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  1. Today
  2. Stopping by to finalize arrangements, I enjoyed lunch. The XLB was a little doughy as far as the skins were concerneddd, and Bob right down the block would ahve been a better choice for delicate skins. But the juice and meat had a really tasty spice note to them yo don't see at Bob's or Shanghai Taste. So worth it but probably not an order again item. My main was Sliced Pork & Vegetables in Fiery Soup hot. While I have had lots of water braised beef and fish, and even lamb the other week at Panda Gourmet, pork was a first. The dish was delicious with the soup richer and more complex than other versions and the pork slices were properly marinated in egg white and cornstarch to make for a velvety texture. This was a really utstanding dish. I also met the owner who told me she took over 18 months ago. The waiters were much friendlier than under the old ownership {a number of them hald over} and all in all I am more excited for Sunday's Dinner. They really don't have anything that is special order ahead, but I got a few recommendations including one dish only on the specials board in Chinese and not on the regular menu: beef belly in spicy sauce. Definitely want an order of that as they said it was really one of their best dishes!
  3. Koji Rice rubbed/cured pork loin slices 3'8" grilled on Yaki Niku grill. I have use Koji Rice as a rub/cure before but this time I leftt he rice coarser when I gourd it in my spice mill. The result was pork with a lot of moisture wicked out into the rice, but less koji flavor. On the other hand, the texture was amazing. Nice chew but no dryness or stringiness. We dipped into wasabi powder moistened w/vinegar, and a dip of yuzu juice & cherry blossom soy sauce. Boiled beets marinated in yuzu juice, persimmon vinegar, & white soy Last of our jar of pickled eggplant marinated w/red vinegar & olive oil, w/morrocan flavors Ginger ice cream I have some sweet limes on hand, so Kay squeezed a half into a shaker can with pink gin for a quick and delicious gimlet variation. Negroni w/pink gin, Luxardo aperitivo Italiano {Aperol knockoff,} Capotoline dry vermouth, Bitter Truth cucumber bitters & Bitterman's hopped grapefruit. The Cuke bitters continue to amaze. Yhey are astoundingly concentrated in flavor and really add an exotic flavor to the drink. We tried a couple of over the hill chards in the hope that there might be life left but alas.
  4. They are lovely - they have been vendors at the Columbia Heights farm market for years. They don't bring the cider to CH, but you can get it at Each Peach in Mt P.
  5. Yesterday
  6. I went here last night for my first time. It's been one of those places I've been trying to get to for years, but never made it too for some reason. We did the Chef's Family Table option (aka their tasting menu) and it was fantastic. It was a nice variety of dishes but surprisingly, a lot of them were not on the actual menu. In fact, the only dish that we were served that was on the regular menu was their "Our Daily Focaccia"! Service was wonderful and friendly and they read the note on OpenTable about it being a birthday and took care of us nicely with a greeting in the beginning and some treats at the end. The only bit of weirdness was with the price of the meal. On a computer (desktop) the price was listed as $64, but on a phone, the price was listed as $75. I'm pretty sure we were charged $64 but I somehow managed to lose the receipt so I can't verify. We started with Halloumi, octopus salad, deviled eggs with caviar, and turnups with whipped ricotta. Somewhere in there came the daily focaccia bread, which was like a small deep dish pizza! Next was agnolotti with (I think) more ricotta inside and a different type of bread with some nice spice (heat) to it. The main dish was an ultra tender braised short rib that was finished on the wood fired grill/oven served with some charred and smoky broccoli rabe. This came with a cold shaved fennel salad which was nice and refreshing. Dessert was actually items that were on the menu and both were great: Milk Chocolate Semifreddo (w/charred pineapple) and Crispy Greek Yeast Donuts with orange blossom syrup. They also surprised us with a high end chocolate bar on a stick with "Happy Birthday" written on it and two glasses of limoncello. It was a perfect place to spend a cold and windy night and a great meal from start to finish. I can't wait to go back when it's warmer to enjoy the outdoor section! (the food looked better than the photos!)
  7. I know that if I go to Peking Gourmet Inn, I ask for containers to be brought to me so I can package up the leftovers. If I let the kitchen do it, suddenly there is only 20% of the amount of food in the box vs. what was on the platter when it got whisked away.
  8. A couple of important additions to this: As of Dec, 2019, the entire tramway is open in Nice - it's a best-case scenario in terms of traversing the city: clean, efficient, and pretty much perfect. The bus system is equally impressive: clean, efficient, and pretty much perfect. Also, if you take a bus to a stop near the tram, you have 90 minutes to get on the tram using your bus ticket for free. I urge you to buy a 10- or 20-Euro card to avoid fumbling around with 1 Euro 50 each time you ride these. Real life scenario: Staying up in the hills of Saint Antoine-Ginestière, whenever we went downtown, we walked a block to the "La Croix" bus stop, rode 17 minutes to the "Magnan" bus stop, walked half a block to the Magnan tram stop (a distinct thing, but very nearby), and took the tram three stops to the Massena tram stop in the heart of town. When we got off at the Magnan bus stop, we detoured to Chez Felix for a Pan Bagnat before getting on the tram (Chez Felix is right around there (do note that this tiny restaurant isn't open 12 months per year (we easily made it to the tram within the 90-minute time limit))). Doorstep-to-doorstep (not including lunch) was 30-40 minutes; using a car for this would have been a nightmare. <--- If it's nice out, you can walk one block and eat on a bench overlooking the Mediterranean. In Menton, the main Cocteau Museum was, is, and will continue to be closed due to flooding, so be sure and check about this. As you're flying into Nice, your descent will be eastbound paralleling the shore of the Mediterranean. Right before you land, you'll pass by the (otherwise nondescript) town of Villeneuve-Loubet, and will see the remarkable Marina Baie des Anges. It's worth getting a left-side window seat on the plane just to see this, but it's absolutely not worth driving to see - once you've seen it from the plane, you've seen it all. If you do make it up to the Gorges of Verdon, be aware that you'll spend half a day driving to view it - lodging and dining will not be your priority if you stay in Moustiers-Sainte Marie; we lucked into a decent little restaurant with Le Relais - that food was a whole heck of a lot better than it could have been. Whenever I'm in Nice, I spend a few days up in the Alps foothills in a town called Valdeblore - it's a bucolic experience unlike anything else you'll do here. The previous trip, we had a completely different itinerary, and there's nothing about these places that should stop you from going to Avignon, Aix-en-Provence (a university town, but do purchase and enjoy some calissons (this place is terrific (there's also this amazing confiserie at the old port of Nice where you can take tours (make sure to try a Clémentine Confit))), Vence, the Pont du Gard, Corsica via ferry, etc. - I would only recommend Saint Tropez if you're going to go by helicopter and spend a small fortune. Honestly, Cannes is something of a one-trick pony: You can spend an hour touring where they hold the film festival (where you'll be treated to not-much-more than blown-up photographs of movie stars - I've been there twice, and the last time I went to Cannes I didn't bother going a third time). Other than that, it's a beach town with some upscale properties facing the sea, and I would only stay there if I was staying at a high-end hotel right on the water (you still need to walk across the street). A few years ago, we stayed at "the humble" Les Messugues in Saint Paul de Vence (about five miles from Vence (see that thing on the map, just north of Vence, called "La Chapelle du Rosaire?" It's a tiny church, and the interior was done by Matisse.)) - it was just wonderful, and because we stayed at Les Messugues, we got to dine at Alain Llorca's main restaurant (at his higher-end hotel) and had a modest three-course, dinner on the balcony for something like 30 Euros - aside from the Matisse Chapel, there's a museum - a really, really important museum - in Saint Paul de Vence called the Maeght Foundation). The walled town of Saint Paul de Vence is worth seeing from inside the ramparts - you can steal a terrific nighttime view of it from the balcony of Llorca's restaurant. When driving from Nice to Vence, notice everyone's point of orientation, the Baou de Saint-Jeannet (which you can hike up if you're feeling ambitious). Èze is worth a drive-thru on the way to Monaco, especially if you show up at Chevre d'Or and ask if you can have breakfast on the terrace (it's a piker's way of enjoying this expensive property for an hour on the cheap). There are dozens of other things I could tell you, but it all takes time. Look at the moonrise we saw from our hill on the first night - the most incredible I've ever seen by far. This photo was not altered in any way:
  9. Awesome, thanks so much!!!! Great stuff here that I need to digest slowly. Thanks also for the links!!
  10. I remember seeing Jaques Pepin answering a question on whether untouched bread in a bread basket should go back to the kitchen and get re-served to someone else. He said his chef would beat him if he threw out untouched bread! Obviously he wasn't "Jaques Pepin" at that point in his career!
  11. We took a similar trip last fall, using Nice as our home base and exploring the surrounding area. If you plan to stroll Nice's Promenade des Anglais, look for Chez Felix's sandwich stand and grab a delicious Pan Bagnat. I loved the Chagall and Matisse museums there. In Monaco, we had a delightful lunch at Cafe de Paris, next to the Monte Carlo casino. It is the perfect spot for people (and car!) watching, and I enjoyed my French onion soup. After lunch, we drove to Hotel Napoleon in Menton. The exquisite Exotic Botanical Garden of Val Rahmeh is around the corner from the hotel, and there are a couple of Jean Cocteau museums nearby. Port Garavan offered fresh local fish in an outdoor dining room. Mirazur is a fine-dining option nearby, with sweeping views of the sea. In Cannes, Hotel Martinez is a stunning spot. La Palme D'Or is their three-star restaurant, with a lovely open-air dining room facing the sea. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch there. After lunch we drove to La Bastide Saint-Antoine, an exquisite inn owned by chef Jacques Chibois, in Grasse. If you don't dine or stay there, it is worth a trip to buy a bottle of his olive oil, available in the hotel's boutique. Our next destination was the spectacular Canyon du Verdon, which I highly recommend seeing. In Moustiers Sainte-Marie, we stumbled upon a wonderful mom-and-pop place to dine, Le Relais. The grilled lamb chops, ratatouille and dorade were outstanding. The drive from Moustiers to Marseilles was long, but lovely. We drove through miles and miles of lavender fields and happened upon Couleurs Paysannes, a co-op grocery store where we bought picnic supplies for the car. Our adventure ended in Marseilles. I highly recommend Restaurant Michel for bouillabaisse when you are there. Le Petit Nice in Marseilles is a beautiful inn by the sea, where you can enjoy fine-dining at its best. If you are going to treat yourself to one high-end meal, this is the place to go. The octopus dish I enjoyed there was one of the best things I have ever eaten.
  12. That is not what I had thought catfishing meant in dining. I thought @deangold was referring to the over hyped editing and outrageous food photography used on social media to lure and or entice diners to visits a restaurant. You learn something new everyday.
  13. Never heard of the term "catfishing" food. Is this a term used in restaurants? I thought it only relates to online dating.
  14. Let's not talk about how much food that goes back either to the kitchen or a bus station gets catfished. I will please the 5th to any further questions. 👨‍🍳
  15. On 2/26 WHO is reporting a leveling off of new cases in China, especially outside of Hubei. But Richard Engle of NBC is in Hong Kong and he is reporting that medical folk are telling him of spread to Beijing and that many more new cases than are confirmed/suspected by official sources. Somehow I would trust Engle over the Chinese Government at this point. In US, after L Kudlow said it is virtually locked down and POTUS reported 15 cases, the confirmed cases on 2/26, the day of POTUS's press conference, the WHO has 53 confirmed cases. The WHO director General said that the following countries ahve not had new cases in 2 weeks. The number I give is the number of confirmed cases for those countries: Belgium (1) Sweden {1} Finland {1} Cambodia {1} India {3} Nepal {1} Philippines {3} the Russian Federation {2} Sri Lanka {1} The lack of spread in countries with such low totals is good new but hardly evidence of the infection peaking. The US has relatively few new cases but we know that testing is almost non existent. 450 or so tests had been given by the 26. Last: An analysis of fearless leader's press conference fantasies
  16. I have done that at wine tastings where someone left an untouched glass of great wine.
  17. Missed opportunity! You could have catfished their's and had leftovers for lunch!
  18. Leftover salad Lentil sloppy joes on whole wheat hamburger buns Pickles Cape Cod potato chips The sloppy joes were a Katie Lee recipe from the food network app. They were pretty good, with mashed avocado as a spread on the buns. Definitely a lot more fiber and less fat than beef sloppy joes but the same kind of flavor.
  19. I ate at Aracosia last Tuesday. Service was a bit backed up so the owner gave us each a glass of wine while we sat in the lounge, Nice. New to Afghan food we were suggested to order one grilled meat platter and one vegetable sampler. Both were superb. Funny the couple next to us left most of their food over as they said it was too spicy for their taste. We did not agree and cleaned our plates. Spicing was complex and fresh. Owner came by at the end to ask how everything was and to let us know that food is all cooked fresh with no butter. This was really good and we will probably go back often.
  20. I will follow up with updates for sure! One thing I found rather surprising, and kinda excited about, is that a local business was very excited to host my cooking club. Not sure if any of you are familiar with Ploughman Cider, but they recently opened a taproom in downtown Gettysburg. They have cider on tap, and also offer sale of bottles, and weekly host musicians. There is no food service at the taproom, so Im not sure how the rules of having a potluck at a taproom will work out, but Im willing to see how it all plays out. I have no idea what is in store, but I know these outings will be fun, and convivial, and that is what my goal is.
  21. This could be an option, if participants are open to hosting and don't mind a bunch of strangers in their kitchen. I will pitch this out to my group of participants. Thanks for the suggestion. I think a "chopped" theme would be fun, or just come together to learn a recipe would be great as well.
  22. I have attended couple that were hosted by a library in Philly, and that is exactly how it works. There was a sign up sheet, and participants listed what they would be preparing from a book that was selected. Its was a great deal of fun, and created traffic for the library. The vision I have for the book club I will be hosting will be a bit less structured. The local libraries in York do not have multiple copies of popular cookbooks, so I may set a theme for the cookbook party that may end up up being a general cooking club with inspirations from cookbooks.
  23. Regarding masks, here's a clip from a Post article today: <<<<<<< And those surgical masks? If you’re not sick, you don’t need to wear them — and you certainly don’t need to buy every box your local pharmacy has in stock. “The main point of the mask is to keep someone who is infected with the virus from spreading it to others,” Brewer said. The CDC agrees, writing on its website: “CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases.” Common surgical masks block the droplets coming out of a sick person from getting into the air, but they are not tight enough to prevent what’s already in the air from getting in. There are specialized masks — known as N95 masks because they filter out 95 percent of airborne particles — that are more effective, and some online retailers are sold out of them. But there’s a problem: The masks are difficult to use without training. They must be fitted and tested to work properly. “If you just buy them at CVS, you’re not going to do all that,” Brewer said. “You’re not going to get it fit-tested, and you’re not going to be wearing it properly, so all you’ve done is spend a lot of money on a very fancy face mask.” >>>>>>>> https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/02/26/how-to-prepare-for-coronavirus
  24. H Mart in Annandale had a tub of recently disceesed crabs and lobsters. fter smellnig them to make sure there were in fact recently dead, I bought one and took it home ofor steaming. We enjoyed the dearly departed with Veganaise, and yuzo & tamari, some bread from the near by bakery, and a chinese mustard quickly blanched, then marinated in soy, ginger juice, lemon juice, garlic & sriracha. Draft Makkoli {unfiltered out of a bottle} Speyside Maccallan 9 year old malt.
  25. We tried to order face masks for our Hong Kong employees in January - there were no supplies online. I think you missed by more than a day.
  26. Last week
  27. Up Columbia Pike a few blocks, Idido's Coffee House has begun serving wine at happy hour. As much as I love this coffee house, certain things in this world are doomed.
  28. Things to come. Nice space. But then again most of the places in Del ray that are closing were refurbs of something old and tired. Catch on the Ave was created out of Caboose cafe. Charlies was created out of Fireflies. Bon Vivant was an old office space. All were upgrades to the previous spot. Again maybe that is not what that neighborhood wants. I hear often people say over and over "we want a place for families to stretch out.
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