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Simon's Profile

Title Last Reply

New York Michelin

Michelin never ceases to embarass itself w/ its absurd praise of mediocre and even flat-out-bad restaurants...i had a good laugh over the list...

about 3 hours ago
Simon in Manhattan

Best place to buy "fresh" Halvah?

both Russ&Daughters and Kalustyans halva has been delicious...(and Sahadis if you venture to Brooklyn)

about 4 hours ago
Simon in Manhattan

Won't be returning to Per Se

Expensive rent does excuse rudeness and rude policies...like i said: dining is more than a real estate battle...you proved my point...

about 13 hours ago
Simon in Manhattan
1

Won't be returning to Per Se

foodwhisperer, i agree w/ you completely on this...i'm continually dismayed when i see posters defending rude and short-sighted FOH behavior (e.g. insisting customers wait to be seated til full party arrives when the restaurant is empty at 3pm, refusing to seat solo diners, refusing parties of 3, refusing minor substitutions, charging a fee for eating a piece of home-brought bday cake, etc)...i think many Manhattan folk need to travel a bit more to understand that dining is better if it doesn't contain the viscious vibe of a real estate deal...it's bad enough that diners tolerate such restaurant attitudes, but it's worse to see them defended on CH...one doesn't need to go all the way to rural Portugal or the mts of Peru to see the difference: you can sense a healthier vibe in large cities like Madrid, or Bangkok, or even Philadelphia...

about 15 hours ago
Simon in Manhattan
3

Eastern North Carolina style barbeque in NYC???

i've enjoyed Mighty Quinn a couple times, but generally i find everything there (pork, all the sides, pickles, etc) to be way too sweet...

1 day ago
Simon in Manhattan

Looking for a amazing sunday dinner in Manhattan! Suggestions?

Soba Koh

1 day ago
Simon in Manhattan

Suggestions for wine for an Israeli-style dinner

a nice CDR red would work w/ much of this menu...

Sep 28, 2014
Simon in Wine

da Umberto

thanks for the report...glad the meal worked out well...

Sep 28, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Chinese Takeout Union Square - Gramercy

just looked it up - i will try it...doubt i'd do XLB for a delivery option though so i'd try those while eating there, but might order their other dishes delivered

Sep 25, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Chinese Takeout Union Square - Gramercy

sure...is it new? what kind of Chinese food?

Sep 25, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Chinese Takeout Union Square - Gramercy

i live in that area and there isn't much that i like these days...Legend delivers to me and if you a) catch it on a night when the main chef is working, b) order off the Sichuan menu only, and c) preferably have someone order in Mandarin, then it can be quite delicious - on nights when one or more of those criteria are missing, it can be dreadful...

I don't have a backup place...i think Grand Sichuan St Marks has gone far downhill and i've disliked Hot Kitchen..if you want Thai instead, i like Zabb Elee, but there are some consistency issues there too...

It's a sad state of things: recently my only truly yummy and consistent delivery option is the whole grain crust pizza at Posto...

Sep 25, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Ratatouille

this far from the best, but at Le Grainne Cafe they put a little bit of cold ratatouille on some of the salads (e.g. the poulet salade composee), which i like...

Sep 25, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Please Critique My (Heavily Researched) Food Crawl Itinerary

i love Despana -- i get the seafood salad if they have it, and usually some crotequas and/or tapas w/ anchovy...also they always have free samples of some chorizo and/or cheese and/or almonds on the counter...

Sep 24, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

has anyone been to au zataar on ave a?

i wouldn't recommend it

Sep 22, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Help us decide on an Italian restaurant for early December girls trip...

all Batali restaurants, and esp Lupa, have been criticized for their nasty front-of-house and entitled 'you're so lucky to be eating our oversalted pasta so shut-up and wait' attitude...i've eaten in all of them over the years and will never again...

Sep 18, 2014
Simon in Manhattan
1

Help us decide on an Italian restaurant for early December girls trip...

i like OM too...pastas are all yummy...ditto seafood salad...it's a fun place w/ good location and w/o all the annoying nasty-vibe Batali BS of Lupa et al...

Sep 18, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Best place for suckling lamb & pig and paella in Barcelona/Madrid/Sevilla/Granada?

so happy that you enjoyed it...hope the rest of your Madrid dining was yummy as well...we especially loved Casa Rafa (seafood specialist) when we were there, so that's one to consider for future trips...cheers...

Sep 17, 2014
Simon in Spain/Portugal

Beijing Pop Kebab -- new nothern Chinese restaurant at 122 Mulberry

sounds good -- i shall try it :)

Sep 14, 2014
Simon in Manhattan
1

Kefi downhill alert?

when i went about 3 years ago, the salad was mostly shredded iceberg and the noise unbearbale and the service and other dishes mediocre and i've never had the desire to return...i've always been surprised by the good reports i've sometimes seen here...your review is pretty close to my first and only experience...

Sep 14, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

NYC Italian for non-meat eaters

i'd say take the Scarpetta suggestion and order the yellowtail crudo starter and the black cod signature dish main...

And, if you have a mellow/casual/cash-only afternoon meal available, consider going to Bar Pitti and getting a whole grilled fish off the specials chalkboard and chatted w/ charming owner Giovanni...

Sep 12, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Peasant Restaurant

the whole concept of the "cake charge" (on someone's birthday!) makes me not only want to never go to Peasant -- the fact that people consider it somehow acceptable makes me want to leave NYC altogether...i understand the economics of 21=less-than-several-overpriced-desserts, but it's something that would never ever happen in more civilized cities like those in Spain and Italy ("Oh, it's your birthday and you've already spent a lot of money here?? Sorry, but we're charging you for eating a few bites of your own cake on your bday! Tough luck!")...foul...

fwiw, the last time i went to Peasant was over 10 years ago: the food was mediocre and the service was snotty...i've never considered returning...

Sep 11, 2014
Simon in Manhattan
1

da Umberto

i remember having some tasty shrimp there, and enjoying the antipasti veggies and cheese...please report back...

Sep 03, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

da Umberto

i think i've been there twice in the last dozen years...food was very good both times...it's a middle-aged/older crowd, w/ soft schmaltzy music (greatest opera arias, etc) playing discreetly on the sound system...Carmela Soprano would consider it very 'classy'...and she'd be right: it's not tacky, and the food is good quality...it would be a somewhat odd choice for an under 40-something date, but beyond that it's fine...

Sep 03, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Tapas recommendation please?

Casa Mono snotty service and staff (and oversalting) make it, imo, vile and a strict no-go -- i say this despite loving Spanish food and wine so much that i wish i was living in Madrid...

re: other places...i like Txikito, but i dislike most of the others mentioned here...used to like El Quinto Pino for a snack but i had meh food the one time i tried it post-expansion...dislike Boqueria and find Tertulia inauthentic (lots of randomized ingredients and staff who are clueless on even basic Spanish wine)...but i'm spoiled: just spent 18 days in Portugal and Madrid, so i don't think any Iberian food will please me these days...

Actually: go to Despana in Nolita for afternoon tapas and buy-your-own-wine in their shop...that's the only Spanish place in Manhattan i recommend...cheers...

Sep 02, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Must eats near Atocha in Madrid? Plus dinner help.

I've never been to El Brillante -- sounds you're calamari'd out in any case...i'd say splurge at Rafa, or get some cod/cod liver and other yummy tapas at somewhere like Dolores or the original Taberna De La Daniela (the one near Arco Cuchilleros), or eat at Taberna Huevos Lucio...enjoy!

Aug 31, 2014
Simon in Spain/Portugal

Must eats near Atocha in Madrid? Plus dinner help.

Rafa and C.Cervantes are both fine choices but very different...Cervantes is bustling and casual...Rafa is elegant albeit in a casual understated way...we ate at both in August..

Two pictures: the grilled prawns are at Cervantes (and were more expensive -- 27 euros -- than i'd expected at such a casual place but were worth every penny)...the one-minute-cooked sliced sea bream w/ peppers is at Rafa...why not go to both? a snack one day at Cervantes (it's near the museums) and a 10pm dinner at Rafa...

Aug 31, 2014
Simon in Spain/Portugal

Notice the marked deterioration of East Village Cheese?

Went there today and the Kashkaval i just tried is oddly mushy...not sure i trust the place these days...

Aug 30, 2014
Simon in Manhattan

Few days in Lisbon in Sept.?

hi...i don't know A Parte -- it was our first Lisbon trip and we stayed in Lapa area (at As Janelas Verdes) -- near Madragoa...Lisbon seems to close up earlier than Madrid (where we went for 8 days afterwards) but i'm sure there will be somewhere to at least get some snacks...Camponeza i guess is not so far from Saldhana so that might be an option but would have to check hours/map...

Aug 30, 2014
Simon in Spain/Portugal

Few days in Lisbon in Sept.?

Great...all three fit your criteria pretty well (Madragoa is pricier than the others but worth it imo)

Taberna Ruas Flores was our fav place in the whole city...we ate there twice in 4 days...i think two starters, two mains, bread, 2 glasses of wine, and a dessert came to something like 28 euros total...menu changes daily...we were there for late lunches, but supposedly nighttime offers lots of good tapas-like options...two pics here

Leiteria Camponeza had been recommended to me by a Swiss friend who'd been in Lisbon a couple weeks before me who had loved the hanging skewers of shrimp...when we happened upon it, very hungry, at around 4:30pm: they were closed and the staff were about to sit down to a delicious-looking giant salmon baked w/ onions...the sweet owner Sonia saw our faces and smiled ruefully and said: "Sit down, you can have my portion" -- and served us salmon/rice/potatoes/salad and a bottle of wine...

for Madragoa, make reservations as they book up quickly, and be prepared that the service will be very very slow (the owners are a couple: he waits tables, she cooks)...but the food is very much worth it...i esp liked the morcilla fried w/ onions as a starter...

Aug 30, 2014
Simon in Spain/Portugal

Few days in Lisbon in Sept.?

We were just there for four days - great food city...our three favs were
-- Taberna Rua Das Flores
-- Madragoa
-- Leiteria Camponeza

Aug 29, 2014
Simon in Spain/Portugal