Rissoto why is it so hard?
Rissoto is not that difficult to make but it never fails that any time I try Rissoto on someones menu, ITS CRUNCHY. I dont know about anyone else, but I would much rather eat mushy over cooked rissoto over CRUNCHY undercooked rice.
Now I dont eat at a lot of HIGH end restaurants so maybe thats my problem.
Any suggestions were to go to get it well prepared?
Can it be that hard!
Rissoto takes a long time to cook from start to finish. Many restaurants par cook it, which results in a texture that is not ideal. You should try the rissoto at restaurant Picco in Larkspur - where it's only available on the half hour so that they can cook each batch properly.
re: Morton the Mousse
it's entirely possible to par cook risotto and serve it to a customer later without disastrous results. some rice types are better than others for this. vialone nano, for example, absorbs much more liquid than arborio or carnaroli, so you can stop the cooking and begin it again with less of a chance of overcooking it (mushy from adding too much liquid or cooking it for too long) or crunchy (from not veiling it correctly or undercooking it because you're afraid it'll get mushy).
it takes someone with a bit of experience to get it right....
Bacco in Noe Valley does risotto right. Like most places that do, the menu includes a warning that it will take 25-30 minutes.
I've had good risotto at Zuni but you never know whether they'll have it.
Oliveto does it once a year at a special dinner.
2003 "best risotto" topic:
Risotto is notoriously difficult for restaurants to get right. My problem with resto risotto is that it usually comes out mushy, not crunchy. Every Italian cook that has ever taught me how to cook risotto has said you must pay attention to it from start to finish and it must be eaten right away. Makes multi-tasking and timing to other dishes a little bit difficult. There are resto tricks to par-cooking, stopping, starting, etc. But not many get it right.
It's one of those dishes that is so easy to do wonderfully at home and costs very little. So I have a hard time shelling out for it in a restaurant. Unless there are truffles involved...
That said, I had a lovely asparagus-truffle risotto at La Terrace but it is no longer on their menu. And a very nice fresh porcini risotto special at Cafe Tiramisu but that might have been an aberration. I probably wouldn't risk going there again and expecting lightening to strike twice.