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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dinner as a Show

That's what Alinea is. Edible art. The level of creativity (and some might say pretension) on display at this restaurant is next level and I'm not just talking about on the table.
lemon+luxardo bitter+amaro+grapefruit, apple+apple brandy+grenadine+thyme, cynar+carpano antica+flor de cana+squash (all very boozy one bite wonders)
Steelhead roe+dijon+rutabaga+grapefruit
fried yuba stick wrapped in shrimp and togarashi with a miso mayo
urchin encased in a vanilla, watercress and mint jelly with cilantro flower

Halibut with parsnip pure, black pepper, coffee foam and lemon (too delicious and consumed to quickly to be captured by my lens but it was an all-white dish with a variety of textures)
this while orb contains the next three dishes:
rabbit parfait with sage and butternut squash chip
crispy fried panko-coated rabbit rillette with sorrel & sage (pictured in a partially eaten state)
rabbit consomme, cinnamon stick and hot stone (stone not edible)
Wild morel and hedgehog mushrooms with pickled ramps, pine foam and sumac with jus
hot potato/cold potato: black truffle, butter (a one bite wonder)
tomato and black pepper pasta +

(clockwise from top left) smoked salt + blackberry+roasted/caramelized garlic+fermented garlic+pickled turnip+olives+red wine compote+tabacco essence+onion ribbon+tomato consumme =
beef short rib ravioli
yellowtail (hamachi) with west indian spiced (including a lit cinnamon stick), banana and ginger deep fried ball
canard a la cussy: duck breast over carmelized onions, duck rillette, foie gras, cock's crest on phyllo
Venison stead, cherry and cocoa nib under fragrant eucalyptus
black truffle explotion: romaine&parmesan

(at this point my stomach is about to explode as i have been eating not only my dishes but the remnants of the dishes of my dining companion when she has finished eating all the components she enjoys). One of the servers comes over to let us know this is the last savoury dish,
coming up: 7 dessert courses

yuzu snow frozen onto a ceramic cone
sweet potato custard, candied pecans, saffron cotton candy, bourbon crunch & pear(?) on a red cedar plant (heated and emitting strong aromas)
lemongrass liquid with cilantro, finger lime, cucmber and's a shot and requires a little suction
butterscotch+apple+thyme bacon, nutella encased in freeze-dried bread, banana + chocolate (very powdery consistency), lychee&jasmine tea sheath
finale: some of the ingredients

the final product.
chocolate & vanilla nitrous-frozen custard with milk chocolate sauce, honeyed organic milk sauce, pickled blueberries, blueberry chips, honey custard brulee (which transforms from liquid to solid before your eyes during the process) and peanut nougat

Sous chef Matt Chaseur come sauntering out and in a very pleasant but no-nonesense fashion begins painting this delicious masterpiece. Part alchemy and part chemistry it is fascinating to watch...couldn't help but sneak a peak at the artist's footwear-black leather & wooden clogs.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hot Dog! Hot Doug!

Let's play a guessing game.
Which hot dogs are pictured here (all are from the list below)

Hot Doug's, Chicago
This mecca of encased meat is located in a barren area close to Wrigleville. It's a bit of a trek but I assure you well worth it. This is a place people willingly and happily wait in line-ups that can stretch up to 3 hours long. We waited 15-20 minutes at 3:30pm on a Saturday afternoon (Hot Doug's closes at 4pm). There are many doors, which must be kept closed, things are orderly and delicious. Doug, a warm and welcoming fellow, is at the counter taking orders and directing traffic. I let my eyes and stomach do the ordering which in hindsight was probably a mistake (note to self: two hot dogs and two large fries is too much) I was also really excited about the cherry cola fountain pop.

What We Ate:
duck fat fries, lg cheese fries, 2x sml fountain pop, smoked shrimp and pork sausage, foie gras & sauternes duck sausage, spinach & mozzarella chicken sausage ($30).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

An Open Letter To The NHL

Dear Comissioner Bettman and Mr Campbell;

Today you have offended me and every other hockey fan. Your support of the actions of Boston Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara on the evening of Tuesday, March 8th 2011 against Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty is nothing short of disgusting. You have irreparably damaged your own credibility as well as that of the NHL and its supposed desire to protect the health and safety of its' players.

Chara's hit on Pacioretty during the second period of a heated game resulted in a broken vertebra and a severe concussion to the Canadiens player, who lay motionless on the ice for a good 5 minutes before being carried off the Bell Centre ice on a stretcher. Who knows how long Pacioretty will be out or even if he will be able to play professional hockey again. Chara was given a game misconduct for the hit but not supplementary discipline.

Let's look at the facts:
Zdeno Chara: 33 years of age, 6'9", 255lbs
Max Pacioretty: 22 years of age, 6'2", 212 lbs

Chara has a good 7 inches and some 40 plus pounds on Pacioretty-that's a lot of velocity and weight rubbing you into the boards and then shoving you into the glass. To make matters worse Chara took the bare minimum of responsibility for the clearly dirty hit and even went as far as to claim that Pacioretty "jumped into" the glass stanchion at the end of the bench, watch the replay and you will find this claim to be utter nonsense. One should expect a lot more from a Captain whose own teammate just last season suffered a devastating blow to the head which may or may not have ended his career.

By declining to suspend or fine Chara Mr. Campbell and by extension Comissioner Bettman and the NHL are condoning hits of this nature. So, listen up NHL goons if you want to "take a player's head off" or "make someone pay" just ride them into the bench and then give them an extra little shove as they come close to the glass stanchion at the end of the player's bench et voila, maximum injury with a minimum of repercussions.

Now, let us play the what if game. What if this hit had not been given by Zdeno Chara, star and captain of the Boston Bruins and instead was instigated by a team's forth line brawler? What if this hit had not been on Max Pacioretty, pretty much a no-name NHLer (at least outside of Montreal) and instead on one of the NHL's "superstars"? Would there have been supplementary discipline? My money is on hell yes. By not suspending and/or fining Chara the NHL is setting up a nasty situation in Boston on Thursday, March 24th 2011, the final regular season game between these two teams.

In a year when concussions and hits to the head are in the spotlight one would think that the NHL, by way of Mr. Campbell, would take a zero tolerance policy to hits that resulted in injuries of this sort, no matter the aggressor or the victim. Not so it seems.

Shame on you Colin Campbell and Shame on you NHL.

a disheartened fan

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Last Catwalk in Paris

Stella McCartney
Alexander McQueen

Monday, March 07, 2011

Red Carpet Moment by Versace

Oh Hey There


Dries Van Noten

Isabel Marant
Tsumori Chisato
Haider Ackermann


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A mix of NYC and London Fall 2011

I've been away drinking wine in the county so I haven't had much time to catch up on my shows but here's what I like so far:

marc jacobs
Jason Wu

3.1 phillip lim

Proenza Schouler
Burberry Prorsum
Christopher Kane