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Rare


Chef Fowke
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We had a fantastic dinner at Rare the other night, the service was flawless, the food was outstanding.

Ironically, the photographer from the Globe was there, damn he's a nice guy. We call him 'the cleaner'. He has to go in after the hatchet jobs. :biggrin:

I have to say, rarely do we find ourselves truly impressed with another restaurant's execution of its dishes and service details. This dinner was one of those times and Mike, Tom and myself all felt that Rare is the type of restaurant that this city needs more of.

Thank you once again for an excellent dinner, an exceptional experience and an unforgettable birthday.

Cheers,

Sean

Owner

Winebar @ Fiction

Lucy Mae Brown

Century - modern latin -

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Either way, it will be good for business.

Two reviews in one week with very different outcomes.

People will read into it what they want. We all read them for different reasons.

Mia is informed and well written, and does lots of research and reads like a restaurant review.

Alex's style is different. She has read all of the threads and blogs on Rare so she is informed, and the piece was interesting. I am a little shocked to find Brian and Tim in her crosshairs, but that was how she saw it. Do we all have our collective backs up because we feel a bit slagged, or perhaps because one of the contributors here was slagged? Oh well. we will get over it. Brian already has.

The more we go round and round about this, the more validity her comments have.

This site has become less critical than in the past. Her comment rings true .

Criticisms and negative comments are almost immediately called into question by someone, if not someone from the establishment that is being criticized. It grows a little tiring having to defend yourself because you did not care for something. Not every item hits it out of the park and nor should we pretend that it does. Not every item is to everyone's taste, and nor should we try and convince them that they have tastebud problems. We have seen that kind of armtwisting go on. It certainly takes the honesty out of the posts, and if you do not think people are holding back because of the before mentioned actions, you are as deluded as the boys Ling dates, thinking they are the only ones she is seeing! It is time someone started her own site called "Lorna's Loveland".

It is time we got back to "Eat, Chew and discuss" rather than "Eat, hold back, censor yourself to not hurt anyone's feelings, or retract your statements at the first sign of controversy".

Anyhoo, just my $.02 for now

If you do not think this will be good for Rare, look at the amazing amount of traffic this thread has had despite the sit crashes. People are interested and anyone with half a brain will form their own opinion.

Edited by nwyles (log)

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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This site has become less critical than in the past. Her comment rings true .

Criticisms and negative comments are almost immediately called into question by someone, if not someone from the establishment that is being criticized. It grows a little tiring having to defend yourself because you did not care for something. Not every item hits it out of the park and nor should we pretend that it does. Not every item is to everyone's taste, and nor should we try and convince them that they have tastebud problems. We have seen that kind of armtwisting go on.  It certainly takes the honesty out of the posts, and if you do not think people are holding back because of the before mentioned actions, you are as deluded as the boys Ling dates, thinking they are the only ones she is seeing! It is time someone started her own site called "Lorna's Loveland".

It is time we got back to "Eat, Chew and discuss" rather than "Eat, hold back, censor yourself to not hurt anyone's feelings, or retract your statements at the first sign of controversy".

Anyhoo, just my $.02 for now

If you do not think this will be good for Rare, look at the amazing amount of traffic this thread has had despite the sit crashes. People are interested and anyone with half a brain will form their own opinion.

Bravo Neil! You said it better than I ever could.

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Web Darling More Weird Than Wow

This should make for lots of interesting discussion today.... :shock:

The Print Edition - Section Front photo (the image on the web link) seems fitting to her style musings. :hmmm:

Edited by ~cayenne~ (log)

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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Web Darling More Weird Than Wow

This should make for lots of interesting discussion today.... :shock:

The Print Edition - Section Front photo seems fitting. :hmmm:

The photo from the Rare article is those crazy cats showing off their way out food combination

Steak and potatos.

Where did they come up with that ? What will they think of next ? Bread and butter.

Crazy, I tell you, crazy.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Web Darling More Weird Than Wow

This should make for lots of interesting discussion today.... :shock:

The Print Edition - Section Front photo (the image on the web link) seems fitting to her style musings. :hmmm:

I probably wasn't clear with my original post above, so I edited it with references to the picture.

I've got to question, is it appropriate in any style of journalism, food related or otherwise, to be so specific with peoples posting handles and other quite specific information when repeating it in another publication?

Her latest article is the meanest spirited I've seen by her yet.

READ. CHEW. DISCUSS. SPIT OUT. BLECH.

:blink:

Edited by ~cayenne~ (log)

"If cookin' with tabasco makes me white trash, I don't wanna be recycled."

courtesy of jsolomon

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‘make the lambs stop screaming’

I once read a story about a chap who in the 1940’s started selling hot beef sandwiches at a streetside stand . He was open late and proved a big hit with taxi drivers, police, ambulance drivers, etc. Late night eateries nearby, started to feel the pinch and the next thing you know a rumor is circulated that the meat in his sandwiches is in fact horsemeat. Business dropped dramatically and the fellow was faced with a potentially disastrous situation. (Disclaimer: my memory is patchy, so don’t roast me if I’ve got the date wrong, etc.)

His solution was to take an add out in the local paper offering $5000 reward to anybody who upon buying one of his sandwiches could prove that it was horsemeat. Overnight business was back, busier then before.

In the case of a bad review, if handled properly there is almost no downside, believe me…I’ve been there, done that. It is what you make of it.

The route that I chose certainly wasn’t for the squeamish. While it made me a lot of friends, it also made me a lot of enemies, but more importantly put a lot bums in seats.

If you use blogs to promote your business, you have to be prepared that it may backfire. You can’t join the army and then complain when people start shooting at you. If it backfires, you have to be prepared to manage the situation, and our brave lads are doing a fine job.

Brian and gang will ride this out and be better/busier for it.

Buckle up fellas…it’s a hell of a ride.

Sean Heather

www.irishheather.com

MAY THE WIND AT YOUR BACK ALWAYS BE YOUR OWN, MAY THE ROAD RISE TO MEET YOU AND SPLIT YOUR FOREHEAD AND IF YOU COULD SHITE WALKING YOU'D BE A HORSE OF A MAN

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Further to Neils dicussion upthread, I have posted a new topic HERE.

I actually wrote this first thing this morning but it was found inappropriate so it was promptly removed. After some discussion amongst egullet managers, I was allowed to post it under General Food Topics. Please share your thoughts under that thread, not here.

Thanks Arne!

Derek

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Just quickly

Brian and Tim.

Call the Valet company and double up on your staffing levels.

With two such reviews under your belt, you are no doubt going to have people kicking down the doors to get in.

For the serious crowd following Mia's word

and for the people who read A. Gill and can not believe that tuna and cheese can even be in the same restaurant, let alone on the same plate and need to see it first hand.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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Either way, it will be good for business.

Two reviews in one week with very different outcomes.

People will read into it what they want. We all read them for different reasons.

Mia is informed and well written, and does lots of research and reads like a restaurant review.

Alex's style is different. She has read all of the threads and blogs on Rare so she is informed, and the piece was interesting. I am a little shocked to find Brian and Tim in her crosshairs, but that was how she saw it.  Do we all have our collective backs up because we feel a bit slagged, or perhaps because one of the contributors here was slagged? Oh well. we will get over it. Brian already has.

The more we go round and round about this, the more validity her comments have.

This site has become less critical than in the past. Her comment rings true .

Criticisms and negative comments are almost immediately called into question by someone, if not someone from the establishment that is being criticized. It grows a little tiring having to defend yourself because you did not care for something. Not every item hits it out of the park and nor should we pretend that it does. Not every item is to everyone's taste, and nor should we try and convince them that they have tastebud problems. We have seen that kind of armtwisting go on.  It certainly takes the honesty out of the posts, and if you do not think people are holding back because of the before mentioned actions, you are as deluded as the boys Ling dates, thinking they are the only ones she is seeing! It is time someone started her own site called "Lorna's Loveland".

It is time we got back to "Eat, Chew and discuss" rather than "Eat, hold back, censor yourself to not hurt anyone's feelings, or retract your statements at the first sign of controversy".

Anyhoo, just my $.02 for now

If you do not think this will be good for Rare, look at the amazing amount of traffic this thread has had despite the sit crashes. People are interested and anyone with half a brain will form their own opinion.

I agree.

Cheers,

Anne

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[host]

I've just removed a number of posts that have been dealing with the identity of a certain eGullet member.

This thread is about RARE and dining experiences had there.

Thanks,

A.

[/host]

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Just came back from a nice evening in the lounge at Rare. After all, there were two conflicting reviews in the papers this week, so J and I decided to check it out for ourselves.

It was just drinks and snacks for us this evening ... we have a lengthy weekend of eating coming up and need to fit into our work clothes on Monday! Chef started us off with an amuse of beef cheeks and garlic foam (aka "spit" in the kitchen). I feared they might be stringy, but they melted in my mouth before I could find out. There was also some tuna tartare with a clever little crisp of parmesan cheese. Kinda like a grown-up tuna melt. Seriously though, not a mix I would have thought of, but worked fine by our palates.

Tuna & cheese seems to be the "in" thing these days, because Chef sent us out a cheeky little dish:

gallery_16561_287_17991.jpg

It was a seered ahi tuna and Spanish cheese (so rare the server had trouble naming them - odd since it was Chef Fowke) served together in a croque monsieur style sandwich. The little salad was potato. What a wonderful treat! We asked chef what it was called. "It's a Gillwich" he replied ... or did he mean to say "Gillwitch?"

We finished the evening with olives, Danish ham (who knew the Danes did more than cheese & pickled herring?) and more parmessan crisps served with slices of Thomas.

Drinks were my standard Negroni (remembered by Jesse after only 1 visit!) and French 75(s) for J.

By the time we left, the dining room was full, but surprisingly not an eGulleter in sight ... and I have the master list, so I KNOW these things. :wink:

A.

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Ok. I tried making halibut cheeks tonight and well...Chef Brian how the hell did you make em taste like they did at the Black Box and Blind dinner?

I mean seriosuly. If there's one thing to do to learn appreciation of a restaurant's core competencies it's trying this stuff at home.

Whatever 'cirtus' was used to poach these suckers my attempt left a lot to be desired. We even split our halibut loot into 3 piles to try three different preperations. Whatever you did to make em taste - well - sweet and succulent I have to tip my hat. Not a clue. I need to try more ways to prepare it.

To think someone just brought these in and said 'have fun you have 1 hour'. I really know now...that took a lot of balls.

A side note, my 'feenie's leek tart with home made puff pastry' went OK...but also needs work. There's a hell of a lot of butter in puff pastry....my god. Ignorance is bliss..

"There are two things every chef needs in the kitchen: fish sauce and duck fat" - Tony Minichiello

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Knowing "Brian Fowke" personally and following most of his eGullet posting since he began posting on topics that interested me I learned that he is extremely dedicated, talented and now being a new businessman will benefit and learn wisely thru criticism.

He has paid his dues by posting on topics on eGullet that in my estimation were historically important in all foodie sites every where.

His hard work in sharing with everyone his learning curve and experiences seeking to share everything about his endeavors to make a "Traditional Pastrami" as a project at a very busy well known Restaurant was to me exceptional, with Photos, comments and a finished product that I'm sure many Vancouver eGulleters enjoyed by sharing the bounty.

He also walked us through various different types of occurrences in his life since he left his position as "Chef" at Joe Fortes always being open, willing to share and help everyone.

His attempts in putting together "Rare" are well documented to allow wannabes or anyone interested in what it takes to actually start up a service orientated business requires. "HARD WORK, EXPERIENCE, DEDICATION".

Sure we are all interested in sharing this experience together he's family.

But a amateur adverse pre-mature review is only going to help the learning curve. I feel it will bring home to everyone involved with a special Restaurant some important fact's about any service orientated business.

Restaurateurs should always be looking after every customer equally during service. It means principals do not sit down with customers during meal times, keep conversations to a minimum during busy periods, treat every customer as close a possible in the same manner. Every dish that not finished or remains to be bused away after the meal should be checked personally by some one from management asking the servers for comments if necessary. That way you learn whats working right quickly.

In reality the only customers who should become special in any Restaurant environment are those who repeat or dine regularly.

I learned the hard way that at a Restaurant it's best not to comp or offer special treats to people from the business, employees friends or acquaintances as this tends to often make then uncomfortable or even stay away.

We always because of this policy offered employees the opportunity of inviting friends for a meal at no charge on a special occasion when they were off from work. Another thing we sometimes did was inviting other Restaurateur's for a meal after closing or during a afternoon break informally.

This policy resulted in a large amount of business from service industry workers from Hotels and Restaurants as well as Suppliers on days off, special occasions and parties that in Honolulu was about 20% of our gross sales.

In the review I feel she was right about most of her comments reflecting service. It also showed that it may be suggested to offer several dishes that stand on their own merits.

I feel that any review made by a professional reviewer or critic of a new Restaurant should be done after a minimum of 3 separate visits. Many good reviewers may first offer a so called pocket review mentioning that a full review may be expected later after the business has settled down after opening, but never before 3 months after opening. I learned this from "Craig Claybourne" of the New York Times.

We all can learn thru experience and to date it amazing that everything is coming together as well as it has just think about all the fun items anticipated with the coming seasons bounty.

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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[host]

To quote an old friend:

One more time ... this time with feeling.

This is NOT a thread about the world of reviewing. It is NOT a thread about whether or not reviewers should out themselves in these boards.

This thread is about RARE

Please feel free to start a thread over in General about whatever issue around this incident you wish to discuss. However, further off-topic discussilon in this thread will be removed without notifiction.

A.

[/host]

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Just came back from a nice evening in the lounge at Rare.  After all, there were two conflicting reviews in the papers this week, so J and I decided to check it out for ourselves.

It was just drinks and snacks for us this evening ... we have a lengthy weekend of eating coming up and need to fit into our work clothes on Monday!  Chef started us off with an amuse of beef cheeks and garlic foam (aka "spit" in the kitchen).  I feared they might be stringy, but they melted in  my mouth before I could find out.  There was also some tuna tartare with a clever little crisp of parmesan cheese.  Kinda like a grown-up tuna melt.  Seriously though, not a mix I would have thought of, but worked fine by our palates.

Tuna & cheese seems to be the "in" thing these days, because Chef sent us out a cheeky little dish:

gallery_16561_287_17991.jpg

It was a seered ahi tuna and Spanish cheese (so rare the server had trouble naming them - odd since it was Chef Fowke) served together in a croque monsieur style sandwich.  The little salad was potato.  What a wonderful treat!  We asked chef what it was called.  "It's a Gillwich" he replied ... or did he mean to say "Gillwitch?"

We finished the evening with olives, Danish ham (who knew the Danes did more than cheese & pickled herring?) and more parmessan crisps served with slices of Thomas.

Drinks were my standard Negroni (remembered by Jesse after only 1 visit!) and French 75(s) for J.

By the time we left, the dining room was full, but surprisingly not an eGulleter in sight ... and I have the master list, so I KNOW these things. :wink:

A.

Arne:

"Tuna & Cheese" is in my mind is to many Americans, Canadians, Mexicans and others with a abundance of Albacore available or Tuna in all it's guises something we have grown up with in Casseroles, Tuna Melts or even with a slice of Cheese added to our Tuna Sandwich brought to school as "Mother:, added protein.

I never realized how many west coasters were into canning their own fresh caught Albacore until spending time in San Diego, San Francisco and Northern California where it's been a tradition for many years. I have served at Restaurants and make at home "Tuna Salad" from fresh Albacore for years and it's superior to canned. ( I feel the "Tuna Guys" Solid White Albacore Tuna" Brand packed in Canada for the firm in Gig Harbor, Wa. is the best canned in the market place)

It seems that eating it raw or cooked very rare has become very popular but I'm still willing to bet that more Tuna is regularly eaten together with Cheese then perked up with contrived "Wasabi".

I have eaten Tuna with Cheese in Spain, Mexico, South America Italy, France or almost everywhere in the States long before learning to eat it raw.

As Escoffier said, "In Food whats goes around comes around", it's rarely anything new. (or something similar) that photo you showed of the Tuna/Cheese rendition from Rare in your posting is almost like food "PORN".

I gotta try some !

Irwin

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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One factual point that I think should be made clear:

The infamous review under discussion describes "a special pre-opening dinner for the tight-knit group of obsessive foodies, waiters, chefs, magazine executives and restaurant critics who make up the local eGullet contingent." The two special dinners at Rare -- the opening soon dinner and the black box dinner were not eGullet Society events. They were events arranged by Edible British Columbia, a private business specializing in "Personalized Culinary Itineraries and Travel Planning." As with any other special culinary event of merit, we upon request added each event as a listing on the eG Calendar. Several eGullet Society members attended those events, however they were not eGullet Society events.

I'd also suggest that those of us who participate in this "endlessly amusing soap opera disguised as a serious on-line forum for local culinary discussions" are always happy to read and discuss the occasional "not amusing rant disguised as a serious newspaper restaurant review."

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Stopped in at Rare last night to hoist a pint with the boys.

I guess some people did not read the Friday Globe, because the room was humming and it was 11:30 !

Tim shuffled over to say hi, but left real quick to monitor a table of hot girls. I could not blame him really.

Brian and Quang schlepped out of the kitchen to say hi.

They had roasted off a whole ribeye so we could have a sandwich after work.

They had made fresh bread, roasted garlic butter, shaved red onion salad and sliced "rare" ribeye.

I had a little flip out when I found out there was mustard on the sandwich.

" You will never work in this town again you little toad! Don't you know who I am !

I could kill your career with one phone call, you little fuck!"

You could have heard a pin drop ! I wondered if I had gone over the top, and decided no, it was warranted. I stared around the room, daring any one of them to blink. There were no takers. Each of the found something on their shoe to look at. Even the valet heard what was going on and decided to run down the street to attend to some imaginary problem.

"That's right, I said, you don't want to mess with this tonight !"

The sous chef whipped out a sandwich just for me with no mustard, saying he was holding it back so the other guys did not eat it.

"ten seconds !" I shouted, "I have been waiting here ten seconds while these other guys are eating their sandwiches. This is not acceptable. Do you think I am a second class citizen".

Then I settled in, had a sip of my nice cold beer, and took a big bite.

It was yummy.

Neil Wyles

Hamilton Street Grill

www.hamiltonstreetgrill.com

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One factual point that I think should be made clear:

The infamous review under discussion describes "a special pre-opening dinner for the tight-knit group of obsessive foodies, waiters, chefs, magazine executives and restaurant critics who make up the local eGullet contingent." The two special dinners at Rare -- the opening soon dinner and the black box dinner were not eGullet Society events. They were events arranged by Edible British Columbia, a private business specializing in "Personalized Culinary Itineraries and Travel Planning." As with any other special culinary event of merit, we upon request added each event as a listing on the eG Calendar. Several eGullet Society members attended those events, however they were not eGullet Society events.

I'd also suggest that those of us who participate in this "endlessly amusing soap opera disguised as a serious on-line forum for local culinary discussions" are always happy to read and discuss the occasional "not amusing rant disguised as a serious newspaper restaurant review."

the opening soon dinner and black box dinner links both point to the same place.

Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

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the opening soon dinner and black box dinner links both point to the same place.

Here is the correct link for the Opening Soon Dinner which took place in February.

You can view pictures of the two events here.

Cheers,

Eric

PS. We will be doing another Black Box dinner with Brian sometime in June.

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