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Everything posted by fedelst

  1. Plain Steamed Buns 1 package active dried yeast 1 cup warm water 1/2 cup sugar 2 tbs veg oil 1 tsp salt. ~3 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour Disolve Yeast in Water; blend in sugar, oil, and salt. Let stand in a warm place until bubbly (about 15 minutes). Add 3 1/4 cups of the flour and mix until dough holds together. Place on a lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic (8 - 10 minutes). Place ina greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 1/4 hours). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 1 minute. Shape dough in to 12 round buns and place on a 3" piece of foil. Let rise 30 minutes; steam for 12 t o15 minutes. It is as simple as that... Very important!!! Make damn sure your yeast is fresh, or you will have some very disappointing buns. Ce n'est pas beautiful ca?
  2. Love him, or hate him, Peter Morentzos has clearly contributed more to the Montreal restaurant scene than any nasty blog posting. Your comments are spot on.
  3. Dude, I will take my money now... http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&time...iwloc=addr&om=1
  4. So... because this is managed by Morentzo you have concluded that it is not worthy of eating at? What if the food is really worth eating? Can you elaborate why you would make such a statement? Aw too bad man ... I so wanted to like the place. ←
  5. Both the steamed pork bun and the baked version Chsar Su Bao are common dim sum favorites. Yet I have not seen Momofuku served anywhere. Despite the prevalence of a variety of prefab frozen dim sum classics at most Asian grocers, I have yet to see Momofuku anywhere. I would suggest taking a look at Marche Hawaii on Marcel Lauren. As they have one of the best selections. Likewise, the Kim Phat on Jarry near Pie IX, but I fear if they don't have it in the south shore, that they will not have it on Jarry. If you have not been to Marche Hawaii, it is one of the best stocked and cleanest Asian grocers on the island. The entrance used to be easy to locate, but due to re-provisioning of the space the entrance to the store is actually the unmarket glass door leading to the long hallway between the Casa Grec and Dagwood's. Worth a visit. Alexthecook, I would think that you might have to stick your hands in some dough to satisfy that craving... and invite me along... BTW, if you want to learn how to make Momofuku, I would suggest that you seek out the assistance of Levi Toh, who might still be able to help you despite his failing eyesight. PM me if you want his coordinates. Levi has been teaching and consulting on Chinese food to both the public and professionals for a number of years now. His penchant for cooking everything on a single burner hot plate proves that you don't need fancy equipment to pop good food out of the simplest of kitchens. Back to work now...
  6. there was an invitation only launch this past Monday. They describe themselves as the First Parisian style bistro in Montreal. I think that there might be a few places that might challenge this claim. From what I understand the place will be opened for regular business hours for the first while. The ultimate goal is to be opened 24x7, which sounds interesting, because, I don't know how many times I left a movie, or a get together and wanted to head out for a late bite only to be faced with the same limited choices. Likewise, for those that come from Latin America, Asia, and parts of Europe where dining late is the norm, perhaps this will offer a more interesting venue. I wish I could have gone on Monday, but the fact that the invitation was only sent out last week, it was short notice for those of us with busy holiday schedules. Dommage.
  7. Can you qualify this? Other than a lot of resorts with restaurants posing as fine dining, I have found that I had enjoyed more meals off the beaten path than those I paid dearly for in most of these places. Having visited a number of the islands in the BVI, some USVI, the Antilles, and St. Martin, I would say I had better meals at La Samana in neighboring St. Martin than on Anguilla. Kinda of a drag that a place known for its lobster industry has barely any lobster on the island of Anguilla..
  8. fedelst


    Checked it out.. almost. We showed up last evening looking to enjoy a nice Italian meal, but from the moment we stood in front of the door to the moment we attempted to order, something was off. It just did not feel right. As we walked from our parking spot we noticed that Tratoria Casa Mia, a very unassuming restaurant, was half full, and Lucca was busting at the seams with patrons. Yet, Pesca had one couple sitting in a vast sea of tables.The host asks us if we have reservations. I ask him if he is serious. We walk in and notice that the display case at the back of the restaurant that is intended to be displaying the days fish is empty and dark. We are presented with a menu that appears to be incomplete. No, it was not a mistake, as both menus were the same. One page of soups and salads, another with starters, and then a sheet of Table d'hote specials for the evening....??? No page with mains. I ask the waiter if we are missing a page. He seems puzzled by the question, apologizes to us as it is his first night there, and asks what I mean. I explain. He tells us that the mains are the table d'hote, and that the first pages are additional starters if we want more than is offered on the Table d'hote. ... o.k. I ask what the item on the table d'hote called chefs recommendation is. He heads to the kitchen and returns telling us it is a veal scallopini. I ask him how it is served, he looks at me the same way my dog looks at me when I talk to her. He is puzzled, and has no clue. He offers to go ask the chef again. We decide that there is clearly something wrong happening here. We ask for our coats and cross the street for a pizza. Before going back to the car, we decide to take a look at Pesca to see if there are any other patrons. there are 2 tables of 4 at 9:30. If this place is going to make it, they need to clean up their front end and do some marketing. There were clearly 4 guys at the front end, serving one table for 2 and then 2 tables of 4. God knows how many they have in the back end. I know the owner is capable, and can develop a successful restaurant again. I just don't get it.
  9. Let's get the facts straight.... Venezuelan Arepas are made with the white Harina Pan. That is Harina with an 'H' I got the bag in front of me. Harina Pan is sold in North America by Goya and is avaialble in both white and Yellow Varieties. No self respecting Venezuelan serves the yellow. The recipe is on the side, simple to make, 2 and a half cups warm water to 2 cups Masa Harina with a bit of salt. I add a knob of butter to the warm water, it makes the dough a bit less sticky when handling it. You sprinkle the Masa like rain into the warm water while stirring vigorously. Otherwise you get lumps. The dough is ready to handle within a few minutes. If you let is sit for an hour it is firm like polenta, and will not yield easily when making the arepas. Divide the dough evenly into 8 portions if making the full batch and 4 if halved. Once you start making arepas regularly, you don't need to portion the dough, as you will be able to do it by eye. Wet hands make smooth Arepas. Likewise the added watter makes a crisper outside. Which is a very desired characteristic of a well made arepa. There are 2 ways to make your arepa, you can go the high cal route and fry them in oil or butter. or you can bake them. If you bake them, you should first place them in a comal, or cast iron fry pan with no oil and heat over med-high until there is a slight browning on the surfaces that are touching the pan. Once darkened on both sides, place them into a 350 degree oven. No need for a pan, just place them on clean racks, and bake them... How long? well this I can not tell you, you will know your arepa is ready when you take it out of the oven and tap it, and it goes tink-tink, rather than tunk-tunk. It is aproximantely 15 minutes. For practice listen to the arepa before you bake it, and cook until you hear the distinct change in sound. Trust me, I have made thousands of Arepas this way. ... then my brother in law sent me an Oster Toasty Arepa from Caracas. At this point I got very lazy. If you use the Toasty Arepa maker, use a bit of oil on the surfaces of the maker from time to time to keep it in shape. Never use a metal instrument to move your Arepa as it WILL scratch when hot. Typical fillings for Arepas include the ever so traditional Queso de Mano and Jamon. Other good fillings include: Queso Blanco Carne Mechada (spelling) - shredded beef Tuna Salad Natilla (Venezuelan style, not the columbian dessert) - This is savory and has the consistency of Creme Faiche, but tasates like a cross between sour cream and Cream cheese. Very good with the Fried Arepas. or my Favorite. Arepa Riena Pepiada (excuse my spelling I am a Gringo), This is a chicken salad with Avocado. Serve any of these along side a bowl of black beans and you got a brunch that will hold you through to dinner. if anyone knows where to get Queso de Mano, or authentic Natilla in Canada or the North East US, let me know by PM. I miss it, and refuse to go back to the republic of Chavez for a fix. Too darn dangerous these days for us gringos.
  10. I just called La Gioconda and the owner is the former chef from Paesano. For the record, La Gioconda makes one of the best Pizzas in the area. The eggplant and Anchovy is sublime, but for those that do not like anchovies, their La Gioconda Special is also very good.
  11. As far as I am concerned, my Mettler P163N is just perfect for weighing anything to the milligram. You know when nano cuisine takes off, you are sure going to regret only being able to weight to the 1/10th of a gram. Seriously, It may be a lab scale, but it is more reliable than most of the junque out there.
  12. Buennanotte is still around? Wow, it has been a while since I thought about that place...... Or Med, Or Prima Donna... etc...
  13. fedelst


    Matteo the owner, was the proprietor of Blue Marin, the Italian Fish tratoria that had relocated from The Marche de la Tour in Saint Leonard, to Crescent street in the late 90's. From my many meals at Blue Marin, I can attest to his ability to put out first class fish served in true Italian style. You may have noticed the hiatus between the closing of Blue Marin and the opening of Pesce, this was due to Matteo and family moving to South Beach to open another Italian style fish emporium down there. I am not certain if Pesce has the same staff in the kitchen, or if their menu is the same. But I must go back to see if his Lobster Fra Diavolo is as perfect as it used to be, or if he still has his amazing Penne with eggplant and bocconcini I will report back after I check it out.
  14. How far do you really think I would have let this go without me piping in? Really! Although on topic, I would like to add an interesting bit bit on technique, and the practice of searing a scallop...... Have you ever tried to sear a scallop, only to get a wet pan, and nothing more than a steamed scallop. Did you curse your equipment and swear that the next morning you were going to turf that old crappy La Cornue stove and go to Monas and score a brand new commercial Viking range, just so you had the horse power to get a sear on that damned bivalve? And....Then after plunking down your hard earned weekly wages, ~$12,000, and having that sucker installed you find you got the almost the same results? Well perhaps the equipment was not as much at fault as the Scallop itself... Yup, the scallop. I have found that most fishmongers in Montreal do not know the difference between a 'wet' scallop and a 'dry' scallop. Perhaps this issue is specific to the folks who work the retail counter, but I have yet to find anyone who knows the difference. I am not talking about dry scallops as in the Chinese Compoy. I am referring to a scallop that has not been treated with the water retention agent Sodium tripolyphosphate....the very culprit responsible for so many failed attempts at searing a scallop..... According to one of the many sources on the Internet, the difference between wet and dry is explained as ..... "To understand dry scallops, you need to know that it is common practice in the United States to produce "25% water-added" sea scallops by soaking them in water containing sodium tripolyphosphate, which makes the scallops retain water. Typically these cost less than the dry variety. To be considered dry, the moisture content of scallops needs to be less than 80%." You see, the issue here is that when the more common wet variety hits that hot pan, the Sodium Tripolyphosphate starts returning that water you just paid for to the pan. and you get a pan full of milky liquid and a steamed scallop. The worst part is that you can't return the $12,000 stove...... You should have bought an induction cook top anyways
  15. Thanks for saying what I was thinking...Amen I could swear that the kitchen staff were cringing through his non-stop banter... God bless Mose Persico. He's such a tool. ←
  16. Having passed Limon on an earlier outing to another local restaurant, I could not help noticing that this unassuming restaurant was rather packed for a week day night... Curious, I ventured out Saturday night sans reservation, and snagged a couple spots at the bar, which turned out to be probably one of the best seats in the place for many reasons. Upon entering Limon, your first impression is the comfortable decor and relaxed environment. However, I got a sinking feeling when the hostess (manager) arrives to greet us wearing the black body hugging turtleneck which screams 'trendy' a la 'Soto' etc.... Seriously, not having any interest in Trendy I almost turned on my heels and left. ... Thank god, I stayed. Expecting the usual bar mix Margarita, we were blown away by the fresh and surprisingly not heavily sweetened version that the bar puts out. The bar man explains that he starts his day by squeezing a full box of limes...add to this syrup made from panela (mexican / latin american lump brown sugar) and they have their margarita base... damn, these are better than my own.... The menu is not overly complicated, and is devoid of gringo tex-mex staples found in most of the places calling themselves Mexican. [side note: why doesn't C&P and these others just brand themselves TexMex, so that the differentiation is clear? It is confusing to most who do not know the difference. If one were to eat the slop dished out at 3 Amigo's and get the impression this crap is Mexican, I could understand why no one would never eat Mexican again.] From the starters to the mains, this menu has all bases covered. Wanting to eat everything, I chose to go with a few starters, my wife took a main. We shared the Sopes, we each had the Tortilla Soup, I had the Cerviche and the Nopales Salad, the main course was the Enchilladas de polllo con salsa verde . The sopes were tasty and surprisingly were served with shredded chicken. The masa had not been prepared to order but were made earlier in the evening and had been heated to order. Hence the reason they were at the table so soon, and why despite their being almost perfect, they had a tough base. They were tasty none the less, and were a close runner up to the Sopes at Amante on Monkland or those served at Coin Mexique on Jean Talon and Iberville. If the base had not been so tough, they would have been the best. The Tortilla soup arrived as we were finishing the last bites of the Sopes. Served in an interesting leaf shaped bowl, the tortilla soup was made with an honest rich home made chicken stock with the perfect balance of Tomato. Lightly seasoned, and redolent with shredded chicken, this soup was excellent, although the addition of more tortilla strips would have been appreciated. Significantly different from the Tortilla soup at le Coin Mexique (which had added up to 2 years ago a piece of Chicharon in the soup.mmmm...) or from what you would get in most good Mexican restaurants in the US, this lighter version really hit the spot. The Enchiladas de pollo con salsa verde were as close to perfect as they can get. Thin fresh tortillas wrapped around moist shredded chicken with a spot on Green Salsa with just the perfect balance of tomatillo and coriander. The accompanying frijoles were served in their own ramekin and were not slopped on the plate as they are in so many places. The Cerviche is not the big winner of the evening. Before ordering I had asked what type of fish was used, I was told Dore... i should have avoided it just on this alone.. The portion was small, and was on a large chiffonade of iceberg lettuce, and topped with far too many diced tomatoes. The couple tablespoons of cerviche were lost in the garnish. When the search party finally found the cerviche, the flavor was close, but the fish was mushy from being too light to stand up to the lime juice, and had lost its texture. Also missing from the party was any spice what so ever, This poor cerviche had never met a jalapeno. Surrounding the Cerviche was a mass of thin crispy tortilla wedges. Unlike anything commercially available, I do not recognize tortilla as any of those made locally. I enquire and am told that they are home made... Golden brown, these tortillas are crispy and a bit greasy with a slight bitter after taste. Had the oil been a bit hotter, and fresher, these would have been perfect. Tortillas have a mild flavor, and easily pick up flavors from the oil when fried. Tired oil will make a tortilla far less appealing than when fried in very hot fresh oil. The nopales salad I was told were made from fresh nopales. Intrigued, as I have a hard time finding a regular supply of Fresh nopales, I ordered the salad expecting to get the usual soulless canned nopales. To my surprise, the nopales salad was made from fresh, charred nopales, mixed with red peppers, and topped with crumbled queso. This nopales salad was the best I have ever had, and I would keep coming back for just this and the margaritas alone. Having no room for dessert, my wife opts to pass, I could not, and was told that the key lime pie was legendary... yet sadly, they started the night with only 2 slices and none were left... The barman was wrong, the waiter in fact found the 2 slices and brought one for me and the other for another patron at the bar. Yes, key lime pie has been around since dirt was a rock, and perhaps many are as tired of it, as I am, but the bar man could not praise it higher, and I had to try it. The pie was simple, graham cracker crust, with key lime on top. The pie was good, but, the crust was a bit too thick, and a bit too buttery. Yes, this is possible. The topping was good, but would have been better the day it was made, as the lime had lost its bite. Made from fresh ingredients, the filling was home made and a good contender for the best key lime pie served in a restaurant in the city. What really was the most impressive part of the experience at Limon was not as much the food and ambiance, but the fact that the bar man also used to work in the kitchen, and was very interested in our thought about the food. Unlike the typical waiter who takes orders and brings food, this guy really cared... not only that, the manager was also receptive to the comments he passed back to her. Sadly, I am informed by the barman that this is his last night, as he could no longer balance studies and work. One thing that really stands out here is that the food is NOT spicy, and surprisingly, it is so well prepared and tasty, that you honestly do not miss it.. in most cases. Balanced for the Quebec palate, anyone missing the bite, are offered home made salsas to add heat... but don't expect anything incendiary, this is just not the place to find it. likewise, you will not find crispy gringo tacos, the 'Mexican flag' or fried ice cream on the menu.... Leave these to the folks serving gringo style Tex-Mex. Certainly a lot pricier than Le Coin du Mexique or Amante, Limon scores big points for decor, food styling, ambiance and tastiness. Clearly, Ricky D and Pillar have successfully established an upscale Mexican restaurant in Montreal, and deserve the prices being asked. We will be going back. Footnote: if you do go to the Limon web site, please don't let the video dissuade you from going. I found the host of this piece to be annoying and uninformed. Clearly an attempt at being more promotional than editorial, and failing on both.
  17. No one said Great!!! But it is the best you will find in a restaurant in Montreal. There surely is great Sushi in Montreal, I found it in that suburb called Toronto on Front Street at Take Sushi. Got to love a place where you are pretty much the only non-Japanese in the joint. Hell of a drive for dinner though... I have checked - hence why I find them so-so. My review would echo wattacetti's. Can time improve this place? Yes. As much as I'd like to find great sushi in Montreal, that seems next to impossible. The same seems to go for great B-B-Q.... ←
  18. Excellent point... how often do you go back to the same restaurant weeks, months or years later, only to find the same menu... Producing a successful and often changing menu is tough work, and not typically the type of work load an exec chef would want to be continually experiencing. Creating 3-5 weekly specials seems the norm in the places that do provide some variation to their regular menu, but having a frequently changing menu is a job that can only be effectively pulled off by those with a passion for what they do, and are hands-on involved in the back end of the operation. If for the food alone, LH has the ability to pull this off as long as the management and the folks in the kitchen maintain the spirit and quality.... (and in my opinion, pay attention to the salt).
  19. Hype?!??! No... Just glad to see someone out there bringing Bar-B-Que to a market void of anything worth a darn. We live in Quebec, a Province that typically calls rotisserie chicken Bar-B-Que... There is nothing Bar-B-Que about a rotisserie, except perhaps a place like Chalet that actually uses hardwood to smoke their chicken.... Perhaps this is not the worlds best Bar-B-Que, but there are precious few contenders in la belle province that actually put out anything that competes. Yes, it is honest food, I would say good food in most cases, Family friendly, yet, the cold beer and bar-b-que also has an appeal to the young adult crowd as well. I would not call it Tony Roma's, but then again, I would not position it at the other end of the spectrum and compare it to a place where your youngins' might end up being cooked and eaten like at Red Bones in Somerville Mass. I have been smoking for over 25 years and I appreciate properly smoked food. These guys are the real deal. They know the difference between a proper smoking, and coating food with Creosote. Unfortunately many do not. You are getting a plate of meat, and some sides. Fine Dining it is not. Check it out yourself, tell us what you think. I know that Steph N. has been fairly successful in the past with his menus mainly because they are middle of the road with hints of “higher” cuisine. This seems more of a family-type restaurant. Honest food? Yes. Great food? No. There is a fair amount of hype around this place and frankly I am wondering about the amount of praise some seem to be giving it... ←
  20. My apology for the weird and cryptic post. To the point, I liked the food. I have found that at Rosalie, and Joe Beef, the food will at times be very salty (case in point the Braised rabbit at Rosalie in he first year of operation, and more recently the sauce from the cote de boeuf for 2 at JB) , and I had expected the same. Is this a coincidence, or is there a common factor? I am not yet certain. The crowd seemed to be more there to be seen than to dine. Despite the nice dining room, we found the noise was too loud to comfortably carry a conversation. Sort of a logarithmic progression... Each table finding it harder to talk, tries to talk louder so as to be heard, etc. In a very similar space in Old Montreal I found that when I mounted a simple hanging valance a short distance from the ceiling the effect it had on the noise worked wonders. Hostile... well... perhaps, considering my past experience with Joe Beef, I had been hoping the LH would be better. I was obviously miffed that within a minute of entering the place that my guest was flat out on the floor, due no fault of his own, but due to a really dangerous hole in the floor barely covered by an unattached grate merely placed over it. It was akin to the coyote's ACME instant hole with a carpet placed over it in the road runner cartoons. You would expect better from a place that seats 40 plus diners a night. I call this a liability. Perhaps unlike Pavlov's dog, I expect that after having gone through the motions a few times, that I anticipate a different result. I was pleased that the results were in fact different, and I am truly pleased that the food was worth the praise it has been getting..... despite the my opinion of the Rabbit sausage being very salty. The observation about JB was as I saw it. Perhaps it was slow that night, maybe most all the JB clients went home and were in bed by 10:00 who knows. It was merely an observation. LH ws packed, JB had maybe 10 patrons at the most. Draw your own conclusion... You are spot on about the praise Dave, Fred and Allison deserve for bringing life to this sleepy part of the city. Yes, their passion has never been challenged. But, if the food is not worthy of the praise, I have no issues about mentioning it, and converse, if it is stellar, I am delighted to say so. I am tired of the sheep that will never declare that the emperor is not wearing any clothes; I call it as I see it. I offer a subjective opinion and it is your right to form your own. I certainly would not expect you to count on anyone else to influence your opinion. As you state, you are a regular at both locales, and you clearly appreciate the experience. Because I state my opinion, describe my experience, and may not particularly agree with you, does not make my commentary obnoxious. I did not head over to LH looking to have a bad time. I went in the hopes that I would have an enjoyable evening with a friend. Starting the evening by scraping Carl up off the floor certainly was not a good start. Ian, am sure that you would agree. Your post is cryptic and at best, hostile. I have had several stellar meals at Liverpool House over the past two months. In my opinion, it proves night in and night out to be the perfect foil to Joe Beef and as a regular patron at both, it has become obvious to me that neither has cannibalized the other. The quality and service at Joe Beef is better than ever and both restaurants are full whenever I sit at the bar or walk by - and as a Little Burgundy resident I do so frequently. Look ... Dave, Fred and Allison have done a terrific job revitalizing a once moribund strip of Notre-Dame with two unique, unpretentious restaurants that do nothing but serve great food in a casual, convivial environment. They and their staff work tirelessly, work long, hard hours and have an infectious love and enthusiasm for what they do. I've seldom seen a restaurant, let alone two, that inspire such loyalty among patrons. People simply love being there. If you're not one of them, don't go. Stay away and spare us the bile. It's obnoxious. ←
  21. Expecting the worst, I walk in with a skeptical attitude about what we are about to experience. I feel sorry for my poor guest as he did not see this coming.. Poor Carl merely thought this was a dinner between 2 friends. Yet, within minutes of arriving, he sees that I have actually got him involved in a challenge. Me the Skeptic versus a restaurant that I am convinced won't cut it, despite what the world thinks. No sooner had we been escorted to our table, and I was locked into the banquette by closely spaced tables, but my friend Carl (just nearing 60) is sprawled out on the floor.WTH??? I can't get up to help him due to my being locked in, and thankfully due to the slow roll of the chair, he had not hurt himself. As everyone in the restaurant was watching Carl flounder to get up, all I could say to him is 'Carl you silly b-----d (verbiage considered unsavory for eGullet), what the hell are you doing on the floor'? ... thank god Carl is tougher than most men a third his age, and tremendously cool tempered and diplomatic. The problem all started not because Carl has a big rear (which he in fact does not), but due to the fact that someone had cut a 1 foot square hole in the floor for a heating duct, and placed a cast iron grid over the hole without screwing it in. Carl slides his chair back to sit down, whereby sliding the grate away from the hole, the chair leg falls through the hole as he sits down, and Carl ends up on the floor.... a quick apology, and a couple Bellini's land on the table. As the hostess, and the waiters fuss over an apology, I let them know that I suspect this is the least of my worries. As I came expecting the worst for my dinner. I further add that if my experience is as mediocre as I had experienced at Joe beef, I will leave a satisfied man knowing that my suspicions were spot on. They challenge me saying that they think I would be very pleased. Still the Skeptic, I scour my menu for the wine list... Oh, damn, someone goofed and put 2 menus back to back. I swipe Carl's menu and order a very nice and modestly priced Spanish Cab '04 that was slightly oaky, and not too heavy.. Perfect. Carl orders the intriguing caramelized pork belly, and a main of home made Rabbit Sausage. I ask for 'Fred's pick' accepting anything the kitchen may send my way. Carl's Pork was in fact braised in a sweet marinade, and not truly caramelized. A bit of crackling, and more rendering would have been nice, but it was tasty nonetheless. I get The aged ricotta and fried artichoke salad, which is a great combination, despite the clash of an overly spicy chili sambal, that has a very Asian overtone. Don't get me wrong, I love chili's and everything hot. just that the chili's did not do this dish justice, and should have been left out. Fred sends out some home smoked salmon... Despite what I would say is a heavy maple smoking,the salmon is well paired with a horseradish cream and a perfectly cooked cold soft boiled egg. This is an excellent pairing and the plate works perfectly. I would love to try this dish with Alder smoked Atlantic salmon. Carl gets the Rabbit Sausage which I am curious about how much rabbit is in this sausage, it seems to me most all rabbit, yet I seem to taste some pork, and excessively salty. The Gateau of potatoes is nice, not too exciting, and very large. The Mostarda is not a la maison. Sweet and crunchy, tasteless and translucent, the Mostarda plays a reasonable complement to the Rabbit Sausage, but a true home made Mostarda would have taken this dish over the top. I got the fresh cod on a bed of Chick peas and veggies, with Chick pea (Channa) fries. (Thank god it was not more Polenta Fries). Soft and fluffy, with a slight crispness on the outside, the 2 large and generous fries were an excellent complement to the perfectly cooked cod, and the simply heated chick peas and veggies making up it's bed. For dessert we order the Macaroons. The Macaroons are topped with a home made cherry ice cream, and sandwiched between the macaroons is some thick cream with a scattering of perfect raspberries. Carl says he will only take a bite, he eats half. As we are dining I notice the place filling up, and not with the typical crowd from Joe Beef, but with mostly (remainder of paragraph removed, considered too inflammatory for this forum). HOLY Smokes!!! It looks like they travel in packs... They all know each other. Walking back to my car, I notice that Joe Beef is mostly empty with staff standing around while a few customers dawdle over their meals... Did they just shoot themselves in the foot. Liverpool house seems to have carried on the tradition of being Joe Beefs competitor, in both history and the present. The restaurants are too close, and not distinct enough to afford both a full house.
  22. Having read the mixed review from Sarah Musgrave, I was very skeptical on my first visit, and actually brought up the concerns raised in the review with Steph (one of hte owners).... who proceeded to bring out a sampling of the Potato salad in question, and some just out of hthe smoker brisket. The potato salad was very good, and perfectly dressed. The brisket was juicy, tasty, not over smoked (usually the sign of a beginner) and had a perfect smoke ring. He had admitted that there were a few bumps in the road in the first few weeks, and I respect that. I have been back a number of times since, some meals being better then others. From my perspective: - the pulled pork, pork ribs, and brisket are my top picks for mains, - the beans or potato salad for sides. The slaw works too, but the cucumber salad and mac don't do it for me. - The Cuban is nothing like a traditional Cuban, (which I have yet to find a decent one in Montreal), but tasty, if not a bit oily from the Jardiniera. - The beef ribs were also tasty but a bit too greasy for my liking. - The burger, is well.. a burger. But you are not going there for a burger are you? And most importantly, they have supremely cold beer. I say, if you had a bad experience in the very early days, try it now. They have smoothed out a lot of the bumps in the road.
  23. I am surprised that I have yet to see any comments about last week's menu degustation at A la Table des Jardins Sauvage. Sold out the week before Susan Semenak's aseptic article hit the Gazette (does SS actually have any passion about food?), getting a table at this event required knowing someone in touch with Nancy’s blog, the Jardins Sauvage web site, or who has frequented the restaurant. With ~40 seats, and one seating, with all courses being served to all guests at the same time, showing up on time for the 7:00 seating is important. How I managed to get my perpetually late spouse to arrive on time was nothing short of a miracle... Perhaps it was the fact that the directions state that the drive from Montreal is 1Hour 15minutes, whereas it was truly closer to 45 minutes without traffic. I confess, I would love nothing more than to have the time to go foraging for mushrooms. Unfortunately, trying to schedule time with an experienced mushroom hunter, at the right time of the year, and the fact that most mushroom hunters will never divulge their secret haunts, means that dining on a menu degustation of mushrooms is the next best option. I just don’t have the courage to wander the forests with a guide book at my side, hoping that those cute little red mushrooms with the white polka dots are not toxic. Like flying a plane, I figured it would be best leaving the driving to experienced pilots. ... which the team of Francois and Nancy do amazingly well. So, what was served.... Glad you asked... Puff ball and sanglichon sausage with black trumpet mushrooms, porcini duxelles ‘en gelée’, wild ginger mustard Shaggy-mane and yellow-brown boletus soup, lemon cream with a hint of coffee Lobster and lobster mushroom fricassée, with sea spinach in a cattail flour crepe, sea asparagus, sautéed chanterelles and corn Crisp autumn vegetable salad with boletus insignia scented oil, pickled honey mushroom, smoked duck, arugula, toasted almonds, Fetard cheese, wild grape ‘balsamic’ Roasted venison with mushroom salt crust, Smooth lepiota risotto, sautéed hedgehog mushrooms, morel sauce, wild oyster mushroom tempura Boletus aurantiacus and cider milk-shake, Tricholomba shortbread Larch boletus and chocolate cake, Fairy-ring mushroom butter-scotch sauce, coconut and agaric mushroom chip Mushroom caramel candies The question should be, what was NOT served. Every dish was expertly executed, and beautifully presented. At our table, our favourites were the Mushroom soup, the Lobster Fricassee, and the gelee of Porcini Duxelles, although everything was amazing. I forgot how nice it is to dine on food made with passion. Unlike many restaurant meals that are static items on a menu, and made with machine precision, it is clear that a lot of thought and testing went into developing this menu. Considering the limited numbers of seating’s for this event, and the work that goes into the foraging, preparation, plating, and serving this menu, the ratio of effort to gain is clearly tipping much more in the favour of effort, than would be the case for most establishments. The passion for food at a la table des Jardins Sauvage is evident in every bite. Rounding out the experience was some of the best table staff I have seen in a while, and Francois making the rounds introducing each table to the subjects of each course with their whole ‘as found in the wild’ specimen on a large platter. Not only was dinner an exploration of flavours, but we all walked away with an education. Despite the seven courses, the portions were of a just perfect quantity, that you did not walk away feeling bloated, but well satiated. Chatting with Nancy after dinner, I confirmed my suspicions, Nancy is has a severe obsession with food, which in fact, as I see it, is a good thing..... As I too, am afflicted with the same condition. I also was introduced to wild ginger, which I am now obsessed with... Now I know where the taste of Thrills Gum comes from....
  24. fedelst


    Well that really messes it up for the cranberries and stuffing... Prime Rib or beef Wellington is X-mas...
  25. fedelst


    Sounds fun, just don't call it a turd-duck-ken. ← Clearly this would be just a whole new level of YECH. Hey!!! I did not name the thing, I just make it. I would take this up with the creator, Paul Prudhomme.... If I had created it, I would have wrapped the whole thing in a suckling pig, wrapped in a lamb, wrapped in a veal, then I would have dug a pit in my neighbors back yard (why ruin my yard), borrowed a half cord of his wood (hey, why not, I will invite him for dinner), start a pit, and roasted the whole thing until done to perfection (love this term, it is so nebulous)... You know what...I think I will have enough to invite you too. Please bring a pie.
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