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Everything posted by Poots

  1. don't get me wrong Rosie, i enjoyed the sushi at Monster and would go again if i had a hankering and was in the area. Nothing was bad, but if you were looking for something other than good normal sushi, monster wouldn't be it. When i think of Omakase, i think of the sushi chef choosing the freshest fish they have, as well as some interesting/exciting new flavors/dishes/fish. What i had at Monster just seemed like a larger size Sushi combination plate. I've only been to samurai once, and the menu was similar to Kyoto b/c of the reason i mentioned already. Haven't been there in probably 8months to a year, but it was quite enjoyable when i was there. My standby is Kyoto, which i eat lunch at around once a week.
  2. Along with Sono in millburn there's Samurai Sushi, a relatively new place that was opened by one of the old sushi chef's from Kyoto. I haven't been to Sono in years, but back in the day it was good, but nothing that's extraordinary. I had the Omakase at Monster a couple of months after opening. It didn't impress upon me enough to recall exactly what it was, but i recall it being served on a boat, mostly a mix of nigiri, sashimi and maki, with nothing especially great, inventive or out of the ordinary. Hope you all have fun wherever you go tomorrow.
  3. Poots


    Saw a bottle of 1989 Vigna La Delizia Fontanafredda in my local wine store for around $45. Is that a good price for this wine? Worth a try? Appreciate your input.
  4. Going away party for me....moving to Denmark... 1996 Chateau Lynch Bages Assorted Salumi Fresh Mozzarella w/home roasted peppers Home-made Italian bread Scungilli Salad Risotto Milanese 1986 Cos D'Estournel Osso Bucco 1995 Chateau D'Yquem Riccotta Cake(not cheesecake) Fresh grapes, strawberries, etc. Lots of Espresso(well stove-top Moka to tell the truth)
  5. On the Wine Enthusiast web site, they have for sale a Shitake Mushroom log. Just add water and you have your own shitake mushrooms. Check it here: http://wineenthusiast.com/shopping/prod_de...80-F98FF71C7C9A Anyone every heard of this or bought it? They also have a working mini distillery that's pretty cool. The funny thing about it is that it says it can make wine into brandy, but then has a disclaimer that it's only legal in the US if it's Never actually Used... http://wineenthusiast.com/shopping/prod_de...80-F98FF71C7C9A
  6. I reported it up above in this thread. They had a fire. I don't really know the details, but the room looked very similar to the way it was before. It may have been confined to the kitchen.
  7. I have a reservation for 4 people 2 days after Xmas at Babbo. I'm going with my brother and his wife and there's no chance that we'll be having any tasting menu as i understand that the whole table must order it and that's no going to happen(not my choice:(. What apps and entrees should i make sure that my brother and i conspire to order together that we can't/shouldn't miss? thanks for the help.
  8. I was sorry to hear about the experiences some of you have had, but I can't say i've ever experienced the same. The owner Rudy has always been extremely nice to myself and my family. He gave us reccomendations of where to go in Tuscany when i told him i was travelling there, and always stops by the table to say hello. Good news for those of you that love this place like i do, Trattoria Toscana has reopened. I've been there twice in the past 3 weeks, and everythings been wonderful. Had Osso Bucco one night, and it was, as always, a terrific dish alongside the risotto. Last night dishes had were: an appetizer of Sauteed Broccoli Rabe(very good), an appetizer of Seafood Risotto(this was a first here, and it was delicious with little neck clams, mussels, and shrimp); main courses were tilapia francaise(i didn't try this as i'm not a big lover of Lemon), a homemade green and yellow fettucini with seafood in a vodka sauce(they had an italian name for this but i don't remember it, but i tried it and it was delicious), and i tried to order Osso Bucco but they didn't have it last night so i settled on one of their specials of the night, half a rack of lamb with one large pork chop. This was served with 4 asparagus spears lightly grilled, 2 large squares of fried polenta, some roasted peppers, and the whole dish was in a sage brown sauce. This dish was one of the best i've had there and quite possibly the best porkchop i've ever had(although this could be because i haven't had many porkchops that Were good). There were 2 2-rib lamb chops on the plate alongside a porkchop that was almost as big as the 4 lamb chops. A little out of chronological order, but as always bruschetta was served after we sat down and hot bread and herbed olive oil were brought to the table. I could eat a whole plate of this bruschetta. It had a wonderful taste and seems a perfect combination of white beans, red onion, tomato, celery and a balsamic vinagrette. Dinner for 3 with 2 sodas(BYOB, and since we hadn't planned on going there i had brought no wine:( was $95 without tip.
  9. While attending Boston College, there was a street cart parked outside the campus after midnight till realllll late. The name was Chi-Chi's and he made a great Sausage peppers and onions sandwich at 3 in the morning. There was also this tiny burger joint in Harvard Square called Tasty's(not sure if that was the real name though). After leaving the Crimson(a harvard bar we'd go to to antagonize Ivy Leaguers ;) we'd stop there for some cheap, greasy burgers. I never entered that place before 1 in the morning and that's probably a good thing.
  10. I didn't really know where to put this, so administrators feel free to throw it wherever. It's just a small bit from my trip to Tuscany(which i'll eventually get to writing). I'm so caught up in how easy the ImageGullet works that i'm finally getting to pictures i've had. Well, as i said, i went to Tuscany in September. While there i sought out Bistecca Fiorentina wherever i could find it. For those who don't know, Bistecca Fiorentina is a famous steak from Florence. It's made from Chianini beef(grass fed i think) and seared over high flame finished with olive oil S+P and served rare. Most places only serve it in 1 Kg or larger pieces(that's 2.2 lbs for the metric shy among us). Italian experts feel free to correct any of my inaccuracies. The steak is reccomended for 2.....while in Italy, i ate 3(by myself...not in one night....over the course of 10 days;) This particular steak was served at Il Giardino(sp?) in the town of Panzano in Chianti. Without further ado(i hope my doctor isn't reading this....he said i have high cholesterol....i wonder why) here are the pictures. That's little ole me with big ole steak and my buddy Ferdinando looking on. If it's porn(food anyway) we need angles....Angle 1 Angle 2 with my head to show proportion....it's not the steak that's big....just my Huge melon! Angle 3 Am I done already? Where's dessert? Nurse we need some drano for this guy's veins...Stat!
  11. Poots


    Unless i'm going for the awe of presentation, i doubt i'll make one again. It tasted very good. I wasn't expecting it to taste like ambrosia, so i wasn't disappointed. We didn't brine any of the birds, and i think the turkey would have been a little better if we had. It was interesting comparing the different stuffings with each kind of meat. The whole experience was a good time. There are lots of small stories that occurred throughout the night. For instance, the recipe for the chestnut stuffing just said chestnuts, but later we learned it had meant pre-roasted chestnuts. We then had to X them and roast them for a bit. We also made a Huge pot of stock from all the bones/carcasses we pulled out of the birds to use for gravy and stuffing. We had a few injuries as well. I'm working my way through owning my own cookware and one thing i do not own is a good set of knives. It was no problem b/c we were at my buddy's house and he has a set of Wusthof or Henckels. The only problem was that if you're used to working with cheap and/or dull knives, you have to be extra careful when using a set of good and very sharp knives. The amount of strength and pressure used to chop varies greatly between the two.....hence the somewhat shorter thumb i now possess..... Around 2:30 AM after quite a few beers and general exhaustion i took it upon myself to taste the stock. I mean, it had been off boil for a couple of minutes....how hot could a GIANT pot of stock be? My tongue still hurts..... At the 11 th hour, we realized we had neither buthers string nor something easy to close the turkey with. Solution......soaked some bamboo skewers in water and while they were soaking we somewhat sewed the thing closed with.........wait for it.......dental floss(unflavored and waxless of course!)
  12. Poots


    So, my friend approaches me with an idea. It's his brother's birthday the week before thanksgiving and he wants to have a dinner party.....and he wants me to help him cook a Turducken! I show him the various threads from Egullet about the topic matter, and we also surf Paul Prudhomme info. Some suggested that we buy a turducken already made.....we scoffed at the idea. Some suggested we have the butcher debone the birds.....we took umbrage at the implied questioning of our knive skills(i DID read the EGCi on Knife skills) . We started working on the birds at 5 PM Friday night. We put the actual beast into the oven at 3:30 AM Sat morning.......The beast emerged at sometime around 4:30-5 PM Sat evening. Unfortunately i suffer from the occasional onslaught of stupidity and forgot my camera for Friday night. I also forgot it on Sat, but i stole a friend's and took a couple of pictures. Here they are in gruesome uncut glory..... Blessing of the Bird(s) About to Carve Posing with the Beast Split Turducken with a finger Split Turducken 1/2 a Turducken Beware an Italian bearing Prosecco What do you drink with Turducken?......well i sure don't know, but we started off with a couple of bottles of Prosecco, went on to some Beajoulais Noveau, and then to something or other from Pic St Loupe..... The 3 different stuffings inside the bird were chestnut and shitake, Cornbread, and Sausage.
  13. I went to the bar Friday Night, and had dinner on Tuesday. It is a little upscale. 23 and up at the bar. I recall people being asked to remove hats when going to the bar. The dinner menu is quite long. I have a feeling that it'll slim down once they get established what sells. I don't think Pappilon is related to any other place of the same name. The owner of the building is the owner of the liquor store next door. He uses the liquor license for both enterprises. I've been going to the Liquor store for many years so i know him pretty well. He runs the bar and as has been said the former owners of Yanicks run the kitchen. The place is very nice looking and modern. A black marble(?) floor covers the bar area. There is a metal sculpture of a butterfly that looms over the bar area. Martinis are $7(one dollar less than the Martinis at Martinis in Milburn). There is a large martini menu(i can hear the groans from all those cocktail classicists that say they're not martinis);). They have no taps. There is a very large assortment of liquors available(thanks to the attached liquor store). The bar area is actually pretty small for a bar in this town, and so on the weekend was filled quite fast. There was an abundance of servers on the two nights i was there. On Friday there were around 4 bartenders(all female). On Tuesday we had at least 4-5 people come to our table at some point during the meal. Dinner. Orderded a bottle of Chateau du Trignon Gigondas($36, i think). Checked next door at the liquor store after dinner, and this wine was available for 21.99 i think. Not too bad an increase i don't think. Wine service was decent as the waitress seemed a little apprehensive, but she was very nice and this was the first week. Shared were Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings served with some soy sauce(maybe soy sauce, perhaps something like it) dipping sauce. These were somewhat like Gyozas(?) i've had and quite tasty. Not crispy as they were steamed, but a good filling to outside proportion. A bowl of White Bean and Spinach(may have been escarole...) soup was thick, creamy and enjoyable. Also shared was a Caesar salad which was large for one and enough to split for two(with 2 others getting a forkful). Somewhat bland in my opinion but it seemed acceptable. Main courses were Chix Francaise served with Roasted Garlic mashed potatos. The chick(which i did not try) was thouroughly enjoyed by someone who often orders it out and thought this was a very good preparation. The mashed tators were quite good as well(these i did try). Papillon's Crab cakes with wasabi something or other and wild mushroom and garlic risotto. Two nice sized crab cakes a little unusually shaped tasted great with readily identified pieces of crab and not too much filler. The risotto(which also came with my meal Coq au vin) was much drier than i like(very dry) and very cheesy with not much garlic and not much mushroom to my taste. Coq au Vin was 4-5 boneless slices chix breasts in a wine sauce. As i'd not had this before i have nothing to compare it to, but it's not exactly what i expected. However it was okay, and it rapidly found it's way down my non-E-gullet ;). Last dish was Penne Vodka which a picky person ordered even though i recommended against it(she's my sister and i know her idiosyncrasies and knew the dish had chance of pleasing her). Penne was cooked al dente, and sauced a little skimpily. Neither she nor I am big fans of sun dried tomatos, so they did nothing to add to the dish. The vodka sauce however Was quite good, and i wouldn't be averse to ordering it for myself(although i don't usually order pasta outside of Italian restaurants). No dessert and since they didn't have an espresso machine(it's coming i think they told me) we had no coffee. Dinner for 4 with lots of food, 1 bottle of wine, 1 martini, and a few sodas was $152 before tip. Water glasses were filled often. Courses were a little slow, but nothing i would complain about. Servers were very friendly and helpful. There was also a Host who walked around asking tables if they were doing ok and/or needed anything. This will probably be a place i'm going to frequent as i live locally...at least until i move to Copenhagen in Jan...:) and i'm planning on bringing my brother to dinner there when he comes home for Xmas. I have a paper copy of the menu at home and will try to put prices to meals later.
  14. I'm sorry to say around 3 weeks ago i stopped by here to have dinner and found it 'temporarily closed due to fire'. Anybody know the story or when/if it's reopening? I've driven by and seen people doing work....
  15. Tommy, i would definitely get rid of the car at florence. I took the train from florence to rome. It was the Eurostar reserved 1st class(not really sure about the cost, it was greater than 50 and less than 90) took 1 and a half hours in comfort. You don't need the car in Florence, and like others said, unless you're making side trips to Tuscany, or stopping on the way to Rome, you don't need it. If you are going to take sidetrips into Tuscany than by all means keep the car. I would definitely reccomend this. While i was there, some of my favorite times were in small towns in Tuscany...i mean i can only look at sooo many pictures of baby jesus With the adaptor problems, i had with me an adaptor that has around 5 different types of plugs, and worked great for all my electric needs. I think it's from radioshack, but i'll check the brand name for you. I have to tell you, Siena was one of my favorite places during the trip, and if you only do a day there, it's worth it. If you looked at those pictures i sent you, there's 3 of my brother, my buddy, and myself on top of the Duomo in Siena. It was great climbing to the top and looking out over all of Sienna.
  16. Poots

    Dinner! 2003

    4th of july: Farmer's market fresh Mozz, Basil, Vine Tomatos, and EVOO. Grilled Swordfish(EVOO S+p), and Grilled Tuna steaks(soysauce S+P). Also steamed 3 doz little necks in white wine, butter, garlic, red pepper flakes. Grilled thinly sliced new potatos and Vidalia onions in olive oil, chili powder, s+P. 5th of July(at a friend's house with nothing but a charcoal grill...kitchen is under construction): 3 large live dungeoness crabs halved, slathered in olive oil and lots of Salt and Pepper, and grilled. Whole yellowtail covered in sesame oil s+P, stuffed with fresh ginger, garlic, and scallions, and grilled.
  17. you beat me to it. I was surprised to see Bobolink there and told Nina that i had read about her on Egullet. She was extremely nice and was very enthusiastic about her work and extremely complimentary about her husband's cheese-making prowess. I bought some Spring Frolic and some Cave Ripened cheddar. Also bought the Onion Rye, Cheese-onion, and Mommy bread. yum! Also picked up some fresh mozz from Greenwood with some basil. And finished it off with some flowers for my mother from the last stall, didn't pick up the name.
  18. Menu can be found online at http://www.thegrandcafe.com/dinnermenu.htm
  19. Well, i dined at The Grand Cafe last night. A previous manager of mine is leaving to go back to her home in the Netherlands, and so i invited her out to a dinner of her choice. 7:00 reservations were made yesterday early afternoon w/out a problem. We arrived at 5 to 7. My dining companion truly wanted to sit outside and so i hesitantly agreed(i hate heat and worship at the feet of large air conditioners). Luckily it was a nice temperature outside, and the days heat and humidity had mostly dissipated. A not too loud piano played music that ranged from the famous song from the Godfather(don't know the name) to a song that sounded eerily like Danny Boy(the irish classic). Some funny selections for a french restaurant but the music was a nice background to the evening. We ordered a bottle of 97 Pio Cesare Barolo($85) and had a glass of Pinot Grigio and a glass of Chardonnay with our apps and while they decanted the Barolo. Both whites by the glass were $8. Also delivered to our table was a $9 bottle of Pellegrino. Is this a normal price for the larger bottle? I guess i just never paid attention to what they charge for sparkling water. My companion started off the night with the special of sauteed shrimp and Frog's leg($15). She enjoyed it very much, and offered me a taste of the frog's leg as i had never partaken before....tastes like chicken.....gamy chicken . It didn't taste bad, but it probably wouldn't be something i'd go out of my way to order. I had the Cornmeal dusted sea scallops with a mango jicama salad in a chipotle beurre blanc sauce($12). The scallops were nicely seared, and not overcooked like i always worry about when ordering them. I really enjoyed them and the sauce, but didn't really enjoy the sweetness of the salad alongside the smoky undertones of the scallops(probably just a deficiency in my palate and not their prep ). The waiter over the course of the evening was very attentive and friendly, however either he was a little unfamiliar with some of the things on the menu, or he didn't think that we'd understand certain small french descriptions such as 'beurre blanc', or 'au poivre'. I say this b/c he referred to them as a white butter sauce and peppered steak after the true names w/out us asking for an explanation. I'll admit, i'm a younger guy, however my companion speaks fluent french and I can get by. This was just something i wondered about whether he does it to everyone or if it was just for us. Well, back to dinner. Ordered were the grilled rare ahi tuna with Red and Yellow Pear Tomato Escabeche and Angel Hair Pasta($27), and a special of rib eye au poivre(or peppered steak for you members of the unwashed masses ) in a barolo wine sauce($29). I, being the inveterate carnivore that i am, had the ribeye. The steak was a hearty 1 1/2 inch thick medium rare hunk of seared meat. Sorry, that sounds good to me just the way it is. It was served with a generous portion of truffled mashed potatos(delicious), 2 spears of asparagus(bland), and some yellow green beans?. The barolo wine sauce wasn't a large thick part of this dish, but rather a slight soaking of the steak, and a small pool underneath. It complimented the pepper well. Not sure about the classical preparation, but the steak was loosely spotted with peppercorns. Not to say there weren't enough as you got a good taste with each piece, but on a previous order of steak au poivre at another restaurant, the steak was literally crusted with peppercorns almost to an overwhelming amount. I preferred it this way. Did not try the tuna, but it looked rare and my companion liked it very much. To me, if i'm going to eat sushi, i'll eat it at the sushi bar, and not a french restaurant. There was offered at the start of our meal a souffle for 2 that had to be ordered then which neither of us chose to do. Two espressos were brought to us before we ordered our dessert. Is this normally the order of thngs? I'd prefer to have it at the end of the meal, but this is where they offered it. I don't normally eat dessert and only did so at the behest of my friend. We both had the classic creme brulee with fresh berries. This was a good, normal version, eminently edible, but nothing special. We finished the meal with some 10 yr old tawny port that was a nice digestiv to finish off with. Total price for 2 was 255.46 w/out tip. I enjoyed the evening and the food, and would go again.
  20. Possibly going here. Has anyone dined here recently? Any reccomendations on can't miss items on the menu. thanks in advance.
  21. MatthewB, i've made pizza many times with fresh mozz without any problems. Many times i don't bother with a pizza stone, just some thinly rolled pizza dough, some fresh tomatos from my garden, some olive oil, oregano, some garlic, and thinly sliced fresh mozz right out of the water(or brine). No draining, no squeezing. Maybe it's because i don't put tons of cheese on, but always a decent amount. I'm pretty sure it's always been domestic, not imported bufalo, but don't give up. Fresh mozz tastes goood.
  22. it's summer, how dare you run out of beer! i almost always have at least a 6 in the fridge. The last beer i drank out of the fridge was a Rare Vos. the last cleaning out the fridge beer i found was an old Steel reserve? that's been there i have not idea how long, cause i sure as hell didn't buy it....drank it though.....what's that wine speak word....cat urine(and not in a good way)
  23. Anyone try Stoudt's American Pale Ale? I've had it once or twice and found i really liked it, although it's not all that easy to find.
  24. Forget Smirnoff. Still somewhat inexpensive but good is the base-line Stolichnaya. I infused a bottle of Stoli with some Danish candy i brought back from Copenhagen called 'turkish pepper' or something like that. Like almost all candy from denmark, it's a black licorice derivative, but has a little heat to it as well. Tastes vaguely like jagermeister. good stuff straight from the freezer. i used 100 proof, but that's neither here nor there....just me
  25. Loco Was pretty happenin last night, wasn't it? After eating at Toro and having a couple of Dos Equis, my friend and i headed to Matrix 2. Great flick. afterwards we headed right back and went into South Orange Grille around 12:30. Had a nice crowd, probably b/c people are looking for something new. Entering, there's restaurant tables to your right and the bar is to your left. A pretty large sized bar with small oval lamps suspended 5 feet above the bartop every 3 ft or so. I think the bartop was marble, or some rock rather than wood. Towards the end of the bar, there's a 4ft(?) square grill Inside the bar area. A rather large exhaust ran is above it. I can't help but think that if they run this grill later on in the night it'll be extremely hot, and bright, but maybe that's just me. I was told that at the far end of the bar would be beds of ice and the raw bar(oysters clams, etc.), but nothing was evident last night. On the other side of the bar were plenty of tables, some tall, and some short. Another, smaller bar was at the far end of the room. I didn't see the kitchen(which won't be open for a little while), or the downstairs, which i was told will probably only be open for private parties. There were no TVs yet, although i was told they're fully wired and such and just have yet to install them. No bar games and such, and i really wish they had a pool table, but the owner said something along the lines of 'i didn't spend a couple million dollars to have people come in here to play pool.' Beers were around 3 dollars. well drinks $4.50, and calls were $6. Expensive for this town, but i'm sure it'll draw. Friendly bartenders, and in my drinks there were ample pours. The sign on the door says 'open bar only 5-1am'. They called last call at 1:45. There were some decent tunes on the jukebox as well. You shoulda stopped in Tommy, there were plenty of what you were looking for in there
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