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Villabate website is down (or hacked) does anyone know if they ship?

VILLABATE has recently redone their entire website, and is now on Facebook.
I can report they are better than ever! The centerpiece for our dessert table at our Christmas Day Open House buffet for 50 was an enormous Christmas Village gingerbread house from Villabate. It was gorgeous & delicious. We also had a Bûche de Noël (Yule Log) of their Gelato, a giant Cassata which was so gorgeous, people hesitated to cut it. It was outstanding. They import their sheep's milk ricotta fresh from Sicily. Also tiered trays of cookies and mini pastries.
I highly recommend VILLABATE. They are wonderful people to deal with. They take great pride in their product, and it us worth a trip just for an expresso or cappuccino.

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Villabate Alba
7001 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11204

Jan 15, 2012
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

Any chance Peter Luger is not overrated? [moved from Manhattan board]

No way! Peter Luger lives up to and exceeds its reputation. By far the best steak in the country, and an outstanding dining experience from that first slice of bacon to that last bite if Apple Strudel mitt schlag.
Unless you are a vegetarian, you will be in steak heaven!

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Peter Luger Steak House
178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Nov 25, 2011
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

Servce at Peter Luger?

I have been going to Peter Luger since I was a child.
Our most recent visit was this week.
The food at Peter Luger's is outstanding. There is no better steak in the country. The service is polite, helpful, and old school, as is the whole Luger experience. This is not the place for a cozy, romantic evening.
What to order? Start with the Tomato Salad, and a slice of Bacon, the best! The Porterhouse fir two and the Hashed Brown Potatoes and Creamed Spinach are excellent. Don't forget to leave room for dessert. The Apple Strudel and everything else mitt schlag is divine.
I hope you enjoy your dinner.

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Peter Luger Steak House
178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Nov 25, 2011
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

R.I.P. The Fairway Lobster Roll

Peter, I understand your frustration. My guess is that they faced the choice of raising the price or cutting the size of the portion. This is a choice many restaurants have had to make as well

Most restaurant portions were too large for one person, but one can never have too much lobster.

The staff at FAIRWAY is excellent. They seem to be very well trained, polite, helpful, and pleasant. Always someone nearby to help. This is not the case at other markets, like Key Food, or the yuppoie markets like Trader Joe and Whole Foods.

Oct 18, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

R.I.P. The Fairway Lobster Roll

Thanks for pointing out my error. The Lobster Salad in the deli is $9.99 per quarter pound.

I have found that the prices on almost everything at FAIRWAY have gone up. There are very few items that are lower priced there than other stores. That was not the case before.

Oct 18, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

R.I.P. The Fairway Lobster Roll

FAIRWAY sells their Lobster Salad in their deli deparetment for $9.99/lb. With the rise in food prices, how can they make a profit on a $9.99 item like a Lobster Roll Platter?

You might try expressing your concern to the gals behind the counter ina nice way, instead of accusing them of cheating you. Being nice helps almost every time.

Oct 14, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

Any Good Onion Rings in South Brooklyn?

The Onion Rings served at HEIGHTS CAFE in Brooklyn Heights, just off the Promenade on Montague Street, are consistently good.

Fresh, and made to order, the thick, batter coated, crispy rounds of crunchy deliciousness are served with burgers if requested instead of fries, and with the scrumptious Texas Meat Loaf, which is worth the trip itself. They are also available as a side order.

Remember: Cash or AmEx only.

Aug 23, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

Convivium Osteria--Menu Favorites

Ditto for the Ravioli. And every other Pasta dish I have ever had there has been outstanding. The Quail and rabbit are worth the trip. Now you have me thinking about going back very, very soon.

If this was a gift for an anniversary, you will love the elegant, yet simple, romantic ambiance. Ask to be seated downstairs in the wine cellar when you make your reservation. The wine list is especially good, and the service is professional and correct.

To OP : don't be afraid of Pasta in a non-Italian restaurant. Other cuisines from the region have outstanding pasta as well.

Aug 11, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

ARMANDO'S BETTER THAN EVER

With friends whi also had cravings for Soft Shell Crab. We headed back to ARMANDO'S.

We samples a few Pasta dishes as first courses, and then the crispy, crunchy, delichiously briny Soft Shell Crab loaded with Crab meat and fried to perfection.. Our friends were thrilled. They, too, had dined on the Crustaceans at HENRY'S END, JACK THE HORSE, and other establishments and agreed these were the best.

Jul 25, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

ARMANDO'S BETTER THAN EVER

ARMANDO'S on Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights, surprised us with an exceptionally delicious dinner.

Sadly, in its previous incarnation, ARMANDO'S gradually went downhill, and became un recognizable; a tedious, not very good, dull restaurant. When the original owner decided to reopen this Montagie Street legend, we waited. Then, last week, we just couldn't resist the Landmarked Lobster sign calling us in for Soft Shell Crabs.

We were not disappomted. The interior is warm and welcoming, alcoved into smaller spaces that give a sense of intimacy and privacy, not easy to find in restaurants today.

Fresh salads and antipasti cold and hot were passed around the table. Fresh, crisp crusted bread and fresh butter and EVOO completed the beginning of a wonderful meal.

Everything we tried was delicious. Especially the huge, meaty, crispy crunchy, deep fried Soft Shell Crab. Just as good, or better than my childhood memories of ARMANDO'S .

We have tried the Soft Shell Crab at every local restairant that serves them, and these were the very best.

Service was professional and consistent.

We will definitely return.

Jul 23, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

Smoked salmon ideas - no cheese

I love to serve Smoked Salmon as a first course. Ditto for Gravlax.

Buy the best quality Smoked Salmon you can find, sliced paper thin. Zabar's and Fairway have an excellent selection. Buy from a purveyor that allows tasting before you buy. Always taste before you buy. Every side of Salmon, from every different provenance tastes different.

Serve the same day if possible. One a round plate, place slices in a wheel shape. They should be thin enough so that the plate shows through. 1-1.5 ounces per person. Drizzle with excellent quality EVOO and grind black pepper over the plate. Serve lemon wedges on the side.

For Gravlax, serve with a Dill/Mustard Sauce on the side, with plenty of Fresh Dill and lemon wedges on the side.

May 30, 2010
Fleur in Home Cooking

downtown brooklyn lunchtime burger round-up

The Burgers and Fries /.Fried Onion Rings at HEIGHTS CAFE on Montague Street are excellent. Sitting outside on their terrace in balmy weather is delightful. Great salads as well.

A very good Burger and Fries at a much lower price can be found at TERESA'S on Montague Street. They, too, have a charming outdoor terrace Cafe.

May 20, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

Do you make your own salad dressing?

Here is a great herb dressing I use a lot all year long, but especially in Summer. Great on a Tomato Salad, delicious on a Spinach Salad with Bacon. We first tasted this dressing at THE DOCK restaurant in Montauk, and the waitress wrote out the recipe for me. Also great on Grilled Fish or Chicken.

Put everything in your blender. Pulse until emulsified. This keeps for a few days in the fridge, in a glass jar, tightly covered.

1 C Fresh Basil Leaves
1/4 C Fresh Parsley, stens removed
3/4 C EVOO
1/4 C Good Wine Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste

May 17, 2010
Fleur in Home Cooking

How far in advance for an 8pm Friday reservation at Lugers?

You might get lucky with a cancellation, but at this time of year, 6-8 weeks for primetime.

Apr 26, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

Vegetarian / vegan picnic - French style?

In all my 14 years of living in France, I never met a French vegetarian. So iy is not going to be authentic, but it can be fresh and festive. You could use an assortment , a large assiete of crudites.

Salade Nicoise has Tuna, so that would be out. It also has anchovies.

Apr 17, 2010
Fleur in Home Cooking

Is Marcella Hazan's green lasagne bolognese worth it?

Hope you consider trying again. You may be using way too much sauce. Marcella uses just a very small amount, like just enough to coat the pasta, not a real layer.

Italians in general use very little, just enough to sauce their pasta; Americans sometimes use lots of sauce for small amount of pasta. The important thing according to Marcella, is the correct balance between the pasta and sauce. The pasta is NOT just a vehicle for the sauce, but an integral part of the dish.

Buon appetito

Apr 16, 2010
Fleur in Home Cooking

Is Marcella Hazan's green lasagne bolognese worth it?

Marcella's Lasagna is one of the best dishes ever created. It is definitely worth the time and effort.

It also freezed well. Assemble a few extra and freeze in baking dish. When frozen solid, unmnold and wrap in saran, freezer paper, and store in Freezer Zip Bag , labeled.

Bake by unwrapping, putting it back in the baking dish and baking until hot and bubbling. Put it in the oven frozen. It works.

Apr 16, 2010
Fleur in Home Cooking

Liquid Splenda.. less... "Splenda-y" than the powder?

I have been using the liquid Splenda (Sweetzfree) for years, and never had a problem. It has no fillers or additives, as does the powder, and always works for me. It is available only online at Sweetzfree.com and a small bottle lasts for months and months.

It is very, very concentrated, and until you determine how much to use, try tasting with one drop at a time.

Please share the recipe for the cheesecake.

I also use the Da Vinci sugar free syrups made with Splenda, and they are terrific.

Apr 03, 2010
Fleur in Home Cooking

Places to eat out when you want responsibly sourced meat...

Two of the best places for highest quality MEAT are in Brooklyn at HENRY'S END and PETER LUGER. Impeccable quality steaks and wild game.

Mar 31, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

Need instructions for Whipped Jello (not Cool Whip recipes)

Not silly at all. I'm sorry it wasn't clear. When you put a mixture into a mold to jell, you want it to release as easily as possible. Rinsing the mold in cold water and not drying it out, helps that.

I suggest letting the filled mold sit in the fridge overnight. Sometimes I use a fancy shaped mold, sometimes just a loaf pan.

Mar 26, 2010
Fleur in Home Cooking

Need instructions for Whipped Jello (not Cool Whip recipes)

I always loved whipped Jello as a kid, and I still do.

Make the Jello. I always use sugar free using about 1/4 less water than recommended. Let it gel to the soft gel stage and whip with an electric mixer. It will triple in volume and turn a light color. I usually add Ricotta Cheese mid whip. Pour or spoon into a rinsed mold, cover with Saran wrap and chill until totally firm.. Unmold and srround with fruit.

Low calorie, and low carb as well.

Mar 24, 2010
Fleur in Home Cooking

good Nicoise cookbook recs?

His name was Jacques Medecin, and his book on la Cuisine Nicoise is the definitive work on the subject. History, gastronomy, and great recipes. Although he was accused of many of the things you mentioned, he remains a beloved figure in Nice.

I loved living in Nice, and loved reading his books.

Another great classic is La Cuisine de Reparata.

Buy your books the next time you are in Nice. Many are also available at Amazon.fr and ebay.fr

Bon Appetit!

Mar 24, 2010
Fleur in Home Cooking

Brunch spot for 10 in Caroll Gardens/Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo

Congratulation on your son's baptism at Grace Church.

HEIGHTS CAFE on the corner of Montague and Hicks sounds like it would be perfect for the occasion.

Just a short walk from Grace, the outdoor cafe is already open. They do take reservations, and do their very best to ensure your experience is a good one.

They do serve a delicious Brunch, and at a reasonable price. The place is big, with many families on the weekend.

Mar 21, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

what's the point of flambe when making lobster bisque?

There are certain flavor compounds in shellfish that are released only in alcohol, hence, the use of Brandy or other alcohol to flambe shellfish..

I always flambe Shrimp when sauteeing. There is a difference. I learned this technique from something written by Christopher Kimball of Cooks Illustrated.

Only a few TBS are needed. More can be added for flavor.

Try it, it really works!

Mar 15, 2010
Fleur in Home Cooking

Where can I buy Venison in New York City?

I second STAUBITZ. I have gotten Venison there the last few years, and it has been wonderful.

Use a recipe! The meat should be marinated overnight, and cooked over very low flame for a long time. Red wine OR Junipoer Berries, not both!

Mar 08, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

BREAD and BUTTER IS IT REALLY THAT BAD?

Point taken. But I, as well as many others, use CH to cross check with restaurant reviews, Zagat etc.

As for "giving it a chance", with Fried Chicken at $18, I am not interested in experimenting. I will grant you that people's tastes vary, but cold Cornbread and oversalted Gravy don't exactly fall in that category.

We have had great restaurant experiences using the doiuble check w. CH system,. Prices are too high these days to experiment when so many do not recommend the place.
Is Buttermilk Channel a better place in the same genre?

Mar 04, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

BREAD and BUTTER IS IT REALLY THAT BAD?

Thanks Bobj. I missed that. I always like LPM. I thought the food was authentic, and very nicely presented. However, the hovering presence of the intrusive owner was always a negative.

We'll give it a shot. I love the good old American classic comfort foods, but do you think this is just a more expensive versions of Bubby's? For Fried Chicken, we still love HENRY'S END . Same price.

Mar 03, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

BREAD and BUTTER IS IT REALLY THAT BAD?

We have been wanting to try BREAD and BUTTER on Henry Street (formerly LE PETIT MARCHE). We were planning to go this weekend, but after the really bad review in the NY Times, we are reconsidering. What is your experience?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/03/din...

Has anyone had an experience different from that of the reviewer? The picture in the paper looks delicious, but the descriptions of insipid, oversalted and banal food at not so reasonable prices makes one wonder.

Mar 03, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

Beijing Duck

PEKING DUCK HOUSE in Chinatown is consistently reliable. The Peking Duck is perfectly cooked, beautifully presented and carved.

Be advised that this is a very rich, heavy, but succulent and wonderful dish. The portion served will easily serve 4-6 people.

They serve hundreds of ducks a day during a busy weekend. People come there for the duck, and they are the specialists and pros.

Feb 28, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs

Where should I buy wild salmon?

FISH TALES on Court Street has impeccable Wild Salmon when it is in season. They are wonderful, knowledgeable people who just love Fish. They have the highest standards. John gets no deliveries, but picks out the days's selections at the FFMarket.

Prices are reasonable considering the quality.

Feb 21, 2010
Fleur in Outer Boroughs