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yvonne johnson

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Everything posted by yvonne johnson

  1. Otto, so that's what it's going to be called. We walked by a couple of nights ago, and the workers--I surmised they were decorators and electricians--were working very late. I guess it's opening any day now.
  2. Does anyone know what is taught about food-writing and restaurant reviewing at schools of journalism? Any syllabi to hand?
  3. Couple of thoughts: I would like restaurant reviews to be more detailed and informed taking into account the wider influences that have affected chefs and their development. As for restaurant reviewers, aren't they often jorunalists who have not specialized in culinary topics? A couple of journalists I know go from writing articles on movies, to books, to travel, to art, to very silly humorous topics.
  4. "Dinner for two incl. wine and service, £140." That seems on the low side. I'd have thought more like 200 pounds for 2. Small point on the food poisoning: I didn't think we could say things like this on the site without documentary, medical evidence that traced the gastric upset back to the source.
  5. I thought we had already discussed/nit-picked/analyzed the food at Blue Hill pretty comprehensively. I thought it was funny Adding to Blondie's points: maybe readers don't recognize the numbeer of eGullet folk and eG references in it. Skimming it, I didn't. Ivan has never been to Blue Hill ( or if he as it's well disguised).. That's the point of it. His table is obviously table #44 (picked up from posts here)written about previously by Majumdar. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST&f=58&t=8546
  6. I'd go for the un-opened one in the fridge. You never know who's been slurping out of the opened one.
  7. The stunt man who made the fall for Sutherland lived next to me briefly. Nice chap. Did he do those stunts on a full or empty stomach? If the former, what did he eat?
  8. Ah, Don't Look Now. I don't remember anything non-food related about this favorite movie of mine. Not the acrobatic sex (to the virginal teenager this just looked, well, too sporty), the premonition of death as the vaporetto sped down the canal--I still dream about that bit, but, woosh, no impression whatsoever), Sutherland nearly falling to death from the scaffolding, the creepy blind woman, zilch effect. The sticky, furry theatre seats, no recall. It was that choc-ice from the usherette that was the true revelation.
  9. Pan, it's great to see you back. I missed your posts as you give very good recommendations especially on the more out of the way and less written about places--Col Legno comes to mind. Happy New Year to you too.
  10. There are several threads on N and JG. Try a search clicking on "older posts" (or similar wording) on search page. I'd opt for N's tasting menu (around $65) over JG's as I thought it was a lot better despite being cheaper. (I posted earlier this month on JG and a few months back on N.) Although I've not been to theater after, I did over-hear waiters ask diners at the early sitting if they were booked for the theater, and I imagine they'd take care of you very well pace-wise, but a tasting menu in 2 hours may be a bit rushed.
  11. I've seen a lot of that one too. Confusingly, there's a competitor's ad immediately before or after, and the ads looks near identical. They do like to fill the pots to capacity. (Obviously no pasta chefs consulted.)
  12. Sounds good. Count me and g.(whom I hope to persuade to do one of his baguettes) in.
  13. A very fine meal with Soba last night. I think Soba has captured it wonderfully. There were fishes I'd never had before and the meal was memorable for the contrasting textures and flavors--e.g., the crunchy mackeral roe along with the nicely chewy jelly fish. I paricularly liked the lovely salad with watercress, and chives. The sashimi of various cuts of tuna was spectacular as they also had so different textures. The sushi, presented one by one: toro, NZ salmon, amberjeck (like nothing I've had before--it was like chewing velvet in a pleasurable way) were excellent though I was getting full by the time the giant clam appeared. Payard's green tea, light sponge dessert with tropical fruit is a lovely conclusion. Sake tasting: we had around 6 or 7 poured into old small glaases and on one occasion small wooden cups: the first was the most pronounced--cloudy, thick and not really to my taste, but interesting nonetheless. They had names that lent an adventurous streak in the dinker. e.g., "Death by the warrior" or something like. My favorites were a clear clean one, and the dessert sake which had a floral smell. Jack Lamb the owner was very helpful throughout.
  14. Thanks Suzanne. Writing with backbone, personality and critical thinking (underpinned by actual experience in the kitchen).
  15. No. I thought I would, but I've come to the conclusion I like my Brussels sprouts cooked--still a bit of solidity, and not mushy. I think it was at Ilo, also, I tasted some Brussels recently, and they were raw or very barely cooked, and I found them unpleasant.
  16. I forgot to add the Brussels sprouts-olive oil-pecorino-salad to my earlier post. Cooked Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables, but I'm not keen on raw ones. Funny, I like raw cabbage.
  17. There's Fat Guy impersonating me again at the beginning of this thread. No much wonder he has so many posts. You have to watch him.
  18. Sunday lunch at Lupa. We sarted with selections of meats and seafood. Meats included: Proscuitto, testa, mortadella. Like cabrales (earlier post), I wasn't over the moon with these. To me (not the other three) they tasted dull. Craftbar has much better salumi, I think. Platter of seafood included: preserved tuna (waiter said this is bottled in olive oil and pepper on the premises), bacalao --very succulent, salmon--OK, but I wasn't sure why it needed chilies on it, cured sardines (much the same quality as those at Babbo, tender, sour, as I like them. My spaghetti with olive oil, black pepper and pecorino was wonderful. Absolutely worth going back for. I tried the gnocci, macaroni with cauliflower and tubed pasta with tomato sauce. All were very good. Castel del Monte, Santa Lucia, 98, from Puglia was heavy enough for the spiciness of the dishes. Two efficient, jolly, skinny as rakes, brothers (one of whom appeared around 14, but was 21) served us. We were in the back room. I agree with Robert; this room lacks decor and is plain mustard-dull.
  19. What a difference a week or so makes. On our first visit I found the m’d’s attitude condescending. But on Friday night, so relieved to arrive early as walk-ins with our friends and get a table in the bar, we were greeted with utmost friendliness by the m’d. Maybe one has to get to know him. After thinking about a tasting menu, we stuck to the regular menu due our chums’ jet-laggedness. I began with a glass of Ca’del Bosco (described as the only Italian sparkling wine that is of Champagne quality). As mentioned by others, Babbo’s measures are very generous. The Spiegelau champagne glass—more bulbous than most-- was filled very nearly to the top. (An aside: it makes me laugh to see champagne bars offer you the smallest of small flute.) My lamb’s tongue (small pieces interspersed with mushrooms) with a 3 minute egg was a little greasy for my taste, and I swapped half-way through for my husband’s salumi which were superb, along with were pickles—reminiscent of Branston’s. G. and I shared a special pasta, flat and quite wide (fettuce?) with rabbit. A lovely winter dish speckled with carrots. I had a taste of pappardelle bolognase, the meat was nice and rich, though much like the mint love letters the herb, in this case, thyme, was overstated. Next, I had grilled branzino with fennel and a lemon jam. The fish was very white, soft yet meaty, and the skin crispy, though the sauce (came in a ramekin) was on the sweet side and overpowered the fish. The main dishes are big portions especially after antipasti and primi, so by this point I was struggling a bit. Once again, the sommelier was helpful (once he got over our friend somehow managing to dismantle the entire wine menu from its hinges) and recommend a Sardinian Terre Brune 97. Others finished off with grappa, and once again I had the delicious walnut cake along with a walnut amaro. A very fine evening in my current favorite restaurant.
  20. My first visit to Le B was around 10 (if not slightly more) years ago and I found the service very formal. For example, the waiters--all men?-- didn't smile much. Ten years later, I found the room warmer, the staff--still all male waiters?--more welcoming and there was more interaction between diner and waiters. Part of me thinks that I wasn't so confident ten years ago; maybe I felt intimidated and didn't pick up friendliness on the staff's part. Another part suggests that service has become more friendly at the high end over the last decade. Any thoughts?
  21. Nice report, Wilf. Took me back several years. The prune eau de vie sounds good as does the total service.
  22. In your bio--taken from Amazon--it says that you "discovered that as [your] chef star rose [you] drifted far, far away from cooking". Could you elaborate on that, please? I wondered whether this meant that as a chef you had less hands-on experience in the restaurant or whether you missed "home cooking" and the pleasures associated with that.
  23. Dinner with two friends on Saturday night was good to very good food-wise. My parsnip soup with chestnut ravioli was as lovely as I remembered. We went a la carte and the soup portion was, as expected, much larger than my previous one from the tasting menu. Others who had the sweetbreads (sauteed with a wine reduction) and the signature dish, foie gras with rosewater, were very pleased. My main, duck breast (tender with hardly any chew) along with leg confit (tasted better--it was permeated in fat, and not that crisp on outside), was smothered in a wine reduction. I do like gravy, but this was over the top. Other dishes appeared to suffer from this swimming problem too--e.g., venison in beet sauce. Two had reportedly excellent poussins. Desserts were spectacular. As always the raspberry feuillete with caramel ganache was delicious, as was the pear tartare--tiny cubes of ripe pear with ice cream (hazlenut I think). The run away winner, for me, was a very dark chocolate round crisp with the darkest of dark, bitterish chocolate ice-cream. Hats off to patissier, Yvan Lemoine. Very nice Morey St Denis 98, and then a bold Burgundy, Marsannay, that stood its ground with the duck and venison. All of the above was seriously marred by this little restaurant's being over-packed. There were large (12) and medium (6) sized parties, and not only was it cramped, it was very noisy. Second, the place was over-hot. Third, the m'd was initially inept. Much like Sandy's husband's experience, we were ignored on entry. Given the size of the place this meant that two of us were inside the door, the other two outside. There were many staff this night and the m'd was standing only a few feet away speaking to customers. (The lighting is truned down--Wilfrid is right--and maybe that hinders people being seen.) Anyway, we were eventually greeted (that's an overstatement, acknowledged in a non-committal way) by the m'd. Other wait staff were helpful and efficient. We noted, however, we were not offered the tasting menu; we didn't really mind as we were not up for a very big meal. I inquired whether Renuat was in the kitchen. He wasn't. (I don't know if it was because I asked about the chef and the staff wondered whether I was of some importance (!), but we got a cognac and Calvados on the house. It's interesting to see this restaurant's development since April. After three visits, I think we caught it at a very good moment on the first outing, but that it has not maintaned its quality over the year.
  24. stefany, sounds like a good idea. Did you have in mind baking the bread at the event, or people bringing their home made samples? I take it butter, cheese and wine might be included. I don't think you'd have bread and water in mind.
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