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Kerner and Dry Riesling Sekt

The Abbazia di Novacella also makes a good and widely available (in NY at least) Kerner for just under $25.

Oct 25, 2008
akowit in Wine

how to store and use coffee beans?

Someone just sent me 3 lbs of roasted coffee beans from Peet's, which has inspired me to stop buying coffee at $2 a pop and make it myself. Some questions:

1. How long will the whole beans stay fresh at room temp? Should I store the rest in the freezer? I'm planning to grind enough for a week at a time.

3. I thought I'd just grind them in my spice grinder but will that make my coffee taste like cumin? I don't really want to buy a second grinder.

4. Thinking of just using a a cone and filter. Would a french press make a significantly better batch of coffee? Other inexpensive equipment options that are good?

Thanks!

Oct 23, 2008
akowit in Home Cooking

Best food markets in the world? The kinds with multiple vendors?

Lots of Italian cities have daily (or almost-daily) food markets. For me, Palermo wins hands-down for its warren of streets overflowing with food stalls, but I also really like the food markets in Florence, Bologna, Modena, and Catania.

The fish market in Pusan (South Korea) blew me away, even more than Tsukiji in Tokyo. (Many live fish tanks, with little counter areas where they will kill, cook and serve you a fish.) Budapest has a great covered market selling extraordinary salamis.

Sep 01, 2008
akowit in General Topics

Advice for pairing with fennel

Fennel thrives in Sicily and I always found it went well with native Sicilian whites. I fondly remember a salad of shaved raw fennel and onion dressed with olive oil and salt (I think even the salt was local--Sicilian sea salt--which you could find in the supermarket), some deep-fried fresh anchovies (more salt, some lemon?), and a local white wine.

Jul 31, 2008
akowit in Wine

Great French Restaurant?

Two ideas:

Allen & Delancey -- I haven't been but the menu has a very French feel to it and I hear good things. Ex: scallops with celery root cream; terrine of guinea hen with smoked ham knuckle, foie gras, and beets; and fillet of cod with lemon confit, oyster veloute, and caviar.

Solex -- a fairly generic looking wine bar in the EV on 1st Ave. that has some great French wines and surprisingly good and authentic French food, including a charcuterie plate that ranged from foie gras to salami, with gherkins, good crusty break, and great mustard. We also had a basic bibb salad with hard-cooked egg, frizzled shalltos, croutons, etc., that was just nicely composed, a good balance of cooked and raw, soft and crisp. The white wine we picked was from somewhere near the French Alps and a great value at 20-something dollars.

The best French food I've had in NY was at La Caravelle, La Cote Basque, and La Grenouille; the first two are closed and the last is awfully expensive.

Jan 21, 2008
akowit in Manhattan

Raclette for dinner, what to drink before and after?

I seem to remember from an old Chowhound posts that some people really like pairing raclette with Caymus Conundrum. Here is the url, from 2002. Relevant quote:
"I simply put a slice [of raclette] on a piece of baguette and grill it in my toaster oven. I have done that for many an impromptu gathering and all my friends have been blown away by how the Conundrum goes with it."

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/290919

Jan 07, 2008
akowit in Wine

Back Forty - A Disappointment

I had a great brunch there recently. The quality of the ingredients seriously high (grass-fed meat, farmstead cheese, top-shelf liquors like Junipero gin appearing in the cocktail menu) and that justified the cost for what I ordered. In the $9 granola with yogurt and fruit, the yogurt was fantastic--I think the server said from Hawthorn Valley upstate--and the fruit consisted of dead-ripe red and green Bartlett pears. I'd much rather spend $9 for this rendition than the more typical $7 for an OK version. That said, I hate when a burger doesn't come with fries. And $10 for a grass-fed burger + $5 for fries is actually higher than the $12 being charged during lunch at the parent restaurant Savoy.

I managed to come away spending a bit over $20 for a shared salad, two shared mains, and coffee, but that took some will power when ordering, given some of the higher-priced dishes (like an $18 blue crab roll) and the abundance of "snacks" and sides

Dec 31, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Help me make sense of my Blue Hill experience?

There was a tautness and a denseness to the pork chop I had at BHSB. When I cut into the meat, it felt more like a real muscle than most meat does. (Not to be confused with toughness--the pork wasn't tough. Rather, the muscle put up some resistance to my knife, so I had to push harder, but with a slicing motion, not the sawing motion used to cut through tough meat.) If you think of dry-aging beef as allowing the muscle tissue to break down, this was the opposite situation; the muscle was solid. While not tough, the meat had some chew to it, but the chewing rewarded me with lots of juicy flavor. At least this is how I remember the pork chop two years hence.

Dec 02, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

2nd Date: W. Vill for $75

I'd suggest Employees Only. OK, you couldn't get drinks+1app+2entrees for $75, but you could drink and do some serious nibbling. It's a really good 2nd date place.

At Fatty Crab you could absolutely get good beers+apps/entrees for $75.

Oct 09, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Winw and cheese reception [Moved to General Topics board]

hey, wow, nice to see the Merlot/cheddar pairing. One of my all-time favorite combos was Merlot with 4-yr Grafton cheddar. I don't buy much merlot but I showed the cheese to the wine shop guy and that's what he gave me. Perfection.

Oct 08, 2007
akowit in Wine

Lower East Side Recs

Little Giant has great, interesting food and good drinks. Very small but a good place for a group of 4 friends and it looks onto a beautiful LES intersection of Orchard and Broome. Also like Alias over on Clinton.

Hearth and Prune mentioned above are great but are located in the East Village.

Oct 07, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Favorite Brunch spot in Manhattan?

The multi-course brunch at Ouest has been a longtime favorite. Great coffee, well-composed salads, mini muffins stuffed will molten bananas, this crazy souffle roulade filled with spinach and gruyere--it is my special-occasion brunch place.

Oct 07, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

visiting shortly - looking for classic New York Cheesecake

I like the cheesecake at Katz's Deli. It's definitely in the classic NY style. And there's a nice balance of baked exterior and creamy interior. Way better than Junior's.

Oct 07, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

need help choosing an American Pinot Noir

Thanks. In fact, all the wines I mentioned fell in the restaurant price range of $90-$180. I'm guessing that getting at DRC Romanee S-V at that price involved a very kind sommelier.

Oct 02, 2007
akowit in Wine

need help choosing an American Pinot Noir

At our occasional nice dinners out, my SO and I will order a red Burgundy (some favorites were a 1998 J.L. Trapet Latricieres-Chambertin, a Lafarge Volnay 1997, some kind of 2000 Vosne Romanee Les Suchots, and an incredible Romanee St.Vivant), and once we had a great New Zealand PN. But a restaurant we're headed to seems to downplay Burgundies in favor of American PNs (in terms of # of offerings), so that seems like the way to go. I know absolutely nothing about them. Here are some from the list. Do any of these sound good, maybe Burgundian in style?

Morgan Winery, "Double L Vineyards," Santa Lucia Highlands 2004
Patz & Hall, "Hyde Vineyard," Carneros 2004
Argyle Reserve Series "Nuthouse", Willamette Valley 2004
Domaine Drouhin, "Laurene," Willamette Valley, Oregon 2003
Calera, Selleck Vineyard, Mount Harlan Vineyard 2001
Archery Summit "Red Hills Estate," Oregon 2002
La Crema "Nine Barrel," Russian River Valley 2004

Oct 02, 2007
akowit in Wine

Vegetarian friendly place in NY?

With vegetarians, I really like Tamarind, a somewhat high-end Indian restaurant. The vegetarian dishes are all fantastic (as are the meat dishes).

Sep 29, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Salon Champagne

what restaurant is this? Pier 4?

Sep 23, 2007
akowit in Wine

Salon Champagne

I just had the Pierre Peters NV brut blanc de blancs with poached turbot. Definitely yum. I don't buy a lot of champagne but it seemed like a good value at $39.

Sep 23, 2007
akowit in Wine

Dinner with a view

River Cafe will show you the Brooklyn Bridge and downtown Manhattan (financial district). Asiate will show you Southwest Central Park and some buildings along along Central Park South. Water's Edge will show you the east Midtown skyline. I'd go with the Water's Edge b/c you're sitting right on the water.

Another option (for drinks at least) is the Top of the Tower, in east Midtown, at the top of the art deco Beekman Tower hotel. Top floor is this bar area with windows on one side looking onto midtown and on the other side overlooking the east rive. A great view (I think it's much better than from Asiate).

http://www.thebeekmanhotel.com

Sep 09, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Dinner with a view

The Water's Edge has a pretty unbeatable view of the Manhattan skyline if you reserve one of their outdoor tables, which sit right on the East River, on the Queens side, roughly across from the UN building. The have a free boat that picks you up at the 34th Street Pier in Manhattan. The restaurant looks like it's from another era, and the food is good. Time your reservation so dinner coincides with the sunset.

www.watersedgenyc.com

Sep 09, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Suggestions for slightly sweet red wine?

Hmmm, I could have sworn I bought a red Riesling at the KaDeWe department store in Berlin. Could I have been mistaken? It certainly tasted like what I'd imagine a red Riesling would taste like.

Aug 14, 2007
akowit in Wine

like blue hill but cheaper?

I agree, Applewood and Rose Water in Brooklyn are both great options. Both are committed to sustainably grown, local ingredients and cost less than Blue Hill, and are absolutely delicious. I also agree with the above poster about Savoy (which feels like an NYC version of Chez Panisse) but it's barely cheaper than Blue Hill.

Visit menupages.com for menus and prices for all these places.

For a real treat, visit Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Nothing like it.

Aug 14, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Can't get into Babbo, what else is hot nearby?

blue hill is one block south.

Aug 14, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Why can't NY understand the croissant?

Fauchon (the best), Petrossian, Jacques Torres Chocoalte, Payard Patisserie, Patisserie Claude. I agree that balthazar's are only fair.

Aug 04, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Una pizza napolitana v. Cronkites

I was shocked by UPN. Just awful. My friend and I kept shaking our heads in disbelief between bites. It had none of the qualities of good neapolitan pizza. Visited Cronkite once and loved it, and am sad it closed.

Jul 25, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Piemonte

Oh wow, I stayed in Verduno 2 weeks ago, at the Ca del Re agriturismo! Verduno is tiny, but has the Real Castello, a Savoy castle (perhaps you are staying there) with a good restaurant. The risotto I had there (risotto carneroli "aquarello" di verduno) was the best I've had in my life (and I've had--and made--a lot of good risotto) made with (I think) a local cultivar of carneroli. The castle has its own Barolo and Barbaresco vineyards and you can drink its wines with dinner. I spent all of 4 days in Piemonte so I'm not exactly a local expert, but was very happy with that meal.

In Barbaresco I ate at Antica Torre, which gets raves on chowhound and elsewhere. I thought it was pretty good (especially the carne crudo covered with shaved black summer truffles) but preferred the Real Castello.

Here is useful link to other places to eat:
http://www.jancisrobinson.com/article...

Jul 24, 2007
akowit in Italy

restaurants in alto adige

I was just there 1 week ago. If you like wine I would highly recommend visiting the Abbazia di Novacella (abbazianovacella.it), a beautiful medieval abbey about 20 minutes walk (through gorgeous apple orchards) north of Brixen that makes excellent wines, including Sylvaner, Kerner, Gewurstraminer, Pino Grigio, Lagrein, etc. On site is a bar where you can sample the wines, and a wine shop for buying them. Nearby Brixen is also a charming town worth visiting.

I stayed (and ate) at Unterwirt, in the hill-side "village" of Gudon, just above the town of Chiusa - NE of Bolzano. Highlights were a deliciously chewy pasta made with rye flour served with speck (the local cured meat) and local wild mushrooms, and tortelloni of oven-roast tomatoes with parmesan cream and a spinach puree, and parsley soup. The wine list has a section devoted to the Val d'Isarco, the local region within the Alto Adige.

I also enjoyed the outdoor food market and several of the wine bars along the Piazza delle Erbe in Bolzano, but didn't really spend much time in that city.

Jul 24, 2007
akowit in Italy

Cheap dinner near Lincoln Center?

You could eat at Whole Foods in the Time Warner Center.

Jul 24, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Near Pegu Club

Savoy.

I love the Pegu Club. I ordered a drink off the menu and it was a while in coming. Then the server stopped by to say they were missing one of its ingredients, so had sent someone to buy the missing liquor!

Jul 24, 2007
akowit in Manhattan

Abbazia di Novacella 2006 Sylvaner

I was just at the Abbey 2 weeks ago and loved it. It's very beautiful, as was the walk from the Abbey to the nearby town of Brixen, passing through apple orchards most of the way. I tasted several of the Abbey's wines (Sylvaner, Kerner, Pino Grigio, Gewurstraminer) and loved all of them.

Jul 24, 2007
akowit in Wine