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noambenami

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  1. Just got back from a few days at Whistler. We had a good run of food: Ciao Thyme Bistro - upper village. Small space, about 24 seats. Service mediocre but food was worth the visit. Foie torchon with crumbled cinnamon bun was so-so, but the butternut squash ravioli with pea and nicely cooked fish (forget the kind) was good. Very expensive for what it is - prices were only slightly higher at Araxi, but cozy and pleasant. Araxi - very impressive food for this scale of operation. My kumamoto oyster was perfect, and my smoked sablefish was perfectly cooked and served with a deliciously lemony risot
  2. Bars: Sambar - cozy but sophisticated Union - not at all cozy, but good drinks Vessel - fairly inventive, small, hip Oliver's Twist - Decent food, fun combinations, nicely out of the way Cascadia - Douglas fir sorbet. . Food: Union - Just had an amazing beef tongue with papardelle there Veil - Ambitious, tasty food. Good desserts - don't miss the peanut butter ice cream. Shame about the decor. Le Pichet - Awesome little french bistro, on most peoples' favorites list Lark - Had my birthday dinner there, great food! Tilth - Very good, high-end all-organic creative american. Lovely litt
  3. FWIW, I found Union to be the most forgettable restaurant I've been to in Seattle. Literally: I cannot remember a single dish that we had, which is not normal. My favorite so far has been Veil, despite their cold decor. Wasn't a single dud among our plates, the salted peanut butter ice cream lived up to the hype, and one dish was so good the person who ordered it firmly refused to share. If the folks at Veil could be convinced to change their decor, it could be one of the most prominent restaurants in this town. Now...all that said, I'd throw in a nod to Tilth: Simple, warm decor, and wonderfu
  4. Went out to Veil last night with a few folks. The place was fairly busy, with a constant stream of dishes coming out of the kitchen. The started us out with an amuse of brunoise-sized croutons with panchetta, lemon juice and herbs. Terrific, if a bit clumsy to eat. Appetizers included the goat cheese salad, which was a beautiful pile of lettuces with hazelnuts, grape halves and hazelnut oil. Just nice. The sweatbreads, though, were outstanding, even better than those at Crush, which was my previous standard. Served with grits and mushrooms. A butternut squash soup with brussel sprouts and baco
  5. Heh, I live about fifty yards from Crave. Very decent food, good coffee, good desserts - the chocolate banana terrine is a lot of fun.
  6. Paley's is not really a favorite. Its a lovely, romantic restaurant, but the food just has not kept up with the advances in the rest of town. Lucy's table is not even close to being a contender for one of PDX's best restaurants, although it too is a pleasant place. In my opinion, by far the most inventive food, and often the best for my palate, in town, is being made at Park Kitchen. Good work is being done at Olea, as well. Fenouil puts out some good food but is very expensive. Roux, as well, although, like Fenouil, they are mostly playing it safe. Vindalho puts out some tasty treats, though
  7. Thank you Tonyy. The foam texture I'm looking for is indeed more of a latte type of thing. Your shrimp mousse technique sounds wonderful. Now, I know that an iSi is not required for very airy foams because I've worked with chefs who have made foams using nothing but a hand blender. I've just not been able to replicate that feat. I'll play a little bit with gelatin, as well. Cheers, Noam
  8. Thank you - I've had zero luck so far with soy lecithin.
  9. Would anyone care to help with some advice on creating highly stable foams, preferably without the use of an iSi? Or is using such a device a prerequisite? My preference would be for things that could be created using a hand blender. Perhaps a master recipe or two that could be flavored with different bases? Many thanks.
  10. Well, I just got back from a very light dinner at Park Kitchen. They actually had a dish of fresh anchovies with shaved fennel. Who else in Portland has those kinds of balls? It was great. My friend's cucumber soup, spiked with lime zest and capers was good too. But the real killer was a berry crostada with sesame semifreddo, which was one of the best desserts I have ever had, and that list includes everything from Alinea to Le Cinq. I don't know any other restaurant in this town that operates in this league. (If anyone does, please let me know.)
  11. Personally, I'd avoid the popular touristy/sceney spots like Wildwood, Higgins', Blue Hour, Paley's - their food is just so utterly safe. Now, a lot of people like that, so if safety and a taste of "northwest" food is your goal, those places are fine. But, for a bit more fun (and in no particular order): Vindalho (for delicious, creative takes on Indian food), Park Kitchen (probably Portland's most creative restaurant), Fenouil (didn't expect to like it, but its lovely, elegant, and the oysters were terrific), and 820 for drinks and the sweet potato fries. Its too bad Gotham closed, their stea
  12. True that! I've never seen Gagnaire's food before.
  13. Rachel Ray's target audience is not real foodies; the one tasty travels show I watched (on a plane ride) showed a lot of atrocious looking food and felt like an infomercial. It was pretty offputting, to be frank. She targets the lowest-common-denominator...and why not: Thats where the money is, just not the quality.
  14. Good luck, Alex - the desserts I've had at WD-50 were a disappointment. I'm sure you'll fix that: The desserts I've had at Alinea were very memorable, and that is the highest compliment I can give a dish.
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