Loved it / Hated it

Joined Oct 28, 1999
In the spirit of Food Arts magazine's column, what dishes have you thought were fantastic, but flopped? Conversly, what dishes were you not completely sure were winners but ended up flying out of the kitchen?

For me...
I made veal salisbury steak with local shiitake mushrooms and red wine gravy... just because I had some veal trim around. They loved it!! Sold out in minutes.

Oysters grilled with Romkraam (salmon caviar paste) and apple-wood smoked bacon. Dud. I loved the smoky-salty-sea taste. I guess I was the only one.

Joined Jul 31, 2000
Great thread.
Ok,here it goes!!!

In the summer I made a curry-brown suger cured salmon paillard with no less then 5 types of lentils and a stone fruit relish. When i finished the demo I thought I was David Burns from the talking heads saying "My god what have I done"
guess what..They loved it.

Then recently I made chianti braised short ribs with gorgonzola polenta and broccoli rabe.
I still can't figure out why it didn't sell out?
Me and my staff woofed down everything at the end of service ;)
Joined May 26, 2001
Sounds great!! I would have bought it!!!!!

My own story: when I was doing pastry at a place that did a lot of Asian/Southwestern dishes, instead of the "seasonal Fruit" (fresh berries every day of the year), I tried a tropical fruit cup with jicama, pomegranate seeds, and a chili-infused syrup. Everyone loved it -- except the chef, who said it was too "way out" for our customers. Huh?:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Chocolate peanut butter crunch cakes, cafe' gelato with chocolate biscotti, toffee tortoni with pizzelles, fresh fruit sangria soup....couldn't be handed away.

Sold too well, VANILLA ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not even homemade............
Joined Jun 12, 2001
Ok, my addition...

I'm surely not the local gourmand, just a simple B&B weekend breakfast cook. But,

the could have had:
Center cut 1" thick boneless pork chop (nicely seasoned and tender) nestled in
creamy smoked gouda polenta, topped with a double-yolked poached egg, which was all topped with a very nice cheese-tarragon sauce.

they opted for:
fruit topped waffles.

Joined Jun 1, 2001
Oh, that's breakfast, though. Some people just can't face adventurous food in the morning ("morning" being "when I've only recently woken up.")

I read somewhere that it's an actual way of gauging a person's fundamental psychology: the naturally adventurous are willing to eat the hot'n'spicy, the weird, the ethnic for breakfast, while the conservative (even if most of the time they don't look conservative) will always choose sweet, bland comfort food, because their Public Personae, the ones that WOULD boldly consume squid tentacles with blackened chipotle sauce for dinner, aren't up yet.

I wouldn't have gone for it either. But then, I haven't eaten pork in about thirteen years.
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Well Henry,

Even though I'm naturally adventurous with food at any time of the day, you would have sold me on the fruit topped waffles too!

Joined Mar 9, 2000
Loved it..........

Dijon Crusted Braised Veal Cheeks on garlic mashed potatoes
with a reduction of braising jus. (I just didn't call
it veal cheeks, I called it fork tender braised veal,
and when they said it was fantastic I told them it
was cheeks.

couldn't give it away..........

House cured Beef Tongue with
steamed rice and a piquant Israeli


It was great but I sold one to a Mexican
businessman and I had to define the zhug
personally as the waitstaff just wasn't
getting it across.

There is my Tongue N' Cheek story. ....bada bing.....
Joined Oct 6, 2001

I understand! As a fellow B&Ber...

We do 3 course breakfasts -- I personally believe that a "sweet breakfast" that a fruit & cheese course id\s the perfect ending ... not so the guests! I threw away more brie or camambert, sage derby.....cheddar is all that is eaten!

Now- if it is little fillo bundles of brie and raspbery preserves -- I can't have enough of it...go figure.

Ditto on a parmesan roulade filled with a dill cream cheese with smoked salmon....replace the salmon with smoked turkey or ham -- they love it ---

I've learned to not go too far out -- just present in unusual ways. I can't tell you how many people want scrambled eggs on eggs benedict!

One item that referred guests always ask request is the baked grapefruit that person X who told them about us raved .... go figure. I do have to say that out of all the non-grapefruit eaters -- all but two have actually tried it and enjoyed it!

Some people just don't know what they are missing -- but that's what makes the world go round -- and leaves more for us!

Joined Sep 21, 2001
A few weeks ago, I had a catering which included an entree I had told them was a Stuffed chicken breast with Procuitto. I hadn't given much thought to how I would actually make it, but it sounded pretty good. That day for lunch, one of my soups was a vegetarian French Onion, and after lunch, the line cook put it on the back burner and forgot about it. It reduced down to this brown goo, but tasted good and wasn't at all salty. So I put it in the chicken with the procuitto, and served it with a beurre blanc. I got more compliments on that entree than anything else that night. I ended up calling it "Chicken with procuitto and onion coulis".
Joined Feb 4, 2001
Tried coffee flavoured creme brulee and that went well. I thought
'What about a tea flavour?' Well....I liked it.

Joined Nov 29, 2001
One night my family and I returned home after a long day of being out and we were blind with hunger. I needed something in lightning speed time.

I had a package of chop meat and like the wind, I chopped an onion, some garlic, sprinkled in some oregano, basil, S&P, some small pasta (like shells or something), a can of tomato paste and about 4 cups water. Put on the cover and hoped for a quick result.

You're right, it sounds a lot like Hamburger Helper.

Well it's become a favorite dish here and it gets requested every time. And each time I'm asked for it, I roll my eyes. Hard.

Misses are encountered primarily because of textural issues. I made a gorgeous risotto and it got leukwarm reviews. Same with Polenta (which I could live on).
Joined Mar 12, 2001
One of the new dishes on the menu at my work is described as ' grilled calamari with rice cakes and taramasalata '( rice mixed with dill,pine nuts, onion, currants, wrapped in vine leaves and baked ).
It's a really nice dish because we marinate the calamari in fennel, garlic and chilli and bake the rice cakes in a tomato and olive oil sauce, and the taramasalata comes on a crouton on the top, but I really didn't think from the description that peope would go for it.
Anyway, it's one of the biggest sellers.
Joined Aug 14, 2000
In my head, taramasalata is a fish roe based "spread". It's usually served cold. I'm curious about your version.
Joined Nov 29, 2001
I know that it's supposed to be "Gourmet" but the mixture of Vanilla and Lobster gave me the same willies as I got when I read Scallop and Strawberry pasta salad.
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