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Everything posted by plattetude

  1. One might argue that part of the inclination to fine dining should include the inclination to dress for it. But I suppose that gets at the crux of what this thread is about. I'm not required to wear a sport jacket for my job, but I own a good number of them. I haven't been required to wear a suit for my job in over a decade, but I have several (and kind of think I need more). Seems to me these things are a critical part of anyone's wardrobe, and not just for "dining out". Don't people still (usually) wear suits, or at least sport jackets, to weddings? Christopher
  2. At Bradstreet, Alchemist put a 'Negroni Tredici' on the menu: Tanqueray, Cynar, Campari, Carpano Antica...I've not had it, but have heard from those who have that it is quite something. ← Oooh. That pushes all my buttons. I gotta play with that. Christopher
  3. Lighthorse Tavern is a solid choice in the "New American Bistro" mold. Beautiful space, charming up-and-coming neighborhood, very good food, and better-than-average beer/wine/cocktail options. Quick ride from your hotel via Light RailLight Rail. OX would've been a good option too, but it closed recently, sadly enough. Christopher
  4. The other night, I put together a kind of "apricot (plus) margarita" -- 2 oz reposado tequila (Patron) 3/4 oz apricot liqueur (R&W Orchard Apricot) 1/2 oz lime tsp Benedictine Good! Christopher
  5. It's worth noting how, in Bittman's accompanying text, he lays out that "typical" ingredients to accompany corn and tomato might be garlic, basil, and balsamic. Which to my mind is as "overdone" as cilantro, chiles, and lime, if not moreso. It's all perspective, isn't it? Keep in mind, Bittman tends to compose his Minimalist recipes using common staples. By default then, they're going to include some standard go-to ingredients. His goal isn't to educate the masses with obscure ingredients and flavor combinations, far as I know. And bottom line, if it tastes good (btw, cilantro, chilies, lime, avocado, bacon, tomato, and corn doesn't sound like it would suck in the least), well, doesn't that sort of prove *why* it's a go-to combo? Christopher
  6. Not sure if you just want expensive or expensive and good, but this list from the recent NJ Monthly might be a helpful start: Top 25 NJ Restaurants And, while NJ may not be a huge state, if there's any criteria beyond "NJ", that might be useful to know. I'm sure, for instance, if this person wanted to schlepp to Atlantic City, a pretty penny could be spent at any number of restaurants. Christopher
  7. ← Saying so (which is all those quotes do) doesn't make it so. I just re-read the review. It's 1200+ words, only half of which Bruni uses to actually talk about the food. ← And? Seems to me what he *does* say about the food sounds like he really, really liked it. Why, you might even think it's four-star food the way he goes on about it, even if it doesn't appear to meet your threshold for number of words. I gather from your initial post today that it's been 18 months since you were there. Bruni very plainly said that it's only in the last several months that he's been reevaluating EMP, and he seems surprised himself at the improvement since his last review (which was not all that much more than 18 months ago). Christopher
  8. Maybe even a splash of Cointreau to tie it all together (I find Cointreau and Cynar are pretty darn good together). Christopher
  9. Yeah I was thinking that an aged tequila might work better next time but that for this drink the bianco is clutch, adding some complementary funk. The Choke Artist is a cool-looking drink though...it is intended to be served at room temp, is it not? ← All references I'm seeing for it (I don't have the book myself) call for it to be stirred with ice and served in a chilled snifter. I might be curious to try it less chilled, but it could be a bit harsh.... Christopher edited for quote tag correction
  10. Closely related: use an anejo tequila, sub a 1/2 oz of fino sherry for the vermouth, and dash in some orange bitters and you've got a Choke Artist (via The Art of the Bar), a very nice drink indeed. Christopher
  11. I recently added a bottle of Cynar to the home bar, and have been having fun experimenting. The other night, I concocted this: 1.5 oz Applejack (Laird's bonded) .5 Cynar .5 Cointreau several dashes Fee's rhubarb bitters A bit sweet, but still pretty well balanced. Might cut back the Cointreau next time. Made for a really nice late night quaff. Doing a few things with reposado tequila and Cynar too. Very good together! Christopher
  12. Ok... so doing the maths: You would need to show three sig' digits for precision when reporting computed 'Elimination' score else correct the rounding errors. All scores of N.37 were rounded the wrong way. ← My point was that the *original* scores were rounded to the nearest 0.5. So not even 1 decimal of precision (e.g. for Quickfires, they'd tally three scores and come up with, say, 3.5, which would mean either 3 1/3 or 3 2/3). The rounding for N.37 is dependent on your particular choice of rounding methodology for rounding up/truncating for rounding values of 5. (In my case, I chose "odd-truncate, even-round up" as my rule; whether that's standard practice in statistical circles is beyond me.)
  13. And adding a little more analysis, which goes somewhat counter to the spirit of the point system, but is enlightening in its own right. By taking out the stars from the Quickfire challenge, we get another view of performance, strictly based on the Elimination. (Of course, it's all apples and oranges anyway, since there's not much common baseline to compare performance across episodes.) Also, to be totally geeky about it, note that the precision in the avgs is skewed, since during the episodes, the star totals were all rounded to the nearest .5 Elim Avg Rank Ep Chef Stars Quick Diners James Gael Jay Gail Overall/Rank Judges/Rank 1t *2 Suzanne Tracht 22.5 5.0 4.5 4 4.5 4.5 4.37/4t 4.33/5t 1t * Rick Bayless 22.5 4.0 4 5 5 4.5 4.63/1 4.83/1 1t *4 Anita Lo 22.5 5.0 4.5 4 4.5 4.5 4.37/4t 4.33/5t 4 *6 Art Smith 22.0 4.5 5 3 5 4.5 4.37/4t 4.17/6 5t *1 Hubert Keller 20.5 5.0 4 4 4 3.5 3.87/11t 3.83/12t 5t 2 Graham Elliot Bowl 20.5 4.5 4.5 4 4 3.5 4.00/8t 3.83/12t 7t 2 Wylie Dufresne 20.0 3.0 3.5 5 4 4.5 4.25/6t 4.50/2 7t 6 Jonathan Waxman 20.0 3.5 4.5 4 4 4 4.13/9 4.00/8t 9t 3 Wilo Benet 19.5 4.5 4 3 4 4 3.75/13t 3.67/13 9t *5 Michael Chiarello 19.5 4.5 3.5 3.5 4 4 3.75/13t 3.83/12t 11 1 Christopher Lee 19.0 3.5 4 3.5 4 4 3.87/11t 3.83/12t 12 4 Mark Peel 18.5 2.5 4 3.5 4.5 4 4.00/8t 4.00/8t 13 6 Michael Cimarusti 17.5 5.0 3.5 2.5 3 3.5 3.13/18t 3.00/20t 14t 5 Rick Moonen 17.0 0.0 4 4 4.5 4.5 4.25/6t 4.33/5t 14t 5 Nils Noren 17.0 3.0 3.5 4 3.5 3 3.50/14 3.50/14 16t 2 Elizabeth Falkner 16.5 3.5 3.5 3 3.5 3 3.25/16 3.17/16 16t 3 Ludo Lefebvre 16.5 3.0 3.5 3 3 4 3.37/15 3.33/15 18t 3 Cindy Pawlcyn 15.5 3.5 3 2.5 3.5 3 3.00/19 3.00/20t 18t 5 Lachlan Patterson 15.5 3.0 3.5 2.5 3.5 3 3.13/18t 3.00/20t 20 6 Roy Yamaguchi 15.0 4.0 3 2.5 2.5 3 2.75/23t 2.67/22t 21 1 Tim Love 14.5 3.5 3 2.5 2.5 3 2.75/23t 2.67/22t 22 1 Michael Schlow 13.5 2.5 3.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.75/23t 2.50/23 23 4 Douglas Rodriguez 13.0 3.0 3 2 2.5 2.5 2.50/24 2.33/24 24 4 John Besh 12.0 0.5 2.5 3 3 3 2.87/20 3.00/20t * = episode winner Averages 17.94 3.50 3.73 3.35 3.71 3.66 3.63 Christopher
  14. Mathilde makes one, but not sure if it was just a one-off for the European market -- I got a 375 mL bottle as a gift last summer, but I don't see it listed in the product lineup on Mathilde's website. Christopher
  15. plattetude

    The Egg Sandwich

    This is a standard in my house, with the following tweak -- served on a fresh everything bagel, gently warmed in the oven (it must be somewhat soft and yielding, not toasted crisp - yuck). Usually, but not always, prick the yolk but keep it well on the runny end of the scale. Bacon and a slice of cheddar to top off. Christopher
  16. Perhaps so, but decidedly Italian. And it begat the classic cocktail, the Negroni (a ginned up Americano with no soda). Christopher
  17. Now that you've explained it, I'm afraid I am still having trouble with the math. Obviously you're right that a $35 dinner results in a lower tip than a $70 dinner. But it results in a higher tip than an empty seat.So why do you say it's a losing proposition to extend "deals" that pull people into the restaurant, into seats that would otherwise be empty? ← I think the crux of the matter, if I'm getting this right, is that with fewer covers, you need fewer FOH staff, so the tips go further. Filling seats at a lower price means more tips but at a lower rate and a greater need for added staff. I guess it's a matter of striking the right balance. Christopher
  18. Pretty sure 1880 is just outside the 30 year window being discussed here. Christopher
  19. Head to Union Square and check Fish's Eddy. Not sure if the "diner" style plate is what you're looking for, but they've got a few styles of white dinnerware. Christopher
  20. The benefit of a Belgian beer for this kind of thing is that many Belgian styles are not at all hoppy. I think a something like a witte or a saison would do well for this kind of thing, Hoegaarden being the most ubiquitous witte (and as such, cheaper than a lot of other options). This style brings in some decidedly non-beer-like flavors to the table, like orange peel and coriander. And it's certainly light enough that it's not going to overwhelm the mussels. Christopher
  21. My local ShopRite in Hoboken had a few cases last I checked. I should pick up another 6 or two.... Christopher
  22. Expanding my uses of newly-acquired peach bitters... 2 oz reposado tequila (El Tesoro) 1 oz bianco vermouth (Cinzano) 1 tbsp apricot liqueur (R&W Orchard Apricot) 5-6 dashes peach bitters (Fee's) 2 dashes Angostura Love how the apricot and agave marry. Mmm mm mmmm. Might need to try with a dry vermouth -- this was a bit sweet, but I *do* like the bianco with tequila. Christopher
  23. Instead of being an Absinthe substitute, Hercules turned out to be a wine based aperitif one of whose ingredients was Yerba Mate! From Jeff: OK, a bitter wine based aperitif flavored with Yerba Mate. your missing the menthe... ← Based on what source, exactly? Christopher
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