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JBurnsPatersonIV's Profile

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Flushing - Last Minute Planning

In a pinch with little time to do research. Myself and a group of ppl (7-8) are taking the train to Flushing to spend a day eating. We're all restaurant folks in the city, it's a holiday for us and we want to spend it eating great food & lots of it.

We're looking to make 4 stops to get the following (in no particular order).....

Dim Sum (traditional fare and lots of it)
Korean BBQ
Peking Duck (looking for the traditional meal)
Cantonese or Sichuan

We've discussed going to the food mall and getting a variety of goods as well.

Any help or input is appreciated!

1 Day in SF, need assistance.

No unfortunately I do not have a car. I will have to be at SFO around 8am the following morning. However i'll stay out late if that's what you were getting flight's 5 hours, so I can definitely catch up on sleep.

1 Day in SF, need assistance.

I'll be passing through on my way to SFO. I have one full day and have some ideas about what I want. I definitely want Korean Fried Chicken, Bahn Mi, and a badass dinner in a good setting, nice restaurant where I can sit at a bar and get great food and service. I definitely want to have a really exceptional meal before leaving California back home to the East coast. My thoughts were...

San Tung Restaurant (Lunch) - chinese/korean fried chicken
Saigon Sandwich Shop (To-Go) - Bahn Mi

for dinner...

Coi - I've been before and enjoyed the lounge, the food was outstanding. I don't want to do a huge tasting menu and if I remember correctly you can order a la carte in the dining room?

Quince - I love the menu, lots of first courses and pasta courses that look great.

Spruce - I love everything about this place, the cocktail menu, the spirits menu, the wine list, and the menu. I'd create my own tasting menu with the bar menu + first course menu. My hesitation...many negative reviews about service. The bar seems like a good setting.

For dinner after tax, tip, alcohol I'd prefer not to spend more than $200 and would like some freedom to choose and not commit to a whole formal tasting menu.


Saigon Sandwich Shop
560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Napa Bars Help!...

I'll be moving to Yountville in 2 weeks to work in a great little restaurant in town. I've visited before, but it's been over a year and we were on a short trip. I'm trying to find some bars in either Downtown Napa or Yountville that serve great beer, as well as places to purchase to take it home. I'm a big beer fan, and working in the wine industry it is not my drink of choice after a long day of work. I'd love to find a place to get some great beer and a bite to eat without spending a fortune.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Help with a 1st Timer in Philly

My girlfriend and I will be venturing to Philly for 2 nights December 20-22. We are looking for places to eat and really have no idea as to where to go. Neither of us have been to Philly and this will be the final stop in our trip from Charleston(home)>DC>NYC>Boston>Home. I have the following ideas in mind...

--BYOB Restaurant for dinner - new american, nothing too expensive, but good food. Entrees under $30?
--Philly Cheesesteak - cliche, i know, but I love them and i'll be damned if I leave Philly without one
--Chinatown? We love dim sum and all chinese food

We are big foodies and like just about everything, we're not too picky but we don't want the run of the mill dining experience, we'd like to experience local places that are big on farm to table. Chain restaurants are no go's for us. Given the trip's length I know we're really limited and because we aren't on a spending spree our budget is limited, but we want to enjoy ourselves.

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Oct 27, 2010
JBurnsPatersonIV in Philadelphia

Banh Mi in Montgomery?

Thanks for the tips. I cook for a living so I was hoping to pick one up on the fly, however I might have to pick up a few and do like you say, make several variations. I'll go by tomorrow and see whats available.

As for chicken - I called Arirang and asked if they did korean fried chicken and the lady told me no. I've only gotten spicy pork belly when I've gone but I don't recall seeing anything. I don't just want the wings - I want the whole damn chicken - haha!!! My hospitality professor from China swears by fried chicken feet so I'll take his lead and try them, I just haven't seen them on any menus in town (then again I generally don't venture to the East side to often...) I'll have to do some reporting and investigating before I leave town for a few days.

I'll report back with some pictures and thoughts when/if I can get to it! Thanks for the tip...

722 N Daleville Ave, Daleville, AL 36322

Banh Mi in Montgomery?

I saw araess' post in the "Montgomery, AL" regarding Oriental Market but was wondering if anyone's found any others?

I had lunch at Michael's Table last week and he had added one to the lunch menu. While it lacked the pate that is traditionally found in Banh Mi sandwiches, it was delicious. Fresh vegetables, and delicious, moist grilled pork. I will certainly be enjoying another one, however i'd love to get my hands on one with some pate, pulled pork, etc.

I haven't tried the Oriental Market but i'll go this week to kill my craving...

Also if anyone can find "Korean Fried Chicken" in town please let me know...

Oriental Market
126 Coliseum Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36109

Birmingham Fresh Seafood

We've gotten seafood from Crestline Seafood Co. the past few times and it's always been super fresh and damn good. We had grouper this weekend that was uber fresh.

McCrady's, Fig and ?? (Charleston)

I love this city...I love having the dilemma of where to go eat - there's so many good places. McCrady's is always my go to spot - Sean Brock and staff do a knock out job and go above and beyond. You'll love it. Mike Lata and the crew at FIG always produce a great meal, I've never left without saying "damn that was so good."

If you want the ultimate trifecta - Peninsula Grill. Robert Carter has been in Charleston forever and he epitomizes all things lowcountry. It's classical old school Charleston - hell the walls are even velvet! I've been on several occasions and each time it's been perfect. It's much more classical than FIG or McCrady's - this way you can really see how awesome our cuisine is in Charleston.

FIG>McCrady's>Peninsula Grill sounds like one of the best weekends I could ever think of...

McCrady's Restaurant
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

Peninsula Grill
112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401

Apr 25, 2010
JBurnsPatersonIV in Southeast

Casual Napa Dinner and SFO Sunday Brunch

I don't like in the area but vacationed there...

Redd is formal, however we sat outside and really enjoyed ourselves. Our table wasn't ready when we got there and we had to wait 15 minutes. As a result, our corkage was waived. The service was excellent and the food was awesome - we really enjoyed everything. My girlfriend wasn't as hungry as we'd done TFL the day before so she was able to select some lighter dishes that she really enjoyed (the tuna tartare in particular). I went all out and really enjoyed the experience. Inside is certainly more formal.

Agree 100% on Bouchon - sit at the bar, we loved it - very low key, great food, good service.

Bistro Jeanty - We had a blast sitting outside. We didn't care too much for the entrees however there were several appetizers that interested us so we split 5 between the two of us. Our bill wasn't too much, the food was amazing, the service was super friendly and knowledgeable. I cannot wait to return.

A bit of drive...UBUNTU - despite losing Jeremy Fox the restaurant seems to be doing well. I was opposed to it to begin with because its vegetarian only, but found myself ordering more and more while I was there because it was so good. The atmosphere was casual, no white table clothes, and prices are reasonable. A unique experience that really made me appreciate the ingredients. I will absolutely return. If you're looking for lighter fare, but you don't want to feel 'cheated' - this is a great option 15 minutes from Yountville.

Bistro Jeanty
6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Birmingham & Montgomery Good Eats - help!

Thanks for the update! I was thinking about this place the other day after reading you mentioned it, I guess i'll skip and head to Capital Oyster insteadl. PBR+cold oysters=perfect for me .

Warm Springs Ga to Montgomery Al (moved from Southeast)


Sam's in Montgomery - an institution to say the least. The "large combo plate" is my go to - amazing pulled pork with slices of smoked sausage on top and some of their warm homemade sauce, fries, beans, and slow...and don't forget the piece of white bread. I love this place, if I want BBQ it's always by go to without question.

Off the beaten Path:
Tin Top Cafe - located in Grady, AL, a few miles past Sikes & Kohn's on HW-231. It takes about 20 minutes to get there from the food...His fried chicken is AMAZING. He receives it fresh several times a week, keeps them at a special temperature, never freezes them, and has a special cooking/frying recipe. The vegetables are always good, especially collards and turnips, squash casserole, and mac n cheese. Biscuits & cornbread too!! The gentleman who owns the place is great and will sit down with you and talk about how much he loves this little restaurant. If you want fried chicken and true southern 'meat n three' skip martins, daisy's, farmhouse, and the like and visit Tin warned they close at 1:30 and the later you go the less food they'll have, they usually run out of white meat around 1pm.

Tin Top Cafe
24319 Troy Hwy, Grady, AL 36036

Seafood Dinner Reccomendations in Charleston, SC

Given your desired price you'd be best avoiding places like FIG, Hank's, Magnolia's, etc simply because with a beverage, tax, and tip you're spending a decent amount of money. With that being said, you can go to these places but you'd be pushing it.

If I were to pick one that might be on the verge, Hank's would be it. Get a reservation as they're always full. It's standard lowcountry seafood, some entrees are much more expensive than others, but the seafood platter's are in the upper teens to low twenties. Great food all the time, and the service is great!

The Wreck on Sullivans is a great place to visit and the prices are not too high compared to downtown. CASH ONLY (or at least it was last time I went...) The seafood platters are great, get the deviled crab and stuff your face with great boiled peanuts that are given to you when you sit down.

If you want something representative of the region try and find some Wreckfish as it's the 'local fare' and many restaurants serve it. FISH might be reasonable option, I believe many of their entrees are in the upper teens/low twenties. Also, Hominy Grill serves up a great shrimp & grits, and that's the 'iconic lowcountry' dish.

Hominy Grill
207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

Mar 28, 2010
JBurnsPatersonIV in Southeast


It is a shame we lost Collin, but he moved on to bigger and better things. He taught me so much working in the kitchen with him and pairing wines to his menu was always a fun task for me. As far as the Yellowhammer i'm sure it's still delightful but I don't see myself driving from Cloverdale to Waverly to eat dinner anymore.


The original chef from the YellowHammer is not in AL anymore. He's a good friend of mine and took a job at BlackBerry Farms in Tennessee after leaving Montgomery. I haven't been since he left Yellowhammer but I believe the chef from the Auburn hotel took over and it's received so so reviews. If you're in Opelika, Waverly is definitely a bit of a drive but it's such a cool little place.

I've never enjoyed a meal at Jimmy's so I can't personally recommend it. It is pretty well liked among the locals and i'm told he makes a great Sazerac.

Amsterdam Cafe in Auburn is pretty good for Auburn's standard. I've had some great meals there and some slightly average meals there. Overall though it's a great place.

Warehouse Bistro across the interstate in Opelika is not too bad. The service is always great, their wine list is affordable (except the $2300 vertical of Opus), and the food generally hits the spots. They love their garnishes, their garde manger seriously must spend all day making them.

There's a new German beer garden in downtown Opelika that's supposed to be really good and fun. My good friends really enjoy it, great spetzle from what i'm told.

If you want to go out for a cocktail, Eighth & Rail is the place to go. Richard the owner is always there, Michael or Fuller will most likely be behind the bar. The service is great, and for Opelika the atmosphere is really awesome. Not to mention they make great drinks and have a great beer selection. It's always a stop for me. Ask for Fuller is she's there and tell her JB sent you. She'll get a nice kick out of it.

I used to spend 3 nights a week in Opelika last summer and I always resorted to Manderin House for some of the most knock out Chinese & Korean. The foods seriously amazing. There really aren't too many options, but it's a neat little town. Chuck's BBQ is good, i've enjoyed it before - Cock of the Walk, i've never been to. Enjoy your trip.

Warehouse Bistro
105 Rocket Ave, Opelika, AL 36804

Charleston's Best Restaurants for NYC Foodies?

There have been some excellent suggestions in this thread, i'd like to add my 2cents! I've lived in Charleston for the past 4 years (while attending the College) and my girlfriend and I are constantly on the search for great foodie spots. The city is full of them!

I'll break it down like so..

--Hominy Grill - it's extremely touristy and somewhat pricey given that it's your standard breakfast fare. With that being said, it's consistently good. The BIG NASTY (extra nasty for me) is always delicious. The menu is all very normal, but very good. They make their own breakfast sausage that's great too.
--Rue de Jean (only on Saturday/Sunday) - This is one of my favorite places to do (and it's not just because I live 1 block away). They make a great hamburger, their omelette de campagne with duck confit is a personal favorite. You really can't go wrong. It's also a great place to check out for lunch, sitting ouside on a nice day - it's unbeatable.
--Virginia's on King - they're doing breakfast everyday now. Again, standard 'lowcountry' fare. Great food, great location, very reasonable prices.

Others' to look into, but aren't on my 'regular' list are High Cotton, Poogan's Porch, Sweetwater Cafe.

Lunch: (I don't eat lunch out often because of my schedule so my rec's are few)
--Magnolia's - Lowcountry cuisine, very good, reasonable prices. The shrimp po-boy is always on my list when I go. Sure it's not your traditional one like you'd find in NOLA, but it's very good. "Three Little Piggies" is also a great taste of different BBQ. If the blackened Catfish is on the menu, it's a great entree.
--Cru Cafe - Man do I wish I discovered this place 4 years ago - it's amazing. Everything on the menu is great, seriously, every thing. If they have the orange cream cake for dessert order it!! The room is very small so if you can get a reservation do it! It's very close to the market in an old house, easy walking distance.

There are so many other places that I frequent for lunch that I won't go into detail about simply because I wouldn't go out of my way for a limited vacation to eat there....

-McCrady's - Sean Brock is no doubt one of the greatest chef's in America right now, and other chef's wouldn't argue. His food is innovative, creative, delicious, and overall it's fun! I visit this restaurant for all of my special evenings, but also enjoy having dinner at the bar when I've got a few extra bucks to spend. I've done a few different tasting menus and have created my own tasting menus on a few evenings. Clint Sloan, the sommelier is amazing, friendly, and will ALWAYS find excellent wines for you and make sure your experience is nothing short of memorable. I've been here countless times and I think any foodie visiting should eat here.

--Peninsula Grill - Like everyone else has said, it's traditional, Southern, Lowcountry cuisine at it's finest. Robert Carter runs a great kitchen and they have an excellent staff. Definitely put this on your list (I did one weekend where we did Peninsula Friday & McCrady's Saturday - it was PERFECT and amazing to see the differences in cuisine!)

--Cypress - We love going to cypress and sitting upstairs in the bar. The bar menu is great for sharing and trying different things. The regular menu is also fantastic with great steaks, as well as other entrees. They have EXCELLENT charcuterie and salumi.

--FIG - There's no getting around the fact that it's excellent, and the James Beard award certainly helps. I've visited this restaurant a few times and every visit has been stellar. It's not my favorite restaurant and charleston, it's certainly expensive and nowadays its really hard to get a reservation. If I had 3 nights and I could I would do FIG-Peninsula Grill-McCrady's and I wouldn't think twice.

Other's worth mentioning - Trattoria Lucca, perfect for sunday evenings $35 supper. 4 courses of absolutely amazing Italian cuisine. We love visiting here every Sunday.
--SNOB - A great place for lunch or dinner, i've never been let down. One of the classiest and most respected kitchens in Charleston. This is my mother's favorite!

Enjoy the city! There's so much to do, so many places to eat. As far as hotels, I prefer the Planter's Inn over anywhere else. It's across from the Charleston Place and houses Peninsula Grill. The rooms have much more character and are much larger. It's walking distance to anywhere downtown and the staff is more than accommodating!

Last bit - It's always a tough decision for me to suggest leaving the Peninsula to eat because there are SO MANY wonderful options downtown. It really depends on what you want to eat - for me all of my options are downtown so I never have to leave but sometimes we do venture to West Ashley, Folly, & Mt. P for a meal.

Welcome to the Holy City!

McCrady's Restaurant
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

Poogan's Porch
72 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401

Peninsula Grill
112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401

Sweetwater Cafe
801 Folly Rd, Charleston, SC 29412

Trattoria Lucca
41 Bogard St, Charleston, SC 29403

Mar 21, 2010
JBurnsPatersonIV in Southeast

Il Mulino questions

I have not visited the NYC location but I did enjoy a stellar meal in ATL last week. The prices are without a doubt insanely high, but the result makes it worth it. Like you said, nothing fancy at all, but the flavors are authentic and great. Portions are outrageously huge!!! I ordered spaghetti carbonnara, it was spot on from what I enjoyed in Italy. I believe it was around $20 for a 1/2 portion. My mom had a classic spinach salad and she very much enjoyed it. Our dining partner has 1/2 portion of the paprdelle e ragu and it was amazing. Biggest portion on the table, same price as the other pasta. For our mains my mom had the veal, and I had a chicken with a lemon sauce. My chicken was somewhat bland and boring, but It was good and enjoyed it. However the $37 price tag was a little much. My mothers veal was outstanding.

Overall the food is exactly what you'd get in Italy. It's upscale Italian in every way. It is way too high in price, but you will leave with a huge bag of leftovers! We received 4-5 antipasti before we even ordered. I'm not sure about their wine selection but they were pouring CAVIT and DELICATO. I was so offended by this that I ordered a martini....I was really offput by horrible $5 wines to go with a $50 entree....

Enjoy it, a great place for a special occasion!

Mar 17, 2010
JBurnsPatersonIV in Manhattan

Swine & Wine @ Little Savannah March 21st

oops my bad.. Wel i'll be there for sure. I've been dying to go to Cochon in NOLA so this will be a treat. Pigs+Pinot+Good People=Win

Swine & Wine @ Little Savannah March 21st

Anyone going? I'll be there with bells on!

4:30 pm Sunday March 21st at Little Savannah Restaurant
Benefit for Jones Urban Farm
$45 advanced, $50 at the door

Clifton Hold & Chad Schofield of Little Savannah
Tom Robey of Veranda on Highland
Stephen Stryjewski of COCHON IN NOLA

Menu: (sorry for the all caps, its from a pdf file)


looks like a great event. Seems as though March-April will be full of swine and wine events (Cochon 555 in ATL is April 18th, another event not to be missed)

Birmingham & Montgomery Good Eats - help!

Well its unfortunate that some have bad experiences, whether its McDonalds or The French Laundry - bad experiences happen. I guess I am lucky that I have had positive experiences at Jubilee over the past 20 years and 100s of visits, and its unfortunate that others have had negative experiences because I truly think it's a good restaurant, but everyone has different tastes, expectations, and can have a negative experience.

As far as Chris's...I mean it is what it's Chris's - you pay $4, leave stuffed, and most likely will encounter a stomach ache later. It's not is what it is. As far as their sauce, I can say i've noticed a difference over the past 10 years or so, it's tasted sometimes burnt, but it hasn't tainted my experience...why because I don't expect much out of it but I do love it once every other month.

Birmingham & Montgomery Good Eats - help!

I couldn't agree more. It's frustrating to me. I've lived in Europe (Italy) and most recently Charleston, SC - foodie heaven. I've found Montgomery to be very behind the times and not as adventurous as big cities such as SF, NYC, and the like. I've searched high and low in the town and there are a few gems hidden down the 'back roads.' At times its frustrating to me mainly because I can't find the foods I really enjoy (charcuterie in particular...just picked up Michael Ruhlman's book and will start making my own!)I've noticed over the last 20 years that this town seeks consistency more than anything. I believe this is why places like Chris's, Jubilee, and Chappies in particular do so well because forever they've been the same, nothings changed and guests can always feel comfortable and know that what they're getting when they order it. Being in the business here in Montgomery for the past 10 years I've seen what works, what doesn't works, etc. - sometimes it might not be my particular tastes but if that's what customers want, that's what they'll get - of course there are limits! I'm not going to serve canned vegetables, etc. It's the service industry aferall, and it's close to impossible to please everyone, even TK can't do it! It's a fun business, fun culture, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Wanderlust - Enjoy your trip to 'BamerLand - if you would be so king to stop by Boccalone in the Ferry Building and bring me some lardo & salumi it'd be greatly appreciated ;)

Birmingham & Montgomery Good Eats - help!

First off, enjoy your trip - I wish I was SF bound! My trip to Napa/SF last year was one of the best trips i've had in a while. Every meal we had (except Gary Danko) at Coi, French Laundry, Redd, Fifth Floor, Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty - every single one was absolutely amazing. I drool thinking about that trip. Unfortunately, we don't have that kind of dining scene in Alabama - we're about 10 years behind everyone else.

I'm utterly disappointed to see that nobody has mentioned SAM'S BBQ in Montgomery. It's hands down (imho) the best BBQ and it's been around forever. Get the large combo plate and a sweet tea. Get there earlier in the lunch hour to get the best BBQ as it's made every day and when its gone, they close. I've been going there for 20 years now and I can't get enough. The other BBQ 'shacks' in montgomery aren't really worth a damn.

Jubilee Seafood, is delicious. The seafood is fresh, Bud Skinner has made an institution out of it. The prices are high, but the quality is good and its CONSISTENT, something that's a major problem in Montgomery. The trout, tuna, and amberjack (if in season) are always winners. You can't go wrong with oysters on the half shell either! Regardless of what "araess" says, the foods good. It's not fancy in the least bit, but it doesn't try to be. Spend your money their. Since they've opened I've never had a negative experience. Head over to 1048 afterwards...always great live music.

If you want fried chicken and you're willing to drive 20 minutes out of the way go to this small mecca TIN TOP CAFE. The old man who owns the place will always be there to take care of you and make sure it's everything you want it to be and to make sure that your sweet tea never gets low. The vegetables are always fresh and his chicken is unreal. He gets it fresh daily, it's never frozen. It's easily the best fried chicken around (I live behind Martin's restaurant - I used to go every Sunday, but not after discovering Tin Top!). It's a true Alabama experience. Stop at Sikes and Chon's and pick up some boots on your way back to town!

Michael's Table has an excellent brunch, but watch out for sticker shock!! There's no denying the food is delicious and the drinks are good but it's pricey.


Frank Stitt is the reason Alabama is even on the map as far as southern food. He's been awarded a James Beard, and has been nominated multiple times. He has paved the way for fine dining in Bham. Chef Chris Hastings of Hot & Hot studied under Stitt back in the day...

With that being said, HIGHLAND'S is a must for a visit in Bham. The service is excellent, the food is divine, and it's consistently awesome. Stitt often walks back between Chez FonFon (his French bistro next door) overseeing the kitchen. It's pricey but worth it. GO HERE!!

Hot & Hot is great, don't get me wrong, but if I were on my first trip to 'Bama and wanted to experience it all, a visit to any of Frank Stitt's restaurants must be on the agenda.
Highlands put Birmingham on the map in the 'food scene.'


3 Nights in LA. Where to eat?

Decisions, decisions, decisions. As an avid reader of KevinEats and Refined Palate I feel like i've become well educated in the LA dining scene. With that being said I might have a chance to spend 4 days out there and of course our goal is simple - To eat as much as our little (well i'm not so little..) bodies can take...

The only restaurant I am absolutely dying to go to is The Bazaar, other than that i'm open to all sorts of suggestions.

Church & State is right up my alley, as is Bouchon (Dining at the one in Yountville). Others of interest are The Dining Room, Hatfield's, Melisse, Mozza, Providence.

Sushi would be wonderful, Urasawa obviously seems to be the best, however I'm not able to do a $200-400 per person dinner.

My girlfriend and I are both serious foodies and are looking for memorable experience, whether it's a taco truck, dim sum, or a Michelin starred restaurant. I love french cuisine, chinese, dim sum, sushi, modern, you name it, we eat it.

Any and all help is much appreciated!!

Recipes with Meyer Lemons Needed

I bought 8 beautiful Meyer lemons at the Dekalb Farmers Market just outside of ATL. In case you were wondering, they were $1.59 total. That's insanely cheap considering I've paid $2.20/lb at Whole Foods in South Carolina before.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a meyer lemon recipe? I'm thinking maybe lemon bars from the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook, or maybe a tart?

Suggestions please!!!

Mar 04, 2010
JBurnsPatersonIV in Home Cooking

Recommendations for good food in Birmingham?

Highland's Bar & Grill - Frank Stitt has been nominated for a James Beard for as long as I can remember. He's paved the way for fine dining with southern cuisine. This is his flagship restaurant. The service is top notch, the atmosphere is comfortable, and the food is amazing. I've never been let down. Definitely the upscale place to go in bham, in my opinion

Chef FonFon - Located next door to Highlands, and also owned by Frank Stitt. The atmosphere is casual, a great feel, and the prices are reasonable. The food is very French countryside. The charcuterie is awesome, as is just about everything else on the menu. If you love French cuisine this is a great option.

Bottega - Also owned by Stitt, this place is split into two parts, the restaurant and the cafe. The cafe is much more casual whereas the dining room is fine dining. I personally have never dined in the restaurant as the cafe works best for me. I generally go for lunch - the pizzas are great.

Hot & Hot Fish Club - Haven't been here in a while but when I went I really enjoyed it. Owned by Chris Hastings (who worked for Stitt prior to going off on his own). I can't speak too much for it because I don't go there often but the food is always good and I remember the service being nice. A great meal and a very cool atmosphere.

These are my favorites in Bham. Some often say they're touristy (Why I'm not sure..) and overdone but i've never had a negative experience at any of the restaurants. Frank Stitt is a wonderful chef and restaurant owner. If you're visiting for a short time i'd say visiting one of his establishments is a must!

Michael Mina SF/TFL - dining alone

I seem to be the only person in the world who thought Gary Danko was nothing short of miserable. During my trip we ate all over the place - the trip's purpose was to eat, eat, and eat. Oh, and drink. If you can get a reservation at TFL, go. It was the single most memorable meal of my life, from the time I made the reservation to the time I walked in and was greated by name from the hostess, I felt comfortable. The meal was also unreal - too long to go into extreme detail, but it was worth every bit of money I spent.

COI was the most "surprisingly amazing" meal of the trip. We gave it this because we didn't know what to expect going in, and left wanting more. The service in the lounge is phenomenal and the staff takes excellent care of you. The menu is also available a la carte in the lounge so you're not obligated to the full tasting menu. This worked well for me because we had previously visited Fifth Floor earlier in the evening for drinks and ate some, so my girlfriend was not as hungry. I of course wanted the full experience and ordered just about the whole menu. The food was inventive, creative, and awesome! Again, so much to go into detail about but it was worth every penny and if we were there another night, we would have gone back.

Gary Danko - the service was deplorable. I mean miserable. I've never left a 15% tip in my life (I own a restaurant) and I did here. Water was never refilled, menu was not described, and I was never given the opportunity to speak with a sommelier regarding wine, instead the server suggested i pick myself. The food was uninspiring. The flavors were good (except the crab salad was oddly fishy) and the plates were composed well, but it lacked pizazz and inspiration. In addition the service ruined it for us. You might not get bad service at the bar because the bartender can't go and hide but if you're in SF for one night go and get a knock out performance and unfortunately Gary Danko won't offer that to you (in my honest opinion)

Enjoy your trip!!

Traveling Solo, need some help!

My parents have a lovely brunch at EMP and thinking about it more, I really don't care if i'm by myself I really want to do the Gourmand Lunch, the deal seems too good to pass up. I'll skip Jean Georges and visit EMP! So my itinerary, in no particular order is

Bar Boulud

TBD - Oriental Garden maybe?

"tour de macaroons" - bouchon, maison du chocolat, kee's, madeiline
doughnut plant
salumeria rosi
papaya king
shake shake (maybe for a custard..)

My goals are to eat:
French cuisine
Charcuterie and salumi
Good Pastrami & Tongue

Feb 24, 2010
JBurnsPatersonIV in Manhattan

Traveling Solo, need some help!

I have been to Magnolia bakery before, but it's been a few years. I was really just going to grab something there the day I leave to bring back something, she loves everything there. I personally love macaroons and madeline's so during my visits to bakeries it will be with the goal of getting the BEST macaroons.

DBGB has always looked cool to me, I really love the menu and the look, not to mention for Boulud it looks to be a great value.

Feb 22, 2010
JBurnsPatersonIV in Manhattan

Traveling Solo, need some help!

Thanks for the links. I've done some more looking around and I have a few things in mind:

Katz - Pastrami on rye
DBGB - sausages, and the entire menu
Bar Boulud - small charcuterie board - I heart charcuterie and don't get to have it EVER
Momofuku Ssam - pork buns and whatever else
Doughnut Plant - doughnut on the run. they look so interesting
Pastis - for breakfast bc I love it
Jean Georges - $29 lunch? I don't see that being beat
Le Veau d'Or - Classical French is my hearts desire and this just looks right up my alley. Pricey i'm sure, and most certainly formal - this just looks awesome and iconic

Other stops:
Bouchon Bakery - TKO's and macaroons
Madeiline - madeline's and macaroons
Maison du Chocolat - macaroons
Magnolia Bakery - cupcakes
Grom - gelato (lived above the original in Firenze, Italy - love it)
Papaya King - hotdog and a shake

A lot? Sure of course it is. But I live to eat, and I eat to live. I don't go to NYC as much as I used to so I try and "get my moneys worth" when going.

Feb 22, 2010
JBurnsPatersonIV in Manhattan

Traveling Solo, need some help!

Thanks for all of the help!

I have read that Tailor closed it's dining room but is the bar not still serving? What a shame if not, Freeman is/was a fantastic mixologist and his creations always interested me.

I'm not dead set on dim sum its just something that I don't get to have where I live. Dim Sum To-Go looks very interesting, I might have to do that just to get a dumpling on the go! I don't plan on spending too much time on lunch since there are many places i'd like to visit on my short trip.

Since I do have some time during the day being that my only goal is to eat, eat, eat I might just have to try multiple macaroon places :)

Feb 21, 2010
JBurnsPatersonIV in Manhattan