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i had lunch at Hill Country BBQ today. It's not very good. But, to the point, they serve water in mason jars. If you all can't drink wine out of a mason jar without dribbling it down your chin, you're morons.

 

It's also better if you like to put some ice cubes in your pinot grigio.

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the other day we found ourselves with a car and time on our hands while returning from a trip with friends. i remembered that a newish pizza place in Bushwick, which had an impressive xmas menu. unass

Not just the beer - everything down to dessert wines.

Very recently someone who's taste I trust told me there is some serious cooking coming out of this kitchen. Initially I thought it was a joke but apparently not.

i had lunch at Hill Country BBQ today. It's not very good. But, to the point, they serve water in mason jars. If you all can't drink wine out of a mason jar without dribbling it down your chin, you're morons.

It is a bit different, you know. People tend to drink water in large gulps. Wine is generally sipped, a little bit at a time.

 

(Of course, this is before considering all of the other reasons why wine glasses are shaped the way they are.)

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Uhockey and I went to Roberta's tasting last Friday ( it was Elise's and I second time ) and we loved! Great ingredients and execution.

 

Some pictures:

Blanca (Roberta's table ) - Brooklyn, NY

 

For a list of what you're looking at:

1 Osetra Caviar with Goat Milk Granita

2 Glass Shrimp with Celery and Poppyseed

3 Striped Jack with Chrysanthemum

4 Soft Shelled Crab Claw with Yogurt

5 Horse mackerel with flowering parsley and Gizzard Shad with Sorrel Stem

6 Sweetbreads with Lime

7 Bonito with Sea Beans

8 Sea Perch with Rhubarb

9 Geoduck with Tuscan Melon

10 Celtuce with Kumquat, Goat Yogurt, Marcona Almond, and Tuna Flake

11 Pen Shell Clam Torched with Bean Flower

12 Sea Urchin, Bread Crumbs, Red Amaranth

13 Squid, Pimento, Meyer Lemon, Purple Onions

14 Beef Carpaccio, Egg Yolk, Arugula, Arugula Flower

15 Wheat Pasta, Razor Clam, Japanese Uni, Wheat Flower

16 Black Pepper Garganelli with Braised Goat

17 Nduja Ravioli topped with Anise Hyssop

18 Sweet Potato, Buttermilk, Watercress, Watercress jus

19 Prawn, Tarragon, Turkish Aleppo Pepper

20 60 Day Aged Rack of Lamb, Fresh Coriander, Mustard Leaf, Mint Jelly

21 Bread Stick and Hearth Bread with Salted Butter

22 Dry Aged Poulet Rouge, Porcini Mushrooms, Kohlrabi Broth, Broccoli Rabe

23 Strawberry Buttermilk Gelato

24 85 Day Dry Aged Wagyu Beef, Hearts of Palm, Ramp Scapes, Vin Cotto

25 Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese with Fig, Radish, Walnuts, Fennel, Honeycomb from the Roof

26 Chamomile Gelato with Quinoa and Chickpea Crumble

27 Wild Strawberries, Strawberry Soup, Sorrel and Ground Ivy Granita, Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

28 Cherry Sorbet, Yogurt, Coffee and Hempseed Crumble, Poached Cherries, Pakistani Noble Berry

Matcha

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Uhockey and I went to Roberta's tasting last Friday ( it was Elise's and I second time ) and we loved! Great ingredients and execution.

 

Some pictures:

Blanca (Roberta's table ) - Brooklyn, NY

 

For a list of what you're looking at:

1 Osetra Caviar with Goat Milk Granita

2 Glass Shrimp with Celery and Poppyseed

3 Striped Jack with Chrysanthemum

4 Soft Shelled Crab Claw with Yogurt

5 Horse mackerel with flowering parsley and Gizzard Shad with Sorrel Stem

6 Sweetbreads with Lime

7 Bonito with Sea Beans

8 Sea Perch with Rhubarb

9 Geoduck with Tuscan Melon

10 Celtuce with Kumquat, Goat Yogurt, Marcona Almond, and Tuna Flake

11 Pen Shell Clam Torched with Bean Flower

12 Sea Urchin, Bread Crumbs, Red Amaranth

13 Squid, Pimento, Meyer Lemon, Purple Onions

14 Beef Carpaccio, Egg Yolk, Arugula, Arugula Flower

15 Wheat Pasta, Razor Clam, Japanese Uni, Wheat Flower

16 Black Pepper Garganelli with Braised Goat

17 Nduja Ravioli topped with Anise Hyssop

18 Sweet Potato, Buttermilk, Watercress, Watercress jus

19 Prawn, Tarragon, Turkish Aleppo Pepper

20 60 Day Aged Rack of Lamb, Fresh Coriander, Mustard Leaf, Mint Jelly

21 Bread Stick and Hearth Bread with Salted Butter

22 Dry Aged Poulet Rouge, Porcini Mushrooms, Kohlrabi Broth, Broccoli Rabe

23 Strawberry Buttermilk Gelato

24 85 Day Dry Aged Wagyu Beef, Hearts of Palm, Ramp Scapes, Vin Cotto

25 Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese with Fig, Radish, Walnuts, Fennel, Honeycomb from the Roof

26 Chamomile Gelato with Quinoa and Chickpea Crumble

27 Wild Strawberries, Strawberry Soup, Sorrel and Ground Ivy Granita, Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

28 Cherry Sorbet, Yogurt, Coffee and Hempseed Crumble, Poached Cherries, Pakistani Noble Berry

Matcha

 

Very different from the first visit - from setting to service to many of the foods - and in almost every way better.

 

The counter is a great vantage of the kitchen and the staff is extremely professional, knowledgable, and attentive. Music selection is 'loud' but certainly not 'too loud' as I could hear everything Jose and Elise were saying without having to speak in a loud voice.

 

Temperature control is an issue as the roasters and stoves are clearly quite hot while the temperature control comes from vents behind the diners - to remedy this I saw them provide a shawl to one young lady and they inquired frequently if people were too warm/too cold.

 

The food is now much more refined, likely because Carlo isn't cooking in that tiny kitchen, and the flavor profiles are uniformily good, great, or better. For myself the ONLY let down course was the geoduck and that is because the melon blunted the flavor. Desserts are vastly improved from the old menu, though I wish bread would have arrived earlier in the menu as there were some juices I'd have enjoyed soaking up in a totally non-fine-dining sort of way.

 

Meats remain remarkable - the lamb, poussin, and especially the beef exquisite and the portions are much more controlled than prior when Roz, Michael, and I basically rolled out the door (my fault for asking for a pizza in place of the cheese course.) I loved the decision to source some esoteric ingredients and particularly fancied the Noble Berry, Red Amaranth, and Aleppo Pepper - all of which were new to me.

 

Finally, having traveled already quite a bit this year, I will say that thus far in 2012 my most memorable bite of the year was the Nduja Ravioli topped with Anise Hyssop - it was every bit as thrilling as Achatz's Black Truffle Explosion and perhaps more so because it smacks you in the face with spice and then almost as quickly is blunted and washed away by the minty hyssop. I hope Carlo keeps this one on the menu.

 

Overall it was the second best meal of the trip (behind a truly landmark meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns) and I would head back in a heartbeat once the menu has changed a bit. In my opinion what he is doing is no less impressive than what Josh Skeens is doing out at Saison and I find the style and setting much more to my liking than other long-scale tastings like Volt's Table 21.

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Overall it was the second best meal of the trip (behind a truly landmark meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns) and I would head back in a heartbeat once the menu has changed a bit. In my opinion what he is doing is no less impressive than what Josh Skeens is doing out at Saison and I find the style and setting much more to my liking than other long-scale tastings like Volt's Table 21.

 

I think a major difference is that Saison is strictly a me-too restaurant where nearly every dish can be traced back to a similar (often better) version in one of a small number of restaurants and sources that Skeens follows. Carlo is doing something very different.

 

p.s. I don't think of Aleppo Pepper or Amaranth as exotic, but what's a Noble Berry?

 

eta: Orik, logged in as Sivan

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Overall it was the second best meal of the trip (behind a truly landmark meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns) and I would head back in a heartbeat once the menu has changed a bit. In my opinion what he is doing is no less impressive than what Josh Skeens is doing out at Saison and I find the style and setting much more to my liking than other long-scale tastings like Volt's Table 21.

 

I think a major difference is that Saison is strictly a me-too restaurant where nearly every dish can be traced back to a similar (often better) version in one of a small number of restaurants and sources that Skeens follows. Carlo is doing something very different.

 

p.s. I don't think of Aleppo Pepper or Amaranth as exotic, but what's a Noble Berry?

 

eta: Orik, logged in as Sivan

 

The long blackberry on the final dessert plate with the poached cherries. Don't know much about it, but tasted a lot like a blackberry but less "juicy" - almost like a date in texture.

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The long blackberry on the final dessert plate with the poached cherries. Don't know much about it, but tasted a lot like a blackberry but less "juicy" - almost like a date in texture.

 

Ah, ok, I know them as pakistan mulberries.

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I should give you guys a list of fruits I dislike so you can guess what the Roberta's garnishes will be.

 

I had a similar experience at L'Astrance.

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Went to their seafood garden meal, which cost almost the same as the tasting menu did 18 months ago.

 

The rats were going wild - one family was having a wedding by the grill while the rat mafia boys (slow, but menacingly big) were occasionally running errands on the other side of the lot.

 

The food may have been good in theory, but in practice they can't really do wedding catering out of that kitchen (except maybe for the rat wedding) and everything was served at more or less room temperature.

 

Actually I'm lying, it wasn't even very good in theory.

 

With the exception of a few bankers, nearly everyone was from Williamsburg, and since it's an expensive meal they were all dressed up, which is starting to mean more or less the same thing ninja.gif. You can still tell them apart though:

 

Williamsburg:

 

#####

 

Banker:

 

|||||

 

The only substantial facial hair was on (male) restaurant staff.

 

p.s. It probably didn't help that I kept wanting to slap the food blogger caricature seated next to us.

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