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Everything posted by Elrushbo

  1. I've actually had the staff serve me a few courses in the bathroom. =R= just kidding ← Pepto sorbet?
  2. I'd love to see it. Feel free to post, as well. =R= ← If legislators think they can tell us what to eat, what other insidious legislation will be next? The ban is a dangerous precedent more far reaching than a ban on foie gras. If the politicians think they can do this, a luxury tax on fine dining could easily happen, as could a 'fat tax.' People on this board in the affected area need to write the legislators involved, as well as their congresspersons. Foie Gras ban? If legislators have time for that then they aren't spending enough time attending to things for which they were elected.
  3. I would be one of those for whom $50 is significant, although I would be willing to sacrifice just for the experience. But a more significant detail, for me, would be the number of courses. As someone with IBS, I would never be able to finish a Tour without suffering great discomfort and pain. A 12-course option, however, might be do-able with just minor discomfort. To eliminate the 12-course might prevent me from ever having an Alinea experience, more so than the additional $50 would. I'm sure some of those who chose the Tasting menu might have done so for similar reasons--not everyone's stomach's can accommodate the Tour. ← I have heard that Alinea's staff is very aware and times things accordingly, if you had to go to the bathroom, they slow up the next course.
  4. Even though I haven't tried it yet, I imagine Alinea draws the type of people who are game for anything and know what they're getting into beforehand. Can you give us a hint as to what these events entail? If you can't do that now, please let us know when you can, I'm sure many here would book a res accordingly.
  5. ← Well, you certainly deserve a comped dinner at Avenues for the free publicity. I seriously think you should be on the Food Network...I showed my wife the Free Press article, she said I'm like you because I like to spend my free $$ on fine dining. Maybe in twenty years when I have accumulated your restaurant experience! I've told her that some guys like to spend money on a boat, or on hunting, or golfing, etc, I like to spend my money on food.
  6. I'll even take a few pictures as well...maybe not every dish, but then maybe I will. Did you use a flash for your latest Avenues photo set? Does Chef Bowles know about the Free Press article? Plus I'll likely be taking my wife to Chicago for the Tut exhibit this summer or fall, if it's even somewhat as good as you say it is(and I trust your judgement on food), we'll go to the re-modeled Avenues. The 3 course prix-fixe would be tough to beat for value. My wife is an extremely fussy eater, she'd like being able to choose exactly what she wants.
  7. I do think one menu would be a good idea- one with fewer courses imho would be like a 'greatest hits' menu. Out of curiousity, has the thought ever been floated of offering two different menus with different items?
  8. Two weeks from Saturday and I will be at the Chef's Bar at Avenues! Can't wait! UE-Do you know if the menu served at the Chef's Bar the same as the Chef's Palate or if it's different? Just curious-I'm sure it will be spectacular! I haven't really been wowed by food since Prime in Vegas last fall. Went to Coast restaurant in Milwaukee last week-ugh!
  9. Does anyone know when the episodes with challengers Rick Tramonto and Homaru Cantu will air?
  10. Elrushbo

    Top Chef

    One of those people on Hell's Kitchen is going to deck Gordon Ramsay, at some point people will have had enough no matter if they're trying for a job or not! Would make for great TV.
  11. Hmmm...bucket O' lunch!
  12. Just reading this for the first time-I always heard Charlie Trotter was an a-hole, his remarks seem to confirm that. He rushes to defend poor helpless birds but has no problem dehumanizing a real person! Also...can anyone tell me why his restaurant keeps getting such high praise when EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE says that many restaurants in Chicago are better, that Trotter's food is not that good and the portions are miniscule?!?! Struggling to figure this one out! Time and time again, from people here and people I know, I hear NO ONE who has been to the best restaurants in Chicago that considers Trotter's as being close to the best restaurant in Chicago, much less the country! And yet, lists like the 50 best restaurants in the world don't even mention any Chicago restaurants except Trotter's!
  13. I have had lunch there twice, easily my favorite A2 restaurant now. They have gotten it all right, ambience is soothing, lots of woodtones and color that goes well, service at lunch is prompt but not too prompt...they don't rush you or bring entrees out while you still have appetizer plates out. I take my wife to lunch a lot, it's nice to have a pleasant, relaxing lunch without taking too long(waiting for waitstaff to bring the check, etc). The food...the lobster club sandwich is the best sandwich I have ever had, would love to get the recipie for the vanilla bean aioli! I also had asparagus soup...very rich asparagus flavor without a ton of salt, which made me like the flavors better. I will definitely be trying Vinology for dinner, it's a very well run place and a welcome addition to Ann Arbor.
  14. I thought 20.21 at the Walker Center was good, especially after checking out the museum. Gorgeous room, good service, food is fun and tastes good.
  15. If it makes lobster taste better, then great.
  16. Elrushbo... it's Cory Lee, not Yee. u.e. ← Oops, my apologies...
  17. Only 1 reason . . . it isn't in NYC. =R= ← I know this might not be in the right area,(please direct me to the correct thread if wrong) but imho it is relevant to my earlier query...I was also suprised about the winner for Rising Star Chef-even though he's the chef de cuisine at French Laundry, it's not really his restaurant, it's Keller's, right? Meaning Keller would be the one who determines what the menu is, etc. Am I off base? One thinks of French Laundry as Keller's restaurant, not Corey Yee. Seemed odd to me, that's all, especially with someone like Graham Elliot Bowles in charge of the kitchen, making the menu and cooking full time. ← I understand traditionally the Chef De Cuisine is in charge of the kitchen and usually has a lot of input with the menu if not all of it. Also, If memory serves me right..Bowles is a Chef De Cuisine as well? With the Laundry, Keller isn't there everyday because of his other 4 locations (bouchons and per se). Also, Benno of Per Se was awarded a Best New Chef of Food & Wine. Benno and Lee run there respective locations as an extension of Chef Keller. This is only my guess but Keller probably lets them run the kitchen themselves because he knows they will be running it the way he wants to be ran. I hope that makes sense. ← If Lee is the one who makes the decisions and is cooking his own distinctive food and not Kellers, then I understand. I wondered because the French Laundry cookbook is by Keller, it's thought of as Keller's place, but if Lee is the one cooking the food every day and Keller is like the one running the business side, I guess it makes sense.
  18. Only 1 reason . . . it isn't in NYC. =R= ← I know this might not be in the right area,(please direct me to the correct thread if wrong) but imho it is relevant to my earlier query...I was also suprised about the winner for Rising Star Chef-even though he's the chef de cuisine at French Laundry, it's not really his restaurant, it's Keller's, right? Meaning Keller would be the one who determines what the menu is, etc. Am I off base? One thinks of French Laundry as Keller's restaurant, not Corey Yee. Seemed odd to me, that's all, especially with someone like Graham Elliot Bowles in charge of the kitchen, making the menu and cooking full time.
  19. Sounds wonderful! Will have to do that sometime! The photo printed on the menu is a wonderful touch. Your review was excellent, very well written. I liked hearing that there were no 'clunkers' on the menu. There shouldn't be at a place like that...imho, if there are clunkers, it means a chef is too ambitious and trying to do too many courses. I take it you did the late seating at the Chef's Table? Suprised there would be anyone left in the restaurant. Also, I'll have to remember to skip lunch when I try it. After seeing the reviews, it seems like a lot of food at the Chef's Table. Would definitely want to be hungry for that experience!
  20. What kinds of changes? This is very good news, the one time I was at Bella Ciao, the food was underwhelming, didn't compel me to come back, despite the wonderful setting. Let us know when you're done w/ your changes, I'm in A2 and will look forward to trying your food soon!
  21. I wonder why Alinea didn't win the Beard Award for Best New Restaurant? With all the mega-hype and so many here saying it's already one of the best restaurants in the country despite being in its' infancy, one would think it would have been a lock. I'd like to know what people here think about this.
  22. Will do! He should comp your next dinner there, I imagine you bring a little extra business for Chef GEB with your recommendations and praise, even before the Free Press article.
  23. Actually, I just changed my reservation so we can sit at the Chef's Bar, based pretty much on your experience...I think me and my dad would both enjoy the interactive part of it. He's never been to a place like Avenues, I think he'd appreciate it more at the Bar, being able to talk to the chefs and all and watch them work, it sounds like it would be more fun. Certainly different! We're hitting Spring the night before, so should make for a great weekend.
  24. Not that I'm complaining about my asparagus... but I'm *envious* of your version! Goat cheese? Duck egg? oh.... ------------ 7th Course: Risotto Risotto of roasted garlic, fiddlehead ferns, stinging nettle and nuggets of grenoilles (frog legs). The risotto is topped with stinging nettle foam and fried stinging nettle leaves. Risotto has also featured on every Chef's Palate menu I've had. (See here and here.). Taste: This was the glory of spring in a little pot. Meaty nuggets of cuisses de grenoilles luxuriated in a Parmesan-fortified risotto studded with crunchy tendrils of fiddlehead ferns and whole cloves of roasted garlic. Bits of stinging nettle leaves were threaded throughout. The crispy fried ones on top were great. Forest and earth. Frogs, ferns, garlic and nettle... My only complaint about this dish was that the risotto was a little more soupy than I prefer. I like my risotto's a bit thicker, without being a congealed mass of glop. This one was more like a slightly thickened rice soup. ------------ Blackberry-Sage This pairing really packed a punch - not only in terms of flavor, but also in consistency. You can't tell by this picture, but the juice poured like tomato juice - thick with yummy fruit concentrate. I'm not usually a fan of sage, but I loved the use here - featuring in an awesome supporting role to the blackberry's sexy lead. This was paired with the following two courses. ------------ 8th Course: Rouget So, like many of Bowle's dishes, the format's the same, but the preparation is different. Every menu I've had at the Avenue has featured a polenta, greens and fish course. (See the others here and here.) Yet, I never get bored with the dishes because the preparations are so great. Despite the similiarties, I'm able to appreciate the slight tweaks. The rouget was served on a bed of polenta and cooked rapini. The plate is garnished with saffron oil and bits of pinenuts. Taste: What truly made this course outstanding was the little hill of crispy fried rouget scales on the filet. They reminded me of the shell and heads of crispy whole fried prawns. The polenta was *PERFECT,* and, for the first time, I was actually able to discern the musky bitter flavor of saffron from the oil that hugged the polenta. I'm not sure what the pinenut added to the mix though. Oh, and yes, of course, the fish... it was just as pleasing as a crispy pan-fried rouget can be. ----------- 9th Course: Rabbit Five preparations of rabbit accompanied by confit of carrots and artichoke hearts stuffed with fava bean paste. 1. Confit'ed rabbit leg: The meat was very soft and not stringy or grainy as I had feared. Curiously, both of my dining companions and I thought it tasted just like tuna salad. We couldn't figure out what it was that made it taste like tuna salad - as there was no discernable mayonnaise. Perhaps celery seed? I'm not sure. ChefGEB? 2. Rabbit "bacon": I was expecting something salty or smokey and crispy, like crackling. Instead, this "bacon" was extremely tender and slightly sweet. It was definitely my least favorite of the five preparations. 3. Rabbit loin: A well cooked piece of meat. I can't say that I remember all that much about it. 4. Rabbit roulade stuffed with prune and lavendar: This was great, I especially appreciated the prune-lavendar stuffing. 5. Rabbit kidney: This was by far my favorite of the five preparations. The kidney had been cooked on the outside but slightly rare on the inside. Despite being very offal-y, the kidney had a very clean taste - no doubt from its freshness. Truth be told, my favorite item on this course, beside the kidney, were the fava bean paste-stuffed artichoke hearts. The confit'ed carrots weren't bad either. Overall, a great dish - playful and tasty. And, a sight to behold! ---------- Miso-Mushroom Broth First, you can see (on the right) the thick consistency of the Blackberry-Sage pairing. I really was as thick as tomato juice. I have to admit, this was my least favorite drink of the evening. I guess it's because I've always thought of miso as a warm condiment, I couldn't get over this savory chilled creation. In fact, I noticed that the savory drinks were consistently my least favorite of the pairings. However, with the next two courses, the drink actually worked. Yet, still I mostly stuck with water during this phase of the meal. This was paired the 11th, 12th and 13th courses. ----------- 11th Course: Char The filet of char sat atop a bed of Beluga lentils and was topped with a perfectly crisped rectangle of beautiful char skin. Chef told me that the fish had been poached in olive oil at a VERY LOW TEMPERATURE (he said that the poaching oil wasn't even hot enough to burn your skin) and it showed. The fish was immensely silky in texture - cooked on the outside but warm and raw on the inside. The fish was accompanied by cooked morel mushrooms and a red wine and fruit reduction. Taste: It was so refreshing to have lentils prepared well. Tender, soft and as Chef put it, "sexier in the mouth." Down with the gritty - give me sexy! Together with the silky fish and the crunchy skin, the textural play was outstanding. So too the flavors. The mos flavorful element on the dish for me was the red wine and fruit reduction sauce that was paired with the morels. I could have sworn that the morels had been cooked with vinegar - as they were slightly sour, but Sous Chef Elaina said that they were simply cooked down with oil and water. The skin was surprisingly thick and CRUNCHY - not just crisp. It was between chip and water cracker consistency and stunningly flecked with dots of bright apricot-orange - brilliant! Overall, I thought the char itself, which is a rather delicate and silky fish (as it was expertly highlighted in Bowles's preparation), was a bit up-staged by the very very strong supporting cast in this dish. ---------- 12th Course: Lamb Lamb rib chop "unravelled" served with flageolet beans and a smokey bacon-black olive paste. The plate is garnished with microgreens and plated with a minted lamb jus. Taste: In a word: Smokey. The dark smokey-bitter bacon and black olive paste, dominated this course. The lamb was very well prepared. The chef had 'unpackaged' the lamb chop for more "surface area." (He also did this with the lamb chop I had the first time I ate at the Avenues). While I'm not sure what extra surface area I got from him cutting it that I couldn't get from cutting the chop myself, I didn't care. The lamb was great. However, I have to admit that I was more intrigued by the oh-so-soft flageolet beans - which is especially ironic after I had just mentioned to the chef that when I lived in Europe last year, I got so sick of flageolet beans because of the ubiquitous cassoulet! Chef Bowles gave me a reason to fall back in love with them! ----------- 13th Course: Beef Beef atop a potato-horseradish beignet and wilted spinach. The beef was sauced generously with white truffle oil and a darkly rich full-bodied merlot reduction. Taste: First, I have to say that the beef, despite the picture, was wonderfully reddish-pink in the center and immensely tender. This course was a great way to end our savory courses. Chef Bowles tried to seduce me again with white truffle oil, which he had liberally drizzled all around the food. The merlot reduction was very exciting - as mentioned, very full-bodied, deep, rich, sweet and dark. Despite the fact that the potato-horseradish beignet wasn't as horseradishy as the one I had a few months earlier (That was the only downer. See here.), I liked this beef course better than the lamb that preceeded it, which is uncharacteristic of me as I usually always like the lamb more. ... and now, a word from our co-anchor, wench... ← Man...I cannot WAIT to try this place! Every single thing looks delicious! Thanks for the recommendation, u.e. One question-the chairs at the Chef's Bar were comfortable, right? Did you prefer the Chef's Bar to the regular tables? I'll be sure to hit Avenues shortly after the remodeling and send you some photos, unless you get there before me!
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