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Everything posted by plafield

  1. What would you recommend for a really special birthday lunch on a Friday in Boston. Seems that the high end great places (No 9 Park, Clios ) aren't open for lunch.
  2. I've been lurking and drooling for months! Thanks everyone. Here's the cake I made for my husband's birthday. Almond butter cake which I served with fresh berries, vanilla bean ice cream and hot fudge.,
  3. I'm reporting back. Thanks for all the input. I did have dinner at Marcel's on my first night in DC. A fabulous meal and all around great experience. I had a great table and they treated me like a queen. After I had been there for about an hour, another single woman diner was seated next t me and we had a lovely chat. Indeed, the boudin blanc was sublime, as was the lobster bisque, foie gras and squab, as well as a heavenly chocolate souffle. On Friday evening I joined some colleagues at a restaurant that one of them said they ate at last year and had the best soul food around. What followed was an extremely odd experience and terrible meal at Madam's Organ in Adams Morgan. This place is a grungy little bar serving horrid dried out fried chicken and luke warm oily mac and cheese and greasy collard greens that tasted like they were right out of a can. The company was great however, so I tried not think too much about the things I had been fantasizing about eating in the cafe at Polena, where I hoped we would go for dinner. Ah well. I had great sandwiches for lunch from So's Your Mom on Friday and Saturday. I had a reservation for Central for Sunday night but ended up leaving DC in the morning so had to cancel. So Central and Beck are at the top of my list for next trip. Can't wait!
  4. No, it wasn't warn when I cut it and it did crisp back up a tiny bit. I think it definitely could have baked another 5 minutes. Here's one last attempt to get the picture to post right in my message.
  5. OK! Here are some pics of the rye bread. I used Bob's Mill organic dark rye and needed to increase the water by about 1/3 cup to get what seemed to me a wet enough dough I mixed the dough, left it on the counter for about 3 hours then put it in the fridge overnight. http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/12023154...5563_563315.jpg Early this morning I formed a loaf of rye (turned out to be about 13 oz) and covered it with plastic and left it in the fridge for 5 hours then pulled it out and left it on the counter for an hour. http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/12023154...5563_108294.jpg and baked it directly on a stone o the middle rack with water in a broiler pan on the bottom. I baked it for about 24 minutes but I now realize it could have baked at least 5 more minutes. http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/12023154...5563_250899.jpg It looked gorgeous and the crust was hard and golden brown but as it cooled the crust softened and when I sliced it and ate it the crust was chewy as opposed to crisp. But the crumb is fantastic and the flavor is delicious! http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/12023154...5563_543768.jpg I imagine the next loaf will be even better! I can't wait to try the plain boule this weekend! Thanks so much for starting this thread which turned me onto the book! Our waste bands are expanding as we speak!
  6. My book came today! I'm so excited! I live in an area where the only available bread is large chain grocery store bread or small chain "bakery" bread. None of it good. I mixed half a batch of deli rye and half a batch of master recipe this afternoon. I just put it in the fridge. The plan is to shape a loaf of rye tonight to bake tomorrow and to let the master recipe rest until Friday. I'll post some pics of the rye after baking it up tomorrow.
  7. My daughter has celiacs so I've been doing lots of gluten free baking for years. Generally I find that the best desserts are ones that don't call for flour to begin with. Flourless chocolate cakes, meringue desserts, cheesecakes, creme brulee or pots de creme etc. Barbara's gluten free baking mix is the best I've found to substitute for regular flour and will make great cookies, pancakes, biscuits and banana bread, but nothing does really well for regular pie crust. Sometimes I buy good quality gluten free cookies (gingersnaps are great) and make a cookie crumb crust for pumpkin pie or cheesecake.
  8. I've been reading and salivating over this discussion for a long tie. It's time to pitch in. I tried puff pastry yesterday and made a par and almond pithivier. Delicious with Julies organic vanilla ice cream and bittersweet chocolate sauce!
  9. Pierre, Thanks for the list. Of course it's subjective, but when folks who really care about and are knowledgable about food make recommendations, there is often overlap and that's where I usually cull my lists from. I agree with Julot that there are times when I am willing to pay more for a less hectic, crowded atmosphere in which to enjoy a truly high quality meal but am not looking for the high end, outrageously expensive experience. I'd love to hear other's recs for this "between" type of dining in Paris.
  10. Julot, I too, have decided on Les Elysées for our lunch in May, based on your continued glowing recs. Thank you so much for your detailed reporting! I can't wait and will definitely report back.
  11. Any opinions here on Marcel's? Is the food really sensational? Worth seeking out? If so I might stick to Central for my first night, do Palena on Saturday and go to Marcel's on Sunday. Or I could do Marcel's early on Thursday (they have a pretty great looking pre-theater prix fixe special and my meeting isn't until 8:30) and do Central on Sunday evening.
  12. Yes, this was the Cafe/Bistro Napolean I was asking about but I think I have plenty of choices that come highly recommended so at this point, that one is off the list. I only have 3 dinners. My first evening (Thursday) I have a meeting on 11th near H so I'm deciding between Central and Beck. While it seems that some here think the food at Beck is better, I really like the look of the menu at Central. I'd love to hear more opinions comparing the two. Friday I have a dinner included as part of my conference (oh boy, function food..bleh!) which leaves dinner on Saturday and Sunday. I plan to stay relatively close to the Omni (walk or easy metro) and I know one evening I plan to go to fairly early to the cafe at Palena so that leaves one more dinner. On the list of choices are New Heights and Equinox and I'm still open to suggestions in the Dupont Circle area. Anymore input on Obelisk? I'm also still considering Komi for Saturday night. I imagine the food experience there is a step above any of the other places I'm considering (and I'd go for the degustation menu for sure) but I'm not sure if I'd feel welcomed there dining alone. Any thoughts?
  13. Thanks everyone. Brasserie Beck is on the shortlist. It looks great. The Diner is gone! I have 3 dinners and the shortlist is Palena, B Beck, Central, and New Heights. I don't drink gin, but New Heights still looks like good food and is really close so it's a possibility. I'm actually not a drinker at all and prefer to sit at a table as opposed to eating at the bar. Am I correct in assuming I'll need reservations at all these places, except Palena's Cafe? I'm not going to try to do sit down lunches, it feels too rushed to get out and back into the Omni in 2 hours, with chatting etc so I'll just stretch my legs and do take out, probably Vace and So's your Mom. If New Heights is really close there might be time for lunch there. On my last day I'm thinking I'll do a big breakfast at Open City and take in the Zoo for a couple of hours before heading out to catch my train which leaves at 3:00PM. I'll definitely report back!
  14. I guess I'll try calling near the end of February and see if he'll book for May and if not we'll try for lunch and I'll call mid-April and hope he's back! Spring is a "must try" for me and I won't be back in Paris again for who knows how long!
  15. I'll be in DC for 4 days in march for a professional symposium and will be staying at the Omni Shoreham and have been researching restaurants. I prefer to walk or easy metro so am looking mostly in Cleveland Park/ Adams Morgan/ Dupont Circle area, although I'll take a taxi if I decide I must travel further for a great meal. I'm looking for a mix of experiences and will likely be dining alone but might connect with others for a dinner. Lunch has to be quick (we have 2 hours between morning and afternoon sessions.) I will need 3 dinners and 3 lunches. Here's my list of possibilities so far. Any feedback on any of these places will be helpful as well as recommended additions to consider. For lunch: Cafe Atlantico The Diner Vace (take out) So's Your Mom (take out) Dinner Possibilities: Palena Bistro Napolean Vadalia Lavandou Cashions Central Marcel's I had dinner at Citronelle 4 or 5 years ago (the last time I was in DC) and it was amazing and I'm considering returning but am not sure I'd enjoy the experience as much dining alone so I'm undecided. All feedback is welcome.
  16. What would you recommend as the best way to get a reservation for dinner at Spring in early May? I know they've been booked months in advance and if they're closing in March/April should I call at the end of February to try to book for May?
  17. I have to resurrect this thread because I read it all the through after deciding I wanted to serve pound cake for New Years eve. I did a 5 course tasting menu and wanted a very simple dessert so planned for pound cake, home made chocolate ice cream, fresh fruit and whipped cream. I did a ton of research looking for the best recipe to come out with what I was imagining: moist, buttery, not too heavy, with a nice crispy/chewy crust. I made the cold oven pound cake using 5 eggs and one yolk, and 3 tsp of vanilla. It was fantastic! 10 of us devoured both loaves over the course of a couple of hours! I was alreadfy in a food coma by the time we got to dessert so forgot to take a picture of the cake sliced but here's a loaf fresh out of the pan.
  18. I used the TJ puff paste to make a pithivier and it was OK but not great. I had to roll the pastry out pretty thin to get it big enough to hold the almond cream and then it started to burn on the botom before it was cooked all the way through. Not great. But it was fabulous to wrap around a wheel of good brie covered with homemade cherry preserves. I baked it for an hour on one of those "air pocket" cookie sheets so it didn't burn on the bottom and cooked all the way through. It looked gorgeous and was delicious. If I knew how to post a picture I'd share it with you all! But I can't figure out how to post a pic!
  19. My mother-in-law bought us a bagel slicer...again. She bought us one a couple of years ago which we returned (who needs a special gadget to slice bagels?) I couldn't believe she bought us another one. A real senior moment for her, I'm sure! I also got a new 11C Cuisinart and 2 new Calpholon saute pans (12" and 14")
  20. I have a Krups Speedy Pro, a small processor/chopper that holds 2 cups. The plastic thingy that locks the top in place broke and I looked all over to replace this thing and found they no longer make this model or its replacement parts. I went on a mad search for something like it and couldn't find anything that was the right size! I finally discovered that if I poke a turkey lacing pin in the right place, I can get it to spin. I've been doing this for 2 years now! This thing really is irreplaceable. My Mom's perfectly seasoned waffle iron that I inherited when she retired to Florida can't be replaced either. Also, my mother-in-law gave me an old but very useful spatula metal, very thin and a bit flexible. Great for slipping under and flipping or removing tricky, delicate things. I'd have no idea where to get another one.
  21. I just made a treck to the nearest TJ and bought the last 3 packages. I can't wait to try it! Making puff is way too much work for me and it never turns out quite right so I'm psyched about this product. I'm going against the advice here and I'm going to try a pithivier for Chistmas. I'll let you know how it turns out!
  22. Our crew aren't big drinkers. There will be some lovely bottles of wine but no fancy cocktails. I'm only cooking a Christmas meal for my husband and myself (duck breast with dried cherry sauce) because the kids are off with their partners this year) so I have the luxury to be thinking about New Years. I think lots of gulleters are still focusing on the Christmas feast right now!
  23. I've had a crew of 16-20 people here for New Years eve for the last 8 years and I cook a feast. The challenge is that there are a couple of people who are allergic to dairy, one that is allergic to wheat and one vegan as well as someone who doesn't eat sugar! I usually end up making a million separate things so everyone can eat. This year, the vegan can't make it so while I'll miss my friend, I'm excited to cook primarily one meal! I'm thinking about wild Alaskan salmon Wellington for the main course. (One piece of salmon prepared w/out puff pastry for the non-wheat person.) I'll use spinach in place of mushroom duxelle and serve w/ dilled hollandaise. To go with I'm thinking about a salad with baby greens, dried cranberries, candied nuts, crumbled Gorgonzola and a light lemon viniagrette. Maybe glazed carrots and wild rice. Not sure. Apps will be simple...eggplant caponata, some good cheese, chicken liver pate, assorted crackers, spiced nuts, and shrimp cocktail. Dessert is still undecided. Definitely fresh fruit for the non-sugar person. I'll probably make ice-cream (I've been experimenting with poppyseed ice-cream but I'm not quit there with the recipe yet) and will continue to be looking at what others are making for inspiration.
  24. plafield

    Brussels Sprouts

    My favorite way to eat brussel sprouts: Halve the sprouts, toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast in one layer in a baking dish in a 450 degree oven, stirring every 10 minutes until caramelized and almost tender (25-35 minutes.) Turn oven down to 350 and pour 1/2 inch of heavy cream over and bake 15-20 minutes, until cream reduces and browns. Spinkle top w/ fresh grated Parmesan cheese mixed with fresh bread crumbs and bake until top is golden (5-10 more minutes.) Yum! Sometimes I mix thick slices of Vidalia onion and cauliflower florets in with the sprouts. The caramelized veggies, cream and cheese flavors are fantastic.
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