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jdanton

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Everything posted by jdanton

  1. jdanton

    Per Se

    Private dining is easy to setup--you can reserve in advance of the two month requirement. Just go to the website and follow to the private dining area. There is now apparently a 50% deposit required, refundable upon request (or it can be applied to the check) There are two rooms--one that seats 10, and another one that seats from 20 to approximately 50.
  2. jdanton

    Stella! and Chef Scott Boswell

    Just wanted to add, we did the tasting at Stella at the end of December, and while it wasn't super local, it was amazing.
  3. jdanton

    Thomas Keller interview in Sante

    TFL and Per Se are using the only sustainably raised Kindai (sp) tuna, IIRC.
  4. jdanton

    Christmas Day

    I'll be cooking at my in-laws, but would be up for meeting for drinks somewhere nice, if they are open. I know Stella is open every day, except 12/25 and 1/1, and Super Bowl Sunday, if the Saints get there.
  5. jdanton

    Engineering no-oil salad dressings

    Yeah, in the dressing you referenced tahini takes the place of oil.
  6. jdanton

    In defense of granulated garlic

    Also, it's good in sous vide--real garlic seems to develop an off taste in the bag, as well as overpowering everything.
  7. jdanton

    Spaghetti Squash

    I was the cook of the fritter, and the lamb dish (it was 52 deg--Percy). I really liked the way the spaghetti squash with the lamb came out. Even given budgetary concerns--the squash part was really cheap. The recipe was: 1 1/2 Spaghetti squash (probably 3-4 lbs raw) Olive Oil (I did use a nice oil for flavor) Juice of 1/2 lemon 3 tbsp white wine vinegar 4-5 slow roasted tomatoes (diced) *Sourced from my backyard 2-3 handfuls basil leaves crushed. 5-6 cloves roasted garlic 4 oz goat cheese *Due to the restrictions for this dinner, I used a local chevre--ideally I would have used feta Salt and pepper to taste The trick is to remove some of the moisture by squeezing the squash in a tea towel. For the fritters, I had to do this 3x. I wanted to make a gelee with that liquid, but it has some strange chemical properties, and I was limited on gelling agents. The fritters were simply squeezed and resqueezed squash, fine dice of tomatillo, and some homemade breadcrumbs. They were pan fried. The pepper jelly ended up more like gastrique, and was just peppers, cider vinegar and sugar.
  8. jdanton

    Le Bec Fin

    I believe F.O GP = friends of Georges Perrier
  9. jdanton

    Le Bec Fin

    We attended last night, as much as we were hoping it was, BYOB was not available. We were able to select some nice wines for a reasonable price. I have to echo what dagordon said in his post, when charging $200/head, and having Guy Savoy lend his name (and presence) to the dinner, frankly I expect a lot more out of the meal. My fish wasn't overcooked, but the sauce was thin, and could have used more flavor. The scales on the fish were to be eaten (a special prep) which was fine, but I think I just prefer crispy skin in future. The lobster was very small, and the snow peas on the on the side were overcooked a bit (not murdered, but not bright green and alive either). I did really like the artichoke soup and the truffled brioche--that was our highlight. The guinea fowl was overcooked, and the truffled basmati rice (which had a lot of truffle) was undercooked by a couple of minutes, which is terrible. The grapefruit dessert was odd--I think it was just supremes of grapefruit compressed via cryovac. It wasn't bad, but definitely not 3* (or even 1*) quality. The chocolate ball was cool, and was tasty. Our service was very inconsistent, it took us over 25 minutes to get a request of new butter fulfilled, and it came out cold and hard. The pacing between courses was highly variable--not very good. I hadn't officially been to LBF before, just to Bar Lyonnais, where we enjoyed a nice meal. At this price point, and with both of these talented chefs lending their name to the dinner, I just expected a lot more in terms of both execution and service.
  10. jdanton

    Top Chef: Masters

    I thought they both came off badly. Ignoring the Dale incident, MC struck me as the kind of guy no one wants to work for--see Blais' comments. Anyway, that's why reality shows are lame at times--you never know who is getting the hero or the goat edit. I thought the last minute move to an outdoor banquet is lame and contrived. At least let the masters plan for it.
  11. jdanton

    Le Bernardin vs Per Se

    This was personal preference, but I preferred Per Se to Le Bernardin. I shouldn't have done the full tasting at LB--I felt like it was too much, and the progression got too heavy in short order. The lobster with sauce gribiche (which is really a hollandaise) was very good, but was in the first half of the menu and fairly heavy. If I go back to LB it will be for the standard menu.
  12. jdanton

    The Oyster House

    Katie, we missed you last night, but had a classic martini and a au poire martini respectively and they both rocked. I also had the London shooter and loved it. If you go for nothing else, the crackers at the Oyster House rock.
  13. jdanton

    Going to Belgium!

    We just got back--had a great tour at Bosteels in Buggenhout.
  14. jdanton

    Per Se

    The couple of times I've been, I have to say no way. The last time they gave us the truffle popcorn, so we did have that..
  15. jdanton

    Per Se

    In January, a few of us were at a dinner, and proposed a weekend trip to New York to go dine at Per Se. Since we already had three couples, it was fairly easy to get two more and take advantage of the private dining option at Per Se. Now, it's not that hard to get a reservation, but previously it used to be a bit of a nightmare. Private dining allows you to skip the two month reservation rule, as long as you have 10 people. The private dining coordinator was a pleasure to deal with and took note of any special requirements our group had. Now onto the food--we started with the typical amuse bouches of salmon cornets and grougeres. One member of our party, who wasn't eating fish, was offered a beet and horseradish creme fraiche. Next, was the classic oysters and pearls. This dish works on so many levels. The healthy dose of caviar works as well. The alternative dish, which I don't have on a menu was some sort of lettuce soup--perhaps Percy can fill in details on that one. We had a special treat from the chef--Thanks Benno!! This was the white truffle custard with black truffle ragout, with a chive potato chip. Umami heaven.. At this point we switched to 1988 Chateau Rabaud Promis Sauternes (those of us with the foie anyway)--the corkage at Per Se is a steep $90, but if you have nice wines, it's a bargain compared to some parts of their list. This was followed by either the terrine of foie with duck consomme en gelee, beets (Which were amazing) Kumquat coulis, or the salad of compressed red endive leaves. I had the foie, which was excellent as usual. Brioche was replaced, right when you were expecting it. The salad was a great presentation and tasted good according to those who had it. The next wine we had was the Porter Creek "George's Hill" chardonnay. Our next dish, was the tartare of Australian Hiramusa (aka Kingfish) it was served with Koshihikari sushi rice and apple-miso puree. I later learned how complex this dish was--the tartare has about 12 ingredients. Perfect balance. The lobster was next, and we were in for an early spring treat, as it was served with English Peas, and a morel sauce. These were the lobster mitts.. We switched to an outstanding wine, that a member of our party so graciously brought--thanks Brian!! A 1970 Château Ducru-Beaucaillou. The next course was a jambonette of quail, the leg stuffed inside of the breast, and wrapped in caul fat. Perfectly prepared. Served with a round of potato rolled in bacon. This was followed by a tenderloin of veal with a sweetbread raviolo, the waiter revealed the tenderloin was cooked sous vide at 61 degrees C. The cheese course was a brune--served with lovely sweet peppers, and a picholine olive tapenade. Our sorbet was a coconut sorbet--I had a similar one at Le Bernadin last month--they were very similar, and I now have a new favorite sorbet. My wife is a type 1 diabetic, so they took care of her with a couple of additional cheese course--1 was a stilton, and the other one I forgot to note. We were presented with an extra dessert--the girls got creme brulee, the boys got a yoghurt pot de creme with gingered honey. There was a bit too much honey for my liking, but this was still pretty awesome. My wife was offered an orange granita with no sugar added. The selection of mignardises was bigger than last time. We were offered such chocolates as bacon, creme fraiche, and brown butter, in addition to the usual suspects. To top everything off, when we were presented with cookies as parting gifts, except for my wife, who was presented with something that looked like a large french fry box, with the Per Se logo. Inside, was 4oz of popcorn, with some white truffle oil, and black truffle salt, along with instructions for its preparation. That night we had a wonderful snack, after our wonderful meal.
  16. jdanton

    Chick's Wine Bar

    Unfortunately, we missed the calvados night, but made it to Chick's the following night, where Katie served us up some excellent cocktails. I had a sazerac, and some of the house specialty drinks such as the provencale martini, and the old facist (a nice take on an old fashioned with brandy) were hits.
  17. jdanton

    Per Se

    To add, it was really good, Percy and I will post some more detail tomorrow..
  18. And chopping block gets the hook... EW
  19. jdanton

    Bouley

    Your dishes kind of look like that. Nothing to spectacular, Bruni's critiquing of the interior design was pretty annoying.
  20. jdanton

    Mims to Phoenixville?

    Pizza place isn't open yet, will be a bit. Mims opened tonight, my wife and I rolled the dice, and were amongst the first seated. We started with the crab bisque and chicken/andouille gumbo, which were both of New Orleans quality. The gumbo was a nice dark roux, no okra, something straight out of Commanders. No rice though, but I'll cut them a break. For mains we had the blacked redfish (La. Red drum) with crabmeat and sweet potatoes, and I had the braised pork shoulder with collard greens, and smoked sausage. Everything was really good--the fish was touch oversalted, but the pork was perfect. The menu isn't that creole, but everything was really good. Another quality BYOB in Phoenixville. Sorry for the lack of pics, my phone camera isn't working.
  21. jdanton

    Mims to Phoenixville?

    New Orleans pizza (in New Orleans pre-K anyway) isn't that far removed from Philly/Northeast pizza, thin crust fairly normal. Unfortunately, not many local places are still left.
  22. jdanton

    Veal stock

    It's a fairly different recipe. Ruhlman mentioned to me that the TFL recipe is made without browned veal bones, as to be intentionally neutral for the variety of sauces that it is a base ingredient of. For home use, I tend to follow most of TK's recipe and blow off the remouillage. Though recently, I've heard of just making the remouillage it's own separate white stock, so I may give it a shot.
  23. jdanton

    Le Bernardin

    We had the chef's tasting menu at LB on Friday night. Each dish was really good (save for one that was a bit oversalted). I would have liked a couple of lighter dishes at the beginning, because we were dying at the end. Pics and further details at my blog.. http://jdoracle.blogspot.com/2009/03/ot-vi...-bernardin.html
  24. To all, I have a party next week in the 100 block E 77th, I'm meeting a friend of mine for a drink, and looking for someplace convenient either by cab or subway to there. Any thoughts? Thanks
  25. jdanton

    Sauce Raifort

    I saw a dish on the menu at Per Se the other day, that I wanted to try and replicate at (I stalk their menu--I don't dine there very often). Anyway, the dish was a grilled Spanish mackerel with sauce raifort. I managed to grill the mackerel just fine, but I wasn't thrilled with my sauce. Most of the decent recipes I found were in French, which was not an issue, but not being a mother sauce, they were inconsistent. I started out by making a basic bechamel, and infusing some freshly grated horseradish (which had itself been soaking in white wine vinegar). I blended, strained and reduced. The sauce wasn't a disaster or anything (it tasted fine), but the punch from the horseradish was less than I would have liked with the mackerel. Any ideas on how to increased the punchiness of the sauce? I used a lot of horseradish--I didn't measure, but ~1 cup in 2 cups of bechamel.
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