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Everything posted by TrelayneNYC

  1. Dinner menu for six for March 4, 2018: Assorted crackers Cheese plate (smoked Gouda, cheddar cheese, goat cheese) Marinated olives Deep-fried anchovies Lamb tagine with Castelvetrano olives and saffron Couscous with aromatic vegetables (celery, carrot, onion) and currants Harissa Preserved lemon Braised green beans and broccolini with anchovy, Meyer lemon and rosemary Homemade chocolate ice cream for dessert
  2. On Friday, we went to one of our standbys in San Francisco, Esperpento, a tapas restaurant in the Mission. escalivada (roasted eggplant, peppers and onion with hard cooked egg) alcachofas a la plancha (grilled artichokes). Gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp). A bit more oily than I'm used to, and the shrimp weren't as big. Still tasty. Albondigas (meatball stew with saffron). Somewhat mediocre. Needed salt. Repollo rehogado (cabbage with garlic and paprika). Chorizo salteado "cantimpalitos" (chorizo sautéed in olive oil). With a glass of sangria and one of amontillado, total bill was $70 for two including a 20% tip. Not bad.
  3. "L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon may be the world’s most expensive restaurant chain." Ouch. I don't know what stings more - that line or the two star rating. "A New Link in the World's Most Expensive Restaurant Chain" by Pete Wells on nytimes.com
  4. We had veal and pork meatballs last night: 1 lb. ground veal 1 lb. ground pork 1 cup finely chopped onion 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 1/3 cup minced Italian parsley 1 tsp. finely grated Meyer lemon zest 3/4 cup breadcrumbs soaked in 1/2 cup milk salt and pepper 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes And I made a batch of pesto di ortica (stinging nettle pesto): 2/3 cup stinging nettles that have been blanched, then coarsely chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts 2 tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese salt to taste extra-virgin olive oil
  5. Braised chicken with leeks Carrots with garlic and Meyer lemon That white stuff you see in the first pic is a tbsp. of lard.
  6. B and I went to Hakka Restaurant (4401 Cabrillo Street (45th Avenue)) in Outer Richmond. We're definitely returning... The menu is voluminous. Pictured are most of the Hakka regional specialties and some of the Cantonese ones. Apparently they give you a complimentary bowl of soup as a sort of a first course. Tonight it was lovely chicken broth with shredded chicken and turnip. The broth was deeply flavored and redolent of garlic and ginger. Sautéed Chinese broccoli with rice wine. Pork stomach with salted preserved vegetable. Slightly chewy and crunchy with a touch of vinegar. Definitely addictive. There's that texture thing going on. B wasn't a fan but I loved it. Home style steamed sea bass, served with black beans, garlic, ginger and scallion. It was awesome. Red bean soup. Again, a complimentary bowl, served for dessert. Lightly sweet and just right. Portions are huge. The total for all this food was $62, not including a 20% tip. We have tons of leftovers too.
  7. Seven semi-finalists out of 20 candidates for Outstanding Chef are women, or approximately 35%. The more things change... #whatever
  8. Dinner for four: Insalata di puntarelle (puntarelle with a dressing of olive oil, anchovy, Meyer lemon juice and garlic) Spareribs braised in tomato sauce (lard, garlic, canned plum tomatoes, salt, pepper) Broccolini with garlic, anchovy and olio nuevo Homemade lactose-free pistachio ice cream
  9. We went to the Rincon center branch of Yank Sing for dim sum yesterday. If you've never been there, it's a restaurant located in the food court section of Rincon Center. Their main location is at Stevenson Street. There were so many people there just for the dim sum service that tables were set up outside of the restaurant in the court itself. We had the following: Curried chicken satay. At left are shrimp dumplings. Chive pastries with sesame sauce. Crispy sea bass Pork dumplings Mushroom dumplings Soup dumplings Potstickers Braised chicken feet. Not good - they were covered in a gloppy sweet sauce. Disappointing. Peking duck. One of these days when we go to Yank Sing, I'll be able to have some. We had missed this cart; by the time it came out again, we were leaving. There were additional things we ordered not shown above - melon balls, egg tarts, mango pudding. Bill came out to a little over $200 for four people.
  10. Oh yes, this restaurant was nominated to the 2016 James Beard Awards. That explains much.
  11. Hi Don, Actually, I don't know wine as well as you and probably many other people on this board. Here is one more pic in case you're interested. I'll take your word for it re their wine prices. I think I shot a pic of their tequila menu but that didn't come out as clear.
  12. Cala (149 Fell Street (Van Ness Avenue) in Hayes Valley) has the worst service at any restaurant I've ever been to, and that is saying something. San Francisco has a wealth of good establishments (despite my feelings (mostly because we've been eating at the wrong places)). After today's experience, strike this one off the list and here is why: * We were ignored for 15 minutes after being seated while FOH staff attended to two large parties in front of us who were seated at the same time we were; * Staff described the menu to the aforementioned parties, we received only grudging, perfunctory treatment; * The pickled vegetables that you see in the picture below were just laid down in front of us with no explanation whatsoever. Just as the server was about to walk away, B flagged her down and asked for a description; * A minute after receiving the vegetables - which function as an amuse-bouche, a waiter arrived with drinks for the five and six-tops in front of us. He managed to smash one large goblet - somehow - while setting down the drinks, and in the process, accidentally doused B's clothes with alcohol. Shards of glass all over the carpet. No apologies whatsoever. * After that incident, they didn't automatically reseat us; when we asked to be reseated, the waiter glared at us as if our request was out of the question, then relented. * Most of the food is "meh". That's a pity because the menu reads well. At heart, it's overpriced Mexican food and there are much better elsewhere with a fraction of the preciousness. * We ordered dessert. After handing us dessert spoons, they also laid down the check in front of us even though dessert was on the bill but BEFORE we had gotten them. Confronted with this faux pas, staff justified that by saying he thought I had asked for the "receipt". Also, I ordered mint tea which I never received. They comped the desserts...small comfort. Stay away from here. You'll thank me later. Oh, you want to see pictures of the food. Ok... Left: apple-ginger mocktini with hisbiscus agua fresca.Right: Hisbiscus agua fresca. Dungeness crab tostada, celery root, habanero. Abalone tostadas, trout roe, purple daikon. These were "fine". They're basically corn chips with stuff on top. Sorry to sound harsh but you might say that the evening was already tainted. Camaronillas with bay shrimp and carnitas. Sopes playeros with black beans, crema and ricotta salata. If you like thick corn cakes with no flavor and almost flavorless beans, these fit the bill. Tamal with pork and achiote. Probably the best thing we ate all evening. The tamal was steamed inside a banana leaf. Opah salpicón with puntarella and cilantro, served with warm tortillas. Basically a do-it-yourself fish taco. Second best thing we ate tonight. Printing your dessert menu on dark blue paper is a great idea if you like your guests using pocket flashlights just to read them. Buñelo with apples and ricotta. My mom-in-law loved it. Flan de cajeta. Rich and intense. Perfect, actually. Blood orange sorbet.
  13. Minestrone, served with extra-virgin olive oil and grated Parm-Reg cheese That dollop of white stuff you see is lard. A spoonful lends the pot a world of richness.
  14. For dinner tonight, we had Pasta con sugo di costine di maiale Green beans and endive braised in an olive oil bath with garlic, Meyer lemon and anchovy The spareribs were seasoned with salt and pepper, then set aside for 15 minutes. Then browned in 2 tbsp. olive oil with garlic on all sides, then added 1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes and 1/3 that amount of water, along with a little more salt and some torn basil leaves. Brought liquid to a boil, then covered and braised for two hours. Uncovered during the last 10 minutes and simmered on high to reduce and thicken the sauce. This is technically two dishes in one. Tossed with some cooked pasta with sauce and grated pecorino cheese, and served that as a first course. The second course consisted of the ribs with more sauce. The recipe for the contorno is here but I reduced the amount of olive oil by 50% and substituted green beans and curly-leaf endive.
  15. for date night tonight, we went to The Gold Mirror roasted artichoke hearts, parmigianno-reggiano, olio nuevo avocado stuffed with Dungeness crab meat, lettuce and Thousand Island dressing not the greatest of pictures but it was awesome scallops, shallots, wine sauce, spinach veal sweetbreads, braised veal, porcini and button mushrooms panettone bread pudding, chilled zabaglione not bad; think old school Italian meets New Jersey
  16. I guess I've been making congee/jook wrong all this time by using long-grain rice even though that's the method that was taught to me by my mom and her mom... PS. Jook is typically made with long-grain rice since it's Chinese in origin. Okayu which may be what that food blogger was originally thinking of is Japanese congee made with short-grain rice. Congee is also common in southeastern Asian countries like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and the Philippines. In the PI, it's known as arroz caldo and it's prepared differently. A little fact checking goes a long way. ETA arroz caldo is also typically made with long-grain rice...but can be made with short-grain rice, glutinous rice and other types of rice. PPS. 6 cups of water to 1 1/2 cups rice is way off w/r/t a liquid to solid ratio. It should be more like 9-10 cups water to 1 cup rice, although having said that, my understanding is that you don't need as much liquid when cooking with an Instant Pot. Also, depending on what it is you're making, the cooking times and ratio of liquid to solid can vary. PPPS. The texture of the rice shown in her pictures isn't congee - the rice hasn't broken down and is too solid. This is more like it.
  17. Garbure (with pork shoulder, duck confit and saucisse de Toulouse ("garlic sausage with red wine and thyme")) For those keeping track, it's from pages 86-88 of "Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan. It's an awesome pot of soup and next time, I'll be sure to separate the meat and vegetables from the broth which is luxurious enough to serve on its own as a first course. See you tomorrow!
  18. Black truffle. At left is an American quarter coin for size comparison. This specimen cost about $160 and is from Spain. Very pungent too. Breakfast for us was a French omelette (3 eggs, salt, black pepper, 1 tbsp. water cooked in melted unsalted butter) served with a generous shaving of black truffles on top.
  19. today: potatoes, carrots, cabbage, garlic, shallots, onions, blood oranges, California olive oil, dried cannellini beans, eggs, leeks
  20. tonight was date night so we went to a local seafood place Anchor Oyster Bar - 579 Castro (18th Street) I don't remember the provenance of these oysters Served with mignonette and cocktail sauce with horseradish Cioppino, served with garlic bread This is a half-portion, enough for two people I finished it, of course. B joked, "Do you have a bottomless pit for a stomach, because I don't understand where you're putting all of that food!" Sea scallops, roasted potatoes, vegetables Then we went across the street to an ice cream shop Snowball ice cream is toasted coconut, marshmallow fluff and chocolate cake pieces...hmmm, no thanks The exotic flavor known as VA-NIL-LA ice cream with hot fudge Milk chocolate banana ice cream with hot fudge
  21. Sauternes Red wine-poached pear millefoglie, pomegranate, crème fraîche. Was perfect. Lemon verbena infusion. Chocolate-covered peanuts, candied orange peel. One of the things that makes CP stand out in my not-so-humble opinion is that the ingredients make sense together which is a really big deal. Maybe a restaurant doesn't need to jump through hoops. Maybe quiet excellence is all that's really needed. There aren't many of those.
  22. It doesn't need to be anything more than what it is, IMHO. I like it, but then, I'm an acolyte who worships at the Temple of Farm-to-Table. Halibut tartare, endive, mint Wonderful bread. Probably not house made though. Dungeness crab cake, julienned vegetables with a preserved lemon vinaigrette, green coriander, rouille. B pronounced it "the best crab cake I've ever eaten in my life". High praise indeed. Squab brodo, ricotta and herb raviolini, black truffles, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Delicate broth, well-made pasta. If there were any truffles, they were miniaturized shavings at the bottom of our soup bowls. Quail grilled with sage; kabocha squash, roasted chestnuts, Savoy cabbage, new onions. I told the staff that "if you can taste the salt, it's too much". The quail was at fault, ditto for the vegetables. Salting is an art: you want just enough to bring out the flavor of whatever it is you're cooking. That's it. In their defense, it could have been just this plate, but B detected oversalting on his portion. Maybe our palates were at fault but I doubt it.
  23. Orecchiette con cavolfiore e acciughe It's so easy you can make it in 20 minutes. Fill a pot with water. Break up a head of cauliflower. Add the cauliflower to the pot of water. Bring to a boil. Boil the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Lift out with a giant strainer or slotted spoon. Chop cauliflower coarsely. Crush a couple of cloves of garlic or if you like, slice or mince them. Add dried pasta to the pot you cooked the cauliflower in along with some salt. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Warm olive oil in a pan along with garlic. Add an anchovy fillet and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the garlic. Fry garlic until it turns color. Anchovy will disintegrate. Add cauliflower to pan. Saute cauliflower in flavored oil. Cook pasta until just shy of al dente. Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Add pasta to pan with cauliflower. If pasta seems dry, add pasta cooking water. Increase heat to high and finish cooking pasta in the pan with the cauliflower. Taste for salt and pepper, then serve immediately. Occasionally I like to add a spoonful or two of toasted breadcrumbs at the end.
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