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GordonCooks

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  1. Empellon We changed Saturday reservation due to an indulgent afternoon but rescheduled our visit for Sunday night. At 8:00, the bar was full, save for 2 seats in front of the pile of beer glasses. We decided to relax a bit with a bottle of the innocuous Kistler Les Noisetiers for my girlfriend and a reposado margarita for myself. The margarita was stronger in flavor than expected being not sweet at all but rather tequila with a hint of lime juice and nice dose of salt. Rather delicious, being a scotch drinker, I found this style a welcome change from the overly sweet, overly limey concoctions that are typical. After 15-20 mins, we moved over a couple seats and spread out. Usually being bar diners, it was comfy and warmly lit without being dark. The noise level was about normal but I can imagine, much lower than a Saturday night. We laid out the order and told the bartender however it comes out of the kitchen is fine. I’m rather lacking in Mexican food history but really enjoy my visits to Topolobampo, Frontera, DiStrito, etc so I can’t really say if the dishes are fusions, old classics, etc unless of course, it’s obvious Chip and Guac with two salsas I could spend a weekend just eating this. The creamy, chunky guac with thick and crispy tortilla chips, the smokey cashew and the spicy hot arbol chile together with each bite, was whatever the Mexican word for heaven is. Salad The healthy pile of fresh baby arugula over orange slices and jicama was a nice palate cleanser and actually was a freebie as the bartender inadvertently added it to our rather lengthy order. Mariscos The White Tuna was very nice in texture with the beets and guava but maybe a little bland due to my salty margarita The Tequila and lime cured Hamachi was nicely textured as well but the frozen sangrita on top made the dish for me. Tacos Fish Tempura with Lime mayo – as good as I’ve ever had. Perfectly fried batons (either halibut or cod?) and lime mayo being the right combo of citrus bite and cream. Scallop w Avocado and Xni Pec – My Pescetarian girlfriend Leslie is the fish taco queen of North America, and she liked the Scallop taco better than the fish. I should also add she’s rather blah on scallops so whatever Xni Pec is, sign her up. Queso Goat Cheese with Guaje Seeds and Morels First off, they give you a pile of fresh tortillas in what was told to me, an Alex Stupak designed, CrucialDetail manufactured tortilla warmers. Due to the fact they’re filled with hot water, the tortillas stay warm for 45 mins plus. The goat cheese and morels was really, really, really good. I’m not sure of the spicing used but the really conveyed a meaty, heartiness long forgotten by my girl. For some odd reason, I could pick up a fennel-ly hint that almost gave the dish a pepperoni like flavor for lack of a better desc. Sopes The nicely fried egg with runny yolk, sauced the flaky pastry and creamy refried beans nicely. I think I could eat a dozen of these for breakfast with the Arbol chile salsa (and yes, I did keep the salsas in front of me throughout the meal. Antojitos We ordered the Molote of Smoked Plantain. Mainly because I didn’t know what Antojitos are (our friendly bartender told us it was merely additional savory dishes) and I didn’t know what Molote was of have ever had smoked plantain. Very interesting flavor and texture. Once again, a perfectly fried quenelle of plantain, stuffed with the smoked plantain reminiscent of Alcapurrias. Mains We were stuffed at this point but I ordered the Turbot with mustard greens. Nicely seared, nice greens, and more of those tasty tortillas folded underneath. Like I said, a nice main but maybe more of the tomato habanero salsa to match the “machismo” of the previous dishes. We each had a forkful and did the push away. Dessert So, what do you do when you’re at one of the world’s premier pastry craftsmen’s restaurants? You have his wife’s cooking. The bartender overheard our conversation and mentioned that the Chef has zero input into the sweet side of the business so to speak. The chocolate flan was very creamy and light. Almost the jiggly texture of jello and I don’t know if that’s technically a good thing or bad thing but it was a delicious thing. The accompanying crumble and cinnamon ice cream, each were on point. We also had the passion fruit tart and it was. It was fruity, tart, curdish, and came with freshly made meringue. That being one of my favorite things all time. In conclusion, The restaurant was warm, romantic, and comfortable. The service was great, our bartender (Mat? At least that’s the name on the check) was attentive, informative, and my girl was never without plenty of wine or me without a margarita, tecate, or negra modelo. The food, excellent on all counts. Intellectually stimulating, perfectly cooked, and visually appealing. We overate but will gladly do it again. Of all the meals we had that weekend, this one stood out the most, clearly. cheers
  2. I have to agree with this sentiment. I adjust heat and spice levels often for guests who may or may not have the tolerances in certain asian dishes, avoid cream and butter in sauces for my lactose intolerant girlfriend, and make plain grilled meat for one of my best friends. Also I wouldn't exactly serve uni to someone grandparents. Oseland is a snob.
  3. No to Stanton Social. Sat night, maybe late night Tacos at Empellon. Sunday, instead of a late lunch, I'd do early dinner at Apiary.
  4. Paula Deen....making a living at the butter and mayo filled troth of Americana.
  5. The fixture in installed 90 dg incorrectly counter-clockwise.
  6. If you're going as far as Niagara on the Lake - the restaurant at Hillebrand Estates Winery is excellent and well as the mentioned Treadwell and Tony DeLuca's. There is a casual place called Olde Winery restaurant doing trattoria style food with a nice wine list and a great bar. My go to spot after a long day at the wineries.
  7. It's Rochester, it's a food truck, it's authentic, and it's delicious Le Petit Poutine - Poutine comes to the Rochester Public Market
  8. Best Finale and closest finale ever - congrats to both of them.
  9. Have you had a chance to look through Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food With Wine ? Interesting! Thanks
  10. The book is lovely to peruse, when does the one on winemaking come out?
  11. No advantage but Blais ruminates a lot about his finals "choke" and how anything but a win is failure. I can understand the pressure he's putting on his own individual performances.
  12. I think there is a difference between being self critical and wishing the others doom. I also agree he should be pissed after being beat by some sliced oranges.
  13. Great Editing last night. They made you think Blais was on the fence and when Padma said what she said, I did the verbal gasp.
  14. Best of Luck in all your future endeavors whatever they may be. Cheers!
  15. Lavender can be a difficult wine accessory even with the most deft touch. If the charity event is what you say it is,....don't worry about pairings, make desserts that showcase your business.
  16. Having re-read this, I'm not sure why they don't disclose the wines to contributors for a "wine pairing" event. Go simple - pastry cups - half with red wine poached pears with a blue cheese mousse and half with a kiwi & persimmon crumble, candied citrus, and pistachio brittle. If you have the time, I'd do a pizzelle or waffle instead of the cups a la minute.
  17. So, you are providing the wine and dessert?
  18. Looks like you guys are set up in downtown Jordan next to Cave Springs. I always make a NOTL run the last weekend of the fest.
  19. There is no one worse than Paula Deen. No one.
  20. I will quantify this comment by saying I may agree with the fritata being worse but 2 improperly cooked proteins? And saying she thought their food was CLEARLY better that the other teams, and just a dismissive attitude about any criticism? I really don't know what to think. I've had bad days in my time and acted worse I'm sure,.....but never with so much at stake. She much more talented than this I'm sure. Just a shame.
  21. And thus, my opinion of Jen Carroll goes tumbling down....personally and professionally.
  22. Big egos, big talent, big names, ....I think I just became interested in the franchise again.
  23. Sugar is used more often than not in Korean sauces and marinades although deftly. The most common marinade I've seen is soy based - mainly vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, red chili flake, scallion, and sugar.
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