ulterior epicure's Profile

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wd-50 - any recent reports, ideally from those who've been to other modernist spots.

To be fair, uhockey is about twice my height. :)

I have been to wd~50 thrice in the course of the past six years, twice in the last two. My last meal there was about a year ago, in May. Have you never been, uhockey? That sort of surprises me.

I think wd~50, like Corton or Gagnaire, is a gamble. When you hit it on a good night, as I did on my second meal (the epic one mentioned above), it can be truly extraordinary. Otherwise, you might leave scratching your head a bit.

Dufresne's version of "molecular gastronomy" is a bit different, I think, from some of his peers' versions. Whereas Achatz (I've been to alinea thrice) and, to some extent, Cantu (I've been to moto once), approach it from the standpoint of eliciting emotion, I think Dufresne is more concerned with flavor combinations, and morphing forms. I hesitate to go too much further down this line of thought until I've given it some more time in my grey matter.

I have not been to ink or VOLT (but that will soon change). But I have been to Bazaar, and have had José Andres's food in multiple settings. From what I can tell, he comes dangerously close to xeroxing Ferran Adria's food.

You asked about schwa. I've been twice, once before Carlson's "hiatus," and once after he reopened. In my opinion, it doesn't belong in this discussion for many reasons.

But restaurants like l'Arnsbourg, The Fat Duck, elBulli, and el Cellar can Roca do belong in this discussion. Having been to all four, I can safely say that I'd rather eat at any one of those restaurants than at wd~50. For me, those are the best exemplars of this school of cooking, because they most clearly and most effectively convey a philosophy, namely, that what we call "molecular gastronomy" is, above all, a way of thinking, not a way of cooking (see what I wrote in my blog post about Next elBulli.)

So, is a tasting menu at wd~50 worth $200? Probably. I can't guarantee you'll walk away doing backflips (it makes me sad that you missed the Stupak days; his desserts were killer). But, considering it as an investment on your "culinary education" as a diner, I think it's a fair exchange. Even though I can't say I LOVE wd~50, I do think it's one of those "essential" restaurants, especially if you're someone who is particularly keen on the molecular set.

You've been to Corton, right?

Apr 11, 2012
ulterior epicure in Manhattan

Kansas City Eats

So sorry to hear that. I think the most troubling thing with barbecue restaurants is the lack of consistency.

Mar 01, 2011
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Food Blogs with Best Photography

Thanks, wreckers00, for you kind mention. I'm immensely pleased to share company with the others you listed.

Some questions about Atlanta.

@chris2269: I've heard that the vegetable tasting at Woodfire is fantastic. I'm assuming your 7-course tasting was not the vegetable tasting.

Oct 18, 2010
ulterior epicure in Atlanta

Some questions about Atlanta.

@cheesemonger: "Miller Thyme" - cute.

Oct 18, 2010
ulterior epicure in Atlanta

Some questions about Atlanta.

@edwardspk: Bacchanalia will be closed for the days I'm in Atlanta, otherwise, I would seriously consider it.

Oct 18, 2010
ulterior epicure in Atlanta

Some questions about Atlanta.

I need two dinners. Here are some perimeters:

1. No Bacchanalia.
2. Is the burger at Holeman & Finch worth the 10 p.m. wait? There are an awful lot of really REALLY tempting thing on that menu of theirs, otherwise.
3. Restaurant Eugene - thought? Would going to Eugene and H&F (on two separate nights) be Linton overkill? I don't see how this could be, since they seem to have totally different food.
4. Anywhere else of note that you would put on the top list? Watershed? Woodfire Grilll? Floataway Cafe?

Appreciated!

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Floataway Cafe
1123 Zonolite Road Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306-2015

Restaurant Eugene
2277 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Oct 15, 2010
ulterior epicure in Atlanta

Help for Solo Dining in Kansas City

Yes, a very important and accurate note, amyzan. However, in my experience, the pacing often graduates from leisurely to near-ridiculous. There is no reason why a three-course dinner should take more than three hours.

Aug 19, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Help for Solo Dining in Kansas City

@cwdonald: Personally, it doesn't bother me if schnitzel is made from pork or veal as long as it's tender and nicely breaded (although I think in Austria, the law requires anything claiming to be "wienerschnitzel" to be made from veal). The one at Grünauer manages to be both.

Personally, I hope that Grünauer's sachertorte is better than the one at Hotel Sacher.

Aug 12, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Help for Solo Dining in Kansas City

@cwdonald: Also, Grünauer is Austrian, not German. A slight difference, not finessed enough at this restaurant for you to notice, really. But they do boast Austrian mascots, such as the Sachertorte, tafelspitz, and - of course - wienerschnitzel. There' s a fairly Austrian-heavy wine list and a more significant beer list.

www.ulteriorepicure.com

Aug 12, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Help for Solo Dining in Kansas City

@cwdonald: For fine dining, certainly you won't go wrong with The American Restaurant or bluestem.

If you want some fantastic food at a steal, go to bluestem between 5-7 and eat in the lounge - everything is half off and wonderful to boot. You'll eat like a king for a pittance. (n.b. This happy hour deal is only available Tuesday-Friday).

A notch below are Michael Smith and Room 39. Given that you're at Westin Crown Center, I don't think Room 39 is worth the extra cab fare when Michael Smith is just a few blocks away from your hotel. Lidia's is also very good, if you want Northern Italian cuisine.

www.ulteriorepicure.com

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Room 39
1719 West 39th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111

Michael Smith
1900 Main, Kansas City, MO 64108

Aug 12, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Wichita: Any 'hounds at all out there?

Anyone? Anyone? (I should mention that this will be a Monday night.)

Aug 11, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Wichita Kansas?

@slowfoodverona: Yes, I have been to Italy perhaps more than any other country other than France (at least half a dozen times). But I've not done much high-end eating there.

You know what you should do with your $35? Go to bluestem lounge during happy hour 5pm-7pm. You could order for two and have enough money left over for a drink or two (n.b. bluestem is closed on Monday, so I'm not sure if you're staying through Tuesday, or leaving before Tuesday dinner). Failing bluestem, I'd recommend blanc burgers + bottles (three locations now), Lidia's in the freightouse row, or Room 39 (two locations). And, since it's so hot, drop by Chris Elbow's new glace ice creamery just south of the Plaza.

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Room 39
1719 West 39th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111

Aug 08, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Wichita: Any 'hounds at all out there?

Bumping this thread in 2010. I asked about Wichita restaurants on another thread, but it didn't seem to get much response. So I'm bumping this thread, which has more subscribers. One night, one dinner. Anything exciting happening on the Wichita restaurant scene lately? I will tell you right now that I'm ruling out steakhouses, sushiyas, and chain restaurants, which I'm likely to have right here at home in Kansas City. Cost is not an issue.

Aug 07, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Wichita Kansas?

@slowfoodverona Thanks for the suggestions. We have Yia Yia's in Kansas City, so I'm familiar with their food. What's your budget for Kansas City?

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Yia Yia's
15601 Olive Blvd, Chesterfield, MO 63017

Aug 06, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Wichita Kansas?

Bumping this thread for suggestions. One dinner. In from K.C., so unless there's a mecca for bbq, I'm looking for something a little higher-end, a little more serious. Anything exciting in Wichita? Where should I eat?

http://www.ulteriorepicure.com

Aug 05, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

La Grenouille or Marea tonight?

We shall see, RGR, we shall see.

http://www.ulteriorepicure.com

Aug 03, 2010
ulterior epicure in Manhattan

La Grenouille or Marea tonight?

I must say, even though I haven't been to marea and I have been la Grenouille, I couldn't possibly fathom recommending la Grenouille over marea. However, RGR makes the only case for la Grenouille that is even remotely palatable: start with the foie gras (I'd argue the terrine), follow with the Dover sole, and finish with the souffle. You'll hardly go wrong with those three courses. Deviate, and you proceed at your own peril.

http://www.ulteriorepicure.com

Aug 02, 2010
ulterior epicure in Manhattan

Great Mexican in Lawrence, KS?

Katie, I don't know if you'd consider it "Mexican" (as this is Mexican, but with twists), but Robert Krause's Esquina is opened.

Jul 22, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Shopsin's still good?

@steakrules. You really should read this: http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2002...

Jul 21, 2010
ulterior epicure in Manhattan

Birthday dinner Kansas City

@SFLisa Room 39 is a fine choice. Which location?

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Room 39
1719 West 39th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111

Jul 20, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

La Grenouille - must haves?

I'm seconding RGR's nomination of the Dover sole as best in show. The souffles here are also landmark.

Jul 20, 2010
ulterior epicure in Manhattan

Shopsin's still good?

ELEVEN?! I wonder if some of the things on the menu are the same, just under different names. It's doubtful anyone could (or would) eat through that entire menu to find out...

Jul 20, 2010
ulterior epicure in Manhattan

Shopsin's still good?

Yes, I have in my hands a six-page Shopsin's menu. I have to take a break between each page lest my eyes go cross.

Jul 19, 2010
ulterior epicure in Manhattan

Food Tours Around Paris?

I second Dr. Talbott's recommendation for fair Julot.

Jul 17, 2010
ulterior epicure in France

Romantic/foodie Birthday dinner - The Modern or A Voce Columbus

tmchome: I also failed to mention Corton, which is probably one of the most exciting restaurants in the city right now (caveat: you must be adventurous and open to ultra-modern, often experimental cuisine). But I wouldn't say it's entirely romantic. You can see my photos here: http://ulteriorepicure.com/2009/06/08...

I vote for Jean Georges or Adour, where Didier Elena is making waves right now.

Some might say that Daniel is romantic, but I have never had a stand-out meal there.

Eleven Madison Park has very, very good food. And I suppose it could be romantic if you asked for a corner banquette, but it is more jazzy and celebratory than romantic, in my opinion.

It's a shame Bouley no longer has his drop-dead gorgeous red room. To date, that is probably the most sumptuous and romantic NYC setting I've ever eaten in. It's also too bad that Bouley has forgotten how to serve and cook.

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Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Jean Georges
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

Corton
239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Jul 16, 2010
ulterior epicure in Manhattan

Romantic/foodie Birthday dinner - The Modern or A Voce Columbus

Are you intending to stay in that general neighborhood of Midtown? If so, then Eleven Madison Park (though I love it and would highly recommend it), would require a bit of a journey. Up in that corner of Midtown, I'd recommend Jean Georges (ask for one of the alcove tables) or Picholine (but only if you two adore cheese and can oversmell the pungent odor from the onsight "cave"), both of which I'd categorize as "romantic." Perhaps not quite as elegant as the other two (interior decor, that is), le Bernardin should be considered.

Personally, I love the food at The Modern (though, I'd counsel you to sit along the south wall closer to the middle, as the noise from the opening into the Bar Room can be quite loud). I've never had the food at A Voce.

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Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Jean Georges
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

A Voce
41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

Picholine
35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

Jul 16, 2010
ulterior epicure in Manhattan

The Bar Room at The Modern - ordering strategy?

I've only had it once, but based on that experience, I'd describe the tarte flambee as large and mediocre. The desserts here area all above board.

Jul 16, 2010
ulterior epicure in Manhattan

Coming from PHX, AZ--How's Peach Tree (downtown)?

Can you clarify which city you're talking about? If, as I suspect, you are referring to the Peach Tree in Kansas City, I think you ought to know that the owners have filed for Chapter 11. I'm not sure of the fate of the (two) restaurants right now. I've never been, so I can't give you any fair feedback; hopefully others will (as I am also curious how it has been lately).

For the $15 plate:

There's Grinder's, which has got pizzas and other sloppy, but good fare (it's a bit of a dive).

If you like a decent pizza, I'd recommend checking out pizza bella. For a little more authentic northern Italian cuisine, there's Lidia's in the freighthouse row. $15 will also get you almost anything off of the lunch menu at Michael Smith, and much more at happy hour next door at extra virgin. Both of those restaurants are above board.

Then, of course, there's Arthur Bryant's, which is really not far from downtown, although it's really not a realistic walk (i.e. you'll need wheels for that journey). Get the brisket, the cole slaw and the beans, bypass the rest. Some like the fries there, I say pass.

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Peach Tree
6800 Eastwood Trfy, Kansas City, MO 64129

Michael Smith
1900 Main, Kansas City, MO 64108

Jul 15, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains

Kansas City-area restaurants for my grandma's birthday

I think reubensandperrier is spot on with this one. I can't think of another that fits the bill so well.

Jul 15, 2010
ulterior epicure in Great Plains