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  1. Hi, has anyone made that cake and what did you think of it? Can you post the recipe of that particular cake?
  2. ha ha ha, that's a good one
  3. it's a good time to own an italian restaurant, that's for sure...
  4. froggio

    Fresh Shell Beans

    I buy cranberry beans, shell and rince them, dice pancetta, brown in olive oil, drain the oil but keep pan caramels, add fresh diced tomatoes, garlic, fresh thym, bay leaf, beans and a bit of water and let simmer for 20 mts covered until the last 5. Very flavorful and great summer dish.
  5. oooo soooo true, japanes profesionalism cannot be compared to anything else, it's just head and shoulder above everything else, and certainly american profesionalism.
  6. I beg to differ, warm temperatures will madeirize your wine, period, I have learned that the hard way. Furthermore, humidity is essential for the long-term health of your wine. Lack of it and the cork will dry out and contract (that's when you see that sticky residue seep from under the capsule). Function of the cork is to keep the wine in and very slowly filter outside air in and allow interaction at a glacial pace between wine and air. Keeping wine in a basement usually means in close proximity of a boiler, oil tank, chemicals etc. All these can have adverse effects on the wine over years. Do not underestimate the effectiveness of a good wine cellar when ageing wine!
  7. froggio

    British Wines

    The UK is missing three of the 4 most critical elements to be a great terroir: -it's not a temperate climate, it's damp and it rains way too much and Vitis Vinifera doesn't like that -it doesn't have the proper soil, not enough lime which is THE most essential element among other for vines to prosper -no wide variety of varietals and time (measured in centuries) to find where they do best Why worry about it when there is so much great wine to be had across the channel?
  8. Anything confirmed by the police and/or other authorities in China has always looked very suspicious to me.
  9. Hi all, my wife and I (from NYC) will be in SF and Napa in early July. Can anyone recommend restaurants downtown SF and in Napa? I prefer casual restaurants with a solid kitchen. I have a critical eye but after working 6 years in a 3 star Michelin restaurant what's on my plate has become more important than decor and service. One thing I do not like is pretentious service such as found at Per Se. I don't need a waiter to explain me how to eat a microscopic morsel of "legume" out of a silver spoon. See what I mean? My wife is enamoured with WD50 and other cutting edge chefs. We eat out a lot, whether in NYC or Europe. We were at Jardiniere 6/7 years ago and were not impressed. But we would be happy to try some smaller, hole in the wall restaurants. I have heard conflicting reviews from my guests about French Laundry. Any advice? Can you help?
  10. we work in nyc, probably the toughest market in the country. we always remain polite and accomodating when people call to cancel even at the last minute. we understand that plans change, things happen. we also systematically call our no-shows within the first quarter hour and politely remind them we are still holding a table for four in their name. very often people hang up on us. welcome to gotham. the no-show rate can go up to over 20 per cent...recent record was 33 per cent. so it seems to me that overbooking becomes an economic necessity for any restaurateur operating at our level, 2 stars ny times. managing overbooking is not a problem IF you know your job. never had any problems, a little hors d'oeuvre while waiting at thebar works wonder.
  11. running a kithen is one thing, running a restaurant ie business can be a vastly different thing. some chefs are not so much concerned about food cost or any cost control ingeneral but as a business owneryou should. you need a few basic things to have afair chance. 1-location,location,location. if your name is thomas keller or david bouley -10 years ago for him- then you can open in the boondocks but the rest of the crowd better keep this age old adage in mind 2-no undercapitalization, sounds obvious but i can speak from experience having managed a restaurant that went south after 6 months coz lack of funds 3-strong vision. clear identity. don,t call your restaurant zen club and serve beef wellington for instance 4-business plan with financial forcast. do i need to explain this one
  12. obviously the restaurants you go to need some severe service upgrading. you are right, you shouldnt ask forwater or wine glasses to be refilled
  13. Rigorous and disciplined tip management is the answer. For instance, at a famous waterfront restaurant in NYC, the captains are required to fill each a tip sheet with: table numbers, guest number, check amount (before tax), check number, payment method, tips (cash or credit indicated clearly) etc Then at the end of the shift, the closing captain and server crossreference the different sheets with all closed checks or POS reports AND cash tips. Difficult to steal for long under that system.
  14. Yeah, that's not the right way to manage that sort of thing. The right way, in my humble opinion, is to overbook by 15% and thank your guest for taking the time to call and cancel. Anticipation on one side and hospitality on the other, that's how the restaurant world works.
  15. it depends on the level of service. in a NY 4 stars the captain will have all soiled and empty dishes cleared from the table as you decline a 10th cup of coffee. pretty soon you'll have only a flower vase and a glass of water in front of you. If you don't get the drift then, he'll come back to your table and ask you if you need anything else... by then most people would have undestood it's time to leave. if not you might be offered a glass of bubbly at the bar by a very apologetic manager because he/she needs the table fot that party of four that's been waiting for 45mts at the bar. i remember a single belgian woman who would come inthe middle of the winter at 10.55 seat in an almost empty dining room and orderthe tasting menu with 2 or 3extra dishes. she would eventually fall asleep and i would go to her tableand ask her if she was enjpyingher meal. she must have done that a dozen times until oneday her Visa card got denied and i said to her ah madame, american express, never leave home without... she never cameback.
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