=" /> The Mile High Eater: 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A little southern comfort, at ST Johns in Chattanoga Tn

A little southern comfort...The St. John's in Chattanooga, Tennessee.




Barb and I were recently in Chattanooga to see some relatives and while we were there decided to try out St. John's (www.stjohnsrestaurant.com) on the recommendation from people on the Chowhound boards (www.chowhound.com). The Chef is Daniel Lindley who puts on a fantastic seasonal menu. The night we were there the chef was away but his sous-chef Josh did a great job with our meal.


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The restaurant itself is in downtown Chattanooga and is a converted hotel. The space is very open with high ceilings and a very nice feel to it. With 2 floors and the tables spread out nicely you never feel cramped. The staff do a great job of the service with everything being served smoothly and the pacing near perfect. I can only imagine how tired a new wait person must be at the end of the night after running up and down the stairs all night.


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We were seated and our server Bethany came over and greeted us and spoke a bit about the menu and a bit about the restaurant itself. She spoke highly about two of the menu items and I decided to go with her recommendations while Barb chose a few others.

The first item that came out was an Amuse Bouche.
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Hawaiian Walu fish with Tomatilla sauce, cucumber, radish, and basil.

He says:
The textures here were great with the vegetables giving it a nice crunch and the fish being soft and tender and a great slightly spicy taste of the sauce. I will give this a 7.

She says:
The fish was very delicate and tasty. The veggies were a nice combination and left us hungry for more. I too, give it a 7.



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Ok, I normally do not show bread but this came with a nice little story attached. The white bread is the Chef's mothers recipe and from what I am told every time she comes to eat she makes sure to tell the wait staff to make sure they let people know that it's her bread. So, just wanted to pass that along and say yes, it is brag worthy. A great fresh bread is a hard thing to beat.


Barb's First Course

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Roasted Texas Cross Quail with Apples and Chorizo Stuffing and a Whisky-maple Glaze

She says:
The quail was cooked perfectly, the presentation of it was cute (with the crossed legs) and the flavors were amazing. The glaze was delicious, and the stuffing was a nice mixture of stuffing, chorizo and apple. This was a great starter to the meal. I would give it an 8.

He says:
The quail was cooked very well, the skin nice and crisp and the glaze has a smoky sweet flavor that was great. The stuffing was good as well but I have to be honest here I was so taken with my first course that I do not have a strong memory of it. I will give this a 7.5


Jonathan's First
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Maine Lobster & Saffron Soup - Delicata Squash Ravioli and Celery.

He says:
The soup also had roasted pumpkin seeds in it and a deep woodsy flavor that I just loved and paired with the lobster made for a taste that went together so well that I ended up eating this very slow because I wanted to savor the tastes more and more. The only thing I will say against this dish, and it is a weird thing to complain about is the ravioli really did not need to be there and added almost nothing to the dish. The soup and the lobster were the stars here! This did not pull a yum out of my lips but was very close to it, 8.5 is what I will give it

She says:
I had a very small taste of this as I was enjoying my quail so much. The flavors were deep and smoky, all in all, it was very tasty. I would give it a 7.5.

At this point the kitchen sent out a little bonus for us to enjoy.

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Sequacthie Cove Farms Baby Beef, with a Red Wine Vinaigrette, Shallots, Capers, and Parsley with a Fried Egg and Mustard Aioli with some toasted bread.

He says:
I saw this coming out and was not pleased. I have had tartar two times before and both times I have been pretty underwhelmed but decided, well might as well give it a go and this was good. Very good. The meat and vinaigrette has a nice tartish flavor, the egg was still warm and perfectly cooked and the mustard aioli just gave the perfect additional flavor that you just caught at the edge of your tongue. Another 8from me. I would like to note even though this is the best tartar I have had it did not give me a yumm so can't give it a “best of type“ rating.

She says:
When I saw this I was skeptical. I am not a big fan of tartar, but when in Rome. The trick to this dish was getting a little bit of everything. And when done properly, this dish was a delightful surprise. I really didn't think I would like it, but I did. Again, I think it was the combination of all the flavors that made it unique and special. I would give it an 8.

Barb's Main
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Smoked Hudson Valley Duck Breast with Sweet Potato Gratin and Cherry Cognac Reduction.
He says:
Ok, this intrigued me. You bite into it and a citrus flavor hits you at first followed by a fairly strong flavor that I just could not figure out so I kept on poaching from Barb's plate trying to figure it out. Finally I asked, and the duck is rubbed with a orange rub then is smoked in hickory. This combo just gave a taste I really can't describe, but I liked it and it kept making me want a little more. I am not a big fan of sweet potatoes, so was not a big fan of those. I will give it a 7.

She says:
The duck was cooked perfectly and the mixture of cherry cognac with the duck was spot on. A slight sweetness mixed in with the duck taste. I liked the sweet potatoes, they were a nice contrast to the duck. My only problem was that the duck was a little tough for me, but all in all the dish was very good. I would give it an 8.

Jonathan's Main


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Broken Arrow Ranch Axis Venison with Wildwood Farms Delicata Squash, Stone Ground Grits and Summer Truffle Jus.

He says:
MMMM YUMMMM! Ok, deer is not supposed to be this tender, just is not suppose to be. Venision is a little tough and a bit gamey, it is not supposed to melt in your mouth like this did. Tender with an out of this world flavor that just sings. From what I understand, Axis deer are native to India and Nepal and you know it would almost be worth going to live there just to have this again. The grits were very good and the squash was nice but darn that deer was good. A solid 10, I doubt I will ever taste venison that tender again.
She says:
The venison was so tender that it almost melted in your mouth. I actually begged for a couple of more pieces, it was soooo good. The flavorings was perfect and the venison was tasty. I would give it a 9.


Barb's Dessert

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Pineapple & Butternut Squash Bread Pudding with Coconut Gelato and Run Caramel

He says:
This was nice and rich and different it was nice to see a inventive dessert that breaks the mold at the same time is really good. Too many restaurants seem to have great mains but the desserts are kind of an after thought. These here seem to have had a lot of thought put in to make it as much as an experience as the meal itself. A 7 here.

She says:
My dessert was very good. The bread pudding was nice and warm still, topped with caramel sauce and mixed with the coconut gelato. It was soothing to my mouth. I would give it a 7.

Jonathan’s Dessert

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Carrot Cake Souffle with Cream Cheese Anglaise

He says:
This was not your standard carrot cake, this was rich and served warm with a flavor that had a carrot flavor but not a overwhelming one. I really liked it. I give it a 7.

She says:
I wasn't a huge fan of this. The server brought out the dish and then punctured the top of it with a spoon and poured in the cream cheese anglaise so that the flavors would mix together. The tastes were fine, but just didn't blow me away. I would give it a 6.

Bonus Dessert

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Banana Split; Banana Ice Cream in a Chocolate Gnosh Bowl with a Strawberry Caramel Sauce and a Chocolate Covered Cherry.

He says;
Very, very good. The house made ice cream was incredibly rich and of course how can you go wrong with a chocolate bowl. I'll give this a 8.

She says:
If I would have known they were going to throw in another dessert, I would have never ordered one - but what a nice surprise. The house made banana ice cream was the real treat in this dessert. I could have had a bowlful of it and been very happy. I would give this dish an 8 as well.

Numbers and such With the .75 add on for a 5 course or more meal St Johns scored a 8.44 score which is pretty good indeed. We had a great time here and would highly suggest you give it a try if your in Chattanooga! The chef answered a few questions for us and gave us a very yummy looking recipe which will be in next weeks post. The over all cost of this meal was 123.45.




Thanks as always for coming by and if have any questions or ideas where we should go in the future feel free to drop us a line at jonathan or barb @milehigheater.com




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Friday, November 21, 2008

Chimney Park

Hi all,


We went out to eat in Windsor the other night at the Chimney Park (http://www.chimneypark.com/). I have to say when a reader of the blog suggested I try a spot in Windsor, I did not think I would make it. I normally just don’t travel up that way very often but then I looked at the website and the menu and went hmm that looks good, and then I went to the spot where it talks about the chef and I was hooked. Chef Jason Shaeffer, was a opening sous chef at Per Se for two years. For those of you who don’t know, Per Se is Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurant in NYC and frequently regarded as one of the best restaurants in the country. We went to Per Se in May while we visited New York (see earlier blogs). With this information in hand, I went ahead and made reservations for us at Chimney Park with high expectations.


The restaurant is very easy to find. Just get off at the Windsor exit off I-25 and head east. It will be on the left hand side of the road about 4 miles down with very easy parking in front of the restaurant. The building the restaurant is in has been around since the 1800’s and the dining room is very pleasant to look at and to sit in and does not at any moment feel cramped. The restaurant offers a tasting menu and we tried that so we could get a range of items from the kitchen. The tasting menu is 4 courses and one thing that is different from a lot of places each person in your party receives a different item. Instead of everyone getting the same course, we each received something different, and thus, had to share! And very few of the items you receive on the tasting menu are items that are on the menu. Jason just makes you items on the spot. Chef Shaeffer is very willing to work with food preferences and is even happy to make a vegetarian menu which we did not try, but probably will next time as the vegetarian menu at Per Se was fantastic and I would like to see what he learned from there.


The first item out was the amuse bouche and the only item that we all received


app



He said: A great start. The cheese on the apple was just a great blend of sharp and sweet that just made you even hungrier than you were when you ate it. The “”” mirrored the apple and cheese with a nice sweet taste and a crisp crunch of the bread. This was very good start and I will give it a 7.

She said: This was a fantastic start to a great meal. The apple and cheese were crunchy and sweet. I would give it a 8.

Now, on to the first course
Barb had:
Gnudi

Gnudi with Hazel Dell Mushrooms, Black Truffles and Parmesan.

He said: I am afraid it's here all ready - YUMMMMMMMMMMMM! I love mushroom’s and this smelled fantastic even from across the table. I was hard pressed not to grab Barb's plate and gobble it all up. This had a great mushroom flavor offset by the rich gnudi. I wonder if I asked next time if he would do 4 courses of this. I have to give this a 9.

She said: I agree, YUM!I looked up gnudi and this is what one website said: The Italian term for "nude," these tender little dumplings are a cousin of gnocchi. Made with ricotta rather than potato". I like these better than gnocchi even. The mushroom and sauce made this a wonderful dish (even if I had to share it). I give it a 9 as well.


Elena’s first Course.

Yellowtail Tuna

Honey-Lime Cured Yellowtail, Avocado Mousse, Jicama and Radish, Jalapeno Jelly

He said: When you tried it without the jelly it had a very pleasant lemon flavor which I liked a lot. It always surprises me when I like any raw fish. Something inside me just screams in protest about it, but so far have liked everything I have tried. I think a Sushi bar will soon be in my future. With my second bite I took a big dab of the Jalapeño Jelly (I am silly sometimes) and for a brief instant I did not realize what I had done as the initial sweet flavor started to wash over my tongue....then it came - HOT HOT, ouch, oww, WATER!! After I got done drinking and my companions got done smirking, I decided it really was a good dish and gave it a 7.

She Said: For some reason I wasn't feeling the love of raw fish that night and didn't try this at all. Maybe we should get Elena's opinion on this one!

Jonathan’s First course.

Seared sea scallop

Seared Sea Scallop with Butternut Squash Puree and a ‘Stir Fry” of Boc Choy with a Soy Vinaigrette.

He said: On most occasions I can take or leave a scallop, mostly leave them and so was not that excited when this was laid out in front of me, especially with Barb's Gnudi staring at me from across the table. After assuring myself that jedi mind tricks were not going to make Barb switch plates with me, I dove in. I can’t believe I am saying this about of all things scallop, but Yum, and Wow. Cooked just perfectly and with the flavors of the butternut and soy vinaigrette mixed in, I was in love. Ten, I say yes, a 10 for a scallop. How strange.


She said: For those of you familiar with our blog, you know that I have an allergy to scallops, so again I didn't taste this dish. Elena - please step in with your comments:


Barb's second course

Beat and Pear sald


Roasted Beet and Comice Pear Salad, Blue Cheese, Pecans and Arugula, Apple Cider-Black Pepper Gastrique

He said: Nice combination of flavors once again the sweet pear with the sharp blue cheese. The surprise for me at least was how well the beets went with this, just an all around good tasting dish. A 6 from me.

She Said: This was nice, but nothing out of the ordinary. The beets and pears mixed well together, but the gastrique was the winner of the dish for me. I would give it a 7.

Elana’s second course:

Chard and buttenut squash salad

Chard Stem and Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette, Chestnuts, Pomegranate and House Cured Duck Prosciutto.

He said: This was a very nice looking dish and over all the presentation of each and every dish was fantastic. And, what is even better is most dishes tasted as good as they looked! A maple vinaigrette, wow, that was tasty and the duck was great as well. Wasn’t a huge fan of the chestnuts but I really dug this dish overall and will give it a 7.

She said: This was a nice dish. All of the textures mixed well together. And you know I like duck! I agree with Jonathan in that the chestnuts didn't do it for me either. I will agree with his score of 7 and agree that the plating on all our dishes was fantastic!

Jonathan’s second course:
Caesar Salad


Romaine Caesar with Grilled Bread Piquillo Peppers and White Anchovies

He said: The name pretty much says it, and as a Caeser salad it was fine and I liked the peppers but the salty anchovies, meh not so much. Looking at the entire night I would say this was the low point of the meal. It was not bad, but wasn’t anything special really. I give it a 5.

She said: Anchovies? Ok, I've been brave in all lately, but did not try this (I still have some growing to do in my palate...I know).


Barbara's Main Course;

Bison New York Strip

Bison New York Strip, Basil Potatoes, Oven Dried Tomatoes and Green Beans and a Black Olive Sauce.

He said: Huge portion for a tasting menu and cooked perfectly. The basil potatoes were much better than I expected, in fact I would call them great. And even the olive sauce heightened the taste. I would go an 8 for this.

She Said: The meat was juicy and tender and delicious. I didn't want to share this, but I did. Overall, a great dish and truly enjoyed. I would give it a 8.5.


Elena's main course:

Cab filet of rib

Cab Filet of Rib, Goat cheese Polenta, Artichokes and Spinach Tomato Au Jus.

He said: Once again a very large portion for a tasting menu and once again cooked perfectly! I loved the polenta and the filet was amazingly tender. Honestly the artichokes and spinach didn’t do much for me but the meat just melted in your mouth. I have to give this another 8.

She said: I agree with Jonathan, the meat was delicious and melt worthy. I stuggle with too tough of meat, and did not have that problem at all here. The artichokes were nicely cooked as well. I too, would give it an 8.

Jonathan's Main Course.


Duck 2 ways


Duck 2 ways - Duck Breast and Thigh Comfit, Braised Radish and Pearl Onions with Pancetta, served with an Apple Ginger Sauce

He Said: Main courses - 3 for 3. All just fantastic. The crispy skin and tender meat of the comfit and the tender moist meat of the breast. I am a huge onion guy and those onions were devoured quickly. The mixture of tastes here was perfect. The apple ginger sauce blended perfectly in and this was a thoroughly enjoyed dish. Another 8.

She Said: Yummy, duck! I'm surprised Jonathan shared this with me, but he did. I enjoyed the crispy and tender meat just as much, and the onions and radish blended in nicely with the tastes and textures. I would also give this an 8.



Barb's Dessert:


"Pastel de Tres Leches"

Pastel de Tres Leches, Cream Soaked Vanilla Cake with Ripe Mango and Rum Caramel Sauce

He Said: Served warm, the nice rich caramel flavor combined with the mango was really good. I will give it a 6

She Said: I do love caramel, and wasn't sure about the mango, but the combination was good. I kept thinking I was done, but found myself sneaking in another spoonful or two. I would give this a 7.5.


Elena's Dessert:

Carrot cake

Ginger-Almond Carrot Cake, Toasted Almonds and Mascarpone Icing

He said: Another good tasting dessert and I like the icing, however there was a problem with this. As you can see, the dessert is 2 tiered and I am guessing they store the individual cakes wrapped in plastic wrap and put them together right before being served. I say this, because there was a small bit of plastic wrap in between the two cakes. Elena saw it before it made it into her mouth and it did not effect the taste of the item, but after how good the entire meal had been it was a big letdown and took down the overall feeling of the evening. I will give it a 6 but will have to deduct from the over allscore for this.


She said: Another great dessert and except for the mishap well done. I liked the nuts and the cake blended in together, although wasn't a huge fan of the carrot's on top. I would give this a 6.5.

Jonathan's Dessert:

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Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding, Butterscotch Anglaise and Macadamia Nut Brittle
and Pomegranate seeds


He Said: This was served warm and was very rich. The pomegranate seeds just drove it up another level with that fresh sweet flavor mixed in with the deep rich chocolate. Yum, I would go ahead and give this a 7

She Said: This was a good dish. We had chocolate bread pudding somewhere else and I didn't like it as much as I liked this one. Rich, chocolately, nutty - where could you go wrong? I would give it a 7.5.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A talk with O's Chef Ian Kleinman

Hi all
NOTE Chef Kleinman has now moved away from O's and has his own catering business where he brings the magic of Molecular gastronomy to your home or party!

http://www.theinventingroomonline.com/



After our meal at O's chef Kleinman took the time to answer a few questions for us.

Chef Ian






1. What attracted you to cooking?

My father is a chef and my grandfather was a culinary instructor in Oslo, Norway. My dad would come home in his chef's coat smelling of new flavors I have never tried. He taught me to have an open mind when it comes to ingredients and techniques. My grandmothers German cooking was the nail in the coffin. She made amazing meals with just a few ingredients.


2. What is the philosophy behind your cooking, or in your kitchen?

Have fun. People take food to seriously. I want you to have a well prepared meal when you eat here but most of all I want you to do is have fun. Those are the meals you remember



3. What is the biggest influence on the way you cook?

Seasonality


4. Is there a chef living today you would like to work with?

Ferran Adria or Heston Blumenthal





5. Is there a particular ingredient you like to cook with more than others?

Liquid nitrogen. It is a amazing medium that will be utilized much more in kitchens in the next 10 years





6. If stuck on a desert isle and could have one meal from then on out what would it be?


NY style pizza, the real shit


7. Is someone asked you for two Colorado restaurants to try other than your own what would you suggest?

New Saigon and Beatrice & Woodsley, he is doing some real nice stuff down there







8. How about one restaurant any where in the world?



El Bulli or the Fat Duck





9. Would you be willing to share a recipe with us? Chef Kleiman runs a blog at www.food102.blogspot.com and you can find many a recipe there! One thing I was curious about was how the Balsamic caviar was made we had that evening he explained it was made by The caviar is made by mixing balsamic vinegar with water and alginate

In a separate container I add calcium chloride to water.

We the put the alginate/balsamic mixture in a squeeze bottle.

We then slowly squeeze small balls into the calcium chloride

After 4 minutes of “cooking” we remove them and rinse with water

We then marinate the caviar in balsamic syrup to get the full flavor



10. Why did you decide to start using molecular gastronomy in your cooking?

I was tired of conventional cooking methods. A lot of cooks that are my age burn out and move onto another career. I love to cook and wanted to find other avenues to keep me interested. As a chef I am a teacher too. If I am not excited about what I do, how do I aspect my cooks to have any passion. These ingredients and techniques have brought the fun back to my kitchen


11. How has it been recieved in Colorado so far.
Molecular cooking has been received very well. We have guest that come from all over the Western United States to try some of our food. Cooking in Colorado my whole life has given me the ability to tell what will sell. As long as my guests are comfortable with the ingredients, they will be willing to try new techniques.


As always thanks for stopping by if have any questions or comments feel free to drop us a line at jonathan or barb @milehigheater.com.




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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Molecular gastronomy at O's

October at O’s


NOTE Chef Kleinman has now moved away from O's and has his own catering business where he brings the magic of Molecular gastronomy to your home or party!

http://www.theinventingroomonline.com/


Hi all, Barb and I made it out to O’s in Westminster and had a very fun meal. http://www.westindenverboulder.com/page.php?url=restaurant). Chef Kleinman also has a blog that is alot of fun to look at www.food102.blogspot.com

Chef Ian Kleinman does what he calls a Molecular Gastronomy tasting menu on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and it is a very fun meal to experience. I say fun, because that’s exactly what it is. A sense of excitement and curiosity is in the air throughout the meal as we talked and wondered what the next item will be even though you have the menu in front of you, made it particularly fun for us. Questions like What is "Space Foam"? "Is it a drink, a dessert? and then finding out when he made it table side.

This sense of excitement and fun goes right along with Chef Kleinman’s thoughts on cooking. While we were speaking to him, he said, "To me it’s just as important for a meal to be fun as good because it’s the fun meal that you will be talking about and thinking about for years to come". I think he is correct at this, because I know that Barb, myself and our friend Elena, who came with us, spoke about the meal and the experience all the way home and days later. Even a few weeks later in other meals, our experience there came up.


One more little note before we get started with the meal after much debate we decided not to rate this meal because there is just no basis for a rating on a lot of the items. I mean how do you rate "space foam" or a foam that has a taste that hits like a truck yes it is very good but we just can’t figure out how to add on for the creative nature and the fun factor this meal had. I say it at the end and I will say it now you just have to give this a try.

Here is a picture of the Dining Room.

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We were there pretty early in the evening so the room was still pretty empty. However, the tables are spread out enough you would not feel crowded here regardless.


We went, as I mentioned for the Molecular Gastronomy menu which changes week to week and this week the first thing out was:

o's tomatos

Last of the year's Tomatoes from Chef Kleinman’s garden, Prosciutto Cream, Hazelnuts, and Balsamic Textures.

He said: Balsamic textures? What the heck are Balsamic textures? Well, the brown foam you see on the left side of the picture was Balsamic Foam, and you look at something like that all fluffy and light and expect this will have a very mellow mild taste. I took a fried tomato and very generously dipped it in the foam and SLAM! My goodness, a taste explosion went off in my mouth. My eyes grew wide and I could not connect mentally the foam in front of me with such a bold wonderful taste. I went back again and this time putting just a dab on a bit of cherry tomato and sure enough that foam had more taste in it than any regular sauce I had ever had. I was just amazed. Then came the Balsamic caviar (the little black dots you see on the right and throughout). After the foam, I was thinking, well if foam delivered such a mouthful of flavor these are going to just be over the top. Well, I was wrong. These had a nice soft delicate flavor and a more solid texture. It really changes your expectations of food. The dish was pretty cool and that’s not a phrase I use for food often.

She said: I'm not usually a tomato fan, but this dish was very nice and light. A good mixture of textures and tastes. Unlike my husband, I don't just "dig in" to something I'm not sure of, so I didn't get the overpowering flavors of the balsamic as he did. I daintily dipped my tomato in, and the combination was delightful.


Next course:

o's shrimp

Carbonated Black Plums, Berbere Shrimp, Yuzu, Yogurt Powder, and Baby Corn.

He Said: Ok I always try to get a bite of everything in my first nibble to see how all the elements work together, as it went into my mouth there was mass confusion. I think every taste bud in my mouth fired at one time, the yogurt powder was tart, the yuzu was sweet citrus, the plums very sweet and juicy, then add in the shrimp which going to sound odd almost tasted a little like sausage. With all this going on at one time, I literally sat there kind of stunned for a second while my mouth had the flavor equivalent of a full mouth full of pop rocks going off. After that I went a bit more slowly trying to taste everything by itself, and this with that and way too soon the dish was done. Looking back I can't say that this was a great shrimp dish as the seasoning really made it not taste entirely like shrimp, however, I will say it is a great dish by itself because the flavors were fantastic regardless I really liked this.


She said: This dish was very well presented with the orchid (edible) and the plating. But, once you find out what it is, then you taste it - it doesn't make sense. As Jonathan mentioned it had a sausage taste to it, which was just wrong (not bad mind you, just wrong). This is shrimp, I expected shrimp flavors. But, all in all I enjoyed this dish, but I think with the expectation of shrimp, my taste buds played a trick on me.


3rd course and this one needs several shots

space foam on spoon

Chef getting ready to put the "Space Foam” in the liquid nitrogen.

space foam in liquid nitrogen

Space Foam in the liquid nitrogen

space foam
Space foam on the plate.

He said: We saw this little menu item and honestly had no idea what to think, space foam what the heck it could be. Then the chef came out with the liquid nitrogen and stuff on the cart and we were all just fascinated while he explained that the liquid was at -320 degrees and he had to play around with different textures and mixtures to get the mixture of port wine syrup, heavy cream and gelatin just right so it would come out the way it did. The only way I can really describe this was it tasted like a cream puff. The outside texture was like pastry and the inside was a nice cream flavor. The taste and texture were just great and it does make you go mmmmm.


She said: We were all pondering what on earth Space Foam could be. Was it a fizzy drink, a block of foam? When Ian came out and explained it all, it was interesting to watch as he made it. It was delicious! Like Jonathan said, it tasted like a cream puff. The crunchy pastry with the gooey middle. I could have four courses of Space Foam and be very happy.


Fourth course


steak and chapstick

Sou-vide New York Strip, and Truffle Sauce, Pepper Butter Chapstick, Stewed Cipolin in Duck Fat, and Tarragon.

He said: Yes that is a Chap Stick container on the plate and no I did not put it there myself. It contained a fantastic butter which you put on your steak just like you would use chap stick on your lips. This was the least inventive course of the evening but by no means was it bad. The steak was very tender and cooked perfectly and the butter added a great peppery taste alongside the truffle sauce’s deep rich flavor. The onions were very good and really, how can you go wrong with onions with a ducky flavor.

She said: If you look at the picture closely, you see the chapstick sitting on a tomato shaped like lips (very clever and a little odd all at once). Anyway, this dish was very good, but not out of this world (Space Foam reference). I like the onions and meat mixture. The flavors were nice and easy on the palate. I think after the molecular Space Foam, we were expecting something like that again and our expectations were set too high, because this was a great dish all on its own (but we were getting spoiled by science).




Dessert;

ice cream ingrediants

The cart that came out to make the Ice cream.


o's making the ice cream
Chef Kleinman’s witches brew


o'sdessert

Pineapple and Candy Ginger Ice Cream with Baby Kiwi and a Sugar/Macadamia Nut Crumble - made tableside with liquid nitrogen.


He said: Wow, ok if you have never had ice cream made this way you need to and soon. I have never tasted an ice cream that was this smooth and creamy, the baby kiwi was room temperature and of course the ice cream had just been made at -320 degrees, so the temperatures played off each other and the flavors just danced in your mouth.

She said: It's always fun to see your food made, and this was no exception. You can tell that Chef Ian really enjoys this part of his job. He's very engaged and smiling as he works his magic. I've never had kiwi before, so I was a little intrigued and skeptical about this dish. But I do love ice cream, so it couldn't be bad. Wow, what wonderful flavor combinations. The crunchy nut topping, the ginger ice cream and the kiwi were just wonderful mixtures in my mouth. The very cold ice cream, the warm kiwi
were just powerful yummy flavors.


Numbers and such: The meal itself is a set $50 dollars per person and is well worth it for your night’s food and entertainment. Chef Kleinman also took the time to answer a few questions with us and we will have those up in an article next week!


Final words: If you read this article and are on the edge and not sure if you would want to try it, GO, you will like it. If you don't think this is your sort of thing, GO, I bet you will change your mind. If you really liked what you saw, GO, and drag your friends along as well. In short, GO to O's and soon you will be saying "Ooooo that is good. When you go let Chef Kleinman know you heard about the menu here and say hello for us!


Thanks as always for stopping by our Colorado food blog. We enjoy sharing the Colorado restaurants we visit with you as well the restaurants where we travel. If you have any questions or comments we would love to hear from you either by a comment here or by emailing us at jonathan@milehigheater or barb@milehigheater.


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O's Steak & Seafood on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sugarbeet

After an uneventful Saturday, Jonathan and I decided to go out to dinner. We picked Sugarbeet in Longmont, since it was close by and Jonathan had been itching to get there for a while.



Well, the itch has been scratched. All I can say is that Jonathan’s wishes were granted, we finally ate at Sugarbeet. Me, I’m still itching. It wasn’t that the food was bad or the place was unappealing, it was just average. And since we’ve been discovering a life of above average, average just didn’t cut it for me. Now, remember, I’m not a food snob by any means, and when I say that the food was average, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It was just alright, and alright just wasn’t what I wanted last night.



The restaurant itself is very charming, from the wooden beams overhead to the brick walls and columns. A small restaurant that is divided into 2 rooms, with a bar area right when you walk in with 3 or 4 tables, to a more spacious area to the right with about 8 tables.



You’ll notice that we have no pictures to post with this meal, as he who will remain nameless forgot to put the memory card into the camera. Oh well, you’ll just have to take our word for it.


Barb and Jonathan



To start with, we had the Gorgonzola stuffed Medjool Dates wrapped in Parma Prosciutto.


He says: Ok, I liked this one. It was good, it had some great textures and taste and a great mix of sharpish cheese flavor and the sweet date. This dish also gave me great hope for the rest of the meal and I give it a 7.5


She says: This was a delightful start to the mean. The dates were warm and chewy with a nice flavor and smell. They were served with radish, spinach and baby tomatoes.


My main course was Cassoulet with Braised Rabbit, Toulouse sausage, Salsify and Cannellini Beans.


She says: Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the southwest of France. This one had lots of beans, some onion and celery and rabbit on top. You all know from previous posts just how much I’ve been enjoying rabbit, but this dish was somewhat of a letdown. All I could taste was the beans. The rabbit wasn’t distinguishable from the cassoulet. The flavors of the rabbit were just lacking. The cassoulet itself was very good, I do like stew, but I really wanted to taste the rabbit more. This is the first meal in a long time that I added any condiments to as well. I would give it a 5.

He says: OK, hmm this had a good taste to it and the taste was beans and as I like white beans, I kinda liked the dish. I think the problem is when I go out I want to feel I ate something memorable, something that makes me think about it later and want more. This was just not it. Dont get me wrong it was fine, the meat could of been anything, it did not add flavor and as Barbara said I thought it needed seasoned. I am going to go with a 5. here.


Jonathan’s main course was Baby Back Pork Ribs with Cantina Mustard Sauce, Mashed Yukon Golds and Sauteed Baby Spinach

He says: A full rack of ribs here and not one of those wimpy little racks either. This was alot of meat with a great smelling sauce. I enjoyed this. The meat was just falling off the bone and the sauce had a good taste to it. However, and I really hate to harp on this point it wasn't out of the ordinary and nothing that I will crave. In the end it was a good solid rack of ribs but nothing to wite home about. I give it a 6.


She ssys: I didn't try Jonathan's dish at all, except for some of his potatoes, which were good. So, I can't really rate his dish.


Barb’s dessert was Cooked Pineapple topped with Coconut Ice Cream.

She says: This dessert was very good. I might even go as far to say it was my favorite dish of the night. The cooked pineapple with the coconut ice cream was a nice mixture of textures and taste. I would give it an 8.

He Says: This was tasty, very tasty. The flavors mixed well together and the pineapple sweetness just went fantastic with this rich ice cream. I will go 7.5.


Jonathan’s dessert was Chocolate Bread Pudding

He says: I like a bread pudding and when you throw chocolate in the mix it was something I just had to try. The flavors were there and it was nice and rich and thick just like a bread pudding should be, but it was not very moist and that took away some of the enjoyment for me, even though the flavor itself was good. I give it a 6.

She says: This dessert was ok. Again, I wasn't blown away by it, but it tasted fine. I like bread pudding, but I think the chocolate took away from it. I would give it a 5.


I have heard alot of great things about Sugarbeet, so I tend to think maybe they had a bad night in the kitchen the day we were there. But, whatever it was, this was just an ok meal. If the main course's could of been as good as the it would have been much better, but as it stands our overall rating is going to be an .....


Overall really this meal was just ok and when I go out and spend money on a meal I expect it to be better than just ok.

Thanks for coming by and visiting our Colorado food blog and if you have any questions and comments feel free to let us know at jonathan or barb @milehigheater.com

Monday, November 3, 2008

A talk with Terroir's chef Tim Payne

Hi all

We had a chance to ask a few questions to Tim Payne chef at Longmonts Terroir restaurant. If interested in our previous post of our meal here it is located at our post
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1. What attracted you to cooking?

I simply love food. The whole cycle of it, from ordering and menu planning to prep to the finished product, plus since we use so many small farmers we stay connected with the supplier side. It is very satifying.

2. What is the philosophy behind your cooking, or in your kitchen?

Make everything from scratch, let the ingredient shine and utilize all of the culinary influences within America when making menu changes. Our kitchen is one of respect, it is a small team and we work very closely together, and everyone brings good experience to the table when executing our ever changing menu.



3. What is the biggest influence on the way you cook?

What fresh, local and if not local, small farm organic ingredients are available. The seasons are very important too.

4. Is there a chef living today you would like to work with?

Melissa Kelly (Primo Restaurant in Maine) on the east cost, Frank Stitt down south ( Highland Bar and Grill in Birmingham, Alabama), Judy Rodgers (Zuni Cafe) out west, or Hugo Matheson at the Kitchen in Boulder

5. Is there a particular ingredient you like to cook with more than others?

I love fresh pasta in all of its forms, from filled pasta such as agnolotti to fresh cut pasta like fettucini to gnocchi. We will always utilize these in our menu. I love seafood as an individual ingredient though particularly scallops.

6. If stuck on a desert isle and could have one meal from then on out what would it be?

Gnocchi, followed by an arugula salad, followed by seared scallops, followed by braised short ribs followed by sorbet. I would always be full.

7. Is someone asked you for two Colorado restaurants to try other than your own what would you suggest?

Aji in Boulder is one of our favorites and I would tell them to go to the Rioja in Denver.

8. How about one restaurant any where in the world?

The French Laundry of course. Other than that Restaurant Daniel or Blue Hill in New York City or The Zuni Cafe in San Francisco.

9. Would you be willing to share a recipe with us?

Gnocci


4 large potatoes (russet preferably)
2 eggs
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped thyme and parsley

Bake the potatoes at 450 until soft. Remove the potatoes, slice open and pass through a food mill or potato ricer onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with all purpose flour. Allow steam to die down from the warm potatoes. Make a well in the center and place 1/4 cup of flour in the middle then crack both eggs and place in the middle. Place 1/2 cup more of the flour, the herbs and salt and pepper on top of the potatoes. With a pastry knife or spatula chop the the mixture until it is mixed and resembles pebbles, bring the mixture to a ball and place 1/2 cup more of the flour and gently fold (do not knead) just until the flour is incorporated. If the dough is tacky or sticky place 1 tablespoon more of the flour and repeat the process until it is not tacky or sticky. Let the dough rest for five minutes then divide the dough into 5 balls. Take each ball and gently roll out into a snake approximately 1/2 inch wide the slice the snake into 1/2 inch pieces and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside. Once all of the dough is rolled out the gnocchi can be frozen immediately or placed into lightly boiling salted water. Once the gnocchi float then can be strained out and incorporated into whatever sauté or sauce you choose. We change our ingredients seasonally and it generally consists of a vegetable that can be sautéed immediately without prior cooking (such as sugar snap peas or mushrooms) or a heartier vegetable such as butternut squash that we parboil until al dente that is lightly sautéed with garlic then deglazed with vegetable stock, seasoned, mounted with a small dab of butter, fresh herbs then the gnocchi is added and once plated finished with fresh grated cheese. If you do freeze the gnocchi, once the gnocchi are frozen individually the can be collected and stored in an airtight container for as long as a month. Cook the frozen gnocchi from this state, do not thaw then cook the gnocchi.





As always thanks for coming by our Colorado food blog and if have any questions or comments please let us know at jonathan@milehigheater.com or barb@milehigheater.com.
And if you happen to check out any of the restaurants we have mentioned let them know you heard about them from our blog!

Jonathan and Barb



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