Sunday, October 09, 2005

Restaurant Makeover

I saw this show for the first time yesterday on the Food Network. I really, really liked it a lot. I found it incredibly interesting, and I think anyone even remotely interested in the food business would appreciate it. I am always impressed with the actual knowledge of the celeb chefs; to those of you that view them as selling out (and I often feel a little jaded myself), there is no denying those people know their shit. Superstar chef Bobby Flay attempted to guide a home style Italian restaurant back into the good graces of their customers. What impressed me was Flay's take on what it would take for a country Italian restaurant (with no grill to be seen) to survive in today's market. He knew two other Italian joints where the chef and owners could brew some new ideas to revive their current lackluster project. The mere thought of someone analyzing a given eatery, explaining how to make it better, and give two examples in New York City is impressive.

Moving from TV land to reality, last night a few of us ventured to the newly opened Epicurean Bistro. The menu is Mediterranean flavors with a strong Greek influence, and some Curry thrown in for good measure. I was greeted with the rare chance to consume freshly caught swordfish, flown in via airplane that day; needless to say I seized the opportunity. I prefer to have swordfish a touch over rare; and this was cooked all the way through. Nonetheless, it was tasty enough. The high point of the evening was the appetizer: chantrelle mushrooms in a brandy sauce stacked high inside a puff pastry. Other notables of the evening included a dessert I can only describe as mini-chocolate pastry, and a tasty leek-puree. I also found the Côtes du Rhône much too easy to drink. The bill was actually quite fair; $180.00 fed five people, with two appetizers, four desserts, and two bottles of wine.

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