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Everything posted by nhconner

  1. I agree with Bonne Soiree, but feel some of the most elegant, sophisticated and refined food is coming out of Fearrington House in Pittsboro. I have had many meals there over three chefs, and my last two have been in the top three I have had there. If you do a package with three courses on a Sunday or weekday and then add a course ($10 per) I feel it is a real deal considering the afternoon tea and breakfast included in the charge. If the hotel is not full, they will upgrade you. There wine list also has a lot of interesting bottles in the $50 and under price point. Service is fantastic. Nate
  2. Two questions for Sushi in San Francisco. Best take out Nigiri, Sashimi, Rolls, Creative. Best Omakase, Kaiseki Most is good, but there is too much to try, and the sea of good is drowning me looking for great. Nate
  3. nhconner


    When I have had it, it consisted of smaller plates of menu items and any specials they had that day. Bring some good wine. Nate
  4. White Tuna is Escolar, and if you eat a lot (15+ slices of sashimi) you can start to have gastrointestinal discomfort. Ive been told its banned in Japan for this reason. It has somthing to do with fat that we cannot digest. It is tasty when fresh and cold, but gets weird and mushy the older it gets. Its almost sweet. Nate
  5. nhconner

    Dove recipes?

    This is a classic that works for any game bird, as well as chicken. The trick to dove is that it is easy to overcook. This recipe makes that harder to do. Dress dove and remove breasts. Take the seeds and pulp out of a jalapeno, and cut into thin strips. Wrap a breast (with a little s&p) around the pepper strip, then wrap with a half piece of bacon secured with a toothpick. Grill on medium heat till bacon is done. Place a slice of fresh or whole milk motz on top and let melt. I have seen many variations of this recipe using balsamic brushed on and even a sprinkle of ground espresso. You can make it your own. Another way I like to cook game bird meat and rabbit is to oven poach the meat in olive oil with garlic and herbs, then serve with bitter greens (I like arugula) dressed with the oil and lemon juice. All is all you can cook the breasts the same way you would cook a small piece of chicken breast. Just be sure to cook with some fat.
  6. My understanding is they use about a 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper rubbed on the bird about 48hrs before they roast.
  7. nhconner


    We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary on August 7th at Bibou. Everything went perfect and we loved Bibou. We had, the foie, escargots, cucumber and duck soup, and a tripe special. We also had the pigs feet, and a squab special For desert we had a cheese course and the fig tart. The cooking is soulful and delicious. It was a pleasure for my wife and I to get back to rich well prepared full flavor French food. This sounds silly, but we have been eating so much Asian food and sushi as well as modern cuisine for our special meals. This food was like being welcomed home, and a reminder of why I love eating in the first place. The tripe was extra special and was a stand out dish. Combined with some world class 1999 (our wedding year) French wine, everything was perfect. Clean appropriately sized glasses were served with each wine opened and we tipped for this appropriately as well. This is not Per Se, nor would it receive a Michelin star, but the food is one star and the service was just as it should be and I cant think of a better way we could have celebrated our 10th. Bravo! Nate Conner
  8. As well as doughnuts I was able to hit the market for lunch a few times. I had my beloved DeNics roast pork with provolone and raab twice and it never disappoints. I could eat this every other day for the rest of my life. I also really like to put banana peppers on top as well. Savory, sharp, bitter, sour, crusty, juicy. I want one right now. We had Italian hogies from Salumeria two separate days with everything, house dressing and artichoke hearts. This was a really great sandwich and is the best hogie I have had. What surprised me was the balance, restraint and clean flavors. I was expecting this huge meat stuffed sandwich I could not get my mouth around. What I got was a layer of good provolone, various meats all excellent examples on their own, combined with the clean and flavorful dressing influenced ingredients. O, and the bread was excellent. I would have passed right by this place if I had not read the recommendations. Thanks. I also had a hot pastrami sandwich from Hershals. This was like nothing I have had before (I have not been to Katz). It was juicy, big and saturated with flavor. If this is sin, send me to hell. Cookies at the 4th street we excellent if not a bit overpriced. I got a chocolate dipped c-chip and a snicker-doodle. Cupcakes from the flying monkey were good, but were a bit of a disappointment. The butter creams are all flavored well and are rich and featherlight, but I found the cake to be a bit dry and crumbly. I say this because out of the six we tried all were the same except for a chocolate cake with coconut icing. This one was perfect and if all had been like this one I would say run dont walk. Termini cannolis were as good as ever. My kids had crepes and they are a fine example. I will say I dont think the pizza crepe works with the eggy taste and the consistency, but who is going to argue with what a three year old orders. I love this place and cant wait to go back. Nate Conner
  9. Katie, It was nice meeting you at Oyster House on Friday. We loved our cocktails and found our shellfish to be top notch. We had a Negroni and a Caesar. ----- I was able to sample these doughnuts as well on Saturday and had a few observations. First was the amazing scale and output of the operation. There were about 20 or so folks making, cutting, frying and filling/dusting doughnuts at a break neck pace. This was for a reason. I think they were selling about 50 a minute. It was fun to watch. We got a mixed dozen. They were very good, but a different kind of doughnut than I am used to. While they were soft as meringue, they were also very heavy weight wise. I noticed that the dough was cut, allowed to rest briefly and then fried. This is a different method than the Krispy Kreme style where a ring of dough is allowed to triple in size before being cooked. Overall I really liked the flavor of the dough over most doughnuts I have had before. The blueberry were wonderful and more like cake doughnuts. The jelly were like pillows, but the jelly was a little artificial tasting. The vanilla cream was sweet, but good for what it was. Im more of a custard fan. Lastly, these doughnuts are meant to be eaten within an hour in my opinion. As time passes they get too chewy, and the cinnamon was downright tough hours later. The blueberry and cream filled held up the longest. I can see why this is such a popular operation, and I dont see why this is not a booth. They would rake in the dough. Ha ha. O and the fresh peach ice cream at the adjacent space was pretty darn good too. Nate Conner
  10. There is a lot of crap and Disney and finding memorable food is tough. One place that fits your budget that I really enjoy is Cooke's of Dublin in downtown Disney. Good hot cooked to order fish, chicken or shrimp with decent chips. Its counter service with a small dining area, but genuine good food. This might sound silly, but in the Magic Kingdom, we eat the baked potatoes across from the haunted mansion in Liberty Square Market. They are not bad, fill you up and cost about $3.50. They also sell fruit.
  11. My sister in law will be in Paris for four evenings and I am looking for some advice to give her regarding meals. I have my favorites, but many involve memorable meals with meat. She eats all seafood and is ok with a great sauce having a little animal stock, or eating in any type of restaurant. One lunch will be in L'Arpege. What is the tariff these days on a lunch there? Any recommendations for a similar style lunch if they cannot get reservations? They want to make eating out the evening activity with a drink or two after dinner at a fun bustling not touristy wine bar, lounge or cocktail spot after dinner, any recommendations? They (3 pretty ladies in their late thirties) are experienced diners who frequent the best spots in Philly and NYC, so great food will be appreciated. Any recommendations for a reasonable (50-80 euro per person with wine) restaurant serving exciting yet French focused food in a fun and bustling space. They will be staying in the middle of the 8th. I am also looking for a recommendation for the perfect fruits de mer experience, lunch or dinner. Thanks, Nate
  12. nhconner

    TN: Recent notes

    Jim, If you liked the Castilla try Mas Que Vinos, Ercavio Blanco, La Mancha. This has been my favorite airen lately. These simple, bright, full wines remind me of a good $30 New Zealand SB, at a third the price. Also I really like the Conquista white, %100 Torrontes. It reminds me a bit of simple light bodied gewurztraminer, and its cheap. This is on my list of good wines I can find at a Food Lion. Hope all is well. Nate Conner
  13. I Had a great meal in 2007, and told Luis how thankful we were. He spoke of a tedious process with little sleep (reservations). Ill keep requesting though. I do find it nice that a formal response is given considering the thousands of emails that must come mid October for 8000 or so seats. Nathan Conner I received this on 10/29. The demand that we have received at the first moment has again surpassed our limited possibilities for one season and we regret not to be able to full fill more reservation requests. We thank you sincerely for all your interest and we will be at your disposal if you wish to revise the situation during the season, near your available dates as we must confirm all the reservations 10 days in advance. Tel. +34 972 15 04 57 (during the season - after 3.00 p.m.) 2009 Season - Open from June 16th to December 20th Only dinner service 7.30 – 9.30 p.m. except on some Saturdays of September-October-November and December that we will be open for lunch (1.00 – 2.30 p.m.) and closed for dinner. NORMALLY MONDAY AND TUESDAY CLOSED SEE EXCEPTIONS OF OUR 2009 CALENDAR AT www.elbulli.com (see reservations) 2010 RESERVATIONS We do not have information about 2010 season at this moment but we never start the management until we have finished the season before. You will find information at www.elbulli.com see reservations) in December 2009. Sincerely yours, Luis Garcia
  14. Totally worth a meal or two. Maybe the most interesting and best food in Orlando. Good beer and wine list, and sound creative cooking. There are more romantic and refined places, but this place is a local favorite for a reason. My meals have been from good to great, and the prices are reasonable. Nate
  15. More of a street fair than a bbq festival. The bbq vendors are all the same q from what I was told, and it is nothing special. Ive been twice. The draw is all the vendors and some country music headliners. I will not be back myself, but it is decent for a street fair. If q is what you want, get a map and hit Lexington on another date. Dont miss Cooks, BBQ Center, and #1, and then go from there. There is a bit of gas cooking going on there these days, so if there is no wood, move on, it aint real q. Nate
  16. Well its only been a couple weeks, but I have been back quite a few times. The produce is just such a good deal. Brussel sprouts for 1.99/lb. Fresh pork belly. Fresh flounder. So many good things. For those who have been, what is up with all the fish? There a so many carp and needle looking fish that I am unfamaliar with. I see Africans and Asians buying them and am not sure what I should do. Any suggestions. I have bought snapper, flounder, grouper, pompano, bluefish and shrimp. I need to branch out. The quality of the eyes varies from day to day, but so far so good. The frozen section is also great from the squid to the dumpling wrappers. My kids love all the Asian candy I am bringing home. Happy shopper so far. Nate
  17. I just returned from my first visit to Super G Mart in Greensboro, NC. It is a large international grocery store on West Market Street. Today was the first day it was open. Overall I am beside myself with joy to have this in Greensboro. The first great part is the fish market. They had about 15 different whole fish on ice, all fresher than anything else in the county, and about 20 other seafoods and fish fillets. Some of the fillets looked to be prefrozen and only average in quality. There were also live blue crabs. The red snapper I bought had clear eyes and red gills and there was no fish oder in the whole department. Meat and poultry was standard Mexican meat market cuts, nothing too unique. I was hoping to find some pork belly, but maybe I missed it. If today is representative, this will be the best fish source in the area by far. The dry goods, can goods, refrigerated and frozen foods, and frozen seafood selection is as impressive as I have seen anywhere. The produce is vast and there were at least 30 items I have never seen before out of the hundreds of choices. It's not as good as say an Uwajimaya in Seattle, but it has the potential. Even better is the price. I bought a 2lb red snapper, pack of baby squid, 10 limes, cilantro, 10 small shallots, green onions, good fish sauce, hoisen sauce, and a jar of chilli paste for less than $20. A monumental addition to Greensboro and one I hope to see succeed. A great test will be if the fresh fish holds up. Today was the opening, so it was all fresh, time will tell. Ill report back in a few weeks to see if things keep up. Nate
  18. Interesting observation on Stamey's. I am from Greensboro, and Stamey's has always been a good, but not great bbq joint I have eaten at many many many times. Interesting, because over the last few years, I have noticed the sliced getting better and better. We do a Stamey's lunch at my company about six times a year and the sliced stands out more that ever. The chopped is good, but a bit cloying and fatty for my tastes and is the same since I was a kid. Coming from your point of view, I agree Stamey's sliced is worthy of a top mention for NC Q. Nate
  19. I may be off here, but my suggestion is to use what you know and incorporate creative new techniques where they fit into what you are good at cooking. Just opening a molecular gastronomy restaurant for the sake of it seems too trendy and silly. The food at Alenia, WD-50, El Bulli and Cellar Can Roca all tastes different and takes on the style of the chef. Do they use new techniques, chemicals and lab equipment? Yes, but they also have a style, whether is Catalan or French, Tapa or Fusion. I cook in the home and I am always interested in something new, so I read and learn about molecular gastronomy. Is my style of cooking molecular, no, but I did serve a amuse of melon spheres with jamon powder before my roast chicken with dried fruits. I could have served melon wrapped with jamon serano, a classic, but I used a new technique to mix it up. This does not answer your question, but might be relevant to the way you are thinking. Molecular gastronomy, has always been around, it is just a buzz word now because many newer great restaurants are having fun discovering and featuring new textures and flavors. When the label molecular gastronomy restaurant fades, the techniques will still be around and we will all be better off, even if we had to try some cuttlefish noodles with liquorish foam and uni powder. Hmm that sounds kind of good, off to the kitchen. Nate
  20. Heaping more on, the caviar service is silly. It looks like less than an ounce, paired with scoops of accompaniments suited for caviar dips. A nice three ounce plop of good farmed California or French farmed Osetra would cost about 80 pounds and only needs a blini or four. Nate
  21. nhconner

    Celeriac Puree

    When roasted and then blended a sharper flavor is achieved. When simmered in milk, strained and blended, a milder softer flavor results. I agree with Bryan on long blending for fluffy texture. I too am Thermomixless. Nate
  22. The people I'm meeting with work at 102 Jamz on National Service Road. ← Sorry if I am too late. I suggest the Guilford College area, only a few mile away at Friendly and Guilford College. Taneria? el Azteca is some of the best authenitic mexican in town, casual. Sweet Basil's is new and cool focusing on local and organic, and Revival Grill is solid for new American and meat cooked well. Nate
  23. Do you have an area of town you want to be close too?
  24. nhconner

    Z Kitchen

    The method I know uses dry ice. Put fruit in sealed plastic jar with a small piece of dry ice. Let it sit overnight and enjoy. Nate
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