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    Vancouver, BC
  1. We had a pre-concert dinner there 3 weeks ago, and, sad to say, it was deserted. We were early, but this was a Friday evening when I expected there might be some action. Our three-some was 60% of the business up until 7:00pm, and not very profitable either, as they comped the cocktails because there was no mint for the mojitos! - a very generous gesture undoubtedly. It made me wonder if they were expecting any business at all that night. Maybe the herbs are delivered before Saturday's service. We shared a couple of the sampler plates; one meaty, the other fishy, but were generally underwhelmed by the presentation, composition and flavour. None of the food we had suggested confidence or experience. Too bad, as the room is lovely and the bar a beauty. John
  2. What size roasts do you have and how do you plan to cook them? ← The halves are 8 lbs each, trimmed. After reading through this thread, I thought the slow start/fast finish would be worth trying. I'm a traditionalist who likes to sear the meat well first, then cook slowly afterwards, but the reverse makes a lot of sense. I use an Aalto-Sham a lot at work, slow cooking roast beef (outside rounds) to medium-rare over a 12 hour period. It works well, and the texture is great, so I thought the rib-eyes might be good candidates for a home version! Carniverously! John
  3. I have a whole rib-eye, off the bone, that comes from an organic producer in Alberta. This will be the perfect opportunity to test the wet vs. dry methods. Both halves are vac-packed right now. The first half will be wet, cooked December 9th. The second installment will be Boxing Day, having had a week's dry age combining one or two of the great ideas this thread has provided. Pics to follow - watch this space for beef porn! John
  4. Pitted aluminum? Regardless of where the experts stand today on the subject of alumimum and it's effects on us ~ chuck it out! I figure if it was at your side door, forgotten and not needed for that long, it's not something near and dear anyway. John
  5. If a chicken has had corn in its diet it will have a yellow tinge- light skin colour does not mean they do something to it. Also different breads can have different colours. Steve ← Yep, corn or grain does seem to affect the colour, mainly of the fat though. I guess the optimism I referred to earlier was for a dry-processed bird, the skin of which would be the natural, sometimes yellowish colour. This colour might be further deepened by the singeing a good butcher would give to his dressed poultry. I'm sure all the chooks we get in the Lower Mainland, organic or otherwise, are wet-processed, thus the white, wet skin. My primary indicator is the colour of the leg flesh under the skin; a purplish hue suggests the bird was something of an athlete, and therefore may have decent tone and taste. That and the yellow fat. While on the poultry theme (sorry about the rant, moderator!) the size of most organic fryers and roasters is pretty standard, and you don't find many oversize birds, as Paul B was enquiring of some time ago, here. They do take longer to grow, and would be out of cycle with their peers, but butchers don't like to carry them as the price for a 7 pounder is likely to mean it will get very lonely, and smelly, in the display case! Choices Markets stock Thomas Reid's organic chickens, which are always reliable, as well as a set-like-a-jelly organic chicken stock. John
  6. Save On Foods (various locations) stock Bradner Farms brand organic chicken. Around $15 per, good muscle tone, lean, and tasty too! They don't come with that 'stained' skin that I've seen on some brands. I thought the skin colour was a natural gold/yellow tinge, signifying, for this optimist, a free-run upbringing, until, on closer inspection, I found that the inside of the bag is coated with a dye that transfers to the skin of the chicken, to give the appearance of a farmyard background. Bleech! John
  7. The ultimate soup-in-a-glass that I've had is the turn of the (20th) century Lady Curzon. An emulsion of mussel liquor, cream and egg yolk, it's velvety, rich and thoroughly decadent - probably much like the lady herself! - and is the perfect prelude to that special occasion dinner! John
  8. Cornell has published an interesting paper here that debunks the "90 percent of all new restaurants fail" myth. The study also shows little difference (4%) in the failure rate of independent restaurants compared to franchises. Not suprising to this community, family reasons were often quoted as the reason for restaurants closing "In fact, many restaurants close not because they couldn’t succeed financially, but because of personal reasons involving the owner or owners." I guess they were figuring on an easy life, with a low maintenance cash flow! John
  9. I've enjoyed the sort of food you're describing at Durgin Park Great, fresh, simple menu items in a less than pretentious setting! The upstairs dining room is the place to go. John
  10. Westham Island u-picks (2 farms just over the bridge onto the island) start June 15th. John
  11. You are one sick dude. A. ← Yes, really! Who would think of eating a bucket of fried chicken "WITHOUT A NAPKIN"? John
  12. I worked with AWT for two summers prior to the the opening of Menage a Trois, which was opened in Beauchamp Place. He was in command at Brinkleys on Hollywood Road, and then took the helm at Dan's Place before going into business with Don and Annie of the Bistros Vino at M a T. The original menage a trois was an appetiser at Brinkleys, of 3 phyllo parcels filled with various cheese combinations - brie and cranberry was one. The name of the plate transferred to the new, very vogue (at least with the Rangerettes of the day!) restaurant AWT declared his menu a collection of dishes with "no intercourse", introducing the concept of small plate dining to items other than the regular tapas fare. I recall the most extravagant of his dishes being one of a roast truffle, with truffle reduction and truffle shavings, scented with truffle oil! John
  13. Did you try Dan-D=Pak at the south end of Oak? - around 69th, on the corner opposite the Chevron. Their dried fruits are good quality, and they list mixed peel in their online catalogue. John
  14. jtcookie

    Halibut cheeks

    Halibut cheeks are a family favourite chez nous and make it to the table in a number of guises. The kids love a panko-breaded pan fried version, so long as there is a bowl of tartare sauce on the side. If you keep the cooking time to a minimum, the flesh remains tender and sweet. I treat the adult version a number of ways; evoo-marinated and fire-grilled on a brochette, thin sliced and given a flash meuniere treatment with brown butter, lemon and capers, or, in conjunction with other seafood, matelot style. They perform similarly to monkfish when used this way, absorbing the predominant flavour of say, prawn or lobster, whilst augmenting the textural aspect of the stew. Best of all? - in combination with scallops poached in butter and dunked into a cream saffron sauce. Nirvana! John
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