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Everything posted by jeanki

  1. I finally got to visit the Manhattan chocolate location (it was further over into Tribeca than I expected), a nice bright open space. The counter layout remains kind of confusing, with one part set up for the beverages (but with people sitting right there so it's hard to line up), and the rest for the truffles and bars. There are also various treats placed around the shop. I got to try the frozen version of the famed Wicked chocolate drink, and it was awesome. Very rich, and a pleasant chile buzz aftertaste. Jacques himself was there (as usual it seems from the boards), playfully attacking someone's baby with a giant stuffed frog toy. The factory wasn't running unfortunately, but it was nice to have all the windows to look in and see the Wonka-esque equipment. Can't wait to eat my truffles!
  2. L.A. Burdick's chocolates altered my perception of chocolate forever after I had them on a visit to Cambridge MA. Small crisp bursts of serious chocolate flavor, unique fillings. Not sweet or sugary at all. I especially love the cocoa-dusted cognac-flavored truffles. My sis once sent me a special limited Chinese New Year gift box and it was revelatory, flavors like five-spice and green tea, awesome. I highly recommend them, and they're not even that pricey for gourmet chocolate. (check out their website). I just visited Jacques Torres' new Chocolate Haven factory in Tribeca. A fun place. The frozen wicked chocolate is awesome. Jacques himself was there, playing with somebody's baby.
  3. Faves: Jamie Oliver: I hear the Brits make fun of him now but I still find him a hoot. His cooking is my favorite, easy for home but still novel and full of flavor, and a wide variety of international styles. Giada: Bordering on too simple but very practical for the home while still being elegant and tasty. Tyler Florence: A hottie of course, and I like his show tracking food around the globe. He is remarkably patient with that highly irritating co-star on How to Boil Water and explains things well. His cookbooks are not my fave though (sort of impractical). Mario Batali: Always articulate, intelligent and pleasant. Anthony Bourdain: As my friend said, he definitely has a way with words. Nigella: haven't seen much of her lately but I enjoyed her show and her elegant, voluptuous personality OK: Martin Yan: Fun to watch but his recipes seem repetitive after a while and his personality seems kind of two-faced. Rachel Ray: Yeah her perkiness can get old, and her food is nothing fancy, but some of recipes and ideas are indeed fast and flavorful. Ming Tsai: used to be one of my faves, very cute, but I'm not a total fan of his use the same sauce on 3 dishes approach, and find some of his recipes unwieldy. Lidia: tasty, authentic recipes, if somewhat time consuming. Pleasant personality. Dislike: Bobby Flay: His food looks delicious and I like his bold flavor style but he still comes across as a jerk most of the time. Ina Garten: I do NOT get her appeal. As hard on the eyes as on the ears and yet she acts like she's a million bucks. Her food is generally boring and tedious, and I can't stand her affected way of talking. Sandra Lee: She has her own style all right, but it's too grown-up Southern sorority chick for my taste. Gordon Ramsay: horrifyingly abusive on Hell's Kitchen, although he kind of grew on you towards the end. Emeril: 'nuff said.
  4. I ate there recently, and can't say I agree the dim sum there is that amazing, although it may well be one of the best in the DC area (which I find weak for Chinese in general). I found the selection limited (not many seafood or vegetable offerings for one) and what was offered were a lot of fried and greasy style dumplings. They even charged for tea which I found annoying. I still enjoyed myself and found everything tasty, but I had better dim sum at a spot in Boston (I think it was called Chau Chow City or Grand Chau Chow but i'm not sure), and definitely better in NYC (Dim Sum Go Go for one), and even in West Orange, NJ (Joy Luck Pavilion, terrific, especially the jellyfish and congee.) I haven't had Toronto Chinese though I've heard good things.
  5. I have a mid september visit to downtown Minneapolis coming up and wondered if there were any recs for excellent restaurants, moderate-priced and bargain preferred as well as ethnic. I'm staying near the Nicollet Mall. Thanks!
  6. Oh how could I forget my other NYC fave, Ronnybrook Dairy! They only have a store in Chelsea Market now but prepacked pints are around the city and the Union Square Greenmarket. Simple but very fresh and clean tasting.
  7. For me, the best overall Korean BBQ place is Woomi Garden in Wheaton. Woo Lae Oak was a close second in Pentagon City but is or has closed and relocated to Tysons Corner and become more chichified i think like the one in soho new york. Another solid place is Sam Woo in Rockville.
  8. I've tried meskerem (47th st), awash (amsterdam ave), ethiopian restaurant (upper east side), and ghenet. I liked them all but found ghenet a notch below (less intense spicing) and awash a notch above (the most well spiced). If you haven't ordered ethiopian before, combos are the way to go. There's nothing I'd stay away from, it's all good.
  9. NYC's ice cream scene doesn't impress me as much as in Boston or New England, where wonderful fresh homemade ice cream shops are a dime a dozen. That being said, my personal fave is Emack and Bolio's (funny since it is a Boston chain). I also find Chinatown Ice Cream Factory overrated (the ice cream just isn't rich enough/is kind of icy-runny). I also like Ciao Bella for some incredible flavors (hazelnut and blackberry cabernet are GREAT) although it's overpriced. There was a small Moroccan-owned cafe I went to once around 3 years ago on Thompson Street that served amazing herb and fruit flavored homemade sorbets and ice creams but I don't know if it is around anymore or what the name was. I also get tasty Italian gelato off Mulberry Street in Little Italy at the street stands. I've enjoyed Cones and Australian homemade (although the texture is always kind of runny). I haven't tried il laboratorio or sant ambroeus yet. And for the record I think Cold Stone is the worst thing to happen to ice cream ever. Prefrozen slabs of boring flavors with candy like ingredients bashed into them on the same unhygienic marble slab just grosses me out for some reason.
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