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Everything posted by bentherebfor

  1. I just recieved an email that Tru is offering a menu based entirely on Tomato for the rest of September. 12 courses I believe it said. $120
  2. I believe Trio Atelier is now offering a twenty dollar discount through their website. You may have to be an email subscriber to acess it though...I'm not entirely sure.
  3. I had very mixed feelings about the show. As much as I desperately wanted to like it, I couldn't help but find it a little boring. It wasn't particularly informative or exciting, and Tony wasn't exactly doing anything out of the ordinary. And while I did enjoy scenes at the Meatmarket and Bakery, I thought the scene with the alchohol was horrible. Not only was boring and continued on for what seemed like hours, but the crude camera "effects" just made the show look stupid. I think Tony was going for a low budget look, but the show was full of cheap camera tricks and effects, that just distracted from what we are there for: The Food and The Travel. If it wasn't Tony, I probably wouldn't ever tune in again, but I'm hoping there is something a little better (read exciting, interesting, and informative) in store for us in Iceland.
  4. It really was just the piercing bitterness of the grapefruit that knocked out the taste of any other flavors. The broccoli, I thought, had a great texture, and potentially amazing flavor. In my mind, I can see the grapefruit flavor working well. It seems to me that perhaps the reason it was so overwhelming was the fact that there was so much tartness in so little--the grapefruit being dried and all. I think that if the broccoli was allowed to shine through, with the grapefruit playing the role of a backup flavor, still pronounced, but not mouth-puckeringly tart, this dish would be a real winner.
  5. There must have been some form of miscommunication. Flash photography is strictly prohibited, other forms are tolerated. ← I apologize. I'm not sure where the miscommunication could have been, but clearly it was somewhere. As I pulled my camera out of my pocket our waiter took note and politely informed me that cameras where not allowed at Alinea. I asked whether it was the flash or the camera itself that was the problem. Again, he politely informed me that pictures of all types were no longer allowed. Either way, again, I apologize. ← Never doubted you for a minute, Ben. Your accounts have always been right on the money. Obviously, there was some miscommunication in this case. But, considering what you wrote about your meal, it doesn't appear to have marred your experience in the least. =R= ← Not in the slightest, Ronnie. My experience at Alinea was beyond words, and my choice not to emphasise the higher points of the evening was only due to the fact that eGulleters had already outlined them so well. Truly, it was a sensational experience for the senses.
  6. There must have been some form of miscommunication. Flash photography is strictly prohibited, other forms are tolerated. ← I apologize. I'm not sure where the miscommunication could have been, but clearly it was somewhere. As I pulled my camera out of my pocket our waiter took note and politely informed me that cameras where not allowed at Alinea. I asked whether it was the flash or the camera itself that was the problem. Again, he politely informed me that pictures of all types were no longer allowed. Either way, again, I apologize.
  7. I made it to Alinea last night, and while I won't dwell on individual dishes that have already been covered, I thought I'd throw in my ten cents. Right off the bat I'd like to say that this was the best meal I have ever eaten in my life. Period. End of Story. Never have I experienced such perfect service, flawless cuisine, and encouraging atmosphere all in one restaurant. Truly sensational. The only dish I found to be only marginal was the broccoli stem. It was too bitter, and I think the rest of my table agreed. It was delicious, and the stem was awesomely tender, but the grapefruit seemed to overpower the dish. Two topics that are unrelated to the food. The first is minor and not necessarily something that anyone notices or minds, but the bathrooms presented a problem for me. After a long wait to use one (could one have been out of order?), I got inside and found myself unable to lock the door. Eventually I required the help of a waiter who was going past. He seemed to be used to the problem so perhaps they are working on it. The only reason I bring it up in the first place is that I spent so much time trying to lock the door that I was worried a would delay the service/food and ultimately require replating as we discussed earlier. Anyway that really wasnt even worth mentioning but... Second point of interest. I whipped out my camera and was politely informed that pictures were no longer allowed at Alinea. The waiter alluded to pictures being posted on the internet amidst accusations that they were being posted by the restaurant itself...so we will have to see what is going on with that. Really I hate to detract from the focus of the meal with those two petty sidenotes because it truly was sensational. The waiters were histerically funny and chatty, needless to say that they werent stuffy in the slightest. And of course the food. It was unbelievable. The Hearts of palm were a blast to eat. The different flavors of the same base...spectacular. The chocolate was unbelievable. And the bacon! oh the bacon. per sqaure inch the bacon packed the most flavor I have ever tasted in my life. It lingered and lingered. Truly a memorable meal.
  8. Just keep your eye out for this.
  9. I too have eyed this product as I often stumble across its informecial on the television (does it play 24 hours a day or what?). It has one of the cheesiest informercials that I have ever seen, though I will admit that it is also the only one I've ever seen which had a "plot". To me, it seemed like a typical infomercial product: something that makes an attempt at appealing to time-stretched moms and people who think that having one tool to do everything is the solution to all ones problems. I will, however, be interested to see how it works. I read the reviews (or some of them) and found them interesting though I'm always suspicious of those things . Please do report, though, on how you like it.
  10. Glossyp, WOW! Your loaves are gourgeous! If you are dissapointed with the crumb you acheived wait till you see the one I was stuck with. Anyway from the beginning. I made the biga ciabatta and made the biga yesterday, gave it an overnight ferment, and yanked it out today. I think this is where my problems began. As I was kneading the dough, I decided that it was too wet and went ahead and added a little bit of flour (I knew I was looking for a wet dough, but I had added the optional oil and PR had said that some extra flour might be necessary). Anyway, I must have added too much flour because by the end of the kneading process I was left with a dough that was sticky, but not considerably stickier than the French Bread I made earlier this week. From there, everything went fine. I gave them a long proofing and rise, divided them into three loaves and baked. Baking went well, I think. When I initially pulled them out I was a little worried about having burned the crust (I didn't want to end up with a non-existant crust as with my French Bread) but that turned out to be less of a problem then I thought. When I pulled them, they looked like this: I let them rest for about half an hour, then sliced and much to my dissapointment I had created yet another bread WITH NO CRUMB! I feel like I'm making high qaulity sandwhich bread here, not ciabatta! Not artisan bread! It has the appearance of Wonderbread. PLEASE HELP ME ACHIEVE A GOOD CRUMB! So, is too dry of a dough the thing to blame? I mean, I've never handled a dough so carefully and gently in my life, yet I still can't get my yeast to work with me.... Still, on the bright side, the bread had good flavor, and it isn't dense, it just doesn't have the artisan type crumb that I desperately desire. It was quickly devoured though, so I look forward to a second attempt... Perhaps next time I will try the poolish if I can get results like yours, glossyp...
  11. Well I just pulled my ciabatta and right off the bat I can say that I think I burned the tops a bit. I just really wanted to make sure I didn't get another wimpy crust! We'll see how the crumb is...
  12. Alrighty, I tried out the BBA for the first time the other night with the French Bread recipe. Overall, I'm pleased with the results, but not blown away. I followed the recipe as precisely as I could, and made the pate fermente the day before, giving it an overnight ferment. The taste was good. Good flavor. Initially I was dissapointed with the crumb, as it didn't have large gaping holes like I was hoping (Should I have been expecting these?). After tasting it though, I became more pleased. It wasn't dense or overly chewy. Here are a couple shots of the bread: You can see I made them pretty small...was this a bad idea? It didn't seem to hurt... And here is a shot of the crumb (my apologies for my inability to focus): The real problem with this bread was the crust. It just didn't have a good bite to it. It wasn't crispy or overly flavorful. WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? I cooked the bread till 205 on my instant read, and the crumb was clearly cooked through. Was it the steaming that killed me? I followed the directions by placing a steam pan below and spraying at 30 second intervals 3 times. I would appreciate any advice in this regard. My ciabatta is proofing right now and I'm looking forward to that! Thanks for the support and assistance.
  13. One point you made that really hit home with me was the idea of protien juices running all over a plate. I whacked myself in the head when I realized that if I would just lead the meat rest prior to plating, this would fix the problem. I always figured that the meat could do its resting while I plated. DOH! I'll second the earlier question though, what does one do about food getting too cold?
  14. Well, I am happy to report that I have, after an excruciating wait, gotten my hands on BBA. I love it. Today I went out and bought myself some bread baking equipment that I have been desperately needing for a while now: A pizza stone (which I plan to leave in my oven at all times, is this a good idea?), a peel (not essential, I know, but helpful) and a quality kitchen scale. I have been working off an old non-digital model and I just couldn't put up with it anymore. This one actually has an interesting feature that allows you to measure liquids (water based) by volume using the scale. I tested it out with water, and it was very accurate. I was pleasantly surprised. I'm wondering how much the accuracy will deviate if I use liquids like milk or, god forbid, oil (yes, I realize this isn't a water based liquid). The question is, I think in essence, how far do the densities differ between water and its cousins such as milk, soda, and beer. I started right in on a loaf of French Bread. Well, at this point just the pate fermente (sp?). I figure I will let it refrigerate for one night and try the French Bread tomorrow. I am worried, however, about the steaming issue. PR mentioned in the book that the spray steam could break my glass windows, and I have to admit that scared me. The method of placing the pot of boiling water under (under, right?) the pizza stone intrigued me. Is this a method that I could use for this bread? I'm looking forward to getting in on the fun!
  15. Hot chocolate. Intriguing.....I think I'm gonna have to give that a try. Maybe even with a touch of chili powder?
  16. AWESOME! That is without a doubt the most brilliant advertising campaign I have ever seen in my life. I mean, its not every day that I spend 15 minutes watching a commercial for a fast food chain. Really great... The American speaking with the subtitles does seem puzzling. Also I noticed that subtitles like "True Taste" (The name of the company) were not changed into German, which could cause non-english speakers to really miss out on some humor...
  17. I just picked up a bar of this stuff myself. I too, am having difficulty finding an application worthy of its Cacao-ness. I enjoy gazing at it though....
  18. bentherebfor


    For me, Second only to the avocados, Lime is by far the most important ingredient. IMO, it adds this irreplacable, essential flavor to the guac. Furthermore, it helps ease the oxidation process, which is always a plus. Because, as I certainly have learned, there is no bigger waste than a perfectly good tasting guacamole that you had to throw out because it was too brown for you to bring yourself to eat!
  19. True...however thats not to say that you can't add salt to a saute. Just that the salt helps the sweating process along.
  20. A friend asked me the other day, "What is the history behind the toque? I mean, why don't chefs just wear hair nets?" I was stumped. I mumbled something incoherently about the purpose being to keep the hair out of the food, like a hair net, but I didn't know why the large hat was necessary. Also, I remembered hearing something on Good Eats about each flap of the toque representing a different way to cook an egg. So my question is this: What is the point of the toque? The History? The tall-tales? I want to know it all....
  21. The menu does look fantastic! Interesting that we happen to be discussing this on the same day that the NY Times publishes almost an entire "Dining In" section on how-to's for take-out and delivery in New York. Perhaps you could apply some of the tips found here B. PS. All the articles can be found here
  22. Thanks for the information, Ben. Thursday is my day to choose lunch for the office and your post has inspired me. =R= ← It should be interesting to see if the food is still up to snuff...For me at least, presentation is an important part of the fun of a great meal.
  23. Tonight I read this topic from top to bottom (Man oh man do I need to get myself down there!), and I saw that someone had inquired a while back as to whether or not PGC offered take out. This intrigued me, so I called them up and I am happy to report that they do, indeed, offer carryout.
  24. This much is true. We even heard Armstrong's sous chef comment on the lack of use of the theme ingredient with about ten minutes left.
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