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Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria


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#76 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:40 PM

Isn't it interesting that Rex Stout, who showed great interest in gourmet food, made the finest dish to ever appear in the Nero Wolfe stories a sausage?


Rex Stout showed particular interest in Germanic food.

What was Wolfe's regular quaff?
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#77 Wilfrid

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:42 PM

That's another strange thing, isn't it? We never really learn what Wolfe drinks with dinner (as far as I recall). Does he just carry on with the beer?

The sausage in question, actually, is quite a French affair - saucisson de minuit, containing many types of game.

#78 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:48 PM

Fritz is Swiss, right? My pet theory has always been that Switzerland produces great chefs because their influences are both French and German. (See also Alsace.)
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#79 Wilfrid

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:50 PM

Yes, and the only restaurant Wolfe favors outside his house is Rusterman's. Wolfe is originally Serbian, isn't he? Not to digress, or anything.

#80 mitchells

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:51 PM

Delis are restaurants and should be rated in the context that it is a deli. The same goes for other casual places like IBA which should be compared with other places like it and not compared to to another 3 star like The Modern. BTW, I'm not suggesting IBA deserved 3 stars and I agree with Wilfs assessment.

And steakhouses should be rated in the context that it is a steakhouse and compared with other steakhouses. And it takes minimal additional skill cooking a steak in a steakhouse than steaming and slicing a good pastrami sandwich.

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
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#81 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:53 PM

To end this digression, I have to thank you, Wilfrid, for inducing me to read Stout/Wolfe.
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#82 oakapple

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:53 PM

Ultimately my point is that we're engaging in an evaluation of the labour that goes into the preparation of food when we grade a restaurant. For example, everyone implicitly marks down steakhouses no matter how good the steak they serve is. I think that's because we don't recognize the skill and labour that goes into cooking a great steak as sufficient (anymore) to warrant a four-star rating.

In that sense, oak, I think you're wrong about what you're doing. You do care about where the sausage is made. Again, what if the only thing the restaurant serves is the very best sausage in the world made by someone else? Even if you thought this was a four-star sausage, you couldn't give the restaurant four stars in the same way that you can give Masa or Yasuda four stars.*

Well, that hypothetical "best sausage in the world" would probably have to be a sole-source sausage, whether the restaurant made it themselves or had an exclusive with an outside supplier. The example of the butter at Per Se comes to mind: they don't make it, but they have a deal with a farm that supplies no one else. Besides being extremely good, they can claim no one else (except The French Laundry) has the same butter. I wouldn't hold it in higher esteem if they were milking the cows themselves in the basement of the Time-Warner Center.

A four-star sausage would have to be something rather unusual, in addition to being extremely good. Four stars means "extraordinary," and a sausage available all over town doesn't qualify. The restaurant's argument, no doubt, is that by making it themselves, they are able to make something unusual that no one else has. I have no idea how true that is. But the fact that they do it on premises, rather than in a factory in Queens (whether run by themselves or a third party), is pretty far down on the relevance scale. I cannot believe you really care.

One of the reasons a steakhouse can't get four stars, is that these days pretty much anyone can get the best aged prime beef if they are willing to spend enough money, and the skill to prepare it (if you have the right equipment) is not difficult to acquire. Compare that to the difficulty of replicating Le Bernardin, and you get a pretty good idea of what I am talking about.
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#83 Adrian

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:07 PM

oakapple - nice response. Your point about steakhouses is exactly what I'm getting at with labour. The evaluation of the skill of the kitchen, of which picking the steak is a part, is really a big part of what we're getting at here.

The relationship between labour and exclusivity is important. Take the Per Se butter (which I have never tried). It's important that Per Se is the only place that you can get it when talking about what makes Per Se a worthwhile place to visit. We can say that this is four star butter. But a big part of ratings is allocating praise - chefs think it's a BIG DEAL to earn a Michelin star - for labour. Can you become a four star restaurant off of the work of someone else? Wilfrid's point about stuff "intrinsic" to the restaurant is similar to mine, but seems to exclude any butter/charcuterie (his position may be the better one).

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#84 Orik

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:26 PM

Posted ImagePosted Image

And to think I was just contesting the statement that sliced ham (made by the restaurant) has no culinary significance.
I never said that

#85 Sneakeater

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:26 PM

Maybe this is an appropriate spot to link this.
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#86 Nathan

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:31 PM




I'm waiting for a restaurant serving charcuterie to bring out a basketful of several varieties of entire salamis,cooked sausages, etc. and a knife to cut off your own pieces. Like raw milk cheese less then 60 days old, that too is probably illegal here.


Mon ami, je vous presente Les Sans Culottes

(I can't believe they're still going)


Vraiment?:

Potence de Cochonailles, panier de crudités

Terrine de pate et vinaigrette maison

(Sausages, basket of vegetables, chef pate

and house dressing)


According to that, it's just the vegetables that are in the basket. Then again, potence means gallows, so maybe there is some cutting at the table. I don't know; never been.
I too am amazed it's still there. Since 1976, they say. Well, East Midtown . . . ;)

ETA: Look at those prices! :blink: They must own the building.

It was/is(?) a fun place. Your aunt would probably love it. The food was decent, never great, but a pretty good deal esp for big appetites on petite budgets. For under $20 (over 10yrs ago) you got that easter basket of crudite with 4 or 5 whole saucissons (you were encouraged to saw off as much as you desired), a pot of pate, baguette, entrée and dessert.

For a hokey little place that crudite setup reminded me more of France than anywhere else. For sure it was unsanitary that the baskets were passed from table to table without replenishing (maybe the DOH has forced some changes since) but you got over it. You were in France (sans culottes) after all. :lol:

There was another branch on resto row and a third somewhere, maybe next to Tout Va Bien? (you must have been there too, no?).



I was there under ten years ago...wasn't that with you?
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My opinions are obviously my personal opinions. Not yours. Not universal.


#87 oakapple

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:31 PM

And to think I was just contesting the statement that sliced ham (made by the restaurant) has no culinary significance.

Well, my original post was: "I also wonder about the culinary significance of cold sliced meats, no matter how ethereal."

In other words, I was "wondering" how much significance it has, not stating it has zero.
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#88 oakapple

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:35 PM

A big part of ratings is allocating praise - chefs think it's a BIG DEAL to earn a Michelin star - for labour. Can you become a four star restaurant off of the work of someone else?

In theory, I don't think The Times cares where the work came from. But in practice, a four-star restaurant needs to be extraordinary, and it is hard to imagine how that could be achieved from "shopping" alone.
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#89 Adrian

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:37 PM

Posted ImagePosted Image

And to think I was just contesting the statement that sliced ham (made by the restaurant) has no culinary significance.


What do you expect around here?

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#90 Nathan

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 04:38 PM

If you could relocate Louie Mueller's from Taylor to NYC and somehow retain the quality....you would have phenomenal brisket and beef sausages...like no other (and superior to any) in NYC.
But ultimately, it's just about smoking meat and making sausages right? So how come no one else can do it?

It seems to me that since historically Luger's has had 3 stars (and not just because of that)....the NY Times 3 star paradigm you all keep discussing has never actually existed and is merely a construct put forth by MF contributors :)
Blatantly Obvious Disclaimer:

My opinions are obviously my personal opinions. Not yours. Not universal.