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Everything posted by fendi_pilot

  1. Had dinner there in Feb. The striped bass dish was wonderful I thought, the bass has a great meaty texture that went perfectly with the cherry and ash smoke with a great accompanying sauce made from braised fennel -one of the best dishes I have eaten. Waldy may have made some changes - the anson mills grits with the short rib were sans cheese as well as the squash no longer accompanying the dish.
  2. Seems to work with my mac - are they already booked for tuesday or is it wednesday today ? i logged on at before 10am and everything was taken already.
  3. Nice. David Chang is my hero! I only wish they would take it a step further and have an a**hole screener built into the reservation interface. Although if that happened I may or may not pass....
  4. $130 with wine, I was including tax and tip. it's perfectly fair and equivalent to similar tasting menus with similar levels of ambition.... ← The only better deal is Kitchen Counter at Beacon - but that's only once a week, 6 seats and isn't quite as 'creative' although it is very delicious and at $85 per person for tasting and wine is priced very very low for nyc standards.
  5. Just curious as to reactions from today's NY Times Article ? It deals with high levels of mercury found in a lot of tuna in New York. I was a little shocked as a love tuna. I rarely know the type of tuna I am buying - yellowfin vs bluefin vs albacore. It seems that bluefin is by far the worst from the article, while just noting that yellow and albacore have "much less" mercury. The article focused on both restaurants and groceries - and I thought it nice that Fairway had the least mercury of the 20 or so samples. The one thing it didn't mention, which would have been helpful was how to tell what tuna you are getting and where the best (not the worst) places to go are (besides perhaps Fairway). I generally get my tuna from Sunrise Mart on Broome/West Broadway when doing sushi, sashimi, tartar at home.... So anyone know how to tell the others vs bluefin ? The problem might be you rarely see the fish whole, so you can't take size into account in many places and perhaps asking might be best?
  6. I just wanted to say I really like Esposito's for the record. Curious to try a Chinatown one next. And if you're curious, here's a pic of the pork belly dish I did last week: Here it is
  7. Thanks everyone. Sounds like Esposito's will be my next stop. I live in Brooklyn and don't usually go above 34th St. but you gotta do what you gotta do. I went to Jefferies today and got a pork belly there but the belly wasn't all that well butchered. I'm going to be doing really small portions of it as a small plate so it wasn't something that was crucial or that I can't fix myself at home but I don't like it when people can't do their job well. On another note, this one has the skin still attached where the ones I have gotten from Niman Ranch have had that removed. If anyone has a good method for leaving the skin on and getting it really crisp, please let me know as I will be experimenting for Thursday.
  8. I've done some searching and haven't been able to find any reccommendations for specific butchers in the Chinatown area - specifically somewhere that sells pork belly. I called a lot of the more popular butchers in New York, Lobel's, Ottomanelli, Florence, etc.. and while a lot can special order it - none have it. The Whole Foods on Bowery sometimes has it from Niman Ranch but I was there yesterday and they don't have it and don't have any shipments this week. So I am thinking Chinatown - Any reccommendations ?
  9. What is the verdict on using a light dusting of flour (other mention corn starch?) to crisp skin ? I have never tried this method but am curious about the results. Sometimes I think my crisp skin loses it's crispness that it has initially after cooking and I think the idea of not turning the fish to cook on the flesh side but finishing the top of it in the oven is appealing. Will definitely try. I feel like some fish skin (i.e. striped bass) seems to crisp much better than others, such as mahi-mahi. Am I correct in this assumption ? Also, I don't like the idea of using a pan to press down on fish either. Most fillets seem a little too delicate for me to consider that technique, I use a slotted spatula to press down on the fish and that seems to work excellent.
  10. Thanks everyone - I will check these out soon !
  11. Most of us know that stock is one of the kitchen essentials. I like meat bones because I like sauces. I've done some searches but can't find any information on where to purchase bones in New York. I know Fresh Direct sells white fish bones for stock for 99¢ a lb. Whole foods occasionally has beef bones. Lamb bones ? Veal bones ? I'm at a loss for a good source for bones here. Any help would be appreciated. I live in Brooklyn but mostly shop in Manhattan below 14th street. Is there a established go-to list or a 'where to find' ingredient spreadsheet around or any thoughts about creating one ? I think this would be very easily done and helpful for these forums - perhaps I am wrong.
  12. I had the tasting menu in November and loved it. I had been there before for both dinner and desserts and always really enjoy the food, the playfulness, creativity, and finesse of Wylie's cooking. The wine pairing was mostly very succesful ( there was one Pinot Noir I didn't care for that much) and the pours very generous. I actually shared the wine pairing with my girlfriend and we both left feeling good, not overly full or hammered but in great spirits. The atmosphere is really low key, while the staff is really knowledgable and attentive. One of the waiter's we had also worked in R & D for the kitchen, which surprised me. Also the crowd is always interesting to me as it's not people I would ever expect of being into more adventurous food. If you are on the fence about going, I would definitely go and order a la carte. For the quality and inventiveness of the food I think it is very reasonably priced. The desserts are really outstanding as well, and as someone who doesn't love overly sweet desserts, are a brilliant blend of the sweet and savory, often with some unusual elements. The pale ale ice cream dessert mentioned a few comments above was one of the best conceived desserts ever !
  13. fendi_pilot

    Dinner! 2007

    Dinner Monday December 3rd Grilled Lamb Loin Chops w/ lamb jus and mint reduction Roasted Parsnips Horseradish Mashed Fingerlings w/ scallion The sauce really good and really simple. It was the braising liquid from when i had previously made a lamb shank (carrots, onions, red wine + natural lamb juices), it was frozen so I put it in the fridge yesterday to thaw and skimmed off the fat and, with some homemade mint jelly added, all I had to do was reduce and enjoy.
  14. Here's some things I'm considering so far : Quail confit - maybe just a couple of legs per person, maybe the whole thing Fingerling yams with bourbon sauce - Wild Mushroom & Leek Soup w/ proscuitto - Stuffing - panko fried bacon cornbread w/ apple compote Also, concerning green bean cass - I like do the green bean thing but just update it - don't cook the hell out of the beans - blanche them, fry up thinly sliced onions, make a mushroom-butter type sauce and plate that sonnabitch. Hopefully people can recognize good food (and techniques) and will love it. Otherwise get them a microwave dinner and seat 'em in the corner.
  15. Anytime I'm going to an expensive restaurant, even if the food is amazing - it's really an entire experience you're paying for. If I have to wait for a reservation (especially 45 minutes) or deal with rude or snobby behavior that's really going to potentially ruin it and place me in not ideal circumstances for enjoyment (which is the whole reason you pay people to cook food for you). If I see them make an effort to remedy bad situations it goes a long way. i.e. table not ready -'sorry, here's some free drinks', depending on how hungry I am, might begin to make it ok. I remember eating in one restaurant a few years ago where I was in a chair that was continually being bumped by a waiter as he passed. The first time I ignored it but after several times I decided to stand up and confront him in front of the entire dining room - maybe not the best idea but he didn't do it again. Anyway- I would NOT have tipped the waiter 20% and probably would have been fairly upset that I was basically paying someone to piss me off. That said, I do think you should try to contact management you never know what will happen. It won't take much of your time and I think it's the diner's duty to politely make his bad experiences known and at least give them the chance..... Also why are you so reluctant to name the restaurant ? You could be saving other people from a similar fate. . .
  16. Thanks Fat Guy - I think the japanese food market looks amazing. It sounds like a fun weekend trip and I'm anxious to see what sauces, and fish and roe are available. Just ordered some Tamari from Corti Bros website (cortibros.biz) - they import some great things from Japan. For the record, I don't have a car. If I did, or knew a friend that had one ( and would actually drive me or if they would lend it to me - a huge if I'm afraid ), I would definitely shop more at Fairway. I used to go to the one in Red Hook and loved it - right down the street from LeNell's (a great liquor store with a moody owner). I think that New Yorkers aren't lazy per se but just really busy with too many options closeby and don't like to waste time.
  17. I assume you're talking about Franny's the pizza place on Flatbush near 7ave. There's a great hidden little spot right around the corner that does a 3 course prix fixe for $25 and also has an a la carte menu. I believe it's called Sorrel. It's basically more upscale bistro type fare with french and some asian influences. It's on Carlton a mostly all residental block only steps away from Flatbush Ave - and St. Marks much more quiet and relaxing. 2,3 to Bergen walk up Flatbush to St Marks and turn left. Or Q to 7 Ave - walk down flatbush and turn right on st marks. (both franny's and sorrel are on the prospect heights side of flatbush as opposed to park slope). Car Service might be your best bet Aricebo usually comes in 5 minutes - 718 783 6465. I know it's $33 to JFK not sure about LGA. Hope that helps.
  18. fendi_pilot

    Per Se

    This sounds an awful lot like an ad hominem argument to me. There is a reasonable amount of architectural and design studies writing out there to support the idea that 4 minutes is plenty of time to garner an impression from a landscape, urban exterior, interior, or otherwise. ← I have to agree with Oakapple. Obviously barring extremes, I believe that while, say visiting a amazing restaurant by going down a rabbit hole in Central Park might benefit my overall experience vs. having to acknowledge that an amazing restaurant is in an upscale mall will not increase my overall experience but that unless I'm really a whiny over-sensitive freak that hey I live in New York for christ's sake and I can deal (and have had to with far worse). Now if you had to get spankings from nude dwarves who were all wearing a mask of your mother on your way in the door, that might be a little more averse (and I'd probably only go once or twice if the food was really great the first time).
  19. Just had lunch there with a group of 4 people around 2pm. They have a more limited lunch menu ( definitely have to go back for the fois tacos! ) but I tried two ceviches - a Hamachi with yellowtail , red onion and a salsa like sauce and a Tuna with watermelon, sweet onion and radish. Both were good although the tuna had a little too much ceviche liquid, mostly watermelon and lime that was drowning the dish a bit. The cactus fries were bits of catcus covered in blue corn and fried and were salty and delicious. The sauce was a half/half of chile bbq-ish ketchup and a roasted salsa that is the same with the chips. Only got to try the Frutas guac ( at $11 dollars each I think the trio at $20 is definitely the way to go) but it was really good - very smooth and I think had a touch of olive oil. There was supposedly some thai basil in there but I couldn't detect any at all. The pomengrate seeds were nice touch and although it listed habanero I thought it was very mild, not spicy at all. ( I could have used a bit more kick actually). My companions got salads which looked basic but good, and I'm looking forward to coming back for dinner sometime.
  20. fendi_pilot

    Per Se

    Thanks everyone. I do think that I'll have to go soon. My main concern was just being distracted from the food by other outside factors (service and annoying people) but it's good to know the tables are well spaced. As for perfection, I'm not sure what it in fact even is, although we often find ourselves in pursuit of it - but I do love to be wowed by food, whether through ingenious flavors combinations of a mastery of simplicity. Keller's food mostly looks very impressive but there are so many other options in New York it's difficult to committ sometimes for me to the higher priced options. But Per Se seems too tempting not to at least go once. Also, although everyone seems to by default include alcohol into the price, I'm thinking of really not indulging in alcohol when I go. My other half isn't much of a drinker and, along with the price consideration, I want to be completely into the food. While I often enjoy drinking at restaurants with other people, it's because the occasion has become a more social one and here I think I want to not distracted by the alcohol. As much as I enjoy food and wine, I often find I enjoy them better separately. However, I haven't ever really done a tasting menu over 5 or 6 courses and over the course of a longer tasting menu I might be more tempted to have a glass or two.
  21. fendi_pilot

    Per Se

    After holding out and not having eaten at Per Se yet - My question is this : I'm just wondering if anyone has been effected negatively by other diners at Per Se. One of my biggest fears has to be laying down a large amount of cash and not enjoying myself. While I love to eat out, my love of food and fear of letdown often keeps me in my own kitchen where buying great ingredients and learning to perfect dishes is both easier on my pocketbook and lots of fun. I have a friend who works in Hedge funds and when I learned that he had been to both Per Se and Masa I was a little shocked. Naively, I think I assumed that temples of gastronomy and a-hole banker types would never marry well. Wrong, but really was I so wrong to keep those seperate ? He hated the experience but this is because he hates his co-workers. I'm currently in the middle of reading the Phoebe Damrosch book Service Included which is basically a memoir of her time at Per Se. In her recounting, she illustrates such nightmarish customer 'requests' that I can't imagine even the nicest of old grandmothers not wanting to pull a complete Marco Pierre White. Soup Nazi time - Your meal is in fact over with and you can leave, right away. (the only one I remember at the moment being - no 'cute' animals, although there were far worse) Who are these blasphemers that tie up the reservation line ? And does Thomas Keller even care (or can he afford to) ? More importantly, if I make the call, get the res, will they have any chance of effecting me ? Thanks to all.
  22. Interested in the live killing method. I always heard that cooking made it easier to remove the shell, is this not so ? I just cooked my first lobster last night. Unfortunately, it was a dude. I did not butcher it alive but followed the Keller method which basically consists of bringing salted water to a boil then putting the lobster in, cutting the heat off, and letting it rest there for 2 minutes (5 min longer for claws) then poaching it. I used a butter,mint, fennel, vanilla, orange broth that was good and served it with kiwi and fresh greens. My question though is while butchering the lobster there was a white goo that seemed to pour out of everything when I was taking off the claws and tail. It smelled really briny and frankly pretty bad. The last user mentioned something about excrement ? What's going on here? While I enjoyed the lobster, in the back of my mind was this smell that I still feared I was going to taste on the meat. Any experience with this ? I'll be making a bisque soon....
  23. Definitely stone ground. For the record, I have southern roots stretching back to 1700s but I have been stuck in New York for what I'm beginning to think is too long - In my opinion, I think often people overestimate the cooking times. You don't need 4 hours for good grits. Grits are an excellent vehicle for flavors so I think cream / stock work well. I usually start off with a 2 to 1 liquid to grit ratio (1/2 water, 1/2 stock or cream) some salt, then once absorbed turn heat to low and simmer while continuing to add cream or liquid until I feel the right consistency and texture has been achieved usually 20-30 minutes. There are a lot of flavors that work well (cheese, roasted chilis, green onion etc..) and I have some secret weapons for sure but regardless I tend to add these at the end of the cooking process. j
  24. i know this is way too late - but in any scenerio you want - whether someone copies an entire tasting menu (the worst case) or a single dish (perhaps, one of the better) - what if the one who plagirizes actually does the dish better ? j
  25. Anyone have some knowledge on this topic ? I have made several homemade ice creams and sorbets and I think one of the long term problems is storage. The problem I encounter is what i'll call a 'hard as a rock' state. Meaning, once frozen for over 24 hours they tend to be literally hard as a rock and must thaw to get near the appropriate consistency in order to serve. Obviously, this isnt a problem with store bought varities and I think has nothing to do with the temp of the freezer itself. Perhaps I haven't been making them correctly - is it a question of ratios at all ? But while they all taste very good - mine often suffer from the hard as a rock thing. One possible culprit ? I store them all in plastic gladware type containers. Bad idea ? If so, what and where are the best containers available ?
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