Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by ajay

  1. So I am heading up to the Inn at Perry Cabin this weekend for a special occasion, and am having second thoughts about having dinner at the restaurant. I was told that the food is comproable to 208 Talbot or the Bistro, but on reading this thread, I'm not so sure. I was wondering if anyone has any recent experiences... Thanks!
  2. My girlfriend and I are going to be in Washington DC for a househunting trip on Sunday August 12, which happens to be our one year anniversary. I would like to have a great meal. Price is not necessarily an object for such a momentous occassion, but the meal need not be expensive. Indeed, the two high end restaurants in DC that I am most hoping to try are closed on Sunday: Komi and Palena. If anyone else has other recommendations that would be comparable to these two, we would appreciate them. But, I am assuming that these two restaurants may not be rivaled in Washington. Therefore, if you can suggest a place that has solid, well-executed food, a reasonable wine list and a romantic atmosphere that I have a chance of reserving between now and the 12th, I would be very much obliged. I look forward to meeting fellow DC egulleteers once I move down to the District. Thanks so much for your input.
  3. ajay


    My recollection is that tasting menus are only available for 2 or more people, though it's been a few years since I've been there. I don't remember a we need your seat atmosphere--the bar tenders were quite amiable and proved to be knowledgable about the food and drink. My only complaint about eating at the bar is that Babbo is such a popular restaurant that one runs the risk of of being jostled by thirsty patrons getting drinks while waiting for their tables. Arriving early has the advantage of allowing one to get a seat that's out of the direct line of fire. Hope that helps.
  4. I think that it's perfectly appropriate for Masa (or any other restaurant) to refuse to accomodate a diner with special needs. Indeed, if Masa believed that shellfish pervades their menu and it would be impossible for them to provide a meal that is free from contamination, they are obliged to inform you of this fact. However, assuming that you detailed the sensitivity of your allergy, and the restaurant agrees to accomodate you, it has the obligation to do so. I think serving you the scallop sushi is a major service lapse that is completley unacceptable. I think a particularly perceptive server would have offered to take back the sushi touching the scallop on his own accord. That said, I think with regard to the contaminated scallop a little bit of self-help might have preserved more of your dinning experience. You obviously know more about your allergy than the restaurant, and asking for a new piece of sushi due to contamination fears might have done a lot to keep the staff especially vigilant for the rest of the evening. I think it would be incredibly poor form for the restaurant to refuse to accomodate a request for new sushi based on the contamination, or indeed even to charge extra for doing so. I understand the desire to avoid having to remind a restaurant (particularly at that caliber) of one's special needs over and over, but if it appears as though they don't understand the scope and nature of one's needs, providing additional communication is probably the surest route to an enjoyable dinning experience. Thanks for the report.
  5. I think that I am going to wait for Cafe Grey to get it's feet on the ground. While I don't know what Chef Kunz's long-term vision is, I suspect that once he realizes that there is such a high demand for tasting his eclectic talent applied to luxe ingredients, he may turn CG into something akin to Joel Rubochon's Atelier in Paris, which reprises many favorites and has plenty of ultra luxe ingredients--price wise, it was quite expensive but not approaching Michelin 2-3 star prices. I'd really hate to miss my last chance in a while to have a haute cuisine meal on a restaurant that isn't quite capable of producing what I'm looking for. In the alternative, given that it now appears possible to charge comparatively higher prices than during Lespinasse's prime, I would not be surprised to see, as other people suggest, a fine dining restaurant from Chef Kunz. In the meantime, I might as well go to Cafe Boloud. I've never been showered with luxe ingredients, but chef C rivals Mssr. Boloud's deftness in the art of creating successful, integrated tasting menus. WHile CB's service doesn't rise to 4 star levels, they've been around for a while and the ship is pretty tightly run. I think it's just going to be a lower risk proposition at about the same price point. It's a shame though; CG sounds like it has a lot of potential.
  6. I plan on dining at Cafe Grey soon, and I was wondering if anyone has gotten any closer to cracking the code on how to get the most Lespinasse like experience out of Cafe Grey? The only two signatures that I know about are the risoto and the short ribs, but since I don't eat beef for religuous reasons, I was wondering if anyone could recommend another Grey Kunz classics or dishes with the complexity and intricate flavors that one would have found at Lespinasse. I have a bias towards substantial portions, but am willing to consider smaller sized dishes that are particularly worthy. I have only experienced Lespinasse with Chef Delouvrier at the helm, so this would be my first introduction to Chef Kunz's cokking. If I made it into New York more oftem, I think would hold off on the visit as the restaurant still appears to be working out a lot of its kinks. But unless the lawfirm gods smile very brightly and grant me a job this summer, I will not have another opportunity to visit Cafe Grey in the near future, so any advice or recommendations would be most welcome.
  7. F+B had great fries (that, I believe, utilized the double frying technique), but i haven't been there recently and fat guy's report suggested that they have gone down hill.
  8. ajay

    Rochester, NY

    There's nothing great in Niagara Falls proper but I think you'll be well rewarded if you go to the Niagara on the Lake region, which is close by. There are some interesting winery restaurants in that region. See the Canada boards where I believe there was some discussion of these places. Also, consider Ming Teh, a pretty good chinese place in Fort Erie (also close to but not in Niagara Falls).
  9. ajay

    Durham, NC

    Zeb A, Can you provide a little more info on Enoteca Vin?? [Nothing came up on the search function.] I'm always pressed to find new and exciting things when I'm in the triangle area, though I am so all Scott Howell's new bbq place.
  10. ajay


    I too recently asked the kitchen to cook for me and the sommelier to pair wines with my courses...I didn't think to give him any parameters though I don't recall any chardonay. The dessert wine, Ron mentioned is one of the best I've had in quite some time. I love sweet wine so for me this was a real treat. [The wine was initially paired with foie gras but i enjoyed it so much that I asked for a second pour in addition to my escellent solera sherry ximinez during dessert.] The sommelier said something about using condensed grape must to acheive the flavor...any comments, Ron? I'm not a sommelier and I've only had d'yquem once so in my book this wine still acheives an A+
  11. I have always been a big fan of Barolo da Enzo--it's an above average Italian place in SW just past the Library of Congress buildings (don't remember the exact address though, it's been a while). They had a fairly strong pasta selection and excellent tiramisu.
  12. I know the request specifically disclaimed the desire for a michelin star, but given the itenerary, I think a visit to Astrance may be in order (if they are open and a table can be procured of course). It sounds to me like most of the dinning on the trip will consist of food without a tremendous amount of innovation. It might not be a bad idea to conclude the trip in Paris with a meal that is on the cutting edge. I have only been to Astrance once but enjoyed it immensely (not to mention the fact that it is fairly well priced for the value). Members with excellent palates (Lizziee and Robert Brown) have come out against Astrance and I haven't heard much since, but I was thrilled. I wish Cabrales would consider extending self-imposed posting guidelines to advising people on Astrance (and updating us on all dinning in France) because even when our palates don't agree, Cabrales's posts are the closest I come to taking in cuisine without actually being physically present
  13. How many respectable restauarnts does that leave in the LA area?
  14. ajay


    Rather than edit my post above, I will retract my claims that Nana's is new and substitute a paraphrase from NBC promos--Nana's was new to me. Thanks for Chef Howell's name by the way, he seems like a nice guy...he came out to the table to discuss the tasting menu with us, was very accommodating of my sister's vegetarianism (lacto-ovo and now apparently tiny amounts of stock--she's beginning to see the light). But, seeing as we had one of the later sittings (8:00 PM), he did not come back out to chat with us during the meal or afterwards. I would have liked to discuss the source of the pork and understand better what he was trying to accomplish with the smoked salmon dish. Anyway, this is a strong restaurant and I hope it's around for many years to come. What do other egulleteers think?? Varmint, do you have any experiences??
  15. ajay


    I have been meaning to write up this place which was visited a while ago...the extended version will have to continue to wait, but I wanted to get the ball rolling. The place is a fairly good new american place with a chef (sorry his name escapes me at the moment, and I am not willing to do a search who trained at Bouley Bakery in New York) who knows his stuff, though I would tweek a copule of the dishes we were served. I had a tasting menu (sans beef as usual) and my sister had an all veg menu that was probably not comparable with one prepared at say Gramercy Tavern was pretty good. The tasting menu was a bit smaller than I was expecting (3 courses plus dessert) but then again so was the price--the carnivorous menu clocked in at 45 dollars and the vegetarian one at 35--a steel by New York standards (given that the ingredients used were of at least medium quality) but now that I have compared prices in other places (notably Magnolia Grill in Durham and Cafe Atlantico in Washington, DC--two other places on my mind) I no longer find the price to be such an immnese value, but the deal is still fair. As to the food I would say it was average plus plus to good minus (on what I think are fairly high New York standards--so this is quite an acheivement) In brief, the courses I had were (1) Salsify?? soup with a truffled chantilly cream--excellent (2) smoked salmon gravlax served as sort of a terrine with goat cheese? in the middle served with an endive and apple salad some kind of vinigrette--my least favorite dish--the sald could not stand up to the exceptionally bitter endive (even iwth the and the apple provided little to the dish. The acidity of the vinigrette further muddled the flavor. I think the kitchen overreached on what should have been a pedestrian dish. (3) a white fish halibut I think served with pearl onions mushrooms and a jus (there were more components of this dish but my memory is failing me)--average though the mushrooms were excellent. Inexplicably, though, the vegetarian was not provided with the mushrooms...maybe they contained stock, but then again so did the soup (we were told about the stock in the soup in advance, and my sister (under a fairly strong stare from me) relucatntly agreed to take in the soup with the chicken stock (4) a real knock-out an absolutley amazing Pork loin cooked perfectly medium rare to rare (the color was like the combination of a white and red rose) served over a fricassee of minutare vegetables with a starch that I don't remember and a reduction of pan jus--but what a reduction it was!!! Service was very good at times but lacking in others. Our captain provided several complimentary tastes of dessert wines, and while he was not an oenophilic god by any stretch of the imagination (it's nice to not be outclassed in wine knowledge every now and again) he proved to be engaging and willing to discuss the wines he was familiar with. The wine program was fairly strong with a deeper reserve list than I expected to find in NC with bottle of 92-94 petrus for example (the 94 was going for 750 big ones). We drank a perfectly respectable German riesling spaatlase (2000)--the producer escapes me at the lower rungs of the list. THe wine had plenty of residual sugar with enough acidity for me but not too much as my sister has trouble digesting acid. Some might find a bit on the sweeter side. But I'm not so sophisticated that it really bothered me. A great experience--if I had several meals and a wad of cash to blow in NC I would probably go again and perhaps demand a longer tasting so that the kithen can pull out all of the stops. On the other hand, if I only have one meal, I want to revisist magnollia grill I have vague memories of a good meal there and would like to return as it is apparently the 11th best restauratn in the country?? Nana's is a very strong addition to the Durham dinning scene and I enjoyed it, though.
  16. I thought wild duck is in fact considered game... (if not I will be even more pissed with C. Delouvrier's game menu than I already am, and given my disappointing experience--posted on the same thread as Wilfrid ngatti et all, that's saying something.) I'll take your word for the farm raised variety, though I have (in restaurants only to be clear) encountered some fairly gamey specimens of duck that I have always assumed was farm raised. For the record, Syracuse has the MOST GAME and will emerge victorious
  17. Missed this before...does anyone now if the downtown TKTS booth continues the practice of the one in the WTC of selling some tickets a day in advance?? As I recall you could at least buy sunday matinee tickets on saturday--a huge convenience air conditioning aside. But a friend argued that all tickets were available a day ahead of time...been so busy that i haven't had a chance to make it to the tkts booth though I do want to see Sam Mendez's (sp?) Twelfth Night if I can squeeze it in.
  18. Is this a morning only kind of place, or is it worthwhile to visit whenever I'm in the neighborhood?
  19. I'm most disappointed to hear about the decline of F+B's fries, which in my view, were the premier attraction. I had been meaning to get down there for the fries and if memory serves some quite good bengiet type cakes, but will now save myself the trouble...this is sad news indeed. Does either place serve a dog not made with beef at all (i.e. veggie or in the case of F+B a while ago, they had a dog made out of lamb). I understand these items may be offensive to dog purists, but in my case, they're the closest thing I can get...
  20. Over two months and still no egulleteer has visited this place?? I'm beginning to have my doubts on the qualifications of the London division of egullet
  21. Michael Jordan's got game , but I still wonder about this Stackhouse fellow
  22. I suppose that the best policy is when in doubt ask. But, disclosure of such products (especially when there is a better than average possibiliyt that the customer might have dietary restriction--i.e. ordering all seafood) is always helpful. As a barely practicing Hindu, I do not order beef. But in my own peculiar and intellectually unteneable compromise, I often steer clear of the problem by keeping myself in a deliberate state of ignorance as to the possible use of beef products in a dish (though I mention inability to eat beef when ordering a tasting menu). If I mention a sensitivity to an igredient, I expect the waitstaff to let me know. FOr example, as I posted on my meal at Ducasse, I was offered a beef amuse bouche, which I had to politiley decline. I would expect after that, if any of the other dishes I ordered utilitzed beef in some way that the waitstaff would have so informed me... but I'm not loosing sleep over it. I should mention that my parents who are lacto-ovo vegetarians have a similar policy of ambiguity (things that don't reak of meat are given the benefit of the doubt unless positive evidence is presented that they in fact contain meat.) Imagine my mom's chagrin, then, when a waiter at CB explained that the vegetarian sounding squash soup contained meat as did the rissotto. (why they wer unable to accomodate a request to do this with vegetable stock I don't know). So I suppose there are trade-offs involved, but from my perspective any information offered by the server is welcome because at the end of the day I don't want to eat beef and my parents meat.
  23. Hopefully, Steve will have rolled out more desserts by early April for someone of such incredibley vip status as myself!! Seriously, though, as and when new things are created and/or offered, a note on the board would be much appreciated The coconut cream sounds fascinating, though my acceptance of coconut as an dessert item is only recent. On a completleey deifferent note, Steve, you're involved with Jaleo too? Man you and Jose have your fingers in almost all of the interesting dinning I've been getting rumblings about in DC!! Congrats. I trust at the appropriate time you'll fill us in on what you're conceiving there also.
  24. As exciting as the brunch sounds, it doesn't seem to provide the best opportunity for sampling steve's desserts....speaking of which, in a remarkable injustice to sweet seekers the world over, there is no mention of dessert on the website--a travesty!!
  • Create New...