Pocha

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Location-4933 N. University Drive, Lauderhill,Florida
Cuisine-Korean Pub
The Gagit’s Travel to Lauderhill to visit the Kim’s new Korean Pub Pocha.
What a great foodie experience meeting Susan Kim of Pocha to discuss the opening of her and her husband Fred’s new venture into Korean Pub Food and share the experience with their loyal and devoted customers.After 14 years of enjoying the growing success of Gabose, traditional Korean, the Kim’s decided to share the real people Korean experience with their customers. Pocha , as a matter of fact ,by loose definition is a wrapped tent where the local’s in a section of their Korean town , go to enjoy a casual night out. In fact , Susan stated it is close to a Food Truck but without the wheels. In this content, on one of the walls, there is a mural sent here from her daughter in Korea that depicts what one would see outside the tent. The picture shown is as realistic as it gets to show real life in the Korean neighborhood.:)

We are seated at the communal table as Susan and her manager Daniel bring out a typical menu that one would drink and eat inside the Pocha.We start with an Apple infused Korean Vodka ,called Soju , this a drinking pub so who are we to not join. As a Korean Amuse , all customers are served a Korean Pancake Omelette with vegetables. Our first course ,Singapore Chicken Shake, shake the bag and mix up herbs and spices and then open and serve. We follow this with Chicken Gizzards , Korean style, crisp and tasty with lemon to sprinkle on top. Now one of my favorites, Tofu Shitake, mushrooms and tofu served in their juices.Since , this a pub we need to refuel for our main courses,@foodiechic has a house specialty a strawberry shrub of homemade liquors as I go real man and have a bottle of Soju, Gan Bae , cheers in Korean .Most dishes have add-ons and the next dish is a Cabonara style dish, creamed Tuboki , with Ramen Noodles , Cheese and my favorite add on Spam.Pocha offers Spam in many dishes and as I am a member of the Spam Club , I am ready to try all the dishes that you can add Spam too, even ordered double Spam in the dish shown.

The last main dish we ordered was a bowl of Odeng Bokkeum ,Fishcake, Chicken, and vegetables, fishcake is a real pub food staple and this dish really made it the star.As we sat at the communal table we met another diner who was alone,and as we shared our dishes with her and she shared hers, rice balls, mussels and even fresh Abalone,flown in from Korea and one of the live dishes served at Pocha,live Octopus coming soon crawling on your table.The communal table really adds to the Korean Pub experience .

We have no room for dessert but I have to end the night with Kimchee , a real palate cleanser :)In ending the night and saying goodbye to Susan and our new friend, I was advised that next time to plan for a long night at this pub and it is best to order Red Cap or Uber and Gan Bae all night

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Noma-Number 1 Again


Location-Standgrade 93 Dk-1401 Copenhagen
Cuisine -Nordic

The Gagit’s and friends have been to Noma before but we believed its Number 2 rating in 2012 would become number 1 again for 2013,and it did.Noma is not only the number 1 restaurant in the world it is also the toughest reservation in the world. However, thanks to our connection on Twitter , Gagit just asked @ReneRedzepiNoma and the requested reservation was secured:) We secured a reservation to dinner this trip and as we walked in we were warmly greeted by Rene,as shown, and welcomed back to his “home”for a five hour experience of food and drink, service, and friendliness. This is what Noma is all about

We are seated by the hostess and introduced to our lead server of the night Cat,shown,although by the end the night we might have met the whole staff of 50.We order our first bottle of wine and a member of the staff both chefs and servers begin the nights experience.We start the night with a broth of Red Currant and Lavender followed by a spectacular that only the Noma staff could create a Nordic Coconut, shown a beet with the broth inside and of course to drink through a straw.The next two courses were ones we all remembered from our last trip,Moss and Cep and Cabbage and Samphire , not particulary my favorites the first time.We were then served one of my favorites, a Mahogany clam and grains , see not only photo but video on this special 100 year clam, what a great bite, and followed by smoked quail eggs in hay not Sheep
Shit as at Faviken.

The next course was a true Danish treat ,Ebleskiver , lovage , and parsley , really Danish Pancake Balls and very good.I was not really looking forward to the next dish Sea Urchin toast since I am not a big Sea Urchin fan but this was a great taste to me. We were then served a juicy Pike Head , in which one of our party scoffed up all the eyes, which the rest of us really did not want anyway. The next course was a favorite Burnt Leek, roasted on the outside BBQ , then the leek was carved out and restuffed with the leek and cod roe.The next course I considered a Palate cleanser of Apple and Kelp.

After the Apple Palate cleanser for the first 10 courses, we are ready for the mains:).The first course in this round was a Shrimp ravioli and ramson ,radish and yeast really could not taste the Shrimp, followed by Milk curd and blueberries , Lemon thyme and pine,could really taste the blueberries.One of the mains now arrives, Beef tartar and ants , the best taste of the night so far ,the Beef awesome with the favor of lemongrass from the special Red Ants, worth the trip for this dish alone.

After we recovered from the last dish we had sloe berries and herbs and then Eggs and Greens as we discussed our ant experience .The last main is now served , and it was truly worth the wait,Turbot and nasrturtium cream and wood sorrel , the taste of the fish so fresh without foam, without multiple ingredients to mask the flavors and make the dish look pretty. This is Rene and Noma, creativeness, freshness, and ingredients that represent the best in the area.

Dessert is now served in two stages,first in the main dinnig room where we are served Ansonia berries and Sol, what a great flavor after the last 10 courses. We are now taken on a tour of the various kitchens by sous chef James, maybe John ,maybe Peter? ,from New Jersey, who explained, answered ,our questions on the process in not only preparing the menu but deciding on it , this experience again is what Noma is all about.We are then taken to the casual coffee and drink area where Cat took over again to complete the night’s experience.

We are offered coffee and if we choose an after dinner drink, in our case we experienced a Danish Aged Scotch , that really had a flavor of Denmark.With the drinks, we were served 4 different typical Noma treats, the last one being the star, Chicharones coated in chocolate and berries,shown above, a taste of Denmark and in our case also Miami.

Let the Truth be Told, Read above and there is no doubt Noma is the #1 in the world.I only hope that all readers can get the reservation as easy as I did :)and get to experience Noma.

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Faviken Magasinet- Let the Truth be Told

 

Location-Jarpen, Sweden

Cuisine-Nordic

There is no doubt that Faviken is on any foodies bucket list today , and the Gagit’s and friends finally made it , was it worth it at the 19th  best rated restaurant in the world   by Pelligrino ,the Truth will be Told  after our last tastings. The Gagit’s arrive at Jarpen after  flying from Stockholm to Ostersund, driving from Ostersund to Are and finally  driving  from our Hotel in Are to Faviken in Jarpen ,whew , made it,as shown above.

We are greeted by Karin who was the perfect hostess for this night but no  Magnus Nillson tonight ,as we are taken to the casual downstairs room for drinks and bites. We start the night with a highlight drink, their own Barreled  Aged Gin served with an iceball and of course Foraged  Juniper Berries, shown,what could be more Faviken? With the drink , we are served Flaxseed and vinegar crisps, with a mussel dip, followed by Jamatlandian broth, neither of these exciting enough to really want more. The next course was out of Bizarre Foods, Wild trout’s  roe served in a crust of dried pig’s blood,only Andrew Z. who gets paid to rave about a dish would consider this a treat. The next dish ,slices of cured sausage ,not worth flying to Faviken nor the pickled fruit. The last dish before the dinner , was a very well presented Salted herring aged for three years, sour cream and rusks,we just wondered if  three years made it special:)

We are now taken upstairs with the other lucky 10  people that night for our main meal.The highlight of the night is served  first Scallop from Norway, cooked over burning juniper branches.This is  of course excellent, but no different than almost any other restaurant in the  Nordic countries serve,and some with more inventive flavors such as Black Truffle at Franzen  in Stockholm. With this dish , we were served the Faviken Light Mead,a perfect match for the Scallop as well the the King crab and burnt cream,zzzzz. The next dish was  certainly 0ne to satisfy ,Cod brushed with Honey , sunflower  ,finally , a dish to taste the natural flavors of Sweden.That said, we are now introduced to our main course of the night , Goat Kid,by Olaf,see video, below and now I  have something to look forward to especially after the Brussel Sprouts and lupin and a  slightly more appetizing Barley pancake filled with with sour onions.

The next dish ,  again right out of Bizarre Foods,small eggs coated in Sheep Shit Ash,, sauce made from dried trout and pickled , tasted no different than any quail egg I have ever had,  they did not have to waste the Sheep Shit. I guess the next dish was to cleanse  our palates,Porridge local grains lump of salty butter fermented carrots and meat broth filtered through moss , not Kate and not a palate cleanser since it was followed by Blood Bread , moose broth, backfat, and onions that really tasted like onions.  Now here  it is  ,the Goat Kid, served with bird cherries that completely overwhelmed the Kid, and I need to ask where is the rest of the Kid.I was  hoping at least to bring a sandwich back to the hotel.

After , the taste of Kid , I really needed to eat something I would taste and enjoy  and here is where Magnus outdid him self ,I only wish he was here, so I could tell him myself,  Cottage Cheese and chopped carrots and turnips , there is no words to describe this  except quoting @BowtieBarrister , BRUTAL . I now know why Magnus did not show up tonight he could not face the customers after serving this.After this we were served  three  more creative  desserts all with  no meaning or flavors except  for my taste. We were then brought downstairs for the finale , coffee and drinks.

The main finale as shown is a wooden box, with meat pies,rasberry ice, tar, yes tar pastilles, meadoweed candy, we  all  liked, then dried cherries, sunflower seed nougat, anise seeds coated in honey and beeswax, smoked toffee,  and yes ,pine resin of course, and thankfully cake. Just as I was   very excited to start the night with the barrel aged Gin , I was just as excited to end it with the home made Duck Egg Liquor , shown,another real taste of Faviken,unfortunely in between  these drinks  we were not satisfied and in a few dishes dissapointed.

Let the Truth be Told,we were all very impressed with the atmosphere , the foraging,and natural flavors but the fact that Magnus was not there to really explain his dishes,it is not the same  , his concept and his dreams  was truly missing tonight.In all the blogs I have read  on the restaurant it  is Magnus and without him  there, it was a  below average experience. I only think how Massimo Bottura ,made  the night at Osteria, and Ferran at El Bulli,and of course Rene, at Noma and the best part of the night besides the drinks is the thought we are eating at Noma tommorow night and get to see Rene again.I can only suggest if one is planning to come to Faviken ,find out if Magnus is there before you make the trip.

Please also view the videos above to get a better feel of the experience at Faviken.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ocean to Ocean Gin Crawl

Locations- The Star at Night,22,Great Chapel St.,Soho W1 , London , Uk and Traymore Hotel , 2455 Collins Avenue , Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

 

The Gagit’s  on a recent visit to London visited and joined the London Gin club, the preeminent Gin Club  in London  and on our return to Miami  we visit The Traymore Hotel, the preeminent new Gin Bar  in Miami.  We start   with  the Starry Night  Bar  in London and pick up our membership card ,as shown , as we walk by the bar with over 130 Gins at the bar ,shown above,as we are seated at the fully booked club.

Our server Emily, so knowledgeable and the right colored hair to match our drinks goes over the menu with us .Foodiechic  orders a Treasure Negroni, Treasure Rum Barrel Aged Gin, Campari, Vermouth , and Orange Peel, not with the Orange Peel burnt to get the Oils  as at the Nomad in New York but good anyway, again see above and I a Gimlet with Plymouth from  the 60′s so good , wish I had a Cuban Pre Castro Davidoff Dom Perignon to smoke with this winning drink.They also had a selection of Gins from the 50′s and 70′s to taste in a variety of vintage cocktails,what a rare treat.

We are going going to dinner after leaving here so Foodie passes on another drink but I try a special Gin and Tonic,with Plymouth’s Navy Strength Gin , 57%  with Fentimans Tonic in a Copa glass which enhances the botanicals and cracked ice to minimize dilution, wow perfection in G & T.

Since, we had to leave after these drinks for a dinner engagement, we missed out in some of the unique menu Gin items that many in in the bar were  enjoying; tasting menus of 4 Gins, both strict tasting and blind tasting.A 8 Gin tasting , a Sloe Gin tasting, and a Blend your Own Gin with 8 Botanical Distallates.And finally, fruit Gins , like Blackwood Fig flavored Gin, as well as Spring cocktails such as Sloe Gin Fizz and Gin- Fusions such as Chilli, Basil ,and Cucumber.We had to leave and thank Emily with the Purple hair , of course shown above but hopefully will back to sample  more of the Gin

We are now back in Miami to continue our Ocean to Ocean Gin crawl and visit the new Traymore Hotel and its concentration on Gin. We are joined by @Miabites1 and her husband Mr. Bites.We are taken to the bar by our host Elliot . We are introduced to the Gin Expert, Stefano Ciribe , this man lives, breathes, and thinks Gin and  shares this expertise with us as he does with all his customers. The bar is stocked with about 40 Gins selected by Stefano for their different and interesting flavors, created by the adding of Botanicals of  mixed varieties.

We start by tasting three different Gins in shot glasses to begin to learn the  range of flavors that can be tasted: Hendricks, g’Vine , and St. George,poured by Stefano,shown above.The tastes all distinctive, Hendricks , Rose Petal and Cucumber essence in it along with typical juniper/evergreen tastes,combined with citrus and even a mint undertone , not  the Bombay or Tangueray flavors we all know.G’Vine with an infusion of green grape flavors from the Ugni Blanc Grape along with traditional Botanicals including of course juniper.St. George, Botanivore Gin,with 19 Botanicals that bloom into a herbaceous field of citrus and flora.

We now get to taste some of Stefano’s original  House creations , we start with the 1939 , with the help of the talented barman Luuys ,also shown.The 1939 is Noilet’s Gin, Absinthe , Grapefruit , Honey,Mint, Club Soda ,as shown , and just  enough of the  Absinthe to keep the drink from being to sweet.  The drink is served with  the oversize iceball to not let melting ice cubes effect the taste. We now taste The Collins Park , Death’s Door Gin,St . Germain, Watermelon,Vanilla Syrup  and garnished with Tarragon.I am not a fan of tall drinks but few in the group did enjoy it.

Let the Truth Be told  , the Traymore is on the right road to leading the way in the Miami Gin wars. The most telling  point to me to make this statement,is the Traditional Gin And Tonic ,shown ,Hendricks Gin, Fever Tree Tonic, in a Copa glass, oversize iceball, and of course cucumber garnish , no matter what side  of the ocean you are on , this is the perfect G&T.

 

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Austin Trifecta – Barley Swine

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The first meal we have  in  the Austin Trifecta,@foodcave, Lady Laura and her brother Texas Dennis and of course Foodiechic and myself is at Barley Swine.Barley Swine is part of the Bourdain trail on No Reservations and is the creation of Chef Bryce Gilmore and is a pre-fixed menu of local products and modern and classic recipes with Wine and Beer pairings and  yes a reservation is being held for the Gagit Party.We enter this small cozy restaurant see entrance  shown above and we feel we are in Texas.

We are seated at one of the hard to get tables and our server  tells us relax order some wine or beer and she will take care of rest, even a special no garlic menu for Foodie.I see a French Malbec  on  the menu by Paul Mas and order  a  glass as shown but disappointing as was too dry ,missing the fruit that the Argentinian Malbec exhibits.However, also I spot a Turley Zinfadel at a more than reasonable price  and the bottle is on the table for all to enjoy, also shown.

The food parade now starts and  are all shown above, the first, Chicken Fried Croquette with Cavier, perfect bite , yes.,followed by Cobia crudo with Apple and kifer carbonated mousse ,real Texas flavors:). Another glass of wine and we are served a  Shitake dumpling with trout roe and soft scrambled eggs, loving it need more dumplings followed by Roasted beets with carmelized egg yolks, seaweed , and sunchoke chips , I even liked it.Here comes, Beer battered sweet potato, chevre goat cheese, tomatillo  and persimmon  sauce , flavors on flavors, followed by Mesquite pancake,bacon, squash, apple and toasted  hazelnut , all Texas.

We are out of wine and try the beer selection,a 512 Pecan Ale let us down but  the next 2 courses  did not ,Smoked Lamb Loin, pinto beans, and turnip and Fried shrimp heads with seafood fregola, pickled corn relish and grilled Okra , we could have have eaten a half dozen shrimp heads alone!!! . I  now order a bottle of Rochefort Trappists Strong Ale, I know perfect with the rest of the courses, Waygu brisket in mole glaze, sweet corn mousse with cocoa nibs and chimichurri sauce, still not a mole fan , and my favorite Stuffed quail , cornbread stuffing,blue cheese and khorabi puree,pecan corn bread crumble , wowwwwwww.

We are stuffed but dessert is coming with French Press coffee served by our lovely server  and a few glasses of Port,Peanut butter mousse, apple sorbet, brioche , powdered caramel and pumpkin custard , aerated milk chocolate,mint gel. One more taste ,Roobis Red tea in liquid form  to clean our palates,the meal is now over!!!

Let the Truth be Told,I have been to Oxheart and Underbelly in Houston but Barley Swine in Austin is the clear winner , not only in originality, service, great recipes , perfect atmosphere and at $60 per person  for the   tasting menu ,a gift from the food Gods. Hurry, it might not last forever!!!

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Austin Trifecta- Uchi

The last meal in the Trifecta was Uchi, after our meat overload at Franklins ,Sushi was perfect to complete our turf and surf day :) We enter Uchi with the sign out front so we know we are in right restaurant :)As we enter the restaurant , we feel we could be in any major city in United States with an upscale sophisticated atmosphere unlike the pure Texas of Franklins. Foodcave reminded me this is one of the top 10 or better Sushi restaurants in US.Chef Tyson Cole was best Chef in 2011, who combines local ingredients with seafood flown in from Tsukii market in Tokyo daily.
Uchi , like most restaurants in Austin, offer only Beer and Wine, and in Uchi of course Sake that we start the night off as shown as well as all courses we enjoyed this night.As our first bite a real standard Shishito Age, no hot ones in this bunch but lots of flavor.We follow the peppers with a Sea Bass crudo, and I enjoy some Miso Soup on this cold night. At this point, Foodcave and I are served a favorite Kushi Oysters ,a squeeze of graprfruit and Cilantro.We down these in a flash and Foodcave doubledowns.
It is time for the girls and Dennis to join,Foodie orders a scallop sushi with foie , of course and a spicy tuna roll. I had to try a couple of bites of Sushi flown in from Tokyo and see Kissyface and Yellowtail from the Japanese market. The pace now picks up,crunchy grilled cauliflower, Yokai Berry with Atlantic Salmon,a Zero Zen Roll, with Foodcaves chopsticks as a photobomb. The finale baby grilled Octopus skewers , too chewy for me and then a Spider Roll with flavors that were sensational.
Dessert time , this is Texas Dennis’s favorite time so we give in and help him finish the desserts,jizake creme caramel , brown butter sorbet and ginger and peanut butter semifredo ,apple-miso sorbet , and we finished them both:)
Let the Truth be Told, Uchi lived up to my expectations but not the driving force to come to Austin for, this honor so far can only go to Franklins BBQ!!!

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Franklin BBQ

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The Gagit’s had planned a trip to Austin for a Foodie trip a few times on the way to Houston but have always cancelled, not this time. We are joined by our special Foodie friends, @foodcave,Harold , Lady Laura and her brother Texas Dennis.The trip although includes other restaurants the main event is the Temple of BBQ ,Franklins.We have reservations at  the other restaurants but Franklins is Black Friday every day get in line early or sold out. Harold and I  are up early on this cold rainy Saturday morning and are 22nd in line at 9:00am at the shrine , see sign above.The group next to us are nice enough to have an extra chair for me and a hat that I forgot to bring, ready now for the 2 hour wait.
Harold, at this time, goes down the street gets coffee and a Bacon and Egg Taco for us as we wait,thank you Harold , the rains came just as he returns but we under the patio so keeping dry. 11:00am , and we are joined by Foodiechic Laura , and Dennis just as the door opens and join us for the inside line to order,and see the video below to relieve our experience. We are now in front of the master meat cutter Fiori shown here holding up the Brisket that separates Franklin from all other BBQ and a video below of him cutting the sausage, worth watching.
Foodie and I order the mixed plate,brisket, ribs, extra sausage,pinto beans , potato salad ,shown above ,and all this for $16.00.We also get an order of Bourbon Banana Pie and Pecan Pie , in case we are still hungry :)
We sit down and start eating ,the Brisket so tender juicy that I ate with my hands, the flavors that were worth waiting for, the Ribs a little to smokey for me , but the rest of the group called delicious,the sausage , a real treat as were the spicy Pinto Beans ,no room for the Potato salad , all washed down with local Beer on draft.We finish with the Banana Bourbon Pie and we have joined Nobu and all the foodies who have waited and have eaten at the BBQ shrine.
Let the Truth Be Told, was it worth it , yes, was the Brisket one of the all time Foodie Bucket List musts, yes , was it worth doing again ? try it and you decide.

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Antica Corte Pallavicini

Location-Strada del PalazzoDue Torri, 3,43010 Polesine Parmenense Pr Italy- Thank you GPS!

Cuisine-Italian

The Gagit’s are following the Bourdain Trail and @docsconz trail:)today we visit Antica corte Pallavacini one of the most well done, high end curing places.We not only have dinner here , visit the farm, and curing cellar but stay in this castle from the 1300′s ,restored by the  Pallavicino family in 1990 including the old cheese maturing room and the cellars are now  full of culatelli again.

After following the Bourdain trail through turns and more turns we arrive at the courtyard and a greeted by the mascot of the farm, as shown above , the Pig.We are greeted and shown to our room by the most professional man of the house  , Zeno. He tells us that when we come down for dinner he will show us the Farmhouse Cellars.We stayed in the The Room of the Dukes , where in 1447,Bianca daughter of Duke Filippo  Maria Visconi  and Count Sforza  stayed in the room,fit for a Duke.We refresh in this classic room and come down for dinner, first with Negroni’s and then led by Zeno to the cellars.

We enter the Cellars of the Corte built in 1320 by the marquesses of Pallavicina for storing the  Parmagino cheese as shown above and the Culatello, pictures include the room as well as specific Culatello, for Armani , Bulgari, but no Gagit,darn. Zeno then leads up stairs to the main dinning room as shown.We have our own menus as shown, as well as the wine list list to start with a bottle of Tignanello 2010 for our first course the Culatello,all shown ,26 month from the More Romagnola breed ,30 month old from the Cinta Senese breed,and the 37th month aged culatello from Black Pig breed served with homemade prepared mix vegetables from the Court. The winner without question the 37 year old Black Pig breed as shown in all its tasty splendor.

The next course we both have the Parma style tortelli stuffed with ricotta and spinach dressed with butter sauce from red cows, beautiful pasta course,as shown. The next course,  Cereals and Parmigiano-Reggiano crust soup with chicories, not a choice I would make again, more lunch flavors than dinner. Our mains are now served, I have the Frog’s legs with sweet garlic and parsley served on a bed of Zucchini, nice flavors but to strong on the garlic to appreciate the Frogs Legs. Foodie had the dish of the night,White Ox Steak stuffed with mushrooms and tosone cheese, just a great dish for this setting.

I now have the Cheese board,local breeds of cows, sheep, and goats milk cheeses, a nice ending since we really were not impressed by the Desserts tonight.We then go outside , I light up a cigar as we finish a bottle a bottle of Antinori, Guardo Al Tesso Bolgheri Superiore 2009 , a member of the Tignanello family and a nice recommendation of the Sommelier.The chef  Massimo Spigaroli  now joins us for a drink of wine and a smile,Grazi Chef.

Let the Truth be Told a visit to Antica Orte Pallavicini is a must in a trip to Emilia-Romagna, Italy. However the trip should not be made for only a dinner but to stay in the castle overnight,visit the Cellars and the farm ,and most of all enjoy the countryside of old Italy.In addition, enjoy that 37 year old Black Pig for it is truly the queen of Culatello!!!

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Osteria Francescana

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Location -Via Stella 22,Modena, Italy

Cuisine-Italian

El Bulli, Noma, Fat Duck all Number 1 Restaurants in the World visited by the Gagit’s, Osteria  Francescana , currently Number 3, is tonight’s visit,how does it fit in our  restaurant experiences? We arrive at Osteria Fransescana , exactly 6 months  after I made the reservation, this was a meal  I really anticipated for I could almost taste the pasta  before we arrived reading many rave  critic  reviews on Osteria . Foodiechic is  now at the door as shown in the picture above, we have arrived !!!

We enter this 5 table restaurant and are one of the 13 lucky patrons of the night, see picture above of Foodiechic at our table in anticipation for the night. We are seated and  as we study the menu , the Maestro , Massimo Bottura  comes out  introduces himself and asks about our desires for the night. This is such a rare treat and one that my virtual friend,@docsconz describes in his review  that his presence adds extra magic to the night, how true this statement is in truth. I ask the Chef if we  would  get a tasting menu of many pastas and he agrees to do this with many level of flavors building up to a crescendo  in the last course.We are ready !!!

We are now served  a selection of bread and grissini with olive oil that even I had to at least taste,all shown above as all the dishes  served this night are shown. We also order the wine tasting menu which I will list at the end of the review.We  are served our first dish, aptly named by the imaginative  Chef, ice cream sandwich, or Aulla in frozen Carpione, delicious  local fish   spread on a wafer and  with this ,Macaroon with Oyster filling and Macaroon filling, tasty bites to say the least.

Our first course and a surprise of flavors ,Baccala Mare Nostrum,lightly cooked Bacala with granita elements, green olive zibibbo vinegar,emulsion of  Sicilian olive oil,bread crumbs and green tomato,wow what a way to start the meal, flavor  upon flavor ,upon flavor. This dish was followed by a more subtle  flavor dish but a work of art,Open ravioli of root vegetables filled with red shrimp and mantis shrimp in clarified tomato puree.

The pasta parade now begins with Guitar String pasta cooked in burned calamari broth,with Fines de Clair Oysters and topped with lightly smoked cavier. Foodiechic and I both were totally amazed at the taste of this pasta , the texure , the flavors, the presentation, how can the Chef top this we ask?The next pasta course, Spaghetti  with pesto of anchovies,capers,pine nuts,lemon zest and anchovy juice,so different from the last dish but just as enjoyable.And , next what the Chef aptly  calls, “if French chefs  where to make  pasta in Italy” Ravioli with leeks ,foie gras and truffles , just see picture no comment needed.

At this point we were served a local  limited edition Italian Beer from Bologna made  for charity,Beltaine Beer with smoked chestnut and juniper ,taste to match the  pastas. The pasta parade continues , Modenese Tortellini in cream of Parmigeano Reggiano, a marraige of Pasta and the creaminess of the cheese from Modena.And next ,Tagliatelle with Ragu,made from pork sausage,cheek,tail, pork belly beaten and thickened with bone marrow, the timeless classic that is a Massimo Bottura masterpiece.

The chef now comes over to the table to see if we are through, the answer no, he is thinking as he rushes back to the kitchen for one more pasta. He comes back and tells us about a  future trip he is making to Peru and has created the final dish with this as the inspiration,potato spaghetti Mediterranean style  breaking  the boundry between  savoury and sweet, coffee, tomatoes ,cheese, basil served cold with all the flavors coming through,bravo Chef, no more!!!

We are now served a pre- dessert, Sorbetto of saba finished Maracshe, the cherry flavor so refreshing after all the pasta dishes. The dessert itself, another chef storied creation,Oops! I dropped the lemon pie, again the picture tells the whole story.I now need a Grappa, and the 20 year old Barolo is so perfect to end the night with the petit fours with  the chocolate-curry truffle my favorite ,slightly over the sweet and sour rasberry marshmellow both perfect with my machiatto.

Let the Truth be Told,  A Number 1 or  Number 3 rating in World’s Best Restaurants , does not reflect an experience and our night at Osteria Fransecana was truly a number 1 experience. The interaction with a Chef and personality like Massimo Bottura who reflects the passion of his work, whether its art , music  or in this case food is hard to quantify  or rate but on this night it was easy , number 1. Thank you Chef for making it a number 1 experience for myself and Foodiechic,as shown in the last picture above.

The wines we drank that night are listed below :

Malvasia 2012,Raccaro , the only white,Sp68 Rosso 2011 Arianna Occhipinti, Sangiovese 2009 Redinoce, Barbera La Locomotiva 2008 Massa GLOCAL ,Sangiovese 2005 Valturio, Beltaine beer smoked chestnut and juniper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Restaurante Mero Toro

Location-Av.Amsterdam,204 , Mexico City,Mexico

Cuisine- Baja ,Surf and Turf

Another trip to Mexico  City for Gagit with Juan Mendoza ,where to eat?The first answer from @docsconz , Mero Toro so that is the answer this night.The Chefs are the friendly , fun chefs from the seafood eatery Contramar, Gabriela Camara and Jair  Tellez let loose into a  Surf and Turf  mode.

We start out on National Tequila Day with a shot of Maestro Doebel Diamante, with all the fixins as shown, Salud. I had hoped to start with  a Surf dish, the grilled Pacific  Prawns that @docsconz showed in his blog but no  Prawns tonight so we start with two Surf dishes,Clams with Beets,Betabel horneado con pepino,aquate,y borscht ligero ,sorry Chef would prefer this warm and Tuna Ceviche,Ceviche de atun con aquate,pepino,toronja y naranja agria , fresh tuna and vegetables marinated to perfection and more what I expected at Mero Toro.

Surf over we now start our Turf courses with another shot of Tequila, Salud again.The first turf  dish we tried Risotto with Bone Marrow in Red Wine,Risotto de tuentano con res braesada y vino tinto, creamy Risotto with  luscious pieces of Bone Marrow , flavors upon  luscious flavors . We  followed the Risotto with a delicious piece of Pork, Codero crujiente con pure de poro y salsa martajada, crispy skin on the outside , tender and juicy inside . Another shot of Tequila and our final Turf course arrives,this time  Spanish Iberico Pig cheek ,Credo iberico horneado con pure de cebolla,nabos y acelgas salteadas,the cheeks served on a bed of lentils and a poached egg , Baja cuisine at its best and my favorite dish of the night.

I was not really interested in dessert but after three meat courses, Juan Mendoza needed to cleanse his palatte, so we ordered  the Panna Cotta, pannacotta de yogurt con hulo,fresas maceradas y romate de arbol, the panna cotta served with yogurt and fruit ,a refreshing taste after the Turf courses and yes a shot of Mexcal to finish the meal, salud.

Let the Truth be Told, Gagit always follows the @docsconz trail and is never disappointed.At Mero Toro  glad I listened , except of course for the Prawns that were not offered this night.This  of course only gives me a chance to revisit Mero Toro.:)

 

Posted in South America, South Florida | Leave a comment