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sumac

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  1. We have so many wonderful choices these days. I agree with all the suggestions so far, including Cosmos and Levain. I would also add Five, La Belle Vie, 20.21 at The Walker Art Museum, Cue at The Gutherie Theater, Solera, Auriga. If you go to City Pages, and search for Restaurants, most of the listings link you to their websites. Then you can compare and select the one from our recommendations that best suits you. Let us know where you end up and how it was for your group.
  2. I totally agree with snowangel.....none of those restaurants would be on my list. Admitedly, 15 is not always easy. However, I would suggest: Peninsula Restaurant Alma Krua Thailand Broders Pasta Bar Vincents Solera Fugaise Town Talk Diner
  3. sumac

    chef Sandro Gamba

    He might just be taking some time off, but I know he has been there longer than he originally planned. My husband and I are fans of his also, so I will post any information I get.
  4. sumac

    chef Sandro Gamba

    He and his family are in France. I don't know where exactly, and I think he plans to come back to the States at some point. I will post if I have any news from him.
  5. I have heard you can get casings at Everett's in Minneapolis, 38th St. E. near Cedar Ave., 612-729-6626. Ready Meats on Johnson St. NE would be another good place to try, 612-789-2484.
  6. Tria is in North Oaks. Joan Ida, the pastry chef from Goodfellows, is the head chef there and I've heard she is doing quite well. I haven't been though. My Le Hoa is on North Rice Street in Little Canada and is best know for Dim Sum. Does your area include Stillwater?
  7. sumac

    SF Bay Area Top Five

    Why is there no mention of Campton Place? A year or so ago they were red hot. Did they lose their chef or what? We are going to be in SF this January, as we are every year. We eat at the top restaurants and have our favs, but I was just looking for some updates. Quince is new for us and we'll definitely try it. We love Fifth Floor and Elizabeth Daniel (sorry to see it close, any word on his new spot?). Any advice, west coasties??? We also love the Asian restaurants. sumac from minnesota Here is our list of favorites, not in any order: French Laundry Bistro Don Giovanni's La Toque Taylor's Refresher Bistro Jeanty Mustards (lunch) Fifth Floor Elizabeth Daniel (gone, sad) Slanted Door Aqua Gary Danko Jeanty at Jack's
  8. sumac

    Oregon & Washington wines

    We just returned from 3 days of tasting at the IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) in Oregon, which featured lots of good wines from all over the world, but specially Oregon. One of our favorites has always been and continues to be Domaine Serene Domaine Serene. They make excellent Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
  9. sumac

    El Raco de Can Fabes

    bcnchef, thank you for your thorough response. We had pretty much the same experience that you had as we also did not see the sparks of vitality and life in the dishes. Thus we wondered.....is this a new shift on purpose? We have always seen that spark before and it was not there this time, which is why I started this thread. I am sad that the excitement we had experienced on other visits seemed to be gone. Thank you all on this topic for helping me through this analysis. We were concerned it might just have been us being too demanding. Simon mentioned that a new chef may be the reason for the changes. I would ask whether that is making the difference or is Santi just too preoccupied with his expansions and all that entails to be able to give his full attention to his cuisine?? And by the way, Simon,.....why is a chef other than Santi driving Santi's cuisine? Thanks, sumac
  10. sumac

    El Raco de Can Fabes

    Thank you, Simon, for explaining that to me. As I mentioned, that is exactly what we experienced, straight-forward, and perfect quality of ingredients. I am looking forward to your reaction, bcnchef. Thanks to both of you for answering me. sumac
  11. sumac

    El Raco de Can Fabes

    We have eaten the tasting menu at Can Fabes 4 times and the first 3 were amazing. Late last April was our fourth time there and it did not even seem like the same cuisine. On our first three visits we had many more courses, smaller in size, wonderfully inventive combinations of flavors, and the highest quality of ingredients. On our last visit the courses were larger, simpler, more straight-forward, yet still absolutely perfect in quality of ingredients. Has Santi Santamaria changed his cuisine on purpose? What do others know about this? I will list two of our menus. The first is from March, 2003, and is typical of the kind of menu we were served on our first three visits there. The second is our most recent visit in April, 2004. Tasting Menu -- March 2003 1. Amuse Platter with 12 small bites apiece 2. Oyster shooter in oyster water with chopped zuccini, asparagus, and peas 3. Sea urchin and mussels, sea urchin broth, served in the urchin shell 4. Pigeon tartare with dried artichoke hearts or Truffle 3 ways: on polenta, stuffed with foie gras, shaved on potato crepe (we had both between us and shared) 5. Sauteed calamari and octopus with baby asparagus, peas and carrots in a seafood sauce 6. Cabbage cream soup with poached egg and root vegetables 7. Hake in comesco (red pepper)sauce 8. Glazed goat in a reduction sauce 9. Sweetbreads on potato puree au jus 10. Local cheeses with truffles 11. Marscapone with truffle puree 12. Trio of sorbets, blood orange, mandarin, pineapple 13. Chocolate souffle with banana ginger ice cream Tasting Menu -- April 2004 1. Amuse platter with 7 small bites apiece 2. Cold foie gras poached in port wine and served with mache 3. Frog legs in a garlic, white bean sauce 4. Spiny lobster served in the shell with a butter sauce 5. Sea bass, scallops and peas in a light broth 6. Sliced beef and turnips (sliced table-side, no sauce, huge portions) 7. Cheese selection 8. Trio of sorbets, pear, orange, pineapple 9. Frais du bois with coconut ice cream 10. Toffee cream parfait What we have experienced is two very different styles of cooking. Has he changed or was it maybe just a temporary lapse from his extremely ambitious and inventive cuisine we'd had in the past? Unable to be regulars there as we live in the States, it is hard to know. Our first 3 times there were all extraordinary (1996, 2001, 2003). Last time was good, solid, but nothing to blow us away. Thanks, pedro, for encouraging me to share this experience. sumac
  12. sumac

    Babbo

    You are so right, Pork's Neck. I guess that apostrophe just gets in the way of dangling little fingers.
  13. sumac

    Review: Vincent

    Sorry I didn't reply earlier, I've been out of town. My husband took care of all the arrangements, and he worked directly with Vincent and Michael to come up with a pre-set, 6 course menu. We started with Champagne and passed canapes, had pre-selected wines for each course, and yes, private servers. We are doing another, less formal one this summer and will offer a set three course menu with each guest pre-selecting a particular fish, meat, or vegetarian main. Again we will start with cocktails and canapes and will offer a red and a white wine throughout the dinner. So, as far as I know, you always have to choose the menu beforehand, but they are great to work with and very flexible. You can custom design almost anything you want and they can do it. They really do a FABULOUS job! It is a great setting and a fun way to dine being able to mix around during the cocktails and enjoy peering into the main restaurant, then once you are seated it feels totally private. And BTW the food is superb!!
  14. sumac

    Review: Vincent

    We recently hosted a private dinner there on his loft level. He is awesome and having dined there regularly since it opened, we think he just keeps raising the bar. Go Vincent, "Le Grand Fromage". Have you ever seen his name on his chef's jacket?
  15. When we are in that area, we love lunch at The Rio Grill, Hwy. 1 and Rio Rd, Carmel. We also love the french fried artichoke hearts in Castroville. They are served with a variety of dipping sauces. Buy a bag full and eat away. We either go to Pezzini Farms (which might be closed?) or The Giant Artichoke, but there are lots of other places and roadside stands. Have a nice time.
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