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Tim D

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  1. It's been a while since I visited a couple of these places, but all have stellar reputations, and all use local ingredients: The Alchemist in Waterbury for really great Microbrews and tasty small plates. The Black Sheep Bistro in Vergennes Smokejacks in Burlington Starry Night Cafe in Ferrisburgh Taste in Burlington Pick up a 'Seven Nights', it's a free restaurant guide, available almost everywhere. I may be mistaken but I had heard that the Farmer's Diner was closed. Please correct me if I'm wrong. And finally, for the record, pretty much everything in Vermont is within one hour of Warren.
  2. Tim D


    I have to admit that my last (and probably final) trip to Rouques left a lot to be desired. I was really pulling for them and but I've got to agree with sara and take back my recomendation. Too bad though, it had a lot of promise. I guess now we'll have to wait until Miguel's opens up on the Marketplace, but that's a real long shot as well. Single Pebble and Smokejacks still top the list.
  3. Tim D


    Tell me about this one. I don't know it. Thanks! ← It's on the Burlington waterfront at the base of Main St. (where Mona's was located). When you walk in there is a window into the kitchen and you can watch a cook making fresh corn tortillas. That is a really good indication as to what kind of quality we are talking about. The menu fancy's itself a 'regional' Mexican one, and you'll find plenty of delicious traditional options. The guacamole is one exceptional stand out, and I highly recommend it. And IMHO it's as close to 'authentic' Mexican as we've ever seen in Burlington. If it can stand up to the test of time it will become second only to Single Pebble, for recomended reservations in town.
  4. I'm with you. I cannot wait to get some bones and throw together a demi. It's been a few years since I made one as well and I look forward to the process. I was close to selling my chest freezer, but now I can see that it's going to come in very handy for storing bones and ultimately finished product. I've decided to host T-giving this year solely so I can cook recipes out of this book for my family and the 'out-laws'. IMHO - Brenner is a medicore writer at best, so it's not too far of a stretch to believe that her skills in the kitchen might cause a guest to gag.
  5. Tim D


    Black Sheep in Vergennes Eat Good Food in Vergennes Mist Grill in Waterbury Chef's Table in Richmond Blue Seal also in Richmond Single Pebble in Burlington Rouques in Burlington All very good, all worth checking out if you get a chance.
  6. I just wanted to add that I find this all very fascinating and applaud both Grant and Martin for their truly unique visions. Like everyone else here I am going to be glued to my computer watching the process unfold. Best of luck.
  7. Smokejacks is consistantly among the best restaurants in Burlington. I eat there at least 5-6 times a year and have never had a meal that wasn't at least very good. Last week we had dinner with friends and we all ordered a special with LaPlatte River Organic Sirloins on a bed of braised romaine hearts with carmelized onions. It was the best steak I've eaten (not from my own grill ) in a very long time. If you can make room the "Smores" dessert is fantastic. As an aside we ate at The Iron Wolf a couple of weeks ago and the food was terrible, and the service even worse. Despite the fact that downtown was teeming with crowds for the Jazzfest, the Iron Wolf was empty! We were one of only four tables for the entire evening. We waited almost an hour between apps and the arrival of our entrees! This once outstanding establishment has fallen and it can't get up.
  8. =R=, you really are the restaurant review master. Bravo!
  9. You just keep telling yourself that, it obviously makes you feel better.
  10. I do hope this show makes it to BBC America. I love'd GR on the "Cooking School" and "Dinner with Friends" series. And of course the Cook's Tour episode. We can't get enough of the man over here.
  11. Even though it defintely needs improvement and the end result was strange to say the least. I am hopeful that it will become something worth watching. It was head and shoulders above the other American IC's and the now infamous Morimoto vs. Flay battle. Alton was fine, but he must have a foil to his banter, otherwise it becomes overly simplistic. Is it possible that Sakai was short a dish and couldn't have beaten Flay because of that handicap? I am not 100% sure but I thought that Sakai only had four plates, so his score couldn't add up to victory. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
  12. I started in 1980 in Vermont and have since lived all over the country and to be honest, there is hardly a place in the country that couldn't use a "new (insert cusine here) restaurant". I do agree with the multiple revenue streams idea. You always need to have something to fall back on, when the slow times come, and they will come. Retail is just as hard as food service in many ways, and my (and my wife's) experience in the heat of battle has served us well. Someday we might open a little spot, but more than likely we'll open some kind of wholesale production type of business. Mo money, less hours.
  13. Thanks stovetop. I'm not jaded, just very cautious. In fact I've been approached several times over the past few years to become a partner in one venture or another and it is always very tempting, but so far I've managed to stay clear. I've often compared being an ex-restaurant worker to being an alcoholic, every morning I get up and have the same conversation in my head:" I will not go back into the restaurant business today, I will not go back . . .". It's worked well so far, but a 'relapse' is always a possibility Having said that, if someone feels that they too have heard the call of the kitchen, and they have done lots of research (why is it that there are no breakfast places in your neighborhood?) than I will always pull for them. I'm always the first in line to support a new local business.
  14. After enduring 18 long years in the restaurant business, my wife and I left to find a more reasonable way to make a living. To that end we opened a small retail store that has nothing at all to do with food. This decision saved both our relationship and our financial lives. As business owners we work long hours, under some of the same stresses found in the restaurant business. But, the crucial difference is that we can control our destiny to a much greater degree than can a restaurant owner. No one will ever get food poisoning from us, nor will alcohol casue any lawsuits at worst, or hard feelings at the least. Nor will our employees be tempted to rob us blind whenever our backs are turned. There have been some very good points brought up on this thread, and I would like to just add this; To open any business at all, you must decide that you will live every day, seven days a week, 24 hours a day thinking about your business. The ability to relax and forget about your business for even a minute is a extremely rare occurance. If deep down inside you feel that opening a business is your destiny than have at it, but be forewarned, there is no turning back once the genie is out of the bottle.
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