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First NOLA Trip Where I Can Actually Choose Restaurants

So, after a handful of bachelor parties/weddings in New Orleans, I am finally heading down there with the opportunity to make my own itinerary. Needless to say, am beyond excited. Realize I could probably scour the board and pull together some ideas, but am strapped for time so was hoping I could get some specific advice. Thanks in advance for the help!

Have 4 lunches and 3 dinners to plan. One dinner is definitely Cochon, and one lunch is definitely Emeril's (I enjoyed Delmonico's and NOLA, and the lady wants to try one of his places). So that leaves me with 3 lunches and 2 dinners. Basically looking for all-around best food I can find -- prefer lower key places to fancy (e.g., not going to Galatoire's, but would consider R-Evolution if the food is really that good). Any price point is fine. Staying at the W in the French quarter -- happy to cab now and then, but would prefer walkable places (we are willing to walk pretty far, even in the heat -- sadly seems like a lot of good places are Uptown).

One specific request -- really want to find a great Po-Boy (have been to Mother's and was unimpressed -- how is Killer Po-Boys?) one day for lunch.

Thanks again!

Aug 07, 2014
lnedrive14 in New Orleans

Prague, Vienna, Budapest Itinerary

Thanks Sturmi, this is very helpful. Sad to hear re: Martin Stein. Any preference between Vestibul and Kutschker 44 (or i am missing the boat with either)? thanks!

Aug 28, 2013
lnedrive14 in Europe

Prague, Vienna, Budapest Itinerary

Hi all - Thanks for all the helpful posts as I would have been somewhat lost without all the dialogue from CHs (as is typically true when I travel internationally). Would love any thoughts people have on the following options I have for meals in Prague, Vienna and Budapest, where I will be heading in a couple of weeks (for, sadly, far too short of a time). By way of background, girlfriend and I are both 30, live in NY, and are generally looking for Eastern European food (i.e., we can get world-class Italian food at home) with a mix of comfort restaurants and modern at any and all price points. We like places that cater to a bit younger of a crowd, as don't like feeling like we are the only people under 60 at a restaurant. With that as background..

Prague:
Dinner #1: Lokal, U tri ruzi, or Red Pif
Dinner #2: Le Terroir or Bellevue (worried both of these are a bit too pricy for the quality -- anywhere more in the 40e range that is worthwhile?)

Vienna:
Lunch #1: Stierereck (already booked)
Lunch #2: Rudi's Beisl
Dinner #1: Gasthaus Poschl, Phoenixhof or Ofenloch
Dinner #2: Vestibul, Martin Stein, or Kutschker44
Dinner #3: Freyenstein (most likely) or Mraz and Sohn (probably more $$ than we want to spend)

Budapest:
Dinner #1: Cafe Pierrot or Csalagony 26
Dinner #2: Onyx or Costes
Dinner #3: Bock Bistro, Borkonyha WineKitchen or Rosensteins

Thanks for any further advice in narrowing these down!

Aug 27, 2013
lnedrive14 in Europe

Need help refining plans for Sonoma County

This is a great idea - only about 5 miles from Robert Young, so not taking us terrible out of our way. How is the traffic up there on a Thursday afternoon?

Need help refining plans for Sonoma County

Very interesting re: Sojourn. That sounds perfect. Hanzell is intriguing, but at $45/person for the tasting (of only 2 wines it seems), a bit out of our budget.

Need help refining plans for Sonoma County

Day #1 is a Wednesday. Yeah, it isn't the end of the world if we don't get to Lynmar before Littorai, as I think we could probably pull it off between Littorai and Freeman -- will play it by ear depending on traffic and how long it takes to rent car, etc.

Need help refining plans for Sonoma County

So, after some further thinking and the help of those above, our itinerary is shaping up as follows. Would appreciate any further suggestions for the couple logistical issues we are having (or suggestions if we are making an egregious winery choice error). Thanks!!

Day #1:
9:45am - Land in SF
12:15pm - Tasting at Lynmar (we may instead do this between Littorai and Freeman, depending on how long it takes to get to RRV -- if we get in early, we could possibly throw Iron Horse into the mix)
1:30pm - Appointment for tour and tasting at Littorai
4:00pm - Appointment at Freeman
6:30pm - Pre-dinner beer at Bear Republic
8:00pm - Dinner at BarnDiva

Day #2 - This is the day we are still trying to figure out logistics
10:00am - Unti
11:30pm - Rafanelli
1:00pm - Lunch???? We had initially hoped to do a picnic lunch at Copain, but Copain is so far south and the other wineries we wanted to go to are also in Dry Creek/Alexander Valley area. We would appreciate any lunch ideas here, preferably something quick)
2:00pm - StoneStreet/Robert Young/Ridge (Any advice here? Ideally I think we would hit StoneStreet and Robert Young, but not sure on timing or winery preference)
4:00pm - Copain
7:30pm - Dinner at Farmhouse Inn
10:00pm - Post dinner beers at Russian River Brewery

Day #3
10:00am - Appointment at Robert Hunter
11:30am - Deerfield
1:00pm - Audellsa (Anywhere further South that is worth going to so that we could do El Molino Central right after Deerfield and not have to go too far out of our way?)
2:00pm - El Molino Central
3:00pm - Head back to SF

Need help refining plans for Sonoma County

Thanks for your reply and all of the information. We are staying a bit south of Santa Rosa, but at planning to organize our wineries each day based on location (so, for example, we will do a day in Alexander Valley). On that note, do you have any specific wineries you would recommend in the Alexander Valley?

Thanks for the BarnDiva rec. We think that might work out for dinner as we are actually going to be there on a Wednesday night (and have that dinner open at the moment). ]

Also, those maps are great!

Need help refining plans for Sonoma County

Thanks so much. This is amazingly helpful. We've done some reading about Stonestreet and think that is right up our alley. If you have any other similar recs, we would appreciate them. Thanks again.

Need help refining plans for Sonoma County

Hi -

My girlfriend and I are heading to Sonoma County later this month -- it will be our second time in wine country. Last time we did Napa only, so this time we are looking to do Sonoma, Dry Creek, Russian River, etc. (accepting that we will not be able to do all of those in 2.5 days). We would really appreciate help in formulating a list of wineries to hit. We have gone through this board fairly thoroughly, but don't feel we have a good sense of how best to accomplish our goals.

Food: We have reservations at the Farmhouse Inn (chose that over Madrona Manor) and are also planning on eating lunch at El Molino central. We are then trying to decide between Willie's Wine Bar, Girl and the Fig, Bistro 29, and BarnDiva for 2 other meals and could use a lunch recommendation in the Healdsburg area.

Wineries: We like chardonnay, syrah, zinfandel, petit syrah and cabernet. Not huge pinot drinkers, but are amenable to having our eyes opened on the chance that we just haven't yet had a really great pinot. (So we would be interested in doing a really great pinot winery in Russian River.) A couple other things. First, we would prefer to go to places with a bit of scenery, either outside or the tasting room itself (e.g., a cave or something). So we would prefer to not go to places that just have a wine counter. We are open to spending up to $25 for a tasting, but would prefer to have a mix of costlier/cheaper places. (In terms of wines themselves, we would go up to about $80/bottle.)

Some wineries we have read good things about, but are not sure whether they fit the above bill: Lynmar, Copain, Ridge, Rafanelli, Swan, Unti, Porter Creek, Pride Mountain, Merry Edwards, Arista and Deerfield. We would really appreciate any thoughts on these, or any other recommendations you may have as we are feeling totally overwhelmed!!!

Thanks!!!

Edit - My gf wanted me to point out that we REALLY like chardonnay.

Roberta's Tasting Menu tonight, June 6

Definitely great to hear as I am going next Friday (booked, of course, when I thought it was being served at Roberta's). Anxious to hear what you were served (and hoping it included dry-aged duck and 95-day wagyu). One random question: do they still allow you to choose a pizza instead of the cheese course?

Jun 08, 2012
lnedrive14 in Outer Boroughs

Roberta's Tasting Menu tonight, June 6

Would love to hear your thoughts afterwards, now that the tasting menu has been ported over to Bianca and seems to have changed format somewhat!

Jun 06, 2012
lnedrive14 in Outer Boroughs

Roberta's -- February 2011 (tasting menu!) report

Has anyone been since the tasting menu was ported over to Bianca? If so, thoughts, hopefully as compared to original teasting menu?

Jun 05, 2012
lnedrive14 in Outer Boroughs

Eats for bike tour of brooklyn/queens

Touche....touche

May 25, 2012
lnedrive14 in Outer Boroughs

Eats for bike tour of brooklyn/queens

Karczma and Blue stove look awesome! Already had pies n thighs on the list, so glad to see some confirmation on that - is the soft shell crab sandwich better than the chicken biscuit?

This is very helpful -- thanks!

May 25, 2012
lnedrive14 in Outer Boroughs

Eats for bike tour of brooklyn/queens

Plan right now is to go from 25th and 6th in Manhattan straight to John Brown, then bike south as far as we need to in brooklyn before coming back to manhattan via the brooklyn or manhattan bridge. Obviously we can be flexible as need be.

May 25, 2012
lnedrive14 in Outer Boroughs

Eats for bike tour of brooklyn/queens

Planning to head south into brooklyn

May 25, 2012
lnedrive14 in Outer Boroughs

Eats for bike tour of brooklyn/queens

Hi guys -

A couple times a year my buddy and I like to do a bike tour of brooklyn and queens hitting up a bunch of different places along the way. This time we are starting to run out of ideas. Only requirements are: (i) the place has to let in two sweaty dudes not dressed particularly nicely and (ii) can't be tooooo far out in the boroughs (e.g., chinese food in flushing is too far). Any cuisine, including desserts, are fair game.

Previous iterations of the ride have taken us to Lucali, Mile End, Dough, Sripraphai, and M. Wells, just to give you an idea. On this trip, the only place we know we are going for sure is John Brown's.

So if anyone has any ideas, it would be much appreciated!

May 24, 2012
lnedrive14 in Outer Boroughs

Portugal Trip Report

Ugh, so sorry to diminish your expectations, but I went in with a similar mindframe and was left sorely disappointed. I wish I could say that it was just strange flavor profiles (e.g., fish with green sweet potatoes and dried strawberries), but to be honest I also thought the cooking and plating techniques were far below that of other places we ate in portugal. in fact, aside from assinatura, we couldn't get over the fact that we did not eat a single other thing on the trip that was not cooked perfectly, which was somewhat of a shocker given the variety of proteins we had.

In any event, curious to hear your experience if you go. Maybe the answer is that we should have ordered a la carte instead of the tasting menu? Anyone else have a view on this?

May 17, 2012
lnedrive14 in Spain/Portugal

Portugal Trip Report

Apologies in advance that this is not as detailed as I'd hoped it would be, but I hope it nevertheless will be useful. What follows is, in chronological order, a brief summary of the various establishment we hit during out trip to Portugal last week.

Pedro dos Leitoes (Mealhada) - A good first stop on the drive from Lisbon to Porto. The suckling pig wasn't quite revelatory as I'd hoped, but it was very good. The skin was crispy and the meat was incredibly juicy and flavorful. I haven't a clue how they imparted so much flavor into the non-skin pieces. Rest of the food is serviceable. Good prices and very nice service (despite the fact that no one there spoke a word of english).

Pedro Lemos (Porto) - Best meal of the trip. Truly revelatory. Appetizer of scallop, lobster, caviar and white truffle foam was decadent and delicious. I thought it was just using fancy ingredients just for the sake of using fancy ingrediants, but everything came together beautifully. The suckling pig entree was almost as good, sitting atop an amazing array of mushrooms (chanterelle, black truffle, trompet, etc) that were the perfect compliment to the earthy saltiness of the pork. Service was excellent and wines were well chosen. (Sad that our best meal of the trip happened on the second day.)

The Yeatman (Porto) (lunch) - Second best meal of the trip. Had the lunch special, which was 37e for amuse, appetizer, entree, dessert, a glass of sparkling wine, a glass of regular wine, water and mignardises. A ridiculous steal. The quality of the food was worthy of its michelin star and the dining room and view were incredible. There is absolutely no reason to ever miss this lunch opportunity. I cannot wait to plan my trip back. (Also, the Yeatman is a gorgeous hotel and I plan to stay there next year.) For me, the app/entree did not come together quite as well as Pedro Lemos, though the dessert was the best banana dessert I have ever had. Certainly the best meal for the money...

Don Tonho (Porto) - Mediocre service and mediocre food. There was nothing wrong with the food per se, but it was boring. It was one of those places that installed nice decor to distinguish itself from the myriad of other restaurant options, but didn't upgrade the food as well. It wasn't expensive though, so no big loss.

Majestic Cafe (Porto) - We had heard good things about the Francesinhas here, but were sorely let down. Awful; just awful. Complete tourist trap and waaayyyyyyyy overpriced. (Most expensive espresso we had in Portugal.) Get a francesinha at a little nothing place on the street for half the price and it will be just as good.

A Grade (Porto) - Get the octopus cooked in the oven. Have a glass of wine. Thank me later. (The rest of the food was fine, but the octopus dish ranks in my top 5 ever -- doesn't quite surpass Le Bernardin, but for about 1/20 the cost, still a pretty good achievement.)

Casa Aleixo (Porto) - Cute mom and pop place with quality, cheap, homemade food. Won't blow your mind but is a nice break from the decadence of places like Lemos and Yeatman. For what it's worth, I ordered a veal steak which was huge and perfectly cooked to rare (as requested) -- it was 13e. And absolute steal. (Worth noting at this point that I was very impressed with the cooking skills I encountered throughout Portugal. I never once received something over or undercooked.)

For those interested in Port tasting, we hit about 10 houses with our favorite being Ramos Pinto (get the 20 year aged Tawny). We also enjoyed Ferreira and Noval, with the latter not really being a house per se, but the port is excellent.

Largo (Lisbon) - Amazing scene. Think fish tank filled with jelly fish. Good service, good bread. Well cooked food, though somewhat uninspired and boring. My duck and risotto were both well seasoned and cooked, but certainly weren't wowing in any way. I was disappointed after the great nouvelle portuguese food we had had at Pedro Lemos and Yeatman in Porto, though in hindsight this wasn't such a failure.

Cervejaria Ramiro (Lisbon) - I admit to not having other similar places to compare this too, but we loved Ramiro. Super nice and welcoming staff. As others have mentioned, come here for fresh shellfish and that's it (as that's all they serve). Beautiful salty, sweet prawns and crab, and the garlic bread wasn't half bad either. Also try the barnacles if you have never had them. Warning that this place is by no means cheap, but is reasonably priced for shellfish. (Maybe someone can answer this, but does Portugal have a different shrimp species than we get elsewhere? Throughout the country, but especially at Ramiro, we though the shrimp were far better than what we are used to.)

Assinatura (Lisbon) - WORST meal of the trip (at any price point). Most expensive restaurant we went to and we went with high hopes. It was an epic disaster from every perspective. We had the 5 course tasting menu and each course was a failure, texturally and flavor-wise. No texture contrasts and very, very strange flavor profiles. It couldn't decide whether it was classic portuguese food or something more. Given that i liked 90% of the food I had in Portugal, quite shocking that I found each of these dishes so awful. Looking only at the food, this was one of the worst restaurant experiences I have had in years.

Lisboa a noite (Lisbon) - Fine, but extremely overpriced. Wine here was 30-40% more expensive than any other restaurant we went too. (Quite shocking that the Yeatman had such cheaper wine.) In any event, I would skip this one.

Ibo (Lisbon) (lunch) - An excellent way to end the trip. Sat on the water on a beautiful day and drank delicious wine matched by equally delicious food. Not the most inventive cuisine, but the flavor profiles are spot on. We stuck to the mozambican food and, while we thought it wasnt quite as different as we expected, we were nevertheless impressed. Think very high-end Indian food. Mango salad with crab meat was a perfect light starter (with oh so sweet crab meat in bountiful proportions) and a spicy goat curry was a nice contrast.

Alma (Lisbon) - The savior of modern portuguese food in Lisbon. While not as good as Lemos or the Yeatman, this at least redeemed Lisbon to some extent. Appetizer of scallops with Iberian ham was more like 5 different components that didn't fit together, but each component was amazingly cooked. (4 huge scallops for an appetizer was also a pleasant surprise.) Entree of suckling pig didn't quite reach Lemos' levels, but was excellent as well. Excellent wine and service as well. Note that it is a bit out of the way.

Anyway, that's my trip. We were quite surprised to find that the food in Porto was better than in Lisbon. I don't hesitate to say that Lemos and Yeatman can compete with anywhere I have eaten elsewhere in the world.

In conclusion, please please avoid Assinatura :) but otherwise enjoy as the food in portugal is so great!

May 14, 2012
lnedrive14 in Spain/Portugal

O Paparico in Porto - Has anyone actually been?

Thans Monchique. I found the same review. (I spent more time than I care to admit researching this, but did not quite venture to trying to learn portuguese...) It just always worries me when there are no negative reviews. If there are negative reviews of Per Se, Noma, Fat Duck, etc, there should certainly be some everywhere!

So far we are planning to go to Pedro Lemos, Foz Velha, Casa Aleixo and A Grade. We have room for one more dinner so we will see whether I cave and choose Paparico...Have you been to any of those mentioned above and either recommend for/against?

Apr 12, 2012
lnedrive14 in Spain/Portugal

O Paparico in Porto - Has anyone actually been?

Reviews on tripadvisor are a little "too" good if you know what I mean. That being said, I obviously don't want to miss it if it is actually that good. Whenever people seem to ask about it on this board, no one seems to provide a response, so I just wanted to see if anyone has actually been and, if so, if it is worth a stop.

thanks!!

Apr 11, 2012
lnedrive14 in Spain/Portugal

Late dinner near Mandarin oriental

Was considering Sou'Wester but (unless i am told otherwise), would prefer to eat outside of my hotel. Won't be able to get to dinner till around 9:30-10 or so (on a thursday). Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!!!

One night in brooklyn?

Well gosh, now i feel horrible for setting forth a dated list. Was in no way intending to be anti-hip or geriatric with my choices -- they simply betray my limitations when it comes to dining outside of Manhattan. (Though I am slowly but surely trying to rectify this.) So please, don't hold out on hipper restaurants :)

i really like the henry's end idea as i am a huge game lover, but not sure my dining companions are as adventurous -- is the rest of the menu worthwhile?

edit: and i have been to luger numerous times, but otherwise a good option.

Jan 10, 2012
lnedrive14 in Outer Boroughs

One night in brooklyn?

Friends have offered to take us out to dinner anywhere we want to go, with the one stipulation being that such restaurant is in Brooklyn. (offer excludes brooklyn fare and roberta's tasting menu) I am thinking either Prime Meats, Vinegar Hill House, Convivium Osteria or Saul. Any of these stand out, or is there something I am totally missing? Thanks!

Jan 09, 2012
lnedrive14 in Outer Boroughs

Pre-opera dinner, BLT Market or....?

Girlfriend's parents are coming to town Saturday night and we are going to the opera at the met. Looking for nice, but simple food, preferably heavy on the salad and fish. Best idea I have come up with thus far is the pre-theater menu at BLT Market. Anyone have any other better ideas? Considered bar boulud, but gf thought her parents would like the blt market menu better.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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BLT Market
1430 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Oct 25, 2011
lnedrive14 in Manhattan

Mark Joseph's Steak House

I actually ate here and at "the place in Brooklyn" on back-to-back days and without question preferred MJ, taking solely the food into account. While I thought the bacon was better at PL (the MJ bacon was waayyyy too big, a shocking complaint from a bacon lover like myself, and not nearly crispy enough), the steaks at MJ easily surpassed PL, in my opinion. I tried the ribeye and the porterhouse at MJ and had only the porterhouse at PL. The ribeye was one of the largest steaks I have ever been served for 1 and the char on the outside was amazing and it was perfectly rare (as ordered). my PL experience this time had been similar to previous experiences - the steak looked grilled rather than charred and came one level over cooked (medium-rare instead of rare). i can't comment on which sides i liked better, since my palate is not near discerning enough to distinguish between (what i thought were) delicious fried and creamy thing.

anyway, not a PL bash, just support for having enjoyed MJs.

Aug 22, 2011
lnedrive14 in Manhattan

Fine dining in Copenhagen other than Noma, AOC and Geranium

Hi all -

We are coming to Copenhagen for 4 days in late July and were hoping to hit one of the top fine dining/michelin-type places. Sadly, Noma and AOC are closed (and Geranium is either closed or just booked). Has anyone had any good/bad experiences with other similar places they'd care to share? Any advice would be much appreciated.

On a slightly less important note, any other mid-priced recs would be appreciated. I've read all of the posts thus far on this board and have made a res at Fiskbaren, which is the only place that seems to get a lot of praise on here.

Thanks!
~Michael

Jun 28, 2011
lnedrive14 in Europe

Oyster happy hours?

BLT Fish @ the bar has $1 blue points as well.

Second Mermaid Inn or Mermaid Oyster Bar as my fav. happy hr oyster special.

Though I went 2 weeks ago and ate a few too many oysters and now need a break (i can't stop eating when they are only $1!!!!).

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Mermaid Inn
96 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

BLT Fish
21 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

Mermaid Oyster Bar
79 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

Jun 09, 2011
lnedrive14 in Manhattan

In search of the best chicken parm

Second rubirosa. Also piccolo angolo's was pretty good from what I remember (but it's been a while).

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Piccolo Angolo
621 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

Jun 01, 2011
lnedrive14 in Manhattan