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Ramps?

As of yesterday afternoon you can find them at Publican Quality Meats in the West loop for $17/lb.

Apr 15, 2013
uvahustla in Chicago Area

Help with homemade Ricotta

A very good general rule of thumb is the juice of 5 normal lemons per gallon of milk. Whole milk will give you the richest flavor. Some key quality factors I have found.

1. The slower you heat the milk up the better......I got the best result in a crockpot.
2. Never let the mixture boil or get past 185F. The curd becomes too tough.
3. Stir as you're adding the lemon juice, turn off the heat and let it set for 15 minutes
4. LADLE the curds with a big spoon into the colander gently rather than pouring.
* If you pour all the delicious butter fat gets leaked out into the whey.
5. Hang it. The longer u hang it the firmer it will be. Then season it how u like adding cream if u want.

** If you're curd was too tough it was either heated too quickly, not drained gently, or there was too much lemon juice/acid added.

Oct 29, 2009
uvahustla in Home Cooking

Any DAT (Dine About Town) Reports?

Hey Everyone! Following my amazing food journey last January I am permanently moving to the Bay Area. I'm going to be in the city for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and would like to try a place each day.

I'm not familiar with many of the restaurants on the list. I'll check out Campton Place, maybe Foreign Cinema, what else is on the top of people's lists?

VA Chef in Chicago for 2 nights (Oct. 9, 10), HELP!

Hey everyone,

I'm gonna be in Chi-town for Thursday and Friday (9,10) and staying in the Wrigley Field Area. I'm looking for one nice dinner Thurs. night (around $100/person before drinks range) and uniquely Chicago experiences Friday for lunch. I've heard good things about Charlie Trotter's, Alinea, Arun's, Va Pensiero in Evanston which is where my Dad is from so it's possible, Topolabampo, etc. I really don't have a clue on Chicago geography though and will be going to the game on Friday night, GO CUBS! I've eaten some of the best French/New French, Japanese/Asian Fusion out there, but have never had top end Thai, Mexican, Molecular, or purely seasonal food. I'm willing to go out of the way to find the hole in the wall hot dog stand, steak, etc. Help me out!

Thanks in advance,

Clark

Oct 01, 2008
uvahustla in Chicago Area

Charlottesville, VA: HELP!

Has Chipotle made the switch to 100% Polyface now? I remember talking to the guy in charge of the project a couple months ago and they were doing every other week (putting a sign up when it was Polyface). Regardless, it's DEFINITELY worth a try. GO TO THE FARMERS MARKET!! and Bluegrass Grill for awesome brunch.

Sorry to hear about your L'Etoile experience. I had one fantastic meal there, but the next one wasn't the same. I can see an 8 year old really struggling ther

On Night in Charlottesville, VA

http://www.hamiltonsrestaurant.com/ha...

* Also on Saturday is the local Farmer's Market on the downtown mall. Which opens at 7 AM? and closes at noon. It's pretty excellent to hit that up and then have a great lunch at Hamiltons

On Night in Charlottesville, VA

Lunch:
Hamilton's on the downtown mall. French-American cuisine with alot of local and seasonal ingredients. Lunch entrees in the $10-$15 range, prices nearly double at dinner.

Dinner:
Continental Divide on West Main ST., Southwestern Tex Mex fare. $10-$15 price range as well, but don't accept reservations and always a wait. Go early.
MAS Tapas located in Belmont (about a mile from the downtown mall)
- Incredible Spanish Tapas food, price ranges from $4 roasted potatoes w/house aioli to $15 for braised lamb shank. Also no reservations, opens @ 530.
OR
ZOCALO Cuban-Latin fusion, small menu, entrees $20-$25 but accept reservations

On First Encountering Cyrus Restaurant

It's definitely a subject up for debate as they've both been perfecting it as far back as the middle ages. In my personal experience I've found better texture and more frequent use of goose liver (which I think is better) in Alsace. I know Perigord makes and exports a lot more foie gras as awhole, but I think the quality suffers as a result, even if it's not by much.

On First Encountering Cyrus Restaurant

I had at the moment the best meal of my life at Cyrus last January. The way the service makes you feel both important and awesome coupled with all the little extras and food quality is unique. Just how good is Cyrus?

I recently had the opportunity to eat at the three Michelin star Schwarzwald Stube in Alsace, Germany and two of the dishes I had were similar. Foie Gras terrine was served in an apricot and almond gelee with fresh apricots and brioche in Germany and terrine with persimmon gelee and chutney at Cyrus. Alsace is the foie gras capital of the world, and I thought both dishes were even. I also had a lamb dish cooked two ways with braised red cabbage at both places. The Cyrus dish had awesome pappardelle with the dish and a celery root puree but the lamb at Cyrus was not as tender. Food quality wise Cyrus was very close to one of the icons of Alsatian cooking. The price point $300 a person pre wine compared with $120 at Cyrus and the more personable service made Cyrus a more memorable experience. The desserts weren't as breathtaking or memorable, but dollar for dollar Cyrus is upppppppp there.

HFCS: It's Totally Natural

haha they are retarded. who cares about what kinds of chemicals bees naturally have? There are next to no nutrients in high fructose corn syrup, whereas honey does. Honey helps the body, is absorbed slowly, and is a natural flavor we are familiar with. Corn syrup tricks our taste buds into thinking cereal, bread, snacks have to be sweet with no positive effect on our health.

The only thing corn syrup has a positive association with are diabetes rates and health care costs....booooooo corn syrup, kill yourself.

Jun 26, 2008
uvahustla in Features

Charlottesville, VA: HELP!

hey hercules,

Charlottesville has a lot to offer food wise and here are my suggestions:

Italian; Enoteca Wine & Panini Bar. They feature an all Italian wine list with close to 20 wines by the glass & half-glass. The food offerings are smaller bites (in the Italian Enoteca tradition) with authentic prosciutto crudo, finocchiona, as well as real Parm-Regg (they get it in 30 pd. wheels), bra tenero and an amazing caciotta al tartufo. These items are the backbone for bruschette offerings with fresh pestos, roasted vegetables, etc as well as panini's made on a panini press w/locally made bread. The staff is knowledgeable (especially the manager - Megan who is studying for her master sommelier at the moment) and it has a sweet vibe. * Disclaimer, I worked as a cook at Enoteca in the past.

I don't think there's a true place to get a Margherita pizza, or really any notable Italian that I've been to, but Christian's Pizza on the downtown mall does make a pretty good pie with some cool toppings like fresh avocado and feta, etc.

French; There are a lot of options here.
- L'Etoile, a smaller more intimate restaurant with a Virginia twist on French cuisine. I've had some really good dishes here, nice wine list and alot of seasonal focus as well as the local items. Expect to spend about $50 a person after tip, I know they just came up with a new menu and you will enjoy your meal.
- Hamilton's; This is an old stand by and a virtual institution on the downtown mall, they are always packed. They also place an emphasis on local food and have a good relationship with Polyface Farm (famous from the Omnivore's Dilemma book) and this new American joint is reasonably priced. *** TIP Especially for Lunch, you can have a great meal with entrees between $10 and $15, with similar items offered for dinner with bigger portions and nearly double the prices.
- Fleurie; I have never been here but this is quintessential French fine dining. Everything I've heard and read is that this is amazing food, with snooty service.

Mediterranean;
This is a little bit of a stretch but you really have to go to MAS. It is an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant that sources alot of produce locally, takes no reservations and is always packed. You can eat real Serrano Ham & Manchego cheese, try things as simple as sauteed Spring Onions, to braised veal shank with bone marrow or a beef tongue sandwich. ** Must try's are goat cheese & artichoke dip, Tuna or Strip Steak with Smoked Tomato Aioli, Boquerones (Anchovies in garlic and lemon), anything braised, and the wood oven baked bread they offer. Try to go early or real late though (serve til 1) since they are ALWAYS packed.

Those are my main recs. There are some other foodie things to consider outside your particular interests.
- Continental Divide; Tex-Mex fare on a tiny menu with great tequila and reasonable prices ($8-13) entrees is sweet.
- Ten; Authentic Sushi & Japanese Kaiseki Cuisine. Everything from fresh lobster tempura, to kobe beef cooked on a sizzling rock to chicken terikayki skewers.
- Bluegrass Grill & Bakery; Open daily til 2 this kickback country hot spot does no reservations and serves amazing brunch consistently. Nothing is more than $10 and you can get life changing pancakes w/real maple syrup, omelettes, home-style potatoes, and homemade granola.
- MAIN STREET MARKET; This cornucopia of foodie heaven features a chocolatier, awesome bakery, fishmonger, butcher, cheese and produce store, kitchenware store, Mediterranean Restaurant & Wine Bar, and Italian Gelato & Espresso shop. It's a great place to browse, eat, and shop.

Haha that's all I've got for now. I hope you make it halfway through this and enjoy your stay in Charlottesville. Let me know if you have any more questions.

Good Italian Restaurant in Raleigh

Third Bella Monica on Edwards Mill Rd. They make their own bread and pizza dough from scratch and use authentic imported cheeses and the best tomatoes in the world (San Marzano) without exception. If you like delicious, real Italian food I would head here.

Charlottesville (UVA)

If you check out Cvillain.com they have a review of Ten and alot of other new spots. I've had the best Asian meal of my life at Ten (including a summer in Asia) and the best meal in Charlottesville. My favorites are the calamari, avocado, and lobster tempuras, the escolar in sesame-ponzu sauce and kobe steak off the ossusume menu, the softshell crab and unagi rolled sushi, and the chicken tatsuta and mizuna salad for starters. I have not tried alot of the sashimi but the yellowtail and toro are top notch.

There is a legitimate sake menu and things can get pricy quickly but in my experience it's always been worth it. You can have a life-changing meal at $100 a person with sake, or a very memorable meal for about $50 a person without drinks.

I'm assuming you know about Mas, Continental Divide, etc. The Local is in Belmont and I haven't been yet but have heard good things and it's in the $10-$15 range for entrees. Enoteca is an Italian Wine Bar with a great vibe, wine, and quality small plates.

Charlottesville (UVA)

FYI Ten is now opened on Sunday for graduation starting at 4:30-5 and they are not booked yet

restaurant Bareiss

That was during lunch, we definitely took our time in choosing which tasting to do and made some adjustments though. First you get complimentary champagne and are welcomed, then comes the amuse bouche which is like a course, then the bread course, it's more like 30 minutes per course (2.5 hrs.) + time for amuse bouche, cheese, pre dessert, bread, and coffee afterwards.

I know it seems like a long time but it didn't seem like it......the courses were perfectly spaced and it was very comfortable. I think the average meal is between 3-4 hours.....but if you don't get the tasting it would be alot faster

restaurant Bareiss

had lunch at the 3 michelin star schwarzwald stube close by in march. Meal was 4 hours and the 5 course menu left me stuffed and by mother almost painfully so. Enjoy, there is some special food being made.

Charlottesville (UVA)

Both Mas and Ten mentioned in the article are closed Sundays FYI. Hamilton's will be open for lunch and it's a great bargain. Other lunch/brunch options are Zocalo (cuban-latin fusion upscale), Mono Loco (latin-spanish) w/great burritos and homemade guacomole

Cary/Raleigh

Bella Monica Italian Restaurant in Raleigh off of Edwards Mill Rd. Family owned with Wood fired Pizzas w/innovative toppings and bread both made from scratch along with homemade San Marzano tomato sauce. Also serve very traditional and seasonal dishes, like grilled artichokes with lemon and mint, and mozzarella di bufala with olive oil, basil, and tomatoes. Entrees don't get above $20 and it's easy to stay in the $10-$15 range.

Sunday Brunch, Charlottesville, VA

Bluegrass Grill & Bakery. Hands down my favorite brunch spot in Charlottesville. On the downtown mall (so not far from Monticello), casual kitschy decor, and very reasonable prices. We got out of there for 4 at $45 last Sunday ordering the most expensive things on the menu. Scratch made biscuits, grits, and granola. Awesome honey wheat pancakes, roasted potatoes, and omelets.

Only negative is that they don't take reservations and fill up quickly so i would plan on getting there early. Other than that, Blue Moon Diner on University Ave. is pretty good and Maya also on University gets mixed reviews, but I've never been there

My brother (the chef) comes to NYC - with 6 days notice

I highly recommend the lunch prix fixe menu at Bouley. I think it came out to $35 a person before wine and the food was better than Gotham Bar & Grills $95ish a person dinner.

Apr 14, 2008
uvahustla in Manhattan

Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padana, or Pecorino Romano?

Parm Reggiano hands down for both. It's more complex. The grana has a similar texture to the Parm so if I want "Parm like flavor" I would choose Grana. I think Romano is a little bit saltier and blends in with other ingredients easier since it has simpler flavor.

Additional question; Do any of you diners care or notice when restaurants write Parmesan on a menu when its Grana or Romano the bulk of the time?

Apr 08, 2008
uvahustla in General Topics

Help Choose New Japanese Chef's Knife

I will be doing my own sharpening, and am looking for 270mm (10.6 in.) knife so that it can double up as a sujihiki or slicing knife if needed. I really haven't gotten any feedback on the Masamoto yet. I think the weight issue is a big factor for me though, and I'm not that interested in full carbon at this point. Anyone know at what point on the Rockwell scale chipping becomes an issue, or is that mostly based on the steel type?

I'll try a knife forum in the meantime.

Thanks guys

Apr 05, 2008
uvahustla in Cookware

Help Choose New Japanese Chef's Knife

I'm a line cook and just recently started at a Japanese Restaurant. My 8" Global is too short and also just isn't good enough to get the job done, even after being sharpened.

Here is what I'm choosing between:
Misono UX10: Swedish stainless, rust-resistant, easy to sharpen
- $240.30
- Thickness: 2mm
- Weight: 275g
- Hardness: 59-60
Ryusen Blazen: Powdered Steel, Damascus
- $232.50
- Thickness: 3mm
- Weight: 315g
- Hardness: 61-63
Hattori HD: VG10 & Nicken Damascus, Stainless, High Carbon
- $209.95
- Thickness: 3mm
- Weight: 310g
- Hardness: 60-61
Masamoto VG: High carbon & Molybdenum/Vanadium
- $207.90
- Thickness: 2.5mm
- Weight: 287g
- Hardness: 60
Nenohi Karin: Stain Resistant & High Carbon Steel Pressed Wood Handle
- $370.00
- Hardness: 60-61
- Ease of Sharpening, Performance

Apr 05, 2008
uvahustla in Cookware

The Best Dumplings Anywhere are in Charlottesville

WARNING!!! The tender delicious dumpling prices have skyrocketed to $3 a half dozen

CIA ProChef Certification

Thanks nosh,

I've actually read Making of a Chef and the Reach of a Chef although it was awhile ago. I'll take a look at the Reach of a Chef again. I think this question is different just because the exams are wayyyyy below the Master Chef level and have just recently been associated with the CIA.

HAS ANYONE DONE THESE PROGRAMS??? ANY CHEFS HAVE AN OPINION??

Mar 18, 2008
uvahustla in Not About Food

CIA ProChef Certification

What is the reputation of this program with chefs across the country? How are the different levels I (Culinarian) II (Chef de Partie) III (Executive Chef) viewed? Is it true the first level is equivalent to a culinary degree?

As a chef would your advice be to pay $60,000 to go CIA or get certified for a couple thousand if you have the neccessary skill? Any other input about the program/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot everyone,

Clark

Mar 11, 2008
uvahustla in Not About Food

CIA Classes

Info,

Can you tell me about the experience? Did you actually take the certification exam or just the classes?

Thanks a lot,

Clark

Mar 11, 2008
uvahustla in Not About Food

Charlottesville, Va.

I'm a cook in Charlottesville and in love with the food offerings. I agree strongly with L'Etoile, it's been consistent the three or four times Ive been there. Expect about $100 for two w/glasses of wine.

Also a big second on Zocalo at a similar price point after tip. I think that some of the best restaurants in Charlottesville are missing though. MAS is a Spanish Tapas restaurant with simply amazing, authentic food and very generous portions (get anything braised, potatoes w/aioli, spinach mango salad, artichoke-goat cheese dip, pumpkin empanadas, boquerones, or anything). I know from a source that their food cost is much higher than any conventional restaurant, and it shows.

Ive eaten on both coasts of the US as well as Italy and Asia and the best Asian influnced meal Ive had was at TEN, Japanese Kaiseki & Sushi Restaurant. It gets a little pricey if you get into wine or sake, but if you stay away from the chef's recommendations you'll get out for under $100 for two easy. Start off with the edamame, the avocado tempura, kobe meatballs, calamari, lamb chops, daikon chicken, Crab Roll, and yellowtail hamachi salad are all amazing.

Frenchwise I think L'Etoile and Hamilton's (Amazing for Lunch) are great choices. I think that if you've had this type of locally influenced French you are better off going to MAS or TEN.

Much more low key is Continental Divide, with amazing Tequila and fun Latin (Tex-Mex?) fare with $10-$15 a person prices. Tuna Tostada is bangin'. Let me know how it goes or if you have any more questions

VA Cook's Report - 1 Week Culinary Tour of Bay Area

Robert I think if I had seen chim quay and poulet I probably would have stayed. It also was probably just bad timing as there was just one other American couple there. Ruth you're missing my point. If that's in fact the goal he's simply catering to the American audience......rather than remaining authentic. Decor is sweet and like I said there were restaurants in vietnam that had nice decor....but they didn't look anything like many modern restaurants you see everywhere. I didn't eat in any Saigon cafeterias, and I definitely didn't see any tropical huts.

If the food is good, then it's good. If im back in the area I'll be sure to check it out

VA Cook's Report - 1 Week Culinary Tour of Bay Area

I spent a week eating in Vietnam a couple summers ago and the French influence led to amazing food in both French-Vietnamese fusion places as well as strictly Vietnamese places with classical French technique lending a hand. Yes Vietnam, does have some upscale/modern restaurants but most of them cater to tourists unless they are strictly French, in Saigon anyway.

I had a bigger problem with the actual "French" (meant New American Robert) dishes offered. Things like bacon wrapped lamb or steak, Salmon with stereotypical sauce accompanyment are bastardized versions of French cuisine and found all over. That aspect of the menu was nothing like any menu I saw or restaurant I ate at in Vietnam. The influence of Vietnamese cuisine by the occupation is what makes it so special, otherwise you should open a French bistro (of which there are many in Vietnam).

The Vietnamese food might be good at Bodega, but it felt like walking into a Kanki or PF Changs after eating in Japan and China. Just wasnt what I was looking for.

Ruth I actually had the Chicken Pho at Turtle Tower and agree.