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Vienna - January Trip Report

vanderb, my friend who lives in Vienna goes to the Naschmarkt for his veggies too and i can see the appeal/need :)

re: Konoba, it was my favorite restaurant of the whole 9-day Vienna/Budapest trip (high praise, given that we had some stellar meals at other places in both cities)...

Jan 22, 2015
Simon in Europe

Vienna - January Trip Report

dankeshoen!...good to know re: Viet places new locations -- we liked Vienna so much that we plan to come back for an extended period of time sometime in the future and we'll go to the new locations...i really enjoyed the Russian place, as i speak some Russian and i was able to chat a bit w/ the staff (btw, there is a nice Russian bistro in Budapest called Matrjoska if you ever visit there -- i will be doing a Budapest Trip Report soon and include all the places we went while there)...

Jan 22, 2015
Simon in Europe

Fans of Honmura An, where do you go now?

this is a 3 yr old thread, but Sobakoh (5th St), specifically the cold inaka soba, is still the best soba i've had outside of Japan, including Honmura An...

Jan 21, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
1

Vienna - January Trip Report

Firstly i have to say we loved Vienna, just intuitively and aesthetically, as soon as we arrived...fantastic city...and thanks to Sturmi and others who recommended food...here is where we went...

-- Konoba - Croatian seafood w/ open kitchen, Neubau/Spittelberg area...love this place...amazing seafood platter w/ veggies for two (pictured)...delicious Croatian wine...nice staff...if i was a local i'd go once/week...

-- Gasthaus Poschl - solid casual Viennese...liver dumpling soup (great), pumpkin soup (great), weiner schnitzel, chicken w/ bread stuffing, chestnut cream dessert, something that was listed as a souffle but was more of a cake...nice local vibe...glad we made a reservation as its a small place and virtually every table was reserved...haven't had enough beisl cuisine to fully compare it to similar places, but we were happy enough...

-- Ulrich - ...late-20-something/early-30something crowd, casually trendy...call the cuisine modern/organic...the chicken soup w/ parsley dumpling was some of the best chicken soup i've ever had, and salmon w/ cooked perfectly and nice wines too...a very very well-run kitchen...nice wines by the glass too...

-- Cafe Corbaci - not a destination place or anything, but a pretty spot for a midday snack in the Museum Quartier...the herring in cream sauce is a good deal and the soups decent...

-- Cafe Sperl - as we'd had litres of coffee w/ breakfast earlier, we just had tea here...but liked the old vibe and would likely return often if i was in town longer...

-- Cantina Osteria Friulana - wonderful rustic interior, charming waiter...the highlights foodwise were the veggie antipasti, the marinated sardines, and the cavola soup w/ zampone...grilled octopus was tender but lentils undercooked; the pork cheeks were underseasoned for our taste and cook have used more sage...loved trying all the Fruili wines...would still recommend it highly despite the slightly underwhelming main courses...

-- Zarewna - tiny Russian stand in the Naschmarkt...on a cold afternoon, the pelmeni and bowls of borsht hit the spot...a very filling little meal for about 12 euros total for two people...

As a sidenote, i would say the Naschmarkt is actually a place to AVOID unless one is seeking out this Russian place or maybe some of the Viet places i've seen mentioned here: it was low-season but it had a nasty vibe and very aggressive shop owners hard-selling crap (e.g. wasabi hummus, stale-looking vine leaves, ubiquitous olives)...we disliked the Naschmarkt intensely; it was the only place in all of Vienna that we disliked...a local friend told us he buys his veggies there because he lives close but doesn't linger nor dine there...

-- Tachles - woodsy bohemian bar in the Volkplatz area...just had a quick drink here...old cinema posters, silent films running, a crowd ranging from 20-something hipster to 70-something white-haired intellectual...smokey though, so we only stayed 25 minutes...

-- Weinfach Vinothek - tiny modern place much-loved on Tripadvisor...charming owner, fabulous cheese&charcuterie plate (all either Austrian or N.Italian) w/ local dark rye, and fab wine selection...recommended as a wine&snack stop when exploring that area...

Can't wait to return to the city again and explore more at length...

Jan 21, 2015
Simon in Europe

Vienna in January - rustic, traditional places, non-smoking a plus

Thanks Sturmi and everyone for advice...twas a great trip and will post a full trip report soon...will add now that Konoba was our overall favorite of the 5 dinners we had...

Jan 21, 2015
Simon in Europe

Budapest - where to eat? And especially on Sunday evening?

hi...just back from 4 days there and will post a full trip report soon, but here are some places we liked:
-- Borbirosag Wine Bar
-- 21 Magyar (excellent food/service in the Castle District)
-- Fulemule (open Sunday, Hungarian-Jewish, great duck, homey)
-- Mazel Tov (bar scene w/ Israeli food in a covered alley)
-- Matrjoska (casual Russian w/ good pelmeni)
-- Lumen Cafe (tiny and cute cafe w/ live music some nights, just some soup and sandwiches for food)

Jan 21, 2015
Simon in Europe

Pescatore & Pete's Tavern

Pete's Tavern serves average food in a nice historic place -- there isn't much notable foodwise, but they'll surely be able to serve up a decent burger, plate of American-style spaghetti and meatballs, martini, etc...if you go with low expectations, you'll prob have a nice time...

Dec 30, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Lan Sheng – First Rate Szechuan in Midtown

thanks for the thorough review...the only time i've been there was about a year ago, i went there and my friend ordered in Mandarin and we tried 5 or so dishes: everything was in that netherworld of bad/mediocre/forgettable where i can barely remember the specifics but i had zero desire to return...and the staff were rude...

Your review makes me want to give it another shot though...

fwiw, Wu Liang Ye is my favorite - but they know my strong preferences in various dishes and always make things to order as i like them (i.e. less/no sugar, very ma-la, no extraneous Americanized veggie additions, etc)...

For delivery, i usually order from Legend, but that's a crapshoot as even w/ specific ordering it can range from excellent to nasty depending on who's cooking that night and how well the order-taker relays the order to the kitchen...

Dec 29, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Han Dynasty

the spice was good -- it was the breading that bothered me...i'll get some takeout from there this week and give it another shot :)

Dec 29, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Han Dynasty

i love Philly :)

Dec 28, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

great indian food (dinner) in manhattan

i've nver been to that branch: so can you compare/contrast it w/ the Tamarind that was in the Flatiron (i think it closed recently)?...i found the Flatiron Tamarind to be pretty lame and overpriced and not a place i'd return to willingly...

Dec 28, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Han Dynasty

Thanks for the update...haven't gotten food there in over a year myself: the kung pao chicken was both nicely spiced but heavily breaded both times, and the owner is a nasty clown (as i was leaving he realized i was the person who had called in a takeaway order "very ma-la, no/low sugar" and he went out of his way to delay me and insist that he refuses to cook "very spicy" food for people until they've been there 3+ times to determine if they really like it -- i tried to a) assure him that as a former-resident of N.Thailand i have no problem w/ chilies, and b) uhhh, i have already paid and am hungry and am going home to eat so please leave me the *#^# alone -- he's a tone-deaf clown, yet evidentally his heat/sugar/starch algorithm works, so more power to him)...have heard some better reports of the food recently so i'll likely give it a go at some pt...i'll try the fish that you had, and please update if you find other dishes you like

Dec 28, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Jura wine 'pope' Jacques Puffeney sells off vineyards | decanter.com

this is troubling news...i love his Poulsard and Trousseau (which i read that he is keeping some of)...hope the new owners continue to make the Poulsard...

Dec 21, 2014
Simon in Wine

Sichuan Hotpot Reports This Winter?

Last time we had it was about a year ago at Legend, which was decent...never had at Szechuan Gourmet, so would be interested if people like it at SG...ditto Famous Sichuan or others...thanks in advance...

Dec 21, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Maille Mustard Boutique

Thanks for this report...i was excited by the headline, as i lived near one of the Paris branches once and a friend used to bring me jars back to NYC sometimes...don't remember it being quite this costly though...so i'll curb my enthusiasm...thanks for saving me the sticker shock for when i eventually/inevitably visit the store...

fwiw, i have one of my old Maille jars, which i now use for making and storing pate/terrine...they are perfect for compressing the just-cooked herby and wine-saturated duck liver&heart into...

Dec 19, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Los Angeles family staying Midtown East between Christmas and NYE, please advise...

if you're downtown and in East Village at all, Sobakoh is amazing and your child can watch the soba being made in the glass window up front...the black cod and the cold inaka soba and the gomaae are delicious...

Bar Pitti is fun too...split a grilled fish and a pasta and some starters off the chalkboard...at off hrs it's a fine place to bring a kid...

as others have said: skip Lombardi's and Plaza Food Hall...

maybe Old Tbilisi Garden for Georgian food...the sturgeon is pricey (though tasty) but there are salads and pxali and khatchapuri and other good veggie options...

Have a great trip

Dec 15, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

W. Village recs?

i like Old Tbilisi Garden -- some items are overpriced but it can be a good deal, esp during happy hr...i like the lamb khinkali, the pxali trio, the chicken mtvadi (sp? kebabs), and the imeruli salad...satsivi good but small portion and expensive...lobio not great...

in the same area, Bar Pitti would be my other rec (cash only however)

Dec 12, 2014
Simon in Manhattan
1

Budapest - rustic/traditional? help, please

hi...NYC hounds coming to Budapest for 4 nights later this winter (after 5 nights in Vienna)...having perused most of the semi-recent posts here on Budapest, i haven't found too much that sounds to our liking...

We like: traditional, rustic, cozy...soups, stews, spices...local wine...

We hate: pretentiously-plated, experimental, foamy, formal...

Thanks in advance...

Dec 10, 2014
Simon in Europe

Bucharest and Budapest recommendations, please

any recs on where to try these fish soups?

Dec 10, 2014
Simon in Europe

Vienna in January - rustic, traditional places, non-smoking a plus

just looked through your recs: Lubin and Cantina Friulana look esp good to me - so i think i'll tentatively make those 2 of our 5 dinners, plus Poschl makes 3...then some combo of Gmoakeller, Meixner, and/or Zum Schwarzen Kameel to round out the remaining two nights, depending on locations, etc...

Cheers!

Dec 09, 2014
Simon in Europe

Vienna in January - rustic, traditional places, non-smoking a plus

hi Sturmi...thanks so much :)

Also, what do you think of Brezlg'woelb? - the atmosphere looks intriguing...

Dec 09, 2014
Simon in Europe

Vienna in January - rustic, traditional places, non-smoking a plus

also on the maybe list:
- Weinfach Vinothek e.U.
- Quell
- 3 Hacken
- Bodulo

Dec 09, 2014
Simon in Europe

Vienna in January - rustic, traditional places, non-smoking a plus

hi...we're NYC hounds with a first time 5-day trip to Vienna coming up (and Budapest after but i'll post separately)...have started reading through past posts...we're looking for rustic/traditional places (nothing modern, nothing fusiony, nothing overly fancy)...so far we have on our maybe list:
- Gasthaus Poschl
- Zum Schwarzen Kameel
- Zum Weissen Rauchfangkehrer
- Restaurant Sperl
- Gmoakeller
- Cafe Corbaci
- Phoenixhof
- Procacci

We're staying in the Neubeu/St.Ulrich area, and going to Albertina, Leopold, and Belvedere museums plus art galleries...i'm guessing our plan will usually be to eat a big breakfast at the hotel, spend a lot of the day in museums and wandering, then eat an early dinner...we're also adamant non-smokers: of the places above, i know Poschl is non-smoking -- we can deal w/ a small bit of smoke but if any of the above are known as being esp smokey, we'd want to avoid...interested mainly in traditional Austrian, but open to some regional Italian/Croatian/etc if there is a great place...we drink mainly wine, so wine bars w/ good food welcome too...we have room for 5 dinners...

Any advice most appreciated on which places might work in terms of our preferences and in concert w/ our museum schedule (i.e. for an early dinner after one of the 3 above museums, or walking distance from St Ulrich area...

Thanks in advance...

Dec 09, 2014
Simon in Europe

Restaurants to dress up at in New York?

Scarpetta might work...as would Il Mulino...but my fav place is Bar Pitti which is very casual; personally i'd just go there whether dressed up or down)

(but i'd suggest avoiding all the chavvy Batali places - Babbo is for tourists)

Dec 08, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Now That's A Shame...

however, the gelato in the back at Veniero's is an underappreciated treat...

Dec 05, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Don't shoot me... looking for red-sauce Italian and "NY Chinese"

on the other hand, the decor and lighting and vibe look hellish and reminds me of everything i despised about both LA and the Nouveau Crap places in Shanghai -- i suppose if i still lived in LA now and assuming the food is as yummy as the pics suggest, it'd be a place i'd storm into to get takeout and then drive away at high speed to enjoy in my foggy nook in SM Canyon...

Dec 01, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Don't shoot me... looking for red-sauce Italian and "NY Chinese"

wow, just looked it up -- the yelp pics look very very good...wish it existed during my LA tenure...i lived in Santa Monica Cyn, so it would have been an easy stop to get takeout when returning from Hollywood...drat :)

Dec 01, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Don't shoot me... looking for red-sauce Italian and "NY Chinese"

what is the WLA one? -- as much as i love the SGV places, it's really not feasible to drive there from somewhere in western LA at dinner time (aka rush hour), which makes the SGV places somewhat less convenient than say, Flushing is to someone in downtown Manhattan...

Dec 01, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Don't shoot me... looking for red-sauce Italian and "NY Chinese"

interesting...thanks for the update...are the new Sichuan places in SGV or in LA proper?...

Dec 01, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Last Minute – City Hall / Shotgun Wedding – Dinner Suggestions?

go to Bar Pitti -- tell the waiters you just got married...order off the chalkboard...i suspect that it'll be a lovely meal...congrats...

Dec 01, 2014
Simon in Manhattan