Dovetail is a great choice for half-veg/half-omnivore couples. We had two excellent tasting menus, and they even swapped out the course of death (ie scallops, to which  I am allergic) for another option:

I had --
Sadie's Sour: Bourbon, Uncouth Raspberry Vermouth, fresh raspberry, citrus, basil
breads plus: white cheddar corn bread, wheat cracker, a truffled arancini
amuse: green tea panna cotta with a layer of beet-champagne gelee, topped with a bit of smoked salmon and shiso, served with a spoon of spicy tofu with a cube of watermelon on top
heirloom tomato salad with beer cheese and peanuts
dungeness crab with barley, fennel, meyer lemon and snow peas
gnocchi with mangalitsa ham, chanterelles
halibut confit, spinach, haricots verts, artichokes
sautéed foie gras with graham cracker puree and huckleberries
prime filet mignon, with a leek wellington, roasted fingerlings and a truffled bone marrow sauce
palate cleanser: cucumber sorbet with meringue
pre-dessert: parmesan ice cream with hazelnuts, lemon crouton and other things we don't remember
dark chocolate cremeux with whiskey marshmallo, chocolate crumble and ice cream

tim had --
Yellow Bell Pepperita: aged tequila, mezcal, citrus, mixed salts
same breads
amuse: lentils and roasted carrots with some kind of aioli plus the tofu/watermelon spoon
cucumber vichysoisse with compressed pineapple and basil
summer mosaic salad, which had a little bit of everything and some cool sauces to go with
ricotta agnolotti with corn and blueberries
soft boiled egg with braised fennel and summer truffles over barley risotto
zucchini tart with pistachios and rosemary honey
foraged greens croustillant with olives and spring onions
same palate cleanser and pre-dessert
beet red velvet cake, sour cream frosting, strawberry ice cream, milk chocolate

mignardises: yuzu-peach gelee, macaroon with red wine something in the middle, milk chocolate with ginger, dark chocolate with caramel, linzer torte

plus a rose wine (cinsault/grenache blend) called La Mascaronne, from Provence (2012)
i ate so much good food that i can't remember it all, and i guess i didn't quite take pictures of everything.

The highlights were Monta Ramen and Lotus of Siam.

Also tasty were Robuchon Atelier, Ichiza, Firefly, Public House, Bouchon and all of the coffee drinks from Sambalatte.

A step or two behind those were Queen Victoria Pub, Peppermill, Hash House, Thai Pepper, Makino.

The perfect black plum I had for breakfast one day was also pretty great. I should've probably put more distance between some of the best meals, since I would've appreciated them more, but life is short. Supposedly the world championships might be in Vegas for 2014, and if so, I'll probably go back.

Now, to start researching Buffalo Nationals next summer.
we went to Mas (farmhouse) in the Village for my birthday. It's new-ish, and had decent sounding vegetarian options. They offer a three-course tasting plus dessert, but we decided to go with two courses, cheeses, and dessert. Their menu is extremely flexible, which was nice. I even substituted sides on my entree. Here's what we ate:

Me --
  • Salad of Local Summer Beans with a Truffle Vinaigrette, Maplebrook Farm Stracciatella & Brown Butter Croutons (stracciatella is this amazing mozzarella/cream concoction. i had never had it before. so good.)
  • Roasted Long Island Duck Breast, Fingerling Potato Purée, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Grilled Baby Squash
Tim --
  • Heirloom Tomato Tart on a Parmesan Sablée, Caramelized Onions & a Toasted Pine Nut Dressing
  • Fried Zucchini Blossoms Stuffed with Mushroom Duxelle & Mustard Greens, Huitlacoche- Black Trumpet Purée, Baby Spinach, Roasted Radish & Almond Foam

Cheese -- 
  • Spring Brook Farm “Tarentaise,” Reading, VT - Cow’s Milk, Alpine style, aged 1 year
  • Cato Corner “Hooligan” Colchester, CT  - Cow’s Milk, pungent wash rind
  • Belle Weather Farms “San Andreas” Petaluma, CA - Sheep’s Milk, crumbly with a buttermilk tang

  • Caramel Roasted Peaches over a Ricotta Pound Cake, Blackberry Compote & Sweet Corn Ice Cream
  • Hazelnut-Milk Chocolate Mousse with Cocoa Streusel, Salted Caramel Ice Cream & Chocolate Ganache

I yelped it. here's the review, for posterity's sake:

The good: 

Read more... )

Red Snapper
Kohlrabi, Shiitake Mushrooms and Smoked Jalapeño

Soft Shell Crab
Corn, Red Leaf Lettuce and Pickled Green Tomato

Zucchini, Black Olives and Lobster Sauce

Barley, Sungold Tomatoes and Artichokes

Pork Loin & Belly
Flageolet Beans, Hakurei Turnips and Pickled Carrots

Nectarine Tarte Tatin
Bourbon Crème Anglaise and Butter Pecan Ice Cream

I thought I had written about this, but I guess I didn't. The halibut was probably the best piece of cooked fish I've ever eaten. Everything was perfectly balanced, and I even liked the snapper dish, despite not really liking any of the ingredients particularly well on their own. I also had a cocktail and two glasses of cider, and tastes of at least three other people's desserts. I could go back there all the time. We'll try the tavern side next time.
since [ profile] olaugh, was off gallivanting with spherulitic[ profile] wisemonkeydecided to come for a visit this weekend. got here saturday, we played a bit of scrabble, then went to Ajihei, a sushi place in Princeton that I've been meaning to try since I arrived in town. The pieces of fish were huge, and the rice was a great temperature, well-seasoned, and packed properly. I think the ratio was a little much fish for the rice, but it was some of the freshest fish I've ever had. We got seven piece chef's choice, which included two kinds of mackerel, tuna, salmon, yellowtail (i think), shrimp (which I didn't try), and one more that I've already forgotten. Also tried the eel and tamago, because they're my favorites.

Today, we trekked into NYC, met [ profile] dugy1001 and squeegman, and waited in line pre-opening to try Ippudo -- we were seated right away. Great service, great pork buns, great ramen. I had classic, but I'll have modern next time. Wandered over to Washington Square Park and met up with [ profile] sr_orangepants and his brother, but only had one Scrabble board between five players. Two tourists from London came by because they read in their guidebook that there was Scrabble in the park on Sundays. Random, especially since none of the people who regularly play in the park were there. Played two games of CSW, then some fry your brain, then went to Pommes Frites. Ducked into a coffee shop, played a bit more Scrabble, then to Chinatown to drop monkey at the bus, and get a giant container full of dumplings at Shu Ziao Fu Zhou for $3 (thanks for the recommendation, yelp!)

It took way too long to get home, but I had dumplings and flashcards and Tim to keep me company. 
Tim got me Book of Mormon tickets for Christmas, but it was sold out until July, so we've just been waiting for the day to come around. At the time, we thought it'd be a weekend trip to the big city, but now that we live 90 minutes away, we took a half-day trip.

Got in around 3, left the car near the theater, and walked over to the Plaza hotel, since I wanted to see the new food court. There were way too many options, and we ended up splitting a piece of coconut cake, and I had a (overpriced) cold pressed Stumptown. Did a check via foursquare of what else was nearby, and learned there was a Momofuku Milk Bar! Had to go there and try crack pie. So good. Now thoroughly hyped on on caffeine and sugar.

We had a fancier than expected dinner, thanks to my new promotion and feeling the need to celebrate. We went to The Modern, the fine dining restaurant at MOMA, which I think [ profile] picopaco recommended at one point. Four course prix fixe, but also multiple amuses, and mignardises. So much food!

premeal 1: two spoons -- one with a cube of ginger and coconut crusted goat cheese (best goat cheese i've ever had) and one with a raw preparation of fish; watercress soup in a test tube; chili dusted, lemon verbena scented popcorn.

premeal 2: mackarel escabeche with a square of gelatin, basil cream, something else

one: "Pralines" of foie gras / Mango Purée and Balsamic Vinegar.
The foie looked like truffles, rolled in something crispy and some poppy seeds. This was just the right size serving, too.

two: SWEET PEA SOUP / Smoked Ricotta, Barley and Pea “Barbajuan”. 
Incredibly fresh flavor, with the biggest slice of black truffle that I've ever been served. it looked kind of ugly when you mixed all the components together, but it tasted great.

three: THOMAS FARM RACK OF LAMB / Olive and Fines Herbes, Fava Bean-Bacon Fondue and Crisp Spring Onion
This was prepared tableside, which made me feel a little silly. It was super rich, and the lamb was a huge, thick slice. the cooking seemed a little uneven to me, but it was still quite good, and the fondue sauce helped the meat where it was a little too done.

four: CARAMEL PARFAIT / Mango Ravioli, Coconut Tapioca and Ten Flavor Sorbet
Kind of weird, but not untasty. the combos of textures, temperatures and flavors weren't quite harmonious to me. I liked tim's fig tart better.

after: a big cart of treats that we got to choose from --  grabbed caramels, a macaron, a passion fruit caramel-filled chocolate 'lollipop,' a stroopwaffel cookie (or however you spell that), an earl grey truffle.

after 2: lemon and rosemary sorbet with candied herbs served in a raspberry tuille cookie.

after 3: a little box of the most amazing cookies, kind of like thumbprints, with a milk chocolate center, which we ate after the show.


Jun. 26th, 2012 08:33 am
  • 2002: Italian dinner at I Ricchi (ended in being so full we couldn't climb into our loft bed and slept on the floor. romantic).
  • 2003: Wild Orchid Cafe
  • 2004: no idea. didn't write about it, so it doesn't exist.
  • 2005: Geoff and Mary's wedding
  • 2006: I was at a conference in Portland, OR, and then Tim came up and we celebrated in OR/WA
  • 2007: Signature Room at the 95th in the Hancock Building in Chicago (which was also where we got engaged)
  • 2008: Oleana (in the midst of trying to sell our Waltham house)
  • 2009: somewhere in Vermont, while Tim's parents were visiting
  • 2010: i had surgery, and then laid on the couch in a vicodin-induced haze. we might have done something before the surgery, but i don't know what it was.
  • 2011: Primo in Rockland (though on the actual day of our anniversary, Tim was at a meeting at school and I ate take-out chinese)
  • 2012: Peacock Inn in Princeton

Food fail!

May. 6th, 2012 06:27 pm

So I tried to very carefully menu plan so that I could make it through these ten days or so without buying too much food, particularly perishables, since I'm not sure how frequently I'll get to the grocery without a vehicle. I somehow talked myself out of staying in town tonight for dinner (I really want to try Ajihei, a sushi place, but I already spent a lot of money on my hair today. it'll wait for another time).

So, I came back to the cottage and went to make pasta with onions, sausage, sun dried tomatoes and walnuts (a pretty standby meal for me). Got water in pot, turned salt shaker over the water, and it was empty. I had assumed there would be salt and pepper in the shakers - silly me. So, no pasta. Went to next meal of interest - pork and sweet potato quesadilla - I managed to forget tortillas at the store. Sigh. Okay, how about beans and rice with onions and garlic? The knife that came with this place is rusty. This is unacceptable. I will have to go and procure a knife because it is dangerous (not to mention kind of gross) for me to try to cook with a knife that's this bad.

So, I ended up with another standby meal: hamburger teriyaki donburi. Sadly, I didn't buy sugar (I usually use sugar and soy sauce over the ground beef), but truvia was fine. No cutting needed. Good thing I brought my rice cooker with me. The rest of the meals I have planned:

Keema beef curry (I think I bought everything I need - doable once I get a knife)
Israeli couscous salad with mango chutney dressing (haven't located Israeli couscous yet)
Spinach quinoa salad with dried cherries and walnuts (will probably do tomorrow)
Ravioli with Brussels sprouts and bacon (need knife)

So, one out of seven meals that I planned was viable. I guess I'll wander out to the Mexican grocery tomorrow during work and grab some tortillas and to the kitchen store for a working knife, and steal some salt packets from the convenience store by me. Or I'll just eat stand by things like fried rice, hamburger donburi and hot dogs every day.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

deep fried turkey
gingered cranberry sauce
sugar and spice roasted butternut squash
maple mashed sweet potatoes
wasabi mashed sweet potatoes
cornbread stuffing
homemade bread
roasted beet salad with ricotta salata and lemon vinaigrette
spinach salad with goat cheese
pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream
chocolate espresso snowballs

some things

Sep. 9th, 2011 01:20 pm
school started last week, but i started seeing my new freshmen this week. and i went to chicago for four days, which meant i had to be running-around-like-a-crazy-person just before and just after to be ready for them. and now i'm exhausted.

i made this for dinner last night:
make mirepoix-ish thing
pour three cups of water over it
mix in turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, ginger powder, 2 cloves minced garlic, salt
bring water to boil, pour in 2 cups of israeli couscous, pour in a large helping of raisins and currants, turn off heat, cover, and let sit until the couscous is tender (i went and sat on the couch and watched baseball, and then remembered it was on the stove. i guess that was about 15-20 minutes).
stir in some chopped up cucumbers and carrots, frozen peas, chickpeas... or whatever things you have running around. peppers would probably be good (if you like them), and chopped up snow peas, or edamame... you get the idea. you could even add some chicken.
add zest of one lemon, juice the lemon, mix the lemon juice with some olive oil til it looks vinaigrette-ish, pour that over too.
taste for seasoning, eat.

i also had some pizza.

i'm doing a ropes course with my students this weekend. i hate giving up part of my weekend and i'm all bitter. until i get there, and then i have so much fun and i love my job again.

i did this tuesday: walk 5 minutes, jog 3, walk 2, jog 3.5, walk 2, jog 4, walk 2, jog 4.5, walk 2, jog 2, walk 5. felt pretty good.

i did this yesterday: walk 5 minutes, jog 3, walk 2, jog 5, walk 2, jog 3, walk 2, jog 3.5 ish, walk 5. i almost died in the lungs. too hard at the end of the work week.

i ate a ridiculous amount in chicago. that will get its own, backdated post, hopefully tonight when i have time to think about it. i also broke my record points on foursquare. and got a lot of clothes for my birthday. i will have to keep up the exercise if i want them to keep fitting, especially if i continue to have eating weekends like i did in chicago, and there are at least two of those coming up (minneapolis at the end of this month, and vermont in november).


Jun. 26th, 2011 10:12 pm
Before dinner - some cheddar-ish cheese served with honeycomb, strawberry, fig, toasted bread
plus a plate of boar lombazini, one of the many meats they cure onsite.

Amuse - tuna on crostini with caper, olive, greens

Me - Duck confit with sunflower sprouts and cherry vinaigrette, roasted red and golden beets, cherries, and crostini with goat cheese and cherry

Tim - Morel chanterelle and some other wild mushroom cavatelli with peas and pea tendrils in cream sauce

Tim - Char with white and dragon beans, Hot Italian sausage and tomato sauce and basil

Me - Sea bass with homemade pappardelle, charred garlic scape, fava beans, roasted corn, speck in creamy sauce

Tim - Belgium chocolate budino cake with mint chocolate ice cream and raspberries

Me - Lemon cake, meringue, blueberry (?) compote

Mignardises - passionfruit marshmallow and grand marnier truffle

best meal we've had in maine, despite having to listen to the people at the table next to us talking about colonoscopies.


Apr. 5th, 2011 09:58 pm
i'm at a conference in portland (maine). today was a pre conference workshop, so i'm the only person i know in town, and it was a long day of talking to new people, so i took myself out to dinner alone. the hotel is a block from miyake. this was too much temptation to be rational and stay within my per diem. all of my other 'best meals' sorts of meals have been singular occasions at restaurants. i've been to miyake three times now over a couple of years and each time i put my meal into a superlative category.

i'd definitely go for the omakase if you've never been before, but i also prefer omakase when other people are there too, so you can talk about it as you eat it. this was the perfect combo of things for me, and a perfect solo meal.

i sat at the bar (should have sat on the side rather than in the front - would've been a better view, but i would've felt like i was crowding the only two others seated at the five-seat bar). it was pretty busy for a single server who was also trying to train a new server, but she was handling it pretty calmly.

started with the nigiri - in order of how i ate them (excuse lack of sophisticated sushi nomenclature): tai (i think?), dorado (again, i think - it has only been an hour since i ate these, but the flavors made me forget. i should take notes while it's explained), something from the hamachi family, king salmon, japanese sardine topped with scallion and ginger, toro. lots of different textures going on, subtly amazing flavors, perfect rice, just the right temperature and consistency and seasoning. this also came with a salmon avocado roll - so buttery rich. nom.

one special tonight was foie gras torchons, bruleed, with a caramelized onion marmalade, little rice cakes filled with something tasty, and a sesame paste. this sounds like a big mess of things, but it all meshed perfectly. lots of flavors, great balance of temperatures, super-rich, and just the right amount of it that i didn't feel overwhelmed by it (it's probably enough for two to share, but both halves of that couple would probably be a little bitter that they had to give some of the goodness to the other). this was listed as an appetizer, but the kitchen recommended i have it after my nigiri due to the richness, which made total sense. chef masa and chef karl (i think that's what his embroidered name was on his shirt, anyway) both asked me how it was and i made gibberish sounds of adoration.

i had an unagi nigiri for dessert after watching it get served a couple of times and deciding i had to have one. it was just right.
[ profile] mthgeek is out of town, and i made myself a catalan-style chard stuffed quesadilla and beer-braised brussels sprouts for myself for dinner. what has he done to my food habits?!

on the bright side, i did have a kobe burger and fries for dinner last night. don't worry - i haven't fallen completely off the meat wagon.
got this cookbook for xmas, and it's living up to all of the glowing reviews i've read. the writing style is warm and conversational, and the recipees have just enough specifics, plus suggestions for improvisation, and make-ahead and storage tips, which i find very helpful. some of them are takes on things that i already make, but with small twists. so far, i've made beef daube (it's great - i've eaten it for three meals in a row now) and back of the card cheese and olive bread (also excellent). highly recommended as cookbooks ago.

xmas food

Dec. 26th, 2010 11:15 am
breakfast: baked pancake, home fries, soyrizo w/rice, bacon, turkey kielbasa, chicken sausage.

dinner: turkey, stuffing w/fruit and chestnuts, braised & glazed brussels sprouts, beets with ricotta salata and vinaigrette, honey glazed carrots, scalloped potatoes, bread, salad, cranberries.

dessert: cupcakes!
also in bed with the laptop. since tim's sharing a hotel room with another woman this weekend, i feel no guilt at toting both laptop and palm pilot to bed.

i am one of those consumers that companies love, because they advertise and advertise and then one day i finally give in and decide to partake of what they're offering, and then regret it for a long time. purchases have included door to door vacuum sales (altho i feel only minor pangs of guilt about that one - it's a really excellent vacuum) and any number of of-the-month clubs.

i have finally fulfilled my book of the month club obligations, after sending at least 10 automatically sent featured selections of the month back (they start sending you mean letters about declining the offerings online rather than returning the books to them at their cost). i purchased a math/lewis carroll biog, and medium raw, anthony bourdain's recently released sequel to kitchen confidential. kc is probably the only book i've reread other than harry potter in recent years. i just love the way bourdain writes - it's smart and sarcastic (without it seeming forced or cliched) and all about food. the first bit of medium raw made my mouth water.

i'm on a food book kick. almost everything i've read in the past year was about food, eating, or serving food. highly recommended: service included, by phoebe damrosch, about serving at per se; the apprentice, by jacques pepin. recommended: Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress by Debra Ginsberg. i'm partway through Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto by Victoria Abbott Riccardi, which is interesting, but not that compelling, and The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World's Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn (what's with all my books being colon-ized? good thing i'm just copy and pasting rather than typing - those are really long titles.... even service included has a colon, but i didn't feel like looking it up on amazon). eventually i'll probably go back to fiction, but something about food memoirs is pulling me in right now.

i'm a little afraid to get too much deeper into medium raw, since once i do, i'll probably just keep reading and stop sleeping for a bit, and there are other things i need to get done. maybe i can be patient enough to save it for the plane to dallas.
After working 8am-8pm days for most of last week, we headed out for a weekend to Montreal. The original plan was to see Simon and Garfunkel. The concert was postponed due to Garfunkel being old, but pricelined rooms dictated that we still travel.

Left Friday afternoon, and made it to Burlington in plenty of time for wandering, yarn fondling at Kaleidoscope Yarns, beer sipping at the brewery downtown (I had a sour raspberry beer that I deemed a very reasonable beer product for someone who doesn't like beer). We dined at A Single Pebble, which is officially the best chinese food I've had. I don't know what authentic Chinese food is - everything I've had is an Americanized version - but I'm guessing Single Pebble gets close to it. Happily, it was restaurant week, so we got to try lots of things: mock prawn, mock buddha beef, green beans with seitan, sweet and pungent walnuts, mock eel, and at least a couple of other things that I'm forgetting. The overwhelming umami in some of the dishes makes the food feel amazingly luxurious. The walnuts are incredibly rich and flavorful, and carnivores will not miss the lack of meat (there are plenty of meaty dishes available -- we did veg tasting menu). Take a big group if you ever go since it's family style eating, and be amazed by the food and satisfied with attentive, friendly service. Yum.Read more... )

first bread
Originally uploaded by kismet09
my mixer, she works! i've never made bread before, so i'm pretty happy with how these turned out. i just used the recipe in the mixer instruction manual -- mix dry ingredients, including yeast, warm wet ingredients, add, knead, eyeball how much more flour it needs, rise, punch, rise, bake!

mmm food

Dec. 27th, 2009 09:51 am
we're in chicago - it's been a reasonable temperature, and we're ensconced on the empty third floor until the renters move in on 12/29 - it's nice to have the big space all to ourselves, although it'd be even better with some furniture and a mattress with more support than a cushion of air. i think we'll leave on the 29th to make the trek to the ithaca area, and then tim will drop me in albany from there.

highlights have been seeing the nephews, working out at the fancy gym and lots of food and presents (highlights include ugg boots, new bathrobe, a bunch of dvds and cds including Glee vol 2, and tons of chocolate).

xmas brunch: two types of baked french toast, dutch baby pancakes, cream scones, fresh fruit and cheese plates, hash browns, corned beef hash, bacon, sausage, and frittata.

xmas dinner: prime rib, catalan style swiss chard, green beans, rice, three cheese sourdough bread, glazed carrots, cake with fresh fruit and meringue.

and then last night, the parents sent us to mercat a la planxa, jose garces' tapas place downtown. we had eight tapas: flash fried peppers with salbitxada; three cheese plate (pau w/chocolate hazelnut puree, ombra with orange-guindilla marmalade, and cana de cabra with strawberries and balsamic reduction - i drank all the balsamic it was so good); escalivada with roasted peppers, cipollinis, eggplant and tomato confit; patatas bravas; roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, feta, and garbanzos; wild mushroom saute with potatoes and onions; duck breast with seckel pears and a duck confit & foie gras crepe.

the food last night was excellent - it was well-timed as far as when the courses were brought out, and the flavors were unique and excellent. the duck with the duck crepe was by far my favorite - it was ridiculously rich, small enough that i wasn't overwhelmed by it, but big enough to feel like i'd gotten a good serving.

we went to see Addams Family after that - it's in preview in Chicago. Hard to go wrong with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth in the title roles, but the show was kinda dumb - the story wasn't that interesting, and there were no stand-out songs. Maybe people who like the tv/movie a lot will appreciate the show more. The hardest part was Nathan Lane's accent -- it felt like it wavered from Spanish to Italian to Jewish. Meh. Also, Terrence Mann is one of my favorite broadway actors, and his main song was about his tryst with a giant squid - kind of a waste of his talent. But, it was fun, the voices were great, and it's always nice to get to the theater.

the spread

Nov. 26th, 2009 09:17 pm
turkey, filet mignon, roasted garlic mashed potatos, sweet potatos, green beans with garlic and almonds, glazed carrots with pecans and bacon, swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts, cheddar scallion biscuits, rice, fresh cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing, salad...

and once we digest, pumpkin, pecan and dutch apple pies, and strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream.

happy eating everyone! i'm thankful to have all of you in my crazy life.



June 2016

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