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Everything posted by sickchangeup

  1. Last week, I spent about 5 minutes figuring out how to carry two very hot bowls of cream of tomato soup, a can of soda, a bag of soup crackers. twp spoons and a couple of paper towels from the kitchen to the living room all in one go. The solution involved a couple strategically placed kitchen towels, a steady pace and a 50% chance of severe burning, which gladly did not come to be (my 3 pets were luckily asleep). A tray did not occur to me in the slightest until now. Now, on the one hand, this may qualify me as stupid. Hard to argue this fact in light of the evidence above. BUT... I'm going with petite tête de chou's defense: "Risky yet lazy behavior is what I'm all about" (yes... I know... that's also stupid...)
  2. ...the description of the main ingredient for the egg dish on the menu required only three letters?
  3. Yeah, when she went after that jelly like a bear clawing at a salmon, I had to stop watching.
  4. sickchangeup


    Going back over everything written, I think this is the key. It's incredibly even more apparent when you listen to the radio podcast. When Pete Wells returns from the bathroom, a waiter tramples over whatever was in his way to get to the table in time to pull out Mr. Wells chair for him. And Bruni was apparently sitting around making nuanced head nods and eye movements choreographing an entire army of servers at Daniel to his whim. Listening to the slide show, all I could think of was "yeah right! Like that would happen to me!".
  5. To add to this: In the audio portion, he specifically says something to the effect of "one of the most successful redesigns ever". He also mentions that they moved towards Per Se's more modern decoration style and (this is the key to his remaining somewhat consistent) away from stuffy. Surely even Bruni liked the Red Room at Bouley - it seems he does have room for decoration as a positive IF it's amongst the best ever, and towards his own sense of aesthetics, i.e. it moves away from stuffy, which is what he's hated all along. I think that's not terribly inconsistent.
  6. sickchangeup


    Worth noting that I wasn't arguing my personal opinion, but rather what I interpreted Bruni was saying. I've only visited Daniel twice, and had one of the best "4-star haute" dishes of my life (top 10 dish I've eaten period), an amazing "haute rustic" rabbit dish and then two pretty pedestrian dishes, so I'm probably somewhere in between you and the other folks here. I'm pretty certain Bruni LOVES and very much appreciates true "four-star" cooking, but that's a discussion for the reviewers thread :-)
  7. sickchangeup


    By Frank's own explicit admission it ALMOST is! "Daniel was always fancy; now it’s genuinely gorgeous, too. And that’s almost reason enough to reaffirm the four stars the restaurant was awarded by William Grimes" But wait, then the next sentence reads: "But the contemporary French menu and the service make their own contributions" So if it being gorgeous is ALMOST enough for 4 stars, and service makes a (strong) positive contribution.... well... then we're at 4 without the food no? BUT, that's of course not a bad thing, since I do still think the food get's it due in the review as well ("They [non-food stuff] tell you just how attentive to detail Daniel is determined to be, and the food immediately underscores that"). Bruni also praises them for making beets and cucumbers (two things frequently loathed) have "starbursts" (which other dishes also apparently have... "starbursts" that is...). He gives them props for some dishes having overlapping notes ("judicious intricacy" even), others for having "strength of focus". He uses other positive language like "elated" over the desserts as well (something I find I never am over dessert at the other 4 star places myself). Reading it over again, there is plenty of praise for food in here I think, so while the non-food alone get's it 4 stars, the food hangs at that level as well.
  8. sickchangeup


    Interesting. When I was done reading the review (which I read before coming here to read all your comments) I told my wife "Bruni got down on his knees and gagged at the temple of all things Daniel" - i.e. I thought it was a SUPREMELY positive review from beginning to end, where he basically just stopped where "required" to say something negative, before continuing on with his praise. Even looking now at the comments that's FG highlighted, I simply read those as truthful: Daniel is not Per Se, it's not Jean Georges and it's not Le Bernardin. Isn't this what everyone already knows? Is this news in any way to even a single person on this board? Would anyone have ever ranked Daniel above these places? Now once you get THAT out of the way, Bruni IS saying that Daniel is still most definitely a 4 star restaurant, and one that is now better than it's ever been - that it's most definitely better than everyone else on the list beneath it. THAT is not something that everyone here knows to be true, and having Bruni affirm in no uncertain terms over and over again that it absolutely IS makes for a great review for the restaurant IMO. (until Frank corrects his Ko review of course). Just my 2 cents
  9. sickchangeup

    Per Se

    Apparently Per Se has a new pastry chef, "Elwyn Boyles" (source: per se website), replacing the man who was there from day 1, "Sébastien Rouxel" (source: http://www.starchefs.com/chefs/rising_star...s_rouxel.shtml). No idea when this happened, but our server tonight mentioned the change when we gave feedback on the chocolates, which he said had previously not changed in many moons, but which the new pastry chef was now experimenting with.
  10. sickchangeup

    Surf And Turf

    Ah yes, master of both the land and the sea! I have to agree with steverino, it's hard to go wrong with King Crab Legs. Half a pound legs at very least. As for the meat, I just don't want beef filet/tenderloin - totally useless IMO. An american wagyu boneless ribeye would hit the spot I think. Le Bernardin does a white tuna (escolar) & Japanese kobe beef combo that's pretty hard to beat too.
  11. I think part of the problem is that demoting a place sends a really strong message, and he doesn't necessarily feel it's warranted to "slap" a place like that when all it's done is slip a little bit from where it was when it BARELY managed to squeeze up into a 3-star level down to a "high 2" star level which is where it more accurately lies when ranked amongst it's current peers. Which I feel is understandable on an individual level to some extent, although what the heck - the review could address this. Bruni is the king of reviews that read one way, but get starred another way. Similarly, I imagine that promoting a place sends an equally strong message and perhaps he wants to wait and see a more evident moment or wow before he bestows this honor. In the end it creates this complacency and confusion in his list though. By way of comparison, I can more fully appreciate the "all at once" nature of the Michelin Guides - if they did promotions/demotions one by one on a bi-weekly basis it would be far more attention getting that releasing a whole bunch at once. If Bruni isn't going to introduce some form of half star system, then perhaps he can hold an annual "corrections column", where he can pick 2-4 places and somewhat quietly "correct" their current ratings, while saving the single restaurant takedown "demotion" columns for those that deserve it?
  12. Eater just posted a note guessing which of the NYT three star restaurants would be closed this year, here is the list: Adour Alain Ducasse Alto Aquavit A Voce Babbo Bar Room at the Modern BLT Fish Blue Hill Bouley Café Boulud Chanterelle Convivio Corton Craft Cru Del Posto Dovetail Eleven Madison Park Esca Felidia Gotham Bar & Grill Gramercy Tavern JoJo Kurumazushi L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Le Cirque Matsugen Momofuku Ko Momofuku Ssam Bar Nobu Next Door Nobu Nobu 57 Oceana Perry St. Picholine Scarpetta Town Spice Market Sushi Yasuda Union Square Cafe wd-50 What struck me is just how insanely all over the place this list is! Perry St. & Ko are equal in rating. USQ & Del Posto or Adour? Really? And Aureole isn't on par with a bunch of places on this list? I'm not one to be critical of Bruni or the NYT system, but when I saw this list I immediately couldn't help but have a negative reaction. The idea of a half star system suddenly makes a lot more sense. Anyways, just thought I'd print the list to see if people have a similar reaction. I've seen the 4 star list before and reacted thinking it was a good and fair list. Very different reaction to the 3 star list. (edited as per oakapples note below)
  13. Probably worth mentioning that I live in a Manhattan Apt :-)
  14. I cook mine higher yet (180), but for only 6-7 hours. I do so to render the fat. Once they come out, they get brushed with BBQ sauce and quickly broiled. Works to my satisfaction.
  15. I picked Corton for my bday, not sure how much trouble I'm putting my wife through to secure a reservation though. I guess I'll find out in a couple of weeks. Backups for me are The Modern & Daniel if Corton proves impossible to book.
  16. Another suspect is also the combination of alcohol with the excessive amounts of food. I wouldn't have described any of my past dates' experience as "violently ill all night long", but the combination of alcohol and french 3 star dining has definitely led a date or two to lose (or perhaps return) a very expensive dinner...
  17. BTW, once we had successfully covered the non-veggie dishes on the menu at least once, me and my wife came to the conclusion that if you HAD to stick to 2 dishes, and were going for the most filling combination, while still not completely ignoring the quality/flavor of the dish, we settled on the Tuna Ribbons (generous portion, stunning visually, stunning taste wise) & the Confit Leg of Chicken (huge portion, very tasty) as the best quality, quantity and overall in sticking with a quasi-traditional app/entree combo on the menu.
  18. You keep calling it that. Is that what THEY called it too? ← lol, no they call it "Crunchy Rabbit, Citrus-Chili Paste and Soybean Puree" on their website anyways.
  19. Verbally recited. It's possible she said "we have two additions to the menu", but I seem to recall "we have two specials today" for some reason.
  20. Moderator's Note: This topic has been split off from the original Jean Georges topic, started in 2005. That topic may be found by clicking here. The hard to comprehend $8 lunchtime supplement on the Scallops is now a thing of the past apparently. Instead it looked like you got a little less scallop, like a single scallop cut into threes. Still, nice to see it gone! Specials today were the crunchy bunny & the uni with black bread and jalapeno, two dinner menu stalwarts. Dad was in town, and I can report (since someone complained that we never discuss the wine here) that we asked our host to pair each of his three entrees with a full glass (6oz) of wine. The foie went with the Reisling Kabinet ($15), the Scallops went with a Loire Valley Chanin Blanc ($22) and the Skate/Chalon went with a California Chardonnay ($20). My dad found the pairings interesting to some extent, but wasn't impressed like he was with the food. The halibut replacement with the mushrooms is now on the printed menu, and although I agree with Bryan that the flavor of the herbs overwhelms in short order, this was the winner with my dad & wife. Different strokes... Then again, none of us really understood the Kampachi Sashimi with micro-planed pecans (the waitress called them crystalized). Seemed like a perfectly good way to get in the way of a great piece of sashimi. Tuna, Foie and Skate were amazing as always. First time having a cheese course as well, $24 for 3 cheeses, we chose one goat, one sheep & one cow from an impressive selection. They serve this with a generous and delicious portion of macerated stone fruits, walnut pieces and a dark raisin/nut bread. I may also be turning the corner on dessert, need a few more visits before I can tell for sure though. "The Winter" (cinnamon doughnut hole with armangac jam & cranberry parfait/tart with vanilla meringue) was... well... it was very good! Crunchy Rabbit, Soybean Puree, Spot of Fermented Chili Paste
  21. That's creamy foie mousse in between each layer of tongue. The spot of mayo you see there is probably a plating accident from the lettuce's dressing. AFAIK, it's just the layers of tongue and foie mousse. The tongue is not terribly different from the tongue I get at a good jewish deli near work, nice gelatinous/fatty feel.
  22. I'm almost certain the current online dinner menu stands as the final menu before Schaedelin took over, there isn't a single dish on there that the restaurant touted as "his" when we asked from looking at the new menu we received. And of course, every restaurant needs a few months to settle in.
  23. Pig Cheek ravioli, that's the other one! Jealous of your meal, that sounds great. And to be fair, we've never had a service issue, the two french waiters that seems to serve us all the time are good.
  24. Anyone else been since Pierre Schaedelin took over the helm (mid-December or so)? I went last week and there had been a few noticable changes to the menu and food, but nothing yet very extensive. We ordered a couple old and a couple new dishes, a leek terrine (optionally with deep fried pork trotters) and a stuffed sauteed chicken breast served with bacon and pearl onions. The special of the day was a filet & foie construction that looked like a burger made with foie buns, which got a small pour of chocolate sauce tableside. I think there was also a new salmon dish on the menu. The mini-baguette served when you sit (and which accompanies the still "must order" $1 egg mayo) had changed style, so in short order, the changes are now coming. Unfortunately, and as much as I still want to like and have a world class bistro smack dab in midtown, the food was not that great. The leek terrine seemed innovative and looked very pretty with various shades of swirled green, but the commitment to literally making this a pure terrine of cold leeks with nothing else, while admiral and apparently skillful, left me thinking it could be improved. And to that end, the sauce gribiche served alongside side seemed a bit out of place to me, and the now "so '08" deep fried twinkie shaped roll of pork trotters (optional) left me wondering just how much of Martha's admiration for the Chang (and by proxy, for the pig) made it's way into this dish and/or menu. The chicken breast was breaded and pan fried, and had a very heavy color to it (something else I seemed to notice in all the dishes passing by - and in our snails & onion soup - the chef likes to really really brown stuff), not to my taste - and made the chicken a little dry. The thick lardons of bacon and the pearl onions were nice and added to the dish. In all the porkification of the two new items I tried above helped (I noticed the addition of pork to one other new dish, but forget what it was now), but ultimately didn't save the meal cause it wasnt the fresh treatment that I was hoping for out of the new Benoit. Hopefully over the next few months the exhausted pork tricks and obsessive (dark) browning temper out and the potential inherent in the read of the new and future dishes comes through. On a positive note, they were serving galette de rois, in fact you could run home with your own entire galette for only $25 :-)
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