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Everything posted by hhlodesign

  1. "Scoop'a chocolate; scoop'a vanilla. Don't waste my time." - City Slickers 1. Seal is married to Heidi Klum. 2. Heidi Klum is a supermodel. 3. Many supermodels are rumored to be bulimic. 4. Bulimics gorge themselves prior to throwing it all back up. 5. Ducks and geese gorge themselves creating a naturally enlarged liver, known as foie gras. OR: 1. Seal's third single released in the United States was "Kiss from a Rose." 2. "Kiss From a Rose" was featured in the Batman Forever Soundtrack. 3. Batman Forever starred future governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. 4. Schwarzenegger signed the bill to ban both the production and sale of foie gras in California by 2012. Tinky Winky and Sardinian Maggot Cheese!
  2. Nice Pontormo. The challenge has been laid. 1. In the book Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, Ghengis Kahn is the listener to descriptions of various fantastic cities come upon in his travels as described by Marco Polo. 2. Marco Polo is often credited for bringing many things from the east to the Western world, most famous of which being pasta. 3. Pasta comes in many shapes. One of them is fusilli. 4. Fusilli was the pasta shape Kramer used to create a mini Jerry Seinfeld in the TV show Seinfeld. 5. Seinfeld takes place in New York City. 6. New York is the home of the Broadway show Spamalot, which is loosely based a quest for the holy grail, and Spam. Sun Tzu and Hansen's Diet Black Cherry Soda
  3. 1. Nicole Kidman starred in Days of Thunder with Tom Cruise 2. Tom Cruise is married to Katie Holmes 3. Katie Holmes starred in The Ice Storm Directed by Ang Lee 4. Ang Lee is Taiwanese 5. Taiwanese are notorious for eating anything 6. No Taiwanese would ever even consider putting Haggis in their mouth Leonardo Da Vinci and Jello.
  4. Thank you both for this wonderful thread. Which restaurant did you find the food better, Bouley or Jean-Georges?? ← I would have like to be able to compare tasting menu to tasting menu. However, since I can't; I found each dish at JG to be exceptional, while Bouley had one dish that missed, and a few dishes that were merely good. However, The best dish I had from both places came from Bouley, the Lobster dish. JG seemed to have better consistencey across the board, while Bouley had higher highs. I forgot to list my final top 10: 1. Three Terrine Bahn Mi - Momofuku Ssam bar 2. Lobster, Vidalia Onions, red pepper, passion fruit, yellow pepper sauces- Bouley 3. Scallops, cauliflower, caper raisin emulsion - Jean Georges 4. Pork belly buns - Momofuku Ssam Bar 5. Corned Duck on toasted Rye - WD-50 6. Egg, Caviar - Jean Georges 7. White bean porcchini cappuccino - Gordon Ramsey 8. Concorde Grape, Framage Blanc - Bouley 9. Roasted Lamb Loin with Beets and Onions - Gordon Ramsey 10. Beet ravioli with butter sauce - Daniel and Alicia's Honorable mention: Hanger Steak Ssam - Momofuku Ssam Bar French Roll - Sullivan Street bakery via Jean Georges
  5. The Katz's "experience" is one of a kind. The ticket at the door, the smells, the countermen, the taste at the counter, the buzz from the room, the security gaurds at the door; it all adds up to singular adventure which can't be replicated anywhere. The pastrami I felt was very good, but not great. Juicy and tender, yes. However, maybe a bit undersalted. It might be my west coast prejudices, but I think Langer's in LA makes a better pastrami on rye. Sorry Thanks for reading along. Either Paris or Vegas next.
  6. I first went to Bouley 2 yeas ago, and tell many people to this day, about the aroma of apples as one steps into the front door. I was happy to see that this was unchanged! This was an amuse bouche bombardment! The three items arrived not at the same time, but one after another, instantaneously. No later than 2 seconds after I finished my tuile (great!), the cornet was placed in front of me followed closely by the grapefruit three ways (my favorite.) I couldn't help but think that this was a purposeful assault on the senses, and a stupendous way to start a meal. Every item in this dish was perfectly cooked. The scallop was my favorite. My second favorite dish of the night. The yellowtail was nice, but it ws the other flavors that made this dish for me. Melon, ginger, and mushrooms? Who would have thunk it? My favorite dish of the evening! Again, so many things happening on the plate, but they all enhanced each other. Perfectly cooked lamb (Medium rare!) and quite possibly the best preparation of potatoes ever. I ws also a big fan of the artichoke puree. Never had baby pig before. I think most of us werre pretty full by now. The meat had a distinct bitter, offal like, taste to it. Indifferent to this one. I don't quite remember much about this one. The gorg and Livarot were my favorites. Mmmmmmmmmm, and so beatifully presented. Reminded my of my childhood. Drinking grape juice in front of the TV on Saturday mornings. Not much interesting happing for me in this dish. All in all, we had a lovely dinner. The only miss for me was the baby pig. Service was, again, top notch. Eric, our table captain, was a friend of a friend (William Belickis of Mistral in Seattle) and treated us very well. It was great to spend another evening with Daniel and Alicia. It was only after Lorna tapped me to point out that we were the only ones left and the staff was standing around waiting for us, that I realized that we needed to go. My mouth was thinking Momofuku Noodle Bar, but my stomach was vehemently againist it.
  7. I'm not a fan of dessert, but I've heard such great things of what Will was doing that I was almost as excited as Lorna about this place. I really liked the layout of the room. Very simple lines and minimal decor. Lorna forgot to mention that Will offered her a stage next time she got back to NY. I'm trying to convince her to go next year as I think its a great opportunity for her. Chime in please! Bob's quenelles are the best I've seen. Taking into account his speed and fluidity of movement when making them. I was impressed. I really enjoyed this. The coconut powder was the most interesting aspect for me. When tried alone, it was extremely dry and dried out my mouth. But when scooped with everything else in the glass, it worked as a perfect foil for the tart and luxurious pomegranate foam. I didn't get to try much of this. Just a bite of the kubocha cake actually (very moist and delicious.) I took two bites of my pomegranate foam, looked over, and saw an empty plate with Ling smiling like the Cheshire cat. Will and Bob are really nice guys and have one hell of an establishment. They even won over a non-dessert fan. Good luck to Bob at El Bulli!
  8. We had an hour to kill between Room 4 Dessert and our reservation at Bouley. I suggested Danube because I have fond memories of the weinerschnitzel from a few years ago. In fact, the tasting menu I had 2 years ago was one of the best I've had in my life. Most memorable being the foie gras broule with sweet corn served with sauternes, ice wine, and tokai; and the weinerschnitzel of course. Unfortunately, (and contrary to popular belief) we did not have the gastronomic stamina to do a tasting menu at Danube prior to our tasting menu at Bouley. I ordered a Danube cocktail. Champagne with elderflower syrup. Shown here beautifully framed by miss Yee. You can definitely taste the floral aroma, which was a perfect complement to the dry champagne. Lorna's cocktail of choice just happened to be the signature weinerschnitzel. This one was disappointing. The breading was soggy and oily. Like it had been left in the fryer too long. We didn't finish it, as we had bigger fish to fry at Bouley. I hear Danube may have dropped a bit since Mario Lohninger left. Any truth to this?
  9. Not on this trip, but make sure you watch the Pacific Northwest episode of No Reservations. I think it airs Jan. 22nd.
  10. The venison was barely pink throughout--medium!! ← Again, When Lorna says "medium" she means "medium rare." And to revise: She likes her meat somewhere between "blue" and "alive."
  11. Top 5 for me. Great contrast of textures. The toasted rye was perfectly crisp. There was a hint of horseradish in the foam. I think this elevated the dish from excellent to outstanding for me. Another fabulous dish! It was clearly all about the bearnaise ice cream. The bites I took without it didn't do much for me. I love the concept. Didn't care much for the flavors. The mullet skin had a distinct bitterness to it that detracted from the dish for me. Yes, I was a fan of the fried mayo. I didn't get the bitterness that Lorna experienced. I enjoyed this dish overall, but was just a bit underwhelmed. Maybe the flavors were a bit too subtle for me. With pork belly I usually expect much bolder flavors. I can't say I enjoyed this particular preparation of foie. There just seemed to be to many things going on on the plate, and in my mouth. the flavors just didn't seem to complement each other as I would have liked. I think my overall impression of WD-50 may have been different had we done the tasting menu. In all fairness, we were still pretty full from lunch (and Joe's Shanghai). So we opted to only order a la carte and split a few dishes. Maybe our impressions may have been different if we had not half-assed it and jumped into the deep end. I will say that every dish was beautifully presented and the duck and hangar dishes were extremely tasty.
  12. Parm panna cotta was also my favorite. Such a beautiful presentation! I agree. My favorite bread I ate in NY. Our friend Susan is good friends with one of the Captains at JG. She made a phone call for us before we got there. I'm pretty sure that had something to do with the treatment we got. Oh, and the egg caviar dish; sublime! I worked up quite the appetite in our cabride to JG! Great mesh of flavors. The sweet meat with the sour lemon was very interesting. Agreed, Also one of my top 5. There was a hint of mustard in the caper raisin emulsion. I never would have thought of scallops ith mustard, but loved the combo. This was quite exciting for me. I really wanted to go over and say hi, but didn't want to be rude and interrupt his meal. Just to clarify. When Lorna says "medium" she means "medium rare." that's how this and most meats I order are prepared. Which is perfect for me. She likes her meat somewhere betweeen "blue" and "rare." This was way too cool! He didn't get a drop of pineapple juice on his perfectly pressed Armani suit. We had the most incredible time here at JG. The lunch deal has got to be the best bargain in the city. We didn't have any wine, but our bill was just over $100 total. We tipped on the perceived value of the comped items as well, but just the 2 courses for $28 is quite enough for a good lunch. The service was, like at GRATL, impeccable. Often the topic at our table was about the lack of this kind of service in Seattle and Vancouver. Our table captain, Brady, was professional without being stuffy and overly serious. I think this is a skill of reading the table and reacting to the cues giving by the diners. He did it perfectly.
  13. I was more intrigued by the taste of a kim chee hot dog than who was making it. Have you tried one, is it good? I'm gonna hit the asian market tomorrow for some kim chee and pick up some Hebrew Nationals. Mmmmmm! It just sounds like my kind of combination.
  14. The great thing about being interested in eating, is the fact that it is something that we must do at least twice a day. I hear body-builders eat at many as 6-8 times in one day. While we did hit many places on our trip, we tried to sample many things without gorging ourselves on repetitive items. The law of diminishing returns only applies when the item in question is the same. By varying the items, the law does not apply.
  15. What she said! Really a remarkable guy. Probably had alot to do with why I enjoyed my Momofuku experience so much. You can tell he was really passionate about what he was doing.
  16. Maybe it's because I was drunk, maybe it's becasue of the rock star treatment we got (thanks to Donbert), or maybe its because its just that good! But Momofuku Ssam Bar was my favorite meal in NY on this trip! We arrived sometime after 2am. Wylie Dufresne was already there and asked, "Did you not get enough to eat at my place?" Since we had already ate earlier, and still had gallons of liquid in our body from Pegu, we tried not to order too much food. However, Tien Ho, the chef, recognized Don as a regular and came out to talk to us. We told him about our culinary tour of NY. He was most excited for us and started sending all kinds of stuff out for us to try. Benton's Smokey Mountain County Ham I don't remember much about the flavor of this ham other than really enjoying it. Especially with the sweet, hot mustard. Hanger Steak Ssam Every flavor was present and wonderful. The steak was perfectly cooked, just this side of rare. My first ssam. Oh So Good! Three terrine Bahn Mi Not sure what the three terrines were. Tien told me but I was drunk. This was probably the best sandwich I have ever had! It had every taste; sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. Also, perfect mix of textures. From the crusty Bahn Mi bread to the soft, tender terrines, to the crisp pickles veggies. A perfect sandwich! Grilled Veal Sweetbreads, with pickled roasted chilies and lime Lorna liked this dish more than myself. Not to say I didn't enjoy it. I did. the sweetbreads go very well with a squeeze of lime and the pickled chilies. One of the best preperations of sweetbreads I've had. Spicy Squid Salad with mizuna, ginger, and scallions Another dish Lorna enjoyed more than myself. Probably because this arrived at the same time as the Bahn Mi. Crab Claws with Yuzu Mayo Served on ice. Very refreshing. Love the yuzu mayo. Pork Belly Buns! I've been dreaming of these since I read about them months ago. They fully lived up to the hype. Luckily there were only 3 of us eating. Guess who got the extra one? Bay scallops with pineapple, scallions and baby sorrel Recommended by our waitress. Didn't really stand out for me. Maybe a bit too sweet. Beet salad For a beet salad, it was very tasty. Especially with the mustard. But I had hangar ssam waiting for me. Momofuku was one of the best food experiences I have ever had. Of course the food was good, but above that, it was the late night atmosphere, hanging with regulars, and being treated so well by everyone behind the counter. If I lived in NY, I might just be there every night. I think we got to bed around 4:30am that night. Full, content, and ready for day 2.
  17. After WD-50, Lorna and I hopped in a cab and went off to Pegu Club. There we met up with fellow eGers Johnder and Donbert. Let me say right off the bat, if you ever have a chance to meet up with these guys for drinks, do it! They are both a plethora of cocktail knowledge, and nice guys to boot! Neither Don or John were there when we arrived. We sat down at the very crowded bar and ordered off the cocktail menu. Lorna had a champagne-apricot-something-or-other, while I had a Jamican Firefly (a rum based drink with ginger beer in it). We loved them both. Sorry, but the room is way too dark for any pictures to come out. We asked our bartender if he knows some regulars named Don and John. He replies, "yeah, they show up every once in awhile ." As we were finishing our first drinks, John shows up and introduces us to our bartender Phil. It was at this point that we started venturing off the menu. Instructed by John to just tell Phil what kind of alcohol you like and leave the rest to him, we did so; and loved every drink he came up with. After a few more drinks, Don shows up carrying a few bottles of rye. Not just any rye, but 23 year old Red Hook Rye from a limited bottling. 200 numbered bottles only. Don had 1 through 3. "Sazeracs all around!" I heard. To top it off, the manager comes by and tells us that a photographer from New York Magazine will be taking some photographs tonight at the Pegu Club, and would we mind being props for the shots. We said, "Sure!" Yes, it was the exact same photographer from GRATL. I told him I'd give him the rest of our itinerarary so he could continue following us around. For the shoot, the manager set up 6-8 drinks in front of us. I tried (at least) a sip of each of them and loved every single one. However, by then my judgement may have been a little impaired. I'm not sure how many drinks we had by then end of the night, but I think I was nearing the double digits. While I don't remember much from the second half of our Pegu Club experience, I DO remember talking about Top Chef with John and Don. They both said that Sam has a Hot Dog Cart near WD-50 that sells kim-chee hot dogs. I got excited! So at 2am, it was off on a mission for Kim Chee Hot Dogs!!! Alas, the cart was not at the designated corner. We had to settle for Momofuku Ssam Bar. Thank god Sam was taking the night off! Pictures of Momofuku to follow...
  18. We loved the SSB bread we had at Jean Georges. Better than any bakery in Seattle? Maybe? But that's quite a blanket statement. Have you tried every one?
  19. "Sucked" is such a strong word. Lorna is somewhat of a XLB nazi! I didn't think they were that bad. I liked the amount of soup they had in them. The skins were not too thick, as is so often the problem. About average, but not in the ballpark of some places in Richmond, BC or DTF in Taipei.
  20. Then we walked to Gordon Ramsey at the London, stopping for some touristy things along the way. Finally sitting down to a wonderful place setting at GRATL. We both opted for the 3 course lunch for $45. They started us off with small toasts with two accompaniments; foie gras with sauternes jelly, and black truffle cream. I liked these both very much! The foie gras spread had just a hint of sauternes taste to it. Maybe not enough, but still nice. and the truffle cream was perfect. Seemed to be just minced black truffles mixed with creme fraiche. I'm not sure if I was supposed to mix the two spreads, but I did; and don't regret it for a second! Next came our amuse bouche. Shimeji mushroom, white bean capuccino with a slice of black truffle on top. In my top 5 of favorites on this trip. The bread was pretty good. Considering that we'd heard not so good things about the bread, I asked if the bread was baked in-house. Our server replied that they were "figuring things out," implying that they may have outsourced. Our first courses: Chicken and mushroom tortellini with porcini soup. Foie gras and ham hock terrine with apples I loved the porcini soup. The foie gras flavor was very minute in the terrine. Possibly a bit bland for my taste. Our mains: Pot roasted rabbit leg with confit garlic, oyster mushrooms, roasted celeriac and an anchovy jus Found the rabbit a bit hard to eat without picking it up and gnawing at the bone. I would have liked to taste more anchovy flavour. Roasted lamb saddle with carrots, beats, pearl onions and rosemary jus I thought this was one of the best preparations of lamb I've had in awhile (Lorna disagreed.) I let Lorna pick both of our desserts, since I am not a fan of sweets: One of these I don't think we ordered. The chocolate one. I think they sent out the most photogenic one for use because there was a photographer for NY Magazine taking pictures for the restaurant issue that day. The Matre'd asked us if we would mind if they photgraphed our table for the magazine shoot. We said, "Sure!" After dessert, the Matre'd asked if we would like a tour of the kitchen and to meet Gordon. We said, "Sure!" Other than the noise of working, it was eerily quiet. Not much talking, other than Gordon speaking loudly on the phone in the corner. He then got off the phone to say hi to us. He is quite the larger than life character he appears. Seemed generally interested who we were and how we enjoyed our meal. Then back to the table for more: With the coffee service, you get the bon bon trolley rolled to your table Service was some of the best I've experienced in any restaurant. Not a single hiccup, and they made us feel like we were the most important people in the room, (as I'm sure every other table did as well.)
  21. Ling and I just got back from an incredible trip to NY. No time to write much tonight as we are both jet-lagged and tired. But here's a list of the places we will be giving reports and pictures of in the next few days. Dinner at Daniel and Alicia's La Maison du Chocolat Gordon Ramsey Fauchon Joe's Shanghai WD-50 Pegu Club Momofuku Ssam Bar Jean Georges Room 4 Dessert Danube Bouley Katz's Kee's Jacques Torres Amy's Bread Murray's Cheese Shop Rocco's Lots of pictures to come!
  22. And if there's time: New 5th Ave. Apple Store Prada Flagship store New Moma Guggenheim Morimoto (for Ando, not the food) It's not all about food!
  23. My mom came to visit for the Thanksgiving weekend. Here is what she cooked for us! Chinese meal by mom Still trying to pick up all her techniques.
  24. Please explain how my post makes me seem unqualified.
  25. The better analogy is: "I can get my cancer operated on by some guy in a third world country for $500. Should I do that, or pay $50,000 for a trained surgeon who is licensed and professionally qualified to do the job." The original poster was asking whether $500 was "reasonable" price to pay for kitchen design. I gave her my professional insight as to where those fees compare with those of a licensed architect, while also trying to explain the difference between what $500 would provide in a final product vs. $5k. The bottom line is, architects go through 5-7 years of school and 3+ years of in the field training before they are even allowed to sit for 9 exams which must all be passed before we can even use the term "Architect." We bring a level of expertise that is not even close to that of a Home Depot "designer." So your comparison is apples to oranges.
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