Welcome to tastingmenu.com. My repository for thoughts
and notes on my eating experiences. Hopefully you'll find something
enjoyable, entertaining, or informative. Click
here to see
where I'm coming from.
It looks like the
French Laundry is open again. (Free registration required.)
I guess Thomas Keller is finally done
opening Per Se in New York City.
A friend at work is spending a few weeks in
Singapore. Please bring me back some
I'm always fascinated when recipes call for
wrapping everything up in tinfoil, or parchment paper, or clay, or
whatever. Something about packaging up the food while you cook it is neat
to me. The Los Angeles Times (free registration required) has some
thoughts and recipes for
cooking in parchment paper.
a Brooklyn restaurant unusually highly. And the New York Times
(free registration required) decided to write about it. I'm not a big
Zagat fan anyway. The numbers (what's a "27"?) don't mean anything to me,
and I feel like everyone just plugs for their favorites anyway. I see
places that are uninspired scoring raves in Zagat and I know it's not for
That said, Frank Bruni, the Times restaurant
critic is great. Check out this quote: "She brought my guests and me an
appetizer of chanterelle mushrooms that had been sautéed in a white
truffle butter and then mixed with creamed corn. It tasted the way a warm
bath feels." Writing about food in a way that's both creative as well as
effective in conveying flavor is hard. Bruni does both and entertains as
forwarded this article from
Slate. Maybe I should get a standalone freezer after all.
You can now see what's coming up right on our
home page with the "Upcoming Entries" section in the upper right hand
Fancy Food Show,
San Francisco, CA, January 18, 2004 —
4 of 2002 when this website first began, the very first
posting mentioned the Fancy Food Show. At that time I said we'd probably
need to go. Well, a year and a half later, we went. (And due to the
incredible backlog of this site we're finally posting about it six
months after that.) Here's a quick
rundown of what it's all about. First, the name. The name is kind of,
well... "fancy". I suppose it's not their fault as the show has been
going on for a couple of decades but still it seems so silly. Also it's
not just "Fancy Food" but "Fancy Food and Confections". Also, this is a
trade show. I love trade shows. All the industry folks hawking their
wares. When in San Francisco it fills all of Moscone Center - no small
feat. Because it's an industry trade show, only members of the industry
are allowed in. I know some people who "manufactured" a food related
business and had no trouble getting badges for the show. It costs $35 a
ticket in advance, so a little cash and a little creativity should get
you in just fine.
The show. The idea of row upon row filled with hundreds of booths
pitching their various contributions to the world of cuisine is
exciting. It's even more exciting when you know that pretty much every
single one of them will be offering free samples. And after the first
326 tastes of olive oil/salsa/tomato sauce/cheese/vinegar/sugar free
anything/nuts/wine/chocolate/ham you're feeling like the king (or queen)
of the world. But #327 comes along and you're pretty much done. Don't
get me wrong, there were some nice little finds among the first 326.
It's just that there's only so much you can take.
Additionally, this kind of show lends itself to certain types of food
and not to others. Trade shows are about trade. On a big scale. And that
means foods that are trying to get big distribution and optimized for
that scenario. Don't get me wrong. There were plenty (hundreds) of small
producers represented. I loved trying yummy artisinal cheeses from New
Zealand, various delicious hams from Italy, ten different flavors of
gelato from Calfornia, wacky Hello Kitty snacks from Japan, and olive
oil from Lebanon. But after awhile it was just tough to try yet another
There were some weird moments. The "mascot" for the show is this
Oscar-like silver chef statue that they give out as an award. They hired
a mime who dressed in a silver outfit and wore silver makeup to wander
the show and ply his trade. He scared me. But not as bad as a really
out-of-place hippy reporter who casually strolled up to me in the press
room asking me a) if I'd seen Bobby Weir yet, and b) I knew of any good
parties. Bob Weir (a member of the Grateful Dead) apparently has a
hot sauces (I hadn't seen him). And if I did know of any
parties I certainly wasn't inviting this dude (I didn't know of any
Ever see those cajun spices called Fish Magic, Poultry Magic,
etc.? The face of Paul Prudhomme (Dom Deluise's
each bottle. He was tooling around the show floor in an entirely white
outfit tasting various things at different booths. Surreal. Speaking of
surreal, how about the Japanese gentleman trying to sell us a soup
making machine. We lost the details as we each did a double take looking
at the name of the machine - the Soup Server Navi. Each of us first read
it as the Soup Server Nazi. Scary.
The French guys at the Lorina booth (they make yummy carbonated
lemonades) asked me if the drink I sampled was "crazy". We had to spend
a few minutes educating them on English slang. From then on they were
asking patrons if their lemonade "kicked ass".
While I didn't get to try nearly as much as was there, I tried enough to
find some yummy items. Here's a rundown:
Cuvee du Minot - the best apple cider I've
ever tasted. Crazy light. Sparkly. Pure apple taste.
DeliManjoo - delectable Korean light and airy corn cakes
filled with fruit or creme filling. As delicious as the hot pastries
were, the machines that made and wrapped them were fascinating.
Laguna Tuna tomato sauces - everyone in the group seemed to like them.
They did have a freshness about them even though they were bottled.
Mr. Krisper Rice Chips - I love rice crackers, and these were
yummy light versions that approximated chips but were baked.
An incredible assortment of "frying cheese" from Wisconsin and Cyprus.
Yep. I've seen raclette before, but this was a trend. I have a new,
deep, and abiding love for frying cheese.
Red Leicester with Wasabi and Spring Onion - I love Cotswold, and this
seemed like its yummy cousin.
Plugra - my favorite butter. Super creamy yummy.
Dutch Parrano cheese - I love this stuff. Nutty, creamy, almost sharp
but not. It's not cheap but my 2 year old loves it. I'd rather he eat
this than slices of yucky american cheese. And it tastes incredible when
melted. Gets super sharp and strong.
There were also a couple of things that were
The enormous line of Hello Kitty branded marshmallow treats. (I think
they're sending me a bunch.)
Bubbie's Homemade Hawaiian Mochi Ice Cream. Its like a weird
Jewish/Japanese/Hawaiian thing. I'm not a big mochi fan, but these
seemed alright despite the odd branding.
Fartless beans products. Is gas such a problem that people really need
to seek out these items?
Bottom line, we had a great time. Spending a couple of days bouncing
from one food vendor to another, eating all the samples you can eat, and
even happening upon some new interesting items is definitely fun. It's
true that you won't find a ton of fresh food being sold there, and that
many of the items are targeted at as mass an audience as possible. But
it will be like hanging out in the specialty aisles of the supermarket
with each vendor there offering you a taste. I'm not sure I would do it
again, but I'm glad I went once.
In my scant spare time I am busy documenting my family's history. One of
the neat things I've found are stacks of my maternal grandmother's
handwritten recipes. It makes me happy to see them in her handwriting
even though she's not around to make them anymore. I thought I would
share this recipe with you.
(traditionally made for Channukah but also eaten year round) are
normally made from potatoes. I've transcribed her handwriting to make it
easier to read.
Goldie Jackson's Cottage
Cheese and Sour Cream Latkes
- 3/4 Cup Cottage Cheese
- 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
- 3/4 Cup Flour
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- Pinch of Salt
- Mix in mixmaster
- Drop into hot frying pan [a spoonful at a time]
- Fry in Diet Parker House margarine or butter on both sides
- Can be frozen
San Francisco, CA, January 18, 2004 —
Despite our eh experience at
Masa's the night before, Josh still
felt that his authority on San Francisco restaurants was not to be
questioned. And so even before our dinner was done, the debate started
in earnest on where to eat dim sum the next morning -
Yank Sing or
Kiang. Lauren and
Alex had been going to Yank Sing for years and never
been to Ton Kiang. Debbie and
Peyman had been to Ton Kiang and loved it
but had never been to Yank Sing. I'd been to Yank Sing once many years
ago, but didn't remember much. Josh had been to both and disparaged Ton
Kiang in favor of Yank Sing. But Josh and Dana weren't going with us,
and Debbie and Peyman were resolute. Lauren was a big advocate for Yank
Sing, but taking advice on where to go for Dim Sum from a vegetarian is
like taking asking a member of the Bush administration where the best
place is to find WMDs. So, of course, we went to Ton Kiang.
More fuel was added to the fire the next day on the way to the
restaurant when Debbie and Peyman reported that they had re-consulted
with Debbie's parents who had friends who were Yank Sing loyalists, and
never returned after only one trip to Ton Kiang.
We got there early as there were a bunch of us and we had big plans for
the rest of the day. Ton Kiang was smaller than I expected, as well as
quite out of the way in a neighborhood that's a bit of a trip from
downtown where we were staying. Ton Kiang is in a neighborhood filled
with a variety of unpretentious Asian ethnic restaurants as well as
Russian/Jewish delis and groceries. The area is filled with clusters of
various ethnicities preserving their way of eating. This boded well for
our early dim sum brunch.
What followed was a dizzying array of dumplings, vegetables, and
deliciousness coming out with increasing frequency. The food came out on
small trays being carried by the handful of busy waitresses serving the
growing crowd. Shrimp dumplings, pork shumai,
cold asparagus in a light
sautéed pea sprouts with big chunks of garlic, chow fun
with beef shrimp and crab,
deep fried shrimp balls in wonton wrappers,
Chinese string beans with diced vegetables in a slightly spicy sauce,
shrimp and chive dumplings, steamed pork barbecue buns, sticky rice,
deep fried prawns with more spicy vegetable dice, and
mushroom caps. Each was delicious and wonderful. Ingredients were fresh,
flavors were clear, nothing was soggy. The dumplings especially had a
clarity of flavor and especially texture that was quite nice. The dim
sum wasn't the most "out there" I'd ever seen, but it wasn't boring
either. If I had one complaint it might be the
potstickers which had a
very loose filling without much flavor. But the other dishes more than
made up for it. The glistening and juicy slices of Peking duck that
arrived didn't hurt either. Alex and
Debbie were slightly annoyed
that no steamed buns came with the duck, but my portion was gone (and
appreciated) before I even noticed the bun absence. And finally, some
yummy sugary egg donut balls showed up for dessert. Peyman and Debbie
were disappointed as the last time they were there these "donuts" showed
up warm. But I thought they were delicious anyway. They reminded me of
Bottom line: Ton Kiang was very very good. While I still have to go back
to Yank Sing for a more contemporary comparison, if I lived in San
Francisco, I could see myself at Ton Kiang every couple of Sundays for
some delicious dumplings and fun atmosphere.
One other note, non-food related. At one point in the meal I noticed a
guy in the corner of the restaurant who looked familiar. I couldn't tell
whether he was famous or not, but he sure looked familiar. Nobody at our
table agreed with me. He got up and left. When I claimed I thought I saw
another person who looked very familiar and was possibly famous,
everyone really started torturing me. I was even more sure of my hunch
on this person. So I went up to him and asked how I might know him. He
claimed to be an appraiser on an antiques show on HGTV. Overjoyed that
my hunch was right I had him take a picture with me and marched
victorious back to our table. Most people thought that being an antiques
appraiser on HGTV didn't count as being famous. Only then did it occur
to me that he was probably lying. He looks like an actor to me. To this
day I remain vigilant knowing that someday I will figure out who this
San Francisco, CA, January 17, 2004 —
A couple of year's ago I was watching an episode of
Iron Chef on which
an American chef challenges Hiroyuki Sakai - Iron Chef French and
arguably the best of the Iron Chefs - and beats him. And while that Chef
Ron Siegel, then of
Charles Nob Hill in San Francisco - did some weird
trash talking at the end of the episode, I still have been wanting to
eat his food. Originally we'd planned to go to
the best Italian in San Francisco) but Josh (Lauren's brother) and Dana weren't sure that it was great. They recommended
and I was hard pressed to disagree. It had been on my list, and I love
checking things off my list. (It's a long list.)
The evening began on the right foot as the nice people at Masa's offered
us the wine cellar as a location for our meal. It was a little chilly,
but fun. Eating dinner in the middle of all their wine is always cool.
The fact that it was soundproof didn't hurt, we're kind of a loud bunch.
It also didn't hurt that two amuse bouche arrived in succession as
"gifts" from the chef. Warm White Bean Soup with White Truffle Oil was
first. The soup was hearty but refined. The truffle flavor was brighter
than any I've ever had. That might be because of the contrast with the
bean soup. Whatever the reasons, it was a really nice start. Simple.
Second was Ahi Tartare with Gold Leaf Nori and Curry Oil. The oil had a
beautiful yellow color. Even better it had a deep curry flavor with
almost a fruity quality. Yummy. The nori tasted good too. I don't think
the gold added any flavor, but it sure looked pretty.
Another nice aspect of dinner was that not only did we have the nine
course tasting menu, but they split the menu such that in each of the
nine courses half the folks got one dish, and half the folks got
another. And of course, Lauren got a third variation that was
vegetarian. I love diversity. After the two amuse dinner really got
First up was Chilled Salsify Soup with Oscietra Caviar and Hog Island
Oysters, and Warm Sunchoke Soup with Crispy Sweetbreads. The salsify
soup was creamy and nice. The caviar floating on top was a little burst
of bright, salty, ocean flavor. The artichoke soup was more flavorful
than the salsify soup but bordered on being too salty. Warm bread also
showed up with yummy butter. It was great.
Next up was Kampachi Sashimi with Radish and Cucumber Salad and
Fingerling Potato Salad. The rest of the table got Dungeness Crab with
Tangerine and Avocado with Orange Infused Oil. The crab was essentially
uneventful but the combination of ingredients was interesting. The
Kampachi was warm, spicy, thick, and soft. Nice.
Then came the fish course - Filet of John Dory with Baby Carrots,
Fennel, and Santa Barbara Uni or Filet of Pan-Roasted Sea Bass with
Crosnes, and Brussels Sprouts. The John Dory was the most special
dish of the evening. It's funny as it's something i've typically only
been served in Europe. But whether it was there or here, it was really
amazingly tender and flavorful. And most importantly, the skin had a
light crispiness that was unbelievable. Beautiful. The sea bass was good
Lobster was up next. We got Oven-Roasted Lobster with Sunchoke Puree and
Lobster Reduction or Over-Roasted Lobster with Oscietra Caviar, Sauteed
Savoy Cabbage, and Lobster Foam. These were both well executed, but
Peyman really summed it up well. The bulk of the dishes we'd eaten so
far were one big chord. A nice chord. But a chord nonetheless. No notes
stood out. Granted the food at Masa's was very well cooked. The
technique was really great. But if the food isn't memorable, what's the
The foie gras course then followed. We got either Torchon of Foie Gras
with Quince Compote and a Sauterne Gelee or Seared Foie Gras with
Country French Toast and Apple Reduction. The torchon was super creamy
and some folks thought even too rich. The serving was very generous.
Maybe overly so. The seared foie gras was very well done and as much as
I liked the apple reduction it just ended up overwhelming the foie gras.
Then came the birds. Half of us got Duck Breast covered in Shallots done
in a Port Reduction with Gigante Beans, and the other half got Pan
Roasted Squab with Broccoli Raab and Bacon in a Squab Reduction. The
duck was especially delicious with the shallots piled on top all
deposited in your mouth at once. The meat was incredibly tender, juicy,
and flavorful. The squab was gamey in a good way but somewhat
uneventful. Next up was Filet Mignon with Crispy Sweet Breads and
Fingerling Potatoes in a Bordelaise Sauce as well as Beef Ribeye, Bone
Marrow Croquette, Wild Mushroom Risotto and a Red Wine Reduction.
The Filet Mignon had little to no flavor. The Ribeye was fine.
Desserts included: an Apple Carrot Pineapple creation; Asian Pear in
Passionfruit Soup; Meyer Lemon Upside Down Cake with Hazelnut Panna
Cotta; and a Coffee Parfait. But even the desserts were not enough to
make us psyched about Masa's. Restaurants like Masa's certainly have a
harder time making people happy than your average restaurant. This is
because they set the bar high. When you charge a lot for dinner, when
foie gras is on the menu, when you serve multi-course tasting menus in a
private dining room the bar is high. And maybe if you're someone who has
a meal like this once every few years you'd be excited by the ceremony
of the meal. But as we get to eat like this more often than that we knew
that much better than Masa's exists. It's all the more disappointing
when the meal is essentially executed very well, but the food is lacking
soul, distinctive flavor, and excitement. Whatever the Iron Chef judges
saw that night, we unfortunately didn't get to see (or taste).
Note: As we "went to press" we noticed that just a few days ago Ron
Siegel announced he was
leaving Masa's and heading to the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton.
Was Siegel's cooking not allowed to shine at Masa's the night we were
there? Or will the technically excellent unimpressive food follow him to
the Ritz. Time (and a visit to both) will tell.
Seattle, WA, January 14, 2004 —
Always on the look out for good classic Italian food in Seattle we tried
(yet) again the other night. This time we were at
Troiani Created by the same group as our favorite steakhouse -
- we thought maybe there was a chance for it to be something we'd really
like. I'm not sure that I should have expected anything other than a
corporate sort of place given the central downtown Seattle location,
but, that doesn't mean I have to be inspired by it. I understand they
have to cater to the downtown folks, but it's just not for me.
Things started off with
Crostini with White Balsamic Glaze, Roasted Eggplant, Moscarpone and
Chiles. This was better than expected. It was sweet, garlicky, and had a hint of spiciness
on the finish. Next up was
Basil Cured Tuna with Potato Caponata and Ligurian Olives. The tuna was
served in huge slabs. The flavor was somewhat mild. Then a salad.
Lettuce, Fennel, and Satsuma with Creamy Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. The
dressing was a little sparse
but delicious. We also had the
Grilled Escarole Salad with Warm Pancetta Dressing, Aged Ricotta, and
Quail Egg. This was fine.
There's this point in a meal where you've tasted a couple of interesting
flavors, and some dishes that are not super impressive, but things could
still go either way. We always order a lot of dishes so we can try as
many things as possible. You never know when all of a sudden a string of
great dishes will show up. Unfortunately you do know when the restaurant
is not going to turn the corner. Troiani didn't turn the corner.
The next course started off with
Ricotta Gnocchi with Parsley Pesto. This dish rapidly brought me to the
conclusion that pesto should not be made from parsley. This was followed
Housemade Pasta with Spicy Lobster Sauce. This dish was boring. Bummer.
Lauren's veggie plate was also boring. At least the
Large Raviolo with Ricotta Spinach and Egg Yolk in Porcini Broth was interesting.
The egg yolk was cool. The dish was tasty.
Finally we finished the meal with
Crispy Duck with Duck Confit, Corona Beans, and Sauce of Dried Figs,
Plums, and Cherries. This dish hit the boring trifecta. So that the meal
wasn't a complete waste we got lucky with the
Filet of Beef with Braised Pancetta, Truffle Butter, and Black Pepper.
The steak was fantastic. The truffle butter was great (when isn't it)
and the steak was
beautifully cooked. I suppose this should have been no surprise given
the fact that these owners also own El Gaucho. We also had a couple of
Spaghetti Squash with Reggiano and
Scallops with couscous. The scallops were ok. The couscous was oversalted.
I'm not sure what I was expecting. But whatever it was, I didn't get it.
Combine a big, corporate, downtown feel with uninspiring unflavorful
food and you have a bummer of an evening. They had a plate of cured meat
from Salumi on the menu, but just our luck, that was unavailable. A
couple of the dishes showed promise, the steak was great. Maybe Troiani
can build on that to make a really great dining experience. Or maybe the
downtown folks are happy with Troiani the way it is.
Copia is an organization dedicated to
food, wine, and art located in Napa Valley. They're a museum, and a
"cultural center" whatever that is. But they also grow their own veggies
and have a chef on staff at
Kitchen who gets to cook with them -
Sirio Maccioni is the founder of New York's Le
Cirque restaurant. Both he and the restaurant are icons of the New York
dining scene. Whether they still are is a matter for debate. eGullet
provides a review
of Maccioni's autobiography.
Frank Bruni is the new restaurant critic at the
New York Times. Here's a sampling of his latest reviews: Jean-Georges
Vongerichten's new steakhouse "V"
and the ultra premium Japanese restaurant
(Free registration required.)
I'll admit I still haven't acquired a taste for
abalone. I'm just having trouble across the board with things that are
rubbery in texture. I keep trying Tako and Calamari, but I'm still not
enthused. That said, the Los Angeles Times is touting the
abalone revival in California. (Free registration required.)
Bonus points for this article as it features a bunch of nice pictures.
Great write-up on Sauté Wednesday
about sous vide
Bayside Buffet, Mandalay Bay,
Las Vegas, NV, January 9, 2004 —
Las Vegas is the city of excess. And frankly, long gone are the days
when quantity is my metric for a good meal. Actually, to be completely
accurate, large quantity is no longer what I look for, appropriate
quantity is absolutely a priority. That said, there's still something
deeply attractive about an all-you-can-eat buffet. I can't tell whether
it appeals to me because:
a) all human beings are genetically programmed
to salivate at the prospect of unlimited food
b) I never felt there was enough food in my house when I was growing up
c) as an American I've been programmed to eat as much as I possibly can
on my route to obesity and heart disease
The truth is that none of the above explanations take into account any
personal responsibility I have for my eating habits. So, I suppose I
like buffets because I like to eat as much as I possibly can without any
regard for limits.
I take it seriously too. I first do a walk-through of the entire buffet.
And in Vegas this is no small task as buffets there are large. Extremely
large. The tourists expect it, and appreciate the oversized nature of
everything. After my survey of the landscape I'll then plot out my
attack in three waves (not including dessert). The first wave is a
sampler platter where I take very small portions of anything that looks
good to me. The second wave focuses on repeats of items I really like.
The third wave focuses on items that you typically don't get in
unlimited fashion - sushi, shrimp, etc.
The problem with buffets unfortunately is that
the food sucks. Anthony Bourdain talks in his books about how buffets
are often used to eliminate ingredients that will expire soon. Items are
mixed generously with mayonnaise and served in large vats. One trick is
to go to stations that have a human being behind them... at breakfast
buffets it's the omelet stand, at lunch and dinner it's usually meat
carving, or crepes. The food is prepared just-in-time so I think it
tends to be fresher than what's sitting in the bowls.
Bayside Buffet is relatively standard as
Vegas buffets go. A huge variety of mediocre food. If I could say one
thing, the amount of food laid out was relatively small which indicated to
me that there was a chance they were preparing just a little bit at a
time. I still wonder if someday I will find a buffet with really delicious
food. Anything's possible I suppose.
Las Vegas, NV, January 8, 2004 —
I've written many times about the off nature of finding good food in Las
Vegas. In a city that's about being superficial you might think finding
good food is hard. It's actually not hard if you embrace Las Vegas and
appreciate it for what it is. A restaurant like
not super authentic Brazilian Barbecue I'm sure, but that (and the
spectacle) doesn't take away from the fact that it tastes great. Don't
let the girls dancing in cages when Rumjungle turns into a club take
away from the fact that their large amounts of meat served on swords
tastes great. And yet if the lights of the casinos are distracting it's
still possible to hunt down restaurants elsewhere.
In my many trips to Las Vegas I don't think I've ever strayed beyond the
strip and the airport.
original) is not only off the strip, it was a 20 minute cab ride off the
strip. While the endless repetitive strip malls made me never want to
leave the main drag again, it was worth the trip to eat at Rosemary's.
Chef's Michael and Wendy Jordan are doing modern American food not only
without glitz, but without pretense. Rosemary's is relaxed, and
An amuse bouche showed up at the table to start things off. It was
Goat Cheese Mousse and Dried Cherry Chutney on a Homemade Crostini. And
it was good. It was creamy sweet, had clean flavors, and the taste was coolness
(temperature-wise). Breads showed up next. Interesting options: garlic,
rosemary, and white chocolate macadamia nut. The garlic had no garlic
flavor but the butter was airy. The chocolate bread was a little
different, and actually good.
Next up was Crispy Veal Sweetbreads, with French Green Lentils, Bacon
Leek Relish and Sherry Mustard Butter Sauce. The sweetbreads were smokey
and crispy. The bacon undertones came through. This dish was yummy - like
This was followed by Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Brioche French
Toast, Orange Brulee, Quince Marmalade and Cranberry Reduction. The
sauce was sweet with the orange flavor adding a nice tart quality. The
foie gras was super super buttery.
Debbie thought the foie gras was thick and creamy, one of the best
she's ever had. I think it could have been a touch crispier on the
We were making our own tasting menu and not really in the mood for any
entrees. So all we ordered were appetizers. Our waiter was hyper excited
and attentive though there was a slight delay between courses.
Our next dish was Salmon Tartar with Watercress, Saffron Sauce, and
Caraway Crackers. At first I wasn't sure, but when I took smaller bites,
a horseradish-ey flavor came through. We also had the Twice Baked
Parmesan Souffle with Wild Mushroom Ragout. The sauce on the Parmesan
souffle was way too strong and salty on its own but a touch of it on
the fluffy parmesan "pound cake" was excellent. Both dishes
(the salmon and the parmesan) would have been way better in even smaller portions (as
well as with less sauce on the parmesan). The
red onions however, were nice and crunchy in the salmon.
Finally we split a salad. Pears in general are not my thing, and these
seemed typical tome. The cheese in the salad was flat and bland.
However, there were spiced pecans in the salad, They tasted like sugar
and cinnamon. And they were a delicious surprise. I ate all the nuts.
Also the kitchen split the salad for us in advance which was nice, and
the presentation was attractive. We got some petit fours for dessert -
lemon bars and chocolate truffles. Good.
Rosemary's may be the most non-self-conscious food in Las Vegas.
Authenticity is hard to judge. Ultimately food has to be true to the
ingredients and to the person that created it. Hopefully if it is, it's
a quality that comes through. Rosemary's is the kind of place I would
come to regularly if I lived in Las Vegas. A place like Rosemary's needs
investment. You need to go a bunch of times to get to know the staff,
strengths, and weaknesses. Typically things get even better once you've
made the investment. Rosemary's is worth it.
Some recipes from around the web...
101 Cookbooks has great pictures of Sri Lanka
and a write-up of their experience making
Spicy Pineapple Saute.
Chocolate and Zucchini explores the
Fig and Mozzarella Warm Sandwich.
Saveur has a recipe for a British treat - a
Cooking with Amy talks about
Cheddary Corn Chowder.
Cheese and Corn are always a lovely combination.
Hsiao-Ching Chou of the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer has a recipe for
Pizza dough and sauce. It comes from a new pizza book:
American Pie - My Search for the Perfect Pizza by Peter Reinhart.
Grant Achatz of
leaving to start his own restaurant. Thanks to one of our
readers for tipping us off to this. It has a name - Alinea - but not
a location or an opening date yet.
This great picture courtesy of Tony Chor.
It's a little late for this year, but here's an
article (courtesy of my dad) about having
at Spago with Wolfgang Puck.
Is it a good sign that blogs across the nation
are now the target of press releases? I think this site has finally made
it! Check out this little tidbit:
"Dear Blogger, I really enjoy
reading your food blog. With the recent diet and low carb craze, I thought
you may be interested in this information for your blog. Your readers may
soon be heading out for summer vacations, but that doesn't mean their
diets will need to take a break. While eating on the go, Arby's extended
Market Fresh Line offers nutritious options to meet all diet needs ...
without sacrificing taste."
Doesn't the author sound incredibly sincere?
I knew there were
great reasons to eat cilantro in addition to it's excellent and unique
This is a bad thing if you like foie gras. It's a terrible thing
if you love it like I do.
I'm not typically a big fan of food critics,
and a review of a restaurant in a hotel in Toronto would typically not
merit a mention here (unless the write-up is mine ; ). That said, Joanne
Kates and I are in extreme agreement about the plight of restaurants in
hotels. And she articulates it well in her
discussion of Azure a restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel in
Toronto. I also like that she uses the word 'pee'.
Shiokadelicious! has an incredibly in-depth
kuehs. These are essentially a broad group of southeast Asian
pastries. Not only are they described in incredible detail, but there are
pictures of every variety as well. Cool!
eGullet has an
article about pelmeni.
I love these little Russian dumplings. I was so surprised the first time
they came not only with sour cream (that wasn't surprising) but with soy
sauce as well. The combination was delicious.
I don't spend too much time judging
foods based on their origins, but I will admit that I'm not a huge fan of
processed cheese (except queso which is delicious - I'm just not entirely
sure it's really cheese). That said, I can't help but think that the fact
Kraft's processed cheese sales are slipping is a good sign that the
food priorities in this country may be getting on track. (Courtesy of
The Cheese Diaries.)
I really am quite partial to red
wine. White wine is for cooking (except when it has bubbles). But I'll
admit, one type of white wine recently crossed my tongue and I've been
enjoying it more and more -
Austrian Gruner Veltliner. Dry, smells like apples, refreshing, yummy.
Hmmm, this does not bode well for my already overstuffed wine cellar.