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Everything posted by *Deborah*

  1. Tonight: Dinner A; a bottle of Oculus 2001; and some most pleasant dining companions, courtesy of eGullet. I am happy to say that our dinner sems to have been rather better than yours, HKDave, although the Oculus wasn't the equal of other Oculi I have drunk; I should have ordered the Bordeaux. But anyways. Regardless, I am a bit too tipsy and certainly too tired to stay up and provide the blow by blow I know you all crave, so I shall bid the forum a fond goodnight, and give you all the low down in the A.M. À demain, mes amis.
  2. This may come as a shock, but even in the small sorts of places I've served in, you tip out your busboys. My roommate in college hostessed and got a percentage of the floor's tips. The server is not the only person who is serving you, and your largesse is almost certainly spread around, since the waiter would not be able to provide the service they have provided without all those other people doing their part. The kitchen staff, I'm not so sure about. I'm sure someone will enlighten us.
  3. It's true! Once you've eaten it, your life becomes a junkie's nightmare, dreaming of the blissful dish, trying to get all your friends hooked so you'll have more opportunities to go, compulsively planning your next fix... I mean that in a good way!
  4. Since this is my first DOV with eGullet, I wonder if it was like this before? part of people's issues might be that "oh, so-and-so went to Restaurant X and they had a great great time, and then we went and it sucked." Whereas if you just went in blind or having spoken to a few "real-world" friends (vs. the sort of critique we tend to have on here), you might not have such high expectations? Or it may just be Chef Hawksworth's fault for providing that outstanding experience at the outset, against which most others must fail. Not that I'm complaining!! I seem to have been lucky with my DOVs! Two more meals to go, then I'm going on a diet!
  5. Neil, do you know the bartender at Parkside? (I can't remember his name, I'm terrible with that) I do know he has a very nice pink grapefruit sorbet and he might care to share some of his secrets.
  6. I think it's hard to critique a restaurant without hurting some feelings...and it feels even odder reading these posts since Sean hosted some of us that lovely whiskey and cheese, and he's such a nice and welcoming fellow. On the other hand, of course, there's no sense praising things you don't like; I think most people in this thread would like to think they were offering constructive criticism. Oh dear
  7. My parents were there (Pastis, not Brix) the night we all went to West; they had a very good dinner and a bottle of Chateau Carignan that they enjoyed very much. Edited for clarity although Brix, not Pastis, is where I've had Chateau Carignan
  8. Core kolachys are available all the time; the soups change day to day. Special kolachys change about once a week.
  9. Highly recommending the Black Bean Soup. Delish!
  10. I've never had a dish of kidneys, but a good steak and kidney pie is a lovesome thing, God wot.
  11. Vancouver Lee and I went for an unofficial pre-Burger Club burger lunch at HSG today. He started with the soup and I had the Caesar. Our waiter (whose name I don't know ) encouraged Lee to have more pepper on his chowder...when Lee's eyes stopped watering, he said he liked it. Sorry, Lee! My salad was good, nice hint of anchovy in there (unless my tastebuds were playing tricks on me), lots of cheese, I love a Caesar! The moment came: the burger! we had half and half potatoes and yams, SO delish those yams! the fries were also really good, that nice crisp on the outside, tender inside. Mayonnaise ! The burger! yum! the onions! divine (boy I love carmelized onions more than some of my relatives). The beef also flavoured with onions and I'm not sure what else, the cheese, lovely and melty...the bun: potato bun I think? so soft and nice, the bacon, all bacony I couldn't quite finish the burger, as I needed to save room for the pudding. Well, I mean, any one of you would do the same. As a particular favour (and no doubt the kolachy I bribed him with helped a bit, eh? ) we got to have pudding instead of crème brûlée. I am happy to inform you that Vancouver Lee has been duly afforded membership in the eGullet HSG Gingerbread Pudding Addicts Society. I got back to work two hours after I left! shocking! but what can you do? It was worth every minute! And I sure know why I don't normally have a three-course lunch! keeping my eyes open this afternoon was a major chore. Lee kept teasing me with tales of his nap-able comfy chair office and the nap his afternoon would doubtless include I keep telling my bosses we need a couch, that 15-minute lie-down would let me work so much better all afternoon! but they won't go for it. Thank you again, Neil, that was a lovely lovely lunch, especially for a Monday, and I even lucked out with the sunny weather for the walk to and fro. And thank you Lee! fellow 80s music addict and Chameleons fan OH and that big concert I was talking about? Bauhaus is playing, too!
  12. Chef, do you want a Kolachy today or don't you!! I agree with Mooshmouse: Bistro Pastis is one of my favourite places, and I like to go there for birthdays. Provence Marinaside may also work for you, although it's easy to go over your budget there. It's nice if the weather's good, though, pretty view.
  13. The only problem I have with an automatic 15% gratuity is that it disinclines me to add up to the 20% after tax I usually give. I sincerely doubt that the people who have served me the past week or so would like to give up that gravy.
  14. Wow, I'm scared now!! I'm headed there on Wednesday...I've had several very good meals there, and I'm guessing DOV got the best of them, which is nonetheless sad. You're right, Dave, tap water tables are not the norm there. I've had many lovely bottles of wine at Brix. I can't remember ever getting such nondescript food; I've had good food and really delicious food. I also hope that the Parkside meal you're joining me for on Friday is more like a regular Parkside meal....
  15. In my office, lots of people bring their lunch from home, or else bring something back from outside. There are two rules: no microwave popcorn, and no fish in the microwave, both for smell reasons. Microwave popcorn smells so good it distracts everyone, and fish tends to linger in an unpleasant way. I'd like to add a no toast rule, too, since the smell of toast is among my faves and always makes me hungry!
  16. Oh my God - dancing sauces !!!!!!!! ← You know, it's not on the description, and I actually googled because I wasn't sure (not being an oyster eater). I saw it called minuet in a few googled instances, so I went with that as that was what I heard the server say. I have since seen it as mignonette, which I assume is the correct terminology based on your amusement. I can tell you for a fact though, as someone who speaks French fairly well, that the server who presented it did not call it a mignonette. Of course it's embarassing due to my supposed craving for correctness in menus...I should have changed it when I read it as mignonette this morning, I see. On the other hand, I don't see any reason why a sauce should not dance.
  17. Since my friends flaked out and we were unable to go for Gingerbread Pudding , I had an alternate most delicious thing: the tuna sashimi I had at Tsunami Sushi tonight. Also the brioche french toast I made for my hangover this morning was pretty damn delicious. It's been a pretty good day all around!
  18. Ye gods, guess what? I went out to dinner again last night!! We were a party of 7 last night, and they seated us in the wine cellar/private dining room with some other people...it was good as several in my party were loud! as was the birthday party table next to us. I think we managed to get through about 2/3 of the items on the DOV menu; most of us started with the Ahi Tuna Tataki (delicious as expected, although I confess I have had more tender Ahi; but I eat quite a lot of it. It was good nonetheless, and the sauce was really really good.)...a few people had the Frisée Salad with Marinated Flying Squid (along with the usual jokes about flying squid) and thought it very good. A few people tried the [i think it was] Stellar Bay oysters on the half shell, and pronounced them delicious (one person) and okay (another who eats a hell of a lot of Chesapeake Bay fresh oysters and misses home I think). Both agreed that the shredded fresh horseradish was great, and the one who admitted to liking the oysters (although believe me, none were left behind even by the cranky one, and he had a round dozen) also loved the minuet sauce. For mains, we almost all had the Roast Pork on a bed of pearl cous cous with diced carrots, squash, sautéed spinach...Chef Frank Pabst is just such a master in the kitchen! the pork was incredibly juicy and tender, perfectly cooked (i.e., not overdone), we all loved it to death and cleaned our plates except for one fellow (who I think overloaded on bread at my house at the pre-dinner cocktail hour). The father of the groom had the Ling Cod and said it was wonderful. He was particularly enthusiastic about the chorizo in the beans, and mopped up every bit of sauce. For dessert, we actually got all three different dishes, but I only tried mine (it was so good, I didn't want to share back with anyone, so I didn't try anything else! )...I had the Coconut Sorbet and Lychee Granité and oh. my. God. it was perfect to finish off that meal, although usually I would have gone for the Chocolate Espresso Tart that the bride had and loved. Several people also ate up every scrap of the Organic Carrot Cake, so I assume that, too, was delicious. For wine, the bride and I shared a bottle of Kettle Valley Pinot Noir, since that's what the groom's father wanted to get, although he didn't end up drinking any, and we would probably gone for something a bit more robust...but what can you do? He didn't seem enthusiastic about the Burrowing Owl I tried to get for twice the price, but I wasn't buying, so...The Kettle Valley was good, very very dry, and we enjoyed it. The white wine drinkers had a couple of bottles of Oyster Bay 2003 Chardonnay (a label they recognized, since I could only recommend a few pricier ones, not being a white wine drinker on the whole). The groom and best man had beer (Newcastle and Hoegaarden, respectively) and seemed happy with that. Everyone was impressed with the food, the groom's mum especially was in awe the whole evening and really enjoyed herself. Service was a little odd...wine was kept on a sideboard and offered periodically by our waitress, who at one point interrupted me as I was talking, with the glass halfway to my mouth, with two inches of wine in it. I was just puzzled by it, really. But hey. They turned us over in 90 minutes in spite of early wine list indecision, and yet I didn't feel rushed, which I think is a real accomplishment. The room is quite nice, too, I like that...I haven't eaten in one of those before, but if I ever have a large party in a restaurant, I think I will try to wangle that kind of arrangement, seems like lots of restaurants offer them. I was just happy to be in a FOH that had Frank Pabst in the BOH again, I hadn't since he left Pastis (such deprivation!!!). The regular menu at Blue Water is a bit out of my reach, financially, but if they continue with the early prix-fixe, I think I can see my way to eating there again, not on my parents' tab
  19. According to their website, yes it is! Learn something every day, I thought it started in Vancouver.
  20. My parents ate at Araxi last weekend and LOVED it. I have also had a great meal there. No doubt any of Andrew's recommendations will serve you well.
  21. Sorry but I honestly didn't notice about any various grades (presumably you can check percentages? of cocoa) but I know that Gourmet Warehouse at about $16/kg for bittersweet sells for less than Urban Fare at about $20/kg (or am I thinking kg or lb? sorry but a bit tipsy and the labels are long gone...I just bought around 5 lbs of Callebaut. I know it was around 16 bucks for whichever unit at Gourmet Warehouse and about 20 for the same unit at Urban Fare, but that's probably not a fair comparison). Edit for drunken posting; have remembered that the 500 gr chunk that was on my counter had a $10 label on it, so Gourmet Warehouse was even more pricey than I thought; I assume that the Urban Fare price is higher still. A little bird told me that the Stupor Store could be a good (cheap) place to go, as well. The 70% Scharffen Berger that GW sells at $32/kg or so is the bomb, though...put some of that in your mix to get that extra dense richness. It may totally change a recipe that doesn't expect it though, if it's the only chocolate you use (the Mario Batali Valpolicella Chocolate pudding I made, which ended up being almost too thick to eat with a spoon...)
  22. Parkside, for one; till February 6. It's a gorgeous menu, too.
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