Tag Archives: #menu

Le Gavroche – Menu Sneak Peek

• 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

• 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


Oysters — To go


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.

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.

How Restaurants are Bamboozling You into Spending More.


Dining out has become so common that many of us that sit for a meal probably do not consider what goes into a dining experience behind the scenes, having not worked in the business. What I recently found most interesting about the behind the scenes activities is what restaurant consultants and menu engineers get paid to do by many top tier eateries. The menu consultant is a relatively new niche that has paid tremendous dividends to the restaurants bottom line which explains the boom in popularity.
Significant thought and planning goes into properly nudging the customers decision making process toward the way the restaurant wants you to choose the food you eat.

Listed below are only five of the many ways restaurants use psychological tactics to get you to spend more money, trust me when I tell you that there are many more:

1. Have you noticed many restaurants defer from using dollar signs before the listed price of the dish? The dollar sign is one of the top printable characters that most all restaurants avoid using. The symbols initial interpretation to the customer is a reminder they are about to spend money, triggering a slight pull back response to higher ticket meals as negative feelings can enter their thinking, resulting in less money pulled from their wallet or purses.

2. How is the difference of the last two numbers to the right of the decimal interpreted by consumers? (Eg1: .09 – .95 and .99 ) Menu items ending in .99 tend to signify value as opposed to .95 which is more effective as it appears friendlier and not as close to the next higher dollar amount. That is why menu consultants advise their clients to scrap the entire idea of adding the decimal and the numbers to follow, making the menu easier to decide from but increasing the price if only by a few cents.

3. Using extremely descriptive language is a new approach to offering menu items. Using creative and clever wording has proven to increase sales on many menu items when compared to those that do not have such descriptions.
As an example the item would read something like this. “Maryland Style Crab Cakes: Hand rolled, Chesapeake lump crab meat with a touch of sweet mayonnaise, our secret blend of herbal seasoning encrusted in golden cracker crumbs, creating our one of a kind, signature crab cakes”.
The words description brings a high level of sensory experience to the customer who is reading over the menu. Similar to how a professional server can tantalize the table with their descriptive terms when explaining the evenings special’s and both deliveries typically add more money to the total bill. Additionally it leaves the customer with a more satisfied sensation an the meals end and continue right on through to the desert menu.
Note: I do not intend to include chain restaurants gross misuse of descriptions when using other company names to sell their poor meals such as ‘Jack Daniels sauce atop our Angus Beef Burger’. Its not a novel idea and a poor marketing ploy only Well Doner’s would fall for. (A Well Doner is someone that orders a steak well done, basically cooking out any of the steaks flavor)

4. Connecting food to family is another useful and popular way menu designers drive traffic to a particular item. Customers are drawn to names of relatives such as Aunt’s and Grandmothers. It is likely that Grandmas Homemade Meatballs or Aunt Margie’s Beef Stew sell better than without their names involved.

5. Using expensive items as decoys to draw your attention to a slightly less expensive item is a tactic employed by many fine dining restaurants. The idea is as follows. The restaurant is betting that the customer will not buy the most expensive menu item, but is likely to spend on the second most expensive menu item or one closer in price, believing they are getting a similar item at a more reasonable price, that is the trap.
The reason the $120 item is on the menu is that it stands out as likely the only triple digit menu item and distracts the customer into thinking that all other dishes near it appear more of a bargain yet the entire menu in the same time can be increased in price. What the customer does not realize is that they will receive a smaller portion at a relatively higher price based on what goes into the food cost of the meal. Exactly what the restaurant wanted all along.