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Everything posted by zeitoun

  1. Ichimura on 2nd Ave and 54th St.
  2. It's funny, I also had dinner at Blue Hill saturday night. I was there with my wife and a friend visiting from Florida. Juan cooked for us a 7 course meal that left us speechless, this is my fourth meal at Blue Hill this year and with each meal it is just getting better and better. I'll post meal notes with pictures shortly.
  3. I fully agree with the above, I am presently enrolled in the culinary program and will graduate in February. We are at this point already half way through the entire curriculum and it is true that a majority of students in the class don't seem very concerned with whatever happens after graduation. Actually, most of them aren't even sure they want to work in a professional kitchen or do something food related. For the price you pay, I find this quite amazing. But this is true for any school (even at the CIA or FCI according to many friends in the industry). Some students care and some reall
  4. I'll respectfully disagree with that statement. Go into any Puerto Rican or Dominican neighborhood cafe in NYC (and there are lots of them) and you'll find empanadas offered. Typically filled with ground beef or minced chicken and always fried. There's also a less widely sold Dominican variety that's made with mashed plantain as the "dough" and filled with beef then deep fried. ← You're correct actually, i was thinking more in terms of south america and not the caribbean. Although they are called empanadas, for some reason I've always placed dominican or puerto rican versions of it in a
  5. Rue Cler in the 7th hasn't changed much, I walked by there a few months ago and was surprised to see that almost all the shops I used to patronize 20 years ago are still there, with the same owners. Not as picturesque as "la mouffe" but still a true parisian market street. Although not a market street, the sunday market at the Blvd de Grenelle is splendid, highly recommended.
  6. Sorrell sounds pretty interesting to me and think i'll give it a try based on your comments. This past friday I had dinner at Applewood which was also mentionned upthread. I liked the place but did not love it though. To start with I had a "seafood salad" which basically consisted of a trio of roughly chopped marinated crab, crayfish and octopus meat mixed together and topped with a whole unshelled lobster claw. A roasted jalapeno cream came on the side of the plate. I didn't think much of this dish, a little uninspiring. The amount of meat was overwhelming and in my eyes should have been
  7. Nice job Elie!! Samke harra is on the menu this week end, i'll report back with pictures hopefully.
  8. Although not traditional, I once made samke harra with monkfish fillets and thought it was a perfect pairing with this type of sauce. I like it mainly because monkfish is a little more toothsome and has more bite than other fish and this works nicely with tahini. I came to like it so much that I also use it whenever I make Sayyadieh, the other famous Lebanese fish dish.
  9. Thanks for the picture, great looking fish..
  10. Ombre Chevalier is the name of the local form of Arctic Charr (Salvelinus alpinus). These fish are salmonids, so closely related to salmon and trout. They also have the most northern distribution of all fresh water fish and they are highly varible in form, there may be several types of non-interbreeding morphs in the same lake for instance. The version found in Scotland looks like this and tastes similar to trout, if paler in flesh and a richer flavour. For added confusion Ombre is the French name for another salmonid, known in English as a "Grayling". These taste of thyme (hence the name Thy
  11. I would agree that Beirut is probably the most "English friendly" city in the entire Middle East. In addition to English you'll also hear French only being spoken amongst some circles. It becomes quite different once you step outside of Beirut and would probably require a guide (as in an English speaking driver who will take you around). Lebanon is very small and these types of "organized" tours can be arranged from Beirut easily. Everything is only a few hours away from Beirut, and with the new coastal highway system, you can drive from north to south (Syrian border to Israeli border) in
  12. I had dinner at Fleur de Sel in March and was very happy. From experience, I have learned not to trust reviews on Citysearch. If you delve a little further into the negative comments, you'll see that most reviewers (especially when it comes to higher end restaurants) seldom seem to know what they are really talking about. The complaint of choice is either not enough food, too expensive or not "tasty" enough. Regardless, there is always the possibility of an "off night" (as in the kitchen gets slammed and you, the diner, get caught in the middle of it) which can happen anywhere, I think thi
  13. What a beautiful report Adam! I'm curious, is ombre chevalier a specialty of the Savoie? Is it a type of fresh water trout? Or salmon maybe?
  14. Judith - thank you for sharing this wonderful gastronomic journey with us! I have two questions: First, you mentionned having cod with cock's crest at Les Cols. I have never eaten cock's crest before but recall seeing it on a Ducasse recipe prepared deep fried. How was it prepared when you had it? Second, I am very intrigued by the idea of "monkfish confit" which you had at Echaurren. Would you mind telling us more about it? And thank you for your notes on Akelare
  15. Alright Nadia! Now you're talking!! Just going through your meal list brought back beautiful memories of Lebanon... I totally see what you mean about food and Lebanese people. To this day, whenever my dad says he is just making a simple "Kibbe bil sanyeh" for lunch, that means he is preparing a 5 course mezze, with two main dishes, with desserts and fruits, and a "Kibbe bil sanyeh"
  16. I walked by there on Sunday with my wife, we were coming back from brunch at the Miracle Grill ( ) on our way to Sunrise mart so she could re stock on some stuff. I really want to try this place and I wonder Michael how you would compare it to a place like Mamoun's? (for those who do not know, it is another notorious falafel place in the village)
  17. This is a great article, a great tutorial in the "art of eating empanadas"! Thanks for the link...
  18. I loved Saida/Sidon, I have wonderful memories of delicious fried sultan ibrahim there (red mullet). As you pointed out, the fish can be bought almost right off the boat. I also loved the old city (an incredible mase of small streets and alleys) which we were told on my visit that some parts have remained the same since the Pheonicians. You might have answered a big question of mine, is "tout" mulberry in English? I really miss eating real 'ishta (milk skin) ice cream, I've never seen it here in the US.
  19. zeitoun

    Taro Sushi

    Funny, I remember vividly seeing you!! It's good to know that Taro could even be better. I'd love to go back (and probably will regularly) even if it is for a 3 roll combo! As for the Ankimo, it may well be that my previous experiences with it was always that of it having a moist and creamy texture. Very foie gras like in a way. Whenever my wife and I get our hands on it at our fishmarket, we usually sear it at high temperature just the way it is, no longer than 1 to 2 minutes depending on thickness. I never ate it steamed before which is how they make it at Taro, I feel steaming kind of d
  20. I find it funny that here in New York, Empanadas are almost always associated with Argentina. It seems somewhat apparent that they are common throughout South America, some parts of the Caribbean and even as far as the Philippines (By the way Ninjai Fanatic, are they also called Empanadas there?). Having said this and looking at the facts, it looks like all these countries share one thing in common: a more or less distant colonial past with Spain. Does anyone know if Empanadas originated there?
  21. Today I discovered for the first time (in a New York shop, see report here) Colombian empanadas, I knew that Chile had them as well as Argentina obviously. I am curious as to what the differences are from country to country (from dough to filling) and are they ubiquitous in all of Latin America? Here is my observation so far: They seem to be baked in Chile, very bready with a smooth and polished crust. The Argentine version that I know is fried (had those in an Argentine bakery in Miami). Had them in Venezuela with a fried corn dough and also had them in Dominican Republic in an almost pap
  22. Maybe one day you'll find a pearl in your sandwich, who knows... More seriously, really enjoying this blog...
  23. zeitoun

    Taro Sushi

    I had dinner at Taro Sushi for the first time yesterday, I went alone (wife had to work late) and sat at the bar. I was frankly pleasantly surprised and overall quite happy with the quality of fish and execution of the rice. For fish, the highlight in my opinion was the aji, spanish mackerel, fluke fin, tuna belly and yellowtale. I also tried the Ankimo (monkfish liver), but was not too happy, a little too dry in my opinion. The rice was close to excellent: toothsome, well seasoned and served lukewarm just the way I like it. I ordered by the piece for both sashimi and sushi and finished t
  24. I think the reference made about Japanese food in Paris was not so much to demonstrate that Japanese restaurants are awful but rather that Parisians seem to know very little about Japanese culinary traditions in general when compared with some US cities such as NY, SF or LA. The irritating ubiquity of those low standard yakitori-sushi places in Paris is one reason and put plainly, there seems to be more people in New York or LA that know what a daikon radish is and how it is used in Japanese cookery, than in Paris.
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