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24 hrs in Liverpool

Wow thanks for the info on the Swan, hadn't seen that and it sounds perfect. I do have Jenny's on my list but will probably just get one fancy cocktail my nite there and Berry & Rye sounds great. I figured Philharmonic was old school which might be fine, will see what kind of mood I'm in. Was thinking the Quarter for lunch, maybe a late nite kebab at Botan, hopefully hit one of the Salts. Too many things to squeeze in one day. Any noteworthy bakeries or cafes? I'm probably SOL on getting iced coffee over there in Feb., huh? (we drink it year round in New England). Thx again.

Feb 18, 2015
Joanie in U.K./Ireland

Lunch spots & bakeries in Cardiff?

Here's some notes from when I visited (from Boston 4 years ago so not sure if these places are still there). I really enjoyed dinner at Bayside Brasserie by the waterfront. Mimosa Bar & Kitchen advertised itself as having Welsh food but the menu didn't seem different and it was ok at best. Also by the waterfront was Woods where we had a great daily lunch special of gray mullet and broccoli soup, two courses was £10. Around the corner we stopped at Fabulous Welsh Cakes where I got a fresh one for dessert and a bag to take home. Very nice, like a very creamy scone. Also the café a few doors down was cute and had a good oat bar w/ caramel frosting. I recommend getting a sandwich at that stand where they grill the meat in the center of town. roast pork roll w/ stuffing and apple was huge and only £2.95 (altho the bread was boring). Nice brownie and latte at The Plan in the Royal Arcade (after shopping at Spiller's Records, oldest record store in the world). That nite I finally got a good cocktail at Henry's on Park Place, lychee "martini" with some champagne (lots of interesting combos) and he gave me the happy hour price which was very nice. Then ate at the bar of Laguna next to the Park Plaza and the toast w/ wild mushrooms, spinach and poached egg was great as was the wild boar ravioli. Both were only £6 and with a glass of wine, a great dinner. Grabbed a tasty bacon and cheese thing for the train ride back not far from the High Street Arcade (where there's a good vintage shop and cheap shoe store). Also enjoyed the Cardiff Market and the record store upstairs.

Feb 17, 2015
Joanie in U.K./Ireland

24 hrs in Liverpool

I've noticed Europe isn't as big on dining at the bar as we are in the States, where no one wants to sit in the dining room anymore. I'll check out Salt House. I found a couple places that looked decent, any thoughts on The Monro, The Quarter, Philharmonic Dining Rooms (I realize these may not have bar dining), and Botan Kebabs which supposedly has the best kebabs. Will try for a cocktail at Berry & Rye. Is there a suggestion for a bar with a good rock/punk jukebox or ipod? And is the Baltic Triangle section walkable from the Liner? Thanks.

Feb 17, 2015
Joanie in U.K./Ireland

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #15 – Finale - 02/11/15 (spoilers)

I have to say, it's kind of embarrassing how the city has been brought to its knees. Granted, it's an insane amount of snow in 3 weeks but public transportation hasn't run for 3 days in that time period and the last two days it's not running on any above ground lines and at half capacity more or less. The mounds of snow will never melt. It's 10 degrees right now which is par for the course. I'm going to London this week which will feel like Tahiti at this point. I hope our roof doesn't cave in while I'm gone. That little crease you see in the photo is the entry to our bldg.

Feb 17, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News
1

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #15 – Finale - 02/11/15 (spoilers)

Actually I was gonna say the same thing about throwing the contest. No way you forget such key ingredients.

And I agree w/ C Hamster that it's borderline mean to bring the chefs back to be rejected so often. But at least they're in Mexico enjoying the good food and weather I guess.

Feb 13, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #15 – Finale - 02/11/15 (spoilers)

I'll add my props for Linda too. Not sure I'll even watch again, have had enough at this point I think. In any case:

1) what was up with Richard's hair
2) why do they bring back all those chefs when you know they're not gonna get picked
3) Mei's dessert must have tasted awesome cuz to me, it sure didn't look so delicious
4) How could Gregory forget such major ingredients? Seems weird.

Feb 13, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News
1

24 hrs in Liverpool

I'll be there from early afternoon Tues. Feb. 24 to 3:30 on Wed. Will take the obligatory Beatles tour Tues. afternoon and have nothing else on the agenda. I'll be staying at the Liner Hotel. What walkable places have good bar dining where I can get a couple apps and a nice cocktail? Any place for a good lunch on Wed. or some good bakeries? There's not much info on Liverpool but hopefully I get a few replies. Thanks.

Feb 12, 2015
Joanie in U.K./Ireland

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #14 – Pre-Finale - 02/04/15 (spoilers)

Stupid me forgot the finale was on at 9 so have to wait til tomorrow to read the comments on the last episode. How many times did someone say "this is the most important meal of my life"?

Feb 12, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Help w/ a full day in London and a thank you dinner

Thanks for that info, I've compiled a giant list and am really hoping to whittle things down. I think we'll try to see the 40's fashion exhibit and general things at the Imperial War museum, hit a couple Sat. markets like Broadway and Nettil, which seem to be close to each other and busy that day, try to time Blueprint right (it unfortunately closes midday) and squeeze in a stuffy cocktail and a hip one. I'm thinking Dukes Hotel or the Gilbert Scott in the St. Pancras Hotel for the former (and earlier since they tend to be open all day) and either Callooh Callay or 69 Colebrooke for the latter (I have a res at Evans and Peel for another time). We'll just wander around and check things out, maybe stop for another snack. Does this make any sense for keeping traveling time to a minimum? Do you have a suggestion for an early evening quick bite in the area of the two bars? Thanks.

Also still wondering if there's a good gastropub in the Hammersmith area for the thank you dinner. Maybe the Harwood Arms which wouldn't be too far away right?

Feb 11, 2015
Joanie in U.K./Ireland

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #14 – Pre-Finale - 02/04/15 (spoilers)

I wondered about that too. Those farm veggies are esp. dirty and take way more washing than some store bought stuff.

Feb 05, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #14 – Pre-Finale - 02/04/15 (spoilers)

I was surprised to hear her interpreting too. And wondered how that one guy who seemed to only speak Spanish was getting along with the rest of the conversations.

Doug and Katsuji were cute when K was saying they get along so well cuz they're both assholes or something like that.

I hope next time they start with 12 people or I may be passing, this season has been way too freaking long.

Feb 05, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News
1

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #13 – 01/28/15 (spoilers)

Oh my god, really? I thought last week was part 1. Jesus this just keeps going and going it seems, there's no need for 2 parts IMO.

Feb 04, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #13 – 01/28/15 (spoilers)

I was a little surprised we caught only 1 min of last chance kitchen.
That town looked beautiful.
Mei's artist was a hoot.
I'm glad it wraps up next week.

Jan 29, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Help w/ a full day in London and a thank you dinner

Hoping I can get some suggestions for a fun day hanging out with a friend arriving at King's X (from Oxford) about noon til 7 or 8PM. She says she's never in LON and wants to hit cool stuff, mentioned the Shoreditch area. Also she mentioned galleries and museums off the tourist route, the Dover Market, a good cocktail. This will be my 10th visit from Boston, last time was Nov. 2010.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7501...

Have seen some good posts about the Clove Club, Bar With No Name, Nightjar, Palomar, Lyle's, but def don't want to commit to a 3 course meal. Would like some place that's open around 5-6PM for sharing an app and an entree maybe, entrees no higher than £25-30. We like new hip cocktails, cocktails in classic settings and drinks in fun rock bars. While we're trying to stay away from being too touristy, a drink or snack with a nice view might be a good experience. Have never done the river thing, maybe at the Swan or Blueprint Cafe?

I'm not sure if she's been to the Burroughs or Spitalfields markets (I see it says Sat is themed mkt day at Spit, what does that mean). Is there anything that's really Sat. specific? Trying to plan a route that's somewhat linear so we don't criss cross all over and makes it easy for her to get to King's X and me to Hammersmith at the end of the day.

In addition, I want to take my host to a nice/fun place to thank her for accommodating me (alas, she's moving back to Dallas (?!) and the freebie will be gone). Something on the District or Piccadilly line would be good or not too far from Hammersmith. Anything in Notting Hill? English or continental, local, etc. is good. I hope the questions are specific enough, thanks in advance.

Jan 28, 2015
Joanie in U.K./Ireland

Best restaurant w/ Tom Colicchio

Am I blind or is there no discussion of this? Sorry if the former. Not that it's too exciting. I watched the first 20, skimmed the next and zipped thru the last 20 min. Don't think I'll have time to deal with it with so many shows starting up again (Americans, Looking, Justified, etc). It def seemed like the Miami Italian guys had their shit together a little more than the Calif place with that oddball waiter but in the end, I just don't care that much even tho I'm a fan of Tom.

Jan 23, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

I thought this episode was pretty boring. Got sick of them all saying "this is the most important stuff I've ever cooked". I was surprised that Melissa won, I thought someone said (Wylie I think) that hers wasn't so adventurous altho Richard said she stepped out of her comfort zone. I felt bad for George cuz Gregory really didn't seem to do anything unusual. Glad this is almost done.

Watched 15 min of the restaurant show and taped the rest. Not sure I'll stick with that. That head waiter was annoying as all get out.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #11 – 01/14/15 (spoilers)

"Mr. Tony" (did no one else find it odd George kept calling him that?) def had a thick Greek accent.

Jan 16, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #11 – 01/14/15 (spoilers)

At the judges' table when Padma said something about the chef who showed leadership, I thought for sure it was going to be Mei because she had to deal with her doofus brother not really being a person you want in the kitchen with you. I obviously am not a big fan of Melissa and am bummed she breezed into the finals.

Watched LCK and I can't tell if that's the end of it or if there's one more in Mexico? Anyone know?

Jan 15, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #10 – 01/07/15 (spoilers)

Melissa is on the quiet side but I don't think of her as shy. As most have said, her cooking doesn't really seem to dazzle and it's not just her way conveying it (or not) IMO. And the judges aren't thrilled with her since she's been in the bottom 5 times (just found this handy dandy chart)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_Chef...

Jan 14, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #10 – 01/07/15 (spoilers)

I just realized, they also gave up on that stupid whooshing in and out to the possible axed chefs. That was a good move.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #10 – 01/07/15 (spoilers)

Hmm, seems like I'm the only one who didn't think Andy was funny. Seemed like he was trying too hard.

Jan 08, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #10 – 01/07/15 (spoilers)

Wow that dinner does look great.
Sad to see Doug go but didn't think it could be anyone else.
Have completely forgotten about LCK, will take a look now. I did see them mention liverwurst, something I like every so often.

Jan 08, 2015
Joanie in Food Media & News

Visiting London from NYC. Please help critique itinerary (researched)

Thanks for the cocktail (and other) info. What's the damage for craft cocktails in London these days?

Jan 06, 2015
Joanie in U.K./Ireland

Looking for Birthday dinner in London, early November.

So where did they go? I'm researching London for Feb. and these are the kinds of places I look for. Thx.

Jan 06, 2015
Joanie in U.K./Ireland

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #9 – 12/17/14 (spoilers)

To make some fake drama I assume. Even if he were a Jets or Colts fan, I'd think he'd keep his mouth shut til after the judging.

I was thinking how slow the comments are this season too. I don't feel like the chefs are *that* much different, and certainly the judges seem super happy with most of their dishes. Maybe they've shot the Top Chef wad after all this time.

Dec 18, 2014
Joanie in Food Media & News
1

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #9 – 12/17/14 (spoilers)

It was nice to have guests with some personality. Gronk was his big doofusy adorable self. Tony Maws didn't have a lot to do but seemed more animated than many who have been on. I wish Gronk had been at the dinner too.

I'm not sure I saw the stories people were trying to portray all that well in any of their dishes, except for Katsuji.

Maybe I can knock off some of those movies on my DVR since everything is on break, except Tiny House Hunters.

Dec 18, 2014
Joanie in Food Media & News
1

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #8 – 12/10/14 (spoilers)

Here's some behind the scenes stuff from Jasper and Tony Maws. Didn't read it yet.

http://bostonchefs.com/news/tag/top-c...

Dec 17, 2014
Joanie in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #8 – 12/10/14 (spoilers)

I didn't want to be so brutal but yes, that's kind of what I was thinking about JW. Hope all is well with him. And I miss Denis Leary. Hope his new show is as fun as Rescue Me.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/fx-de...

With Sons ending, The Bridge not getting renewed and Justified in its last season, FX needs some good shows.

Dec 17, 2014
Joanie in Food Media & News
1

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #8 – 12/10/14 (spoilers)

I gave up on "all stars" (Really? half of you lost in the first few weeks), but was thinking Alysa sure ain't as attractive and/or put together as she used to be. Pregnant or not.

Dec 15, 2014
Joanie in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #8 – 12/10/14 (spoilers)

He was bugging me in the early episodes but I thought he was really fun in this ep. He definitely brought a good energy to the shopping. More Hugh.