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    Scottsdale, AZ
  1. Fleur de Lys would be at the top of my list. I've also had a great tasting menu at Bradley Ogden and a very nice one at Alex.
  2. I've found that afterwards I was underwhelmed by Zinc, and I finally concluded that it wasn't the food so much as the service. There are some very good waiters there, but there are others that make for a bad experience. It isn't technical problems - things are delivered effectively, but it's an attitude thing. Sometimes they seem annoyed to answer questions about the menu, other times they give these annoyingly condescending descriptions that really don't help. This can happen anywhere, it just seems to happen at Zinc more than most places. It's too bad, because it's too easy to miss what a great place it can be.
  3. I've been there many times, but recently I've been quite underwhelmed. The fennel sausage alone is still worth the trip, as is the dessert calzone, but the pizza itself was nothing special. I wonder if it's been that way for a while, but with starting and ending happy I haven't really noticed. The service was quite good.
  4. Wow, I really need to eat here more often. This is a place that absolutely is not afraid of unusual menu items and parts that might scare people. The appetizer list includes frog legs, lamb tounge, sweetbreads, and mallard hearts among somewhat more conventional items. Nothing here is common though. My biggest problem is narrowing it down - the whole menu sounds sooooo good. Last time I had the frogs legs, and they were fantastic, so it was hard not to get that again, but this time I started with the lavendar fois gras topped with pink peppercorns with deep fried hazelnut crusted chocolate truffles. This was the thickest piece of seared fois gras I've ever had - at least 1.5" thick, which allowed for a wider range of texture than you normally get. It was big, incredibly rich, and really excellent, Not just a weird combination of ingredients, it really worked well together. This is a fois gras that really needs the sauterne with it. It was cooked perfectly, with just the right amount of salt on the crust. Having survived that, my entree was even more rich. I had the risotto royale, which was risotto with yet another honking hunk of fois gras, lobster, and plenty of black truffle. I also got a bite of roast sturgeon with morel tea, which was quite excellent as well. Somehow having survived that I foolishly ordered dessert - chocolate croissant pudding, a bread pudding made from a croissant. Yet another tremendously rich dish - buttery flaky and richly chocolate. This place keeps getting better, and with so many other menu items that I'm dying to try I'll be going back again and again. Located where Restaurant Hapa used to be, it looks like we have a restaurant that not only takes it's place, but measures up to its past.
  5. EHPete

    Tempura--Cook-Off 22

    I like to use equal parts of rice flour and normal AP flour. I don't really work with a recipe, but to that I just add salt, baking powder, and club soda until it seems right.
  6. EHPete


    And it doesn't have to be a souffle dish, either. I've made great cheese souffles in my Pyrex casserole dish (without the lid on, of course). ← I just made some souffles in hollowed out tangerine rinds, they came out great. - peter
  7. EHPete

    Kitchen Appliances

    On my counter: KitchenAid Mixer (used a couple times a week) Espresso Machine (used dailly) Coffe Grinder (used daily) Coffee Maker (used every few weeks) Microwave (used infrequently, but I haven't come up with a way to keep it out of the way) Deep Fryer (used every couple weeks - it fills the otherwise uselessly funny shaped space between the microwave and the edge of the counter) Food Processor (used every couple weeks) in the cabinets: rice maker (can live on the counter for days at a time) toaster (almost feels obligatory to have one) ice cream maker blender waffle iron stick blender fondue pot in the garage: panini press juicer electric skillet bread maker flatbread maker
  8. EHPete

    How Can I Fix Tuna Steaks...

    I'm not sure a thick piece of tuna cooked that much is every going to be anything but tough and dry. I did try an approach when serving to some friends who don't like rare tuna - I sliced it into about 1/8" thick slices, seasoned them (I used crushed wasabi peas, along with some salt and pepper) and cooked them in a really hot pan very briefly (less than a minute per side). The texture came out nice, still moist, but cooked through.
  9. EHPete

    Cheese Fondue

    I don't usually bother with a fondue pot for cheese, just use a pot with a lot of mass and it will keep everything hot for long enough - it doesn't stay around that long anyhow.
  10. The purpose is to use your dominant hand for the operation requiring the dexterity.
  11. Anyone know of a good place to get quality Italian ingredients in Scottsdale or the Phoenix area in general? I really miss the italian markets from the northeast. In particular right now I'm looking for some decent ricotta.
  12. I had a great burger at the Burger Bar in Mandalay Place right after they opened, although I hear the quality has slipped since then. If you want to spend $60 on a burger in Vegas, that's the place to go.
  13. EHPete

    The Iced Tea Topic

    If your tea is bitter, you are probably using too little tea, letting it steep too long, or both. Much like coffee, what people perceive as "too strong" is actually caused by too little of whatever you are extracting from.
  14. EHPete

    Cooking Lobster

    The lobster that I had at both French Laundry and at Per Se was just a bit unusual in texture - the slow cooking results in a texture that is closer to raw. This isn't actually tough, is really is tender, but could be perceived as tough. I loved it, but the people I was with who weren't lobster eaters didn't really like it much, mainly complaining about the texture.
  15. EHPete

    Bagel Recipes & Tips

    I've been making the Bread Bakers Apprentice version quite a lot lately. I've made plain and cinnamon raisin. I've got high-gluten flour from Smart & Final, and it definitely makes a difference. The big thing I found is that the malt makes a difference in flavor. It's subtle, but without it the bagels just don't quite taste right. I've been trying to experiment with how length of boiling affects things, but I lose track of which are which when I put them in the oven. Right now I've been boiling 2 minutes per side, and that seems to get good results, not quite as shiny as think they should be.