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Public or Empellon Cocina?

Thank you for the suggestions--we had a great meal at Empellon Cucina (and a fabulous time in NYC)! It was exactly what we were looking for. The waitress suggested we order five small plates to share; we ordered four and that was clearly enough. We had guacamole, peeky toe crab, lobster/tomato frito, and the smoked ricotta. The food was really good. The lobster frito and guac were the standouts...and the cocktails were fantastic (and strong!).The restaurant is fairly dark and loud--perfectly so, as we were able to carry on a conversation but it was a fun lively atmosphere. It was very affordable as well. I think the two of us spent just over $100 with drinks, tip, tax, etc. (four small plates, two drinks a piece--I was shocked).
Afterwards, we tried Death & Co...could not get in, they took our number but never called (which was fine; we went back to midtown shortly thereafter but I still thought it was interesting that they didn't call).
Also visited Katz, Russ & Daughters, which were both wonderful as usual, and had a tarte at a place in Soho that was really good (pear and chocolate--YUM).
Thanks for the help!

Mar 24, 2012
alsky in Manhattan

Public or Empellon Cocina?

Thank you!
I'm definitely leaning toward empellon. I would love to try death and co but I probably need a back up. Any ideas? If we were to go out after dinner in LES, I assume we would need to take a cab? (can't remember how long the walk is?)
One more question: do you have suggestions for a quick/cheap lunch in the meatpacking district? Bagel maybe?
Thank you!!

Mar 10, 2012
alsky in Manhattan

Public or Empellon Cocina?

Hi!
My best friend and I will be in the city for ONE night (March 15) and want to go somewhere with a lively, fun atmosphere and good food (we are in our mid 30s). Cool neighborhood with places to have drinks before/after dinner is a plus. I made reservations at Public and Empellon Cocina, but am open to others as well. Budget around $300 including tax, tip, drinks. Tried to get into Locanda Verde and Babbo with no luck. Also wondering about Beauty and Essex or Stanton Social...or Death & Co. I wouldn't mind popping in to one of those for a drink--do I need to make a res? Any advice appreciated!

Mar 05, 2012
alsky in Manhattan

Girls night help

Hello Chowhounders,
Everytime I come to new York, I rely on CHers to help me choose the perfect spot! Hope you will be willing to help me again!
My best friend and I will be in NYC for one Thursday night (march 15). I have been to NYC a lot...lived there for a summer and come back annually with my husband. My friend has only been one time (in the 90s). We are in our mid 30s, both have kids etc and this is our one night out!!! I want to take her somewhere fun with good food and a real NYC experience. We obviously do not want quiet/romantic, but as we are in our 30s, we want to make sure we end up somewhere fun, but appropriate for our age group (I looked at Stanton social but read somewhere that the crowd is significantly younger).

We are not extremely adventurous eaters, probably prefer French, Italian, seafood, American, etc. and like to keep the price in the mid range (let's say $3-400 for both of us including tax, tips, alcohol). I really prefer a cool neighborhood, like LES, east village, meat packing district, where we could find a cool (again, age appropriate!) bar to have a glass (or two!) of wine before or after dinner. I have been to several of the big restaurants (jean George, Daniel, le cirque etc) and want good food but don't want to spend that kind of money and want the right atmosphere as much or more than fabulous food.

Places I've considered include: Stanton social, locanda verde (sounds good but can't get a good reservation), standard grill, inoteca, wd 50, scarpetta, Spotted pig, spice market, lupa. Also interested in hearing thoughts on death & co, and beauty and Essex.

I hope I've covered everything! Thanking you in advance!

Feb 21, 2012
alsky in Manhattan

NYC Help!

Yes, absolutely, it was a fabulous trip! Thanks for the info re: lamb shank. I think I've only had lamb chops and rack of lamb before, so I didn't know...Rack of lamb is one of my favorite dishes so I had my hopes up for something different...
Thank you!

Dec 22, 2009
alsky in Manhattan

NYC Help!

We have returned from yet another amazing trip to NYC. Thank you for your dining recs!

We came into town on the morning of Thurs, Dec. 17 and had a 12:15 reservation at EMP. What a wonderful space! I had a gnocci appetizer, and salmon for my main course. My husband had tuna tartare for app and a lobster pasta for main course. We also had a few cocktails (modern mull) which were very good. The salmon melted in my mouth--amazing. We enjoyed everything, including the bread and amuse. Service was perfect.

The next evening we went to Cafe Boulud. First, let me say that I went to Daniel several years ago and had one of the best dining experiences of my life. I wanted to spend a bit less this year, hence CB. Overall, I was not impressed. The service was poor (inattentive) even by Norfolk standards (where we live) and exceptionally snotty (It may be obvious to NY'ers that I don't live there, but I dress and act appropriately so no need to make me feel inferior!). Our table was not ready on time and they sent us to the very nice bar next door. When they came to get us (about 20 mins after our 9 pm reservation time), they said they would take "everything" to our table for us, so we left our drinks. The only thing they "brought over" was the bill--so we left our $50 worth of drinks sitting on the table to be thrown away.
My husband really liked his meal--he had a short rib and a petite filet for main course, and peekytoe crab for app. I had a lamb shank for main course--it tasted like pot roast with lamb--to me. Very southern despite coming from the "world" menu. From the description, I would not have guessed that it would have tasted like pot roast. The lamb also seemed to be cooked beyond medium rare (which is usual for lamb--and they did not ask me what temp I would like my meat). I can't remember what I had for an app (bad sign). Desserts were good...I had molten choc cake and husband had apple tarte. The bread was good, but they ran out of several flavors during our meal. We had a bottle of wine and finished it toward the end of our main course. We were without drinks for at least 20 minutes. Planned to order another bottle but by the time she came back, we were ordering dessert and did not think we could drink another bottle. After being seated late, I felt rushed through the meal. They also would not help us secure a car back to our hotel. Blah! Such a disappointment as I had high hopes for Boulud's original restaurant...

Anyway, on to the next day. Lunch at Co (pizza). Wonderful! Husband had pizza with veal sausage (yum!) and I had Stracciatella, which was amazing. Service was great, good beer, etc.

We also went to Jacques Torres chocolates and had a coffee beverage and dessert, bought some gifts, etc. Neat space. Mr. Torres was in there working and talking to the children. We haven't tried the chocolate yet but it's a cool place to go, as they are making the chocolate right there and you can watch.

Bouchon Bakery for lunch on final day. Very good sandwiches. Service OK. Doubt we will do that again but wanted to get a tiny bit of exposure to Thomas Keller (last time, we tried to get into Per Se, but could not). A fine lunch but nothing memorable.

Thank you again for your recommendations! Love NYC and trying new places! Chowhound makes the dining even more fun!

Dec 22, 2009
alsky in Manhattan

NYC Help!

Thank you!
So far, I have lunch reservations at Le Bernardin and EMP.

Other restaurants on my list include: Stanton Social, Degustation, Alta...for small plates/dinner.

Also wondering about Cafe Boulud (Daniel is my favorite restaurant of all time), Scarpetta, and Babbo--would we be able to do either of these within our price range (2-300 or so for dinner, have to have a few glasses of wine)? What's Craftbar like these days?

I'm looking through all of the posts, trying to find my own answers, but it is overwhelming....takes hours and hours. So, thank you for helping me! :)

Dec 05, 2009
alsky in Manhattan

NYC Help!

Hi NYC Chowhounds,
We are coming to NYC for our annual weekend get away (staying in midtown) from Norfolk, VA. We would like to find bars/restaurants to have drinks and appetizers (small plates, tapas, nothing too heavy). We love to sit at great bars...looking for contemporary american cuisine, french, or italian. We are in our mid-30's and enjoy cool, fun urban scenes...we've really gotten into a habit of sitting at our local bar having a few drinks and nibbling on appetizers. I drink wine and SO drinks bourbon/whiskey.

In the past we have dined at some of the city's great restaurants (Daniel, Jean Georges, Le Cirque, etc.). I don't know if we can spend that kind of money this year but I love the ambience of these restaurants so I was wondering if any of them have "less formal" areas/rooms where we could have appetizers and drinks? Whereas we've spent almost a thousand dollars on a meal on JG in the past, we'd like to spend <$350 on our biggest meal this year.

I also love big city bakeries--I've learned you can get such better baked goodies in big cities than where we live (cupcakes, etc.) so would love recs on that as well!

Any advice would be much appreciated! So excited to visit again! Thanks!

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Dec 01, 2009
alsky in Manhattan

Need Recs for Philly Downtown

Just returned from Philly and had a wonderful time! Really loved the city! We were busy with conference activities, but got to have some great meals/drinks while in town. The first night, we went to Tria at Rittenhouse.....it was perfect. Great food, amazing cheese, and interesting beer/wine selection. It was packed, but we had a seat in only about ten minutes. We also tried Village Whiskey and had the $25+ burger with foie gras--amazing!--as well as some snacks, including fries, cheese puffs, pretzels. Yum! Fantastic whiskey selection as well, and loved the atmosphere. Terminal market was so close and perfect for breakfast/lunch. We went to the crepe place for breakfast one day and the Dutch Eating Place for lunch (had turkey melt special--soo good!), and I bought some fudge today before we left...from Sweet as Fudge Candy Shop. Literally the best fudge I've had in years. I've already gone to their website to see if I could buy more online, but no luck :(. We also took a late night trip to Pats (had to do it!!) which was fun. FWIW, I didn't think the cheesesteak was all that special, but a cool experience nonetheless...

I'm happy to say that I only ate one meal in the hotel, which makes me very happy. I really do appreciate everyone's insight and help re: places to go/eat in Philly. Chowhound makes visiting new cities so much more tasty! :) Let me know if you come to Norfolk/Va Beach/Hampton roads! Thanks again...and I can't wait to come back!

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Dutch Eating Place
12th Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Tria
123 S 18th St Frnt, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Nov 06, 2009
alsky in Pennsylvania

Need Recs for Philly Downtown

Thank you! I look forward to visiting your city this week! I will let you know where we go, etc.! Thanks again!

Nov 02, 2009
alsky in Pennsylvania

Need Recs for Philly Downtown

Hi Philly Chowhounds,
We are coming to Philly for a conference next week (staying at Marriott downtown). I've never been to Philly (but husband has); we will not have a car. We would like to find bars/restaurants to have good drinks and appetizers (small plates, tapas, etc.) and/or great happy hour. We love great bars...looking for contemporary american cuisine, french, or italian. We are in our mid-30's, looking for a cool, fun urban scene and good food/drinks. I drink wine (by the glass) and husband drinks bourbon/whiskey and good beer.

We are also looking for authentic Philly haunts and Philly cheesesteak (but I think cheesesteaks are well covered on this board!)!

Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Oct 26, 2009
alsky in Pennsylvania

Farmers' Markets Near Hampton Roads

At the corner of Princess Anne Rd and Landstown near the VB amphitheatre. Just FYI.

Oct 18, 2009
alsky in Mid-Atlantic

Norfolk, VA - Trilogy

Thanks for the great review! I've always loved Trilogy as well but haven't been in a year or so. I love the space, and the food is always good. I'll have to try it again soon! Thanks!

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Trilogy Bistro
101 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510

Oct 18, 2009
alsky in Mid-Atlantic

Need Rec's for Restaurant in Penn Quarter this weekend

Thanks everyone. We ended up going to Zola and loved it! It was rainy and cold, and we happened to walk right by Zola on our way to PS7 and decided to try it. We stayed for the duration. They have an awesome happy hour ($4 wine by the glass and $1.50 appetizers) and a great bar scene. It was exactly what we were looking for! We went to PS7 after the show; nobody was there. It looked nice but we just had a drink and went home (tired by then!). Thanks again for your suggestions--I definitely need to get to your town more often, as it's only a 3+ hour drive from Hampton Roads!

Oct 18, 2009
alsky in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need Rec's for Restaurant in Penn Quarter this weekend

Thank you! We are now trying to decide between PS7, Central, and Proof, with Zola as a back up. On the map, it appears that Central may not be walking distance to our hotel or the Verizon center. Is that true? If so, it may help to narrow it down a bit! Thanks for all of your help!

Oct 14, 2009
alsky in Washington DC & Baltimore

Need Rec's for Restaurant in Penn Quarter this weekend

Hi DC Chowhounds,
We are coming to DC for a concert this Friday at Verizon Center (staying at Courtyard) from Norfolk, VA. I haven't been to DC in years. We would like to find a bar/restaurant to have drinks and appetizers (small plates, tapas, nothing too heavy) before the show. We will probably be wearing jeans. We love to sit at great bars...looking for contemporary american cuisine, french, or italian. Price is not an issue. We'd like to be close to the Hotel/verizon center (walk or short cab). We are in our mid-30's, looking for a cool, fun urban scene and good food/drinks. I drink wine (by the glass) and SO drinks bourbon/whiskey. Restaurants I have looked at are: Central, Cafe Du Parc (can't tell if they serve food at the bar--don't really want a sandwich), and Proof.

Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Oct 12, 2009
alsky in Washington DC & Baltimore

Norfolk for a night

Todd Jurich's Bistro or Vintage Kitchen for higher end in Norfolk. Both are very good.

Sep 05, 2009
alsky in General South Archive

Calling All Hampton Roads Chowhounds!

Ha! Yes, I did see that...:)

Sep 05, 2009
alsky in Mid-Atlantic

Virginia Beach Recommendations

Terrapin, Zoe's, One Fish Two Fish, The Lucky Star, Eat

Aug 12, 2009
alsky in Mid-Atlantic

Calling All Hampton Roads Chowhounds!

Give us the update on Burtons! Can't wait to go see bobby at Steiny's (although I must say that seems like an unusual spot for him!)

Aug 12, 2009
alsky in Mid-Atlantic

Calling All Hampton Roads Chowhounds!

LOVE Stove!

Aug 12, 2009
alsky in Mid-Atlantic

Calling All Hampton Roads Chowhounds!

Just for the record, I go to Yorgos about twice a week and don't get bagels! I get a ham and cheese wrap (hot) with all the toppings, and I think it is the best sandwich in town...and healthy!!!

Aug 12, 2009
alsky in Mid-Atlantic

Calling All Hampton Roads Chowhounds!

I'm sorry to hear this as well. I don't think I've ever had a bad experience at AW Shucks--it is my "go to" place for casual, good food. I don't like the smoke either, however. One caveat, I never get fried food. Glad you liked Empire---Crackers (it's sister restaurant) is another one of my favorites for great food and beer... Was just there tonight! :)

Aug 12, 2009
alsky in Mid-Atlantic

Tijuana Flats coming to Raleigh

I started going to TF in FL and now we have it in Va Beach. It's great! Great burritos and tacos salads! Very fresh; definitely recommend!

Aug 12, 2009
alsky in Southeast

Cuban sandwich between Marathon Key and MIA: Help!

Thank you so much for the excellent advice! We stopped at Denny's and had cuban sandwiches, black beans, and plaintains, and it was exactly what we were looking for! All of it was very good! I very much appreciate the reply to my post, thanks again!

May 18, 2009
alsky in Florida

Cuban sandwich between Marathon Key and MIA: Help!

Hi Chowhounds!
Tomorrow we will be leaving Marathon Key to drive to Miami to fly home. We just realized we haven't had any cuban food since we've been in the keys (haven't been to key west). We are hoping to get some tomorrow before heading home, if possible--especially because Miami is supposed to have the greatest cuban food! Problem is we know nothing about how to get around Miami! Could you possibly recommend a place that we could get a good cuban sandwich between Marathon and Miami (airport) for lunch? We'd like something that is on the way (or not too far off of our route). Thanks so much!!!

May 16, 2009
alsky in Florida

Calling All Hampton Roads Chowhounds!

Luna Maya: We always get Burrito Colorado and the Guacamole (they have the BEST guacamole!); recently I also got the taquitos. Yum. And the mango mojitos. They are known for their tamales, but that's not my thing. Packed on the weekends unless you go early!

May 06, 2009
alsky in Mid-Atlantic

Current recommendations in Hampton Roads?

Six (little bar bistro group) in hampton--great tapas, beers on tap, etc. Can't go wrong. Great food and atmosphere.

May 06, 2009
alsky in General South Archive

Calling All Hampton Roads Chowhounds!

I agree with you re: AW Shucks (one of my favorite spots), Luna Maya, Fellinis, Cogans, Surfrider, No Frill, and Melting Pot....all great places! :)
Haven't been to Ibiza--I too have heard mixed reviews. Been to Kyushu once, liked it, need to go again....and really want to try Taqueria El Rey.
Also, I heard that Lucky Star reopened or is reopening at the Westin?? Very exciting!
Crackers is my other fave spot!

May 05, 2009
alsky in Mid-Atlantic

Winehouse in Ghent? Norfolk, VA

I have not been to 626 but it's definitely on my list! I love that location. Keep us posted if you try it before I do!

May 05, 2009
alsky in General South Archive