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dillybravo

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Posts posted by dillybravo

  1. The cheese/salt foccacia squares at the Granville island one are pretty good too. And they have an organic demi-levain and sourdough demi-baguette, or some such combinations, which are a little cheaper and not too big.

    The foccacia has an awesome, chewy dense crumb. I find the two loaves above have a little too airy crumb for my taste in levain breads, but the crust is good. I too like a dark, crunchy crust. I also like a really rough, irregular, slightly chewy crumb, though, and I haven't found one yet. : ( Anyone have suggestions?

    The organic demi-levain has some whole wheat in it, too, maybe 15% or so? Not too much. I haven't tried any others, but that fig and anise sounds good, I agree.

  2. That cod benny is pretty tasty, I went there last weekend. Also of note is that they appear to make their own hollandaise, and it was quite fresh on Saturday AM. So two plusses there.

    My girlfriend was not overly fond of her mascarpone-stuffed french toast, which was alone on its plate, and also stuffed with chocolate mascarpone (not noted on the menu, this chocolate bit), which removed any mascarpone flavour. I thought it was alright.

    The benny is worth a try though.

  3. Hey,

    Sorry I couldn't make it. : ( But two comments:

    1. Red Onion = closed for renovations last time I walked by. I might be in the area tonight though, and if so, I will let you know if/when it is open.

    2. Lamb burger @ Moderne. I like their steak burger (tried it once a few weeks ago), pretty tasty. Agree with most of the comments above; kind of well-done, lacking additional seasonings, and not nearly fatty enough. But it does have some je ne sais quois taste about it that I think is the beef itself, and I did enjoy that element. Not my usual preference, but good and different than a lot of burgers.

    The lamb burger, however, Coop, I would recommend you skip. It is a magnification of the flaws of the steak burger: very dry, not fatty at all, comes quite well done. Pretty standard lamby flavour. All-in-all the steak burger is much superior to my palate. Plus the steak burger has that slightly crumbly, hand-formed feel, whereas the lamb burger was your typical burger brick: uniform, dense, etc.

    One more note: their milkshakes are awesome, as is the Cherry Coke and Cherry Lime mentioned, and they have real malt, not the syrup stuff, if you're into that.

  4. Caveat: I've lived in Calgary for the last ten years and I'm sick to death of it. Also, I think most of the places a lot of people like and recommend are tripe. So, your mileage may vary.

    Stay away from the Catch oyster bar. I haven't tried the main dining room at all due to the abhorrent service and food in the oyster bar.

    I find most of the fine dining here inconsistent. I've had great meals and then been back a month later for sore disappointment. That said, the River Cafe in Prince's Island Park is probably a good choice. Contemporary, local ingredients. It's been excellent many times.

    Teatro has struck out twice in a row (last two months) but was awesome the time before. They do have a good wine list. I'd try The Belvedere (also on 9th) instead. Like Teatro, but French. Awesome cellar. I haven't had a full meal here since they've had their new chef, but what the few plates I have tried have all been pretty good.

    Sugo in Inglewood is usually great. Not downtown, but maybe a 5 minute taxi ride. Contemporary Italian. Maybe go here over the River Cafe. Some good wine options by the glass.

    I was at Il Sogno a few weeks ago and wasn't impressed. It was once good, but no longer. Small portions (even for 'fine dining'), muddled flavours. I found the menu a lame attempt at trendiness. The plates were somewhat pretty. Service was inexperienced. Good selection of wine by the glass, though. I'm picky, too, so if you must try for yourself: http://www.ilsogno.org/. I haven't heard anything of a closing.

    There isn't much for a late Sunday night. Wildwood might be open. Also, if you like Wildwood, you might try Bonterra, same ownership, same chef, Italian instead of regional. I don't go to any of the Creative-owned (Bonterra, Wildwood, Catch) restaurants anymore, but if you liked Wildwood, you'll probably like Bonterra.

    Divino is new, on 9th Ave., and could be open Sunday night. Might be worth a try. Miles seems to really like it, so maybe give Divino a go regardless and let us know how it turns out.

    I will also mention Truong Khahn. Yes, it's Asian (Vietnamese/Cambodian), but they have an awesome sate soup. If you have a free lunch or something, go here. On Centre Street.

    Glory of India is downtown (across from Caesar's, actually), and has decent Indian. Also a lunch buffet. I'm not sure if this qualifies as Asian or not. The papri chat is pretty good too.

    Places to stay away from: Murietta's, Ben Venuto, Centini, Brava Bistro. I noticed someone on the Chowhound board recommended Cilantro, but.. I've never, ever had a great or perhaps not even a good meal there. Same goes for the Living Room. In fact, I would not go anywhere on 17th Avenue at all.

    Good luck! I hope you enjoy your trip. I think if you hit Belvedere, River Cafe, and Sugo you'll be guaranteed one great meal, and possibly end up with three.

  5. Aloha,

    I recently bought a bottle of Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill, the 1990 vintage. I intend to keep it for another 10 years or so.

    The issue: I have no cellar. I have drawer in the kitchen, which is sort of cool, maybe 18 degrees? Possibly 16, except for the summer. Then it'll fluctuate up to possibly 23 - 25 degrees days, and maybe down a few at night.

    So.. Is champagne fairly durable, or should I consider placing this lone bottle in some sort of rented cellar space? Or just drink it sooner? I also move a fair bit, every year or two, during which time all of my wine is exposed to some vibration and temperature fluctuation.. Nothing too major, but I certainly don't take many precautions other than keeping it with me on the front seat of my car. : )

    Any suggestions appreciated.

  6. Has anyone tried the liquid nitrogen ice cream method? Basically, fold liquid nitrogen into your cream, etc. and voila: ice cream!

    I've heard this produces an incredibly smooth product, far superior in texture to the best manufactured ice creams. Although, perhaps the ultra-low temperatures would have the same effect Fat Guy mentioned re: B&J.

    Either way, I've been half-looking for a supply of liquid nitrogen (and the requisite container and safety gloves) for the last month.

  7. Went on a Wednesday night (July 2nd), after Vancouver won the Olympic Bid, so there was a large table of bid organizers in one of the tatami rooms. The restaurant was pretty full, and the sushi bar (where we sat) was full as well. Most of the patrons appeared to be tourists, no one else at the sushi bar seemed particularily sophisticated as far as Japanese cuisine went.

    I should note that based on col klink's review, I lied and told him we were both locals, so that should remove one factor.

    We wanted the omakase and started with the traditional tuna sashimi garnished with misc. chopped greens, served with ponzu. Not sure if the ponzu was the special recipe I've heard of. The fish was of good quality but the dish as a whole was pretty normal.

    Next was a shellfish-stuffed (shrimp and scallops, I think?) zucchini flower, fried tempura-style. The batter was somewhat soggy and the filling bland. I was looking forward to this dish, but it was a disappointment, pretty much a complete failure.

    Smoked monkfish en papillote followed. Included were mango, some type of squash, and one or two other non-descript vegetables. The fish was tasty, tender, and not over cooked. Nothing special, but properly done.

    Then in succession, an outsider roll with herring roe, mango, scallop, mayonnaise, and perhaps a couple more ingredients, then a lobster and mayonnaise hand cone, two pieces of amaebi nigiri (at my request), and some young tuna and sea breem nigiri. All of these were acceptable but uninspiring. One item of note: Tojo has a heavy hand with the wasabi. It was good wasabi, and I like wasabi, but man: I have never had sushi with close to so much in my life.

    Then we had a roll including mango, mayonnaise, and misc. fish. Hard to tell what was inside, but it was wrapped in a wonderful and delicate egg crepe. This dish was awesome: a wonderful balance of sweetness, saltiness, and the clearest experience of unami I've ever had. Apparently similar to what col klink had, except I really loved this. Wonderful. The only problem: by this point I was sick of seeing mango in everything. It was fresh and tasty, but of course mango tends to assert itself, and I question the judgement of having it continuously recur.

    We were also served the smoked salmon, and I have col klink's complaints: not very flavourful, too much wasabi. I'll also add poor texture: ours was quite grainy and looked as though it had been frozen, though I doubt it had. Very uninspiring.

    Luckily by this point we'd managed to convince Tojo that we were interested in actually eating well, not just pretending we were.

    The rest of the meal included:

    * Northern Lights maki, including mango, asparagus, avocado, and some other items wrapped in paper thin cucumber slices. This was a wonderful textural and flavor play as well. The inner portion of the roll was slightly warmed which added another element. Nothing totally amazing, and it probably wouldn't impress me if I ate it again (ahh, novelty), but neat.

    * Tai and another fish (saba?) sashimi. Very thin slices, with what tasted like a very acid caper compote, kosher salt, lemon juice, and a piece of grapefruit. These were rolled and eaten. Much like the egg roll was a study of salt/unami, this was a study of acid. Well executed, very cerebral. Maybe not the best physical taste (man, did my tongue hurt afterwards) but an awesome dish. This was probably the only glimpse of genius I had in the whole meal.

    * Maki with a taro-based wrapper. Excellent texture and earthy taro taste, and beatiful presentation. Contents included (can you guess?) mango! And other unknowns. Again, fun, interesting, tasty, but mostly just novel.

    Dessert was a uninspiring, bland yogurt cup with the texture of the Astro fat-free type (see: Jello). I could've done without.

    Total bill for two came to 300 CAD with tip and a $35 bottle of sake.

    On the whole, I'm glad I went. A few of the dishes were novel and delicious enough that the potential is clear. However, I do wish I had gone years ago, when perhaps Tojo was more interested in providing unique dishes, with quality and calibre of ingredients worthy of the cost. As it is, I felt he was mostly pumping out (expensive) food for the tourist crowd. Most of the fish was pedestrian and of similar quality what I've eaten for 1/10 of the cost in the past. I can't imagine anyone comparing this place to a Michelin 1-star, nonetheless 3-star.

    Had we been served some of what you see on the website, the cost may have been justified, but I don't think I'll be returning for the omakase again. 7.5/10.

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