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Ciao Ling

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    Rochester, NY
  1. The wife and I recently ventured out to a new restaurant in town, Nikko, which opened earlier this month. I thought I would post some iPhone photos (apologize in advance for the quality) as I think it worthy of repeat business even at this early juncture. It is part eclectic sushi and part new American food restaurant with a cocktail and wine bar vibe. It is located on the first floor of the renovated residential Capron Lofts. It also shares the same block as Sully's pub which is known for their wood-fired pizza and wings. The co-owner owns Murphy's Law irish pub on East Avenue and the chef was apparently recently the sous chef at Warfield's High Point in Victor, NY. A recent notice was posted in the Rochester City Newspaper Chow Hound column. We went early on a Saturday so we would not have to potentially deal with any early hiccups of the kitchen or staff if stressed by a full restaurant. In addition to sushi, the menu has small and large plates which can be shared. In brief, the food and drinks were quite enjoyable as was the service and atmosphere. In brief, it reminded the wife of one of our regular haunts, Good Luck (except for the sushi bar, they go for a cocktail and wine bar theme and they have their version of a burger). I guess Good Luck should be flattered. Bar Open kitchen and sushi bar Bar Menu Aviation cocktail Grilled Octopus with Marcona Almond & Green Olive Pesto Green Gnocchi in White Bolognese sauce Salad of Arugula & Black Kale, Marinated Artichokes & Sunchokes, Pecorino Tartufo Cheese, Prosciutto, Hazelnuts, and Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette "Nikkospice" Roll: Spiced infused Tuna with Spicy Edamame Nikko Burger: House ground blend, Maytag blue and gruyere cheese, smoky onion jam, roasted garlic aioli, and pommes frites Profiterole with Peanut Butter Gelato, Chocolate Sauce, and fresh rasberries
  2. First attempt at No-Knead Ciabatta from Lahey's My Bread. I like a darker crust and it caramelized well. Great textured crust and open crumb. I like it a lot and it really is not much fuss. I didn't use Lahey's technique of an inverted clay cover over a baking stone. Similar to steam generation for other breads I make, I adopted rolled up kitchen towels in loaf pans with boiling water. Putting these high hydration loaves on parchment also really prevents sticking with the loading and removal.
  3. Glad to see others trying Tartine bread with great success (Kerry and Anna). This weekend, I tried Chad Robertson's baguettes. The crumb wasn't very airy/holey which could have been for two reasons, I added an overnight refrigerator retard for the bulk fermentation to his recipe as again I didn't time things well with my schedule. I also didn't pay attention to the recipe and added the salt to the dough at an early stage and not after the dough was already rising in the bulk fermentation. The flavor was great and the caramelization of the crust was also good. Will try it again. I am still a fan of Sam Fromartz's award winning baguette recipe.
  4. The world village of pizza making experts over at the forums of Pizzamaking.com are constantly tweaking their formulas. One poster in Germany, Villa Roma, seems to have perfected a 100% whole grain recipe. His keys are 1) very high hydration, 2) small amount of leaven/yeast with long room temperature fermentation times, 3) very high temperature oven (in his case 650 degrees which is not achievable with many home ovens). The thread with great pics is here.
  5. I like to see that this thread stays active. I haven't posted for a while as my bread baking goes through cycles. Even though I am not always baking bread, I am certainly always eating bread. I was stimulated to start baking again as I just made a new batch of sourdough starter that was free when I bought some products from The New York Bakers (which I have found to be a good resource for mail-order flours) and I was reading about other people's efforts with recipes from the bread book from Tartine Bakery. I made a basic country loaf. I followed the baker's percentages, but not the timing as I did put in a retard in the refrigerator so it would work with my schedule. I also used the cast iron Le Creuset pot for the bake like Jim Lahey's no knead. It's a high hydration dough and the crumb is not uniform, but for a first effort with this recipe, I liked it a lot. Great texture and taste.
  6. I am originally from NYC, but now live in Upstate NY where it is now the beginning of apple season, a time for all things apple, including making apple pies. I have made all sorts of apple pies, but none have come close to an apple pie I recall from my youth. My parents used to occasionally take me to Jim McMullen, a popular Upper East Side watering hole on Third Avenue, famous for its Chicken Pot Pie and Apple Pie. I recall the apple pie as a towering stack of apple slices, more apple than crust, amply infused with cinnamon, and having a "drier" texture than any recipe that I have tasted or made. Maybe I am just trying to relive a fond memory of youth, but I have tried in vain to find a recipe for this pie or something similar. Contrary to my fond memory of the pie, a Google search only turned up an unflattering description of the pie in a New York Magazine restaurant review by critic, Seymour Britchky, no fan of Jim McMullen, which described the apple pie thusly: "McMullen's apple pie is famous for its four-inch height at the center, and for innards so constructed, of layer upon layer of thick apple slices, that the cross section revealed where the pie is sliced looks like a cleverly constructed wall of stones. Unfortunately, the tartness of the crisp fruit is obscured by excesses of sugar and cinnamon- and the top crust of the pie- really a browned custard — simply adds to the vapidity."
  7. City Newspaper's restaurant review of Warfield's High Point.
  8. Baguettes using the Phllippe Gosselin Pain a l'Ancienne recipe as interpreted by Reinhart which is posted on The Fresh Loaf. My slashes were not very good, so the grigne in some actually formed at the seam line from the baguette forming. The overnight autolyse in the refrigerator really increases the flavor. I have never done an autolyse that long.
  9. Never had one before so could not compare. I don't even know what a ripe or good one is. The one I bought had a outer skin that was rock hard. I had to use a hammer to crack it open after I scored it. The flesh was incredibly juicy. The closest taste that I can think of was a lichee but not really. My wife looked at the white flesh and was turned off by the appearance, but after a taste, she smiled. I am certain the one I ate was not representative of the best that a locally grown mangosteen can be, but again having never had any, me like.
  10. I have always been waiting for the time fresh mangosteens would get into the continental US as I have read so much about the taste of this fruit so prized when fresh. I am not near enough to a Chinatown to get the smuggled in ones. To my amazement, there it was at my local grocery store (I am blessed with Wegmans). It is an irradiated fruit from Thailand. I googled and found out that the US allowed this in 2008. It was expensive, $2.99 each, but after years of waiting, I wanted to sample one. Delicious but... not enough! Hopefully more mangosteen demand will mean more channels into the US and lower prices.
  11. Have not been for a while to Max at Eastman Place. Tony Gullace was not in the kitchen but his staff did an incredible job from app to dessert. For me, steak tartare, roasted beet salad, and then superb lamb chops, followed by a rhubarb crisp. Outstanding service. In my opinion, one of the best and may hold the crown for fine dining in Rochester.
  12. Have not signed in for a while. I took iphone quality pics of our meal. Our meal: Amuse Bouche/ Chef starter: Parmigiano tuile and Fava bean mousse accented with crispy guanciale Apps: Heirloom Tomato Soup. Lobster salad, avocado, and yellow gazpacho sorbet Crispy Pork Belly. Doubled egg (a runny soft boiled egg that has a light fried coating), English pea, Mustard jus Salads: Beets etc. Arugula, Frisee, Almond cristed goat cheese, Orange Confit, Port Vinaigrette Green Leaf-Red Leaf. Bacon sheets, Stilton, Cucumber Tomato Relish, Sherry & Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette Entrees: Grouper Persillade. Tempura Squash Blossom, Summer Vegetables, Calamari, Olive Wine Sauce Butter Poached Lobster. Littleneck Clams, Lobster Agnolotti, Braised Cipollini, Sweet Pea Fumet Desserts: Meyer Lemon Tart. Fresh Lichee Sorbet Selection of NY State Cheeses. Triple Aged Mcadam, Cayuga Blue, Aged Goat Cheese, Strawberry compote. Overall, a nice evening. There were some execution misses for me. The amuse bouche texturally and flavor profile did not work for me. The pork belly meat was done nicely, but the skin was not crisp. That said, I think it is a great addition that we need for a quiet fine dining eperience, especially nice if you live on the east side of town. They do need to bulk up their wine list. This seems odd as they are located in the Constellation Wines headquarters and have the contract with the Constellation Wines dining room. Wife and my regular haunt remains Good Luck. We like (some don't) the boisterous environment, good selection of wines and great cocktails, and sharing of seasonal foods.
  13. Give it to Gordon for pointing out the opening of another fine dining establishment in the Rochester vicinity. On the Eastside in Victor, NY, opposite the large Eastview shopping mall is Warfield's, a new sister establishment to Warfield's in Clifton Springs. The soft opening was 3 weeks ago and apparently formal advertising will begin after July 4th. The chef Brent Williams's resume apparently includes Max at Eastman Place and the Monroe Country Club. All in all, my wife and I had a nice evening. I will let Gordons's review describe the type of food in more detail. His mini review is on his blog here.
  14. Sam: Thanks so much. There is nothing like a response from the poster of the recipe. Great blog and baguettes!
  15. Thanks! I guess 70% hydration might be optimal for a really open crumb and a grigne crust explosion.
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