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Everything posted by bcsuka

  1. For what it's worth, Irvine tried to "set the record straight" with the following post on his Blog: http://www.chefrobertirvineblog.com/index.php/robert0004-jpg As for the show itself, I will watch it every now and then if I'm looking for some light entertainment. I generally have found Irvine's more frenetic approach works better given the format of the show. Chef Symon was too calm, cool and collected.
  2. Not to nitpick or anything, but he was actually arguing with Karinne Bakhoum (sp?) who I personally find equally annoying and still can't believe is allowed to judge Flay battles given the obvious conflict of interest. But whatever. As an aside to the judging of this ep, I can't believe that Flay received a signficantly higher score for Originality when, as an earlier poster rightly stated, it was same-old, same-old from Bobby (i.e. blue corn tortillas, spicy chiles, etc). Brad
  3. I'm watching...and already regretting it. This is simply god awful.
  4. Thanks for the review Scargo. I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting places in the New Haven area, and in particular outside of the city itself. Sounds like I'll have to make a point to visit Crave sometime soon. Brad
  5. I have been lurking on this thread for the better part of 6 months, living vicariously through the experiences of the regular SK patrons -- and loving every minute of it. I consider myself to be a neophyte, at best, when it comes to the finer points of food preparation, wine pairings and overall culinary knowledge. With that in mind, I've been hesitant - nervous, even - to try to plan a visit to SK for myself. How could I, with my mediocre culinary experience and knowledge, provide the type of audience that would inspire Shola? How could I avoid asking "stupid" questions and/or provide the type of feedback that he would find valuable (other than just "wow, that was great!"). It was through reading this thread, however, that I came to realize that I really hadn't anything to worry about. I am, quite possibly, exactly the type of audience that Shola is looking for. Someone who loves food, loves GREAT food, prepared well. Someone who is willing...no, WANTS to experience new cuisine, foods, preparation methods, taste and flavor combinations. Someone who wants to understand the evolution of a dish -- the thought-process that goes into deciding that the tart citrus of grapefruit would provide the perfect complement to the earthy flavor of parsley root. Someone that wants to learn. So, after finally having that epiphany, I decided it was time to gather my wife and group of friends who share my view of the culinary world and plan a dinner with Shola. Imagine my disappointment then, after coming back to this thread following a three week absence, to find out that SK is closing indefinitely! Heart-broken, crestfallen..... My thanks to Jeff L for sharing the email response you received from Shola. That provides a ray of hope to me that SK will be reopening at some point. In the meantime, I wish Shola safe travels to Europe. I would particularly like to thank philadining for the incredible photography and commentary on your dinners with Shola. It is no small time-commitment you have put in to sharing your thoughts, and I just wanted to say that, from those of us who haven't yet had the chance to experience SK for ourselves, it is much appreciated. And to all the other regulars as well - it is an absolute pleasure reading your opinions and experiences. I would consider it a privilege to one day share a dinner at SK with any of my fellow eGulleters, and hope that we have the chance to do so. I've already learned a great deal from all of you, and would enjoy learning even more in person. Until then, I eagerly await the next set of dinner reports and pictures! At least through March... -Brad
  6. YT, Your photos, as always, are a revelation. Thank you very much for taking so much time to share with us. Since changing jobs I unfortunately don't travel to Chicago anymore, but after reading about this truffle menu, I might have to convince the wife that it's time to plan a Windy City vacation (for next Fall, of course).
  7. Just to follow-up on the thread, we ended up going to Union League Cafe as their online menu seemed more appealing to my wife. We had an excellent time, enjoyed everything from the atmosphere, to the service, to, of course, the food. We each started with a bowl of soup -- creamy lobster bisque with copius hunks of fresh lobster for my wife and a creamy artichoke soup with maplewood bacon for me. Both were steaming hot and delicious, although the bacon's extremely strong flavor was a bit overpowering in mine. We then split a Dungeness Crab salad appetizer, served with a cucumber dressing and micro greens. Simple, light, elegant and delicious. Heaps of crab perfectly paired with refreshing cucumber. For entrees, my wife had a seared halibut and I had a roast pheasant with foie gras sauce (I didn't write down the specifics of each dish, so I apologize for the lack of details). Both entrees were good, though not spectacular. We split a dessert of a chestnut mousse-filled puff pastry which was excellent. Our waiter had a great sense of humour and was very accomodating to any special requests. By 7:00, the entire room was packed.
  8. My wife and I will be celebrating our 5th anniversary in a few weeks and I will be taking her to a show in New Haven, and wanted to include a nice dinner beforehand. I've pretty much narrowed my choices down to Union League or Ibiza -- both restaurants we've never been to. Both would seem to be stellar choices based on the menus I can see online, but I'm hoping to get some more in-depth opinions from my fellow e-Gulleters. Any and all thoughts are welcome! Thanks in advance! -Brad
  9. I'll second the vote for King & I. Really excellent Thai food and reasonably priced, to boot! Barcleona is a decent choice and the Fairfield location is easy to get to right off the Merritt Parkway, although the Springsteen show is at the Arena which is off I-95. Unfortunately, Super Duper Weenie may not be a choice either as, if I remember correctly, the show is on a Wednesday and they close by 4:00 Monday-Wednesdays.
  10. Thanks for the awesome links iheart and milla -- that's what is great about this board, just ask and ye shall learn! Not that I'd actually be capable of duplicating that recipe for fried mayo. Guess I'll just continue to leave the experimentation to talents like Chef Dufresne -- while I get to enjoy eating it!
  11. I'm about two weeks late in posting this, but better late than never, as they say! Met a small group of friends in NYC two weeks ago for a relaxing night out and, after stopping at Fish on Bleecker for a tasting of beer and oysters from their raw bar, we made our way to wd~50. We had planned to eat at the bar, but the hostess was kind enough to seat the four of us at the table right in front of the window. We were still served by the bartender, so I guess technically we were still "at the bar." The evening started off with a few mixed drinks as my buddy and I noticed the selection of ginger beer at the bar. "Four Dark n' Stormys, please!" For those who may not be familiar with a Dark n' Stormy, it is a mix of 2oz. Gosling's Black Seal rum, a bottle of ginger beer and 1 slice lime. Deeeeelicious! Moving on to food, we decided that our family-style approach was working well, so we split two appetizers: Pickled beef tongue, fried mayo and onion steusel Venison tartare, edamame ice cream and cruncy pear Both appetizers were excellent, although we agreed that the Pickled beef worked better as a whole concept -- a deconstructed deli sandwich! Fantastic (how DO they fry the mayo?!?!). The individual pieces of the venison dish were amazing, but I didn't find that they necessarily complemented each other as much. I'd love to hear others' opinions on this. To the main course: Monkfish, oyster mushroom, spaghetti squash, pumpernickel cocoa and pear consomme Short ribs, smoked flatiron beef, kimchee spaetzle and papaya ravioli Both dishes were tremendous, each with unique distinguishing features. The majority sided with the monkfish as the superior dish, but both were given two big thumbs up. The part that impressed me was how perfectly the individual pieces were prepared. The short ribs practically fell apart yet were moist and full of flavor; the monkfish was firm and complemented so well by the pear consomme. Wow, oh wow! Dessert time: Caramel panna cotta and sweet corn streusel My notes were illegible for this last one, but it was a pineapple dessert with a pineapple cake, etc. These desserts were a perfect end to the meal as they were just the right blend of sweet (but not TOO sweet) and savory. Overall we had a great time. We arrived a few minutes before 7:00 on a Friday and the place was about half full. By the time we were finished a few hours later, it was jam-packed and bustling. The part that impressed me the most, however, was that even with the overflowing crowd, the hostess still brought my buddy and myself back to meet Chef Dufresne. The kitchen was a blur of activity, but so finely tuned, that it worked perfectly. Both Chef Dufresne and Chef Mason were present, and we had the pleasure to talk (albeit briefly -- we could obviously see how busy they were and we didn't want to cause any issues) with both of them (a simple "wow, you guys rock!"). Now I need to find the time to go back and try the tasting menu!
  12. Just want to add my kudos to Daniel for an awesome trip report! I'm real glad to hear you enjoyed the Rawley's dog. I grew up in Fairfield, CT and practically lived on Rawley's during my high school days. Believe me when I say that the inside has always looked rundown and that I was surprised at how nice the outside looked! Now it's time to go find myself one of those killer lobster rolls. Yum!
  13. My thanks to all for the feedback. Liz, thanks for the link on Tango Grill -- it looks interesting. You mention that you didn't order correctly when you were there. May I ask details (what you ordered, the problems with it)? Also, curious about more info on Trotters -- what cuisine, etc. Assuming that it has nothing to do with the erstwhile Charlie Trotter??
  14. Looking for a few suggestions for a business dinner in the immediate White Plains area. Doesn't have to be overly fancy, just good solid food and service. Any thoughts? Thanks!
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