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Everything posted by Randi

  1. Ah, very reasonable. Only one day's drive! I am thinking of Plan B. Anyone know of a great icewine from any other vineyard that is available locally? I guess it doesn't have to be Hillebrand, I just want to try a respectable one!
  2. Randi

    David Drake

    Another wonderful meal at David Drakes. It was my department's (belated) holiday lunch, and my boss treated my coworker and me. You can guess who chose the restaurant! My boss got "The Chef's Salad" - maytag blue, greens, haricot vert, parmesan, walnuts, aged balsamic vinegar. My coworker and I shared this "Terrine of Foie Gras and Duck Confit", poached seckel pear, pear essence, pickled shallots. Yum. My coworker got "Panko Crusted Cod Cakes" with pickled red pearl onions, mixed greens, caper sauce. He let me taste it - it was terrific. My boss got "Sautéed Line Caught Monkfish" with shrimp hash, celery root purée, lemon thyme, bouillabaisse sauce. She let me taste it - wow! I would order that. My lunch - Hand cut fettuccini, grilled scallop slices, steelhead caviar, carrot-shiso salad, carrot caramel. It was incredible. A better view. My coworker and I shared a dessert. It was the "Chocolate Parfait" with roasted peanut biscuit, caramel, chocolate creameux and peanut brittle ice cream. Even my boss (who eats like a bird and rarely eats sweets) couldn't resist taking a few tastes. The chef sent out some little treats. Macaroons with dark chocolate bits and strawberry gelee. My boss ate a macaroon before I thought to take a pic! She also ate the strawberry gelee after I took the pic, so you know it had to be special. Have I mentioned lately that DD's is my favorite restaurant? I think I'm due.
  3. A friend of mine wants to get me a bottle as a gift - so I don't think we can do the 3 bottle order (even if you took one of them). If it was just me, I'd order it, but I don't want to interfere with her "gifting". Also, she has her heart set on getting me the 1998 Trius Vidal Icewine, although I am fine with any of them. If we do decide to order the 3 bottles, I will let you know.
  4. Thanks, bgut and bob - I will explore both options. I really appreciate the info!
  5. Does anyone know if Hillebrand ice wine is sold anywhere in NJ?
  6. Randi

    David Drake

    Got an email today with the following: The valet parking is a good idea - the parking deck was closed on Thanksgiving.
  7. Randi

    David Drake

    We went to David Drakes for Thanksgiving - I've got photo evidence! A tiny cup of warm spiced cider was brought out as an amuse bouche. It was perfect! It was a chilly afternoon and we needed something warm. We asked if we could order a cup and they brought us two complimentary full cups. Steamy and delicious! We both ordered the Pumpkin Gnocchi and Braised Pork Belly with fuji apple, rosemary foam, six spice appetizer. We were expecting mostly gnocchi and a bit of pork belly. It was the other way around. I found the pork belly to be heavenly. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The rosemary foam added some nice extra flavor. The pork belly was sitting on matchsticks of fuji apple. I loved this dish. The entree was everything you'd want for a Thanksgiving dinner. Slow Roasted Organic Turkey with homemade brioche-herb stuffing, natural gravy, cranberry sauce and 2 sides - brussels sprouts and wild rice. (We were able to choose 2 from 4 total sides.) It was fabulous. Side note - my friend said they were the most perfect brussels spouts she'd ever tasted. My friend's dessert: Individual Hot Apple Pie, calvados soaked prunes, cinnamon ice cream. She liked it very much. My dessert: bread pudding with vanilla carmelized fruit and olive oil chocolate mousse (I know my description is a little off - this dish was a last minute addition and not on the Thanksgiving menu on DD's website). A masterpiece. The chocolate mousse was one of the best bites of the day. I finished the meal with Monk's Mead herb tea with apple, mango and chamomile. It was so fragrant, and was perfect with the bread pudding. Another memorable meal at DD's!
  8. We're going to David Drake's.
  9. Randi

    David Drake

    Looking forward to hearing your report. I haven't been there in ages, but we have reservations for Thanksgiving! Hope you have a wonderful Anniversary!
  10. John, yes! I remember seeing the flames through the window. And being drawn in every time. I do think Boston Chicken opened before Linda's closed because I remember thinking they caused it. Sigh! eta: I'm in Colonia!
  11. Oh! I didn't know they were still around. There used to be one on Route 35 in Woodbridge (I think) and they had the best chicken and the most amazing macaroni and cheese. Boston Chicken (now Boston Market) opened across the street, and Kenny Rogers Roasters opened in the area, and that was that Must have been 15 years ago or so. Does that sound right?
  12. I will normally say something is "fine" even if it isn't - unless I feel that there's something that can be done. I learned the hard way that criticizing a dish can lead to being confronted by a defensive chef (see this thread).
  13. oops - should I have outgrown this? I still do it!
  14. Randi


    ..bringing it back to the topic... Rich, can you give us an idea of the cost of the foods you've sampled?
  15. Kim, no, that's great - good to know. I will make sure the apples aren't too big. And I will google the problem you mentioned to see if there are tips to prevent it. I did google the whole crock pot idea and apparently I am not so clever. It's being done a lot! And all the recipes are identical (28 oz of caramels and 1/4 cup water for 8 apples). I might get "real" caramel from my local candy making store, instead of the bags of caramels at the grocery store. But I think I'd better practice before bringing in 100 apples to my office and having a big disaster on my hands. Anyone with advice or additional warnings?
  16. I had an idea for an October office party - make your own caramel apples. If I made a crockpot full of caramel for dipping - I was thinking employees could choose an apple, put in a stick, and dunk it in the caramel. Then have nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, etc. to roll it in afterwards. Anyone ever try anything like this? Would a crock pot work? Anyone have a recipe for the caramel dip? How long does it take for caramel apples to dry? Any tips or warnings would be much appreciated.
  17. Randi

    David Drake

    I noticed David Drake's updated their website, and this caught my eye: edited to add: I'm excited!
  18. Went back today with another friend. We got steamed spinach dumplings, fried buns with pork, the lamb sticks with spicy powder (again), and a hot pot (pork with pickled vegetables and bean noodles). Great stuff. The fried buns with pork had the same amazing flavor and juiciness as the soupy pork buns at China 46. A little less "soup" in them, but delicious! And the hot pot was terrific. I wasn't sure if I would like it, but I loved it. The broth was so flavorful and the pickled vegetable was cabbage - it looked like saurkraut but didn't taste like it. The owner came over again and said he read this thread. I meant to ask him his name. Ooops! He's great - offers suggestions and explains the dishes. Great meal.
  19. My friend and I went to King's Village today. On the way there we passed Wonder Seafood and it was very crowded. We were tempted to stop there, but I had my mind set on King's. King's was also crowded. We had a short wait. We were the only non-Asians in the restaurant the entire time we were there. With all the talk of Asian restaurants being cold to non-Asian customers, I was a little nervous. But they couldn't have been more welcoming, or more helpful. I think it was the manager (maybe the owner) who came over and explained dishes and recommended some, as well. I told him about eGullet and he had me write down the url for him. He said he is planning to have a website sometime soon. Here's what we got: Pancake Soup as served. Pancake Soup after stirring it up. He wasn't sure what I meant by Pancake Soup when I asked for it. He finally realized what I meant and found it on the menu (it was called something like "pan-cake with sauce". It was good, but filling, so I ended up leaving most of the pancakes (I wanted to save room for other stuff). My friend got the Tofu Soup. Delicious! Soupy Buns Lamb Sticks with Spicy Powder. Wonderful. I loved it. He brought over a complimentary dish of spicy pickled vegetable. He said it was zucchini - it was terrific. I forget the name of this - something like Meat Pie with Pork. After the lamb dumplings we were done! A great meal - an amazing price (under $30 for 2 including a 25% tip!) We'll be back.
  20. Going tomorrow (hopefully!) And I will be getting the soup
  21. Thanks for the tips! But...but...you didn't tell me more about the pancake soup! Do tell!
  22. Oh no, then I won't have a clue what to order. I need to learn Chinese!
  23. Please, can you tell me more about the pancake soup? They are open tomorrow and Monday so I will be going there one of those 2 days. Other recommendations? I remember another thread on this place which I will go in search of. Randi
  24. Hi Betty, I'm back from MA, and didn't see this post till I returned. I did go to Skipjack's, to Captain Carlo's in Gloucester and to Legal Seafood. Skipjacks was good - though I thought it was overpriced. This is a casual restaurant and they were asking $38 for a 1.5 lb lobster. yikes. I got a lobster roll for $22 or $23 and there was tons of lobster on it. I asked for it plain (no mayo), with melted butter on the side, but I should have also specified warm. sigh. I also got their steamed seafood - clams, mussels and shrimp in an Old Bay broth. YUM. really good. Captain Carlo's was a disappointment this time. Legal was fine. I laughed when I saw that about your dad, because I asked for one steamer to try, before ordering them at Legal. I have had bad luck with steamers lately - they have been tasting briney instead of sweet (I love sweet steamers!). They brought me 2, and they were good (but not wonderful). I ordered the lobster bake which came with lobster, steamers and mussels. Nice meal. Thanks for all your help! Randi
  25. Thanks, Betty! I am trying to avoid going into the city as two of us have mobility challenges. We're trying to avoid public transportation and the walking that could be involved in driving into Boston and having to find parking. What do you think of Skipjacks in Newton? or The Captain's Table in Wellesley. Those are very nearby (but don't seem to offer steamers). If there are no "in the rough" places nearby, we are find with standard restaurants as long as they a good places for New England shellfish.
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