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Everything posted by jtcookie

  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
  15. Oh, and quote of the afternoon went to a young lady I overheard in passing the Pol Roger table. "Gee, this pink wine [Brut Rose '98] tastes really........pink"!! John
  16. Thursday afternoon at the show was prefaced by lamb burger and yam fries chez nwyles; an excellent aperitif for the main course of wines on offer. I was particularly interested in Rieslings this time, with German, Aussie and Kiwi ones on offer. The standout was Villa Maria Reisling; try it after a Rhine or Eden Valley example - deeply fruity on the nose, but tight to the point of austere in the mouth From that end of the spectrum to Alvear Pedro Ximinez Anada 2003, a sherry that will knock your socks off! $18 for a 375ml bottle that will become a treasure for those with the patience to cellar it for a (long) while. I tasted Penfold's Grandfather Port prior to the sherry, thinking that it was out of order olfactorily, but the sherry more than held its own; liquid vintage Christmas Cake! They (Alvear) also poured a PX Reserve 1998; much more refined than the Anada. The French section had many good wines. I thought those that insisted on a sequenced tasting did their audience proud. Five Chablis from Moreau for example, was a very well considered tour through the valley and their caves, culminating with a 2001 Reserve that was a flinty knockout. Many great wines, and not enough time! The best $5 I spent was on a Reidel stem from Puddifoot's table. Vive la France, et les autres! John
  17. Sure there will be short term pain around some specific sites, but don't think that every winter resort that's hosted an Olympics hasn't benefitted hugely overall. Ask les 'habs around the Meribel, Courcheval, Val'dIsere area how easy it is to travel the valleys from Albertville! Some gamblers will win, and others in this culinary crap-shoot will lose, and the greedy bastards will continue to be greedy bastards. Eric has made excellent points concerning general eating trends at an event such as this. Athletes and their entourage are cossetted in the village, or other accommodations, away from the distractions of the host city. As they are eliminated from competition you will see them venturing out, and taking in our culture and foodways. While competing though, their intake is strictly controlled. Preferred protein suppliers will do very well, as the atheletes I've fed get through all protein varieties at an astonishing rate. This is an ideal time to promote sustainable seafood, and naturally raised beef, chicken, and pork. Who knows? - within four years Mr Pound and his crew might be able to detect the growth hormones that most of the available meats contain nowadays! The service side of the Olympics, and Olympic village catering specifically will be a fascinating study. Pre-ordering items will involve months of education and guess work. At the end of the day, as Mr Furlong encouraged all those listening, be prepared for the unexpected! Traffic snarl-ups or the vagaries of our weather impact the food delivery system as well as spectators, athletes and locals. We're running short of labour now; unless things change rapidly it's going to be worse in four years. Someone with the Education portfolio in Victoria needs to get off her backside and create a high school syllabus component dealing directly with the service shortfall we will experience. Many of us want our kids to be involved in this once-in-a-lifetime event in 2010, and look for a considered approach to filling the gap, so that they will be beneficiaries as well. Some of the Euro mucky-mucks are going to love the Bearfoot Bistro, and will spend astonishing amounts of IOC loose change in the name of amateur athletics. O.G.; you shouldn't leave town, as Whistler will really need someone with your expertise and wit. Dull would he be who didn't derive joy and pride at the deportment and candour of Canada's speed skating team. I hope we see the same delight in 4 years time. John
  18. That's a great price Arne! Depending on the specific designation, the Vinum series is mid $30's retail, per stem. Sounds like a good stop pre-Wine Festival. John
  19. It has always amused me that some employees think the walls, and subsequently the business, will collapse because they choose to withdraw their services. Undoubtedly there were issues that Scott may or may not have addressed well during these disaffected's tenure, but walking out sure won't solve them. Will Scott continue to be in business? Probably, given this town's love affair with caffeine. Will Jorge Carrillo, Hyun Kim, Paisley McHaffie and Stewart Yu find work to replace that which they so recently departed? Probably, but not with most of the employers on this board! Do Starbucks make "really good offers"? John
  20. Great idea Mooshmouse! Jumbo lobster - $7.99!!! a pound at the Osaka Supermarket, Yoahan Centre, No. 3 Rd. They had a couple of behemoths there that would tip the scales at around 15 lb. Heeeuge! John.
  21. Well said Stephen! - and if a dozen oysters can still be had for C$9.95, why not pay a bit more for a glass of bubbly to wash them down? "World class" resorts need world class restaurants and wine lists; the fact that BB has stayed in business this long with such professional staff is testament to this establishment belonging to an exclusive international fraternity. Well done Andre! John
  22. We had a lovely cheese fondue on New Year's eve. I had some cave aged gruyere and emmental, and used a fruity Pinot Gris for thinning. I like to put several whole peeled garlic cloves in at the get-go; they're an added bonus for those willing to troll the depths of the fondue pot. Lacking kirsch, I used Marc d'Alsace de Gewurztraminer instead to spike the brew.....nummers! and a chewy sourdough as the sop. Sour baby pickles, prosciutto and boiled spuds on the side completed the spread. The fondue brought back memories of winters in the Alpes (Swiss and French) and mention was made of a fondue bourgignonne we often made and ate in a Swiss mountain village. Super-thin sliced beef, poached in a bubbling fond, and then dunked in any one of about 6 different sauces. Bearnaise, choron, soubise, curry mayo, mustard sauces are the ones we used most often. It was a Swiss-centric weekend, as a Vacherin Mont d'Or was centrepiece to the cheese plate we nibbled at on Sunday evening! John
  23. You bet! Many thanks again for the lead back to Daniel and his food, vancouver. John
  24. That's a great line! We visited SR a couple of weeks ago, and can certainly endorse all the praise and delight expressed upthread. You should probably call ahead if you want one of the dishes mentioned above, as the specials is a hit-and-miss affair. It really is what Daniel has around at the time. I had asked for the garlic and cilantro soup, and we all (5) had a small bowl to begin. Nutritious, and delicious, this soup should be available on prescription, as it's guaranteed to keep colds away and cure the seasonal blahs. Daniel's maitre d' is a lovely host, recognizable to some as the former owner of the Savoury, a Deep Cove fixture for 25 years. We asked to be fed, upon which a succession of dishes came and went, emptied, at a very leisurely pace. Standouts? The soup, the clams, and the potatoes, a rack of lamb, and the flambee item to finish. (you'll have to ask for that one!) Daniel's food is all about flavours, and, good news canucklehead, he will sell his sauces to go! Assertive, definitive and bold, yet embracing a subtlety most culinists can can only dream of, my favourite was the barbeque version, though I thought that all were great. It's good to hear that he has labelled the squeeze bottles however, as we got a couple of them mixed up! This little room is a work in progress; I'm sure we will see improvements added as time goes on and patronage increases. Patatas Bravas rule! John
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