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Friday, December 30, 2005

A Roadmap Of What's Ahead

In the six months that I've had this blog, the three most important lessons I've learned are:   (1) putting together any post takes three times as long as expected;   (2) the food-related experiences I have that are worth posting about occur at three times the rate at which I can actually write about them;   and (3) whenever my work or personal obligations flare up at all, the problems identified in the preceding two points are exacerbated by a factor of three.   Given the number of posts I wrote about my dinner party tour of the Bay Area's four-star restaurants, the significant increase in my personal commitments over the past six weeks due to the holidays, and the unexpected spike that simultaneously developed in my work obligations, I suppose it's little wonder that I only recently finished describing a dinner that was held at my home way back on November 10.

Since then, of course, a number of events have taken place, all of which I hope to post about.   First up will be my thoughts regarding Ame - the restaurant from Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani that opened in the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco back in November.   Because I visited the restaurant only once and on its third night in business, I will offer only preliminary reactions at this point rather than attempt to do a full-blown review.   I will then start another multi-post series - this one dedicated to the second major party I recently held at my home, an eight-course White Truffle Dinner.   In the interest of moving things along here, I'm going to skip the recipes and instead focus on providing descriptions and photos - both of the courses and of the event.   Next, I'll post about a special dinner that I enjoyed just a few days after I had finished presenting my White Truffle Dinner - a six-course white truffle dinner from Ron Siegel at The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton.   And finally, I hope to post some restaurant reviews that have been on my to-do list for weeks now - including one for Fleur de Lys.

So, stay tuned!


Anonymous gerald said...

I share the same sentiments about blogging. I'm surprised how long it takes for me to actually write up a post and I used to think I might run out of content to post about, but it turns out there's just way too much! Trying to keep up with every food experience is next to impossible!

December 30, 2005 11:15 PM  
Blogger K & S said...

Happy New Year!! Enjoy your blog and photos!

January 01, 2006 5:26 PM  
Anonymous JS said...

i'm looking forward to your thoughts on ame and the ritz. i ate at both recently (the ritz just 4 days ago!) -- saw the white truffle menu you had, as well as their interesting salt & pepper menu, although i opted for the 9-course tasting in the end.

January 03, 2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger NS said...

Gerald: There was a time last fall when I, too, wondered whether I would run out of things to write about, but I now know that that is not a concern!

Kat & Satoshi: Happy New Year to you, too, and thanks for the kind words! I've been enjoying your blog as well, and I look forward to reading more about your adventures!

JS: Thanks for your note, and thanks for your patience -- I know you've been waiting for my comments about Ame since November! I promise to get those up soon, and I will also be sure expedite my post on the white truffle dinner at The Dining Room. I'd be very curious to hear your impressions of your recent 9-course dinner there, as well as any thoughts you had after reviewing Siegel's newly-unveiled salt and pepper menu.

January 05, 2006 1:04 PM  
Anonymous JS said...

i thought our meal at The Dining Room was fantastic. the food was probably similar in caliber to French Laundry, although i might give the edge to FL for sheer technical perfection. the service was definitely better at FL, though. my favorite course at RCDR was definitely the foie gras, which is sort of unusual; foie gras is almost always good, but seldom amazing. Siegel's foie gras was incredible. the cold version -- a torchon, studded with black truffles and served with quince jam, wine gelee, a perfect little salad of mache with candied pecans, and toast, was surprisingly good and won hands down over the foie gras terrine i ate at FL. the texture was unbelievable; it just melted. and the seared foie gras (with spicy pickled huckleberries) achieved a perfect balance of sweet and tart to cut through the richness of the liver. some courses surprised me -- i initially scoffed at a consomme of winter carrots with crab tortellini, but was quickly converted by how sweet and pure the broth tasted. the only course i didn't like were the sorbets: beet sorbet with cocktail grapefruit was good if you're a big fan of beets, but i didn't think the earthy taste of beets made for a good palate cleanser, and tangerine sorbet with champagne gelee just tasted like cough syrup to me. not sure what went wrong there. :(

unfortunately, the waiter told us almost immediately that they were out of the salt & pepper tasting, so i didn't look at it very closely that night. but i did take a copy of the menu home for later perusal. it's an interesting concept, although i'm not sure how much the different salts are highlighted in reality (pepper seems easier...). one of our courses in the tasting was seasoned at the table with grated rock salt, and i'm sad to say that i didn't detect any noticeable flavor (or, in this case, texture) differences. they are apparently planning to offer it again next year, so perhaps i'll try it yet.

hehe, sorry my comment is so long, but that's what happens when i start talking about food!

January 05, 2006 7:58 PM  
Blogger NS said...

JS: Thanks for the great, detailed review! I always appreciate hearing from folks who have been to the places I mention on this site, and I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed your dinner at The Dining Room as much as I've enjoyed many a meal there. I know exactly what you mean about the exotic salts; I, too, have had a dish or two at The Dining Room topped with grated salt tableside, and I found it difficult to detect much of a difference. Perhaps it would be clearer if the salts were tasted side by side, but it strikes me as an exceedingly subtle difference. As for Siegel's salt and pepper tasting menu, Gayot claims that it will be offered every Wednesday evening through March - so plan your next visit to the restaurant accordingly!

January 06, 2006 3:03 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

when you've finished that little lot it'll by time to print up the next round of dinner party invitations!
good luck

January 09, 2006 11:04 PM  

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