'restaurant' on Serious Eats

In Restaurant Traditions: The Family Meal

Photo by Wiqan Ang for the Globe A time-honored tradition at many establishments is the "family meal"—when the waitstaff comes together to fill their bellies before a long night's service. (Lucky them; where better for a free meal than a first-class restaurant?) The Globe has a great look at the staff meals served in different Boston-area restaurants. “The best rule to have good staff meal is: Put cheese on it, bake it, and name it,’’ says Jamie Bissonnette at Toro. Any food-service vets out there with fond memories of staff meals?... More

Sunday Brunch: Pan de Mallorca

I'm in Old San Juan as I write this, and we had an amazing late lunch at the famous bakery La Bombonera. I had an exemplary plate of roast pork complete with crunchy skin. For dessert we had the bakery's pan de mallorca, a flaky pastry the place serves up in both sweet and savory fashion. It would be a great dish to serve for brunch. This sweet pan mallorca recipe is adapted from Yvonne Ortiz' fine cookbook, A Taste of Puerto Rico, but you could make it savory as they do at La Bombonera by stuffing each roll with ham and cheese. I know it seems silly to combine powdered sugar and ham and cheese, but it totally works.... More

Check Out Cyrano's

"I once dated this dude who worked as a trapeze artist in the circus." "Really, like Ringling Brothers?" "No it was like one of those traveling carnie things. He was getting really annoying and I wanted to get rid of... More

Are Restaurants Too Noisy?

When the headline and the lede in Frank Bruni's restaurant review in the New York Times are both about noise, maybe, just maybe, we've reached the point of no return when it comes to restaurant noise levels. Consider the following line from Bruni's review: "Talking with tablemates at Mercat can be like watching an in-flight movie when you haven't purchased the earphones." Here's my question: Is that state of affairs either necessary or desirable? When you talk to chefs and restaurateurs about this issue, some will say the noise level in their restaurants is the result of faulty design, that they didn't know the noise level was going to be a problem until they opened their doors and discovered... More

A Secret Kitchen In Every Restaurant

The An family runs three restaurants in California: Thanh Long and Crustacean in San Francisco and another Crustacean in Beverly Hills. Each restaurant has a a Secret Kitchen, "a completely enclosed kitchen within the main kitchen, off limits to all employees except An Family members. Here, Chef Helene and the Ans prepare their secret family recipes: An's Famous Roasted Crab and Garlic Noodles. These dishes are the key to the restaurants' success." I'm sure the dishes are delicious, but is it just me or is the whole secret kitchen thing a little nutty?... More

Dining Notes: The Slanted Door

San Francisco Gourmet revisits The Slanted Door and reports back with good news: Notwithstanding whatever other critiques I may have about the current incarnation of the restaurant, the one thing that has always been beyond reproach is the quality of the food. The ingredients are consistently fresh, the preparations well-executed, and the flavor combinations excellent. Yet, even against this backdrop, the meal that we had on Saturday just blew me away. Put simply, every dish we ordered seemed to be a cut above the usual, whether it was an old familiar standard or an entree that we were trying for the first time.... More

San Francisco: Here comes the Lobster Shack!

Good news for automobile-free city dwellers like me, Redwood City's Old Port Lobster Shack is opening a second location in San Francisco's North Beach. Tablehopper delivers the good news: The partners, Russell Deutsch and Ed Rounds, who have incidentally been best friends since seventh grade, are making the space more "shackadelic" over the next few weeks, which means adding picnic tables from Maine, some buoys, and installing a 110-gallon lobster tank. The 38 seats will be filled within a couple weeks with folks happily munching on lobster rolls, Crab Louie salads, and other fab seafood bounty (take a peek at the Old Port menu here to thoroughly whet your appetite)... More

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