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Everything posted by porkpa

  1. Left a bottle of Petrus '61 which I received as a gift on the backseat of my car overnight in sub freezing conditions. Not only ruined a great bottle, but also the upholstery in the car. Sadly the upholstery could be easily replaced, not the bottle. Porkpa
  2. porkpa


    As much as I was taught to hate Haman in my youth; that's how much I hate Hamantashen. Even the good ones taste bad. I think I would sooner eat sawdust. Porkpa
  3. David, I would like to be able to buy those wines(a good year of course) for $100 or less. Unfortunately the majority of them go for more than that. Porkpa
  4. Wilfred, Thanks for your wonderful report. My wife and I leave tomorrow for an almost month long trip to New Zealand and Australia. We are booked at Tetsuyas three weeks from tonight. A few questions. (1)You mention a "no changes" menu at Tetsuyas. I have no problem with that. My wife has a severe allergy to shellfish. (I know Sydney is not the place to have that allergy, but unfortunately she does). Do you think they can or will accommodate her problem? (2)A great deal of what I have read about Tetsuya's mentions that many, if not most of their customers BYO. Did you find this to be the case? Would you recommend it? Given the eclectic nature of what is served, what wines would you recommend bringing if you did BYO? You have whetted my appetite fior Claudes. I'll try to get reservations there as well. I suppose the same questions I asked about Tetsuyas apply to Claudes as well. Porkpa
  5. porkpa

    v-day wine (sigh)

    We are going to be on a cruise in New Zealand. I'm bringing two special bottles along, a Penfolds Grange 91 and a Harlan Estate 94. One will be consumed on Valentines Day; the other eight days later on my wife's birthday. I haven't decided which to do when. Then a week after that, we will be having dinner at Tetsuyas in Sydney a week after that. Maybe I should bring a third bottle? Porkpa
  6. Steve, No sooner did I read your post yesterday morning, than I drove to the closest Target store in York Pa, about a 20 mile drive. They had a chefmate pan meeting your description at the $19.95 price, but this one did not have a cover. As you described it, this was a strong, medium sized, heavy, pan with a copper bottom. Since I really like to have the convenience/option of having a cover, I didn't buy it. Do you have a model number for the one which you saw? I'm wondering if the one my Target store had was the same sans cover, as yours or an entirely different one. Porkpa
  7. When buying wine at auction, is there a way to insure confidence that the wine you are bidding on has been stored under reasonably good conditions? I know that you should be reasonably safe when buying out of a large dispersal or semi dispersal from a well know collector or when occasionally the winery itself is the entity offering the wine. I guess those wines often sell at a premium. They probably should since a lot of the risk factor has been removed. What about the small lots? What should my strategy be? Porkpa
  8. porkpa


    Nerissa, I have heard that port is virtually indestructible under ordinary conditions. Whereas whites and reds require cool temperatures for long storage periods, port will stand up to temperatures that could negatively affect regular wines. Of course all wines will be harmed by extreme temperatures. Please advise if I'm incorrect. Porkpa
  9. Holly, With regard to shoestring fries, I think it mostly depends on where, and who is making them. At l'Ami Louis in Paris, their frites are done shoestring style and they are my absolute all time favorites. They are not quite as good as their famed potato cake - nothing is! But they are darn close. I always have both and usually end up eating a lot more frites than cake. I find the frites addictive and there is just so much of the potato cake I can handle because of the wonderful surplus of garlic. In the US In N Out Burger's fries, although not strictly shoestrings are thin. If you order them well done, they are IMO as good and as uniform as any fries anywhere. Porkpa
  10. Does anyboy know the the web and/or email address for Tetsuyas restaurant in Sydney? My wife and I will be in Sydney in a month and would like to secure a reservation. Porkpa
  11. Steve, For the sake of my limited knowledge of wine, I would be curious to know which types and regions of wines and if possible which specific wines you believe that Parker is wrong about. Is it a question of some people liking vanilla vs others liking chocolate, or do you believe that he and/or his palate just leading people down the wrong path? Porkpa
  12. Tony, The problem, if there is a problem is not Parker's. It is those who may choose to follow his opinions "blindly". I'm afraid I am one of those sheep who not always, but more often than not gives great credence to what he says. That doesn't mean that I regard his opinions as all knowing. It means(to me at least) that those opinions have generally guided me well in pursuit of pleasure from the fruit of the vine. The bottom line I believe, is that Parker has helped a great deal more than he has hurt. Porkpa
  13. Tony, I do not believe that he purports to have any such measured knowledge. I believe that he is giving his opinion on a personal measured scale. Whether you agree with him or not is entirely your decision. I know that he has a better palate than I could ever hope to have. Far more often than not, he has led me on paths that I most likely would not have otherwise taken to my greater enjoyment. We are individuals and many of us have the capacity to decide ourselves whether we want to be influenced by Parker(or whomever) or not and if so to what degree.
  14. In relative terms, a lot of the better California 1998 cabs are becoming good, or at least better values. I have noticed a lot of significant discounting on these wines. Perhaps a combination of the weaker economy, full shelves and the influx of the 1999s, 2000s and even some of the 2001 vintage have contributed to some of this discounting. Although it is far from a superior vintage, 1998 is now considered to be not as ordinary as first thought. While it certainly isn't 1994 or 1997, it generally isn't all that bad. A wise shopper can probably do some good shopping if he looks around. Porkpa
  15. I have been a subscriber to Gourmet for over 35 years. At one time it was the ne plus ultra of food magazines. Unfortunately in my opinion that is not the case today. I used to look forward to its arrival each month. Now sometime it will sit for weeks until I even look at it. Maybe its a manifistation(?sp) of a switch of time spent on print to the internet. I'm not sure. It seems to me that the new Gourmet(Reichl's) is all about sizzle, with very little steak. IMO the old Gourmet was far superior. The new one hasn't alienated me enough yet to consider halting my subscription, but it has come close. Porkpa
  16. Who is the owner? Is he usually in the restaurant? The heavy set waiter named Louis seemed to be in charge all of the times I've been there. I have eaten there about half a dozen times, always on the last Sunday in January, when the group I am associated with takes over most of, if not all the restaurant. There are several loud Americans, as well as loud Swedes, Frenchmen(and women), Germans, Norwegians, Canadians, Dutch, Danes and several other nationalities of horse people. I cannot deny that the group is usually kind of loud, but not in an offensive manner. We usually have a great time despite overeating and some over drinking.
  17. I know I'm a year or so late, but here goes anyway. Chez l'Ami Louis, which quite a few people think is the quintessential bistro experience is open on Sunday. The food is quite simple and I think great. Its served in copious amounts. The decor and ambience are non existent. Although one could say that its lack of decor in fact is part of its essence. You could be walking into a time warp of a restaurant of a century ago. Special dishes are the Scallops and Escargots for appetizers. The roast chicken and lamb for mains. I love their potato cake and the frites are excellent as well. Its very small and often full of celebrities. President Clinton has eaten here. I have been told that Stephen Spielberg has flown its whole staff over to California to cater a function there. When Mimi Sheraton was food critic fior the New York Times, she described it as the best restaurant in the world. I'll be there in about ten days where a group that I'm affiliated with, annually takes over the entire restaurant for dinner on the last Sunday in January. Be careful!! They run perhaps the heaviest pencil of any bistro in the world. Their prices are comparable to, and in some instances more than what some of the three stars charge. Porkpa
  18. I went to Katz's on Sunday afternoon at about 2.30. The place was packed. If you are one person how do you arrange to get a seat? I got lucky and a small table was vacating when I had my food. Otherwise I guess you stand around looking silly. I cleared the remaining debris myself and sat down and ate amongst the surrounding chaos. Next time, if the place is full, I'll just take the food out. I had half a pastrami and half a beef brisket sandwich. The pastrami was excellent - tasty, slightly on the fat side, well spiced and delicious. The brisket was not bad, but not really good either. Bland and somewhat tasteless. Second Avenue's brisket is much better, but Katz's pastrami prevails. The young meat slicer, was polite well presented and did his job well. For ambience, user friendliness and especially cleanliness Second Avenue stands out. I'm not sure on the price differential, if in fact there is one. Porkpa
  19. Vivre, They still have ortolans listed(presumably as a specialty) on their window, but of course there are none available in the restaurant. At least they weren't the last time I was there in January of 2001. Porkpa
  20. One of my pet peeves is to order a baked potato in a restaurant and then receive a foil wrapped one which is not really baked at all. It is STEAMED. It comes steamed and is often soggy with a wet, soft skin. My ideal baked potato is baked in its own uncovered an unadorned skin with perhaps some kosher salt or the like rubbed into the skin. I would just as soon have even the skin without salt. It should have a dry, somewhat firm skin and the product within should be mealy abnd not mushy. Porkpa
  21. I wonder if the death this past year of perhaps the greatest of all French Canadian artists, Jean Paul Riopelle had anything to do with this decision. Charest was a lifelong friend of Riopelle's, who was also rumored to have been his partner in Bistro a Champlain. The restaurant has numerous museum quality works by Riopelle, or at least it did both times I was there. One of those times Riopelle himself was in residence. Charest supposedly owns one of, if not the greatest collection of works by his friend. My understanding is that Bistro a Champlain and wine collecting were only a side venture to Charest. I was told that in his other life he is a world renowned surgeon. Porkpa
  22. The greatest choice of foodstuffs I have seen at an arena/stadium was found at the Staples Center in downtown LA. They have just about everything - Chinese, Sushi, Jewish type deli, Pizza, Fresh cut fries, a brewery, a few sit down places as well as the normally found items such as hot dogs, burgers, popcorn, peanuts, ice cream. etc. I've been there about a half dozen times and cannot remember how I felt about any of the food. I guess that it wasn't out of the ordinary(either good or bad). Although when you reach 61, you don't remember quite as well as you used to. Porkpa
  23. I love sporting events almost as much as I love eating out. What are your favorite foods at stadiums/arenas? I like the Boog Powell BBQ, Babe Ruth Spares Ribs and fresh cut french fries at Baltomore's Camden Yards. There are also a few private vendors outside the stadium who sell good burgers and Italian Sausage. I have wonderful memories of the between period hot dogs at the lamented Montreal Forum. I haven't been to the new Molson Centre. Have they taken those hot dogs with them? Porkpa.
  24. Steve, Its in a suburb of Toronto called Thornhill. Its northwest of downtown Toronto. Actually quite a schlep northwest. You take highway 401 west to the Allen(St or Rd I'm not sure) north exit. Take Allen Rd north for a few miles(I'm guessing 2-4 miles) to Centre St. Make a right at Centre St and go for about 1/2 a mile. Centre Street Deli is in a strip mall on the left. Its a little removed from the street, so you could miss it. I'm pretty sure they have a website, so you could possibly get more accurate directions from it. Porkpa
  25. Steve, I would guess that it was sometime in the late forties. Perhaps it might have gone as long as 1950 or 51. Porkpa
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