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Everything posted by donbert

  1. donbert

    Eleven Madison Park

    Administrative note: An archive of previous reviews and discussion of 11 Madison Park can be found here. Word is that he won't be starting till Feb. 5th. But I too am curious to see what happens.
  2. donbert

    Cocktail Kingdom's ice press

    Economies of scale + ocean freight.
  3. donbert

    Cocktail Kingdom's ice press

    That was my response and I apologize if it was cryptic. It was a short reply to a gchat message and I should have been more specific. First, as a full disclosure I work at Cocktail Kingdom doing R&D and Product Development. Second, all the products we make at Cocktail Kingdom are high quality and I wouldn't work here if they weren't. To explain why it sounds like I'm hesitating in that comment above. I am generally hesitant to suggest any product to someone without knowing what they want to achieve. This isn't because there is a problem with the products but from past experience people often come into our showroom thinking that they want one product when they actually need a different one. This is usually the case when a commercial bar want to start a high volume ice program and they have unrealistic expectations of the quantity/quality of ice. The Ice Ball Maker does essentially operate itself. Starting at room temperature it will melt a 2.5" block of ice into a sphere in less than a minute. If you want it to work faster all you have to do is run hot water over it before you place the ice inside. This should cut down the time in half. This is especially useful if you plan to make many in a row since after the first one the metal will be colder and will take longer. The three additional considerations:1.) if you're not going to use the ice immediately it will continue to melt. for commercial purposes this means that if you make these in advance you will need to refreeze the ice balls. further complicating things is the fact that when you refreeze a bunch in one container they will stick together. so you will need additional trays or some other means of keeping them separate. liquid nitrogen is great for this but most people don't have easy access to it.2.) even if you use the ice immediately because the ice ball maker works by melting the excess ice the entire surface of the ice ball will be wet. this will cause an initial bump in dilution before the melting of the ice changes the temperature of the drink. therefore if you want an ice ball as opposed to an ice cube because you want less dilution from the decreased surface area this will not do what you want unless you refreeze the ice ball.3.) the quality of the ice cube that you begin with will determine the quality of the ice ball you get. If you are producing cloudy ice in your freezer and not starting with the clearest possible ice the end result will be a very cloudy ice ball. this will be worse than a cloudy ice cube because with the cube the cloudy part is generally in the center and you have clear dense ice along the outside of the cube. To create a high quality ice ball you need to go through extra steps in producing your own clearer ice cubes or you need to purchase ice carving quality ice. For most people using an Ice Ball Mold will be more cost efficient and will produce a better quality ice ball. That said using the ice ball maker is always an impressive show if you're doing it a la minute in front of guests. This is just a quick explanation and I can elaborate further on how/why ice behaves the way that it does and various ways in which you can tweak your process to achieve the best result. If anyone has any questions about any Cocktail Kingdom product and they live in NYC they should come visit our showroom. We have all the tools out for people to try them. Otherwise they can email info@cocktailkingdom.com with questions.
  4. donbert


    I was part of Kathryn's group and her description of the meal is very accurate. Everything was executed well and there wasn't a single dish that I thought was "off" or a "miss" in terms of flavors. But at the same time there was nothing particularly memorable about any of the dishes. I would much rather go to a restaurant where I don't like a few dishes but I really love a few others than a restaurant where I'm ambivalent about everything. And at $10 for a single portion (1 lobster croquette or 1 lamb chop) in an entree I expect more given what else is available in NYC. I really wanted to like this restaurant and I'll definitely try it once more after they've had time to work out any opening issues. That said my initial impression is that given number of ingredients in each dish while everything was balanced it still lacked gestalt.
  5. donbert

    Sushi on the Lower East Side

    KanoYama in the East Village is a solid neighborhood place that won't break the bank and open on sundays.
  6. Word. And I'll say it again. You guys think about this stuff way too much.
  7. While I completely agree with phlip, the scientist in me wonders if to finally put this question to bed we should be testing the reverse as well. Could a more serious bartender learn to free pour accurately and consistently?
  8. donbert


    The bouchot mussels with miso garlic sausage, black kale, and fennel at Momofuku Noodle Bar right now is great. If I hadn't ordered a ramen I could have happily finished off the broth with a bowl of rice as a meal.
  9. donbert

    Momofuku Ko (Part 2)

    When and where has anyone ever praised Momofuku for their attractive wait staff? In what world does that even matter? 908 people did vote for Kevin Pemoulie in Eater's Hottest Chef in New York Contest...
  10. donbert

    BCD Tofu House

    It's a pickled crab dish called Gae Jang (게장). Traditionally there is a soy sauce version as well as a spicy one. BCD does the spicy one. Here's a photo of it from BCD in LA: Unfortunately this dish isn't spicy enough in the NY branch. Also the tofu and crab combo is only available for lunch unlike the LA branches where you can get any combo 24/7.
  11. donbert

    Bistro type place for steak

    I really enjoyed the onglet at August last week.
  12. Don't forget to stock up on pizza pebbles before you leave.
  13. donbert

    Astor Center NYC

    [shameless plug] If anyone is planning to take the Home Bar Basics class please use the POSTPDT code for 10% off. [/shameless plug] I have taken a few classes and been to a bunch of events and I have to say that there hasn't been a single one I didn't enjoy. Most recently I attended the liquid nitrogen demonstration by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot of Ideas in Food. Their blog is one of my favorites that I refer to and find inspiration in all the time. It was great to see them in action and ask questions as they did their demo. Here are a few things they went over: Shrimp Powder Popcorn Gelato Rum Rasin Ice Cream Balls
  14. donbert

    Forum Diner in Paramus

    Someone just forwarded me this link and thought it would be interest here. I've never been to the diner myself but it looks as though it is going to be destroyed unless someone can physically move the entire diner to a new location. Here is the text with all the information but you should check out the photos on the actual site:
  15. donbert

    Momofuku Ssäm Bar (2007– )

    I think they only serve the brownie pie at lunch.
  16. donbert

    Averna Cocktail Competition

    I believe a certain Mister Damon Dyer will also be joining us in Sicily for the finals... Here was my entry: La Cola Nostra 1.5 oz Ron Zacapa 23 1 oz Averna .75 oz Lime .5 oz Simple .25 oz Pimento Dram Shake and strain into a tall glass with ice. Top with about 2 oz of Moët White Star. Garnish with candied lime wheel.
  17. Did someone say Ed Mitchell?
  18. donbert

    Hakata Ippudo

    I'm not the expert Raji is on ramen and Japanese food having never been to Japan but I can definitely say that this is the best pork broth I've ever had. Looks like they're going with a shorter menu for the soft opening but I tried the regular tonkotsu and the spicy meat tonkotsu for lunch the past two days. Shiromaru New York Karaka-men Noodle closeup The only place worth comparing it to is Santoka as it blows every other ramen place in Manhattan out of the water. Between the two thus far I like Ippuddo better with their super rich broth. The noodles were a thinner but had better texture as well. The toppings were a bit sparse compared to other places but who needs toppings with broth like this?
  19. donbert

    NY Food Tour / Spring Break '08

    While I agree it's the best in midtown it isn't as good as 9th St, Grumpy's, Everyman, Abraço, or Gimme. You don't get the same level of obsessive care about all the little details you do at the other great espresso places in the city. If you want to geek out over espresso you should go elsewhere.
  20. I don't know. There, are you happy now? The absence of evidence isn't the evidence of absence, blah blah blah... (maybe Chang is hiding WMDs?!?! ) Once again, but this time in bold. How about we stop obsessing over this and give them the benefit of the doubt?
  21. FG I think you're the only who is going on about how "democratic" they are or aren't. I'm not sure if Chang even ever said that word. (Eater mentions it but not as a direct quote.) As far as I can tell they had a friends and family soft opening by invite just like every other new restaurant or bar. They reached out to regulars, media, internal staff, etc. They then said to the very same people they invited that going forward "No phone. No favorites. No exceptions”. And thus far (day 2) they have been true to their word. You have stated your position that you don't think this is possible or even a good idea. Most have disagreed with you. It seems clear that we're not changing your mind nor you ours. How about we let this rest now until should the day come that they do get a phone, play favorites, or make exceptions. Then you can tell us all how you told us so way back before the restaurant even opened. Till then how about we stop obsessing over this and give them the benefit of the doubt? If you really want to discuss the merits of special treatment and what people should expect go start a new thread in the Restaurant Life forum.
  22. What are you a reactionary? Embrace the new paradigm. Drink the Kool-aid.
  23. donbert

    Momofuku Ssäm Bar (2007– )

    I think they're going to go with the scaled back After Hours menu from 11pm - 2am on sunday - wednesday nights. I'm just glad that they're continuing to stay open till 2am even if it means I can't get the full menu. Besides I can't wait to see what other "snacks" they come up with.
  24. I don't get this. Why will I ever feel badly about not being able to get into Ko, if I get treated well at Ssam Bar? Is my sense of entitlement as a New Yorker supposed to be so great that I'm supposed to abandon a place if it doesn't do me every single favor it conceivably could, but rather only a lot of them? I think that people who EXPECT special treatment should go fuck themselves. ← word.
  25. donbert

    Momofuku Ssäm Bar (2007– )

    With all the drama over Ko's opening did anyone else notice the new After Hours menu at Ssam bar? 50 wines under $50, some of the hits from the regular menu and some new snacks. Nori Popcorn with pork fat instead of butter Fried Fingerling Potatoes with spicy aioli Also something apparently Allan Benton is now curing Berkshire hogs! I got to try some of the Benton's Berkshire Ham last night. It was better than the fattiest o-toro I've ever had in both flavor and texture. There should be more coming in once they run through the regular ham they currently have in stock. My only question is where's the Benton's Berkshire Bacon?