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John W.

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Everything posted by John W.

  1. I heard a rumour that Palena has a dining room in the back too, anyone ever tried it?
  2. John W.

    The Petite's

    Elyse makes a fine Petite Sirah, even better in the Jacob Franklin bottling (if still around). Even though it goes against everything I believe in about wine, I'll still drink the shit out of it.
  3. I certainly hope Tom reviews Timothy Dean's new place as well.
  4. The development was as follows...Needed something to finish the menu, was looking through old menus from New Heights days. The dish was called the more correct sopapillas back in the day, but since we're an American Bistro (sic) we call them dumplings. Wrong on many levels, but you have to duck behind the concept when banging out Mexican food. I have not tasted finished product, but when my cooks crush out the leftovers at the end of the night, I guess it works.
  5. Change half now, half in about 6 weeks or so when it's actually spring. The menu is getting to the point where certain things can't come off. When it gets to the point of 100% untouchable I'll change soups via e-mail from my estate in the Minervois. The menu is labeled Winter 2005 because it's Winter 2005.
  6. Monday for new menu - not a plug, just a customer service advisory.
  7. Bistrot du Coin. Listen to accordians and eat pork products.
  8. Big ups for the Flavor Flav impersonation contest.
  9. We cook it about 2/3 done, cool quickly on sheetpans. Finish to order. With a lot of cream and butter. My personal goal is to have every kernel of rice seperate, using cream might be a crutch (less actual liquid per volume, assuming rice won't absorb the fat as quickly or at all). Using the amount of cream we do seems to do that. It seems as the two in question might have escaped without cream/butter/cheese and other caloric items fully emulsifying, hence the final, dissapointing product. I yield to Joe H.'s vast knowledge on this subject though.
  10. I'm just some damn cook. Evil again, are we?
  11. When are you not in an evil mood? Merlot Blanc is a real grape.
  12. I can eat that steak in 45 minutes.
  13. I have no problem with Michael's policy. He goes to great lengths to ensure the guest is aware of this. They agree to it before the reservation is made. Wouldn't that be kind of (not in a legal way) binding?
  14. Pretty much kills my idea of Les hommes du bureau calender. (tens of people would line up to obtain their copy)
  15. I'm in: Per Se - October '04. What's wrong with a 18 course, 5 1/2 hour Sunday lunch, in the private room? Not much. Best thing I ate in a restaurant, maybe ever...A canape of Grilled sardine, sauce "choucroute," (pureed braised red cabbage) and rye bread croutons. Simplicity is very powerful sometimes. With no slight intended to the 4 meals I've experienced at FL, like dishes seemed more focused, which I did not think possible. Babbo - Later that night, October '04. Split off from our group, ordered six pasta courses, all delightful, a great way to end a day that included above lunch. Peter Luger - Next day, October '04. Having never been, one of the criminals I was traveling with asked me what I thought I'd have. Rib eye, maybe hanger. "I think you'll have the porterhouse." Nah, not a big fan. "But I think you'll have the porterhouse." Not until I opened the menu did I understand. Canadian bacon as an app? As a senior member of the "Pork fat dripping down your face" club, I was bound by duty to order it. Steaks were great. The quality shined even with the rather spartan presentation. Best part was ordering an order of the hash browns (?) at 1:30, and being told they won't be ready until 3. We waited (and not with empty glasses either). Although I was skeptical at first, I left fully "getting it." Ma Cuisine, Beaune- February '04 - Impressive food, really impressive cheeses, and incredibly impressive wine list. If I recall, much Lafon, Dancer (just a few hours after leaving his cellar, making a right and running like monkeys around Le Montrachet et al - I still have the kid on XMAS morning chills as I type this), Coche Dury and Raveneau were enjoyed by all (for not much $$$). Still not sick of Eppoisses at this point on the trip (after lunch and dinner every day, this was day 5). Not a restaurant, but - March '04 - Cassoulet in the home of the very gracious Francoise and Pascal, proprieters of Chateau Coupe Roses, in the Minervois. Made by the mother-in-law (the same way I'm told for the last 50 years) was perfection, obviously in a different manner than restaurants, but still. This has probably put me off cassoulet for the rest of my life, as I would not want to sully the memory of this. In addition to the cassoulet, highlights included multiple large format bottles of champagne, copious quantities of local red, and a not-to-be-named Napa winemaker pouring himself a large glass of "water" (he was forgetting there typically is bottles of spirits floating around the table at this point) and laughing hysterically as he knocked back about a full glass of Marc before realizing his error. I don't think I have ever left a table happier in my life. Citronelle, terrace, summer, DC '04 - Three good friends, three cigars, three burgers (wagyu, lobster and tuna), and knowing the company, probably three of Mark Sommelier's finest. Asked for the wagyu burger with cheese, which was summarily rejected. Good call that, as the flavor of the hand-chopped wagyu sung. A good way to get away, even in the middle of Georgetown. Restaurant Eve, VA - September '04 - Aside from great food and wine, what I took away from Eve was how seamless the service was, to the point that the first time I looked at my watch it was nearly 1:30 AM. It felt like 20 minutes had elapsed. Cathal and Todd were very gracious in the lack of "why don't you guys get the hell out of here" looks. Nectar, DC - October '04 - A goodbye dinner for a friend. Course after course, pairing after pairing. All the favorites - veal cheeks with lentils, tuna with pine nuts, scallops with chorizo, super cheese plate. Favorite line of the night - Jarad says to friend-who-is-about-to-leave, as the next course of non-mainstream wines are being poured - "Why the hell am I telling you about this, you're the MS." Charlie Palmer Steak, DC - January '04 - As a cook, wearing a jacket when you go to lunch usually spells doom. Having friends who work in said places can seal it. What started out as a "let's have a bite" turns into a 7 course extravaganza, with a bottle of '78 William Hill Cab as the clincher. Walking the dog with glasses of whisky was in our immediate future. Palena, DC - pretty much the whole damn year - Whether the cafe or the back, by myself or with lots of friends, Frank never disappoints. Hot dogs and hamburgers receive the same stellar treatment as the food in the back.
  16. Not that it matters to you Bill, but his dreaminess is holding court this eve.
  17. CP defintely. Bryan V. puts on a great show. On that list, Ceiba would be my next choice.
  18. Care to elaborate? Come on, Johnny, spell it out for the folks! My anecdote: Last year a table of 4 came in, rang up a check over $500 and then wanted to argue when the check came that they should pay $30.04 for dinner. Showing them the list of participating restaurants that DID NOT include ours didn't help. This has happened every year since RW started. ← I am tired of arguing with people over $.50. And the Tom Sietsema inevitable beatdowns when you do 2-3 times your normal volume in one hour and the reservation that fails to mention they were 45 minutes late bitches about how long it took to get the food. Never been in a restaurant before? And having to keep copies of every website listing that states we are not doing dinner to keep the people that insist that we are off our backs. There's more, but I can't remember.
  19. The best decision I've made since the last time I let Michel choose the wine.
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