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murphlaw152's Profile

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Where to buy good caviar in Boston area?

I've never purchased caviar outside of California or NYC and I am having one heck of a time finding caviar in Boston or Providence. I've found salmon roe and some cheap, unidentifiable caviar, but that's not what I want.

My go-to caviar is Tsar Nicoulai, which nearly any Whole Foods outside of New England can order. I would order from their website, but it's too close to New Year's to risk it. I've also gotten caviar from Russ & Daughters and Dean & DeLuca and been very happy. I'm not terribly familiar with Boston or Providence, but Providence definitely doesn't seem to have a lot in the way of specialty grocers or gourmet stores. Can you steer me to some in either city?

Dec 29, 2013
murphlaw152 in Greater Boston Area

Reasonable Wine Flights in Manhattan or Brooklyn?

Check out Corkbuzz http://www.corkbuzz.com

Nov 18, 2013
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

What do you suggest for someone trying to get into whiskey?

I have always loathed the stuff. I mean, put 1/4 oz. into a cocktail and I will find it - and hate it. I've tried Scotch, Irish whiskey, bourbon, rye, Tennesee whiskey. I don't like Cognac or brandy either. However, working in the spirit/wine world, I am very often criticized for not being able to "appreciate the complexities" of a good whiskey. Always been a wine, gin, and amaro type of person. I appreciate the freshness/crispness of gin and the medicinal qualities of amaro. I do not appreciate the intense smokiness/tobacco/leather/etc. that I get from whiskey.

Is there a particular style or brand that is ideal to ease a person into whiskey? People always suggest that I try bourbon first, because no one can not like bourbon. Most bartenders tell me to try Scotch because it's more focused and easy on the palate than other things. There is just too much information out there and I don't have the patience to figure this out.

I'd love some suggestions - or ideas - or anything.

Nov 18, 2013
murphlaw152 in Spirits

Best shops for handmade ceramic dishes?

I call them "hipster plates" because of the various restaurants in which they seem to be appearing, but I'm told they are "Danish ceramics" (?). I've been on the hunt for a little while and the best I came up with was the website for Heath ceramics in CA (http://www.heathceramics.com/catalog/...). I am not the type to purchase online without seeing something in person. I just know there have to be a ton of places in Manhattan (or maybe Brooklyn?) where these types of dishes are sold in an array of colors and size. All of the suggestions I've gotten so far have been wrong and I am tired of running around. Someone point me in the right direction!!

Nov 17, 2013
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Semolina Tamales - any experience with these?

I developed an allergy to corn many years ago and I still miss tamales. I've been told to experiment with semolina tamales, but I have convinced myself that it will not be the same and it will be a waste of time. I'm now willing to give it a try...but I'm wondering if anyone has experience with them? Would I just replace it exactly and make them just as I would corn tamales? Would I need to cook them less/more? Add anything?

Any info appreciated.

Nov 11, 2013
murphlaw152 in Home Cooking

Unique foodie destinations - what are they?

I will be entertaining a group of chefs from London who work in a very high-end restaurant. We have all been to the classic gourmet shops around town: Russ & Daughters, Zabar's, Dean & DeLuca, Murray's, Kalustyan's, Chelsea Market, Eataly, Despana, etc. We've also done the classics like hot dog, halal cart, pastrami sandwich, pizza and whatnot. And all the great top 50 restaurants.

The only place I haven't been yet is Union Sq Greenmarket.

What I am looking for are unique, more off the beaten path type of stuff. I don't want to venture too far out of Manhattan, since they are only around for a couple of days and have their own schedule to worry about. But I do want some ideas and I want them to be worth their time. Some people have said that we've "hit all the best spots", but I refuse to believe that. I want some real food adventures, some great spots…the best of the best.

Nov 09, 2013
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Can you actually buy American chestnuts anywhere?

My mother-in-law recently asked me to bring New England chestnuts back to California... and I was a little confused because I have only ever purchased Italian or French chestnuts, as far as I know. I vaguely remembered something about American chestnut trees being wiped out due to disease, but I know that was a long time ago. I realized that I am not quite as knowledgable on this topic as I'd like to be.

What's the deal with them now? Are American chestnuts available anywhere? Searching around online confirmed that people really only buy Italian or French chestnuts. I just went to Whole Foods and found fresh chestnuts, which stated "Origin: Italy".

If anyone has any information for me, I'd be very appreciative.

Nov 09, 2013
murphlaw152 in General Topics
1

Newcomer to Boston...need a list of "must try" restaurants.

Thank you so much. This is a great start. I've heard from others that I need to check out L'Espalier and Island Creek Oyster

Nov 05, 2013
murphlaw152 in Greater Boston Area

Homemade grain-free dog treats?

Has anyone successfully made dog treats that your dogs will actually eat?

My dogs LOVE Trader Joe's treats, but they have always been on a high-protein, grain-free diet and I just hate giving them these treats. I would much prefer to bake my own grain-free treats...I'm just not sure which ingredients I should be using to hold everything together. Should I be using a high-protein flour like chickpea?

I did make the dog biscuits from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook and they were a hit, but they contained cornmeal and flour. I haven't attempted to make any other recipe.

Nov 03, 2013
murphlaw152 in Not About Food

Jumbo bottles of Italian liqueurs (Where????)

Thank you for the recommendation!

Oct 20, 2013
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Jumbo bottles of Italian liqueurs (Where????)

Eataly has a lot of them, but they are not available for purchase and no one could tell me where to get them. I've also seen them in various wine/spirit shops over the years but never needed them until now. Of course, now that I need them I cannot find them.

Oct 20, 2013
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Jumbo bottles of Italian liqueurs (Where????)

I am in charge of putting together a specific themed party and I am desperately trying to find 3-liter bottles of Averna, Aperol, and other Italian liqueurs. I know they exist...I've seen them. Question is: WHERE can I find them?! I have searched and searched and have been unsuccessful.

I am willing to travel outside of the city, so any suggestions are appreciated.

Sep 21, 2013
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Cooking with chile peppers - ideas?

I have a few pounds of chiles (jalapeno, fresno, and serrano mostly) and I do not want to make hot sauce, salsa, or infused vinegar/oil. I want to make something that is vegetarian and heavy on the chiles. Does anyone have any good ideas or recipes?

Aug 22, 2013
murphlaw152 in Home Cooking

Newcomer to Boston...need a list of "must try" restaurants.

I have been to Boston many times, but as a new resident I need a list of restaurants that I just have to try. From breakfast to brunch to an extravagant dinner...I want it all. Even if it's just a great food neighborhood, street, market, whatever. I am in the food world and the wine world, so I'm up for the best. I am always weary of the interest "best of" lists. I like to hear from people.

Jul 11, 2013
murphlaw152 in Greater Boston Area

Picnic in the park...best packable foods within a few blocks???

A picnic in Central Park usually involves a few hours of me running around town trying to get all of our favorites. No more!!!! I want this to be easy. I know about Zabar's, but I want better ideas than that. I want awesome, fresh food, lots of selection, packable, close-ish to the park, not a hassle. I know something has to exist...I just need one of you to tell me where to go.

Jul 11, 2013
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Best amaro selection in LA area?

I assume I can't buy a bottle of Fernet Vallet from Bar Ama? Have you seen it available to purchase anywhere in the LA area? That would be a good find.

I was at Cask in SF recently and they definitely did not have it, maybe out of stock.

Jul 11, 2013
murphlaw152 in Los Angeles Area

Dinner Party Food Dilemma

We are having a dinner party of 22 people total to meet my son's fiance's family. We were told that their family are strictly "meat and potatoes" people and would rather eat steak and macaroni and cheese than anything else. No one in my entire family eats meat, but we do mostly eat fish. They don't like fish. We are all also vegetable lovers, even the kids...it's just how we grew up. Their family doesn't like salad or vegetables, but they like potato salad, macaroni salad, etc. I wanted to make this easier on myself and just make large batches of a few things. But now I feel like I have to make one dinner for my family and an entirely different dinner for their family. Does anyone have ideas to make this easier on a food level?

Jul 10, 2013
murphlaw152 in Home Cooking

Best amaro selection in LA area?

I did a tasting at Babbo last year and have only been able to find one of the bottles they showed me (out of 5). My favorite, of course, was their house made amaro that they won't sell. The only bottle I've been able to find is S. Maria al Monte. I just looked at the photos of Bar Keeper online at it looks like they have a pretty wide selection, comparatively. Would be fantastic to find everything I want without having to order online. Thanks for your recommendations!

Jun 08, 2013
murphlaw152 in Los Angeles Area

Best amaro selection in LA area?

Averna, Nonino, Meletti, Montenegro, fernets, etc. are all easy for me to find. I'm looking for the more obscure amaros.

A friend told me to go to Bar Keeper in Silverlake, but I haven't made my way out there yet because I'm on the westside. Any other ideas would be much appreciated!

Jun 08, 2013
murphlaw152 in Los Angeles Area

Substitute for cornmeal to keep pizza dough from sticking to stone

I do heat my oven to 550 and let the stone sit on the lowest rack for about 45 minutes. Supposedly this brand of pizza stone is "cheap" and made in China and Williams-Sonoma reports that many customers have had issues with dough sticking even with cornmeal. I'll try semolina (don't know why I didn't think of that) and if I'm still having issues, I think I'm going to purchase a better quality stone from King Arthur Flour or perhaps look into the Emile Henry stone. Thank you so much for the suggestions!

Does the parchment paper not interfere at all with the pizza's crispness or flavor? Again, I'm not used to working with a pizza stone but I know pizza dough certainly benefits from that direct cooking. That's the only reason I thought I shouldn't use a barrier like parchment paper. But I can certainly give it a try. Thank you, again!

Nov 27, 2012
murphlaw152 in Home Cooking

Substitute for cornmeal to keep pizza dough from sticking to stone

Just received a pizza stone as a gift. It specifically states: "Do not use sprays or oils on the stone. Dust the stone with cornmeal to keep dough from sticking". From what I understand, seasoning stoneware requires some oil/fat. I'm allergic to corn so I tried to do without the cornmeal, and my dough did stick. The next time around, I tried to flour the bottom a little more but it came out strange. Any suggestions to keep my dough from sticking to the stone?

A friend has a wood burning pizza oven and I use it quite often, never needing to use cornmeal or sprays or anything. When I make pizza at home, I just throw it on a lightly sprayed sheet.

Nov 27, 2012
murphlaw152 in Home Cooking
1

Where to buy fresh cod liver?

Not quite sure why you'd say that. Fish are caught and sent all over the world for immediate use. Monkfish are not local. I can find monkfish liver at several stores.

Nov 25, 2012
murphlaw152 in Los Angeles Area

Where to buy fresh cod liver?

I can usually find everything I need from Santa Monica Seafood, either retail or wholesale, but no luck on this one. Asked Whole Foods also, and nothing. I have to wonder: where are all the livers going when these cod fish are caught and delivered? Has anyone ever found fresh cod liver for sale in the L.A. area? I'm willing to drive wherever.

Nov 25, 2012
murphlaw152 in Los Angeles Area

Best liquor store in Manhattan for miniatures?

Trying to put together a care package for someone and am having trouble finding miniature bottles of anything other than vodka, gin, tequila, and bourbon. I am looking for things like Campari, Aperol, vermouth, Fernet, Averna, Chartreuse, etc. These are not exactly easy to find, which is why I'm hoping someone else has and can point me to the spot!

I used to find these at BevMo in California, but have not been able to find them in NYC.

Nov 17, 2012
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Best business lunch spot in Manhattan for pescetarian?

Taking a very important client out to lunch on a weekday and would like some recommendations for excellent seafood places. A few of the places I had in mind are only open for dinner. I also tried to get a reservation at Le Bernardin to take advantage of their lunch prix fixe menu, but of course I couldn't get a reservation with only a week's notice.

My budget isn't necessarily up there with Per Se or anything, but I am willing to spend $100 per person including drinks.

Nov 15, 2012
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Best cocktail supply store in Manhattan? Also where to buy Absinthe spoons?

Thank you - that's good to know! I had always heard that the address on their website was just a shipping location and talked to so many people wishing they had an actual storefront. If anyone would know where to buy Absinthe spoons, I'm hoping it will be them!

Nov 10, 2012
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Best cocktail supply store in Manhattan? Also where to buy Absinthe spoons?

I am a big fan of Cocktail Kingdom and I would be so excited if they had a storefront...but they don't! Can anyone recommend 1) a good general cocktail supply store or any store that has a wide selection of cocktail supplies (lots of different glasses, shakers, strainers, bitters bottles, spoons, etc.) and 2) somewhere I can buy Absinthe spoons? I know of several online stores, but these are going to be gifts and I'd really like to see/feel them in person before buying.

Nov 10, 2012
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Unique/Gourmet Chocolate Advent Calendars in NYC?

I have a tradition with a friend: we exchange advent calendars every year at Thanksgiving because that's the only time we ever get to see each other. Those generic paper advent calendars with the bland chocolate got old a long time ago and I'm always on the hunt for interesting ones.

Are there any chocolate shops in Manhattan that might have some unique/gourmet advent calendars around the holidays? Or any food markets/gourmet food stores that carry interesting ones? Other than Whole Foods, I find that the only food stores I frequent in NYC are Jewish/Kosher places, so I'm not too familiar with other markets or stores.

Would love some suggestions.

Nov 09, 2012
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Looking for Caputo OO pizza flour in NYC

I found an old thread with the same question, but the answers don't seem to be relevant anymore. The store where I used to buy it closed a few years ago and I do NOT need a 50+ pound bag from a restaurant supply. I used to buy 2-lb. bags, so I know they exist. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know. I was thinking of calling Eataly and the Italian place in Chelsea Market but have to wait until they are open again. Any others I should try?

Nov 02, 2012
murphlaw152 in Manhattan

Turning cookie dough into cake batter?

I would like to figure out how to turn my favorite cookie recipe into something more like a cake, quick bread, or muffin batter. What is the real difference between cookie dough and a batter? If it's just more liquid, should I just be adding milk? Do I need less fat or more egg or anything along those lines?

Oct 30, 2012
murphlaw152 in Home Cooking