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Purple Pirate

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  1. I'm very surprised--it is my understanding they are doing it now regularly. If it was a slip up, that shouldn't be happening.... I was told they are doing it now regularly and assumed that to be the case. I think its only been recent but if it was last week, then I think you were supposed to have been given one. ← I got one. I was actually a bit dissapointed in some ways, cause I was hoping the Gourmand was a bit more freestyle, i.e. I could return relatively soon and eat something different. With this 'there's a menu, but there's no menu', I'm not sure when to return for another go. edited to add: Also got a sleeve of pates de fruits, with 4 flavors. Was very nice. ← We did get the sleeve of pates de fruits.
  2. Dutchmuse wrote.... "Hi Steve As you know, I love EMP and usually go, on average, once a month or more. To answer your questions: 1. 18 months ago IMHO it was a high 3 star restaurant, now it is a four star restaurant. 2. The food has become more refined as well as the service. They did not have someone at the revolving door turning it for people and the training of the FOH staff it at a much higher level. Daniel Humm's food has become more focused, more refined...at a higher level. And 18 months ago, they didn't have the small caviar tins they give you as you leave. When you open them, an accordion style hand written menu of your dinner unfolds." I am not a regular at EMP. However, I was there last week for maybe the fifth time in my life. We had the gourmand. When we left we never received the small caviar tins with the menu inside when we left.
  3. Thanks for replies. One last question...the skin is still on the pork belly. When would you recommend that I remove it?
  4. So, I decided to try Ruhlman's recipe for maple smoked bacon. I got the pork belly ready and cured it for the full 7 days in the fridge. Then I removed it from the ziploc and left it in the fridge for 24 hours. Unfortunately, I was unable to smoke it. So, I froze it. This was around two weeks ago. Two days ago I took it out of the freezer and have let it defrost in the refrigerator. Weather and time permitting...I want to smoke it tonight on my WSM. I am looking for opinions if the belly is still good.
  5. You might inquire about Jay Lippin, formerly of Backwoods Barbecue in Westwood, and now with Dog House Saloon and Grill in Washington Townhip. 201-722-1820
  6. Take them to Rat's in Hamilton. The walk through the sculptures alone in nice weather is worth it, but the food is still worth it too. A recent dinner there was superb. Excellent wine list too. Ask for a tour of the kitchen! ← I would consider Nisi in Englewood and Cafe Matisse in Rutherford.
  7. I did The Kitchen Counter last Thursday and one of the courses was the braised venison, lardons, chestnuts and currants. It was one of my favorite courses of the evening. The entire Kitchen Counter experience was wonderful! Kudos to Chef Sergio and his crew that night!
  8. It was my first time at Hill Country and it was a great way for me to sample every single side dish that they offer. The initial group of meat that they brought out did contain some of the moist/fatty brisket. Subsequently, when we asked for more brisket it contained some moist/fatty brisket as well.
  9. You should definitely try the sformato at Otto. It is secretly hidden under "salads"
  10. I went on Monday night with four other people to celebrate a birthday. We took advantage of the Monday night Recession Supper. Every Monday night from 5-10pm for $25 per person it is all you can eat. Everybody at the table must particpate. Here are the sides you can choose from: Sweet Potato Bourbon Mash, Green Bean Casserole, White Shoepeg Corn Pudding, Hot German Potatoes, Beer Braised Cowboy Pinto Beans, Skill Cornbread with Ancho Honey Butter, Confetti Cole Slaw, Cool as a Cucumber Salad, Texas Black-Eyed Caviar and Smokey Chipotle Deviled Eggs. For $2 extra per item you can also get Longhorn Cheddar Mac and Cheese, Texas Bowl of Red (Chili), and Campfire Baked Beans. Of course you also get the meat: Brisket, Pork Ribs and Barbecued Chicken. Unlimited fountain drinks too! This was a fantastic way for us to try everything! I had never been before and was able to sample as much as I like without having to deal with any of the aforementioned long lines because it is 100% waiter/waitress service. The standout items were the brisket, barbecue chicken, skillet cornbread, deviled eggs, cucumber salad, mac and cheese, and the corn pudding. For dessert, which wasn't part of the special deal, we had some Blue Bell ice cream, banana pudding and a complimentary red velvet cupcake for the birthday boy! The banana pudding was the standout dessert! We had a fantastic time!
  11. Friday night my wife and I were fortunate to land a table during Nisi's soft opening. They had been open for approximately 3 days. The chef is John Piliouras, the longtime chef de cuisine at Molyvos in Manhattan. A place that I have frequented and enjoyed many times in the past. We started with a bottle of Ode Panos Brut which was recommended by Sterling, the sommelier. It was a very good pairing. We started with the pikilia. It consisted of three spreads: tzatiki, a roasted eggplant, and carp roe. These were the three best examples of these spreads in North Jersey. The flavors were perfectly balanced, very fresh and clean. They were served with lightly grilled whole wheat pita. Next we had the ouzo cured salmon. It was served with kalamata olives, capers and chervil. Delicious. We chose to split a whole black sea bass. We chose it from the display. It weighed 2.25lbs. It was perfectly cooked and served with capers and a very light olive oil/lemon sauce. Perfection. All of the whole fishes are sold a la carte. So, we ordered a side of the Greek fries. They were topped with lemon, parsley, and cheese. My wife thought they were the perfect accompaniment. For dessert we began with the baklava. It was very light and had layers of white chocolate. It was an excellent spin to the classic Greek dessert. I would definitely order this again. Our waiter described another dessert to us which was the mastiha creme brulee. I was unfamiliar with mastiha. He explained that it was found only in certain areas of the Greek island of Chios. It is the original chewing gum coming from the root word "masticate" which means "to chew". It is used in various ways such as sweetener, liqueur, and soaps. It had an interesting earthy/smokey flavor which went very well with the perfectly done classic creme brulee. The service was extremely professional and well informed about all of the food. The level of service is what you would expect to see in a top NYC restaurant. I can't wait to go back! 90 Grand Avenue Englewood, NJ 07631 (201) 567-4700 www.nisirestaurant.com (nothing much happening on the website yet)
  12. Wife and I will possibly be taking a road trip from North Jersey down to Miami, FL in the very near future. We are looking for any recommendations to stop and eat along the way. Any type of food, any price range. Our number one interest is in food quality. Unique experiences are a plus. We would like to try and plan for something special in Savannah, GA. Thanks!
  13. Deep fried? haha. ← They were more like foie gras nutter butters....mmmm
  14. Guess the writer didn't even bother to go to Silver Oak's website to read the welcome announcement on 8/22/2008 about Chef David Ilmojahid. Sigh.
  15. Friend and I went for dinner around a month ago. The place was dead. There was one other person dining. The owner was very friendly. Service was a bit slow. The food wasn't so great. We agreed that there was no reason to return. Pimaan Thai Restaurant on Kinderkamack Rd in Emerson is much better quality food, service and atmosphere.
  16. Recently, I began working in Hazlet and need to find some places to go for lunch. I usually take 30 to 45 minute lunch breaks. I enjoy all types of food. Fast food is bountiful down here. I am looking for quality food. Thanks for your help!
  17. Beacon doesn't seem to have its own thread...seems to be divided up between TKC and Beefsteak Dinner....so.... Has anybody been to a private function at Beacon? Please share your experience. Thanks in advance.
  18. Thanks to everybody for all of your suggestions and support. Here is a list of the main places we ended up visiting... I will add details in the next day or so. Giordanos Alinea North Pond Avec The Violet Hour
  19. Thanks for all the suggestions....please keep 'em coming! Nsxtasy...We are staying at the W Chicago City Center Alchemist...What is a Wreck?
  20. Yes, I know there are many other topics in the past on this subject. I am looking for the most current information possible. My gf got me a reservation for the two of us at Alinea for a Christmas present. Thanks babe! Basically, we will be in Chicago all day Saturday and all day Sunday. No other reservations have been made. Her first time in Chicago. My second...but first was 15+ years ago. I am looking for some pizza, hot dog etc suggestions. Also, a good place to have dinner on a Sunday night. Money not really an issue. We are staying downtown. Thanks in advance!
  21. I am a resident of Northern NJ for 27+ years. I consider myself a "foodie". I would travel out of my way to try something special. I make many trips per month just to go into Manhattan for lunch or dinner. I am not employed in the food industry. That being said....NYers please don't make a special trip to go to White Manna. It is just not worth it. Sure....cute cool looking diner. Place is dirty. Burgers are small and served on potato rolls. Not rocket science! Just make them at your home. Look at the pics of the building over the internet. Sure, come visit the Ironbound Section someday or Edison, NJ. I really couldn't even encourage you to go too far out of your way for those places. The food and restaurant scene is far superior in Manhattan. We have some great places to eat but I would most likely choose a place in Manhattan over any of them any day of the week. Nuff said.
  22. I went here for lunch today. Savory: I had a special empanada called The Brazilian (codfish and chorizo), Third Heaven (shrimp, beef and chicken) and Inferno (ground beef with 5 chillis). All three were very good. My favorite was Third Heaven. The Inferno had great heat and wasn't a very long lasting heat....very nice. Sweet: I had an empanada called Summer (tropical fruits). It was also very good...especially after Inferno. I tried the Agua de Panela. They call it lemonade that is sweetened with sugar cane. Don't be fooled...it isn't really like lemonade at all. I think it is an acquired taste...I wasn't too thrilled with it. Next time I will try the cold version of Avena. Lots of interesting stuff on the menu...am looking forward to returning and trying some more things such as: Chicharon (crispy fried pork), Arepas and the 5 Sausages and Lime empanda. Service was quick and efficient.
  23. Five Guys is a famous burger chain out of Washington DC. They already have some locations in the NYC area and other parts of NJ but this is this is the first one up north. They are going to be in the same strip mall area that houses Lotus Cafe, Applebees, Home Depot, etc... The actual address is 450 Hackensack Ave. in Hackensack.
  24. If you want authentic Mexican go to Cinco de Mayo on Broadway in downtown Hillsdale. However, the interior is basically just a counter that seats around 10 people and maybe 4 tables of four in the back. The decor is lacking but the food makes it a destination. Stick with the sopes and the soft tacos (especially tongue and cabeza!)
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