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yvonne johnson

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  1. A memorable sentence. I thought this one more so: "I’d fallen in love with New York long before, but tonight I fancied the pants off her." Thanks, Stephen J for the great report. Reminds me, I really must go to Luger's.
  2. "Ethnic" = spicey. Just a thought. (PS: I share Pan's reservations about the word "ethnic" because everyone belongs to a distinct ethnic group. It's just that white people, in the main, tend not see their own "ethnicity", viewing it as the norm, and see it only in those who are from other ethic groups. The same goes for race.)
  3. Ah yes, fava beans. I looked up the website and here it is: Agnello "Roasted Rack of Lamb with Fava Bean Puree and Dandelions, $32" The dandelions tasted like spinach. http://www.itrulli.com/index.html
  4. Suzanne did such a fine job. A couple of notes: Able bar staff: a very nice, fresh pisco sour with slices of orange and lemon. A little bowl holding popadums are offered when seated. Not bad as a nibble on arrival, but I’d like some bread at some point. Also, the popadums don’t seem to match the food. My sweetbreads had a lovely buttery texture, a crispy, deep-fried exterior and they came with a lemon-caper sauce. But, my, I had around seven chunks—definitely main course size platter. A minor quibble: I vaguely suspected that they’d been deep fried in the same oil as fish or oysters. I was very happy with my braised rabbit—two large legs, in a thin, very flavorful stock. The meat wasn’t at all stringy and made me think it was probably farmed rabbit. I tasted G.’s suckling pig along with crackling (hurrah) and it resembled pulled pork. I thought the salads and sour cream that came with it made a creative match. You know what I’d have liked with this? Tortillas. The desserts were fantastic. The pistachio pithivier was gooey and delicious and the berries superb. There are tables around two walls and a couple of tables in the middle of the room (we were at one in the middle). If making a res try to get a table along the edge of the room partly protected by a wall, as—as Suzanne noted--the wait-staff bump into you all night if you are in the middle. A very enjoyable meal and recommended.
  5. Thanks for the post Wilfrid as I can’t make head nor tail of the itemized bill. I thought I Trulli was average and I’m not sure it is deserving of two NYT stars. Leaving out Batali restaurants, I’ve had better meals at Arqua and I Coppi A couple of high points: Beloved’s mussels (starters c$12) were good; lamb chops in my main course were very decent; the plain bread and focaccia were chewy and fresh (worth a mention as focaccia can quickly go hard and stale), and very good Negresco. Overall, I thought the dishes were over-elaborate. For example, my rabbit pate appetizer came with think toasted slices of prosciutto-cheese bread. The combination was wrong, as the bread overpowered the pate which went better with plain bread. There was just a little too much accompaniment with the mains ($28-$32), e.g., beans, spinach, sometimes a mixture of the two. As Wilfrid said, the pasta dishes (c.$12) were ordinary and a little sweaty—makes you realize how good Batali is. The figs aside, the desserts (c$10) were the lowest point (oh, apart from the side of mashed potatoes that seemed to have no butter or cream or seasoning in them—they remained pretty much undisturbed). Chocolate-hazelnut sponge with ice cream was OK, though the apple tart was doused with apple sauce and raspberries (and what else?) and the fourth was a little box of pastry out of which a river of about half a cup of ultra pasteurized watery cream flowed. It was a fun night out and we laughed a hell of a lot. The bar at Aubette (119 E 27) just down the street is worth a visit for a pre-dinner drink.
  6. If Diwan were a yuppie restaurant they'd be catering to young urban professionals and on the basis of my 2 visits the diners are, on average, middle-aged. Is yuppified being confused with gentrified? Stella, I think you are right--Diwan is "upscale". And I think it's misguided to leave out, or dismiss, the high end ethnic restaurants. As though people don't eat well in expensive places in India! I hear some of the best food in Mumbai and New Delhi can be found in private clubs and five star hotels.
  7. When it opened around two years ago Banjara (First Ave/6th St) was very good, I thought. The chef was Tuhin Dutta and he had talent, but within a few months he was gone (and I don't think he returned). The chief problem with the food became the over-use of sugar (in the raita and main courses) and this was discussed on CH. The bread wasn't up to much (sugar in that too?) but they used to do an unsual dish called dumpakht, like a pie but with bread over the top. After around five visits we stopped going.
  8. Or you could try to make those points on Chowhound . . . just kidding. I did make my points on CH when I defended Jonathan Gold http://www.chowhound.com/boards/sitetalk/m...sages/3994.html I was posting as Mr Reader. Back to eGullet. The thinking behind Steve K's comment seems to be that if Schrambling's report was written AFTER the eG thread on Otto appeared here, then we can assume she was influenced by what was on the thread and instead of thinking for herself she simply and lazily regurgitated some eG's views. Schrambling's only way of being original and eGullet-influence free, according to this logic, is to write a review of Otto BEFORE the eG thread. This seems not right to me. And why insinuate at all? Isn't it a smear on a person's character to suggest that they jumped on the bandwagon "after reading all about it..on Gullet" and imply she might've used, in some way, the thinking presented here as her own views on her website when we have nothing to support those views? ["Regina doesn't see fit to date her blog entries or mention when her articles were originally published -- unlike any serious blogger or writer, on food or otherwise. So we're left to speculate whether she jumped on the "bash Otto pizza" bandwagon after reading all about it better (and in more depth) on eGullet. Our thread began on January 7th; her comments are credited with the representative journalistic precision of "mid-January"] Spelling: Schrambling and grammar.
  9. Couple of points: 1. "Authors" on TDG engaging with "readers" and how unusual that is?! The author is also a poster, and he happens to be around to be engaged. This self-congratulation, we're a publication that responds to readers' comments, makes me laugh. 2. The belief that this site is the primary font of knowledge for food writers is getting a bit much. I saw this on CH and it used to bug the hell out of me and here it is here "Regina doesn't see fit to date her blog entries or mention when her articles were originally published -- unlike any serious blogger or writer, on food or otherwise. So we're left to speculate whether she jumped on the "bash Otto pizza" bandwagon after reading all about it better (and in more depth) on eGullet. Our thread began on January 7th; her comments are credited with the representative journalistic precision of "mid-January." Let's not get too big-headed. I'm sure lots of people have made conclusions on Otto's pizza without reading eGullet. 3. I'm wondering why Steve K's article wasn't more balanced? There's stuff of hers that Steve likes, but he offers details in a post (an after-thought, apparently) not the article: "And actually, since no one else has done it yet, I found that even more troubling because her work right after 9/11 was some of the most endearing and heartfelt around--see if you can track down "As a City Craves Normalcy, Restaurants Seem to Be a Start" and ""When the path to serenity wends past the stove" from September: "The food is not really the thing. It’s the making of it that gets you through a bad time…cooking lets you cede control…there’s a reason they call it following a recipe. Sometimes it just feels calming to know a cake needs exactly one teaspoon of salt and no less than half a pound of butter …whoever said cooking should be entered into with abandon or not at all had it wrong. Going into it when you have no hope is sometimes just what you need to get to a better place. Long before there were antidepressants, there was stew." That's just good stuff.)"
  10. Like Simon, my first cookery book was one written by Marguerite Patten. When I went to university, my mother gave me her copy of a big blue hard-back book by MP. I remember I gutted my first fish (herring) using MP's instructions.
  11. I really like Temple Bar (Lafayette St, b/w Bleeker and East Houston). We've been going there occasionally for 10 years or more. People would fall over in the past before even imbibing because it was pitch-dark but now they've turned up the lights a bit. Very good martinis. (Oh, a couple of weeks ago, up by Diwan, we popped into Terrance Brennan's bar (at the Benjamin Hotel where TB's Seafood/Chop House is) and the martinis there were huge (could've swam in the glass), and horribly warm. Never again) DSGG hit the mark. Those burgers (ground pork? patties) between dumpling dough were great (Thanks again Wilf for the rec) and the shrimp and greens dish was superb. A good night out. I was wondering whether Simon got back to the UK in this weather.
  12. No, and it's hard to believe. But the story =Mark linked us to says so, and also that Moulton has been in kitchens for 25 years. On the Food Network website it says that "After years of training and working in restaurants, her displeasure over the industry's sexism led her to co-found the New York Women's Culinary Alliance—an 'old girls' network' designed to help women in the food business—in 1982." She's been in the business a long time. http://www.foodtv.com/celebrities/moultonb...0,3400,,00.html
  13. Wilf's mentioning a doggy bag from Katz's brought back a horrid memory: Relatives and their friend visited us one afternoon after lunch at a deli. This friend offered me his doggy bag of chopped liver. I accepted this gift with aplomb, I thought, under the circumstances. (Once they'd gone, in the bin it goes, I thought, but I forgot to do so.) Next evening, relatives and same friend at our place for pre-dinner drinks. I'd put out olives. Friend said olives didn't agree with him, and he asked if there was there any of that chopped liver left--that and crackers would do him. Oh yes, I said, it's in the fridge. As I got up, G. says, "Er, I put it in the trash." Awkward pause.
  14. And she's 50 and looks mid-30s. I was wondering if she'd ever consider returning to being a restaurant chef? She was highly praised at La Tulipe.
  15. So, the NY Post noticed the Times' error before the Editor's correction? Did the restaurant complain directly to the Post?
  16. In an article in last Sunday's Styles section of NYT, the owner of Gabriel’s (Manhattan) restaurant reported a dwindling business lunch crowd after 9/11. A big photo accompanied the article in which 2 lone diners were seated in an otherwise empty Gabriel’s restaurant. The caption read: ”Lunch at Gabriel’s”. Yesterday, three days later an Editor’s Note appeared in the Corrections section of the NYT: “[T]he picture was made after 3 p.m., and the owner says he served 63 lunch customers that day. In fairness, The Times should have chosen a more representative photo, or should at least have specified the time.” http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/13/pageonep...orrections.html (scroll down) Quite right too, but maybe the damage is done, and who spots the Editor's notes days later? My husband for one read the original article with photos and thought to himself, "Well, I won't be going to Gabriel's". [Original qrticle (without photos, and not that interesting) http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/09/fashion/09LUNC.html]
  17. John Mariani's writes: "Let me start with the obvious: The pizza here ain't pizza at all. I cannot see how anyone-least of all Batali-could call the ultra-thin, lavash-like flatbreads cooked here on a stovetop griddle a pizza except that they're round pieces of dough. Debate all you want to about the virtues of a brick, wood burning oven versus a tile gas-burning oven, but not to cook pizza in any kind of oven is, shall we say, challenging?.......Unfortunately there were some problems with the griddle breads we did order, including one with lardo...that was not cooked through; another, with chard and goat's cheese was all right, but the margherita...was rather bland, its basil merely tossed fresh atop cheese and tomato only barely melded." He liked the gelati. http://communities.prodigy.net/food/john.html
  18. hollywood, the word Kaiserschmarren (="shredded pancake with raisins served with syrup (Austrian)" appears to be a well-used one and is even in my ancient Berlitz, German for Travellers. Thanks for the info on Puck.
  19. "Schmarren[gastr]=a pancake broken up with a fork after frying Schmarren=trash, rubbish Das ist ein Schmarren!:That's a load of trash!" http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/ Torn up pancakes, equals trashy pancakes. What could be simpler? PS: Funny what you said about haute Puck, because all I associate him with is pizza.
  20. Thanks, David. My husband, G., and I had the pasta-tasting last Thursday and I’ve been meaning to write up. You’ve made my job much easier! Like veronica, in David’s post, I thought the first course, black tagliatelle with parsnips and pancetta was the highlight. Yes, I was hungry, it was buttery, but the combination of flavors, the sweetness of the parsnips and meatiness of the tiny cubes of pancetta (tasted more like bacon to me) really worked. I agree the Pinot Grigio, Bastianich was a really great match. I finished this dish, but did have grave doubts, given the portion size, whether I’d be able to get through all the courses. The fennel and potato ravioli I found disappointing and left most of it (to my husband’s pleasure). I wasn’t keen on the filling--I wondered if the potato had sweated. Agree also on the lack of fennel taste. Also, the brown butter had an unpleasant burnt taste, and I found the Sauvignon bland. Garganelli (long thin cups) with mushrooms, again on the buttery side, was very nice, but, as G. said, we can make something like this easily at home. The pyramids filled with short rib were very fine, but by this time, and with yet another pasta course coming, I was getting full, and I could only manage 2 of the 4. Papardelle Bolognese was the least rich in many ways as the pasta was dry-ish and the sauce not that rich, fat-wise. I rather liked it. To G, the sauce was inferior to Hazan’s basic Bolognese recipe. The Rosso Conero, Sassi Neri 2000, was heavy and luscious. Small scoops of goat milk curd with apricot and carrot marmalade, I found cloying and could’ve forgone. Pineapple tart with cream very good, and the saffron pana cotta was superb. (Small point on the amuse chick-pea bruschetta: it's very good, but do they ever change it?) Service excellent. Informed and attentive waitress. Of the 3 visits to Babbo, this was, although good overall, the least enjoyable partly because of the sheer quantity of food; partly because a good few of the dishes just didn’t shine and partly because there’s a limit, I think, to how much pasta one can eat in one sitting. A couple of related threads one started by Suzanne F and the other by mikec, both covering the pasta tasting menu. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...2&st=0&hl=babbo http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...bboconfirmation
  21. We, with three chums, also ate at Diwan on Saturday (one can't go anywhere these days without bumping into other eGulletarians--they're everywhere). Our meal was every good, though not up to the standard found at the eGullet banquet in November http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...6&st=0&hl=diwan Beggar's purse (crab within a popadum--I was trying to access the photos from Imagestation in above thread but couldn't) was nowhere as good as before. The crab was certainly nice, but the popadum tasted tired. Mixed grill was excellent especially the shrimp and lamb sausage. Chicken tikka masala was good and creamy and not as sickly as it sometimes elsewhere. Venison and wild boar chops also got very good ratings, though I think the marinade could be less pronounced. The winner was the halibut from the tandoor. Excellent breads. As Suzanne said, Hemant is a sweetheart.
  22. Just a thought on the term “postmodern haute cuisine”: I find it curious that the chefs (for examples, Adria and Blumenthal) associated with that school are inclined to use scientists in their work. The postmodern literature I’ve read often criticizes the “traditional paradigm” crudely characterized as being scientific, quantitative and used to maintain the status quo. The postmodern approach is frequently aligned with an “alternative paradigm (hate the word)” which leans towards qualitative, and unscientific (in the traditional sense) ways of knowing. So, the juxtaposition of postmodern and scientific here stood out for me. Not sure what the implications are, if any.
  23. The best dnner rolls are Balthazar's, I think. Very crispy on outside, and chewy, but not too much, on inside, maybe a trace of sourdough. No way would I want them warm. Focaccia, unless hyper fresh, is better warm.
  24. International School Lunch Tour in today's NYT. I think I'd go for the South Korean menu. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/01/opinion/01LUNC.html No photos though unlike the hard copy.
  25. Biscotti, I don't think you are alone on the Meyer front. I quite like Craftbar, though. I liked the fried oysters I shared with Blondie a while back--the breading wasn't overdone. The fish stew at CB seems variable, the salumi is very good as are the meatballs. I think CB has consistency in the same way that the Tavern at Gramercy has (unlike GT dining room proper). I think this has come up before--the merits of "tavern" spaces in restaurants, and maybe this is worth discussion in its own right. I like the bold flavors in CB.
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