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Suzanne F

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Everything posted by Suzanne F

  1. Pour untasted wine into a batch of stew on the stove. Did it once with a bottle of Michigan wine, which made the stew (and the whole house) smell like Chateau Mucilage. See, there IS a good reason to have a slurp while you're cooking (besides the enhanced creativity!).
  2. My Vermont experience is all basically along Route 9 (Bennington to Brattleboro) with little offshoots up or down Rtes 100, 112, or 30 -- in other words, the very southern part of the state. I've found some surprisingly wonderful restaurant food there. What kills it for me, though, is absolutely horrendous service: teenage-seeming managers "supervising" teenage-seeming servers who couldn't open a bottle of wine even if it had a screw-top, much less answer questions about the menu or give proper service. Sigh. But hope springs eternal; I'll be up there again starting this Saturday. See you all in about 2 1/2 weeks.
  3. Tommy, if you mean me, I did not so much retract it as decide that this was a time-waster right now. I still agree to disagree with those who hold differing opinions -- as always, without any name-calling. Try it sometime.
  4. message deleted by SF; I've GOT to get some work done!
  5. First of all, let's break "hitting on someone" into its component parts: there are 2 active parties, the hitter and the hittee. Generally, there are also passive bystanders: the other patrons. There is the act: in the active viewpoint, the hitter hits on the hittee; from the passive viewpoint, the hittee receives the attention. Then the hittee responds. Finally the hitter follows up on the hittee's response. There is nothing innately wrong with the act of hitting on someone. It is the hitter's reaction to the hittee's response that determines whether or not a problem exists. If the hittee accepts then there's mutual consent, and no problem (the problems come later, like the next morning). If the hittee declines, and the hitter ceases and moves away quietly, there may be regret, but no harm to either party. If the hittee declines and the hitter persists, but finally fails and gives up quietly, there's annoyance on the part of the hittee who must keep asserting her/his right to be left alone by this boor, but ultimately no harm. If the hittee declines and the hitter persists to the point of attempting physical contact anyway, there's a big problem. (In its extreme versions, this is a form of assault.) If, however, the hittee declines and the hitter, upon eventually accepting defeat, then goes around denigrating the hittee in public, there is also a problem (isn't this called slander?). Damn, I wish I could do this as a wishbone; it would be so much easier to follow. No, in the context I've described, the precise equivalent of "getting hit on" would be the phoned request that Steve S attempted but was unable to consummate. Were he to actually list the place in the book, that would be the equivalent of the assault, and to do it vindictively would be the slander.
  6. Of course, this would be a very different discussion of Steve S had stated at the start that the restaurant in question was Shopsin's. An establishment rather like Rao's except even less known to the general public (or even to the community here, one of the most toffee-nosed in creation). Then, everyone would have said, "Oh that Kenny, he's crazy." Which might or might not be true, but often excuses a lot of bad behavior (except to the recipients). Disclaimer: I have never eaten there, never tried to, and am rather turned off by the descriptions and adulation I have read in The New Yorker and on Chowhound. I am not one for cults of personality, or any other cults. I'm with Groucho on this one.
  7. Jordan, where is your sisterhood?!?!? OOps, sorry, had you confused with jordyn. No matter. Oh, I wouldn't know, but maybe you could ask Christy Hefner, or one of the Missoni family, or even Christina Onassis, for a complete view. Or Ted Williams's daughter Having no access to RTR's balance sheets, all I can go on is what I read. Seems to me that the whole management team was unable to do the job, not merely the heiress. Empty banquet rooms mean the salespeople are not selling, period. In tough times, promotion staff have to work even harder, and to blame it on 9/11 is nonsense. Especially since the place lost its core clientele long ago, when Warner closed the place for so long while fighting with David Bouley and putting in his Russian fantasy.
  8. Steve K: I see nothing wrong with telling someone, "I'd rather not" when asked for a card. Just call me Bartelby, but that is far more honest than saying "I don't have any with me" in such a situation (in which it is assumed that one WOULD). My reasons still stay my own. I guess I just have a stronger will when it comes to protecting myself. (But, then, I also guess that you have never been hit on. ) Oh, and I DO see it as unethical to print something that serves no social purpose (as opposed to an expose, which SHOULD be aired) except the ego of the citer. But that's just me, ethical to a fault. If a critic does not respect the wishes of the producer, or restaurant owner (forget publicists; they are useless parasites and anyone who listens to them is a fool), and writes a review making it clear that it was based on observations of an immature establishment, I am not much inclined to pay much attention the review, since I know it is based on incomplete data. If that circumstance is NOT made clear, and the reviewer dwells on the faults, then I believe a transgression has been committed in the name of "newsworthiness." What we're getting into here is a possible debate between those who DO and those who WRITE ABOUT WHAT'S DONE. And for the record, I did not, and never would, compare papparazzi to health inspectors; I would never deny a health inspector access. Not only because it is illegal, but because the health inspector SERVES A PUBLIC GOOD. A papparazzo does no such thing. Sorry, I've got to go take my laundry out of the washer and put it into the dryer. Life goes on, for real.
  9. Wilfrid: Yes. In case you don't remember the theatrical producer David Merrick: he put on generally wonderful shows (ever hear of Hello, Dolly? Travesties? Marat/Sade? ). But he did not want them reviewed until he felt they were ready to be reviewed. He banned reviewers from his theaters, he switched performance dates and times, he was "guilty" of all sorts of chicanery to prevent reviews at an inappropriate point in the shows' lifecycle. Great press was made of this: MERRICK BANS CRITICS. But it did not change how good or bad the shows were and it did not change the reviews when they ultimately came -- except for the, yes, vindictiveness of those critics who felt abused. This is an age-old battle between the press and those about whom they want to write. Think of papparazzi: do you really believe they have the right to barge into peoples' faces just to get their picture? I don't, but I guess some here do. I suppose that because I am not a member of the press, and do not derive any income from writing or reviewing, I am on the side of the subjects. I can see how it could be the opposite for those who DO make their living that way. I just wish they could understand other viewpoints. To everyone else since Wilfrid: actually, the statement is "I don't care what you say about me as long as you spell my name right." Well, not everyone subscribes to that sentiment.
  10. Okay: I was going to use a very powerful but extremely disturbing metaphor for this, but I don't want to get beat up that badly. So instead: What if you are at a gathering with strangers who might, if you wished to let them, further your business. But for your own good reasons, you do not wish it. So when they ask for your card so that they can put some of their colleagues in touch with you, you decline. (Maybe you think they're sleazy; maybe you don't want to increase your business at this time because you are making major changes and want to be sure they work before you let the world know; maybe you want to know a lot more about them before you'll trust them with your personal/business information; maybe you just don't want to, period, because you're in a bad mood.) How would you feel if they then went around telling people, "I wanted to let you know about 'FatGuy.com, ' but he was rude to me." Is that not being vindictive (it is to me.) Or if they sneaked around and dug out your information anyway and passed it on? In both cases, you might then start getting what you considered crank calls? The only other (relatively polite) metaphor I can use is: getting hit on in a bar. The masher thinks s/he is doing you a great favor by offering him/herself as a partner; you, however, think otherwise. I'm assuming even you men can relate to that. You are not doing anyone a "favor" if you are doing something they don't want done. Edit: I'm sorry it took me so long to get my post on; Fat Guy, I think you are TOTALLY WRONG.
  11. The restaurant's owner does not wish to be listed; what more persuasion do you need to delete the listing? If it's such a moral/legal question for you, shouldn't you ask the publishers how they want you to handle it? After all, it is they who will have to deal with any lawsuits that might arise. While a restaurant may be a public accommodation and subject to laws as such, that does not give anyone else the right to use its name in a manner unwanted by its ownership. And including a "disclaimer" stating that the owner did not wish to be listed is vindictive, not helpful -- while still going against the owner's wishes.
  12. Too late, I know, but: French potato salad (as described by Julia Child in The Way to Cook, pp 362 - 363. The oil is optional, and not missed if you add lots of chopped herbs. Try it the next time; after all, potato salad is a classic accompaniment for fried chicken.
  13. Yes, ages ago when the announcement was made about what what (finally) going to replace the Coliseum. Others are supposed to establish outposts in the same development; sorry I can't find the list right now. Might have been in Nation's Restaurant News and/or others of the trades.
  14. Today's NY Times has a lovely op-ed by Judy Collins about the RTR: "Goodbye to Buttery Blini". FWIW, I was at her first Carnegie Hall concert, but had to go right home because I was only 13.
  15. Well, Firebird is Russian as interpreted by a CIA-trained Finnish-born-and-raised chef, with a frat-boy sous-chef, and cooked by a United-Nations of staff (except for the pastry department, which is All-American-Miss). I worked there earlier this year. Their "Chicken Tabak" is NOT the classic, for sure. My lips are sealed on the inauthenticity of any other dishes. But the caviar is real.
  16. Suzanne F

    City Hall

    Next time you go there, get a whole grilled fish. Perfectly simple, and simply perfect! I'm not always thrilled with the (sometimes clueless) service there, but the food is excellent.
  17. Steve P: Ask the folks who eat at Rolf's, Silver Swan, Zum Stammtisch, Hallo Berlin, and ... Zum Schneider. Does that include anyone you know? How about the taste, the texture, the look, the way it goes with beverages ... ?Why do you assume that because YOU are not interested in a cuisine, it is not worthy of interest? Just curious.
  18. I have used it as is to coat (already cooked) mussels for deep-frying. It made a light, tasty, crunchy shell -- different and more interesting than regular AP wheat flour.
  19. Is Faith Stewart Gordon still alive? I wonder what she thinks. (for those not familiar, she was the previous owner, who left the RTR closed for several years until Warner Leroy bought it; she wrote a book about the place)
  20. Suzanne F

    Freezing foods

    Are you asking about bringing back fresh foods, and freezing them at home for later use? Even though I admit to freezing almost everything at home, I would be very wary of trying it with high-quality stuff. Commercially frozen foods are frozen under very different conditions from home-frozen -- much faster, under more protected conditions, at much lower temperatures. This minimizes the cell-wall damage. Freezing almost anything at home will lower its quality, IMO. Even if you wrap the item as air-tight as possible, it can still suffer from air contact. Besides, you can get the foie gras vacuum-packed, so all you need to do is keep it well-refrigerated. I've seen it frozen, but somehow it doesn't sound like a good idea to me. All of this is just my opinion, based on working for food manufacturers who sell their products frozen.
  21. No asparagus?? We always had asparagus, but then we were not totally observant. Besides, we took advantage of it being spring, and asparagus was just coming into season. BTW: my mother always, always made those "Passover Bagels." I have her recipe, which I believe came off a matzo meal box. Everyone always loved them (except me).
  22. Suzanne F

    Taro taro taro

    Actually, what I think I may do is peel, cube, and steam the whole piece, since I have a feeling it will keep better cooked than raw. Then maybe I'll do some taro/potato/methi mash, and some taro home-fries (not quite as bad as shoestrings in the fat department). But thanks for your offer.
  23. I just bought a nice large taro, with the original intention of making shoestring fries with part, and a puree with the rest. Now I'm not so sure I want to fry. Anyone have suggestions for either a simple use, or a different way to use steamed taro? TIA
  24. Bags of frozen peas or cut corn as an ice pack. Tommy, haven't you ever used them that way? Like, every other day? BTW, Tommy, I'm honored you've changed your signature to quote me. Edit: I see you removed it; guess you're still mad, eh?
  25. But Sandra, does that mean that using a chicken bone would also work??
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