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Ithaca restaurants with a toddler?

We're going to be in Ithaca with our young toddler for a long weekend this weekend, so I'm trying to put together a list of places for us to eat. Our daughter is usually pretty enthusiastic about eating in restaurants, but she's 16 months, so she can be loud and unwilling to sit for long. So, I definitely try to stick to somewhat more casual restaurants. Any thoughts on places she'd be welcome that are also chow-worthy?

Cannelle Patisserie in Queens

I love Canelle, but I think their baguettes have gone way down hill. They used to be excellent, but I now think they're too much line supermarket Italian bread, not a real baguette. Pastries are still superb, thankfully.

Decent Bagels in Jackson Heights?

Have you tried Juju's Bagel Cafe on 76th St? Not great, but definitely decent.
(Sorry for the accidental double post!)

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Juju's Bagel Cafe
35-62 76th St, Queens, NY 11372

Decent Bagels in Jackson Heights?

Have you tried Juju on 76th St? Not great, but definitely decent.

Updates on dim sum options in Flushing?

I haven't been to Jade Asian. Are you recommending it? That's actually where I was thinking I'd go unless someone had a better recommendation!

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Jade Asian
136-28 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11354

Updates on dim sum options in Flushing?

Unless I've missed a thread, there haven't been any recent dim sum reports. Where are folks headed these days? Perfect Team Corp is long gone, right? Wait times (on a Saturday at 11:30ish) do matter to me, as we'll have my five-month old with us and there's a limited window for us to be out between her naps!

Nutella from Italy: Where to find?

I'm pretty sure that I've seen Italian nutella at Sorriso's in Astoria. At least worth a phone call to them if western Queens would help your friend.

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Sorriso Italian Pork Store
44-16 30th Ave, Queens, NY 11103

Puerto Rico (ESJ, OSJ, Condado) Suggestions?

Might be too late for any of you on this thread asking for advice, but I just posted my trip report from early January. Quick take away: Tasca el Pescador is worth going out of your way for based on the two dishes we had there. Pikayo was awful and I'd never go back. We liked Marmalade.

Trip Report - San Juan, Puerto Rico

I always plan to write up trip reports, and am terrible about actually doing it. We spent a few days in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the beginning of January and had several lovely meals and one horrible meal at Pikayo which gave me incentive to write up our experiences.

Kasalta in Ocean Park - we were lucky enough to be staying about a block away from Kasalta, so we ate breakfast there every day and also had dessert there one night! We enjoyed everything we had there, even just eggs or avena (hot cereal), but obviously the more local specialties stand out - quesito (cheese filled pastry) and mallorca with ham and cheese. The latter is HUGE so we split it for breakfast and still didn't want lunch!

The food court on Plaza Colon in Old San Juan, next to Cafe Berlin- following a tip from Chowhound, we made our way to the back of this (dingy) food court to a stand that sells mofongo. We split an order of mofongo with pernil which was delicious. The best mofongo we had on the trip - well worth the wait (the pernil was pre-cooked, but the mofongo was completely made from scratch while we waited). Garlicky, flavorful, perfectly fried.

We also stopped in at Caficultura. My husband said his coffee was excellent. I had a very nice pot of jasmine tea . . . except that when I ordered it, the waiter carefully explained to me that jasmine only came in a pot and that I could have refills, but he didn’t actually point out that the pot was $12 which wasn’t clear on the menu! Since I really only wanted one cup of tea, I wouldn’t have ordered the pot and was quite taken aback when we received the check which marred what otherwise would have been a nice break from walking around. Still, would go back there for coffee.

Bebo's Cafe in Ocean Park - we had dinner at this popular restaurant on a Sunday night, after a little bit of a wait. I'm not drinking these days, since I'm pregnant, so I really appreciated that they had fresh orange juice. Even though I had just had mofongo for lunch, I ordered some more - this time with stewed chicken. The chicken was surprisingly tasty (out of character for me to order chicken, to be honest), if a bit too salty, and the mofongo was fine but not nearly as good as what we had at the food court. A forgivable misunderstanding on our waiter's part meant my husband didn't get what he ordered and ended up with a carb-heavy meal of rice and beans, tostones, and a chicken stew with lots of rice in it. They were all good, particularly the tostones, but nothing fantastic. We could walk to Bebo's from our guest house, and they were open on a Sunday, so it was perfect for us, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go there. I would return, though, if I were back in San Juan and it was convenient again since my impression is that it's a reliable and cheap place to get competently done Puerto Rican favorites. Still, I suspect there are better versions of much of what’s on the menu out there.

Uvva at Hosteria del Mar on the beach in Ocean Park - we had lunch there one day, sitting inside since it was threatening to rain. Very charming spot, you definitely are paying for location!, with shutters open to the beach so we could watch the kitesurfers in the ocean, but also just pleasant decor. Good fruit juice shakes. I had a HUGE wrap with ground beef, plantains, cheese, and vegetables which was pretty good. My husband had the seafood-pumpkin soup which was also pretty good, with particularly lovely mussels amidst lots of other good seafood. I have to admit I assumed the food would be mediocre (something about the location and the menu) so I was very pleasantly surprised.

We spent that evening in Old San Juan. First, my husband had an interesting spicy cocktail at a bar whose name I can’t recall, but will add later if I can figure it out. Very enthusiastic young bartender too! I’m pretty certain it was on Clle Fortaleza around C. San Justo maybe? Small bar, but they had a cocktail list posted outside. We then moved to the bar at Dragonfly (the restaurant was packed, although they have lots of little spaces downstairs!). A decent cocktail for him – they called it a sake sangria, but it was more like a sake collins - and we shared an order of the bao slider sample. The bao were ok, but not great.

Finally, dinner at Marmalade in the lounge, since we hadn’t made a reservation, but the lounge was perfectly comfortable. The chef, who was making the rounds of the tables, sent out two amuses – one a shot of his signature white bean/truffle soup w/prosciutto dust which was quite nice and, having not taken notes, I can’t recall the second amuse. We split an order of the paella bites which we really enjoyed. I’m a little fuzzy on our entrees as well – I know I had a Maine lobster dish (I know – Maine lobster in Puerto Rico? But we saw almost no local seafood on menus when we were there) which was excellent. Anyway, overall, we thought Marmalade was very good and we quite enjoyed our meal there. I definitely would return.

Our last day, we went to both the art museum and the contemporary art museum (not earth-shattering, but both interesting/pleasant), and then walked over to Plaza del Mercado. The food hall itself isn’t particularly interesting, and I love food markets, but we really loved Tasca el Pescador. Unfortunately, we had had a big breakfast and were expecting to have a big dinner, so we could only manage to share two of the special appetizers of the day. One was a piquillo pepper stuffed with a seafood mixture in a very light tomato (and cheese?) sauce. Excellent. The other were croquettes of cod which were also just perfectly done. This is the restaurant I’d be most eager to return to, I think. Closes early (6:30? 7:30?) and there were waits even when we there mid-afternoon on a Tuesday.

Dinner that night was at Pikayo which was a serious disappointment. Not just bad for the price point, but simply bad. I have to believe it was good at some point but not the night we were there! The pros: comfortable room, with great floor-to-ceiling windows looking out at the ocean; good bread (though the butter was sweetened which I wasn’t crazy about); nice bartender and some good wines by the glass. The cons: um, the food. The food came out incredibly quickly, and we strongly suspect much of our food was precooked and reheated based on what we received. We only had two courses, but still, we were done 45 minutes after we sat down . . . and we took quite some time to order so I believe we were about 35 minutes between ordering and finishing our two courses. Anyway, I started with the gandules con chicharron risotto. The chicharron was nice enough, but the dish was totally overwhelmed by parmesan and that’s all I could taste otherwise. I unfortunately can’t recall at all what my husband had for an appetizer, but I remember it was so bad that my totally mediocre risotto was much much better. For mains, I had a dish of shrimp and a version of mofongo. The shrimp were tasteless and overcooked. The mofongo had a reasonable taste, but the texture was unpleasant – rubbery – which was partially why we think it had been sitting for a while and then was reheated. My husband had a fish dish (maybe cod?) which was encased in phyllo dough. He liked the phyllo –what could be wrong with phyllo? – but the fish had the taste and texture of badly frozen/badly thawed fish. Just unappetizing. When our only-half-eaten plates were cleared and we were asked how things were and were fairly unenthusiastic, the response we got was a laugh and a “I guess you’ve had better.” I guess we have. No – we didn’t send any of the food back or complain vociferously, but not a single thing that came out of that kitchen suggested that we could get better food if we had, and so we didn’t feel like wasting our energy. I obviously wasn’t looking for more food from that kitchen, but it did occur to me afterwards that it was surprising for a restaurant of that variety that there were no amuse-bouches or the like. We didn’t order dessert, but still I’m used to receiving complimentary petits-fours or something similar at the end of a meal at a restaurant of that supposed ambition. And it wasn’t just us – no one in the dining room was getting any of those little extras from the kitchen. The funny thing is that if I had been happy with our meal, I would probably have never thought about it. Isn’t it sad that the mofongo was one of the tastier parts of the meal, and it was still the third best mofongo we had in San Juan?

The Stunning Duck Penang Curry at Ayada Thai in Elmhurst

I get delivery from Ayada somewhat regularly and I find them just to be a bit inconsistent, more from night to night than from dish to dish. Everything is always good enough, but some nights almost everything we order is fantastic and some nights everything is just good. The spice levels too seem to vary wildly from pretty muted to almost inedibly spicy.

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Ayada
77-08 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11373

Jong Ga BBQ Restaurant - one of the best Korean restaurants in Flushing

Thanks, Lau, for this report! I was just about to post looking for some updated info on Korean options. Do you think the restaurant is big enough that they could handle 7 people showing up on a Tuesday evening?

Hot Pot at Little Pepper recently?/Questions about Udu

I had a good hot pot meal at Little Pepper last winter and was thinking of returning (they haven't moved yet, have they?). Anyone been there recently or have a different recommendation for Sichuan hot pot in Flushing? I saw the recent hot pot post and the recommendations for Udu so now I'm thinking about that too. How do the broths/ingredients there compare to what you normally get at a Sichuan place? I know that when I took my husband to Little Lamb several years ago, he didn't like the flavor profile as much as any of the Sichuan hot pots we've had.

Roosevelt Ave. Eating Tour

Yes - Don Francisco has morcilla and chorizo and they're both fantastic.

Bohemian hall-Beer Garden observations

I went to Studio Square this past weekend - nice to have the option since I won't go even close to Bohemian Beer Garden except during the afternoon since the lines are usually so crazy. I wasn't thrilled with SS, though. On a Sat night, the crowd was definitely mostly young-trying-to-be-trendy and being outside was kind of ruined for me by speakers everywhere playing music much too loud. Not deafeningly loud, but loud enough that I can't imagine a group having a conversation despite picnic tables=group. Good beer on tap, though. I had a kolbase which was good (Schaller and Weber product), but the saurkraut was so-so. My husband reported the cheeseburger to be fine, but the fries lousy. Lots of staff and they were friendly and very competent. I imagine the food line might get crazy if it were totally full, but it was reasonably busy on Saturday night and the line wasn't bad and no line for beer.

Not quite like being at the Andechs monastery south of Munich - and I got to say I think I prefer the scruffier Bohemian to the trendoid Studio Square - but it was a nice post-movie option.

Need Birthday Cake-PURPLE FROSTING! Help!

I don't have their contact info, but it might be worth seeing if Ambrosia Bakery (a couple based in Jackson Heights) could work with you. I'm pretty sure I've seen their contact info posted here on C'hound in the past if you wanted to call them.

The Last Course by Claudia Fleming (Report Thread)

Great thread! I definitely need to make more from this book. I am one of the many who have made and loved the Guinness Stout Ginger Cake . . . many times. I also once made the Saffron Rice Pudding with sour cherries which was fantastic. I can't believe it - but I think that's all I've made from here! Definitely time to try some of these other suggestions.

ETA: I've had the rhubarb-rose cobbler when a friend made it - and we were all not that impressed by it. And I *love* rhubarb.

Searching within quotes - next page problem

This just happened to me too!

Apr 14, 2009
The Turtle Bay Dove in Site Talk

Baby Bok Choy

I recently did a stir-fry with baby bok choy, shitakes, and fish sauce which was fantastic. You don't actually need the recipe since it's so straightforward, but here it is anyway:
http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/696...

February 2009 COTM Schneider: Vegetables & Beans and Other Legumes

I assume this is the "Braise-Sauteing Dense, Starchy Vegetables" on p 64. I tried this last night -suing some reserved bacon fat and cooking rutabaga, watermelon radish, carrots, and celery root. Came out nice (great veggies from winter CSA which helped), but I think I might prefer roasting root veggies which has a similar effect but easier to get crisp without overcooking. I ended up with mushy veggies, not get particularly crisp, using this method. But I'm glad to have another way to do root veggies like this which was pretty fast and didn't use the oven for future reference if the oven is otherwise occupied!

February 2009 COTM Schneider: Poultry and Meats

Chicken or Rabbit Braised in Wine: A Guide to Improvising, p 333.

I picked a bad month to try to start participating in COTM since I've barely cooked at all this month! I finally pulled out this cookbook this weekend, though. A grocery store I frequent always has rabbit and I've been curious about trying to cook it, so I used this as an excuse! I was pretty happy with the results, though not totally bowled over. My husband liked it (he's pretty anti-chicken most of the time and prefers rabbit as a lean meat anyway). He renamed the dish "Drunk Bunny" b/c it uses a ton of alcohol!

As one of the guides to improvising, she gives lots of different suggestions and options. Here's what I did:
I has some reserved bacon fat in the fridge so used that instead of cooking bacon or using olive oil.

About an hour before I started cooking, I soaked some prunes (which were nice and soft anyway) in sherry since that's the fortified wine that needed to be used up in our household.

Cut up the rabbit - her directions are tough to follow for my first time butchering this particular animal, so I also looked at some other suggestions. Basically, rabbit is small and bony so a pain to cut into nice pieces, though I suspect I'd get neater with experience.

Flour rabbit pieces and brown. Cook shallots. Added sherry from the prunes, cooked, added lots of red wine, cooked, added chicken broth, thyme and rosemary. Put rabbit legs and bony rib pieces (but not loin pieces) in pan, cooked, added loin pieces, cooked, reduced sauce a bit, added prunes, cooked, touch of sugar, lemon, salt, pepper. Forgot to add the last bit of brandy or eau-de-vie.

We only ate the big meaty back legs last night, so haven't seen how the loin or front legs held up in the braise. But it was nice and fully flavored and tender. I served it over cous-cous, which worked fine but could have done something else. The sauce remained very liquidy, and I didn't feel like pulling out the rabbit to reduce it more (plus which, it was late and we were starving), but probably could have benefited from much longer reducing time than she suggests in the recipe.

So, a good guide to braising lean meat, I think, if not earth-shattering. I also made her braise-sauteed dense, starchy vegetables, but I'll post that on the appropriate thread.

Ebinger's Blackout Cake Recipe in Cooks Country Magazine

I am not of the right vintage to know how this recipe compares to the original - and my folks who have extremely vivid memories of other Ebinger's cakes don't actually remember the chocolate blackout cake (though my mom fell into a dream-like reverie at the mention of Ebinger's, but her family always bought the buttercream cake she says).

Anyway, I tried the Cook's Country recipe yesterday and had a mini-crises when the pudding totally didn't set at all - but since it seems like a pretty standard cornstarch pudding recipe, I suspect either I seriously screwed something up or failed to appropriately take account of the fact that my stovetop is barely functional (ktichen reno here I come . . . ).

Regardless, the cake served with the liquid not-pudding poured over top was delicious. Really great flavors. I'm definitely going to try again to assemble this cake as its supposed to be made one of these days.

What sort of seafood soup from these ingredients in my freezer?

Thanks all for the great suggestions. I'm slowly morphing from a slavish-recipe-follower to more of an improviser, but don't yet fully trust my instincts. Great to have some advice to help guide me!

Here's basically what I did based on your advice and glancing at a few seafood stock recipes (mostly Joy of Cooking) and cioppino recipes:
-cooked shells with carrot, leek tops, celery in oil about 15 mins
-added tomato paste, water, bay leaf, pernod, crushed peppercorns and cooked about 20 mins
-strained

-sauteed more carrot, onion, green pepper, some more tomato paste, some leftover canned diced tomato, a bit of saffron
-added stock, salt, ground pepper, brought up temp then put in pieces of fish - let cook for a bit, then added some additional shrimp I had purchased as well as chopped purslane that was in my freezer, and some chopped fresh parsley. Some lime juice and more salt and pepper. I had in reserve the fish sauce (but my husband has lately accused me of over-using fish sauce, an impossibility I think, so I was hesitant to use it when he was watching!) - also a bottle of clam juice, but the stock was nicely flavored and plenty of broth without it.

Anyway, it was really great! I'll never throw out a shrimp shell again. Really tasty and perfect for the mood we were in - plus I made lots of room in the freezer (the tomato paste was all previously frozen too). I think tonight I'll make some big casserole-y thing that I can freeze portions of . . .

What sort of seafood soup from these ingredients in my freezer?

I seem to have collected the ingredients for some sort of seafood soup or stew in my freezer, but since I've never even made seafood stock before, I'm at a loss as to how to proceed.

I have:
2 lobster carcasses - with a tiny amount of meat left on them, but not much.
Lots of shrimp shells (from a few pounds of shrimp).
Some frozen halibut and frozen tilapia - I've never before put fish into my home freezer so I'm not sure that they won't be disgusting - but that's why I figure my best shot is some sort of soup. The halibut was lovely freshly caught from a local guy who sells at my greenmarket. The tilapia was from a fishmarket, so surely previously frozen.

I also have the tops from lots of leeks that I've been saving for making stock, so would like to use them either now or I can save them for a chicken stock.

I certainly will buy more fish/seafood to augment. Ideas of how to proceed, both in terms of technique and flavors?

February 2009 COTM: A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider

I've never participated before in COTM, but have benefited from the threads. I think it's about time I started cooking along, since this is a cookbook I own and have not cooked much from (as I may have posted in an earlier thread). I'm excited!

Urgent help! Need a FANTASTIC caterer ASAP.

I think Cleaver Co are fantastic caterers. Worth giving them a call!

Jan 16, 2009
The Turtle Bay Dove in Manhattan

El Anzuelo Fino, jfores, are you there?

I can't say that I've really eaten enough (or gone back to places enough) to make that sort of judgment. I've had good ceviche at the now closed Inti Raymi as well as at Punto Fijo and Urubamba. The ceviche at El Anzuelo Fino was fine - it was the other dish that was pretty lousy. I'll probably return to Punto Fijo or Urubamba or try somewhere new before I go back to El Anzuelo Fino.

El Anzuelo Fino, jfores, are you there?

I got take-out from the JH location a few months ago, and I don't think I remembered to post about it. Got ceviche (mixto, I think?) which was nice - not old/fishy smelling - but not any better than any other ceviche I've had elsewhere in the nabe. Also got a fish dish with mushrooms - I think I ordered it b/c it was named after the restaurant - which was pretty mediocre. Unless someone can report something particularly good at this branch, I probably won't be back.

Ideas for harissa dipping sauce for fried seafood?

Thanks- that's exactly what I was imagining, except for the fact that I was feeling culinarily-brain-dead and couldn't actually imagine it in any detail. Much appreciated!!

Hot Pot at Little Pepper-report

Will do - thanks for the heads-up!

Hot Pot at Little Pepper-report

Yes, erica, I saw your report when trying to decide where to go for Sichuan hot pot. Thanks for the encouragement to return - I definitely will!! I didn't find the broths sour at all, which is my memory of one thing you didn't like about it - not sure if something was off the time you tried it or if you and I just have different reactions to the same taste.