Donuts has jumped in and is offering 99 cent cups of coffee tonight for the time that the Starbucks are closed.
  17. I'd love to see a copy of the agenda for the day. I'm assuming all the staff are being paid to spend the day "refreshing" their commitment to good coffee. As mentioned above not sure what can be accomplished in one day when the automatic machines and the roasting style are at the root of the majority of the problems.
  18. Here are the proportions for a Meyer Lemon batch, just follow the technique from the previous post. Because Meyer Lemons have way less pectin than Sevilles you will get a softer set that works best being spooned onto your toast (or for roasting a chicken or pork!). For about 12 -14 - 250ml jars: 1.7 kilos whole lemons 2.25 liters water sugar to equal the poached peel with liquid The only difference in making this compared to the Seville marm above is that when you poach the soaked peel it will be ready in about 10 minutes. Also, make sure that your "set" test gives a nice stiff wrinkle as it will be too soft otherwise. Meyer and Sevilles combine beautifully to make a combo marmalade and that gets around the lack of pectin in the Meyers. .
  19. I love chocolate but have very little interest in all the different flavour combos that you guys seem to love. I'm old school: give me bittersweet chocolate with toasted almonds or really good caramel or praline. But last week an article in the New York Times about the new milk chocolate varieties caught my interest and I stopped by yesterday to see what Monde has. The idea is that they can increase Cocoa content and still make a milk chocolate with that luscious mouth feel. I picked up two bars: the first was on the sale table. It's made by Chocolat Stella with a 40% content and was more the classic style but very high quality. The second was amazing it was a Coppeneur Indonesia Java Milk Chocolate with a 62% cocoa content. Man that ,sure ain't your mama's milk chocolate! Last bar but worth waiting for next shipment.
  20. Day 2 Once your peel mixture has soaked for 24 hours it's time to poach the peel along with the cheesecloth bag of seeds until the peel is very tender. It should squish between your fingers as it will not get any softer once the sugar is added. This poaching process can take 20 - 25 minutes depending on how tough the peel is. Make sure that you do not cook the peel at a full boil or it will reduce the amount of liquid drastically and affect your marmalade consistency. I simmer mine partially covered with a lid to retain as much liquid as possible. Once the peel is soft, remove the cheesecloth and squeeze any excess liquid from it (without bursting the bag!). Measure out your peel with all the juice and pour into one or two heavy non reactive pots. Then measure out an equal amount of sugar and add to the peel. Make sure the sugar has dissolved before you bring the pot to a full boil. I try to not have my pots more than a third full to start as you need to boil the marmalade fairly hard and you do not want this boiling over! I use a high temp spatula to stir the bottom of the pot as the peel can tend to stick and even burn. Once the peel mixture comes to a full boil the fun begins as you will need to cook it until it has reached the magical setting point. This should take about 15 - 20 minutes. Be very careful from now on as you are working with extremely hot and potentially dangerous temperatures. Take the phone off the hook and get someone to watch the kids as this will need your full attention. I have experimented with temperatures and some people can tell just by the sound of the bubbles but I find the most reliable way to ensure a good set is the old fashioned cold plate in the fridge or freezer. Once you feel you are getting close; take the plate out of the fridge and put a teaspoon or so of your hot mixture on it and return the plate to the fridge for a couple of minutes. To test the set push the cool mixture with your fingertip and if it wrinkles a bit you are good to go. You should stop your cooking process each time you conduct this test in order to ensure you do not go too far past the set point and make a really stiff marmalade. Don't be fooled by how liquid the hot marmalade is. Seville oranges along with their bitter flavor have a lot more pectin than any other citrus and need to just barely wrinkle in my experience in order to achieve a nice set. Other citrus like Meyer lemons should have a fairly stiff "wrinkle" test in order to set up and even then they are more of a soft set in the jar, more suited to spooning than spreading with a knife. Once you have determined that your marmalade is ready you will need to let it cool a bit before putting in sterile jars. I find that letting it cool to 155 - 160F. ensures that you will not have the problem of all the peel floating to the top of the jar. Once filled I seal the jars and process for 5 minutes in boiling water. Although marmalade is a bit of a challenge to make the first couple of times, once you have practiced and made some notes you will find that the finished product is miles ahead of even the best imported marmalades. Please feel free to offer any criticism or variations on this as I've simply adapted techniques I've come across over the years and welcome any new insights.
  21. We're in full Seville Orange season (and it's a short one) so nows the time if ever to make up a batch of marmalade. There are various techniques out there to prepare the citrus. Some call for the whole fruit to be poached but I prefer juicing, removing the membrane, cutting the peel with a good knife and soaking it all with a cheesecloth bag of the seeds and some of the pulp to give a nice bright color and flavor. This is my "knife skills" technique to make 7 or 8 -250ml. jars and works basically for other citrus as well with a couple of exceptions I'll note later. This is a two day process due to the presoaking of the peel. 700 gr. whole Seville oranges (5 - 6 preferably organic) 1.35 liters water sugar to the measured amount of poached peel and liquid (juice of a lemon - optional) cheesecloth Day 1 Wash and juice the oranges (they have lots more seeds than regular oranges), reserving the seeds and juice for the soaking process. Slide the edge of a spoon between the membrane and the pith of the orange and remove the membrane, reserving about half for soaking with the seeds. You may also chop up some or all of the membrane to be added to the marmalade itself but I find it "muddies" the final taste. Using a sharp knife cut the orange peel into rough juliennes and then into segments, adjust size of pieces to suit your taste. Place all the cut peel in a non reactive bowl with the water. Using a piece of cheesecloth wrap up all the seeds and about half the membrane, roughly chopped, and tie tightly to ensure no leakage of seeds. Place in the bowl with the peel and the water. Cover and leave at cool room temp for 24 hours. This is very important as it helps the development of the natural pectin in the seeds. End of Day 1.
  22. Yes, that's the one. I guess that subscribers wouldn't have had the wrong donut info as they don't usually put anything on the cover for home delivery. There are a couple of interesting things inside but like I said I really hold back on magazine purchases these days as I find it impossible to get rid of them (until months or years later) and I'm getting tired of my place looking like 30 cat and 12 dog hermit man .
  23. I just bought my first copy of the "new look" B.A. (March issue).The cover photos have been attractive enough since the makeover but like many people these days I really need a reason to buy one more cooking magazine. My rule of thumb is if there are three interesting articles I'll buy, otherwise pass. This time round I broke my rule as I'm currently in a donut making phase and lo and behold the cover promised something about donuts under the subject heading of "Warm, Sticky, Gooey!" Usually I'll check the article out but I was pressed for time and figured this would be my chance to test run the new look BA. Man, was I ticked off to find that there was absolutely no donut mention in the article, sure there were beignets but if I'd wanted a blob of fried dough vs a donut I would have asked for it! False advertising and I won't bother with Bon Appetit in the future.
  24. eatrustic


    You should try over at the Urban Diner forum. They have an industry section where you can ask all your peers what the deal is.
  25. Looks like the new (under construction) Pinkys on W. 4th has received the dreaded STOP Work notice from the city. Seems they removed the facade and gutted the space without the convenience of a permit..... Looks like it'll cost them double for a new permit although someone told me that it could cost them 60 days delay (not sure about that one). Funny thing is; the name that the Stop Work notice was addressed to is Swiss Bakery which was the original tenant years and years ago.
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