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Everything posted by Zeemanb

  1. Wow, with the smoking cinnamon in the serving piece for the bison, it is strangely reminiscent of another "smoking" device I remember from high school. Back then we just called it a steamroller. This is so great, thanks very much for the photos. Now to settle on a date for my Chicago trip later this year..... Jerry
  2. Gotta throw a quick comment in here re: Modern Apizza.... I went to a party in Manchester, NH over the weekend, and one of the Connecticut guests stopped by Modern when they opened on Friday to pick up a couple of pies and bring them along (they were going to get Pepe's, but something about Modern opening earlier, not sure). So anyway, around midnight I spied a couple of pizza boxes over on the counter and helped myself. One was plain cheese and the other was mushroom and pepperoni. Even cold and made 12 hours ago, I was pretty astonished. Amazing pizza. Thinking someone had it delivered from a local restaurant, I asked a couple of the guys where I could order my own. "New Haven", came the reply, followed by a good half hour or so discussion with a few CT residents on New Haven pizza. It was pretty funny when I was raving about it to some of my NYC friends in attendance, and they insisted "Ah, it's just because you're buzzed.". We have some okay pizza here in Kansas City... plenty of Chicago and St. Louis style, wood fired, standard chain stuff like California Pizza Kitchen, but I think I can safely say we don't have anything like what I ate this weekend. It's been a couple of years since I've eaten NY pizza like Lombardi's or John's, but even then I don't remember them being as good as what I had at the party. Not trying to start a NYC vs. NH pizza feud, I'll happily go back out east and do more research before rendering judgment. Anyway, damn that was good pizza. If anyplace like Modern (Pepe's, Sally's, etc.) can be bribed into FedEx overnight delivery, just let me know! Jerry
  3. Thanks for the great followup review! It's definitely my favorite place to splurge or celebrate a special occasion (even if I'm just celebrating "hey, it's Wednesday!"). And they've got a really fun wine list. Glad you had a good time! Jerry
  4. Don't forget "Holy CAT!", and use of the acronym "E.V.O.O" followed quickly with "extra virgin olive oil" which kind of kills the purpose of the acronym..... Jerry
  5. Hey geo! I sat here thinking back to when I first got into those Ridge Zins, and it had to be whenever the '97's came out and I started buying them up. I remember piecing together a case right before a trip to Minnesota in 2000. Time sure does fly. As a matter of fact, I finished my last bottle of the '97 Lytton Springs almost exactly a year ago with our good buddy Varick at a cigar gathering on the east coast last year. Another "great moment in the history of geekery" came the other night when we were sitting on the couch watching Six Feet Under reruns and I yelled, "Hey! David and Keith are drinking a bottle of Qupe!". It was kind of like a few years ago when I was in the prime of my cigar geekery, and yelled "Hey! Tony is smoking a C.A.O. Anniversario!" while watching the Soprano's. And yeah, I guess I do tell people that one of the things I love most about my girlfriend is that she loves to drink the same wines that I do. It may SOUND geeky, but the last couple would only drink Piesporter......so you be the judge. As far as the website goes, I'm actually taking an HTML class starting next month, but my focus for the past couple of years has been things that will get me OUT of the house! Plus, somebody already registered "extremeleisure.com", and I had my heart set on it! Good to catch up with you on THIS side of the world! Jerry
  6. I had glass of the 2001 "No Nonsense Red" Meritage from Norman Vineyards a few weeks ago at a restaurant. It impressed me enough to go and buy a bottle. At approx. $16, I'm looking forward to opening it and tasting it at home soon. It's 73% Cab, 17% Merlot, 10% Cab Franc. Jerry
  7. Sorry if there is a recent, similar poll like this one, but I was wondering if there are others here who can distinctly remember the point at which they crossed "the line". For the purposes of this thread, I'll simply describe THE LINE as that point in time (or the event) that made you realize you had officially crossed over into what most of society would call "geekdom". Hopefully "geek" is not TOO subjective of a term, or even offensive to some, it's just the most generic word I could think of. I thought of trying to describe crossing the line in relation to the word "normal", but normal to me is making sure I've got decent wine glasses (and the style of corkscrew I prefer) stashed at both my parent's and my girlfriend's houses for when I visit, so "normal" society would probably think of me as a "wine geek" while most real "wine geeks" would think of that as the most logical thing they've heard all day. I don't even have a change of clothes stashed at the girlfriend's house yet, but the glasses and the opener have been there for a couple of months……but anyhoo…. As a newbie, I crossed that line pretty recently, so it's fresh in my mind. I've enjoyed wine for several years, have known what I like for the most part, but only in the last year have I consciously thought "I really love this, and I always want the enjoyment and learning to be a part of my life". I'm at the point now where I've learned there is WAY too much to know to truly "conquer" it, there will probably never be enough time and definitely not enough money to taste everything that’s out there…so relax and enjoy the ride. Learn the wines you like, share them with friends, and just slooooow doooooown. Anway, back to THE LINE….and after all this rambling my experience will probably sound pretty anticlimactic. I was at Lidia's here in KC a month or so ago, and it was "girlfriend meets my parents for the first time" night (as a 35 year old career bachelor, I give mom and dad some false hope once in a while….it keeps them going). Everybody has known for a long time that I'm not going to have a nice dinner without wine, and my folks and girlfriend all know enough about it to know what they do and don't like to drink. So I'm yacking away with the server, having what to any of us would be a completely NORMAL wine conversation, and for some reason I remember that I used the word "meritage" and went through the differences in blends between the 2001 and 2002 vintages of a particular wine. When I turned back to my dining companions, dad was just shaking his head, my girlfriend was laughing, and my mom was openly making fun of me for saying earlier in the evening that I really didn't know much about wine. Not a life changing event by any means, but something in me just clicked and I knew I had forever parted company with my extended family members who don't venture much farther than iced tea or coffee. Plus, I remembered back to a time when I'd pick up a bottle of wine in the liquor store, notice information about percentages/blends and wonder who in the hell would ever care about that kind of thing. So that's it for me. Getting called out at the dinner table by my family. I'd really like to hear anyone else's experiences, I know there have to be some interesting stories! Have a great weekend, it's about wine-thirty so I'm outta here, Jerry
  8. This wine sure was easy to find. They had a ton of it (2001) at my local Price Chopper grocery store for $9.99. We had it on its own last Friday night, and I don't really have anything new to add to previous comments. Fruity aroma and flavors seemed to dissipate quickly as I drank it, becoming kind of watery. There was virtually no finish with the exception of some sharp/bitter lingering flavors in the last glass or two. Overall, nothing too memorable. I'd drink it with pizza, gyros or something in that vein. However, at $9.99 it will be more likely that I bypass it to go and try out other wines in search of that $7-$9 "holy grail". Jerry
  9. Nostalgia........overload...........can't get Gold Buffet song out of my head now....... Didn't they have entertainment there? I remember the commercials from when I was a kid, and there was a comedy duo "Williams and Ree" (or something similar) always mentioned. Wasn't there a Putch's at Metcalf South? My grandmother would take us there (and The Forum Cafeteria at Indian Springs) quite a bit. Seems that Pitch did a write-up on the closing of the original Houlihan's last year. I've only ever visited the one by Oak Park Mall, and I'm not sure of the status of that location. Speaking of Pitch.com, go take a look at their food column from last week for a trip down memory lane. They review The Bamboo Hut, and mention places like the Savoy, E.B.T, etc. Thomas Cafeteria, Joe's Barn, Mac's Little Banquet, Taco Kid, Peter's Drive-In, Pitco's.......I could sit here and reminisce about my childhood all day, but I'm late for a sale at Stix, Baer & Fuller (followed by some sub-par pizza at Straw Hat and a sundae from Swensen's)!! Jerry
  10. Thanks for the welcome! The Magnificent Wine Company is part of K Vintners in Washington. I only know about it because a chef in Kansas City used their "House Wine" in a pairing and I loved it. I've never tried any of their other wines, but I love the fact that they are all pretty easy to spot.... usually by the big black "K" on a white background. The bottle of Pinot was the only one I've seen so far in KC, and with the price point conveniently between their $10 house wine and their higher end Syrah's I went ahead and picked it up. Hoping to get into it during dinner with friends this Sunday night, and will report back. Jerry
  11. (Newbie Alert!) I've been reading the wine board for a little while now, and when I saw the WOW postings I thought it would be a great way to branch out and drink wines that I would normally never know existed. I really only started drinking wine a few years ago, a bottle or two per month, and stuck with Ridge Zins for a long time (under the theory of "find something you like and stick with it"). Due in part to a good friend at my favorite restaurant, I've spent the last 2 years focusing primarily on Italian wines. Again, just a bottle or two per month between the restaurant and home. As my consumption has risen in the past 6 months, and my salary has remained the same, I've had to acknowledge that other wines exist outside the big reds of Piedmont. Recommendations from friends, buyers at my local shops, wines that have stuck out in various tastings, pairings that have come with chef's menus, etc., have all played a big part in my experimentation. I've only recently gotten to a point where I come out of the wine store Italy-less more often than not, drinking lots of blends, Syrah, a couple of Cabs, and virtually no Pinot Noir whatsoever. I think this bottle was maybe my third tasting of Pinot. So anyway, this Sanford Pinot Noir is well stocked in my four main shops, for anywhere from $26.99- $29.99. Based on waves2ya's comments above, I let it sit in the decanter for a good 45 minutes before drinking it. It ended up being a great bottle to enjoy with my girlfriend while watching the movie "Garden State" late on Saturday night. A big change of pace for me wine-wise. Very smooth to drink, not huge on the nose or palate, very "refined" for lack of a better term, darker in character. I don't know what good wine is, but I know what I like, and I did like this. I'm not good at picking out specifics as I drink, only committing to memory general things like whether it was "big", too much alcohol flavor, etc. However, one thing that stuck out to me as I drank it was a grassy/vegetal character. Not a bad thing at all, very light and different than what I'm used to. And I thought I got some anise from the nose at one point, but didn't notice it again. I imagine it would be great with food, but I'm glad I drank it by itself, especially since I have virtually no experience with Pinot Noir and it was out of my "everyday" price range. I would drink it again for sure, and I look forward to comparing it to the two other Pinots I have in my cabinet right now…one from Siduri and another from the Magnificent Wine Company. I do remember wondering if there was a point at which TOO much air could be detrimental to the experience. The time it spent in the decanter was probably a good thing because I did get a little bit of alcohol at first, but when I finished my last glass well after the movie was over I thought it tasted a little flatter. It was probably just the dulling of my palate that late at night (and maybe the fact this was the 2nd bottle of the evening....), but I couldn't help wondering. Anyway, this was lots of fun. I'm glad to have this forum to rely on for my "homework"!! Jerry
  12. Okay, here's some Kansas City specific info off the top of my head..... There's a lot more great stuff than this, but these are all places that meant a lot to me for one reason or another during the year. So the awards for meals in my corner of the universe for 2004 go to..... Lidia's- over the past couple of years it has become my "go to" restaurant when I want a dependable higher end meal in KC. I love the food, the room, the service, it's just my all around favorite. bluestem- in tribute to a horrible diamond commercial...."I love this restaurant, I love it...I love it....I love it...". Absolutely my number one "special occasion" restaurant. Last week when I was celebrating the special occasion known simply as "Wednesday", I came up with my own personal philosophy on bluestem. Most people I know who have eaten there consider it a special occasion destination based on price point. But for me, even if I had the money to dine there more frequently, I think of it in terms of a a favorite song. Every once in a while a song will come along that you just lock into and click with. It hits you on many levels, but you don't want to overdo it because you want it to hit you like it did the first time every time. bluestem is the dining equivalent of that song for me. Pachamama's (Lawrence, KS)- not a new restaurant, but new to me, and it's already in my regular rotation. A new menu from top to bottom every month, with fun and filling dishes. Creative yet strangely familiar combinations of ingredients.....and that molten brown sugar cake is literally the favorite dessert of my entire life. Taj Mahal- for me it's the Indian equivalent of that little neighborhood Chinese takeout place everyone has. Some very happy and very friendly people run that place, and that Chai is just so damn good. Bulldog- way above average bar food and bartenders that actually know their booze. I'll support any nice restaurant/bar that has the guts to try and survive downtown (without dancing nude women...not that there's anything wrong with that) after dark. And during my first visit when I asked if I could light up a cigar, and the answer was "anybody who has a problem with it can go drink somewhere else", is okay by me. Not for everyone I'm sure, but comfy places where you can smoke and swill good scotch are always high on my destination list. And last but not least...... Mug's Up (on 23rd St. in Independence)- this place is MAGIC! Goopy, cheesy, greasy loose meat sandwiches with onion ring and homemade root beer! It's a real drive-in, unchanged since whenever the hell it opened before I was born. None of those fancy schmancy intercom systems and backlit menus. You park, read the menu, the girl comes by, takes your order and delivers it remarkably quickly. You enjoy overtipping just because it's basically impossible to spend more than six bucks on a meal! In all seriousness, highest praise for this culinary institution. Jerry
  13. Okay, when I come from KC to NYC for another food trip, would it be considered "irony" when I check out Paul's restaurant (I've never had his BBQ before)? Don't know if that's the right description, I'll have to ask my buddy from Manhattan when he comes to KC to have a reuben. Paul is a great guy, I wish him all the best. As an amateur bbq'r from Kansas City, he's definitely someone my friends and I admire. Properly done smoked brisket is such an art, I wish I had a fraction of his knowledge and experience. BTW, Gates does serve chicken, but you know what they DON'T serve?? PORK! They've got ham (yeah, pork, but just not the same, not even close), turkey, and some locations even have mutton, but of all things they don't serve sliced or pulled pork butt. That's part of the reason I rarely eat there. Besides it being my favorite BBQ menu item, it has always stricken me as bizarre that they don't serve it. Can't wait to hear reports on Paul's restaurant when it opens next year! Jerry
  14. Thanks for the comments! This is very helpful. And I guess when I think about the many solo dining experiences I've had, comments about the staff being more interactive than usual definitely rings true. I'll absolutely post and compare, now it's all up to that pesky Nick Cave coming over from Europe to do a Chicago show, lol! Jerry
  15. General question about Moto..... I'll be coming in from KC during first quarter of next year (assuming that's when Nick Cave is going to start his U.S. tour....WOOOHOOO!), and I've been wanting to eat at Moto for a while now. What is anyone's opinion on the prospect of solo dining at Moto? Any of my travel companions who would spend the money are not what I'd call the adventurous type when it comes to food. Sure, I could talk them into it, but then I'd sit there all night waiting to feel bad about dishes they wouldn't try (and their combinations of dietary restrictions and food phobias are too numerous to even think of asking the kitchen to accomodate them). I have no fears when it comes to being a lone diner, but when I think about the time investment in something like the GTM and the interactive nature of the meal, I just wonder if it would be a good bet. I ate at WD-50 earlier this year (not that it's the same thing, but my closest point of comparison), and while I would have loved the tasting menu if I ate it alone, so much of the experience was bouncing comments and ideas off of those around me. Anyone have any thoughts? Worst case scenario, I guess I could take my little notebook and profusely scribble notes in the hopes of coming up with a food related paper topic for my American Studies major, lol! Thanks, Jerry
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