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Posts posted by froggio

  1. 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.

  2. Such a system would not work in the US or Canada, because in my experience, most people at least in the customer service industry don't really care about the quality of work they produce unless they're making a lot of money for it.

    oooo soooo true, japanes profesionalism cannot be compared to anything else, it's just head and shoulder above everything else, and certainly american profesionalism.

  3. Don't worry about it. Slow changes in temperature are what is important.

    With higher temperatures all that will happen is quicker aging, Not a bad thing I think.

    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!

  4. I was making a mental list in my head the other day of significant wine regions in the world, and realized that I had never had nor heard of any wine made/grown in the UK.

    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?

  5. 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? :angry:

    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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Has anyone else been treated this way by other restaurants?

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Is that an emotional decision based on your hatred for customers rather than an economic one?  It sure seems like it.

    Maybe the moral of the story is that restaurants who view customers as adversaries go out of business.  (I certainly hope so.)

    As far as bringing a bottle of wine to a "wine themed" restaurant, I would never think to do it myself.

    But as far as your "great" winelist, you mean to say 'in your opinion'.  If it's filled with Australian Cabernets and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and the like, you may be delusional when you declare it "great".  Likewise, if it's made up of bottles whose markup is $80, it's not a "great" wine list- it's an attempt to gouge customers.  It's all in the perspective of the person commenting, non?

    we do have some nz and australian wines on our wine list as well as the wines of nicolas joly, weinbach, rossignol trapet aong many others because we are not narrow minded.

    thanks for worrying about our markup but we know what it should be to both stay in business and thrive AND attract a happy crowd of patrons because of our fair prices.

    ask your dry cleaner if you can use your own chemicals in his/her machine next time you want to clean your suit and email methe answer...

  12. i manage a wine themed resto in nyc. we have a great winelist and over 60 wines by the glass.

    at a timeof escalating operating costs in our industry in nyc, wecant depriveourselves from our main source of revenue, alcoholicbeverages, so if you bring a bottle of wine to dinner we will charge you 80 dollars. bringing a bottle into a restaurant is a bit like asking a mechanic if you can borrow his tools for free to fixyour car yourself...

    i can make exceptions for someone who brings a bottle of lafite 1982 because that's his son's birthyear and they are celebrating his gradaution from harvard law school and he promised to buy at least onebottle of same value. i'll be a gentleman with those who are, for the cheap ny diners who try to save a buck there is corkage fee.

  13. most posts were made by people who are not pro cooks and never worked inthe closed environment of a pro kitchen. big difference between a tv show and 7am prep at a ny 4 stars...they know when they re being watched and not...

    i worked with jean georges for 7 years and he is not a screamer unless forced to and for a good reason.

    daniel boulud, he is sooo charming and nice away from his restaurant but a real psycho in his kitchen. consensus in nyresto industry is that he deserved what he got in the nytimes 3 weeks ago.

  14. With an 18 month Comté Marcel Petite bought from the tiny shop at the Essex street market (before they folded), a Chardonnay fron Jean Bourdy in Jura.

    With a slow-cooked artic char, a Muscadet (melon de Bourgogne) from Hautes-Noelles, a terrific deal for only $11 at BJ in NYC.

    I read in an earlier post about a 1982 La Lagune served with cheese, what a waste...should have been served with its natural pairing: lamb. One type of wine that doesn't pair very well in general with cheese is red Bordeaux.

  15. And Froggio--I also enjoyed the list. A question though. If there really truly is a "global movement..."

    then how is it you are able to list so many wine makers that are not "modern?"

    One would have thought everyone would be makin those early drinking fruit bombs!!!


    I am not sure what you mean by "global movement".

    If there is a global trend in winemaking, it is not in spite of critics like RP but, in part, because of them. RP has reached such a cult status that is opinions have the weight of a Vatican edict. Who says that his taste buds are the only yardstick to go by?

    Does global trend mean that all winemakers are subscribing to it? Certainly not, and Burgundy is, as someone mentioned earlier, "the last refuge". I mean by that that winemakers in Burgundy are very, very traditional and i see nothing wrong with that. When I drink a Chambolle, I want a Chambolle, not something that could be mistaken for a Barossa fruit bomb.

  16. I respect RP's many talents.

    My problem with him is that he is wielding enormous power and can indirectly influence winemaking decisions across the globe. Fool is the one who thinks so much influence in one person is for the good of wine.

    Going back to Burgundy, I'd say that PN with aging potential can, from my experience, easily be kept for 10 years in a cellar and here we are almost invariably talking about 1er crus and grands crus and in good vintages and hands although I remember visiting Gilles Burguet in 2002, "little" brother of Alain in Gevrey, and tasing a Gevrey Villages 1990 and 1980 and those two wines were exactly what I expected a red Burgundy to be like: elegant, aerial with a strong aromatic signature, complex and long.

    A few specific wines that are on the cheaper side:

    Arlaud Père et Fils Gevrey Villages 2002

    Ghislaine Barthod Marsannay Champs Salomon 2003

    Philippe Charlopin Fixin Villages 2003

    Chauvenet-Chopin Nuits Chaignots 2003

    Rod. Demougeot Savigny Peuillets or Bourgeots 2003

    Fougeray de Beauclair Marsannay St-Jacques 2003

    Lignier-Michelot Gevrey Villages 2004

    Gérard Seguin Gevrey Craipillot 2001

    Barraud St-Véran Pommard (name of vineyard) 2003 white

    David Duband Hts Cts Nts 2003

    Hautes-Cornieres Santenay Beaurepaire 2003

    Just promoting some of the little guys :-) for a change.

  17. No, Burgundy is not an easy wine region to understand. They are a bit suspicious, closed, rough. A bit like a farmer from a 19th century Châteaubriand novel. I know, I was born there :-)

    The main problem for the consumer is the constant division of landholdings. Unlike Bordeaux where estates are incorporated and thus protected from division (after the proprietor has died, children receive shares and the estate survives as a whole entity), Burgundian wineyards are divided between surviving children after death. Take the Gros family as an example: Louis Gros died in 1951 and his estate was divided between his 4 children, Gustave and Colette (Dom. Gros F & S), Jean Gros (Dom. J. Gros), François Gros (Dom. F. Gros). Domaine Jean Gros was later split between Jean and Jeanine's children: Bernard (Dom. Gros F & S), Michel (Dom. J. Gros & Dom. M. Gros), Anne-Françoise (Dom. A-F Gros). Domaine François Gros went to Anne Gros, his daughter, under the new name of Dom. Anne et François Gros and changed in 1995 to Domaine Anne Gros.

    Still with me?

    The landscape is continuouslly changing with old estates disappearing and new ones being born every year, owners buying and selling vineyards. Add fermage to this...

    Compare this to Bordeaux, a rock of stability, where even small Côtes de Blaye Châteaux have been in existence for centuries without any major changes.

    Anyway, I thought I'd give my 2 cts on some of the very good winemakers/vineyards of Burgundy.

    Rémy Jobard, François Jobard, Henri Germain, Michel Bouzereau, Pierre Morey, Patrick Javillier, Michel Niellon, Marc Morey, J-M Pillot in white wines.

    Sylvie Esmonin, René Bouvier, Rossignol-Trapet, Dupont-Tisserandot, Alain Burguet, Gilles Burguet (his bro), Humbert Frères, Drouhin-Laroze, Comte Liger-Belair, Bruno Clavelier, J-P & M Guyon, Ghislaine Barthod, Amiot-Servelle, Hervé Sigaut, Nicolas Rossignol, Joseph Voillot, Henri Boillot, Arlaud, Bertagna, Pierre Bourrée, Ch. Corton-André (owned by Nouvelle-Calédonie nickel mine conglomerate), Christian Clerget, Hudelot-Noellat, Lignier-Michelot, Vougeraie (owned by conglomerate Boisset)

    Notice there is no Coche-Dury or Comte de Vogüe to keep prices a bit down.

    I am not too fond of modern style.

    Some specific bottles, some of which should be easy to find:

    Amiot Pierre 2004 Morey Millande

    Arlaud 2003/04 Morey Ruchots and/orChéseaux

    Berthaut 2003 Fixin Arvelets

    Bouchard Père Fils 2004 Nuits Villages

    Bourrée Pierre 2002/03 Gevrey Clos Justice

    Clerget Chris 2004 Vougeot Pts Vougeots

    Faiveley 2003 Pommard Vaumuriens

    Forey 2004 Vosne Gaudichots

    Vigot Fabrice 2004 Nuits VV

    Clair Bruno 2004 Marsannay Chard.

    Chenevieres 2004 Chablis Fourchaume

    Colin Marc 2004 St-Aubin Châtenière

    Valanges Dom. 2003 St-Véran Cv Hors Classe

    I hope this will help a bit. Cheers.

  18. robt parker on charlie rose the other nite commented on excellent bordeaux & burgundys & emphasized how long they should be aged before even considering drinking.

    How ironic that RP recommends to age fine wines when he has been part and parcel in the global rush to drink wines as soon as bottled. I remember tasting wines at a well-known Château in CDP and listening to the winemaker complain about RP coming in "an hour to taste from different oak barrels before blending what would ultimately be a single wine after bottling".

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