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Balthazar downhill alert?

the only things i like there are the oysters and the carafes of wine...maybe duck confit...i've had some very poorly cooked food there in the past...

1 day ago
Simon in Manhattan

Where do you go for tempura?

i've never had really good tempura in NYC...the anago tempura at Sobakoh is decent though...but everywhere else i avoid it...

Apr 12, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Conflicting Opinions Regarding Bistrot Paul Bert

sorry to hear this -- i was just wondering about this PBert the other day and whether to give it a 3rd try next time i'm in town...sounds like i might be better roaming elsewhere...

Apr 11, 2014
Simon in France

Where's the Happening Midtown Sichuan Right Now?

i've found the original EV Hot Kitchen to be pretty bad...what is 53rd St like?

Apr 09, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Chicane -- dreadful fail at Provencal food...avoid

We tried this for a light supper...

- Clueless staff (we arrived a little after 6pm and the hostess said "We don't start serving food til 6, so it'll be a while before the kitchen opens!" -- me: "Isn't it 6pm now?"...Hostess: "Well, i don't really know!?"...

-- the petits farcis (stuffed zucchini) came out cold, like it'd been taken out of the refrigerator 20 minutes ago...i asked the waiter if it was supposed to be cold...he looked appropriately horrified and whisked it away...then brought it back a few minutes later: it was somewhere btw room temperature and lukewarm...is NO ONE watching what comes out of the kitchen??...i tried a bite: disgusting, like reheated dogfood...(i've had this dish many times in France: this is not what it's supposed to taste like)...

-- tuna tartar starter is tasty but a scam at 19 bucks because 2/3rds of it is a layer of pureed greens...like an ounce of tuna...

-- bouillabaise not terrible but the soup was barely lukewarm (kitchen seems incapable of reaching above 100 degree Farenheit) and there is no shellfish beyond 2 dessicated clams and 2 dessicated mussels...snapper and branzino filets perfectly tasty...

-- mushy awful Tarte Tatin, like a home cook's bad attempt at the dessert...

They really lost me after the double fail on the petits farcis...frankly, i'd be afraid to eat food coming out of a kitchen this neglected...too bad, because the menu looks good on paper, and it's a nice space...i'm unlikely to ever return...

Apr 05, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Chowhounders - Please give me what you got :)

St Anselm

Apr 04, 2014
Simon in Outer Boroughs

Coffee and Wandering on a Saturday Afternoon?, pre-Kanella, City Center

Daytrip Report: in a word, "perfect"...all of the above worked like clockwork...easy stroll from 30th over Market St bridge, down past Mutter Museum and then over through Rittenhouse...

Brief stop at Elixr for tea...then stroll to Kanella...stellar meal there: the manti stuffed with lamb (pictured) was prob the tastiest thing i've eaten in 2014...appetizer combo and the rabbit and whole fish also all delicious...and the semolina custard for dessert...

Afterwards, 5 min walk to Kimmell Center for Phil Orchestra, then a cab to 30th and we were back at home in NYC by 1am...(we really had wanted to make this a 3-day trip and only did such a truncated version due to medical reasons)...

I'll add that everyone we spoke w/ at Kanella and Elixr (and the Kimmell Center) was incredibly friendly...hope to come back soon and explore further afield and will doubtless ask for more suggestions then...thanks again...

Apr 01, 2014
Simon in Philadelphia
3

Cold Soba Noodles

i haven't been to Cocoron yet...i imagine it is tasty based on reports, but i prefer a) inaka whole grain soba, and b) traditional varieties -- so i've stayed stick w/ Sobakoh...

But based on 15 trips to Japan and lots of (usually unsatisfying) soba eating in the US and non-Japan parts Asia, i have to say: Sobakoh is a gem...it really doesn't get much better than that outside of Japan (and even in Japan,the overwhelming majority of soba places aren't as good, as most are fast-lunch type places that serve merely-decent soba w/ yummy-but-greasy tempura for salarymen on lunch break...

Mar 31, 2014
Simon in Manhattan
1

Katsuhama 55th St -- downhill alert?

Went there for an early dinner as it was convenient to where we were at the time...i'd been there and to the 47th St branch (3+ years ago?) and remember it being at least solid...

This time, not so much...soggy batter on the pork, oversalty miso soup...the two waiters were friendly, hardworking Middle-eastern guys who were rushing around to take orders, bus tables, etc...there were two Japanese girls (managers? hostesses?) who seemed to be doing absolutely nothing, not helping out in any way...an odd, off vibe to whole operation...

And...the place smelled bad: like disinfectant mixed with rancid oil...

When we left we felt like we took one for the team...won't be back, at least not to this branch...

Mar 29, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

dinner for picky & adventurous eaters alike?

Cacio e Vino (2nd Ave, btw 4th/5th St) fits all your criteria...reasonably priced Sicilian...some Sicilian specialties w/ fennel and fruit and nuts and seafood for the more Chowish eaters; plenty of simple pastas for the less adventurous...it's also a cute place -- woodsy, small, nice staff...

Mar 28, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Patina African Restaurant

Sounds great...will try it one day this spring...

Mar 26, 2014
Simon in Outer Boroughs

Good mexican restaurant in Manhattan?

i'd never heard of Toloache til reading this post, but perusing the online menu and seeing things like strawberries in the ceviche, and "miso-tequila glaze" on the fish left me a bit nauseous and almost certain to never go there...just my personal reaction to the menu...ymmv...

Mar 25, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

EV Lebanese mentioned in NYT

Thanks for the review...i haven't made it there yet, but was thinking of the place this morning, as i had a Lebanese-style breakfast at home from things i bought at Kalustyans (baba ghanoush, cheese, bread, tabouli, olives)...

re: couscous, i've never had couscous in a Lebanese restaurant or home (i attended quite a few parties at Lebanese homes outside of Lebanan while growing up as a foreign service brat)...but google tells me that Lebanese couscous is similar to what appears on NYC menus as "Israeli couscous", i.e. larger round pearl-shaped, rather than the tinier Moroccan variety)..

http://www.tasteofbeirut.com/2012/02/...

Mar 25, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Good mexican restaurant in Manhattan?

Try the happy hr at Sembrado (5pm to 7pm)...delicious Mexico City style tacos...at happy hr the tacos al pastor are 2 for 1 (3 bucks for 2 tacos)...it's all about the tacos (there are very few other things on the menu), but many delicious taco choices like cactus, shrimp, fish, etc...

sidenote: saw your profile...years ago i spent a couple months in Oslo for work...loved the city and i ate many many meals at Dinner (for others: a high end Chinese restaurant in central Oslo)...(as well as a lot of smoked salmon and reindeer steak w/ berries at TheatreCafeen)...

Mar 24, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Good place to drink and snack, Union Squarish?

+1 on Sembrado...had a wonderful tacos there from 5 to 6pm on Friday night and it wasn't crowded at all yet...

Mar 22, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Critique my NYC food itinerary, please!

+1 on Whitehall...the food i've had there is very good too...

Mar 22, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Critique my NYC food itinerary, please!

-- Arte Around The Corner is a nice UWS coffeeshop...it's on Columbus near 73rd (and is, unsurprisingly, around the corner from a restaurant on 73rd called Arte which i know nothing about)...

-- +1 on GCOB...sit either at the counter or in the bar and order only raw oysters plus beverage of your choice (they have a nice wine by the glass list, as well as interesting beers sometimes)...

Mar 22, 2014
Simon in Manhattan
1

overwhelmed and confused -- let's start with SOHO

it's slightly north of Soho, on 6th Ave btw Houston/Bleecker, but Bar Pitti might be a lovely choice for one of your post-Soho-shopping casual meals...Tuscan food, cash only, open all day, no reservations...i recommend ordering off the chalkboard of specials...

Mar 16, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Big Meals for two ER Nurses Who Finish Work at 7am? Downtown/East Preferred

Hi...two of my friends are ER Nurses who work the 7pm-7am shift near FIrst Ave/17th Ave St...when they finish work at 7am, they are starving and like to have a hearty meal and unwind...

Lately, they've been walking to K-Town 24-hr places but they had mediocre food at Kang Suh recently and are getting a little tired of the K-Town option (though still open to it if someone has a fav place there)...

Where else should they try?...they like meat dishes but are open to any cuisine, and any price range, as long as its open at 7am...anywhere in the greater EV/Gramercy/Flatiron area is ideal...but they also open to places along the 4/5/6 line further uptown...

Thanks in advance...

Mar 14, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Coffee and Wandering on a Saturday Afternoon?, pre-Kanella, City Center

awesome...just what i'd hoped for...

Mar 13, 2014
Simon in Philadelphia

Coffee and Wandering on a Saturday Afternoon?, pre-Kanella, City Center

thanks...maybe we'll try Elixir...

re: walk, 2 miles is ok by us...any thoughts on the most scenic route?

Mar 13, 2014
Simon in Philadelphia

Coffee and Wandering on a Saturday Afternoon?, pre-Kanella, City Center

hi...we are NYC hounds taking the train down to 30th St Station...we get in at 4:30pm...have a 6pm res at Kanella...then a Phil Orchestra concert at 8pm...

I haven't been to Philadelphia in 20 yrs...what is a fun local place for us to get some coffee somewhere btw 30th St Station and Kanella (1001 Spruce St)?...this was originally supposed to be a longer trip, but medical reasons turned it into a day trip...

But we want to make the most of that 4:30-to-6pm/30thStStation-to-Kanella amble...so any thoughts on what route (we love walking) will allow us to best get a tiny taste of your city and also grab a coffee somewhere charming...

Also any must-order dishes at Kanella?...the rabbit looks yummy...

Thanks much...

Mar 13, 2014
Simon in Philadelphia

Birthday dinner on a budget

i like having my bday at Bar Pitti...it's casual and delicious Tuscan...you can construct a perfectly filling and yummy 4-course meal by 2 people sharing one starter/pasta/entree/dessert...(cash only though)...

Mar 12, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

LES Gyros

+1 jen kalb's Bereket call is the kind of perfect location- and cuisine-specific reply that makes chowhounds proud...fwiw, i've met some Turks who love the place too...

Mar 12, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

1 night alone in NYC

how about this: walk to Russian Vodka Room on W.52nd...consume many carafes of garlic/horseradish-infused vodka and greasy potato pancakes...wake up at dawn somewhere (Brighton Beach? Atlantic City?) and show up at interview disheveled, yet w/ a great Gotham tale to tell :) (yes, i am joking)

ok, a real suggestion: it's not right near your hotel, but Keens Chophouse might be a nice call for this...it's old school NY,steeped in history...and if you sit in the pub room (in btw main dining room and bar) there are smaller cuts of steak and mutton and sandwiches that fit the budget, and their fried chicken salad is delicious...it's on 36th, by 6th Ave...

Another suggestion is Molyvos -- Greek food on 56th/7thAve...pleasant bar dining and solid, if unexciting, moderately upscale Greek food and a crowd from Carnegie Hall...

Mar 12, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

EV Lebanese mentioned in NYT

yeah, the pictures of the food look good, and the rustic space looks comfy...i'll report back after i try it...

Mar 12, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

EV Lebanese mentioned in NYT

this Au Za'atar place looks promising...interested to hear any reports...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/12/din...

Mar 12, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

1 night alone in NYC

i loved the food at Al Bustan the one time i went -- just wish the decor wasn't so faux-glam ugly...

Mar 11, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

10 days in NYC - itinerary feedback please

Nice list :)

I'd add Joseph Leonard to your list...charming WV place w/ oysters, charcuterie, bistro-style dishes...

Mar 10, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Black Hound Closing

such a loss...i don't even eat sweets much myself, but i've gone there so many times over the years to get desserts/gifts for others and every single time the recipient has been delighted...sad...

Mar 07, 2014
Simon in Manhattan