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Miami Danny

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Everything posted by Miami Danny

  1. more of.. spiced rum enough already... rum
  2. The Roots in the City/Wholesome Wave Farmers Market has reopened at NW 2nd Ave and 10th Street. Chef Michael Schwartz is one of the major local supporters. Food stamps get double value and there are local vendors likeTroy Gardens, (from the Troy Academy who work with at-risk youth), as well as more traditional farmers like Teena's Pride and Bee Heaven Farms. Produce includes tomatoes, peppers, herbs, eggplant, carrots, lettuce, malanga, sugarcane, passion fruit, avocado, spinach, squash, starfruit, guava, mulberry, pigeon peas, tropical sweet potato, and much, much, more. Also the Michael's Genuine Food Cart has awesome healthy prepared food. Wednesdays and Fridays from 1-4PM.
  3. more of... a nice sausage and peppers a la Manganaro's Enough Already... fey Italian, food bloggers
  4. I was at a Banks-sponsored rum tasting last week, and I agree it is very good. It was both smooth and funky, and made a terrific daiquiri, swizzle, etc.
  5. After several visits I have to say that this is the most disappointing upscale (or any-scale) restaurant food I have had in a long time. The chef mocks his former glory by serving overpriced, mediocre food. How do you mess up spagheti cacio e pepe? I was at Otto in NYC last Monday and even though it wasn't on the menu there, they made it for me. The portion was at least twice as big and it tasted a thousand times better. It seems Mr. Donna has attempted one comeback too many. ETA-Still love the cookbook, though
  6. In tribute to Chef Donna's new/old venture, about to open any day now, I cooked the White Truffle Risotto from his classic cookbook, 'Cooking in Piedmont with Roberto Donna'. I recommend his cookbook highly, it is a seminal and straightforward working of traditional and modernized dishes from his home region. His risotto was the first I ever ate back in the early nineties at I Matti in Adams Morgan, cooked by the chef himself. Best of luck to the most famous alumnus of Romeo and Juliet!
  7. 1) So then you agree that AB's hate for Gael Greene and Alice Waters and vegetarians, and every other subject he's blanketed for ten years is personal. 2) So 10 years ago he ran a kitchen in someone else's restaurant with someone else's concept and recipes. How does that make his tedious and trite pronouncements any truer, Superman outfit or not?
  8. Very good point. Perhaps that speaks directly to TB's evident self-loathing.
  9. Tony is the most self-involved cliche-spewing hack out there. And as long as those middle-aged ladies from Des Moines and Jersey think they have a shot at him, he'll have a long and successful career as a vaudeville entertainer. The guy wrote half of a good book 10 years ago. What he had to say was important then, but simply repeating the same BS year after year doesn't show honesty but emptiness. Jumped the shark, indeed.
  10. Certain things stand out from my visit to má pêche: 1) Philippe Patrick Starck is not dead-flowing fabric covers the walls; 2) The frisee dish-if you are expecting a take on the classic salad, this is not it. Although the dish consists of delicate tripe bits, tiny jowl croutons, and (over)poached egg, this was not a 'salad'. The frisee wilted and could not hold up to the other ingredients-okay and tasty just the same; 3) Cheapo wine pour-4 oz., tops; 4) Service was a bit overbearing but not obnoxious-of course, now that I've read the hours of operation, I guess it WAS getting late; 5) I also had the pate which was, as weinoo posted, perfectly serviceable but nothing extraordinary-the 'pickled' stuff was so slight as to be negligible; 6) The soft-serve, the salty pistachio/caramel swirl, was the best part of the experience. Next time, I will start with it. And maybe some pie.
  11. The Passenger is a calm place on an early Saturday evening, and I have had Tom Brown's cocktails when I'm winding down my week. I've seen brother Derek carve ice into a diamond at the bar, but he seems to be mostly hosting events in the private Columbia Room in the back, as opposed to bartending. Great beers in cans, and of course the kimchee hot dog, which I haven't tried. Not a big fan of the $8 hot dog. But the shredded duck thing is pretty good for $13.
  12. Look, whether or not Bruni gives another place four stars, the important thing to remember is that the Times has a chance to break away from their previous cluster of reviewers and to hire someone who will carry them through the next few years on the internet. Unfortunatley, I don't think they will do that. I believe they will hire another non-food writer, like Bruni, probably a woman this time (or Bruni in drag, as I previously mentioned), and create the fake controversy they did when they hired FB. That has lasted with him to this day, and the Times is not about to change their playbook, no matter how musty or old.
  13. The 'secrecy' of restaurant reviewers' identities is an anachronism in 2009. Only reason to do it is to pretend that somehow your being there is so important that you have to go undercover. It is a conceit of big-time media restaurant reviewers, and will soon die a quiet, deserved, death. However, Bruni should be encouraged to continue reviewing restaurants, but perhaps as his recent alter-ego, Ms. Frannie Von Furstinshow. He can even go to all the restaurants in drag if he wants.
  14. This will blow you away-while I'm OK with Anthony's, it is kind of mass-produced. The owner here-Gary Rack(!)-also owns Coal Mine Pizza in Boca. When I first saw this place I thought it was a take on Hooters!
  15. All the agonizing lately about a code of ethics or some such nonsense for food bloggers/posters on the Internet, made me hungry; and then it made me realize just how much I love Racks. This new Italian place with a great view on theIntracoastal in N. Miami Beach has great pizza It is baked in a domed brick/coal burning oven, and has the perfect crust-charred, a little ash-y, thin/crisp, but also a little chewy on top with that distinct dry coal finish. The oval-shaped pie I had was topped with artisanal sopressata secchi, goat cheese, aged provolone, and San Marzano tomatoes, and cooked just to the exact heat to separately bring out the best in all these high-quality ingredients, while also allowing them to mingle flavors for extra depth. When it is removed from the oven, the pie is then topped with a few hand-gratings of three-year-old Parmigiano-Reggiano, and some Olio Verde. The roof of my mouth is still ripped open the next day, as I could not stop consuming my two slices, right from the oven (which I was reverently standing in front of, naturally) before they cooled even slightly. I was offered one slice by the sweet-talking chef, but I 'mistakenly' ripped off two from the hot pie. I wanted to stay right at the counter, talking to the chef, Matthew, all evening, and just sample the pizzas as they came out of the oven. I mean I will talk to anyone about anything for perfect, free pizza, and his running commentary was pretty entertaining. He even explained that the dough spends three days rising in wooden boxes he had hand-made in New York. But there were 300 other people there, and they were all eating and drinking for free, like me, and I could endure the dirty/hungry looks no more. Of course they also have the red Berkel hand-slicer (I loves you Berky) and they were serving some beautiful prosciutto, speck, and some other imported salumi. But without a doubt, they have vaulted to the top of South Florida pizza-making. I guess that's easy, when, according to the chef, "You love what you do. You gotta love what you do." So yes, the secret ingredient, once again, as Marge Simpson once said, is salt. Sea salt. Racks Italian Bistro and Market Intracoastal Mall 163rd St and NE 36th Ave N. Miami Beach, FL 305-917-7225 www.GRRestaurant.com
  16. Alice Waters-bashing again? Is this going to be a recurring theme? The whole thing smells of sexism. There's your zeitgeist.
  17. Another great day at Karma Kitchen-we served 45 people and the check for everyone was the same, "$0.00". Most people commented on the high quality of the food, as well as the amazingly relaxed experience. We also served a lot of desserts-a sweet noodle pudding made with vermicelli whose name escapes me right now. New menu next week so please come by.
  18. ← Just curious-how often have you stiffed and what was the reaction?
  19. I think if you were really serious about this you would only frequent places that include a service charge. If enough people did this it would pressure restaurants to change. Stiffing the service staff doesn't offer any incentive for the restaurant to change their business practices. You're just saving 15-20% on your meals, paid for by the people serving you. ← First, I am serious about this or I wouldn't have put myself on the line here. Hey your way might work too, and maybe if I owned a restaurant I would include service in the prices. But since I am just a customer, I feel that the change has to come from me, as a customer. When enough people start stiffing to protest the system, believe me, those servers can put their low-grade grumbling to good use-by demanding the same thing the customer wants. Namely, elimination of the humiliating 'Tipping Game'. I think my way is more radical, more dramatic, and certainly more dangerous. Therefore, in the long run, more effective.
  20. I had to laugh when I saw this thread-I started a thread years ago called "Is tipping big the new black?" I'm on to another idea now, that will eliminate all the painful gyrations on both sides of the check-I don't tip, I stiff. And I'm starting a crusade to eliminate the humiliating practice, often for both parties, of being forced to leave or accept a 'tip'. Last night I stiffed two different bartenders, and basically got the same reaction I get when I leave a tip-a blank stare. If a beer is $6, and I give the bartender $6, the sales tax has already been figured into the price. So why not include the tip, too? I'm starting with bartenders because there is usually a good one-on-one with the customer, if they want to let it rip. Then it's on to the rest of the staff. Remember the sign in old bars that used to read "Tipping isn't a city in China". Well, neither is Stiffing! Stiffing is the new Black!
  21. That microwave discussion was a great moment for me as I've never had a microwave in my kitchen. Of course, I don't have the damn fireplace either. Why should gardening and cooking be any different as far as earning credits than home economics and wood shop once were? ← Yes I agree that simply because an idea is not perfect, therefore one can dismiss it, is a false argument. When I was a vegetarian, the first question people would ask was, "But do you wear leather?" I think that misses the point just like your comment on people dismissing windmills because they can't power our cars. Maybe not all of what Waters wants is attainable RIGHT NOW, but it seems to me that we should at least aim high. Obviously, a lot of what Waters was preaching decades ago seemed unattainable then, like eating local, or readily available organics; yet today those seemingly impossible goals are part of our day to day lives. I don't see why we can't achieve even more of what Waters is promoting.
  22. I volunteered here yesterday and it was a great experience. We served 72 people, the most yet, in spite of the wet weather. It reminded me of the old days when I had my own place, and sometimes I would wait on tables, bus them, do the dishes, work the bar, clean the bathrooms, and of course, still find the time to shmooze the hell out of everyone. I didn't have to do any dishes or clean the bathrooms, but it was a real pleasure serving people and giving them the "$0.00" check. As they say, it is not a 'free meal', but a gift. The nuance is astonishingly freeing, and it makes you want to give more. Not to sound too mushy, but it was one of the best experiences I've ever had in a restaurant. Please come by next Sunday.
  23. While it is certainly true that chefs who 'write' cookbooks may not test or compile (or even create-see Les Halles Cookbook) all the recipes contained in them, the rationale behind the recipes is often more important than the specific measurements. But if I have a good cookbook, I know I have maybe 100+ good recipes in my hand-that's a good feeling. By the way, is it really possible that the recipe for hamentashen has been vastly improved over the years?
  24. Living in Miami can spoil you when it comes to tropical dining al fresco, as every day can be an opportunity to lounge on the patio. But when spring comes early in Washington, DC, everyone wants to bask in the warm weather. This being Washington, of course the sun is covered mostly in haze; but 70 degrees is 70 degrees. And you are definitely not seeing the tropical fashions, well, any fashion really, and maybe the long winter has left a lot of people pasty and doughy. But enough about me. After the star-studded premiere of 'Tattoo Hunter' at Asylum, we strolled down 18th St. in Adams Morgan, and planted a flag at La Fourchette for a few hours. The French couple who own this place have not changed much in the decades they have lived and worked here, and that is very reassuring in these times of what is often the dreariest of look-alike/taste-alike contemporary menus. We drank a lot, waved to friends and various locals and weirdos-you know who you are-and ate some real French food that in my experience, is the homiest and most well-prepared food on this strip filled with, let's face it, mediocre and worse restaurants. That the French have stuck to their guns and continued to serve the classics against all odds, is a testament to their belief in their cuisine. And they are also (see Michel Richard, Laurent Tourondel, et. al.) re-taking kitchens from the likes of the Italians and especially the Spanish. (Go to The Art of Hunger for the full story.) La Fourchette always gives you the good service, and the prices are also reasonable. And to get you in the mood, check out the photos at DailyCocaine
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