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The Restaurant Gary Danko


Stone
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Went back to Danko last night with Cabby. (Who is alive and well.)

Don't have the energy for a full review but -- it was excellent. A few impressions:

The menu was much more wintery than it was in February, in my opinion, perhaps a winking nod to the San Francisco summer. Fewer items had citrus (thankfully), and more earthy mushrooms, and aromatic meat-jus reductions. I enjoyed it more.

Amuse: chilled asparagus soup with duck confit. I thought it was a great combo. The duck was subltly smokey. Cabby seemed to think it was too close to pea soup with bacon.

Glazed oysters: The oysters were plumper than I remember, and they only used one type of caviar (osetra), instead of two (the last had osetra and trout -- Cabby thinks it may have had sevruga as well). Still great. The recipe is on the challenge butter website -- it's amazing that the dish is so simple. The oyster liquour combined with the cream in the saucing is an explosive way to start.

Spring risottoe with lobster and rock shrimp: Pleasantly light for a risotto dish. beautifully served in an off-kilter white bowl, with a swoosh of green sage oil. But not a great bang for a lobster dish.

Scallops -- well seared outside, pillowy inside. Excellent. Loved the small quarters of beet.

Cabby's foie terrine came with a great meyer lemon compote. Seemed to be tempered with orange, which was good for me. There's lemon in my furniture polish, I really don't need it on my plate.

Beef medallion -- The beef was good, but we both ordered it rare and it was more medium rare. Fine for me. Cabby is certain that if this were France, her meat would be properly cooked. The saucing was outstanding, with morels and "beech" mushrooms that were amazing.

Great cheese. Voldeon (?) from spain was described as similar to Cabrales. Frankly, it smelled better than Cabrales. But was great nonetheless. Livorot -- very stinky washed rind, very good. La Serena, curdled with thistle instead of rennet. Smooth, good.

The staff was very nice, but didn't make the impression on me that they did last time. We had some trouble getting the sommolier's attention -- but the wines Cabrales chose were terrific. When presenting the food, they did not provide the full description; however, the waitress was very knowledgable and able to answer the questions asked.

It wasn't smoked pork butt, but GD did a good job.

By the way -- a gander at the menu shows that they've got about 25 dishes in the appetizer/seafood/meat categories. That seems like an awful large selection for a restaurant serving this quality of food. I think FL had a lot fewer items on the menu at any one time. Maybe not.

Edited by Stone (log)
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  • 3 months later...

I'll be dining at GD for the first time next week after spending a week in sonoma/napa (vacation) What is the proper dress code for GD and how casual can I be?? ( I hate lugging a suit across country and I like to travel as light as possible. Is a jacket and collar OK?? How casual can a woman dress??

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How could you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!??

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Jacket and pants. Ladies should look a little dressy, jewelry, something.

I wanted to add- avoid the Lobster, unless they can broil it for you as a special

request, to bring out the flavor more. (Lobster always sounds great, but this was

my least favorite).

The duck hash is a welcome addition.

This is a very good meal, but it didn't have any artistic flair, unusual new tastes.

I guess I do want avante-guarde and original recipes.

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Jeff -- They're very lax with their dress-code. I've been twice, and although most men wear blazers, there are enough who are in khakis and a a button-down that you certainly wouldn't feel out of place. Some friends of mine stopped in on a sunday night after driving back from tahoe. they were wearing jeans and t-shirts and when they asked if they were dressed o.k. the hostess said "of course."

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I've been using egullet as opposed to Chowhound more and more lately, so I thought I'd post this and my other SF reports since I'm asking for help for Sacramento. Hope it helps:

GARY DANKO’S: Renewed by Masa’s I was looking forward to this meal a lot. If nothing else, at $74 it would have be a relative haute cuisine value. Also, Scott and I would be doing something we’ve never done on one of our trips: meeting fellow Chowhounders for dinner. We were greeted by the sage of savory, Paul H, and the belle of bon appetit, anti-foodie. I think we got along pretty well, and were able to quickly agree that we’d be sharing our dishes. Thus, we would all order 5 courses and just rotate during each course. One problem from that is that my memory of several of the dishes is a bit weaker than the other places. But at least Paul H and anti-foodie can chime in and correct me.

Bread: Danko’s had terrible bread. It tasted like stale supermarket stuff. Supposedly it came from La Brea, but I’d say it had to have come from La Brea three days earlier. Given their great pastries, I’d say they should be making their own stuff.

Glazed oysters with leeks, zucchini pearls, and osetra caviar: An excellent dish. For me, it was all about the sauce it was sitting in. It was a burst of flavor.

Seared foie gras, caramelized red onions, and oven roasted apricots: A very rich and tasty foie gras cut by the tartness of the apricots.

Warm quail salad with potato cannoli and cherries: I barely remember this. I do remember combining the quail and the cherries, but I don’t think there was anything special about it.

Tai snapper with saffron, orange, and fennel puree: I remember really liking this sauce a lot, a brilliant orange with wonderful complex flavors.

Seared sea scallops with braised artichokes, shiitake mushrooms, and sauce marechal: A decent dish, disappointing to Paul H, I think, because it totally disrupted the flavor of his wine.

Pancetta wrapped frog legs with sunchoke garlic puree, potato, lentils, and parsley sauce: Sure, everything’s better with bacon and pancetta is essentially the same. But somehow this dish still wasn’t that good. The flavors just weren’t there. Too bland and flat, I think. Maybe some chile oil or sausage bits in the sauce could have kicked this up.

Chickpea crusted black grouper with shiimegi mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, and corn: One of the best dishes of the night and one of the best seafood dishes of the trip. Maybe I’m just partial to Indian/Eastern savory spices or maybe I just have become a little jaded by the typical seasonings at French/New American places. Either way, this dish took me by surprise and I loved it. It had balance and a delicious aroma.

Roast Maine lobster with asparagus, morel mushrooms, tarragon, and potato puree: I can hardly remember this at all. Remind me!

Lemon herb duck breast with plum compote: Quite a large serving of duck. The duck was perfectly medium rare with a nice sear and seasoning on the outside. A good balance of sweet and tart that matched the duck well. This came with a remarkable carrot-ginger puree that was light and scrumptious. There was also some sort of crispy duck confit and potato hash that was quite good.

Moroccan spiced squab with chermoula, orange-cumin carrots: A large helping of squab stuffed with cous cous. The squab was cooked just right and had wonderfully aromatic seasoning. A winner. Another very large portion.

Citrus crusted loin of wild boar with goat cheese polenta and bing cherries: The sauce and the polenta on this were both decent. The crust on the boar worked, too. But the boar itself was dry and a little tough. Probably one of my least favorite dishes of the night just because the boar was cooked so poorly and because it had so much potential.

Herb crusted loin of lamb with potato gratin, roasted beets, and fennel:

Cheese: They have a great cheese cart at Danko’s. I can’t really decide which is better, theirs or Masa’s. Probably theirs because you get more accompaniments (I love that they give fresh grapes since grapes perfectly clear the palate of cheese). The bread with this, btw, was much better than their dinner bread. The truffled chevre was probably my favorite cheese of the night.

Apricot gratin with pistachio ice cream: The apricots sat upon an individual-sized tart crust (possibly made of sponge cake) with crushed pistachio between the crust and apricots. Nutty, sweet, and tart with the creaminess from the ice cream; this was an excellent dessert.

Baked chocolate soufflé with two sauces: Very boring. Just like it sounds.

Blueberry clafoutis, mango sorbet, and coconut panna cotta: I don’t remember this at all.

Bittersweet chocolate tart with chocolate sorbet and hot chocolate: A good dessert, the only thing special about it, really, was the presentation. You had the tart, then an espresso-sized cup of rather bitter hot chocolate with a chocolate marshmallow. Next to that was a small glass of milk. This allowed you to add the milk to the hot chocolate by whatever amount you wished. The only problem was that the milk was cold and the chocolate so bitter it required all of it. Hence, it was cold chocolate milk by the time it was edible.

Port poached figs with licorice ice cream and butter cake: I couldn’t decide which I liked better, this or the apricot gratin. Both were excellent and shared a similar approach. I might give this one the edge only because of the unusual and wonderful combination of the figs with the licorice ice cream.

Conclusion: The dishes here were very good overall. Some were great. I think it’s an excellent value at $74 compared with other restaurants of its caliber. Note, too, that we ordered all but one of the dishes on the tasting menu. Every dish from the tasting menu was a favorite for that course. Afterwards, I wished we’d ordered that one as well (the beef medallion with wild nettle risotto).

There were some minor service errors (a couple dishes handed to the wrong persons, a person’s drink having ice after asking several times for it not to). Also, street noise was a problem from time to time as motorcycles accelerated up Hyde, especially if the door happened to be open at the same time.

Some of that was mitigated by a fabulous tour of the kitchen after our meal -- a very generous tour, putting us in every corner of the kitchen, explaining every station. I knew I was in the way, but they didn’t let on.

A question arises, though, as to whether Danko’s should be ***** as Mobil rates it. Mobil has gotten very stingy with their stars. There are currently only 14 5-star restaurants in the US (note that these are rated not just for their food). I’ve been to four now -- The French Laundry, Gary Danko’s, Charlie Trotter’s, and The Inn at Little Washington (go here: http://www.exxonmobiltravel.com/index.jsp?...module=fivestar to see them). Danko’s is close. So is Masa’s. But I don’t think Danko’s belongs there. It just doesn’t have the same feel of perfection (although I did like my food there and Masa’s better than Trotter’s overall, but Trotter’s has *phenomenal* service).

Edited by ExtraMSG (log)
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You couldn't remember the lobster dish, because it was soggy, and the

potato puree really isn't the right choice, it's too heavy. Where is the crunch?

I will post a shrimp enrobed in Kataifi dough, with cornichons dip. See if you

like this alot.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I had dinner with a friend at Gary Danko yesterday. We had a very good meal, just as we did the previous time we ate there. I really think that food wise, this is the best value in high end restaurants in the Bay Area. The wine prices on the other hand are on the high side, which means the overall bill is not quite as good a value.

We arrived at 9:10pm for a 9pm reservation, and were told they were running behind so our table was not ready yet. I brought a bottle of wine, which the hostess promptly took away after asking me if I had any specific instructions for it. While we were waiting near the bar area, she asked us if we wanted a glass of champagne while we were waiting. I had a glass of the Brut (Comte Audoin Dampierre Cuvee des Ambassadeurs Brut, a small producer I had not heard about before), and my dining companion had the Rose (Perriet Jouet Brut Rose). The champagnes were served in ordinary non-crystal glasses, which was a bit surprising considering the prices we were being charged ($16 and $18 respectively it turns out).

We were seated around 9:30pm, in the smaller room to the left of the entrance. The room is a bit quieter than the main room, but having eaten there both times I've been to GD, I'd like to try the main room next time. Shortly after we sat down, while we were perusing the menu, the amuses came. It was a soup of winter vegetable (I forget which one, as it was recited to us very quickly) with foie gras and sage oil. Deliciously creamy and tasty, though just a touch too salty. Bread and butter came soon after. I agree with Stone's assessment, the bread is at best ordinary, I think most French places around town have better bread. The butter was fine, I still prefer the Celles-sur-Belles butter from France that I have at home.

I remembered ExtraMSG's advice of ordering what's on the suggested tasting menu, as those dishes are often the best that particular night. The set tasting menu consisted of the glazed oysters, followed by salmon for the fish course, venison for the meat course, the cheese course and I believe the figs and berries for dessert. I tried to stay as close as possible to this menu, but I went for a four course meal, electing to skip dessert. My dining companion also chose a four course meal, and in her case she chose to skip the cheese course. You can see a sample Gary Danko fall menu on their website, though there were quite a few changes in the actual menu last night (the main ingredients of each dish were the same, but the preparation and the accompaniments were often different).

For the first course, I had the Glazed Oysters with Leeks, Zucchini Pearls and Osetra Caviar. Four oysters in a rich broth, with a generous serving of Osetra on top of each oyster. This was a great dish, possibly my favorite of the night. The oysters are barely cooked, so they still have the wonderful briny taste of the sea, as does the caviar. The sauce and the bits of vegetables bring it all together. A definite winner, my only complaint would be that like the amuse, it was also a touch too salty.

My friend had the Seared Foie Gras, Caramelized Red Onions, Figs and Huckleberries. A very good sized piece of foie gras, seared perfectly, in a sweet reduction with caramelized onions, figs and berries on the side. We both really liked this dish, but I found that the components tasted better separately than together. In particular, the foie gras and sauce went very well together, but onions and the figs took away from the foie. I was happy to see that unlike most restaurants, there was no supplement for this dish, even though it was quite a large serving.

I didn't feel like having salmon, so I veered away from the set menu for one course and ordered the Roast Maine Lobster with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Edamame and Tarragon instead. I felt like having lobster, as I don't get to eat it as often as I'd like in California (I'm too lazy to make it at home, and find it overpriced in most restaurants). Another dish that I really enjoyed. Half of a small (1.25 lbs?) lobster, with half the tail (cut lengthwise) served still in the shell, but loosened so that the meat can be accessed easily. Meat from a claw served on top of a shell piece from the head. Accompaniments were mashed potatoes in addition to the mushrooms and the endemame beans. The lobster meat was cooked just right, so it was not rubbery at all, very tender and sweet tasting. The chanterelle mushrooms were very good, and the mashed potatoes went well with the rest of the dish. I asked the sommelier to pick a white wine to go with the dish and pour me half a glass (the wines by the glass are offered in full glass and half glass format), and he chose the 2001 Kistler "Les Noisetiers" Chardonnay. Very big, new world style wine, with lots of oak and malolactic fermentation. I'm not a big fan of the style, but the buttery nature of the wine was a good match for the lobster.

The other fish dish we had was the Branzino Sea Bass with Cornmeal Cake and Braised Fennel. This was the first disappointment of the night. A hollow fennel bulb with a crispy cornmeal cake in the center, and two almost-crispy fried pieces of bass on top, and some sauce on the ouside of the dish. Because of the way it was cooked, the bass was on the dry side. The fennel and the cornmeal cake tasted OK, but not particularly interesting. We probably should have skipped this dish and ordered either the grouper or the scallops instead.

For my main course, I went back to the set menu of the day and chose the Juniper Spiced Venison. I forget the exact name of the dish, but it was served with sweet potatoes and some small tart juniper berries on top. I ordered the venison medium rare, and based on the comments above, made sure to tell the server that I wanted them to err on the rare side if needed. The two venison medalions came back slightly more cooked than medium rare, but it didn't deter from my enjoyment of the dish, as they were still very moist and flavorful with good texture. I was a bit surprised that unlike venison that I've had in the past, this one didn't taste very gamey. I normally dislike sweet potatoes, but these ones (the orange kind) had a wonderful soft velvety texture, and were not too sweet. Another dish that I enjoyed a lot.

My friend ordered the Duck Breast, which was served with duck hash, spinach, a tiny carrot and a couple of green beans, and some puree that I forget now. I was too full by that point to try much of the duck, but the little bits of the dish that I did try, including the meat, were all very good, except the duck hash that I found too salty (though it might have gone well with the rest of the dish, I only tried it on its own). Since my friend didn't have the energy to finish the dish either, they offered to wrap it for us.

After a little break (the dishes had all come very close together, probably because we were just about the last seating for the night), the cheese cart and the dessert came. The cheese cart consists of about 15 cheeses from around the world, and the diner gets to pick four of them. I went with relatively safe choices, and chose a couple of goat's milk cheeses from France, a triple creme cow's milk also from France (very similar to a Brillat Savarin), and a sheep's milk cheese from Portugal. They were served with very thin slices of a dark bread with walnuts, as well as a small bunch of red seedless grapes. The bread was much better than the one served with the rest of the meal. I really enjoyed the cheeses, and for the most part I felt they were at the right ripeness level.

My dining companion had the trio of creme brulee for dessert, which was very disappointing. The vanilla creme brulee was much too sweet, and didn't have much vanilla flavor to it. The butterscotch one was a bit better, mainly because it wasn't as sweet, but it wasn't particularly interesting. The chocolate one was the best of the bunch, but I don't think that creme brulee is the right vehicle for chocolate. Overall, this dessert was a major disappointment, I've had much better creme brulee in a number of establishment in the Bay Area (with my favorite being at Fringale).

The meal ended with a plate of petits fours, but I was full by that point, so I only tried one of the chocolate ones. They also wrapped these to go, and put it in a bag along with the duck that we hadn't finished and some pumpkin candy (I didn't catch exactly what it was) in a golden foil package that they seemed to be giving out to every table as a parting favor.

The wine service for the wine that I brought (a 1989 Gruaud Larose) was quite good. We were given Spieglau Authentis Bordeaux glasses, which were perfect for the wine, and the corkage fee of $25 seems quite reasonable for this caliber of restaurant. I was disappointed in the wine itself, it was rather muted on the nose, and while it had very good balance, the tannins on the finish were still too bitter. It did get better in the glass when I aerated it for a while, so I suspect it needs to age a few more years. I might buy another bottle to open in five years or so, it should be at its peak around then.

When the bill came, I was a bit surprised to see that I had been charged $18 for a full glass of some Chardonnay I didn't recognize. I think that this was actually meant to be the charge for the half glass of the Kistler chardonnay that I got with the lobster course. The sommelier was already gone for the evening, so I wasn't able to find out if I had been over charged for the glass, or if that was the correct price. This brings me to my main complaint of GD, which is that the wine prices are too high. A lot of the bottles seem to be prices at four times retail, especially at the high end (such as mature Bordeaux), which is very high for the Bay Area. The wines by the glass also have very high markups: we were charged $16 for a glass of the Dampiere Ambassadeurs Brut, which is available at the Wine Club for $25 a bottle, and the Perrier Jouet Rose for $18 a glass can be found for $40.

As for the service, it was very professional and competent, but like a previous poster, I felt that the dish descriptions were being recited with no spontaneity at all. Our server seemed a bit tired and rushed, but I think it's understandable given how late it was by the time we were seated.

Overall, it was another very good meal at Gary Danko's, I definitely plan to visit again in the future. The total, including tax, tip and corkage, was $260 for two (but not including the cost of the wine bottle itself), not a great bargain, but a far price nonetheless.

Edited by Malik (log)
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  • 1 month later...

I just went to Gary Danko for dessert last week.

Is it just me (and my friend who was with me), or does the place look like a cheap New Jersey diner?

My friend (who is an architect) noted that the wood is cheap commercial plywood. The mirrors at the top of the walls are 70s tacky and the glass panels that top the dividers are straight out of an 'elegant' diner.

The huge 8' tall vases of flowers don't do anything to elevate the impression of cheap luxury.

This interior is in stark contrast with the exterior, which is black and vaguely ominous, a-la the Death Star. Two different designers, perhaps?

OK, so how was our dessert?

Well, we sat at the bar and were immediately asked if we wanted 'still or sparkling water'. This might be a reasonable question when seated at a table for dinner, but when one steps up to a bar, the appropriate question is "what would you like to drink?". My friend said “I’d like gin and tonic and a glass of water please,” and we were presented with a bottle of water which ended up costing $7.50.

After ordering desserts (from a card with no prices listed), we waited for them for 50 minutes. The bartender did apologize after about 40 minutes, but didn't offer to comp us anything at all. He said “I’m sorry it’s taking so long. Your desserts will be out soon. There was a mix-up in the kitchen. If it were my fault I’d be more apologetic, but it wasn’t my fault.”

Then, the desserts came and were just adequate.

I had a mocha 'napoleon' and my friend had the trio of crème brulees, which was the reason we'd decided to come (she was craving it and I thought they'd be sure to make a good one).

The 'napoleon' was nothing at all like a napoleon, in that it had only three layers, none of the layers were made of light, flaky dough, and it had no custard. Instead, there was a hard cookie base upon which was a very thick, very dark and yet somehow not particularly chocolately paste. This was served with a small scoop of ice cream.

My friend's trio of crème brulees were quite large, each accompanied by a cookie. They were all quite cold (I am of the belief that crème brulee should be warm), and we agreed they were overly sweet. The chocolate chocolate chip cookie was quite good, but the other two were just ordinary.

We read the menu as we waited (and waited), and I have to admit that many of the dishes looked interesting.

But after experiencing Gary Danko’s desserts, I’m not sure I care to subject myself to the attempt of trying the rest of his menu.

This is a disappointment, because I enjoyed his food immensely when he used to cook at Viognier in San Mateo.

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Well, we sat at the bar and were immediately asked if we wanted 'still or sparkling water'. This might be a reasonable question when seated at a table for dinner, but when one steps up to a bar, the appropriate question is "what would you like to drink?". My friend said “I’d like gin and tonic and a glass of water please,” and we were presented with a bottle of water which ended up costing $7.50.

Why didn't you return the bottle immediately?! Diners have to choose to stick up for themselves. You drink it, you buy it. Complaining about something you did doesn't cut it for me. Yes, the establishment shouldn't be pushy, but you know why they are? Because people like you choose not to stand up for yourselves, so it works for them! Am I wrong?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Why didn't you return the bottle immediately?!

I was about to speak up before he opened the bottle, but then my friend and I looked at each other and shrugged.

Sometimes you just aren't in the mood to make a scene (but are in the mood to subtract 'points' from an establishment's 'score'... )

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I sort of see what you mean, but basically, it amounts to you and your friend not caring enough to send it back. I don't see how asking that a bottle be taken away and tap water given to you would constitute "making a scene."

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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When the bartender has already opened the bottle and is in the process of pouring it, telling him to take it away and throw it out is a bit of a 'scene'.

My objection to this whole thing was what I originally stated: when you sit down at a bar, the question ought to be "what are you drinking?" not "sparkling or still water?"

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When the bartender has already opened the bottle and is in the process of pouring it, telling him to take it away and throw it out is a bit of a 'scene'.

My objection to this whole thing was what I originally stated: when you sit down at a bar, the question ought to be "what are you drinking?" not "sparkling or still water?"

I see your points, now that you've explained the situation in more detail.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Then, the desserts came and were just adequate.

I had a mocha 'napoleon' and my friend had the trio of crème brulees, which was the reason we'd decided to come (she was craving it and I thought they'd be sure to make a good one).

The 'napoleon' was nothing at all like a napoleon, in that it had only three layers, none of the layers were made of light, flaky dough, and it had no custard. Instead, there was a hard cookie base upon which was a very thick, very dark and yet somehow not particularly chocolately paste. This was served with a small scoop of ice cream.

In this day an age, a napoleon can be presented in many fashions. I believe you were expecting a " traditional" napoleon, which would have been comprised of flaky puff pastry and custard, like you had said.

Your mocha " naploeon" was a naploeon, which by many is defined as a dessert that is layered. 3 pieces of chocolate separated by mousse or cream or ice cream for that matter could be described as a napoleon, and is on many dessert menus.

Sorry you were expecting different. :sad:

Jason

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For the meal ExtraMSG described, $74 sounds too good to be true, and $260 for 2 is still within reasonable range. Hmm, perhaps it's time to pay a visit.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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The 'napoleon' was nothing at all like a napoleon, in that it had only three layers, none of the layers were made of light, flaky dough, and it had no custard. 

In this day an age, a napoleon can be presented in many fashions. ... Your mocha " naploeon" was a naploeon, which by many is defined as a dessert that is layered.

I don't suppose you'd take dictionary definitions as at all definitive?

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=napoleon&r=67 :

na·po·le·on ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-pl-n, -plyn)

n.

1. A rectangular piece of pastry made with crisp, flaky layers filled with custard cream.

=====

http://eat.epicurious.com/dictionary/food/...f?TERM=napoleon :

Napoleon

[nuh-POH-lee-uhn]

A delectable dessert made with crisp layers of PUFF PASTRY spread with CRÈME PÂTISSIÈRE and either glazed with a thin icing or dusted with confectioners' sugar. Napoleons are usually made in small rectangular shapes just large enough for an individual serving.

======

OK, I'm not a stickler. Sure, let's call things a "napoleon" which aren't strictly made of puff pastry and don't have custard.

But if we're going to call something a "napoleon" perhaps it would be good to preserve at least some characteristics of the prototype. A dessert based on a thick, hard cookie and with a dense buttercream is basically the opposite of a light, fluffy napoleon.

If we're going to re-use names, let's pick a name that's at least somewhat similar to what we're creating. In this case, the layered dessert would have been better described as a "sweet lasagna", or a "stack".

As I said before, it was nothing like a napoleon.

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have you read any of the names of dishes at the French Laundry? "Softshell Crab Sandwich" that isn't served on bread. "Bacon and Eggs" made from poached quail eggs reheated in beurre monte, topped with brunoise and served with applewood smoked bacon. "Linguine with White Clam Sauce" that doesn't use linguine at all. "Macaroni and cheese" made from poached lobster, mascarpone and orzo.

does the above "misuse" of dictionary defined terms mean that the French Laundry is a bad restaurant?

my suggestion would be that, when you are going to a restaurant because you want a specific dish prepared a specific way, you should be sure to ask the staff if you are going to get exactly what you want. as an example, i never order pecan pie without clarifying the difference between pecan pie and pecan custard pie.

fanatic...

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have you read any of the names of dishes at the French Laundry? "Softshell Crab Sandwich" that isn't served on bread. "Bacon and Eggs" made from poached quail eggs reheated in beurre monte, topped with brunoise and served with applewood smoked bacon. "Linguine with White Clam Sauce" that doesn't use linguine at all. "Macaroni and cheese" made from poached lobster, mascarpone and orzo.

does the above "misuse" of dictionary defined terms mean that the French Laundry is a bad restaurant?

One question: Are those dishes put in quotes in the menu, and are they described in the menu? (I wouldn't know, as I've never been to the French Laundry.)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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have you read any of the names of dishes at the French Laundry?

my suggestion would be that, when you are going to a restaurant because you want a specific dish prepared a specific way, you should be sure to ask the staff if you are going to get exactly what you want.

The French Laundry is well known for its whimsical names, so people expect to be surprised. But even so, the waiters carefully explain exactly what each dish consists of.

My point was not that I wanted a traditional napoleon, but that if you name something on a dessert menu a "napoleon" it should share at least SOME characteristics with its namesake.

If you don't buy that, you don't.

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