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  1. Lutece was never a bistro. It was a warm place due to Mr. and Mme. Soltner and it catered to it's returning clientele, but the food was never rustic. It was elegant and superbly cooked. You had to dress to be appropriate. As I remember, the only other restaurants in its league were Le Pavillon and La Cote Basque under Mr. Soule. Perhaps La Grenouille. As for the restaurants that exist today...why compare. Life has moved on and so has the food. There are many good chefs and lovely restaurants. Per Se comes to mind. I loved the food at Lincoln even if Mr. Platt did not. The clientele has changed, however. Too many noisy wall street types who think that they own these places and no respect for the food. As an aside, The Lutece Cookbook, now out of print is just wonderful.
  2. That the government would loosen the immigration laws from China and that the NYC could import two hundred fabulous chefs from all regions in China.
  3. I am now half way through reading this book. I am a very serious cook with who was taught by our family friends Pierre Franey and Craig Claiborne. Went to the CIA (Yuk). I have bookshelves of cookbooks and many French ones, The Lutece Cookbook being my favorite. Sorry Julia. This is a fabulous cookbook! I love the introductions, the writing style and the recipes, both old friends and new. Some traditional, some not. So many recipes make me want to make them immediately. The cous cous salad that I made last night was outstanding. I added a little piment d'espelette. The tartlet with warmed scallops on puff pastry comes next. Truly Une Bonne idee! Now I have to find kumquats for that duck breast. The steaming of the eggs en cocotte is novel. I skipped to deserts for a moment and Finally found the authentic clafoutis, just as I remember eating when I lived in France. One quibble is the quantity measurement. How many large onions is a cup? Is French celery as super sized as ours? One can work around it, but to me it's a flaw. So congratulations Ms. Greenspan. This book is a marvel and a keeper. Thank you so much for your efforts and love.
  4. The demise of Gourmet made me think of Laurie Colwin, who used to write a monthly column until she died, tragically early. She was primarily a fiction writer who loved to cook. After the news that Gourmet was no more, I pulled my dusty 'More Home Cooking' from the bookshelf and cuddled up in bed with it. I have been reading several chapters a night and I sleep better for it. Laurie is an essayist with some wonderful eclectic recipes. No one today writes like her and her recipes are true. I have made several in the past and they are just perfect. There is no one like her.
  5. I have never posted on this board and have no relationship to the cookbook that I am about to shill. I was recently at Kitchen Arts and Letters where they were featuring a quarterly cookbook named Canal House Cooking. It is self published by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton (Gabriella of Prune's sister),two Saveur expats. The first book is just wonderful, simple and has lovely recipes, although lacking in deserts. It reminds me a bit of Suzanne Goin with less labor. After reading the first book, I immediately subscribed for the frest of the year. It's not expensive either.
  6. I do not usually post on this board as I am in Manhattan, but I know SF well. No one ever mentions Hayes Street Grill on their list of places to visit. Why? I have had the most wonderful meals there, especially their salads and fish. It's an old SF place and the food is always fresh and inventive. . If they know you, it's a big hello at the door and impossible to get into before the opera or symphony. Any reason or just off the radar.
  7. Sfoglia. Been there three times. Expensive and not terribly good.
  8. Square Meal on 92nd off Madison. Wonderful American "market driven" food and you can bring your own wine. I went to Beyoglu last weekend for lunch and found that it had slipped quite a bit.
  9. The S/O's and my birthday are next month. For his we will go to Atelier Robuchon (been there and love it). I'm on the fence for mine. Some choices are Corton and EMP. Other suggestions are welcome... As for Per Se, he's not interested and I won't deal with the reservation nonsense. It's also too much food for me (been there, done that). Neither of us was wowed by Jean Georges the one time we went. We both liked EMP, but I can't do the multicourse tasting again. I was almost alsleep at the end. The meal took almost five hrs. There was a post on one of the other boards about terrible, slow service at Corton. Does anyone know anything about this? I would love to go to KO, but scoring and early reservation on a specific day, is near impossible (see Per Se). So folks, Please help me out here. Thanks
  10. I actually posted the same question last year. Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a fabulous wholesale purveyor on Franklin Street named Aux Delices Des Bois. Their demise ended it for me for exotic mushrooms in Manhattan. Some of the partners kept the name and went web only. I bought some morels from them once. They were fine. Here is their reincarnated website. Let me know how you make out.
  11. oh noes, not accented voices!!! ← This is a problem mostly evident in NYC and it is a symptom of a much larger labor--and ultimately wealth distribution problem. In any case its nothing to be disregarded off-hand because it triggers our political correctness reflexes. An important component of food running is describing the dish and being able to answer any questions about it, or failing that at least understand the questions well enough to be able to redirect them to the server, sommelier or manager. Putting an unprepared runner on the floor unsupervised is like putting a novice cook on saute and letting him learn from mistakes at the customers cost. Its a failure. That is in no way discriminatory. Most people willing to supply a minimal effort can learn to pronounce words as they are intended in their language of origin. Cooks do this as a matter of course. If runners are pronouncing words incorrectly, it is because either they have failed to put the proper effort into learning, or their managers have put insufficient effort into teaching. If I am paying ~$30 for a plate, I like to have the components explained to me clearly. It adds to my enjoyment of the food, and at that price point I need to be able to identify added value. ← I had the same experience. Part of the problem is that I had a busboy put the plates down and mumbled something indistinguishable in heavily accented English. The waiter was behind him, like a father coaching a son without correction. Had there been a printed menu, none of this would have been a problem. It's not a 'foreigner' nor racist issue. It's just that service was poor and compounded by the conceit of no menu.
  12. Had dinner at Stone Barns last Thursday and had the 5 course tasting. I had been two years ago. Again, what is so striking about the place is it's bucolic beauty and the ability to walk around the grounds. It smells so good. As for dinner, I agree with LP Shanet. The service was haphazard and impersonal (as opposed to the relaxed, attentive service at Per Se last week). I did not know who was our waiter. The sommelier never showed up until the amuse had started. Then the wine came 15 minutes later. A very nice Alsatian rieseling. The courses came out oh so slowly. They were put down without explanation. I found the fact that there was no menu pretentious. Even Chez Panisse, who offers only a set menu in the dining room, has one. We had all of the amuse mentioned without the pig liver and face bacon. Then a mixed salad with beets and a milky dressing. This was followed by the sweetest scallops, medium rare, in 'clam chowder'. Then potato agnolotti with assorted mushrooms. The main course was a loin of pork with a single slice of boudin and braised farro. The pork was tasteless and marred the meal. I was so looking forward to a taste of pig and perhaps some crackling. Not to be. It was the 'other white meat'. Desert was a chocolate brioche pudding with a blueberry compote and coffee ice cream. Then came a 'gift' of raspberries covered by a tasteless, white chocolate foam. Mignardises were grapes! Fucking grapes! It was also marred by the woman next to me on the banquette having loud orgasms with each course. The dinner was good, very good. The stand outs were the scallops and the bread pudding. I think that it's a nice place to take out of towners. It's just so precious. note; the bar area is lovely and one can have a bar or regular menu. And there you have it.
  13. I beg to differ on a few points, Steve. We are talking 40 years. How many on this list were eating out regularly in Manhattan 40 years ago. Shun Lee, at the time was really ground breaking and the food was so much better and not as expensive as now. Before Shun Lee, it was Cantonese in some basement restaurant in Chinatown or for a treat, at Pearl's. Then came Shun Lee. A beautiful place, Americanized service, excellent, unusual Chinese food and a host who catered to his best known clients. From Shun Lee was spawned David Keh, Pig Heaven and on and on. No one had eaten orange crispy beef before. It was one of their signature dishes. Now to Maxwell's Plum. It was a scene. It was a destination place. It was New York. It was very cool and it had very good and inventive food with young, rising chefs. I had my first Opera Cake made by Nancy Silverton there. They had an excellent duck. Tavern on the Green is none of those things. It's sort of like Abagail Kirsch in Central Park. It never had vibe and it was not ground breaking. Maxwell's was. It is one of the few restaurants that I truly miss. As for omissions, I'm sorry that Ms. Greene did not include La Cote Basque under Henri Soule. I think that it spawned many other fine French restaurants and figured significantly with the fashion/society crowd. Hence Truman Capote's novella under the same name.
  14. Pardon me if this is a redundant post but I have searched this board for lobster suppliers to ship fresh or cooked lobsters to me in Manhattan. Does any one have any favorites. Either a website or name and place would be great. I do not need a "clam bake" or any of the other sides. Just fresh, sweet, Maine or Massachusetts lobsters. Our Long Island ones just don't cut it. THANKS!
  15. I am a lurker 99% of the time, but was inspired by the green market a few weeks ago. I baked a mixed berry tart (currants, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, tri-star strawberries) with a vanilla pastry cream and a sweet crust (murbe teich). I could not find red currant jam to glaze it with and so had to settle for black currant. Not as pretty. It was delicious.
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