Jump to content


eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by JosephB

  1. JosephB

    Steven Shaw

    I regret that this ocassion is the reason for my first post in a long time. I am stunned and saddend at the sudden passing of Steven. I will always remember the fun times we spent together cooking and eating with our families and friends, and think about the special and enduring relationships that I formed because of Steven and eGullet. Deepest condolensces to Ellen and PJ.
  2. We're in Manhattan, but get down to Miami with some frequency. I just wanted to add that I agree that Hiro's Yakko-San in North Miami Beach (very convenient to Hollywood) is excellent, and very completely local, and always busy. I also think Francesco, in beautiful Coral Gables, is superb, though a bit pricey. My everyday place for Peruvian ceviche, arroz con mariscos and parihuela is Chalan. I also love Garcia's on the Miami River for stone crabs and grilled whole fish. Get a table right on the river-- very casual and local. Finally, on a recent visit, 18 of us dined at Creek 28, and discovered excellent food and wine in a charming little hotel away from the craziness of South Beach. The price point was extremely reasonable. This is a real find.
  3. Try Jean Georges's recipe in Cooking at Home. It's is very refined. He starts with a mushroom broth made from a few pounds of mushroooms, some shallots and thyme, which are sauteed, boiled and strained (further reduction gives you mushroom syrup). The dish is finished with sauteed shitake, soy sauce, sherry, hazelnut oil, and toasted bread crumbs. Superb.
  4. No doubt, the best of docsconz is yet to come.
  5. I see on the Fra' Mani website that they make "salametto piccante," which is "Spanished-influenced chorizo."
  6. I recall that the deli slices five different Fra' Mani salumi: mortadella (the newest item), salametto, salame Toscano, salame Gentile, soppressata. Though I think the soppressata may have been discontinued. I've never seen the chorizo. Are you sure Paul Bertoli is making chorizo? I thought he made only Italian salumi.
  7. It's curious that Chambers Street Wines was omitted from the list, because it not only espouses the Slow philosophy, it runs a regular ad in Slow Food's newsletter, the Snail.
  8. I picked up a liter (33.8oz) of the Frantoia on Sunday for $15.99 at Fairway in New York City. It's excellent. ← When I read that you paid $15.99 for Frantoia at Fairway I was skeptical, but anxious to get in on the bargain. I'm looking at a bottle of M. Barbera & Figli, 1 Liter purchased today for $20.99. I think that's been the price for a while because I noted over the summer that Fresh Direct's price ($19.99) was better. Maybe you bought a different brand. Or maybe there was a one day sale when you went -- unlikely.
  9. I presume I received the e-mail below because I'm technically a FD customer, even though I've only placed one order since signing-up two years ago. Or maybe it's because I recently complained to CB 7 about FD's idling trucks in front of my building. In any event, I applaud the environmentally friendly steps they're taking. I may even order some items from them when they finally get rid of those pesky boxes. ******************************************************************** October 1, 2007 Dear Joseph, At FreshDirect, we've always been proud to be a homegrown NYC business. With that thought in mind, we believe we have a responsibility to serve our customers with an eye toward a healthy, prosperous future for our neighbors and the city we all love. Though we're still a very young company (as of this summer we're just five years old), we intend to act as responsible environmental stewards and to work toward better serving our neighborhood while we take care of both customers and employees. FreshDirect will accomplish this in several ways: 1. CUTTING EMISSIONS FROM OUR DELIVERY TRUCKS. We love that our trucks have become a mass transit system for food, each one replacing the many cars and cabs that would otherwise be used to bring families and food together. We're committed to making our trucks as clean-burning and low-impact as possible. FreshDirect has partnered with Tri-State Biodiesel, a NYC-based company dedicated to providing the region with clean, renewable biodiesel sources. Tri-State uses cooking oil donated from our kitchen for use in non-toxic diesel fuel. In the next year, we plan to initiate biodiesel use in 100% of our delivery fleet. This action will both reduce emissions and cut back our use of fossil fuel products. Additionally, we are working with the city to identify locations for electrical outlets so we can plug in our trucks and refrigerate using electric engines. We hope to have our first plug-in truck in mid-2008. 2. REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF WASTE WE PRODUCE. We recently switched our delivery boxes in favor of boxes that use 100% recycled fiber content - no virgin fibers are needed in any FreshDirect box. We're proud to announce that within the next 3 years, we'll eliminate nearly all of our cardboard delivery boxes, replacing them with recyclable plastic totes and grocery bags. Since our facility was designed with cardboard boxes in mind, switching our systems will involve a complex re-engineering process. We believe these efforts will drastically reduce our use of cardboard and eliminate any challenges we currently face with under-packed boxes. 3. FEEDING OUR NEEDIEST NEIGHBORS. We work hard to make sure that surplus food doesn't go to waste. Accordingly, FreshDirect is one of City Harvest's largest food suppliers, helping them to feed New York's neediest. We were recognized this year for "extraordinary dedication," and we intend to maintain that level of commitment. 4. INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF LOCAL PRODUCTS WE SELL. Forging partnerships with good people doing good work has been a FreshDirect hallmark for years, and few companies sell more local products. Buying from farms, orchards, dairies and fisheries in the Tri-state area reduces the use of fossil fuels, supports artisanal craftsmanship and stimulates our local economy. During the next year, we will further extend our commitment to local producers and work to bring you even more options for locally-based eating. 5. PROVIDING EVEN MORE INFORMATION TO HELP CUSTOMERS MAKE INFORMED CHOICES. Environmental choices are often complicated, highly personal decisions. That's why FreshDirect believes in offering customers the opportunity to make informed choices for themselves and their families. We will continue to deliver on that commitment by looking for new ways to deliver quality food alongside thorough information. In the coming year, we'll work to increase our selection of fish certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. And by the end of 2007, our Seafood Department will display the sustainability status on each product. These commitments demonstrate just a few of the ways we're working to make FreshDirect a sustainable company and a good neighbor within our community. We look forward to keeping you up-to-date on our progress in the months and years to come. Best Regards, Steve Michaelson FreshDirect President and CEO Susan Schreiber FreshDirect Environmental Initiatives Director
  10. Jean-Georges fans may be interested to know that he's started a blog, presumably to promote his forthcoming book. It's worth noting that in one of his posts he mentions that he no longer works weekends, so don't make a Sat. reservation if you hope to find him in the kitchen.
  11. Somehow, "storage apples" sold at a Farmer's Market just doesn't cut it for me. I want homegrown, as-close-to-picked as possible. Isn't that the theory of a Farmers Market? ← Agreed. This apple business has always rubbed me the wrong way. Someone (a farmer) once told me that the apples are sometimes THREE YEARS OLD. I can't pass by them without thinking about that. Union Square Market is, I think, NYC's biggest and best farmer's market. For that reason, its praises are sung over and over and over. It's a good thing to be skeptical of what the press tells us. ← There are numerous "storage" crops. Potatoes, carrots and cabbage to name a few. Stored at the proper temperature, these crops, like apples, are superb after months of storage. The ones I buy all winter long at the USGM are excellent. What locally grown "fresh" produce are you expecting in the Northeast during the winter?
  12. The lemon sorbetto on brioche at Otto for $3.75 is one of the City's great values. It's disappointing that Grom doesn't offer brioche.
  13. A few years ago I went on a quest to find fresh masa in NYC, without success. I was teaching myself Mexican cooking from Diana Kennedy's early books, and was determined to do everything the hard way, except make masa. I seriously doubt you'd find anyone making fresh masa commercially in nyc. It may be worth inquiring at some Mexican restaurants. La Palapa may be a good place to start, because the two women who opened that restaurant always claimed to be devotees of Kennedy, and her strict adherence to starting from scratch.
  14. We passed by Saturday shortly before 11:00 am on our way to the park, with no expectation that we'd get even close to tasting the ice cream. To our surprise, once the doors opened the line moved swiftly. We waited five minutes in line and were rewarded with a delicious product. Coconut and Equadorean extranoir chocolate made a great combination -- our favorite. The flavor of the month, Luna Rossa, was strawberries and cream, which was excellent. We also tried the gianduia and pistachio. Both nut ice creams are very good, but don't compare to the best nut ice creams in Sicily. There, the nut flavor is so pronounced, it seems as if the nuts were roasted fresh for each scoop. We tried to go back on Sunday and pay our way, but the line was much longer after lunch, and seemed more bogged down by the exchange of money. The partners were hard at work behind the counter. This is a superb product. We appreciate the small portions, which is we consider to be the perfect size. We hope to go at least once a week through the summer.
  15. Looking for a bargain? Not intimidated by long lines? GROM's giving away cups of gelato on Saturday, May 5th.
  16. GROM looks like it's ready to open any day. Indeed, their website now projects a May 5th opening.
  17. We go to Dim Sum Go Go every few weeks, usually on Sunday morning. We like the upstairs dining room by the big sunny picture window. While the menu is more limited than the big dim sum palaces, we prefer the less hectic atmosphere, and the delicateness and lightness of the dim sum. We've always had good service as well.
  18. I certainly hope you guys are right, because my family is looking forward to the Landmarc option. I don't know a lot about the economics of adding breakfast to a lunch, dinner and late night operation, but I'm sure the marginal costs are not significant. I interrupted my morning walk to work and popped in this morning at 8:20 am. There were only four customers in the restaurant. There seemed to be even fewer employees. I know word is just getting out that Landmarc is open, but except for tourists, child caregivers, retired folk, and few other miscellaneous types, I can't see that they'll get much of a breakfast crowd. Even on weekends, the crowds won't likely arrive until late morning. My wife goes to Bouchon and the Bouchon coffee bar with some frequency, and reports that it's pretty quiet on weekdays. Indeed, there was no one at the coffee bar when I went there this morning.
  19. That's not what I'd be worried about. The cuisine at Landmarc is not the sort that breaks when you try to top 150 covers. It's more like steakhouse cuisine, which is easy to scale up so long as you plan for it. I'm pretty sanguine about the quality of the food. My concern would be the opposite: that the place will become so (deservedly) popular that it will be difficult to get in, or the prices will go up, or the table turns will have to be pretty aggressive. Landmarc downtown is one of the great neighborhood restaurants, and the Upper West Side is a densely populated, affluent area desperate for anything like it. I suppose there will always be Mondays. ← But don't you think a 7:00 am to 2:00 am operation adds significantly to the challenge of maintaining quality? The restuarant never really closes.
  20. French Roast is really in a different neighborhood than Lanmarc, especially for the stroller set. I see the choice as one more between Landmarc and PJ Clarke's in the old Iridium space on 63rd Street at Lincoln Center.
  21. Oh, sure. Actually, I think they were charmed by my friends the "Italian Farmers," as Chef Barber referred to them. One of the guy's family runs an Agriturismo in Campania, and the other's guy's family grows wine grapes in Emilia-Romagna. ← Quite possible, although that did not come out until well into the meal already. I would like to think that I or we would be considered VIPs, but I think the most likely possibility is that they typically do a great job and we happened to fit into that. It appears that the unlucky exception is when people are less than fully satisfied. ← Yes, I think we experienced the general excellence of BH, but I agree with Fat Guy's view that an enthusiastic group invites a desire on the part of the staff to impress.
  22. Oh, sure. Actually, I think they were charmed by my friends the "Italian Farmers," as Chef Barber referred to them. One of the guy's family runs an Agriturismo in Campania, and the other's guy's family grows wine grapes in Emilia-Romagna.
  23. I was impressed with Barber's successful use of winter's limited produce offerings from the farm. Each of the several beet dishes, for example, were creative and delicious. However, I would love to go back in early June or late summer when the bounty will be that much more impressive. I'm really into the eat local thing, and really admire what Barber and certain other chefs are doing to support local food production. My family has been successful in buying most of what we eat at the the green market for several months now. We have established good relationships with some of the vendors, whom we think deliver superior produce, fish and meat (lamb, poultry, pork and eggs) at fair prices.
  24. Our dinner early yesterday evening was quite a change of gears from the five-hour affair we had the night before at the rustically elegant Blue Hill at Stone Barns. One thing these places have in common is the proprietors' substantial commitment to serving quality ingredients. Beyond that, one's experience at these two places is naturally very different. Having these meals back to back made me think about how really meaningless it is to describe a restaurant as "best" compared to other restaurants that are so vastly different in every respect, even if one were to rate the food of one restaurant to be better than the others. We were four plus my little girl, who is almost three years old. She is ordinarily does well in restaurants if we get out by 8:30 pm. Unfortunately, she was a bit unruly yesterday evening because she skipped her regular nap, which was a bit of distraction for us. But Momofuku turned out to be a good place under the circumstances, the din drowning out the raucous. We felt even less self-conscious when a couple arrived with two infants and were seated at the bar, and the mother began breast feeding one of the babies. This is definitely a family-friendly restaurant. Doc has already described what we ate, and I generally agree with his comments and conclusions about the food and service. I would add that the problem with sharing dishes was difficult not only because the concept of a serving spoon seemed foreign to the servers, but that even with a serving spoon some of the dishes would be best enjoyed as a single serving. For example, after spooning some of the various elements of the sea urchin dish into my plate, I found it difficult to scoop together a bite which included all the elements, which I presume is the chef's intention. There's really no point in eating a plate of tapioca pearls separately from the other components of the dish. Another example was the scallop dish, which was delicious, but required that the dashi broth be included with each bite. It was difficult to get all the elements onto the spoon on one try. I was frustrated that I couldn't keep enough of the broth on the spoon while trying to coax some pineapple on top of the scallop. This dish would have worked great served on some of those flat spoons that are commonly used to serve the amuse. But I guess that would be too formal and slow down the kitchen, which I understand. We all loved the apple salad, but I was thinking how nice it would have been if the apples were served as rounds on a plate with the other elements of the dish piled on top of each piece, which one could pick up with one's hands, and get the full effect with each mouthful. Needless to say, the chawan and mushroom salad presented similar challenges. I was so relieved when the brussel sprouts, which were also delicious, arrived and were easily divisible. I would go back on a weekday before the crowds arrive. But next time I'll order the scallops, apple salad and some buns or a banh mi with no intention of sharing the first two dishes with my companions, only because it would be in the best interest of those of us dining together.
  25. According to a S.F. Chronicle article (mentioned on Serious Eats), there is a nascent trend in SF restaurants of replacing pricey bottled water with free filtered tap water. The bubbly stuff is homemade. Are any NY restaurateurs doing this? Does anyone make their own sparkling water at home?
  • Create New...