Kitchen Table 7th Visit — London (12/2014)


Even though I had dined at Kitchen Table just a month ago, I was back somewhat unexpectedly in late December.  I had a stopover in London during my winter holiday. However, my days in London coincided with what normally are the days that Kitchen Table is closed.  But because they were going to be closed for two weeks after the New Year’s holiday, they were taking reservations for the Monday I was in London.

For the full write-up, click here.

Vintage Cave 2nd Visit — Honolulu (12/2014)


The schedule and the weather led me to think about a trip to Honolulu and a return trip to Vintage Cave.  After a short email exchange and a phone call, I was all set up for a Friday night dinner.  I was especially interested to see what the new chef would have in store.  Since I had already been there before, I didn’t have to struggle to figure out exactly where to find the entrances to the restaurant.

The new chef, Jonathan Mizukami, is a veteran of The French Laundry.  A look at the menu shows a move from a more Asian-inspired line up to a cuisine more along the lines of classic French-American with modern twists.

The prior menu offered a long and a short menu.   Now, they offer two tasting menus – a standard one and a vegetarian one.  Additionally, the standard menu had four optional upgrade courses that would replace one or more of the offered courses, if desired.  I have seen such optional upgrades for one or two courses, but never for four.  The menu above was the vegetarian menu, which offered one menu upgrade.

For the full write-up, click here.

minibarDC 2nd Visit — Washington DC (12/2014)

minibarDC-91 About a week before a trip to Washington DC, I decided to check and see if there was a mid-week slot open for dinner at minibar.  I thought it was time to try it again after a couple of years.  It turned out they had a slot open on a Tuesday night at 8:30.  Even then, the counters were not fully occupied for the late seating. One change to the setup was that they had turned the front part into a bar/food area called barmini.  So, unlike last time, where we had pre-dinner drinks and the first snack in the “living room” area, we were offered drinks and a snack in a small anteroom.  The bar area was filled with drinkers/diners. The first snack, offered while waiting to be seated, was a set of several edible flower petals pressed into a clear edible sheet (starch paper).  These included rose, elderflower and fennel flower. These were delicate and slightly sweet. For the full write-up, click here.

Kitchen Table 6th Visit — London (11/2014)


I decided that during my stay in London, I would again spend Thanksgiving at one of my favorite places.  The folks at Kitchen table again came up with a great meal experience, with many new dishes.

The pumpkin course was an optional course.  The reason the supplemental charge was so high was that the dish is finished off with some very high quality white truffle shavings.  I chose to include it on my menu experience.

 The first bites featured Irish Sea Venus clams with California Meyer lemon.  The clams were served live (just split).  I’m usually not much of a clams fan, but these were simply done and tasted good.

For the full write-up, click here.