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Joe Gerard

participating member
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    http://www.agourmandslife.com

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  • Location
    New York City
  1. It would be a shame to leave San Francisco without visiting Tartine - one of the best bakeries in the country - particularly at breakfast. They make incredible scones, morning buns, frangipane croissants and bread pudding that have locals lining up every day. I have to control my urges to fly out there just for breakfast. Boulette's Larder at the Ferry Building serves a nice breakfast, or, if you prefer, stroll through the building itself and choose your own breakfast - cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, bread from Acme, great fruit tarts from Frog Hollow Farm and coffee from the famous Blue Bottle roasters.
  2. Without hesitation, Anthos. Their tasting menu is outstanding, but if its one dish you're after, their Sheeps Milk Gnudi are sensational. To compare the Greek restaurants in Astoria to Anthos is kind of a joke. Among the classic Greek places in Manhattan, I can heartily recommend the Chargrilled Octopus and Lamb Chops at Periyali. Not much else I would eat there though.
  3. I echo Chez L'Ami Jean. For a splurge lunch I would recommend Le Meurice. The room and service are spectacular and Yannick Alleno is immensely talented. The 7th is great for food - Marie-Anne Cantin for cheese, Millet for pastry, Michel Chaudon for chocolate, the Rue Cler market if it is open when you are there.
  4. I sense some second city-itis in your post, but that's ok. The categories that you mention are really niches. The fact that LA has the best Mexican or Lockhart, TX the best barbecue doesn't make them contenders to be the best food city in the U.S. New York is clearly at the top due to its sheer size and the resulting breath and scope of its dining scene. There are more solid to excellent restaurants here than anywhere else in the U.S., and not only for big spenders. San Francisco and Chicago would be next. While I have had spectacular experiences in Chicago (Topolobampo, Alinea, Spiaggia), I have also had duds, even at the very top of the chain (Trotter, Tru, the former Avenues). I love Chicago, and think it is a great place to eat, but this becomes a numbers game when you really think about it. The argument would not be terribly long or drawn out.
  5. This topic is particularly timely for me as I spent the last two evenings rifling through my five year old's Halloween loot to conduct a similar rxperiment. I tasted a bunch of chocolate bars and suddenly had a vivid recollection of why I stopped eating them years ago - they suck. They were uniformly awful, featuring terrible chocolate, mealy or grainy textures and an overdose of sugar. I think Walker's shortbread is a good product, and Haagen-Daz, at least the basic flavors.
  6. Joe Gerard

    Wild Rice Help

    I found an extraordinary canoe-harvested, wood-parched wild rice sold by the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa that puts cultivated "wild rice" to shame. You really must try this stuff - it has an unmistakeably robust, smoky and nutty flavor and it cooks in only 15-20 minutes. Its in the Zingerman's catalog, but you can order it directly at www.nettlakewildrice.com and save some money.
  7. we're ging to try to make it to Eve's for lunch on Friday or Saturday... Do try to make it to Restaurant Eve - it is superb and a destination restaurant in every sense of the term. You don't want to leave with regrets!
  8. Joe Gerard

    Urasawa

    I haven't been since last year, when it was $300 without drinks, tax and tip. I don't know if it has gone up, but its worth it.
  9. David, Looks great! Crostadas are my favorite things to bake in the summer. They don't require the commitment of a double crust pie and they really show off the fruit. Unfortunately for New Yorkers, even the blueberries we get at the farmer's market these days are pretty wan. I have been enjoying your bumper cherry crop this season, though!
  10. Saratoga Springs, only five minutes off the Northway, for a stop at Mrs. London's, one of the greatest patisseries in the country. Great croissants, Kugelhopf, pecan danish and French pastries of all kinds. They now have a small restaurant next door for a full meal which I understand is excellent. They're right on Broadway, the main drag into town. There is also a nice little diner called the Country Corner a block in from Broadway near the post office. The breads and preserves are home made, the eggs are farm frsh and they serve good coffee. There may be another location now which I can't vouch for. Hattie's Chicken Shack used to serve really good fried chicken and soul food but its changed hands since I've been there. Still supposed to be good, I think. Bon voyage and good eating.
  11. I had an opportunity to have lunch at La Mar on their third day of operation, and was surprised both by the explosive flavors and the kitchen's ability to hit the ground running. It indicates that Acurio is serious about introducing refined Peruvian cuisine to the masses. More comments and lousy pictures (the drinks are strong) on the blog.
  12. I realize this rquires more planning then you intended, but I often buy a chicken from my butcher on the weekend and use The Zuni Cafe roast chicken recipe. Clean bird, dry, stuff various fresh herbs under skin of breast and legs, season thoroughly with just s&p and wrap up in foil for two to three days. When you get home the day of, preheat oven to 450-475 (depending on what temperature will fill your kitchen with smoke) while you preheat a skillet on the stove. Add a touch of oil to pan, roast bird 25 minutes breast side up, flip it for another 25 and then flip right side up for about another 7 minutes or so. This never fails to provide juicy meat, really crisp skin, and a quick easy meal. Man, I want one tonight.
  13. John, Your services to EG will certainly be missed, but please continue your dignified and thoughtful posts. No one made a greater contribution to the culinary community, and the cause of great cuisine. All the best, Joe
  14. Likewise, I doubt I will top 2007 any time soon. My list, in order of preference, The French Laundry, Yountville, CA Extebarri, Axpe, Spain Martin Berasetegui, Lasarte, Spain Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain Guy Savoy, Las Vegas, NV Alex, Las Vegas, NV, Lotus of Siam, Las Vegas, NV El Bulli, Roses, Spain Can Fabes, San Celoni, Spain Manresa, Los Gatos, CA Hispania, Arenys de Mar, Spain The Modern, New York, NY Joel Robuchon at The Mansion, Las Vegas, NV Alkimia, Barcelona, Spain Gaig, Barcelona, Spain Aligue, Marnresa, Spain Soto, New York, NY Osteria del Circo (menu prepared by Luciano Zazzeri of La Pineta, Maremma, Italy)
  15. It is still there and their brought-in croissants are still baked daily, right out of the freezer. Try City Bakery on 18th and Fifth, their regular croissants are good and the pretzel croissants are great. However, the quality of pastry in NYC is, sadly, disgraceful.
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