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Sea Urchin Toast, Yuzu, and Jalapeno
Sea Urchin Toast, Yuzu, and Jalapeno
Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna with Citrus Sriracha Emulsion
Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna with Citrus Sriracha Emulsion
Foie Gras Brule with Dried Sour Cherries and White Port Gelee
Foie Gras Brule with Dried Sour Cherries and White Port Gelee
Soy Glazed Short Ribs with Apple-Jalapeno Puree and Rosemary Crumbs
Soy Glazed Short Ribs with Apple-Jalapeno Puree and Rosemary Crumbs
Lobster with Potato Gnocchi, Smoked Butter, and Lemon
Lobster with Potato Gnocchi, Smoked Butter, and Lemon
Banana Cake with Caramel Ice Cream and Pecan Crumble
Banana Cake with Caramel Ice Cream and Pecan Crumble
Warm Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream and Tuile
Warm Chocolate Cake with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream and Tuile

“The hotel restaurants,”my mother once advised me in her thick Italian accent. “They are never good.” I took issue with that statement and tried to come up with an example of a truly great hotel restaurant. The only one to come to mind was Kozue in the Park Hyatt Shinjuku, where, several years ago, my wife and I had enjoyed excellent bonito with salted egg yolk, wonderful seared mackerel nigiri, and, quite by accident, some surprisingly tasty codsperm dumplings. Granted, a little out of the way but, all in all, worth the trip.

Well, my mother has an uncanny knack for being right about a lot of things but, thankfully, the quality of hotel restaurants isn’t one of them. Sometimes, on rare occasions, they CAN be very good. As was the case with Kozue in the Park Hyatt. And, most recently, Market in Vancouver’s brand-spanking new Shangri-la Hotel.

The latest addition to master chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s culinary crown, Market boasts a positively stunning layout comprised of a casual café, lounge, patio, and formal dining area. The latter is refined, its inviting white, beige and gold color scheme complimented by a warm lighting that dissolves any pretension.

On the floor were a number of familiar faces, among them, General Manager Paul Grunberg, formerly of Chambar, who worked the room with disarming charm, and former Le Crocodile mainstay, sommelier Robert Stelmachuk, who recommended two excellent wines to accompany our meal. Also making their way over to say hello were executive chef David Foot, formerly of the Shangri-la Hotels in Cairns and Shanghai, and the man himself, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who was overseeing the evening’s action on this night.

The dinner menu is made up of six sections: Simply Raw, Soup and Salad, Appetizers, Fish, Meat, and Vegetable. Although I was tempted by the chef’s tasting menu, I opted to go a la carte instead.

We started with three items from the Simply Raw section. First up was the Sea Urchin Toast with Yuzu and Jalapeno. The sweet creaminess of the urchin, the crispiness of the toast, the slight tartness of the yuzu, and the bite of the jalapeno came together beautifully. If you were ever tempted to try sea urchin, this would be the place to do it. We also enjoyed a wonderful little Arctic Char Sashimi served with Trout Caviar and Crispy Skin, Lemon, and Horseradish Dill. As much as we enjoyed both dishes, the winner of this round was the Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna with Citrus-Sriraracha Emulsion – one of the nicest tuna preparations I’ve enjoyed in recent memory.

When we’d first settled in to our seats and taken in our surroundings, Fondy suggested we immediately book our Valentine’s dinner. I suggested we sample the food first. Well, although I’d intended to wait until the meal was complete, those three starters so impressed that I didn’t need any more convincing. Even if the rest of our dinner turned out to be disastrous, I would happily come back for the tuna alone. We made our reservation right then and there.

For her appetizer, Fondy had the Warm Okanagan Goat Cheese Custard with Sweet and Sour Beets and Crushed Pistachios. She’s a big fan of beets (while I’m a big fan of goat cheese) and this dish did not disappoint either of us. I, meanwhile, went with the Foie Gras Brule with Dried Sour Cherries and White Port Gelee, another remarkable combination of tastes and textures – crisp, chewy, soft, sweet, and salty. Apparently, and not surprisingly, it’s a Chef Jean-Georges signature dish.

For my main, I had planned on going with the Soy Glazed Short Ribs but Fondy beat me to the punch. In the interest of sampling as much as humanly possible, I decided to go with the lobster instead. Served with potato gnocchi, smoked butter, and lemon, it was perfectly cooked. My only quibble was that I found the lemon a tad too pronounced. As for the short ribs – well, they were simply the best we’ve ever had, given a flawless Asian preparation and served atop an Apple-Jalapeno Puree with a side of aromatic Rosemary Crumbs.

For dessert, Fondy loved her Banana Cake with Caramel Ice Cream and Pecan Crumble, while I was as equally enamored of my Warm Chocolate Cake with Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream and Tuile. Although I’ve had similar dishes elsewhere, this version topped them all.

Service was terrific and the price point was surprisingly affordable given the surroundings and the quality of the food.

As we were leaving, one of the managers saw us off with a: “See you Valentine’s Day.”

I had to break it to him: “You’ll be seeing us a lot sooner than that.”

 Well, back in the office today where we spun what will be episode #7. It made sense for it to follow the events of Earth, so we moved it up and shifted the other episodes. For those of you worried, fear not. The mid-season two-parter will still fall in the mid-season two-parter slot.

Speaking of which – I aim to finish the fourth act tomorrow and hopefully make some inroads into the fifth act. Of course, fifth acts tend to practically write themselves so that should be a breeze. First draft by…next week? Possibly? Brad, meanwhile, is motoring along on Fire. Martin delivered his revised Earth and Carl did the same for Water. Yet another version of Air 1, 2, and 3 came out yesterday as well. As for Paul – well, when he’s not in the room spinning or watching auditions, he’s in his office listening to those Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant pod casts. Every so often, I hear him burst into laughter – like one of those crazy derelicts that always seem to follow you around after 9:00 p.m. on a Friday night. He’s patiently awaiting notes on his outline for the second part of the mid-season two-parter. Hopefully, they’ll be coming his way next week.

Yep, been watching a heck of a lot of auditions of late, especially for one of my favorite secondary characters – James. She’s a spitfire and is going to be a blast to write for. We’ve got three wonderful actresses in contention for the role. No matter which way we go, we won’t be disappointed. Meanwhile, we inch ever closer to casting one of my other favorites roles – the character of Wray.

Brian J. Smith, our Lieutenant Scott, was in the production offices today for his costume fitting and meet and greet. An incredibly good-natured, upbeat guy genuinely excited about the show and his character. Brad and Robert got him up to speed on some of the backstory elements we’d been discussing that morning and you could almost see him bubbling over in anticipation. He looks great in uniform and, I dare say, the ladies are going to love him in his black t-shirt.

Late this afternoon saw the arrival of another member of our cast – Robert Carlyle, a.k.a. Dr. Nicholas Rush. He must have been exhausted after a 15+ hour flight but, like Brian, he was very pleasant and cheerful. We talked food (of course) and then left him to get down to brass tacks with Brad and Rob.

Well, Superbowl Weekend is upon us and many in the office are planning to head over to Rob’s to watch the big game. While I think the Steeler D will rise to the occasion, most of us will be rooting for Kurt Warner and those upstart Arizona Cardinals.

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Delynn

Is Mr. Carlyle going to rent an apartment or hotel room or is he buying a house and planning on staying in Vancouver for a while? I only ask because I remember hearing that Hugh Laurie apparently only just recently bought a house in America, having put it off for so many years because he was scared it would jinx House, M.D.

Shawna
Shawna

Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant podcasts? Why haven’t I heard of these and where can I find them?

I must say, I’m very curious about this whole air/fire/earth/water thing and how it will relate to the episodes. Simple titles, but strangely compelling. Or maybe I’ve just watched The Fifth Element too many times.

There’s a female character named James? Haha… and here just the other day I was thinking that it would be funny to see a girl James, since so many other male names are used for girls, and I hadn’t seen that one yet. Sometimes I really do feel psychic.

Here’s a random question: Have you ever dyed your hair something other than your natural color? If so, how far away did you get, and if not, would you ever consider dying it something totally different? What would it take for someone to get you to dye your hair, say, blue or purple?

suziesbluefeather

I feel under privileged with a hint of bitter envy when you talk food.

When it comes to Richmond your mom is right hotel food stinks. Three of our best restaurants are all located with in hotels and not more than a mile apart from each other. It‘s like paying for a gourmet meal and being served a used tire instead. The road kill and tar specs for dessert.

I love Tiramisu. It’s the best dessert on the planet. I went to the highest ranking Italian Restaurant in Richmond (3 years they are #1) and they serve me Tiramisu that had standing water in the bottom of it from where they had kept it frozen and then did a quick thaw via microwave. I was so mad. To get good Tiramisu I have to make it my self.

Dang now I want Tiramisu.

dyginc
dyginc

My sister is sadden by the fact that we won’t be able to even catch a glimpse of you at Fuel on the 14th…but it sounds like you both found a great place to eat…if only we had that kind of palate (spelling—too tired to really check). But she perked up at that thought that some miracle could occur and we would meet Robert by some weird mistake! I don’t think I could actually form real sentences anyway with either of you standing in front of me.
But I would like to know where to go to get the best schnitzel…please let me know…we only have have two weeks until we get to Vancouver…WE can’t wait!

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Lovely looking dinner. What must we do to campaign for you getting a judging slot on Iron Chef America? Your unofficial resume is extensive enough by this time to qualify you for the job.
So when do the cameras actually begin rolling on Universe? Is it safe to say that most of the production people, such as Bam-Bam, Joel Goldsmith, and others we’ve grown used to will be coming aboard Universe also?
As for the big game, I’ll be rooting for whichever team has the right scores at the end of each quarter to help me collect on the football pool. Otherwise, I just hope for a good, close fought fight and lots of fun commercials.

paloosa
paloosa

I hate fake heart attacks. I was driving the 101 west to my second job last night with some pain in my back shoulder. Then it migrated to my chest, and just as I was convincing myself it was probably nothing, whammo – stabbing pain (the kind of knives Ronon uses), followed by the most rude squeezing my chest ever had. And it REALLY hurt.

CPR training kicked in with a checklist of heart attack symptoms, most of which I had. Even more horrifying was the fact that probably no one would help. I’d be slumped over the wheel with pissed off drivers flipping me off because I was blocking the fast lane.

I made it to my second job. The door opened with the usual, “how ya doin’”, to which I replied, “I think I’m having a heart attack how do I look.” “Um…you look good”, which I knew was a lie because at my age you can’t look good. Anyway, I stayed there for awhile daring my heart to try it again. It didn’t.

This morning I called my doctor’s office, and they promised he’d call me back. Three hours and four phone calls from me later and he still couldn’t get to the phone and they were closing in 15 minutes, but based on my previous night’s symptoms, one of which was still occurring, I should go to Emergency. My blood pressure in ER was 180/101 but only because I wanted to strangle my doctor. Anyway, after a multitude of puncturing, prodding and a treadmill test, I’m basically okay and it probably wasn’t my heart, maybe.

I know you’re in SGU mode, but I mention this only because it’s Friday night and after so much trauma I just wanted to sit down, relax and enjoy ATLANTIS! Over the years, it’s been such a great stress reliever, kind of like massive quantities of chocolate, or booze, but non-life threatening.

Michelle
Michelle

Wow, no offense to Fuel, but this is my kind of meal. Lovely! I might even try their sea urchin, given the chance. You’ve inspired me to include short ribs in my own Superbowl party. Looks like I’ll be hitting the Chinese market, Japanese market, Safeway, and Trader Joe’s before kick-off!

It’s fun to hear the actors are arriving. It’s going to get hectic very soon, I imagine!

Belouchi
Belouchi

Dear Joe,

I got a couple of questions please, you know how much we love to ask you these:

1. hows Jason Mamoa fairing … hope all is well?

2. Joe, that almost depleted ZPM that was replaced after the events of Lifeline by the stolen one from the asurans, was it depleted?

3. Can we assume the Tria is salvageable?

4. Can we assume the Daganian ZPM is lost forever and will never be procured by our intrepid Atlantis team?

5. The Atlantis replica city from this Mortal Coil wasn’t total obliterated by Oberoth’s ship, is there a chance that our team can salvage it or strip it from its drones?

6. I have just rewatched all 100 episodes of Stargate Atlantis and I can confidently confirm that at least 29 Hive Ships were destroyed and at least 6 cruisers, would it be correct to assume that these numbers will go higher after project twilight?

7. Is the Sun-Tzu, the ship, Chinese owned or USAF?

THANKS SIR

Montrealer
Montrealer

Talking about Super Bowl Weekend. There’s a movement in wacky California to restrict big screen TVs. Apparently they are electricity hogs. Any thoughts on this Mr M, or anyone else.

Hope Kurt Warner and the Cardinals prove the odds makers wrong. Of course viewers in Canada will miss the best part of the game, the commercials. Thanks CRTC. Not picking either team, just hope the game isn’t boring.

quade1
quade1

hmmm events on earth you say? I am envisioning the team stuck on the Destiny, not because they can’t dial Earth. But due to the poor economy, Walter was laid off and nobody else knows how to open the iris?

i like where its going, keep up the good work!

Pol

…It made sense for it to follow the events of Earth…

Hmmm…the events of the SG Earth? Hmmm, I wonder what General O’Neill and Colonel Carter, Daniel and others are doing? Are they involved in the “events of Earth” as well?

Hmmm…I wonder. Care to share?

Mackenzie's Momma

Ah good so you are rooting for the *right* team then.

Am afraid that by Sunday I may just be passed out in a fitful stupor trying to forget the events of tomorrow.

See tomorrow(Saturday) is my ‘big day’ that I’ve been gearing up for, since September. Its our annual CLE/CWS where I am teaching 2 classes, assisting with 2 others and spending a large part of the day running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Ought to prove for an interesting day grin

Deeds
Deeds

Thanks for that fabulous restaurant review ….the food looks stunning.,,..mmm Arctic Char – I ADORE that!!…..a friend of ours works at the Shangri-La and we promised him that we’d pay a visit to the hotel the next time we’re in Vancouver….from the looks of it we’ll be eating there for sure….but I daren’t tell my son about the goats cheese – he’s the world’s No. 1 fan and would be most jealous!

Also, probably a bit late, but want to pass on my excitement at the thought of my beloved Dr Jackson making a (possible) cameo appearance in Stargate Universe….keeping everything crossed that this comes to fruition…

Deeds x

Blademos
Blademos

@Montrealer

Wait you didnt hear the Super Bowl was put on hold.LOLOL Just kidding they couldnt do that to the fan cause of the riots.

Joe,

There is soo much I would like to ask but to tell ya the truth us the fans fall on def ears when we ask for things, I mean come on we really dont ask for much but a show that has touched alot of fans to come back for one more shot to see what it could do. I really wonder if the cast hears what we do. Signature Update: 33204 on a petition to save the show. Well since im laid up from work with nerve damage to my left leg due to a shoot out while working i have time to really think about what im going to ask.

1. Ummm….. Where can I get the song Teyla sings during the ring ceremony?

2. Would you write more for SGA if you were given the green light?

3. Im sitting here watching an episode of SG-1 where the oddesy goes to Atlantis. How come there was no super gates in the SGA series that could allow them to get home?

4. Where can I get some Banana Cake with Caramel Ice Cream and Pecan Crumble?

5. Are you going to be at the next Comic Con?

6. What ever happen to Lt. Ford when the hive ship went BOOM?

7. I bet this one will not be last one. When writing for the SGA series did you have countless nights about what you were going to hear, when Brad Wright and MGM said it was time for SGA to come to its end even tho it was in its Prime stage?

Thanks for listen to me ramble. Tell the cast all the fans love them and hope they come back soon.

P.S.

I have been calling the writing the best shock Jock on the air and they are going to have a show about fans.

NZNeep

Ricky and Stephen? You’re forgetting that the star is Karl!

For her 21st, I got my twin sister a gold, diamond and sapphire heart pendant that I really couldn’t afford… she got me a Karl Pilkington book. Gutted.

Kraut

Hi Joe,
really, you have Robert Carlyle in your cast? I am impressed. No – totally thrilled! He is one of my favourite actors. I am actually starting to look forward to SGU now.

Although I will still miss Atlantis. But then, I am a hopeless nostalgic.

btw, did you know that Vongerichten (in German) means “of meals”? Perfect name for a chef! grin

Anais33

Coucou Joseph! vous allez bien?

Miame^^! Voila encore de la bonne nourritur!

Et oui le super bowl approche, dommage qu’avec le décalage horaire il ne commence qu’a 00h30 et ce finisse vers 3h00 du matin. lol je sens que Lundi je ne vais pas être au meilleur de ma forme lol!

Pour l’instant aucune de mes connaissances n’a l’aire d’aimer le cast de SGU, il n’emballe moin que lors de la découverte de SGA. Je ne sais pas vraiment pourquoi, de tout façon personne ne paut se faire encore d’avi. Mais j’espere que vous allez tout faire pour qu’au final tout le monde aime ce cast smile

Bonne journée!

pg15

Ooooooo…Robert Carlyle is IN. DA. HOUSE.

So I’m assuming filming will begin on Monday, then? Pictures? Yes please?

Speaking of filming, I’ve heard [b]das[/b] talk about the Wolverine movie, and I would just like to make her life miserable by saying this: they’re filming some scenes at my school. In fact, one of my friends and I ditched a class (ok, not really; we had a fire drill at the time so the whole class was outside, waiting) to go take a look. We saw a tank. It was cool.

Also, I got to meet Hugh Jackman and Gandalf; I mean, Ian McKellen. We shook hands, and took pictures, and ate ice cream.

Ok, not really. Not the actor part anyway. We did see a tank though! And, my friend almost got busted crossing a yellow “Caution” tape to get onto the set and touch the tank. grin

I’ve been pretty busy the last few days, so how are you doing, das? Are you feeling better? I sincerely hope so. Let me cheer you up with this story (after making you jealous with that previous story):

Until about a few days ago, I didn’t understand your name. “dasNDanger?” I thought, “what does that mean?” Initially, I thought of the “N” as short for “and”, so it was like, “das N’ Danger” -> “das and Danger”. Ok…whatever, it’s an Internet name, it doesn’t have to make sense.

And then finally, a few days back, some one used it correctly, in the form “d as in d(something)”, and after seeing that done many times, I FINALLY understood that it was supposed to be “d as N’ Danger”, with “N'” short of “in”.

I’m as dumb as a brick (and not the fancy kind either) some times.

pg15

Damn! Got confused with the HTML/VBB tags!

Ok, screw it. I’m as dumb as adobe bricks sometimes.

shiningwit
shiningwit

That was quite an eyeful first thing in the morning and here was me looking forward to waffles and pancakes and after seeing the photos I’m full now till lunch time, maybe if I print them off and show the kids I’ll get out of having to provide breakfast this morning.

Krystal
Krystal

I’m not much of a gourmet food person (1. There’s no way in hell I could afford it and 2. Most of the time it looks gross), but I’d check out that restaurant just for the decor. Gorge!

wonderingbrit

Bob Carlyle, how should say this? Not gifted in the height department is he. But a fine actor!

maggiemayday
maggiemayday

That was one fine lookin’ meal. I need to get a drool-guard for my keyboard.

Whoa, Paloosa, scary. My asthma does that, no wheezing, but mimics heart attack symptoms. Red wine does the trick.

Superbowl? Wha? Who? Do I have to?

Oh hi. I’m back from Spain. It was wonderful. If you ever get to Malaga, find El Pimpi’s bordega. You wind through a couple courtyards, through the smoky bar, into another courtyard past signed wine barrels and into the main room, all dark wood and extremely old bullfighting posters. Oozing with atmosphere and the tapas were yummy. Loved the salt cod with orange and of course, the jamon and chorizo and salchicon. Manzanilla, most excellent, and here I thought I didn’t like sherry. I don’t like cheap American sherry. I failed to take pics, I’d filled my memory card. We were prepared to faint at the prices, but it was actually inexpensive!

All in all, a great trip, with excursions to Ronda, Al Hambra in Granada, Marbella to see the Dali sculptures, a street market, and Gibraltor. Had truly good lamb and couscous on UK soil. Tinto Vino with every meal, you can’t get a glass of water without paying for bottled. Darn. Turns out I like cheap red Spanish table wine, the kind sold in liter bricks in the discount supers for Eu69.

Jinx

*sigh* I need a molten lava cake.

Right now.

Love the updates, gets more & more interesting.

Johnny E!
Johnny E!

Hey Joe, ever thought about twittering? It is a great way to shortly get out some info on what you are doing.