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Everything posted by Nishla

  1. I'd love to see a TV shoot...do you know when/where all the Boston locations will be?
  2. Great report and photos...Clio is without question my favorite restaurant in Boston, so I'm happy you enjoyed it too! We've gone for the tasting menu 4 times--each time it's almost entirely different, and we've never had a bad course. I'm wondering if they keep track of what we've had in previous meals, so we don't get the same thing twice?! The last time we went, we got the egg and foie gras dishes, and they were awesome. How did you set up the wine pairings? Were they from the standard "by the glass" offerings?
  3. I'm definitely going to have to keep an eye on your posts. I think I mentioned it in the dinner thread, but I have a friend from the Netherlands who keeps bringing over huge hunks of cheese...except he's allergic to cheese! I'll have to pass along any good suggestions for his next visit
  4. There were three sets of two diners that night. My husband and I sat on one end, and we chatted a bit with the two guests next to us (brother and sister). The brother, Erik, had come out from Seattle for the meal, while I think his sister was just along for the ride. Overall, though, we ended up talking with the chefs more than our neighbors since we had so many questions about the food!
  5. Oops, my bad I guess I was too distracted by the photos and I missed that part of your post!
  6. Ling, your desserts always look so incredibly good! Do you have a recipe for the mango gelee cake?
  7. Just went to Minibar on Thursday, and it was fantastic. While many of the dishes included new (to us) flavor combinations, everything tasted good if not great. I had really high expectations, and Minibar definitely lived up to them. Michael was the chef directly in front of us, and cheerfully answered all our questions. It's incredible how much work goes into creating these meals, and very impressive that the chefs can turn out such technically challenging courses so rapidly. I took photos, but it seems that almost all our dishes were included in docsconz's report from May (and he took much better photos than I did!). One dish that I haven't seen anyone mention before was the smoked oysters and apple: The oysters and their liquid were smoked, and the smoked oyster liquid was used to create a smoke air. Under the oyster was a sort of apple puree/cream. This was really intensely flavored. Other new(?) items: Margarita with salt air Fried shrimp--tiny shrimp deep fried, served in a paper cone. This wasn't bad, but wasn't particularly interesting either. Also, the mojito was really cool. It was mojito mixed with calcium chloride, then spherized in alginate and charged in an ISI-whip for 3 hours. I mentioned that it seemed the carbonation process would break the alginate spheres, and apparently the chefs did not try this dish for a long time after thinking it up because they never thought it would work. Anyway, it does work, and this was definitely a highlight for us. Other standouts: Conch fritter--I want to try to make a version of this at home. Basically frozen chowder battered and fried. Mmmmmmmmm Ajo blanco--Docsconz described this pretty well, but there was also shaved almond on top. The chefs instructed us to eat this in layers, working our way down to the buried garlic, olive oil and vinegar Egg 63 degrees with caviar--the banana and passion fruit worked amazingly well, and the texture of the egg is perfect. Feta noodles--The tomato jam really made this dish fantastic. Philly cheese steak--the bread was like a crispy hollow pita, filled with melted cheese, topped with shaved truffles and torched American "Kobe" beef steak slices. So good. My only negative comment is that the wine pairings weren't great. Granted, it's nearly impossible to match wine to more than 30 courses, but nothing really stood out. I also would have preferred to have a slightly slower pace, but I guess that's supposed to be part of the experience. Basically, this was by far the most interesting meal we've had, and being able to watch the chefs work was a lot of fun. Michael never made us feel like we were bothering him with questions and even joked around with the diners, even though he was probably exhausted at the end of a 12+ hour day. I would definitely go back again, but probably not for at least a year, so we can have more new dishes.
  8. Went to WD-50 for the tasting menu this past Monday. Since I had read a lot of this thread prior to our dinner, I was very curious to see how our experience would compare to the differing opinions here. We also got the wine pairings with the tasting menu: Peeky toe crab, pine, chocolate, pea blossoms. Paired with a sparkling rose (Michel Freres 2003 Cremant de Bourgogne) This was actually a chocolate consomme with a dash of pine oil, a bit of crab atop a slice of pickled water chestnut. The crab and water chestnut were really good together, and the chocolate consomme and pine oil were very nice. However, all put together, this did not work AT ALL. The whole thing was bitter from the chocolate, and the flavor of the crab was fighting against it. The wine somehow managed to tie the components together a bit, but kind of a disappointing beginning. Carrot-coconut "sunny-side up" Because I already read so much about this dish, I think I missed out on being surprised by the presentation. The flavors worked for me, and I didn't detect any chemical taste some others have mentioned. The carrot had a bit of a too-raw flavor, if that makes sense. The wine (same as above) didn't do anything for this dish. Foie gras, candied olives, green peas, beet juice with Madiera "Rainwater" Justino This again is a dish others have mentioned. The green pea "soil" was interesting, although a bit greasy and salty. I really, really liked the first two bites of this, but it was way too rich with nothing to cut through the fat. Just more fat and salt from the olives. The Madiera didn't help either, being quite rich itself. I made my husband eat some of mine, but he didn't want to. Thinking about this dish makes me feel sick (and I NEVER thought I could ever say that about foie gras). Shrimp cannelloni, chorizo, thai basil with Greco Di Tufo 'Nova Serra' Mastroberadino 2003 We both really enjoyed this dish, and the wine paired very well. There was some lemon and date confit with the shrimp, and the chorizo cream was so good. Beef tongue With the typical fried mayonnaise and a tomato molasses, as well as an onion struesel and super-finely diced lettuce ribs. I liked this a lot. Again, the wine from the previous course didn't work as well with its second course. At this point, I wasn't thrilled with the wine service... Miso soup, sesame "noodles" with a Chinon (Cab. Franc) I loved the flavor of the soup and the "noodles" from a sqeeze bottle (texture was a bit rubbery, though). We were served a Chinon, which wasn't the listed pairing. I didn't notice until the next table got a different wine with their course a while later. Weird. Smoked eel, peanuts, snow peas, whipped caramel This was one of my favorite dishes. The smokiness of the eel was so good with the slight sweetness of the caramel foam and snow peas. Spring lamb, carob, honeydew, fava beans with 'YL' Yves Leccia 2004 Probably my favorite, the lamb was cooked sous-vide and went surprisingly well with the honeydew and fava beans. This dish was an eye-opener: interesting combinations of flavors, and tasted really good. I also liked the water pepper microgreens, which had a nice spicy bite. The wine (Grenache-based, I think) was a good match. Corn bread ice cream This was also really interesting, in a good way. The ice cream was served on corn bread "soil", and was a nice segue between savory dishes and dessert. Tonka bean brulee, sour cherry, marjoram with Vin Rose Paumanok 2005 I thought this was a great dessert--the brulee had a bit of nutty flavor, and the sour cherry sauce and soil had just the right amount of acidity. Soft chocolate, sesame ice cream, ancho caramel, peanut powder with Commanderia St. John NV The chocolate was great, but I didn't love the sesame ice cream...it almost tasted like someone poured toasted sesame oil on my dessert. I kept saying how weird it was, but of course I ate the whole thing! Anyway, overall I'd say it was a mixed experience. Some of the food was great, while some items just didn't work (for me). I wasn't thrilled with the wine pairings. Also, the table next to us kept getting extra pours of wine, while we didn't get what was listed on the menu for whatever reason. I feel like I've had other meals that were just as interesting with better wine service and without the flubs in the food. Overall, still a decent value, though.
  9. You are exactly right. We went to WD-50 a few days ago, and had the beet reduction version (served cool). Our waiter explained the process when we asked how it was done.
  10. I stumbled across this at the store yesterday and picked up a box. We tried all 4 tonight. First, the dark wheat ale and root beer brew: The wheat ale was quite good, but not spectacular. I thought it was pretty well balanced, with a touch of acidity. My husband really liked the root beer brew; I thought it was a bit too sweet. It definitely smells like root beer, and is quite spicy and herbal. Here's the George Washington porter and the ginger honey ale: I think the porter may be my favorite. It's dark with coffee/chocolate flavors, with a nice bitterness. The ginger honey was pretty good too...very strong ginger flavor, but not too sweet.
  11. Maybe I've never had a really good pie, but I just can't see how it beats a good, moist chocolate cake (preferably warm).
  12. I was having this problem constantly. It turns out my freezer wasn't cold enough. My cousin had the same problem, and apparently he had to turn his fridge/freezer down so much that his milk froze.
  13. Wow...that baked caprese salad looks so good...where'd you get the idea to bake it? If I can get my hands on some good basil soon, I'm definitely making it. By the way, I've been following your blog, and everything looks amazing. Keep up the good work!
  14. I love Umberto's, but the lines can be crazy! Have you tried the arancini (my personal favorite)? My friends always get the panzarotti and calzones too.
  15. I've been going to Mary's since I was a kid... Other than the Suan la Chow Show, I love the Szechuan beef noodle soup and the hot stuffed eggplant.
  16. Just a quick question...how far outside of Boston will you consider? Are the immediate suburbs of interest? Anyway, here are a few off the top of my head: Taiwan Cafe, 34 Oxford St in Chinatown. I know Chinatown isn't exactly off the beaten path, but this restaurant is definitely hole in the wall, and incredible. The hot basil eggplant is the best ever, and I'm an eggplant fiend. Also, the fried pork on rice, eel noodles, fish head hot pot, and a whole bunch of other stuff I don't know how to describe in english. Baraka Cafe 80 Pearl St Cambridge Tiny north african (Tunisian?) place, with really tasty small plates. The smoked eggplant is my favorite, and try the lemonade. Craigie Street Bistrot 5 Craigie Circle Cambridge Somewhat more upscale, they have pretty good deals on prix fixe menus after 9pm, and the food was really good. Pupusa Guanaca Centre St in Jamaica Plain I haven't personally been here, but my best friend claims they have the best pupusa ever. She's also brought me take-out of fried yucca and chicharron, which were pretty darn tasty.
  17. I used to live across the street from a portuguese bakery in cambridge. Since I had no air conditioning in my apartment, I would always have the window open in the summer. Every morning around 4am, I'd wake up to the smell of baking bread...mmmmmm. There are also some fantastic hole in the wall places in Boston's chinatown, as well as a northern african place I discovered recently in Cambridge. Let me know if you're looking for recommendations!
  18. In the Montparnasse area there are a huge number of creperies. My husband and I went to Josselin for dinner, and it was incredible (and ~8-9 euros for most dinner crepes, I think). When you walk in, the air is smoky from the frying butter...I'm drooling just thinking about it. I had one with spinach, egg and cheese, and it was quite filling. Have a great trip!
  19. Nishla

    Belgian Beer

    I was just in Belgium a few weeks ago, and I don't think we had a beer we didn't like. Favorites were: Westmalle Tripel (Double was pretty good too) Rochfort 8 Morte Subite Chimay Blue Unfortunately, we were only there for 3 days, so our tasting capacity was limited. I'm itching to go back, but in the meantime, the Whole Foods near us carries quite a good selection of belgian beers.
  20. Nishla

    Truffle Oil

    The only suggestion I can make is to avoid oils that list artificial flavors as an ingredient. This actually rules out a surprising number of them, unfortunately.
  21. My mom also used to make sandwiches, and always made sure to butter the bread so the meat doesn't all fall out. Of course, I'd always get comments from other kids that my sandwich looked gross...but so tasty.
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