17 May 2003

the little "vegetarian" who could

rochester, new york, culinary capital of the world. arrived, did not pass go, did not collect $200, went directly to Rio Bamba which is, no, not some fancy latino fusion nouveau cuisine but is just nouveau fusion cuisine heavy on the meat and seafood. um, let's see, sea scallops and oysters or caesar salad. sadly, the decision took a nano-second and next thing i knew, i was dipping into a crab souffle, those oysters and tuna on a bed of somethin'. oops, wait, thats not vegetarian? drat! this was followed by an equally non-vegetarian scallops and salmon. all of it was delicious, minus the tuna which was just sort of boring. but it was nothing new...just the same old seared scallops with greens and whatever which is of course a ridiculous thing to complain about because its fantastic and i am only bored with it because i'm lucky enough to have parents who take me out to nice dinners on a regular basis but really, people, think a little beyond the box here. just because something is "seared" doesn't mean its revolutionary. my brother, now he got something interesting. what can only be called a deconstructed lasagna, only lacking the obligatory foam and savory ice cream. shrimp, tomatoes, sliced beets and some other stuff between two sheets of pasta. points for creativity...big points, but not so much on the flavor. the combination just didn't work for me and it was really quite dry. without the ricotta slathered on top and a pile of melted slightly browned mozzarella, it just didn't come together. anyways, after all that, dessert was fantastic: a mixed berry sorbet terrine (i.e. rasberry, strawberry and blueberry sorbets layered and frozen together, berry soup (i.e. berry sauce) and a few fresh berries. it was wonderful and cool and refreshing and, come to think of it, reminds me of martha stewart and her sorbet molds. did you know that the easiest way to remove a mold from the tin is with a handheld blowtorch? yes, turn that sucker on, flip the mold and lightly run over the mold with the flame. badda boom badda bang! an easily removed mold.

that martha? she's brilliance! and no matter what, it always comes back to her.

and martha would have been proud, i think, of the lengths to which the little brother's girlfriend's parents went to provide for us at their graduation barbecue. we were there for five hours and ate pretty much non-stop. pizza, burgers, brats, egg rolls, salad, pasta, veggies&dip, chips&salsa, fruit pizza, etc. and i kept going back to the spread, long after i had filled up. the only gross part? the fruit wines my brother provided...strawberry and cranberry. ick! yeah. stay away from those.


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