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Everything posted by tanabutler

  1. Can you still taste the stuff when you time-travel, Max?
  2. There is a "Fireplace Room" at Manresa, with a beautiful fireplace with custom ironwork (I think) on it. It is sometimes set up for banquets and special events. I had some of the same dishes outdoors in May. The frites I would pass on, despite that they were just fine, as they didn't achieve enough distance from french fries and "crispy crunchy essence of potatoes" that I would hope to encounter in the deft hands of the Manresa kitchen. (There, that should free me of the "sycophant" label.) But wait, they're offering them with Kobe beef "bavette" (no idea what a bavette is). Ack. That sounds great. We had the calamari, which was just wonderful, but on a wintry day? Not sure. Things with lemon taste better in hot weather to me. I'd skip it unless it's a warm day. Even so, you'll be inside. Go for winter. Enjoy those flavors and textures. We didn't order the olives, but they came as a gift, and I'm so glad they did. It is universally known that I do not like olives. They are rubbery and squeaky and too salty for words. (Oddly, I love capers and olive oil.) I bravely try them again and again (as I did on my only trip to Italy). But these olives were a revelation. You may love olives. In that case, you'd love these. We also had the sampling of four cheeses: one cheese was a gutterball, at least for me. (Bob probably thought it was fine.) It was just too sour and "gone" tasting. Again, this is just my personal preference. I will forego an analogy, though I won't order that cheese again. I thought the $12 tag steep, but that's just me because I didn't like that particular cheese. After all our savories had arrived, David Kinch sent out the serrano ham, and it was exactly what I didn't know I longed for. It was just a throwback to my grandparents' house (a place of happiness, and the very walls smelled good). It was emotionally satisfying, in the same way a perfect strawberry is. It reminded me of childhood flavors: pure, essential, and the kind of thing I had to taste in miniscule bites, I liked it so much. So, now, let's have a look at the new menu choices. Winter Menu (which I'm copying and pasting from the PDF file downloadable at the web site): Spanish Marcona Almonds (lightly toasted and salted) 3 Assorted Marinated Olives (herbs and olive oil) 4 Bocquerones en “Vinagreta” (marinated white anchovies) 5 Roasted and Marinated Sweet Peppers (grilled country bread) 5.5 Potato “Frites” (allioli “garlic and oil”) 6 Joe’s Green Onions Grilled on the Plancha (romesco sauce) 7 Potato and Leek Soup (gruyere toast) 8 Deep Fried Rabbit (allioli “apple and honey”) 8 Local Albacore Salad (fingerling potatoes) 9 Homemade « Boudin Noir » Sausage (apple sauce) 9 Homemade “Merguez” Sausage (chickpea frites, harissa) 11 Crispy Pig’s Trotters (stuffed with foie gras, lentils) 10 Country Style Pork Terrine (grilled country bread, “mostarda”) 10 Jeremy’s Genoa Style Salami (shaved parmigiano reggiano) 11 Fried Calamari (lemon allioli) 12 Serrano Ham “Redondo Iglesias” (18 months old, thinly sliced) 12 Kobe style American beef “bavette” (bordelaise, frites) 19 We had that "Merguez" sausage in the chef's tasting, and let me tell you: there is a sausage geek in the kitchen at Manresa. Chef told me that there's always someone fascinated with sausage. Find that someone: the sausage was NOT Jimmy Dean. I believe that "Jeremy" (listed with the salami) is the person who made the Merguez sausage we had, and which may have spoiled at least one of our party for life. The soup looks good: there is always something so gratifying about soup in the wintertime. My dinner would probably include: Bocquerones en "Vinagreta" Joe's Green Onions Potato and Leek Soup Deep Fried Rabbit Homemade Merguez Sausage The albacore salad with fingerlings sounds very intriguing -- fingerlings being one of the truest expressions of a potato on earth. I love them. More than any potato. I bet the pig's trotters are great: there are few people I would trust to feed me something so, er, uncommon that I would eschew my prejudice. But if David Kinch makes them, I'm sure they're worth eating and that they taste good. I bet you will have a deeply satisfying, comforting winter meal. I bet you can also ask them to structure a meal, so that you're not too weighted in the various flavor components. Advice from Manresa is a good thing. They are there to help you have a good experience. I hope that helps. EDIT: I say "I bet" too much.
  3. Bonus points if you can translate the French at the bottom of the label. And I just learned who gave it to you. Really small world on eGullet. ← I can't make out the last word, but I know what it means so far.
  4. You hit the nail on the head. If something isn't as good as I remember (and I've had something similar enough to It's Its that it's close enough to make the current incarnation of the It's It inferior), I can't eat it. One of the few things that stands out of my very early life (early Sixties) was Starburst candies. We were poor, and got few such treats. In the 1990s or so, I found them again, with utter rapture. They hadn't changed! They still have the most intense flavor, identical to the candy I loved as a tot. I also love their perfect little colored wax-paper wrappers, the smell, the taffy-soft way they squish in my mouth. For something that's not chocolate, it's as good as candy gets. The quality of Hershey bars, on the other hand, and most commercial candies I used to love, has gone straight into the toilet. I taste the chalky additives. I hate them now, and hate the people who made the decisions to compromise their original quality. That's why I opt for fewer such treats. I would prefer to spend $1 on one dark chocolate truffle from Donnelly Chocolates (a chocolate maker here in Santa Cruz), or 50 cents for a single small square of Scharffen Berger semi-sweet chocolate, and savor the perfection, than to coat my mouth with inferior stuff. I'm not a complete purist, obviously, and I think loving Starbursts doesn't make me any kind of an elitist. It is definitely not in my character to continue a relationship with a food product that has declined in quality. It's too disappointing, and I've found it better to discontinue disappointment and seek kilt-flippers (as in "it didn't flip my kilt") elsewhere.
  5. As the coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars said to the press before his big game at Green Bay yesterday, "We're not playing any of the previous teams [who always win when it's cold]: we're playing the Green Bay Packers of 2004." So however good something used to be, if it's not good, it's not good enough (for me). If people love It's Its, good for you: my avoiding them means more for you! The current version of an It's It is not something I want to eat. I hope this isn't a problem for someone. Certainly what someone else eats isn't my problem. One reason I posted my opinion is to assuage people who haven't had one, and who were afraid they were really missing something special. The other is because I was, in fact, disappointed when I tasted one. This was long before I even knew what eG was, and long long before this thread was ever born. Give me a good ol' ice cream sandwich any day over an It's It. Less high fructose corn syrup (shudder). More smoky chocolate taste. On second thought, make it a Dove Bar. The opinions expressed in this post solely reflect those of the author, and are not intended to impede consumption of ice cream novelty items for anyone else.
  6. The only other thing I could find with your earlier hours at OpenTable.com is the Duck Club at the Stanford Court hotel in Woodside. It looks fairly traditional and pleasant. OpenTable.com link
  7. Call Manresa: 408-354-4330. They are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
  8. Having lived in Nashville, I found Chef Sean Brock on eG. Having an interest in his work (theoretically: who knows when/if I will ever get back there), I occasionally check members' posts. That is sometimes a serendipitous way to find treasures online. That led me to this thread, which I just love. Moto seems like Manresa in a certain sense. Both seem adventurous and devoted to surprise that balances with charm. I like this thread for so many reasons. Would love to visit Moto. But when?
  9. This just in: Bob has had innumerable It's Its. He lived in San Francisco from 1972-78 (and in the bay area since 1951, with a two-year stint in Oregon). Notorious years, and he knew the city well. He says this: Just wanted to add that.
  10. Tana, I am so happy to see your input! It's It are, to me, two stale oatmeal cookies surrounding a slab of mediocre vanilla ice cream, coated with indifferent chocolate. To my taste, even a "Dove" bar has more integrity. If you really, repeat really, want this kind of treat, make some good, homemade oatmeal cookies, some proper ice cream, make your own sandwiches and dip them in worthwhile eating chocolate. Report back on your euphoria. ← Hey, Margaret, your endorsement of my good taste earns you a belly bump should we ever meet in person. You are right, I think: everything in an It's It tastes like, whaddayacallem...pre-made cookies in a tube? (I can't remember the name of them, so thank God for frontal lobotomies.) A Dove bar compared to an It's It is like Mohammed Ali fighting Captain Underpants. Well, that would be a dark chocolate Dove bar with dark chocolate interior. Actually, with a vanilla interior. Actually, any of them would be fine for most people, but "lips that touch milk chocolate shall never touch mine." Actually, I think I'll go have a coma now. I have two chocolate truffles from Chocolate Visions made with Bonny Doon raspberry something, and who can resist chocolate with a picture of a monkey in a fez? It's certainly not "indifferent chocolate," as you put it so perfectly. Well said. (They had to have been better once. They had to have tasted non-industrial: homemade.)
  11. How is this Italian? I will refer to the OpenTable.com link: http://www.opentable.com/restaurant_profile.asp?ID=3412
  12. My good friend, a foodie to the core, just had the chef's tasting at 231 Ellsworth, and she love-love-loved it. But I'm not seeing them on OpenTable.com. I think it's so late, your options are going to be really limited. And not knowing the number in your party, it's hard to guess seating availability.
  13. A16 is completely booked, according to OpenTable. If it doesn't have to be Italian, and you could assuage her with something else wonderful, try one of these. Aqua, Campton Place, Farallon (beautiful, romantic, wonderful food and service), Frisson, Jardiniere?
  14. Acquerello isn't open on Sundays. Open Table is pretty clear that it's a busy night...of that list, Scala's and possibly the Washington Bar and Grill (Randall? You've mentioned that place, I think). But not listed at Open Table is one of the darlings of SF'ers: Quince. They do dinner daily. Hold on and I'll see if I can find their web site.
  15. I am trying to get up there for part of one day, if I can. Fringale is only doing Dine Around Town on Tuesday. If you go there, just ask Marc Rasic to baste you. You will be very very happy. Where are you coming from? Exhibiting or attending?
  16. Randall may know these better than I do, but I am looking at these when I'm in the city: Restaurant LuLu (I know, he mentioned it, this is from my e-mail to a friend about that week) http://www.sfdineabouttown.com/enhanced_li...ood=SoMa&id=196 Azie http://www.sfdineabouttown.com/enhanced_li...ood=SoMa&id=197 4th and Folsom, dinner only Bizou http://www.bizourestaurant.com I loved this web site, and I love the tidbits I read there. I want to go there. Tuesday, Fringale: http://www.sfdineabouttown.com/enhanced_li...ood=SoMa&id=185 Chef Marc Rasic is a love, and he made the best chicken I may ever have eaten, at a dinner in a fig orchard. I don't think I will be there on Tuesday, unless perhaps I stay over on Monday evening. Maya http://www.mayasf.com/ A loyal eG'er sent me a good rec for Maya, and hadn't had an "unmemorable" meal there at all. Recommended: "sopa de elote (roasted corn soup with huitlacoche dumplings). Also pipian de puerco -- pork tenderloin marinated in tamarind sauce." At night, it's easier to get out a bit more.
  17. The location is good if we're hoofing it from the Fancy Foods Show.
  18. They are participating in the January "Dine About Town" for both lunch and dinner. http://www.sfdineabouttown.com/
  19. January 23-25, 2005: the Fancy Foods Show will convene at the Moscone Center. I attended last year: it's stupefying. Who's exhibiting or attending? It coincides with another cool thing: Dine about Town: for the month of January, participating restaurants offer prix fixe menus (three courses) for $19.95/lunch and/or $29.95/dinner.
  20. So, has anyone been to Maya? http://www.mayasf.com/
  21. So which of the restaurants are within walking distance of Moscone Center? DAT coincides with the Fancy Food Show!
  22. =R= ← FYI, those people are: Board of Trustees George P. Sape, Chairman Diane D. Kern, First Vice Chairman Robert W. Jones, Second Vice Chairman Anne Byrd, Treasurer Kathleen Perry, Secretary Arthur Abelman Nina Griscom Paul R. Lovejoy Marcie McNelis Albert H. Nahmad Jacques Pépin, Trustee Emeritus Caroline Stuart I bet they don't bump Pépin, though. The thing is a not-for-profit, right? In that case, Pickell did a great job.
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