Readers of my blog know that I love the finer things in life and hope to impart this passion to others. You only have one life to live, so why not make it glorious. Do what you can to enjoy each and every day. It doesn’t take a lot of money to treat yourself and experience the better side of things. You can emulate the rich by limiting your indulgences to what pleases you the most. For me, a plate of caviar is manna from heaven. It can be eaten in any form from nibbling it out of the can, with chopped eggs and onions, or on top of smoked salmon mounted on pumpernickel bread. As a former restaurant owner, I can whip up a special appetizer or entrée with a minimum of the rare black stuff. Inexpensive brands are appearing on the market for cooking purposes so you can afford caviar all the time. Just don’t opt for the Russian version. While it is tops in taste, it is also at the top of the price scale.
I am a true foodie at heart as my friends and family plus everyone on Facebook knows well. It doesn’t matter that I am retired. I recently got an invitation to my daughter’s home to sample her culinary talent. She says that she takes after me and wants to demonstrate it to get my opinion. I am always willing to go as I know her to be a fine chef. It was better than dinner at the best gourmet restaurant. I taught her my tricks when she was just a child. I was a proud papa then, and I am a proud papa now. In fact, I am a super proud grandpa, too. Her kids are my new obsession. They even beat out food on my list of attention getters. After a wonderful dinner using all the best French cooking techniques, reminiscent of Julia Child, it was time to devote myself to her offspring.
It was a beautiful evening and we relished the thought of spending it outside. There was a new outdoor trampoline in the yard for the kids and they were eager to show me their tricks. I could see them jumping in the twilight. I love watching them bounce, giggling and screaming with glee. I will remember their faces as long as I live. Who invented this genius play thing? “Look, grandpa, I can do a twist. Watch, grandpa, I can do a seat jump. C’mon, grandpa, get up here with us.” It went on and on. Finally, I was persuaded to go doubles with each child one at a time. It was so much fun and we kept bumping against one another. The trampoline was not the mini version and was spacious enough to accommodate one adult and one child. What a hoot. I have never been this exhilarated during “exercise” before. While I never expected to touch a trampoline mat in my life, my feet felt at home on the taut surface.
I am addicted to the finer things in life. It happened at an early age and stayed as I matured. This includes gourmet food (for the most part), nice clothing and accessories, and a late model luxury car. I could add living in a good neighborhood in a state-of-the-art home and having the best fixtures and furnishings. I love to pursue the arts. All this is actually a fantasy of mine because we can’t have it all. I just want to have “some.” How about you?
I spend most of my idle time pursuing great restaurants, the best wine, recipes, cooking techniques, and new sources of caviar. I threw in that last one to show how broad a range exists in this foodie category. It may sound far-fetched, but in point of fact it is true. I have my preferences but am pretty open to new cuisine and all sorts of delicacies. I love to share my passion with readers who might be of the same persuasion, so to speak. People often ask, “Aren’t you interested in anything but wine and edibles?” “Of course,” I reply. I am into maintaining a proper image of refinery and elegance. This means attending to my shirts and ties, matching shoes and socks, and a trendy watch. Everything gets dry cleaned, pressed and polished (in the case of the shoes). An 18K tie tack keeps my tie neat and in place. My hair is freshly cut on a monthly basis and immaculate. I am a spectacle to behold. Just kidding! It is not vanity to present your best face to the world.
My accessories such as my business bag get the same close attention. You can’t go about your life being stylish unless you address every little detail. I leave no stone unturned to make it clear. My bag gets dirty inside from a change of shoes or a dusty watch case. Outside there are signs of some wear and the bag needs regular care and treatment to keep the leather soft and supple. I keep it looking like new. It takes work to maintain your look, my friend. I imagine the criticism: “you could do better more useful and productive things with your time.” I beg to differ. Looking good beats acting like a slob. I see so many overweight people in torn jeans and ratty tees. Are they really proud of their flip flops? They never leave them by the pool.
I am proud of what I have become. I have worked hard to be the best I can be every day of my life. Everyone should desire the same for themselves. To say that you only live once may be trite, but it is certainly true. Select what is important to you and pursue it with a vengeance. You will regret it for sure if you don’t. I counsel friends, family, and colleagues to follow my lead; and I am now out to recruit you.
The restaurant business is dynamic. If you don’t change with the times, you are left behind. You have to change the menu first and foremost, but also the décor. People expect it even if they love your food. I have learned this the hard way. Now that I am retired, I look back and think about various things I could have done in a different manner. I would have altered the color of the walls inside and adapted the tablecloths to match. It says you are up to date and trendy. That’s what the world wants now. No tradition is sacred. The best restaurants are going from opulent décor to ultra-modern. They could have been in business for one hundred years. If you don’t move ahead, you will have to close your doors.
Another memory I have looking back has to do with leaving a favorite sign behind. It stood in front for years and was part of the restaurant’s identity. I suppose I would have changed it sooner or later, but it would be a wonderful memento of the past. Old signs are hugely popular. People put them in their rec rooms, basement man caves, and even outside. It is a new kind of old décor. As for this special sign, I have to live with my regrets. I have to cover them with other wonderful memories of customers gone by and food eaten with relish.
A few weeks ago, an amazing thing happened. A friend brought me a replica of that old sign. He did it himself with his hobby welder, a smaller less intense version of the professionals use – you can see more of them at https://www.ratemywelder.com/best-welder-for-beginners-and-hobby-welders/. I was very touched and made him go over every detail of his effort. He photographed the sign which was still in place and bought the necessary metal materials. The sign was durable and not made of cardboard or wood as one might expect. I had spent a lot of money on a proper metal form of advertisement with the paint application of paint. It was then covered in a protective finish. It now has some deterioration after all these years and you can see some peeling spots and other forms of weathering.
The new sign was beautiful with the same clear letters against a white background. They speak to me as before. It has rejuvenated my spirit. But there is more. On the back side of the rather large sign, there is another with the word “retired.” I can flip it over and see the thoughtfulness of my dear friend. A tear came to my eye. I invited him to come over for a beer and see where I can hung his excellent handiwork. I found a good spot on the wall of the back porch just above eye level, almost to the eave.
We sat and drank and chatted about old times when food was king in my life. I have not lost my lust for the good life. That would be too sad.
When you own a restaurant, you are subjected to many late nights, particularly on weekends. A fine dining venue is open until ten and then there is the cleanup and preparation for the next day that can take hours. It seems endless, but I didn’t complain at the time as I loved every minute of running my place. I put my heart and soul into its success. However, as a night owl, I didn’t enjoy a natural sleep cycle. In fact, my circadian rhythms were a mess. I would come home from work and watch TV, listen to music, or email friends. I also looked at the mail, watered the plants, and played with the dog. No wonder I couldn’t nod off for hours. Plus, my mind reviewed the day’s events and what our special would be for the next.
It wasn’t a problem until well after retirement when I realized that I had to amend my night owl ways or have sleep deprivation for the rest of my life. I knew that fatigue would soon ruin otherwise good days. I had plans for my post-career time and I wanted to pursue all the travel, hobby, recreation, and relaxation I could. To do this with vigor, I needed a good night’s rest. I promised myself that I would retire to bed early, turn off my cell phone and laptop, and dim the lights. I would not eat or drink for at least an hour before my designated bedtime. And absolutely no exercise. I wanted to live a more normal life doing things at the appropriate time like everyone else. Everything I read says that people on a night shift have sleep disturbance regularly. Sometimes, they never adjust.
It is now time to reset the clock and I intend to use one to help out. The alarms these days are magnificent. You can wake up to pleasant lights from devices like these https://www.berightlight.com/science-wake-lights-sunrise-alarms-benefits/ and soft music or you can face a simulation of a true sunrise, as if you were looking out your window at the perfect time. There is no reason to suffer from a lack of sleep with these devices on the market. You can program them from your mobile phone to the display the colors you like or turn on natural sounds like waves, waterfalls, or birds. You feel like getting up immediately and in a good mood to boot. There is no better way to start the day except maybe with a steaming cup of your favorite coffee. That comes later. No blaring noises will prod you to rise as in the old days. But then you just kept hitting the snooze button. It was an imperfect system.
I highly recommend wake up lights and sunrise alarms if you have any trouble getting up because you couldn’t get to sleep within the requisite twenty minutes the night before or as a result of restlessness. You will feel like a brand new you.
When looking for a quality bottle of wine a person may turn to a sommelier for advice. There are some things that a person should discuss with them to help find the perfect wine to go with their meal.
A person should tell the sommelier about the types of wines that have tired and the taste that they enjoy. A person should try to recall some information including country of origin, the name of the wine, and the taste. This will help the sommelier get a feel for a person’s preference and their taste. Do not give them vague information and try to provide as many details as possible. The more they know the more information they know the better the recommendation they can give.
The sommelier can suggest how much money a person should pay for a good bottle of wine when they go out to eat. A bottle of wine that costs a person $20 at the wine shop is likely to cost them around $50 at a restaurant. Many sommeliers suggest that paying between $50 and $70 for a bottle of wine is reasonable. If the bottle is $30 then it is usually a very cheap bottle and a person should not pay the mark-up fee for it.
When a person is looking to improve their palate there are some things they can ask the wine sommelier and listen to the suggestions that they give. Many times people get stuck in a rut and have the same wines or the same flavors of wine. They suggest being adventurous and trying something new. This will allow a person to experiment with flavors they may end up enjoying.
A sommelier will suggest that a person keep track of the wines that they drink. They should take pictures of the labels and take notes on the taste of the wine. They will help a person realize what they like and what of wine they like. It will also help make a person away of the flavors and how to describe the wines.
There are certain foods that pair well with specific wines. If a person is at a restaurant and there is a sommelier on staff they should not be afraid to speak with them. They should tell the wine expert the type of food they have ordered and ask for suggestions about what wine would pair best with it. A person should have a conversation with the sommelier about what they like and what they do not like. If they are on a budget they should not be afraid to mention this as well. This information can be used to help a person find the perfect bottle of wine.
These are just some of the things that a person should speak to a wine sommelier about. If a person tells the sommelier about what they like and what they are looking for in a wine they will be able to help find the perfect bottle and even some new taste.
Have you ever been to the restaurant in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles called Petrossian?
It is always calling my name. They are famous for their imported Russian caviar. They have all types but mostly the pricey Sevruga and Beluga. To get into more detail, there is royal Ossetra and Shassetra are all black fish eggs from the sturgeon. Is that more than you want to know? Petrossian also specializes in other delicacies such as the best smoked salmon ever served with dill and sour cream and earth-shattering foie gras (goose liver created by stuffing the creature with food). In case you haven’t heard, it was banned in the U.S. and is now acceptable to offer on restaurant menus. They are renowned for their proprietary chocolates, baked goods and blinis (little crepes to eat with caviar). You can order their products on line. You are in for a treat. Let me know how you like it.
While there are new sources for cheaper pink caviar (called roe) that isn’t bad, there is something about this mecca for gourmets like me. I love fancy food and spout on and on about the great cuisine of the world. A good meal form a gourmet cook is worth its weight in gold. It may cost an ounce of this precious metal to eat nowadays at a three or four star eatery. I love to go with friends.
Let me tell you that my neighbor is not a fellow traveler. He invited me over for drinks and snacks (from a bag—yikes) and clearly was not interested in fine food. I attempted to explain the draw of the best ingredients combined in unique ways, but it didn’t work. He changed the subject to basketball. In fact, he had an in-ground hoop from Baller’s Guide right in his back yard. He took out all the grass to make a mini court. There was barely enough room to shoot from ten feet. He suggested we attempt baskets and the winner would select a restaurant for dinner. I said I would prefer racing him in his indoor pool. He declined.
After a while, he got on the topic of a new indoor basketball court to be built behind in house in an open field. He would buy the land and erect a fabulous state-of-the-art facility. I just wondered if it would be an eye sore and block my view. “You are welcome to play any time,” he crooned, beaming with pride. I wasn’t ecstatic. Now we had to decide what to do about dinner. He made a suggestion after a while and we went. Oddly enough, during the meal, he got interested in food and asked about the world’s top chefs. He listened attentively as I droned on and he seemed thoroughly absorbed in the subject. It all ended well after two hours and now I can honestly say that I had a great dinner with a good friend.
When a person is looking for a fine dining experience they need to find the perfect restaurants. Just because a restaurants claims to be a fine dining establishment does not mean a person will have a pleasant dinner. There are some things to look for in a fine dining establishment.
When people go out to fine dining they do not want to be bothered with distractions. The restaurant should have a couple of different sections. They should have quiet sections for those that are out on a romantic dinner. People that are dining with children or larger groups should have their own seating. This will help make sure everyone can enjoy their dinner. A serve should make sure the customers have everything that they need and are enjoying with meal without intruding.
When a person goes out for fine dining they want to try food that they are not used to getting every day. Since these dishes may be new to them they often have questions. The staff at the restaurant should know the menu well. They should be able to accurately describe the dish to the customer. The staff should be well trained in the dishes especially those that may be new to their customers.
It is important for a restaurant to have a POS system. If a casual restaurant can have this system then it should be expected in a fine dining restaurant. While many people know that the fine dining experience is often slower since the food is cooked to order they do not expected things to go wrong. This system will help a server make sure that the customers get the right order and that the bill is accurate. This system is easier to use and will speed up the ordering and the checkout process.
When a person does out to fine dining the wait staff can make or break their experience. If the waiter or the waitress is rude then this can ruin the entire dining experience. The wait staff should be polite and professional at all time. They should provide assistance to the customer in a timely manner. The restaurant needs to make sure they have plenty of staff to serve their customers. A customer should not have to be kept waiting because there is not enough members on staff to meet their needs.
When a person leaves the restaurant the staff members have one final chance to make a good impression. They should make the customers feel valued and thank them for their business. When a person goes out and spends money at fine dining they want to be appreciated. A greeting when they are leaving will be a way to make the customers feel special.
Fine dining can be a great experience. When a person goes to a fine dining experience they want to be treated with respect and curtsey. If a person is treated they will come back to this restaurant time and time again.
Caviar is made from different species of sturgeons. The average person does not know what to look for in caviar and how to tell if the quality is top of the line. There are some ways to assess the quality of caviar before purchasing this expensive treat.
When looking to check the quality a person should look for producers that work directly farm to table. This will help ensure that the caviar is the highest quality possible. A person should look for caviar that comes from countries that have good business practices and have ethical rules.
There are two main productions methods for caviar. They are pasteurized and malossol. When caviar is pasteurized it undergoes a heating treatment in order to increase the shelf life. This can alter the taste. The healthy qualities associated with caviar can also be compromised. When caviar is made using the malossol method the original taste is preserved. This roe will have less than a 5% salt content and only a small amount of preserving agent such as borax. This will allow the caviar to stay fresh for a period of up to three months.
Caviar can also come in a form that is pressed. To those in the field this is known as payunsnaya or pajusnaya. The eggs are passed through a sieve while some of the eggs are passed through others are broken or damaged. These eggs are then treated, salted, and further pressed. Once this is performed they turn into a jelly like consistency. This can then be put over the whole eggs. They can also be used in a number of recipes. While some feel they do not compare to the while eggs they still have a rich and intense flavor.
There is some information found on the tin that can help a person decide what type of caviar they should select. The first three letters on the stand will tell a person what form of sturgeon that the caviar was produced from. For example BAE stands for Baerri that is Siberian in origin. The third set of letters will tell a person the country of origin. For example DE will stand for Germany and RU is for Russia. Some people prefer caviar from a certain region of the world. If a caviar states that if it was from the world’s leading producers this is too vague and does not give information about the caviar itself. Labels like this should be avoided. Many dealers of caviar are often resellers and they can relabel the caviar so that it fits this own brand. Looking at the codes will help a person determine if they are purchasing for a wholesaler or if they are purchasing from a reseller.
These are just some things to look for when purchasing caviar. The way the caviar is processed and the codes on the tin will help a person determine if they are purchasing a quality brand.
When a person is looking to buy caviar there are many different types to choose from. The caviar will have different flavors based on how it is produced, the type of fish that it originates from, and how long it is aged or brined. Before purchasing caviar it is important to learn about the different types and the flavors that they will provide.
This caviar is made from sturgeons. It is soft and clear. The eggs are about the size of a pea. The color of these eggs ranges from silver to black and they have a creamy texture. The taste is buttery. Each of the eggs has a dark spot that is known as the eye. There is a gel that surrounds this eye. This is the highest grade of caviar that is available.
This caviar also comes from a sturgeon. The eggs range in color from gray to brown. They have a nutty flavor and are also one of the highest qualities of caviars that can be purchased.
This caviar is also made from surgeon. The eggs are smaller and they are often gray in color. They have a saltier taste and due to their size they absorb more of the salt during the brining process.
This type of caviar is also made from a sturgeon. The eggs are small and golden in color. They were once considered to be the finest caviar that was saved for royals. This caviar is now hard to find and if it is found it is beyond what most people can afford.
This is one of the most popular brands of caviar and is one of the most affordable. The eggs are very tiny and they are usually died black or red in color.
This caviar is made from the eggs of the paddlefish. This fish is often found in the rivers of the Mississippi and is the cousin of the sturgeon. The row of this fish ranges in size from small to medium and comes in a variety of graycoloring. Some people have stated that this caviar has an Earthy or muddy taste.
This caviar is from the Great Lakes and is also known as Golden Whitefish Caviar. The roe is small and the eggs are yellow/ gold in color. They have a less complex flavor and is used in cooking.
The eggs that make up this caviar are medium in size. They come in a light orange color and can also be deep red in color. They are often substitute for sturgeon varieties of caviar since they are less expensive to purchase. These eggs can also be smoked for some variation in their flavor and taste.
These are some of the different caviar flavors that a person can purchase. They all have a different taste and flavor. The type of caviar that a person purchases will depend on their personal preferences.
When a person is hosting a dinner party they want to make sure that their table look nice. There are easy ways to create an elegant table setting that will impress even the most sophisticated taste.
Layering is one of the easiest ways to make the table look elegant. A person should start setting the table with a dinner plate. Over the dinner plate they should place a salad plate or a smaller plate for appetizers. A soup bowl can be placed over the salad plate if soup is going to served. Layering adds dimension to the table. To top the plates off fancy cloth napkins can be used.
When a person is looking to have a great dinner party they may be able to cheat a little. If they do not have hours to spend preparing a meal they should try to make it as close to homemade as possible. All of the items need to be removed from their packaging. Wine and other beverages should be put into decanters since this will better then a bottle. Any bread that is going to be served should be placed in a basket that has been lined with linen. All of the condiments should be placed in creamers or in small gravy bowls. This will look much more elegant then having bottles all over the table.
A person does not have to spend a lot of money on fancy decorations to make their table look elegant. They can use flowers, branches, and even pinecones to dress up the table. Any arrangements that are displayed should have a small and simple look. Two single flowers that are in bloom can be placed in a vase. There are other natural elements that can be placed on the table. This will give the table a simple yet elegant look.
Repeating the same color will give the table a uniformed look. All of the serving pieces such as the plates should be the same color. This will keep the table from having a mismatched look.
Instead of just setting a knife and a fork at each place setting a person should set several pieces. A smaller fork should be used for the appetizer and the large fork can be used for the main meal. A spoon should be included for soup. There should be a butter knife for spreads followed by a sharper knife if meat is going to be served. Having several pieces of silverware will make it look like a person has a fancy table setting and they are about to enjoy an elegant meal. Condiments should also have other spoons or utensils that make them easy to pour or access.
These are just some of the things that a person can do to give their table and elegant look. When they are hosting a dinner party these simple tips can make the table look nice and fancy.