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Burlington VT, and surrounding areas?

Looking to give a gift certificate to friends who have lived in Burlington for the last three years. Any kind of cuisine, although veggie/fish options would be great, since she's not much of a carnivore.

Anything within 30 minutes of Burlington would be fine-- the more off-beat (while still being good), the better! And, it's an anniversary present, so... Probably a little up-scale would be best.

Thanks in advance.

Sep 04, 2008
ORP in Northern New England

Dinner rec, near Staten Island Yankees Stadium?

Hey all,

Heading out to the Staten Island tonight to see a game. At first I figured one of the better pizza places would be near the ferry, but... According to Slice, that's not the case.

Any ideas? Cheaper = better, of course.

Thanks!

Aug 15, 2008
ORP in Outer Boroughs

best place for pancakes?

I haven't tried them personally, but a friend of mine swears that the pancakes at Prune are far superior, and he's been to Clinton St. dozens of times. Can anyone confirm/refute this (seemingly heretical) opinion?

Jul 28, 2008
ORP in Manhattan

Need UES rec for out-of-towners

Hi,

I'm taking two friends visiting from India out to eat on the UES tomorrow night, and need a place that will (of course) be tasty, but also be fun and comfortable. Something in the $30-$40pp range would be ideal.

They're not foodies, so it doesn't need to be the best of the best; just a place where we'll have a good time, and which they'll enjoy. Fish or Vegetarian would be best, as I don't think they're big meat eaters.

Thanks!

Jul 28, 2008
ORP in Manhattan

EuroTrip is delish!!

I whole-heartedly agree with you, Martini-- The brunch at Euro Trip was a totally amazing, and totally surprising, experience. We had gone there before for dinner, which is also good... But then again, that's sort of what you expect an Eastern European place to excel at (giant, cold beer, delicious, hot sausage).

The brunch, though... Wow. At first I was a bit dismayed not to see a pancake option (besides the Belgian waffle, the menu appears, at first glance, to be mainly eggs and other savory dishes). But, luckily, I spotted an incredible gem hiding in the 'eggs' section: A breakfast-style Langos (I was told it's a sort of Hungarian flat bread), which was covered in fresh banana slices, a bit of whipped cream, and sat on a thin layer of nutella-like sauce. WOW. If you're craving pan cakes or waffles, you've got to try this thing-- really incredible.

Also, the next time you're there Martini, you've got to try their other breakfast drinks: The list is really excellent, with some good outside-the-box choices.

One of the few $14 brunches where you really feel like you're getting your money's worth.

Jun 12, 2008
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Has anyone tried Ten Sushi, new to Park Slope

I agree-- a bit better than I was expecting. Although the sushi is just "good," compared to the competition in PS, you get more than you pay for in terms of ambiance and decor-- The entire front of the restaurant opens up to the street, which made for very pleasant experience (of course, in the midst of this heat wave they'll probably keep it closed for the A/C). Also, the service was excellent. Their 'special' rolls were very good.

Jun 09, 2008
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Breakfast/Brunch

I completely understand where you're coming from-- I've gotten pretty tired of paying $8-$12 for pancakes or eggs I could have made at home. It's gotta be at least a little "unusual," I think.

Luckily, I tried the brunch at Euro Trip, on 5th ave and 20th street: Some pretty amazing stuff there. I had some sort of Czech flat-bread, topped with bananas, cream, and a bit of nutella; really fantastic. Of course, all of the dishes involving sausage looked incredible, and I will definitely be going back to give them a try. Can't give any opinions about the eggs.

They also offer a great selection of breakfast drinks that I'd never seen/heard of before (a welcome addition to the obligatory mimosa and bloody marry). The one I had (which was made with some sort of Hungarian bitters, grape fruit juice and soda) was very good.

Well worth the $14 prix fixe!

Jun 08, 2008
ORP in Outer Boroughs

south parkslope?

Why no love for Piramide, TBird? I've gone five times (3 dinners, a lunch and a brunch) and enjoyed it every time. When you take into account what you get for your money, I think it's a definite rec. I do agree with Bkln hound about the trying-to-hard thing for some of the dishes, but every place has it's foibles, right?

I live very close to both kitchenbar and BBQ, and wouldn't recomend either. Although, apparently Kitchenbar changed their menu recently, so maybe it's time to give it (yet another) chance. BBQ is just over-priced, IMO... food's ok.

Dec 18, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Di Fara - Saturday afternoon lines?

I whole-heartedly agree with JFores: I've started using the exact same tricks he mentioned, and they work great. Although I haven' t been nearly as many times as many other chowhounders, Dom's priority list seems to go (from first-served to last): irritating complainers--> (sorry to be un-PC but this next one is definitely true) pretty/nice women-->people standing at the counter close to the ovens-->people standing at the counter close to the door-->people standing elsewhere (coolers, no-man's-land, etc.)-->people sitting down.

Also, as long as you get inside, you'll be fine for your wait: If you don't think watching Dom work is interesting/engaging/worth-while... Well, then I feel bad for you. As mentioned earlier, your best bet is going at off-hours (11am, or if not then, btween 3 and 5pm).

Good luck! I'm jealous that you're going to get to have a Di Fara's slice for the first time tomorrow.

Dec 07, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Need Impressive place for out-of-towners

Thanks for the good tips-- I've been wanting to check out Tempo for a while now; is it the type of place that could take a bigger group on a weekend? I'd guess no... But the weekday prix fixe sounds amazing.

Dec 04, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Need Impressive place for out-of-towners

Awesome-- so my one idea is no good. Have you been there since they remodeled? Actually, now that I think about it, I think they take reservations for parties of 6 or more...

Also: Hill Country. Good option? I've never been, but it's certainly unusual, and most likely memorable...

Any ideas, Widmark?

Dec 04, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

New Mexican Restaurant in South Slope

I agree with Babaloo's comments-- Very hard to compare Piramide and Tacos N.M. As Guide Boy and Babaloo mentioned, there are a few great places in Sunset Park, which I recently tried (after reading the NYTime's review). Then I went back to Tacos N.M. What a difference! TNM was roughly twice the price as the sunset park places, and not quite as good (although I haven't tried the whole menu yet; just comparing the soft tacos).

Piramide, though: I'm worried. Every time I walk by, they're completely empty. I was able to take a party of 7 on a Saturday night at 8pm and get a table immediately... There were only two other parties in the restaurant.

Do people really think it's over-priced? It seems extremely reasonable to me (particularly their brunch/lunch/small plates/soups). Or maybe no one wants Mex/Tex-Mex if there aren't any margaritas to be had?

What are your feelings about the lay-out/decor? I think it's not good at all-- I'm no designer, but for whatever reason it just doesn't feel inviting to me. The frontage and the sign are also detractors, I think. It's too bad, because as Babaloo said, the food there is really good, and very different than anything else in the 'hood.

Dec 04, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Need Impressive place for out-of-towners

Help!

I've been tasked with coming up with a great place (or places) to bring a group of non-new yorker friends who are visiting. Of course, since we're going to be a party of 5-8 (not sure yet), it makes it really hard.

As I see it, bringing groups of people on food outings is very difficult because you pretty much have to get wherever you're going ridiculously early. The only place I know that could possibly seat 5-8 people at a regular hour on a weekend night *AND* is outstanding/affordable/unusual:

Sripraphai

This group is not looking to spend a lot of money (maybe in the neighborhood of $30/pp). Where else can I suggest?? Any borough is in play here...

Thanks.

p.s. I also made the mistake of telling them about the pancakes at clinton st. baking co., and now they're all dead set on going there for brunch... On sunday. :(

Dec 04, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

'Welcome to the neightborhood' dinner spot?

Hi,

A friend of mine just moved from Connecticut to the BoCoCa area (I think he's on court and atlantic, but I'm not totally sure). Where should I take him for dinner to introduce him to his new neighborhood?

Hoping to spend about $25 or $30pp (not including drinks). This really isn't a, "what's the best food" question-- It's more about bringing him to a good spot that'll make him psyched to have moved to the area.

Ideas?

Thanks.

Oct 14, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

New Mexican Restaurant in South Slope

I'm 90% sure the answer to that question is 'yes.' iirc, our waiter said something like, "we don't have a liquor license yet, but you can bring your own... Or have a complimentary glass of wine."

I think the time spent making our decision was so brief (approaching zero) that the first BYOB option sort of flew out of our heads! Free wine? Yes please.

Oct 05, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Help! Drinks near Brooklyn Bridge Marriott?

Awesome, thanks.

Oct 05, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

New Mexican Restaurant in South Slope

I second mmm and mama: Definitely worth checking out. I've only been for dinner once, and am looking forward to trying their Sunday brunch (hopefully it will be a step up from Beso, which I also enjoy; admittedly, the type of food offered at Piramide is pretty different).

It was nice to have some really good Mexican food without feeling as though I needed to be rolled home after the meal was over. I thought the guac was only ok: We had to ask for lime and salt, which seemed odd to me. The beef in the tacos carbon, though, was excellent. My friend said his steak (the "famous" type... whatever the full name is) was really outstanding.

Next time, tortilla soup!

Oct 05, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Help! Drinks near Brooklyn Bridge Marriott?

Short and sweet: Out-of-the-blue friends arriving at 7pm (3.5 hours). Where's a good place to grab a drink near where they're staying (the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott)? I was thinking about the River Cafe, but maybe that's too far/too crowded/not as good as X, Y or Z?

Thanks!

Oct 05, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Rec for Portland ME needed!

CandyGirl,

Thanks for the recs-- I think it's down to pepper club or Caiola's (Caiola's because they're mentioned all over the place, and from what I can tell would fit these people's personality well).

From everything I've read about Portland in the last few days, I'm pretty psyched to visit them: Seems like there's a TON of great places to try in the area!

Sep 16, 2007
ORP in All New England Archive

Scalino - new Ital. place in Park Slope

I have to agree, Stefano, with everything you said: I've eaten there about seven times since they've opened (full meals on every occasion), and it's definitely become my "default" place in the slope. Of course this is partly because of the price (extremely reasonable) and because it’s still BYO, but also it's because the food is healthy, delicious, and simple. At this point I've tasted almost the entire menu and many of the specials (which change fairly often), including all of the desserts (there are at least four).

Of course, there have been some missteps: The specials are a bit uneven. If you stick to the regular menu, and to the pastas in particular, I don't really think you can go wrong.

The beauty of this place is its simplicity, from the food to the décor and service. If you're someone who needs complicated fare in order to feel as though you're getting your $'s worth, this is not the place for you (if you can cook as well as these guys can, open a place next door: You'll be full every night, like they are). For me, though, the unapologetic simplicity and excellent flavors in their arugula with parmesan salad is emblematic of the entire menu. I tried a more complex special last month (tortellini in a spicy red sauce with lobster) and was pretty disappointed-- however, the fact that the owner (and our waiter) made a point of asking me how it was, and if it was too hot, said volumes.

The service is tremendous, end of story. Anyone who thinks otherwise must have had some rotten luck, I think (or done something to tick off the more portly owner, who is the only one of the two I could ever envision being brusque with a customer). I've brought wine and beer every time I've gone, and I've never had to ask for a glass or an opener: I just put the bottle(s) on the table and wait a few seconds, no matter how busy they are. The very first time I was there, he noticed the table was wobbly: He stopped in his tracks, got down on the ground (we were outside), and adjusted the table legs until it was rock solid. I've never felt so well taken care of at a place that only costs around $20pp for a full meal.

After reading all these posts, I definitely think the rough patches some people seem to have experienced were merely growing pains. Every time I’ve gone, they’ve changed the menu (as they figure out which creations work and which don’t). If you want the self-assured qualities of a restaurant that’s been around for years… I’d suggest not going to a spot that’s just opened.

The decor is a bit spartan, but neat and comfortable. It's definitely relaxed, and feels like a place you could comfortably eat at every day of the week, which I think is unusual in a very good way. Since it's on the corner and has huge windows on both sides, a fantastic open feeling is created: Sit facing the street if you're indoors. Unfortunately, the outdoor seating is definitely superior at this point-- it's a shame it'll be too cold soon; it'll be much harder to get a seat.

Sep 14, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Rec for Portland ME needed!

Hello all,

I'm trying to buy an anniversary gift for friends, and need a rec for the greater Portland area. They've lived there for more than five years now, so ideally it would be a place that's sort of new. Driving a little ways would be ok too, if it's warranted. Of course, the most important thing is that it's really really good.

They're not quite vegetarian (they'll eat organic, humanely farmed, preferably local poultry and fish), but almost. This doesn't mean they avoid places that serve steak-- it just means they aren't big into eating animals.

Price is of no concern (that was fun to type). Any and all advice would be welcome!

Thanks.

Sep 14, 2007
ORP in All New England Archive

Good spot for baseball-loving guests?

Need a bit of help on this one:

Two old friends are arriving at Grand Central this Friday night and want to get some food shortly thereafter. There hotel is in SoHo, but I assume we shouldn't aim for that area, since our goals are as follows:

--$25pp or less
--No overly-long waits
--in a perfect world, the ability to watch the Mets game while we eat, and to have the option to take our time

I know this isn't exactly the recipe for a great night of eating, but... Is there anywhere non-lame I could take them? Usually my go-to for non-new yorkers who just want a bite is Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien (since it's really unusual, fairly fast, good, and cheap), but I'm not sure the trek and the limited sitting-down-and-eating time is really right for this particular scenario...

Thanks for any help!

Aug 09, 2007
ORP in Manhattan

Wine bar on Hoyt and Union?

Nice, way to find fault with my review in exactly the same way I did when I wrote it... in the third sentence. Clearly I agree with you. Still, you could at least have come up with an analogy that works: Anyone who doesn't think the food and seating are really, really important for having a good time at a ball game clearly has never been to one-- It's pretty cool, give it a shot! There are a couple of teams right here in NYC, if you're curious.

Any way, here's a better link:

http://eater.com/archives/2007/07/eat...

Aug 09, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Wine bar on Hoyt and Union?

Yes indeed, it's open and it's quite good.

Here's are my initial impressions, after two visits. Unfortunately I'm not much of a oenophile, so I can't really comment on the selection.

Ambiance/decor: Excellent. The outdoor seating area is very nice, and since it's on a fairly residential block, you can really relax as you sip whatever it is you're sipping. Inside is very well done: Similarly comfortable, but at the same time fashionable. Excellent lighting and bar. The only slight complaint I had last night was the music, which was a bit loud (although very good). We were in the corner directly beneath the speaker, though, so I'm sure it was ok for everyone else.

Food: Very good. "Small plates" only, all for $10. If you're looking for large meal, this is probably not the place you want. The regular menu has a selection of 6 things (two salads, a bread-olive-meats plate, a panini pork sandwich, crostini, pate). I've tried everything but the tuna nicoise salad and the pate, and it's all been good, although the sandwich, the crostini and the meats plate have been best thus far. I'm told the nicoise is very good as well. The sandwich is definitely dinner-sized; a friend couldn't finish it last night. They also have specials, which our waitress forgot to tell us about. So there are actually 9 small plates available at any one time.

They also offer an assortment of cheeses, some of which can be found on the specials menu. They also have oysters, although I haven't tried them yet.

The dessert we tried was outstanding; warm cinnamon bread with fruit compote and nutella.

The only thing glaringly missing, as far as I can tell, is coffee/espresso. Our waitress said they're leaning towards adding those things; we can only hope they do.

Over all, a very pleasant night out. The only things that have bugged me thus far are the slightly loud music, not getting to hear the specials, and, strangely, the language in the menu: The nicoise, which is apparently very good, is written up as being (paraphrasing) "made of really, really expensive canned tuna." Ok, fine, but... suddenly I don't want to order it. If you can just ignore the affected prose, you'll be better off, I think.

As I said before, the quite nature of the neighborhood really adds a lot to the experience, as does the outdoor area. I'm more concerned with the food, which has been very good thus far.

Aug 03, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs

Best Supper Club, Brighton Beach?

I'm hoping to bring a bachelor party (about 20 people) out for a good time. I've read the other posts on this board that touch on these amazing clubs; however, no one really hit on my main question:

Which place would be best for a group of twenty 25-35 year old guys, looking for a great time, heavy drinking, and public shaming for the husband-to-be? I've read that Rasputin and National are the two prime spots-- That, roughly speaking, Rasputin is Vegas and National Broadway.

I'm definitely sold on the entire concept of these places, and am leaning towards Rasputin at the moment. I got a tip that a place called Wintergarden was also superb, but apparently they had a fire in the spring and are still closed. Any advice would be fantastic! Our priorities (most important to least):

1) Mind-blowing ridiculousness of the venue (decor, vibe, entertainment, etc)
2) Access to vodka
3) Quality of emcee
4) Awesomely risqué cabaret/floor show
5) Quality of food
6) Price

Thanks.

Jul 13, 2007
ORP in Outer Boroughs