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Everything posted by mdhl

  1. um... did you consider that maybe the chef or manager purposely re-assigned the table to the second waitress as an act of damage control? it happens all of the time.
  2. nope i don't mind, and it was thirty five dollars.
  3. i'm not the cupcake queen but i had the 5 course dessert tasting at wd-50 the other night and it was fun. i had the pleasure of visiting while simultaneously hungover and drunk, so my recollections may not be as descriptive as some may hope. here's what i had, i think in this order... 1) tomato sorbet with olive oil powder, croutons and micro basil. a play on caprese. i could not, for the life of me, figure out how the powder was done. it was warm in its powdered state and dissolved on the tongue, yet didnt seem to dissolve against the sorbet. the tomato sorbet has an awesome flavor- really fresh and bright. 2) roasted corn ice cream on coffee soil, corn oil. a variation on the earlier butternut squash sorbet dish on the website. again, the corn flavor was right fucking on. intense and well matched for the coffee. 3) celery sorbet with crunchy peanut butter and raisins. liked the celery (very refreshing) in particular. i also liked that the raisins were spiced subtly enough to get a depth of flavor at the end. 4) lemon curd with basil meringue, lemon chip and blackberry puree. i'm an anglophile who likes proper, eggy lemon curd spread on toast, but this was nice. it had that good, puckery tartness that lemon-lovers look for in desserts. it was opaque in color... was it set with agar? 5) roasted peach with white beer foam/meringue and a streak of.... some clear sauce. i just remember it being too bitter for my palate. but the peach flesh melted in your mouth. it also came with an oat streusel which was clever, paired with the beer element. then they brought out a sixth course. (very kind, thank you.) it was the chocolate hazelnut parfait . not big on chocolate but i loved this one. it was perfectly sized, perfectly creamy and perfectly contrasted, set on a crunchy base. what was it, anyway? feuilletine? a single orange segment perfected the whole dish- it was just enough to balance the richness. the meal ended with a bowl of the curried chocolate covered almonds. curry just isn't for me but as soon as the flavor bursts in your mouth, the chocolate mellows it out. to reiterate what's been said elsewhere on the board, it was nicely executed, creative food. people like to critique the flavor combinations as being too out-there just for the sake of being so, but anyone who tries SM's stuff knows that there's obviously a strong foundation in technique. i'll be back on a sober night to try the food with my bf, who's piiiiiiiissed i didn't take him this time.
  4. I also take issue with the judges but only because my opinions are never in line with theirs. However, most of them are more than qualified to express their opinions on the given dishes. There've been a couple questions raised about who exactly these people are. Regarding the "fat lady", that's Karine Bakhoum, the head of KB network news. She runs a PR firm that used to represent Bobby Flay, David Burke and Steve Hansen's restaurants. Right now her clients include Kerry Simon (she didn't judge his battle, did she?!) and all China Grill restaurants. So while I also want to shake her for being so whiny, it's not as if she has ZERO knowledge of food. Steingarten is in no position to judge any battles that include Batali, considering he's written in the past about his unconditional love for him and his food. It's always good to have a Mo Rocca in the mix for the comic relief. Some of the judges just take themselves so f'ng seriously. Give me a break. It's Iron Freaking Chef; it's entertainment.
  5. I can add these two cents: The pastry chef will be Craig Harzewski, formerly of Le Cirque. The space was pretty raw when I saw it but it looks like it'll be a great big project. The kitchens look awesome- there's nothing better than a shiny new place with shiny new appliances to get a cook excited about working.
  6. Amazing to see anyone here talk about Provo. Just left my job in the kitchen at a resort here; one which will go unnamed. We aimed to be a "New York style fine-dining progressive restaurant"; a laughable goal for what remains to be such a beautifully unadulterated island. Most visitors come for pristine beaches and to experience local life and food; not to eat contrived foams and dusts that have been blatantly copied from the pages of the el Bulli cookbook. For the amazingly low price of 20-something dollars, you could treat yourself to 24 pieces of boxed rigatoni (and I do mean 24: they are counted and plated in straight rows on the dish) made with processed cheese. Or opt for an ashtray-sized dish of granita for 12 dollars. Besides the (very obvious) sour taste this job experience has left me with, the food elsewhere on the island is decent, downhome, casual fare. There's a stand called Sweet T's that's a small legend to expats on the island. It's literally a 3 foot shack in the middle of a dusty road. Hand a woman X amount of dollars and she will provide you with whatever amount of fried chicken she feels is worth the money. Five bucks can feed you for days. Barefoot Cafe makes conch in about every variation possible: ceviche, fritters, cracked, even tempura. Tiki Hut is simply fun and festive. Here they have a $12 chicken and rib night, complete with fishbowl-sized cocktails. The few food experiences that are truly unique to the island are visits to the conch farm and the local brewery. The island has many Jamaican, Haitian and Dominican immigrants so I happily live on a steady diet of amazing jerk chicken, rice and beans or pigeon peas. Visitors to Turks and Caicos should come prepared to experience island life, while saving the fine dining for trips to NY and Europe. And I encourage those of you who are reading this, visit quickly because it is so quickly being overdeveloped that the island will soon no longer be as beautiful as it is today.
  7. to reiterate what has already been said, you'll just have to accept the fact that there is no fine dining in bronxville. there is, however, loads of charm in some of the mom and pops in town. slave to the grind is a very friendly neighborhood place (except on weekend nights when kids are there drunk and screaming). the wine shop across the street from the train station has a really sweet friendly owner who'll talk you through picking out a nice bottle for your meal. the korean deli on palmer (brother?) has nice groumet brands- i even prefer to shop there to food emporium at times. not sure how the food is at scarborough fair but i do know that the pastry chef has done time with jean-georges. i can skip calvins chinese food for months at a time but when i do decide to give in to my cravings, the owner instantly recognizes my voice on the phone and asks how my family is doing. thats the appeal of this town. its small and quaint and cute but still close enough to the city to get good food when you want. when i'm home i stick to city limits in white plains and kang suh on central ave. theres also a branch of blue moon near the train station towards tuckahoe. strange how a mexican joint over in chelsea finds its second home in bronxville of all places. the food isnt the best but i'm a fan of margaritas, which you cant get anywhere else in town. hope this helps.
  8. city bakery (18th st btwn 5th + 6th). not fancy or frou frou, just plain awesome. every one of their breakfast pastries is done perfectly.
  9. had the frites at les halles for lunch yesterday. amazing. the color is something i've just never seen in fries before. plus they were still crisp after sitting in a pool of jus for over half an hour. for sentimental value, pommes frites on 2nd ave comes in second. to respond to what was said previously, i absolutely remember them being blanched in oil and fried again to order. but this was three to four years ago.
  10. Spreadable cream cheese should never be used for a regular cheesecake recipe. It's the same reason whipped butter shouldn't be used in cookie and cake recipes: They are processed differently and are too aerated (a process done ourselves with the paddle and sugar, but to a lesser degree). If you do a search, there might be recipes designed specifically for spreadable cream cheeses, maybe even on the inside of the package? Does it have to be a traditional cheesecake? How about a ricotta or mascarpone? Most mascarpone cheesecake recipes still call for some cream cheese, but others are set with a tiny bit of gelatin. Good luck.
  11. Indeed, and it's doing quite well for the colder months. I pass it every day and the place still packs a full dining room on many nights. They did a nice job creating new dishes that are weather-appropriate, considering the limitations of raw food. I have to admit I'm surprised (pleasantly, people!). It made me realize they'll be doing really well when spring kicks in. (Note to self: good going leaving your job there)
  12. My first job in pastry involved a year-long indentured-servitude to a staff of English chefs. I never saw so many differing opinions on sticky toffee pudding, but there was a consensus on one point: the sauce had to soak the entire cake, penetrating all of the crumb. Your version looks more refined and delicate (yet still moist) which I actually prefer to the stodgy stuff. Beautiful photo, of course. I've experimented with just about 20 recipes before designing one I found satisfying. The only thing anyone should know before making it is this: Be careful soaking the dates! An assistant once soaked them in a reactive pot, leaving me to ask why the batter was green.
  13. melngailis! (sarma, start another thread for your 27 course spanish meal, already!)
  14. Katy Sparks is currently working on her cookbook and is working on a project with Balduccis for its takeaway department. Mary Redding owns Mary's Fish Camp. All chefs, including the pastry chef, at Pure are female. If pastry chefs count, we can go on forever. Heather Carlucci Rodriguez (don't know the name of the restaurant she's working on right now but it's on the savory side) Karen DeMasco, Craft Elizabeth Katz, Vento/Fiamma Nicole Kaplan, Eleven Madison Park Jennifer Giblin, Blue Smoke Emily Isaac, Union Square Cafe Deborah Snyder, Lever House Deborah Racicot, Gotham Bar and Grill Rebecca Masson, The Red Cat And maybe when I decide to go back to work, you can add me.
  15. Don't have a specific source for a list, but off the top of my head... Julie Taras and Tasha Garcia of Little Giant. Kay Chun, Share. Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune. Jenny Kwak, Do Hwa and Dok Suni.
  16. I may be biased but Claudia's book is far superior in terms of styling and instruction. It just strikes a perfect balance between sophistication and user-friendliness. Ramsay's book is just fine but few of the recipes appeal to me, save the chocolate thyme ice cream. Flavor combinations are standard. There's a decent mix between 'unique' and basic (ex: Thai rice pudding vs. traditional macaroons) I rarely follow recipes from books so I wouldn't know how well they work. My criteria for a good cook book are its aesthetics and ability to inspire. This book doesn't do much in those departments for me.
  17. On the contrary, financiers have been a hit in my history. Plus it's the only cake that really tuns my sweet tooth on. It's all about the language. You're average diner doesn't know what a financier is. Make one properly, call it an almond cake, and they'll tear through it. And by proper I mean small. Baked into something as large as your standard mini cake ring, it'd sink like a stone at the bottom of you stomach.
  18. Just keep in mind that if a restaurant doesn't have the type of management that is always on its toes, the waitstaff will make sure that the owner and/or chef won't know about an unhappy customer. For every server I know who understands the concept of hospitality, I can tell you a story about a server who purposely tacks items onto someone's bill to get the check average up. You can confront the issue and have it rectified, but the chef will rarely hear about it. But then again, try being a server, earning minimum wage, and watch people actually run out of the restaurant, purposely leaving their credit card slip unsigned. I've seen it happen more than once in fine dining establishments. Classy. Back on topic, are you eating at craft or craftbar? If the latter, have the sea urchin spaghetti. Best plate of pasta I've ever had yet (in NY).
  19. mdhl

    Lure Fishbar

    There are plenty of reasons I don't like Lure, but it all comes down to personal preference: A. I hate cruises, hence I find the decor extremely tacky. B. I'm Asian and grew up on proper sushi, hence I prefer it to a lot of Lure's newfangled interpretations of crudo. Far too busy and over the top compared to Esca's. C. I will never again pay $22 for a lobster roll, served on a skinny ass Pepperidge Farm style bun, when I can get one far superior at Mary's or Pearl. I'm surprised to see that the pear cranberry crisp was among Bruni's favorite desserts (...and yet somehow, if you know how I feel about him, I'm not surprised at all). Mine had half raw fruit and pools of butter separating from the crisp. Plus it tasted of raw oats. Plus it came in a portion big enough to feed two, making the raw butter and bad flavor stand out that much more. For someone whose profession is in pastry, I was completely disappointed with it. Now that I'm done with the bitchfest, does anyone have anything positive to say about the place?
  20. The bed restaurant on Sex and the City was fictional and based on a club in Miami. There was never one in New York until this past month. BED and Duvet are two separate clubs/restaurants with the same exact concept in the same exact neighborhood. They were developed by partners who parted ways and agreed to compete with the same idea. Been to Duvet. It was formerly Tramps, my indie rock music venue of choice when I was younger, and then the nightclub centro-fly. The beds are surprisingly comfortable, as they're massive and size and made of that tempurpedic material that lets you jump up and down while the person sitting or lying next to you doesn't feel a thing. Food is served on wood trays you can keep at your lap. You can aslo leave them right on them bed and they won't budge. Food is way overpriced. As the chef was formerly of Union Pacific and it all seems very Asian inspired. An Amuse bar, serves small portions of crudo/sashimi/whatever you want to call it, but they're about $12 a portion. Had a duck salad that was pleasant and a creme brulee with a sorbet. What kind of sorbet you ask? I'm not sure because it had no distinguishing flavor whatsoever. Service was decent - our poor but limber servers had to stretch and reach all over us to get water glasses onto an acrylic insland in the center of our mattress. Guys might get a kick out of that. Our bartender was AWFUL; oh boy did I hate him. Gave us the wrong drinks and charged us for the higher prices of drinks we specifically didn't ask for. It's all novel and fun and TONS of money were poured into these places, but don't expect to see them here very long.
  21. i hardly ever crave or eat chocolate unless it involves nutella. if you're the lazy/hearty/i want it fast type, make a nutella panini on thick brioche. get the outside toasty and make sure the inside stays soft and runny. if you're the cooking as an all-day project/refined pastry type, sub nutella for half of the chocolate in a chocolate souffle recipe. re: making your own nutella, it's actually not so easy to make a facsimile that's as satisfying. maybe it's psychological, but eating it out of a jar and knowing that it's a mass-produced, bad-for-you convenience food is partly what it makes it so indulgent, and therefore enjoyable. but anyway, if you're going to try a homemade version, don't forget to add lecithin. its emulsifying properties will help tremendously.
  22. anyone try the red chef pushcart in the lower east side? authentic food it isn't, but where else can you find kimchi hotdogs in new york? (answer: you can't) http://www.kapshow.com/cart/
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