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johnder

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by johnder

  1. About a month ago, per there reservation policy I made a reservation for tomorrow for a 3 top at 8:30. Calling back to confirm the reservation today, they suddenly have no record of any reservation, nor any recourse to get me in tomorrow or anytime in the next week. Clearly this is a disappointment, and while Andrews food may be amazing, the front of house is clearly in disarray as losing a reservation is pretty bad. I am sure they have heard the story of people claming they have booked reservations when they really didn't, but in this case it clearly was an error on their part. it is upsetting that they can accommodate me and my party at some point within a day of the original reservation.
  2. I guess I had a different perspective on the breakfast as I was working it, so it just seemed like zoo since the bar was 4 deep at some points. Didn't really get to walk around the event, but I enjoyed it because we were working next to the boys from D&C side by side. The service at GG was pretty bad at lunch, but the food/drink made up for it in my case. As far as the recipes, there are just a lot of out of balance drinks that clearly needed help and techniques that were lacking. The flowing amounts of tobala was a good way for me to get through it all.
  3. Surprised there isn't a TOC 2009 thread started yet. Since I was stuck in the kitchen for most of it, I tried to make the best of things and hit as many places as I could at night. For me the highlights were: Beefeater 24 party with Nick Strangeways punch. Hendricks Burlesque party Cure Cochon Seeing Alan Katz mix up drinks with Chartreuse Elixir at Iris for the spirited dinner Green Goddess DBA Plymouth's Bartenders breakfast lowlights: the oppressive humidity the awful, out of balance drinks I was forced to batch
  4. Having recently come back from Tales of the Cocktail I can give a little insight to this, as I went to cure and tried some of these drinks and Maks was an apprentice under me and donbert (and jeff) in which we batched all the cocktails for every seminar (over 220 of them). I have seen the book and as I mentioned, tried some of the cocktails, including the gunshop fizz and that drink in particular is awesome. I think it is a bit of a loss leader as the pour cost is too high, but flavor and balance wise it is awesome. I am not sure these guys are looking to be revolutionary in the sense they are doing something completely new, but having people look at ingredients and techniques in different ways. The gunshop fizz as a drink that illustrates this, as well as their drink that has Cynar as its base (2 oz). I think it is great they came out with the book, and commend them for it.
  5. The food highlights tonight were Oysters Parisienne Tete de Porc Baba au Rhum and the killer Matzo ball soup. I am not sure how many chickens gave their lives to my small 3 oz taste, but I can tell you it was many. It was by far the richest, most flavorful broths I have tested in recent memory. The space is loud, but then again it was pretty packed to capacity today. I know I will be going there for burgers and a beer as it is 3 blocks from work. They have 24 taps too!
  6. Sorry I made seem to have misspoke on Pegu. I vaguely remembered they had a bottle of vodka on the back bar, but I was indeed incorrect. Most of my nights at Pegu ended slighly hazy, which probably contributed to this false information.
  7. I think there are levels at which vodka is displayed/used/mixed with at bars here in NYC. If you look at D&C there is no vodka on the back bar, and no vodka drinks on the menu. PDT used to have 3 Vodka's on the back bar, but has since removed them to make room for other spirits (mainly gin's) and no drinks on the menu. Pegu has vodka on the back bar, and again no drinks on the menu. Will all these places make a vodka drink for you? Yes. Will they take a drink on the menu that has gin in it and replace it with Vodka? Probably not. Same way you wouldn't replace a brown-spirit drink with vodka, you can't really do a vodka-gin substitution. For me when I am at a cocktail bar for the first I almost always universally skip over any cocktail that has vodka in it and focus on the others. Usually this helps knock off 80% of the drinks in one fell swoop. Will I drink vodka, sure, I may have the occasional bloody mary or a shot of chilled vodka if I happen to be in Russia having caviar service.
  8. Hulu has what was supposed to be tonight version (episode 4) online if anyone cares http://www.hulu.com/watch/65646/the-chopping-block-week-4
  9. Rachel has been into PDT a few times and has always been engaged in the experience. Asking questions, learning, drinking. She has always professed herself to be in love with cocktails and considers herself to be obsessed with them on an amateur level. I am all for her getting the good word of cocktails out there, and happy with the way she is doing it. Yes, sure, she could have used a better grenadine, but I blame that on the fact she had to make do with what the studio gave her and the time slot she had to do things. I would much rather people who have little knowledge of cocktails see her actually using a jigger and learning a brief history of a classic cocktail than to be stuck with the idea of anything in a martin/cocktaili glass is a martini. I hope people out there saw her make the cocktail with bad grenadine and strive to learn how to make it better by making their own grenadine the next time.
  10. would have to agree with this statement, in any science class I took, and took many thru college/grad school... never do you measure by looking down into a vessel... always at eye level from the side... ok so, from where does the home 'tender get his supplies...? best place, best shipping costs...? amazon has some of the jiggers but i could not find the combo to which all of you pointed me toward at the top of the thread... any other online shops with good prices and non deal killer shipping? i can get a good adjustable spoon at a local "Home Good/TJ maxx" if any of you are familiar with those chains... ← I have ordered several times from Bar Products. The website is stuck in the 80's but they ship quickly and have good products. You just need to wade through all the flair tending stuff.
  11. Thats the jigger you see here. These are popular in Europe. These are great jiggers, but the margin for error on them is very small. The difference in the graduations is very small, so it takes a bit of training to use them correctly. Also in a dim bar, you really need to know which graduation is what by memory, can't rely on reading the labels. John
  12. I feel comfortable with the 1/2 - 3/4 and 1 -2 combo. It's the combo that lets you use any combination you need. It's pretty much the standard at most of the higher end cocktail bars in nyc.
  13. johnder

    Fishtail

    Ended up stopping by tonight early for a drink and a few small bites. Space is comfortable, long bar and seperated raw bar prep station on the first floor along with some booths along the wall and the full kitchen in the back. More tables upstairs. House cocktail list is nothing to speak of, about 5-6 cocktails that you would expect to see at a place on the UES. Mostly vodka based. Full menu is available at the bar, which is always nice. We ended up starting with some oysters, Belon and Kuma Kuma. All superb and of great quality, expertly shucked. Then had the taco sampler -- Crab salad taquito - old bay and cumin seed, Tun Tartare, pineapple and macadamia nuts, and the Hamachi with avacado and masago caviar. Was slightly dissapointed they were served in a fried taco shell similar to and old el paso type as opposed to a nice fresh corn tortilla but otherwise they were fine. Not spectacular just ok. Of the three i thought the tuna was the weakest, the pineapple overwhelmed the tuna. One of the hits of the night was the Dry roasted "angry" mussels with chili oil, basil and lemon. Great flavor in this dish, a huge portion of mussels served on a sizziling cast iron skillet with a dipping sauce. Nice heat in the sauce and great quality mussels. The bomb of the evening was the terrine. It was a Foie, Prawn and chicken terrine bound with a lobster gelee. There was something off with the shrimp in the terrine. When tasting the shirmp alone it was extremely bitter and had a general off taste. I should have though more about it before ordering it. The chicken and foie can probably last longer holding in the fridge than the prawn. My guess is this was the end of the terrine and shirmp was suffering from it. The other hit of the evening was the side order of fries. Really excellent fries, served "persillade" style with a nice house made mayo for dipping. Overall, I will keep this place on my roster of places to go to when I find myself on the UES, but not going to go out of my way to eat there. When I go back, I will stick with the beer or wine by the glass and probably stick with the raw bar and the mussels/fries combo.
  14. I am a big fan of sidecars in the winter. Hold the sugared rim please.
  15. Has anyone been to David Burke's new place? I am finding myself up on the upper east side today and was thinking about stopping in for a goûter this afternoon. From what I read they have a downstairs raw bar, and a more formal space upstairs.
  16. I stopped by last night as well to celebrate repeal day. Started with Brian's great Hispaniola cocktail (tea infused flor de cana, lime, ginger), then had Joaquin's Smoked Horchata (House made hochate, tequilla, crema de mezcal, cinnamon bark syrup, bitters) and ended with the Spanish Caravan (tea infused tequilla, benny, cointreau, grand ma, amaretto, bitters) All spot and on a delicious. In case any wants to see the new menu, eater has a copy of it online here as a pdf.
  17. Hmm I think it depends on the drink. When I am in service and I get a 6 drink ticket depending on the drinks I can probably crank all 6 of them out in 4-6 minutes. Of course if some of those 6 drinks are queens park swizzle or a pisco sour/ramos fix that would skew things greatly. But it really is all about planning. When I get the dupe the first thing I do is setup the tins or mixing glasses. Then I mentally go through the recipes looking for common ingredients and pouring them all at the same time. Citrus first, simple, then base spirits. I consider myself a quick bartender, but I am by no means the fastest. People like Phil and Brian at D&C can probably do the same drinks in 3-4 minutes. Especially when Phil stirs 4 drinks at once. The actual act of jiggering I think adds minimal time to the actual drink making -- especially if you go with the 1/2 - 3/4 and 1 - 2 jigger combo.
  18. Well if it wasn't hard enough going to Ssam, Bruni just reviewed it again and upped the rating to 3 stars. Full review is here. Congrats to Chang and Tien!
  19. What Mitch is really saying is he isn't going to any expensive restaurants because he wants to spend all his money at Dehillerin.
  20. It was not on the menu when I was there, but could have been in the past. I just said I usually drink old-fashioneds and sazeracs and after a laugh, the bartender asked if I liked campari, then made sure again. haha. The garnish I forget...oh man, I'm bad, I can't remember. It was in the drink...perhaps a cherry or flamed lemon/orange. Fiance said bartender might have had an english accent? if that helps.....it was a saturday night. 6pm. on Nov 8th ← Bartender was probably David. We had a drink on the menu called the Dewey D which was campari, rye, sw. vermouth and sherry, but it is served up with a twist. Do unless he changed it up to serve it on the rocks, it must be something else.
  21. Do you know if it was a drink on the menu at one point or a classic? Do you remember if their was a garnish?
  22. Hopefully Murray will be there when you go. He is a legend. Let me know how you like it.
  23. Sounds like you have a pretty good list. As far as cocktails any of the places on the list will have Absinthe, some more than others, and most will do a traditional absinthe service for you. You will have no problem getting into Flatiron or Pegu around that time, as they are huge, and don't have a tough door policy. Little Branch should be ok at that time, but D&C could be hit or miss. Sometimes they fill up early, othertimes a little later. Luckily the doorpeople at D&C are first rate, and they will take your number and call you back as soon as a spot opens for you. Apotheke on the otherhand will be the toughest. I tried to go there twice without much luck. The last time I was told they were "fully occupied" even though when the door opened and there were at most 10 people inside -- I most likely won't be going back. Not to mention you can enjoy 2 drinks at any of the other bars you mentioned for the price of one at Apotheke.
  24. In no particular order Gin Rickey Negroni Sazerac Rye old fashioned 50/50 Manhattan 50/50 Gin Martini w/ Hermes Orange bitters Margarita Last Word Daiquiri Martinez
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