Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Scotttos

  1. My fiance and I had the tasting menu at Ssam bar last night and it was a pretty special experience. We've eaten there a million times but never tried the tasting before. It was on a whim that ordered it. It was 70 bucks each for 8 courses. For most of the courses we each received a different dish. It was an amazing way to really explore a lot of what Ssam has to offer. When it was all said and done we were able to sample around 15 different items.

    For the start we each recieved a dish with a Caraquet Oyster w/ kimchi consomme and a Cracked Empress Jonah Crab Glaw w/ harissa mayo

    Please excuse the quality of the crappy iphone pics.


    Next up was the Cured Hamachi w/ edamame, horseradish, pea leaves and the Long Island Fluke w/ pink lady apples, charred leeks, lime puree.



    Following that we had the Fuji Apple Kimchi w/ Burgers' smoked jowl, maple labne, arugula and a Pork and Foie Gras Terrine w/ pickled ramps, maple.



    The terrine was knockdown delicious and my second favorite dish of the night. After this we were brought out a plate of the Seasonal Pickles and one Steamed Pork Bun each.



    Next up we each got a portion of the Hudson Valley Foie Gras Torchon w/ nori and pineapple.


    The torchon was very intense especially with the addition of the nori, but taken together with the pineapple is was a delicious dish. After the foie we hit the fish course and were brought out the Grilled Branzini w/ tomatillos, jicama, pepitas and the Roasted Diver Sea Scallops w/ sea bean, gremolata, anchovy.



    On the heels of the fish course we were brought out the meat course which consisted of a small portion of Bev Eggleston's Pork Shoulder Steak w/ zucchini, ramp dressing and the best dish of the night, Crispy Pig's Head Torchon w/ lime pickle, raisins.

    We devoured the pork shoulder steak and got almost halfway though the pig's head torchon before I remembered to take a picture....


    For dessert we were brought full portions of both the PB&J w/ tristar strawberry jam, soda cracker panna cotta and Pear Sorbet w/ pumpkin ganache, gorgonzola dolce.



    All said and done the meal took over 2 hours and with 2 half liters of wine (with tax/tip) came to just under $300. After having the tasting it's going to be hard to go back and order like we usually do. We were told that in the future we can tailor to the tasting to incorporate any of the dishes on the menu. Can't wait to go back.

    Please forgive (again) the shoddy picture work and rudimentary descriptions.

  2. RE: Momofuku and Foie Gras....I'm sure most of you have seen David Chang's recent post on Eater. In case you didn't here's the link, a quote, and a brief summary:


    ...as of today we'll be adding at least one foie gras dish to each of our menus, and we’ll work to keep the prices of the dishes low, and we'll donate any proceeds from those dishes to charity, including City Harvest and The Foodbank NYC – both of which are in dire need of money and support to help feed our city’s poorest and hungriest citizens.

    Summary: basically an anti-foie gras activist walked into Ko and threatened to demonstrate outside the restaurant in an effort to generate negative publicity for ko and the other momofukus'. Chang did some research about other such campaigns and felt threatened. So, confident in his intention and ability to source humanely treated animals, espically his foie gras (hudson valley foie gras) he decided to address the issue head on.

    You can obviously see how he's decided to do that, which I think is pretty badass.

    Tonight at noodle they were serving a roasted foie gras with ramps, sherry vinegar, and burnt honey. . . . for $16. It was delicious.

    On another note I noticed a lot of new dishes on the menu. A roasted beet salad with sesame yogurt, benton's ham, chive oil. The ham looks to be shaved a la the ko foie dish on top of the sesame yogurt. The dish was amazing. Another winner was the roasted rice cakes with roasted onions, garlic, scallions. If anyone remembers the roasted rish cake dish with sweet maine shrimp that used to be on the menu this is the exact same thing without the shrimp or the nuts. It's just a nice mound of delicious rich cakes prepared the same way.

    There are also an assortment of new noodle dishes, a chicken and egg dish (smoked chicken, rice, poached egg). . . . and not a thing is over 16 bucks.

  3. Went tonight for dinner, 9:20 slot. Most of what we had tonight was right on with other recent posts but there were a few differences --

    - Spanish mackerel (raw) with mustard oil, meyer lemon, puffed rice

    - Seared halibut with TN truffle, artichoke puree, cauliflower milk

    - Black sesame ice cream with coconut and lemon cream and very large funnel cake

    The funnel cake dessert was totally unexpected and really great. I grew up in MD and have many a memory of walking on the boardwalk with a funnel cake. Haven't had one in more than a decade. It was very cool that it turned up tonight.

  4. Does anyone have any experience with Momofuku's new private dining area?  I'm thinking of planning a (small) wedding reception/dinner there and would really appreciate some feedback.  Please just send me a PM, I wouldn't want to clog up the thread.

    If there is any info about this, I think we'd all be interested to hear about it.

    Gotcha, haha, I guess I'll take that last part back then : )

  5. Does anyone have any experience with Momofuku's new private dining area? I'm thinking of planning a (small) wedding reception/dinner there and would really appreciate some feedback. Please just send me a PM, I wouldn't want to clog up the thread.


  6. The regents punch was a total success. It was delicious, so delicious in fact that it was gone in about 45 mins. I guess I should have doubled it (I was serving 8) but I honestly thought one batch would be enough. I had to toss together a pitcher of manhattan's really quick to settle down the crowd, all of which were on my case for not making more punch....

    On another note, does anyone have a good recipe for Kill Devil Punch?

  7. Five of us went through one recipe of Regent's Punch for Thanksgiving.  It's a bona fide sensation among my friends.

    I'm going to make this on saturday to celebrate my birthday Sam have you tweaked Dave's recipe at all or are you still going by what you linked up thread?

  8. LeNell's has gotten some of the new Rittenhouse BIB. I haven't tried it yet so no report on its state, but I was glad to see it at $18.

    I think Rittenhouse has to have the most up and down pricing scheme I've ever seen, haha.

    When it was first "rediscovered" you could routinely find it for around $12 dollars even going as low as $10 for places that wanted to clear stock (I bought a case for $10/per at one point).

    When people started gobbling it up the price continued climbing at a steady clip stopping at $13, $15, $18 on the way to (the highest I've seen it at) $22.

    My local liquor store has about 6 bottles in stock and two weeks ago they were priced at $18 but when I walked in the other day all 6 were still there and the price was lowered to $16.50.

    It's hilarious.

  9. Grabbed a bottle of the Genevieve at LeNell's -- thanks to the NY crowd for leaving a few for us slowpokes from up north -- and made an Improved Holland Cock-Tail with

    2 oz Genevieve

    1 tsp simple

    1 tsp maraschino

    dash Regan's #6 bitters

    dash Fee's orange bitters

    dash Pernod

    There are a few cocktails that I immediately think, "I have to make this for my friends." Then there are the smaller number that cause me to scheme, "This one's just for me."

    I'm of the same mind as you with "this one's just for me," but maybe for different reasons, haha. I've made these on various occasions for a handful of people (including my girlfriend who is pretty well versed) and the results have been overwhelmingly disappointing. ......

    Turns out no one can really get their head around the taste of the genevieve.

    It's unfortunate but then again I only have a few bottles soooo.....

  10. Part of my worries with the current cocktail scene, when I start to see "premium" ingredients seep down to average cocktail programs, is that it seems like the wrong lesson is being learned.

    What bars and restaurants seem to be starting to think, simply, is if they use premium spirits to make their cocktails, that's all they have to do.  They are running a cocktailian bar.

    I think the problem with most bars and restaurants is that they're thinking primitively when it comes to cocktails.

    They think if they can latch onto the growing cocktail awareness by stocking hot-topic spirits and dropping the right cocktail names they can bank on the movement without any real thought or dedication toward creating a quality product.

    They're still not really taking cocktails seriously.

    You can stock the right spirits and drop the right names on your cocktail menu but that doesn't mean you're really taking the whole thing seriously.

    I'm quoting Philip here but it's one thing to put a drink on the menu and quite another to put it in the glass.

    When you are creating something special and taking what you do seriously you should be much more reluctant to put something inferior in the glass. Even if someone is asking for it.

  11. Even though I enjoyed Pegu Club so much in its first two years my loyalty's drifted down to B Flat and I hadn't been back in quite a while, it seems to have lost something. The menu's been reorganized and their food offerings cut in half to a single page. I passed on eating but just looking up this thread right now and at Oakapple's blog, the food presentation has become less refined too. And were the drinks always so expensive? All the cocktails on the menu are about $12, but I ordered a margarita at one point and it was $18. I didn't ask for any specific tequila and I just didn't expect that, I don't think any similar bar charges as much except for Bemelmans.

    After ordering drinks our waitress had to come around again to confirm our order - it was wrong - then only one drink came. She knew our order but delivered two more tables their drinks before delivering my date hers which was just odd and water we requested never came even after two rounds of drinks did. Then a man I'm guessing was either security or a manager, dressed in a suit, watched closely over us as we paid and left but never asked us how everything was. (He looked like he was worried we'd just bail on the check. Who behaves that way? If you think a customer is exiting disappointed, find out why.) I'd never had such an odd, uncomfortable evening in an intimate place I used to enjoy so much. The place was little more than half full and there seemed no good explanation for it.

    The good news however is the drinks were excellent, and I tried one of the best Gin Gin Mules I've had in quite a while.

    Unfortunately table service is indeed a weakness, but it's a weakness most cocktail bars in pegu's circle suffer from. It's not 100% guaranteed but 99.9% of the time you'll have a much better experience at the bar. I understand sometimes sitting at the bar isn't really an option (it's too crowded, you have a party larger than 3, etc.) but if at all possible that's the way to go.

    I was at Pegu a couple weekends ago and had a great experience. I found the drinks to be excellent as always and since the place was kinda empty I had a wonderful time talking to the bartender. These guys love what they do and when you get an opportunity to talk shop they really open up.

    Regarding the 18 dollar Margarita. . . . .i'm not totally sure about that one, but I have ordered off menu drinks before and the prices have been all over the place (from $16-19), no explanation was given but I didn't ask either. I'm sure it has to do with what kind of booze they're using.

  12. I was there last night too, also a first-timer. I'm afraid the drinks I had weren't as interesting as those Pan mentioned, though not bad by any means. A couple of times I saw something going out, and said, "Now, why didn't I order that?" By then I'd had three, which was enough for one evening.

    Do you remember what drinks you had?

    There are old standards on the Pegu menu that I just crave. Two of which -- Little Italy and French Pearl -- go down as some of the best drinks i've ever had.

    I think I'll head out there tonight, lol, gettin' thirsty.

  13. Well, they can't just snap their fingers and make the stuff to keep up with demand like a gin or vodka maker could do.  It takes time to make Rittenhouse BIB.  Time that is measured in years.  Six of them, in fact.

    This wasn't ever in any doubt. I understand the strain, demand, and arduous aging process. What I wasn't sure of was whether HH finally depleted the current stock and how long we would actually have to wait for a steady stream of new product. I guess another concern (probably something I shouldn't worry about considering HH's track record) is will the new product be the same as the Rittenhouse BIB we've all come to know and love?

    I imagine the dirt cheap price is a thing of the past, and honestly at 16, 17, 18 even 20 dollars i'd still by it by the boatload.

    I guess I was curious if it was time to hoard, and from the responses so far it looks like it is indeed. I use so much of this stuff it's insane.

  14. Made myself a Bulleit Julep last night as my shift drink after a painfully long slow evening.  It was delicious and reminded me of just how much I love a good julep.  I ought to make myself one far more often than I do.  Being reminded because of Derby Day is a fine excuse, but I oughta get around to it way more frequently.

    I agree 100%. I made a reverse Prescription Julep (1 1/2 oz rye, 1/2 oz cognac) last night and it was one of the best drinks I've had in a long time. I need to make them more often as well.

  15. RE: Rittenhouse.

    Lenell mentioned in her email newsletter that Rittenhouse is currently out of stock "everywhere" and we all have to wait until they age more of it. Is she referring to the 21/23 yr, or the regular bonded as well?

    I've heard a lot of rumors about this but does anyone have any additional info?

    Do we have to wait years?

    I've noticed the bonded in a few places and the price keeps going up and up . . . .

  16. I was at noodle on Sunday and had a similar meal (prawns/grits, kimichi stew, both pork and shiitake buns) I also got to try the new ice cream. I like getting the twists so it was Cracker Jack and Peanut Butter with what looked like bits of a mashed up candy bar (peanut butter candy and bits of chocolate). It was delicious. The peanut butter ice cream wasn't the overly sweet recees's type stuff you normally get, it was salty and thick and actually tasted like peanut butter. The Cracker Jack is hard to describe, it has a butter pecan quality to it, but only just so. The combination was very tasty.

    I'm fairly new to all the momofukus but in my limited experience (a little over a half dozen times at both places) Noodle has been the better experience for all of the reasons you cited above.

    Also, regarding the prawns and grits, I was very very happy with this dish. I think wrapping the prawns with ham instead of bacon is brilliant. I'm actually heading down to South Carolina today to visit my folks and i'm anxious to try the southern version and see how noddle's measures up. Those freaking prawns were gigantic!

  17. With so many cocktail books and websites and forum chatter and scribbled notes from bars and bartenders it's damn hard remembering all the great drink recipes out there.

    Is it just a matter of repetition and memorization? Do you keep index cards, flash cards, a drink index? As the drinks pile up I'm having and increasingly more difficult time cataloging everything. How do you do it?

  18. Initially we didn't want to go for the wine pairing and as we were discussing the alternatives (which included picking a few half bottles) the server told us she would do her best to pick something for us but if we wanted alcohol with the meal the wine pairing really was the way to go, in her words "if you're going to do it you should just go for it."  She was 100% correct.  We were happy with all the pairings and it was great to get a few glasses of sake, the beer, and the carbonated sherry at the end -- all of which we would have missed out on.  Halfway through the meal she asked us how the pairing was going and we expressed our delight, she then told us if we had gone the other route it would have undoubtedly been more expensive and not nearly as satisfying which I thought was a pretty candid admission.

    We had the wine pairings too (the $85 version) and thought they were terrific. I am not so sure about the last statement, however. There are plenty of boottles on the list below $50, and tons below $100. Since the cheapest wine pairing is $50 per head, I can't see how ordering individual bottles would "undoubtedly" be more expensive.

    I do agree that the pairings are better, especially as the staff here are doing such a good job with them. But a pairing is undoubtedly more expensive, not less.

    I was wondering about that myself. I was quoting her statement. I guess she would have picked very expensive wines for us, haha.

  19. actually, the menu seems to change somewhat automatically for second-time visitors.

    I was getting different courses than the people next to me.

    That's pretty remarkable. Did you have any say in that before the meal started?

    I'll be pretty chapped next week if I don't get the foie dish I had on my first visit but it's being offered to first timers.

    I had the same experience - on our second visit they greeted us with a "welcome back" and said they'd chatted during the afternoon to make sure we got some different stuff. We got a variation on the foie dish, with pickled grapes and cashew.

    I've been to Ko four times and, in my experience, they are very aware of repeat diners. (On at least three of my visits, other diners there were also repeat visitors.)

    This is what I have observed about menu variations. It appears that there are no alternatives (and only minimal variation) for the already-classic dishes -- the egg and caviar, the shaved foie gras, the deep-fried short-ribs. For a couple of the other courses, there appear to be standard alternatives. Although the staff will try to give repeat diners alternates they have not previously had, the alternates are not limited to repeat diners. Often, for a couple, one person will get one dish and the second person the other.

    More specifically--

    With respect the amuses, if they have something special, it may be offered as a third amuse, but it is offered to everyone there -- not just repeat diners.

    Of the six main savory courses, there appear to be standard alternates for two courses and a variant on a third.

    1) The standard fluke with buttermilk alternates with a dish of shrimp and grated, frozen avocado.

    2) The kimichi consomme/pork belly/oyster alternates with a spring pea soup containing a tofu canelloni filled with trumpet mushrooms and, at times, topped with either lobster or crayfish.

    3) As noted above, the shaved foie gras is sometimes prepared with grapes and cashew brittle, instead of the standard lychee and pine nut brittle.

    The "palate cleanser" of miso soup/pickled vegetables/grilled rice cake remains constant.

    The pre-dessert is one of an assortment of sorbets.

    The dessert is either the deep fried apple pie or the cereal milk panna cotta, although on one occasion I was served a deep-fried strawberry rhubarb pie.

    the spring pea soup was topped with a grilled langoustine when I had it...but that's pretty much what I've seen.

    there's also more than one scallop dish floating around.

    I was there last night (for the first time) and my girlfriend and I received a few interesting variations.

    While I was served the oyster/pork belly with kimchi consommé she was served the pea soup topped with crayfish -- separate wine pairings. Following this we both were served what the chef said was "an extra course." Earlier in the evening Chang showed up with some ham he was excited about, all the chefs tasted enthusiastically, when he left the chefs starting talking about a "ramp dish" and said if they were going to do it they should do it now when the place was empty (our reservation was for 6:15 it was just us and another party of 2 until close to 6:45).

    The chef told the server they were going to do an extra dish, the server asked if she should pair it with anything, they said no just to serve it with chopsticks. It was a few stewed morrells and ramps over two pieces of the above mentioned ham with a small amount of a clear oil-like sauce. It was delicious. The morrells were ridiculous, I have no idea what they were cooked in but they were buttery and dense with flavor. The combination was fantastic.

    After this it was the scallop dish but it was what nathan referred to as the other one floating around. Scallops with bacon puree, shallots, peanuts (actually probably not peanuts, I have no idea what kind of nut), and breakfast radishes paired with a white ale. The scallops were insane and the smokiness from the bacon puree was obviously great; the beer pairing was a nice touch.

    The rest of the meal was consistent with what others have mentioned. We were given different sorbets, I had the arnold palmer (the brittle or whatever it was the sorbet was served on top of was soaked in a "mint julep solution") to my companion's lychee (which was pink); for the main dessert I had the apple pie/sour cream ice cream and she had the cereal milk pana cotta paired with different carbonated wines, I was given a dark house made carbonated sherry but I'm unsure what the other beverage was.

    The service was great, the pacing was on the money, and our server in particular was wonderful. Initially we didn't want to go for the wine pairing and as we were discussing the alternatives (which included picking a few half bottles) the server told us she would do her best to pick something for us but if we wanted alcohol with the meal the wine pairing really was the way to go, in her words "if you're going to do it you should just go for it." She was 100% correct. We were happy with all the pairings and it was great to get a few glasses of sake, the beer, and the carbonated sherry at the end -- all of which we would have missed out on. Halfway through the meal she asked us how the pairing was going and we expressed our delight, she then told us if we had gone the other route it would have undoubtedly been more expensive and not nearly as satisfying which I thought was a pretty candid admission.

    As we left I was filled with a feeling of overwhelming joy, my girlfriend likened it to "being in love." The rest of the evening I kept running the meal through my head, it took a while to get to sleep.

    Full disclosure: I'm a total food novice. I haven't eaten at any of the 4-stars and I've just recently taken the leap into serious dining. I'm 29, I work everyday, I'm not rich (lol), I came to this city from the suburbs of Baltimore -- which is about as close to a food wasteland as there is -- and I still feel mostly intimidated when I sit down at a nice place to eat.

    Momofuku has provided more of a food education than I thought possible, and they do it in a language I can relate to. I was a little wary of how it would go down at Ko but my worry was misplaced. I can trust these guys. The atmosphere is so relaxed, and everyone there from the chefs to the servers are so clearly excited and having a good time you can just sit back and focus on the experience. I could go on about the music too, but that would be another huge post, and this one has already gone on forever : )

  20. Looks like they tweaked the reservation system a bit.... I wonder if it's a result of all the bad press the system is getting (Bruni et,al.).

    Seems like just the normal tweaks that any new system goes thru. I don't really interpret Bruni's comments as "bad press".

    Fair enough : )

  21. Looks like they tweaked the reservation system a bit, in the morning before new reservations are released there is now a "begin" button with a timestamp and instructions to hit the button at exactly 10:00:00 AM. Each time you hit the "begin" button the timestamp updates immediately until 10 at which point you are allowed into the system (whereas before once you entered your name/pword you were effectively in the system and were allowed to choose the number of diners regardless of whether it was 10am yet or if there were any open spots).

    Once in the system you can choose the number of diners and then you are taken to the calendar page. It's much easier in that it actually doesn't let you "in" until 10 AM Momofuku time -- you don't have to set your watch, you don't have to countdown in your head, all you have to do is hit the button, watch the timestamp update, hit the button, etc..

    After grabbing a checkmark I was taken to the countdown screen which had a statement in bold red typeface I don't recall seeing before stating that only 2 reservations may be made in any given week (including cancellations).

    When I made a reservation earlier in the week I didn't notice the statement, perhaps it's something they added or something that generates if you've already booked a reservation for the week in question.

    I relinquished the spot as I'm going on Sunday but it was interesting to see the changes. I wonder if it's a result of all the bad press the system is getting (Bruni et,al.).

  • Create New...