Kurtis's Profile

Title Last Reply

Pazo's southern Italian makeover

chef, what menu items do you find not quite fitting there (a genuine question)? As for the small plates, I think this is more a trend/style having many "bite size" plates these days.

I returned here over the weekend, and found some inconsistencies; overall much more salty than my previous experience, and some wood-fire grilled items lacking the wood-fire flavor they had. I did have very very well executed pan-roasted half chicken - excellent quality chicken, perfectly crisp skin with juicy meat underneath - but again bit too salty for my taste. Their pastas continues to satisfy.

Cinghale or Pazo

While both are run by the same executive chef and same owner, I have enjoyed my two recent visits to Pazo much more than at Cinghiale. Last time I had pasta at Cinghiale was when I have asked the chef to make a pasta he enjoys/loves after sending back a very poor pasta I received. Both have good wine list which are very well priced though Pazo's is more condensed in comparison. Cinghiale does have good appetizers usually and their charcuterie/cheese options are very good. Unfortunately both are somewhat mediocre modern Italian restaurants when compared to similar in NYC or Philly, imo, but probably the best in town.

Pazo's southern Italian makeover

I hesitated to visit here since the change 9 months ago as I am not a fan of Cinghiale (same executive chef, same owner), but my recent visits here and having tasted about half of what is on their menu (and more than half of their wbtg offers) I am likely to keep coming here at least for a while to continue to try other things. This is mostly due to their pastas which is house-made as it is in Cinghiale, but I find their composition and execution substantially better, and that of Cinghiale nearly always disappointing. I also appreciated that the taste of wood-fired grill indeed come through nicely in several of their dishes, and their effort to create Neapolitan pizzas following DOC guildelines which for the most part works. Looking forward to returning here again in near future.

very quick ramen near MoMA

Menkui Tei should be a 5 min walk from MoMA, and makes decent ramen. I like their charhan better when done right, and gyoza is also decent.

Dec 02, 2014
Kurtis in Manhattan
1

Asiate or somewhere else?

...or even a regular meal imo as I think form is outweighed by substance in many aspect of dining here.

I would vote for Jean George (yes, food is substantially better, by far imo) where I find their lunch deal very reasonable for what you pay; $48 gets you an amuse bouche, two entrees that are always beautifully executed, great bread service, and petit four. With rest of the money in your budget, you can order extra plates, order several half-pour wbtg, or have dessert tasting which I find one of the best in town. This may not be fitting for your occasion, but we always ask for alcove seating against the wall which lends to an intimate meal with great views of the room and the windows.

I love the view of the central park, but always have enjoyed walking in it more especially after a meal at JG. You can always visit the lobby lounge for a drink/tea at the Mandarin Oriental (I believe it is on the same floor as Asiate) before or after the meal with equally stunning view of CP (you can make OpenTable reservation), and I find this much more enjoyable.

Dec 02, 2014
Kurtis in Manhattan

Le Cinq's 17 hr lamb shoulder

Thanks Ptipois for the home version of mechoui.

Nov 25, 2014
Kurtis in France

Crane & Turtle

Any experience here? It seems a good place to try innovative and modern Japanese/French plates.

http://craneandturtledc.com/

The Post Review:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifesty...

Le Cinq's 17 hr lamb shoulder

My pictures don't show a nice char on the lamb, but mostly the inner meat was what sent this to another level; as I wrote, I think souphi's guess on sous vide is likely the result of this very juicy, tender, and subtle but deeply penetrating coriander seed perfumed lamb.

Nov 24, 2014
Kurtis in France

Le Cinq's 17 hr lamb shoulder

That's an interesting way of roasting. I thought mechoui is spit-roasting. Is this some variation of it? Doesn't it dry out the meat?

Nov 24, 2014
Kurtis in France

Le Cinq's 17 hr lamb shoulder

I've thought about getting one at one point, but more and more I enjoy pan-seared/oven roast versions of most things. But for that lamb I just might...

Nov 24, 2014
Kurtis in France

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

"You may also enjoy the work of Su Dongpo, another Tang poet and hedonist, who gives his name to a particularly unctuous fatty braised-pork preparation."

Ah, that's where the name comes from. Thanks.

Nov 24, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Silverjay, along with Du Fu (杜甫) he is among the greatest Chinese poet both from Tang period. If you have time, try translating the poems on your own; it will demonstrate not only economical style you enjoy, but layered depth, humor, and varied interpretation some of which will be of your own.

Nov 24, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

My question arose from a casual conversation amongst friends that included several Chinese (mostly born in China) who reported no raw vegetable consumption in their homes/restaurants with exception to garnishes/condiments.

I think the difficulty with this topic is that most of us do not have wide comparative experience and knowledge of the diverse Asian cuisines represented. Also there are so much diversity within Chinese cuisine with regional and personal differences to account for. But this COLLECTIVE discussion of narrow (but each with much depth) experiences while myopic I find very learning and insightful. And there are a few posters whose diverse knowledge and experience I very much appreciate their input.

Comparatively speaking, it has been my experience that cuisines of Korea, Laos, Thai, Burmese and Vietnamese use and highlight much more raw vegetables than that of Chinese. Korean Ssam, though mostly known as a vehicle for bbq meats, exist(ed) independent of the meats with some variations where vegetables are very much the bulk of the dish. Of course this does not constitute the majority ways of how Koreans eat their vegetables, but it is a common and continuously popular meal that has its own category of restauratns, and as I wrote before, there are current versions of this served in Ssam specialty restaurants that include upwards of 20 different raw leafy vegetables and far more if you include the garnishing aromatics or roots. http://cafe.daum.net/edumom/cHB/447?q...

Nov 21, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Le Cinq's 17 hr lamb shoulder

I was thinking the same; the consistency of the meat w/ subtle coriander seed perfume deep into the center; likely bathed in coriander seed infused light marinate for 17hrs undergoing sous vide. Don't own this machine, but should be able to mimic it.

Nov 21, 2014
Kurtis in France

Le Cinq's 17 hr lamb shoulder

Anyone know how this is prepared? Patricia Well's 7hr lamb leg (http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/27...) is closest I found, but it doesn't read as well as this one.

Nov 21, 2014
Kurtis in France

Recommendations in Vietnam and Cambodia, please

We visited a handful of French restaurants including Didier Corlou's La Verticale in Hanoi with generally disappointing results especially at La Verticale where i dont think the chef was cooking that night ( for that matter for many months from what i gathered). We enjoyed most other ones as a break from the routine but the food itself left much to be desired.

Nov 17, 2014
Kurtis in China & Southeast Asia

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

"Raw vegetables (and tofu skin) with a mildly spicy bean sauce dip is now being served in a Chinese restaurant in Flushing. The jarred bean sauce is supplemented with egg and pork."

As you imply, do you find this to be something new to a modern Chinese dining scene? If so, what changed?

Nov 17, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Saba, Yemeni Food in Fairfax - Report

Nice report.

Steve, would Yemeni qualify as a good introductory sub-saharan African cuisine for those uninitiated? What else would be good in this regard in your opinion?

What type of cuisine do you NOT like?

Cuisine is a style of cooking usually specific to a culture. One's like or dislike has little to do what qualifies as a cuisine.

"Some of the regional food in China is pretty dreadful. A lot of traditional Indonesian is terrible. They're definitely for the more adventuresome who get a thrill out of the novelty rather than the actual flavors."

"Adventure food" is called such by ones who make it an adventure; they are staple food or delicacies for the locals.

Nov 17, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Dining in and near the French alps, September 2014: Flocons de Sel, La Table du Trappeur, La P’tite Ravine, Pere Bise, Annecy Friday morning market, and more

Thanks for this lovely report, Jake.

Nov 17, 2014
Kurtis in France

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Appreciate a balanced point of view.

Cities like Rome, Paris, Tokyo, or Beijing are poor reflections of the rest of the country's food culture; they set or follow international trends sometimes quite indistinguishable one from the other. On the other hand, each city represents a strong food tradition that is instantly recognizable.

Nov 15, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics
1

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

What you describe are trends, though some do become fixtures/traditions.

Nov 15, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

One of my Chinese friend says the same which got me curious.

Nov 14, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Me too. I always visit a specialty restaurant for ssam when I am in Seoul, and the varieties of raw vegetables represented on a wide wooden basket exceeds two dozens, along with a dozen banchans half of that are also seasonal vegetables marinated/pickled, or steamed with seasoning, a couple of jjigaes, and several regional varieties of ssamjang. Along with a bowl of barley rice, it's a feast for those who love raw vegetables, and I'm craving one badly now...

Nov 14, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Thanks EWSflash and NunnieMuss for the link which I re-paste here:

http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s...

This is a fascinating read as I would think their interest or curiosity as chefs to the "best" of American/modern cuisine would extend bit more that what reads (I am sure they weren't) as inflexible tourists.

The question of the thread isn't to find exceptions but to discuss this very topic. Indeed it seems much less raw vegetables are represented in Chinese cuisine found in the restaurants at least than most other Asian cuisines. If night soil is the reason, then is China just slow to adapt to change in allowing now readily available and safely consumable raw vegetables to find themselves on the menu vs the other Asian cuisine? Or is this based on cooking method with balance of yin and yang ("warm" or "cold" as it was referred to) in mind? Consuming raw vegetables has become very much a symbol of health and the choice of the conscientious in modern dining almost everywhere that it's worth while trying to understand the Chinese perspective who seems to say otherwise.

Nov 14, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics
1

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

While salted/marinated napa cabbage is most known for bossam, there are many variations of the (bossam) wrap that's raw - perilla leaves, lettuce, mugworts, or even dry seaweed.

Nov 14, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

I heard of this too, but then its usage isn't just limited to China.

Nov 13, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Like to share some of your favorites?

Nov 13, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

Oh, how did I forget the cucumbers... I enjoy them a lot. Still a side dish, and amongst them a minority, no?

Nov 13, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics

Why Chinese cuisines/dishes do not include raw vegetables...

If you can locate the article it sounds a very interesting read.

Some of my conversations on this with friends and Chinese chefs include philosophy of yin (vs yang) the raw vegetables that represents which gives negative/cold influence to the body, and best eaten cooked.

Nov 13, 2014
Kurtis in General Topics