Thursday, August 21, 2014

Munich, Restaurant Broeding

L, A, and I had a great meal at Broeding in Munich.

Schulstraße 9, 80634 München, Germany

Overall: A+. This is not a flashy Michelin star restaurant, and that’s ok because we weren’t in the mood for one anyway. Instead we had solid, solid food (we loved every course which is unusual for us) in a downright nice setting. Those are the makings of a very memorable meal.

Food: A. We had the standard 6 course pre-fixe tasting menu which is changed frequently and based on seasonal ingredients.

Marinated veal tongue with braised chicory and salad. You generally expect tongue to be pretty rich, but this was nicely marinated, thinly sliced, and a fairly light early course, perhaps even lighter than a standard charcuterie. The greens were dressed nicely and enhanced the dish with a touch of bitterness.

Cappuccino from beetroot. Served in a small cappuccino cup with a horseradish foam, this was clever and well executed. The foam on the top ensured that you had the right proportion of horseradish to beet in every sip. Very nice.

Codfish with artichokes and red Mojo. The Mojo was a red pepper sauce. the codfish was cooked perfectly, warm, moist, nice seasoning and the artichokes were firm and nicely flavored. The mojo of course brought the sweetness to each mouthful.

Farmer chicken, pumpkin puree and chanterelles. The dark meat was prepared like fried chicken with the skin still on it and apparently fried. The white meat, always difficult to cook without drying, was moist and seasoned. The pumpkin puree had some sort of acid in it which I should have asked about, but combined with the chicken, chanterelles, and leaks, it was a great mouthful.

Cheese. This was a raw cow milk alpine cheese produced by Thomas Breckle. I had expected this to be like a Gruyere or Comte, but it was more like a cheddar. This was an exceptional piece of cheese.

Yogurt mousse with stewed plums and apricots. This was a very nice dessert with a little bit of thin chocolate on the top. A nice way to end the meal.

Wine: A+. The wine list is focused on Austrian, Swiss, and German wines, and sommelier Andreas Rohrich knows it inside and out. I know very little about Austrian wines, but certainly liked what he served us tonight. It was a great experience and gave us a tour de force.

Service: A+. Herr Rohrich and his team did a great job of being casual, yet precise.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

San Francisco, 1760, Caviar

Caviar. Hokkaido scallop tartare. uni. chive. The scallops and uni combine for a huge mouthfeel. What a mouthful!

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Monday, August 18, 2014

San Francisco, 1760, Lobster Ceviche

Lobster Ceviche. caramelized coconut, pineapple, kaffir lime. This is one of my favorite dishes on the menu. Let’s face it: lobster is an overhyped product. It’s often not all that good and can leave you wanting just a simple, really fresh boiled lobster instead. But this dish elevates the simple, almost mundane lobster to something really special. By using the sweetness of the coconut, umm… extra sweet caramelized coconut… with the lesser sweetness of the lobster, and the acid of the pineapple and lime, Chef Ben Stephens makes the lobster something worth ordering again. A most-excellent dish.

San Francisco, 1760

I was turned on to 1760 by a sommelier at a certain Nob Hill restaurant. San Francisco is like that — people in the business don’t seem to mind recommending competitors since it’s all about making the customer happy, even if it means their $’s go somewhere else. Since then, I’ve had several great meals at the bar. Led by owner/sommelier Gianpaolo Paterlini (formerly of Acquerllo), Chefs Ben Stephens and Matt Hanley, and Pastry Chef Ricardo Menicucci (also of Acquerello) this team is really putting out great meals.

I have made the bold prediction that 1760 is San Francisco’s next Michelin Star. Word. The food is as good or better than any one star in SF, especially my favorite one-star whipping boy, Boulevard.

Food. I love the food. I love that the dishes are works-in-progress and that they change from week to week, sometimes slightly, sometimes more noticeably. I love that they’ll try out new, off-menu, dishes on me. Stephens, Hanley, and Menicucci know how to cook. Does every dish work all the time? Nope, but I’d have to say that 95% or more of them are interesting and exciting. And they are happy to take feedback. A+.

Wine. I love the wine list. No, it’s not 800 bottles long. Who cares. It’s approachable at lots of levels. Paterlini works hard to make his cellar dynamic. There are new bottles every week. But better than the fluid (pardon the pun) aspect, the prices are phenomenal. I have seen prices for 1er Cru Burgundy which are lower than what I pay retail. Paterlini does not believe in the standard 2-2.5x markup. I’ve never had a bad recommendation. A special shout-out to their half bottle Champagne list. Did I already say it was approachable? A+ again.

Service: A+. Paterlini keeps a watchful eye on everything making sure it all goes well for the guests. I’ve never had a bad experience there. Guys like Kyle behind the bar work hard and understand the business.

So it only seems appropriate that I spend the next 3 4+ weeks on a series of 1760 dishes that I’ve enjoyed.

Thanks to everyone at 1760 for some really memorable meals.

Friday, August 15, 2014

National Geographic: A Five Step Plan To Feed The World, Step 5

From National Geographic, Feeding 9 Billion:

Step Five: Reduce Waste

An estimated 25 percent of the world’s food calories and up to 50 percent of total food weight are lost or wasted before they can be consumed. In rich countries most of that waste occurs in homes, restaurants, or supermarkets. In poor countries food is often lost between the farmer and the market, due to unreliable storage and transportation. Consumers in the developed world could reduce waste by taking such simple steps as serving smaller portions, eating leftovers, and encouraging cafeterias, restaurants, and supermarkets to develop waste-reducing measures. Of all of the options for boosting food availability, tackling waste would be one of the most effective.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

National Geographic: A Five Step Plan To Feed The World, Step 4

From National Geographic, Feeding 9 Billion:

Step Four: Shift Diets

It would be far easier to feed nine billion people by 2050 if more of the crops we grew ended up in human stomachs. Today only 55 percent of the world’s crop calories feed people directly; the rest are fed to livestock (about 36 percent) or turned into biofuels and industrial products (roughly 9 percent). Though many of us consume meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised on feedlots, only a fraction of the calories in feed given to livestock make their way into the meat and milk that we consume. For every 100 calories of grain we feed animals, we get only about 40 new calories of milk, 22 calories of eggs, 12 of chicken, 10 of pork, or 3 of beef. Finding more efficient ways to grow meat and shifting to less meat-intensive diets—even just switching from grain-fed beef to meats like chicken, pork, or pasture-raised beef—could free up substantial amounts of food across the world. Because people in developing countries are unlikely to eat less meat in the near future, given their newfound prosperity, we can first focus on countries that already have meat-rich diets. Curtailing the use of food crops for biofuels could also go a long way toward enhancing food availability.

Monday, August 11, 2014

National Geographic: A Five Step Plan To Feed The World, Step 3

From National Geographic, Feeding 9 Billion:

Step Three: Use Resources More Efficiently

We already have ways to achieve high yields while also dramatically reducing the environmental impacts of conventional farming. The green revolution relied on the intensive—and unsustainable—use of water and fossil-fuel-based chemicals. But commercial farming has started to make huge strides, finding innovative ways to better target the application of fertilizers and pesticides by using computerized tractors equipped with advanced sensors and GPS. Many growers apply customized blends of fertilizer tailored to their exact soil conditions, which helps minimize the runoff of chemicals into nearby waterways.

Organic farming can also greatly reduce the use of water and chemicals—by incorporating cover crops, mulches, and compost to improve soil quality, conserve water, and build up nutrients. Many farmers have also gotten smarter about water, replacing inefficient irrigation systems with more precise methods, like subsurface drip irrigation. Advances in both conventional and organic farming can give us more “crop per drop” from our water and nutrients.

Friday, August 8, 2014

National Geographic: A Five Step Plan To Feed The World, Step 2

From National Geographic, Feeding 9 Billion:

Step Two: Grow More on Farms We’ve Got

Starting in the 1960s, the green revolution increased yields in Asia and Latin America using better crop varieties and more fertilizer, irrigation, and machines—but with major environmental costs. The world can now turn its attention to increasing yields on less productive farmlands—especially in Africa, Latin America, and eastern Europe—where there are “yield gaps” between current production levels and those possible with improved farming practices. Using high-tech, precision farming systems, as well as approaches borrowed from organic farming, we could boost yields in these places several times over.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

National Geographic: A Five Step Plan To Feed The World, Step 1

From National Geographic, Feeding 9 Billion:

Step One: Freeze Agriculture’s Footprint

For most of history, whenever we’ve needed to produce more food, we’ve simply cut down forests or plowed grasslands to make more farms. We’ve already cleared an area roughly the size of South America to grow crops. To raise livestock, we’ve taken over even more land, an area roughly the size of Africa. Agriculture’s footprint has caused the loss of whole ecosystems around the globe, including the prairies of North America and the Atlantic forest of Brazil, and tropical forests continue to be cleared at alarming rates. But we can no longer afford to increase food production through agricultural expansion. Trading tropical forest for farmland is one of the most destructive things we do to the environment, and it is rarely done to benefit the 850 million people in the world who are still hungry. Most of the land cleared for agriculture in the tropics does not contribute much to the world’s food security but is instead used to produce cattle, soybeans for livestock, timber, and palm oil. Avoiding further deforestation must be a top priority.

Monday, August 4, 2014