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Everything posted by bethala

  1. daniel, great photos - wish eGullet came in smell-o-vision! looks like moore bros did a perfect job with the pairings.
  2. i don't believe it comes down to just one real question. i think the question of why an industry doesn't embrace and respect a particular people (or particular peoples) AND the quesion of why a particular people don't embrace and respect an industry are both valid and not mutually exclusive in this discussion. and i believe a number of people upthread did address one of the reasons the industry is not as fully embraced by blacks as it once had been: because of greater opportunites to work in, as many have stated, less unglamorous areas, as the opportunities for blacks have increased. haven't things gotten better? that's a question that often comes up when race is discussed. it's always a funny question to me, because, of course things have gotten better. everyone knows that. so i sometimes wonder if there is a subtext to that question: things have gotten better, so stop your complaining, or things have gotten better, so race is not an issue in topic x . i am not saying that that was your subtext or that you had a subtext. but that doesn't mean there is not room for discussion. using that logic, why, discussion would have stopped after slaves were freed and jim crow took hold, just because that was "better" than slavery! and we are not just looking at proportional numbers, but also (maybe more so) at the fact that the numbers have gone down for blacks, and so we're including in our discussion the multiple reasons for that decrease, including the aforementioned increase in opportunities, but also with racism certainly being one among those reasons.
  3. really, life rarely gets any better
  4. i feel like this topic could become heated (what is "real" soul food, etc.), but here goes. i'm not a harlemite, and i prefer to eat "soul food" prepared in people's homes, particularly in my cousin bobbie joyce goods' home in brazoswood, texas. but i do like charles' southern style kitchen, whose fried chicken i like to eat on new year's day with champagne. i think sylvia's is not good and rides on its reputation. i think amy ruth's is pretty good, too, but not great.
  5. they say scary things happen on friday the 13th. i've always wanted to try the brooklyn blackout cake, but the other cakes always out-tempt it. one of these days... is ebinger's a bakery of the new york of old?
  6. iCi is a good, ambitious "neighborhood" spot (i'm almost afraid to use that term ). the room is as cute as pie, the food sourced from all the right farms, etc., but the preparation of these special ingredients doesn't merit a special trip. for a similar concept, albeit at a much higher price, i'd go with applewood. definitely temper your expectations with iCi. i won't dissuade you from going, either. i hope they get better foodwise, because, as i said, the room is so pleasing, and the service is sweet and well-meaning. i'd like to see them do well.
  7. since i pretty much agree with all the resto recs, esp. al di la, franny's and applewood, i'm just going to try to cover the markets. i don't know if any of them really qualify as nbc, except maybe the chocolate based places, as chocolate seems to be a new "cuisine" or restaurant/shop trend in general, not just in brooklyn. these are not in any particular order. the list is park slope heavy because that's where i live. blue apron foods: two locations, both in park slope: 1) union and 7th ave. 2) 7th ave btwn 14th and 15th sts. great for cheeses (owners are vets of dean and deluca's cheese dept.), charcuterie, eurocookies, and chocolate bars, as well as chocolates from jacques torres and baked goods from baked and nougatine. bierkraft: park slope, 5th ave. nr union. cheeses, chocolate, and of course, tons of "bier". with respect to the chocolate, bierkraft is the only place i've ever seen in brooklyn selling slitti, the amazing italian high cocoa content milk chocolate (only other place i've seen it in nyc is bazzini's). i believe they also carry ice cream from the previously recommended brooklyn ice cream factory. the chocolate room: park slope 5th ave. btwn st. mark's and warren. treat it as a chocolate shop (brands sold include michel cluizel, bonnat and knipschildt) or a dessert cafe. best chocolate layer cake in town, imo. it's just a couple of doors away from where i work, total wine bar, which is not a market, but a ideal spot to drop in for a glass of wine and some mac and cheese. tempo presto: two locations, both in park slope: 5th ave. and btwn carroll st. and garfield pl. and 7th ave. nr 3rd st. (not sure it's open yet, but glad to see it'll replace carvel's) great gelato as already mentioned, but also inventive and delicious sandwiches. sweet melissa: two locations: 1) carroll gardens, court street at douglass 2) park slope, 7th ave. btwn 1st and 2nd sts. beautiful cakes with a fancy old-fashioned regency look. the buttercream they ice and fill with is top notch. you can also sit inside and have a very good pastry with coffee or tea. two little red hens bakery: park slope: 8th ave. and 11th st. great source for birthday or other celebration cakes. famous for their brooklyn blackout cake, which i cannot vouch for because i haven't tried it yet. i especially like that they offer many of their cakes in small or and individual sizes. good regular brewed coffee, too. cakeman raven: fort greene at 708-A fulton st. famous for his red velvet cake. i have not tried it, but many people have recommended cakeman. baked: in red hook at 359 van brunt st., across the street from the wonderful restaurant 360. i love baked. deceptively simple layer cakes made with high-quality ingredients in basic or very interesting flavor combinations, like chocolate with caramel and buttercream filling, topped with buttercream, more caramel, then sprinkled with fleur de sel! if you want to make a splash with a cake but don’t want to look too fancy, this is your place. the look of the cakes is minimal but not stark. you can eat in, too. usually one of the cakes is available by the slice. their croissants are reportedly excellent, but i've never gone early enough to find out for myself. i dream of going in one morning for coffee and a croissant on the way to fairway. fairway: red hook, 480 - 500 van brunt st. i like it, but i always spend too much money in this location. don't know if that's because it's so huge and enticingly presented, or because my friend who gives me a ride is shopping for a family of four while i'm just one. the view from the deck out back is gorgeous. here's a link to the fairway thread. the farmer's market at grand army plaza. fruits, veggies, flowers, cheese, and johnder's favorite pork lady. a tad less hectic than some of the manhattan farmers markets. cousin john's bakery: 7th avenue between lincoln pl. and berkeley pl. i often forget about this place, even though i live right around the corner. cousin john's does really good, fresh baked goods, like cheese danishes, banana cream tarts, and the much maligned carrot cake, which they do with a tangy, not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting and a moist-crumbed cake. it is also a cafe (coffee is decent, but not great), and apparently, they serve breakfast, too. jacques torres: in dumbo at 66 water street. i think the name speaks for itself. i like the shop because of the hot chocolate (thick and not too sweet) and the feeling that you're getting torres' chocolate in the freshest state possible. i don't think torres makes the best chocolate out there, but i find his pricing very reasonable. the colorful shop -- or shoppe, as he calls it -- is great for kids because you can see the factory from inside the shop. very willi wonka. union market: union and 6th ave. i don't think this is worth a special trip to bk, and i shop here only when in a pinch for fruits and vegetables. but i did notice the other day that they are now selling vosges chocolates and caramels. prospect wine shop: 7th avenue btwn 8th and 9th sts. there are many good wine shops in bk, but this one in particular has what i think is one of the best champagne selections in town, with a focus on grower champagnes. le nell's wine & spirit boutique: in red hook ad 416 van brunt street. emphasis on "spirit" here. le nell's is another wine shop i like because it has a unique twist, that of being an incredible resource for distilled spirits (especially bourbon; le nell is from down south) made by small distillers. she also has hard to find non-commercial bitters. and the wine selection is actually really good, too: lots of small, organic/biodynamic selections. d'amico's coffees: in carroll gardens on court st. btwn sackett and degraw. old school italian spot where they roast the excellent beans on site. my favorite is the organic sumatra. there seems to be a bit of a social club going on in here, too, what with the card tables in the back of the room. just adds to the old school feel of the shop. to make it worth your while, order yourself a mortadella and provolone sandwich on a roll. this place is also a bit of a deli!
  8. bethala

    Wines for a snacky gala

    i agree with the bubbly idea, since it's all snacky and some of the items are fried. cava is a great alternative to champagne and usually falls right into your price point. i prefer raventos if it's available. but i was thinking you might also consider a demi sec sparkler, such as gruet, since a number of your snacks seem asian and/or spicy. gruet's demi sec is a bit different in that it is not quite as sweet as most demi secs, and so you could serve it for the entire evening without people feeling that what they are drinking is too sweet.
  9. mistinguett, thanks! - i'll take smaller and better over bigger any day. we are staying in simpson bay. these all sound great. i'm excited about the ice cream. and if you figure out the name of the boulangerie in marigot, please do let me know; i'm a fool for a good paris brest. and thanks for the bar tips (no pun intended)! thanks for the recs, joe! i did some research into bistro nu, and its appeal with the locals makes it sound intriguing. and le cottage's menu and wine list look very promising. decisions, decisions...
  10. one could spend hours on this, but i just want to get a couple of thoughts out; this is by no means a thorough discussion on my part. first, the times recently did an article on black chefs that covers a lot of the questions posited here. second, i think a lot of it has to do with history and education, as is discussed in the article. perhaps because of a history of working in the service industry (going back to the "service" of being slaves) and the attendant low status that came with that work, as education and more jobs became more available to blacks, it became less attractive to work in kitchens or even in the front of the house. conversely, over time, work in certain parts of the restaurant industry, has stealthily grown in status . mr. samuelsson has the advantage of having grown up in europe, where perhaps history didn't discourage him from pursuing a career in food service as much as it might a black living in america, much the same way that black caribbeans coming to this country don't feel the weight of african american history telling them they can't do things. as for the soul food thing, i think that, to a certain extent, the audience, both black and white, has contributed to the notion that a black chef should limit himself to soul food, with limited expectations for black chefs: think people who might not have expected to see blacks play in sports that historically excluded balcks, like tennis or golf, or might expect a black to perform rap music but not classical. i think that has become less the case now, as stereotypes of blacks wane a bit each day. finally, even more hidden/less lauded than blacks in the restaurant industry are Hispanics, who, very often underpaid, toil in kitchens preparing every imaginable cuisine. i mean how many unseen Hispanic kitchen workers must there be per one single doug rodriguez? that is perhaps a whole other thread, to which, again, one could post for hours and dissect from myriad angles.
  11. my boyfriend, Jared, and i will be going to St. Martin/St. Maarten for a week, at the beginning of next month. we will be staying on the Dutch side but will visit the French side as well, especially where food is concerned. this will be my second trip to the island (last year, we went around the same time of year). we stay in a time share where we have a full kitchen, which i would like to utilize for more than making coffee and warming up leftovers this time. that means that while i love eating out, i would also like to take full advantage of what the local markets have to offer (eurobutter, coffee, jams, breads, cheese, charcuterie, coffee, poultry, seafood, etc.). for this post, i'm listing the places that i've visited already, as well as names of markets and eateries that i've collected over the past year. i know we won't be hitting all of them, but i'd like to choose from them based on egulleters' recent experiences. i appreciate all your comments. l'épicerie de marie (market/restaurant, marigot): i plan on bringing a batch of frozen gumbo to which i'd like to add local seafood. by email, this épicerie has told me that they are unique for having seafood flown in from france every wednesday, while their website says they serve fresh oysters every thursday. has anyone tried it? supermarché dupont and march (marigot): recommended by bourdain in an article he wrote for the new york times a couple of years ago. any comments? pineapple pete's (simpson bay): it's all about the lobster thermidor here. cheesy 1960's "fancy" restaurant dish though it may be, they do it well here. we plan to eat here again, and i will forego all wine pairing rules by having it with a mudslide, as i did last time. then for another night, when we do it as take away, i've already purchased the bottles of chidaine sparkling montlouis and clos baudoin vouvray that we'll have with it. has anyone been to the crêperie that's in the same shopping complex? talk of the town (grand case): we went here last year. i followed the advice i'd read somewhere (was it bourdain?) to eat christophene whenever it appeared any st. martin menu. this was great advice. the crab-stuffed christophene still haunts me. poulet d'orléans (btwn grand case and orleans): highly recommended by bourdain and the perlows. any recent reports? wajang doll (simpson bay): i've heard/read a lot about this indonesian spot. is it good, or is it a tourist trap? hilma's windsor castle (simpson bay?): last year, although armed with bourdain's new york times article, where i first read about this spot, i never made it to hilma's. definitely want to check it out this time. still worth it? must-have dishes (bourdain recommends salt-fish sandwich and pigtail soup)? la main à la pâte (marigot): mentioned in many guides as a great spot for seafood salads, and i think the perlows mentioned in another thread that they really liked it. pâtisserie le colibri (marigot): looks like a good pâtisserie and/or lunch spot. sol é luna (grand case): we had dinner here last year. very friendly staff and very good French and Italian menu in a pretty, treehouse-like setting outside. enjoyed this very much and might go back, but am also interested in other places on the french side, especially those with a view of the water/marina. some places i'm curious about are: l'alabama (grand case): a couple of mentions here. le cottage (grand case): ditto. anything not listed here that is not to be missed? also, any bar recommendations would be greatly appreciated. i am always bad about that side of things. thanks!
  12. thanks! it's a pleasure enjoying other people's meals vicariously and thinking about what wines to put with them. i love getting everyone's take on it, too. daniel, this meal sounds fab, and you can take it many ways with the wines, from playing around with pinot noirs, which are so food friendly, to highlighting the sweet aspects of some of the dishes with wines from alsace and the loire valley, and germany, too. i think the key here is going to be keeping the wines lively and acidic enough to stand up to the sweet and fatty components of this lovely fall meal. um, we'll talk about you saving me a plate later.
  13. the aftertaste was probably cynarin, a chemical compound found in artichokes. you might simply not like it, but if you try having your artichokes with a high acid sauvignon blanc, like one from new zealand, the wine can temper the cynarin while complementing the mild, smoky flavor of the choke's flesh.
  14. Florence Fabricant recently wrote up a cooking calvados, called Reserve du Chef, that you might want to toss into the apple cider granite.
  15. pinon vouvray pétillant OR albert mann gewurtztraminer or crémant d'alsace. francois chidaine montlouis sur loire or clos baudoin vouvray (available at moore brothers), château de chamboureau savennières cuvée d'avant, or château de la roulerie anjou blanc -- basically a good, rich chenin blanc. high acidity cabernet sauvignon (i'll let someone else weigh in here; this is not a strong area for me, but maybe an old bottle of grange des pères would work). assuming the sweet potatoes won't be too sweet, edmunds st. john zinfandel peay vineyard '01 (good, restrained, balanced zinfandel). big cornas or big grenache-heavy chateauneuf du pape, e.g., galet des papes. my preference is to not do dessert wine with dessert, so i'd say coffee, and then maybe some monbazillac. if you'd like to go a bit off the path after dessert, i'd recommend some eric bordelet poiré "granit", which will be nicely cleansing after quite a rich meal. ok, can you tell i'm a francophile? a lot of these suggestions are likely to be available at some of my favorite manhattan wine shops: chambers street wines, moore brothers, and nancy's wines for food, where you'll also be able to have enthusiastic staff help you with your pairings. this is my first wine post. hope the suggestions are helpful. bon appétit! beth
  16. i've got some ideas. budget? save me a plate?
  17. i think this is a good, working definintion. i also think it's a beautiful thing when you have an affordable destination place right in your neighborhood. to "one and only" i would also add "best", be it best example of a style of cooking, or maybe even just one dish done particularly well that might drive you to a place, even if there is similar cuisine at a similar price, in your hood.
  18. i think the categories can definitely overlap. and a neighborhood place can morph into a destination place by word of mouth or a favorable review (might fatty crab be an example of that?), much to the dismay of the neighborhood regulars. and then there are places designed to have a neighborhood feel but with a desire to be destination place all along (might spotted pig be an example of that?). then there are some places that start out as neighborhood or destination places and pretty much stay that way (la giara (a great murray hill italian spot) and babbo, respectively, come to mind).
  19. did the crumble finally. i used ina garten's recipe (from Barefoot in Paris) for a plum raspberry crumble, but using nectarines and blackberries instead, as in rebecca charles' blackberry nectarine crisp (an adaptation printed in the New York Times), which was my original inspiration, but which was rumored on the internet not to work so well. i used the fork method, with all ingredients except the oats, then switched to a knife, because my fork started wimping out. then added the oats, ending by just gently using my fingers to blend, being careful not to over work. i used individual ramekins to bake the crumbles rather than a single pan. they came out wonderfully, brightened with vanilla ice cream. they could have had a bit more of that fluffy quality - all in all i gave myself a B+ - but plates were cleaned, and i no longer have crumble fear. i figure, conquer a couple more of these, then on to bona fide pie crusts. wish i had pics for you, but it's hard enough for me to do the links. thanks for all your advice! beth
  20. i think most people who've been to havre aux glaces/jean talon market would agree that you should win this one by any means necessary. maybe just try to go when it's not crowded (can any locals chime in on whether/when jtm has a time when it's not crowded?). i think that the pecan caramels from les chocolats de chloe are really special. most chocolatiers are so focused on making fancy truffles that they might not think of making something so simple but so good. and, i think they'd be a great treat to take on the plane with you en route to your next destination.
  21. this is all great advice -- thanks! you have not scared me away, but, rather, provided me with very thorough instructions that make me feel confident about getting started not only with the crisp but also with the pie. i know that with the pie crust, it'll probably take me a few tries, but now i'm willing to at least get started. thanks to all. beth
  22. annapin, thanks for the report! so glad you had a great time and loved joe beef. sole meunière, steak diane, creamed corn, chocolate mousse? sounds like david mcmillan and crew are on some type of old school kick and doing it very well. i can only hope for his interpretation of lobster thermidor when i go back! looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.
  23. meg, it sounds as if you have the best of both worlds, basically: the opportunity to buy the freshest seasonal foods daily, without being distracted by too much choice; and the option of giving in to non-seasonal fancies when they hit you. the starbucks and convenience markets are there, but you can just act like they're not, until you need to go to them. (and, of course, you will never need to go to the starbucks ). for that, i very much envy you.
  24. jgm and steve, thanks for your thorough replies! sounds like starting with the crisp, using one fork, is the way to dip my foot in. then on to bona fide crust. i don't have a pastry blender, but that's certainly a smaller investment than a food processor, and i'm willing to give it a try. i had a feeling that the mini prep had its limits. i'll let you know how things turn out. beth
  25. i want to conquer my fear of baking pies and tarts (fear of making a crust, basically) by starting simple, with a fruit crisp. but all i have is a cuisinart mini prep, not a real food processor. even my crisp recipe asks you to pulse the crisp-topping ingredients in a food processor. i've used my mini prep for many recipes that call for using a food processor, working in batches if i couldn't get everything in all at once, but i've never attempted pie crust, because i thought that was probably crossing the line. can i use my mini prep to pulse a pie crust or crisp topping (flour, oats, sugar, butter) or must i use a real food processor? and that old-fashioned, two-fork thing really scares me. thoughts, hints, anyone?
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