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Just got back from Portland...

Agree! We didn't end up doing the 7 course because my husband doesn't care for seafood. I don't like telling restaurants that during tasting menus because A) he doesn't have an allergy/restriction B) seafood is a huge part of their menu and C) I didn't want to limit myself to no seafood(!!!)
I think the wine paring was $24 and the 7 course was $44, so yes it seems to be a steal. The 4 course was $36.
Should we make our way back there, we will do the blind tasting no doubt.
Also, it looked as though Hugo's was closed for renovations? I guess the eventide owners own hugo's as well, sharing a kitchen? Too bad it was still closed.

May 28, 2013
lkeyes in Northern New England

Just got back from Portland...

After a bit of research of CH, had some great meals in Portland so thanks to all those who have posted on here.
Friday had an AMAZING dinner (did the 4 course + wine pairing) at Bar Lola. Fantastic find. I might not eat in the old port again! The food was excellent, seasonal and local. Service was spot on. And we loved the wine pairing, a lot of things we might not have chosen; it was an adventure and we learned about what we were drinking and why it was paired. We were introduced to Maine Brewing company, specifically "mo" an IPA which was incredible. The owner was confounded as to how we even came across the place, of course I said "chowhound! " Gotta consult the CH before I travel anywhere.
Ate at Eventide upon reccs by locals and CH. Good meal, a bit $$ for smallish portion sizes but great beers and great oysters/raw. Had a fantastic asparagus/uni/hazlenut dish. Looks like they are gutting Hugo's next door.
Dinner at Duckfat. Nothing groundbreaking, fries were fries (good though!) and we had some amazing salads with some really unique and seasonal ingredients. (salads to counter the duckfat, of course. Like ordering a diet coke with a big mac.)
The last night we had dinner in the lounge at Fore Street. We got there at 5:15, wait for a table was until 9:45, wait for bar seats 1 3/4 hours. So we settled into chairs we snagged in the lounge. Food was good, however there was NO warning as to how small or large an item would be. We both had very large salads to start and then I ordered "the seafood platter". One might think that the word "platter" might suggest a largish-size portion. However it was more of a quartet of tiny bites of different cured fish. It was good but tiny tiny tiny for $17 and I'm used to NYC prices. Sized for a 5-year old. Husbands foie was a decent size, a very large app. We saw other items come out which ranged in size from tiny app to large app to full entree, but there was no ability to discern size from the menu. Our server was helpful, but didn't really guide us regarding portions. I should asked more questions but our poor waiter was the only one working the lounge.

Lobster: Went to Five Islands lobster, Eventide, and Lobster Shack at two lights (on our way out out town). Five islands was by far the best. And the steak and cheese (with peppers) was amazzzzing if you don't like things that swim.

Overall, great trip!

May 27, 2013
lkeyes in Northern New England

Current thoughts on Boulud restaurants?

i was at db bistro moderne yesterday for lunch. Actually had a great lunch. I was impressed by the restaurant week lunch menu (normally RW doesn't do much for me). Better than I've had at other locales in recent memory. Service was spot on and the pace of the meal was perfect. However I think much of that was due to the slightly late-ish rez time. When we arrived at 12:45 place was out-of-this world PACKED but the crowd was starting to thin.
Cafe Boulud: always great
Bar Boulud: also great.
DBGB: not to great.

Aug 11, 2012
lkeyes in Manhattan

Fresh Direct produce rating system extremely misleding.

Totally agree with City kid. I've been using fresh direct for 5 years now. The first 1 or 2 years..produce wasn't great. It was ok but I did my shopping for produce elsewhere and bought bulk and staples from FD.
Now, their produce is wonderful; it has really gotten exponentially better. I haven't had anything bad recently, except for a bunch of basil, of which a 1/4 was starting to wilt.
My general rule is this: if it is something you'd normally thoroughly inspect at the grocery store (pulling back the husk of corn, looking closely at bagged lettuce or herbs for signs of wilt or things that are really truly seasonal with short shelf lives,) I buy from Fairway, and not FD.
All other produce staples, (onions, apples, tomatoes, grapes, melon, citrus, most fruit, carrots, celery, etc) I get from FD. I got some of the best peaches I've had all season, the corn was 4 stars and was awesome and some jersey tomatoes better than Union Sq farmers market. The recent "4 stars" I've purchased have been great.
And I tell you what, if any of it is squished, brown, or just generally unappealing, they don't even hesitate to credit you if you shoot them an email.

Oh and Hungry: how long is the lapse from when you place your order and when your delivery is?

Oh and fyi. (Off topic, sorry) Try the korean stir fry kit. Holy crap that is some easy and tasty stuff. Last I checked it was 25% off.

Aug 11, 2012
lkeyes in Manhattan

Dorm Kitchens

I'd be careful about the toaster oven. Make sure not to get one with the "twist" dial timer/on function. It is really easy to quickly "twist" it off before the bell rings, and *yikes* you've set it to "stay on".
In my dorm toaster ovens were not allowed due that risk and, if not cleaned out regularly, they can start to smolder on the nasties lurking on the bottom.
You've got to be really honest with yourself: your kid might be clean and responsible, but if he has 3 other roommates, that's a 75% chance for disaster.
He's likely to be microwaving stuff, boiling water for pasta, nuking sauce.
Sounds cliche, but a george foreman grill is handy. Grilled cheese, is quite versatile.
Hit up garage sales. Lots of plastic cups and dishes, big bowls for popcorn, cheap utensils and gadgets which will get lost eventually.
Oh and a 100 pack of cheap sponges. Someone has to clean all the dishes.

Aug 05, 2012
lkeyes in Cookware

Kid Friendly: East 80s/Yorkville and Midtown nr 50th/park

Family coming into town with 2 (young) boys ages 1-ish and 3-ish. Little guys.

Strollers and high chairs are foreign objects for us so I'm in need of some help from you fine folks:

We need dinner ideas for near the Waldorf Astoria Friday night and upper east side Saturday night.

I was thinking PJ clarkes for early friday (6 or 6:30?). Too crowded then?

UES: barking dog, big daddys, Two Boots? Any other ideas? Apparently the kids like Indian food.

They will eat anything, but of utmost importance is that the place is family friendly.


Mar 11, 2012
lkeyes in Manhattan

Seasonal or Wallse? Which would you choose?

Wallse. Been to both several times, at all times of year. The service at Wallse is consistently great. Seasonal has had some hits and misses for us (and don't sit in the back room).
Wallse is in a great 'hood, great food, great service.

Feb 18, 2012
lkeyes in Manhattan

108 street east side Manhattan

I can't remember the names of them, but there are a handful of small cafes and restaurants between 103rd and 104th on lexington, just north of the subway stop. A mexican place with decent food, and a few slightly more upscale-ish cafes (but that is all relative to the rather downscale neighborhood they reside in)

Jul 30, 2011
lkeyes in Manhattan

Foodies! Looking for lunch place near the Met

Do you like Thai food? I know a few of these might be a stretch for the non-adventurous, but Land Thai is great. Great interior and awesome food. (81st and 2nd)

or Beyoglu for turkish (81 and 3rd)

Ithika for Greek (86th btw 1st and 2nd)

Tokubei 86 (next to Ithika) great japanese and sushi

Spigolo has good Italian if you want a crowd-pleaser. (81st and 2nd)

and follow up question...are you going to cab from the met or walk?
If you're going to cab, it's just as easy to cab across to the west side and a whole new pandora's box of eating opens up!

200 E 81st St, New York, NY 10028

1561 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

308 E 86th St, New York, NY 10028

Land Northeast Thai
1565 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

Tokubei 86
314 E 86th St, New York, NY 10028

Jul 23, 2011
lkeyes in Manhattan

Foodies! Looking for lunch place near the Met

Good suggestion re: Cafe Sarbarsky. I went there for breakfast/brunch this morning prior to seeing the McQueen exhibit at the Met as well.
Excellent, as always. I'd call ahead though and see if they can accommodate.

Square Meal is great, but they are notorious for not accommodating food sensitivities.

Cafe Boulud is a great choice.

Cafe Boulud
20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

Square Meal
30 E 92nd St, New York, NY 10128

Jul 23, 2011
lkeyes in Manhattan

upper east side sur la table sale

Just an FYI. Randomly stopped into SLT on the UES yesterday looking for another springform pan, and lo and behold, a sale.
On a TON of stuff. I know the sale is nationwide, but not sure if exactly the same things are available/on sale at every store, FWIW.

Ok, the deets: I scored an all clad stainless 3 qt saucier with lid for under $100. It was marked 139 on sale, and then randomly, when she rung it up, another discount occurred (?) and it was further reduced. She didn't know why, except that they were clearing a lot of All-Clad (across the board, copper core was on sale as well.)

This was a wish-list pan for me. And I couldn't pass it up at that price.
Any all clad SS lovers, get thee to sur la table.

Jun 14, 2011
lkeyes in Cookware

what items ov do you hang onto instead of ...

are they Savory roasters?

May 14, 2011
lkeyes in Cookware

Looking for Food Adventures..

go to flushing and eat your way around for a day. its a bit of a subway ride but worth it, IMO.

or if you don't want to venture reallly far off the island, it looks like you haven't been to chinatown, so maybe dim sum & then walk to brooklyn via the bk bridge?

Apr 23, 2011
lkeyes in Manhattan

Where do you keep the Kitchen Aid mixer?

i only have four bottom cabinets in my small manhattan kitchen. my KA sits under the sink as it is the only space tall enough for it. i bought one of those heavy cloth KA covers for it. and there it sits. heavy to get out? yes. but i'd rather get some exercise than have it take up 15% of my usable counter space.
as for the corner space in on my counter as the poster was asking above: it is my coffee "station". i have the drip, burr grinder, mason jar of beans, and capresso kettle. those are the only "things" on my entire counter. the extension cord sits curled in the waaaay back and that way i can just pull out the appliances as i need them but they all sit out of the way the rest of the time.

Nov 20, 2010
lkeyes in Cookware

EATALY MANHATTAN--please list your "finds" here

passion fruits, kaffir limes and leaves, a bunch of different types of risotto, aged balsamic.
the pasta and olive oil section is overwhelming. i saw a lot of things there I had never seen before.
the pat lafrieda ready made burgers are awesome. i buy the brisket and short rib varieties, and then mix 50-50.
excellent selection of fruit preserves, cookies, candies. vegetables are amazing, and a good place to go if you are looking for something hard to find. for everything else I'd go to union sq.
it would be a great place to go to make little gift baskets for the holidays.
gelato is amazing.

Oct 30, 2010
lkeyes in Manhattan

What do you use to store dry goods-- flour, lentils, etc?

I just had an 'ah-ha' moment. I cleaned/organized/attacked my pantry today and some of the suggestions above made me have a moment. I live in NYC and my "pantry" consists of one set of floor to almost ceiling cabinets that are very deep but narrow (and for those I am very thankful, believe me). The recs above gave me lots of ideas for storage maximization, without a budget-busting trip to the container store. Thanks!

Oct 17, 2010
lkeyes in Cookware

Need to find truffle butter in Chelsea/Village area

freshdirect sells it, as do most whole foods. agata and valentina up here on the UES sells it. gosh just thinking about it makes me hungry. used in on my turkey last year!

Oct 16, 2010
lkeyes in Manhattan

Wedding registry - what kitchen essentials do you use now that you wish you'd added to yours? Or, which ones did you register for and later found that they're invaluable?

I have the capresso glass kettle. I have probably 4 square feet of counter space, but it makes the cut because A) it is pretty to look at and B) I use it daily.

Jul 04, 2010
lkeyes in Cookware

Need Answer from someone familiar with All-Clad Fry Pan

Just for future reference some all-clad stainless (like the large multipurpose stockpot and the lasagna pan) is made in China. The boxes are typically red/black instead of the all-white boxes that the made in USA stuff comes from. Check to see where it is made. However, that's probably not the case with your example. Its likely that the different stores just have different sales. I know the 12" fry pan has been on sale a lot lately all over the internet (cooking dot com, for one). Just be aware that it is rather large in diameter and doesn't have a helper handle. If the fry pan is full and you're trying to transfer it to the oven, it gets super unwieldy, really fast.
It is more expensive (& more versatile in my opinion) but I'd recommend the 4 qt saute pan w/lid (it has a helper handle)

Jul 04, 2010
lkeyes in Cookware

Modestly priced dinner in Union Square

Aldea? I was there last week, entrees range from 20-30. W. 17th, I think. Food & service were excellent. Google it, a semi-current menu is online. Have a drink at Raines Law Room after. Its right across the street.

Raines Law Room
48 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

Jun 05, 2010
lkeyes in Manhattan

Blaue Gans for a romantic dinner?

What about Seasonal Restaurant and Wein Bar in Midtown? A sleek interior, yet quiet and romantic; we had an excellent meal. We were at Wallse about 2 months ago and had a phenomenal meal there as well (and we were celebrating a special occasion). I'd recommend either, without hesitation.
The menus at both restaurants are very in-season. Of course they will offer you your schnitzel and spaetzel, but they also highlight seasonal veg, seafood, etc. It will only be really rich if you want it to be. Have fun!

Sep 13, 2009
lkeyes in Manhattan