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Anniversary Dinner on the LES or EV

Revisited this thread and will retract my comment about Contra not being celebratory-type place, as I do not know what the personal preferences of the OP is other than the price point. I would also add that Contra can easily be an appropriate anniversary dinner place for most if it meet their needs and preferences.

38 minutes ago
RCC in Manhattan

Anniversary Dinner on the LES or EV

Good food at Contra, but the atmosphere and make-up of the doesn't exude that special celebratory-type special of dinner, i.e. an anniversary.

about 4 hours ago
RCC in Manhattan

Maiolino, Ai Fiori, Cafe Boulud or Ilily

I appreciate the clarification. I obviously am not familiar with llili (I've also spelled it starting with double "L"), but by googling now I show a restaurant that I can start familiarizing with.

Jul 29, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Maiolino, Ai Fiori, Cafe Boulud or Ilily

Am I the only one here who had tried to google one of the OP's restaurant choices, specifically "llily", and kept coming up with everything else except a restaurant?

Jul 29, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Maiolino, Ai Fiori, Cafe Boulud or Ilily

I've eaten at 3 of those in your list, with the exception of llily. Ai Fiori would be the quietest, formal and most serene.

Jul 28, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Hoffman Estates

I'm sorry that it didn't work out for me, too. I like seafood in general and have had plenty of the best in the country and elsewhere in this planet (I may have written about them here in CH if you care to click on my handle). I wasn't comparing GT to chain restaurants, but I might as well have been.

I've made my rounds of seafood restaurants, where I've shelled out a lot more and my GT Fish experience just wasn't up to par. Since you quoted your meal costs, my companion and I spent just over $210 for a 1.5 hour dinner at GT and we sat at the bar starting 6:30 pm last Saturday, right after we drove by and asked if they can seat us. We received good service, though.

Jul 21, 2015
RCC in Chicago Area

Hoffman Estates

I appreciate all the suggestions. However, due to crazy work load and schedules during the week before we left for Chicago, I wasn't able to peruse Chowhound.

It turned out that we had a day and an evening to spend in Chicago itself and somehow ended up with dinner at GT Fish & Oyster. It was just OK, but imho did not justify the costs of the food. I should have done more research here and I am confident that I would have come up with better restaurants at the same price level.

Jul 21, 2015
RCC in Chicago Area

Maison Kayser Tribeca

Good to know about the lunch offering at Kayser. I'm looking forward to trying.

Nothing wrong with craving for a salad as first course, but perhaps, the rilletes de canard was offered as they are looking to replicate a common first course in most French bistro.

Jul 17, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Tablao or Salinas Tonite?

Wouldn't the flamenco show at Tablao impede your need for quiet conversation?

Jul 03, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Dinner tomorrow night - Cosme, Contra or Marea?

Nice, happy report. Makes me want to go to Cosme, too. Thanks for the food update .

Jul 02, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

14th around Montparnasse

L'Assiette.

Jul 01, 2015
RCC in France

Hoffman Estates

Looking for recommendation for 1 Saturday night dinner for 2 in July. Staying at Hilton Garden Inn, Hoffman Estates. 30 minutes drive, at most. French, Italian, American, or Spanish. Would spend up to $35 per entree.

Good wine list or can byob (with reasonable corkage at <$26 per bottle).

Thank you.

Jun 30, 2015
RCC in Chicago Area

Wildair (from the great team behind Contra)

Thanks. Good to know. We'll look to try Wildair very soon.

Jun 29, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Wildair (from the great team behind Contra)

I've enjoyed my lone meal at Contra. The wine list was a welcome one for me with the selections of natural/bio ones.

I would like to try Wildair, but I'm very curious to know what would you say the main difference between Wildair and Contra is.

Is it the execution of the cuisine? The dining costs?

Jun 29, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Dinner tomorrow night - Cosme, Contra or Marea?

I've been to both Contra and Marea. I've not been to Cosme.

Contra and Marea are different in ambiance, costs and cuisine. I loved my $65 tasting menu at Contra and their more esoteric wine list with (imho) reasonable prices is a big plus for me. I consider myself a medium-portion eater, but can see a problem with a large eater if settling for the tasting menu. It's in the Lower East Side, so patrons are mostly on the young side

Marea is relatively more expensive Italian, more formal, the ambiance turns towards the formal side with more older diners and it's in Central Park South and so out-of-towners are more prevalent. I liked the food that I had, but prefer Contra's more innovative style. Wine list is very robust, leans more on the famous names and, hence, will be much pricier.

Jun 28, 2015
RCC in Manhattan
1

Cheap Lobster

$9.99 a pound for a couple of very feisty, hard-shell, sweet meat ones purchased from Fairway at Murray Hill last Saturday.

Jun 16, 2015
RCC in Manhattan
1

George Mendes's New Portuguese Restaurant- Lupulo

For the freshest seafood and shellfish at giveaway prices relative to the rest of western Europe, then my answer is yes. I'm not that impressed with the meat-based dishes that I had. The hotels are also fantastic with excellent services and amenities at much lower prices than those in neighboring countries. I've recommended to those that asked that it's an excellent city to do a 3-4 days in with the main visit being, say, Madrid or somewhere in northern Spain. I believe that the lower level of economy has kept prices much lower than anywhere else in western Europe.

May 29, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

George Mendes's New Portuguese Restaurant- Lupulo

Ate at Cervejaria Ramiro and Da Esquina in Lisbon. They had both red tiger shrimps and large Carabineros offered. We had an order of each during our visits. I may be mistaken with a visit to a 3rd cervejaria whose name I can't recall where I also saw iced prawns on display. We didn't bother ordering shrimps/prawns then.

May 29, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

George Mendes's New Portuguese Restaurant- Lupulo

I don't remember how expensive they were when we travelled to Lisbon a couple of times since 2014, but the prawns were pretty much staple menu items that are on display on iced cases in all the cervejarias that we visited then and which we noticed were ordered by majority of patrons, along with the cracked crab slathered in roe. We stopped ordering the prawns after a couple of cervajarias, just so we can try other dishes.

I suspect, though, that they will be expensive here in the US.

May 27, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Vin jaune in Paris?

Excellent post, Jake Dear, on your quest and the added information with your experiences on vin jaune and Chateau Chalon. Now I also have other sources when needed, when in Paris.

Btw, my favorite experience with Chateau Chalon was just last December when we drove to Baumes Les Messieurs, a beautiful tiny town just a few kilometers from Chateau Chalon. We had Morrels in that lip-smacking sauce made of the wine! Unforgettable.

You also inspired me to post this photo of a 1990 from Bernard Badoz that I've been saving for the right occasion.

May 26, 2015
RCC in France

Day Trip from Rome

I'm with all the previous responders - Orvieto! Only 35 minutes by fast train from Rome's Termini Station

Go have lunch at I Sette Consoli: http://www.isetteconsoli.it/en/

May 26, 2015
RCC in Italy

Riverpark on East 29th St-Wonderful all the time

While, in general, I've liked my experiences over the years (since they opened) at Riverpark, my only gripe is their consistency. I must have dined there, oh about 12 - 15 times already, but I would say that at only about 75% of the time, I am in agreement with you about it being wonderful in terms of food. I've no qualms about the always great service that we've received, though.

May 22, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Cheap Sushi

As I read it, the OP asked for good, low cost, sushi. I'm all for that and I hope some good suggestions come up, especially around my neck of the woods. Hoping good sashimi comes up, too.

Apr 08, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Question re: Tapas and Spanish food generally

“Great” tapas would transcend any in NYC today, especially if one measures greatness to, say, the mind-blowing ones that one finds in every pintxos bars in San Sebastian or the terrific ones in Barcelona. Sadly, good lists of by-the-glass wines are also almost non-existent locally.

If pressed, and food is the main criteria, Bouqueria can be a front-runner; so is Txikito. The Basque-style pintxos at the latter have always been a more-than pleasant surprise for out-of-town visitors whom I’ve pointed or brought there. Plus, there is a $15 corkage that is well worth it, but it’s also worth remembering to bring your own stemware if you’re fuzzy about how you drink your poison.

The best of both worlds, both vinous and tapas, in my opinion, lies in Casa Mono. I try to make it to good Spanish restaurants that I hear about in every North American city that I may find myself in, but none comes close to having the robust Spanish wine list that they have at Casa Mono. Their btg offering is not lengthy, but is sufficiently better than most. The tapas are not the regular small-sized ones, but are called raciones and are about 2X the portion. While some say they are not "very" Spanish as commented by a few, their dishes are simple, while others are creative, but I’ve found almost no negative with the stuff we’ve ordered before.

I’d say skip La Fonda del Sol. Their tapas have no soul.

Apr 06, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Vin jaune in Paris?

There's some vin jaune available at Caves Auge. http://www.cavesauge.com

Apr 04, 2015
RCC in France

Need Italian Rec's

I also checked out their website, as I read this thread, and didn't find a menu. Here's one from menupages (I can't verify on how updated this is, though):

http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

Apr 01, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Lunch recommendation for Chelsea Market?

Interested. Date dependent, of course.

Mar 29, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

Lunch recommendation for Chelsea Market?

This.

Mar 29, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

steakhouse corkage venting

If Marea, it's sister restaurant, would the basis for Costata, then I would presume that the corkage would be at $50 per bottle. Very steep, but the wine list is deep and the wine service is very good. Definitely priced just to discourage byob.

Other NYC-classic steakhouses that charge anywhere north of $25 should be ashamed because other than Sparks, I've noticed how bad the wine lists and services can be in most others. Everything from bad stemwares to a server who'd play wine-know-it-all and will practice his baton-twirling methods while un-corking a 30+ year-old Bordeaux that you carefully stood up in your cellar for days leading up to the byo'd dinner. I byo'd at Quality Meats once and our server decided he'd empty the content of one of our red and equally fill to about 3/4 full each of 4 glasses in our party. I think we paid $30-$35 per byo'd bottle.

I find that Keens, whose wine list also sucks imho, provides one of the the better corkage fee value at $20 per and the servers are professionals with the wine service.

Mar 28, 2015
RCC in Manhattan

NYC first visit (kind of) - where to eat to feel like you're in NY!

Agree. But those are just random pickup games and not the organized chaotic ones played during the summer which are more skilled, more fun, complete with uniforms and some guy with a microphone-megaphone-speaker calling the play by play. Sometimes they even have cheer-leaders (sometimes hard to tell female from male).

Mar 24, 2015
RCC in Manhattan