Le Gavroche – Menu Sneak Peek


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• Soufflé Suissesse
• Cheese Souffle Cooked on Double Cream
• Saumon Mariné au Citron Aigre-Doux Gelée à la Vodka
• Marinated Var Salmon with Lemon and Vodka Jelly
• Filet de Maigre Parfumé au Ras-el-Hanout Fenouil et Riz Rouge de Camargue
• Stone Bass & Pastilla, Scented with Arabian Spices Fennel, Red Rice and Meat Jus
• Coquilles St. Jacques Grillées et Minestrone de Palourdes
• Grilled Scallops with a Clam Minestrone
• Boudin Noir, Oeuf Frit, Salade d’Asperges Crues et Chutney de Tomate Epicée
• Black Pudding, Crumbed Egg, Crackling Asparagus Salad and Spicy Tomato Chutney
• Filet de Boeuf Grillé et Purée d’Epinards Poêlée de Champignons
• Grilled Fillet of Scottish Beef, Wild Mushrooms Red Wine Shallot Sauce
• Le Plateau de Fromages Affinés
• Selection of French and British Farmhouse Cheese
• Millefeuille aux Framboises et Gianduja
• Crispy Layers of Pastry, Raspberries and Praline Flavoured Chocolate
• Café et Petits Fours
Wines
• Dry Amontillado “Los Arcos”
• Sherry – Emilio Lustau
• Vouvray Sec “La Dilettante” 2010
• Domaine Catherine & Pierre Breton
• Chateau Roubine “Terre de Croix” Semillon 2009
• Côtes de Provence
• Pouilly Fume 2010
• Domaine Alexandre Bain
• Côte-de-Nuits Villages 2006
• Domaine Claude Chevalier

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Walters Bar: Uniquely diverse patronage.

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Exiting Madison Square Garden and proceeding to pound the pavement of 8th Avenue, looking for a final brew to end the fun filled day of adventure and debauchery telling tales of drunkenness and foolery, and by chance, we stumbled upon Walters.

A fitting outpost for our post concert reflections and, if your finding yourself gabby, meeting new and luckiky, interesting people. As I chatted it up with a few fine young ladies about this and that, broski kept ordering bourbon and Fireballs, my buddy has an iron constitution and can drink like a man condemned.

Two bartenders held down the service as the late croud stumbled in, slightly aggressive in their choice of seats (IE: taken ones) but all in good spirits.
Walters has such a homely feel, bartenders add so much too cultivate that feel by giving so much of their time and every single interaction is chock full of smiles and kindness. Not trying to beat a dead horse, but both were top shelf, top of the heap — tenders of the bar.

No food was consumed, but a few red and white paper lined skewered goodies in shallow baskets were set down upon the bar, mid-chest level of a few regulars, or so they seemed too me, as they wrapped arms around their food and two for five dollar Pabst Blue Ribbons like a mother bear sheltering her cubs from any intrusions.

Very diverse croud of city folk just talkin, laughing and blowing off some weekly built up work or school steam.


Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques: Featuring More Than 1,000 Cooking Methods and Recipes, in Thousands of Step-by-Step Photographs

Tough but beautiful read: 

Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques: Featuring More Than 1,000 Cooking Methods and Recipes, in Thousands of Step-by-Step Photographs https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1077516.Jacques_P_pin_s_Complete_Techniques


Oysters — To go

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After jumping a heightened levee upon which a big black and red sign demanded “NO TRESPASSING” I swung between the pillions, landed upon the waiting Chris Craft and ate my Sweet Jesus Oysters from Virginia. They taste just a little better on a boat than in a bar. 

In the moment, I admit, I was feeling a bit of 007 adrenaline I prefer not the newer guys, although short lived, Pierce Bronson was a natural fit.

‘In a New York Minute’ was my allotted time for a drink or two — well maybe three, and some raw appetizers. Needing to jump into my buddies boat shortly, I ordered drinks in haste and oysters later than I should.

As I’d not the time for a proper sit down dinner, this review will focus on the bar service, and what bar service it was.

Having a poor recollection of names and places and such, my bartender washed away all the poor bartending experiences I feel had tarnished this Charleston visit, all of whom I’d have fired long ago.

With a full bar of forty, my presence was immediately recognized and acted upon, the mark of a true professional.
Granted my ordering methodologies were a bit hodge podge as my drink decisions were altering from brews to speciality drinks and back, my man was on it.

Finding me a seat at the bar thustly, I knew I was in no trouble of running late for the boats departure. My bartender, I noticed, didn’t spill a single drop of liquid upon the bar, every drink of the hundred he made, I was closely observing, all went in the glasses.

We chatted St. Johns Redman (Redstorm. Grr)
basketball, he schooled me on a bit of Johnnies hoops history, it was Awesome.!

Just then my cue to depart was upon me in the form of incessant phone calls. Springing into pro action, my raw oysters were individually sponned into a wonderfully makeshift creative bed of ice. Observing from the far opposite end of the bar, he never touched a single oyster by hand, not one, he spooned each one out delicately and placed them down with incredible care.

Probably the best bartender in all of Charleston, & I’ve lived here a decade.

Photo of Fleet Landing Restaurant – Charleston, SC, United States. Sweet Jesus oysters from VA, to go.
Sweet Jesus oysters from VA, to go.


Valentino Food Market, Ridgewood N.Y.!

To: All my former food suppliers.
Re: Termination of our relationship, effective immediately.

Memo: Our time together has had many fine moments, but its over, I met another supplier.

Wherever shall I begin to explain what goes down at Valentinos? Lets start with the produce that wraps around the corner, stacked three to four rows high and being resupplied from multiple angles by — gosh, there must have been seven workers, working at full capacity.

Prices were as if Valentinos has no sourcing, as if the fruits and vegetables came from their own farm. A single word was heard above the din that suggested this was not hyperbole.

At one third the price of my former suppliers, with each and every piece of fruit and vegetable being one better than the next, quality was put ahead of price in the internal pecking order of things.

Deli section. Roast beef made there, medium rare, and at eight bucks a pound, a total steal — Mortedella, Genoa Salami — my three usual suspects all came with.
Breads, olives, cured sausages, cheeses, salads and more, all looking so beautiful behind the counter, I jokingly asked if they made sandwiches – – and they did and they did.

Five dollars bought me a beautifully prepared tuna salad and tomato on a whole wheat roll, tuna salad had to account for just a hair below one half of a pound.

Man, this place is the bees knees — the cats meow, whatever your wordy preferance is, Valentinos is The Most!


Leo’s Latticini Mama’s

 

 

“Why are we driving all the way to Astoria for roast beef?
“Fat encased Tuesday’s Roast Beast” (aka Roast Beef). “It’s by far the best roast beef anywhere, you’ll see.”

Spoken with an aire of confidence I just couldn’t muster up enough hootspha to challenge, so I mumbled and grumbled under my breathe while peering out the window at the passing hope of my Shake Shack desires.

Cured meat hanging by rope from rafters coupled with white buckets of olives will thrill me till the day I take my dirt nap.
The ante upped – a whole display case of additional cured meats, specifically salami, whatever happened to salami anyway? I can’t recall anyone calling its name too top an egg or populate some bread with provolone, never happens, its eighty five percent of my sandwich meat & home noshing. Ham? Turkey? Gosh — they bore me too death.

Two little women advanced the slicing arm purposefully- – too and fro with reckless abandons, a seven or eight pound piece of that spoken gelatinously encased meat was getting wacked up thin, in the Hobart slicer along with thick cuts of mozzarella.

Every single customer order was the same as the modulation of chants “I’ll have what he’s having” grew like crickets playing telephone, chirping to the moon at night, anxiously growing and bellies groaning at the passed deli papered sandwiches reached their homes.

Opting for the gravy and mushrooms atop, the taste from bite one to bite last was something out of an edible musical, deliciously dramatic and delectably theatreacle.  Overture to cadenza the magical taste had really grabbed me in a food transe that kept me under its uniquely wonderful spell for the remainder of the day and night.


Ready for Easter brunch.


Foodporn 201.


Il Poeta: Twenty Years of Serving Northern Italian food in Forest Hills.

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Far be it from me to be cliche, but my first local culinary trip to IL Poeta was an awakening. For a kid that grew up with a Northern Italian grandma in the kitchen, then a generation skipped, minus my many replication cooking attempts — I wasnt actively enjoying the food that I grew up with & I missed it..

The verbal delivery of the Specials List was a symphony of one delectable kitchen creation after the next & spoken by former cook, Lazaro, who answered my few questions with knowledge based passion – not a fraction of hesitation. The lentils placed infront of me waited in extra virgin olive oil, while I approached with a wondeful artisan Tuscano bread.

A beautiful early Spring evening called for a light soup and luckily, a long-time favorite of Potato & Leek was available. A perfect starter dish as the balance of the fresh ingredients was a statement primi piatti.

Secundi came the Bufala de Mozzarella with Prosciutto de Parma was another experience, a reawakening from a time past of cured hams hung from the Italian butchers grandma & grandpa took me to.

After one beer down and another about too be ordered a third finishing starter was a debate between Polenta and Fried Calamari, and calamari it was. Bellisimo! Delicious, light in breading and a fresh resistance to the squid ringlettes.

The owner Mario was kind enough to catch up with us at the door to thank us for our patronage and shared a few other kind words.

Folks, IL Poeta is an absolute sit down dinner must.


Cozy La Coya Peruvian is a Welcome Addition to the Metropolitan Avenue Food Scene.

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Likely the most eye catching of the Forest Hills section of Metropolitan Avenue’s bleak restaurant scene, as the mustard colored corner location seems to draw my attention every time I pass by.
Each of the few times I have eaten at La Coya, I have left with mixed feelings from food to service, never getting the handle I wanted to grasp upon, the foothold I needed too write a proper review.

A big foodie friend keeps pulling on my ear, insisting I give a few meals on the menu a shot that I’ve not had previously. Much to the waitstaffs well hidden chagrin — at ten minutes of 11:00PM on Saturday night we strode inside, if not for anything else but to thwart any regular continuum of naggery.

Chevice de Camarones and Chevice de Pescade has the significant flavor of lime juice as the recipe calls for as we sampled from each others dishes. A dangerous question to ask Mr former Iron Constitution & Stomach, goes something like this “would you like it spicy?” The answer inevitably always comes out in the affirmative but the stomach is not as cast iron as it was, years gone.
The white hominy and sliced red onion did not absorb much of the clear liquid, what was unique too me was the intensity of the translucent sauces spice and the high prawn count which looked too be close to ten, I ignored the seething pain upon my tongue and kept going.

Anticuchos de Corazon was a nice little dish, each tender bit of chicken was well marinated with spices, the vinegar came on a little strong but well enough that the table ordered another three. Speaking of three, I was sucking down three dollar Negro Modelos like water, which only perpetuated the pain which continued to spread around like molten lava in my mouth & other orifices.

Tres Leche was a wonderful finishing dessert (remember: when on fire, getcha self some milk, cudos Adam Richmond — great call bro) and not being much of a fan of sweets, this tall caramel cake not only doused the fire but cleansed my palate and left a light creamy flavor through the exit door to home.