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syzafar's Profile

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pho in cincinnati-an oxymoron??

you could try song long off reading road. we used to go there often when we lived in cinci. i remember pho paris as trying to hard and not quite hitting the mark--it was my least favorite of jean robert's restaurants.

Dec 24, 2007
syzafar in General South Archive

Skyline chili lover-Raleigh, NC

can skyline chili be overpriced? i'm getting desparate at this point and am considering buying from the website (and maybe throw in some chocolate chocolate chip from graeters).

Dec 23, 2007
syzafar in General South Archive

New restaurants in Durham

I've been to Blu a few times for dinner and once for lunch (just this week). While I can't be sure, it didn't look like the head chef was in the kitchen during lunch. Dinner is definitely better, so don't count out Blu until you've tried dinner.

Dec 19, 2007
syzafar in General South Archive

McCrady's in Charleston, SC - Dinner report.

Just got back from Charleston, SC. We went to McCrady's for dinner based on all the great tips found on this board. Here's what we thought of the Chef's tasting menu:

Amuse Bouche - peekie toe crab topped with a radish salad. Wasn't the most flavorful crab in the world. Good start, not great.

“Vegetables from the Garden” - fresh vegetables harvested daily from Chef Brock's garden. This was a simple salad of carrots, beets, brussel sprout leaves, and sliced squash served on a slate slab. Drops of some sort of ranch dressing were scattered around. Again, good, but not great. I mean, vegetables should be fresh, right? Cool presentation.

Hawaiian Tuna - very interesting concept. Sashimi tuna lightly seasoned were presented along with an oven-heated slab of himalayan salt. We were supposed to sear our own tuna on the salt slab. Served with a little bowl of passion fruit butter. Loved the concept and presentation. The tuna went well with the salt block, but the passion fruit butter was...well, bad. Didn't really go with the tuna, at all.

New England Cod
Leeks, Mushrooms, Cauliflower- this dish was just outstanding. The cod was cooked sous vide, and was perfectly made -- mild, silky smooth. It was served over tasty mushrooms, braised cauliflower, leeks, and cauliflower paper (going along with brock's molecular gastronomy theme). Best dish, by far.

Foie Gras “Bacon”
Sweet Potato, Chocolate Balsamic, Pain Perdue - i was looking forward to this dish the most on the tasting menu. The foie gras was brined bacon-style, and as a result, i think the texture was a little too soft. The pain perdue (french toast) was nice along with the chocolate sauce, though the chocolate sauce overpowered the foi gras. OVerall, really nice dish, but kinda unbalanced.

Cervena Venison Tenderloin
Savoy Cabbage, White Cardamom, pumpkin - The venison was really well prepared. Thats...about all i can say that's positive about this dish. the venison was served with this slimy pumpkin flan slice that was not very flavorful and a little gross when i ate it with the venison, actually.

Warm Sora Cheese
Potato Confit, Truffle Saba, Herb Salad - i enjoyed this fairly simple dish of cheese over potato surrounded by a truffle sauce. A little salty, but good. However, my wife said it reminded her of cheesy potatoes.

Butternut Squash Cake
Brown Butter Ice Cream, Whipped Maple - cant' really eat a molecular gastronomy meal without foam -- and here it was. Cream foam over the cake and really, really good ice cream. The cake was a little dry, though. Oh, and this dish had the fifth pillar of molecular gastronomy, powder.

Overall, I'd say we enjoyed our experience at McCrady's. I might be hypercritical because of all we had heard about the place. The service was outstanding, the decor was reminiscent of a german hunting lodge, and not my style. The food was good--not outstanding. Not sure we'd go back as it wasn't worth the four hour drive and the price.

Dec 02, 2007
syzafar in General South Archive

Cordavi in Charleston, SC has closed

Just called Cordavi to make reservations for a trip next weekend, and was informed that Cordavi has closed. He said they "have closed to find a new location." Wonder if business wasn't so hot.

Nov 26, 2007
syzafar in General South Archive

Buffalo wings in Durham?

Hi, any suggestions on finding really good buffalo wings in Durham? I've tried Cinelli's, but want to move on...

Nov 25, 2007
syzafar in General South Archive

Watts Grocery in Durham, NC

We've been to Watts Grocery a few times now -- dinner, brunch, dessert. But, by far, the most fun we had was going for a late-night bite after the Shins concert. The lights were dimmed, clusters of people were hanging out at the bar or around tables, and despite having fewer staff, we didn't have to wait long for our food. We got onion rings and a reuben. The rings were crunchy and flavorful. The reuben was a plate full of melty goodness. Can't wait to find another excuse to hit the late-night menu.

Nov 23, 2007
syzafar in General South Archive

Blu Seafood and Bar, Durham, Reviews & Discussion

Went to Blu for the first time recently. The conch seviche was well prepared, but the presentation was a little bland. The fried oysters were very well done, and the horseradish sauce added a nice zing. Our favorite, by far, was the seasonal whole fish -- perfectly prepared. We'll be back for more!

Nov 23, 2007
syzafar in General South Archive

Taqueria Lopez in Durham?

just went to Taqueria Lopez for dinner. this is by far the best mexican/tex-mex restaurant in the triangle. all the food is made fresh daily (including the fantastic tortillas). the 7 seafood soup was amazing, and the tacos were really good, too. i was really surprised by the quality of the meat, as well. the owner was talking with us and mentioned that the food truck at the shell station on hillsborough is also owned by them. it's open late at night on the weekends.

Apr 13, 2007
syzafar in General South Archive