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Everything posted by sickchangeup

  1. I agree with the guy who said that when he craves Mexican, he doesn't think Taco Bell. Taco Bell is it's own food category. But having said that, I LOVE Taco Bell. I see absolutely no problem with on the one hand, spending $500+ on a fancy meal, then turning around and enjoying Taco Bell the next day. No problem at all :-) In the end, I still only eat there a handful of times a year though.
  2. Thanks - and yeah, I'm gonna try it this weekend to see how it goes. Will need to buy a can to hollow out anyways, so I'll get to closely inspect the store bought version, capture the timbre of the plop and know what to shoot for. As for chunky vs. smooth - however it comes out of the can is how I want it :-)
  3. Progress is a beautiful thing :-) Thanks for the input, pretty neat info to me.
  4. Interesting interview here: http://www.restaurantgirl.com/chef_qarecip...in_ducasse.html I have to admit I'm a fan of AD, ADNY being amongst, if not THE, finest haute dining I've experienced. And when he says that American's don't get bistro cooking, I think he's right. The thought of their menu makes me want to go there practically every day in the fall and winter for cassoulet, quenelles and the chicken, but it's hard to get anyone interested in that kind of food for some reason. My wife considers bistros as only good for brunch food, and she feels this is representative of many women in the city, which I don't understand. The most interesting parts of the interview to me were the following: What was your take on Alain Ducasse at the Essex House? We were one of the first gastronomic fine dining restaurants in New York. We paved the way for restaurants like Per Se and chefs like Thomas Keller. Maybe when I die, people will realize what I did here. What's your response when people refer to Alain Ducasse at the Essex House as a failure? It's scandalous. Simply scandalous. Essex House was opened four years and it was a success. We built a clientele of loyal guests. Food lovers, they followed us to the Essex House, then to Adour. We lost our lease. That's the only reason AD at The Essex House closed. What happened at Benoit? Perhaps we opened too quickly. We needed time to adjust. It was a slow evolution. There are new dishes on the menu now, like the boudin noir burgers with raw and cooked apples. But I think Americans don't quite understand French bistro. Who's to blame for that? I think it's the journalists. It's their duty to educate New Yorkers about French cooking. Americans don't know what French bistro really means. Here, nobody serves quenelles de brochet, cassoulet, or tarte tatin. Benoit is really my culinary proposal to Americans. It's the story of the French bistro in a restaurant. All of those dishes are my culinary proposal -- French history. Everyone here has flat out said that ADNY FAILED - including Bruni I believe (not here of course, in his Adour column). If they are wrong, they have indeed done a huge disservice to an outstanding restaurant. What the reporter didn't ask was "Why didn't you just re-open it if it was a success"? Cause that would seem to me to be the issue here, Adour is clearly perceived to be a conscientious move in a different direction - into two star territory. But then they fire their chef after "reaching their goal", which doesn't make sense either. Anyways, interesting excerpts there I think.
  5. Take THAT Mr. Michellin! :-) http://www.the-feedbag.com/news/emp-induct...-chateaux-group
  6. Yeah the wine is very pricey there, you're right. The pricing almost assumes beer will be consumed. I would add however that since they give you both chicken liver amouse and a massive popover, there is no need for 1 potentially, let alone two apps. The desserts are ok, I'd share one. The steak tends to be so large, then when I go with a party of 4 guests from abroad, I order enough steak for three and it's plenty. But the wine is killer there, you're right on on that one.
  7. Well, that will get you nothing but a bad meal. ← Different strokes for different folks.
  8. Having hosted an unusually large number of English guests for dinner over the past 5 years, I'd share the following: Book a steakhouse. BLT Prime works quite well I find (something familiar about a popover, some meat and roasted tomatoes on the side). Order the porterhouse or the NY Strip, don't order the fillet - no one really eats that here in NY (outside of the porterhouse portion). I've never hosted someone from the UK that wasn't blown away with American beef, and BLT Prime is more of a honeymoon appropriate place than say... Peter Luger (which is a dump by comparison). If you can stomach it, order your meat medium-rare, but don't go past medium or you'll ruin the meat. The bill for two should definitely be under $200, maybe even $150 if you do good on the alcohol tab. If you really want fillet, then the Wellington from Dylan Prime with some mash on the side is fantastic, and also a nice cozy atmosphere. As for other advice, I might try to book a single blow out meal at a place like Jean Georges (3 star michellin) on any night I could, and make that the big romantic night out. Other nights you can do something moderately romantic (and less expensive) like go down to little italy and pick a place you think looks good, or do a pre-broadway or pre-opera special and save some money for drinks around town after. I've found that either my guests are blown away by something very special (BLT/JG) or they find almost anything that we consider to be decent very good, allowing you to save some money on the stuff in between. I'm not sure I've hosted anyone that would have thought eating offal, or paying a ton for pasta while sitting at a bar (i.e. Babbo), or going to eat modern (crazy to some) food at WD-50 was a good idea (sorry to buck the trend, this is just from my experience with English guests - I'd very much enjoy both).
  9. I guess that explains why the ingredients in the canned version just lists cranberries and corn syrup. Thanks, I'll give it a shot!
  10. Here's the situation: I want to make everything homemade for thanksgiving. My wife is game, but is refusing to budge on the classic "canned" cranberry sauce. Something about the comfort of that thing coming plopping out of the can (can lines and all) really does it for her. I grew up in another country and don't particularly get it, but I do need help. Is there some way I can replicate this industrial behemoth at home? I get that I need a can as a mold. I get that I need cranberries and sugar (probably a pound of one, half a cup of the other). Presumably I need to cook it together, then strain it smooth. But how do I get it to mold? Gelatin? (how much per can?) Agar Agar? Methylcellulose? Willing to try whatever it takes. Thanks!
  11. That's a good point. The reason I rarely cook steaks in the apt anymore is due to the smell/smoke involved with high heat searing (I find that sliding in the oven as soon as possible helps here). FG - How does the family (or in my case a wife that doesn't like me stinking up the whole apt with smoke) feel about the smell with this longer method vs. a shorter high heat sear & roast?
  12. Well, I'm going in three weeks on a Saturday. After re-reading the old Bouley thread, I'm gonna show up ready for the worst possible service ever. And potentially bad, potentially great food. Should be fun! Anyone got a reservation for before the 6th?
  13. You're not one of those people pushing the warm chocolate cake version on me again are you?? Are you???
  14. Had dinner here tonight. My main impression was that you're dealing with a very good casual bistro, a best hits collection even, that has a more formal restaurants service standards and prices. Seems like a bit of a conflict, but for someone that loves good formal service like my wife, this was quite a successful dinner. We started with two $1 egg mayo's - best $1, err $2 I have EVER spent at a restaurant. This trend needs to grow, and FAST. This along with two mini baguettes, two slices of good bread, large pat of butter and an entire tray of delicious gougers definitely got me in the mood to spend some extra dough and try a bunch of stuff. Not sure how that works, but it did. Then we had the pate en croute (good, wasn't as sold on this as others have been, prefer a few DB personally), langue de veau (not on the menu, but served when requested - and DELICIOUS. Very very rich though, this should be shared), and the chicken. I noticed the menu didn't call this "L'ami Louis style", which the original menu did. It's a small chicken, but sinfully well prepared tonight, served with roasted garlic, separate serving dish of chicken jus and excellent french fries. For dessert I avoided the aforementioned souffle and went with the Isle Flotante (again, not the name they printed - they went with Island Float or some such, it was tonights special) and the Mille Feuille. The Island was insanely good, the mille feuille not so much. I have to say, of all the Bruni reviews I have gone back to read after a meal, this one was the closest to the mark in my experience. My visit was more positive, cause my chicken was perfect tonight - he went several times I guess and at the time seemed to be hit or miss. The hostess also let out a loud "PREGO!" to the table next to us which left me shaking my head. Really? Prego? We also had an unremarkable $30 of Reisling. Was pretty crappy, but $30 is $30 I guess. All that wound up at $180 with a bottle of water, tax and tip. I think next time if we stick with the $1 egg, two entrees and some tea I'll feel like a pretty big winner when the check comes.
  15. Those look great - very nice job getting a crust on there while keeping to what looks like a perfect medium rare. Just FYI: I've had 60+ day dry aged steak at both Primehouse and Craftsteak, and both were exquisite. I'd personally recommend Primehouse if they have it (not on the menu, was a daily special) as the meat had a distinctive sourness to it that I felt was simply sensational. It had become so condensed that each little sliver felt like a massive slice once I put it in my mouth cause so much moisture had left the meat. The craftsteak was less sour and sensational, but more meaty. I actually didn't want to go further (they offered a 72 day one as well), and future orders there hung around the 50 day mark for me. Just tonight I had a 4 week steak at BLT Prime and find that anything under 42 days really doesn't do it for me anymore, even though it's vastly more flavorful than bloody fresh meat of course. As for the butcher, I read your last report and was happy to have read it. In between waiting for a table at Shopsins I did a quick tour around the market and didn't see anything in his window cases that suggested the goodness that he might have tucked away in the meat locker. In fact nothing struck me as special at all. So good to know.
  16. I had been wanting to check out the Bread Bar tasting menu ("Wazwan" they call it) for a while now, but wasn't sure I was interested in shelling out that much dough without having heard about it from anyone else. But one Amex Concierge "apology" $75 gift card later, and we were in business. Here is the menu: Bread Bar Wazwan $51 pp "A sampling of our Bread Bar favorites offered family style for the entire table" Chuntey Sampler Greenmarket Apple, Tamarind-Jaggery, and Tomato Kalunji (requested substitution for Mint-Cilantro) Fluke Ceviche Marinated with chilies, cucumber, thai basil & peanuts Bombay Bhel Puri Street salad with puffed rice, apples, green mango, tamarind & mint chutneys Black Pepper Shrimp Shell on, marinated in coriander seed & black pepper Greenmarket Squash Foogath sautéed with mustard seeds, ginger, kokum and fresh coconut Bread Bar Chicken Tikka boneless "murray's all natural" chicken marinated with curry leaf and ginger Tandoori Flank Steak Marinated with cardamom, ginger, black pepper & yogurt Roasted Mung Dal seasoned with coconut & cumin Mung Bean-Basmati Pilaf Seasoned with mustard seeds & curry leaves Chocolate "Kulfi Pop" with peanut cream and chocolate cookies A few notes: - You get a single Rosemary Naan at the start, and a single Garlic Naan sometime around the Chicken Tikka - I added up the total cost of the dishes if you ordered them on your own, and you wind up saving about $25-$30 when eating for 2. The "Kulfi Pop" isn't on the menu (that I could see anyways), the rest is. Now granted, I'm not certain we got the same portion of everything as if you got it off the menu - if anything I suspect we got a little less in a single dish here and there, making it closer to a push financially. But... - We left stuffed - Service was great. We told them that my wife hates cilantro, and they worked around it without a peep after an extended conference with the chef. Hard to avoid cilantro in Indian cooking, but they were great about it - With three lassi's and a diet coke (2 drinks each) it came to about $160 - They gave us each a little mini printed out version of the menu for us to "follow along". I liked it. - The meal on it's own kind of looks like 10 courses plus two breads. But it was sort of broken out in sections: First chutneys, Rosemary Naan, Ceviche and Poori. Then next the Shrimp and Foogath. The chicken came alone, although the garlic naan came around here somewhere. The steak was served in close proximity to the Dal & Pilaf. Dessert was on it's own. So in the end it felt more like 5 rounds of food. - They don't change your plates by default, but do happily accommodate you with a fresh plate when you ask. We asked once. All in all, pretty happy to have tasted so much new food, and to have added another tasting menu notch in the belt. If you go by the rationale that "hey, for only a few more bucks I could go to X", you'll probably never make it here for this. But getting to taste 14 (three chutneys) things from Chef Cardoz's kitchen for $51/pp, it's likely gonna appeal to some people here.
  17. Well, we went Sunday and had a very nice brunch. If my first lunch experience at Jean Georges counts as a 10/10, then this first visit to Perry St. was more of a 7/10 by way of comparison. Everything was very nice, but nothing was really extraordinary. Good recommendation on the calamari BryanZ, I see what you meant by it being more of a signature JG dish compared to the rest. I didn't care too much for the yuzu flavor of the dipping foam, but it's preparation, presentation and texture were top notch. The calamari themselves were fantastic, best I've had. I also had the tuna burger - which honestly is probably as good a tuna burger as you can make, which doesn't quite make it to extraordinary. The fresh sesame bun was soft, the bonito mayo added a fishiness that was unwelcome at first until I realized it wasn't from the tuna, the shiso worked very well and the yuzu pickles added a nice completeness. My wife ordered the asparagus, sourdough, smoked bacon, fried eggs dish to start, thinking it would be a side of asparagus with an egg on top - classical dish almost, the best of which I've tasted came from Momofuku. Instead it was basically a breakfast entree all in one plate, with two large perfectly fried eggs dominating a dish that contained minor elements of bacon pieces, small asparagus pieces, sourdough croutons and I think even cheese. It was very good, and in point of fact I think I'll order it next time, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a nice little vegetable side/app to start a meal off (as my wife did), it's more of a breakfast entree. Despite being fuller than she bargained for, she still powered through the "slow cooked" (i.e. sous vide) salmon, which she said was amazing - as well prepared a piece of salmon as she's eaten. The desserts were honestly a complete throw-away, the bill rings them up as $0 and that's kind of the way we felt about them - they are there, we nibbled at them but they could also not be there and it would be fine. A molten chocolate cake with pistachio ice-cream, and a ricotta cheese cake with concord grape ice-cream. The concord grape got finished, the rest didn't. It kind of felt like a mignardises served in large format, it's free and because of that it's nice to have, but only because of that. The only true mis-fire was the elderflower/orange drink which cost $5 and tasted like bad frozen juice with seltzer. The coffee was very good. All in all, I think the decor here probably factors into the overall experience and value proposition more so than at Jean Georges proper, where the food experience dominates all else IMO. Sitting down facing the water on a nice sunny day with those big bright windows was very relaxing - even entering and leaving the restaurant felt like an exercise in isolation, which was nice. Then getting good food served with no bustling like most of the good NY brunch places was great too. In fact, I wish they could import some of the tranquility and feeling of isolation into Jean Georges, it would make it even better.
  18. Well, I'm no chef - I just quoted the other guy. I'm now to the point where I am super skeptical if they don't ask me at the beginning of my meal, although 1/10 times a place that asks after the meal get's it right - so it's probably doable. I still get a stern warning that it will take a while from the places that do it right though.
  19. I can't think of a bigger pet peeve I have than this. The problem is that I have yet to find a waiter who can stand there and admit that their "half-fake" souffle (i.e. not all the way flourless chocolate cake, but definitely not a 40+ minute souffle either) isn't a true classic souffle. So you sit there and grill them, they defend their souffle and claim it to be the classic one, making you feel bad you'd even questioned the commitment to quality of their pastry chef, yet after all that they deliver that damb bastard of a fake souffle. Drives me insane.
  20. Great, I'll order that. My girlfriend and I will be here this Thursday (today) through Monday. I've been to New York before but my girlfriend hasn't. I've already been to JG, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Katz's, Ippudo, Dim Sum Go Go, Chinatown Brasserie (thanks for the tip, Mitch). We currently have planned Friday lunch at wd-50 ($75 for 7 courses) and Monday lunch at Sushi Yasuda ($35 special). I'd like to keep the other meals at under $30 person, pre-tax, pre-tip (or about $40 total). Currently I have planned: Otto Perry St (brunch) Tentative: Szechuan Gourmet Grand Sichuan Momofuku Noodle Bar -- might be stretching the budget a bit GROM gelato Any other recommendations? Thanks! ← Katzs almost immediately comes to mind for a pastrami on rye and a cherry soda. Since you note your gf is on the adventure as well, I'll add that my wife has to order extra lean at Katz (a crime!) because she just can't stomach chewing on that much fat. I of course don't hesitate to do just that :-) If you really want to bang out the trifecta you can amble back up Houston and pass by Russ & Daughters for bagel, schmear and lox and then Yonah Shimmels for a knish. But Katz is really the "can't miss" item IMO.
  21. IMO, the Essex street market is probably one of the best, or at least most accessible markets for Latino food products in the area commonly referred to as Manhattan - aside from which, (and aside from Shopsins) it is entirely unremarkable as a foodie destination - a chocolate shop, a barber, a juice shop, and well - a couple of nice cheese shops (which you can find elsewhere too). Which is to say, if you are looking for tamarinds, plantains, soda's like coco rico, good tortilla's (i.e. that aren't made by mission), cotija/queso blanco, various chiles like guajillos or even a butcher that sells things like oxtails (saw some beautiful whole oxtails there last time), tripe and various forms of trotters then this is a great place - especially if it's close by. If that's not what you are looking for, then I'm not sure there is a ton more in there that would catch your interest. As for Shopsins, I think it's worth stopping by for sliders literally every chance I get. Sorry for the emphasis, but the sliders are f'ing good. He also has a great way with eggs and breakfast food in general (especially some of the crazier things like bread pudding french toast, mac and cheese pancakes, slut/ho cakes, mexican breakfast skillet combos and the like). I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, although it's only open from 9 to 3.
  22. A lot less than I would have expected until you made me count. Thanks for the answer :-)
  23. Serious Eats doesn't fit in here? I thought for sure you meant this instead of the new feedbag, but then again I'm not "in the business".
  24. sickchangeup


    I don't know what it looked like before renovations, but right now the downstairs is definitely more of a bar, and the upstairs definitely emphasizes dining :-)
  25. sickchangeup


    On the heels of this assertion: http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/b...08/10/post.html and living approximately 1.5 blocks away, I had to check it out. I've had my fair share of burgers, even made a recent (yet relatively brief) contribution to the "best of" burger thread that quite frankly I could expand a great deal on! The short version: This isn't NY's best burger. But it's got elements that make it a contender, it adds something to the conversation without a doubt, and with a tweak or two... The burger as described by Knowlton: "[Chef Patrick] Connolly takes D'Artagnan ground beef (80/20 ratio of lean to fat) mixes it with salt and pepper, minced shallots, and a bit of olive oil. The burger is first seared on the griddle and then finished in the oven. To the bottom half of a Balthazar bun, he layers leeks pickled in Champagne vinegar and simple syrup. Gruyere cheese is melted on the burger and fried leeks are piled on top." A photo of it appears on the gourmet site, so I won't reproduce it here. Before I describe what I didn't like about the burger, I'll share this: I'll take these pickled leeks over any other pickle I've ever had in a burger, and I'll take the fried leeks over any fried onion hay/strings as well. That's the best part, and since it's the most creative (i.e. the rest can be tweaked without changing the burger), this gives the "bobu" a ton of potential. As for what I didn't like, it was mostly the bread and the meat - but not for how they tasted. As soon as I read that the burger was finished in the oven, I was skeptical. In theory you gain a juicier burger, while sacrificing some crust. In practice you almost always get an overcooked burger. And sure enough, my "medium rare" arrived "medium well" or even "well" - a few spots of light pink, but otherwise brown. The best part of ordering medium rare burgers is that by the time your crust is ready on both sides, your burger is ready as well. If you insist on sliding it into the oven it's like a bed sheet that's not long enough - either your toes or upper body are gonna go cold, or in this case you'll either lose char or proper temperature. My medium well burger left me unable to comment properly on the taste of the meat. As for the bun, I'm guessing it's a nice thing that you can walk across the street and pick up a 6 pack of Balthazar buns from Gourmet Garage whenever you need 'em. But there is just waaay too much bread, and neither a relatively mild tasting gruyere nor an overcooked patty had a chance with all that bread. The bread tastes good, I just wish there was less of it - if you perfectly arrange your patty in the center of your bread, you still have a good 1/3rd of an inch of bread surrounding the patty. So I think next time (and there will definitely be a next time!) I'll send it back if it's not medium rare, and I'll trim away some bread. As for the rest of the menu, and the restaurant - it was quite nice. The lunch menu was very creative, the bar drinks menu looked positively impressive (although we stuck with coffee), and they encouraged us to go upstairs to look around. Quite nice. We ordered a side of "marrow dauphines", which was awesome. Apparently they mixed marrow into a cheeto shaped potato dauphines (only two were left by the time we thought to take a photo): The amount of flavor was incredible, I kept trying to figure out how this little puffy thing packed such a punch. The dipping sauce was also quite interesting, a testament that we used it at all - so flavorful were the dauphines. My wife had the omelet (cheddar and herbs) which came with fries, which were also very good and had some form of light batter on them. This was by no means a light lunch, but between the tasty grease and the excellent hair of the dog options, this place has to find some success in the village no? The coffee was very nice, and service was attentive despite an almost empty restaurant. In the end, the creativity definitely left me wanting to return for dinner and drinks, which I'll do someday soon I'm sure.
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