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Everything posted by bilrus

  1. I had a strange one of these the other day - neither the woman buying an item, the checker or the next woman in line could identify the item. The woman buying it said it was "Chinese something". The next woman said "Maybe Romaine lettuce?" I looked up and said "Nappa Cabbage." Although it was the sorriest looking shriveled specimin I've ever seen. I wonder what she was going to make with it, not even knowing what it was.
  2. Interestingly, I've found that as I've become a more accomplished home cook, I have more appreciation for restaurant dining at a high level. I think I am able to pick up mor eon the nuances of what the chef is trying to accomplish and I have a better understanding of the work that goes into the meal. But I also appreciate something simple too. Maybe the chef had an off night. Maybe the chef isn't very good. Maybe you just don't like that type of cooking. Any of those are fine reasons not to like a meal. But the idea (not one that the original poster is espousing, but others seem to) that all high-end cooking is crap is just silly.
  3. bilrus

    Per Se

    Despite the recent criticisms and the politics involved in the Beard Award process, it would have been a serious mistake if it hadn't won the award.
  4. It has been noted elsewhere, but congrats to Todd for winning a James Beard Journalism Award for Newspaper Column. Beard Awards
  5. 1996 probably isn't too helpful either, so I can't help there. Just to chime in that I thought Charlie Palmer was very good on my recent visit and they have at least one good sized private room and probably more than that. It is more causal and a much more modern feel than the Inn, but I wouldn't exactly call it casual either. Bis is a little more casual but a also more upscale than most typical bistros.
  6. Do make sure you get the house-made bacon in one of your dishes. Might be my favorite pork dish ever. And the desserts are outstanding. If you can get something with the caramels - do so.
  7. I'm definetly willing to make a drive and spend a day or two out of the cities. We're planning on renting a nice, comfy car for the drive to Vancouver and around the area. My favorite vacations have always been a mix of urban and rural. I'll take a look at the info you've posted so far. If anyone else has suggestions, they're appreciated.
  8. My wife and I are going to be visiting both Seattle and Vancouver in August and were hoping to spend a day or two exploring wineries in the area. I'm usually a very good Googler, but I haven't been able to find a very good source for information about wineries or the various wine regions in the state. This is where you come in. I figure that the PNW eG'ers would be able to point me in the right direction. So my questions are: What wineries do you suggest visiting? Are the wineries clustered in certain areas or are they pretty spread out? Is it possible to stay in Seattle and go to decent places in the area or is it best to get out of town for a few days (which I'd probably prefer)? Any suggestions on places to stay? Thanks in advance for your help. My restaurant questions are to come later.
  9. Ah, thanks for clarifying. When I'm someone else's dime, I'll do the tasting menu. For now, the cafe menu is just dandy for me. It's divine! ← You can order the gnocchi a la carte in the cafe, but they aren't listed on the cafe menu, just the tasting menu. It is something like $14. A little more than the normal cafe menu, but worth every penny. I thought they were the best I've had anywhere (haven't been to Italy yet though)
  10. I tip in cash if I am paying my bill with cash. I tip with a credit card if I am paying my bill with a credit card. Pretty simple strategy.
  11. I generally call these types of spaces the "Enchanted Grotto" after an episode of Frasier where the bother opened a restaurant (les Freres Hereux) and they called the table by the bathroom the Enchanted Grotto to give it some cachet.
  12. That might not be a bad thing. My one time at Mesa Grill made me feel like the food read better than it tasted.
  13. I've been twice - once in what is probably the main dining room with the red banquettes and once on what is probably like a sun room area. The latter was preferable in terms of decor but was still a very 'floral' experience. I guess I just prefer the feel of a more modern, spartan room. But then jenrus liked the rich colors and fabrics in the main dining room. To each his/her own.
  14. Interestingly, at my dinner there the cheese cart guy (is there a real term for this other than cheese sommelier?) was the most outwardly friendly and helpful person we dealt with there. So, either it is a different guy or we might have caught him on a good night or you might have caught him on a bad one.
  15. Herndon. 701 Elden Street. ← There is also a location in Chantilly near 50 and 28 and I saw one listed on the web in Vienna near Hunter Mill and Rt. 7, but can't for the life of me place where it is.
  16. And I found the over-the-top, overdressed look of the room at the Inn at Little Washington detracted from the food. It's all personal taste. The decor at Corduroy left me cold. But I'd cope if I could eat those scallops every night. ← I think I told you the other day that I thought the decor at the Inn reminded me of a Victorian whorehouse. Anyone watch Deadwood? It's a lot like the Chez Amis.
  17. IS that to say a room affects the flavor of food or the quality of service? Huh? How can good food, served correctly taste any different or lessen because of the room you are sitting in? It is still the same food... Served the same way... Huh? ← He was saying that the overall "experience" would be outstanding in a different room, not the food. I don't agree that the experience at Corduroy as it is right now, in the room it is in, isn't outstanding. But I do agree that the atmosphere of a restaurant affects the overall experience. A meal of Michel Richard's food is a more enjoyable experience sitting in front of the kitchen at Citronelle than the same food would be if served at, for example, the basement of Full Kee.
  18. I've enjoyed your little tour of our city and a fresh set of eyes looking at so many of our favorites and a few places we take for granted around here.
  19. But to be fair, Corduroy has added some flair - art on the walls and strings of metal beads separating the bar from the dining room - to the room since the intial Sietsema review likening the decor to an aiport lounge.
  20. bilrus


    He should be OK. It seems like they restrain from using offal in the Pasta tasting menu. It's not like spaghetti and meatballs, fettucini alfredo, etc. But there's been nothing too crazy in the three times I've had it. And if there is something he really doesn't like, you can always ask to see if you can get a substitution. Worst they could do is say no and you could make your own tasting menu by ordering a la carte.
  21. That can't be the first time that's happened to you on a Saturday morning, can it?
  22. In that case though, he was receiving the shit because he was hawking a) an inferior product, b) a product that he was not responsible for and c) a product that went against many of the philosophies that he had espoused his entire career. Getting money to use a product that you would use anyway, isn't nearly the same thing. Now if it does influence what you are turning out of your kitchen, as the article suggest, that is not quite right, but still different.
  23. In addition to being a fan, are you also affiliated? Not accusatory, just suspicious and paranoid. ← They do have a very good cheese counter that I've not had the chance to get too far into. Although I did buy a nice Humboldt Fog Ashed goat cheese there last week. And I think everyone in upstate New York has pride for Wegman's, so I wouldnt be suspicious.
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