s

Simon's Profile

Title Last Reply

Estia thoughts? (plus other ideas for NYC hounds)

hi...did a search for Estia and reviews here seem positive, but not too much recent...my gf and i are coming to Philly from NYC for a few days soon...we love the city (and the suggestions we've gotten here in the past -- 3 trips in last year)...to give a sense of whether Estia suits us:

Places We've Liked: Kanella (but would rather try a new place than be there for the tail end of the old space), Pub&Kitchen (one visit only, and we liked most of the dishes and the vibe), Il Pittore (some wonderful dishes and service, though slightly fussier than we need), and The Dandelion (yummy fish&chips and insanely good chicken soup).

We Disliked: Barbuzzo (like an imitation of a trendy/glib table-churning Batali place) and Oyster House (didn't hate it, just felt a bit corporate and soulless -- would give it another try one day just oysters if there wasn't a better option)

For this trip, we are definitely going to Dandelion again...considering Estia and open to other ideas too given our previous favs...thanks in advance :)

May 21, 2015
Simon in Philadelphia

Pete Wells on Javelina.

however, they must be paying someone serious PR money -- because it's really not a notable/interesting enough place to even be reviewed by the NYTimes and Platt so promptly (there are hundreds of restaurants begging to be reviewed good, bad, or ugly, who just can't Wells or Platt to write)

And, the restaurant popped up in Page Six Sightings a few days ago as a one-line item: "Neil Patrick Harris at Javelina"

Both the Wells and Platt reviews make it sound like my version of hell...

May 21, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Neuehouse, at Frieze - bad

Had heard of Neuehouse vaguely as work collective space in Manhattan, but was somewhat confused when i read they were running the VIP restaurant at Frieze Art Fair, but didn't give it much thought...

-- the first VIP preview day, instead of going to Neuehouse, i ate at the Marlowe&Sons Frieze pop-up which was open to all: and was pretty great: fennel&asparagus salad, ham&artichoke starter, delicious glass of pinot rose...my buddy had the pate, which looked very good, and we shared some olives...

-- so on the more crowded Sunday, i figured i'd give the Neuehouse VIP restaurant a shot...a mistake...tired, going through motions service (just polite enough, barely)...my gf and i ordered to share: a salad which turned out to be a bowl of disgusting mushy canned garbanzo beans w/ a few specks of cucumber and feta -- sent this back immediately -- and got a perfectly decent spinach salad instead: for 18 dollars, and a decently cooked piece of fluke w/ the most flavorless romescu sauce on record and some nice bits of broccoli, and a large bottle of water: total cost, w/ 20% tip pre-added to the bill: 90 dollars...i was disappointed as i'd told my gf how good Marlowe&Sons had been and figured (incorrectly) that Neuehouse would be worth a try...NOTE TO FRIEZE: do NOT invite this Neuehouse-faux-restaurant back next year...no idea what the Canteen at Neuehouse in Manhattan is like, but i won't be eating there...

May 17, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Dinner, 5/12: Txikito

glad you had a nice meal...about 3 or 4 yrs ago, i went there quite a lot, but i got tired of it and it somehow fell out of my rotation (also was underwhelmed by wine-by-glass options back then)...but i remember that yummy white asparagus, and i should go back and try the place again these days...

May 15, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Limani

i went for lunch in a group of 3 w/ a Greek friend who is a regular there...we had Greek salad (great), fried zucchini chips w/ fried cheese (i'd skip this unless you really like chips and are craving a giant portion of fried food to share), octopus starter (great), and a whole fish, honey/yogurt dessert, and glasses of cold wine...perfect service...we ordered a la carte (and my friend treated us so not sure total cost)...their lunch prix-fixe seems like it might be a good deal...i liked it...

May 15, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Madrid Trip Report -- hits and near-misses

so happy that you enjoyed Rafa -- makes me miss Madrid just thinking about it :)

May 11, 2015
Simon in Spain/Portugal

What gets sold out fast at Union Square Greenmarket?

i've bought ramps in the past, but they have been ultra-trendy (and ultra-pricey) the last 2 or 3 yrs, and while i like them, i've yet to find a way to use them in my home-cooking that justifies the cost...don't get me wrong: they are yummy when charred and tossed w/ all kinds of ingredients, but just in my personal kitchen i've been equally satisfied w/ other combos of herbs/shallots/etc...happy to hear suggestions and recipes and favorite UnSq Greenmarket vendors for them however :)

May 09, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

What gets sold out fast at Union Square Greenmarket?

interesting topic!...i live a 2 min walk away from the Greenmarket so i buy things there 2 to 4x per week...

-- if you have specific seafood needs, early is good...i was surprised to see squid sold-out at 4pm a few days ago, as that usually is plentiful...tuna sells quickly, esp when it's well-priced...(and as sidenote: tuna belly is a steal when they have it)...

-- there are days when eggs, despite the many vendors, sell out across the market by late afternoon...

-- niche favorites like chicken hearts can also go quickly...

-- curly parsley is always on my list, but sometimes gone too quickly...

Happy hunting...

May 09, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Best unpretentious italian in NYC?

personally, i find all the Batali places to be the height of pretentiousness: pretention codified into a faux-casual/trendy, faux-authentic, classic-rock-blaring (because very loud songs by Squeeze and REM prove they're not pretentious??), oversalted and touristy formula...hate every single venue (though if i had to eat at one on someone else's dime, i'd pick the tasty but overpriced Esca)...

May 08, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
1

Best unpretentious italian in NYC?

i'd say saltiness has been more of a "hallmark" there than an intermittent problem, but you know i'm predisposed to hate all things Batali, so people can take my opinion with...(drum roll)..."grain of salt") ;)

May 08, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
1

Pippali in the East 20s

Tried the lunch specials thalis, as they were rec'd by a friend of an Indian friend...my gf liked her seafood thali pretty well, and i agree that it's a comfy space w/ nice service...but my Punjabi thali did nothing to change my opinion that Indian food in Manhattan runs from average-at-best (e.g. this thali at Pippali, some taxi stand joints) to awful at most other places...i really just ate a few bites of mine and lost interest...

May 08, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Bourdain Market - What do YOU Want to See

a real made-to-order tempura bar would be great

May 07, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
1

China overtakes France in vineyards - BBC News

i lived in China for 6 months in 2008 and several months in 2009...i'm still scarred by my Horror Story-like wine experiences there...(this includes Shanghai, Chengdu, Suzhou, and Beijing)...the only PRC-wine produced wine that i somewhat liked was a Yunnan region red that was allegedly made by Tibetans...

May 06, 2015
Simon in Wine

Oiji, new Korean restaurant in EV

while this shouldn't, theoretically, make me indisposed to like the place, i am still angry-at-the-universe for the loss of Dok Suni -- while Dok Suni had it's own pros/cons, their Fish Jun w/ lots of extra banchan was one of my go-to/default choices in the EV for years...so the while Oiji should naturally be judged on its own merits/faults, it's hard for me to be impartial and i doubt i'll make it there without some overwhelming tide of great recommendations...

May 06, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

What are they thinking at Mamoun's?

a couple weeks ago at a coffeehouse i involuntarily eavesdropped on a group of NYU undergrads who were debating where to eat and one said: "Should we go to Blue Ribbon?? We ALWAYS go there! Maybe like, i dunno, aww, let's just go to Blue Ribbon"

May 06, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

NYC first visit (kind of) - where to eat to feel like you're in NY!

thanks for the great report...

-- Happy you enjoyed Nordic Preserves...i go both there and to Russ&Daughters for my smoked fish supplies...after several recent visits, i now tend to get gravlax and cream herring at Nordic, while i prefer the matjes herring and Scottish smoked salmon at Russ...

-- also happy that you enjoyed Coppelia...i don't go as often as i used to but i agree the staff are nice and the food comforting...i used to be addicted to their flounder ceviche, so i should go back soon...my other go-to order there is kale salad w/ added grilled shrimp...

Cheers...

May 05, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

new Tone Cafe (Georgian) takeout on E.17th!

i could be wrong, but i'd lower expectations re: adjaruli version -- on both my visits, i didn't see anyone cooking things to order (as the adjaruli would require) but rather just takeout cold pxali/stews/dips and breads...Georgian picnic food :)

May 04, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

new Tone Cafe (Georgian) takeout on E.17th!

yes, yes, i believe you can! ;) wait, if the adjaruli the egg one? - didn't see those, just the more portable cheese khatchapuri...

they just opened and it's a quiet block, so i almost missed it myself even though i'm very near...

i'll ask them more questions next time i go there (likely within 48 hrs)...

May 04, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

new Tone Cafe (Georgian) takeout on E.17th!

there seems to be ovens in the tiny back of the place, so maybe the former?...but i'd guess the pxali and stews are made in Brighton?...hard to say...

May 04, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Wine pairing herby pork?

i like law_doc89's suggestion of a Hungarian Furmint -- i had a bottle last week that i liked a great deal...also agree w/ zin1953 re: this being a very versatile dish...personally, i'd go w/ an herby rich white like the Furmint or a Georgian amber like Rkatsetili, but those are longshots for availability in many regions...a light red (maybe a Loire Pinot Noir) or a Mencia might be nice too...

May 02, 2015
Simon in Wine
1

Dinner upper west side

i dislike the UWS restaurant-wise, but how about Nice Matin? -- i remember them having some good salads, tartars, etc years ago, and there should be something on menu for everyone...staff always seemed pleasant too...

May 02, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Sichuan Hit Han Dynasty to Open on Upper West Side this Spring

the UWS continues shame itself by importing the most mediocre of downtown places (Mermaid Inn, Fatty Crab, etc)...i once lived in on 68th/CPW and the proximity to the Park and the Opera was lovely, but i hated having to commute to get a decent restaurant meal...seems that not much has changed...

May 02, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

new Tone Cafe (Georgian) takeout on E.17th!

hi...imo, this is a great thing: Tone Cafe, a Georgian restaurant on Neptune Ave near Brighton Beach opened a tiny stand (there are a couple stools in the back, but it's mainly takeout from the front/street window) on E. 17th, btw Irving Place and 3rd Ave...

I've gotten takeout twice: eggplant pxali and green bean pxali(sold as a spread, not rolled into balls) -- just as good as the versions i've gotten as takeout at Tone in Brighton Beach...also got the Bazhe (like chicken satsivi but a bit lighter, brothier) which is solid too...haven't tried the khatchapuris yet...they seem to be doing brisk business as there have been one or two people in line in front of me both times despite the fairly quiet block...also, prices are wonderfully cheap: i think the pxali are $2.80 each...they have also have small containers of veal and veggie stews...

Personally i love having the option for takeout as it's local for me and a good and inexpensive Georgian craving option when i
don't feel like walking to Old Tbilisi Garden or Oda House or hopping a 45-min train to Brighton Beach...and, thinking ahead to summer, this is not a bad one-stop picnic food option...

May 02, 2015
Simon in Manhattan
3

Suggestions Needed

agreed re: Via Quadronno -- food is decent, but it's very expensive for merely decent food, and it gets crowded/loud too...

Apr 30, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

favorite Fish&Chips these days? here are mine; looking for more...

thanks - i will check out the one on Atlantic sometime when i am over there (i might hike there from Manhattan to burn the calories i'll consume :)

Apr 25, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

dining solo in philly

Il Pittore, Pub&Kitchen, The Dandelion

Apr 24, 2015
Simon in Philadelphia

favorite Fish&Chips these days? here are mine; looking for more...

hi Ziggy...i tried the Cull&Pistol fish&chips -- i liked the fish very much - actually didn't like the chips as they were pretty generic skinny fries, but the fish is my priority in any case...thanks for the rec as i liked the meal overall and the staff are very nice, as are the wines by the glass...cheers...

Apr 24, 2015
Simon in Manhattan

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

Apr 24, 2015
Simon in Recipes

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

Apr 24, 2015
Simon in Recipes

Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

Apr 24, 2015
Simon in Recipes