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Posts posted by Schielke

  1. Random Mistral update, they seem to be in the middle of redoing their Web Site. They seem to have a new Chef de Cuisine or at least an official one now. More interesting is an official Dining Room Manager. It seems as if Chef William is looking to up the ante a bit. :smile:

    I think I will be going soon with Katie so I will hopefully report back shortly.


  2. i guess i'm in the minority here. the way i see it, if they know what i buy, maybe they'll be more likely to have it in stock when i come in to buy it. if they give me a loyalty discount, so much the better. i just have either little paranoia or high naivety (pick one) where the loyalty cards go...

    That is the thing though. You are not getting a loyalty discount. You are getting the normal advertised discount that you would have always have gotten before the card.

    I do my best to never shop at stores with cards. It is tough, but I dont want to give them any more business than I have to.

    I am just waiting for a supoena to be issued to safeway for that info...good god.

  3. I have had mostly good experiences at Zao, I think only once I would consider the food as having slipped. Service has always been somewhat poor though.

    Burrito Loco is pretty good too, they had a location in Kirkland that unfourtanetly closed. They were a good standby for Mexican. The taco wagon down the street will have to sate my hunger. :smile:

  4. Katie and I used our Troiani certificate and had a very nice time. They seem to be reacting to the loss of their chef though because the new chef (dont know if he was 2nd in command or brand new) came out when the entrees to Introduce himself and say "Thank you for coming".

    The food was very nice:

    I had:

    Charcoal grilled escarole salad with warm pancetta dressing, aged ricotta and quail egg, flamed grappa.- Pretty tasty but somewhat difficult to eat.

    Crab raviolo Dungeness crab, spinach and parmesan with herb bechamela- Very rich for a seafood dish, but a winner. Intense crab flavor.

    Rosemary pressed rib chop with olive oil, sea salt, preserved lemons and parsley- Beautiful piece of beef, the preserved lemons added a lot to this dish. I might wish to have a little mroe peppery EVOO though.

    Peach Tart- pretty tasty, but it just din't pop with that great fresh peach taste.

    Katie had:

    Fresh spaghetti slow cooked tomato sauce, prosciutto and asiago- Solid Spaghetti, bright flavorful sauce. Katie liked it.

    Braised Short Ribs- Good flavor, but the short ribs could have been trimmed just a shade. Still a very good dish.

    Cannoli- I thought this was the biggest dissapointment of the evening. The filling was way to solid and the shell was more cookie like than crispy/flaky. Not a cannoli in my opinion.

    Overall, we had a very good experience, but cannot compare it to how they were before. I would guess that they have not lost much if any at all. I did not notice many things that would seem to be caused from lack of guidance in the kitchen.

    My one main complaint about the whole experience was the price of everything. I think that I would be more excited to go back if the menu was 10-15% cheaper.


  5. Recently there has been some discussion about how chefs and other food professionals view eGullet. There seems to be a portion that view the forums as a place where uninformed loudmouths can bash restaurants.

    Other professionals have embraced eGullet and the Internet as a place to gain good publicity as well as teach and learn (albeit for a bunch of loudmouths :smile:).

    How do you see eGullet fit into the culinary landscape?

    (You are joining us here so you must not think terrible things of us :raz:)


    Ben Schielke

  6. Tighe, get your hide to Red Mill. The bacon stack alone is worth the trip.

    If I am carting around a bunch of drunks on the weekend evening/early morning, dicks is the place.

    Me = Two cheeseburgers and maybe a chocolate shake

    Katie = One Deluxe and a peppermit sundae w/ hot fudge.

  7. I just realized that I forgot to write the final entry of my trip report!

    Our second and final day in milan consisted of us running around and shopping. We went and browsed the fancy schmancy stores for a while and didn't buy anything...until Katie got a shoe craving near the Prada store. She ended up with some nice new dress shoes for work.

    The highlight of the day though was our trip to Peck.


    We walked in and I was speechless. I really can't even describe how great that place is. I wish I had pictures, but they were forbidden inside the place. I suppose it is a good thing too since I probably would have been in there taking pictures for hours.

    We picked up a bunch of salumi, cheese, pasta, chocolates, and a bottle of grappa. It was such a sensory overload that I couldn't make any decisions on what to buy for a long long time. I just kept wandering around like some kind of hungry vagrant.

    I would have loved to get some raw ingredients there and do some cooking with the fantastic meat available, but alas we had to leave.

    That evening, we left by train to Gallartae near the airport so we could easily get to the airport in the morning. I foolishly did not get a map for the location of my hotel in Gallartae and asked some locals for directions. For some reason 3 seperate locals pointed me in the wrong direction to the hotel. :wacko: I finally got a good answer from a man looking at some real estate listings in a shop window. He said I was easily 1-2 km away. akkk! I thanked him and went to grab a taxi, but he told me to wait a second for his family. The man's wife and son walked up shortly and the man insisted that they give us a ride to the hotel. Being wary, I politely refused, but the family kept insisting because the hotel was on their way home.

    The family looked like trustworthy people and were not physicically intimidating to me so I caved and they helped me load up our luggage. I figured if they were going to scam us, it was quite the elaborite setup and unlikely.

    The family happily drove us to the hotel and chatted with us the whole way. They though we were from the UK because of Katie's red hair. :smile: We had a great time with the family and were impressed with their generosity and friendliness. It was a nice cap to an already fantastic trip.

    That evening we grabbed a quick pizza at a nearby restaurant, which was only ok. We went to bed early so we could get up at 3:30 am to be whisked to the hotel by our shuttle, which turned out to be a private mercedes sedan. :cool:

    Our long plane ride was uneventful except for the nice meal of salumi, cheese, and fociacca we made in the middle. I was so sad to see the salumi gone. It really is a world apart form what we can get in the US.

    We made it through customs with no problems (I thought the dogs would sniff out the remaining odor of the salumi we ate on the plane) and headed back home to lay in a daze of wanting to sleep and not be able to.


  8. Kiku's on the Ave between 50th and 52nd has always been near and dear to my heart.

    I'll second Kiku! If you get chicken teriyaki, get the chicken on the bone. Moist, flavorful, and terikayi sauce that's not too goopy. The tonkatsu (pork cutlet with egg) is also delicious.

    One note, though: the place appears to have changed hands recently. I've only been there once since. A slightly different menu (perhaps a more Korean bent?) was posted. Most of the same Japanese favorites still seem to be there, though.


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