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dtilston

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    Austin, TX
  1. Great! What specifically did you enjoy at Inopia?
  2. First trip to Barcelona this weekend and I am having an impossible time securing reservations anywhere. I figured most restaurants would be closed on Easter Sunday but it did not occur to me that they would also be closed all day the Saturday before as well as the Monday after. Unfortunately, we only have Saturday night through Monday night in Barcelona then we are on to San Sebastian where, thankfully, we have reservations at Arzak, Akelare, and Extebarri. These are all the places I have tried without success: Alkimia, Gresca, Moo, Fonda Gaig, Dos Pallilos, CincSentits (they are open but are apparently booked), Comerc24 (open Saturday but booked). I did manage to secure a lunch reservation at Rias de Galicia on Sunday but that is all. Via Veneto was suggested to me by my concierge but after looking at the website and menu it seems rather touristy and the menu is not very inspiring. Does anyone know if any tapas places will be open on Saturday or Monday? Places like Inopia, Quimet y Quimet, Tapac 24 or anywhere else that has a good reputation? Right now I am counting on that for our dining/drinking options those two nights unless I receive suggestions of other restaurants that will be open.
  3. dtilston

    Crab Cake Binder

    My husband can't stand mayo so I use a little mustard, a little light sour cream and/or an egg. Instead of regular breadcrumbs, for health reasons, I use ground oats. Just grind up whole oats in a food processor until fine and use instead of breadcrumbs to bind. I really don't use much at all, maybe a 1/4 cup of oats per 1lb crab (lump or jumbo lump). I also add minced celery, parsley, garlic, and smoked spanish paprika. (As a side note, I always used to pan fry my crabcakes but recently grilled them on a stovetop grill instead and they turned out so well I will probably do it more often to cut calories. The only change I made was not to dredge the whole cakes in more ground oats. Not traditional, I know, but tasty and healthy all the same!)
  4. dtilston

    Backsplashes

    I'm not really worried that it will get scratched or cracked since my backsplash rarely gets touched, other than to wipe it down (I guess I'm a low impact cook ). I am concerned about the smudges and streaking though. It would be a pain to have to clean the entire surface of the backsplash when something splatters on just one area. Just how expensive is it?
  5. dtilston

    Backsplashes

    I've never heard of this before but I really like the way it looks. I'm also interested in hearing if anyone else has used it for a kitchen backsplash as I am considering it for my kitchen remodel.
  6. dtilston

    Warming Drawers

    Interesting idea about the steam oven. I hadn't considered one of those. What do you use it for other than canning or sterilizing (neither of which I currently do)? Do you use it for baking or cooking things like veggies or seafood? I'm fortunate to I have a large kitchen with lots of cabinets and storage so space isn't an issue with the warming drawer. I'm wondering if people who spend the money on them actually find them useful on a regular enough basis. Most models I've looked at are over $1000. I think I would use mine regularly for warming dishes because I do like to serve meals on warm dishes. Currently I do that in the microwave but I can't fit many in there and some aren't microwaveable anyway. Are there any other uses for a warming drawer other than keeping foods and dishes warm? Do they work well for proofing bread?
  7. dtilston

    Warming Drawers

    I'm beginning the long process of renovating my kitchen and I've already decided that I want to install dual ovens. I really like the idea of a warming drawer because I can think of many times when one component of the meal needs to remain warm while another finishes cooking. Or when the whole meal is ready but I can't manage to get everyone to sit down at the table right away! My questions is, are they worth it or worthless? If you have one, do you use it and how often? What brand is it and are you satisfied with the performance and value?
  8. dtilston

    Best fine dining in Dallas?

    Ahhh, I wish I had an answer for you, Kevin72. Unfortunately, our trip was cut unexpectedly short and I had to cancel our reservations at Lola at the last minute . I was so dissapointed! In any case, it is tops on my list for our next trip to Dallas and next time I will be sure to secure a table in the tasting room! Thanks again for all your advice!
  9. dtilston

    Best fine dining in Dallas?

    Actually, they were completely booked in the tasting room at Lola and only had 1 table left in the regular dining room (9pm), so I had to take what I could get. I tried Bijoux as well and they only had one (5:30pm, which is too early for us). Maybe since Valentine's Day is next Wed, most places are especially busy this weekend?
  10. dtilston

    Best fine dining in Dallas?

    Thanks for all the great info and advice everyone! We have reservations at Lola so I will report back on our experience. Looking forward to it! Thanks again:).
  11. dtilston

    Best fine dining in Dallas?

    So, it sounds like we couldn't go wrong with Lola, Bijoux or York Street. I can't find a website for York Street though. I'd like to get a better feel for the menu and what the place looks like. Kevin72, what were the high points for you? Any comparison on the ambience and decor with these places would be great to hear. Like I mentioned before, we prefer something a little more contemporary in style (but it is our anniversary so romantic would be OK too:). Many thanks for the feedback! Mrs. dtilston :laugh ETA: I'd still like to hear if anyone has an opinion on Nana, www.nanarestaurant.com., as the menu looks interesting.
  12. dtilston

    Best fine dining in Dallas?

    Thanks for the feedback . Lanny's sounds great and I would love to go there but I don't know that we will want to make the drive over there (isn't it about a 30 min drive from downtown Dallas?). Bijoux looks promising. Anyone else have an opinion on it? Someone else recommended Nana. It's in the Hilton (or Wyndham?) which doesn't really excite me because I tend to not go for "hotel style" restaurants but the menu looks pretty interesting and it seems to have a great view. Has anyone had any experiences dining here?
  13. dtilston

    Best fine dining in Dallas?

    We are spending next weekend in Dallas and I can't decide where to make a dinner reservation. Friday night we are eating at Craft, as we are staying at the W hotel and will arrive late. Saturday is our anniversary so we want to have a great dining experience somewhere. Some of the places I'm considering are: Aurora Lola Luqa I have read some great and some not so great things about all three of these places. In order of importance, we are mainly looking for: 1. food - obviously, high quality is very important (I'm a culinary school graduate ), but we like all different types of cuisines and appreciate creativity in cooking 2. atmosphere - we are younger (>30) and prefer a stylish, contemporary atmosphere BUT certainly not a place where the noise level prohibits carrying on a conversation 3. service - mediocre service can be overlooked but I have no problem walking out of a place with poor service 4. value - cost is not an issue but we do not want to pay a small fortune if the overall experience is not a memorable one I haven't found a lot of discussion here on Dallas fine dining restaurants so I really appreciate any feedback on these places or recommendations for anywhere else!
  14. Not sure how far this is from Healdsburg but we had two excellent dinners here last year: http://www.glenelleninn.com/home.htm It was so good the first time that we went back 2 days later. Really high quality food for the prices and the restaurant is not pretentious at all. There seemed to be a lot of locals there and you can sit outside on the patio if you wish. I can't wait to go back on our next trip to Sonoma!
  15. dtilston

    [Austin] Jeffrey's

    I took my husband to Jeffrey's last year for his birthday. It was the worst meal I have had in Austin for the price. We had the tasting menu (I don't recall what we ate now), but there wasn't a single dish that we were impressed with. Everything was bland and underseasoned. The atmosphere was ok and the service was fine but it was such a waste of money. If you want really good food & great wine at a great price, go to Mirabelle. They food is consistently good, the service is great and the wine list is extensive and very reasonably priced.
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