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Posts posted by SusanGiff

  1. Okay, maybe not literally nothing!

    Anyhow, thanks for all the suggestions. We ate at Giotto--it was terrific, and nice to be back, because I never can seem to get a reservation for dinner anymore. I shared a risotto with sausage anda very good salad special with walnuts, apples, and pecorino; two of my friends also had salads and shared the seafood pasta. Plenty of food for everyone (especially after the chocolate mousse cake for dessert). A perfect holiday lunch. Or any day, for that matter.


  2. Ooh, Giotto! One of my favorites! Thanks guys.

    Have you eaten at Mark and Eric's, Rosie? I read about it on Baristanet and it sounded intriguing. Maybe I should check it out before our annual New Year's Day party. Why cook?

    Thanks again.


  3. Ack! I'm arranging lunch for a small group of us who go out every month or so, and we were all set for Blu, but they're still not doing it.

    Does anyone have a list or link (Rosie?) of restaurants that are open for lunch in town? We usually go to Raymond's or Aozora, but for since it's holiday time, I was hoping for something different (but not Table 8).



  4. Sorry if this has been covered--I searched the archives but couldn't find anything.

    My husband mentioned he might like a beer-of-the-month membership for Christmas, but it's difficult to tell whether the ones Google's coughing up are reliable. I suspect he's looking for seasonal microbrews or international beers.

    Anyone know of anything?



  5. Okay, let me throw out an idea here and see if anyone has any thoughts.

    My absolute favorite roast chicken recipe is from Judy Rodgers of Zuni Cafe in SF--basically, it's a dry brine/rub technique, where you rub the bird inside and out with a bunch of salt and a smaller amount of spices (cinnamon, allspice, etc) and perch it uncovered on a rack in the refrigerator for two days. Then you roast it at 500 breast side down for 15 minutes, flip it and lower the heat to 450 for another 40 minutes or so. Believe me, it's amazing.

    So my husband and I were thinking, Might this possibly work on a turkey, perhaps with different spices or just the salt and no additional spices (or hey, maybe the same ones, although it seems a little weird with turkey)? Is it technically the same thing as brining in salted water overnight? I've tried that traditional brine a couple of times and been pretty unimpressed.

    Any thoughts?

    I love the idea of putting it on the grill, mostly so I don't have to deal with the oven space problem, so thanks for that one.


  6. Uh oh. I just tried to get tix online through Ticketmaster for tomorrow and couldn't. Does anyone know whether that just means it's too close to 'curtain,' or could they possibly be sold out? They're showing tickets for Friday, but that won't work for me.


  7. When will you post the rest of your Seattle adventures? Hope they were all successful. Did you enjoy "rainy" Seattle?

    One day I'll figure out how to quote properly...

    But yeah, I'd say we packed a few too many fleeces. And that a few more of your shops might want to consider installing air conditioning. But weather notwithstanding (just kidding), we had a really nice time. I thought Pike's Market would be overcrowded and touristy, which it was, but I went crazy over all that great fresh food and those AMAZING flowers! We actually considered bringing some home, but didn't think they'd survive the flight.

    Other highlights: Salmon rolls at the home of a friend who lives in a houseboat on Lake Union...the market and stores in Fremont...and a couple of incredibly relaxing days on Lake Quinault, in the Hoh Rainforest, and on Ruby Beach. And of course, being in a place that gives the coffee bean the respect and priority it deserves was even better than I'd anticipated. Why doesn't every gas station in America offer espresso? I just regret that it wasn't until I was in the airport to go home that I remembered Fran's Chocolates are in Seattle. Bummer. Are they worth a return visit?

    Foodwise, because we were with the kids and they're seriously picky--I mean, seriously, I mean, they'll send back the pasta if we forget to tell the waiter 'no parmesan,' plus they're vegetarians--the visit was a little bit limited. But we did eat at Flying Fish, which was pretty great, and at the Mexican place near it (Mamacita's??), which wasn't, had some very good chowder in Pike's, and managed to snag lots of delicious treats here and there, like at Macrina's and at a bakery in Fremont that you'll probably know but that I forget the name of.

    All in all, a great trip, but just a starter trip. I'd love to come back!


  8. We just came back (to NJ) from a trip to Seattle, stayed at the Edgewater, and wandered into Black Bottle our last night in town (while the kids ate pizza back at the hotel), based on the one recommendation here and the raves given by a group that were leaving as we were considering the menu.

    It was really excellent food. Seems to be a tapas or small-plate idea, but the portions are relatively large and extremely reasonably priced. Ditto the wine list. We had a curried cauliflower and potato dish that was full of spices and flavor, incredibly juicy hangar steak paired wonderfully with shisu (okay, I had no idea--a Japanese green with a sort of minty taste), the aforementioned chicken and dried cherries flatbread, and fried sardines in a clear Vietnamese sauce. We were way too full for dessert after that. The food was imaginative and memorable, and if I lived in Seattle or were traveling with other couples, I'd definitely go in with four or six or eight people and sample many more dishes.

    The space is attractive but a tad spartan. When we went (ca. 8:30 pm) the tables weren't even set for dinner, which gave the restaurant a sort of all-bar look that might put off folks walking by and looking in. Don't be dissuaded--this is definitely a restaurant to check out.

    Susan Gifford

  9. We're visiting for a week starting Thursday, staying at the Edgewater, and would love some recommendations. Our children are 12 and 9, well-behaved and frequently presentable, but with limited palates. "Family-friendly" is fine if the food's good, but we may also try for one nice meal by our standards! We won't have a car but are willing to take taxis if necessary.



  10. I've been a major OPH fan since we lived in Orlando (where the I-Drive branch closed, because it was just too good), and I sure don't remember thinking that the syrup there or in West Caldwell, the other one I've been to) was anything but real. I can't imagine they'd use fake. I mean, have you had their orange juice? If that ain't fresh-squeezed, I don't know what is. Of course, someone's going to correct me on that point now, probably...


  11. Thank you! Rosie, do I head north on Main (well, left from Piaget--not absolutely sure it's north) do get to the places in Paterson? I'm ashamed to tell you where I live--close enough to know these things.

    I'm looking forward to checking all these places out. The Midtown already caught my eye, as it's about a block from camp. And I just noticed the Mexican this morning, so I may try it, too.

    FYI, I just picked up some bagels on 46 East near the turn-off for Piaget at a place called Goldberg's, which advertised it's traditional boiled-water bagels, a good sign. Anyone know it? They were grand--really chewy and not at all sweet. I think they're going to be my new supplier.

    Thanks again.


  12. Pretty narrow geographical range, I realize. But my son's in a summer camp near that intersection; he gets out at 1:30, which means I could feasibly check out some lunch options at around noon. (This is how suburban Moms in Cars manage to do any culinary exploration at all.) Any suggestions are welcome, but especially ethnic. I've already seen a Lebanese place pretty close by that looked promising--sorry, can't remember the name!



  13. Has anyone tried it yet? I'm hearing scary stories of two hour waits and 86s on everything, but still haven't gotten a realiable report about the food or beer. I figure I'll wait in any case until things have calmed down a bit (FYI, Raymond's was relatively empty Friday at 7:30, and I'm crediting Egan-mania), but if someone else has been braver--what do you think?


  14. I love Uglesich's. Had lunch there last week-and I can tell you that if I had not been with someone who had "the hookup" (kids today, such colorful lingo!) I would have been on the sidewalk for two hours waiting to get in. I love it, and if I was from out of town I might be willing to wait for two hours for the experience and the food, but not as a local with so many other totally worthy options. This week, you can expect the lines to be much worse than last week. If you have never had the chance, just wait in line. You'll be glad you did. And, this being New Orleans, you will probably make some great new friends while you are waiting (and thanks to out civilized drinking rules, you can enjoy a soothing beverage or two while you wait without fear of trouble from the container police )

    I'm really happy to hear you say that! I was just saying to my husband this morning that I could understand being from or near NO and being downg about the tourists and the lines, but I really couldn't imagine that food gets too much better than Uglesich's, even down there. Our plan is for Chris to take his morning run, pass by the restaurant, check out the line and call me at the hotel (where I'll be lyin' in with the kids) if it looks remotely doable. This would be Friday morning. I'm not optimistic. As you no doubt know, there was a HUGE story in the New York Times about the restaurant this very morning, which should make a difficult situation completely impossible. But we've both been, and while we'd be sad to miss it, we've got our memories to keep us warm. As well as a mess of food at the festival. We'll be okay. Really.

    Thanks for the tips--we'll be gone by mo fest, but it's certainly something to keep in mind for the future.


  15. We're coming down Thursday night. The one time we made a restaurant reservation for a Jazz Fest night (can't even remember where) we had to cancel--too tired, too full, too rushed to make it there on time. Now we just consider the Fairgrounds our restaurant and have lunch and dinner (and dessert, and snacks) there and use it as an opportunity to try more new and different stuff.

    "Better places than Uglesich"--I'm sure you're right, but don't tease me! What are they?


  16. I just wanted to say that this phenomenal and gorgeous thread is a VERY VERY BAD place to be at lunchtime when you're three weeks away from a trip to NOLA and are trying to be somewhat restrained in the meantime so you don't have to be at all restrained when you get there. I definitely plan to go through more thoroughly, and on a full stomach, as the trip draws closer.

    That said, I gotta add that last year we brought our children, then 8 and 11, to Jazz Fest. I was nervous--I was afraid they would turn my favorite place in the world into a big fat drag by whining about the heat or how bored they were or how there was nothing for them to eat. Well, I underestimated both them and the Fest. JF is terrific for children with even a remote interest in music. (Words to make a mother's heart grow warm, uttered by my daughter a few weeks ago: "Can we go to the gospel tent again?") And the kids' area serves the culinary needs of children with extremely limited palates. Like mine. They have PB&J (your choice of jelly and bread), rice krispie treats, lemonade, etc.

    Mayhaw Man, whenever I'm trying to talk my friends into joining us, I quote your line from last year: "The Best Restaurant in the World." That said, any jazz fest feasts we shouldn't miss when we come back this year? Last year's discoveries (for us) were the Cochon de Lait po boys and the crabmeat purses and the frozen cafe au lait, which to my mind is about the best way to start a day at jazz fest that I can think of. I definitely want to hit the boudin this year. What else do you recommend?


  17. What a great review!

    From the sound of it, PBS has once again, as they did with jazz, sucked the life out of a juicy topic so its viewers can justify their tv-watching time. Come to think of it, I'd really like to see what the network would do with a three-parter about the meaning of television. "It teaches us about ourselves, our neighbors, the selves we want to be and the neighbors we want to have"--not, "Hey, after a hard day at work, watching Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey act stupid is really about all I'm up for."

    Well, I guess I'll watch, although my time might be better spent reading MFK Fisher. Or eating.


    By the way, beautiful new front page!


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