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Where Do Italians Eat in NYC

Italian friends introduced us to Pepolino, owned by two delightful men who trained together in Florence at Cibreo, when it was still good. Delicious, authentic Florentine food in a completely untouristic part of Manhattan, West Broadway in Tribeca. Reasonable wine list.

Dec 04, 2013
chicfille in Manhattan

Another pre-theater dinner thread...

Kellari Taverna, very sympathique on W. 44th, turns tables quickly and has a welcoming bar where you can graze on well-prepared Greek mezzes. Mains are less good. Inexpensive wine list, too.

Dec 04, 2013
chicfille in Manhattan

Le Bilboquet Manhattan

Pretentiousness? Chutzpah? Gaulle-ing? With no address, no telephone number and no online website Le Bilboquet opened two months ago on 60th St. between Madison and Park Aves., near the Alliance Francaise. The French foodie in me demanded a look, so I walked in today as they were preparing for lunch and asked to see a menu. Salade nicoise, $25; croque-monsieur, $21 (for a grilled ham-and-cheese?), and so it went, with most mains clocking in at $35-plus. And this was lunch, when most Manhattan restaurants lower their prices. As I left, I asked, in French, for a calling card, thinking I might try it out. "Mais non, Madame," they told me, proudly. "You must come in to book." Anyone been there yet?

Dec 04, 2013
chicfille in Manhattan

Pescetarian Birthday Dinner

Damien -- ZZ's isn't a restaurant but a bar with tapas-style small plates. From the icy welcome by a suited guy standing on the sidewalk outside a closed door, to the vertiginous prices ($112 for a premier cru, not even grand cru, Chablis that retails for under $30), to the "wine list" with its choice of six bottles, to the food ($100 for the Italian beef carpaccio), to the hefty dudes and loud babes at the bar, the ZZ's experience starts on a high (the décor! the coconut drink! the absence of waitstaff! the over-the-top bar display!). Alas, it ends when the bill thuds onto the table, a modest meal clocked in at $316, tip not included, or $187.50 an hour. The two toasts pictured below cost $80. You can do a lot better, and have a real experience, with the tasting menu at Annisa, lots of fish selections there.

Sep 22, 2013
chicfille in Manhattan
1

Stockholm restaurants

okay, I think I succeeded inI pasting int of our query.

Jun 26, 2012
chicfille in Europe

Quiet dinner London SW1/Pimlico/Victoria

Tinello delights on all fronts, small plates if you want, lovely surroundings, chic neighbourhood clientele and off the radar with crowds. Love the idea of small plates ,half-pastas which allows you to try lots of dishes, and they have an organic, locavore focus. Excellent wine list. Glam, too.

Jun 26, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

Stockholm restaurants

My post may have been dated June 25, but I don't know how to cut and paste in this post. Perhaps look for my post under chicfille, it goes into huge detail on these restaurant.

Jun 26, 2012
chicfille in Europe

Need help choosing between Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse, The Square, and Gavroche

Check out Gautier, we had a spectacular dinner there recently. Also, with all this haute dining, why not check out the great gastropub, Harewood Arms, in Richmond?

Jun 26, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

A weekend in Dublin

Pls see my post of June 25, to a query about the Greenhouse (in London) ,she didn't specify and I could not figure out how to copy and paste it here. In brief, thrilling food. Longer specifics, check my post.

Jun 26, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

Stockholm restaurants

See my post on Matbaren, etc., dated June 25, but at these price points you're missing the two best restaurants in Stockholm.

Jun 25, 2012
chicfille in Europe

Has anyone been to the Greenhouse restaurant recently?

Just returned from the Greenhouse, where the cooking, by Finnish chef Mickael Viljanen, is thrilling. From the gougere of mushrooms to the passion fruit souffle, the Greenhouse delivered on all fronts. Glistening pink tuna sashimi on a midnight blue plate with foraged herbs, dried olive tapenade, nasturtium and chervil leaves, the whole sprinkled with wild horseradish shavings. Brilliant. Roast cod in a garlicky fish sauce with brown shrimp and a confit egg; slow-cooked chicken leg with parsley foam; scallop with wild garlic puree; cod on a bed of onion and potato, borage flowers and sea asparagus, a tiny sprout with big taste. Passion fruit souffle was served with ginger sauce and a dollop of fresh passion fruit. A mind-blowing experience. No canned music track. Excellent wine list. And that was only lunch.

Jun 25, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

Vienna, Prague, Stockolm, Oslo, Where to eat?

In Stockholm Franzen Lindborg is one of the best restaurants in the world where I have recently eaten, but you need to be prepared to splurge, and they will reward you. The amuse-bouche included a carrot macaroon sandwiched together with foie gras cream. A fine de claire oyster came topped with frozen chopped rhubarb, an inspired contrast. A raw salad consisted of a dozen or so unlikely vegetables (an al dente turnip will only get you so far), and the melted butter dressing imparted an oily mouth-feel. Butter was churned at the table, to spread on the amazing just-baked bread and sprinkled with Swedish sea salt. A scallop was served two ways: roasted in the shell, then dashi poured into the hot shell, and tartare with lime zest. The courses went on and on, ending with a hybiscus and rose-flower dessert with highly perfumed raspberries. At the end, what remained in the bowl was a lone purple pansy petal. When I asked if I could take what remained of our bread loaf, our waiter, horrified, ran to the kitchen, where they baked a fresh loaf and instructed us how the hotel should cut it for proper toasting the following morning. At a gentler price point Ulla Winbladh Inn wins all round for the setting and incomparable Swedish specialties, served with charm and generosity. Mathias Dahlgren's Mat Bar in the Grand Hotel was expensive and underwhelming.

Jun 25, 2012
chicfille in Europe

Report on 10 days in Istanbul

When asked how his dinner went at Mikla, a fellow 'hound replied, "Very good...for Istanbul." What he meant was that, compared with the varied cuisines of China, France, Italy, Japan, Scandanavia (recently), Spain and the U.S., Turkish food in general is limited in variety, regionality, fastidiousness of preparation, and presentation, although the quality of fruits and vegetables is superb. Istanbul cooking at the upper level is strangling under the grip of internationalism, watered-down Italian "fusion," and other trendoid gimmicks. At Leb-i-Derya atop the Richmond Hotel we ate mediocre Italianized food. Ulus 29 felt like eating in a cigar club, everyone on the terrace was smoking. Wine list is phenomenal, with excellent Turkish and Italian bottles, but the food was a joke for the price: following an excellent meze platter came inedible, shoe-leathery beef strips in yogurt (cold), okay ground lamb kebob, and then it poured. Nice fish, kind waiters at Bebek Balikci, a sympathique experience. By far the best meal was lunch at Nar, the restaurant in the uber-chic store, Armagon (sp), in the pedestrian shopping street leading to one of the main Grand Bazaar entrances. Nar is run by a fanatical food historian who has researched, and attempted to recreate, the authentic dishes of Ottoman palace cuisine. Feriye, one of his earlier efforts now under different ownership, currently sags under the weight of bankruptcy and it shows in the food. Dinner at Giritle consisted of excellent mezes and mediocre fish. Finally, as touristic as it is, Hamdi offered by far the best Turkish food of our trip. As guests of our Turkish family who are regulars, we had awonderful table with a superb viewof the Blue Mosque. Delicious mezes were chosen from a large assortment, followed by pistachio kebab and lamb/veal/beef kebab accompanied by rice in a spicey red sauce. Desserts, specially the katmer, were divine, as they were most places. At Hamdi insist on the third floor terrace.

Jun 24, 2012
chicfille in Europe

3.5-day Paris Itinerary - please critique/suggest!

Good Sunday option is Le Moulin a Vent, filled with locals, nice frogs' legs, Beaujolais, grilled meats, friendly waiters and owner. If you insist on a table on the main floor, the choucroute Chez Lipp is fine, wines en carafe, great interior, lots of well-known Parisiens with their dogs.

Apr 23, 2012
chicfille in France

Upscale Dublin or Ireland restaurants in general

Many thanks, we're changing from Pearl Brasserie to Greenhouse.

Apr 22, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

Victoria Station Area - Any Decent Pubs? [London]

If you're willing to try a wine bar, Ebury St. is very satisfying, filled with neighbourhood regulars and ultra-friendly to Yanks (and everyone). A wildly popular, hard-to-find pub just north of Belgrave Square in a pedestrian mews, The Grenadier (sp?) heaves with locals who are most welcoming and well-mannered, a guy actually gave up his barstool for me on a cold, rainy January evening. Good wines, too.

Apr 22, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

London pub recs?

32 Great Queens St. has it all, great food, cute waiters, excellent drink selection, AND you can see "War Horse" in it's original (almost) theatre incarnation, around the corner.

Apr 22, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

London - Next Week - Trendy & Fun

If you're looking for a combo of good food and wine, Terroir, a few notches below trendy, attracts quite a lively post-theatre crowd. But the real deal, if you're willing to travel, is The Harwood Arms, filled with chow hounds in a pub-friendly mode. Book yesterday, the food and drink are so great. And don't miss the venison Scotch egg.

Apr 22, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

OXO cubes - What other choice is out there?

Star brand's Soffritto veg cubes are excellent, I stock up when in Italy but you might find them at Harvey Nic's. Found an excellent porcini cube, also an Italian brand, bought at Harvy Nic's, also perhaps Star brand.

Apr 22, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

Nar in Istanbul

Any feedback, this appears to be the same team running Feriye, or is it the former team no longer at Feriye? Antman, deliciousistanbul, anyone? And, if the team is no longer at Feriye, how is it faring without them?

Apr 22, 2012
chicfille in Europe

hudson restaurant, briarcliff manor, ny

Drinks menus at upscale restaurants/bars/hotels, at least in New York, San Fran, L.A., Paris, London, Rome, Venice, Chicago, to name just a few cities, list specialty cocktails, mixologists' creations, wines by the glass, non-alcoholic mixed "drinks," microbrewery beers, brands of bottled waters, any house-made bitters or liqueurs and, frequently, small plates of "bar" food.

Inverness

River House or Rocpool, which is better?

Apr 21, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

hudson restaurant, briarcliff manor, ny

Starting with the service and moving on to the food, Hudson disappointed on nearly all fronts. We arrived by 7:45 PM, nobody at the front podium to greet us, so we ambled into the bar. No one offered a drinks menu, finally obtained one just as we were led to the table around 8:15 PM. By 9 PM appetizers arrived: an okay green salad, a good tuna crudo, a bizarre asparagus soup with a lump of frozen green stuff and an acceptable beet salad accompanied by ash-crusted goat cheese whose rind drifted into the beets like dandruff. After asking for bread, we were informed that they had run out around 8 PM, and the owner had departed on the bread quest. (See below, Pepperidge Farm sliced?) By 9:45 the food finally arrived: duck breast cold and well done (ordered medium rare); veal chop overcooked, etc. Service was ridiculously unprofessional, our server was being trained by another to open our wines ($54 and $69/bottle) at the table. Server poured tap water into the glass of one diner who was drinking Badoit ($10/bottle and they didn't offer to replace what they had ruined.) Sure, they've been open only three weeks, but the average tab runs at least $100/person. As for the other factors that comprise a satisfying dining experience, the atmosphere (deeply suburban), decor (lotsa Vegas-y chandeliers), view (overlooking ranch-style houses with the Hudson River in the deep distance), bar scene (housewives of Westchester County) were not worth the trip from Manhattan (we were road-testing for a big family birthday). And for desserts, sorry we didn't have the patience for them.

hudson restaurant, briarcliff manor, ny

Dining there tonight , stay tuned.

fish on the Bosphorus

Many thanks for Kiyi, what is the opinion on the good Bebek fish restaurant and Sunset? I'll be writing about this trip, 11 days on both sides of town.

Apr 17, 2012
chicfille in Europe

Newcastle

Only one lunch, Rocpool or River House?

Apr 17, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

Ile Saint-Louis

Mon Vieul Ami and L'Orangerie only if you want to dine with Noisy American
Tourists (the former) or the facelifted ex-pat crowd at the latter. That said, the food at Ami is excellent, but for a more Parisian experience try Westermann's food at Drouant. Okay Parigi, I'll watch the spelling, same with St . Germain. Keyboard is trop petit.

Apr 08, 2012
chicfille in France

fish on the Bosphorus

Many thanks, where would you dine if you had 5 nights at Pena Palace, 3 nights at Swisshotel Bosphorus? Already have your fish on the Bosphorus recommendation. Am a professionally trained cook writing frequently about food, so I am prettty fussy. Istanbul Eats shows a rapidly changing food scene.

Apr 07, 2012
chicfille in Europe

Cork, Dublin, Inverness, Edinburgh, Newcastle

Brilliant suggestion, looks fab.

Apr 05, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland

Cork, Dublin, Inverness, Edinburgh, Newcastle

Thank you, Al Toon, both places have the same ownership, which do you prefer?

Apr 04, 2012
chicfille in U.K./Ireland