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Steve Plotnicki

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Everything posted by Steve Plotnicki

  1. I know it but have never been. Maybe when I'm in Paris next month.
  2. I agree with Marcus about the Flo Group. I stay clear of those brasseries at all times. And it's too bad because I used to enjoy a good brasserie meal in Paris. But they have become the French version of Houston's. I can't speak for their raw bars though. They might have kept the same quality there.
  3. Steve Plotnicki


    Let me throw my .02 in here. They make so much Sauterne that I have found that they don't increase in value very much. Aside from stellar vintages of d'Yquem. And even d'Yquem takes a long time to increase in value. But the silver lining here is that you can find older vintages of wines like Suiduraut, Climens etc. at auction for very reasonable prices. I bought a few mixed cases worth of sauternes from the 50's and 60's to have around for birthdays and most of the bottles cost between $125-$200. I assure you that 1955 Climens, which I believe I bought for $150, is a different animal then the 1999 Guirard. And since I pretty much use sauternes as special occassion wine, the cost is well justified. If you want current release sweet wine that is inexpensive and drinkable out of the box, try Pelligrini Finale. It's the only Long Island wine that I like. It's something like $30 for a 500ml bottle. It's quite good.
  4. I had that wine about 6 months ago and it was nowhere near ready. In fact it was most unenjoyable because it was closed. If you do not have many bottles, and you want to avoid disappointment, I would wait at least 3-4 more years. Otherwise You might get lucky and have a bottle that is ready. But I would bet against it. Drink '81 Beaucastel if you can find any. It's drinking marvelously and will last for years. In fact I have drunk through mine and just bought a new case.
  5. Attitudes, schmatitudes. It's about a historical levying of taxes on products from other countries. Food distribution channels, like all other distibution channels in Europe were discreet to each country. In the music business, if you were a record shop in Nice, you couldn't buy your CD's from Sony in Italy even though they were in Milan and closer then Sony France which is in the 16th arr. in Paris. And while this is changing with the formation of the EU and there being no borders, old traditions die hard. When I go to the U.K. and I order a steak, it's always Black Angus from Scotland. How come they don't serve Charolais or Bazas beef which is superior quality IMO. It's only a 300 mile truck ride from Rungis to London. A truck can do that easily twice a week. Or you can load a refrigerated car on Eurostar every day.
  6. Peter - When Beppe first opened, everyone thought he would be serving authentic Tuscan food. That's what everyone wanted. But it turned out not to be the case. Even though he was trying to serve authentic food, it tasted Americanized. So while the place was very popular at the beginning, it has lost it's head of steam. You have this strange idea that Americans don't like real Italian food. Of course they do. Many people travel to Italy just to seek out the food. It's just that you can't get the food here. And usually, attempts at serving authentic Italian food come out worse then Americanized cuisine.
  7. But if you were a restaurant in Nice, and you wanted your food to taste authentically Italian, you could go to the market in Ventimiglia and buy your ingredients there. Or you could use Italian purveyors who delivered in Nice. Terroir travels guys. A bottle of Barolo tastes the same in Alba as it does in Cannes. So does any raw ingredient. Chefs can't hide terroir with their cooking. Either it's there or it isn't. And if it isn't there, the only possible explanation is that the source is different.
  8. That is too esoteric an example. A good example is the Tuscan chef Beppe who opened up on 22nd Street. You couldn't get a more authentic Tuscan chef and his food tastes nothing like Tuscan food tastes in Italy. So the problem is not with him, or with the attitude, but with the ingredients. If you are a chef and you have access to fantastic mozzarella, you are not afraid to serve it sliced and by itself with a small cruet of olive oil. But if the mozz is not as special, you are looking for something like tomatoes or peppers to serve it with. So this attitude people are describing is merely an outgrowth of what the ingredients are capable of. Local disputes about what kind of nuts go on top of cakes aside.
  9. But you have answered your own question. The reason that Italian food in London tastes different then the Italian food in Liguria is because they source the ingredients from different places. And you know what, that's why it tastes differently in Nice as well. Or are you saying that there is some genetic deficiency that chef's acquire once they walk through customs at Heathrow that would prevent them from preparing food in the same manner?
  10. Yes. Wholesalers in the meat industry have told me that when they get a shipment of Prime short loins in, they call Lugar's and give them the first crack at them. Other people I know have been told the same thing by different wholesalers. I have found it to be the case, that when one of my friends goes to Lugar;s and doesn't like it, or makes some outrageous claim like MarkJoseph is better then Lugar's, that on cross-examination, what I am able to educe is that they don't really know anything about steak. Of course that doesn't preclude there from being someone who honestly doesn't like the style of steak at Lugar's. But few people make that type of credible argument against it.
  11. Adam - You've broadened the geographical area. Robert's question has to do with restaurants on the opposite side of the same border. The two places he lists in Nice are Italian restaurants that are within 20 miles of the Italian border. Yet their food does not taste like authentic Italian food.
  12. Peter - Your assertion is preposterus. Are you saying that chefs on one side of a border quarter tomatoes and on the other side squeeze them by hand, all to make the same dish? We're talking about friendly borders here. Not the Iron Curtain.
  13. Yes I did. Squeezed tomatoes and quartered tomatoes still taste the same if the tomatoes are from the same source. Only food from different sources would taste differently. I mean one preparation can be better then the other, but that won't change the taste of the ingredients if they are from the same source.
  14. Really, you like the '88 Ponsot's? I only ask because whenever I've had one it was so closed it was painful to drink. And I will stake my reputation on that Beaumonts. Or does she spell it Beauxmonts? Even though I haven't had it for a number of years. Gigantic wine. People will be drinking it in the 2020's and onward. Oddly enough, I met someone at that 1975 Bordeaux tasting last week who out of the blue told me it was her favorite wine. It seems one of the restaurants in town (one where you and I had lunch ) has it on their wine list. And she and her husband have been drinking their way through the 6 bottles the restaurant had. She was telling me how phenomenol the wine is. I own some, but I am loathe to crack open a bottle at this point. I'm also loathe to spend $500 to try it if you know what I mean.
  15. Do you guys believe in witches and warlocks too? I submit that if you take vegetables from the same source, olive oil from the same source, and you saute them in a pan using the same recipe, it will taste the same no matter which side of the border you are on. Vibes do not make food taste differently. Neither does body English, spirit, or mental telepathy. For food to taste differently you need a substantive difference in the ingredients or the recipes. And we are not talking about fine cuisine here. Home cooking. One of the restaurants that Robert pointed to, L'Allegro, makes ravioli to order. He wants to know why less then 20 miles from the Italian border, the food doesn't taste authentic anymore. And it can only be a few things. The way the ravioli wrappers taste, or the way the fillings taste. Or I guess it could be the water they are cooked in. If the ingredients were the same, they would taste the same. It has nothing to do with the vibes of the chef being transmitted to the ravioli. Or how he drops the ravioli into the pot. And this phenomenon is even more confounding when you consider that the Nicoise are really Italian, everything up to the Nice aiport being part of Italy until the mid 1870's.
  16. Claude - Though many of my friends have sold off their 90's, I have had good experiences with the ones I've gotten to taste. The good wines, like Ponsot CdLR are just gigantic. Geoff Troy calls it a "50 year wine." I also had the Leroy Vosne-Romanee Beaumonts a while back and it was just phenomenol. As gigantic as they come. I realize there are collectors out there who do not like that characteristic. But I am afraid I am not that jaded
  17. I have two favorite dosas. Suvir and I share an affection for the Hampton Chutney Company which is not run by Indians. Their dosa selection, which starts out with masala, is really quite modern. My favorite, Number 3, is roasted tomatoes, arugula and jack cheese. Another favorite is smoked turkey, spinach and roasted balsamic onions. They are quite good. I have one for lunch almost every Saturday afternoon at the Amaganset branch along with a cardemom iced coffee. And who said Indian fusion cuisine wasn't good? The other one is at House of Dosas, or Dosa Hut, can't remember the exact name but it's an all vegetarian dosa place on Route 107 in Hicksville, where there is about a 1/2 mile strip with lots of Indian shops. They make a dosa that has melted cheese, and strips of a hot green pepper. Then they seem to dust the finished product with an orange powder. Any guesses? Anyway it's really spicy. The actual dosa itself is softer and more breadlike then the dosas at Hampton Chutney, which are crispier and have more of a fermented taste to them.
  18. This summer after my kitchen renovation is done I will try it. I'm going to ask Gary at Hampton Chutney how to make the batter. Or even better, maybe I can get him to sell me a few quarts of batter to test out. Today dosas, tomorrow waffles, and then the world.
  19. Sorry you have the wrong user here. I've never even had Ethiopian food. But are you saying that Injara is the same batter as dosa batter? And let's free-style a little. What do you think would happen if I used dosa batter in my George Forman wafflemaker? Hey, maybe I just created a new food line. Savoury waffles for breakfast made out of dosa batter. Dust them with a sweet curry powder and serve with cumin-fenageek breakfast sausage.
  20. Hmmm, good idea. I'd love to make dosas. Any non-wheat bread that is easy to make is great for me. Sometimes we try to make socca but it never comes out right. You really need a pizza oven in order to burn the bottom. What would happen if you poured dosa batter into a shallow pan and the batter was say, a half inch to an inch deep. Would it cook like flapjacks? What consistancy would it be in the middle?
  21. Didn't I say this in my first post? I just think that French restaurants buy from French suppliers, and Italian restaurants from Italian suppliers. And the food chain in each country (one of the rare times you can use that phrase literally ) starts at Rungis in one country and elsewhere in the other. Look at Loulou. Where does Eric buy his beef from? Bucherie Marbeuf in Paris. How come he doesn't buy Chianina beef? The truck from Paris has to drive 8 hours to Nice and it's only 4 1/2 hours to the heart of Tuscany. Old, Provincial habits die hard. I mean he wouldn't dream of buying non-French beef, any sooner then the restaurants in Tuscany would agreed to be supplied by Bucherie Marbeuf. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Pumpkino - I assure you that no matter how different the Italians are from the Swiss, whether it is cultural, psychological or genetic, tomatoes from the same source taste the same no matter which country is serving them. And if you believe otherwise, I've got a castle overlooking Edinburgh I'd like to sell you.
  22. That's funny. John Cleese came to be a guest speaker at my sons school. After he spoke, one of my sons went up to introduce himself. He said hi, I am **** Plotnicki whereas Cleese looks at him, and says "**** Plotnicki, is that an anagram?" Kid was totally dumbstruck and didn't know what to say. He also told a story about how somehow half of his family became known as Cheese instead of Cleese. And he went to live with them and they introduced him to the next door neighbors as Mr. Cleese. The neighbors were like "Cheese and Cleese both in the same house, how odd?" He had the kids (I guess my guys were 14 at the time) rolling in the aisles.
  23. Peter - I submit that it is impossible for food in restaurants that are 60 yards away from each other to taste different unless the source of ingredients differ. Sure, the way different cultures approach cooking food is different but a raw tomato is a raw tomato. You can cross the border from Menton and go to the market in Ventemiglia and the quality of the produce can improve. That makes no sense. It's 2 miles away.
  24. No I understand that dried pasta can be the better choice depending on the sauce. But taking that into consideration, fresh pasta can be majestic in a way that dried pasta can never be. Good, dense fresh pasta has a certain type of chew to it, not an al dente type of chew, but more of a firm gumminess, and that is what sets it apart from dried pasta. Good chow fun noodles can have this very same gummy quality. In fact I had some in Chinatown last week, where each strand of chow fun noodle was like biting into a stick of soft chewing gum. The noodles were really thick and firm, and they also held the sauce well. It was quite good.
  25. Suvir - You know how much I enjoy a good dosa. But how the hell do you roll it out on a griddle at home? Where do you get a griddle that large? I can see making a Utttapan (sp?) in a large frying pan. But the diameter of a dosa must be at least 18"-24". How do you do it?
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