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Everything posted by jimk

  1. jimk

    Making Liverwurst

    [Moderator's Note: This topic has been split from Cooking with Ruhlman & Polcyn's Charcuterie topic.] Surprised to look in Charcuterie last night and not find a recipe for liverwurst which I've got my heart set on making. Anybody here have experience with this, or a good recipe to point me towards? Also undecided on whether to prepare it as a terrine or in casings - thoughts welcome on that issue as well!
  2. Thanks to those who encouraged us to make the trip across town on Friday - a really great meal at Ssam bar. Our favorite dish was the sichuan tendon, but I also agree with those here who've said the fried pig's head torchon is outstanding. Really nice stuff, currently served withg lime pickel and apricots. Also enjoyed the soft boiled egg with wax beans and bacon, and the pork sausage with rice noodle which was fantastic but not quite as much going on as the tendon. We did both find the NCL a bit sweet for our tastes however...
  3. I think I'll have to do that!
  4. Thinking about perhaps heading over for dinner Friday night. Given that it's summer in NY, would anyone here be able to give me a vague sense of what the wait might be like for a 2-top, assuming we arrive between 7:30 and 8:00? Understand that it varies tremendously and we're happy to grab a drink beforehand, but just wondering - are we looking at an hour or more this time of year? Or much less?
  5. Yes, I was there with my family last Wednesday for lunch. Will try to post properly when I have a bit more time but on the whole we were delighted with the menu (although we'd never experienced the restaurant before). The mock turtle soup was spectacular - perfect blend of theatrics and magically balanced flavors. The pigeon was amazing, and the blood pudding (which our server said was nothing more than blood, cream and spices blended in the robocoupe) had the texture of actual pudding (in the American sense of the word). The candies at the end didn't make much of an impression good or bad. The only course none of us could stand was one that's been around for years - the licorice/salmon prep really rubbed us all the wrong way. We were excited about the flaming sorbet which appeared on our menu but was never served - apparently there were execution problems so they dropped it from the menu at the very last minute. It had been pulled from the dinner menu which was in the window when we left, and still wasn't back on the menu as of Monday when we stopped at the Hinds' Head on the way to Heathrow. It did generally feel like they were struggling to figure out how to work with the new menu - some very long lags between courses.
  6. I can vouch for the no preference in reservations at Momofuku Ko. Just tried this morning, and I was shut out (again). ← I've been to Ko 6 or 7 times and can confirm no resy preference. Having said that, if you're flexible about when you want to go, have a fast internet connection and practice a bit so you understand how their user interface is structured, it's not as tough a reservation as many people would have you believe. I've gotten an occasional wine upgrade at Ko but that's about it. I will say that I'd probably eat at Ko more often if the menu changed more often. I don't think I've ever been there and not gotten the shaved foie, some version of the buttermilk/fluke dish, and I think I've had a version of the short rib dish just about every time. I'm not complaining that they keep these dishes on the menu - it makes sense that they would as the majority of their guests will dine there once in a lifetime but it's a factor for me.
  7. It's funny, there are places where I've been a million times that still don't recognize me and others where I've only been a few times, but some event or other happened that made the staff remember me. Don't have the income to be a real regular at any of the 3 star places but there are a few that know and recognize us - we had our wedding dinner at Gramercy Tavern, which usually makes getting a reservation at a decent time a bit easier, and sometimes results in a comped drink or dessert. There's another 3-star that I visited once with a critic who was clearly recognized during our dinner. No overtly special treatment (at that dinner or at prior or subsequent meals), but the service is perhaps warmer than it previously was. On one subsequent visit when there were a couple of minor problems (a corked wine, an overcooked fish dish from the tasting menu that had to be redone) the service recovery was above and beyond what I would have expected in normal circumstances. There's a 2-star in our neighborhood that we go to probably once every couple of months ... we're friendly enough with the GM and chef that we're recognized and warmly greeted when we dine there, and often (but not always) get a surprise mid-course dish - usually something new on the menu that Chef thinks we'd enjoy. Another place in our neighborhood, steps from our apartment, reserves much of their real-estate for walk-ins, and there's often a long wait. They know us well enough though that we can call down and they'll put us on the list for a table without making us present ourselves in person (which is nice because we live in a 6th floor walkup). They'll then call us when the table is just about ready. A bit off topic, but my wife and I were lucky enough to join (fairly new) friends visiting town a few weeks ago for drinks at the bar of Del Posto and experienced real VIP treatment for the first time. One of of the two is Chef/founder of a deservedly famous Michelin-starred restaurant overseas, the other is the restaurant's co-founder. It was pretty unbelievable to watch what happened when the moment of recognition occured, with a visit to the table from Ladner, and an endless parade of mindblowing snacks from the kitchen.
  8. jimk


    Wow - thanks for the update. I was underwhelmed by the visit I described above but am ready to give it another shot - the Timballo sounds fantastic and appears to be their regular Wednesday special.
  9. jimk

    Irving Mill

    Exactly. If they're going to put a made-up word on their menu they should at least put it in quotation marks. The dish is charcuterie on top of sauerkraut so I guess they thought it would be clever to combine the two words. In any case, we ate there a couple weeks ago ... Some of the food was excellent but the entire experience was a bit of a mash-up. As far as the charcuterie plate, some of it was very good. The tete de cochon was excellent as was the trotter. The boudins had great flavor and texture although I didn't know what the point was in making them "mini" (appeared to be in lamb casing) and the boudin noir was stone cold. The ribs were really good but seemed a bit out of place next to traditional french charcuteries. And I don't know why they decided to throw these perfectly good meats on top of a stack of saurkraut and give it a gimmick name. Service was week. We alerted our server to the cold boudin and her immediate response was "it's a terrine, it's supposed to be that way." When we explained to her which item on the plate was boudin noir she apologized and took it back to the kitchen. She returned moments later to say that the chef inteneded it to be cold because that's the way it's traditionally done in France. Really? News to me ... maybe she was right (anyone know here?) but cold/congealed blood isn't my thing. Server brought out a glass of beaumes-de-venise after dinner with the slightly clumsy apology "this is for you because you didn't like the sausage." Um .. thanks. Really liked loved gaminess of the burger although it was a bit on the small side. Accompanying potatoes were a bit unappealing and I'm not even sure they were fried, not a hint of crispness and not a lot of flavor. I hated the room - especially the upholstery fabric which felt like it belonged in the dining room of the Colonial Williamsburg Marriott if there is such a thing. And the aggressive rock and roll soundtrack made me think that the folks running this place have yet to sit down and have a conversation about exactly what this restaurant is supposed to be all about and who it's supposed to be for.
  10. Glad to see this squab on the menu. Colicchio was serving a version of spice roasted squab at Gramercy Tavern in 1999-2000. My then-girlfriend and I had it at lunch were having lunch on the weekend we got engaged. On the strength of that lunch we actually ended up having our wedding dinner in GT's private dining room and having that same squab dish as the meat course of our dinner (paired with a really nice St Joseph Paul Grieco chose for us).
  11. What's funny is that Ko is still the toughest ticket in town, and when a couple of cancellations show up—almost always taken in a short time—people worry that it's not doing well enough. ← I haven't been trying at 10am lately - been lucky to eat there 4 times and will probably wait a few months to back when they've changed the menu a bit more. Does anyone have a sense of whether the 10am drill is any easier than it was?
  12. When we were there a few weeks ago I was actually even more surprised by the fact that the peaches weren't local despite the fact that they are in season here. Apparently there's a particular peach orchard in Cali that Barber is crazy for - to the extent that he has the fruit rights to a single peach tree in that orchard. It was a damn good peach though.
  13. Westville on W 10th Street makes a very good butterscotch pudding.
  14. I've had two variants of the buttermilk-poppyseed crudo: one with scallops and one with fluke. I think that sauce is a signature item but the fish used varies with availability. The amuse typically includes three items: the English muffin and the pork rind have remained the same since opening and the third item rotates with what's at the Greenmarket. ← Right, the third amuse we had was a rolled up slice of a tiny eggplant, marinated I think, not terribly memorable. We had some pretty great shrimp heads as an amuse back in April.
  15. I was there a couple of weeks ago and fewer than half of the dishes were different from what I had my last time there (in late April) ... The unchanged courses in no particular order were the fluke, the foie, the churasson and muffin, and the egg/caviar. Off the top of my head, the stuff we got that I hadn't had before included a bacon dashi, a halibut with radish, a duck dish, a ravioli dish, and the strawberry dessert.
  16. jimk


    I was there a couple of weeks ago and it was a mixed experience. Carciofi alla giudea were competent, burrata with heirloom tomatoes was outstanding but that's more about shopping than cooking. Pastas were great - perfectly al dente which is something you don't often find nowadays; a really nice cacio e pepe stands out in my mind, and I remember feeling like the pastas were generous portions and good value for the $. The major let-down was a pork special which the server had rather imprecisely described as "pork cooked with milk so that it's very tender." I asked if "cooked" meant braised, and if this was the milk-braised pork prep (a la Marcella Hazan) that Tony Liu did at August a few years ago and the waiter assured me yes, the same thing. Turns out the pork was roasted, not braised and appeared that the pan was degazed with milk to make a sauce but it certainly wasn't anything like tender - cooked medium to medium/well I'd say. I pointed out to the server that brased and roasted aren't the same thing and they offered to make me a new one or bring something else but we were running late for another event so I made the best of it. Pork was a huge portion but was priced somewhere closed to $30, which I think is a lot for a pork chop with no sides. We did have the potatoes alla nonna (or some such name) which were good - mashed with lots of pan drippings is what it seemed to be. I never went under Williams so can't really compare before/after. It's close to our apartment but as good as the pastas were the service was so scatter-brained and the noise level in the room so deafening that I don't know that we'll be back all that often.
  17. An excellent dinner at Ko last night - but worth noting that they are now actually now checking ID's of everyone so if you're thinking you can give/barter/sell a resy you can't use to a friend, think again.
  18. jimk


    We went there, right? I completely agree - it was fine, but not more than that. And we tried a lot of different dishes. I think it said the new chef has been there for 4 months, which would include that visit . . . Off night? We didn't order well? The review surprised me. ← Yes! That's exactly the visit that I was thinking of. It was towards the end of May, or in early June. We ordered a variety of dishes - I don't recall anything that evoked a "WD-50 meets Lupa" impression. Perhaps these dishes hadn't yet been introduced on the menu? Most of what we ordered was traditional trattoria style food - I remember the pizza being slightly disappointing and the pastas were good, but I didn't find them to be as good as Lupa. Well, I look forward to hearing more impressions about Perbacco and some more menu recommendations. ← I believe Bruni said - and this might have been in the podcast not the review - that there's just a portion of the menu doing the avant garde stuff.
  19. A very pleasant lunch here yesterday. We started with the livestock tour of the property which was great fun. They now have a special pen of Berkshire pigs being raised especially for charcuterie. As for the meal - it was our first time here and we enjoyed it a great deal, notwithstanding a few quibbles here and there. Lunch is billed as three savory courses plus a sweet course, but we received 4+1 instead. Apparently because we told our server we were open to anything and that we enjoyed offal the kitchen sent us an extra savory course. We also splurged on cheese. Amuses were the V-8 and tomato burger. The burger was amazing incredible crust on the tiniest bun that must have been baked in a thimble-sized muffin tin we thought. Great flavors. First savory course was raw bonito with persimmin tomato in a pig's ear vinaigrette. There was no discernible pork flavor in the dish but we suspect the ear gave the dressing its gelatinous texture. Second course was tomatoes served with both raw and grilled peach and purslane in a zuchini vinegrette. Again - very nicely composed dish - the tomato and peach played beautifully off of each other. Third course was the morning farm egg with stewed beans - really nice, great texture, perfectly cooked egg. A bit underseasoned would be the only complaint - a few grains of sea salt would have been great. Last course was pork - a tiny chop, a sliver of boudin blanc and a small strip of crispy belly in an intense pork reduction seasoned - I think - with star anise, or maybe 5 spice. Really great, perfectly cooked. We splurged on a cheese course - a selection of 4 triple cremes, two from France and two from the USA, two goat and two cow. Desserts generally underwhelmed. They sent us three - one was cherries with a sour cream sorbet, one was a blueberry ice cream with an almond cake and yogurt, and one was a flourless chocolate cake with peaches, gooseberries and some sort of ice cream and some sort of foam. As I've always found with Blue Hill in the city the desserts really are the weak link. The cherries and sour cream dish worked but the other two were really a mash-up. I don't see flourless chocolate cake belonging in a seasonal market-driven place like this (I'll admit I think that flourless chocolate cake has generally overstayed its welcome on restaurant menus by several years) and all of the fruit components on that plate clashed with the chocolate. I'll echo those who question the portion sizes here - we were hungry again within a few hours of our meal, even with the extra savory course and the cheese course.
  20. I've witnessed this particular phenomenon. First time there (first weekend Ko was open) the couple seated next to us had been pulled from Ssam bar because someone had flaked on their reservation. They thought they'd won the lottery. Just to add to FG's comments above - I've been to Ko three times now and have had success making reservations for friends and family. I had pretty good luck for the first couple of months, both at 10am and in grabbing cancellations that popped up. That changed after Bruni's review came out when it became much more difficult. I only started having success again a couple weeks ago when I was able to scoop a two-top as an anniversary gift for my parents-in-law who were visiting from Denver and house-sitting for us. I suspect demand has lightened up for the summer but will probably get tough again in September. ← Was that recent two top acquired at 10am or as a cancellation? Just curious, as I've still been having an impossible time and haven't been at all yet. ← It was at 10am sharp on a Saturday.
  21. I've witnessed this particular phenomenon. First time there (first weekend Ko was open) the couple seated next to us had been pulled from Ssam bar because someone had flaked on their reservation. They thought they'd won the lottery. Just to add to FG's comments above - I've been to Ko three times now and have had success making reservations for friends and family. I had pretty good luck for the first couple of months, both at 10am and in grabbing cancellations that popped up. That changed after Bruni's review came out when it became much more difficult. I only started having success again a couple weeks ago when I was able to scoop a two-top as an anniversary gift for my parents-in-law who were visiting from Denver and house-sitting for us. I suspect demand has lightened up for the summer but will probably get tough again in September.
  22. I would like to know the answer to this as well. My local butchers are no help when it comes to finding pork belly. ← Flying Pigs farm is not cheap but it's really great stuff ... I buy from them at Union Square greenmarket in NYC but they sell online as well. Their pigs are large blacks, Gloucestershire old spots, and tamworths. Depending on what you're doing with the meat it can be worth the splurge. They supply David Chang's Momofuku restaurants here in NYC among others. www.flyingpigsfarm.com
  23. Not everyone has an equal chance in the NYC marathon either - genetic dispositions, ability to train a certain amount, and a training regimen, finances for proper clothing and nutrition, etc all give some competitors an advantage over some others. But at the same time the race is fair - everyone runs the same distance following the same rules. So I'd agree that egalitarian by its strict definition doesn't apply to Ko reservations or the NYC marathon but if Chang was using the word as shorthand for 'fair' as I suspect he didn't check his OED then I'd agree with him that his system is generally fairer than most. I'd say on the whole it's more accessible at least because more people have the ability to give up 3 minutes at 10am trying to get a resy onling than have an hour to set aside every day hitting redial.
  24. ''It's egalitarian,'' he says. ''We want to run something honest.'' ← Right you are. A poor word choice on his part. I think he's achieved something honest and I think he's achieved something as fair or fairer than the vast majority of systems being used by restaurants. Unrelated but the only restaurant I can think of that could call itself egalitarian with a straight face was a place in Vancouver - maybe it's still there - where you could show up any time of the day or night, eat as much as you wanted, and pay as much or as little as you wanted for the meal. Or pay nothing. Of course the food was awful and it was run by the Hare Krishnas.
  25. So, if we are to believe Ko is after a truly "egalitarian" system then the purest forms of that system would be, I believe, a queue or a lottery. ← Remind me again when it was that Chang said the reservation system was going to be egalitarian.
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