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Posts posted by Nathan

  1. ah, hadn't seen a name for that combo before. I'd played around with that formula for a while and it's fun to tinker and add a dash of this or a dash of that to it. (i.e. add .25 Benedictine and .25 Branca and see what happens). But, in and of itself, it's sweet simplicity (though a drop or two of orange bitters is terrific).

  2. I was at No. 9 Park last week, and Ted made me a Scotland the Brave, which I thought was a big, brash keeper:

    2 1/2 (not a typo) oz Talisker

    3/4 oz Fernet Branca

    3/4 oz Cinzano rosso

    1/2 oz Mathilde Orange XO

    now that looks terrific and very much up my alley!

  3. my thoughts fwiw:

    1. Cure is the first bar I've been outside NY that's functioning close to the top NY echelon. that's saying something. I haven't been to TVH yet.

    2. I don't think these drinks are as out there as the authors think...at least not from the NY hyper-boozy, super-dry, lots of cynar, Arrack, mezcal and bitters point of view. We've been drinking those drinks for years.

    3. with that said, there are some damn fine drinks in that book. and I loved the Defend Arrack and the Gunshop Fizz. they were great drinks when I had them at Cure at Tales and they've been great drinks since I've made them at home since.

    4. so yeah, it's a worthwhile book.

  4. highlights:

    chatting with Difford and Breaux



    French 75

    some of the tasting rooms



    some of the tasting rooms

    the weather

    yes, of course, many of the drinks were way too sweet and restauranty....but then I figure about 75% of the mixologists out there are making that sort of drink...the difference compared to ten years ago is that they're using fresh juices and fruit and less vodka.

    more on the Louisiana thread.

  5. Sorry, Nathan, I have to agree that Cochon isn't really new paradigm. I can see why you make the stretch - it got a nice cocktail program, not formal, not too expensive and has a cool vibe. However, it really is just a traditional place that fits its location and does what it does quite well. Not all hip restaurants are new paradigm.

    eh...you have a non-traditional menu format, dining at the pass, the home cuisine of the auteur chef with fine-dining flourishes, a casual space and service with the food being a mix of rustic and high-end, etc. that's exactly how we defined NP.

  6. they're both New Paradigm restaurants and they're both pork and offal-centric.

    Sorry, but there's nothing "new paradigm" about Cochon. It's traditional cajun/south LA cooking, albeit in a location & with presentations that aren't traditional. 90% of his food could come out of a grandmother's kitchen anywhere in Acadiana (this is highest praise, mind you). Boudin, cracklins, headcheese, roasted fish, roasted oysters, yeast rolls a la facon du LA Public School cafeterias, cornbread, ....what's new to some is perfectly familiar to others.

    that's one of the reasons why it's new paradigm

  7. I'm not sure I understand the analogy between Cochon and Momofuku.  If you take away the things that make Momofuku unique, and take away the things that make Cochon unique, they'd be the same restaurant?

    Couldn't that sort of be said about any two restaurants?

    they're both New Paradigm restaurants and they're both pork and offal-centric.

  8. Thursday night I began with a burger at Port of Call (apparently legendary) and some tiki drinks (not bad for a non-cocktail bar...more tart than you'd expect).  The burger would have been good but the bun was ordinary and the meat not as flavorful as you'd like (cooked perfectly with excellent toppings though).  then drinks at Cure made by the Rogue Cocktails folks (roguecocktails.com).  these were excellent.  this is also the bar that's the closest I've seen outside of NY to the PDT/D&C standard.  as another Tales goer told me later ("in a city of sort of craft bars Cure is the one actual craft bar.")  

    lunch was at Cochon.  just awesome.  yes, it's kind of a Momofuku minus Asian accents...but with some Cajun/Creole ones instead.

    pork cheek salad was very good (kind of like Resto at its best).

    fried boudin...well how can that be bad?

    the signature cochon....kind of like a bo ssam really...or the pork dish at AOC Bedford...except better.

    oyster and bacon sandwich...as good as it sounds.

    crawfish and green tomato pudding....

    what a lovely place.

    dinner was at the Swizzle Stick Bar with food from Cafe Adelaide.  cocktails were quite good..much better list than the website indicates.  good use of the classics.  not an uber-cocktail bar but kind of the ideal hotel bar.  a place where they know Dale and Doc by their first names and volunteer things like the Whiskey Smash....you won't find a Phil Ward here but the world would be a much better place if there was a bar of this level in every city.  I was happy.  as for the food.  think David Burke does Cajun...but better.  whimsical but solid execution.  not to be compared with lunch by any means but certainly not poor.  shrimp "corn dogs" with pepper jelly.  a fun foie dish.  good fish.  classic turtle soup.  

    Lunch was oysters at Dragos.  only go here for oysters.  nothing else. Dinner was at August.  an oldie but a goodie. solid contemporary restaurant food but with some real character.  more interesting than say a McCrady's.

    I think there were some drinks at Herbsaint as well at some point.

    Sunday was lunch at the Green Goddess.  nice enough place.  it's the eclectic, chef-driven, local ingredients, casual place that now exists in every city.  in NY it's known as "New Brooklyn Cuisine"...that kind of place.

    the only real negative was the contingent of Nature Boys...some people who clearly never shower and managed to stink up every room at Tales that they entered.

  9. so I've been here a couple months and have a few observations:

    1. Central Market is better than Whole Foods.

    2. Louis Mueller's is every bit as good as the Lockhart standards (the Taylor Cafe is worth checking out as well).

    3. Feast is quite good. Fearing's is not.

    4. Trudy's is much better than Chuys.

    5. the burgers at Casino El Camino would be very good if they used better meat and a quality bun.

    6. there is good Sichuan in Round Rock.

    7. Fino has very good cocktails and good food.

    8. Austin needs more restaurant variety.

    9. Vespaio is not bad at all.

    10. Specs/Twin/Grapevine have excellent rum and tequila selections but are lacking in a lot of stuff. Grapevine is best for gin and rye but could be better.

  10. so I'll be in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail this coming weekend. my last time in town was pre-Katrina.

    Obviously we'll hit up Cochon and Cure (anyone know how late they're open btw?) the Green Goddess, Herbsaint and August also interest. kind of wide-open on suggestions...also wouldn't mind trying something more down-scale as well...hated Mothers last time but loved Central Grocery.

  11. no, that's no different than before. their standard is to only have one restaurant actually participate in the dinner part of RW (one of the reasons why RW has been mostly a joke for years...lunch deals are everywhere and the good places skip doing it for dinner by and large)

  12. It should be medallions of veal in a delicate sauce not a huge, dry, patty-like thing.

    Actually no....it's most certainly not medallions in a sauce. that's wrong. You obviously haven't had real saltimbocca alla romana before. Not really surprising in the U.S. where it's hard to find authentic Italian....let alone Lazio style (which is what Lupa is).

    yes, the pork shoulder dish (the specific prep varies) is often too dry in my opinion.

  13. I hated this restaurant. yes, the space is nice...and Fearing came by our table pressing the flesh...yes, the kitchen is competent...everything is cooked properly...but would it be too much to ask for lamb that tasted like lamb? instead of inoffensive meat? or for the service at a restaurant where every entree plus one is over $40 to pass the napkin test? if I'm paying NY prices I expect NY service....

    the food is boring...the contemporary restaurant food with some southwestern ingredients that can be found all over the place. heck, Bobby Flay was doing it 20 years ago and his restaurants have been tourist traps for a long time now.

  14. Ruth Reichl

    Mimi Sheraton

    It's not popular to say this here, but Amanda Hesser

    And that's just people who've written for The Times.

    Not Mimi. No way.

    Reichl yes, although she would be crucified on the boards today if her name wasn't Ruth Reichl.

  15. It is too bad the New York Times Corp is under such financial pressure, because it would be a very interesting exercise for them to take both approaches and see how they do over time. I'm not really aware of anyone doing it quite the way Holly describes. The closest that I can think of is John Mariani, but he is quite controversial.

    I disagree. Lots of people have done exactly that. Andrea Strong, Danyelle Freeman, Ed Levine and many many more...including many newspapers around the country and many internet folks too The inevitable result (even if it doesn't start that way) is that they all end up writing puff pieces. Which is how we end up with much of writing about restaurants, whether it be in print, blogs or on the foodboards, being simply shilling (I'd say the majority of print actually).

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