Kurtis's Profile

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All'Onda

I generally don't like to do request changes about a dish in part as respect and rest for not disturbing the balance of the dish (and probably not on a fist visit).

It was a conversation with a waitstaff at Esca when I tried to order Vongole; when asked if the chef can tone down the salt, the waiter said "No, chef likes to cook it this way." The waiter and I were locked in a gaze for a moment in silcence :) On that visit I ordered one of the least salty pasta that included sea urchin and found it still on the salty side and couldn't taste the sea urchin as a result; I love Esca, and their crudos, but tend to stay away from their pastas as with their salt level it's hard to taste the pasta even. I love salty food - Thai, Korean, Lao etc. - as long as there's balance to rest of the dish, but aggressively salty food diminishes taste of the ingredients imho.

Jun 19, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

New dining options in Bmore?

Are you kukubura by chance? If you are, welcome back! Loved your report on many places including ones from Vienna.

New dining options in Bmore?

If you are going to W&W, see if you can take advantage of 1/2 price of wine on Sundays, or 1/2 price on bubbles everyday after 10pm. Their food can be decent if selected well. Their seafood platter isn't stellar, but does satisfy with wine/bubble special.

I have new appreciation for Azumi for dining at the sushi bar in front of chef Taka. Here's a link to my report: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1013172

Best option in Hampden or even all of Baltimore now is newly opened La Cuchera - representing both sides of political border of Basque. Their weakest link is unfortunately the pinxtos but they are quite decent, and rest of their menu is quite great including wood-fire grilled items. Sit at the bar close to the wood-burning grill which I find better than side tables or the dining rooms. This is my new favorite place in Baltimore by a good margin, and much better option than Woodbury.

La Cuchara in Lower Hampden (Baltimore): A good meal had by all.

Visited here yesterday to try a few more.

Their tapas section continues to delight, and as said earlier, it is more a composed dish than what one imagines as tapas. Had grilled mackerel which was on top of minced vegetable generously doused in elegant olive oil which we moped it clean with their great bread. The escargot dish was quite elegant, subtle, and well-balanced. Both were just perfectly seasoned to my taste. For wood-fire grill, we shared their steak, and had swiss chard for side; bit too much salt on the steak but grilled to perfection.

All'Onda

Thanks for this update as we will be here in near future for the first time and have wondered how this place evolved. Could you comment on their level of saltiness? One of the issues I find in Manhattan Italian places (but not only, and not just Italian) is the overbearing saltiness sometime to the level of inedible, or in one case came with a warning of "most diners can't eat it" by the waitstaff (baffling).

Jun 19, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

La Cuchara in Lower Hampden (Baltimore): A good meal had by all.

I would guess it is a function of how busy they are in regards to food not being served hot; my visits here have been at the beginning of their service when it is more or less empty, and food comes out right off the cooking station whether fried, grilled, or pan-seared. I could imagine the noise level there though, and the design/setup there can accentuate that.

Piemonte 2015 and some links to prior years

andrewscull, thanks for reassuring me about Rocche, the hosts, and the views. Love to get lost in paths between these villages.

allende, appreciate your generous offer to give us further guide in this fabulous region. I do have several questions which I will post as I dig in further. Just watched the Barolo Boys past weekend. How interesting.

Jun 08, 2015
Kurtis in Italy

Piemonte 2015 and some links to prior years

This was probably the easiest decision I've made in a while re where to base the trip (and also where to eat); I am closely following allende's footsteps from this report and will be based in La Morra at Rocche Costamagna Art Suites. Looking to do a lot of hiking and walking, all in preparation for some great eating : )

Jun 05, 2015
Kurtis in Italy

Quick Hits! Do You Have Any?

Compass Rose looks very interesting and in my mind an ambitious concept to execute. Look forward to trying this place!

Quick Hits! Do You Have Any?

Yeah, Baltimore, and especially Ellicott City - seems to have enough Korean population and other interests to support these specialty joints which is usually not the case for this size of town.

Sorry I wasn't clear. "Hanoori Town" (formerly Beseto I believe) is the name of food court that houses 5-6 different vendors. It is situated next to the H-Mart which is in Catonsville, MD. It also includes a soondae (Korean blood sausage) specialty booth- have not tried- and a sleepy Japanese booth. Newest addition to this I hear is naengmyun booth which I am looking to check out soon.

La Cuchara in Lower Hampden (Baltimore): A good meal had by all.

I've been back here on couple more occasions and it continues to delight. I had their bone marrow app (no longer on their menu it seems) which was outstanding, nice acidic pickles that counters the marrow very well. Fromage de Tête was flavorful though mosaics on it could use some work. I agree with Gorlick on Migas which is diced chorizo mixed in with cubes of fried bread, and topped w/ fried Egg; it didn't seem substantial for an entree and the price tag. Overall I've been very much enjoying these returns each time. I do wish to see their pintxos section to have some more to choose from, and perhaps offer $1 ones to even $3-4 bites to include more varieties - I think some of their appetizers would be great if translated to pintxos.

Viet Pearl in Ellicott City-- All the goat ribs & duck tongues you crave

This looks very interesting. Looking forward to your report.

Quick Hits! Do You Have Any?

Also in Hanoori Town, there's a newish place that specialize in Kalgooksoo (means knife-cut noodles) called Hang Ari Noodles. It is an outpost of one in LA, and have dozen variations on the theme for the menu. I've had a few dishes here that were all pretty decent. The noodle is made to order, and so better than most I have encountered in restaurants. They serve several kimchees with your food, and the white cabbage one (see pic) is really outstanding. If you order noodles, they serve barley rice with Gang-deunjang (stir fried fermented bean paste with ground meat, peppers, garlic. It's spicy and salty) to mix it in and eat while you wait for the noodle. You don't find this in a restaurant usually so a nice touch.

Quick Hits! Do You Have Any?

Hanoori Town in Catonsville, MD next door to H-Mart has gone through much change over the years. More recently, there's new Chinese-Korean section to existing places directly facing you as you enter. I had a nostalgic dish called Yoo San Seul (유산슬) which is a stir fry made of thinly sliced pork, shrimp, sea cucumber, mushrooms, and other vegetables. Version here is subtle, but quite good flavors overall. I add a bit of sambal oelek they keep in the condiment section. If you order this which really is a sharing portion, you can choose either Jjajangmeun or Jjampong for free - Jjampong is a better choice here, but neither are outstanding; noodles are hand-pulled.

Piemonte 2015 and some links to prior years

allende,

Thanks to you for this great thread and updates. It will be our first visit to this region coming September, and this will serve as a great guide. Many thanks.

Kurtis

Jun 04, 2015
Kurtis in Italy

Sushi Bar at Azumi w/ Chef Taka in Baltimore - excellent sushi prepared by a caring chef

Returned here recently for a meal on a Wednesday. It was quite a busy night it seemed, and so just ordered little bit of from the chef, followed by a skirt steak.

Chef Taka recommended wild sockeye salmon from Alaska, and it was revelatory; deep blood orange red, again gently aged, great flavors. This has turned my perception on salmon for sashimi which I generally stayed away from. He then served me two nigiri with the salmon. It was bit thinner cut compared to sashimi, and for me I much preferred sashimi on this occasion.

Their cooked items continues to miss the mark on my taste. Wagyu skirt steak was perfectly medium rare, but there was just too much of everything else with it; the reduction sauce was overpowering and far too much on and over the meat, perfectly grilled maitake and broccoli rabe were far too oversalted. Sweetness of the satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potato) puree along with exceedingly sweet reduction sauce do not play good supporting role.

George Mendes's New Portuguese Restaurant- Lupulo

Recommended by a friendly restaurant owner where we had a beautiful meal the night before, the next night we wandered up the cobblestone streets of Alfama dense with grilling smoke to find a local gathering. After simply perfect grilled seafood courses in a tightly packed bustling room, it turned quiet, then completely dark. Whispers and movement of wine glasses settled down to stillness of the night. Then the Fado began, accompanied only but virtuous guitar in a room of thirty people, from teens to silvery haired in arms. One does not ask for services or chat during this almost two hours of dozen neighbors - and a local professional at the end -taking turn singing three songs each, of sadness, of joy, and of life. This night has become a deep sulcus inseparable with the meal we had, and it will always remain this way.

If you are looking for a city with soul, and food that oozes with it, Lisbon is at the top of the list.

May 31, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

Paris Diary - 5/26 - 6/7/15

As one would say every morning becomes a new beginning, thanks for your report on the first, and looking forward to reading about many more firsts.

May 27, 2015
Kurtis in France

Lan Sheng – First Rate Szechuan in Midtown

Thanks to your OP and other numerous posts we had a great couple of meals here recently. I snapped a picture of a hand written short menu sitting on top of the table in one of the large table. Would anyone care to translate this for those of us illiterates? (It looks delicious even without understanding it : )

May 27, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

ISO restaurant for latish Friday night near BWI

I usually end up going there on weekdays and they sometimes start closing up around 8:30pm if no customers. As Marty said, if it looks like you will get there after 9pm, I would call ahead either for a reservation and/or to check.

ISO restaurant for latish Friday night near BWI

Thanks both Marty L. and Steve for clarifying my response - usually best to mention the name of the restaurant first ! Hope AGM had the chance to read the responses.

ISO restaurant for latish Friday night near BWI

Bit too late in reply I think but there's not much of option for good food near BWI. There is however worth the detour sichuan place in Odenton which is quite nearby. Don't let the look of the restaurant fool you as it's one of best sichuan place in the region and if you order well you can get some very authentic dishes.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/520156
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9618...
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/921065

Tasty News in Saignon

Thanks for this note from Luberon, especially on Saignon! I have yet to make it to LPC as I believe it opened after our visit in April of 2011. I can imagine the "magic" you describe walking out of the place in this enchanting village as there were many of these magical moments walking out to the quiet and damp streets of soft footsteps and whispers.

May 22, 2015
Kurtis in France

Lunch on the water in the general vicinity of BWI?

My guess is that they will be happy to seat you outside for lunch or lounge hrs.

Lunch on the water in the general vicinity of BWI?

W&W's has great outdoor seats; for lunches, Sat you have a la carte options vs on Sundays it's a $45 brunch buffet iirc.

Sushi Bar at Azumi w/ Chef Taka in Baltimore - excellent sushi prepared by a caring chef

Love to hear what you think of it.

As I always seem to forget to include a bit on the bill... For the sushi items (excluding oysters and squid), comes just around $85 (not including tax and tip, $30 alone for two otoro, and also had uni), so it does come at a price. I wouldn't have been full with just sushi alone, but I think a modest-volume eater can have decent amount of food for less than $100 if you order accordingly or supplement with signature rolls that have more volume. A pricy meal still, but they do deliver in quality which I have yet to find in Baltimore's alternatives.

George Mendes's New Portuguese Restaurant- Lupulo

Erica, not surprising the grillade closed imo, though its concept I really loved. I will give Aldea a visit, though for some reasons it has always eluded me all these years; somethings about their space and deco just doesn't appeal to my memories of PortugaI I guess, but that's a poor excuse...

Edit: It looks like Alfama in midtown east also closed - was never great, but had few dishes that we returned to.

May 17, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

Bouley Lunch Tasting Menu Review: Best Fine Dining Deal in NYC

Thanks to your report and also ellenost's continued strong praises we had a wonderful lunch here recently with great success. Everything comes together and more here in all aspects of fine dining. Don't let the jacket required rule give you other ideas as it is one of most comfortable and comforting dining experience in this sort of setting in NYC. I am a fan : )

May 17, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

Hirohisa: Amazing Japanese Dinner

We were here recently with somewhat mixed result.

The best of the lot to us was their Hako susi (pressed); for mackerel (very nicely lightly cured), the chef lays thin translucent kelp on top before cutting which adds nice sea fragrance- a very nice touch. Their fish special on the day of our visit eel from north carolina which we choose it to be grilled with salt -shirayaki. It was good, but bit mushy/flakey as I expected it to have bit of chew often found when grilling a fresh eel. Their spring salad was quite good if bit too precious. Had clear soup which was elegant. Very sweet service.

May 17, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

George Mendes's New Portuguese Restaurant- Lupulo

Me too, and I actually enjoy the smell of food grilled on wood-coal and it would send me right back to the streets of Alfama.

FW, their menu reads very well and delicious. Thanks for this note. Last time I tried similar was at Mas (La Grilladade) with not so good result; very little wood-coal grill was translated into their food even though it was grilled as such. Wonder how they are doing...

May 17, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan