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Everything posted by sara

  1. Hi I've been tasked with finding the perfect location for a San Francisco dinner of sociologists of education on a Saturday night in August. The biggest challenge-- lots of people, not a lot of money to spend. My dream is to find a family-owned Asian restaurant (preferably Chinese or Vietnamese) that would be happy to close the entire place for a Saturday night and do a dinner for between 80-150 people (I can cap the number if need be), for approximately $50-55/head. I'd think that in this economy, and in the dead of August, I should be able to find such a place-- but the typical sites for private dining in San Fran aren't much help (too pricey, formal, etc). The place need not be fancy or formal at all-- my only requirement is that the food is good, they can seat enough people, and the price is right. Does anyone have ideas, or perhaps friends who own restaurants that fit the bill?? Much thanks!! Sara
  2. Hey-- not sure what that's about. There are lots of places with quite good cocktails here-- for starters, the old-fashioneds at the OF are terrific, all of the cocktails at Sushi Muramoto are very good, the margaritas at La Mestiza are fantastic, and the ones at El Dorado aren't bad either...and you can get a superb bloody mary at any number of places around the Square.
  3. Hi, My favorite restaurants in Madison at the moment are La Mestiza for Mexican and Sushi Muramoto (in Hilldale). But if you want a more truly Madison experience, I would hit Marigold Kitchen or Cafe Soleil for breakfast or lunch (on Monday/Tues), and have dinner at Greenbush Bar (not open Sundays though) or one of the ethnic restaurants on State Street. Not much in terms of restaurants you can walk to from that hotel, I'm afraid..though you're near the lake which is nice. I think there is actually supposed to be a decent taqueria somewhere around there... Sara
  4. Hi I highly recommend a visit to Manna on Sherman Ave (not far from the airport) and Barriques (the Monroe St location). For a unique restaurant, try Greenbush Bar for pizza. Sara
  5. We're heading to the Cape for the holidays. Any feedback on the food at the Cape Codder (Hearth & Kettle, Grand Cru Wine Bar) and any idea if Naked Oyster is open in the off-season? Thanks!
  6. Coming soon to Madison: Restaurant Week. This is the kind of thing I'd normally take a pass on (dull menus, crowds, etc) but some places look to be offering good deals. If Sushi Muramoto turns out their excellent sushi even when offering "all you can eat" for $25 I'll be shocked and awed. Lombardino's menu looks especially nice. More here: www.madisonmagazine.com/restaurantweek
  7. Wonderful news to share: La Querentana is now La Mestiza and it has blossomed into a terrific little restaurant! It's now a sit down affair serving very solid margaritas (up, with salt), some delicious braised meat dishes (including lamb and pork), and an outstanding tres leches cake. The atmosphere is pleasant and low key, the servers are friendly AND very competent, and the prices are quite reasonable ($10-14 for entrees I recall). The place reminds me of a favorite of mine in Philadelphia, Lolita. I'm so very pleased to have this kind of place here in Madison-- go check it out! Their website: http://www.lamestiza.net/ A review: http://www.isthmus.com/eats/article.php?article=15962
  8. Hi I'm probably too late here, but I vote for Sardine if you want a broad selection, and El Dorado if you want Tex Mex. Wouldn't bother with the others. Sara
  9. sara

    Brussels Sprouts

    Here in Madison even the local grocery store sells them on the stalk -- it's wonderful since they keep longer and you just cut what you need for a given meal. I'm a huge fan of the Best Recipe way of doing sprouts-- braise them in a little water for 10-15 minutes, then remove them and add some butter to the pan, then whisk in some dijon mustard, add the sprouts back in and stir. Simple and yummy!
  10. sara

    Fresh Pork jowl/cheek

    That is indeed a coincidence-- wow! Willow Creek has wonderful pork, I'm especially a fan of their L'Etoile chops. This thread has inspired me to make guanciale with the jowls I have in my freezer at the moment. We'll see what happens... Thanks, I hadn't seen this before. Coincidentally, I live in Madison and get my pork from Willow Creek. That's a cool blog; I can't believe I hadn't found it before. It looks like the consensus, for the most part, is braising so I think I'm going to braise them with wine and chestnuts, maybe with some gnocchi as an accompaniment, for a good, rich cold weather bowl of deliciousness. josh ←
  11. sara

    Fresh Pork jowl/cheek

    Here's a link to a recipe my pork purveyor here in Madison (Willow Creek) recommended. I've made it once, and it was delicious. http://www.whatgeekseat.com/wordpress/2007...ks-and-polenta/
  12. This is an amazing response! Just an update: Following Steven's suggestion, I have obtained the name of the guy who sells to Blue Marlin, and been in touch with his company. I've been told it's up to the sales rep who handles Blue Marlin, and am supposed to speak with him tomorrow. If that doesn't work out, I had another idea, which is to ask our local seafood market to special order lobsters for me, to be delivered Saturday, or Friday at the earliest. I guess they could lie about the date they come in & I'd not know, but I'm hoping by making it clear that I do not want lobsters that have been sitting in a tank in Madison for some time & am willing to pay, that maybe I can do better.... Will keep you posted!
  13. While the ad on the front of the webpage would seem to indicate this was the case, in fact when you actually order lobster, delivery on New Year's Eve is not an option. Very confusing.
  14. Be carefull that the bags of ice does not break, the sudden change in salinity and ph will result in death. Edited to make a suggestion. ← While I know my toddler would have a blast bathing with some properly banded lobstahs, from what I read keeping the critters fresh this way takes a great deal of skill & work & luck...a little beyond me. Fun idea though! I also adore the thought of flying to Maine to celebrate, if only it didn't entail at least 2 flights out of snow and ice-covered airports, several hundred dollars per person, and the strong likelihood that our return flight would be diverted to the Green Bay tarmac for hours on end. The Egullet-creativity is spectacular, keep it coming!
  15. Love the idea...just wish we actually had a restaurant serving good shellfish in Madison! If only.... Anyone tried having pre-cooked lobster delivered? Fat Guy, that's not in the article you wrote, I don't think...
  16. Hi, We have had a lovely New Years tradition at my home here in Madison WI for the last couple of years, started because it's not just New Year's, it's our anniversary too. We get big wonderful lobsters shipped in from Boothbay Harbor (Maine)'s lobsterman's co-op, and crack 'em open with some good champagne. They are the best-- totally worth the shipping costs (compared to what we get locally, or the non-Boothbay place we tried last year). BUT, this year New Year's Eve is a stinkin' Monday. And they can't ship lobsters on Saturday or Sunday (requiring overnight shipping)-- and if they ship Friday and we keep them in the fridge they can't promise they won't die... What to do? I have already ruled out the following options: -- take the risk and get them Saturday (that's an expensive thing to have die...) -- cook them ahead of time (did it last year, not the same at all) -- celebrate a night earlier (not possible, with our friends coming over) -- do something other than lobster (we want this really bad!) My question to all you experts out there-- can you think of other ways to get really good lobsters for a Monday dinner? Do you know of a company that can ship to arrive Monday? Or, if I must order from a local seafood market or Whole Foods, what can I do to ensure these are great lobsters? Any other ideas? EDITED to add: I found this one option-- buying them already cooked. http://www.thelobsterguy.com/cheveandnewy.html And I also found this great article by Fat Guy on where to get the lobsters from: http://www.salon.com/travel/feature/1999/1...ers/index1.html But more ideas are appreciated. Thank you SO much in advance for your help. Sara
  17. Hi We're in Tampa this weekend with our 10 month old son, who is usually very well-behaved at restaurants but occasionally gets yippy. We'd love to go to Sideberns but aren't sure if he'd be welcome there... Any input? Where can we go for a great meal and bring our kid? We're happy to go at off time-early etc. Thanks Sara
  18. Haven't been to the east location but the Ginza downtown location recently closed. It was one of the better downtown sushi bars--nowhere near as good as Sushi Muramoto, but better than Takara--so that's a shame.
  19. hi We're coming soon with our 7 month old so I'm hoping for additional recommendations if they're out there. Also please pm me if you know of a small rental available 9/3-9, we're hoping to get out of staying at the Best Western All Suites... thanks!
  20. Hi We're headed to Milwaukee tomorrow for a show at the Pabst and would appreciate a dinner suggestion. We've always enjoyed Cempazuchi for both food and drinks but wonder about Cubanitas, or another fun not-expensive alternative? Mexican or other summery food and drinks would be most appreciated. Also, we'd need to be able to dine in an hour or so around 730 pm. Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Sara
  21. This place looks amazing. My husband and I get one night out in NYC after 2 yrs of being away, and we're sans baby and headed here. Can anyone tell me the "must have" dishes, any favorite wines, and approx how long we should expect to wait at 8 pm on a Sunday night in August? Thanks!!
  22. Do you have kids? I just wonder, because seriously, if you think poor planning or poor parenting accounts for even a meaningful portion of kids' 'acting out'--be it crying, screaming, or anything else, then I just have to think you haven't got one of your own. My 5-month-old son cries sometimes because he's just learned he can--and wants to see how loud he can go. We are the consummate planners, and do all we can, exerting more effort than I care to admit-- but results are never consistent nor predictable when it comes to babies. That said, very glad your friends' kids behaved so you could enjoy your meal. And more importantly, I'm happy the kids' parents got to eat--lord knows, it probably doesn't happen often for them.
  23. We had a great time at, among other places, Tinto, DiBruno's, Fuji Mountain, Monk's, Four Rivers, Sang Kee, Gayle, Carman's, and Capogiro. The single most outstanding thing we ate: DiNic's roast beef sandwich. Our kid grinned as jus ran down Mommy's face. The fear we felt as a result of this thread was unwarranted-- go forth, parents & babies, and eat well. You deserve it.
  24. sara


    Thanks, saw that one.. Changed my reserv to Gayle--1/2 price btls of wine tonight, and the menu looks more interesting. Anybody with fave wines on that list, please PM me! (Katie--feel free to delete this thread)
  25. sara


    thanks. that doesn't look promising.
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