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yvonne johnson

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  1. Overlaps some of the above, and I may even be repeating myself, but here goes: We've got lots of David's books but David's French Provincial Cookery is the one most used--if it had nothing in it but the Creme Vichyssoise in it, it would be worth the money Child, Bertholle and Beck's Mastering the Art of French Cookery Vols I and II. The second authors often get forgotten, no? Jaffrey, Vegetarian and meat books Potale's Gotham Bar and Grill We've used Kasper's Splendid Table, but use Perla Meyers' Art of Seasonal Cooking much more Bayless & Bayless's Authentic Mexican Bayless' Mexico one plate at a time Jocasta Innes' The Pauper's Cookbook George Spunt's Step by Step Chinese Cookbook Prudhomme's Chef Paul P's Louisiana Kitchen. In this book is my favorite dish of all time (at least for the mo) Paneed chicken and fettucini Charmaine Solomon's Encycl of Asain Food. Best Vindaloo I've ever made at home, and a really, really informative book with good illustrations of tropical fruits and vegs Last but not least. Stephen Schmidt's "Master Recipes: A new approach to the fundamentals of good cooking". He gives very precise instructions (the most detailed I've come across), gives classic simple dish, say, roast chicken, then gives more detailed variations, eg., roast chicken with giblet and cream gravy. Also, (and why don't more cookery books do this?), it has two ribbons to use as page markers. How many times do you back and forth in cookery books, esp when using two recipes from same. [i'd also recommend Nigel Slater's books for learning to cook. "Real Food" is very simple, but the dishes so good.]
  2. Having eaten tuna till it's coming out of my ears (two weeks in Hawaii--more later), that sounds like an interesting tasting menu. I've been to BH only twice, but on both occasions I found the main courses on the sweet side. Any evidence of this the other night? I agree the bread is very good. I think it might be Tom Cat, but I'd like to find out for sure. Anyone know?
  3. Andy, Wilfrid has now admitted that Engelbert Humperdink is "marvellous stuff". Where will this end? The Hump and Kenny G play the background music at Gotham. Jaybee, out of curiousity, are you going to permit the placement of the friend's wife's ashes under the roses? Back to food--I heard roses like ashes.
  4. Stefany, I missed this thread till now. I can't get over it. Eating for 12 hours straight? You do say the helpings are small, but still. Where did you get this idea? Do you feel horrid the next day?
  5. The shop Wilfrid mentioned is (no surprise here) called Twelfth Street Books, 11 East 12 Street, NY, NY 10003 212/645-4340 12thstreetbooks@earthlink.net I've been in a couple of times, and I got Beeton's Book of Household Management (one needs instruction on how to keep those butlers in their place) and a book on absinthe. Cooking and travel are at the back, left.
  6. Pan, I didn't mean to suggest that this was a comprehensive list. I just came across it. It has some use to me because it lists more Indian places than Zagaat does--not that that says much. I've no idea how it was put together.
  7. yvonne johnson

    Dinner! 2002

    Spaghetti with warm olive oil in which two finely sliced garlic cloves had been warmed while the pasta cooked. Generous scattering of parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Some Italian red. Simple and so good.
  8. OK, Grameen is on 75-18 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens 718-505-4083. Not been. I've not been to the Jackson Diner in Jackson Heights either but I did go to the Delhi Palace near there a few years back, and I thought it was pretty poor. I think I'm remembering straight--DP is off 74 street, on what looked like a cull de sac. In my searches, I came across this list of NY Indian restaurants. http://www.searchindia.com/search/NYRE.html
  9. Suvir, Any up-dates on where Grameen is? I tried a yellow pages search, and I couldn't find it. Where did you hear about it?
  10. My fav dishes at Mirchi are : chicken tak a tak, spinach bhaja, boti kabab, gosht vindaloo, and jaipuri lal mas. As for chutneys, I like Kalustyan's (123 Lex Ave). Their "home made lime" is very good as is the mango pickle. But my favorite is their "home made chilli pickle". I have all three in the fridge.
  11. I think we may be starting to revisit an earlier argument about what the most "evolved" style of cooking is. Rather than go there I just want to say: 1. Steve P, I don't want to see this board become majorly concerned with "sophisticated cooking techniques" because a) I don't want to cook this way every night and b) I want to eat at a whole range of places (burger joint to high end) 2. I agree with Mao, there's a danger in always going for the top, most expensive range of item. As Mao suggested, you need stewing meat to make a good stew, not filet mignon. I agree though, Steve P, if I want to sautee a scallop I want the top-notch dived-for one. 3. I have sypmathy, Lullyloo, with some of your points. I'd be careful with that use of the word "foodie: (only joshing--see below). This may clarify what some of the above arguments are in reaction to: "We are not foodies...Foodies eat where they're told; they eagerly follow trends and swallow the hype. Most of all, they fuss endlessly about ingredients, a fixation which strikes chowhounds as sheer culinary materialism. A brownie needn't contain imported French butter and Valhrona chocolate...it's gustatory gestalt we crave, and we comb doggedly through far-flung nabes where foodies never tread in quest for a deeper deliciousness. Our star chefs are Peruvian grandmas, renegade sushi guys, and elderly Brooklyn pizza makers who serenely slice mozzarella...It's not about eating on-the-cheap; chowhounds can be spotted at Lespinasse.. But, unlike foodies, we have not the slightest compunction about stopping for a really great slice on the way home." by Jim Leff, aka alpha-dog, or big-dog. http://www.chowhound.com/writing/chowhounds.html As you can see, fussing about the best ingredients="culinary materialism". "Deeper deliciousness" is associated with the far-flung nabes Also, there is the inclusion of the high end restaurant (but see that it is the pizza maker who is serene), and the impression given is that a meal at the high end will not really satisfy--pizza needed on the way home. Some of the arguments put forth above are those that I find lacking.
  12. Suvir, The search engine didn't work, but I found the previous thread where I posted. http://forums.egullet.org/ikonboa....;t=3977 Since I last posted, we've ordered in, and we dislike everything -for -the -main -course -on -a -plastic-divided- container, but the food travels quite well. The eGullet pub crawlers went there for their after pub curry, but to be truthful, I'd had one too many by then, and added to this, Mirchi was about to close, so we didn't get the best of service. Does the food billed as street food at Mirchi resemble the sort you'd get in India. I like it because it is good and spicey. And no sweetness noted. I forgot to say earlier today on 100 Asian Sietsema thread that the chefs at Banjara do add sugar to things. This I confirmed last year when I contributed to chowhound and was confirming a Howler hypothesis (long story). I spoke to one of the chefs, after Dutta had left, and replacement said they added sweetners to raita and main dishes "to please the American taste". I note none of this at Mirchi.
  13. Bux: Your saying "You need not be a royalist or take sides in religious wars to lament the destruction of art and miss the heads on the figures in front of most gothic cathedrals in France" really hit a nail on the head. What irks me is the mistaken and arrogant view that if a person likes fine dining then they must also have other predictable characteristics. Another view seems to be that if one likes cheap, good ethnic eats then one must necessarily like jazz. By what logic, tell me, are specific cuisines and particular musical styles correlated? Liking specific foods, in the main, does not amount to a world view, in my book, so when someone presents a packaged identity for me to wear based on an approach to food, I will be put off. One of the major reasons I like eGullet is being left alone to reach my own conclusions. We've gone a long way from Sietsema's list but I think it's an interesting discussion. Steve P: re your "unlimited accolades" for the cheap veal chop. My husband and I were talking along these lines the other day. The hype around some cheap places is disproportionate to the real quality. That's one disadvanatage to a cheap/best list. If readers are led to believe these are the best of their kind, then they will miss out, in some cases, on something a lot better, but a little pricier.
  14. Last seen April 30 in Astoria, Queens (New York) getting into a yellow cab with a woman. This was after putting away copious helpings of brains, kidneys, spleen, liver, sweetbreads, along with champagne, white wine, red wine, malt whisky. For some reason I thought Simon was heading back to UK during the next week. Jay: I now have your book. I'm taking it on the plane with me to Hawaii next week. Bad idea?
  15. The link to the other thread (discussing Sietsema's review of Sugiyama) posted by Steve (K) makes for an interesting accompaniment to this discussion. There are many excellent points made on that thread. Is there someone advocating the "best is cheap" here to even out the debate? I think an honest discussion of how "authentic" (whatever that means), cheap, ethnic, maybe peasant, foods are reviewed is a good thing. At the same time, the post-modern, alternative paradigm, p-c debates feel so tired. I'd like a new vocabulary to talk about these things or even a new perspective to view these topics from. In its crude form the argument feels like pro-establishment versus anti-establishment. Dominant group versus minority, Eurocentirc versus diversity. Jinmyo (on the other thread) may be right--at the core of "the best is cheap" view is a political view. Funny that the "cheap is best" doesn't fly with me because it appears to be associated with a left-wing leaning. And if others were to place me somewhere it would be towards the very left wing. I think it may be the way the view is expounded that puts me off. Bux: I've just seen your post. When you say "I think not", you refer to my point about romanticization of the poor? And when you say bullshit, are you referring to food or logic. Sorry, I didn't follow.
  16. Steve, When I opened up the Village Voice page my eyes were doing flip-flops, too. "100 best and cheapest" is the header Later, as you say, "100 favorite inexpensive". In my view, these restaurants may be cheap, but they do not offer the best of Indian food. There seems to be an underlying belief (evident in the confusing headings) that cheap food beats the more expensive. I don't buy it. I'd rather forgo several of the Indian places Sietsema mentions and go only once to Tamarind. I'm now wondering if Mirchi was visited but rejected because the dining room is quite elegant (albeit table-cloth free). A shame, because Mirchi is unique. Yes, the main courses range from $10-$19, but half the menu is devoted to tawa, chats, tandoor dishes ($4-$9) As for Sietsema's mentioning of mom and pop places, small batches, attention to ingredients, recent immigrants, I'm reminded of the contradictory mantra found elsewhere. I don't want to direct this at Sietsema, as I'm not that familiar with his writing, but the topic as you raised it, Steve, did bring to mind the chowhound ideology. As far as I can make out, the logic is as follows: explicit statement=deliciousness is deliciousness, and it should be searched out wherever it may be. Of course it is found at both high end and low end places. Implicit statement=we romanticize all things cheap and "ethnic" (term used loosely) and disparage (though we'll deny it if pressed) most of the higher end restaurants. It strikes me as a very bizarre notion that the love of cooking, obsessing over ingredients and so forth are more evident in cheaper places. In many cases I'm convinced that it's a romanticization, on the part of those who are wealthy, of those living in poverty. (I don't have it in front of me, but the best article in Gastronomica was one about what it takes to make tortillas from scratch. It takes a woman all day to make them.) Added to this, this line of thinking detracts from the skill and knowledge of all the chefs working in more expensive restaurants. I think we're beginning to stray from the original topic, but that ambivalent title "best and cheapest" raised interesting points. Robert: here it is again http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0220/ch...s02_display.php
  17. PS: Mirchi. I didn't see it on the list. The prices of main courses have gone up, but you can get cheap, street-food style dishes here. Can't forget Mirchi. (This list business, if one wasn't careful, could drive one quietly insane.)
  18. I imagine it's hard to come up with a 100, no? And Sietsema seems like a decent guy, according to Trillin's portrayal of him in the Grub Streets New Yorker article. Here are my thoughts for the mix. I wonder why Grand Sichuan International, 24th Street isn't in? #46 Banjara: As was discussed the other day, the food went downhill after Dutta left. This was a favorite Indian of mine, but after around 6 visits haven't been back. #86 Vatan: One of the worst Indian meals I've had but this was around 18months -2 years ago. Watery, tasteless food. This restaurant looks like a miniature village and is pretty twee. To me, if feels like a tourist trap. One can sit on the floor, but on the night we went the floor was sticky and greasy. Havali and Mavalli Palace, both reasonably priced, I think, beat Banjara and Vatan. (Not very long ago I did think Banjara was tops--how quickly these things change.) Then there's the Bread Bar at Tabla. It's pretty cheap (but it's elegant with fine china). #87 Guru: This also came up here the other day. Excellent dosas. Service poor. #95 Republic: Went once or twice soon after it openend. It was a bit of a scene. Nice sparse interior. Communal tables. I remember a salmon dish with a cilantro broth that was good. Maybe I'll give it another go. In some ways, Republic reminds me of Spice Cafe, which is not on list. Spice Cafe (Village branch) can be inconsistent. #100 Thai Cafe: If this is the large thai restaurant in Williamsberg, then it's a bit of a zoo on Saturday nights. Last year a large group of us had a resaonably good meal there--the dishes varied in quality. If you have to wait for a table by the fountain, stay well clear of it. On this night anyway it smelled rather....and not in a pleasant way. I'll end on that cheery note.
  19. Oh, no: Those who canoodle in restaurants. They should be told to get a room or delegated to the "balcony". The solo diners should be given their tables. This is a scene from my fantasy restaurant: Telephone receptionist for 4 star restaurant: "Table for two, 9PM, let me see. Do you intend to canoodle?" Customer: "Well, maybe..me and my date...." Receptionist: "Sorry, we have a policy prohibiting that kind of behavior in the main restaurant. We can seat you at the bar or in the balcony at 6 or 11. How's that?"
  20. Funny. And how do you get those images so quickly? Another point. Sometimes smoking is allowed in the bar area, and I don't want smoke in my face when I eat. All of this gathering evidence supports the view that solo diners are treated like second class diners.
  21. mogsob has a good point. I've seen Wilfrid drink his wine, and no restaurant is going to lose money having him dine at their establishment. I see no women have contributed so far. For me, the bar option leaves me a bit cold. I'm not against sitting at a bar, drinking and/or eating by myself, but I don't want that decison made for me simply because I am on my own. Added to which, sitting alone at a bar may give the impression that one wishes to socialize when in fact she (even in today's progressive times, men and women alone are probably seen differently) does not. I want a table with a tablecloth just like everyone else in the restaurant. Ironic that in this society that values individualism, being alone is associated with having a personality defect.
  22. Sam, as I was looking up Hotel du Vin in Tunbridge Wells I noticed the Hotel du Vin in Winchester. We and the in-laws had a very good meal in their Bistro a few years back and it had slipped my mind. We may well go back there on this trip. Thanks for the reminder http://www.hotelduvin.com/winchester/default.asp You weren't joking were you, Adam, when you suggested the rates at Le Manoir were hefy. 245-825 pounds. http://www.manoir.com/le-manoir_accommodation.htm This is how fickle the household is at the mo. After doing the rounds in England the plan is maybe a night on our own and then--Paris, now no. Venice, yes. Thanks everyone for the ideas.
  23. Lizziee, Thanks for the clarification. I'm not sure what to make of someone else using the name "oysters and pearls". If it was intended to be a homage to Keller (irrespective of whether the dish was successful or not), I can see a reason for allowing it. I'd be interested in hearing what Keller has to say on the quote in the article. I take your point that Keller might not have meant what he said to be taken literally. However, Ruhlman seems to have taken it that way.
  24. Lizziee: I’m a bit confused by a couple of your comments. The article by Michael Ruhlman that Steve (S) has cited a couple of times has in it the following: "What do you think [of the oysters & pearls]?" I ask him[Keller]. "I've never tasted it," he [Keller] says. "Excuse me?" "I know that's not a good thing for me to say. But I know it tastes good. You don't have to stick your hand in fire to know it's hot." http://ruhlman.com/articles/1999_10_00_gourmet_keller.htm Unless, I’m missing something, Keller’s statement appeared irony-free. You say Keller is a perfectionist and puts dishes through numerous tastings, but it seems those tastings aren’t necessarily performed by him. I think that's a weird kind of perfectionism. Second, I don’t follow when you say that any relationship between Keller’s dish and that by the same name served at The George on the Isle of Wight “is pure coincidence.” From what I can gather, the chef at the George has visited Keller, and created something similar, no? Namely, a dish with oyster and tapioca, and that it is derived from Keller. I don't find this coincidental.
  25. Thanks for all the tips. To hell with the lot of you. Only joshing. Not because of the dearth of suggestions, but by chance, last night, we watched a trashy tv prog in which Dawn French goes to Paris with an old flame and eats a ton of chocolates at the Hotel du Louvre. Hey, I thought, that’s where we stayed years ago. Instead of the English countryside, let’s hop on the train and go to Paris instead. So, that’s it settled.
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