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iheartoffal

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    New York, NY
  1. iheartoffal

    Porchetta

    I honestly don't know why everyone raves about this place. I've been there twice, and both times the pork was almost inedibly dry and just about completely flavorless, as if it didn't get within 100 yards of any sort of seasoning. Am I the only one who feels this place is shockingly over-hyped? Did I just have the sad misfortune of going on two isolated off-days?
  2. fyi, you can request pretty much any of the a la carte menu items to be included in your tasting menu.
  3. I find that if you get a piece of the flatbread that's just the right shape and thickness, you can almost throw it like a chinese star. Not that I've ever done it. That would be wasting the pastry kitchen's hard work and that would be wrong.
  4. That makes me smile. I'm not actually surprised at all, though. There are plenty of tales out there that paint a picture of him as somewhat of a curmudgeon, which, sadly, tend garner more attention than his many instances of extreme generosity. When I ate there, my entire meal (extended tasting with matching wines) was totally comped. I nearly fainted when I got the non-bill. Sure, I'm in the industry, but in the scheme of things, someone of very little consequence--he certainly didn't need to do anything for me above and beyond allowing me the chance to eat his food.
  5. I've only ever gotten delivery from them, but Plum Pomidor (168th and Broadway) is not half bad. They do a damn good burger and some pretty decent pastas.
  6. You'd be surprised how many people in the biz have a degree in Jazz Studies, yours truly included.
  7. I think the most significant difference between what Wylie is doing and his avant-garde brethren are doing is that Wylie is really pushing the boundaries of flavor, not just toying with form or contriving new ways to present dishes. I can only speak from my own experiences, but I've found that to taste Wylie's food is to really experience something new and unexpected, whereas at other places--Alinea, for instance--the flavor profiles, though for the most part obscenely tasty, tend to be on the more traditional side, only presented differently. At the end of the day, a dish is going to taste the same whether it is served on the end of some funky looking spike or dangling on a trapeze as it will on a plain old piece of china. Some people might find his flavors jarring, as evidenced by some of the posts above, but to those of us with slightly jaded palettes, they're a respite. That's why wd~50's adherents are as rabid as its detractors.
  8. My comment must have jinxed them. Interesting. I had lunch at Jean Georges on Monday, but the service was a disaster. In the course of my 1.5 hour lunch, a roll got dropped at my feet, the waiter tipped over a glass at the table behind us, another waiter splashed olive oil all over the tablecloth when spooning mushrooms into my soup and all the servers seemed generally befuddled. Our waiter was extremely nice, but it just didn't seem like a four star meal. ←
  9. I have not yet had sweetbreads at Jean Georges. Sigh How was service? ← Service was great. Very natural, not fawning or overbearing. You can tell it's a veteran crew.
  10. Went last week, solo as well. I have to say that--hands down--JG for lunch is the best deal in the city. Eight courses or so with a couple of wines came to around $125. If you went across the street to Per Se, you'd be looking at $210 minimum, and the food certainly wouldn't be as interesting. Here's what I had (from memory): Amuse Same as the guy above Trout sashimi, trout roe, dill puree, lemon sabayon Good, but I thought the intensity of the lemon overwhelmed the trout. Foie gras brulee, tristar strawberries, balsamic, opal basil Enough has been said about this dish. Brilliant. Skate, sauce vin jaune, etc Skate was perfectly cooked, moist and delicate. The sauce is perfect...rich, a touch sweet (you definitely get a note of that caramely-oxidized thing going on from the jura wine), with a little background heat from (I'm assuming) cayenne. Roasted sweetbreads, artichoke jam, rosemary oil, arugula One of the best sweetbreads dishes I've ever had. They were pefectly cooked, buttery but with a solid texture...not mushy like a lot of examples I've had lately. The artichoke jam was insanely flavorful. Short rib vinaigrette The ribs were braised in vinegar with mint and jalepeno. Words are inadequate to the task of describing how good this dish was, so I won't bother trying. Cheese Let's see if I can remember...there were four, an epoisse from Burgundy, Tomme de Chataignier, some domestic parmesan, and one other. I'm by no means a cheese expert, but they were all delicious. Rhubarb Rhubarb granite with buttermilk and gooseberries, rhubarb-pine nut cake with vanilla creme fraiche. Solid ending to a great meal. Mignardises I have to agree with everyone regarding the macaroons. Very odd texture, almost like those pastel after dinner mints you get at some restaurants. The chocolates and the marshmallows, however, were delicious.
  11. Oh, so you're the reason they were out of the softshell crabs when I dined there later that same night... Stellar meal, though, even without the crabs. Hadn't been in awhile (well, only about three weeks, but it felt like an eternity), so it was good to see that the kitchen was still throwing down. The fried artichokes (that walnut-fish sauce puree is brilliant) and the lamb belly were particularly noteworthy.
  12. iheartoffal

    Cru

    I went a few weeks back, though not for a tasting menu, sadly. They had offered to cook for our table, but my friends wanted to go for the prix fixe. It was a solid meal from top to bottom, however, with the highlight being the pastas (Shea's pastas are the best in the city, IMHO). The menu structure has changed completely. A la carte is gone. The choices are now either the prix fixe or the tasting menu. Overall, the food feels a bit more conservative than it has on past visits, where I remember some dishes veering close to Liebrandt/Dufresne territory. This isn't by any means a criticism, just an observation; the food is just too well executed and too damned tasty to criticize on those terms. That said, I'm looking forward to going back in a couple of weeks for a full tasting.
  13. And your last couple of posts exemplify the sort of presumption that has become rampant among food writers (bloggers, message board posters, etc) in regards to what is really going on inside restaurants, what the intentions of chefs are, and why.
  14. You know, I was just saying the other day how wonderful it was to have easy access to what I believe is some of the best food in the city on a regular basis, and clinging on to hope that it would stay that way. Now the cat's out of the bag.
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