Heeney's Profile

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French Laundry Contact info [Yountville, Napa Valley]

As mentioned already, TFL is closed for renovation. They are planning on reopening in a big (MAYBE by May) using a temporary kitchen in order to do so.
When they reopen they will be using TOCK in order to sell prepaid "tickets" on their website like Alinea and Coi.
Not sure if that will take place during the first reopen or the official one though.

Feb 26, 2015
Heeney in San Francisco Bay Area

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

Bon bons? Or the hot or cold?

Feb 26, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

Ok. Well we are set to go for Shuko and Bentony.
At Shuko we'll do the longer Kaiseki menu. Curious about adding the wagyu. If it's worth it and if we should share one supplement or each get it.

As for Betony, would love to hear some suggestions on "must orders". From what I hear it sounds like the lobster is one.

Feb 26, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

Lightner leaving Atera on March 28th

Well dang. I have reservations for the last week before they close. :(
Jaime was there without Matt when I was there last time and it was great then too.

Feb 19, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

Lightner leaving Atera on March 28th

I thought he was there till the 28th.

Feb 19, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

Saison chef counter tickets [San Francisco]

Looks like you can get tickets for the chefs counter for thurs-sat.
It's the same price as their new single price dining room menu on tues-sat.

So anyone know what the difference would be? Is the chefs counter a different experience? Same menu but sat in a different location?

Feb 18, 2015
Heeney in San Francisco Bay Area

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

We did the long Kaiseki at Kyo Ya and loved it both for the food and especially the wonderful staff.
The one thing with our Kyo Ya meal was a soup that was made with okra.
It's had quite a slimy texture. I thought it was good (not great) but it was too much for my wife to finish. She loved the meal but that one course haunts her. :)

Feb 18, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

What was your thought on the heat of the food at Shuko? From what I hear they like to use thai chilies here and there. My wife can eat spicy foods in moderation but if it's scortching or used all the way through the menu she may not enjoy it as much.

Feb 18, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

So, we are actually going to do two places instead of one and are thinking it's going to be Betony and Shuko (if we can get in).
We've never eaten at the Modern either but hear good things. It's been on our to-do list but below the other places mentioned above.

Feb 18, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

So not to complicate things but we are also very interested in Shuko. :)
Any thoughts on it vs Aquavit or Betony?

Feb 17, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

Lightner leaving Atera on March 28th

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/02/16/...

One of the cities best.
Curious to see how it will change under Ronny Emborg.

Feb 16, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

Yes. I'll be honest, one of the main reasons Betony is on our list is because of your good feedback on that place and our shared love for Atera, EMP, and Ko. :)

Feb 12, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan
1

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

Gotta pick one of these for a dinner. Proving harder than I thought.

Aquavit: Never been. And from what I am hearing it's really on an upswing right now. We do like New Nordic cooking as well.

Betony: Never been. But hear lots of good things about this place and has been on our to-do list for a while. Also EMP is one of our all-time favorite restaurants. And we know there are alumni at Betony.

Lincoln: have eaten here only once. As a pre-theater brunch. Was very very impressed with it and felt it was far superior to other Italian places like Babbo and Marea. But it was a rushed meal as we tried to be on time for the show at the Met. Have kind of wanted to go back for a full, relaxed dinner experience.

Would really appreciate feedback on which we should do. Or at least help us knock one off the list.

Feb 12, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

Who has the best wine pairing

For our anniversary we are looking to have a special meal at one of the following:
Benu
Saison
Manresa
Meadowood

We have already got a good idea of the food in all these places. But I just wanted to get an idea of which place offers the best and most interesting wine/beverage pairings?
I know that the prices can vary considerably between the restaurants and that is fine. So disregarding prices and thinking in terms of just the wine pairings...which place would you pick and why?

Thanks in advance.

Feb 12, 2015
Heeney in San Francisco Bay Area

If you could eat at only one restaurant in NYC, what would it be?

Per Se would definitely be a splurge brunch. :)
I was really impressed with the brunch I had at Lincoln a while back. Nice location in Lincoln Center too.

Feb 12, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan

If you could eat at only one restaurant in NYC, what would it be?

I'd say either Atera or EMP as well. Those are the best two for me.
I think Per Se is still great as well but my last visit wasn't on an equal footing with the other two.
As Kathryn said, EMP and Atera look booked up at that date.
However there is a noon lunch at Per Se if you are up for it. May be nice for the view at lunch. I have only done dinner.

If you are sticking with dinner, I actually say go with Jungsik. It has tables and when I went it really was fantastic. It's octopus dish was probably the best octo prep I've ever had.

Feb 12, 2015
Heeney in Manhattan
1

Jungsik menu question

Dang. Next time. :)

Nov 17, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan

Jungsik menu question

Ended up doing the tasting over the choice menu. Really great meal and also great service.
I thought the Bibimbap would be the star, and it was great. But the octopus was easily the best octopus dish I think I've ever had.

Nov 17, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan

Weighing Nakazawa vs Ichimura

just to follow back up:
Ichimura was fantastic and is now probably the best sushi I have been able to have. Really great experience all around. We skipped a pairing and did carafes of sake which were great.

Only downside was I was sat next to a guy who came late, talked really loud, and insisted on chatting with me practically every moment he didn't have food in his mouth. Also for some reason he stared over my shoulder when the bill came which was pretty tacky. :)

Anyway, Ichimura himself was wonderful and the food amazing. Thought I would hate the layered nigiri but it was so good your eyes roll back into you head.

Some comments below mention he serves you sushi till you say stop but not for us. There was a hard cut-off for everyone. But it was around 18 pieces and we were stuffed.
Dessert was ok. But next time I plan to let the sushi have the final word.

Nov 17, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan
1

Cosme soft opening

It was all a la carte. Very much like Estela in the menu organization and price point.

Oct 31, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan

Cosme soft opening

Visited on the third day after they officially opened and it shows.
Kitchen is turning out very good high end Mexican cooking but are backed up by extremely uneven service.
I'll cover the downside first, showed up early for our reservation and were asked to be seated in the bar area which we were more than happy to do. Took over 20 mins to get a cocktail after we ordered it.
Cocktails were good and had some snacks of the mussel tostada which was fantastic and the smoked sepia which had a nice subtle smoke flavor but a texture that is more of an acquired taste.
Waited for quite some time after finishing the drinks and snack and finally after it was 10 mins after our reservation time went up to ask if we could be seated.
Maitre d' said we could sit at a communal table or wait 30 mins.
I expressed confusion since we had a reservation to which he acted surprised like he had never seen us before despite the fact we had specifically checked in with him and sat in his direct line of site for 40 mins.
He then simply walked off and another female hostess came up and said she would see if our table was ready.
We sat down for 10 more mins and watched several empty tables before the original male matre d came back and just stared at us oddly.
My wife asked "are you ready for us?" And he said yes.
He walked us back to our table and finally at the table offered to take our heavy coats which we had carried since we came in only after he saw us trying to put them on the chair backs in confusion.
We were then handed menus which were stained with salsa and avocado from previous customers and ignored for another 10 minutes.

Thankfully, after that things started to improve significantly.
The staff in the dining room were much more attentive and pleasant and very soon we were able to make drink and food orders and proceeded to have a good meal. The only other hiccup was that my wife reported the bathroom as out of order.

So on to the better news. All the dishes ordered ranged from very good to excellent. Single-origin blue corn tortillas were fantastic and had a range of salsas very well balanced with enough heat to notice but not to be overwhelmed.

We ordered:
Octopus cocktail - excellent octopus with delicate heat and red onion with purple corn.

Burrata with weeds - cool and creamy and delicious with a wonderful herby salsa verde.

Cobia al Pastor - slices of cobia tataki with pineable. The cobia was a more neutral flavor but carried the bright pineapple and included tortillas and salsa.

Lobster Pibil Sope - A standout dish with lobster and chorizo and creamy black beans.

Duck Carnitas for 2 - a lot bigger than we expected and very rich. This one required careful eating. You had to balance it with just the right amount of skin and fat and salsa. Otherwise it came across as somewhat dry. But eaten in balance was good. But by this time we could not finish it all as we were too full.

Had to skip dessert which was hard since we heard the corn mousse was very good.

All in all solid cooking and I would love to try again when they hopefully have everything running smoothly.
This is Enrique Olvera so it's obvious he can produce world class food. But given the comically bad service to get seated and being handed dirty menus it started off a good meal with a bad taste in our mouths.

Oct 30, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan

Atera not available--need alternative

Just saw that EMP is in fact doing a different menu for Thanksgiving Day.
Served from 12-8:30pm.

Oct 29, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan

Weighing Nakazawa vs Ichimura

What's the % of guys who wear a jacket to Ichimura?
I intend to "dress up" but wondering if most people skip the jacket.

Oct 28, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan

Atera not available--need alternative

Best of luck!
Btw, if for some reason you can't snag a dinner reservation try for a lunch reservation if it's Thurs-Sat.
Those typically are picked up slower than dinner (but by that I mean they are typically available on opentable for a longer period in the morning 28 days before). :)

I have never done lunch. But it's the same menu as dinner and with the dining room and big windows I expect it's a great atmosphere.

Oct 22, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan

Atera not available--need alternative

Oh also, if your mother is wanting to see some modern techniques, ask to see the kitchen. They typically make you a "surprise" frozen cocktail back there with liquid nitrogen.

Oct 22, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan

Atera not available--need alternative

Eleven Madison Park is "formal dining". I use quotes because the atmosphere is closer in spirit to Atera than Per Se. It's a little more lively and fun.
The food is very refined.
It has the 3 michelin stars. The 4 from the Ny times, and it's #4 on the world 50 best lists.
So it's a target for a lot of "it's all hype" talk.

But every single meal I have had there is stellar. The cooking is fun and delicious.
The service is...well, I'd say it's the best in the world.

Oct 22, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan
1

Cosme soft opening

Apparently they started same-day reservations yesterday at Enrique Olvera's new place.
Any CHers manage to go? I have reservations for the 30th and pretty excited to hear what the early word is.

Oct 22, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan

SF Michelin stars 2015

Does this mean that Benu will likely bump up its price now? I know Corey Lee said he thinks the menu should really be $225.

Wonder if this also means Saison will get a bump in price. Really wish I can visit before it gets insanly high.

Oct 21, 2014
Heeney in San Francisco Bay Area

Atera not available--need alternative

Have never done WD-50.
Atera to me is totally unique in NY. In some ways it seems less like Alinea or WD50 and more like Noma.
So maybe Aquavit may be worth checking out.
Have you considered Eleven Madison Park? That and Atera are the two best restaurants in the city to me. Both cost the same now after ateras price hike.
Two other great counter dining experiences would be Brooklyn Fare (but not in Manhattan and slightly over why you wanted to pay) or Momofuku Ko.

Oct 21, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan
1

Weighing Nakazawa vs Ichimura

So we settled on Ichimura.
I'm wondering if there is any feedback on the wine and sake pairings.
How many glasses? Worth it v ordering a bottle or glasses a la carte?

Oct 19, 2014
Heeney in Manhattan