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Report on my trip

I just got back from 6 great days in NYC. I was again reminded why it's such an amazing city and became even more jealous of the quantity and quality of food that you new yorkers get to indulge in. Here are a few of the things that I ate:

Locanda Verde- Loved it! What a great restaurant. We went for dinner on Thursday night and arrived at 10. There was 4 of us so we just ordered a shitload of food and shared everything. My highlights were the ricotta bruschetta, the burrata with roasted peppers and escarole, the tagliatelle with sweet peas and fava beans, and the pork chop that came with cavello nero and white beans. The food was tasty, the service was great, it was a really fun night.

The Meatball- This was not one of the places I had planned to go to, but a friend of mine convinced me to go with her. I went in with low expectations mostly because it seemed kind of gimmicky to me. But I was pleasantly surprised. I had the classic beef meatballs with tomato sauce which they served on some braised green beans with chickpeas and onions. We shared a side of polenta that was silky smooth and rich and cheesy just like it should be. And for dessert we shared an ice cream sandwich that was vanilla ice cream between 2 honey graham cookies. it was an awesome meal and it was cheap, $66 for both of us including a beer and a bottle of wine.

Katz's- I have been to Katz's before and liked it but i was a bit disappointed this time. I got a meat platter with corned beef, pastrami, and brisket. Maybe I just should have stuck with the sandwhich. oh well.

Esca- I was planning on going to Lupa for lunch but I was in midtown and decided to walk by Esca and see if there was any room for me. i was solo and wasn't really dressed for a nice lunch. They ended up sitting me at a table beside a table of 4 rich housewives from New Jersey who were freaking hilarious. While I was in my army shorts and baseball hat, they were covered in diamonds drinking champagne and telling each other what kind of car their husband drives! Anyways I had a great lunch, I ordered the crudo of the day and the special pasta which was House-made Bucatini with Octopus and Tomato. The noodles were perfect, chewy and firm. and the octopus was tender. Even though I got some funny looks I still really enjoyed my lunch.

Grimaldi's- Had a really good pizza after waiting in line for an hour. It was tasty but I'm not sure if it was worth the wait. There are too many fun things to do in new york to waste my time standing in line!

The Spotted Pig- We went late at around midnight on friday and got a table upstairs. It was my second time at the spotted pig and it is still my favorite place in New York (granted I've only been to about 10 restaurants in the city!) It has such a cool vibe there, unpretentious and almost grungy. But the food is what i really love. We had some oysters to start that were great. Then we shared the gnudi which are ridiculous, and the seared mackerel, mozzarella with nettle pesto and some of the deviled eggs. As I was walking out of the restaurant to leave waiting for my friends outside, a pissed drunk Mario Batali walked outside and I got to shake his hand. Being a cook that was pretty big for me. He could hardly walk he was so wasted and then he proceeded to get on his vespa and zoom away!

The Dressler- We went for dinner to The Dressler in Brooklyn on Saturday night. It was really cool spot. I liked the old school kind of vibe in there and the food was good throughout. I had an amazing starter, rabbit and morel ragu. it was packed with rich mushroomy flavor. Then I had black sea bass with swiss chard some kind of puree i think it was celeriac. For dessert a chocolate souffle cake. i would definitely go back.

I feel like I got a good sample of New York food on this trip. Obviously there were about 50 more places that i wanted to check out but I also had a wedding to go to and i drove to boston to see the canucks and bruins game. i can't wait to go back!

Katz's Delicatessen
205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

The Meatball Shop
84 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

Jun 14, 2011
bcboy1 in Manhattan

Is Blue Hill past it's prime???

Ok here is the deal, I am heading to NYC in the beginning of June from Vancouver. I'll be there for a week, 2 days of which I will be attending my crazy cousin's orthodox Jewish wedding in Brooklyn. So before that I need to get my fill of pork at The Spotted Pig. Do they still have the pig's ear salad? I had it a couple of years ago along with some oysters and devils on horse back and pork cheeks on toast. It was all amazing and I will love The Spotted Pig forever! But I digress...
I have heard great things about Blue Hill over the years and the menu always impresses me so I made a reservation. I figured June would be a pretty good time to go, maybe score some first of the season asparagus, possibly some nettles. The problem is you guys don't talk about it that much and when you do its not usually that positive. Now I'm totally rethinking the reservation that I made and because the doubt has crept in I might have to do a complete overhaul of my food plan for the week! So I need help. Should I keep the res or should I go somewhere else? There will be 6 of us including my parents who are a bit older but good diners...sorry not "but", they are a bit older AND they are good diners. Being a line cook I can't afford to go to Per Se, La Bernardin, Jean Goerge, or anywhere in that category. I want to stay away from anything Asian, because I love it, I eat it 5-6 nights a week, and Vancouver has the best and most variety of Asian food anywhere (I don't care what you say). But we could do Italian. I went to Lupa last trip and had a good meal but wasn't blown away. It looks like Scarpetta is getting the best reviews. Locanda Verde also looks great. A friend of mine just told me he had an amazing meal at Degustation.
As you can see I am lost. Should I just stick with my gut and go to Blue Hill? Any help would be great. And you should all know that you have way too much power over me!

Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

May 11, 2011
bcboy1 in Manhattan


Hey thanks everyone for your advice. I ended up doing the beautiful drive up the coast to Santa Barbara and went for lunch at La Super Rica. The tacos were unreal. my favorite was the chorizo one.
Had a lot of great food in LA as well. Here is some of what I ate:

Umami Burger-i had the Stilton and Port burger which was great, friends had the Truffle and the Manly. i thought the truffle was the best.

Grub-went for breakfast but ended up getting the tuna melt it was amazing, the bacon was good too.

Had breakfast at a food cart on Fairfax between Santa Monica and Melrose. The Spanish tortilla was good but my friends got the white asparagus w sunnyside up egg and bacon which was better.

Food cart on the corner of La Brea and Olympic. had a great azada burrito at 2am!

Son of a Gun- This is a great restaurant. tons of interesting and tasty fish/seafood dishes. Loved the lobster rolls and the skate wing with mashed white yam. Drew Barrymore was sitting at the next table, good LA moment!

Canters Deli- Had the rueben sandwhich. It was alright...not best ever.

And of course had to have a double-double from In and Out.

La Super Rica
622 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Apr 15, 2011
bcboy1 in California


Ya I know there is tons of good food in LA and I will be eating lots of it. I'll be there for 1 1/2 weeks so I want to try to get out of the city for at least 1 of the days to get some good scenery and go for a nice drive. As for the food, we don't get a lot of good Mexican here in Vancouver so it would be great to find some. Or some other kind of Latin food would be good. I'm always up for some BBQ. We have a few farm/restaurants that are doing some amazing things up here. Is there anything like that you can think of? As I said I am very easy to please and any suggestions would be awesome.

Apr 07, 2011
bcboy1 in California


Hey I'm a chef from Vancouver heading down to LA to tomorrow. I have some good meals planned but I have a couple days free to do some day trips. Do you have any suggestions? Not looking for anything too high end. I am just hoping for a nice drive and some good food. Most likely for lunch. Let's say anywhere within 2-3 hours drive from West Hollywood. I know that is pretty vague but I am open to anything. Any can't miss gems?
Thanks a lot for your help...I hope!

Apr 07, 2011
bcboy1 in California


Help me decide!!!! I've done a bit of research but i need more info from some seasoned Vegas restaurant professionals. Looking for fine dining places ( but not too fine eg. Alex) Here are my options:

Fleur de lys
And Bouchon for brunch

I know these are pretty standard choices so feel free to enlighten me with others. We are a group of 6 cooks from Vancouver. Only there for 2 nights.

Thanks for your help

3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Jun 03, 2010
bcboy1 in Las Vegas

Vancouver: lots of suggestions needed

Ok here are the best places to eat in Vancouver. I was born here and I eat here, and you have to listen to me!

-Gyoza King On Robson Street. Get the Negitoro, the Pork Belly, and some gyoza. go late night and be prepared to wait.
-Shalin Noodle house On Broadway. Go there on a rainy day, the windows should be steamy. get the cutting noodles with beef and pepper and the shredded pork with green onions.
-Hons Wonton \House on Keefer it think, in china town. Get bbq pork wonton noodle in soup.
Sun Sui Wah for dimsum on Main street. go talk to the dumpling lady at the front and get her to hook you up. dont miss the sticky rice
-La Casita across from woodwards building. great mexican in very casual atmosphere. get the super tortilla soup.
-Vera's Burgers on Main street. kind of controversial but these are my favorite burgers.
-La Buca on Macdonald Street. The best Italian in the city. go with a group and get them to cook family style. the best meals in vancouver
-Pied a terre on Cambie Street. Same owners as La Buca. The french bistro. The fois gras terrine is the best.
-Tandoori King On Fraser. out of the way a bit and not trendy like Vij's but for my money its better.
-Toshi sushi on 16th and Main. Always a line, but worth it.
-Tojo's On Broadway. Another controversial one but i think if you want to splurge its the best place in vancouver to do it.
-Grotto del Formagio on Commercial Street. Best Paninis in town
-La Quercia on 4th. Very good Italian.
-Market at the Shangri la. Really good food and great dining room. Truffle and fontina cheese pizza!

so much good food. enjoy

Dec 08, 2009
bcboy1 in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Food Related Experience In The South

First of all thank you for the Venice advise. We ended up having an amazing meal at Alle Trestiere. I had Beetroot Gnocchetti with Swordfish and tomato which was the best dish i've in 2 months in Italy (except for the chicken at the place in Florence, whats it called agian?)

Now I have more questions. We have 2-3 weeks in December to fill. We have been doing so much traveling in the north that we are hoping to find a place in the south to stay for a while. When I say the south I mean Napoli and down! We are looking for some kind of experience that includes food/cooking/farming, etc. Maybe a workstay at an agritourismo, or maybe some cooking courses in Puglia, or staying on a farm in Sicily. I know I sound completely vague but we are really open to going anywhere and doing pretty much anything! We have a few leads but I thought I would ask the experts. We are both trained chefs so of course food is our main hobby so anything that fits loosely into the "food" category, we are all ears!

And just for fun here are some eating highlites of our last 2 months:

-The sandwhich stand in the middle of the market in Florence with the big pots of meat and tripe and bits that are chopped up and put on a bun with chili and salsa verde. I had 1 every day we were in Florence
-The place with the Chicken dish in Florence that I mentioned above, I'm sorry I forget the name and I lost the business card! but this chicken is ridiculous!
-Tortellini in Brodo at Cesari in Bologna. On a cold rainy day there is nothing better.
-Braised Veal cheek with Porcini mushrooms in Alba at a restaurant called Lalibera
-Bigoli with donkey ragu at Osteria al Duomo in Verona
-Tagliatelle with ragu at Trattoria Gianni in Bologna
-Tuna sandwhiches in our hotel room 2 nights ago in Verona
-Fritto Misto in Vernazza.
-A Chinese restaurant in Padova that was actually very good. We come from Vancouver, and we know our steamed dumplings!
-Nocciola Gelato at the place in the piazza in San Gimignano

There a a few. Its all a blurr!!!! Too much food, too much food!!!

Nov 21, 2009
bcboy1 in Italy


hi everybody, here is the deal. we are 2 cooks from vancouver, bc and we are doing some traveling before settling down in piemonte in 2 weeks to do some work at a restaurant in piobese. we are in florence now and heading to venice on saturday and staying for a few days. we are staying in a little flat with a kitchen so we will probably cook all of our meals ourselves except for 1 dinner. i like to eat in casual, rustic restaurants with quality food. the less fuss and fanciness the better. please tell us where to go. would love to do a tasting somewhere that is not too crazy expensive. i know we should expect it in venice but we're hoping!
Just to be clear we would eat out for every meal if we could and i know narrowing it down to 1 restaurant is kind of ridiculous, but that's what needs to happen.
thank you for helping.

Oct 15, 2009
bcboy1 in Italy