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Posts posted by hshiau

  1. Perhaps I shouldn't speak since I've only been once but we thoroughly enjoyed our experience there. Service was smooth and professional. The maitre'd was very nice. Food was excellent and we got to chat with the chef as he made his rounds.

    Now the maitre'd at Bar Boulud is a different story. She makes me feel like I need to be a celebrity or know her personally to get a real smile rather than a fake, look my nose down at you, smile.

  2. We ate there a couple of Saturday's ago.  I had the arctic char which was quite good.  My wife's pork chop though was way overcooked.  Now it turns out that my wife likes her meat well done but she hadn't asked for it that way.  If the temperature of that chop was the way they'd normally serve it, definitely overcooked.

    Did they not ask what temp she wanted it done? I recall my wife and I were both asked what temp we wanted liver and steak respectively.

    Nope. They didn't ask which surprised me. I assumed it would be medium or medium rare depending on the chef. I didn't expect well done.

  3. We ate there a couple of Saturday's ago. I had the arctic char which was quite good. My wife's pork chop though was way overcooked. Now it turns out that my wife likes her meat well done but she hadn't asked for it that way. If the temperature of that chop was the way they'd normally serve it, definitely overcooked.

  4. So after all the"This is Top Chef, not top cook", we go for home cooking? So far this season, I've seen nothing in any of the elimination challenges that proves or disproves whether someone could be a top chef.

  5. Are wine bars NOT part of the "small plates" trend?

    Zagat.com now lists 64 wine bars in New York City, though curiously it lists them in the nightlife survey not the restaurant survey.

    That's interesting because, at Bar Boulud, it sure seems like the hostess sizes you up before telling you whether or not anything might be available. Add a large fellow with an earpiece and you have a club.

  6. My wife and I also stopped by for a late dinner a week ago. At 9:30pm, there was about an hour wait. Good thing we live a couple of blocks away.

    We ended up sharing the large charcuterie tasting and the pork belly. I thought the pork belly to be just eh. Could have been a bit more crispy and the fat portion was huge! The charcuterie was fine. I think we enjoyed the beef cheek the most. One or two just didn't have enough punch.

    We're definitely glad to have Bar Boulud open in the neighborhood. We'll have to go back to try the rest of the menu and give the service a chance to settle.

    BTW, the crowd gets younger as it gets later in the evening.

  7. I don't know if it's about eating the same foods as opposed to being open to trying new foods. My wife used to be an extremely picky eater, no greens, meat cooked to well done, no seafood, etc. Over the 22 years we've been together, she has changed quite a bit. While there are still things she doesn't like (ie. gamey meats, offal, etc), she is open to at least tasting something before she decides she doesn't like something. That being said, sushi restaurants and those with minimal offerings that she doesn't like are still places I need to hit with friends.

  8. Ok then. What if Hung, having heard so much about needing to incorporate Vietnamese flavors into his cooking, makes a less than spectacular meal because he's more used to making a more rustic Vietnamese dish. It seems that much of his talent now is in high end cuisine. If he hasn't blended the two styles before, he could easily screw up the finals trying to do so.

  9. ...with regards to Hung, everyone keeps harping on how his food has no soul, etc.  How exactly do you define what has soul and what doesn't?  Because he is Vietnamese, does that mean he would have to cook Vietnamese style in order to present "soulful" food for him? 

    I was stunned when Colicchio said that in order to show something of himself in the dishes, he'd have to use Vietnamese flavors. WHAT?! I was stunned by the implicit racism in that statement. Does Colicchio have to cook Prince Spaghetti, just because he's from New Jersey? Is Padma Lakshmi only allowed to make Indian food?

    If what Colicchio is implying is true---that a person can only put themselves in a dish if it's from the cuisine of their own ethnic group---then Rick Bayless is in a heck of a lot of trouble. Somebody better tell Bayless to start melting some Velveeta over those Mexican dishes, or nothing he cooks will have any "soul"!!

    I absolutely agree. I don't that "soul" in quantifiable as it is but to imply that Hung needs to inject Vietnamese flavors in order to make it soulful is incredibly racist. Perhaps Hung finds his passion in french cuisine?!?!

  10. And can you suggest any other restaurants in the area, or are you suggesting that I keep going back there before the opera and try for a good night?

    Sorry for the flippant remark. I like Telepan on 69th & Columbus. They have a really good deal on their 4 and 5 course menus. I find most of the other restaurants in the few block radius to be hit or miss unless you go high end.

  11. Same here.  Wildly inconsistent is definitely the right word for both the food and the service.  However, being a block away and reasonably priced, we're going to continue to go.

    Well, if you're a block away and reasonably priced, can you suggest some good places for pre-opera dinners? :laugh:

    I AM reasonably priced but it's reasonably priced for the Lincoln Center area! :raz:

  12. I'm afraid Casey has hit the glass ceiling. I clearly heard in the quickfire, her dish referred to as the best. Yet when it comes time to announce the winner, she gets the pat on the rear and Hung wins.

    I thought I had heard hers was the best by far during the Quickfire too. I did a double take when he announced it was Hung who won. Based on that, it would have been nice to know the reasoning behind the decision.

    They definitely should have explained it better than his not being able to give her the win because she's cute. However, I wouldn't feel too bad for her. She's got the Mac Powerbook and the 1st class tickets anywhere in the world. Hung won NOTHING!

  13. I was there back in March. I don't know if Chef Wilcox was off filming Top Chef at the time but there were some issues.

    The decor was nice although the music did seem pretty loud. One part of the dining room was about 2/3 full. Only 1 table in the other part of the dining room was occupied. Bar area was pretty empty the whole time I was there which was from 7:30pm until 8:15pm. I decided to just eat at the bar.

    Bread service was decent. Spicy paprika flatbread, sourdough, wheat raisin, some kind of biscuit, and foccacia. I probably wouldn't have gone with a spicy bread. Kills the taste buds for the food. Butter served with a red salt...too much of it.

    First item was the pan seared foie gras on blackberry-brioche pancakes with bacon wrapped dates and red currant sauce. Seared foie gras came out about 2 minutes after it was ordered!! In fact, before the bread! The foie came with some kind of small pancake, baby greens, and something wrapped in bacon. Wow! Talk about cholesterol overload! It was flavorful but FEELS like it came from the oven or microwave. Foie is a bit dry because of that. The plate was very hot.

    Next came the open face duck confit ravioli with wild mushrookms, caramelized onions and lemon thyme honey. It came 3 minutes after I was done with the foie gras. The duck ravioli was interesting. Again, a very hot plate. Oddly enough, the plate was hotter than most of the duck. But the "ravioli" was a pasta with duck, mushrooms, etc on top and then covered with another noodle. Makes for a dish that is difficult to eat.

    Crispy seared pork belly on ginger sweet potatoes with yuzu-soy glaze and cilantro-diakon radish salad. Again, it came within 3 minutes of the last dish. The restaurant is mostly empty so maybe the BOH has nothing to do. Again, the plate is very hot but the food is lukewarm. This dish was very flavorful.

    All 3 items, while pretty looked the same: everything had some sprouts on top. Not very creative. Overall, the service was good. Again, the place was pretty empty so there were less customers to wait on. But the hostess was friendly and the attentive bartenders made sure my water glass was full and I didn't need anything. And they called a cab for me when I was done.

    The food was a notch below the service and the pace was way too quick. I can't say for sure that the food was heated up in a microwave before serving but the dishes came out awfully quickly. Since the restaurant was mostly empty, I can't imagine why the kitchen would need to pre-cook the food and then deliver at the pace they did. There was no need and it really made for a rushed unsatisfying meal.

  14. Ok.  I'm a complete nutbag but after all this shoe talk was mentioned I went back to Tivo and freezeframed every time a woman's feet was shown.  :wacko:

    :laugh: That's hilarious.

    Hmmm. Virgo or Capricorn you may be. :wink:

    Yup. You've nailed my Virgoness.

  15. Sara specifically mentioned having to do their "shopping" in high heeled shoes, but I wouldn't at all be surprised to find out that, while they were working, they were wearing different shoes.  Now, I don't think we ever got a shot of the dressy gear footwear the ladies were wearing before or during the challenge, which is curious given the attention the matter has drawn.  I'm sure the party shoes weren't comfortable and sturdy, and the floor of the roach coach was probably, what?, perforated metal planking or something like that?  If so, you simply could not walk on it in heels, and bare feet would be painful.  But even with the best floor everyone involved would have known the dangers of open toes, high centers of balance, cramped quarters and sloppy floors (and why don't I ever get invited to those kinds of parties), so I suspect shoes were swapped and it wasn't considered an issue in the event and thus no camera shots of them, and it only arose later when Sara complained about shopping in them.  Of course, if she said she cooked in them then a good deal of what I just said is of no use whatsoever.

    Ok. I'm a complete nutbag but after all this shoe talk was mentioned I went back to Tivo and freezeframed every time a woman's feet was shown. :wacko:

    First, Sara M. was wearing flats to start so her disdain towards Casey and Sara N. was ridiculous because she wasn't "in the same shoes".

    The women were allowed to change into closed toe shoes. You can tell in a couple of the scenes and it becomes obvious when they're back at the studio at the end and there are sneakers next to their bags under the chairs.

    Given that, do we still think there was a disadvantage to the women?

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