Monday, December 19, 2011

Guest Chef

One of our commenters alerted us to this brand new restaurant that just opened between Rikyu and our least favorite restaurant, The Burrito Shop. Guest Chef is a unique concept, this is from their website:

"Guest Chef is a fully equipped restaurant and kitchen incubator. If you have a specialty dish, a novel cuisine, or an experimental take on a classic, come and showcase your culinary skills to an audience of eager diners. Schedule your two week run and Guest Chef will become YOUR restaurant."

We went on December 17th, 2011. The chef that night was Paul Skrentny of Paul's Paella

Brussel sprouts with bacon AND prosciutto. This had a high meat to veggies ratio. We noticed Paul cutting the brussel sprouts straight off the stalk; you could taste the freshness. We love bacon (AND prosciutto) but sometimes dishes like this can be heavy or greasy. The sprouts were so lightly cooked and crispy that the whole thing seemed more like a salad than a pork soup.


Scotch eggs. These were amazing! It's a hard-boiled quail egg, wrapped inside chicken-basil sausage, dredged in Panko breadcrumbs, (wrapped in an enigma) and then deep-fried. It came with some kind of pink sauce that looked like thousand island dressing, but it wasn't. Whatever it was, we liked it a lot. Go eat these.


Chicken and chorizo paella. We figured the paella would be good, since it's kind of Paul's thing, and it was. Great seasonings, perfectly cooked rice, tangy olives, and bright green peas. It tasted as delicious as it looks. And it comes with a (non-edible) doily!


Flan. This was the only desert on the menu, and we didn't actually order it. Our neighbors at the table next to ours (who we struck up a conversation with during dinner) were too full to eat theirs and insisted that we try it (and take a picture). We're not huge flan fans but as flans go, this one was not too sweet and had a delicate consistency. We wouldn't say it was "flantastic" but it was certainly "fladequate".

The kitchen crew. That's Paul in the center. If you can make it to Guest Chef before January 1st, these guys will make you some awesome paella. If you go after that it will probably be completely different.

The restaurant itself is small and cozy with nice exposed wood beams in the ceiling. Service was great, and we're looking forward to trying Guest Chef again the next time there's an interesting sounding chef. We hope it's as yummy the next time as it was on our first trip! And no, we will not be going back every two weeks to review it whenever the chef changes.

We give Guest Chef (and Paul's Paella) 4 sabuys.








Next stop: Cactus Taqueria


Oliveto

We ate at Oliveto in august with our good friends Peter and Christa, but got too busy this fall (see previous post) to write about it. So, without further ado...

Grilled Sardinian-style sausage with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and mint. With roasted Jimmy Nardello peppers and frisee salad. The sausage had interesting spices and the three parts all complemented each other.


Burrata cheese with Early Girl tomato mamellata, arugula, and charcoal-grilled crostino. We liked this.




Charcoal-grilled prime flatiron steak with Yellow Romano beans, Parmesan sformatino, and Yellow Finn potatoes. The sformatino is the little bit poking out from behind the potatoes on the left. It is like a cheese flan.


Tortelli of roasted pork with Early Girl tomato-vodka brodo. It was delicious, but tiny. You can fit 100 of these tortelli on the head of a pin.


Charcoal-grilled pork porterhouse with fresh Cranverry beans, oven-roasted Early Girl tomatoes, and pork sugo. This was a little smokier and gamier than we would have liked.

Pappardelle rosse with San Marano tomato-braised beef shoulder, hot pepper, and  oregano. Also tiny. Picture taken at 1000X magnification.

We have had great meals at Oliveto in the past but this wasn't one of them. Considering the crazy high prices, you expect it to blow your mind, but our minds were unblown. Oliveto gets three sabuys.



Next Stop: Guest Chef

Been gone for a while


So, we haven't posted in a few months because we've had... er... some other stuff going on. For the next 4.5 months the tiny person above will be attending all our reviews and Steve will be drinking for two (or three). We will try to get back to posting more regularly... until around May 30th.