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Posts posted by Shaya

  1. Hubbie and I had a 7 hour layover at Newark on the way back from Milano.  Hang around at EWR with our iPads or go visit longtime eGullet friend at his latest venture...no contest.  It was a journey to get there, buses and trains and a lot of walking... but it was well worth it.  Had to push through the crowds at security to avoid missing our midnight flight home...but that's another story.  


    In a word: this place is awesome.  Everything I imagined and more.  There was a lady sampling truffle products...back from a week eating truffles in Italy and missing them already, I dove right in.  Daniel's first words:  you smell like truffles.  The deli is a delight, I would shop there every week if I lived in the neighborhood.  Everything from organic ice creams and chocolates to imported pastas to private label evoo, balasmico and the wonderful babka.  Brought home a chocolate babka for the kids - who were astounded it's a real thing, after seeing it on a Seinfeld episode the previous week!  We shopped, and we ate.  Boy did we eat.  The atmosphere is inviting and warm.  And early on  Sunday evening the place is bustling!


    Forgive me for the not so great formatting... it's been years since I've posted and I'm rusty!




    Caviar Baked Potato - Incredible



    Gorgeous Salad



    Porchetta - Out of this world, crispy and moist at the same time             





    Meatball Sandwich  - Just pick it up and eat it




    Sambal Butter Roasted Oysters - delicious and generous



    • Like 5
  2. Keller's Boeuf Bourguignon. While I was in the middle of trying to sell my house.

    Marlene, I second Keller's boeuf bourgignon. All those extra steps, straining, making the sauce clean...after all that my husband declared he much preferred my usual version (ala Julia Child). This version loses a lot of its character through the process.


  3. On Sunday night I made four hard-cooked eggs, using our four different Japanese egg molds. On Monday I packed one for PJ's lunch and on Tuesday he had one for breakfast. But by last night a remarkable thing had happened: the eggs mostly unmolded themselves. It was still possible to see some of the outline of a car and a fish, but as decorative objects these eggs left much to be desired.


    That is really strange. Is this typical? Have others noticed their eggs losing their shape?

  4. Welcome back! You are right that 10 minutes is too long to boil the rice (my son walked off with the stop watch!). You are a true egulleter! whipping out your camera in the middle of dinner to photograph tahdigs across the country, we all appreciate it!

    Is butter and oil better to use to form the tahdig than just butter? I would think that just butter is tastier.

    The broadbeans are in season now and what better way to use it than in Persian rice?

    Thank you for the welcome. What to say about butter and oil. Of course it seems intuitive that butter would be better; I tend to use a combination of the two. My Mom only ever uses oil, corn oil actually (you may recall the zero-cholesterol tolerance :wacko: ) and her rice always has a lot of flavor. She also adds a fair amount of salt which no doubt brings out the flavors.

    How lucky for you that broadbeans are already out. I adore them, the kids do too - although I know that these can be dangerous for some kids as I believe middle easterners have some sort of strong allergy to them. I found this photo of my Mom's persian rice with broadbeans and dill. This is truly one of my favorites. Let us know how it turns out. :smile:

    Bagali Polow - Basmati with Favas and Dill, Topped with Zaferan


  5. That sabzi polow rice looks great, Melamed. And congratulations on getting a nice bit of crust on your white rice. Yes, 10 minutes does seem like a lot of boiling time. The rice should be strained while still quite al dente; my grandmother always broke a piece with her nail to test for readiness; I tend to taste, and I tell people it should still taste firm but not inedible.

    As for getting it all off in one piece...I have certainly seen my grandmother turn the whole pot upside down and have the entire crust come off in one piece, but I have to admit I think that dates to the time they were using non-stick pots. With the stainless steel I can usually "scrape" it off in a few large pieces. It also sometimes helps to soak the bottom of the pot in some cold water to help loosen it before trying to remove it.

    Here is some photos of the Persian rice we had in LA and Montreal last week.

    Red Rice - made by my Aunt; I took the rice out of the pot, got the tahdig in a few pieces.


    White Rice - also made by my Aunt; I also was the one who plated the rice, and when I mentioned the tahdig sort-of didn't hold together all that well, she agreed saying that often happens when she uses only butter, as she did in this case


    Polow with Zereshk and Zaferan - from the restaurant "Teheran" in Montreal; their rice is always excellent; I wonder how they achieve this standard considering the large volumes they produce in a day


    Polow with Zaferan - and jujeh kabob, the divine chicken from Teheran


  6. At this point in the meal it occurred to me - and I even mentioned it to my sweetie - that there had not been even one amuse bouche throughout the meal. I found that odd given the type of restaurant it was; is this not something we have come to expect in certain types of establishments?

    Anyhow, either my whispers were heard or the restaurant has a habit of offering these toward the end of the meal, but sure enough a surprise platter was soon put before us. It was a platter of Cippolini onions. Not something I ever would have ordered, as I am not a fan of lightly-cooked onions, but the elements on the plate were tasty nontheless.

    Oven Roasted Cippolini Onions; clemtines, passionfruit, pumpkinseed oil


    After bringing us our second order of foie gras brioche, our waiter offered us the option of moving over to the dessert bar for the next course. We took him up on the offer, and welcomed the change in scenery as well as service.


    Our new waiter was named Gabriel. He was not only adorable, but attentive, funny and thoughtful. He noticed that my voice was becoming hoarse (I was indeed at the start of a bad cold) and suggested a beautiful tea would hit the spot; he was so right; loved the touch of the personalized honey jar too.

    He also assisted my sweetie in ordering a house-blend coffee that was pronounced "one of my best cups of coffee ever". Content with our hot drinks, we were able to enjoy the atmosphere around us, once again punctuated by whim and fantasy.





    Finally we had two amazing desserts.

    Chocolate stick - orange gelatin, freeze dried raspberries;


    Hot chocolate mousse- Asian pear, chocolate pearls, pear sorbet


  7. Continuing along the sandwich theme:

    Philly Cheesesteak; air bread, cheddar, wagyu beef - another winner! One bite into the crispy shell reveals a glorious melted creamy cheese; the whole is topped with shavings of melt-in-your-mouth wagyu beef. my sweetie said he could have eaten a large plate of these!




    Cotton Candy Foie Gras - delightful, whimsical, sweet and buttery; made me wish the kids had been with us; my hunny thought the cotton candy should have been caramelized (is that even possible?)


    Tortilla de Patatas "new way" ; potato foam, egg 63, caramelized onions; very cool presentation, with the eggshell spray-painted silver; I didn't get much sensation of potato, although the caramelized onions worked really well with the egg; for some reason I found this dish a bit salty




  8. We also ordered the Watermelon Tomato Skewers with Pedro Ximénez reduction and Cherry Tomatoes.

    Anyone who knows me also knows what a tough choice this was...tomato seeds are one of my few food phobias (along with mustard and cilantro). My hunny, on the other hand, goes out of his way to eat tomato seeds whenever the opportunity arises. So we ordered the dish, he got my portion of seeds, and everyone was happy. What a wonderful marriage between the sherry reduction and the watermelon. Made me wonder why I had never before served watermelon with balsamic and olive oil...definitely will do so this summer.


    Foie Gras with Quince and Brioche

    The menu has a selection of fun sandwiches. My favorite of the evening was the Foie Gras with Quince and Brioche. Delightful. Flavorful. The addition of crunchy salt was perfect to counter the sweet buttery brioche; loved this so much we ordered another plate at the end of our meal. :smile:



    Sea Urchin

    Along the same lines was a sandwich of Uni and avocado in a steamed bun. Also wonderful but so different from the previous sandwich. This one tastes like the sea; it contains a ribbon of avocado which adds to the oveerall creaminess; I loved that it was not overly salty or fishy; a hint of basil; overall impression is one of freshness. Lovely.


  9. The first impression that struck me - after I'd absorbed the whimsical and surrealist vibe - was how large the place was. We were seated in the Blanco section of the restaurant, which is decorated a little more traditionally. From there we could not even really see the rojo side. We had a nice table in the corner, right by the window facing the valet parking (although the windows were darkened so we could not see outside) and our waitress was lovely. Unfortunately, after a few minutes a strong smell of cigar smoke began to permeate to our table - we told our waitress and she agreed it was probably coming from outside, and she promptly had us moved to another table in the center of the room. From there we could see a small bar with 5 or so seats, presumably serving that particular section.

    Our new table was great, but the new waiter left something to be desired. It's not that he faltered in his service, it's just that he was somewhat lifeless. provided no energy to the meal, offered no suggestions, and overall did not convey a pleasant personality. It was too bad, as our previous server had been very lively, and I tried in vain to suggest that she continue to serve us; I suppose once we moved sections that was that.

    We both decided to start with soup; my sweetie had the Gazpacho, a beautifully light soup with hints of celery and even anise.

    Gazpacho Estilo Algeciras


    Wild Mushroom Soup - Idiazabal Cheese, Golden Egg Yolk

    Being a huge fan of mushrooms, I ordered the Wild Mushroom Soup which was topped at the table with a wild mushroom foam. It was gorgeous. The mushrooms were so tender and creamy they were reminiscent of the silky texture of foie gras.


    Jamon Iberico di Bellota

    After reading about it, we had to order the Jamon Iberico di Bellota - these pigs are acorn fed. Despite the insane price (36$ for a two-ounce portion) we both felt it was well worth it. The meat literally melts on your tongue. There is a nuttiness as well as a saltiness that reminded me of a good sheep cheese. And best of all not a hint of that under-cured porky flavor that is so common in inferior versions of cured ham.


    As you can see the jamon was served with a toasted white bread rubbed with tomato. I had heard great things about this toast but in this particular portion I found the toast to be a little stale; I ate it because it was there, and I didn't even bother eating the crusts.

  10. Alex, that is a great audio show. It gives viewers a really good idea of the experience at Bazaar.

    As I mentioned above, I had dinner there nearly two weeks ago, and found the meal was a wonderful experience. We enjoyed every dish that we ordered, but with a menu so large, I think we were smart to read up on various dishes before going so we had a good idea of which dishes would appeal to us.

    The experience begins as soon as you walk through the door. The place is rather surreal. You enter, expecting perhaps to see the lobby of the hotel, but instead the restaurant is right in front of you. A host and hostess are standing to your left and immediately give you a warm greeting. I told them we were there for our reservation and that I was waiting for my husband. I was told I could wait at the bar and have a drink, or could wait on the funky plump sofa-chair in some great color (pink or purple, can't remember which) which sits partly in the restaurant but also faces the door. Not being one to "drink alone" and also having too much energy to simply sit, propped on a seat, cool as it was, I chose instead to have a walk around the place. There are video screens scattered about showing really odd scenes - a man in a tuxedo, walking toward you, as if to serve you; a plump woman as if in an old painting that morphs into a dog; very surreal. Then there is the bazaar section of the restaurant, filled with all sorts of pricey objets d'art. The bar, filled with people who are there for drinks, sits on a diagonal in the center of the bar area, and looks very conducive to talking and mingling.


  11. Victornet, you can expect to have a lot of fun. We just got back from our meal and it was really great. We ordered carefully after reading whatever reviews we could find, and were not disappointed with a single dish. We were initially seated at a corner table in the lovely Blanco section but there was a pervasive smell of smoke coming from the other side of the window (an exterior wall) that led to our being moved. The new table was much more centrally placed but the new waiter was low on service. After the meal we chose to move to the dessert bar and our waiter named Gabriel was extremely attentive and made up for the earlier shortfall in service. I will post photos when we return home; in the meantime I would definitely give Chef Andres' new place a try.

  12. Melamed, I'm sorry to hear this. 1/2 cup of oil sounds like an awful lot.

    If I were you I would try to make a plain white rice using only oil/butter, with no yogurt or anything else that can burn!

    As for the burning...after the rice is strained and returned to the stove with the oil/water, the pot only needs to be on high heat for about a minute or two- as my grandmother says, when you see the steam coming through the top, turn the heat down and put on the lid. At this point the heat goes really low, one notch above the lowest on my heat. If you need to re-heat the rice later on to serve, again use gentle heat so the bottom doesn't get too much and burn. I will say a prayer to the rice gods for you.

    At least you still enjoyed the rice :smile: .

  13. We have an opportunity to have dinner here next week. I find my self hesitating. I have read some reviews on other websites and blogs, but have any eGulleters been here yet? Does anyone have any feelings about the experience here? My husband and I will have one night out "sans enfants" so we are hoping for a very special meal.

    I look forward to any thoughts from you.

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