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marksbirch's Profile

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Easy Beef Stew

Booyah! This beef stew rocks. One tip to enhance the "meatiness" to another level is to mix in a couple of anchovies with the tomato paste. Just mash them up well and add per recipe. It is like the flavor bomb to add just the right punch.

Chinatown tomorrow-BEST XLB

Doing a Xiao Long Bao tour this Tuesday and having us a throw down to see which restaurant comes out on top. More info on the restaurants and the tour here

Mar 06, 2011
marksbirch in Manhattan

Fonda on 7th Ave in the Slope

I live around the corner and I ate there on their soft opening on Tuesday night and Saturday night. I can unequivocally say that this is a hot restaurant. I was not really expecting much, but I have been floored by a few of the dishes. One that comes to mind isthe Marco Pollo, a spicy melt off the bone chicken dish, as well as the chorizo appetizer. We also shared the guacamole and I had the skirt steak, both of which were definitely superb.

What I really liked though is that it is not the basic Mexican, but they dress it up and make it interesting and new. The prices are certainly reasonable for the quality and the location, and I would definitely see myself going there again.

As for atmosphere, it is a mixed crowd of a few families, a few couples, and other assorted folks from the neighnborhood. Cool little bar scene also happening, all under control by Karen who runs the bar area and pours generous drinks. Roberto is the chef / owner and he was ever present as well asking everyone how their meals where and just being a personable and aware of his customers. Overall, the service was quite good for a restaurant that just opened this week.

Aug 22, 2009
marksbirch in Outer Boroughs

Osteria or Bibou??

Outstanding. I ate there last night to celebrate my mother's birthday. I am in NYC and do not go out much when in Philly, so this place really surprised me.

The best Foie Gras I have had in many years and the other dishes were quite excellent. For appetizers, I would recommend the Escargot and the Chanterelle Mushrooms special. For mains, the hanger steak was quite good, but the scallops were excellent.

The service was just right (friendly, attentive, not over-bearing), the hosts were gracious, and the noise level of such a small place was surprisingly not loud. I also felt that this was an excellent value for the high quality of food and expect to pay $50 per person for a three course meal.

Jul 26, 2009
marksbirch in Pennsylvania