Morimoto — Maui (2/2015)

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A last-minute trip to Maui and the desire to check out the relatively new Andaz Maui led me to have dinner at the Morimoto restaurant on Maui since it’s on property at the Andaz.  Their website indicated that they offered an Omakase tasting menu, and they were easy enough to book online via Opentable.com.  It sounded like a place where modernist techniques would be used to some extent to prepare some of the dishes.

The restaurant has both outdoor and indoor seating – I opted for sitting inside since it had been a little breezy during the day.  The restaurant is located in a building separate from the hotel between the hotel and the beach among the multi-level pools.

Their wine list offered a set of premium pours, so I decided to try the white burgundy on the list.  It was a good choice even if it started to taste oaky to me as the meal progressed and the temperature of the wine warmed.  I thought they were generous with the 2 oz. pour, perhaps in part because they had tried to squeeze out the pour with an empty nitrogen canister and had to swap mid-pour.

For the full write-up, click here.

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momofuku ko Version 2 2nd Visit — New York (1/2015)

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On somewhat of a whim, I set up an unscheduled trip back to New York mostly so I could dine again at momofuku ko.  I felt compelled to go back soon to help me feel out this new version of the restaurant.  It had been less than a month since I last dined there.  While the menu had some repeated courses form my prior visit, they came up with some different courses so that my meal would not be exactly the same as before.

They didn’t start me off with a grape shooter this time, so the first presentation was the lobster roll with mint sabayon (paloise) and olive oil and squash tartlet.

The next bite was daikon roll with sea bass. This was a different filling for the roll than the prior visit.  The rye millefeuille layered with trout roe and dusted with matcha tea was the same as before, although I don’t recall the bit of spiciness I tasted this time.

For the full write-up, click here.

Rich Table — San Francisco (1/2015)

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Rich Table has made a name for itself in San Francisco in a relatively short time.  It can be hard to secure a reservation.  A lot of folks show up early for a seat at the bar to dine.  The first time I went there a year or so ago, that was how I had a chance to try their food.  They have since garnered a Michelin Bib designation.  And a recent review by a local food critic talked about a tasting menu experience, which I did not recall them having before.  So, I managed to secure an early dinner reservation one recent Friday evening.

In addition to the bar seating, there are several small tables and a large community table.  Reservations can be made via Opentable.com.

Their drinks menu offers a wide variety of beverage choices.  I went with a glass of the 2011 French Chardonnay.

The food menu focuses on local ingredients and innovative combinations and presentations, which are what attracted me to the restaurant.  I didn’t know exactly what would be covered by the tasting menu.  I was hoping that at least some of the items would be taken from the standard menu, which is how it turned out.

For the full write-up, click here.

Quince 2nd Visit — San Francisco (1/2015)

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I first visited Quince a little over three years ago.  Since then, they recently remodeled and earned an additional Michelin star (for a total of two).  Some friends had visited within the last few months, so I was interested in going back some time.  Coincidently, some other friends wanted to go, so we managed to find a reservation in late January to go.  In its current iteration, the restaurant has gone to just a tasting menu format with options for the standard menu or garden menu (greater emphasis on vegetables).  Both menus were the same price and the same length.

To start off, I went with a glass of the white Burgundy, which I enjoyed with several courses. My friends brought a nice Papapietro Perry Russian River Pinot Noir that took me to the end of the meal.

For the full write-up, click here.

Edition — Toyko (1/2015)

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A recent search for modernist cuisine restaurants in Tokyo listed Edition.  So on my latest visit to Tokyo, I booked a dinner.  I was particularly interested in the menu option where you provide the chef with your allergies and preferences and they create a menu for you.  Otherwise, there are two variations on a tasting menu that one can choose.  The restaurant is easy to reach by subway (you don’t even have to go outside to get there).  It’s in the T-Cube building in a non-descript corner on the first floor in Roppongi-Midtown area.

The dining space is divided into two rooms, so the restaurant does not appear very big.

The first presentation was actually not an edible one.  They poured water on this and it became a warm hand towel as the traditional start to a Japanese meal.

For the full write-up, click here.

Shoto 3rd Visit — Toronto (1/2015)

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I decided I needed to venture to Toronto in the middle of winter.  Actually, I thought it was time to pay another visit to Shōtō to see what they might cook up during the winter.  While it was very cold in Toronto, the weather was generally good, so I had no travel issues, which made my quick dash easy. Plus, it’s a little less expensive to go and stay in Toronto in winter.

Upon getting seated, I was quickly provided with the wine list and a warm dinner roll to munch on.

At my last visit, they were not offering the Domaine Roulot, but on this trip it was back.  So that was going to be my wine for the evening.

For the full write-up. click here.