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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by johnder

  1. I was going to have a nice Revolver cocktail tonight but I realized I didn't have any Tia Maria. Sticking with the left coast bartenders I opted instead for Dominc Venegas' 1794 1.25 oz Old Overholt 1 oz Campari .75 oz Antica Stir, strain, up. Flamed Orange Twist. For the astute people in the group, you will recognize this as a twist on the Boulevardier. ETA: Also just for clarification, there are a lot of versions of this out there on the interweb, some using vya, some using bitters. This is the original recipe from Dom himself, including product types.
  2. If you have any pineapple gomme syrup I highly recommend the Single Village Fix from Beretta restaurant in SF. They make it with Minero, but I really like it with Chichi. 1 1/2 ounces mezcal 3/4 ounce lime juice 3/4 ounce pineapple gomme Shake, strain, up.
  3. Yes, but it will be tight. You will have 6 ppl in a booth and 2 on small stools at the end.
  4. johnder

    Fish pliers

    I highly recommend the japanese models that you can get from 3-20 bucks at Korin. Round Tweezers I have a pair of these and the precision at which the points meet are amazing. It causes little if no damage to the surrounding flesh when you grab them.
  5. More tapas would be good More mid priced Italian (Lupa like) Less: Pizza Tiki
  6. I really dislike emptying the dishwasher. Aside from that after you clean a grease trap or two iin a commercial kitchen nothing ever seems that bad.
  7. TiVo only knows about programs 14 days out. You need to program it on Dec 3 or later. :-)
  8. johnder


    So I usually go to Eataly once a week, usually running out in early afternoon from work for a quick trip to pick up a few things for dinner. There are a few things to know in regards my trips to Eataly that make this trip a lot easier: Keep an eye on prices and know what is overpriced and what is a deal. For instance I was looking for some seafood for dinner, their price on whole sea bass was 15.95 a pound whereas the farmers market had it for 8.95 that morning. However, that Thursday (and apparently every Thursday) they get fresh whole sardines in. They were $4.95 and they would gut and ice them down for you for the trip. Another example would be puntarella, which they had on sale one day for $3 a pound, whereas the next week it was $6. It is all about spotting the deals (or mislabels) and capitalizing on it. Know where stuff is and how to get there as quickly as possible. There are a few quick ways to get around to avoid the crowds. I for one always enter in through the 23rd street exit as it avoids the nightmare of the cafe/coffee/gelato area where I never buy anything from. In regards to dining, I am not sure why anyone would want to sit at the tables in the middle of the action getting bumped around. But I do enjoy sitting at the bar of pizza/seafood/manzo on occasion. It it no different sitting at the bar and eating that from an otherwise busy restaurant on a friday/saturday night. Then again the biggest trick is to avoid peak times. Usually 3-5:30pm it is about empty as you will ever see it. 7pm it is a zoo.
  9. Channeling the inner techie in me, I have been using mind maps recently for dinners parties with great success. It lets me get into as much or as little detail as I need and when taped up to a wall, I can at a quick glance look at anything that is missing when plating or still left to make. Here is one from a dinner a few weeks ago.
  10. Got mine last monday. Great read!
  11. The Burrit room is very close to the hilton too. Try to hit both. Very different experiences for 2 hotel bars. It is on the second floor of the hotel.
  12. So I live in NYC, but I am in SF for work almost once a month. Here is my short list of places to go: Breakfast: Blue Bottle -- Mint Street -- Amazing coffee and great (if a bit expensive) breakfast bites. Weekend Brunch Beretta (see Beretta below for more) Foreign Cinema I usually eat at the bar portion of this which is actually Laszlo. I like sitting at the bar and interacting with the bartender. You can get th e full menu from FC at the bar. Don't miss the Bloody Maria and candied bacon. Lunch: Yang Sing -- Best deem sum in SF. Make a reservation. Cocktails: Rickhouse - go early. It gets a little hectic around 8-9. Owned by the same people as Bourbon and Branch Bar Agricole -- Amazing drinks and great small plates. If the weather is nice, site outside. Smugglers cove -- Greak tiki style drinks with an amazing tiki designed bar Beretta (see below) Burrit room --Kevin runs the drink program here and is an alum of Bourbon and Branch and PDT. It is in the newly renovated crescent hotel. Clock bar -- Part of Michael Mina's empire, in the St. Francis hotel right off Union Square. Nice place to get a cocktail and a few signature MM bites. Prospect -- Sit at the bar and get some great Snack s from Ravi and amazing drinks from the bar manager Brooke. Dinner (my short list) Saison Joshua Skenes amazing place. Great ingredients, and a great interaction with the kitchen. They do 2 seating a night. This was one of my best meals in SF. Incanto -- Another place I hit everytime I am in town. Chris Costentinos Italian place. If you are into great dinners that utilize the whole animal this is the place to go. Slanted Door -- Great for Lunch or Dinner. In the ferry building. Best time to go is to try to go Saturday for lunch. Walk around the farmers market, get a cup of blue bottle coffee and then lunch at the door. 54 Mint -- Great Italian food run by a few brothers from New York. Their steak for two is a bargin. Range -- Great food, and cocktails. Menu changes all the time based on seasonal ingredients. Michelin starred. Berretta -- If you have noticed I put Berretta is most of the categories in this list. I am there all the time. Ryan, who runs the drink program doesn't have a dud on the whole list. It is also great because they serve food up to 1am. The winning dish on the menu is sort of an insiders choice. Sit down at the bar, order a cocktail and the pizza with burratta, spicy sausage and an egg. It is amazing. A great day would for me would be: Coffee at blue bottle. Lunch at Yang Sing or Slanted door. Nap. Cocktails at Bar Agricole. Earlyish dinner at Incanto. Drinks at Bar Agircole. Then a late night pizza at Beretta. Edit to add: Two more places I love Zero Zero for pizza and Delfina.
  13. Unless you used unsweeted soy milk it isn't surprising you noticed a sweetness in it.. Almost all soy milks have some level of sweetner added to it during processing. If you reduced the soy milk down, it would be considerably sweeter than cream. Silk soy adds cane sugar to their products for example. Heavy cream has 0g of sugar per cup, while most soy milks have between 5-8g of sugar.
  14. Given you are in Brooklyn (Park Slope?) what are some of your favorite restaurants or places to get coffee?
  15. While I think the market will be seeing more and more SV machines over the next year, my real want is a sub 500 buck chamber sealer. I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the vacuum type sealers and having a small chamber sealer (mini-pak type) would open a number of other things I can cook efficiently at home.
  16. johnder


    Figured I would bump up this topic with an interesting event they are throwing this Sunday. applewood is kicking off a monthly cocktail party showcasing some classic cocktails with ingredients from local farms and also some charcuterie and other snacks to pair up with the cocktails Supposedly a butternut squash whiskey punch is making an appearance along with their house cured lamb pastrami and candied bacon. This sunday (Nov 7 at 8 pm) For those that haven't been there in a while, they are really upping their cocktail game as of recently, it is definitely worth checking out.
  17. A note of interest, the fried rabbit was fried in Strucco, or the lard from the hams and it was amazing. It was as moist as could be and had the perfect amount of saltiness and texture from the fat.
  18. Wow, thats sad. I just ate there on Tuesday after Eataly was full. The restaurant was probably at 80% capacity and the food was spot on.
  19. Looks like they have massively pimped up their coffee service too, with Chemex or Siphon service tableside. Ny Times.
  20. The granola we had was a breakfast type granola. Almonds and golden raisins. Very tasty.
  21. Wait - the Times made an error so they had to add a course? I was told that they originally were only going to do 4 courses with the option of adding extras at $30 per. Due to the times article stating 4 or 5, they figured it was easier to just add a 5th course than deal with the headache of all the people coming in with a clipping from the times.
  22. So coincidently I had a reservation for dinner last night that was booked a few weeks ago. Needless to say I was a bit surprised about the menu change as I was looking forward to doing the gourmand tasting. To clarify a few errors in the information out there: There is a hostess stand, that is tucked off to the right of the entrance where the have the computer, however you don't see it when you walk in. There is indeed a bar menu, contrary to everything that is out there. What has changed with the bar menu, is the bar snacks have been removed. No more burgers, etc. They explained they are making the switch to move the bar menu to more of a fine dining experience, and the bar menu both in type of food and price reflects this. Is the the only place to order food a la carte There clearly is no confusion about the lack of a reservations book / hostess. While I was watching they clearly handled people coming and and directing them to their tables. Originally there was only going to be an option of a 4 course dinner in the main dining room, however, due to the misprint in the times, they added a 5 course option as well. Also the ability to add full size courses at $30 per. The menu is indeed setup like a bingo card, where you pick your courses, in any order you desire. In terms of the interaction with the captains, they dialog is basically what you want to make of it. They clearly will engage you and go into details about the dishes if you desire, but in our case we just picked items that appealed to us. For instance, I ordered the Foie, Crab, Loup de Mer and Squab, and my dining companion ordered Tomato, Langoustine, Lobster and Pork. When the dishes are dropped, they provide 4-5 word descriptors of the dish, such as: Tomato salad with mozarella ice cream and basil granola Langostine ceviche with celery apple and lime Lobster poached with fennel peached and orange Pork roasted with cherrys onions and mustard. They mentioned to me that they increased the descriptors from their previous service from 2-3 words to 4-5 to help describe the dish. They will also go into more detail with the guests if they sense a level of engagement at the table and adjust accordingly. The BOH staff is also presenting some of the dishes, and from my experience last night they were just the amuse and mignardises They come out with their whites on along with a server and will drop the dishes explaining them. It was quite amusing watching this, as clearly they are trying to adjust being let out in the FOH during service. They have done away with the large, all at one amuse service and spread it out over a service of 4-5 drops, each one consisting of 1-2 lightly tied together pairings, all of which were amazing. One in particular that stood out was a frozen shaved foie, apple granite, and salted caramel dish which was amazing. It became obvious that the BOH staff becomes very engaged when you talk to them about specifics of the food they are dropping and they visibly perk up and relax as they are now in an element where they can talk about something they know intimately, as opposed to being nervous about some of your amuses toppling over as they are being served. The new room layout is considerably more empty, with larger spaces between the tables, and also the removal of the upstairs dining area which they turned into a pantry, carving station, and coffee/tea area. The original kitchen doors next to the bar were moved into the pantry, and the resulting alcove that was left over was turned into the little observation area. One thing about kitchen tours, is you always feel as though you are in the way and although you want to stay and observe but are self conscious about where you are standing. Leo, the amazing head bartender gave us a treat by bringing us into the kitchen to have a "cocktail" created by one of the chefs that was prepared at this little cocktail pass table. I say "cocktail" as it clearly was a alcohol based drink, but it was in a solid form that was consumed with a spoon. It was grapes, with a bourbon sorbet (nitro frozen) and then topped with a scoop of concord grape foam that was blast chilled with nitro as well. This was all done a la minute and directly in front of you which was an amazing experience. The contrast of the semi frozen bourbon sorbet with the crispy concord grape foam was an amazing combination. The room last night was probably about 60% full, and is due to the holidays, as well as them holding back the books slightly to get all the logistics worked out. Overall, it was an amazing meal and the food was clearly the same excellent food, just in a different format. Will the changes take hold and survive? We shall see, but it definitely is an interesting concept and to me, didn't prove to be a distraction to the evening. One thing that did strike me as a bit bizarre, is the choice of a parting gift. At least for last night, you were presented a pint mason jar, with an embossed emp label on the top that contained breakfast granola. While the granola is amazing, it did seem like a bizarre gift for a restaurant striving to be 3 m stars.
  23. You should check out Dave Arnold and Nils Noren's Cooking Issues blog over at the FCI. He talks a lot about agar clarification. One of the posts are here.
  24. I am not defending errors, but "clearly in disarray" based on one lost booking is an extreme statement. ← well I use that statement because they are refusing to believe I had a reservation, and are not trying to help correct the problem at all. That is a pretty big lapse in hospitality. Sure, it may not be symptomatic of bigger problems, but in my specific case it shows poor handling of the situation.
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