The WebSite Devoted to all things Gastronomical and the Study of the Effects of said Cuisine in tandem with the Universe, Humanity and the Lord Almighty. *Quantum Physics are the stuff ,dreams are made of. * JB *We should all look to our roots for the knowledge to grow from.* JB

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hugo's Is a Very Cool Name for a restuarant.

When i think of the name Hugo's it makes me think of a day in late fall when I visited there;right in Downtown Portland, Maine ;with a friend of mine and had the chef's tasting menu. The restuarant itself was neatly furnished and well stocked with lovely wall art, blown glass and local art was predominant through out the place. The restuarant offers an ala cart menu for the bar, which seats about eight itself, and a four course minimum dinner for the rest of the dining room. If you feel so inclined to you may purchase the Eight Course Chefs' Tasting Menu. About $40 dollars more then the $45 dollar Four Course menu. It was a real treat for which I was not prepared.

Being the first time I actaully paid for a tasting , and I didn't work for the restuarant; it was a great time for me personally.

Amuse Bouche( entertain the Mouth)Pre 1st Course was ( homemade pork rinds, Parsnip Chips and Lobster Crackers , served with a lemon verbena soda that tasted like sprite, kinda, except more lemon.

Since Owner Rob Evans, previously of French Laundry fame under Thomas Keller, is a fanfreakingtastic chef, and the meal was all overseen by him personlly I was really looking forward to dinner.

( When I came in , the reservation I had , was made at my request by the Dining Room manager of the Harraseeket Inn , where the old chef Nathan , who was a young man in his own right, was very good friend with Mr. Evans.
( Also I name dropped like an amateur when I got to the table, " Was Chef Rob in ? " " Oh I'm visiting from the HArraseeket and Nate had told me to come in". Blah Blah I'm a poser dude.

The Chef was really stoked we were there and wanted the full course expirience. He wasted no time getting us off to a fantastic meal.

1st Course: Golden Beet and Shaved Fennel SaladBeet Panna Cotta , white anchovie, Orange Flavors..

2nd Course: Roasted Parsnip Soup with wild Porcini Gel Cap
Toasted Pine Nuts, Pecorino, Sage, Homemade melba... This was really nice the mushroom cap added so much more flavor , it took 50% of the dish's flavor and put it into a tenth of it's volume.

3rd Course: Sweet & Sour Pork
Caramel Coated Pig's Head... (There wasn't ever a pig head on our table , but there was a really tender pork butt , That I did really eat every bite of.)

4th Course: Crispy Skin Cod Cheek
Organic Garlic Brandade, Smoky Tomato and Bacon Broth. ( This dish really stood out to me for it huge bacon flavor with with no, I mean no bacon on the plate. The fish was teriffic, But when the plate came down , all I smelled was the wonderful smell of cooked bacon, Like Old Christmas Morn. But when I dug in to the plate there was no bacon, yet I was still wonderfully with the dish, brandade is easily bland and Chef Rob's was a delight to light and flaky and not easy to forget.

5th Course: Spoonful of Tripe Ravioli.
This was what it was. Normaly I won't eat tripe, Chef Rob put it into a light that let me try it , un biased and I really like it a lot. Very Tender with no elasticity to the filling , which is what I was fearing.. Great dish.

6th Course: Sous Vide Duck Breast & Slow Cooked LegGolden Beet , Fresh Water Chestnut, Kola nut froth, Plum , Balsamic Jus.
Delicious, Wonderful. The Kola nut is used to make Coke Cola and tasted identical.
I don't recall what made the duck breast (sous vide) Yet the whole duck fell apart in my mouth and I can't remember the golden beets matching in flavor any better then the idea behind the dish, a wonderful pairing.

7th Course: Cheese Course; Caprifeuille- semi soft goats milk.Port Wine Reduction , Truffle Honey, Walnuts and Lavash Crackers
Really a very nice palate cleansing dish that was articulated by all the flavors , working in along multiple angles. For me the Port Wine and Truffle combination was the pinnacle of the course and the fantastic goats milk was only made more perfect by their appearance.

8th & 9th Courses came at the same time to my friend and I. We both received different desserts. This was a result of my asking for the Foie Gras course which
was only offered as part of the Four Course Menu. Chef Evans agreed to my request and my friend Ms. Dean was anticipating the Tonka Bean Fondant.

So , 8th Course. El Rey Dark Chocolate& Tonka Bean Fondant.
Salted Peanut Ice Cream, Banana, Sweet Soy Sauce,

I only tried a bit of this and had a full palate from the dinner and wine.
I also had a glass of Oban Scotch, which wasn't my favorite of the single malts family. By the time I tried this tiny morsel , I was rather full. Yet with every thing that Hugo's Co -owner puts into making all of his on premise created food. All made right in downtown Portland, made knowing that the man could think about making porkrinds and Peanut ice cream and process all the need to know info into his staff there at Hugo's was really quite genius..

9th Course: Fig Stuffed Foie Gras Brulee
Eggless Bread Pudding, 100 year old Sherry vinegar Sabayon.

This was really the most valuable part of the evening , for me. I don't love Foie Gras, it is cruel and unusual , the way I was exposed to it is extraordinary, I 'll share it. I had Always thought (FOOYE GRASS ) was an exceptionaly expensive french delicacy, it is, and when I had the Chef Owner of a restuarant I worked at, at the time, rip a hunk off and give it to me in a torpedo roll, well it tasted like chocolate, yet not sweet and the high carb roll was the perfect medium to try it on .

The Real pronuciation of the ruptured(from overfeeding),traditionally goose and nowadays duck,livers,is (Fwa - Grah). This instanly took my palate for a roller coaster.

Became my new grail to seek in the industry. I have had foie gras seared, grilled, poached, cured, and raw.. I don't like it but I'm hooked on it's impressive nature.

The Final course of the night was smooth sailing for this sailor. The sabayon brought back episodes of Iron Chef and the bread pudding which was mostly a very small side to quality of it's preparation. The Chef's bread pudding tried to rival Chef Robert Jordan's Bread Pudding and though he didn't use eggs , he did have a nice piece of cured foie gras on the plate.

What a great name for a restuarant. I'll try to go back , when I'm penitent enough maybe. Can't go every month or two or I wouldn't feel so at ease with my checking account...

Dum Dee dee Dum....

Next Time , More notes on Fore St. the Comparative speculation.

Reiki and Panna Cotta , Not Tonight!

Well i am really shocked that it almost Feb.. This is pretty crazy; it's game month at the Broad Arrow Tavern , and that means that we will piggy back what MDR (Maine Dining Room), runs for their menu, on our nightly chef's specials. This is cool because we will be getting some very cool new meats in to play with. I might even get to saute' a quail and smother it in rose petal sauce.. Hmmm
Really though I can't believe how fast Jan. just shot by me...
I mean really 2006' pace is really picking up fast. I already booked the 5th in March and were just starting Feb. Wow.
I have just signed up to my first 5 kilometer road race( MArch Date) and I have started training already , running and lifting. I feeel GreaaaT! Roar!
I'm inspired by two people at work; my boss, Alan, who runs his ass off training for all sort of triathalons, and road races through out the year, and this really lovely server named Kathryn V. Who is really just a modern day muse. No Kidding.. She's a work of Art when she smiles and how could you not run for her, especially when it's for a charity.
Well anyway that's the really new stuff. I have met a Reikki Teacher who invited me to channel with her at some classes. Very Cool . Down in portland in a few months.
The Freeport Brewing Company is looking very strong.. Kenny Collings ( owner) has shown me his humble operation and has imparted some information that he has learned about brewing.. Verk Interesting Feild Trip. He will be starting out a New Chocolate Stout Soon ... Looking forward I have asked him to think about a high caliber and Dark " Burden's Bitter Burden, lager. He has not given me an exact answer about this yet.. I'll keep on pressing.

P.S. I will be training more Reikki from ME. Feel The Love. JAmes

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Tues Nights with Jimmy James...

Well , Well...

In a current situation at work A customer payed $21.90 for a chicken ceaser salad and a Michelob light. ( I didn't realize we served that shitty beer) The travesty was apparent when she got her bill(not the beer)... I thought she might have been trying to be funny, She had gotten that crappy beer anyway right? Well she was so angry(but not at the bartender ) (or the manager on duty) or anybody else on her way up through the ranks....all the way up to the owner, whom she was entitled to write a letter to and complain. Yet when she ordered all the food off the menu It was plainly marked at set price and the Tavern does have a reputation for using organic and local food, that chicken is expensive, Your not eating McDonalds. Do they use Organic Chicken.. They've got Neuman's Own Coffe.. Damn fine job there. But the truth is we are not Mc Donalds. We 've got linens and silverware that dosn't bend. Hidden away waste receptacles. Table side ordering and Microbrews. We've got a wood fired grill and wood fired brick oven .. What do you want lady and $5 dollar salad and a to go cup for your drink. Hit the bricks bitch, go to Amsterdam. Oh by the way get a good brew, maybe I'll care then...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Hello& Welcome! Two Thousand & Six! Welcome!

Hello Two Thousand & Six. Ano Domine. How it going, I mean you are the future. I mean you do know what's happening here right.
\You don't... C'mon. The President is the Uber Mensch for the top secret Republican, ultra-conservative, New World Order.
The new Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is hardly inspiring as a leader, unless he was in turn acting out a character, from the dark side of the " Burbs" a really 80's film where even "Pinnochio gets his. He also dosn't appear to be the back breaking radical of the new Catholic church.
I want to see the newest of the new leaders right here. On the doorstep of the new year. Yo, we got what's we need right here. I hardly feel bad for Gore, he just caved in national affront to keep th U.S. looking unified. When we got Sept. 11, do you think he still wanted the job...Maybe, I think he was relieved as a man, not to deal with the political side of events More on this later.

So on go the minutes. Would I be dancing, if I were out? Could be.
I find New Years this year. to be kinda like setting your clock for Daylight Savings and then going to sleep..
Would you if you were a real party animal, remember that it was time to adjust your clock?.... I think that some of us were there and some write about...

Good times at the Tavern, the couple from CT didn't return. I was back to talk and hang out/no couple. So ho hum let's get a bottle of rum.
Too though hand hand sex... hmmm ? Prophetic.. Does this mean I might ?.... Damn prophecy, piece of shit.... jpb