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Everything posted by Mayur

  1. I don't know. Having seen some busy nights at PDT, I can say that Don is pretty fast.
  2. What is this "water" you speak of? So, this is how I remember it: Amuse: Lardo in pastry shell, caviar and creme fraiche in potato Crudi: -Hamachi with some sort of spice oil -Maine oyster with hackleback caviar and lime -Long Island fluke with cherries and Yunno's greens -Julienne scallops with red pepper oil (that was the primary flavor I got) -Tuna tartare with California osetra Lobster claw with melon gelee, tomato water, basil oil Beef carpaccio with a parmesan foil, shiso, and some other accents (plus "butter bomb" bread) Fresh/frozen grape tomato salad with yuba (tofu skin) Bacon dashi dish (with an odd soy-based caviar-ish thing in it) Striped bass with egg drop soup ravioli, baby bok choi, and buckwheat groats Frozen shaved foie torchon (mmm!) Buckwheat ravioli with eggplant filling and pork-miso sausage (double mmm!) Elysian fields lamb chop with watermelon-shiso-feta garnish Cheese: Humboldt Fog and Blackberry Farms 18-month-aged sheep, plus lard brioche (this was actually one of the best cheese courses I've had in forever; simple, manageable, and tasty) Peach shortcake sorbet (don't think it was strawberry, was it, FG?) Corn-chocolate pudding with sour cream ice cream The wine pairings were... decent. For the amuses and crudi, we did champagne, switched to the Scholium sauvignon blanc for the later crudi courses (unimpressed), then to an Argentinean viognier for the lobster (perfect), then to manzanilla sherry for the carpaccio (nigh-disastrous), then to an excellent Valdouro white for the next few courses, over to a chilled Piemontese red for the tomatoes/bacon dashi, to a dessert sake for the foie torchon (perfect), then to a Volnay for the ravioli (simple but perfect), then to a 2002 Brunello for the lamb (REALLY perfect, and obviously the fanciest wine they were pouring), to a sweeter sherry for the cheese, a dessert sake for the sorbet, and finally a Greek moscato (ridiculously sweet and high ABV) for the pudding. That fill in most of the blanks?
  3. Mayur


    I thought Bruni panned it, no?
  4. Mayur


    The sole problem I have with Resto is that the food is... er, a bit on the hefty side for everyday eating or for people who aren't total meatheads. In that respect, places like the Momos are a bit easier to deal with; there's a full range of options from light to heavy, and one can go for anything from a snack to a full-on blowout. Thus, I tend to find myself at Resto when it's late, I'm alone, and I'm hungry. I've noticed this problem especially w/r/t summer dining. While they may be trying to adapt, it hasn't been so successful IME; I was having a drink here waiting for a friend and ordered the kampachi special, which seemed ideal for the weather, but I had the same problem with it that Nathan did. One (sorry, I) simply can't eat lamb ribs, pork belly, burgers, and steak all the time in 90-degree weather (or really at any time of year).
  5. Mayur


    Hey! I didn't say anything about the Jean de Lillet! Dammit, why'd you say anything! Now Mayur's going to buy it all! ← MUHAHAHAHAHA! Actually, in all seriousness, I'm rather fond of what I've got infusing right now: A Moscato Giallo fortified to 17% with unaged brandy, sweetened to about 22 brix, and aromatized with fresh lemon and orange peel, bitter orange peel, quinine, cinnamon, cloves, and (after a conversation with donbert) apricot kernels. The "alpine herbs" bit is interesting. Any time I've tried putting in anything like a common vermouth herb (thyme, sage, wormwood, elderflower, horehound), my Lillet replica ends up tasting distinctly less... er, Lillet-ish and more like a vermouth (the Martelli Vermouth Classico comes to mind). Somehow, the effect of those herbs is enhanced in something as delicate as Lillet, whereas a more robust aromatized wine (Noilly Ambre or a standard red vermouth) can deal with them.
  6. Consistent with what kathryn said above, Will has been there when I've stopped in Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. He *might* also be there at other hours (I've run into him on off-hours and one Sunday afternoon), but I think those are the days of the week on which he's consistently present.
  7. A damn fine cocktail indeed, if I do say. A perfect end to the evening. I'm generally *not* a big Fernet fan, and I actually quite enjoyed this. Given the insane alcohol content of the Handy and the VEP (125 and 110 proof respectively), I think the overall body of this drink does a lot to tame the Fernet.
  8. That's a wonderful website, BTW! I've visited it many times; awesome stuff. So, I tried the Genevieve in a riff on the Improved Holland Gin Cock-Tail: 2 oz Genevieve 1 tsp simple 1/2 tsp maraschino 1/2 tsp nocino 2 dashes grapefruit bitters I have no idea why I made this, except that I just got back from visiting a friend in the hospital and just went on autopilot making a drink. I thought nutty-malty the first time I tried the Genevieve, so went with the nocino for some more nut bitterness. (Skipped the absinthe because I thought it'd add too much in the herbal/bitter departments.)
  9. Mayur


    Just don't try a mezcal Last Word variant. (Oof!) Thanks for posting the authentic recipes, phil!
  10. Mayur


    phlip can correct me on proportions here, but this is how I make my own versions at home: Jovencourt daiquiri: 2 oz Barbancourt white + 0.5 oz Los Amantes Joven mezcal + lime and sugar as normal. Oaxaca Old-Fashioned (based on my experimentation, so again let the ACTUAL BARTENDER correct!): 2 oz El Tesoro reposado + 0.5 oz Los Amantes Joven + 0.5 oz agave syrup plus bitters (grapefruit?) and a flamed grapefruit twist.
  11. I thought raji might have been throwing Blue Smoke and HC into that category as well, though. Both of those clearly spent a fair chunk of change on decor, and the fact is that good beef, especially, simply is not that cheap. But yes, in terms of paying for space and decor (and, sadly, NOT for food), Wildwood is on another level.
  12. Mayur

    Per Se

    The list at Per Se is a bit pricier than the list at TFL, which may have something to do with it.
  13. I like Daisy Mae's just fine for their whole pig, butt, and lamb, but I will say that HC or even Blue Smoke are worth the money and not even all that insanely expensive when all's said and done. I spend a fair amount of time at HC with friends from TX and OK who are quite serious about their barbecue.There's always Fette Sau, which IMO is a) a whole lot cheaper than HC and b) even better on the beef 'cue, even though they don't have decent ribs and there are no sides to speak of. They do have an absolutely amazing beer selection and a kickass spirits lineup, though (and who wouldn't love a bar that has Laird's bonded, Vya dry and sweet, Junipero, and a decent bitters selection?).
  14. I expected less than Hill Country for two reasons:1. Stephen. 2. Hanson. My expectations were met. Not terrible, but certainly not a patch on Hill Country. Review here. ← Ouch! I do have to disagree with you on the brisket, though it may have been the particular evening in question. My TX BBQ buddy and I were both hugely impressed. I meant the prices and the fact that they'd poached Lou away, really. I'm also clearly too much of a restaurant optimist; I keep thinking that even the Hanson crowd has become educated enough by now that they spurn the crappy-food places. But I can always be wrong; heck, I think people have learned about cocktails by now, and I'm surprised each week by the vodka-and-soda orderers at D&Co!
  15. Grayz.And no, I'm really not kidding. Other than Grayz, there is *nothing* to even remotely compare with the attention to detail, quality and innovativeness of recipes, level of ingredients, and bartending technique at a place like PDT or D&Co. And yes, I'm spoiled by the fact that I live less than two blocks from D&Co and four from PDT. But that doesn't change the fact that there are regrettably few establishments that have even *tried* to really approach the level of the top tier in town. In fact, even among some top tier establishments (PDT, D&Co, Flatiron, Pegu, M&H, Tailor, and Little Branch) quality has risen and fallen over some periods (Flatiron and Pegu come to mind, as we've been discussing above in this topic).
  16. Mayur


    Monte Alban's all right, and will certainly provide an example of a good mezcal. However, IMO, Los Amantes Joven and Los Danzantes Reposado are best-in-class for their respective categories.
  17. PDT had a shrub drink on a previous menu that used gin, Pernod, and concord grape vinegar. I regularly mix with white balsamic and (more recently) with sugarcane vinegar. The latter seriously amps up the herbal "funk" in rhum agricole- or arrack-based drinks.
  18. Mayur

    Per Se

    As oakapple says, Per Se will customize a pairing for you given a particular price point. I don't recall there being a set-price wine pairing at JG, but I could have missed it. We generally just get a couple of "appropriate glasses to match" and the price usually comes out to no more than $100 a head. Wine service is one area in which I will say that Per Se excels, although you get what you pay for; the markups are horrendous. However, the servers are usually quick with little extra pours of this or that, and are very good at delivering on requests or recommending appropriate wines. I'd say that it would be very, very hard to get out of Per Se paying less than $125 a head for wine, simply due to their wine prices.
  19. I think one would have to worry if one were able to finish a Staggerac in the time spent to drink a standard up cocktail.
  20. Tuesday's actually a nice evening to hit Pegu. Kenta tends bar on those evenings, and the crowd is highly tamped down from how it is on weekends. Lots of good cocktails coming out from behind the bar on those nights!
  21. The Lobster Place at Chelsea Market, or its sister on Bleecker St, are IMO the absolute best places (other than the Greenmarket) to buy seafood, but be warned: Prices are high.
  22. I was pretty fond of Wildwood, though my enthusiasm was not nearly so unalloyed as yours. I thought the brisket, queen-cut short rib, and sides were excellent. The chicken was good, although I can pretty much always skip that item (except at Dinosaur, oddly enough). Roughly on a level with HC's beer can chicken. The pork ribs were pretty terrible, especially by comparison with the ones at Hill Country (a bit on the dry side and not nearly as perfect a mix of fat, meat and smoke). We found the sausages bland and a bit on the wet side given their otherwise strong resemblance to Texas links. Beer selection was pretty good, though not great (they won't be stealing any accolades from Blue Smoke in this regard, for example). The Memphis baby back ribs struck me as being about as "fake barbecue" as one can get, largely due to the assertively-sweet sauce. That may be an issue of taste, though (I'm rarely a fan of heavily-sauced BBQ that's not KC-style). The other problem I had were the prices. Wildwood is *not* cheap, and for this money, I expected better than Hill Country, not even the same or worse.
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