When Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie was first announced, I checked the local OPB listings, and since they didn’t show it, completely forgot about the series. Months later, my Tivo was smart enough to figure out I might enjoy the show, and started recording it for me.
Warm temperatures are not a friend to most of us with MS, so for the last few days, I’ve plopped on the couch, and started going through the Diary series.
I’ve watched lobster being fried in homemade lard – be still my heart (pun intended). I watched absinthe being made. An excellent piece on the bar at one of my favorite restaurants, Cyrus in Healdsburg California, showing the great lengths the bartender goes to for the perfect cocktail. Sweetbreads. In one show Ruth Reichel made faux fois gras, which she swears tastes just like the real thing. For my taste, this is one of the best cooking/food shows I’ve ever seen.
It airs Tuesdays on OPB, 10:00a.m. and 4:00p.m. Highly recommended. Set your Tivo. What? No Tivo? If you have ITunes, you can download all the episodes free. What? No Ipod? You are reaching the end of my patience… but you don’t have to have an Ipod to watch them on your pc.
Aequitas Capital Management has invested $1.175 Million in N.W. Hayden Enterprises. Funny, years ago that would have sounded like a ton of money, but these days it’s not even a nice house in the west hills. Anyway, from the press release: “NW Hayden Enterprises will use the infusion of capital for the opening of new restaurants throughout the state, including in Portland the opening of Mark Lindsay’s Rock n’ Roll Café in July 2007, and the re-opening of the legendary Brasserie Montmartre in December 2007. NW Hayden Enterprises is also spicing up the former Harrison’s space in the Fox Tower with a concept based on Latin, South and Central American tastes. The new restaurant will feature big flavors and traditional regional favorites at very affordable prices.”
That is a lot to do with little money.
Pinocchio Bar & Restaurant is opening their doors on Tuesday May 15th at 5pm for dinner. Brunch will start on Sunday May 20th and lunch will begin on Monday May 21st. In the email I got from them, they mentioned my um, dislike of their artwork, and swear if I come down in person, I’ll like it better. I’ll try to get the menu posted in the next 24 hours.
Toro Bravo has been having a few issues with the OLC, and has pushed their “Soft Opening” to Friday May 18th through May 31st, with the “Grand Opening” scheduled for Friday June 1st.
Terroir is planning on opening their doors on June 6th. This is the one on MLK, with Chef Stu Stein at the helm. Doesn’t ring a bell? Maybe this will help. He’s the one that was plagiarizing in articles he wrote for a newspaper down in Ashland. Got caught, and skulked out of town, to end up here. They are at 3500 NE MLK, Portland. (503) 288-3715. The menu that’s been posted so far is notable for being
cheap low priced. If you want to read more on the alleged plagiarism by Mr. Stein, you can do a search on here or portlandfood.org and you’ll find lots of discussion and examples. Anyway, How can they be so cheap and supposedly have such high quality food and a big fancy building? That’s what I want to know.
Lots of people have been asking about Rocket, the new venture by Leather Storrs, of Noble Rot fame. Ya’ll know I’ve been, ’cause I’ve posted the menu. As a matter of fact, I’ve been three times, and will be back once more before I post my quick hit. The reason? Um, I just want to have my ducks in line on this one. Nice space, nice view, one of the best patios in town, great service. Not nearly as crowded as you might expect, so give it a try – very L.A. To find the stairs/elevator, (it’s on the 4th floor of the lipstick red building), don’t go into the restaurant downstairs, instead walk on past it until you see the unmarked entrance just to the right. As far as I know, it’s the only place in Portland where you’ll find sous vide cooking (double click on the words if you don’t know what this means).
Look for it at the end of this week.
Ton’s of response on my homemade tonic odyssey. Couple of things. One, I should have mentioned more prominently that this is the tonic water being used in the Park Kitchen house Gin and Tonic, originally developed by bartender Kevin Ludwig, who has now moved on. Sometimes I forget that everyone doesn’t happen to know these things.
I’ve now made the tonic at least five times – whenever friends taste it, I end up giving them the bottle and have to make it again. Each time I look for shortcuts, many which have been mentioned here. Most obviously is a centrifuge, which to my mind might work, but hey, food dude can’t afford these types of things.Even more importantly, I have doubts as to whether the stickiness of the simple syrup would allow it to work properly.
Someone else mentioned the Buchner funnel, which I’d never heard of, but a bit of research shows are very reasonably priced, so next time I get a few donations from people on this site, I’ll pick one up and give it a try.
There are some other methods, which I have tried with some degree of success.
1. With a bit of testing, it became obvious that the simple syrup mixed with quinine bark is what really slows the filtering. I made concentrate of the herbal ingredients, filtered it separately, and then added it to the simple syrup. This worked well, and I was able to cut the entire process to a couple of hours, but I found the tonic didn’t stay in suspension as well as it should. One has to keep stirring the drink, which waters it down. It also left a bit of an edge to the drink, that didn’t mellow over time. Being a purist, this was unacceptable, but in a pinch…
2. Kevin suggested that I make the tonic according to his recipe, and let it settle out for five days or so before filtering. Most of the sediment settles out into a gluey mass at the bottom of the jar. If you pour it off carefully and then do the filtering, it is much easier. The tonic also mellows a bit during the process. I think this is the best solution so far, though the filtering is still a bit of a pain.
3. In my humble opinion, this tonic sucks with vodka. Save it for a good gin. The NY Times did a huge gin tasting a few weeks ago called “No, Really, It Was Tough: 4 People, 80 Martinis“. Plymouth English Gin won, but I think it would be a bit too smooth here. I’d go with the #2 or #3 winners:
The Junipero, made in small quantities by the distilling branch of the Anchor brewery in San Francisco, came on strong with the traditional gin flavors of juniper and citrus, hitting all the right notes, though a little self-consciously.
The No. 3 gin, Cadenhead’s Old Raj from Scotland, at 110 proof, or 55 percent alcohol, was by far the most powerful gin we tasted: Tanqueray and Tanqueray No. 10 at 94.6 proof were the next highest. But while Old Raj packed a punch, its muscularity came across as bright and in control.
Two standbys of the American cocktail cabinet fared well as martinis. Seagram’s Extra Dry came in at No. 4. We found it surprisingly complex in the glass, with fruit, herbal and gingery spice notes, yet it didn’t stray far from the gin ideal, while Gordon’s London Dry adhered to the straight and narrow, with a slight emphasis of spicy cardamom and nutmeg aromas.
If you try to make the tonic, I’d love to hear how it goes.