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Everything posted by orangeman747

  1. Dorm Room Dinner http://dormroomdinner.blogspot.com/
  2. Hi Everyone! Just thought I'd share that I have a food blog that I'm keeping while I study abroad in Bologna, Italy for the semester. Updated daily with everything that I eat and/or cook while I'm here. Would love for anyone to check it out: http://mangiaquestobologna.blogspot.com/ Thanks! Will Here's a sample: tagliatelle bolognese, and arancini with formaggio e spinaci:
  3. Hello Everyone! I recently got back from an amazing trip to Spain (I was in Barcelona, Girona and the Costa Brava). It was a food-based trip, and the four of us had some fantastic, very memorable meals. Here is a link to the photos: http://gallery.mac.com/walevitt/100160 Because no descriptions are on the webpage that the pictures are on, I will put the descriptions below in the order in which they appear. NOTE: THERE ARE TWO PAGES OF PICTURES. THE BUTTON TO MOVE TO THE SECOND PAGE IS ABOVE THE PICTURES. If you have any additional questions on places we visited or recommendations, don't hesitate to ask. Hope you enjoy! -Will DESCRIPTIONS: Pinotxo Bar, La Boqueria (Market), Barcelona Lunch An absolutely amazing tapas bar located in the covered (though still outdoor) central market. The food, mostly seafood, is bought daily at the market and is simply delicious. There is no menu, so arrive early for the best selection (this time we came late and only a little left, but we went again later on). -Scampi and Crayfish (better pictures later on) Cerveseria Catalana, Barcelona Dinner A lively, fun, somewhat touristy tapas bar/restaurant near our hotel. Good, though not amazing food -the big selection was nice. -Iberico flauto (the sandwiches) -Fried artichoke -Mushrooms -Shrimp on toast with mayonnaise -Potato and ham croquettes -Fried Squid -Peppers stuffed with salt cod, topped with roasted pepper sauce and cheese At La Boqueria (the market), Barcelona Lunch This was a small restaurant (whose name I do not recall), that borders La Boqueria. A bunch of small restaurants like this border the market. The food was overall quite good. -green olives -Jambon ham -fried squid (delicious!) -mixed vegetables -patatas bravas -octopus with paprika Can Fabes, Santi Santamaria, Spain Dinner This is a 3 Michelin star restaurant located about half an hour outside of Barcelona. We were lucky to have some friends in Barcelona who took us here, and the food was spectacular. You feel like you really know why a restaurant like this gets 3 stars. From the second we walked in to their inviting restaurant we felt very welcomed and it was clear that we were in the hands of professionals who were going to make it an amazing experience(half the seating is located in the old house and half in their new, modern section - same menu. We sat in the new section as the old one was being repainted). A beautiful restaurant, with one of the nicest kitchens I have ever seen for a restaurant. Their was also an amazing wine cellar. Each course flowed beautifully from one to the next, and every aspect of the evening. I will elaborate on the each course below. -A selection of appetizers (from front to back): oyster, cod tart with cod skin (individually pictured), foie gras with fig (individually pictured), bread puff (like pita) with mousse, pork wrapped in filo dough, escargot. The foie gras was probably the best I've ever had. Sublime with just the right amount of sweetness from the fig, and coated in some breadcrumb-like-substance to give it a little texture. Delicious! -Breadsticks and bread (the bread changed every course and all was just delicious!) -Beans in a seaweed gelee with cuttlefish and seaweed The flavors were very bright - just the right was to start a meal. Every flavor spoke on its own but it was a harmonious dish. -Razor clams, bone marrow and white asparagus. Everything was delicious. I thought the marrow might overpower it but it gave it just the right level of fat. White asparagus was great and the razor clams were perfectly cooked, not chewy like usual. -a play on a traditional Catalan (the region of Spain) dish, though I cannot remember the name. It was shrimp (again, probably the best cooked shrimp I have every had - I never knew shrimp could taste this good - and I've had good tasting shrimp!) with bread crumbs and a spiced oil. The shrimp is resting on poached quail eggs. -Potato gnocchi with freshly picked morel mushrooms. This dish was AMAZING! The morels were incredibly delicious and fresh, and their savory flavor perfectly complemented the gnocchi which were creamy in the center and crispy on the outside. A wonderful dish (technically an "extra" course, complements of the chef - but whose counting)? -A fish (they weren't totally sure how to translate it but I believe maybe sea bream) over fresh peas and oysters. Served with a ginger dashi broth on the side and fried fish bone. Simple and quite good. -A round of pork with foie topped with asparagus, with leeks. A good dish, though slightly lacking in flavor and not my favorite. -Duck with roasted garlic. This is one of their signature dishes. The piece of duck on the far left has its skin on and the feathers are tediously picked one by one to keep the skin whole and the fat intact. Overall, the duck was good, but again, not the best dish. -A selection of Spanish cheeses. Delicious! -A crepe-like-pastry (more spongy, in a good way, from what I remember) wrapped around a fruit jam with blood orange sorbet. This was great! I really enjoyed the lightness of the crepe and the sorbet was so, so, so good! -A selection of petits fours. -Cream and caramel -Strawberries wrapped around a very thick cream (almost like custard, but not quite) with sugar (sticking out of the top) and ice cream). Quimet y Quimet, Barcelona Lunch Found this from an article that Mark Bittman wrote. The food here was absolutely fantastic and this was the best tapas we had in Spain (besides maybe Pinotxo). Its a tiny room with only a counter and a few standing tables (everyone else was clearly a local). Basically you point to a main ingredient and they improvise tapas for you from their selection of prepared ingredients. Its a little out of the main part of Barcelona, but quite a find! The staff was very friendly as well. They seemed to put this balsamic glaze on most of their tapas, which was really delicious (we ending up buying a bottle). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! -Smoked Salmon on toast with creme fraiche (or something like that) and balsamic (our favorite one!) -Pate on toast with marinated celery and balsamic -mussels and tomato puree on toast with balsamic and caviar -White fish (raw) and tomato puree on toast with olive tapenade -scampi -squid (stuffed with its tentacles) and some vegetables/spices on toast with balsamic. -olives -canned white asparagus (very high qualitY) and artichoke hearts -plate of beans, tomato, garlic and marinated Greek peppers -White anchovies on toast with tomato and some gremolata with and olive -platter of bread -Shrimp, creme fraiche and roasted red pepper on toast with caviar. Plate of eggplant, sundried tomatoes, greek peppers, onions, olives, and canned tuna (again, very high qualitY). -selection of cheeses with white wine gelatin -pears in liquor with chocolate -pineapple with chocolate Via Veneto, Barcelona Dinner Highly disappointing. Way overpriced for mostly French food. The atmosphere is stuffy (and full of smokers, by the way). We did not enjoy this at all, and I would not recommend it. We were looking for somewhere to experience an old Barcelona institution, but this was just an unfortunate experience. (note: following the salad, the dishes are not courses but rather separate entrees that the four of us each ordered) -cured meat -pureed tomato with anchovy -cheese sticks -cheese puffs (these were great) -Jambon (though this was ridiculously expensive, it was the best ham we had the whole trip). -rolls -cream with a chip with avocado on top (just plain bad) -salad -potato and salt cod with a red sauce -poached eggs with a chip -fish with peas and artichoke -morels -cheese -soufflee (very good) -an ice cream and chocolate dessert -petit fours Cafe Viena, La Rambla, Barcelona Midnight snack This was Mark Bittman's recommendation that he said had the "best sandwich in the world." The sign photographed is his review of it (obviously they are very proud of their endorsement by a New York Times food writer). It's called the flauta d’ibéric d.o. jabugo, and while it was quite good, I'm not sure its the best in the world. Pinotxo Bar, La Boqueria (Market), Barcelona Lunch So good me and one other person had to go back! Went earlier this time. -Garbanzo beans (one of their famous dishes) -Scampi (sucking the juice from the heads is delicious!) -Small clams -Lobster El Cellar can Roca Dinner A two star Michelin restaurant, El Cellar can Roca came out with some amazing dishes, though we all agreed Can Fabes was a better experience overall. They do some play with the molecular gastronomy stuff (which sometimes worked, other times not at all). The setting of the restaurant is AMAZING! A beautiful yard in front (pictured) and another courtyard glassed in in the middle of the dining room. Very modern and just a gorgeous restaurant. While not a major issue service was iffy. A major problem was that a lot of the food lacked flavor (it seemed like the concept and creativity of the dish often meant that flavor was overlooked - a major no-no in my mind). Run by three brothers. Pictures of the kitchen and the chefs office (located right in the kitchen) are pictured at the end. -Starters of lavender bread sticks and zucchini with their flowers stuffed with a jam and orange salt (lacking in flavor, though a very cool dish conceptually), as well as cod chips. -fresh peas with mint (AMAZING in flavor) -cup of fennel veloute with sea water served with a pigeon bombon with bristol cream -bread -Foie gras with apple VERY DELICIOUS! It was savory but almost a dessert at the same time. Sublime and just fantastic. I could not get enough. -White asparagus with mandarine -Oysters with Agusti Torello cava, apple compote, ginger, pineapple, lemon confit and spices. The cava was poured directly on at the table but was slightly gelatinized to parallel the texture of the oysters. A really great and complex dish that worked well - perhaps the best of the savory courses. -Morels in sheeps milk Very good though a little boring. -Green Olives Paramentier with Tuna Foam This was a very cool dish - the green olive paramentier was almost like a giant egg yolk, that broke with poked and the olive liquid oozed out. The foam was around the ball. A fantastic dish conceptually, but overall lacking in flavor. -Lobster with black trumpet mushrooms (not on the tasting menu, had by one of us that didn't want the full menu). This was OK, but we all thought WAY too heavy for spring. Not great - not something I would expect from a two star restaurant. -Charcoal grilled aubergine souffle with dardines and vinegar caviar served in a dome of smoke. Very cool when the glass was lifted and we smelt the smoke. The Rest was fine, but not amazing. Texture of the souffle was more like a thick foam, and didn't go great with the sardines. -Amareto steamed Gamba (crayfish) with sweet almonds Amazing presentation but was slightly lacking in flavor, again... -Iberian suclking pig with pears, tarragon grapefruit and fioide glaciale (not pictured). Perfectly cooked and (finally) full of flavor. Everything worked great, very tasty pig skin as well. -Goose terrine with artichoke Fine but unnecessary after the suckling pig -Adaptation of Calvin Kline's pefume "Eternity" One of the most creative, tasty dishes I have ever had the pleasure of eating. The flavor components of the dish recreated the scent of the "Eternity" perfume from Calvin Kline. They even gave let us smell some of the actual perfume - and the dish literally smelled identical. It included a slushy fruit thing, some ice cream, and many different berries, herbs and flowers. Truly amazing, it was so much fun to eat. As you at something (say some of the flowers) you could tell that the scent was starting to disappear, and it was amazing to see how the dish started to loose its smell as ingredients were eaten. Fun to eat as well! -Chocolate souffle-coulant with ginger ice cream (not part of the tasting menu, had by one us that ordered a la carte). Did not try so I cannot say how it was. Lactic dessert -Three types of dairy (a cotton candy thing, a cream thing, and then another ice cream thing below that) with a piece of some frozen berry candy. A really fun, inventive dish to eat (again, flavor not totally there, but with this dish not reallt an issue). -Petits Fours All very good, especially the sugar coated raspberry Small Restaurant, Cadaques, Costa Brava, Spain Lunch Small restaurant by the shore. Ok but not great - a little disappointing considering the fresh seafood that must have been available. -Tomatoes and mozzarella -Greek salad -Sliced ham -Potato croquettes -fried artichoke -cod fritters -octopus (mushy) -fried squid (horrible!) -grilled cuttlefish (better) Casa Marieta, Girona, Spain Dinner A local restaurant serving fairly traditional Catalan cuisine. Overall the food was pretty good and the server was very friendly. -Bread crackers with butter -White asparagus with peppers -Mixed Salad -Paella (while I don't think this was the most traditional paella ever, as it was more like risotto and had none of crispy rice on the bottom, it was pretty good). -Sole with vegetables Blanco Restaurant, Girona Dinner This day we went to southern France for a day trip to the city of Narbonne (only about 1.5hrs away from Girona by car). No great food photos from France (it was Sunday and everything was closed, unfortunately), but we came back that night and decided to eat at the restaurant at our hotel- very good prices for the quality of food, which was pretty high. The food was actually quite good! -Soup (can't remember what kind) -Salad with fresh farmer's cheese and pesto dressing -Salad of strawberries and cheese -Salad with shrimp and balsamic (served with some chip in mayo) -Chicken curry on noodles -Cod with stewed sweet tomatoes and creamed potato sauce (very good!) -Mushroom risotto -Strawberry ice cream -Fruit with chocolate fondue -pineapple "carpaccio" with coconut ice cream -chocolate cake Lizarran Restaurant, Barcelona Lunch Went back to Barcelona on the last day. Went to this fun restaurant for lunch where there is a big tapas bar where you just pick up which tapas you want from the bar (like a buffet kind of), and each on has a toothpick in it. You save all your toothpicks and they charge you at the end of the meal based on how many toothpicks you have. Also have a full menu. Service was fantastic - very friendly. They are soon opening one up in San Diego. -selection of tapas from bar including Spanish omelet wrapped in ham, sausage on bread, stuffed red pepper, smoked salmon with vegetables, and octopus with paprika. -other tapas Cal Pep Restaurant, Barcelona Dinner Our final dinner at this classic Barcelona tapas spot. We were lucky enough to snatch a reservation that day, but usually it is much more difficult. Basically they just keep bringing you tapas, no ordering or menu (though you can order if you want, for example we requested the artichokes at the end). Good service and delicious tapas! Some of the best fried seafood I've ever had! -roll -smoked salmon on toast with apple -tuna tartare served with toast -fried green peppers -tuna tartare on toast -fried tiny fish with fried egg -Iberian ham -"pan con tomate" (bread with tomato) -spanish omelet of potato, onion and ham with mayonnaise on top. -large clams -baby clams (sweet and delicious!) -fried squid (perfectly fried) -scampi -fried artichoke -strawberries with whipped cream and custard with whipped cream
  4. docsconz - thanks for the fast reply, Rafa's sounds wonderful (do you know if this is the place they visited in Anthony Bourdain's Decoding Ferran Adria?). Also, do you know if walk-ins are even possible?
  5. I am going to Girona, Spain in a few weeks, which is about an hour away from El Bulli. I had heard that El Bulli accepts some walk-ins, and was wondering if anyone else knows more about this and, if they do accept them, what the best way of going about doing that would be. Also, since we realize that the chances of actually getting a walk-in would be very slim if it does exist, does Roses make a nice day trip? Are there things to do and other fun places to eat?
  6. this was unknowably enjoyable to look at! what terrific photos... makes me long to go back and visit italy again - what a terrific country! thanks for sharing!
  7. rjwong - thanks so much for the suggestions! very helpful..... I'll let you know how it goes.
  8. rjwong-- looks like we want to spend under $100/person (hopefully more in the $60-70/person range, cheaper the better) As far a what food, we are looking for things more creative/fun (ie. not shrimp cocktail and steak)... any french, italian, new american, asian, etc... would be great. Somewhere that could serve to both adventurous and non-adventurous eaters would be great ( I was looking at DB braissere) We are staying at the MGM grand
  9. ok, so i need one or two more restaurants that are moderately price (less than $100/person... i guess that's "moderate" in vegas). Looks like Rosemary's would be a good choice... any other suggestions? Also, can someone tell me how expensive the menu and JR L'atelier is. What is the cheapest you could go for? (without wine, etc.)
  10. Hi, I am going to Las Vegas in Feb. and need some restaurant suggestions... I am there for 3 nights and there will be 4 of us... I am a very adventurous eater but some of us are not, so I need something that can please all of us. I am looking at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon and probably Bouchon too. Can anyone tell me if in Vegas these are recommended... any other restaurants to recommend (looking for the most fun, but also great food, service, atmosphere, etc... Picasso?)? (not so expensive ones that would be good for lunch would be helpful too)
  11. does anyone know about top chef season 4? I heard its filming in Chicago, but that's all I know.... any more info available?
  12. I'm not sure where this fits into your price range or location or what not, but this spring I dined at Quince, which was absolutely wonderful... formal yet almost relaxed with impeccable food and service. I had a terrific experience there and would highly recommend it (also, just awarded one Michelin star): http://www.quincerestaurant.com Also, the Zuni Cafe is always a favorite.
  13. hmmm.... funny/interesting idea. Maybe I'll just have to be sending it off to one of those shows?.... (I wouldn't mind getting some fast food chains in trouble... sounds quite fun actually......)
  14. Not completely sure, some type of gelatin-tofu like thing with an unknown sauce... we were curious at the sushi bar as to what it was, as it was quite good, but no one there spoke English so we didn't find out.
  15. We did not buy knives, but did buy some other cooking utensils (these metal spear like chop-stick things, among other things). We were tempted to buy some knives, but when we got to a good shop they were all upwards of $1000, which we weren't particularly interested in, but seeing all the knives there was cool! The purpose was a food-focused trip for pleasure. I loved pretty much every food there (see my response above). ← Sorry to hear about knives. I'm also thinking about buying a deba and a sashimi slicer. I still cannot decide whether to go for Global (> 7,000 yen) or Kaijizushi (2,000 to 3,000 yen). $1000?? You mean $100? ← Well the knife store that we were told to go to was very expensive, so most were over $1000, but there were other knife stores with much cheaper, but we just didn't get around to buying any. I have some globals and though I don't own a Global sashimi slicer I have used one before, and though I am certainly no expert on this subject I remember it being a wonderful knife.
  16. We did not buy knives, but did buy some other cooking utensils (these metal spear like chop-stick things, among other things). We were tempted to buy some knives, but when we got to a good shop they were all upwards of $1000, which we weren't particularly interested in, but seeing all the knives there was cool! The purpose was a food-focused trip for pleasure. I loved pretty much every food there (see my response above).
  17. This picture is from Kyoto, from the large street market there (I don't recall the name of the market...) I don't know if I had any favorite place because they were all so amazing! Going from the city of Tokyo full of technology and lights to Magome and Tsumago, which are rural towns in the Kiso valley that still practice many of the old ways of life, was really amazing. If I had to choose I would probably say Kyoto was my favorite, we had some incredible meals there and the temples and gardens there were amazing, but everything was amazing, so its hard to say! So many new favorite foods too! I tried o-toro for the first time at the Tsukiji fish market, which was truly unbelievable!!!!! But everything was great (I got a little tired of fish for breakfast every morning, but...). I just loved how the food is so embedded in the culture. I loved the noodles, the fish, the sushi, the okonmyaki (which I now make at home a lot), the miso, the tofu. Everything was so wonderful! (One thing i was NOT a fan of: gelatin, which we found everywhere... ew)
  18. I thought I might share my pictures, most of which are food, from Japan this summer. They are at the following link: http://gallery.mac.com/walevitt#100037&bgcolor=blackhttp://gallery.mac.com/walevitt#100037&bgcolor=black Just so you know: Page 1 of the pictures contains: sushi at a department store (Tokyo), Takashimaya Department Store (Tokyo), an okonmiyaki restaurant (Tokyo), Roppongi Anakaya Restaurant (Tokyo), San Pau Restaurant (Tokyo, but sister of the Spanish Restaurant), a cooking class we did, and the Tsukiji Fish Market, tuna action (Tokyo) Page 2 of the picture contains: A sushi bar at the Tsukiji Market (amazing!!!!!)(Tokyo), then we traveled to Takayama, a soba restaurant (Takayama), dinner at Yuzuya Ryokan (we saw Dennis Hastert there! amazing food)(Kyoto), a 300 year old tofu restaurant (Kyoto) Page 3 of the pictures contains: Okonmyaki (Kyoto), dinner at a ryokan (Magome), noodles at a restaurant (Magome), amazing dinner at a ryokan (Tsumago), dinner at a Korean BBQ restaurant (Tokyo), lunch at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant (Tokyo), lunch at a do-it-yourself (as is usual in Japan) Okonomyaki restaurant (Tokyo). These are most of my pictures from there, though because I had around 1300 of them I could not post all the food ones, but I got the best in! Hope you enjoy!
  19. I was recently in Italy... so here are a few tips. While olive oil seems to be a go to for this kind of thing, unless he can find a really high quality, unique olive oil, it is usually easier to buy some good imported olive oil here at a gourmet food shop, especially with all the "liquid on a plane thing" now. One thing I found easy to bring back is unique spices and dried goods. The quality of dried oregano, dried mushrooms, seasonings, dried hot peppers, etc... is much higher than they are here in the US and are quite tasty and easy to bring back. Also not that expensive. Cheese is also fun to bring back and I don't think there is a big customs problem with that but just make sure that it is something that will be fine if not refrigerated for a while (full wheels of cheese can be 100's of euros, so I would recommend just part of a wheel if you ask him for one) Finally, I think that Italy has some of the best jams, preserves, etc... of anywhere in the world, especially if they are bought from a local, organic farm in Italy. I would HIGHLY recommend having him get you some of them (a lot, as I was so sad once they ran out)... Hope this helps! Will
  20. I will be in Tokyo and Kyoto, the Kiso Valley and Takayama in the upcoming month. I am VERY interested in purchasing japanese knives. Any suggestions as to where I can purchase knives in Japan/ is the selection any different from what I would find in the US? Thank you all so much.
  21. that was oddly fascinating... thanks for posting it!
  22. Speck is similar to prosciutto, but it's smoked and I find it to be less salty and a bit more nutty in flavor. Yum. We've found it in at least one place in the Boston area, so you might be able to find it where you are. Unfortunately no recipe for the gnochetti, but I think the sauce was mainly tomato and ricotta, with some pork for extra flavor and maybe some cream. It would probably work with any spaetzle recipe or other fresh pasta. ← Again, thanks so much for posting this! Its so fun to read... your pasta photos look sooo delicious. I was in Florence last summer and noticed that your meal at Il Latini was almost identical to ours... they must not change their dishes much. I actually live in the Boston area, where have you found Speck here? (Formaggio?) Thanks.
  23. that sounds amazing! but at the same time one of those things that after 3 bites you would be really full.
  24. Great write-up! I'm excited to see the rest! The food looks excellent, I've never had speck, bud I'll have to get my hands on some, it sounds great (maybe I ate it in Florence or Venice this summer, but not that I remember, is it only popular in the north?) Also, any chance you have a recipe for the gnochetti?
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