Category Archives: Bistro

Las Vegas – Blue Ribbon & Zuma

So tried to do a Las Vegas bang bang but with all the food since been here I tapped out way too early. Very weak showing, I had hoped to hit up a third place for at least dessert but couldn’t manage. First stop was for the bone marrow and oxtail marmalade from a New York institution. While it hit the spot wasn’t quite as good as I remember, maybe transplanting to the dessert had an effect but given how Momofuku didn’t suffer don’t think it was that. Then went across the hall for some Japanese food that others had gone to the night before and really enjoyed. As I was alone I had to get smaller items that still looked interesting. The dumplings certainly did and while pork belly isn’t exactly unique anymore I have a huge soft spot for it.

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Bone Marrow & Oxtail Marmalade: parsley salt, challah

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Pork Belly Skewers: mustard

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Prawn & Black Cod Dumplings

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Las Vegas – Momofuku

So the weird thing about this Las Vegas outpost of David Chang’s empire is that the name of the restaurant is the name of the restaurant group and not like the others: Momofuku Ko, Shoto (RIP), Noodle Bar, Ssam Bar, etc… It doesn’t make sense until you look at the menu and realize that it’s a combination of all the restaurants save for the haute cuisine dishes of Ko and the departed Shoto. The gang I’m with let me order and well we had a pretty good selection and everyone like the meal, they did call me out for getting the uni hashbrown, it was a bit out there for a few of them. However, they all loved the tuna and shaved foie gras. Everyone loved the wagyu potatoes and while I agree with the 2nd half of the dish I didn’t think the wagyu had much flavor. The lamb ribs were great, lots of fat even if it removed a few months from the backend of life. I wish the noodles had been spicier although it seems others got the hotter parts of the peppers and were in a bit of pain.

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Bigeye Tuna: shaved foie gras, strawberry

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Shrimp Bao: spicy mayo, pickled red onion, iceberg

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Pork Belly Bao: hoisin, scallion, cucumber

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Chilled Spicy Noodles: sichuan sausage, thai basil, candied cashew

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Pear & Burrata: hazelnut, black truffle, sourdough

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Roasted Corn: raclette, jalepno, pepitas

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Uni Hasbrown: hozon creme fraiche, nam prik, chive

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A5 Wagyu Potatoes: honey mustard, crunchy garlic, almond

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Grilled Lamb Ribs: cucumber, chili yogurt

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Jidori Chicken: curry, kimchi, lime

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Wagyu Tri-Tip: eggplant, tomato, bok choy

Las Vegas – China Poblano

Ah Jose Andres, how fun are awesome are your restaurants?! I’m always wary of Chinese fusion but this was more like Chinese and Mexican food served together with new twists and some crossover. As usual I ordered with my eyes and ended up eating more than my fair share. Everything was great except the beef tendon, the szechuan-soy sauce was just off and didn’t work. The siu mai was a great take on the standard version, I ate three of them. The fish taco was my favorite, crispy crust on the fish that was tender and moist.

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Cesar Salad: anchovies, soft boiled egg, Parmesan cheese, croutons

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Snow Pea Leaf Salad: snow peas, orange, pomegranate

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Tuna Ceviche: soy dressing, avocado, cilantro, toasted pecans, red onion, fresno chilies

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Gan Pung Ji Wings: chili sauce, cucumber

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Fish Taco: Sea bass, salsa

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Carnitas (top): chicarron, salsa verde; Conchinita: Yucatan-style braised pork, marinated onions

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Beef Tendon: Szechuan-soy sauce, oyster

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Quail Egg Siu Mai: shrimp, pork, peanuts

Las Vegas – Bardot

So I haven’t been to Sin City in almost 10 years and coming in the middle of July isn’t ideal but sometimes that’s who the cookie crumbles. Thankfully in the meantime the restaurants have gotten better and I’m in a really nice hotel, you can probably figure our where based on where I’m eating this week. Part of the problem is even though there are tons of restaurants, there are also a ton of people so getting reservations can be tricky.

Bardot is part of the Michael Mina group and I like his namesake restaurant here and in SF as well as RN74 in Seattle. Bardot is squarely in French bistro throwback just grander given location. The bisque had great flavor, the brandy really filled it out, I just wish there was less pieces of fennel and more lobster chunks. The duck that provided my main must’ve been the size of Big Bird, what’s shown is only about 1/2. I wasn’t able to finish it even though it was cooked perfectly.

I’d also say I have a pretty good view from my hotel.

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Lobster Bisque: brandy, roasted tomato, puff pastry, fennel & taragon

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Duck Breast: cabbage, cherries

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Seattle – Eden Hill

Didn’t take any extra days off since July 4th was on a Wednesday, but did make time to head to one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle. Hadn’t been in almost six months and it was great to see some new dishes on the menu. The octopus was the most tender I’ve ever had and it tasted like candy with the sweet glaze on top, wish it had come towards the beginning so could have fully enoyed the dish. The crab lasagna was also a revelation, lots of crab and perfectly cooked pasta. As always the food was fantastic and we gave chef a glass of the bottle we brought for continuing to make incredible food in the kitchen the size of a closet.

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Lamb Tartar – mustard “yolk,” goat milk caramel, bread and butter pickles, rye chip

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Crab Lasagna – sea scallop mousse, beurre blanc, chervil

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Dill Brioche

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Waldorf – green apple, dehydrated grape, bleu cheese, chestnut pecorino, walnut candy

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Cauliflower “chilaquiles” – manchego, lime crema, jalapeno hot honey sauce, curtido

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Ricotta Tartine – cherries roasted in earth syrup, speck, seed loaft

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Fried Spanish Octopus – potato, cucumber, baby heirloom, aged sherry, gochujang aioli

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Cardamon Donuts

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Kelowna – Krafty

For our last night in Kelowna wanted a more casual meal but still better than a fast casual place. Menu @Krafty looked pretty good online and while the actual menu was a bit different wasn’t too put off. K didn’t get the play on words for Krafty Dinner and I had to explain to her that in Canada Kraft mac & cheese is called Kraft dinner. The bison was exceptional and the yolk was almost orange.  Overall the food was pretty good but service was severely lacking, I had to wait 15 min for a 2nd drink.

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Krafty Dinner – cheesy sauce, gobetti noodles, roast mushrooms, white truffle

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Bison Tartar – classic seasoning, egg yolk

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Crispy Duck Leg – lentil, roast carrot

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Burger (sans bun at my request) and fries

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Karate Chop – I thought the descriptions were funny if not PC at all

Kelowna – Micro

At the suggestion of Salt and Brick’s chef we went to Micro for dinner instead of it’s sister restaurant next door like I had originally planned. It reminded us a bit like Hotel, RIP, in Montreal with an u-shaped counter where staff served you from the middle. I was better this night at not ordering with my eyes. While the food was quite good, it didn’t come close to Salt and Brick but did get to eat some lovely foie gras and poutine. Continuing the streak of super tender octopus was a nice surprise and while the pork belly was excellent I wish that had been a bigger portion. The branzino was also very tender and unlike the ceviche the fish had a pure flavor, not saying which way was better but was a big contrast.

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Coppa – apricot mustard

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Crudo – branzino, side stripe prawns, watercress, scallion

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Foie Gras – sherry marinated, buckwheat blini, blueberry compote

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Poutine – mushroom gravy, smoked oyster mushrooms, cheese curds

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Bison Polpetta – sundried tomato ragu, manchego cheese

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Octopus – potato brava, romesco sauce, corn & cucumber relish

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Pork Belly – green peas, chicharron, lemon mustard