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Everything posted by Ore

  1. Thanks ALL - Leaving in a few hours... will post as things come up. Thanks again for all of your help.
  2. I will be there the 28th... Any info on this topic would be greatly appreciated! My friend Daniel opened up a place called Asia Monica in Hod ha Sharon - I haven't seen any reviews. Ore
  3. We'll be staying at NH Amsterdam Center - $85/night on priceline...SCORE! Do you know how long the drive is from Brussels to Amsterdam? And now that you know we are at the NH Center - any other recommendations you can throw out? Thanks!
  4. There are some specials on their website in the "Arrangements" section but I can't make sense of it using a translating website. It says there is a special for a night at the hotel + dinner but that the restaurant is closed!?! If you can, please explain. I tried contacting them as well. Do you think this is a hotel which can be used for visiting the alsace wineries and then returning to? OR is this hotel for one night from Parma to Franz Keller and then the next night stay somewhere more in the wine area? Thanks.
  5. Auberge du Cheval Blanc is CLOSED June 21 to July 13
  6. Thanks for your help on other topics. So we will have one night (Saturday, June 19) to dine in Paris. Where should we try to get a reservation. Thinking no more than a 1* Michelin place and even that is not necessary. We'd like to find a place where the food that is prepared by a chef who prides himself on what he does and that pride shows through on his/her plates. I really would like to find a place that is friendly and generous. I don't mind spending some money (100E+) pp but I want to leave a place like that feeling like I didn't just get worked. I'd love to have a wine paired meal and a grand cheese cart offered before sweets. I'm not into the whole asian/french thing going on right now at a lot of the restaurants I've seen. All help is appreciated.
  7. Beautiful - thank you. From Basel I think we will take the A35 to Strasbourg. Then I hope to Cheval Blanc - Wow the place looks amazing and they seem to be fairly priced. I sent an email request and I do hope to be able to visit on a Thursday night. So we'll spend a night in Strasbourg and then a night in Lembach and enjoy that day visiting the surrounding area. The drive from Lembach to Amsterdam will be a fun one...7 hours or so! Ore
  8. I'd always leave it on. It is very simple to remove if needed once cooked or smoked. Whenever making salumi with whole muscle cuts (pancetta tessa, guanciale, prosciutto, etc. the skin is left on in my experiences). The skin is left on if cooking sous-vide as well so you can press it on a flat top to crisp the skin prior to service - YUM! I can clearly imagine where the TOXIC comment comes from. On the larger sows we'd have to carfully remove the mammary glands from the belly as when that gets cooked it is possible to leave "piggy" flavors around. This is especially true of the fattier breeds with the THICK bellies. YUM!
  9. Very little in my case (but I guess I'm still evolving!). Put anyone into the correct setting and they may flourish. Once that setting changes, it may not be the same. As far as I know, the CIA does not publicize nor record "top students" in a class and I feel this was merely a ploy and verbiage tactic used on the show to show him/her to be better than someone else. There would be so many ways to measure this too... GPA, Chef Recommendations, Practical Exams, Etc, Etc, Etc.
  10. I'm busted... My wife read some of the comments on here and we are looking at this in a new light. Old Itinerary: June 17 – Paris June 18 – Paris June 19 – Drive 9 Hours to Arles, France June 20 – Drive 2 Hours to Cannes June 21 – Cannes June 22 – Cannes June 23 – Drive to Strasbourg, France (11 Hours with a stop in Italy) June 23 – Strasbourg June 24 – Strasbourg June 25 – Drive 8 Hours to Amsterdam June 26 – Amsterdam June 27 – Depart Amsterdam Total Driving: 30 Hours-34 Hours New Itinerary: June 17 – Paris June 18 – Paris June 19 – Paris June 20 – Paris June 21 – Drive 6 Hours to Strasbourg June 22 – Strasbourg June 23 – Strasbourg June 24 – Drive 6 Hours to Amsterdam June 25 – Amsterdam June 26 – Amsterdam June 27 – Depart Amsterdam Total Driving: 12-15 Hours So with the "NEW" Itinerary - places to eat, sleep, visit, etc. s'il vous plaît. Ore
  11. glauer, I am most into foods that I can't get here in Los Angeles. I'd kill for some Ortolan Really though, we want food that is prepared by a chef who prides himself on what he does and that pride shows through on his/her plates. I really would like to find a place that is friendly and generous. I don't mind spending some money (100E+) pp but I want to leave a place like that feeling like I didn't just get worked. I'd love to have wine paired meals and a grand cheese cart offered before sweets. I'm not into the whole asian/french thing going on right now at a lot of the restaurants I've seen. I know you think we're crazy but we are also young and I hope that a trip like this opens our eyes to what is out there in the world so we know where we can visit again one day soon. Thanks for your help. edited to add that I hope you don't think I'm crazy cuz Boston just lost and I'm from LA
  12. Parigi, I am checking out Arles and the hotel option you mentioned. Have you been to the restaurant "Cilantro"? JudyB, I have asked if there is availability at La Beaugraviere. I hope so as it seems intimate and could be a great experience. It seems though that there isn't as much going on as in Arles. KD1191, the website for Hotel K says they are full but I sent an email anyway. Where else would you stay nearby in order to enjoy dinner there and breakfast the next day!?! Thanks for your help.
  13. Lovely - I am looking forward to my ONE day in Italy very soon. I am going to go on a salumi e formaggio BINGE. Beware!
  14. Can any Amsterdamers recommend a few local hotels that are safe, centrally located and reasonably priced? Will be in AMS for two nights and I am def. into all the street food (doner and vlamsefrites) and all the other yummy things there. What about sweets?
  15. The need for speed thing is pretty funny! I have a rental quote from Hertz at $490 including fees and drop-charge. Can anyone recommend an Amsterdam Hotel. Looking to spend our last two nights in Amsterdam in a nicer hotel and personal recommendations are always best. Thank You.
  16. Thanks for reading this post. My wife and I are almost ready to leave Los Angeles for Paris. Briefly, our trip goes like this...we land in Paris June 17 and leave from Amsterdam on June 27 (late night). So we have all that time in-between to do what we want! Our itinerary is below. I am requesting any help/assistance in dining and hotel recommendations as well as an overall opinion on the itinerary. All comments are appreciated. June 17 arrive in Paris. I've been a few times but my wife hasn't. We will be staying with family in Paris. We'd like to do as much as possible in the short time that we have. I'd like to go to a good restaurant on June 17th. We're willing to spend up to 200 Euro for the meal but would rather spend less. We'd like something French. Wine, great food, cheese, etc. but homey and friendly. We have plans with family for the Friday night dinner. Saturday AM we pick up the rental car and leave... June 19 leave Paris for Cannes with a rental car. We love driving and don't mind it at all - we even think it is more convenient than trains, etc. The drive from Paris to Cannes is about 900 km which should take about 8 hours. We would like to split this trip with a stop somewhere beautiful between Paris and Cannes where we can get a great meal (1 Michelin Star is plenty) and stay at a nice, small hotel or B&B. June 20 (Sunday) arrive in Cannes. Here we will be staying with family as well. This part of our trip is where we get to rest and hang out a bit. We plan on taking day trips to the surrounding cities, etc. and any tips on fine eateries is appreciated. So we'll stay in Cannes Sunday night, Monday nigh and Tuesday night. June 23 (Wednesday) AM we leave for Parma. I lived near Parma and would like to go back to the restaurant I worked at to visit them and say hello. The drive from Cannes to the restaurant near Parma is 420 km which should take about 4 hours. I'd like to stop somewhere in between for lunch (maybe Genova or a town nearby) and get to Parma in the afternoon. Dinner, of course, will be at Al Vedel! June 24 we leave Parma with our sight on Amsterdam. From Parma to Amsterdam is 1,200 km which is about 11 hours of driving. We'd like to split this with one night around the 500 to 900 km area. This is where I could really use some suggestions. In one direction we can go through France and then Luxembourg and Belgium and in the other direction go through Germany. Possible options are Strasbourg and Luxembourg but your help is greatly appreciated here. June 25 arrive in Amsterdam. Take in the city before our flight on Sunday night. Any great dining opportunities is greatly appreciated here as well (I do know about Maoz Falafel and the Vlamsefrites from past visits!) So - now that you have an idea of what we are trying to accomplish...what do you think??!?? Thank you for taking the time to reply to this post. Ore
  17. my favorites have to be the simple dishes... pici is a delicious pasta... al ragu! any boar sauce...ragu di cinghiale! I love biscotti dipped in REAL vin santo A simple board of mixed salumi (my faves are ER) culatello, prosciutto, copa di testa, spalla cotta, ciccioli, cicciolata, etc. etc! At La Locanda di Bu we made an amazing Macaronara which is beyond this world (topped with amazing ricotta salata...YUM!) time for lunch...
  18. My first thought is that if you want something chewy you dont want to brine it unless you give it a good amount of time uncovered in the fridge to form a pellicle (sticky surface of meat that smoke will adhere to). My vote is for the slat directly onto the fish. Will you not add any other flavorings to the fish? A touch of sugar, black pepper? Salt isn't that expensive - if you are already getting that qty. of fish, I think you could get the salt you need as well. You'll need 6 kg of salt max if you follow your 300g/kg ratio. The salt shouldn't cost you more then $15 US. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
  19. I ran into similar problems there too. The non-sticks aren't bad and a lot of restaurants use them too, as the standard pan...weird! I'm pretty sure that you can find pans at stores that say "alimentari" on the sign... You know - you could always order online ... http://www.aziende-siciliane.com/index.cfm
  20. I really want to know why they don't allow photography at Ko...anyone???anyone???
  21. I'm not sure what you mean by "this area" but I love and strongly suggest a vistit to La Locanda di Bu if you have the time and energy for the drive. www.lalocandadibu.com
  22. huh?? in my experience, for a serious CHEF position where you have say on the menu, the people hiring you will 100% of the time MAKE you do a tasting for them. it may not be mystery basket but they often throw in some kind of twist to see how you react to obstacles in REAL time. this is especially true in 'smaller, high end restaurants' edited to add that I am a PROUD CIA alum and although I am not using my degree per se, the education and experiences I picked up CIA were world class and helped shape who I am today - CIA, you rock!
  23. What does the chef tasting at Sushi Sasabune charge? Isn't that at the old Todai Buffet location? I never thought to stop there only because of the location which I really think was Todai once... Comparable to Urasawa in the quality of ingredients - so it must not be cheap...
  24. Ore

    Tipping in Italy

    Funny - some of my friends from Italy were just here and we had a great laugh about how different tipping is here from there. We ate at Sona and the check with tip came out to $850.00 They were ok with leaving the tip but were really on the floor about how and why we leave tips here in the US. 10, 15, 18, 20, 22 - all these percentages and they said that they usually just leave a few euro behind - almost no matter where they are. From my experience working in Italy - the tips were always accumulated over a few week period until there was a nice amount (300 or so Euro) - yes, a few weeks (30 seat restaurant) and then we'd all go out to the bar and it would get divided among everyone - la manca (la mancha) as it was called. In my opinion, leave what you can and what you would expect to receive for that quality of service. That's the easiest for me but I've been on that side of the table too! Ore
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