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Everything posted by bgood

  1. I feel your pain. Several years ago the Liquor Board carried Marc de Champagne at Christmas time in the Cambie store. It was de Venoges I think. It is fantastic stuff. They haven't carried it for at least 4 years unfortunately. I was in Paris a few years ago and thought it would be the ideal chance to pick some up. It went to supposedly the best store and they gave me a blank look, the woman had to get her manager and all they could come up with was Marc de Bourgogne. It was a very weak substitute. The Marc de Champagne has a carmelly/burnt sugar flavour that is fantastic. The Bourgogne was more one dimensional, not bad but I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Xolatl (sp?) on Burrard in Vancouver carries a line of filled chocolates and one of them is Marc de Champagne and it is very nice. I think the brand is Zotter or something. Good luck, it's worth looking for if its available.
  2. bgood

    Tomato Jam

    The tomato jam goes nicely with grilled salmon & halibut.
  3. That's great! I've been looking for an excuse to check these guys out. I'm going to call them tomorrow. Pollo al Mattone on the weekend!
  4. I'm not sure how to harvest it but it is great as part of a rub for grilled chicken. I got the idea from Mario Batali's Italian Grill, Pollo all Mattone (chicken under a brick). He also has a recipe for rolling balls of ricotta in the fennel pollen but I wasn't so keen on that one.
  5. The store in Portland is In Good Taste (231 NW 11th Ave). It's in the Pearl district about a block form Sur La Table. That's interesting about the Southern Italian angle, I always thought it was Tuscan.
  6. I've gotten hooked on Mario Batali's recipe for chicken under a brick in his Italian Grilling book and have exhausted the supply of Fennel Pollen I picked up in Portland. I checked at Gourmet Warehouse yesterday and they are out of stock and having problems sourcing it. Has anyone seen it in Vancouver?
  7. A personal favourite of mine is the Corpse Reviver #2. I use the recipe from Ted Haigh's Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails. It has equal parts gin, Lillet, Cointreau and a dash of pastis as well as lemon juice.
  8. I completely agree about Fraiche. The food is not what I expected which is not unheard of but we had visitors in from out of town and it was disappointing. It was food I would have expected from a 'view' restaurant but not from someone who started Crave and had the Four Seasons pedigree. I had always assumed the simple food at Crave was carefully calibrated to the neighborhood but now realize it is, in fact, all they are capable of. I had a duck breast with soggy skin I would have been embarrassed to serve at home. Our guests were too polite to say so but they were not impressed. The view is spectacular but it is not otherwise worth the trip.
  9. Just saw some Laguiole corkscrews at Atkinson's Table Arts on Granville. Looked like they had at least 3 different styles.
  10. Les Amis de Fromage have some high end butters. I got a tub of the stuff they use at West but it was a bit past it. Name escapes me. They had a couple of interestng other ones. Can't quite bring myself to try them as my waistline really doesn't need 2 or 3 loaves of bread crammed into it. OK, OK, pass me some high-end butter, so I can slather it on my words before I eat them.
  11. Benny's Bagels on Broadway has them or at least they did 6 monthgs ago.
  12. The bar in the Sutton Place Hotel does a very credible version of H&C. It's probably the only place you'll get your wedge of lemon wrapped in cheesecloth. For my money it also makes the best bourbon Manhattan of any fish and chip place I've been to.
  13. I couldn't agree more about Hebrew National being the top of the heap. They haven't been available here for almost a year. On a grill they can't be beat. I just picked up some free-range 'franks' at Whole Foods that were pretty delicious. Nicely spiced. My only reservation is that I recall a passage in Revelations about a free-range wiener product that heralded the end of days. I could be mistaken, it may have referred to organic doughnuts.
  14. I'd have to register a vote for the Gerard Bar in the Sutton Place. It's more mellow than Bacchus and they make a mean steak sandwich with hollandaise. For my money it's the most bar like altho I'm partial to Bacchus as well.
  15. How about a real good cookware store? Seattle has City Kitchens and Sur La Table. We don't have anything even close. It's easy finding stores that sell pots but how about the little things that make every cooking day better? Gadgets and gizmos that are sub-$100.
  16. I was walking down Hamilton St the other day and noticed a new storefront next to Coast restaurant. The sign says "Lilykate Fine Foods- Coming Soon". A quick search on the internet didn't yield any info. Can anyone shed some light on this? I'm hoping it's a real gourmet store along the lines of what Meinhardt should be.
  17. Speaking of mocha's (tho I know a real coffee geek wouldn't deign to sip one) Torrefazione(?) on 41st makes the best I've had by far. They don't add any sugar to the chocolate syrup. If you resist the urge to add sugar it makes for a fantastically mellow morning drink. I've heard some disquieting rumours that they may be closing soon. I hope not.
  18. Was down to Whole Foods last Friday. Very impressed with the clientele. If ever you needed a reason to eat healthy all you had to do was look around the store. 40 can be fabulous. The thing that struck me the most was the availability of specialty and organic meat. There was organic chicken by the piece available which wasn't an option at Capers this week. As well there was specialty lamb and beef that looked great. If you've gotten hooked on brining poultry you'll be surprised how well organic chicken cooks up. The produce selection was impressive for the breadth of the organic selection. This is the future of supermarkets for neighbourhoods that can afford it. Hopefully Kits is in their plans.
  19. We were just at Feenie's last Saturday night. We didn't dive too deeply into the menu but the room had a nice buzz. We both had the steak frites and I think the the frites were the tastiest I've ever had. They were kind of soft and flaccid which didn't seem like a good sign but they were delicious. Some of them were also a bit gritty but I could overlook that for now. They also offer an extensive list of fizzes on their drinks list. I tried the Chicago which contained ruby port and lemon juice among other things and was an excellent tart apertif. They seem to be keeping the menu fairly simple for now but the food was tasty and the room was just humming with energy. As far as the service goes, it seems very smooth but maybe a touch formal for a bistro. We dropped by the other night for drinks and some dessert and I was just wearing shorts and a t shirt and they couldn't have been friendlier. All in all I think it's a great addition to dining scene on the west side of Vancouver.
  20. Cabrales: Ouest has just started opening for what they calling Lunch/Brunch so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. It's nice to see some real restaurants open during the day instead of just for dinner. I'm planning on getting in their over the Xmas holidays and looking forward to it. My last experience at dinner was not great, but it was 2 years ago. I'm looking forward to big things.
  21. This is a fantastic discussion! The scales are falling away from my eyes. I am beginning to see possibilities all over the butcher counter. One thing I am wondering about is what to use for smoking. I have had reasonable success with a 2 burner gas grill using only one side for smoking and the other for heating the chips. This was after I abandoned my water smoker that I had converted to gas. What is the best way to do cool smoking without resorting to a log burning pit? I have been advised that if I do get one it better be a big one because it'll become my principal residence.
  22. I came across these tasty biscuits in my local emporium of high priced obscure foods. They are very tasty but it turns out that the have a chequered past. Being the unsuspecting Canadian that I am I had no idea what cruelties your average Aussie is willing to inflict on an innocent biscuit. My suspicions were aroused when I visited the company website: Arnotts. They proudly proclaim that "Arnott's is more than a biscuit company, it's part of Australian culture". It only occurred to me later that I had never seen those last two words in such close proximity. When I proceeded to the Tim Tam Home Page (Tim Tam) things seemed OK. It was only when I scrolled down select a variety that the horror was revealed. The Tim Tam Suck. At first I feared I may have been lured into some clever XXX page but it was worse. "1. Take a small bite from one corner of your Tim Tam. 2. Turn your Tim Tam around and take a bite from the opposite corner. 3. Insert one bitten corner of your Tim Tam into a cup of tea or coffee. 4. Suck hard, drawing the liquid through the biscuit and into your mouth. 5. Quickly pop the rest of the Tim Tam into your mouth before it disintegrates. WARNING Don’t attempt this with very hot liquid, or in front of someone you’re trying to impress." To make things worse I actually tried it! At first I liked it but then I felt unclean. Several showers couldn't get rid of the feeling. I am writing this because my therapist feels this is the best way to deal with the trauma. If anyone else who has been emotionally and gastronomically scarred by this vile biscuit sucking practice wants to form a support group I think we could all use a hug.
  23. Hmmm, this sounds very good. Am salivating as I type. Have to put it to the test ASAP. Dave the Cook, I'm very interested in what you're saying about the amount of time meat needs to absorb the smoke flavour. Do you have any rough guidelines? I do know 'low and slow' also produces nice tender meat but there are times it would be nice to try a couple of different methods so that I'm not spending so much time sitting around trying to balance empty beer bottles on my nose.
  24. I had a very tasty House Smoked Hangar Steak at Zoe in Seattle a few months ago. Also Alder Smoked Braised Beef Short Ribs at Coco Pazzo in Vancouver. Both very tasty and toothsome. I'm wondering how they get the smoke flavour into somethings that then needs to be cooked. I've barbecued ribs but the smoking and the cooking are all one. How do you get smoke flavour into a steak without cooking it? Inquiring minds, mine at least, need to know.
  25. I was at Gotham in Feb/Mar this year. It is a very gorgeous place. Looks like some kind of art-deco movie set. The food was only so-so. They have all the trimmings but something is missing. We were much more successful coming back a couple of weeks later and just eating in the bar. Appetizers, baked potatoes, etc. The food was still not stellar but it allowed us to soak up more of the atmosphere. It's a good place to go before a show or movie. I had a much better experience at Morton's. Everything seems fine-tuned to just the right degree. It was everything I imagined a big city steakhouse should be. Especially got a kick out of the tough guy waiters who could wax eloquent about my Zinfandel. The crowd was also more interesting looking. Gotham had what my companion called a "convention of hot tub salesmen". This may just be because it was a Saturday. Cacus Club does a surprisingly good steak and frites with garlic mayo at a much lower price and with lots of energy.
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