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Day Trip (Community Table, CT)

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I thought I'd post here so people didn't miss it. My husband and I went to Tanglewood 2 nights ago and made of point of returning to New York via Community Table. It's a fantastic restaurant, reasonab

I wrote my first post on this thread because I asked Community Table in what way or ways they cooked their food. You may think that I’m weird for doing so. Here, however, is a prime example why i am n

Then they would foist upon you the worst of the worst, the menu surprise.

All restaurants should publish a list of every cooking technique used for every element of every dish. What if you carry a vendetta against steaming or find brunoised vegetables annoying?

Even better, you should be able to watch the preparation of every dish on YouTube video before deciding to go or not.

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restaurants that use sous vide aren't embarassed that they use sous vide. The restaurant probably just finds it odd that someone is writing them to ask "how do you cook your food?"


I'm surprised that they didn't answer "with heat".

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But what you think about is why you like and don't like things. And the way you determine that is to try them. To avoid things on principle is the opposite of analysis and thinking about what you eat.


I dislike sous vide in general almost as much as you do.


But I'd be a liar if I said I never had a sous vided dish I liked. Some, I've liked quite a bit.

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Right Sneak, though I think RB has had plenty of sous-vide in his time and comes at the preference honestly. I doubt he needs to try much more. But, if you're going to hold that position, you have to realize that it's an incredibly niche position. Even here, where I think there's a general preference against sous vide cooking, I think most of us have seen good uses of it or picked up the Roca's book - a few guys who would object to their food not being worthy of a connoisseur - and don't reject the technique wholesale.


From a restaurant's perspective, some rando sending them an e-mail (not even a phone call) demanding to know their cooking techniques because of an idiosyncratic aversion to immersion circulators in all forms probably seems presumptive (do we have any reason to believe that Community Table boils in a bag?), hostile and, frankly, a bit weird.


One reason it's "weird" is because the assumption that restaurants are trying to "hide" sous vide from their customers is wildly off base. Most restaurants that use the technique trumpet it. That includes Momo, EMP, Can Roca, TFL etc. There's no conspiracy here, it's quite the opposite.

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It occurs to me that maybe RB's problem is with those fake bistros in France that pretend they're cooking things fresh but are really boiling bags from a commissary. We don't have that problem here (yet) -- at least not with anyplace with pretentions above "fast casual". Our equivalent would be sourcing from Sysco. But for the reasons Adrian states, I think it would seem weird and even kind of rude to ask about that in an email in advance. I do think that the people on this board are knowlegeable and trustworthy enough that they wouldn't recommend places like that. It isn't very hard to tell.


(It's ironic that here, it's the more ambitious restaurants that sous vide -- not the less ambitious ones.)


If this really is just a general aversion to modern cooking that uses sous vide as a technique, it seems weird to ask about it in advance because no place I know of sous vides everything. You can ask about particular dishes whose menu descriptions appeal to you when you get there. It would be like, if I didn't like fried food (the most counterfactual hypothetical you could imagine), I refused to go to restaurants that have any fried dishes on the menu. I could just order one of the non-fried ones. No one is forcing you to get the revolting sous-vided duck at Blue Hill NYC.

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