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Everything posted by mywhitedevil

  1. I was there for lunch and I have to say, I'm a bit concerned for their future.. Perhaps I'm being Chicken Little here, but they have closed the Bleu Market, and have stopped accepting Discover Card. There two things alone show a desperation to cut costs. I know that the development of the space must have cost $$$; I will be surprised if they last until Summer. I still have not had a chance to go for dinner or cocktails (the wine list/wine by the glass/cocktails look amazing) but looking at the menu again, it strikes me as very unbalanced/lacked cohesiveness. The fact that so many dishes required so many different ingredients must mean that the food costs are through the roof.
  2. thoughts on Bleu? I've been there for lunch a few times and felt it was good value for money. The space is really nice and the concept is good. I did feel like the menu was a bit boring. My friend Mandy is doing pastries but I haven't had much of a chance to talk her about it.
  3. MWD, Sorry I missed this somehow. I would've been happy to meet you there. Damn job - how am I supposed to keep up with eG and work? ← 'scool. I did two three hour classes at Olathe North, and it took way more out of me than I expected. Who knew 16-18 year olds were such a handful? And to think high school was only a decade ago! Instead of a visit to the Bluestem lounge, I ventured down K10 to Lawrence and hit up Wheatfields for a few loaves, Free State for a few pints and Lovegarden for a few platters of vinyl (actually made out like a bandit here and found a few out of press records for way cheap).
  4. would anyone be interested in dinner at Bluestem on the 26th? I'll in KC giving a presentation to the Olathe North Culinary Arts program that afternoon, and would like to try the new menu before I head back east.
  5. Has anyone noticed a slight dip in quality at Sycamore? The last two or three times we've been we've had iffy experiences. We had a (admittedly late) lunch where nearly half the menu was 86'd (only after we ordered), a dinner where everything off the grill station was under or over done; I ordered lamb chops rare and they showed up cold rare (seriously under 50 degrees in the middle). The service seems of much less quality, We had our last waitress ignore us half the night (with a 1/3 full dining room) and look clueless on wine service. The time before that, I asked if my cassoulet had pork belly in it, and the waitress told me it was lamb! It's still hands down the best dining in Columbia, and we'll continue to go, but the recent trend worries me.
  6. Sorry for the late reply' I've been off the board for quite a while, but I would disagree that it would grade out at prime. From what I've seen and eaten, I would say that it would grade out fifty-fifty split select/choice. It's harder to tell, though, as I've only experience with the frozen product. I would be more willing to open a shop locally if there were more local producers, and if they had the beef graded.
  7. I can't believe I've missed this entire thread. It shows how little I visit the eGullet forums lately. Some glaring disagreements: Taj Majal and India Rasoi (or Kitchen I forget. The one on Broadway) are very pedestrian and I only bother when I'm really hard up for some Indian food. I think Taj Mahal is slightly better, but I wouldn't suggest either to any visitor. I'm spolied I guess because I was introduced to Indian food at India Palace in Lawrence when I went to school. Classy's may be all right for lunch, but the dinner menu has to be one of the wierdest, amaturish I've ever seen. In fact, it is responsible for one of the single worst meals I've ever had, esp. considering that the bill was higher than a dinner at either Sycamore or Trat. I'd like to like it more because I have friends on staff there and the owner is really sweet, but I can't. Has Flat Branch Brewery been mentioned? I'm not keen on the food there much at all (although the burgers are pretty good. They don't use Show-Me Farms anymore I don't think, though) but the beer is very, very good. I'm a pretty big microbew fanatic, and I really, really like the majority of their brews. We shop at HyVee, but I would avoid both the fish case and the fresh meat case based on my own industry knowledge and some insider knowledge. Also, the majority of thier self service case has bee switched to Tri-gas laden case-ready junk from Cargill that I wouldn't feed to a dog. I can't honestly reccomend any meat market in Columbia. I'm severly unimpressed by them all (I hope to maybe change this.) We also shop at Clovers and the Farmers Market.
  8. I obviously have access to a pro one at work, but I keep meaning to pick one up for the house. Just keep an eye out for restaurant closing or surplus auctions...seems like every auction I go to one is on the block. The Hobarts are the best in my experiance, but Berkel makes a very nice one as well.
  9. THat's funny, that's exactly what I did come butchering time; I butterflied one for stuffing and one with the intention of smoking it.I think I may still fire up the smoker this week
  10. slaughtered one at the begining of the winter, so I'm rushing to use it up to free some freezer space for the Veggie season. Last week I made a Jamaican Curried Goat. I used about 4 pounds stew meat ( mostly from the shoulder, but odd bits from when I butchered it), two onions chopped, three or four cloves of garlic, minced, two habaneros (couldn't get Scotch Bonnets) ~4 T. curry powder, Thyme, S&P to flavor and marinated all this over night in a ziplock with the juice of one lemon. Next day I heated up some oil in a heavy stew pot and browned all the ingredients. Once brown, I added ~4 cups clear chicken stock and simmered for about 6 hours. An hour before it was done, I threw about two cups of 1/2" diced, peeled potatoes in. Served on white rice cooked in coconut milk instead of water. Awesome. Think I will try this recipe next week that a goat rancher in PA sent me: CAPRETTO AL FORNO CON PATATE (Baked Spring Kid with Potatoes) 3 lbs. spring kid leg and rib fresh herbs 6 tbs. grated Pecorino 2 lbs. potatoes 4 tbs. white breadcrumbs 6 tbs. olive oil 3 cloves garlic Prepare a mix with Pecorino, white breadcrumbs, chopped garlic and herbs. Sprinkle the spring kid with this mixture. Peel and slice the potatoes. Put 4 tbs. oil in a baking pan and arrange the sliced potatoes in it. Place the baby goat on top of the potatoes and add more of the mixture. Add salt and pepper, drizzle with remaining olive oil and bake in oven at 450ºF for one hour.
  11. I'll echo Chad on the Tojiros, and add Hiromoto's High Carbon line. I bought a 300mm (~12") gyuto for less than $60. If you like/can deal with carbon steel, these are likely a higher value than the Tojiro DP line. Very nice. Also to add that the new CC's are not the same beast that they once were. They are all recycled, junk steel nowadays. The pure, virigin steel of the older knives will hold an excellent edge, the new ones, notsomuch.
  12. Aye, find a processor. Generally they will have meat lockers for rent. Mine rent for $9/mnth (or $25 per quarter) for a 2'X2'X3' locker.
  13. Never heard of them. I wonder if they're called the Cringe because he cringes everytime she laugh/gigles or has a food orgasm. I know I do.
  14. It's a specific way to butcher a chicken breast, involving taking out the keel bone but leaving the lower wing drummette in place. Sometimes people prepare these as twined lobed, two breast fillet, but that's more accuratly called a banquet breast. Ah, finally found an online illustration of this...see http://www.redbirdchicken.com/foodservice/index.cfm and scroll down a little to see what I'm talking about. -J
  15. Has Cafe Provence closed as well? ← Oooo... maybe not... maybe I'm getting it mixed up with Hannah's Bistro... By the way, Katie - what happened to the innaugurating post on this thread? your first sentence seems to come from the middle of nowhere... or maybe I'm not reading carefully.... u.e. ← Now I'm confused...the title on the webpage when you click menu is "Hannah Bistro"
  16. I didn't notice but my office is only a few blocks from there so I can take a look. ← Judy, that would be great if you have a free moment. Specifically the brand is Chan Chee Kee, and they're usually carbon steel wrapped in brown paper with red writing. I haven't had as much free time this spring to get to the city as often as I am used to.
  17. I hope you never find yourself at a wedding in central KS. ← I don't suppose anyone noticed if it had any chinese cleavers/veg knifes? I'm looking for a specific brand that isn't readily available online (CCK) but is often found at better asian markets.
  18. The Hankotsu is a Japanese boning knife, but is a bit of an oddball. Usually the Japanese use the honesuki or a deba. The hankotsu is more suited to French or hanging butcher since the shape of the handle lends itself more towards an overhand (dagger) grip. It is a thick bladed, single bevel (i.e., one side of the blade is flat like a chisle) and is a pretty great knife. I use it daily to bone chickens, pork shoulders, whole lamb and beef rounds, etc. It really excels at frenching racks and cleaning bones. It holds its edge OK, I would wager the HRC value is around 58-59. I think I will replace it eventually with a carbon one, either a Masahiro Virgin Carbon or a Hiromoto AS. I reveived a quote for one from Shinichi Watanabe in Hitachi blue steel for around $200 and I may bite the bullet. I'd like to see an example of one from Takeda or Murray Carter since I'd prefer AS or White #2 steel, which Shinichi-san doesn't use. Ideally I'de get one in a powder steel, but AFAIK no manufacturer makes one in any powder steel.
  19. thanks, Bob, it was half on purpose, half by accident. I didn't have a container big enough for complete submergment, so I thought that if I put the knife in at an angle and filled the container while the knife was already in it, I would get diagonal streaks. I also got a few air bubble marks but it is only a work knife, afterall. Oh yeah, it was forced with Ferric Chloride.
  20. From top to bottom: Hiromoto HC 300mm Carbon Gyuto Tojiro DP 270 mm SS Sujihiki Masahiro MVB 150mm SS Hankotsu Tojiro DP 150mm SS Petty
  21. I had drinks there right before the True/False Film Festival, and tried a dessert that hadn't previously been on the menu; a ginger marscapone cake. It was very good. Head and shoulders above the other items. Mike needs to leave this on the menu as a signiture.
  22. Yeah, creativly named Sub Shop. It's about 3 blocks from our condo. Needless to say, I'm a regular. Very good stuff as long as you pretend the kitchen isn't filthy. Oh and it's fine to make Snyder jokes, as my wife and I are both Jayhawks.
  23. Heh, I used to cut meat for a very short time at the Dillions in Topeka off of Lake Sherwood, when I lived in Lawrence. Incidently, never buy your meat there! Columbia hasn't always been bad, but it's gotten very much so in the last 4 or 5 years. It's getting unbearable, really.
  24. the cassoulet was, as I said, quite good. I'm not up on all the provincial differences, but this was comprised of true flageolets, duck confit, lamb shank and boudin, with no tomato, and no breadcrumbs, so I think it kind of stradles the traditions of both north and south France. I keep trying to try new things when I go, but it's hard to not choose the cassoulet. Ahh, also I guess I should include their info since there is no website. Sycamore 800 E. Broadway Columbia, MO (573) 874-8090
  25. Well, it's been open for just under a year now, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so I feel I can finally write about Mike Odette's new restaurant, Sycamore. Previously, there wasn't any fresh, fine dining options in Columbia. Growing up there, I think that after Witchita, it might be home to the most chains and fast food spots in the country. Before May, the only really good restaurant was Trattoria Strada Nova and sister site Cucina Sorella across the street (oddly enough where Mike began cooking nearly 10 years ago). Sure, there are a lot of Sysco restaurants masquerading as fine restaurants, but they've all been mostly disappointing. Dali's, CC's City Broiler, Boone Tavern, and Grand Cru all come off as derivative and poorly executed. The places that work in Columbia all seem to be poorly copied Lawrence, KS ripoffs. Uprise Bakery is no Wheatfields no matter how hard it tries, Flat Branch Brewery isn't up to par with Free State, etc. Well, Sycamore is different. You get the service and atmosphere you would expect in finer restaurants. The renovation of the old Widman's is phenomenal. The kitchen is in the rear on a mezzanine, and is open to the dining room. The art is simple and attractive, and the layout of the tables is aesthetically pleasing and conducive to the normal restaurant traffic. The bathrooms are very clean, although a little small for the size of the dining room. The bar is a little small. Several times I've tried to go get a drink later in the evening while on the same block, and there wasn't enough room at the bar. Service is more than passable, and certainly some of the best in the city, but not quite up to par with the quality of the rest of restaurant. The bussers are a little slow, the bartender could use some work, and while the wait staff knows the ropes of proper service, they often do the little things wrong. For instance, we ordered cocktails before our meal on our last visit, and the waiter removed the wine list before we even ordered our starters. I had to ask him to bring it back. To his credit, he was pretty quick about having the bartender remake my cocktail, but it remains to be seen if it was the bartender's fault that my gin was all bitters, or if the waiter didn't relay my order as I placed it. (Sapphire, rocks, 1 dash of bitters doesn't seem to be too hard to communicate). The menu rotates fairly often, with a few staples such as Steak Frites and Cassolet that seem to be permenant. The menu is smallish (as it should be) with 5 or 6 salads, 5 or 6 starters and 7 or 8 entrees. The most amazing thing about the menu is the afforability of it. The most expensive menu item was the Steak Frites at $19. the Cassoulet was $18, and it gets cheaper from there. It took two cocktails, two starters, a bottle of wine (albeit not a good bottle) two entrees and two desserts for us to finally break a C note. On our previous visit, we shared a starter, handmade raviolis stuffed with wild mushrooms, local goat cheese, and black truffles. They were served with a light, subtle veal broth jazzed up with truffle oil and shavings. At first it seemed a little boring, but by the third bite, the subtlety of the dish shined through. It was a fantastically balanced dish. For the entree, I had the cassoulet, which again featured deft balance of flavors. The flageolets were perfectly cooked, the boudin was obviously handmade and perhaps a little under seasonsed (but as a master butcher I'm very particular about my sausages) the lamb shank was perfect and the confit was perhaps the best I've ever had (and mine are quite good). There was nothing to fault in the dish at all. My wife had a vanilla bean-brined pork loin with mashed potatoes and a fig compote. The pork was well overcooked (as boneless loins are want to do) but the fig compote was amazing. I thought this dish would have been perfect has the pork been left slightly pink.. On our dinner last night we started with veal sweetbreads for me (the wife is still picky regarding offal) and proscuitto wrapped asparagus for her. The sweetbreads were tender and creamy and just as you would expect. They were served with matchstick potatoes, and a demi-glace and black truffle sauce that cut the offal-ly-ness of the sweetbreads very well. The asparagus was good for winter asparagus, grilled well and covered in truffle butter, but the prosciutto was not good. It tasted like cheap, mass-produced ham. It actually went uneaten, which is unheard off between my wife and I, both of whom love our cured pork products. To me, this is a shame as just 90 miles away in St. Louis, Volpi produces an exceptional and affordable prosciutto. The wife had Mahi Mahi cooked with a grilled pineapple salsa and ancho roasted sweetpotatos. I can't comment on this as I didn't have a taste. It was cooked well, and looked pretty and the lady had no complaints (except she wanted another chunk of pineapple on the side). I had seared scallops with broccoli, shitakes and chow mien. The scallops and broccoli were cooked to perfections, with the scallops seared well and just slightly rare inside and the broccoli was just slightly al dente. the shitake/chow mien was a little overpowering, but not objectionable. The desserts bring my strongest criticism. Firstly, the bread is OK, but it it outsourced from Uprise bakery, which is a poor substitute for Wheatfields. My wife has worked at both bakeries and Uprise is not something we even eat anymore. Secondly, while the portions for all menu items are more than gracious, which I'm not want to criticize, but the dessert portions were obscene. They were more than enough to share. Secondly, it's obvious that there isn't a dedicated pastry chef. the dutch chocolate truffle torte was unbalanced, not subtle and just plain blah. The carrot cake was not bad, but very dense (nearly too much so) and iced with a cream cheese/white chocolate icing that just emphasized the density. A nice, light sour cream icing would have been a much better choice. Needless to say, I'm very pleased that Sycamore has succeeded. I know that we plan on making many return trips, esp. considering our other options.
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