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Everything posted by seacrotty

  1. Has anyone tried Hamano in Noe Valley (on Castro St.) recently? I mostly order nigiri, and that was my favorite place for a good variety of fresh, tasty fish. I've been away for a couple of years (finally returned, hooray!), and had heard that the place had changed hands and the quality had dropped off. c
  2. I'll second ScorchedPalate's recommendations -- Thep Phanom's specialties definitely step out beyond the plates you'll find at typical Thai restaurants. In the kitchen, I've successfully followed one of Kasma's recipes to make a whole fried fish. I'm looking forward to taking a couple of her classes. c
  3. I'm with you, tighe. I think that the mozz at Via Trib is eye-poppingly good. c
  4. I took the Foie Gras class at Culinary Communion on Friday and had a *great* time. I posted a full report on my blog.
  5. Really?!? That didn't last long. The couple of times I was there they were busy and it seemed like a great fit for that neighborhood. Wonder what happened. ← I wonder if it wasn't a financial issue -- somebody ran out of money and/or patience. It hadn't been open long, and I'd think that it would have had to stay for a while to establish itself vs. Coastal. The times that we were in, it seemed kinda quiet. I don't ever remember it being really crowded. c
  6. We've now returned to ViaTrib twice: once after an ill-fated night at the theatre, and once on this past Friday night after a post-work gathering at Barca. Both times, Anita had a calzone and I had a pizza. They've definitely got the kinks worked out. The balance of toppings was much better and everything was thoroughly cooked. The crust was pleasantly salty and chewy, and I can't believe how good their fresh mozzarella is. The word is definitely out -- the place was *packed* on Friday. c
  7. Anita and I are Lago fans and frequent visitors, but after our last visit I know what you mean. The fettucine with meatballs made the jump from occasional special to regular menu item a few months ago. Usually I steal a couple of bites from my patient wife, but last week I had a bowl all to myself. Oh, the meatballs. Oh, oh, oh. The meatballs. I had little cartoon birds flying around my head and goofy Carl Stalling music playing. c
  8. Anita and I have been to May Thai, and it's hard to compare directly to Noodle Boat. May Thai is not your typical USA Thai place, with family-style plates of meats and veggies served over scoops of rice from a communal bowl. It's more like a mid-to-high-level restaurant with a chef working in the Thai idiom. Think the recently departed Fandango v. Taqueria Guaymas or Rositas. The comparison isn't perfect, because May Thai isn't as high-end as Fandango aspired to be, but it's close enough. There are a couple of items that you can order to share, but May Thai is more appetizer-entree oriented. And the menu is short with specific dishes, not a matrix of sauce/meat combinations. Having said that... Mamster's review is bang on. The dishes are fresh, flavorful, and well-balanced (hot-sour-sweet-salty). Some of the food packs serious heat. This is a good thing. I'm looking forward to a return visit. c
  9. mmph. <chewing leftover duck> Thank you, Rocky, for setting up the dinner. And thanks to LEdlund for hosting the pre-party. What a wonderful, delicious evening! c edited for typo
  10. It's probably pretty similar to the Best Recipes version, but I make Pam Anderson's chicken soup out of The Perfect Recipe, then put dumplings on top instead of noodles. The recipe is simple, practically bulletproof, and makes for awesome leftovers when cooked for two. c
  11. We were at Bing's a few months ago. It was spendy, and I couldn't recommend anything that we ate there, including the hamburger. c
  12. That goes beyond simple miscommunication to genuine screw up in my book. c
  13. I posted a review of Via Tribunali in a new thread.
  14. With all due respect to the NY Pizza in Seattle thread, I thought that Via Tribunali was getting enough buzz to deserve its own thread. Besides, it's been a while since I started a topic. Plus, hey...we went...we ate. Anita (ScorchedPalate) and I visited Via Tribunali on Saturday night with Lauren (LEdlund) and her husband Paul. We walked in without reservations at about 8:30pm, and the joint was hot. No, I mean really, it was warm. Apparently, the wood-fired oven puts out a lot more heat than they anticipated. According to the host, they're working on getting some fans in to move the air around, which should be okay for the winter, but come summer they're going to need some serious climate control technology. Aesthetically, the space was an urban treat: vaulted ceilings, exposed brick, wood beams, cool and funky light fixtures, and huge stained glass art glowing on the walls. We ordered a bottle of wine while we waited for our table -- it was a drinkable Barbaresco that felt a little expensive for how it tasted. On the other hand, it was hard to tell as both it and our second bottle later in the evening (Chianti Riserva) were served practically blood-warm. Did I mention that they had temperature issues? Our table--which didn't take long to obtain--was directly in front of the oven, which served two purposes: it took a bit of the chill off (okay, I'll stop now), and it also allowed us to observe the antics of the pizza chef, who appears to be Via Tribunali's weak link. We opened with a shared board of Armandino Batali's salumi. Or, at least we think it was. The menu entry made it hard to tell if it was Salumi or just salumi. If you know what I mean. Another menu nitpick, courtesy of my polyglot wife: the menu is entirely in Italian, and slangy Italian at that. You can figure it out, but it was more than a little precious and occasionally an obstacle. Anyway, salumi: pork and lamb prosciutto, some hot coppa, some regular salumi, a bit of grana, and some olives. Yum. Salads followed: respectable mixed greens with ham shaved on top. Dressed with...you know...dressing. Oil, vinegar, etc.. I liked the ham -- it was lightly salted and delicately flavored. Hey, wait. Prosciutto crudo? Could be. Our server not so gently suggested that we order at least three and maybe even four pizzas. We ordered two, and promised to order more if we were hungry. Two was plenty after the appetizers. One we ordered with prosciutto, mushrooms, and cheese. The second, the Via Tribunali, had more than one and less than five cheeses, two of which were ricotta and fresh mozzarella. Neither pizza came sliced, and yes, it was a bit irritating, given the dull knives that we had to work with. We soldiered on. Unfortunately, neither pizza was really worth the effort. The mushrooms were canned and tasted like it. The sauce was unspectacular. The crust was too thick to be thin and too thin to be thick, but that's my opinion, not of the entire group. Both pies had too much stuff on them and were undercooked--the middles were pretty soupy. An extra few minutes in the oven would have helped...but there was so much moisture in the pile of ingredients...I dunno. I'm not a pizza chef, and I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Either too dumb to quit while we were behind or too drunk to care, we ordered dessert and were redeemed. The affogato (sp?) was wonderful: dense, rich ice cream covered in sweetened meringue crumbles and a shot of espresso. The pastela Napolitana (sp?) was just as delicious, with bits of candied citrus peel in a pastry that wasn't quite cake and wasn't quite a tart and wasn't quite a pie shell either. The appetizers and salads were $7 and up. The pizzas ranged between $12 and $15. The large majority of the wine selection was over $40. Not get-dressed-up expensive, but it ain't Piecora's, either. The staff ranged from friendly and competent (the host) to amusing but inexperienced (our server) to buffoonish. The latter refers to the pizza chef who, given that it was Saturday night, I can only presume was the "Dino" mentioned on the menu. Dino cavorted around the restaurant for much of the evening, opened bottles of wine for tables of his friends (staggeringly expensive bottles, to judge by the reactions of the staff), and generally enjoyed himself. All of which I ordinarily heartily approve of, so long as the food is good. Given the state of our pizzas...well...it's hard to be forgiving. Via Tribunali reminds me of an Italian motorcycle that I once owned: beautiful, but deeply flawed. It was a *fantastic* space, and there were enough tasty things to make me want to go back. Maybe in a few months, after things calm down and the kitchen gets its game on, although I don't know that kitchens work like that when it's, like, one guy.
  15. Talkin' Chow Foods... Not sure about love, but I'm down with the 5 Spot for breakfast. The Coastal Kitchen is okay also, but not as good. Jitterbug tries too hard, IMHO, and their reach far exceeds their grasp (true for all their meals). Endolyne Joe's was disappointing. Haven't eaten breakfast at Atlas or at the Hi-Life. c
  16. Git yerself a cheesesteak at the Philadelphia Fevre on Madison @ 23rd. The Essential Bakery in Madison Valley has good sandwiches and Hale's on tap. Not bad savory crepes, but don't bother with the soup. Nice space, too. c
  17. Ooo, ooo, ooo! Oobas! I haven't been in a few months, but the Woodinville Oobas used to have a poblano rajas quesadilla that was the absolute bomb. Can't get it at the Redmond branch. c
  18. Or maybe I was ordering the wrong things... c
  19. My $.02: Ototo -- Decent fish but nothing special, and *very* expensive. Dragonfish -- Imagine the Cheescake Factory as a pan-Asian restaurant. Kisaku -- Okay, but not worth driving across town for.
  20. Elswinger, do you have a favorite plate at the Dish? It's a darling of the local press, and I've been a few times, but I have to admit that I just don't get it. Maybe I'm not ordering properly. As for Glo's, allow me to add my "Yea verily, it rocketh." Best damn eggs Benedict *ever*. However, "slow" does not even begin to describe the kitchen there. Count on a 45-60 minute wait just to get in on the weekends, and then another 30 minutes to get your plate. c
  21. Drive to California and go to In and Out. You're only a virgin once. c
  22. Gotta try CC's. No excuse, really, since we live so close. Hmmm...I wonder what's for lunch...er....midafternoon snack today. Can't really get behind any of the Smash-it-flat-and-cook-it-until-it's-grey purveyors in the Seattle zone. Burgermaster if someone held a gun to my head, but only because I can eat in the car while I'm listening to a game on AM radio. c
  23. We've eaten at Chiso a number of times and enjoyed fresh, plentiful sushi on every occasion. Haven't tried Blue C. Side note on Chinoise: try the Madison Valley location when exec chef Jae Ahrens is working -- great sushi and sashimi. We've never been impressed with the non-sushi-bar fare there, tho. c
  24. Anita (ScorchedPalate) and I had a pleasant dinner at Osteria la Spiga last night. Anita started with a rustic mushroom soup filled with lotsa chopped mushrooms and onions and finished with cream. Rich and tasty. My carrot salad was also good: shredded carrot over field greens w/hazelnuts -- <rant>good, fat halves, not that awful pile of slices and crumbs that so often appears</rant> -- a few slices of fresh mozzarella, and a basalmic vinaigrette. We had tagliatelle ragu variants for our main course: Anita's was standard tomato and meat bolognese, mine was wild boar w/white wine over spinach pasta. Good stuff, although the pasta was a bit overcooked for my taste. We drank a serviceable bottle of sangiovese with our meal. Service was low-key but attentive, and the dining area was cute and cozy. The reggae music playing in the background was a bit bizarre, but not intrusive. We feel like we got good value for our money. I ordered the most expensive entrée, but we still escaped for about $70 with tip. We’ll definitely return.
  25. Filing information in proper thread.. I managed to sow confusion at the eGullet gathering last night at FareStart -- my apologies. I should have checked my documentation before speaking so boldly. Daniel O'Malley does the sharpening for the Epicurean Edge in Kirkland, where Anita & I just had our knives done. Completely different from Bob Kramer. As penance, here's a link to an old CNN story about bladesmithing in the US. The reporter interviews Bob. Cooking beef stew tonight and looking forward to driving newly-sharpened steel. Polished, sharp edges. Whee! c
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