Tag Archives: expensive

Bazaar Meat by Jose Andres

This high end tapas restaurant serves some of the best Spanish food I’ve had outside of Spain. Jose Andres really deserves all the praise he gets.

We started with some nice cocktails, which, in hindsight, I wish we had at the bar downstairs (Bar Mar), instead of at our table.

In any case, great cocktails!

For the smaller bites we tried, the stars were Jose’s Tacos (jamon with nori taco shell and caviar), and the tartare in a fried shiso leaf.

The Philly cheesesteak bites were nice too.

For medium sized courses, we had the Spanish octopus and fideua (paella made with pasta instead of rice). That squid ink sauce was outstanding, and it might have been the best dish of the entire trip to Chicago.

For our main, we had the 32oz aged domestic wagyu “chuleton” rib eye. It was slightly overcooked on the edges, and for being something like 100+ days dry aged, I didn’t get much of that flavor. It was really tender and tasty though. 8/10.

This came with a side of delicious whipped potatoes. So smooth.

For dessert, we had their delicious honey cake with grapefruit sorbet. They even stenciled the words “Happy Birthday” onto the plate for us.

A very pricey meal, but delicious!

20 N Upper Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL 60606

Hurricane Hole

This is a joint product/service and restaurant review. My buddies and I booked a small charter fishing trip off of Key West. For four hours it cost about $800 all-in (with tip and everything). While this is super expensive, it is worth every penny if you happen to be able to keep and eat everything that you catch.


We started off catching all the bait we would use on the trip. Captain Brad threw out his net and picked up minnows and shiners. Then we went out about five miles for some yellow fin snapper and yellow jackets. One of my buddies even got a mackerel at this spot. I had a shark hooked at one point, but the fucker bit through the line and took my bait.

After a bit, we went to a second location off the shore where we picked up some bonita and tuna.




Over all we had a really successful day. I caught the most fish, while my buddy got the biggest (a 15lb tuna).




Captain Brad filleted about half of our catch, which came out to roughly 14lbs.


That’s a lot of fish! We could have packed it on ice and shipped it home, but we figured we may as well gorge on it and give the rest for chum and whoever else wanted the meat. We probably caught over $1000 worth of fish.

The restaurant at the dock will cook up all your food for $12 per person, and you get sides to go with it. We fed our whole gang of eight people with tons to spare.


They did some fried snapper, tuna tataki, blackened tuna and buffalo mackerel. Everything was really good.


The conch fritters here were pretty good too, which we ordered in addition to the fish feast.


Le Cirque & Sirio Ristorante


We scored a deal on a three course meal at this famed upscale NYC joint. I was happy to see that there weren’t any restrictions on the deal too: three courses, app, entree and dessert, with no limitations other than paying extra for the super expensive items.


First let me just say that the bread at this joint is really good quality. Those little disc looking things were delicious, and all items were warm and toasty.


We started with the grilled octopus salad and veal carpaccio. I think the winner here was the octo salad. It was a warm salad, but it had great flavor from the olive, potato and tomato mix.


The veal was a bit on the dry side. The anchovy paste sauce was reminiscent of a German style mustard of sorts, so this had an unexpected taste. Caperberries were great though.


For our entrees, we tried the mini burgers and the skirt steak. The skirt steak was probably the best preparation of skirt that I’ve had out at a restaurant. It was charred nicely on the outside, and cooked to a perfect juicy medium rare on the inside. It was sliced nicely on the bias and at a steep angle. Just expertly handled all around. This is a 9 or 10 on flavor.


It came with a pine nut chimichurri type sauce on top, and it sat on a bed of lentils and crispy potato logs. There was even a miniature wedge salad on the side, and some pea puree blobs to boot. Really great composed dish here. I highly recommend.


The mini burgers were a little bit over salted and grainy in texture. They were nicely presented, though, and the abundantly massive side of fries that came with the burgers was a really delicious and near perfect execution of the item.




For dessert, we did the “floating island,” which was creme anglaise with merengue and fruit. Very nice and light. This was my favorite of the two, because each bite was dynamic.


The chocolate soufflé was perfectly executed, uniform thoughout and rich with flavor. I think I just got bored about halfway though. It was very large. I think soufflé fans will really enjoy it.


UPDATE 12/10/16

So it turns out that Le Cirque sectioned off part of its space to create “Sirio Ristorante,” which is, I guess, a more affordable and more casual dining option. My wife and I picked up a flash deal which gave us each a three course meal for $42 total (before tax and tip).

Much of the menu remains the same as above. We started with octopus and baccala.




Both were good but the baccala needed more chips to round out the fish.

For our entrees, we went with salmon in a truffle sauce and spaghetti “frutti di mare.”




The salmon was the big winner here, as it was perfectly cooked and had a great black truffle flavor. The pasta was a bit bland, and the sauce didn’t deliver. Some pieces of seafood were overcooked, while others were undercooked.

For dessert, we went with the creme brûlée and Crepes Suzette.

The crepes were fun. They tasted like a boozed up creamsicle.


Ice cream on top for the win:


The creme brûlée was perfectly done, and I was smiling when I saw the recipe hiding underneath the deliciousness.





My wife got us a comped meal for restaurant week due to her photo skills on Instagram.

We started with the endive salad, garganelli pasta primavera and tuna tartare (they brought an extra for us). All were really great, but I think the tartare was the best, followed by the pasta. The tartare had a really nice curry accent to it that popped.

For entrees we tried the branzino and steak. The branzino had a great crispy skin on it, and was nicely cooked.

The steak didn’t come sliced, but it was a small filet of strip loin with fries and a Bernaise sauce. Pretty decent. 7/10.

For dessert, we had the chocolate fondant and another creme brûlée. It was essentially chocolate ganache and chocolate cake covered with a chocolate shell.

151 E. 58th St.
New York, NY 10065

Prime vs Choice at the Grocery Store

I am a big proponent of getting prime cuts when it makes sense. Generally speaking, the difference in quality is outstanding. However, you have to be careful. Don’t buy blind at the grocery store. Look at the photo below. Choice is $14.99/lb and prime is $21.99/lb. The up-charge is primarily for more and better marbling. But look with your own eyes. Does that boneless prime rib eye on top look any more marbled or better than the bone-in choice rib eye? In this case, I might buy the choice cut, even though the prime cut has a bigger Spinalis / fat cap.


Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Hmm… what can I say about this place… The food is off the charts good, fresh (obviously), well plated, well executed, clever, fun and inventive. The only negatives I can possibly conceive of are (1); it’s heavy on the vegetables, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but for (2); it is very expensive. When you pay $200 per person before drinks, tax and tip, you sort of expect some serious substance in addition to the superb veggies. The meats consisted of: pig heart pastrami (1 bite), lamb (one small, thin rib chop), a bite of ham (in the tortilla), a slice of speck (ham and cheese sandwich), and a few slices of pork. That’s pretty much it. One of the asparagus dishes (there were several, yet oddly my pee didn’t smell afterward) had shredded chicken wing as garnish, but that doesn’t count. And neither do the few items that contained fish product. The last negative criticism is (3) extreme pretense. You’ll see what I am talking about below. I get that these people are passionate about the farm to table concept, about sustainability, etc. And they are remarkable culinary artists. But fucking come on… Some of this stuff is like candid camera fodder. To sum up: this was a great once-in-a-lifetime experience. I absolutely 100% know that I will never go back, but I’m definitely glad I fought tooth and nail to get a rez here to celebrate our anniversary, even if just to experience this bizarre place.


Service? Some of the best I’ve ever experienced. Our waiter Christian was amazing and very informative. Waiters and table hawks swooped in and cleaned up after each of our roughly 24 courses. Use a spoon once, put it down for a minute, look at the ceiling, look back down and POOF: it’s gone, with a replacement on the way. Actually when we first sat down, they saw my wife scratch her wine glass to get a spot off and they immediately replaced the glass with a fresh one. Crazy! Too much? Perhaps. At some points we sort of felt awkward.

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The ambiance of this place is really amazing. The farm is a beautiful and picturesque location. Nice grounds, with old but modern touches; rustic yet elegant. I could easily see it being some kind of rustic wedding venue. The dining area and centerpiece table is beautiful, and the kitchen is immaculately clean. The food is plated and presented in some of the most artful and beautiful ways I have ever seen.



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To start we ordered some drinks. Mine was essentially a gin martini with pickled ramps instead of onion or olive. Ramps are so farm to table and local – way more hipster than onions or olives. My wife’s was a chamomile, gin, honey, and slightly sparkling lemon drink. Delicious. But lemon?!?? That shit doesn’t grow here in NY, as far as I know. So much for the whole LOCAL thing! I want my olive now…

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Then the food started coming out. Hold onto your asses because this was a 4 hour meal…

1) Veggies on sticks. Some pickled, some raw, some lightly seasoned or spiced. Nice and refreshing. But, really? I started to wonder whether I’d fallen victim to some social experiment where you put diners into a fancy environment and serve them cat food and they absolutely love it.

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2) Asparagus soup. This was really great. Hearty, savory. I could easily drain a bowl of this shit. Pay attention to how much fucking asparagus is served here. It is astounding.

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3) Pig heart pastrami. This was good! Tasted just like pastrami, wasn’t too chewy. Just right. But give me more. Look at how much you’re charging me and ask if this is enough!

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4) First of the Rhubarb. This was essentially just a pickled slice of rhubarb. Simple. “First of the rhubarb” registers at about 11 on a Pretentiousness Scale that goes from 1 to 10. I think it means the first time they were able to pick the rhubarb this season. You know… because rhubarb is WILDLY different in flavor that second time you pick it. Whatever.

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5) Pea shoots, baby leeks, weeds, and tarragon pesto. At this point we were looking around for the hidden cameras that were placed to record our reaction to some weird practical joke. Even this was beyond “social experiment” weirdness. I’m a man with testicles. I have a dick, and it still gets hard. Now, this stuff was good (the sauce, anyway), but almost too odd for us. We were literally wiping the leaves of weeds across the sauce. Fun, I guess? But it took us a bit by surprise. We both laughed at this dish.

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6) Egg yolk & potato tartlet, spring onion vichysoisse with toasted quinoa, and a fiddle head fern cracker. These were all lovely. Perfect little bites of flavor. I wish we had a whole tray of them.

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7) Asparagus burgers. DING! Your asparagus score is now two. These were cute. Tasty too, and Christian came by with an asparagus stalk that had gone wild and grown too large. They are harvested at just the right time, before they start sprouting branches. BHASB <3 Asparagus 4-EVA!

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8) Asparagus & pancetta. DING! Your asparagus score is now three! A nice asparagus spear on a stick, coated with sesame seeds. Good bacony flavor involved without any actual bacon on the skewer.

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9) Ham and cheese sandwiches. These were made with speck and crisped cheese type crackers. Beautiful presentation, and one of the better bites of the meal. Again: give a man with hair on his chest a bit more that a single bite. I understand it is a multi-course feast, but feature the substantive dishes and downplay the “sides.” YEs – a veggie can be a side. But there were like 400 of them here to the handful of meat items. I get it. Veggies are awesome.

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10) Pork liver pate & chocolate. This was a great bite as well. The chocolate surprisingly went well the liver.

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11) Celtuce in a small soup with pine nuts. Christian gave us a crash course on what celtuce is. Basically similar to romaine but with a heart or root that you can cook up like the stem of broccoli. Delicious in every preparation they served.

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12) Greenhouse greens and smoked creamy gouda cheese. A nice salad. Whoa, whoa, WHOA… GREENHOUSE greens?!?? Do you mean to tell me that these items would not otherwise grow in the local climate? Like the lemon above… but not the olive? Pfft…

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13) Celtuse heart and spears, caviar and herring cream. This was one of the best courses. The caviar provided a natural salt element to this. Excellent use of vegetables… again.

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14) Asparagus with almond saffron sauce, stinging nettle sauce, olive tapenade, rhubarb yogurt, grilled asparagus sauce and crispy chicken wings. DING! Your asparagus score is now four! It was served with asparagus tea, and the sauces were plated tableside. The best sauce here was the asparagus sauce. Asparagus. Asparagus, asparagus, asparagus.

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15) Whole wheat brioche, escarole and spinach marmalade with fresh ricotta cheese that was strained tableside. This was a nice piece of toast. They had some cracked black pepper on the plate too, and that really made all the flavors pop.

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16) Ham, robin fish, mint & peas, creme fraiche and fresh cut herbs on a buckwheat tortilla. We were excited for this one because we were taken back to the chefs table in the kitchen to have it. Awesome!

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Umm.. can I please have some of this sausage in my meal? If not.. maybe some more asparagus?

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17) Stone barns egg, and everything a chicken eats. This was a really fucking great egg dish. I tasted currants, herbs and seeds, and it was presented while cooking in a cast iron pan. Perfect.

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18) Potato onion bread, grass fed butter, lard from their pigs, and carrot salt. Here we’re being prepped for meat courses, so I was getting psyched. FINALLY…

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19) Stone barns Berkshire pork with “this mornings peas,” pistachios and chrysanthemum. I had no idea one could eat chrysanthemum. The leaves were very fresh and airy; a perfumed and clean flavor. It went very well with the smokey pig flavor. And this morning’s peas? I’ll never have yesterday’s peas ever again. I wonder though… are tomorrow’s peas any good? Good fucking lord with the pretense.

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20) Grass fed lamb, shitake, and bok choy. This was a nice plate. I just wish the lamb was thicker. Perfectly cooked. It was like having a bite of prime rib on a stick.

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21) Cheeses … sheep’s milk and cheddar, served with rye pretzels, chutney and cumin spiced pumpkin seeds. The cheese was explained, cut, plated and served tableside, by the amazing Christian, asparagus stalk warrior.

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22) Next was a special anniversary cake plate. Pea and carrot cake. Very clever and tasty too! Get it? Have your peas and carrots… but for dessert.

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23) Milk ice cream, strawberry sorbet, and clotted cream with dried strawberries, fresh green and red strawberries and hazelnuts. The plating was pretty cool here. These little hexagonal glass plates were all stack-able.

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24) Bugs, Dirt, and Twigs. This one is for the kids! Very fun.

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Caterpillar = marshmallow

Honey Bee = honey mousse on a graham cracker

Brown dirt clump = chocolate truffle

Green dirt clump = pistachio nut cake ball with a cream type filling

Bird’s egg = herbed cream in a candy shell

Sticks/Twigs = light airy cookie crisps

Even the espresso was nicely plated and presented.

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After we paid the bill, we walked out the back to see our car waiting for us at the end of the walkway.


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I only felt half-raped. Like some HUGE Blood or Crip bent me over the weight lighting bench in the prison yard but got interrupted after his dick tip penetrated my anal sphincter, thus depriving him of full penetration and allowing me to walk away with my dignity still somewhat intact. Overall a really good meal, though. I’ll never go back unless someone else is paying for it. Glad we went. Nice to see veggies in the forefront. Good attitude about food. Incredible use of asparagus. Maybe it was all one big episode of Chopped and that was the secret ingredient for every course?

Final asparagus score: four, not including multiple uses in the same course. Accordingly, I hereby call this restaurant by a new name: Blue Asparagus at Stone Barns.

630 Bedford Rd.
Tarrytown, NY 10591

Le Colonial

My wife found this cool article that featured Le Colonial’s foie gras pho. It looked amazing, so we had to try it out.

We went for lunch on a Friday. It wasn’t packed or anything like that: we sat right away. Yet it took us an hour to have three appetizers. The wait time between the first appetizer and the second two appetizers was horrendous. Probably a half hour.

We started with the wok fried monk fish, called ca bam. Though very salty, small, and overpriced ($15) it WAS very tasty. The rice chips were the perfect crunchy vessel to eat the peanutty and lightly spiced fish.


Fast forward 30 minutes and our soups FINALLY came to the table. We each ordered the signature pho dish. At $19 a pop I was expecting something at least as filling as a bowl of pho from Chinatown. No such luck. There was about 10-12oz of liquid broth, a few thin slices of the meat, a small handful of noodles, and a small piece of fois gras. The bowl, in all, is a bit smaller than what you’d make with instant ramen or instant pho. While I realize that it is an appetizer portion, I feel that for $19 you should get more substance. At least it was delicious. It was hearty, tasty, and it contained quality ingredients. The foie gras was deliciously fatty and perfectly executed.



The decor was definitely beautiful. I should have thought to snap a pic of that. It was very reminiscent of real French-Vietnamese structures in Vietnam. Hence the name Le Colonial.


But paying $68, tax included for three appetizers to come out over the course of over an hour was fucking absurd. I’ll never eat here again, though I’m glad I got to try the soup. In the future I’ll just stick with the Chinatown pho joints. Only in midtown NYC can you pay $68 for lunch and still be hungry. Fuck that. I guess the good thing is that I got to spend some quality time with my wife in the middle of a work day.

149 E. 57th St.
New York, NY 10022