Author Topic: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table  (Read 2564 times)

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2011, 10:08:45 AM »
The meal is partly reverse engineering the dish.

That's half the fun for me.  I do the same thing with beer.  So I guess it's another example of cross-training.

You also have the rule that you and your wife can't order the same thing, because then you couldn't share?  Turns any dinner into a tasting menu, which is more fun.  Of course if she gets something she really likes, then "sharing" usually means "here's a small bite."
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline thomasbarnes

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 413
    • View Profile
Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2011, 06:30:13 AM »
I made the Braised Breast of Veal with Polenta Cakes, Glazed Vegetables, and Sweet Garlic from the French Laundry Cookbook . . . It was delicious, but took me three full days and cost several hundred dollars.

How did you manage that price tag fixing a dinner for two? A big-ass chunk of veal might set you back ~$30-50, a couple of 1 lb. lobsters, ~$20-30. The rest of the shopping list might come in at $50-75 even for high end overpriced stuff from Whole Paycheck, unless the recipes called for truffles dusted with saffron and decorated with lark's tongues and gold leaf.

ccarlson

  • Guest
Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2011, 06:50:40 AM »
I made the Braised Breast of Veal with Polenta Cakes, Glazed Vegetables, and Sweet Garlic from the French Laundry Cookbook . . . It was delicious, but took me three full days and cost several hundred dollars.

How did you manage that price tag fixing a dinner for two? A big-ass chunk of veal might set you back ~$30-50, a couple of 1 lb. lobsters, ~$20-30. The rest of the shopping list might come in at $50-75 even for high end overpriced stuff from Whole Paycheck, unless the recipes called for truffles dusted with saffron and decorated with lark's tongues and gold leaf.

I wondered that same thing. I can't imagine how that added up to several hundred dollars..

Offline jeffy

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2832
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2011, 07:09:14 AM »
I made the Braised Breast of Veal with Polenta Cakes, Glazed Vegetables, and Sweet Garlic from the French Laundry Cookbook . . . It was delicious, but took me three full days and cost several hundred dollars.

How did you manage that price tag fixing a dinner for two? A big-ass chunk of veal might set you back ~$30-50, a couple of 1 lb. lobsters, ~$20-30. The rest of the shopping list might come in at $50-75 even for high end overpriced stuff from Whole Paycheck, unless the recipes called for truffles dusted with saffron and decorated with lark's tongues and gold leaf.

I wondered that same thing. I can't imagine how that added up to several hundred dollars..
Maybe he is amortizing the Big Green Egg.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2011, 07:11:50 AM »
Look up the recipe. Then all the component recipes, including the stocks and garnishes. Not every ingredient can be purchased in the quantity you need to use, and not every specialty ingredient is something in your pantry. Prime veal and fresh lobsters 800 miles from the coast aren't cheap. For each ingredient, look at the price of the best quality choice, not whatever is on sale at Walmart. I didn't make substitutions, and I didn't cut any corners. Professional kitchens would obviously have many of the component items on hand and use them across multiple dishes. So I had leftovers from when I made many of the parts, as well as excess ingredients that keep. That's OK, veal stock freezes well. I also wound up with maybe 8 portions for a dinner for 4, so we enjoyed it for a few extra days. Used up the fresh ingredients before they went off. It adds up.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline phillamb168

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2341
  • Lardy, France
    • View Profile
    • My Job
Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2011, 07:31:21 AM »
Look up the recipe. Then all the component recipes, including the stocks and garnishes. Not every ingredient can be purchased in the quantity you need to use, and not every specialty ingredient is something in your pantry. Prime veal and fresh lobsters 800 miles from the coast aren't cheap. For each ingredient, look at the price of the best quality choice, not whatever is on sale at Walmart. I didn't make substitutions, and I didn't cut any corners. Professional kitchens would obviously have many of the component items on hand and use them across multiple dishes. So I had leftovers from when I made many of the parts, as well as excess ingredients that keep. That's OK, veal stock freezes well. I also wound up with maybe 8 portions for a dinner for 4, so we enjoyed it for a few extra days. Used up the fresh ingredients before they went off. It adds up.

Ayup. And the thing is, the more you cook at home, the less you end up having to spend when you decide to make fancy things. I can cook most of Ad Hoc at Home without making a trip to the grocery store. A big part of this, I think, is because most haute cuisine is based on variations from Escoffier, and the French school of cooking in general. Gordon, living in the US, where cooking has for too long been delegated to machines dumping glop into microwave-safe buckets, is having to pay more for his ingredients because of lack of demand. I bet creme fraiche costs $5 or more for a tiny tub, because your average American consumer will look at it and go, ugh, wtf, no thanks, give me my frozen pizzas pls - while the people that need it will pay whatever price necessary. Here, it's $0.50 for basically the same thing. Because of demand. I'm not saying people here aren't buying the same frozen crap as in the US, but here at least there's been, historically, a demand for the sorts of ingredients you would typically find in nicer restaurants' recipes.

Hell, veal stock I can buy in frozen cubes for $1.50. Not the same as rendering it yourself, but a hell of a lot quicker ;-)

Gordon, have you looked at Under Pressure? If you're in to crazy cooking, you'd like it, although it requires random chemicals, a vacuum sealer and a water oven. But of course, if you have an electric mash kettle, you don't need the water oven.
I'm on twitter: phillamb168
----
morticaixavier for governing committee!

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2011, 07:38:57 AM »
Gordon, have you looked at Under Pressure? If you're in to crazy cooking, you'd like it, although it requires random chemicals, a vacuum sealer and a water oven. But of course, if you have an electric mash kettle, you don't need the water oven.

I've looked at the book, but have never tried the technique.  Didn't want to spring for the pricey gear.  Worse, I didn't want to have the fight with the wife over where to store the pricey gear.  I've reached the point with kitchen equipment that I have with beer glassware.

Ad Hoc at Home is a much more practical book for the home cook than The French Laundry Cookbook.  I've made way more recipes from there, and picked up several good techniques. 
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline johnf

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
    • View Profile
Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2011, 02:28:54 PM »
Gordon, have you looked at Under Pressure? If you're in to crazy cooking, you'd like it, although it requires random chemicals, a vacuum sealer and a water oven. But of course, if you have an electric mash kettle, you don't need the water oven.

I've looked at the book, but have never tried the technique.  Didn't want to spring for the pricey gear.  Worse, I didn't want to have the fight with the wife over where to store the pricey gear.  I've reached the point with kitchen equipment that I have with beer glassware.

Ad Hoc at Home is a much more practical book for the home cook than The French Laundry Cookbook.  I've made way more recipes from there, and picked up several good techniques. 

I use Ad Hoc at Home all the time. French Laundry Cookbook and Under Pressure are more coffee table books in practice, though you can use them without making the full recipes I guess.

Ever read the French Laundry at Home blog? I think the title of Ad Hoc at Home may have been based on the blog. An untrained home cook made everything in the book. Then she did it with the Alinea cookbook. Pretty good way to blow a few hours.

Offline nicneufeld

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1049
    • View Profile
Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2011, 04:04:45 PM »
I've never much cared for the trendier modern style restaurants...I don't mind spending modestly to eat out, but I reserve money for the more authentic ethnic restaurants, because I tend to prefer that than the sort of Ameri-Euro fancy fare where the chef basically takes a normal dish and then adds all kind of expensive/exotic ingredients designed more to impress the mind than the tastebud.  "Wow, Oloroso Deglazed Argentine Sheep Liver Fritters with a Truffle Gooseberry Sauce and Cacao Nib-Chile-Cashew Endive Omelet! It MUST be good!"

If I lived in LA again I'd spend my time checking out the hole in the wall immigrant places of all the varied and sundry ethnic cuisines.  Of course, I'd probably also get food poisoning every now and again, but it would be more interesting!  :D

Also, since cooking is such a hobby for me, $200 buys a whole lot of ingredients.  Next time I have 200 bucks to blow on a meal, I'm going to the store and getting some ingredients for one real mother of a blowout!!!