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James Kessler

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  1. Thanks for the input everyone... I really value it. I am in agreement that lamb is generally a better match with Bordeaux styles. Pinot Noir is not the varietal that immediately jumps to mind when I think of "big" red meat. Veal I could imagine might be a good choice, but I don't usually eat veal... not because I don't like it or don't want to eat it, it just doesn't often seem to find its way onto my plate. A chicken or another bird seems like a very good way to go. I have been doing rotisserie-roasted chicken a few times and it comes out well. Perhaps that is the way to go if I cook something at home. I have also lately been considering bringing the wine to a good restaurant and paying corkage on it if I know that I will be getting something that I wouldn't have the skill to make at home. There are a couple of good candidate restaurants I could think of that would do a good job. Even still though, I would lean towards ordering some kind of a game bird (squab, etc...) or a sublime chicken dish. Whatever I end up doing I'm going to do it soon. I am keenly aware of the hot conditions this wine has rested in for four years. (It's a 2004 wine but I received it as a gift in 2007.) Someone wisely pointed out that the first year or two in these hot conditions would probably not contribute too dramatic of an effect but then the next few years after that most likely have resulted in the equivalent of about 5 years of age. So I'm thinking this wine has aged the equivalent of about 10 years even though it's only 7 years old. Am I about right in this estimation? I would rather not put the wine through another winter season being held at this temperature. It's about time to pull that cork and see what I've got. When I do it, I'll try to get some pics and description to post here. Thanks so much everyone for your help so far.
  2. well, hey there folks... I'm proud to say I've still not opened that 2004 Anne Gros Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru. Yes, it's the very same bottle. It has been stored at "room temperature" and not properly in a wine cellar. At least it has rested on its side this whole time! A lot has changed in my life since this bottle was given to me as a gift but it will likely be the most expensive wine I will have ever had the pleasure to drink. I've had some very good wine before at up to about $80 retail but this bottle was worth more than that when it was bought for me in 2007. By now its value has gone up even more than when it was first purchased. I see that its retail price spiked in early 2011 at nearly $140 and now has settled down at around $120. I'm not a wealthy man and I certainly want to pair this wine with the perfect dish. I recently made Julia's boeuf bourg recipe and it came out well. I followed the one from M.T.A.O.F.C. but I also watched the television version. She says on the tv version that the rustic dish would overpower a delicate burgundy and suggests a wine from St. Emillion in the cookbook version. So... would my 2004 Anne Gros Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru be a good pairing with the dish or not? I wouldn't want to waste a beautiful wine like that on a rustic powerfully rich dish that will take over my palate and not let me enjoy the wine. Thoughts?
  3. Anyone try this place? It's gotten plenty of discussion at Chowhound and Opentable. http://www.schoolhouseatcannondale.com/
  4. At Flo's you mean? We got the "Fisherman's Platter" which had (all fried) scallops, shrimp, clam cake, whole clam, clam strips, calamari, fish and chips. I had remarked while we were ordering that we should just get the fried whole clams and nothing else but my wife and I can never resist trying "a little of this and that" so we got the platter. Sure enough, the whole clams were by far the tastiest thing on there. If my belly had the room I would have crammed another whole plate of those delicious clams down there. Now I'm like a junkie... can't wait for my next fried whole clam fix. I wonder if there is any place in Fairfield County, CT that's even remotely worthy? (That's my home turf.)
  5. Tried both Jamestown Oyster Bar and Flo's Clam Shack. Both were very good... Flo's was outstanding. Those fried clams were unbelievable.
  6. My wife and I are looking for great "authentic" New England seafood houses in Newport, RI. The saltier and crustier the better. Looking for fish, crabs, oysters, clams, lobster, etc... you know. "The Captain's Crab House" or something like that. Please go right ahead and list your favorites. Incidentally Jamestown, RI is also ok since that's where we're staying.
  7. James Kessler

    Cigars and Wine

    Lately I've been enjoying the pairing of a medium or light-bodied cigar alongside a glass of Rioja. The leathery, tobacco notes and tannins of the Rioja seem to provide a nice parallel to the cigar smoke. Also the cigar does indeed seem to make the wine taste "fruitier" than it is on its own... but in a good way.
  8. My wife and I just dined here last night for the first time. Really nice place. Faint smell of antique wood in there... very pleasant atmosphere. I'm pretty sure it was Grace Lamb who was hostess; very gracious. At this point the restaurant still lacks their liquor license so it's operating as a BYO. Here's a sample MENU. We ordered: baked potato croquettes with feta (and some kind of tomato-based sauce) fresh yellowfin tuna sandwich with celery root mayonnaise and sunchoke chips lobster and fingerling potato crepe with bernaise sauce veal cheeks with israeli couscous, morels and asparagus seared hanger steak with onion chips (and some kind of puree... onion?) smoked short rib with truffled polenta For Westchester and Fairfield Counties this restaurant is WAY BEYOND standards of quality. In this part of the region, we don't often see restaurants with such attention to creative layering of flavors and textures. Most restaurants are content to serve the same standard dishes as one another, to various levels of competency. This place however, is obviously operating within the sphere of influence of Manhattan. Great use of seasoning, very pleasing flavors and textures for the most part. Not without its flaws however. I enjoyed the potato croquettes very much, while my wife said she was disappointed that they are served cold. Veal cheeks were delicious... perhaps the star of the meal for me... but served in a deep bowl which made it difficult to manipulate on the fork. Seared hanger steak was the biggest disappointment for me because of the tough, chewy texture. Not sure what could have improved the texture of the meat. Also, the puree it was served over was pretty bland. Smoked short rib was very good, but for around $16 or so we found the portion to be very tiny. (Yes, I understand it's meant to be a "small plate" but there's small and then there's tiny.) Desserts were a yogurt cheesecake with preserved berries and grahm cracker crumbs. Also a chocolate tart with caramel whip. Both desserts were very very good. In fact, both desserts sound pretty mundane from their descriptions, but I assure you they were both very flavorful and enjoyable. In so many restaurants around this region dessert is not even worth bothering with it's such a low point to the meal. In this case however, we were quite pleasantly surprised. If anyone cares about this aspect I'll also mention that all of that food, along with a bottle of Pellegrino, came out to $99 before tax and tip. That's worth mentioning since again, restaurants of this caliber are rarely found in this region -- and CERTAINLY not at that price. The place only seats 36 and has not yet been "discovered" by locals. Get here NOW while you can still BYO and get a reservation without a wait. Once the New Cannanites and Wiltoners find out about this spot its charm will have diminished somewhat... so now's the time to jump at the chance! you can call 203-966-5595 for reservations.
  9. I've tried it, but I really prefer Koo. (both in Ridgefield, CT and in Rye, NY)
  10. Ok, so I've never been to Buffalo. I've never even had wings in NYC. However, I have had wings in as many freakin' wing joints as I possibly could in my local area. (30 mile radius, give or take.) I've hated all of them. Texture is usually off. Never the right crispiness, or sometimes they've been grilled after being fried. In this case the taste is usually affected by an overly-grilled flavor. Best I've tasted so far? Candlelight Inn in Hartsdale, NY How I long for their juicy, tangy, crispy delights. Open 'till 3:00 AM! I can't wait to return. That's my buffalo two cents.
  11. Anyone ever try to make BB in a slow-cooker? Any good results? Care to share the recipe please? OR should I make sure to stay far away from my crockpot for this dish?
  12. Please... anyone have a GOOD recipe for slow-cooker Boeuf Bourguignon? I found one on the internet that seemed too basic. Not that I need an overly complex recipe. Just a good, solid recipe that doesn't leave out essential flavors. I know someone out there in egullet-land has a kick-ass boeuf bourguignon recipe that doesn't suck. Thanks! I can't wait to give it a whirl!
  13. Well as a matter of fact I would like to get a wine storage fridge. Probably the one you mentioned is great, but there is a space issue. Eventually I will be able to clear some space for such a unit, but right now I'm gonna make do without. Anyway... I didn't mean for this thread to get off track. I probably should have put this in the cooking forum and not the wine forum. While I do appreciate the wine storage advice and tasting notes as well... I'm mainly looking for specific recipes to cook for it. I'm not usually one to follow a recipe word-for-word, but sometimes on special occasions I do. I would consider this an occasion to follow a recipe. Anybody got one?
  14. Well, I don't mind waiting... four years, heck twenty for all I care. However I'm not sure my storage is adequate. I keep my wine bottles (on their sides) either in a wine rack atop a chest of drawers or in the drawers. The chest is in my dining room. No direct sunlight enters the room. The only light source is the ceiling lamp. No environmental controls are in place. Temperature ranges from 60 - 75 year-round. I would think that's too hot for proper wine storage. If you all think I should keep it anyway, I'll do it. If you think there's a good chance I'll ruin the bottle, I'd much rather just drink it now and dream about how much better it would have tasted in a few years. I appreciate all the advice so far! Absolutely interested in all of your opinions... please keep it coming!
  15. I wasn't sure if I should post this under cooking or under wine. What I am looking for are specific recipe suggestions that I can make at home. This is a "special" bottle my wife bought me as a gift. I know she spent more than she wanted to in order to try to get a "good" red Burgundy. Hopefully she has chosen well. Now it's up to me to cook a fantastic meal for two so we can enjoy this bottle together. I definately want to pair it with a simple dinner, no more than two courses. (We'll also have dessert, but that's another story.) Please, no salmon. My wife hates salmon. Cuisine does not HAVE to be Burgundian fare, but it might be nice. Once more, here are the wine details: 2004 Anne Gros Clos-Vougeot Grand Cru Thanks for all your help, everyone! I'll post the results.
  16. That's Hubert Keller. ← Indeed you are correct, sir. I stand corrected.
  17. I believe the incident was when chef Thomas Keller (not the same chef of French Laundry fame) yelled at a chef for tasting a sauce using his finger. I admit that putting the tasting spoon back in the broth isn't much better, but just clarifying.
  18. Having never viewed this thread prior, I ate there this past Friday night with my wife. Had 9:30 reservations through opentable. Arrived at 9:37 and was asked to wait in the downstairs lounge. Had some difficulty getting a seat or any attention from the barstaff for several minutes, but then finally were seated at the far left of the bar. Ordered a white lilly, (apparently somewhat popular, now seeing it mentioned several times in this thread,) and a glass of albarino. Almost the exact moment our drinks were poured, we were told our table was ready. The host said "we have a great table for you." He wasn't wrong. Our table was in the upper part of the dining room overlooking the omakase bar to my left (the host station directly behind me.) A great view into the kitchen and the rest of the dining room. Ordered the tuna pizza, (bluefin tuna, anchovy aioli, jalepeno); japanese lobster fritters, (pickeled ginger, scallion, lobster reduction); braised black cod, (japanese ratatouille, ginger-soy reduction); line-caught halibut, (black bean sauce, shaved ginger, hot oil); shimp tempura roll, (tempura shrimp, asparagus, spicy sauce); morimoto '5 year' aged sake; orange-berry tart, (vanilla bean ice cream, marshmallow, spiced berry sauce); chocolate pecan brownie, ( amaretto ice cream, espresso ice cream, cardamom sauce). Pizza : both of us agreed it had great flavor. My wife found the jalepeno too spicy for her taste, but still liked the flavor. I thought the whole thing was great. Fritters: a real hit. we both gobbled them up lickety-split. braised cod: sweetly seasoned, with candied olives on the plate. Almost an unagi-sauce like flavor. We both liked it. halibut: delicious, both in texture and flavor. Sauce was outstanding, and not overpowering. A very clean taste to the dish, with the natural flavor of the halibut coming through strongly. Other flavors did not dominate the dish. shrimp tempura maki: I don't know what Morimoto does to his rice, but it was awesome! Not at all like sushi rice I've had before at other places, (yasuda, etc...) But unique and delicious. The asparagus provides just a slight refreshing crunch to the roll. Really good! We both were sad when it was gone, and could have ordered another one. (If we didn't mind the bill rapidly approaching the $300 mark!) dessert was ok, but nothing all that special. The berry tart was especially nondescript. Chocolate brownie was a little better. Overall, we loved everything we ate. Dessert was the lowest point in the meal, but not especially bad. Just not especially great either. Prices are, in general, crushingly expensive I thought. Yes, I know, I know, it's what one expects to pay for a restaurant like this one, in Manhattan. However, over three dollars for an oyster is expensive no matter what you're gonna say. Service, by the way, was pretty good we thought. All of the staff seemed very collected and at-ease. Our server was knowledgable and prompt. The low point in service was at the end of the meal, after dessert, and after the aged sake. We were waiting for someone to appear so we could ask for the check. No-one appeared for what seemed like a very long time. Finally I was able to make eye contact with our waitperson and request the bill, which them came promptly. Didn't really like the prolonged delay in asking for the bill though. No matter, I didn't let it affect the tip (too much. ) Anyway, we definately plan on returning. Next time I want to get the omakase and sit at the o. bar. My impression was, basically that it's a trendy trendy place that will make a crapload of money serving very good and tasty food, and charging somewhat more than they should for it.
  19. I mean this in all respect, and do not think you were wrong in any way to act as you did in response to the table incident. I can completely respect your decision for you and your particular preferences. However, don't you think that some folks might actually like sitting in there? Before the restaurant "converts it into a coat rack" as you suggested, perhaps some couples might like the seclusion of tables off in that alcove. I doubt very much that I would want to sit there myself, either. Obviously you also disliked those tables. I'm just thinking that there might be some people who would prefer seating like that.
  20. My wine collection, sadly is next to zero. I have a couple of good bottles kept on their side in a drawer of a wooden dresser in a room with no external walls or windows. Room temperature is kept between 68 - 78 year-round. My question refers to a friend who keeps her wine collection in a basement pantry on shelves. Of course light and heat are not really a problem down there, but I noticed very distinctly the smell and feel of humidity in the air. Not really a "mold problem" per se, but it was a little danker than I would have thought good. SO... is humidity, dampness, dankness and/or mold in the basement a serious issue to consider? I was going to tell my friend to get her wine collection OUT of that basement right away, but then I thought I might ask here first.
  21. WF in White Plains, NY was carrying it about one month ago. I'll probably be there again tomorrow and try to let you all know. I got told the same story about Italians using hormones on their animals. Also I was told that Serranno ham hasn't been carried in a while because the Spanish also use hormones. I have been getting my proscuitto from Balducci's.
  22. Not too long ago I tasted most of the Stupak dessert menu. The most memorable for me was "Black currant cake, black sesame, shiso, meringue." Almost like a deconstructed peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The meringue contributed a "fluffernutter" parody to the dish that made it overall very enjoyable. By the way, I did not find the menthol mousse to be at all reminiscent of a cough drop. Actually it was subdued enough to meld with the lemon and chartreuse into something quite refreshing and pleasant.
  23. Is Aujourd'ui a buffet? I was interested, but thought it was priced by each dish. (As opposed to a fixed price for a buffet.) Don't really know, because I haven't actually seen a menu. Is there someone who knows for sure if it is or is not a buffet?
  24. Sunday Brunch I found out, is not really a Brunch but really a Lunch. Not exactly what I was looking for, but still good. Unbloody Mary tomato water, horseradish gelee Strawberry Sangria Strawberry puree, fresh berries Chilled Corn Soup with corn relish and cilantro (good, but not necessarily great.) Green Beans and egg croquette, sea salt, minced fennel, assorted greens. (very good dish!) Meatloaf zuchinni puree, green beans (this dish was a touch saltier than it needed to be.) poached chicken quinous, corn, zuchinni, very subtle and tasty. Most of the chicken was intentionally underseasoned to bring out the natural flavor. The quinous mixture was a little more liberally seasoned, which helped the overall dish. One piece of chicken with the skin still on was also more liberally seasoned, and very flavorful. VERY enjoyable dish overall. My favorite from this meal. bread pudding caramel ice cream, salted peanuts strawberry coupe vanilla mousse, rasberry granite. Overall, very good meal. NOT a Sunday Brunch IMHO. The menu was labelled LUNCH, and that's what we got. A nice lunch. I guess it was a bit of a letdown since we were expecting lovely egg dishes (other than the croquette) and possibly waffles or pancakes or ham, or something more like a traditional brunch menu. Oh yes, one more thing... not something to be overlooked. The table rocked back and forth as we ate. We're not really that tough critics on service I think, but the wobbly table really cut into our enjoyment of the meal. I would not expect that at a great restaurant like this one. >Please forgive me if my spelling is a little off in this post. Just a bit sleepy now. Wanted to get this done tonight before bed. Goodnight.<
  25. Although this thread is old, can anyone specifically update it with a rec on a brunch buffet? A good one, please. Price is well, not MUCH of an object. I would say something not more than $80 per person all-included. (drinks and tip and all that.) Near me there is Crabtree's Kittle House in Chappaqua, NY and Restaurant X in Piermont. Both do fantastic all-you-can eat brunches for under $40. (Restaurant X is A.Y.C.E. but not a buffet.)
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