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Archive for January, 2008

The Meals of Others

I’ve begun 2008 in a dining lull but some meal reports should start appearing within the next few weeks. Meanwhile, I’ll highlight some recent meals of other bloggers below.

If you’ve seen other great meals recently, please share them with everyone in the comments below.

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Bacchus (London, UK) – You’ll Have to Tell Me

Here’s a meal I did not eat but was told it was innovative, enjoyable, and, in London, a rare value. I know many readers, chefs, get ideas simply by viewing the pictures so here they are. The darkened room certainly led to graininess so I’ve kept the pictures small to keep them tight.

Cauliflower amuse
Bacchus (London) - Cauliflower amuse

Foie Gras amuse
Baccus (London) - Foie gras amuse

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2008 Itinerary

2008 – what does the future hold?

Tokyo / Kyoto / Hokkaido
A 10-14 day trip is in order to finally explore one of my favorite cuisines. My friends call me a sushi snob, and I’ve eaten at many of the important Japanese restaurants in this country, but my knowledge of Japanese cuisine is certainly at a nascent stage.

Some questions / topics I hope to explore:

Just how good is Japanese sushi? And the quality of their raw fish?
I’ve limited myself in the past year to only eating at America’s best sushi/sashimi restaurants – Urasawa, Sawa, Kuruma Zushi, and Sushi Yasuda (no Masa this past year.) How does the quality of Sawa and Kuruma’s fish compare to Tokyo’s best? Is this magic of a Sushi Yasuda nigiri commonplace in the back alleys of Tokyo? Can Urasawa’s reverence for food and ingredient place among the best of Japan? When I discuss America’s best places, the common response is always “go to Japan.” The subtext of that comment often is, at worst, the continuing Japanese fetish found in America; and, at best, a truly informed point of view. Where does my reality lie?

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Weight Loss 2008

It’s the New Year, I’ve been pigging out on cookies and Coca Cola for a week, and now it’s time to clean up. Contrary to what readers of this blog might think, I actually eat a fairly regimented diet coupled with a pretty good exercise plan. At six foot, I ballooned to 200lbs during the infamous 47 Michelin stars in 24 days trip. Over the last year, I’ve fought down to 180lbs (just about right) and now sit around 190lbs. I’ve managed to add a fair amount of lean muscle (thus the weight gain) and my goal is to strive for 185lbs or so this year (with more lean muscle mass.)

I’ve followed the general rules outlined below with regard to diet and exercise. They say there are no “easy answers” but I disagree – it’s not *that* hard to eat a fairly healthy diet and get the exercise you need. In fact, the most effective exercise only requires 25-30 minutes per day if you make it intense. Yes, you’ll have to give up some good stuff (alcohol, bread, and butter) but you can still enjoy everything in moderation. And you can still pig out once a week without much detriment to your goals.

And don’t worry – the ideas below have not interfered with my eating out schedule. Yes, I could probably lose more weight by cutting back on the fancy meals but then life would become dull and pointless. There will be plenty of restaurant reviews in 2008.

And here they are:

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