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Tempura Matsui

it's Tempura Takao -- the tempura is good, but the real draw is the free mentaiko as condiment

http://canalcity.co.jp.e.jx.hp.transe...

Jul 01, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Tempura Matsui

wow...i've been hoping for good tempura in NYC for years...i'm excited to try it, but the website seems to indicate dinner is 200 USD omakase-only, w/ two diff 45/80 set options at lunch...mmm, it better be damn good ;)

What i'd been hoping for in NYC was something along the lines of the casual tempura(+mentaiko) chain in Fukuoka (forget the name) or the most casual of the Tsunahachi branches in Tokyo...

But i'm looking forward to trying it -- i'll prob start w/ the lower lunch option just to hedge my bets...

Interested to hear incoming reports...

Jun 30, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Near Bar Pitti, Film Forum?

Glad you enjoyed Pitti -- re: exploring more pastas, the spaghetti ala aragosta (lobster) is fantastic, and my gf is very fond of their linguine ala vongole...

Jun 30, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Shorts! - And Reservation Timing Help

this is a fun thread -- too much fun for me to take sides for/against such spirited, well-meaning, and veteran posters...but my own very-subjective, ymmv take is off-center: i dislike Batali restaurants and i dislike shorts, so imo they deserve each other: so i'll encourage all shorts/sandals/tanktop-wearing visitors to flock to Babbo and give the place the style i think it deserves ;)

Fwiw, i wasn't as anti-shorts in the past - but after living in Paris and Bangkok (two places where no self-respecting non-chav would ever wear shorts to a semi-nice place even during the steamiest weather), i've joined the anti-shorts battalion...cheers all...

Jun 29, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Near Bar Pitti, Film Forum?

around 6pm you should be fine at Bar Pitti, esp if willing to sit indoors...cash-only, order off the chalkboard...i esp like the soups, the linguine ala vongole, the stinco de maile (sp?) and the whole spigola...

(though i wish could think of a place to recommend w/ zither music ;)

I also had two stellar meals at Via Carota recently, which is not far either...

Jun 22, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Soft shell crab season!

the soft shell in the fritto misto at Via Carota was outstanding last week

Jun 22, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Upland, Lartusi, Osteria Morini or Piccolo Angolo

i haven't been to Piccolo Angolo in a decade but while i remember the food being tasty, it was deafeningly louded and torturously crowded...

i like Osteria Morini, but also loud -- i prefer it for bar dining...

Haven't been to the other two, though have heard generally positive things...

There might be a fifth option that works better -- Giorgione perhaps?

Jun 19, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Angeleno moving to NYC looking for help!

i think there isn't as much disagreement here as it seems: clearly we all love both discovering places via intuition/smell and by getting helpful direction via places like CH...

Personally, i think the proportion one should allot to the former vs the latter depends a great deal on the specific city in question...for example, i've said on other boards that imo London is a city with really fantastic food but that homework is really f&#$*n' important because on a week long trip, one might end up very upset if just winging it (yet in Paris i've happened on dozens of gems by pure chance/fate -- ymmv)...

re: Manhattan, i think a lot of it depends on context and length of stay...as kathryn stated, she advised hw esp for visitors...the OP, with a year or two or five at grad school, can afford to risk a few duds in the quest for a few yet undiscovered gems (and for those, we shall be grateful :)

As with the Nature/Nurture debate, it's a mix :)

Jun 16, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Whitefish Salad

my fav whitefish salad is served at Gotan Cafe in Tribeca on their bialy -- i believe it was foodwhisperer who suggested it here, and i was delighted with the rec...

Jun 15, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Angeleno moving to NYC looking for help!

Bezjian's doesn't ring a bell...and my foray on google maps didn't jog my memory...all i remember is that being able to get good cheese and peppery pastrami so close to my home made those first months in LA a lot easier to deal with...

Kalystyans is good and walking distance for me in Manhattan, but i agree it's no screaming bargain...my guess is that the OP will have fun here in NYC and ultimately do a lot of Outer Boroughs venturing to places like Brighton Beach (Cafe Kashkar), Flushing, Elmhurst, Jackson Hghts, as well as to some of the Manhattan gems Downtown and/or in Harlem...

Jun 15, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
1

Angeleno moving to NYC looking for help!

Just so the OP isn't led astray, i think you mean Grand Sichuan (not Empire Sichuan)

ahh, when i first moved to LA at age 23, my second scrappy room was in a house on Franklin/Alexandria -- hadn't thought of that street name til you brought it up -- i remember there was a great Armenian food store around Alexandria and Melrose-ish...

Agreed on how great some of the LA food options are...i think what Manhattan offers in spades is variety and convenience (i compared it in the past to a giant island-shaped salad bar -- or steam table: there is an amazing level of choice within 15 minutes walk or subway, though much of it isn't quite as good as we'd want it to be -- Xian Foods isn't anywhere close to the Chinese Islamic in the SGV, but it's 10 min away instead of 90 minutes in rush hr on the freeways...

Jun 14, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
1

Under-appreciated and/or up-and-coming grape varieties?

i had some wonderful apertif-worthy Furmint from Astor Wines in NYC...

And some S.French 100% Carignan that was a shocking good value: concentrated, yummy, fantastic w/ pizza and charcuterie...

Jun 13, 2015
Simon in Wine

Under-appreciated and/or up-and-coming grape varieties?

interesting question...personally, i drink a lot of Anjou Cab Franc at home so i think of it as more of a staple...ditto the Georgian varieties i've been enjoying for last couple years: Saperavi, Shavkapito, Rkatsiteli..i'd never heard of Bonarda til reading this post :)

I wish i'd see more wine from Jura, esp Poulsard -- so i guess that'd be my pick for under-appreciated...

Jun 13, 2015
Simon in Wine

Angeleno moving to NYC looking for help!

Thai, at least Isaan, has certainly improved w/ Larb Ubol/ZE/LanLarb -- though for an Angeleno, the lack of good Central/Southern Thai food in Manhattan may come as a nasty shock...LA has so many decent-to-excellent places...

re: Indian, i've disliked every Indian meal i've ever had in a restaurant in Manhattan (well, a decade ago i had a somewhat decent one near the OP at Indus Valley though i've heard it's downhill)...i despise Junoon, Chola, all the 6th St places i've tried, Tamarind, all the Lex places i've tried (with the exception of some steam table dishes i took home and then re-cooked w/ more spice)...went to the highly praised Pippali recently and couldn't eat more than a few bites, like bland mush...do you have an Indian place you especially like?...

Sorry you had a poor RHLP meal -- i was there last weekend in their restaurant space in RH and the salad and the Tuscan roll and the soup were all delicious...

Jun 13, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Angeleno moving to NYC looking for help!

i didn't single you out -- i like your comments and opinions on CH :)

i just mentioned the Ollie's mention as evidence of how bad the UWS/MorningsideHgts area is: i.e. that fact that anyone (even a veteran chowhound) needs to resort to that Columbia list is an indictment of how awful the area is (not an indictment of your post :) -- i understand why you posted the list and i agree that it may be helpful for the OP to have a list of the slim pickings that are out there...cheers...

Jun 12, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Angeleno moving to NYC looking for help!

Welcome...i spent a 10-yr block of time in LA, and while i love NYC, i do miss LA sometimes: the Mexican and Thai food and Dan Tana's Caesar salad (and hiking trails in Topanga and my swimming pool)...

Ok, first the bad news: the UWS is, relative to virtually any other neighborhood, bad for restaurants...Morningside Hghts has always been particularly poor...while i live downtown, i spent 6 months on 68th/CPW and i also spent a lot of time over the yrs housesitting on 97th/CPW...the fact that chowhounds are even mentioning horrible places like Ollie's in passing speaks volumes about the lack of good food in the area...so many places on the UWS are like overpriced versions of an Olive Garden: bland airport-level food -- i hate all those forgettable Italian places and Kefi and all the bad Chinese takeout...

That said, i think checking out the Ethiopian places that Pan suggested sounds like a good idea...and a short walk to 116th puts you in Little Senegal -- i used to like Africa Kine there but they moved north, but there is Le Baobab plus a few others i've yet to try like La Savane...and the Peruvian/"Spanish" is are decent for takeout...

What NYC does well? -- NYC has great smoked fish: Zabar's, Russ&Daughters, Nordic Preserves...and i think we have some nice Italian options (Bar Pitti in the WV is my fav)...and some Japanese: while we lack the plethora of good mid-priced sushi that LA has (you will find nothing like Sushi Ike here), there is good high-end sushi, and the finest soba i've had outside of Japan at reasonably priced Sobakoh in the East Village...and as mentioned above, we have Georgian and Serbian...and Sichuan and Xian Chinese...

For Thai and Cantonese and Greek and Indian (the latter is just awful in Manhattan), i recommend the Outer Boroughs (which is also great for lobster -- Red Hook Lobster Pound is one of my favorite recent meals)...

Please report back once you arrive and start dining...

Jun 12, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
1

Replacement for Terroir in the East Village

sam1, i agree with you re: corkbuzz...it feels like a corporate place even though if it isn't -- like a wannabe Starbucks for wine...it's a terrible name imo too...

Jun 11, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
1

Lakruwana Sri Lankan in S.I. - Tips for First-Timers?

Spicy Lanka sounded intriguing but i havent made it there yet - i seem to remember it sounding like a very long trek from Manhattan...do you like it?

Jun 10, 2015
Simon in Outer Boroughs

Lakruwana Sri Lankan in S.I. - Tips for First-Timers?

fair enough -- SanRasa is more walkable from the ferry?...do you know if they are BYOB/serve-wine?

Jun 09, 2015
Simon in Outer Boroughs

Lakruwana Sri Lankan in S.I. - Tips for First-Timers?

thanks for the thoughts...though looks like i'm out of luck in NYC Sri Lankan-wise...when i say the food at Lakruwana was bland, i don't only mean in terms of chili/heat level, but just very underseasoned and dull generally (plus being sweet)...i haven't been to Sri Lanka (my one serious attempt at getting there was snafu'd by their civil war), but i've had the cuisine at the home of a Sri Lankan friend from college where it was fabulous, so maybe my expectations are too high...if SanRasa is on par w/ Lakruwana, my SI/SL excursions may be over :(

Jun 09, 2015
Simon in Outer Boroughs

Lakruwana Sri Lankan in S.I. - Tips for First-Timers?

I'll prob try SanRasa next time instead...the food (esp the pork curry) is much spicier at Sigiri, but that's made to order as opposed to buffet so they prob make the buffet ultra-mild to please the masses -- in fact, the nice owner asked us if we found the food too spicy, as if this had been a complaint of others in the past (we both said: "No no! Spicy is good! Don't make it less spicy!")...the sweetness actually bothered me more than the lack of spice...it was very quiet when we were there: one table of 4 hipster-looking types, and one table of 4 Sri Lankans...

Jun 09, 2015
Simon in Outer Boroughs

3 Days in Madrid - please critique

Rafa was one of my favorite meals ever...i also liked Huevos de Lucio (spinoff of Casa Lucio) so consider that as an option if Casa Lucio is booked, etc...i agree w/ Zin that La Venencia is a national treasure and worth a stop for some sherry and almonds...Cerveceria Cervantes has amazing grilled prawns so you may want to add that one...cheers...

Jun 08, 2015
Simon in Spain/Portugal

Alternative to Ushiwakamaru?

+1 for Kura...lovely space, delicious food, warm staff, very good omakase for the price...

Jun 02, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Lakruwana Sri Lankan in S.I. - Tips for First-Timers?

Finally made it there...thank you all for your suggestions...

Foodwise however, i have to say i was very underwhelmed...

-- overall, i found the food surprisingly underseasoned and many dishes too sugary...the chicken was esp mediocre, tasting like a sweet dish you'd find at a Chinese-American place...

-- that said, i enjoyed the cold chopped bitter greens, the pork curry (though it compares unfavorably w/ the similar dish at Sigiri), light pappadum, the egg curry, and the pineapple curry...all decent, just a bit bland...

-- as others have noted, the room is lovely and woddsy; and the manager/owner extremely welcoming...i wanted to like the food more...

-- as it was just starting to rain when we got off the ferry, we walked the most direct route on Bay, rather than via the old houses on St Paul...it's a fairly unpleasant/depressing stretch to walk - we cabbed back to the ferry (8 bucks)...

A fun expedition and glad we tried it, but i can't imagine rushing back anytime soon...

May 31, 2015
Simon in Outer Boroughs

Madrid short trip July 2015--please critique

May 30, 2015
Simon in Spain/Portugal

Madrid short trip July 2015--please critique

Here is the report from our 8 day trip last August...perhaps you might like some of these as well...the only one from your list e went to was La Venencia, which is almost more of a time-warp/museum - we loved it but it's more a place just a couple glasses of sherry and some almonds/olives as there are only a couple other very small food options: i'd say plan to go there for aperitif before dinner...

May 30, 2015
Simon in Spain/Portugal

late(ish) solo dinner on a Wednesday night

you had me at "curmudgeon" :)

i like the Gramercy Tavern idea if you want to go upscale...

i'd say consider a place on 39th called The Shakespeare - craft beers, good chicken dishes and fish&chips...may be crowded but Jane Eyre will fit in...while the Breslin fits your request to a t, i prefer The Shakespeare for my gastropubbing...

And, you may rather trek to W-Burg, Brooklyn and enjoy a meal at the bar of St Anselm, which i'd gladly go to more often if it wasn't in W-Burg...

May 29, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

West Village casual fare yet excellent food options for a new resident

Bar Pitti, Sobakoh (EV), Buvette (off hours only as it gets crowded), maybe Giorgione though i haven't a full meal there recently...

May 28, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Kura -- Sashimi/Sushi Omakase? Kappo?

hi...considering trying Kura one day soon...am eating less carbs these days and wondering if one can get a half sashimi/half sushi omakase there (like i used to get at Ushiwakamaru and at Ichimura)...also interested in recent reports on the dishes served in the kappo option there...

Thanks in advance...

May 28, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Estia thoughts? (plus other ideas for NYC hounds)

Thanks for all the suggestions -- we had another great trip foodwise (though sadly not hotel-wise, as The Independent on Locust was horrible -- rude staff, dirty rooms, bugs, and loud).

Two dinners:

-- Estia...lovely feast -- we were walkins on a Friday but they still gave us a spacious booth...highlights were the barbouni, the giant grilled prawns, and the octopus...halibut soup and the salad were just ok...will definitely return...

-- Pub and Kitchen...this was fantastic...(we were also curious about trying The Fat Ham but Pub&Kitchen worked out better for our location, so we'll save The Fat Ham for a future trip)...this was our second trip to P&K and we liked it even better than before -- had a huge meal where we shared 7+ dishes: oysters w/ and w/o trout roe, grilled gem lettuce salad w/ hazelnuts, tagliatteli w/ snails, yellowtail carpaccio (this was just ok), rabbit meatballs (w/ asparagus subbed for polenta), panna cotta, and 3 diff wines by the glass (Campagnia white, German Pinot, French Malbec)...now prob our fav restaurant in Philly...

Looking forward to more visits this fall...cheers...