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Posts posted by malachi

  1. I suppose you could be correct, and it could just be that weird obsessive nature one gets about certain foods. For about 10 years I ate Wooster St pizza at least twice a week and it's possible that I've just reached the point where I start to fixate on differences and ranking pizzas, experiences and pizza places.


    Perception is subjective after all -- but I still feel like the Spot is (perhaps subtly) inferior to Pepe's.

    Damn. This is making me really hungry and making me really miss Sally's.

    Anyone know if they're doing the fresh tomato and basil bianca yet this year?

  2. Two comments:

    1 - In terms of "reality" I suppose I would say it comes pretty close in that by the end of the show I'd rediscovered my hatred of both FOH staff and customers.

    2 - It's clearly not a "eGullet" restaurant so I think kvetching about our usual topics is pointless. It would be like writing a review of Hard Rock or something. It's a huge theme restaurant geared at capturing a mass audience and churning out lowest common denominator food. That is not meant to reflect negatively on the Chef or anyone else -- it's a canny business move but we are simply not the target audience.

  3. 1) Sally's (the crust, the bianca, the balance, the experience)

    2) Pepe's (clam bianca, the sauce)

    3) Modern (striving to be Sally's - not quite there

    4) The Spot (striving to be Pepe's - definately not there

    Below that in the ranking you might get places outside of New Haven (Gina Marie in Middletown was pretty good before it burned down).

    A friend worked at Sally's for awhile. I heard some great stories -- sounds like a brilliant experience.

    Red Star frozen yeast.

  4. Because other than Petrus the most famous classified growths are from the Medoc and use predominately Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Haut-Brion, La Mission-Haut-Brion, Petrus, Ausone, Le Pin, Angelus, L'Evangile, Lafleur, Clos L'Eglise, L'Eglise-Clinet, Clinet, Cheval Blanc, Figeac, La Fleur-Petrus, Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Trotanoy, La Gomerie, La Mondotte, Valandraud

    Quite a list I'd say...

  5. As noted before - it's a different mindset.

    Americans think "varietal" while the French think "appelation" (actually, limited those mindsets to those two countries is somewhat silly, but you get the idea).

    Given this - it's not a shock that American wine drinkers try to view French wines from a "varietal" POV. Nor is it a shock that in France, when you can find California cabs they are rarely looked at as "cabs" but rather as "Napa" or "Sonoma" or just "Californian."

    In addition, I think that it is hard for American wine drinkers to relate Merlot to Bordeaux given that in the US the emotional association with Merlot is cheap, fruity, approachable, one dimensional and the emotional association with Bordeaux is expensive, tannic, gourmet and complex. When one then looks at the emotional association American wine drinkers have with Cabernet Sauvignon (expensive, gourmet, tannic and complex) you can see why folks might assume that Bordeaux is mostly Cab.

    A couple of useful quotes:

    "Cabernet Sauvignon: Grape of great character: spicy, herby, tannic, with characteristic "blackcurrant" aroma. The first grape of the Medoc; also makes most of the best California, S. American, E. European reds. ... Usually benefits from blending with eg Merlot, Cabernet Franc or Syrah." (Hugh Johnson)

    "Merlot: Adaptable grape making the great fragrant and plummy wines of Pomerol and (with Cabernet Franc) St-Emilion, an important element in Medoc reds, soft and strong (and a la mode) in California, Washington." (Hugh Johnson)

    "In the Medoc the average percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend ranges from 40% to 85%; in Graves, 40% to 60%; in St.-Emilion, 10% to 50%; and in Pomerol, 0% to 20%." (Robert Parker)

    "In the Medoc the average percentage of Merlot in the blend ranges from 5% to 45%; in Graves, from 20% to 40%; in St.-Emilion, 25% to 60%; and in Pomerol, 35% to 98%." (Robert Parker)

  6. Good advice.

    As a result, I talked to a local rancher who provides some of the local lamb and got the name of a Basque place (Wool Growers) he says is decent (though he claims the good Basque places are all up north near the CA-NV border). And I talked to the Assistant DA who called his counterpart and found out that the restaurant in the hotel she's staying in is where most businessfolk do lunch meetings.

    Thanks a ton.

  7. A 2 pound local, organic, grass-fed T-Bone Steak with fleur de sel, pan-fried rare, with a green peppercorn, port and frozen butter pan sauce.

    No vegetables, starches or other sides.

    Allagash Gran Cru.

    A single home-made Scharfenberger truffle.

    (the above is an example of what I eat when I'm eating alone -- I suppose a perfect exploration of one's tastes.)

  8. Hi Folks

    My girlfriend is going to have to spend the next three weekends in Bakersfield.

    It could be rough and I'd love some advice.

    While she's an adventurous eater (she lived in the Philipines for a while, in east Africa for a year, has traveled extensively in Thailand, etc.) she is a real foodie. She'll eat weird food, cheap food, any food as long as it is good food.

    Is there any good food in Bakersfield?

    Also - she's almost as serious about coffee as I am and is rather nervous about the prospect of having to drink Starbucks. Is there a decent coffee bar in town?

    And finally (and this is the difficult one - grin) does anyone have a suggestion for where she should stay. She is a serious design/luxe fan. Her favorite hotels are Opus in Vancouver, Mondrian in LA, Morgans in NYC, Helvetia Bristol in Florence, Phoenician in Scottsdale and Penninsula in Hong Kong.

    I know, I know. You're laughing. But if I could give her any hope it would be good.


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