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tbabes

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  1. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    Does anyone know if they're still on track for opening next week? The first studiokitchen seating is for next Wednesday -- only one week away!
  2. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    Please share your thoughts about tonight's dinner; I'll be there tomorrow. It is at Alex and Aki's place in Levittown this time, and am looking forward to seeing that.
  3. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    Beautiful pictures Percy; thanks for posting. I thought every single course was fantastic, but if forced to choose, my favorites would be: Silver Queen Ice Cream . Sake Cured Trout Roe . Corn Shortbread . Sorrel Scrambled Corn . Santa Barbara Uni Corn Juice Polenta . Ginger . Truffle . Castelmagno Cheese Cavatelli . Corn Carbonara . Meadow Run Egg . Grated Benton's Ham I took wine notes on the back of my menu, but clearly had one wine too many, as I left my menu on the table. From memory, the 2005 Kongsgaard Chardonnay was an excellent match with many of the courses, and quite the contrast to the 1999 Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne. The 1995 Chateau L'Evangile is drinking wonderfully at present, but I think (hope) it will continue to improve for another few years. The 1988 Chateau Rabaud-Promis is an excellent expression of Sauternes, and is fully mature -- a nice pairing with the cheese and dessert courses. I see Shola has set up a "Breakfast as Dinner" event for tomorrow night; the menu is posted on his blog. I will be there.
  4. tbabes

    Le Bec Fin

    What does F.O.GP stand for? Have been to LBF half a dozen times over the past several years, and this was the least impressive meal (food + service) that I've experienced there. Had the current tasting menu (it is still posted on the LBF site) back in August, and it was considerably better.
  5. tbabes

    Le Bec Fin

    I hope that they have the kinks worked out tonight. I see that I was under the mistaken impression that the $200 was all-in; we're now approaching the Per-Se price point, and that is a very high bar in terms of food, service, and ambiance. Hope they are up to it this evening. For what it's worth, I have had some very nice meals there since they started the BYOB Monday program; perhaps it was the treasures from my cellar that influenced my thinking. It is odd that they did not have wine pairings available; glad that I was able to get my reservation on a Monday. Was the dining room full? Brian
  6. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    Thankfully, we'll be able to make it on Friday. I am very optmisitc that he will be able to fill it (12 people) even with this short notice; my are fingers crossed!
  7. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    I offered to switch to Saturday, but haven't heard back. I was driving down from Connecticut and had already paid for my room for Friday (here's the drawback of using Priceline). Would still do either night. If the dinners are absolutely DOA, I'd consider a drive down for an alternative plan, since I have the room. FWIW. ← Did you hear anything after Shola's initial email on Thursday morning?
  8. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    I wonder if perhaps he could just do the dinner on one night, e.g. Friday? I am sure some attendees would be willing to move their reservation back (or forward) a day. But that large party of 10 (well actually two parties of five that wanted to be one party of 10) that ruined everything needs to be publicly flogged! Now that I have some time on my hands for Friday night, I think my wife and I will go check out the "new" Marigold Kitchen.
  9. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    Saw that yesterday and promptly signed up for Friday. Though have to do this one solo. ← We signed up (and paid) for Friday also; we should see you there!
  10. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    We'll see you there! ← Excellent! Gotta start obsessing on wine soon! ← Indeed. It looks like he is having another series of dinners (corn) next weekend!
  11. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    We'll see you there!
  12. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    Percy summed it up quite well. What an incredible evening of food, wine and commraderie of the table! While every course was pretty much lights-out for me, the first four dishes were the finest courses I have eaten all year, with the "Corn Pudding, Smoked Sea Urchin" being at the absolute top of the list. The generosity of our fellow diners re: wines was unreal ('01 Quilceda, '90 Lagrange, '04 Aubert, '89 Conseillante, several Grand Crus from Burgundy and Alsace -- the list goes on!) and quite simply, this was truly a one of a kind, world-class experience. Thank you Shola and Alex!
  13. tbabes

    StudioKitchen (2008-)

    I'll be at the Friday dinner (there is also a second one on Saturday). I also attended the Friday dinner of the first series (although I didn't post anything given the other excellent recaps). I'll try and give an overview afterward this time. I'm really excited! ← When? Where? How does one find out about these things in time? I'm assuming I'm surely too late this time around, but would not want to miss the details next time around... ← Just watch his blog...
  14. tbabes

    Fountain Restaurant

    My wife and I went to the Fountain last night for dinner; our first visit since Chef Gonzalez took the reigns. We both had the tasting menu (6 courses for $115; optional wine pairings with each course would take it to $190) and were quite pleased. The "Tempura of Tuna and Nori with shiitake mushroom, carrot and cabbage salad, and rice wine vinaigrette" was my favorite dish of the night, the "Sauteed Lemon Snapper, with shellfish bouillabaise, rouille crouton" was a close second. The "Pan Seared Rabbit Tenderloin" was fine (I am not a big fan of rabbit -- give me hare any day) but the accompanying "foie gras and rabbit confit terrine with cherry compote" gave the dish a bit more punch. The "stuffed double lamb chop with eggplant, feta, pine nuts, fennel pool and thyme jus" was an absolutely perfect match with an '86 Cheval Blanc (a treasure from my cellar -- corkage $35). Cheese course was "truffled Saint Andre" and paired with a lovely cauliflower soup; finished up with a "molten white chocolate tarte with butter pecan ice cream and rasberry compote." The wine list remains impressively thick, but there was a new section devoted to wines $60 and under. The sommelier steered us towards a small grower Champagne "Diebolt-Vallois Champagne Brut Tradition" which was a pleasant surprise, and well below the price range I had mentioned to him. They did an excellent job with the '86 Cheval Blanc, and decanted it (candles and all) table-side. All in all it was a wonderful dinner; the service was top-notch, and the food as good as ever. The Tuna and Snapper dishes reminded me of Jean Georges in that the liquids/sauces were light but incredibly flavorful. In short, the Fountain will continue to remain towards the very top of my "short list" for fine dining in Philadelphia.
  15. tbabes

    Bibou

    Must have been a light night; 5 people and 4 bottles! When hitting BYO's like this with a group, we usually make a wine "assignment" for each diner. A group of us will be visiting later this week. Has anyone tried the tasting menu? I understand it is 7 courses for $70 -- are these courses on the a la carte menu, or are they specially made for the tasting menu? Brian
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