Thanks to your well-wishes and positive thoughts (and the makers of polysporin antiseptic gel) I’m on the mend and should be back to playing the piccolo in no time.  In the meantime, I’ve busied myself with alternate pursuits like practicing my Japanese.  And, really, what better way to practice my Japanese than by having lunch with someone Japanese.  Today, it was my Japanese tutor, Tomo.  We went to Aki Restaraunt, one of my faves for Japanese comfort food…

What does this look like to you? That's right! It's Katsu Kari, the Japanese take on curry!
Tomo snaps a pic. For her blog?
Our sushi assortment of assorted sushi.
For dessert, we swung by Cupakes for - what else? - cupcakes. We were served by a delifghtful young lady from Ireland who made quite an impression. Thus, in addition to learning Japanese, I've decided to brush up on my Irish as well. Will have to make a return visit.
We stopped by Lush where we were greeted by a young girl so exhuberantly upbeat I feared she'd suffer a aneurism on the spot. We perused and I checked out a soap made of pistachio and Turkish rose.

Speaking of dining out, one of the places I visited while in Montreal was Restaurant DNA, a restaurant that prides itself on its thorough use of local produce – and by “thorough” I mean “thorough”.  Few parts of the animal go unused.  On the night we went, we were four: Lawrence, sis, Lili, and me.  We decided to go with the Chef’s Menu which was comprised of an assortment of dishes, many of which weren’t on the menu.  I asked the waiter to write everything down for me but he forgot and I forgot to remind him so I’m going to have to do this from memory…

The lounge. Somewhat reminiscent of The Shining, no?
The main dining area.

While we were waiting for Lawrence to show, we were served the house charcuterie plattter to keep us busy.
Amuse-bouche: Don't recall. Seabasss...somebody help me out here...
Lardo on toast. Carl and Paul, avert your eyes! Better than butter!

The producers received seasons greetings from actor David Blue (Eli) in which he wrote: "I hope everything is going splendidly and you're all eating your weight in candy and stuffing. (Except you, Joe. You're probably eating octopus testicles or a young lamb's soul or something.)" Close. Veal Heart Tartare.
Lamb carpaccio.
Fried sweetbread in agro-dolce (that's sweet and sour sauce for those of you who need to brush up on your Italian). Preferred the actual sweetbreads to the sauce.
Calamari a la Siciliane. Others enjoyed this dish more than I did. I prefer my squid crispy.
Parsley Spaghetti a la Chittara - Ste. Beatrixe Pepper, egg yolk, and cured beef liver. I liked this one a lot and would have downright loved it had it had a little less lemon zing.
Pasta with forest mushrooms. My second favorite pasta dish.
My favorite pasta dish of the night. Unfortunately, I don't recall exactly what it was but it was excellent, trust me.

Of the five pasta dishes, I had this one set down in front of me: the vegetarian DNA ricotta ravioli.  It was good.  But nowhere near as great as the preceding meaterfic pasta Lawrence enjoyed.

Another stuffed pasta. Don't recall exactly what it was stuffed with but I do remember that the dish was topped with crispy chicken skin
Bass Collars (I believe). No one else was as impressed with this dish as I was. Simple, clean, and heavenly.
When it came time for our main courses, the ladies got to choose between an assortment of jelly-colored knives.
The main course was a fabulous milk-fed piglet with sunchokes, carrots, and something called salsa dragoncello. It was THE dish of the night despite the fact that it was a rather small portion.
The pre-dessert chocolate pot de creme and sables.
Pine nut pie. Outstanding!
The waitress set this down in front of Lawrence and informed him that it contained a little surprise. He spooned into the chocolate but didn't find anything at the center. I tried my luck and came up empty as well. So did everyone else at the table. What was the surprise the dessert contained? Finally, we had to ask our waiter. The surprise? Pig blood.
Coffee and hard cookies. Not for me. Well, actually, it was set down in front of me so I suppose it WAS for me, but I switched off with Lili.

A very good lemon pie.
Everyone very much enjoyed the creme brulee.
And the after-dessert dessert: Brownies! No word on whether or not they contained pig blood as well.

Overall, a good time and a very good meal.  Only Lawrence was left unimpressed but that’s because his palate has been spoiled by all that great English food he’s been enjoying in London.

Okay, I’m off to work off those cupcakes, re-read the first draft of my script, come up with a title (any suggestions), and continue reading this month’s Book of the Month Club pick: Diving into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.  I’m about 50 pages in and loving it.  If you haven’t picked it up yet, GET MOVING!  It’s a fairly short novel and the discussion begins next week.

71 thoughts on “January 5, 2010: On the Mend! Lunch with Tomo! Restaurant DNA!

  1. Okay…I gotta say…

    I threw up a little in my mouth over the ‘Veal Heart Tartare’. Disgusting. I would have also had the chef’s head for putting pig blood in my chocolate. I don’t eat blood – geez…that restaurant isn’t kosher – at. all.

    Yuck.

    I’m half-sick now. (Glad I read it tonight, and not in the morn over breakfast…that would have been very, very bad).

    Glad the finger is on the mend. How’s the tetanus shot? Arm sore? And you still didn’t tell us what you cut yourself doing. I’m just nosy curious…

    Have a good night, sir! Sleep well!

    das

  2. Title suggestions: Turmoil? Found! Excitement. Excellence. For the Love of Eli.

    Urgh. Pigs Blood dessert? Urgh.

  3. I tought Tomo was a man! you sure knows how to keep yourself motivated!!!
    Is you Japanese improving??

  4. I sincerely hope that the Japanese curry tastes a lot better than it looks!! Surprising, they are usually so picky on presentation, contrasting tastes/textures/colors. Like the sushi plate in a later pick – beautiful!

    I would love to trade some of our ridiculous 70F temps (for January, anyway) for cooler weather, and send some of this warmth toward all of you freezing off various body parts.

    @2cats – I think our playlists are a lot more similar than either of ours to Joe! I love Anuna, saw them when they came to AZ a couple of years ago. Sad hardly anyone has heard of them, seems like.

    Lisa

  5. I am often confused by the food pictures on your blog – such as the lack of biscuits to sop up those fancy gravies the chefs work so hard on – so wasteful.

    Nothing has sent me into a fit of slack-jawed mouth-breathing like the seeming lack of reason behind offering people a selection of jelly-colored knives. The same masterminds behind mints on pillows?

  6. @das

    lol

    You know oftentimes the pics make me drool, but those bass collars are kinda nasty.

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  7. Healing is good. Finishing the script is good. Can’t help you with a title without knowing something about the story(no doubt an innocent oversight on your part in emailing a script or outline to me, or some of the others here who have selflessly offered to assist you). Looking at all those dishes is not helping my resolutions any, but I will persevere. So are you a Lush regular, or were you dragged into the store? My Winnipeg friend introduced me to Lush products. Have to admit to a fondness for the bath fizzies. Said friend having something like 100 of them… enjoy the remaining holiday, and hopefully the temps in BC aren’t the ridiculous ice-age norms the rest of the continent seem to be reverting to.

  8. Hmm…

    What exactly was in that “dessert for Vampires” pig’s blood that made you only take too many pictures of questionable food, tell us nothing really about how Tomo was doing [except a pic of her taking a pic of food!], no birthday dedication to the SGA Twins, and did you actually *buy* those boring cupcakes? My soon to be 10-year-old great niece can decorate cupcakes with more artistic flair! Hope they had something interesting inside – other than pig’s blood!

    I am sooo sticking to chocolate TimBits!!

    And dining with David Blue – should the opportunity ever arise….

    ———————-

    …wait a sec… “Blood Pudding” — is that made from pig or cow blood?

  9. It’s kind of hard to suggest a title without knowing what the plot’s about. It’s still hard even knowing, though.

    Here are some rejects, I mean, selections from my “cool words list”.

    Bindings of the Berserker
    Secession
    24th Zodiac Sign
    Milky Way or Bust
    Prowess
    “All your base are belong to us.”
    Stardust’s Klaxon
    Shameless
    “Let me then not die ingloriously” — Hector, The Illiad
    The Golden Apple
    Mania
    Fury

  10. @ Major D – I’m thinking that restaurant should be renamed – Restaurant CSI… 😛

    das

  11. anonymityytimynona wrote:

    Title suggestions: Turmoil? Found! Excitement. Excellence. For the Love of Eli.

    It’s season two, and the script gave Joe fits, so I’d say “Toil and Trouble.” If we’re going to use “For the Love of” anyone, (much as I like Eli) it had better be

    For the Love of Carson Beckett!

    Today, 5th January, is Paul McGillion’s birthday. 😀

    Happy Birthday, Pauly!

    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm467833088/nm0569295

    Oh, and, happy b-day to John Shepherd/Joe Flanigan, too. The Stargate: Atlantis stars share a birthday. Pauly is younger, though.

  12. @das – I almost took that hint about nausea over breakfast as an announcement of something significant for the Das family, but, then I remembered — you don’t do subtle.

  13. going down your list of workout music. (no sarcasm, promess !!!)
    so you like …soft to hard rock! !!!
    …not sure about List of Demands by Saul Williams . I was wondering why I had never hear that one. That’s not exactly hip hop…. not sure … (??!!!!…)
    Know more among these then I thought… not a bad list at all. Thumb up Joe! For some reason , I imagine you more listening to classical music or opera….
    so DNA in MTL. My sister’s birthday is coming. she might like this one. She has one month until she moves to her first house. Now , she”ll finally know what I mean by cutting down on the restaurant budget !!! Today, she sent me a portfolio of 10 pages for me to look at so I could help her select her living room curtain.
    “Which one do you like” she said. ” the first one ” I reply.
    “what’s your next choice” she continued ” the second one” I pursued. ” I really like that second one, I’m thinking of getting it. what do you think?” …..
    It’s been like that for the past few weeks. She’s very excited.

  14. Hey Joe!

    Wow it’s been too long since I posted last. Sorry to hear about you and Fondy, although I’m still a little confused about it. Are you separating or just going through a rough patch? In either case I hope things work out for both of you, whatever it may be.

    Glad your finger is starting to heal. I once sliced my thumb open while working on a lego puddle jumper with drive pods that retract. I was working with makeshift parts and had to file a few down with a razor which went right into my thumb. The jumper turned out amazing (how would I go about posting a pic?) and even has a stand it sits on.

    I hope you have a nice day
    thanks always,
    -ZPB

  15. Hmmm, a title suggestion…lessee…

    “Air Episode VI: The Return of Air”
    “Take This Stone and Shove It!”
    “When Young Attacks!”
    “Cry Me a Chloe”
    “Destiny: If It Ain’t Workin’, Don’t Fix It”
    “Out of Time II: A Clockwo…”
    “Chair: The Shining”

    Side question: have you ever heard of (or read) the Italian comic book “Martin Mystère” or “Martin Mystery” as it was (still is?) called in the US?

  16. Well, the curry (what else was in it?) and sushi looked good. While many of the other dining items looked quite nice, discovering what they were – well, was not all great. Except for the crispy chicken skin, and mushroom thing. And possibly the bass.

    Kinda get a little skitterish to discover what might or might not be in the dishes. I think I would prefer to know what the surprise is..then taste it if I am brave enuff. But to sample more than just a taste and discover – whoops.
    Yeah…I R a wusssssss.

    TItle:
    Anxiety Rises

    Keep the hand elevated, clean, and continue to be careful.

  17. Thank God it was your left hand. I don’t know how you could have possibly eaten all that minus a finger.

    I think I’m liking Canadian doctor’s better than mine. I got a message from my skin doctor’s office today telling me that the pathology on the “thingy” I practically had to force her to take out of my arm was only a low grade skin cancer and not to worry. She thought it was a wart. I’m worried. Hopefully it’s just a basal cell “thingy”. I’ll find out tomorrow.

    I noticed your playlist list is missing a classic. Queen + the Muppets – “Bohemian Rhapsody”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgbNymZ7vqY

    Not only is it hilarious, downloading it from iTunes will help keep me employed, and with health care.

    Hope your finger heals quickly, and most importantly that you’re not in too much pain. And may this be your one and only “ouch” for the year.

  18. Aha.. A good title for the cakes would be temptation *Grabs all 12 cupcakes* Lol

    Katsu Kari? Never tried before, but it’s apparently a popular Japanese dish served with rice. Well it can be served with anything really, it’s pretty mainstream.

    Katsu literally means Victorious, and I assume Kari being curry. So I guess you were eating a really good curry by the name 😀

  19. Oh man, those dishes looked really good! Except for the fish – don’t really like fish. And there is nothing wierd about blood in chocolate… they put chilli in chocolate and it tastes pretty good, so blood can’t be THAT bad.

    Titles – a selection of two words each as it’s Season Two:

    Solar Empire
    Sins Revisited
    Justice Reigns
    Low Tide
    Garden Path
    The Moorings
    Maybe Baby
    Be Merry
    Area Seven
    Landing It

    Have a great day and check ya next time the merry-go-round stops.

  20. Yeah… that first one looks like dog vomit. Though a couple of those chocolate dishes looked pretty tasty.

  21. Lardo?? make yer arteries go hard -o

    Pig’s blood? Was there a virgin sacrifice happening at your table??

    Oh that bass collars dish – it looks like a rat splayed across the plate – whiskas and all! (not that you wouldn’t eat that).

    Lol @ David’s comment – he’s spot on…

    Man not a good time to be reading your blog (at 5pm). I’m HUNGRY!!!

  22. That first one looks like baby poo.
    So you got a man cut. Men can be such babies when they get a cut.

  23. What a totally fascinating sounding, looking and most
    probably and most importantly..tasting meal at Restaurant DNA.

    Thank you VERY MUCH for sharing that special dining
    experience with all of us.

    Thank you for everything Joseph!

    Reading your daily blog is always such a tasty
    little treat.
    (..crunch crunch..munch munch.)

    I am REALLY REALLY looking forward to viewing the
    upcoming episodes from the second half of SGU’s
    first season.

    GREAT work all around Joseph!

    You have more than earned yourself a nice tasty
    Wild Cravings treats…so please..dig in.

  24. Maybe you could give us a quick outline for the story? Otherwise suggesting a title is a bit hard. 😉

  25. Mr M

    About the book of the month selection for Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Have a fun time getting a copy. Apparently Amazon Canada don’t have it in stock for the next 2 weeks and none of the local Chapter/Indigo stores got it in their inventories. Finally did order online with Chapters.

    Been noticing that the non-prompted book titles is usually available online only lately. Does this situation replicates on the West coast?

  26. Coucou !! ça va bien? Moi oui pas d’école aujourd’hui car les transports scolaire n’ont pas pu circuler à cause de la neige et du verglas. J’en ai profité pour ratrapper quelques heures de sommeil car en ce moment j’ai vraiment du mal à dormir et je ne me sens pas eu mieux de ma forme.

    Hummm, tout cela à l’air délicieux même si certaines choses me semble plus étrange que d’autres, après c’est le goût qui compte.

    Cette nuit j’ai encore rêvé de vous!! Et cette fois tout c’est bien finit, je vous ai vu surir, rire ….alalalala ♥ que du bonheur!

    Passer une bonne journée!
    Bisou =)

  27. The food looks great! Especially, the pasta and Calamari. I can’t do pig’s blood. It just sounds wrong!

    How were the cupcakes?

    Bobby Flay did a showdown with a cupcake place in CA. The CA place lost but their cupcakes looked so good I downloaded the recipe. They are the best Red Velvet Cupcakes I’ve ever tasted! The cream cheese icing is a killer! Anyone watch that episode? I can’t remember the cupcake place but they are known for making humongous cupcakes. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/throwdown-with-bobby-flay/red-velvet-cupcakes-recipe/index.html

  28. Title? Lost Scriptures. 😉

    Strange food from suspect origin? I found out I missed so many great tastes when I was young and prejudiciable, I now do taste things for real before saying it’s disgusting.

    I used to raise my nose over Charlevoix’s Pansicotte while being fond of crispy chicken skin. Well, guess what? a roasted and crispy pig’s stomach skin is waaaaay better than this. Now, when I say something tastes like sh**, it’s because it does in my mouth, not in my mind anymore.

    On the music side, I agree with the others who said there’s a definitive lack of Lady Gaga on your player. Not only is she good work-out, but she also gives you a lot for your money. Not so many people sells you 1h40m of mostly hit songs for only 13$ online. As comparison, Ke$ha gives you one hit, 40 minutes total for 10$. Should others understand this concept, they might get less pirated over the net.

    So, I hear (no, read) MGM is going bankrupt and is for sale. Those of you waiting for an SGA movie should know that things like the next Bond and The Hobbit are on the ice too. I am pretty sure an SGA movie will happen, but not before these two others get going for sure. Anyone wanna buy a Studio out here? Should we start passing the hat? 😉

    (I guess you knew Joe and couldn’t tell, but now, it’s out there!)

  29. Title suggestion: Bumping Uglies!

    (Ya know…based on the first half of S1… 🙄 )

    das

  30. Brush up on your Irish? Is that an innuendo? You dirty old codger.

    I dearly miss Kare Raisu, but I prefer my katsu in katsu-don. Which I can get in Ogden, amazingly enough.

    I too prefer my calamari crispy. I used to love Shakey’s Squid Pizza, but perusing the current crop of Shakey’s in Japan menus, I think they dropped it. Too bad. The lunch buffet is a spectacularly cheap meal. For Japan.

    Yeah, the Veal Heart isn’t doing it for me visually. And Lardo? Who lost a bet?

  31. I love black pudding and I know that it contains blood, but to eat a dessert and then to be told that it had blood in it – 😳

    I hope you have spent some quality leader of the pack time with the dogs – they will have all missed you when you were in Montreal.

    Susan

    🙂

  32. Apparently today is my birthday. I’d managed to forget till my dad rang me. Snowed in by 4 sodding inches. Cornwall has been cancelled for the forseeable as only 20% of the roads are being gritted and we can’t get to any of ’em up the bloody hills:) Joy!

    Time for coffee and to scrabble around in the freezer to see what concoction I can invent with the bits that are left from christmas…failing that next door keeps chickens….

  33. DP – 😆 Hahahahaaaaaa…aa…aa… eeeeeeehhhhh. Whatcha talkin’ about, Willis??!

    😛

    das

  34. @das
    “I threw up a little in my mouth over the ‘Veal Heart Tartare’.”.

    I have to share.
    New Year’s eve – we had a lot of different snack type foods. One was smoked oysters. I offered a bite to Maggie, my year old Cocker Spaniel. I expected her to turn her nose up at it but she had a stronger reaction.

    She actually did throw up a little in her mouth at the smell of the oysters.

    A dog grossed out by food!

  35. *a brief pause before talking to Joe*

    Happy Birthday, Shiningwit! 🙂

    The food looks amazing – thanks for the pics and descriptions.

    Best line is from David Blue, “…Except you, Joe. You’re probably eating octopus testicles or a young lamb’s soul or something.”

    A young lamb’s soul. ROTF!

    Title Suggestions (from the Random Word Generator):

    Clarity
    Kabob
    Weakfish
    Diurnal
    Axon
    Mauve
    Restraint
    Reclaimer
    Oppression (is that one being used already?)
    Fault
    Chalcostigma (it apparently means “thornbills,” a type of S. American hummingbird)

    How about “Random?”

    eddy

  36. Happy B-Day SHININGWIT!!!

    I’m celebrating my first day this year that I haven’t had to shovel!! Although, I suspect it will be short-lived…

  37. @Lisa – A dog disgusted by food? I had a chihuahua that ate half a pot of rancid chicken dumplings mixed in with garden dirt. She learned nothing from the experience other than living through was further proof to her that she was invincible. Dogs fussy over food is a little out of my realm of experience.

    @Shiningwit – Happy Birthday

    @Joe – I still think you should include chefs in the Q&A’s, but not the soul behind the pig’s blood. That one’s a sicko. Okay, maybe that one, but I do not promise to be on my trade-mark impeccable behavior.

    David Blue’s comment was way too funny.

  38. Hey Joe,

    A random and (probably) useless question/comment/thought I had while being “productive” at work:

    I’m not sure if you’re aware of the show THE DEAD ZONE on USA (well, it was a show, I think it’s done now; I must admit I never watched it — but I digress). One of the things I admired and thought was really incredible was the steps showrunner Michael Piller took for aspiring TV writers. One of the things he offered on TDZ was the scripts and outlines for the episodes, online, after they aired.

    For example, if episode 2 aired Monday, on Tuesday the website would be updated and the shooting script and original story outline (last draft, I assume) would be available as a .pdf on TDZ’s website.

    I doubt I’d have any influence through writing a fan letter to MGM or SyFy about this, but I figured I’d just throw the idea out there to you. It was really a great tool for many, and it was fun. As an aspiring sci-fi TV writer, I think it’d be pretty awesome to wake up Saturday mornings and see the scripts available online, and to have a read. Do you have any thoughts on the idea? Think Brad Wright, Robert Cooper, you, Carl, Paul, or anyone else with pull at SGU would like that to happen as well?

    It’d be cool.

    Anyway, just my random thought of the day. Now, *sigh*, back to work. Thanks Joe!

    -Dead Gate

  39. susan the tartan turtle – I went on a black (blood) pudding expedition with my Dad on the weekend (combined with a trip to see Sherlock Holmes, discussions on his Dad and his position as Grand Master in the Freemasons, stories on his life sleeping on the porch once his little Sis came along and there wasn’t an extra room, but black pudding was the primary goal). He’s a ‘Scoot’ through and through. He can’t get the Scottish one anywhere here at the moment!

  40. Hey Joe. I got a few questions for the next mailbag if you don’t mind. Lol octopus testicles!!!!

    1. Will airmen rennie(from justice) be back?

    2. Hey Joe, if you were a bettin man, when would you say you would get the green light for the movies(also, any updates on it)? Do you actually think it will be released by the end of 2010?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  41. @shiningwit…happy birthday!

    @Joe…swift healing!

    If you’re serious about the Irish, I’ll send the title of the CD set I just started. Trying to get down some basics before the tour this June.

    Episode title? Well, if you don’t mind the nonsequitur, you can name it after me…!

    To everyone suffering abnormally cold weather, count me in. EXTREME COLD warnings have also been issued for South Texas. Sadly, I have appointments next two AMs and can’t sleep in.

  42. @Shiningwit. Happy birthday. If I could I’d send you a yearly planner, taking care to mark your birthday so that you don’t let it creep up on you. I firmly refuse to acknowledge my birthday even exists. Just remember, after forty you start adding years to your alleged age, not subtracting. that way you get the “my you look great for your age” comments rather than embarrassed expressions when someone thinks you are old than you really are.

  43. Well, those all looked positively yummy.

    I had a thought while I was by the Galleria of Houston There is a place called Ciao Bello, I popped in and had a bite. I only Photographed my main which was Red Snapper Tesoro.

    I hope that did load up, I have not posted pictures here before, so I will include the URL: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v155/Haissan/Mobile%20Uploads/?action=view&current=0105101327.jpg

    It was great, the sauce had this, I can’t say because I am not an experienced food person. You however are and it was you who inspired me to give the place a try.

  44. Oh I forgot, There was a window to see into the kitchen. 🙂

    I’m gonna try this again with bbcode:

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/Haissan/Mobile%20Uploads/0105101327.jpg[/IMG]

  45. Heya Joe,
    Even though some of the foodie things shared with us may not appeal to some and/or many, there is one fact for sure.

    You who are not plagued with weight gain and needing weight loss – you, sir, are a Diet Buster!

    Hmmmm, maybe the new title?
    sorry could not resist.

    2-shningwit – Happy Birthday

  46. I know this is a tad late, but I just counted and realized that your playlist from the 4th includes 38 songs. (Given the significance of that number, I doubt it’s coincidental…)

    Anyway, I have something from my Photobucket that I’ve been meaning to show you. I made up a fake magazine cover a few months ago–I just couldn’t resist given your sense of style. I certainly hope the link works, but it should…[URL]http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv225/Tealc_PI/Magazinecover.jpg[/URL]

    Enjoy! 🙂

  47. Well, my second comment isn’t around either. Maybe they’ll come up later.

    Oh, and Dead Gate? GREAT idea! I second the motion, Mr. Mallozzi – I would absolutely love being able to see scripts, whether they be from SGU or elsewhere. Just to be able to understand exactly how TV writers write would be wonderful.

  48. hope the finger feel better soon and how cold is it in Vancover? and How much snow are u getting leading into the Winter Olympic there?

    Is the Olympic’s going to cause problems filming or scouting for the show?

    Skye

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