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speidec

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  1. speidec

    Tampa treasures?

    Thanks for all the advice! I'll report when when we return.
  2. speidec

    Tampa treasures?

    Any good meals to be had in Tampa by a chef/market-driven restaurant. I haven't been in seven years. Please help with suggestions.
  3. speidec

    Sensing

    I have not posted in quite a while, but after dinner at Sensing on Sunday I am compelled. My wife and I ate there after a grueling Valentine's Weekend and wanted someone else to cook our dinner. After dropping $15 on valet parking (there is no onstreet parking to be had due to the residential sticker requirement) we entered and I do agree with GLAUER I expected a bit more with the decor. Everyone was pleasant, the room was empty literally and figuratively, we sat at a fine table and proceeded with our adventure. The winelist and cocktail list are fine. There are not too many bottles under $50, but there is a good by-the-glass list. I needed to use the bathroom so be forewarned: YOU MUST GO DOWN THREE FLIGHTS OF STAIRS AND WALK 30 YARDS TO USE THE MEN'S ROOM. At one point I wondered if I was still in Boston. So, breathless, I needed a cocktail and we perused the menu. I ordered the cauliflower and quince soup ($10) with chestnut foam and my wife started with the shrimp tartar ($17)and seared shrimp a la plancha. My soup was lukewarm, dull in both flavor and appearance and did not seem to have the chestnut emulsion (I was told it was mixed in, but had no discernable flavor). The texture was not good as the soup was not strained. It tasted as though the quince and cauliflower had been pureed with a stick blender (rough) and served. There was this bagel chip on top that was getting soggier by the second. It was a poorly made, lukewarm soup and there was no excuse for it. The shrimp came with a tartar (sic) and 1 lukewarm, mi cuit, unseasoned shrimp still in half its shell. (Was the plancha not hot that night?) I think the tartare should have had enough acid to possibly coagulate some of the surface proteins because raw shrimp taste slimy and unappealing. There was also an odd sweet potato garnish that possibly had tapioca pearls it it? It was bland, lukewarm and unseasoned. It also came with an emulsion of ginger and cilantro that tasted of neither. I really do hate to be critical, but we came from Rhode Island under the perception that this was going to be a hotshit new restaurant worth the price and and hype. The first courses were simply poorly prepared dishes. The ingredients were thoughtful and creative, but the execution was a total failure. I kept my mouth shut because I always end up being the bad guy when I say the slightest thing at restaurants and I really just wanted to have a good meal. Thats all. Our entrees came and I had the Ribeye ($37) with eggplant fries and barbecue sauce! The meat was of high quality, warm and well seasoned. The eggplant fries were tasty and piping hot, however placed atop a garnish of greens that wilted under the heat of the eggplant (is this culinary school?) The steak was perfectly cooked and tasty, I had no complaints except the barbecue sauce really wasn't a good idea. My wife had the tuna (can't remember the price) and it was a fine piece of fish, well cooked. The stuffed baby turnips were cool and redolent of vinegar. We ask if the turnips were supposed to be cold and a server implied they were supposed to be room temperature. When we ordered our entrees our waiter (fantastic) told us there would be sauteed vegetables served along side. Unfortunately someone forgot to fire those vegetables because they arrived (with apologies) very late and again stinking with a ton of vinegar and no salt. We mentioned the potatoes were undercooked and were corrected that they were rutabagas. Either way they were raw. We mentioned things were not going very well, but insisted to not make a fuss. I ate my entire steak and it was fine, not worth the price tag, but fine. They kindly offered us a second round of drinks. I would have ordered a full bottle of wine had the first courses not been so poorly executed. I also would have stayed for dessert, coffee and a little bourbon, but the meal was such a letdown. This is just one guy's opinion, but for the prices this meal should have been a lot better prepared.
  4. Has anyone had success with sous vide monkfish? Can you cook it with the nasty membrane without curling? What temperature would be best and how long? Thanks.
  5. You have to come to Bristol and check out Nick's fish market on Wood Street. Go on either Tuesday or Thursday after he gets back from Boston. Great selections of staples, as well as local catches in small batches, Black Bass, Tautog, Fluke and every once in a while a local brings in a Yellowfin tuna or two when they a running just off the coast in the late summer. He always has live lobsters and will bring in Nantucket Bay scallops during season, which actually begins tomorrow. Tony's seafood on Route 6 in Seekonk is another great market as is Hall's seafood on Water Street in Warren. Hall's has a brand-new location and is top-notch, but they certainly charge for quality. If you don't mind traveling, go to Ocean Fresh in Attleboro, on US1, about a mile north of the mall, they have a HUGE selection. Be wary of the small markets unless you buy it LIVE!
  6. speidec

    Persimmon in Bristol, RI

    I want to say thank you for the kind words. The restaurant, in its infant stage, is going very well and exceding initial expectations although there is always something more we can do. We have a long way to go to reach our goals. But, the initial response from our customers is extrordinary and motivating. As for lunch plans, not yet, but we are available for private parties up to 50 people and perfect for rehersal dinners, etc. Feel free to call and discuss, I answer the phone all day!
  7. speidec

    Suggestions for Bristol, RI

    I cannot help but plug our new restaurant, Persimmon, on State Street in the location of the former Hotpoint.
  8. speidec

    Persimmon in Bristol, RI

    We call it seasonal contemporary American cuisine and we are located in the historic district of Bristol. We have a web address, www.persimmonbristol.com, and posted menus and potos are being uploaded soon on the site. The hardest part of getting the doors open are behind us, now we have to do the finishing touches! You can give us a call at 401.254.7474 and we can fax a menu, but it does change daily with what the market provides. We also have just 46 seats including 4 at the bar. We have a full liquor and wine selection as well. If anyone stops by be sure to let us know you are an EGer. It would be a joy to meet local members! Look foward to seeing all of you!
  9. As a faithful EGulleter for the last several years, I would love to invite all the New England faithful to our new venture in Bristol, Rhode Island called Persimmon. I look foward to cooking for all of you in our lovely New England town.
  10. speidec

    Chefs do Paid Promos

    Actually, Tony, I remember those shrimp were from Sysco!
  11. For fruits and vegetables, Whole Foods really has the best selection and quality. Starting in June, Hope High School, on Hope Street, has a farmer's market every Saturday morning from 9-1pm. The selection is very good, especially the Arcadian Fields tent. The best, and I mean BEST, place for cheese is Farmstead, in Wayland Square. Federal Hill has some very good Italian grocers that carry some harder-to-find specialty products. Asiana, in East Providence, on Warren Ave. has the best Japanese and Korean products. I've been in the Middle Eastern market in North Providence and while I was browsing the owner followed me around the entire time and made me really uncomfortable. I didn't feel free to browse. Not Just Spices, on Hope Street is a better Middle Eastern market and they are next door to an excellent baker, Seven Stars Bread. They are not the friendliest bakers in the world, but you cannot beat their bread. Unfortunately, Providence is without a real butcher and fishmonger. Good luck, and welcome to Providence.
  12. speidec

    Capriccio

    That is the problem with this restaurant, there aren't any high quality ingredients. It is now a food factory, a throwback, the menu never changes and seasons are ignored. I had dinner there recently with my girlfriend and her parents, they love the place because it reminds them of a time long ago, but even they admit the food was poor. The steak diane was a fibrous cut that was completely covered in brown sauce. The sauces are easily manufactured somewhere else and every plate receives some brocoli trees and come undercooked carrots. My veal oscar was merely a poorly done scallopini with three asparagus spears, overcooked, pre-frozen lobster and a veal marsala sauce, no Hollandaise. Our white wine was poured in cheap goblets and the 'wonderful' service staff only poured it for us one time, we had to pour the rest ourselves. I commented about the glasses and we were brought water glasses that had just come out of the dishwasher and were very hot. I gave up at that point. I know I sound cynical, but I am tired of so many restaurants half-assing it in the kitchen and surrounding themselves with a lot of false pomp and circumstance. N.Y. system hot dogs are tasty, but you get what you pay for. In Providence, there are too many restaurants like Cappriccio that make all the noise. If you dig deep you will find there are many more trying their best to provide REAL fresh ingredients and source their products other places than the back of a Sysco truck. Try: New Rivers, Chez Pascal, Lot 401, Moda, Al Forno(although heading in the Cappriccio direction), and in the East Bay(Bristol and Warren) Nat Porter Inn and the soon-to-come, Persimmon.
  13. speidec

    Capriccio

    I'm glad you enjoyed your meal there, but PLEASE, don't think of this restaurant as even ONE of the finest restaurants. Capriccio is a throwback to the late 70's-early 80's days of fine dining. It is NOT indicitive of the Providence dining scene at all.
  14. I don't think we are talking about the same store.
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