Grant van gameren's Profile

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Less of this in 2014 thread

Please do. Let's lay it all out and you can post it.

From a business perspective I think it's important to defend as well as learn and tweak.

I'm all ears and welcome the chance to improve if it makes sense.

Less of this in 2014 thread

From a customers point of view. Me often being a customer. If I made a 6 o'clock reservation and the hostess told me not to show up early because the restaurant won't unlock the door till 6 o'clock, I would not be happy with that as my first interaction with the restaurant.

So yes. I would probably hang up and say the word "jerk" to myself.

Is be happy to discuss our policies and the reasoning behind it.
I don't like the idea of you outside in minus 15 degrees. But we have policies for a reason and can share them at grant@barisabel.com and you can share them on the board if you wish.

Less of this in 2014 thread

Then your hostess just sounds like a jerk.

Best Brunch/Lunch around Jean Talon

Will be at jean talon marche tomorrow and looking for good breakfast/lunch options for a group of 10.
We went to reservoir today and enjoyed it.


Seeking eastern township cheese fun

We are 10 of us in montreal. all staff from a restaurant that focuses on cheese and charcuterie.
I've heard there are a lot of off-the-radar cheese producers on the outskirts of montreal but dont know of any off by hand or where to find them.
Looking for fun places to take the staff and see what cheese makers are making. preferably make a nice morning out of it.

Also, other then the jean talon marche, anything else a staff of food enthusiasts would appreciate with our three days in town.

Thanks for any recommendations.

Just arrived in new york, looking for charcuterie and nose to tail eating.

Can anyone recommend some must have dishes at hakata tonton?

Dec 30, 2008
Grant van gameren in Manhattan

Just arrived in new york, looking for charcuterie and nose to tail eating.

So far i've hit up cafe habana, the spotted pig, inoteca for late night eats, and casa mono.
they've all been very solid.
For some reason i cant help but want a grilled corn from habana every single day. luckily for me its around the block.
Inoteca's truffled egg with bottarga was divine!
The sardines at casa mono were flawless with a lemony punch, and the pickled mackerel at the spotted pig along with grilled tongue dish was very memorable.
money goes fast in NYC....

Dec 30, 2008
Grant van gameren in Manhattan

Just arrived in new york, looking for charcuterie and nose to tail eating.

Hey all, just drove in from Toronto.
i cook back home and am looking for some gems to eat at.
I'll be going to babbo, bar boulud, and the spotted pig for sure.
i'm over at houston and mott....
i have no clue where anything is including myself.
i'm looking for good brunch, lunch, dinner spots in the neighbourhood as well as those gems a chef shouldn't miss when in town.
Its my first time here and i doubt i'll be back soon.
i have 7 days.
although i'd like to eat my share of charcuterie and pig parts while here, id also like to balance it with unique dining experiences to please my girlfriend. :)
so anything i shouldn't miss is welcomed!


Dec 27, 2008
Grant van gameren in Manhattan

fra mani and salumi sellers distributors / sellers in manhattan ???

I have a friend in manhattan for another two days. id like her to pick me up some of these producers product and bring it home to me. who sells it and doesn't charge an arm and a leg for it? thanks!

Nov 11, 2008
Grant van gameren in Manhattan

Where can I find Japanese Chef's Knife in GTA?

I've bought some knives from Yamasho at 2238 Dundas St. West Suite B105 Toronto
Although they are japanese style knifes, but im pretty sure they carry some western style japanese knifes. Ones i particularly like right now are suisin INOX series.
Not sure if your a cook or not, but i would highly recommend a good set of Masamoto or suisin japanese style knives.
These are the one sided , wood handle, usually carbon steel that require sharpening stones as opposed to the steel. They remain very sharp even after a lot of use, but is a whole different world compared to western style macs, globals etc... They are expensive. atleast 200 + for a semi decent knife but in the end worth it.
You'll notice the same looking knifes for 100 - 1000 bucks and you'll ask yourself whats the difference. Its all in the steel they use. the more carbon, the softer the knife, making it easier to sharpen and get sharper.

Korin as someone mentioned is good as well as i've bought most of my knives from www.japanesechefsknife.com. They are located in Japan, and shipping rates are great and you can usually talk them down via email.

Also, you would have to invest in a good set of ceramic sharpening stones that will run you another 150 bucks. :(

Come to think about it. Buy yourself a Mac and put the money you save on a downpayment for a condo :)

Charcuterie producers in montreal and surrounding area???

thanks, i read that . There has to be more out there!!!

Charcuterie producers in montreal and surrounding area???

i'm planning a trip this weekend to montreal , i'll only be there for 24 hours or so and im looking for the best producers of artisanal cured meats in and around montreal. preferably not much more then an hour out of the downtown core.
Anyone have any must go to spots for salami's whole cured cuts, anyone doing anything unique and amazing?

thanks for any insight.

Looking to buy Aged Balsamic - Suggestions?

go to " The olive pit" on queen west
there you can sample all types of vinegars and oils.... a very intimate buying experience.

L'unita - where Arlequin used to be

Rustic wood tables, reddish brick walls, with big antique mirrors and really cool light bulbs for lighting.
with a big bar too.
it feels like terroni's, only dimmer in lighting and much warmer feeling.
they have a cool little galley style seating area in the back if you want some privacy.

L'unita - where Arlequin used to be

I cook for a living, so i have the tendency to be a little picky when eating out.
i went to l'unita last week and both the service and the food were spot on.
When i go out for italian food. i want two things.
Simple food that uses the best ingredients.
l'unita offered both.
a lot of people like to recommend terroni's when it comes to italian. In my opinion, terroni's is more trendy then actually good.
there pizza's are usually greasy and fall apart and you can tell what comes out of a can.
At l'unita, your offered the same atmosphere, same affordable prices but with better service and much better food.
a rare find , especially amongst the overpriced restaurants in yorkville.
For apps , i had the artichoke and parma salad with poached egg, the sardine crostini with fennel salad which i still cant stop talking about(something about that fennel), and the tuna crudo. for mains the lamb bolognese (not ground, actually pulled) and margherita pizza. i recommend all of them.
if i had to pick on anything.
i would have really liked a little sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper on my pizza to bring out the subtle flavours of the toppings.
however, the freshly baked focaccia and my own bottle of quality olive oil that stayed at my table all night long made up for it. :)

Czehoski - New restaurant on Queen St. W

A review on coca.

im new to this whole food forum thing, but i just got home from eating at coca and decided to google it and see what others reviews were like.
after reading this thread i figured id put some input regarding my dining experience rather then start a brand new thread on coca.
i could be labeled a "foodie" yes, but i am a cook first and foremost.
i could care less if the service is great or horible. if the food isn't up to par, thats all i remember.
i went to coca with a fellow chef of mine looking to just be fed the chefs selection. whatever they thought was the best dishes , (read freshest) as well as what dishes makes this restaurant stand out from the others.
As a cook for many years, we love feeding this sort of table.
Industry or not, people who trust the chefs to send out a blind tasting menu is the best kind of table in my mind.
i get a tingling sensation just at the thought of it.
and of course you're going to bring out the big guns for these people.

so this was our meal.

Cheese croquette
Fennel black peppered olives
Chorizo w/ i think some sort of spicy japanese hot mustard sauce
Salt cod croquettes w/ mayo
Chicken wings w/ blue cheese sauce.
Horse sirloin(i think) skewers
Beef cheek croquettes
Chili prawns w/ bread.
Flatbread with duck confit, some type of cheese and poached pear.
Charcuterie and cheese plate.

now i am greatful that they were up to just feeding us, some restaurants just dont understand what this tasting menu thing is, they are just used to selling an app, followed by a main, but this day and age, and with Nathan as the executive chef, i figured this wouldn't be a problem, which it wasn't.
so, they accepted this mission and my cooking buddy and i were getting ready for what we hoped was going to be a great meal. (i think all chefs get a little giddy going out to eat somewhere nice as we rarely ever get too.)

the first course was good. a mild cheese, gooey on the inside, a light breading on the outside. i appreciated its simplicity.

i was hoping the chorizo was going to be homemade, but it wasn't. which is fine because it was a surprisingly better then average supplier bought chorizo. the hot mustard sauce went well with it.

the fennel olives were a bit brash for me. very salty olives, paired with even stronger seasonings like black pepper and i will assume, fennel pollen, which if anyone has used is very very potent. i liked the ingredients they seasoned with in theroy but im not sure if they marinate a bunch ahead of time or do it a la minute, but it would have been nicer if they were a little more subtle or used milder olives.

the salt cod croquettes were tasty but dull. i think they were suppose to have truffle with it, which was non apparent, and they were definately not salty. which is a shame. sometimes you can over soak them and take away from there nice saltiness.

the prawns were supposed to be chili prawns, which i figured meant spicy. they weren't. Perhaps there was some espelette pepper in the oil, but the flavor was non apparent.
a nice surprised was the hint of vanilla on the prawns. also, i must add that the shrimps were cooked perfectly. the thing that made this dish was the warm bread that came with it.

i have been sent chicken wings before , but they were always full of flavor and served unique. these ones were just chicken wings with blue cheese dressing.
very not exciting. not even lolly popped for easy dipping and eating.
i only finished these to not be rude.

it seems that beefcheeks are very popular these days and getting a lot of press.
these croquettes were first just too much of it. they were dry, fried to long and served with a dribble of sauce that i didn't have a chance to taste because it got sucked up by the dryness of the meat and breading. this was a very disapointing dish.
although there was one bite where i got a nice jellied piece of fat which was great! i only wish every bite was this succulent.

When i think of sardines, i think simple. Grilled, oil and salt and pepper maybe some fresh herb.
these ones looked nice but were mushy, hard to eat as i was busy picking little bones and what felt like tiny bits of scales out of my mouth.
the skin was soft, like it had been steamed almost. and anyone who eats sardines knows its best when they are crispy on the outside, even to a point where you overcook the inside slightly which also helps weed out the tiny bones.

horse skewers were nice, seasoned properly, a little tough. but nice if you've never tasted horse before.

the cheese/charcuterie plate was very blah. . spicy chorizo was nice but the bayonne ham was dry and i think there was some cured horse on there if i remember correctly which was the only think i really liked on the dish.
two of the three cheeses were horrible. they were served at the right temperature, but two of them looked and tasted like they were pre-cut. and dried out on all sides, to the point where there subtle flavor had no chance of being tasted. it tasted like i was chewing on erasers. the third was like a roquefort cheese. hard to screw up in my mind even with carelessness.

the flatbread.
this one was disapointing and tasteless.
the bread was dry, cheese was lame, duck confit was dry, and the pears were just bland poached pears.
i worked Italian restaurants for a few years and there are a few guidelines with this sort of dish.
if i was to serve this dish, id either serve it with a stinky cheese or something sweet like mascarpone. the pears would be poached sweet with sugar, port, cassis...somethng to contrast a stinky strong cheese. and the duck would be glazed and seasoned well before serving. Little chunks of even duck confit cant withstand the oven without drying out which in my mind defeats the whole purpose of cooking it in duck fat.. the bread would have some olive oil drizzled on it and some fresh cracked pepper. this was a lame attempt at something that can be done so well with just a little bit of sensibility.

All in all, a huge disappointment.
A lot of deep fried things, things with either no sauce or a lame sauce.
Most of the dishes lacked severely in seasoning. Which is rare for a tapas place that is suppose to pack a punch with these small dishes.
No effort in presentation.
I would recommend going to torito’s for Spanish tapas if that’s what your looking for.
You might get a slightly overcooked fish or meat here or there, but its definitely much better done and affordable.