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Posts posted by hshiau

  1. i think the creativeness and variety of the dishes definitely factors into my enjoyment. many of my friends would prefer a good steak. for me, it could be the greatest steak in the world but it would still be just one experience rather than many. or maybe i'm just strange that way. :)

    as for ordering, i would probably just wait until the tasting menu changed before going back.

  2. I've got 7:30 reservations tonight.  Looking forward to some fun creativity.

    How was it?

    I had been back in February/March but had an emergency issue at work and spent my time shuffling back and forth between calls outside and the meal. Didn't remember a thing about that evening and there's no way I should not be remembering a meal at wd-50.

    We had the tasting menu (of course):

    Smoked eel, butternut squash, pickled ramp, cocoa nibs - This was one of my favorites. Everything went together so well. If I closed my eyes, I would have a hard time placing some of the flavors but it was a great start.

    Foie gras, candied olives, green peas, beet juice - the foie gras was a terrine and when you cut it, the beet juice ran out. The candied olives were strong and I really liked that but my dining partner thought it overwhelmed the other items.

    Shrimp cannelloni, chorizo, thai basil - the cannelloni shell was made of shrimp and the inside was a data paste and chorizo. I never really tasted the chorizo and while it was good, there were more satisfying plates.

    Beef tongue, fried mayo, tomato molasses - i wasn't crazy about this one. she liked the fried mayo.

    Carrot-coconut "sunnyside up" - this one was the most fun. we were amazed when this "egg" turned out to be carrot and coconut. break the carrot and it ran just as an egg yolk would. the consistency of the coconut was EXACTLY like an underdone sunnyside up egg. i tried the carrot first, then the coconut. big mistake. didn't like either one. however, after mixing them together the light sweetness of the coconut mellowed out the flavor of the carrot.

    Hamachi, plantain gnocchi, nasturtium, coffee - very nice but again, no wow.

    Carrot confit, hibiscus sorbet, crispy lamb belly - this one was interesting. depending on how i placed the items on my fork, it tasted differently. i found that having the lamb hit my tongue first and the sorbet hit my tongue last worked the best. i don't remember from biology where the various taste buds were but that's where i enjoyed the dish the best. when the sorbet hit my tongue first, i think it numbed my tongue ever so slightly and then i got nothing out of that bite.

    Squab breast, encrusted golden beets, sweet potato juice - i thought this dish was lovely. eat the squab or beet separately and it's ok. put them together and everything just goes.

    Tomato sorbet, olive oil powder, toast - i couldn't figure out if this was supposed to be a savory or a sweet. maybe it was the palate cleanser. i could definitely taste the tomato but the olive oil powder was extremely light. very nice segue to my favorite item of the night.

    Lemon curd, basil meringue, huckleberry - BAM! loved this one. i don't even know what to say. my absolute favorite dish on this tasting menu.

    Butternut sorbet, pumpkin seed cake, chocolate soil, mole - this one was ok. i couldn't taste the pumpin in the cake as much as i would have liked. the chocolate soil was very nice.

    Cocoa cotton balls - another very cool item. how do they get the cotton candy into the truffle. turns out they wrap the cotton candy as tight as possible and have someone with chocolate in their hands make a ball around it. i love chocolate truffles.

    Finished the meal off with a nice double espresso and i was ready for bed.

    This was one of the most enjoyable meals i've had this year. The only remotely negative thing i would say is that there may have been a bit too much use of sorbet and dehydrated items. with the temperature dropping quickly, it may be time to move away from sorbets. but it was a wonderful evening and i'll definitely have to go back in the spring.

  3. I'm interested as to why those of you in the know wouldn't suggest Zuni Cafe? I've never been to San Francisco so I don't know about any of the others (apart from the French Laundry, natch)...

    Zuni's a great place for a meal...but I wouldn't consider it a "last meal" kind of place.

  4. I had an 8pm reservation at Manresa last Wednesday. I dined with a friend and his wife, celebrating her birthday. Our menu follows:

    Petit fours "red pepper-black olive"

    Radis au beurre

    Stonefruit with hibiscus and strawberry

    Corn Cromesquis

    Tomato soup, barely cooked, fennel tuile

    Arpege egg

    Marcona almonds with rosemary

    Corn and tomato salad with basil - new version

    English pea and foie gras royale

    Striped jack, sashimi style, with local olive oil

    Shrimp and watermellon on the plancha, avocado and vanilla

    Horse mackerel, warm roe with cucumber

    Bronzini, tomato sofrigit, lemon basil

    Confit of kid goat, joe's turnips

    Squab breast, raspberries crushed with hazelnut oil

    Prime beef roasted in suet, trumpeet mushrooms

    Cones: assorted sorbets

    Raspberry souffle with white chocolate

    Chocolate marquis, condensed milk ice cream

    Petit fours "strawberry-chocolate"

    The hits for me were the red pepper-black olive petite fours, arpege egg, corn and tomato salad with basil, english pea and foie gras royale, and squab breast. It was an amazing meal and service was excellent. My friend kept laughing that I was grinning from ear to ear every time a new course came.

    Note: modified because I hit enter too quickly

  5. I was in San Francisco last week and ate at Delfina on Thursday. When I called for a reservation on Monday, the only thing I could get was at 5:30.

    However, we were seated promptly and had no issues with the service. The food was good but not exceptional. I'd definitely go back for a nice solid relaxed meal.

  6. I had eaten there shortly before Ms. Hesser's review and thought the time was ripe for a reassessment back then. I guess I was one of those who found her unduly negative. I think hotel restaurants that do not have a street entrance still tend to suffer. There was such a buzz about places like Per Se and Cafe Gray that they've risen above being in a mall in terms of appeal, but I wonder how the other restaurants in the Time Warner Building are doing. Nevertheless they all have the advantage of grouping and of being in a building with traffic. Asiate, around the corner and accessible via the hotel is not going to get any spin or residual traffice from the TW mall.

    Slightly off-topic but do you really think any of the Time Warner restaurants get additional traffic from passer-by's? I don't know that anyone would walk by Per Se (can't get in anyway) or Masa and decide on the fly to plop down $1000 for a dinner for 2.

  7. When NOT to go to the Shake Shack?  Memorial Day, apparently. :hmmm:  I'd have thought that a sunny holiday when the park was FULL OF PEOPLE would be a good day for a Shack burger and an Arnold Palmer, and there was nothing on the website or on the voice mail about it being closed, so we went all the way down there to no avail.  Blue Smoke was ALSO closed, so we ended up having distinctly mediocre burgers at NY Burger Co.

    K, totally unsatisfied. :angry: :angry: :angry:

    I did EXACTLY the same thing!! I figured on such a beautiful day that there would be no way it was closed. We also ended up at NY Burger Co. I liked their burgers better when I ate there last summer. Somewhere along the way, they've taken a wrong turn. Cold mushrooms and onions on an overcooked burger. Oh well.

  8. Since Blue Hill is highly recommended at eGullet, my wife and I are going there for our anniversary tomorrow night. We'd love to do the tasting menu but my wife doesn't really like fish and there seems to be quite a bit of fish on the tasting menu. Since everyone at the table must have either the tasting menu or the a la carte menu, do you think they would do something different on the tasting menu for my wife?

  9. This has been a great thread. We're on our way to Kauai this coming Sunday. Going to stay a few days each at the Sheraton, the Princeville, and the Hyatt. That should get us some good eats all over the island.

    We're going to try to do some upscale dining but, with an 8 yr old, would like to stick to more casual, local fare. I know seafood is excellent in Kauai but since neither my wife nor my daughter are into seafood, we're going to need to find other choices.

  10. I'm back! After months and months of blowng it off, we're finally moving forward. We've picked a contractor and a cabinet place. We're trying to finalize the floor plan now.

    Going with wood on the cabinets, plain doors, maple with a chestnut finish...probably. Granite countertops, granite floor, unsure of the backsplash.

    GE Profile JGS968SHSS or Kitchen Aid KGSA906PS slide-in range.

    GE Profile GDS18SBRLS or LG LRDN20724ST refrigerator. We're thinking the LG because it's a bit narrower but it's deeper by 3 inches. Any thoughts?

    Bosch SHY56A05UC dishwasher.

    I'll post the new layout (not too much different) as soon as I get a soft copy.

  11. I went to Nobu Next Door with a couple of friends tonight. We started with the Tuna Sashimi Salad and a New Style Whitetail Sashimi. Then we had the Broiled Black Cod with miso, the Chilean Sea Bass, the Eggplant Special with Shrimp & Scallop and a special of the day...a Lobster Tempura with black truffle butter. The stars were the cod and the eggplant. The sea bass just didn't do it for me and I couldn't taste the truffle in the lobster tempura.

    I'll need to go back to Nobu and do the omakase sometime.

  12. I know that one of the perks many New Yorkers enjoyn is having a wide variety of the world's cuisine dropped at your door but I have always been of the school that if you aren't cooking for yourself that night you should pick up your own food.  That can be if you call the establishment on your way home from work or just throwing on a coat and leaving the house.  I've never been too comfortable with delivery men coming to my door and it saves you a tip as well.  I don't mean this to sound like I'm cheap but I know people that order from establishments that are one block from their residence and that sounds preposterous.

    Then I suppose you'd really be upset if I had my laundry and dry cleaning picked up and dropped off with my doorman, my groceries delivered by Fresh Direct, and my drug store purchases delivered as well. I wouldn't ever have to get out of my pajamas!!! :raz:

    Ok. I don't do this but it is available.

  13. Our building has a doorman and a concierge.  No delivery people are allowed up without an accompanying doorman.  This way, they aren't wandering around the building dropping off menus under every door.  It works great for us.

    What's the great evil in menus slipped under the door? They're a lot more useful than most of the junk mail I receive, and I never know when I'm going to want food delivered. I put all of those menus in a drawer, so they'll be there when I need them.

    I would get 500 menus with many duplicates. Also, I have an 8 yr old daughter and would prefer not to have strangers wandering around the building.

  14. oh man, two people at the door when I'm in my pj's or drunk (the doorman and the concierge) that sounds so unfun... but, actually I'd probably prefer that as right now the person who delivers me my jamaican food is pretty scary...also, the delivery guy who brings pastrami..i hate that they have me phone number. A few have called me and really scared me. they know where i live...it really freaks me out. about the menus...my doorman chases the delivery guys around the building yelling, it drives him nuts..it's really funny. (non violent)

    If you're in your pj's and drunk when you've ordered a food delivery, I guess you'd be lucky the doorman was with the delivery man! :raz:

  15. There are plenty of places near the Hyatt, but part of the fun of being on Kauai is had in venturing to other parts of the island; it's small enough where the farthest drive really isn't that far, especially if combined with other activities in that particular area.

    You will LOVE the Hyatt, by the way.  Be sure, however, to request a redecorated room.  Room furnishings were looking a bit worn when we were there three years ago, and I understand they've redone many, but not all of, the rooms.  The public areas at the Hyatt are among the most beautiful on the entire island, and their pool is, hands down, the best.

    Good to know. Thanks! We're also considering, since we're venturing all the way out from NY, if we should spent a few extra days either at another resort on Kauai or fly to another island. I'm limiting my hotel choices to Starwood since my sister works for them.

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