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sara

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Everything posted by sara

  1. Hi I don't think our waitress said the mussels were from Canada--I believe she named a bay in Maine. But they were a bit mushy. Apparently they pulled the dish earlier this year, then put it back on with these new mussels. I'd pull it again if I were them.
  2. Anybody willing to get some of that figgie french toast and FedEx it to Wisconsin--the babe in my preggie belly is DROOLING!!!!
  3. Quick note: There is much amiss with the mussels at Fore St. They are no longer the very delicious Casco Bay variety. I used to devour huge portions, sopping up that sauce with much bread. No longer-- the waitress reports trouble with sourcing, and the strong likelihood the dish will be yanked from the menu. What a shame.
  4. Lunch this past Saturday at Duckfat-- spot-on perfect food.Seriously, I am enormously impressed by what's going on there-- an insanely perfect special salad of feta, cluster tomatoes, hearts of palm and arugula; a delicious cubano; one of the world's best milkshakes; delicious ginger soda.. All with FAST, and very friendly service in a calm, clean place-- this model NEEDS/ cries out for/ DEMANDS to be replicated elsewhere. I'm drooling with jealousy now from Madison WI.
  5. Hi I add recommendations for the Damariscotta River Grille (pretty place, good food with plenty of options, full bar, wine list, not too pricey) and the Weathervane (gourmet market behind King Elder's Pub). Also, note that the wine and cheese shop in Wiscasset (at the top of the little hill going down to Red's) is selling the hard-to-find Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam and Red Hawk cheeses--delicious! Send a friend to stand on line at Red's and check it out! Finally, Thursdays there is a farmer's market in the town square in Boothbay (next to Bett's fish fry) where wonderful cheeses, sticky buns and whoopie pies, fresh oysters, and homemade pickles can all be found. Sara
  6. Deleted-- see my husband's post below.
  7. We had a superb dinner at Primo on Tuesday night--nearly flawless. My husband will update with details soon. We had a very different experience than the last diner-from the food to the service--AND this was on the chefs' night off!
  8. Last night we had dinner at Mache (135 Cottage St,the end away from town, plenty of parking) which was pretty darn good for mostly non-seafood Maine cuisine. The place is quite cute and the servers very friendly, and their bartender is top-notch. The standouts of our meal included a great local cheese on their cheese plate, the pork sausage, the duck, and the pasta. But the menu changes daily (you read it off a chalkboard) so you'll have to see what's there when you go. Chef is formerly of Fore St, and there were plenty of locals--and few tourists--at least on a Wednesday night. Very good alternative to the mostly touristy town.
  9. We don't have any foodie friends who recommend Lombardino's--the only friends and colleagues who do are those who hardly ever eat out/travel. I think the place is more for the nostalgic than much else, thanks for confirming that and saving us from a poor meal.
  10. Sorry to hear about Magnus... Greenbush's pizza far outshines Roman Candle's. We like RC but ever since discovering G never been back. I've personally had too many very mediocre meals at L'Etoile--since Tori's arrival--to care to return. Harvest is generally very good, for Madison--though once or twice some dishes were forgettable. But certainly, to each his/her own on that debate. I'll add one more to the mix for visitors--Ella's Deli. A true Jewish deli,done the old-style way, very true to form. We had an excellent meal this evening--perfect, non-greasy onion rings, real root beer, sweet borscht, enormous juicy pickles, lean and tender reubens, a very good roast beef & horseradish sandwich and creative custard sundaes (minus the non-kosher maraschino cherries of course!) --and all in the midst of a fabulous display of antique toys, trains and a carousel. Open for lunch and dinner.
  11. Hi Anyone been to Mache in Bar Harbor? Former Fore St chef? Sara
  12. Hi Are you sure George's is still open? I have a recent magazine from the Chamber of Commerce in Bar Harbor and it's not listed, and I can't find very much recent about it online. Thanks
  13. sara

    Amada

    Similar situation with our table in the back room, but instead of heat, the issue was smoke--it began as a charming scent but grew more intense and a bit eye-watering as the night went on. I've been to other places with this issue--for example Fore Street in Maine has some serious heat and smoke coming from their very open kitchen-- and have been with elderly folks who should be warned in advance, since it can be especially difficult for them.
  14. Yes... Greenbush bar for pizza; Dotty's Dumplin Dowry for burgers; Avenue Bar for fish fry.
  15. Hi It's a thin crust, round. I don't know what they're doing differently at this place, maybe it's the quality of the toppings (try prosciutto/goat cheese/tomato for example), the lower cheese/sauce ratio, the tasty slightly spicy sauce--I always mean to ask but am too busy eating and forget. Everyone we've brought there's fallen in love as well. It's always packed, always consistently delicious. Sara
  16. Hi Not sure what is special about Magnus's "wine program"--never struck me as a terribly interesting list, nor do I love their food. Wouldn't bother. We're giving Fresco some time to settle in before going over there, only seems fair... If you've not been to Greenbush for pizza, that's an absolute MUST-- yes, I know there is other pizza in the world, but this is worth the trip. I don't find the upscale places in Madison all that impressive--so in lieu of spending a lot you might be happier trying El Dorado for very good tex-mex-- terrific drinks and very flavorful food, or maybe Eno Vino out in Middleton for small plates--or Cocoliquot.
  17. sara

    Amada

    Hi Went last night with 3 friends. Beautiful place--really gorgeous, what a terrific addition to Philly. Night started off badly--they kept me--a preggie woman no less--waiting 1/2 hr for my table, which I reserved a month ahead. Told me I could wait in the bar--umm, no, not with the smoking... They made it up to us by bringing two free tapas at the start (thank GOD since I was starving by 7:40): melon con jamon (proscuit was delicious but my Barcelona-born companion said "sliced too thin", loved the carmelization on the melon but other than that had no flavor), and a cheese plate, which was just perfect-- manchego, cabrales, goat cheese. We moved on to orange mojitos--the waiter recommended this as the virgin drink of choice and the flavors were INCREDIBLE--my favorite 'maternity cocktail of the year' thus far. Then, more food, most of which was quite good, if very liberal interpretations of the 'real thing.' Couple of notes on that: a) patatas bravas tasted good but why the tater-tot styling and skimpy portion for such an inexpensive dish? b) gambas al ajillo--hands down best version of this dish I've ever had; far better than Jaleo, mostly due to shrimp quality; c) croquetas --perfecto!; d) pulpo -- the rings were quite small, flavor good but in Spain the slices are larger; e) anchovies--good, but these are fried and a bit heavy, so am not sure why this portion was so BIG; f) patos con higos--the duck and foie was delicious but the base of cabralas flatbread made little sense--the two were better eaten separately -- and this dish is VERY filling, watch out;g) empanada--very good, but the pickling of the artichokes really surprised some members of the party, might be good to note the pickling on the menu; h) scallops--that cream sauce was the bomb, scallops very meaty--white asparagus lacked flavor tho. I'm really sad we didn't get to try anything ala plancha but the group wasn't up for more... Desserts--we were guided by one of our two waiters, son of a lumberjack and friend o'Katie's-- he steered us very well to the cantaloupe sorbet and the lemon tart (awesome dish), and we also tried (at our own risk) the banana sandwich (very missable) and the lavender custard (the lavender was really nice). On the whole we thought the place was beautiful, smelled great, one of our two waiters was terrific, and much of the food was quite yummy. It made me sad I've left Philly, but will definitely come back to try stuff off the grill, must have those oysters, and get into that wine and cocktail list (just love the cocktail names!!), SOON AS I GET THIS BABY OUTTA ME!
  18. After reading Ruhlman's latest, I found Bourdain's to be the far sharper of the two books--far better written, more insightful and critical, and much more entertaining. I'm very curious about why the two covered so much similar territory however--including writing about each other....
  19. According to Citysearch, the Wrigleyville location closed. Good idea tho.
  20. Going to Wrigley tomorrow for afternoon game--first time. Would love some pre and post game recommendations! Prefer good food to rowdy crowd.
  21. Hi Yes, it makes sense to double-check. Indeed, IMO Cocoliquot's food has slid a bit lately, for example. To experience the best Madison currently has, I'd go for: a burger at Dotty's Dumpling Dowry a pizza at Greenbush Bar (NOT to be missed!) a doughnut at Greenbush Bakery a lovely seasonal meal at Harvest brunch at El Dorado perhaps some fish tacos at Tubby's, and... and ice cream from the Chocolate Shoppe Since that's a lot for 1.5 days and given your specific dates (which are too late for brunch and Sunday is when Greenbush Bakery is closed) let me propose an itinerary: Sunday evening: a bourbon old-fashioned at the Old Fashioned followed by dinner at Harvest. Monday: lunch at Dotty's + an afternoon stop at the Chocolate Shoppe on State St, then dinner at Greenbush Bar, finished with an awesome cannoli. You should leave very happy, I hope! ps. If you want to compare custard, I'd hit a Culver's or Michael's. The custard is great, but the ice cream at Choc.Shoppe is even better.
  22. Hi Several things put Bittman's books into heavy rotation in my kitchen: 1. Comprehensiveness; no matter what I bring home from the market, I can find something to do with it in a Bittman book. 2. Clarity and Simplicity; it's easy to see exactly what Bittman's trying to do, no guessing or heavy study of a recipe needed 3. Candor: He's extremely honest about what you must have, and what you can do without; providing many alternatives (look at the pork stirfry recipe in How to Cook Everything for a great example), and not putting on airs about the need for a certain veg cut for example to achieve a specific result 4. Results: Every single thing I've made from his recipes tastes great, every single time. I think those are the main things. He has no expectations that you'll have a gourmet pantry fully stocked at any moment, or that you'll have 2+ hours to finish a meal, and he doesn't pretend that there's only one right way to do anything. I've given his books to family and friends who can barely scramble an egg and they've actually learned to cook, and enjoy cooking, from his work. Many of the other cookbooks I mentioned are lovely reads, but even with plenty of time on my hands to cook, they shoulder me with too many obligations to hit 3-4 stores to find ingrediants, judge me for my amateur knife skills or lack of kitchen appliances, and most importantly--they often--often--fail to result in successful dishes. Maybe this is b/c having eaten the dish at a restaurant I have an expectation of how it *should* be so I know when I've failed-- but I don't have those same ideas in my head when I approach Bittman's books.
  23. I own and NEVER use any of my Chez Panisse cookbooks (but have them all), none of my Southern cookbooks (including Emeril, Flying Biscuit, James Beard) or Deborah Madison or hardly any of my 'restaurant' cookbooks, like White Dog Cafe, nor any of Jamie Oliver's cookbooks. I most often go to Bittman's brilliant books, and lately Sunday at Lucques, and Bobby Flay, and once in a great while, Batali. That said, for some reason I can't bear to part with any of them.
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