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ulterior epicure

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Everything posted by ulterior epicure

  1. I simply haven't dined there enough to accuse J-G of inconsistency. I will note that this was my first dinner at J-G in 6 or 7 years, although I have had many lunches there in between. And I would say that my overall impression of the restaurant is that it has slowly slid downhill in quality. And here, I am talking mostly about the food, although I would say that the server assigned to our table this last time seemed particularly misplaced. I know he was trying to be personable, but his attempts at humor were, at best, insincere, and at times, downright atonal.
  2. Sadly, I cannot disagree. I had dinner here with friends a month ago, and "underperforming 2 stars" is not an unfair indictment.
  3. ulterior epicure

    King

    I just left NYC, and during my brief, three-day tear-through the city, King was one of the most mentioned places. I will have to hope to get to it on my next trip.
  4. UE tries to be sensitive to my aversions (to the extent he is capable). Oh geez. Remind me never to hire you as my P.R. guy. Knowing Sneakeater's aversion, I purposefully did not ask to take any pictures of his food. Only his pecan pie. I love pecan pie.
  5. Huh. It's always been described as asparagus with a vin jaune sauce. In fact, I most-recently had this dish a couple of weeks ago, when it was described as a Chateau Chalon-morel sauce. (And yes, the turbot - which, I believe is now skate at lunch, as you say - at lunch is traditionally served with Jean-Georges's famous Chateau Chalon sauce as well.)
  6. To clarify, there are two asparagus dishes that regularly appear on Jean-Georges's lunch menu. One is an asparagus "salad," which is more of a green salad with asparagus and warm Hollandaise (photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ulteriorepicure/3397146472/in/photolist-bxNj7-6bcghU-bxNjk-bxNja-bxNje-6bchgq-nsUfKD-kppvq-4LfrMW-nqRT1U-6bchNj-6bch5d-4LfrL7-4LbeEP-4LfrMb-81iWgc-81b7yU-nfdLxE). While there isn't really anything wrong with this salad, in my opinion, I also don't think there's anything that great about it either. I generally think of this dish as Jean-Georges's version of the "obligatory" lunch salad for a demographic that is bound to include the lunch salad-eating business set. The other asparagus dish with which I am familiar is the one that Adrian mentioned above (photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ulteriorepicure/13944414268/in/photolist-bxNj7-6bcghU-bxNjk-bxNja-bxNje-6bchgq-nsUfKD-kppvq-4LfrMW-nqRT1U-6bchNj-6bch5d-4LfrL7-4LbeEP-4LfrMb-81iWgc-81b7yU-nfdLxE), except, in my experience (and I've had this dish maybe three or four times), the sauce has never been Hollandaise. I've only seen this asparagus dish served with morels cooked in a slightly creamy Chateau Chalon sauce. This dish, in my opinion, is great.
  7. Maybe my definition of "creepy" is different from others'. I don't find this online client profiling creepy, necessarily. I find it disingenuous. Part of feeling "special" at a restaurant is the fact that there is a natural and organic rapport and familiarity between the staff and the client, one that is sometimes developed over multiple visits, and rarely over one, brief encounter. Walking into a restaurant and having the staff know certain public information about me is unlikely going to make me feel special. Almost the opposite, it's going to make me feel like just another Google-able person.
  8. Why does Saison suffer "in these parts?" (I assume you're referring to Mouthfuls?) Orik doesn't like it. It's a perfect example of what UE is complaining about, but they pay him . I really can't stress how eating some of the exact same dishes at Saison and Manresa on consecutive evenings made it clear that what we thought about it was right. But to put it in perspective, Saison is not (based on one visit) good at what it wants to be, rather just an okayish me-too joint, but it's still much better than most restaurants. I don't think they're particularly at fault of not understanding the ingredients to the degree under discussion, they're just kids and they don't know much, I guess, so they serve the wrong kuromaguro and can't tell the difference, and they offer dishes from other famous restaurants, assuming nobody will know, no big deal. Some of his other examples are much, much worse, but I don't really mind - I can see how he's excited about some of them and he's trying to make a complex point in too short a piece. Anyway, I understand what UE is talking about. For example, one of the few bad meals I've eaten these past three+ months was at a place called Masa Ueki. This is a sort of French+Kaiseki fusion joint in Ginza that uses very good ingredients, as far as I can tell, cooking them perfectly right, as far as I can tell, and then uses a spicing scheme that only someone with the palate of, I dunno, a camel, would use. The first course - too salty lavender scented tofu, topped with uni that might as well been socks. Something with vanilla and again too much salt, something with coconut... a barrage of sweet spices, salt, and Caribbean influences inflicted on the poor hamo, ayu, foie, abalone... It's like bad chef-ness has moved away from overcooking salmon and onto just having an incorrect sense of what good food is. I blame DSLR carrying bloggers. p.s. regarding ingredients, Japan has this magical cool flight system that brings ingredients from all over the country to your door with a guaranteed refrigerated path, for very little money (think zero to $5 mostly, $10 from the edges). I can't tell you how much I've learned about the various provenances of Uni (not just Hokkaido vs Kyushu, but also particular islands near Hokkaido proper) and about the gigantic gap in quality between uni that was harvested the night before at the right spot at the right time and sent over in raw brine and the tray stuff. I can imagine a handful of chefs in the US have had this experience, and this is just one ingredient, so UE is setting the bar quite high - maybe that's a weakness of the ingredient availability situation - someone in Spain can spend 20 years grilling ten things, but a chef five years into his career is expected to know that some esoteric French root vegetable needs five months in the cellar to be any good, and to serve composed dishes with twenty components just to be in the game... is it bad? I dunno, mostly the results aren't that good right now. You can disagree with my opinions. You can prove me false where I am wrong. But, suggesting that I take bribes for positive press is unacceptable, unfair, and untrue.
  9. Why does Saison suffer "in these parts?" (I assume you're referring to Mouthfuls?)
  10. That all being said, I was at Lincoln recently for lunch and had the spaghettoni. And I do understand your comment about the stiffness of some of the pasta (like the spaghetti). I haven't a problem with it. But I can see how some might.
  11. Spaghetti alla chitarra should be flat, it shouldn't be square. I'm not sure that's true. Most spaghetti alla chitarra I've seen is more squarish than flatish. In fact, sometimes, if you don't look closely, it can be mistaken for spaghetti (which is why I'm assuming it's "spaghetti alla chitarra" and not "linguine alla chitarra").
  12. I think LiquidNY is suggesting that the pasta was extruded. There are a number of reasons why this is very likely not the case. Dyes for extruded pasta are very expensive and rolling pasta and cutting it on a chitarra is relatively easy. More to the point, why would Benno be extruding square spaghetti when he could do it the "authentic" way?
  13. I agree. I have been to EMP at least once every year that Humm has been there (although I haven't been in 2013), and his first three years there remain my favorite three years of eating at EMP. he got there in '06 right? If so, then I am mistaken. My first visit was in March of 2007. And, in many ways, it remains my favorite.
  14. Oh wait. I lied. I just checked, and I have been there this year. I eat out too much.
  15. I agree. I have been to EMP at least once every year that Humm has been there (although I haven't been in 2013), and his first three years there remain my favorite three years of eating at EMP.
  16. ulterior epicure

    Carbone

    2. I wish I could have stuck around to witness THAT exchange. Priceless, I'm sure. 5. I particularly liked how boozy the Fra Diavolo was. 6. That black-out cake was an aptly named bomb (in a good way), more buttercream than cake, served at just the right temperature (room temperature buttercream is a wonderful thing). The (off-menu special) banana split was one of the more thoughtful banana splits I've had - bananas bruléed with a crispy top, with a measured amount of toppings. Like that buttercream, the ice cream had been tempered, so it arrived soft, not stiff. (I recognize that this may not have been intentional, but rather a side-effect of the rather slow service towards the end of our meal). 10. In what world, Sneaks? In what world? (It was great to see you.) 11. Me too. 12. The playlist is right up my alley. It's not predictably "red sauce" - no syrupy Dean Martin renditions of "Volare" or anything like that. But it's certainly throwback - Chubby Checker's "The Twist," Little Eva's "Locomotion," etc. Some people might find it distracting to pulled into singing along over dinner, or be annoyed by the campiness of it. But I loved it. And in this, I find my best summary of Carbone overall - it's campy (which, when done well, I enjoy and respect), but not cheesy (which, even when done well, is hard to take seriously).
  17. I hadn't seen that link to Eater. Very interesting. I was discussing bloggers with a chef friend in Napa. During that discussion it came up that he'd heard UE is helping write the Saison cookbook, I would say that in this case your assumption re him receiving special treatment at Saison is correct. Ulterior Motive for his choice perhaps . There is nothing ulterior about my motives. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I've been anything but ulterior about my relationship with chefs. I disclose just about as much as I can. You are free to believe or distrust as much as you like about my opinions. Regardless, at the time the Eater comment was posted, I hadn't been to coi or Manresa in over three years. So, I did not feel comfortable making any statements about those restaurants directly. My first meal at Benu was also not a fair basis by which to judge the restaurant - I went a few weeks after they first opened. Since that comment was posted on Eater, I have been back to coi and Benu. While I enjoyed my recent meals better than my first meal at each, based on my recent experiences (now, two dinners at each coi, Benu, and saison each), I still stand by my statement: I believe that saison shows the most promise for being awarded three Michelin stars. As for Manresa, I haven't been in three years, so I don't feel comfortable making any statements about its promise for three stars. However, I will note that my last post about Manresa on my blog was entitled "syzygy."
  18. Nevermind, found this: http://www.luxury-insider.com/luxury-news/2013/03/food-for-thought-lambrosie-comes-to-macau?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LuxuryInsider+(Luxury+Insider%3A+The+Online+Luxury+Magazine)
  19. Wilfred, source of this news?
  20. ulterior epicure

    Corton

    WTF, guest (commentator) #5? I don't even know what that means.
  21. Sneakeater, I think you have the answer to the question you posed to me upthread.
  22. The folks at Eleven Madison Park ain't stupid, guys. They saw the writing on the wall. Kate Krader (an editor at Food & Wine), who had dinner there last night, reported on Twitter that the narrative-styled service (at least at her table) has been quieted:
  23. Yeah. Why DON'T we hang out more?
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