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Everything posted by Macarons&Mozart

  1. I remember seeing on TV (a while back) a salad of fried fried brussels sprout leaves tossed with a lemon juice, parsley and fried capers. Simple and delicious. I came around to making it and really loved it. It took a while to separate the leaves, but it was well worth it. Fry them for just a few seconds until the edges turn brown and crispy. It worked wonderfully with roast pork.
  2. Imagine what they would say to Korean cooking- arguably the most garlic-heavy in the world!
  3. Hey everyone, I used to go to Vegas a few times a year, but as of late, I haven't been able to go in over a year. Alex always used to be at the top of my list of favorite (fine dining) restaurants, though I suppose I am somewhat biased since I am friends with much of the staff. Robuchon/Atelier and Guy Savoy were also always exceptional. As discussed on this list before by others, Picasso was never living up to the hype (and the beautiful setting), and dare I say, even worse than what it was, say, 3-4 years ago. Is this still the case? I hear that Michael Mina has souped up its menu and management in the past year. Does anyone have reports on this? I'll be in Vegas for a good week and a half visiting my uncle and his family, leaving me with plenty of time to eat around. I'll be in town from 7/31 till 8/10. They, however, are not into the fine dining scene, so do send me a message if you are will be in the area and want to visit one of these places. Alex, Savoy, Robuchon and Robuchon's Atelier are all on the list to try, and dining alone is not as fun! Send me a message if you're around! Thanks! Robert
  4. I've been to Jasmine a few times. The dining room is quite beautiful, with a nice mix of French and Chinese decor. The food is Cantonese in style, but not very authentic, as one might expect. It's of a breed of Chinese restaurants that has become a fixture in many of LV's better hotels- upscale, aesthetically pleasing, and expensive. If you've been to the classic Empress Court in Caesar's Palace, you kind of have an idea of what Jasmine is like. The live dungeness crab with tomato and chili sauce is pretty great.
  5. Bryan, your meal reports so far are really great! I am enjoying them a lot, despite how jealous I am! The views from the terrace of Le Petit Nice are spectacular. I look forward to what you're going to write about Vienna, as I'll be there in a couple of weeks. Looking forward to the next installments... Robert
  6. nice website, FDE. However, I believe Gordon Ramsey's place in Prague also has a Michelin star.
  7. 1) Joel Robuchon 2) Guy Savoy 3) Alex 4) L'Atelier de J.R. 5) Picasso 6) Michael Mina 7) Tableau 8) Bradley Ogden 9) Bartolotta 10) Okada I have not tried Charlie Trotter's yet, though I am sure he would get in the list. I will be dining there next month and will provide a report. -Robert
  8. It's great to find threads here that deal with Viennese dining, but have a slightly different request. I'll be making a trip to Vienna next month by myself, and will be there from Aug. 1-6. What are some better options for dining solo in Vienna? The finer places I am sure would be fine dining solo (Steirereck, Meinl am Graben, etc) , since I've done that elsewhere in Paris and NY, but what are some mid-tier and typical Viennese places that I can try without feeling strange. I speak decent German, so hopefully I won't stick out like a typical tourist! Also, are there particular food/wine/gourmet shops or similar places that I should go to? Gerstner for pastries, Meinl and the Naschmarkt immediately come to mind, but I am sure I am missing some. Also, if you are in the area and wish to try a restaurant together, do let me know. Thanks a lot for your help!
  9. Russell, at Robuchon I noticed an odd pattern that included a consistent rotation of servers serving dishes, followed by equally as calculated pattern of people asking how dishes were. It felt too much like the waitstaff, save the sommelier and the captain, was reading directly from a training manual. Robots, perhaps during that not-so-great first visit. I guess personal preference factors in as well, since the service Guy Savoy and Alex-style is what I look for. I want to see character and genuine interest in delivering wonderful food and pampered service. In short, I found Robuchon too impersonal. My multiple (4) visits showed some (albeit little) improvement. I've yet to decide if another visit during this next coming Vegas trip is in order.
  10. So I am craving the perfect cafe with an old Parisian feel that you can linger in for hours with coffee or a glass of wine and a newspaper or book and just forget about everything. Does anyone here have suggestion where to go? I live in the South Bay, but recommendations even in SF will be most welcomed. And old Paris aside, if anyone would like to recommend other great cafes with a nice European (not only French, but Italian, or perhaps the impossible to find Austrian/German?). In Palo Alto, I can recommend the Caffe del Doge (on University Ave) is a great place- edgy and very Italian, serving great espressos and specialty drinks. (But still no classic French cafe to be found...) Thank you all very much! Robert
  11. Any updates or comments on Payard? Looks really great. I'll be in Vegas in a week or so, so I am looking forward to trying it.
  12. IMO, Joel Robuchon at the Mansion does not deserve the 3 star ranking. Service there, I feel, was not of high enough quality. It was kind, efficient and helpful, but was not warm enough or coherant. It felt as if it was too fake and "trained". This was painfully obvious during the first couple of weeks, and I hoped it would improve. It did, fortunately, but not enough to merit 3 stars. Like others here, I am shocked at Picasso getting 2 stars. It is a good, solid restaurant, but neither food nor especially service, merit 2 stars. Bryan said it quite right I think- it empitomizes the one star restaurant.
  13. Hey all, I was wondering what are the best places to get fresh black and white truffles (esp. French/Italian, even other varieties like domestic ones)? Are there any places in the Bay Area (I live in the South Bay, but will drive all over) with particularly good (and relatively inexpensive) fresh truffles? Thanks! Robert
  14. Can someone tell me what "arima pepper" is? I remember seeing it once on a restaurant menu a while ago, but they have since changed the menus and it is no longer there. What does it taste like? How is it used in Japanese cuisine? Do you know where I can find some? (I live near San Francisco, California.) Thank you!
  15. What are some good places to find specialty produce? Right now, I am looking for the ever elusive fresh Yuzu, as well as Sudachi (Japanese lime-like citrus). Any spottings in the Bay area? I'm in Palo Alto, so something nearby would be great, but I'm willing to trek over to the city if necessary. I'm also looking for fresh Pandan leaf. The wonderful, sweet fragrance drives me crazy! And also, what about specialty Chinese items like dried abalone, dried scallops, and good quality dried shark's fin? I'm sure these are to be found in Chinatown, but do you have any favorite stores that I should look up? Fresh specialty mushrooms (porcini, chanterelle, matsutake, etc) would be great too! (And truffles if possible, so that I don't have to pay shipping, or buy 4 oz at a time!). If you have any special markets in the Bay area that you like, please share! I am new to the area, so I'm just getting used to things. Thanks!! Rob
  16. Thank you very much, Hiroyuki!!!
  17. I was at Savoy a few days ago, on a rather spontaneous trip to Vegas. I arrived about 15 minutes early, so I waited at the Bubble Bar, where I noticed their menu. Franck Savoy told me that they were having some trouble with getting tables in the bar area, so for now they only have low ones. Soon, there will be mostly high cocktail tables with bar stools for having quick bites with champagne.
  18. My grandmother of 92 years still makes her own homemade soy sauce, and it's as a deep, rich ebony-black. I've only seen the finished product though. She ages soy sauce for many years...decades even...we have a small quantity of soy sauce approx. 35 years old. The most amazing soy sauce I've ever tasted.
  19. Does anyone have a good recipe for that SUPER-SPONGEY tamago-yaki? I think it has some finely ground fish in it. It is sweetened, and has an almost sponge cake texture. I had it once in a Japanese restaurant, and never had it since, but the memories still haunt me. Ideas please? Thanks!
  20. I'm so glad you enjoyed your meal at Alex, Russell. Before the "big guys" moved into Vegas, Alex was the indisputed top table in Vegas. But even with the likes of Robuchon and Savoy, it is still one of my most favorite restaurants. One of the thing that really keeps me coming back is the wonderful and very warm service. Savoy I found was also very good in terms of service, but I felt that Robuchon's fine dining restaurant (The Mansion) was severely lacking the first time I visted, and although better after subsequent visits, it was still disappointing. I remember when Alex Stratta was at the Mirage (with a very small and intimate dining room called "Renoir" with original paintings by the impressionist master on the walls!) before he opened up his namesake restaurant at the Wynn hotel. His "signature tasting menu" was something like 98 dollars. Then I remember how after every time they revised the menu, they would sloooowly increase the price. But even for 195, I think Alex is a good deal indeed.
  21. Are you talking about Guy Savoy or his son Franck? Franck speaks English very well, but I thought Guy doesn't speak English. Whenever I have spoken to Guy, it was always with my less-than-desirable French. Oh well... Franck's wife, however, is a very charming woman and I remember hearing that she speaks many (five?) languages.
  22. I am not quite sure what you're talking about here, John, so it might be a newer creation using Korean flavors. Like Sheen said, a similar preparation is "gamja jorim" (gamja=potato, jorim=stewed or simmered in a flavorful sauce). We make it at home with small whole red potatoes (in their jackets) the size of ping pong or golf balls and par-boil them until half cooked, and then finish cooking to just-done by simmering in soy sauce, a bit of water, sugar to taste (some restaurants make it quite sweet), and if you like, a clove or 2 of crushed garlic. Once they're done, sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds. This preparation is also great with "goguma" (sweet potato). Same preparation, except don't make the liquid too salty, because the cut sweet potatoes will absorb more salt from the soy sauce. Another great potato banchan is to cut some peeled potatoes into matchsticks and sauté them with lots of chopped garlic, some green Korean peppers, some sliced onion, and sesame seeds. The trick is to sauté the the potatoes until they are about 75% cooked. There should still be a bit of crunch in the center. Season with salt, sesame oil and finish with a flurry of chopped green onion. Its a nice breakfast too with a fried egg!
  23. I've tried Corn ice cream at a restaurant, and it was SOOO GOOD! I made it at home with strained corn puree, and it was great. I just added a bunch of corn puree to a plain ice cream base. Tulip sounds interesting. Sweet potato is nice...I've tried that, though not as good as corn. I've done Rose too...good stuff. Avocado is quite nice, as any Filipino will tell you. (My great Filipino neighbors gave me the idea for this one!) Persimmon ice cream is a common one at our home, because of our oversized persimmon tree in the backyard. Pretty much any ice cream with meat or fish sounds kinda gross though...heh. Another killer flavor is honey ice cream with crystallized ginger and black sesame seeds. Sometimes I grate a tiny bit of fresh ginger on top. It is fabulous. Kaffir lime leaf is awesome too...god...I love strange ice creams
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