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Holly Moore

StudioKitchen (2002-2007)

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Greetings all. Please don't use this thread for setting up a Studio Kitchen dinner. That's what the ISO thread pinned to the top of the PA Forum is for. Thanks

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percyn   

Too bad I was out of town last week and could not make it *sniff* *sniff* :sad:

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Capaneus   
Greetings all.  Please don't use this thread for setting up a Studio Kitchen dinner.  That's what the ISO thread pinned to the top of the PA Forum is for.  Thanks

I wish we *were* planning a dinner. This is just the post-mortem, though.

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mrbigjas   

Red Lentil Soup

Smoked Duck and Truffled Artichoke Salad

Pistachio Oil

Bodega San Vidal La Cosecha Amontillado Superior

oo, nice thinking pairing the sherry with this. what a great idea.

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sara   

Hi

A friend is trying to organize my bachelorette party dinner at Studio Kitchen and has been trying for over a week to reach them via phone and email. Any idea if something's changed over there?

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Capaneus   
Hi

A friend is trying to organize my bachelorette party dinner at Studio Kitchen and has been trying for over a week to reach them via phone and email.  Any idea if something's changed over there?

Not as far as I know... except that someone did mention the e-mail changed a little while ago. And they were never very good with the whole telephone technology thing. The new e-mail is studiokitchen@gmail.com, I think. The old one was studiokitchen424@aol.com.

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shacke   
Hi

A friend is trying to organize my bachelorette party dinner at Studio Kitchen and has been trying for over a week to reach them via phone and email.  Any idea if something's changed over there?

Not as far as I know... except that someone did mention the e-mail changed a little while ago. And they were never very good with the whole telephone technology thing. The new e-mail is studiokitchen@gmail.com, I think. The old one was studiokitchen424@aol.com.

The gmail address is correct. Email and have patience. It took sometimes a week for him to reply to me but he indeed did. I set up 2 dinners recently (including my b-day for July) and it took some time between the back and forth but it got done. I am going next month and can-not wait.

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percyn   
...

The gmail address is correct.  Email and have patience.  It took sometimes a week for him to reply to me but he indeed did.  I set up 2 dinners recently (including my b-day for July) and it took some time between the back and forth but it got done.  I am going next month and can-not wait.

Lucky you...if there is any open space, please post on the ISO thread or PM me :wink:

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Any idea if something's changed over there?

It's now $100 for five courses (tax and tip inclusive). Still a bargain. Here's the menu and photos from our recent over-the-top dinner extravaganza:

gallery_7432_1063_301143.jpg

Chilled Foie Gras Custard

Sauternes Gelee

Pistachio Raisin Toast

Fillioux Vieux Pineau des Charentes

I'd just been to SK a few weeks before this, and Shola had served a similar dish. I'm glad, because this is awfully good: sweet and salty, rich, smooth and crunchy all at once. I'm also particularly proud of the wine pairing here: I'd never had Pineau de Charentes before, but it just nailed it.

gallery_7432_1063_717400.jpg

Early Season Corn Soup

Fennel Compote

Belon Oyster Beignets

Yumeakari Junmai-Ginjo Sake

If you'd asked me, I'd have sworn up and down that the soup was thickened with cream. But it turns out that corn, at least early corn, has enough cornstarch in it that it's naturally creamy: there were like three ingredients, and the whole was amazingly good. "Beignet" is sort of a misnomer: this was more like an oyster fritter, crunchy and juicy at once.

This was the wine pairing I was least happy with. The sake was just too dry for the soup, though it got better as it warmed up and the flavors started opening. I don't think I've ever tasted a wine whose taste has changed so much over the course of an evening.

gallery_7432_1063_25840.jpg

Slow Roasted Baby Roma Tomato

Tomato Sorbet

Lemon Oil

100 yr old Balsamic Vinegar

Apologies for the blurry photo, but I wanted to get a shot of this. What was most surprising about the sorbet was that it had so little acid: not too sweet, either. And I've never, ever tasted anything like 100 year old balsamic. It's this amazing, complex, oaky, sweet syrup, not like vinegar at all.

There was some grumbling about the sake at this point, and Shola generously shared a bottle of 2002 Newton unfiltered Chardonnay. That's a crazy wine, folks, let me tell you: at first I didn't like it, but it just got better and better with every sip as it breathed.

gallery_7432_1063_333837.jpg

Slow Roasted Halibut

Parsnip and Pistachio Puree

Roasted Shiitake

Green Pea Emulsion

2001 Borgo del Tiglio Milleuve Bianco

The really big hit around the table was the puree: the key, evidently, is to use pistachio oil to give it the essence of pistachio while still keeping it smooooth.

gallery_7432_1063_434235.jpg

Roasted Scallop

Marcona Almond, Bacon and Lemon Pepper Crust

White Bean puree

Onion Caramel

Almond Milk

Just a little bit of almond milk, as a foam on top. As much as I love bacony goodness (because after all, who doesn't?) I thought that the bacon kinda overwhelmed the scallop's sweetness.

gallery_7432_1063_176477.jpg

Poached Duck Breast

Braised Duck and Onion Ravioli

Infusion of Star Anise, Cardamom and Thai Long Pepper

2002 Domaine Louis Cheze Saint-Joseph Rouge Cuvée Ro-Ree

Look, it's floating off the plate, like an ethereal duck calling from the afterworld! Anyway, I could probably eat duck ravioli every day for a month and not get tired of it. This was my favorite dish, I'd say.

By this point, things were slowing down. We were walking around, stretching our legs, making room around the corners of our bellies, going outside for smokes, taking photos of the kitchen, et cetera. But there was more to come:

gallery_7432_1063_872938.jpg

Cheese course!

St. Agur (cow milk, France), Sauternes jelly

Pecorino Pienza (sheep, Italy), baby arugula

Chaource (cow, triple creme, France), apricot jam, baby amaranth

Chabichou du Poitou (goat, France), truffle fondue

I think Shola was improvising at this point, but the truffle fondue was such a natural fit for the goat cheese that it made me want to slap myself. (Instead, I polished off my own and one other serving of the goat.) I hadn't really noticed the truffle flavor with the fish, but it's so earthy and deep that it is absolutely perfect for goat.

Next up was dessert... I didn't get a photo of it, but here's the menu item:

Ginger Scented Peaches

Apricot Coulis

Caramelized Rice

Mascarpone Ice Cream

And finally:

gallery_7432_1063_442151.jpg

Because it was a birthday dinner, here was the cake! I don't remember exactly what it was (well, chocolate, and those are clearly cherries on top) because I was way to full to eat anything else. But the little moans and grunts of pleasure from those who did suggested that it was pretty good.

gallery_7432_1063_358102.jpg

Here's Shola at the end of the meal. The rest of us were smiling, too, at what was one heck of a fantastic dinner. Oh boy.

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shacke   

Wow wee. I will be there in a couple of weeks. It looks amazing - Andrew - how long was the whole affair? It would be good to let the sitter know if and when we are ever coming home?

Also - did Shola suggest the wines or did your group come up with it?

Evan

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Wow wee.  I will be there in a couple of weeks.  It looks amazing - Andrew - how long was the whole affair?  It would be good to let the sitter know if and when we are ever coming home?

The evening ran about 3 1/2 hours, I think.

Also - did Shola suggest the wines or did your group come up with it?

That was me-- well, me with some help. Shola will send you the menu a few days in advance (pester him if you haven't gotten it by the beginning of the week). If you take it over to Moore Brothers, they'll hook you up. (Though it occurs to me that a fun project would be to post the menu here and see what people suggest.)

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stephenc   

How did he poach that duck? That thing looks sweet.

Pan sear followed by a quick poach?

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shacke   

Andrew - you said it five courses but I count more than that! does everyone get the same stuff or is it alternating plates?

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mrbigjas   
How did he poach that duck?  That thing looks sweet.

Pan sear followed by a quick poach?

i would bet it's the other way around. poach till medium-rare and then either sear in a very hot pan to crisp the skin, or possibly broiled/torched.

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Andrew - you said it five courses but I count more than that!  does everyone get the same stuff or is it alternating plates?

Everybody gets the same stuff, and it's normally five courses; this was kind of a special situation.

I don't know how the duck was cooked (didn't ask). But it was gooood, yo.

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How did he poach that duck?  That thing looks sweet.

Pan sear followed by a quick poach?

Okay, according to Shola:

It was slowly Seared first to render the fat on the skin.......then

put in a Cryovac bath and cooked in a water bath in the sealed vaccum

pouch at 160 degrees for 3 hrs.

For turn out, removed from the pouch and the skin crisped quickly.

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shacke   
How did he poach that duck?  That thing looks sweet.

Pan sear followed by a quick poach?

Okay, according to Shola:

It was slowly Seared first to render the fat on the skin.......then

put in a Cryovac bath and cooked in a water bath in the sealed vaccum

pouch at 160 degrees for 3 hrs.

For turn out, removed from the pouch and the skin crisped quickly.

That blows the lid of boil-in-bag! :biggrin:

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shacke   

I finally made it to Studiokitchen which is in my opinion the best table in Philadelphia and for certain the most interesting dining experience I have ever had. The praise I had heard of Shola and Studiokitchen were well deserved and the evening turned out to exceed my expectations. I have passed by the apartment over a thousand times and never knew what lay inside.

We were greeted in a cozy apartment with scented candles burning and background music emanating from an interesting CD contraption on the wall which had a slideshow of his food as the music played. Maybe it was just a plain old Mac but who knows.

I had heard of Shola’s hospitality and he certainly is a terrific host. He explained the meal beforehand and then proceeded to make us feel at home while he brought forth multiple courses from a very small kitchen!

We brought more wine than we could possibly handle and he gave his suggestions for what kind of wine would go best with each course as it can be difficult to judge based on the descriptions. The evening proceeded at a relaxed and measured pace.

I forgot my camera (Fenton remains king of all media here) and Shola was nice enough to document everything and email the pics to me.

The amuse was a tall shot glass of Jerusalem artichoke soup topped with pistachio oil.

gallery_27885_1177_341970.jpg

First:

lemongrass scented corn broth

Black truffle,leek and lobster dumpling

poached quail eggs

Morel mushrooms

gallery_27885_1177_425215.jpg

This reminded me of the fabulous meals I had at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. The bright creative flavor combination was a thrill. It went down just too easy and fast. Trotter is one of the king’s of creative and original flavor medleys. Shola clearly has keyed in on this as a prime directive with this dish. Simple galette of lobster, quail egg and a lone morel.

Second:

goat cheese Blintz

carmelized onions and figs

mezza arugula

Truffle vinaigrette

gallery_27885_1177_464645.jpg

I don’t eat goat cheese and sighed when I saw the menu. I did figure that I would eat it no matter what, thinking that if Shola couldn’t make it taste good, I really didn’t like it. Why am I not surprised that it was so delicious? It gave me incentive to eat the goat cheese later on in the cheese course. The blintz was filled with a great preparation of sweetened onions that was just to die for. The truffle was a great flavor combination. The bitterness of the arugula and truffle dressing was perfect.

Third:

Grilled Pistachio scented hamachi

Eggplant ,pistachio and golden raisin caponata

Cipollini onion and Kobe beef stew

Curry leaf jus

mushroom emulsion

gallery_27885_1177_522881.jpg

This course was a trip. The yellowtail lay on a mixture of raisins, nuts and eggplant. A single onion and cube of kobe beef lay at the other end of the plate. The mushroom emulsion was light and fabulous. Although on paper the combo may seem disjointed and confusing, in execution it was perfect. I am glad he helped with the wine choice here.

Fourth:

"California poulet bleu"

herb crusted breast of bluefoot chicken

Thigh confit and duxelle ravioli

yellowfoot chanterelles

Corn polenta cake

Truffle-almond milk.

gallery_27885_1177_20656.jpg

I had thought that Shola got his hands on a real Poulet Bresse from France but this chicken is raised in California in the style of the legendary bluefoot chicken. Although still “chicken”, the dish was a smash and my fave of the lot. It was roasted and had a pesto of sorts under the skin. It lay near a wonderful oversize ravioli filled with mushrooms and a slice of fried corn polenta and the whole dish was accompanied by a wonderful brown sauce. I did not detect much of truffle or almond but I happily ate half my wife’s plate since she was beyond full at this point. The small chanterelles were a real treat. One of the diners brought a ‘90 Chateau Montrose which we drank with this dish and I just about flew away to la-la land.

gallery_27885_1177_168834.jpg

Cheese course followed and I must admit I know so little about cheese. I will say that he offered a plate of four different cheese, each with an individual accompaniment. It was crazy good and I ate them all – goat with a truffle vinagrette, stinky blue with a pear mustard and extra pear mustard juice, epois (spelling?) with arugula as well as wacky spicy pickled grape that was ultra-interesting to eat. The spanish cheese, the variety of which I can't recall, lay aside yellow pea shoots.

Dessert:

Chocolate amarena cherry ganache

chocolate coffee sorbet

Foamed butterscotch

candied puffed rice.

By this point we were all beyond happy, stuffed and well drinked. The dessert was a hoot. Shola brought out what looked like a tenderloin – actually it was a flourless chocolate cherry cake that he sliced and placed into oversized goblets. On top of the cake he put a scoop of chocolate espresso sorbet and a scoop of chocolate cherry. A huge slather of butterscotch foam (think whipped cream without all the air) followed and ended with candy rice krispies. The portion was massive and he plopped down the containers for anyone wanting seconds. Uh – hell yeah I did. We enjoyed some good dessert wine with it – Chateau Haut Bernasse Monbazillac being the crowd favorite.

Afterward we chatted with Shola for some time about his travels, food, previous jobs and plans for the future. What a well traveled, interesting and intelligent guy. He is looking for a space in CC for a restaurant. Nothing this good can last forever and I wish him all the best. I will always happily recall my time there when it is long gone. I will be back for my birthday dinner end of July with immediate family and I cannot wait. I convinced my bro to fly in from LA for it.

After about 3 1/2 hours, we made our leave – leaving Shola with much more coin than requested (actually he never gave any bill) and a bit less cellar room than he started the night with.

Phenomenal experience.

Evan


Edited by shacke (log)

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mrbigjas   
Afterward we chatted with Shola for some time about his travels, food, previous jobs and plans for the future.  What a well traveled, interesting and intelligent guy.  He is looking for a space in CC for a restaurant.  Nothing this good can last forever and I wish him all the best.

you know, he's been saying that since before we first went there over three years ago, and i don't believe it for a second.

i mean, think about the amount of control he has there, and how much cash money he's making every single night (since after all, he's booked from now till whenever). why change a thing? it's way cool just as is.

edit: oh, another thing--i've had dinner at studiokitchen three times (though not real recently), and every single time i learn something new i can use in cooking. from the slow-cooking of the duck breast to render the fat while not overcooking it, to using the starch in corn itself (rather than corn starch) to thicken the cream sauce, to.... i'm not sure which part of your dinner there is making me think about things, but it is. i think shola's willlingness to spend most of the evening talking about techniques to amateur cooking nerds like me is one of the best parts of studiokitchen.


Edited by mrbigjas (log)

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SG-   

Third:

Grilled Pistachio scented hamachi

Eggplant ,pistachio and golden raisin caponata

Cipollini onion and Kobe beef stew

Curry leaf jus

mushroom emulsion

http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/11174926...1177_522881.jpg

... epois (spelling?) with arugula as well as wacky spicy pickled grape that was ultra-interesting to eat.  The spanish cheese, the variety of which I can't  recall, lay aside yellow pea shoots. 

Evan

Epoisses - see link

epoisse info

From the picture the preparation of the kobe beef seemed to be a waste of this beef, stewing for so long...

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Mummer   
From the picture the preparation of the kobe beef seemed to be a waste of this beef, stewing for so long...

Shola's jokes about his food are almost as good as the food itself.

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Afterward we chatted with Shola for some time about his travels, food, previous jobs and plans for the future.  What a well traveled, interesting and intelligent guy.  He is looking for a space in CC for a restaurant.  Nothing this good can last forever and I wish him all the best.

you know, he's been saying that since before we first went there over three years ago, and i don't believe it for a second.

i mean, think about the amount of control he has there, and how much cash money he's making every single night (since after all, he's booked from now till whenever). why change a thing? it's way cool just as is.

He claims that he's getting bored with the current setup; that he's accomplished what he set out to accomplish. If that's true, then changing things by starting a restaurant would be the logical next step. It'd also be a way for him to get significantly wider exposure: SK is sort of a cult thing right now, but a restaurant has the potential to be huge, huge, huge.

i think shola's willlingness to spend most of the evening talking about techniques to amateur cooking nerds like me is one of the best parts of studiokitchen.

No doubt. That's something which would be lost in a restaurant setting. A shame, at least from an amateur cooking nerd perspective.

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shacke   

edit: oh, another thing--i've had dinner at studiokitchen three times (though not real recently), and every single time i learn something new i can use in cooking.  from the slow-cooking of the duck breast to render the fat while not overcooking it, to using the starch in corn itself (rather than corn starch) to thicken the cream sauce, to.... i'm not sure which part of your dinner there is making me think about things, but it is.  i think shola's willlingness to spend most of the evening talking about techniques to amateur cooking nerds like me is one of the best parts of studiokitchen.

I am very interested in finding out how he made that "foam". I emailed him about it since I have a 'whipper without a cause' at home. It was a great consistency and seems versatile since someone recently had a peanut butter one there.

Evan

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percyn   

One question...

"Was this an eGullet outing and if so, why did I not know about it?" :sad::sad::sad:

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