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Everything posted by DutchMuse

  1. I'm not Bobster, but I've had the fortune to dine at Per Se a dozen or so times, and at EMP probably 20 or so times. They are different animals, and I would happily dine at either one any evening. That said, I'd give the nod to Eleven Madison Park from my personal point of view. To me, the key difference is in the style of cooking. Per Se tends to be quite technical in its excellence. EMP tends to be more 'soulful' in its excellence. I've often said "Per Se is technical; EMP has food with a 'soul.'" Per Se is slightly more formal in its setting and FOH style; EMP is a touch more informal though both are at the top echelon. Happy to elaborate but that would sum up my feeling of the two places.
  2. I went last night and my friend and I had the pink sea bream. It was brought to the table by our server uncooked but whole, so we could see it (I jokingly asked for its name). It was cooked and brought back to our table after it was filleted, with each of our portion's on individual plates. It was terrific, by the way!
  3. I think its $500/person for the meal, no?
  4. DutchMuse


    Scott Bryan was actually two chefs ago. He was replaced by Ed Cotton, who I believe is now executive chef at BLT Market. And Ed Cotton was replaced last year by Gregory Pugin, who had been executive chef at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. ← I don't know who's putting out this misinformation (I seem to see it everywhere, and the PR materials from Veritas, as I recall, almost imply this) but Gregory Pugin was NOT the executive chef at l'Atelier Robuchon. He was a sous chef--quite a difference.
  5. DutchMuse

    Del Posto

    I've said this seemingly endlessly, but after dining there, I just don't get the 2 star review from Michelin. I doubt it would get a single star were it in Italy; certainly a restaurant with the forgettable cooking as here (IMHO) would not garner a star in France. (Maybe they're more generous in Italy as they are in the USA?) I went there hoping to be smitten. I left feeling as if I had been bitten.
  6. DutchMuse


    Its the risk of hanging out with chefs...you hear all sorts of things. But doesn't sound implausible.
  7. DutchMuse


    I hear a rumor (may be just that; anyone?) that they're not long for this world. Anyone with real info?
  8. What others have said re "calling a taxi"--there is no way to call a taxi in NYC; there's no phone number to call. Probably calling a car service wouldn't have helped, either, because if its raining, they would take a reservation and it might be an hour or more wait. But with a customer who has MS and has clear mobility problems, it would not be out of line for the restaurant to send a staff member to hail a taxi for a guest. This would be expected at a NYT 3 star restaurant, especially one like Corton. Big mistake on their part.
  9. I'm looking to buy micro greens and micro vegetables for a home/amateur chef? Any suggestions for either a source in via shipping?
  10. DutchMuse

    Per Se

    This is good. I have heard through the grapevine they are seriously hurting, so I'm not surprised but I'm very glad for you. Enjoy it! The sous chef will likely be your cook, too!
  11. Thanks for the report, sick. Good to read and interesting. I keep thinking about this place because I was impressed with the food, but so put off by the high mark ups on the wine. I look forward to your next write up after you go back. I'd like to go back as well in the next couple of months and see how the new chef is doing.
  12. His name is Joel Dennis. I'll post more about our meal: Here was our menu: CUCUMBER VINEGAR MARINATED HAMACHI WATERMELON RADISH, LONG PEPPER, GREEN APPLE MUSTARD GLAZED MULTICOLOR VEGETABLE COMPOSITION JUS DE CUISSON, NAVETTE OIL BUTTER POACHED MAINE LOBSTER PARSLEY LEAF PASTA “IMPRESSION”, MUSHROOM DUCK BREAST FILET “AU PLAT” CREAMY POLENTA, SHALLOTS, RADISH, NIÇOISE OLIVES APPLE SABLÉ GRANNY SMITH SORBET, CALVADOS EMULSION, VANILLA CREAM The hamachi was the perfect combination of texture and flavor. Served sashimi style, the freshness and texture were, in themselves, stunning, but then the delicate and subtle flavor imparted by the marinade just put it over the edge into heaven. I loved it. "This is serious food!" I exclaimed to Bill, who immediately agreed. I think we were both surprised at the start by how great the food was. The vegetable dish was my dish of the night. Just the right combination of flavors from the vegetables, and a texture of crunch, this dish was my dish of the night. The navette oil added just the right amount of delicacy and elegance to the dish. The lobster was great, and covered by the obviously handmade sheet of parsley leaf pasta. It was beautiful, and tasted even better than it looked. I loved it; even if I kept going back and thinking about the vegetables. "As good as this dish is, it would be even better with one more piece of duck" my friend told our captain, and he was right. A small portion of duck, nevertheless, it went beautifully with our 1995 Ch. Beaucastel. The duck was cooked perfectly, and with the sauce, just screamed. I loved the creamy polenta--my friend commented "Normally I don't care for polenta but this is great!." It reminded me of a Ducasse equivalent of Robuchon's creamy potato puree. We then had a cheese course, which was quite good but not in the same league as the rest of our food or for what I would expect of a Ducasse restaurant. Fine but not singing. They brought out 3 desserts for us to try. One was the apple dessert listed above, which was good and another was a dark chocolate dessert that was both our favorites. By then it was late and my ability to describe the 3 desserts in proper detail isn't up to par, I'm afraid. Anyway, serious serious food.
  13. Good question, Sneakeater; I didn't actually ask them. A gentleman sitting near me at the bar was eating a dish that resembled one of the dishes we had from the tasting menu. But excellent question and one that I did not think to ask or question.
  14. I went there this past week for the first time. Other than the overpriced wine list (which, indeed, is seriously overpriced), I had one of the best meals of any restaurant in New York. Upon arriving, I waited for my dining companion in the small bar--only one seat was taken, leaving 4 I think, left. Had a lovely 07 Alsatian riesling by the glass while I played with the computerized wine list that displays using a touch screen projection on the bar. We took our time looking over the reserve list (and feeling a bit of pain at the prices; not really priced for the current economic climate) and settled on a while Burgundy and a 1995 Rhone to go with the tasting menu. On the first bite, I said to my friend "This is very serious food." The food, without exception, is NYT 4 star quality/Michelin *** qualitly. The service is not up to that standard, and one must get past the wine list prices, but if the subject is just the food only, the place under the new chef totally delivers. The food was intricate, complex, stunning. The only exception I would have is the cheese course was a let down for an establishment run by M. Ducasse. Not disappointing, just not as thrilling as I would have expected, given the other dishes. In the future, I will go and sit at the bar, have a wine by the glass or two, and then one or two dishes from the menu. A much more affordable (and in sync with the times) way to have a peak culinary experience. I should say that the wine service was exceptional under sommelier Vanessa Boyd.
  15. DutchMuse

    Per Se

    At 6:29pm, its still there on Open Table Wow.
  16. This blog of yours is fabulous! Honestly, you should consider a bit of elaboration and write a book of these experiences.
  17. Its a great menu; I had it on Wednesday night of last week: We celebrated a friend's birthday at EMP on Wednesday night. Chef Humm came by to ask how many courses we wanted, and special favourites or any dislikes. We told him the number of courses was up to him, and no particular requests of anything specific tonight and no restrictions--just make what you want! He came up with a great menu, which Wine Director John Ragan paired with wines to a theme of women winemakers. First course was absolutely stunning! It was a Royal Sterling caviar timbale with lightly smoked creme fraiche and Balik salmon. Stunning. It was a disc about an inch to inch and a half in diameter with a single layer of caviar eggs on top, middle layer was finely chopped salmon, both of which were resting on the smoked creme fraiche. I do mean stunning! The wonderful caviar (served properly, I might add, with a small ceramic spoon), the texture of the finely chopped salmon, and the slight smokiness of the creme fraiche was, as they say in New York, "to die for." It was "lox and cream cheese elevated to Versailles, pre-revolution" one might say. Next up--a ceviche served with Satsuma tangerine and tarragon. The ceviche--it had a lovely texture that was both pleasantly chewy and tender--was cut (chopped) in just the right size, served in the middle of the plate with the tangerine and a vinegarette served on both sides. This was also wonderful. Alone, it would have made an incredible first course. WOW. Fast becoming one of Chef Humm's signature dishes, he served a foie gras mille-feuille--a "foie gras creme brulee" if you will. Served in a small shallow bowl, the foie had a nice crust on top. But the brioche, made in house, with which he served it. The marriage was perfect! The brioche--in the shape of a disk about 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch in thickness made the pairing perfect. It was made with chicken, black truffles, and mushroom. Rich and decadent so be careful with this one--but the black truffle in the brioche with the creamy foie with the brulee on top was unspeakably wonderful. When I tasted the next dish, I said to Sam--the Assistant General Manager--"Daniel hasn't been to Thailand, has he?" This dish is also wonderful but it shows the chef is branching out in his flavours. "Its like you've grown a second thumb" I said to the Chef at the end of the night. It was a coconut poached chilean fish served with a shellfish nage and a madras curry. It had elements of the coconut, lemongrass, and curry in a rich shellfish broth. Such flavor combinations that I experienced on visits to Thailand, but none with this richness, balance and complexity. The combination of flavours continues to haunt me. {Daniel--can you make this again next week for lunch?} I hope the Chef continues to explore this direction as the flavours were absolutely captivating. "It does have Chef's fingerprint on it, though" commented John Ragan, and yes it did, but to me, its a new direction he might be exploring. Wonderful! Another dish that I continue to think about--that succulent lobster--the Nova Scotia lobster poached with crustacean sabayon, with celery and Meyer lemon. Its really the texture of the lobster that does it for me. Probably my second favourite course of the night. We had organic pheasant roasted with riesling poached grapes, served with Black Trumpet mushrooms and oats. "Did you know they did an episode of Top Chef with oats?" I asked one of the managers? They said no, but funny that oats appear on the dish. I loved the grapes and the mushrooms--the pheasant was good but did not rise to the level of the other courses. My least favourite of the night, but the birthday girl--Ellen--absolutely went crazy over it. So, to each his or her own. Another candidate for course of the night, and one I have had many times at EMP, was a glazed short rib and black angus beef tenderloin served with Jerusalem artichokes. The meat is unspeakably tender. And flavourful. John served it with a Burgundy--he knows I'm a burg nut--but I thought a Bordeaux would have sent this into orbit. Another one of my fav dishes. We selected cheese from the trolly. I must say, the restaurant has really matured in their cheese selection. They have evolved from at first what might have been found in an epicurian's home cheese selection to a world class cheese cart. I was so proud to see all those great cheeses on the cart! I found myself wishing for a St. Nectaire--but some other time. Forget the dessert--give me more of the White Misto Sorbet--served with golden pineapple and carmelized puffed rice. This was our "pre-dessert" but I really loved it. LOVED IT. This in some ways hit the spot more--because of its lightness--than the "real" dessert that followed. (By the way, Chef Humm is also in charge of pastry which he does beautifully) Our dessert was a Caraibe Chocolate Gateaux with coffee and Piedmontese hazelnut sorbet. It was exceedingly good, but I still love the white misto sorbet, Chef! We ended the meal with a selection of mignardises and our sweet wine. By then, it was 1:00 a.m. (a little afterwards). The restaurant is better than I've ever seen it. There was not a single misstep.
  18. I love the service at all Danny Meyer restaurants as well as PS and Daniel. Service at J-G has been good but not outstanding for me. Haven't been to Le Bernardin in a few years so not sure but last time I was there, it was excellent. Bastianich places, to me, have the worst service and 'attitude' of the most popular NYC restaurants....this is a consistent observation I've had.
  19. DutchMuse


    Yes! I have two friends, one a chef, one a great wine collector, who have had Chef Daniel personally cook for them. The chef said "The meal blew my mind." The wine collector said he would go to Daniel only if the Chef cooked for him; the experience was so different. Sadly, most of us mortals have not had this experience but I think there's a huge gap between the Chef's talents and the restaurant's normal output.
  20. DutchMuse


    Agree with Sneakeater...not the meal of a lifetime; more like the meal of the week, or the month, depending how many 0's to the left of the decimal mark in one's bank account. Their bread and butter, no pun intended, consists of the folks from the UES who eat their regularly. Last time I was there, they commented that they have a lot of regulars from the UES, who they must continue to please. After about 10 meals at Per Se, I burned out and that was that. I just lost interest. I could eat at Daniel regularly but a bit boringly.
  21. I had an exceptional time at The Violet Hour last night....absolutely none of the issues of a prior visit. They were hitting on all cylinders, and mixologists Michael and Kyle were in top form. My Old Raj martinis (yes...I had two, the first was so good!) were absolutely perfect and it was fun discussing the history of American cocktails with Michael and Kyle. Kudos....when this place is on (which I think is most of the time), it really is exceptional.
  22. Yes; everybody knows what Bruni looks like...its certainly no secret. I was at an event at a restaurant recently and a chef from another restaurant who was attending the event introduced me to a leading restaurant reviewer for a NY publication. Everybody pretty much knows everybody (to varying degrees, of course) and what they look like.
  23. Just a point--most dutch people would drink Dutch genever 'neat' and not in a cocktail.
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