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Everything posted by sickchangeup

  1. sickchangeup

    Dinner! 2008

    All the steaks above, I couldn't resist: 1.75" thick 3 week dry aged boneless Strip from Florence Meat Market in NY, cooked sous-vide for 3 hours @ 131F, then seared fat & presentation side in butter basting at medium per FG's Thick Steak Cooking thread. Also Cheddar Mashed Potatoes (Russets, Butter, Wisconsin Mild Yellow, S&P) and roasted asparagus (S&P, EVOO).
  2. I'm no expert, but I know cemitas originated in Puebla and have their very own special sesame seeded bread recipe that is less like a standard roll and more like an egg bread. They are also always heavily centered around the 4 components of the sandwich above: a meat, a mexican string cheese, avocado and a stewed chipotle of some sort. The presence of all of these, at least in my limited book, constitutes a cemita. In comparison tortas have a more white bread type roll, and ingredients that really range all over the map, but which almost always includes (for example) beans and various salad type veggies like lettuce, tomato etc... The absence of something like cheese, or even different cheeses would be fine in a torta, but not in a cemita. Hopefully someone with more hands on knowledge than just eating these things whenever he comes across them can chime in.
  3. Two new Mexican Trucks moved into the Village recently, both selling Cemitas in addition to many other things. One is on 6th Avenue, between 3rd and 4th - basically right in front of the W 4th St. Subway Stop. The other was parked on 4th, right off of Christopher St/Sheridan Square, in front of the Chase bank on the corner. I stopped by the 6th Av. truck for a Lengua Cemita (Tongue Puebla style Sandwich): The sandwich starts with (top down) Cemita bread, mayo, tongue, avocado, chipotle in adobo (spicy!), Oaxacan Cheese, bread. Delicious, and filling. $6. You get your choice of: Beef, Chicken, Goat, Pork, Ear, Tongue & Tripe They also have a ton of other things like Huaraches, Tamales, Tacos, Nachos, Quessadillas, Taco Arabe and others. Seems pretty legit, I look forward to returning to this truck and to trying the one on W. 4th too. Very exciting!
  4. This happened to me last Sunday, had some roasted garlic in the oven ready for the middle of the meal, and when I checked on it - got nothing. Oven turned off cause the first dish's timer shut the oven off 20 minutes earlier. With you 100%, this was a digital oven of course.
  5. sickchangeup


    Well, it's not for lack of diners, the place was packed (granted Saturday night). As soon as anyone got up, someone else sat down, and when we left there were quite a few people in the reception area waiting their turn. What I wrote essentially agrees with her, it's a fantastic bargain for all that food, the smaller dishes were a great deal more fascinating and there is some tweaking to be done still. She didn't mention the service though. To add onto Bryan's comments, if the room is important, I'd specifically request main dining room seating. The library/study was fun for us, we chose it - but if you are attracted to the grand rooms, you will not want to be sat in the back.
  6. Had dinner here Saturday, and found that this is indeed a "new" Bouley. New menu, new rooms and at least on this night, "new" (as in fantastic) service. The first thing to greet you is the intoxicating scent of apples in the new foyer. Definitely carries over, if not improves on the experience of the old Bouley. There appear to be 3 main dining rooms, a grand arched room, a funky study/library room (where we dined) and a back room with low ceilings. Gone is the red room, and for my part at least, its gonna be missed. They also have a special events space in the downstairs area. The menu has no carry overs at this time, although my captain informed me that over time they intend to integrate the old Bouley standby's back into the rotation. They are trying to create a new set of standards for the new space it seems. For now only the phylo shrimp makes an occasional appearance on the lunch menu from what I was told. On this night we had a choice of 4 apps and 4 mains. Two tasting menus, a $95 4 course + dessert and a $150 6 course + dessert. We chose the $95 menu and I went with the $75 wine pairing. First course was a choice of: Raw Scallops with Citrus Segments and Apple Foam Porcini Flan with Dungeness Crab and Black Truffle Dashi The two are in stark contrast to each other flavor wise. The scallop was probably the dish that most spoke to me about the 4 star potential of the new Bouley. It's a very delicate dish, beautiful to look at, and the apple foam plays a major role in binding the flavors together. The flan was, at very worst, the best tasting re-interpretation of a miso soup starter we've ever been served. After bacon dashi's at Ko and Per Se, it was nice to be hit in the face with a blast of black truffle when the lid comes off instead of the now seemingly standard porky/smoky dashi. Second course was a very generous portion of roasted lobster (both claw and tail), served with a lot of ingredients, but primarily flavored with persimmons and pomegranate. It was at this point that we got a bit worried about the amount of food to come, there was a LOT of lobster on the plate, and this was only the 2nd course. Third course: Organic Connecticut Farm Egg, Serrano Ham, Steamed Polenta, White Truffle, Parmesan Shavings, Coconut-Garlic Broth Another trendy NY menu dish: The egg. I say it tongue in cheek, cause we've been served the ol' seafood crudi+citrus, a flavored dashi, and now an egg dish. But in truth, all three bring something new and exciting to the table, in this case a wonderful slicing of fresh white truffle, serrano ham and another Bouley Asian inspired foam/sauce. The final course was a veal saddle, although my wife substituted the chicken, which they accommodated without issue. Between the timely (and generous) wine pourings, the completely comfortable and non-intrusive service and a $9 charge for a bottomless bottle of Evian that me and my wife must have consumed three times over, I was very very impressed with the front of the house. Not a single hitch all evening, service was on par with the best I've had in the city. Bread was warm, silverware was swapped out, glasses arrived and departed without notice, everything was great. After the entrees (hard to get excited about entrees I find), we had a coconut intermezzo, followed by dessert: Amaretto Flan, Caramelized Banana, Amaretto Ice-Cream, White Coffee Mouse The dessert was good, but not great. In fact, as the meal went on I'd say we progressed from solidly 4 star half way through all the way down to a very sub-standard selection of mignardises. Making up for the mignardises (they just didnt seem well crafted, I feel many were something a home chef would produce) was the fact that we were completely stuffed after the entrees. There is no leaving you short one bite on every dish here, in fact I felt they provided quite a few extra along the way. Leaving stuffed also made up for the lack of amuse to start the meal, which while odd, certainly wasn't missed in the end. On our way out we were handed a lemon tea cake from Bouley Bakery, topping off a very nice evening.
  7. sickchangeup

    Per Se

    Wow, I'm really jealous. Once I noticed the menu, I called up to be wait-listed, but nothing so far. Nothing online either. Here is the full menu: PER SE OFFAL TASTING MENU ___________________________________________________________ BONE MARROW CUSTARD Sterling White Sturgeon Caviar "CONFIT DE CŒUR DE VEAU" Parsnips, Candied Pecans, Bosc Pears and Garden Mâche with Veal Jus "ROUELLE DE SOLE DE LA MANCHE" Young Brussels Sprouts, Garnet Yams and Pickled Cipollini Onion Shoots with "Sauce Hydromel" "TRIPES À LA MODE DE CAEN" Nova Scotia Lobster Mitts, Compressed Sour Apples and Rainbow Swiss Chard with Herbed Breadcrumbs "BACON AND EGGS" "Tête de Cochon" New Crop Potatoes, Celery Branch, Cornichons and Frisée Lettuce with Squire Hill Farm’s Ameraucana Hen Egg Emulsion HERB ROASTED "ROGNON DE VEAU" Benton’s Smokehouse Bacon, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Glazed Sweet Carrot "Buttons" and Braised Salsify Root with Red Wine Vinegar Sauce CABOT CREAMERY’S "CLOTHBOUND CHEDDAR" Buckwheat Crêpe, Broccolini Florettes and "Vinaigrette d’Oreille de Cochon et Truffe Noire" HUDSON VALLEY MOULARD DUCK FOIE GRAS "SHERBET" Cape Cod Cranberries, Chestnuts and Field Mizuna with Aged 100 Year Old Balsamic Vinegar "MINCEMEAT PIE" Bay Leaf Ice Cream "MIGNARDISES" PRIX FIXE 275.00 SERVICE INCLUDED
  8. Special birthday breakfast, took a favorite dish and added Fresh Perigord Black Winter Truffles: 5 eggs, 3/4 ounce shaved black truffle, salt, black pepper and a splash of cream soft french butter, 1/4 ounce microplaned black truffle Butter goes on the toast, then we lift chunks of the egg onto the toast and eat it like an open faced sandwich. Saved a few slices of truffle to place on top of the eggs as a garnish. I know it's culinary cheating to grab a good dish, add truffle to it and call it a day, but hey - that bolt of umami first thing in the morning is quite the thing!
  9. I just checked opentable and it says nothing available during lunch time on Saturday - you sure you checked the actual "Jean Georges" and not "Nougatine at Jean Georges"? The Jean Georges website still shows just M-F for lunch as well. This would be amazing though. ← Jean Georges opened the main dining room for saturday lunch about 2 months ago. The menu is the same "tapas" style menu found during the week. Enjoy!!! ← Just snagged a Saturday lunch right before the holidays, thanks!
  10. I just checked opentable and it says nothing available during lunch time on Saturday - you sure you checked the actual "Jean Georges" and not "Nougatine at Jean Georges"? The Jean Georges website still shows just M-F for lunch as well. This would be amazing though.
  11. Although the food served in the back is mostly typical tourist NY italian fare (which seems to work for many that are not foodies, not my bag though), the plain pizza served in the bar area and the red apple martini made with house infused vodka are actually quite tasty at Alfredo of Rome, and have served me quite well in a pinch.
  12. sickchangeup

    Truffle myths

    So chef - seeing as a I have a Perigord black truffle sitting next to me at my work desk - and this is something that doesn't happen very often - do you mind elaborating on the results?(which presumably show the ramekin that got truffled pre-cooking doing much better) Also, would a third ramkin where you grate some truffle in and let it sit for 25 minutes do even better flavor wise?
  13. sickchangeup

    Truffle myths

    Sounds like a black-truffle & sausage "sawmill" gravy over some biscuits would work out well, assuming you microplane truffles into the sauce a few minutes before serving? And if I am following this thread right, shave black truffles into the raw scrambled egg mixture before I start cooking and not shave them over the egg when done?
  14. sickchangeup

    Truffle myths

    And the results are....
  15. Oh, and on my way out, I asked if they currently allowed tasting menu's to be served at the bar. The receptionist delivered a very clear "no".
  16. Had a pretty slammin' thanksgiving meal at EMP Thursday. Menu available here: http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2008/10/tha...dison_park.html When the veloutte arrived, I was a little concerned about whether the Chef was gonna deliver on the sense of bounty that thanksgiving is meant to represent (my polite approach of saying Americans are pigs year around, but turn into downright feeding troughs during this one day). A tiny segment of pear, a small section of an intensely flavorful prawn and a small pour of a delicious soup left me with an "uh-oh, I might be leaving not stuffed" sort of a feeling. In fact, it was right around here that Chef Humm came out to speak to our slim well dressed Euro male couple neighbors who were teasing him about "so much food!" despite not having been served their entrees yet. "Nooo!!! Ignore them!!" I felt like adding, but of course didn't. The foie was a nice portion, although not as creamy and technically perfect as the Per Se, or even a recent Craft version. The accompaniments were the best though, small raw apple cubes, apple julienne,, drips of apple jelly in spheres, cinnamon meringue crumbles, coarse salt and cinnamon raisin brioche really brought amazing elements to the foie. So far all the taste elements were really on point. When the turkey arrived my worst fears were confirmed temporarily. Two slices of turkey breast, a shot glass worth of stuffing and a schmear of butternut squash looked pretty stingy. Further digging however revealed a substantial quantity of some sort of darkmeat forcemeat turkey mash buried under the breast meat, almost doubling the size of the dish. And when the sides arrived, there was no questions left unanswered, turkey coma was in my very near future. Cranberries were outstanding, the difference between an ecrasse and a mouseline well taught, and really only the brussel sprouts disappointed. What REALLY surprised me was the cocktail program. Holy schnikes, there is a serious cocktail menu here, and each drink was incredibly well thought out and balanced. I don't mean in the trendy/hot bar sort of a way, more of a high level restaurant sort of a way. I even left myself in the hands of the bartender for the final drink, receiving an incredible take on Irish Coffee for my efforts. It arrived in two layers, with some sort of new/fancy frozen coffee layer on top and the whiskey beneath. The captain explained the frozen coffee machine is a new thing and all the rage apparently. Anyways, when you take your first sip, the top layer collapses into the whiskey and you get what I can only call a Guinness effect happening. Really pretty looking. I'd say my only other possible complaint was that we left with nothing in hand. At $135/pp this was (outside of Per Se) amongst the very highest charges of all restaurants on this day, pricing it at the 4 star level (competition wise - Daniel/JG were 135 for eg) for what is currently a 3 star joint (I know people here disagree, general perception aside). Thanksgiving would have been the perfect opportunity for the hospitality group to provide something thoughtful for their guests to take home and nibble on in the evening, since clearly no one was eating dinner that day! (we went for a 2pm lunch). More of an opportunity missed than a complaint I guess. In all, very happy days, I'm more anxious than before to return for a full dinner tasting, perhaps paired with cocktails (which they said their bar staff would eagerly arrange with advanced notice).
  17. sickchangeup

    Popcorn at home

    How topical, I just popped my own popcorn for the first time last weekend, and have made 4 batches thus far. All attempts involved a 6 qt All-Clad fryer pot, and had me heating the oil first on high heat before adding the corn: "Rosemary": Threw a whole sprig in the pot with the corn and waited. The sprig burned horribly and stunk up the joint. "Vanilla Turbinado Sugar": Threw corn in. Waited with the delay on the sugar (1 part oil, 2 parts corn, 1 part sugar), and threw it in after heating up the corn some, but before popping started. Pretty big success. "Classic Salt & Butter": Threw in corn and popped it. Melted french butter separately and swirled around a much larger bowl. Tossed in popcorn, tossed the popcorn with the butter (like dressing a salad), hit it with salt and served. Very truly buttery, short term success, long term mushiness (once butter re-solidified, stuck to the popcorn then sat around for a few hours). "Vanilla Turbinado Sugar 2": Threw corn and sugar in the pot together. Sugar melted and somewhat clumped. Didn't seem to impact the end result much at all to be honest. Maybe a touch burned here and there on the popcorn, seems a delay is best. How do you guys handle the "add-ons", any tips?
  18. Any follow up on this? Is he going somewhere else? Retiring? ← Sorry to be jumping in here so late. I attended the "Mint Julep: The Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby" event at the American Museum of Natural History here in NY on July 22nd, which was presided over by Chris. Blurb here: "Master mixologist Chris McMillian and cocktail historian David Wondrich share the surprising history of the mint julep,official drink of the Kentucky Derby,while mixing up McMillian’s famed recipe." Chris is still working, he's now at the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel, still banging out prose and mint julep's for the lucky few.
  19. IMO you can't beat the moulles frittes at Balthazar, and personally I always eat them at the bar. And truth be told, I always eat them in between lunch and dinner, usually on a crowded weekend when I manage to sneak into a bar spot just before the 4pm kitchen close. Very happy days. And although the mussels aren't as good, the beer somewhat compensates at Vol de Nuit on West 4th, just off 6th Av. Take your choice of De Konick, Leffe Blonde/Brune, Delirium and others while washing down the mussels and fries. This place is basically a laid back, non-pretentious Belgian beer lounge/bar that serves only the two things to eat, so not appropriate if you are looking for a restaurant, but very appropriate if you are looking for some of the best beer on the planet served fresh from a tap with a side of mussels and fries.
  20. The only time I've ever been told this was when I booked Nobu (at 10am, 30 days in advance for 7 or 8 pm on a Friday), and while I was at first reaction a little put-off (being the first time) I didn't mind it after a second thought, and don't mind it now anymore. They gave us 2 hours, which was a reasonable amount of time, we finished before that on our own. 1:45 might be a bit tight though.
  21. With things as bad as they are for restaurants, I'll just add these to the list of places not to bother with. Personally I haven't noticed a thing lately. In point of fact, perhaps just the opposite. The economy seems to have made most places easier to deal with (Ssam bar for 3 on Friday night was only 5 mins wait). Most places I get to are happy to have me there and seat us right away. But I'm not really the best one to say, cause a) I never eat out for Italian that requires a reservation b) I make it a point to avoid restaurants that are in fashion or "hot" as you put it for this very reason. For example, I'd love to try Scarpetta, but due to the two things above, I doubt I will for a long time. "hot" restaurants are also the most likely to not care about you, since if you leave someone else just slots right in. Perhaps you've been hitting the hot spots more recently than before?
  22. Visited today after dinner at Ssam bar. The display cases were pretty much cleaned out by that time, 3 types of pies left, a couple of abandoned looking cookies alone in a massive display case and presumably soft serve. I was 3rd in line. 20 minutes into watching the counter girl attempt to fold a box for a single slice of pie for the person in front of me, my left eye started to involuntarily twitch. If I had stopped to work through all the intuitive reactions I was going through as a process oriented individual I might not have made it. Instead I switched to art appreciation mode and pretended I was staring at a Cezanne. And it worked, not 10 minutes later, me, my glass of strawberry milk and a slice of crack pie made our way to a largely empty communal table (10 o'clock maybe?). My friend would join me in due time with his pumpkin blondie pie and cereal milk. 10 minutes pass and I totally understand why it's called crack pie. With 1 bite remaining, the psychophysical effects of whatever they put in there kicked in like a swear word. Now I haven't had the pleasure of smoking crack, but I'm certain the effects can't be far off. Severe heart palpitations, a feeling of invincibility ("I'm pretty certain you could slam the back of my head with a 2x4 and I wouldn't feel a thing right now" I professed to my friends), a desire to run through the store window combined with an inability to steer or even move my legs in any direction I desired - it was all there. And it was awesome. The strawberry milk didn't so much gild the sugary lily as it faithfully served it's role in topping my blood sugar level back off to TILT whenever it threatened to dip below max threshold. The genius is that this is the perfect companion to the cholesterol overdose I had just experienced some 30-60 minutes earlier. An order of pork buns & deep fried pig's head roll left me feeling like I could collect on any circus prize available as my cholesterol meter hit the hammer and rung the bell. And now I was back at it, just with sugar instead. And honestly, I can't wait to go back! p.s. When asked about what was available when, we were told tomorrow (Saturday) is Chorizo-Challah day. Yeah.
  23. Google shows the Big Night dish as "timpano", but google images of "timpano" look pretty much like what I ate (which Morandi calls timballo) - so I'm guessing yes! Just show up on a Wednesday, and it's yours too :-)
  24. Living up the block, and having been here many many times, I came to realize that I had in fact not returned since Tony Liu took over. I realized this when on a spur we decided we wanted Jody's meatball's, walked on over, took a seat and were handed menus. That's when it hit - oh yeah, it's a new chef! This menu is HUGE in comparison. I had a mini-Shopsin's moment when handed the menu, only if Shopsins were in Italian. And apart from the big selling holdovers like the Foccacia Caprese, Fried Artichokes, Stuffed Olives, Taglietelle ala Bolognese and Cacio e Pepe, there is a lot of new food on the menu including most all of the specials. In point of fact, we skipped our meatballs. Instead we went for the "Timbalo", a daily special which the server described (incorrectly) as a meatball pie. So I have the same issue as jimk with waiters being off the mark here and there - but in this case it turned out great. For $29 we got this MASSIVE dough covered penne/zitti pasta stuffed pie with a whole boiled egg or two here and there, a meatball or two, some sausage stuffed in there - but mostly delicious pasta, sauce and peas and a ton of it. We wound up taking 1/3 of it home, this thing could seriously feed a family. I guess I'm officially excited after a very minimal sneak peak. Unfortunately the breakfast menu (I work from Morandi in the mornings a lot during the summer - free wifi) hasn't changed as much yet, nor has the lunch sandwich menu. But with the exception of the bisteca per due (aged porterhouse for two), which used to come with more rosemary potatoes than one could eat, but now comes with fried peppers from the looks of it, the changes appear to be for the better. If I had to describe the change in a sentence, I'd say it's less weird stuff (no risotto with blueberries anymore) more yummy looking stuff (grilled quail with pork sausage, polenta & concord grapes just caught my eye). Prices look to have been corrected a touch as well if I'm not mistaken. Any others dined here recently?
  25. After several consecutive years of booking thanksgiving at Aureole, I've booked EMP for 2008. Last years turkey main at Aureole was pretty sorry (this was post Dante's departure), and after seeing that they are offering what is essentially a duplicate of last years menu, I sadly chose to abandon one of my few developing dining traditions. It was tough. Searching around for a place who's menu appeared to leave me, my soul and my belly "thanksgiving level" satisfied wasn't easy. EMP is solidly in the lead right now - I actually have a reservation and everything - but it's been an extensive search through many menus around town. Which left me thinking - where is everyone here gonna eat? My criteria was based on overall volume of food as well as ensuring that all the traditional foods of thanksgiving were covered in one way or another. How about yourself?
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