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Posts posted by donbert

  1. I guess my question was how is this press so cheap compared to others on the market? I may be overly skeptical about this, but when this press is being offered for a fraction of the price as other competitors, I'm a bit wary.

    Economies of scale + ocean freight.

  2. Seems like an odd response that makes me think something is a bit off!

    Pretty clearly if you want this you want to make ice spheres for your drinks. It claims it makes them quickly which would be my primary concern. It doesn't seem like something that would break easily.

    Is there another reason? It isn't totally clear how one operates it. But I thought it kind of operated itself. is there something else that I should be concerned about with it that would make me not want to get it? What other tool should I be considering? If that is the case it would be helpful to say that.

    Yes, it is expensive. I like it for the novelty as well. I would want it for my home bar because I like gadgets for lack of a better term. I have certainly spent $150 (and more!) for a gadget I really wanted even if I don't end up using it that often.

    If I have decided I am OK with the cost then what other question/concern might they have?

    Or am I over reading what seems like a rather cryptic response?

    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.
  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. I've been on their mailing list and I have to say I'm really impressed. This martini challenge/gin tasting is only $25, which is remarkable, and if you haven't forced your non-mixologist friends to sign up for the PDT home bar class, well, shame on you.

    Has anyone been to anything recently?

    [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

  7. 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:

    The Forum Diner at 211 East State Route 4, has been a landmark in Paramus, NJ since its opening in the 1960's. It was manufactured by the mastermind of diners, Fodero Dining Car Co (Joseph Fodero, who built NYC's legendary Empire Diner), and first operated by the Yannitsadis Brothers, and transported on site.

    It was announced that "money was no object," when it came to detailing and superb craftsmanship. The exterior is an outstanding example of the Environmental Style, and features stainless steel, wrap-around windows, groovy gold frame doors, corner entryway with stone & colored mansard roof, & decorative ornamentation gracing the top. The interior is elegant, featuring fine Greek wood fluted columns & moldings and coffered wooden-paneled walls (rare for a diner), wood ornamentation, recessed areas for chandeliers, etched mirrors with regal logos, stone, curtains, accoustic paneling, counter & stools with backrests, kitchen out back, carpeting, terrazzo tiles and wave-patterned terrazzo distinguishing circular wooden booth areas. Pat Fodero, son of Joseph Fodero, came up with the idea of circular booths to seat more patrons per table, and it was first popularized at the Forum Diner. It became the norm to build large to boost business. The interior portrays the Colonial style.

    It closed in spring 2007, marking the end of an era. Unfortunately, it was recently vandalized, but most architectural elements are intact, and the minimal damage is reversible.

    Preservationist Michael Perlman spared NYC's historic Moondance & Cheyenne Diners via transport, and now the Forum Diner can be yours, thanks to an agreement with the property owner.

    THE FORUM DINER MUST BE TRANSPORTED OFF THE PROPERTY ASAP, to spare it from demolition. A Jeep 17 dealership will take its place. We do have a rigger in mind, and the diner's 3 major rooms can be moved in 7 sub-sections including the vestibule. Please contact Michael Perlman at unlockthevault@hotmail.com for specifics ASAP! Save a gem!!!

  8. It seems that eGullet's own Donbert has won himself a trip to Sicily. 

    I believe that Thomas Waugh of Alembic, and Duggan McDonnell of Cantina, in San Francisco, won the West Coast Regional, and along with the Southeast Regional winner (to be determined next week), will join Donbert in representing the US in the Averna worldwide finals in Caltanisseta, Italy.

    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.

  9. 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




    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?

  10. Zibetto's in midtown and the espresso was pretty killer.

    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.

  11. Not to be contrarian, but... how do you know?

    The only thing you know is that reservations are no longer available for next Thursday. We have only their word for it that those reservations were handed out in a strictly egalitarian fashion.

    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?!?! :shock: )

    Once again, but this time in bold. How about we stop obsessing over this and give them the benefit of the doubt?

  12. Not the same thing, just the same idea: both are anti-egalitarian. Which is fine, except for people who go on about how "democratic" they are. Chang has succeeded in scoring PR points on two fronts: 1- by claiming no special treatment, 2- by giving special treatment to regulars and media. I've got to congratulate him for pulling it off so far. But I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    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.

  13. Err...does this mean the full menu is no longer available?

    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.

  14. Because the regulars haven't participated in the system. They've been invited to previews. It will be interesting to see how those same regulars feel later on.

    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.


  15. 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?


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