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Everything posted by porkpa

  1. Vivre, Its been done successfully in Toronto with smoked meat at Centre Street Deli. I don't know if its been tried there with a true Montreal bagel - a la St Viateur or Fairmount. I doubt that it has. There is an outfit in Toronto called St Urbain Bagel that sells what it purports to be a Montreal style bagel. What they sell is somewhat better than the Toronto norm(which tastes like regular bread), but a long way from the true St Viateur/Fairmount product. If I was a lot younger and had the personnel I'd give it a shot. In my opinion it can't miss, even if it got only the Torontonians and their friends and families who stop off to pick some up on their way home or who ask family and friends to send or bring them from Montreal. Porkpa
  2. porkpa


    I recently had lunch at Nobu in London. They offered a great lunch special called a bento box. It had about five of the special signature dishes for which they've become known. I thought it was reasonably priced at around 20 pounds. Do any of American Nobu restaurants offer this special? Porkpa
  3. porkpa

    Spanish Wines

    I've tried many vintages of San Vicente. Always been good. Sells for about $25 a bottle. I've thought its very good value. Porkpa
  4. Vivre, Steve raises a good point by asking if you had the regular or the old fashioned smoked meat brisket from Snowdon Deli. In my opinion there is a great difference between the two. I much prefer the old fashioned. The regular is lacking in taste and spiciness. It is what I would expect to find served on white bread with mayonnaise - both looking and tasting like a commercial sandwich meat. The old fashioned is succulent. In both looks and tastes it epitomizes what the smoked meat experience should be. Your mention of Levitt's brings back incredible memories. Although it might be a commercial manufacturing venture now, I remember it as a restaurant on The Main(Boulevard St Laurent) just south of Mount Royal on the east side. At the time(probably 50 years ago), it was THE smoked meat experience in Montreal. I can remember looking forward to Saturday night dinner there. My mother and I would stand in line waiting for the Sabbath to be over and the restaurant to open. Then I would order my regular, a medium smoked meat sandwich(I wanted fat, but my mom wouldn't allow that) with double mustard, french fries and a black cherry soda. This routine lasted for years, until Levitt's decided to go into commercial manufacturing and shut down the restaurant. It comes as no surprise to me that Snowdon's meat is made by Levitt's because they always were the best. Porkpa
  5. Steve, Milos opened a very successful New York operation, while Moishes failed in Toronto. I would guess that HANDS ON ownership is the major key to success. Of course if the environmental laws in NYC forbad a wood burning oven, then one of the necessary ingredients for a successful Montreal bagel would be eliminated and the chances of the venture's success would be significantly compromised. If I were a principal in either venture, my first inclination would be to expand in the direction of Toronto rather than NYC because there is a significant population of ex Montrealers there almost guanteeing a receptive audience. This was actually done by the daughter of one of the principals of Snowdon Deli. She opened Centre Street Deli a very successful smoked meat establishment in a suburb of Toronto. Of course Moishes failed using the same strategy. Porkpa
  6. USC may not be great, but its a good deal north of ordinary. Like Steve said "it is what it is". Having said that, I think there are a few things especially their side dishes that I might make a side trip to have. The garlic potato chips, the turnips with fried shallots. The tuna burger and their regular hamburger are pretty good. A couple of the desserts, especially the banana concoction are a lot better than average. Porkpa.
  7. Cabrales, Such a trip is relatively inconsequential. I have several friends who make at least one trip a year from North America to France . Their only reason for doing so is to eat at various restaurants. Porkpa
  8. Other than warming up or defrosting an item, the only thing I cook in the microwave is bacon. It comes out crisp and fairly dry(about 40 seconds per strip) and I avoid the mess and splater generally associated with frying it. Porkpa
  9. Egulleters, this brings up another possible thread. If you all had your druthers what food or wine related item would you like to have in your Christmas stocking? I know we would all like that Petrus '61, the Screaming Eagle '94 or the Lobel's ultimate steak pack. Please try to be as practical as possible. Please mention brands.
  10. Steve, The only person who gets all five mail orders is my secretary, who has put up with my craziness for almost 30 years. Believe me, she still is quite shortchanged. Most everybody else gets one and sometimes two items.
  11. FG, Initially at least, you are comparing apples to oranges. You were comparing an outfit that specializes in mail order gift(Harry & Davids) to one that does not even do it(Fairway). I don't particularly like H & D. I think that they are over rated and over priced. However they are reliable and what they send is not awful. Having said this, I don't use them. I was thinking of trying Fairway on Sunday when sending out my Holiday Mail Order gifts. I went to their website and found that they don't do this. For the record, I am using five purveyors this year for my Holiday presents. (1)Graeter's Ice Cream-The best ice cream in North America - maybe the world. Yes better than Berthillon. (2)Stockyards-Not the very best for steaks, but pretty darn good. (3)Ideal Cheese-Excellent cheese,large variety,good service and not exhobitantly priced. (4)Carolina Wine for wine. I have used them for years. Reliable,reasonable prices, pretty good variety, some excellent treasures not often found, especially from Australia, New Zealand and the Rhone. (5)The Cheesecake Factory. Not cheap. I do have some cheesecake lovers who really like what this company sends out.
  12. porkpa

    Split Pea Soup

    The very best split pea soup I have ever have is at Smith and Wollensky's in NYC. I don't know if their branches in other cities have it. It is quite exceptional.
  13. porkpa

    Ice Wine

    I recently received a gift of three bottles of Innskillen Ice Wine. I realize this is usually considered to be a dessert wine. Would it also be appropriate to serve it with a foie gras appetizer? Also, what would be the optimum temperature at which ice wine should be served? TIA.
  14. porkpa


    I was the guest of friends for dinner at Daniel last evening. We all had a tasting dinner. With the exception of some of the dishes being, in my opinion somewhat oversalted, they were all at the very least quite good and in the case of one, truly extraordinary dish sensational. The dish in the spotlight was a poached egg served in a cheesy? sauce onto which black truffles were sliced. It was accompanied by a piece of toasted bread with some melted cheese of a different sort which again was laden with sliced black truffles. The server suggested that we dip the bread into the egg, much as one would dip toast into an ordinary egg yolk. We did and it was incredible. My two buddies said it was the single best dish they had ever enjoyed. These guys eat at 3 or 4 star restaurants at least 2 or 3 times a week. I felt that if it wasn't the best single dish I had ever experienced, it certainly ranked right up there. During the course of dinner something which I thought was quite unusual occured. The dining room was packed as one would expect on a Friday evening. Daniel Boulud came out and sat down with a table of people who he obviously knew. He sat there for at least 45 minutes and maybe more. When we left at 11.00 PM(we arrived at 7.00) he was still at that table. He might have greeted two or three other tables during the course of the evening, but no more. Certainly Boulud can sit and greet whomever he chooses to. The people he was with were obviously quite important to him. The question I have is, was he subliminally(?sp) telling all of the other people in the restaurant that they weren't important enough to be visited by him? I'm not sure how I stand on this, but I thought that his behaviour was different enough so that I did question it. Porkpa.
  15. Caesar Salad Popovers Turducken Corn Bread Stuffing with mushrooms, onions, peppers, water chestnuts, corn and whatever else may be available Roast Capon(maybe as a backup) Kasha & Bowties Twice baked potatoes two ways (a)Sour cream, onions & butter (b)Cheddar Cheese & butter Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar Pecan Topping Creamed Corn Mashed Yellow Turnips with Crispy Shallots, a la Union Square Cafe Auntie Sarah's Apple Cake Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
  16. porkpa


    Today's New York Times food section has an article on the Turducken. Previous to the article's appearance I had decided to make one as the centerpiece of this year's Thanksgiving feast. I am going the circuitous route however. I have ordered a fresh one one preassembled from a butcher at a local food market. I'll pick it up next Wednesday and cook it on Thursday. Have any of you ever made one? What did you think? I haven't even tasted one. Is it worth the effort.? Should I also make a capon(our normal Thanksgiving fare) as backup? Porkpa.
  17. porkpa

    Fairway Cafe

    I feel kind of ignorant. I assume that everyone here knows of Michael London. Until this thread came to the list I had never heard of him. From what I hear here, I assume that he is a baker and/or a pastery chef or maker. Please relieve my ignorance. Porkpa
  18. porkpa

    Guy Savoy

    Lizziee, I'm not trying to be a wise guy, but I'm wondering why you would book at a restaurant such as Guy Savoy if you were not looking forward to eating there. Especially since you would certainly anticipate parting with a not insignificant amount of money to do so. Porkpa
  19. porkpa

    Napa chronicles

    I haven't read this. However its predecessor Napa, was a most interesting read. If I remember correctly it stayed at or near the top of the New York Times best seller list for the better part of a year or even longer. It gave an interesting overview of the wine history in California in general and the Napa Valley in particular. It paid particular attention to those people and their personalities most responsible for its growing importance and success in the wine world of today. It is a relatively long read(500 or more pages if I remember correctly), but a fast moving and interesting one.
  20. Anybody ever have Coffee Crisp? Its by far my all time favorite chocolate bar. Its great either at room temperature or frozen. Its very popular in Canada where it is manufactured by Nestles(I think) or maybe by Neilson. It wassupposed to be introduced to the American market about two years ago(New York City I think), but I haven't heard whether they actually tried doing so..
  21. I have no argument over any of the California wines submitted for special status recognition thus far. However I am surprised that none of the names submitted(unless I missed it) included Viader. In my opinion it is one of California's finest. It has always received high ratings from both Parker and Wine Spectator. It is a meritage usually made from depending on the vintage a varying combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. I have heard it described as being reminiscent of Bordeaux's Cheval Blanc. Porkpa.
  22. Its been a few years since I've been to Boyer les Crayeres. The experience - both the hotel and dinner there were extraordinary. I was told that the charming older gentleman who used to sit down with you in the bar and discuss the food and wine options and then take your order while you enjoyed a glass of champagne has now retired. Is this so? If so has he been replaced? Hopefully the tradition remains. The discussion added a degree of charm to the overall dining experience. I hope to get back sometime in the near future. Porkpa.
  23. Fat-Guy, I'm with you. For lunch USC is a very unique and enjoyable experience. I was last there in early July. Had the garlic fries, a cold soup(forget what kind, but good), Lobster roll(lobster salad good, but the roll hard, difficult to eat as a sandwich) and the banana tart(without equal). Wife had a salad gathered from the Union Square Market that morning(great), the Union Square burger(as good as anywhere, better than most) and skipped desert. I might add that for the solo diner, having lunch at the bar at USC is as comfortable and enjoyable an experience as solo lunch time dining can present. I'll often do it even for two, when I'm in a hurry or reservations are not available. Porkpa
  24. Has anybody tries Graeters? They are supposedly the oldest ice cream producer in the United States. They have stores in Cinncinnati and Columbus Ohio; also Lexington and Louisville Kentucky. You can get home delivery through their webasite. We received some in a Christmas package. The chocolate chunk flavors, especially the raspberry chocolate chunk are incredible. Also very good are the banana(really all of the fresh fruit flavors), the pistachio(when available) and peppermint stick. Recently Oprah gave them a plug calling them the best ice cream producers anywhere. Instantaneous results, to the the point where they have had trouble keeping up with demand. Definately worth a try. Porkpa.
  25. One of the interesting anecdotes in the book caught my attention. It seems that a customer came into Daniel requesting steak house fare including a baked potato. The chef on duty instructed that the potato be wrapped in foil and placed in the oven. I thought that one should NEVER bake a potato wrapped in foil. The main reason being that resulting product is not a baked potato but rather a steamed one. I realize that there are many restaurants(most of them of the diner variety)that do prepare so called baked potatoes in this manner. Not only are they not really baked potatoes, but also they usually taste terrible - far worse than a potato baked only in its own skin. Porkpa.
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