Jump to content


legacy participant
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Bueno

  1. They've revamped their image and gone far more upscale in the last few years with many quality 'gourmet' offerings. prasantrin - President's Choice is a Loblaws brand.
  2. Some more recent PC products I've tasted lately that came to mind have been: Nicoise olives -- nicely jarred, and very tasty. A great alternative to the "olive bars" found in many grocery stores (I don't trust them). Buffalo Wing & Blue Cheese Chips -- my favourite by far of the 4 new "gourmet" flavours recently released. Really powerful Buffalo wing flavour, with a noticable hit of blue cheese. Good balance. A very good chip! Double Chocolate Crunch cereal -- A not-too-sweet chocolate granola-esque type cereal. Sophisticated and delicious! Serrano Style Ham -- The best of the lot! A less-refined version of prosciuttion. Sorta like prosciutto's cousin from the country. Porkier, saltier, even a bit sweeter. Heavier yeast aroma. Nothing like real jamon serrano, but for a PC product, pretty darn good!
  3. The Dulce de Leche is very tasty -- but what Dulce de Leche isn't? It's just as good as the kind you make yourself by simmering a can of sweetened condensed milk for a number of hours. Which is great, I suppose -- if you're short on time. But I do 12 cans at a time overnight and give it away as gifts. Dulce de Leche on the cheap, baby. It's tasty, though.
  4. Holy cow, what an incredible post! This may very well serve as the official foodie's guide to Chicago. Bravo!
  5. Hahah. I'm reminded of when you needed an invite in order to use Google Mail. Do you need to use air quotes in order to ensure you get relevant food to what you ordered? I'd like a steak, but NOT Porterhouse AND some "mashed potatoes", please. +Red wine sauce.
  6. Bueno

    Bin 8945

    I just mentioned that I was very enthusiastic about fine cuisine and would love to have the chef "just cook" for me. I was charged for a full tasting, and by comparing with others, it seems this is more or less typical! However, as Carolyn mentioned, the menu changes very frequently, but I've found that just letting the chef send out what tickles his fancy is that you'll end up eating extremely well. There is a lot of talent in that kitchen!
  7. You are wise beyond your years. I could not agree more!
  8. I'm secure enough in my masculinity to say that you've clearly made someone a lucky woman.
  9. So Kong Dong 130 Main St. Fort Lee (201) 585-1122 Recommended: soft tofu fish seafood stew, bbq beef. Can't miss that if you're planning a Jersey food tour. (Korean) Stuff Yer Face 49 Easton Ave New Brunswick 732-247-1727 Recommended: Stramboli and one of 72 craft beers available. This is the place Batali worked at through college. And how can you miss the chance for a boli and a beer at a Batali restaurant without Joe Bastianich running around like a little rhinoceros?
  10. Wow, John! That post was enough to get me to Jersey -- and I live in Ontario!
  11. Great point! With the availability of recipes online these days (either through the magazine website itself, or BLOGS, TV Networks, author's websites, forums like eG, etc..) it almost makes print media pointless. The articles are really becoming the only draw, in addition to the tactile appeal (which I'll admit, is a huge part of why I still subscribe -- to have things to put on my tables) and possibly the transportation ease.
  12. I think the point is to help out the Girl Guides / Girl Scouts. Your bag of Double-Stuffed Oreos doesn't exactly contribute to a little girl going to camp. Like when you pay for a poppy.... I'm pretty sure I could find a prettier fake plant for my money. It's the cause in this case that helps justify the means.
  13. If they've got more than say, 3, articles or recipes that I find especially well-written and interesting or that I plan to make in the near future, it'll become my newest coffee table addition. Otherwise, I give them away to friends and family and let them worry about disposal. Even still, I've amassed about a hundred, and given away at least .. 3 hundred or so, over the years.
  14. I personally enjoy Food & Wine best, because I have a strong interest in wine as well as tasty edibles. If I didn't, I'd suggest Bon Appetit. Gourmet last (of the major publications). Fine Cooking would follow, with Saveur last (good writing -- too expensive for the like, 4 pages of content that come in each miniscule issue, what's it printed on, white truffle paper?)
  15. Bueno

    Bin 8945

    Thank you Alex! I believe I was once told it was decided to be that way on purpose so that to not take away from the focus of the food and wine with the extra frills that once might associate with a "fine" meal (like strange utensils, bizarre plates, wine glasses that don't look like wine glasses, and things that squirt air/gas/liquid in or at you). I'm not 100% certain on that, though. Cheers!
  16. So what happened with the durian, Jamie Lee? You've been promoting it's opening for weeks.
  17. Thanks Bueno! Yes, it was a spectacular dish, one of our favorites of the day. Is that a cipollini or a pearl onion? ← 'Tis a pearl onion -- or at least, it should be. Though I'll admit, from the photo it's very hard to determine. I'm having a hard time myself. But I do ultimately believe it's a pearl onion. I've noticed that Thomas tends to stay away from Italian ingredients (or at least their proper names) on his menus. I think it's in lieu of keeping it all French/New-American sounding.
  18. Lai Wah Heen. But Steve, because you've eaten around Toronto once (correct?) does not make you an expert on what the city has to offer. I've eaten Chinese in NYC twice now, and there is no way I would consider myself in a position to make any determinations as to where it sits on the grand scale of cities in North America. I'm confused as to how you feel bold enough to do that? Genuinely -- I'm not being difficult for the sake of it. I get the sense that it's more a matter of hometown pride than anything that is fueling your comments regarding NYC. I'm certain you’re an expert when it comes to that style of cuisine in your own city, but I don't think you qualify as such in the cities you're using in your comparisons. Fair shakes all around, right? As I mentioned, I can only base my view on hearsay, and I've heard MANY well-traveled and very experienced foodies place Vancouver at the top of the list in terms of variety and quality of Chinese food in North America, with Toronto and NYC being to close to call in third place just behind LA. I've heard those same people put dim sum in Toronto at the top of their list. And easily.
  19. Bueno

    Bin 8945

    Following in Carolyn's very capable footsteps, I finally got around to tuning my chicken scratch notes in to something that resembles a review of my meal at Bin 8945. This place, having only been open not a year, is impressing. There have been some hiccups with a chef change already, and a few over-composed dishes, but generally speaking, the restaurant has set itself up to be noticed. And people are noticing - including me. Recent mentions in Gourmet magazine, and a continuous flow of some of the nations best guest chefs (Chef Ludovic Lefebvre, Chef Michel Richard, etc.) cooking in the kitchen combine with Executive Chef Mike Bryant's food and David Haskell's service program have pushed Bin into the Hollywood lights, and it's shining. So let's get on with it... Amuse - Egg Sushi. Actually the “egg yolk” was an orange gastrique atop cream cheese and encircled with rice. Very playful and a great way to kick things off. Lobster Ceviche, Avocado, Salt-Block I really like the very subtle saltiness that using a salt block adds to a dish. It's similar to a light sprinkling of fleur de sel to finish a dish, but it's at the base of the palate as opposed to the top. Believe me, it makes a difference. I generally am a fan of these preparations, and this was no exception. The ceviche was concise, and not muddled at all -- as ceviches can often be. Nicely refined. Blue Corn Tacos, Red Snapper Ceviche, House-made Guacamole, Cumin Crema This dish was a bit sloppy for me. Plus, another ceviche? The home-made guac was phenomenal, though. I could've eaten a huge bowl of that with some fresh tortilla chips all night long. I wonder if they do takeout for the NBA season? Potato-Cased Diver Scallop, Creme Fraiche, Soft-Poached Egg, American caviar ... and the glamour shot: Favourite dish of the evening, and something I think that could become a signature of theres. The egg was cooked perfectly and stood up nicely to the texture of the potato tube (which by the way must be quite labour-intensive). It's fun, and delicious. Being amusing or whimsical is a common theme that runs throughout Chef Bryant's cuisine, and it really makes for an exciting experience. The pop of the caviar capped off the excitement. Also nice to see they are using American caviar and paying mind to the extinction issues surrounding fishy eggs from overseas. Pacific Striped Sea Bass, Chervil Tapenade, Potato Gnocchi, Creamed Corn The creamed corn functioned as the sauce for the dish, and I'm not certain that was the best way to take this. The bass was cooked to perfection and the chervil tapenade should be jarred and sold throughout the nation, but the gnocchi were a bit cloying and the "sauce" highlighted that. I think the gnocchi element should be rethought, and the sauce maybe a sweet corn beurre blanc instead. Caramelized Plaintain, Seared Foie Gras, House-made Duck Proscuitto Holy shit. This was some amazing foie. And that prosciutto! Are we sure this chef isn't Italian? That is some delicious salumi. Duck prosciutto has since become something I'm trying to find at every opportunity I can. It's just not something I'd eaten before and it blew me away. A+ dish. Molasses Glazed Monkfish, Celeriac Puree, Pickled Fennel, Arugula Oil Very tasty indeed. It reminds me of Nobu's miso cod in many respects. The sweetness against that buttery monkfish flesch is awesome. I also really enjoyed the brightness of the pickled fennel. And that arugula oil is really focused! It really perks everything up and adds excitement (there we go again!). Sliced Duck Breast, Duck Rillette, Fava Beans, Prune Gastrique This dish suffered from being a bit too meaty and rich. It needed some brightness both in terms of flavour, and on the plate. It looks sorta like a rainy day on a plate. And unfortunately, it tasted somewhat similar. I'd really like to see the prune gastrique switched for something more Asian in concept. Possibly ponzu. Maybe a shiso element. I'm not sure, but I think it has potential. Beef Filet, English Peas, Applewood-smoked Bacon, Duck Fat Onion Ring A duck fat onion ring? How on earth could that be anything but delicious? It couldn't. That'd send the world into some form of warped reality where things like Taco Bell send gourmands swooning, and things like chunks of toros have us turning up our noses. It just wouldn't be a world I'd want to be a part of. Thankfully, things aren't like that. Anyway... the filet was of great quality and who doesn't love bacon? This was entirely a guilt-laden finally and I loved every single second. I'll have a second helping of the guilt, please! A palate cleanser of Yuzu granitee finished us off. At this point we were supposed to start a few desert courses, cheese, mignardise, etc... OY! We were far too stuffed to carry on for the rest of this carpet ride, though. Phew! Needless to say, we ate often and we ate well. Like any restaurant, Bin 8945 has its ups and downs. Thankfully, the majority are ups. Way-ups! [That's where the party is! ... sorry] The chef is driven as hell, but sometimes loses his focus and over complicates things. Simplicity is sometimes best, Hollywood grasshoppa. I think this will surely come with time. There certainly isn't a lack of talent in that kitchen. Service was absolutely spot-on. Flawless, I feel comfortable saying. David truly knows his wines. And that cellar! MY GOD! That is a WORLD CLASS wine cellar. For a 20 seat restaurant, it is utterly ridiculous (but in a very good way). And it's like David has spent time swimming in each and every bottle. Not literally, because that'd be gross and he'd have some serious issues with the health department, but figuratively of course. He's a true schmooze, yet a consummate professional. A truly joyful service. This meal wasn't cheap. However, it was completely NOT unreasonable. I've paid a lot more for far inferior meals. And in terms of the quality and quantity of cuisine I was served, I consider it to be a good value. In fact, a better value than most fine dining experience these days. I will not hesitate to return to Bin 8945 when I'm back in LA next time. And I plan to tell everyone that'll listen that they should also check out one of Hollywood's newest and brightest stars. Mui Bueno! A-
  20. Arzak: is VERY consistent. Elena is a doll, and runs her kitchen like a Swiss clock. I've actually only eaten lunch there (3 times). Each was a stellar experience. I can't imagine eating there for dinner to tell you the truth. Like Jean Georges in NYC, the room is particularly gorgeous during lunch service I'm told. azlee: there have only been two. One was about a year ago; the other was this past April (early -- just after it got it's 3rd star). I didn't take notes, but if you have any specific questions, I can do my best to answer them. Stand-outs include his signature (of course) foie/mushroom napoleon with lemon curd. Though, it was FAR better the second time than the first. I get the impression it was being retooled somewhat the first time I ate it. The second time was pure bliss. An enormously surprising dish of fromage blanc whipped potatoes with lemon ice cream, pepper sorbet, the brioche remains the best I've had anywhere, every single mushroom dish I've been served (especially morels), turbot with curry. In general, it is my view that L'Astrance takes risks, but far more often than not, comes out on top. It's exciting as hell when you know the "experimental" stuff will be successful and not leaving you wondering "what the hell did I just eat?” I'm of the opinion that Jose Andres in America has the same touch. I'm also of the opinion (though I respect the man with every ounce of being I have) that Grant Achatz is too often devoid of that touch. L'Astrance shines with mushrooms, truffles, and seafood. Not so much with meat. The soups are always incredible, and the deserts are extremely playful, surprising, and glorious. And that foie/mushroom napoleon is one of (if not THE) best dish I've ever had. And FWIW, my European 3-star tally includes: Astrance, Gagnaire, Bras, Arzak, Arpege, Mugaritz, L'Ambroisie, Berasategui, Fat Duck, Calandre and Oud Sluis. Next year's trip is to include revisits to: Arpege, Astrance, and Arzak. As well as Can Fabes and Akelare in Spain and/or possibly Meurice back in France. My goal is to visit them all before I die. I shall not ever be returning to Gagnaire, and Mugaritz was fine, but didn't warrant a return visit. L'Ambroisie is up in the air for me. A few really shining moments, a few horrid catastrophes. And I have no desire to eat at el Bulli. My eating in Europe depends largely on the financial success of the year. So, my schedule firms up once I get a clearer picture just how far I can follow my obsession. Cheers!
  21. L'Astrance without question. I can't stress that enough. Bras comes in a VERY close second. If not familiar, I'd suggest checking out Chuck Eats -- I know Charles personally, and I'd trust his palate above nearly anyone.
  22. You're lucky Ludo is no longer at Bastide or you'd be screwed!
  23. Bueno

    Buffalo Flavoring

    Using butter and Frank's Xtra-Hot sauce results in a familiar Buffalo sauce with a nice punch. It's how I roll, and everyone seems to think I'm a genius.
  24. He has toned down his arrogance a fair bit as of late, but certainly could have been considered an ego-maniac at many stages in his career. I imagine, that with these recent developments in his business life, that he's cooked himself up a nice plate of British Columbia Wild-Caught Humble Ravioli with Tobiko Beurre Blanc. I've met him 4 times. The last being just a month or so ago, and he seemed noticably less pompous and a lot more gracious and generous with his time. Prior to that, was just after he won Iron Chef and was in Toronto doing a function with Mark McEwan. At this point, he was disgusting to be around. Mark was embarassed. Regardless of which mask he wears, he's human; with a family he needs to look after and a human heart. I feel bad for him, but I think you'll see him in his own kitchen again quite soon. With less ego on the menu and a renewed focus.
  25. The components of the dish you haven't figured out yet are spinach, salsify and sauce bordelaise. Corey switches between a bordelaise and a perigordine sauce for that dish, and the veg changes frequently according to freshness. Killer though, right?
  • Create New...