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Mussina

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Posts posted by Mussina


  1. So . . . 8 emails and four phone calls later our allergy lady finally made it in today. We prepared salad and a crispy long grain brown rice and roasted vegetable dish with crumbled goat cheese for her. First, she proceeded to eat a fair amount of her companion's "Duo of Soup." It is a parsnip/turnip and carrot/ginger with a root vegetable frizzle - it has dairy, gluten, and ginger (all allegedly forbidden). Then she wanted the goat cheese as a separate course (easy enough but odd for sure and kinda messed up any chance the rice dish would have flavor). The tip for our server after all this special treatment - 12%. No good deed . . .


  2. Sooo . . . she was set to come in Sunday for lunch. We would start with a vegetable soup and long grain brown rice with roasted vegetables (no butter) with a little crumbled goat cheese was the dish du jour. I thank everyone for their suggestions. But . . . 14 inches of snow and we had to cancel service! She is a really sweet lady (I am a total sucker for kind, elderly people) so I admit I went out on a limb that I probably wouldn't have otherwise. (She is not a "great" customer least one thinks VIP treatment in that she only comes for lunch occasionally and always drinks water but she is truly kind (her grandson wrote all over one of of chairs and she actually offered to buy us a new chair and even called to follow up)). Knowing that she didn't previously have these allergies made me less nervous than the "tree nut allergy" person I had a few weeks ago. That directive was "no tree nut products or I will die instantly". I did ascertain that she (no tree nut gal) traveled via epi-pen. Never a dull day at the office!


  3. I just looked back on her email and the word used was that this was a list of "allergens" she received from her doctor. She has been to the restaurant in the past and I do not even recall a gluten intolerance so this is something new for sure but allegedly put together by a doctor??? I agree with the misuse of the word allergies. You have no idea how many folks we get with gluten "allergies" who then ask for more bread.

    Just also learned that she does not want a poached pear for dessert if we use sugar or honey in the poaching liquid!


  4. The list is allergies. She might not be allergic to other meat and fish but she won't eat it. No tomatoes either I just learned. I know that it is insane but the sport of it almost motivates me. We get food allergies ALL the time but this really takes the cake by a mile. I'll find out about the goat cheese but I am doubtful . . .


  5. Thanks for the suggestions! We are a seasonal, New American restaurant so I usually only serve what is growing on our farm (and funny enough I never serve rice except risotto (which always have cheese and even the vegetarian version uses miso stock which contains soy)). Anyway, I think simple soup and rice and veggies is the best option. Yum!! :-)


  6. Funny - I went right to the scallop idea as well (we have some terrific Nantucket scallops right now and was thinking of pairing it with rice and roasted vegetables) so I emailed her the suggestion and lo and behold learned that she is ALSO a vegetarian (and HATES mushrooms). So fish is out.


  7. I just received an email from guest who is supposed to come to the restaurant this weekend. Here is her list of allergies:

    aspergillus niger, brewer's yeast, cow's milk products, egg whites, oats, tuna, baker's yeast, barley, beans (kidney or soy) beef, casein, cashews, cilantro, corn (meaning maltodextrin & dextrose, too), gluten, lemon, millet, peanuts, shrimp, walnuts, wheat, whey, bananas, ginger, safflower oil, chicken clams, codfish, dates, egg yolks, gluten, honey, oats, orange, parsley, pineapple, pistachio, plums, raspberries, sage, shrimp, sunflower seeds, vanilla, walnuts.

    and YES she is a vegetarian and she only likes cooked food (no salads) and she hates mushrooms. Life in the restaurant world! Any thoughts folks?


  8. I was going to recommend ko as well. One of the benefits is that you can't plan too far in advance so you still have a chance. It is worth the hype. We ate at Marea for lunch recently and it was terrific. Jean-Georges is always amazing for lunch as well. EMP is high on our list for a return dinner but a recent lunch was just ok. I think the fireworks come out at night.


  9. I may be wrong but we replayed next's week's preview in slow motion and I think (maybe) one can tell who won by looking at the direction of Padma's eyes when she announces "you are top chef". Kevin was on the right, Michael in the middle and Bryan on the left. I don't want to say in case I am right and spoil things . . .


  10. Had lunch here yesterday and it was outstanding. I am still thinking about a couple of the dishes. Started with the lobster and burrata (you cannot go wrong with this) and the calamari stuffed with spaghetti squash (simply terrific). Followed by a couple of pastas - the octopus and bone marrow is haunting me still and the uni spaghetti (the only dish that failed to delight - I love urchin and it was not evident enough in this dish for my taste but it was still very nice). Ended with the skate and sea bass. Both were perfectly prepared and the flavors were spot on. Finished with a zucchini dessert which I did not have room for. The bread was also really first rate. We did the two courses plus one add on and I found the portions to be more than enough food. I actually would probably only do two courses next time. I had apprehensions about this meal given the previous comments (and the fact that it is so close to Jean-Georges and, being a creature of habit and a lover of all things J-G, I kept returning my favorite lunch spot rather than trying something new but it was seriously memorable. We had dinner at ko last night (also terrific) but I must confess that the octopus and bone marrow pasta is what I keep replaying in my mind. I am sorry to hear that it doesn't seem to deliver all the time because it was a sensational experience.


  11. Ina Garten( aka Barefoot Contessa) despises Cilantro. You wont find it in any of recipes.  She's talked about her dislike for it on her tv show numerous times.

    Some people have an odd reaction to cilantro. To them, it tastes like soapy water. Personally, I love it. What I don't love is chocolate. At all. But there will always be a chocolate dessert on my menu because I know others love chocolate (and yes it is my best selling dessert).


  12. Ugh, the discussion of that ad has been discussed to death.  It was not a dig at Alinea.

    Where was it discussed? I was not trying to stir things up but I am curious what people thought of the ad.

    OK - so apparently I slept through the Academy Awards this year (just googled the diet coke/Alinea thing). Still . . . someone associated with that ad took a dig at Alinea. The shrimp nest/squid thing . . . come on.


  13. I'm glad you enjoyed your dinner. Too bad you didn't have room for the dessert, though. If it was that brioche, it was amazing!

    I was also there that night and it was the brioche and I was happy I crammed it into an already full stomach. I really enjoyed the duck egg as well as the oxtail. Also, I really liked the amuses they brought out (the tortilla I believe?). Unfortunately I didn't have the almond soup, but I guess that is something I saved for when I come back in the hopefully near future.

    We specially asked to substitute it per a suggestion on this board. I think they added it as an extra course. It was wonderful. The quail egg tortilla was terrific as well. How would you compare the meal to Ko?


  14. Yanking back on the number of sweets seems like an awfully strange cost-cutting measure.  A reduction in the number of pastry staff members, however, seems like a more likely explanation.

    You may be right (or maybe they are tired of seeing many of the sweets return uneaten). I know I never have room for everything at the end (of course I have no self control when it comes to ordering the savory items).


  15. Have to give Degustation a serious shout out. We did the ten course tasting and it was terrific. Love the various broths - parmesan, sereno ham, etc. We had to call mercy by the time we got to dessert because we were too full. The corn and pork fritter was amazing. Other highlights were the almond soup, the sea trout, the scrambled duck egg with the lamb bacon, crispy rabbit and the potato and oxtail cannoli. Only a few quibbles - 4 dishes contained eggs and some were back to back (scrambled duck egg followed by poached chicken yolk with fava beans). We also had a late reservation (it was all we could get) and the place was pretty empty which I don't mind but they were clearly cleaning and packing up for the night during our last few courses. I am not a big fan of open kitchens because I don't particularly like watching people cook (professional baggage I guess) but I really don't like watching people clean. These minor points aside, I was just delighted with the food and this place should really be on everyone's must visit list. Outstanding!!!


  16. Month by month, the deal get's less good :-(

    Did they have three flavors in the jar in front of you?  That would be mean.

    No - there was just one flavor in the jar which I noticed as it was being carted around the room. Usually it is so colorful and yesterday it was just white. I suspect that this is a slow, long-in-the-works plan to get the lunch price up to a point where they might actually make money (or, at the very least, not lose money). I always judge the value of a potential meal by the JG lunch i.e. I can go to Marea (for example) but for the extra charge will it be better than JG? The answer, nine times of ten, is no but if the prices keep rising it might liberate me to try more places with less anguish :-)


  17. Another fantastic lunch at Jean-Georges yesterday. The foie gras brulee is truly to die for -- they were doing it with slow cooked strawberries. Also loved the corn ravioli dish (as well as the old standbys -- the tuna noodles, sea trout, halibut with chili foam, skate). Amazing! Couple of notes - the price has gone up a smidge. It is now $29 per person and $14.50 for each additional course (it was $28 and $14). Also, the desserts appeared a bit smaller and they were only offering one flavor of marshmallow and one macaroon per guest at the end (compared to 3 flavors of marshmallows (if memory serves) and three macaroons). Still an outstanding experience but even the J-Gs of the world must be feeling the effects of the recession.


  18. So finally after much reccomendation on these boards I am going to try Degustation tonight and plan to do the 10 course tasting.  I recently returned to Ko and it will be interesting to compare the tasting menus.

    See you there!

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