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    Bristow, VA

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  1. Twentieth Century works great. We had a customer hounding us (and Eric) for Cocchi (and stockpiling Marie Brizard white cacao when its availability was dicey) just to put a Twentieth Century on the menu.
  2. This pretty much works for every base spirit, but I like it particularly with a dryish reposado. Not my drink, for sure. I think the method was first introduced to me (in reverse style) by Phil Ward with his chamomile-infused rye. 1.5oz tequila 1oz blanc/bianco vermouth .5oz lemon .5oz 1:1 simple (or slightly less) Shake and strain into a highball glass with ice and top with soda.
  3. Go. Just go. It's that good.
  4. Yes, Virginia, it's true. Luger now offers a rib steak, bone-in, "sized" and priced ($38.95) for one. As such, it's too thin to be charred on both sides and cooked rare. My one (at Great Neck last night) was toward the entrecote end (just a little bit of calotte or cap--don't know if they save the other end for roast prime rib or not), had good-but-not-great flavor, and was poorly carved as they all are. Hell of a steak, but not as transcendent as the strip side of the porterhouse. They should offer a double-cut rib steak though--so you could get extra-char-extra-rare . My french fries were particularly bad this time. And Great Neck didn't have Brooklyn Lager last night (is this normal?).
  5. Go to Old Dominion's brewpub. Decent beer, decent bar food, 10 minutes away, wireless if you ask for the code. And chances are one of the regulars will offer to drive you back .
  6. Use a banetton (proofing basket) to raise the loaves. For one multiple of this recipe, I use two (15" or so) banettons for baguette-size and three for something closer to a ficelle. Bake on a well-heated stone at 475F for ten minutes with steam and until the bottom is almost burnt without (usually about another 10 minutes).
  7. No pix here, but I made this dough using King Arthur AP, but shaped in a baguette/batard banneton and baked on a stone. Despite some rather dramatic moments getting from peel to stone (quite a bit of spread out on the peel), I got great oven spring and plenty of yummy, crispy crust (I baked for about 35 minutes at 450F, until internal temperature got to 210F and stayed there for at least 5 minutes). I'm going to try an overnight fridged retard instead of a normal second rise and see what happens. The point here is that the dough method and the baking method can be divorced.
  8. The Swiss Bakery in Burke. Go early.
  9. I have a horizontal smoker. I basically build a charcoal fire down one end, put the ham (after the traditional three-days soak) down the other, and smoke until the outer meat on the underside begins to pull apart. The top is gently perfumed, cooked through, and slices easily (after removing the tough skin, which can be used to flavor a pot of beans), the bottom can almost be shredded. Mmmmmm. ETA: formatting.
  10. I don't remember any in particular....just sort of the same brands that the other "country" pork products--country ham, dry bacon, etc--are.
  11. As for guanciale, you can often find Virginia cured jowl at supermarkets. It may be slightly saltier (and it's usually thin-sliced bacon-style for your inconvenience) but it will do for most cooking uses.
  12. Hey, I like Ben's. But only, ONLY, for half-smokes and really good homefries for breakfast. The rest, well, whatever.
  13. I like to soak and smoke country hams. It takes an eternity (18 hours at least to open up the texture, plus you have to cut off the char afterwards), but it's really really good. Then again, I'd love to try one of the better ones raw as well.
  14. Johnny Boy's was poor when I went in June. Spare ribs not cooked long enough, so they still had the overcooked-roast-pork texture, not the collagen-broken-down-real-BBQ texture. And not cheap.
  15. Nice note on the Vergelegen. Their sauvignon blanc (at ~$20-25) is a real step up from most everything else out there from the Cape. Sappy, nervy, long, and even a bit ageworthy, a real tour de force from a distinctive terroir. Disclosure: I don't sell it.
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