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ah6tyfour's Profile

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Is WD~50 a must visit?

That's how small I thought their kitchen was as well. I could have sworn I saw the kitchen during one of my meals there many years ago and it was more like equipment lining both sides of a hallway with the food pass in the center.

But I got the tour during my meal there last month and it was a decently sized kitchen. It's almost a square space with equipment along three walls, four cooking areas forming a center island, a dessert station off to one side, and the finishing/expediting counter centered and right in front of the entrance.

Here's a picture looking from where the guest stands towards the expediting counter. Chef was watching over the finishing of the chicken liver course and I had a minute or two to observe. The picture shows about 25% of the kitchen. I was about to turn around and take a picture of the rest of the kitchen, but plating had finished and Wylie was walking over to me, so I quickly put away my camera to chat with him.
http://i.imgur.com/x4jGemV.jpg

Oct 16, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

But that's the group session where the cost is $400 per person, right? I never quite understood the pricing since I doubt I'd go alone. But if I brought someone with me, we'd both end up with a full setup and a jamon each. I would do it if a group of two could split the $400 for one jamon, knife, and holder.

It's a shame they're doing away with it. It's been on my wish list for quite some time. Even though I'd give away most of the jamon and would probably never have a use for the setup again.

Oct 12, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

I no longer live there (I live in Vegas now), but my parents still do, so I don't know much about the newer places in Alhambra. Thanks for the tip! This is why Chowhound is awesome. I'm getting suggestions for places to try in my hometown from a forum dedicated to a city 3000 miles away.

Oct 12, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Awesome. I'm really unsure about Tocqueville right now because it restricts the food adventure by quite a lot. But then again, the meal there should be excellent.

If I don't go to Tocqueville for lunch, I'll definitely do The Eddy for dinner. Or maybe we can somehow do both.

My other option is to save Tocqueville for lunch on Saturday right before I head to JFK. That leaves all of Friday free to walk around and eat. And then I'd have one really nice meal to cap off the trip.

Class 302 is my hangout spot. If you've been there more than 2-3 times and usually go late at night, you've probably run into me. It's almost as good as being in Taiwan. I haven't heard of Salju, but my hometown is Alhambra, so I'm apparently right nearby. I'll have to check it out.

Oct 12, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Thanks for reminding me about Despana! I keep forgetting to check the place out. Too bad their summer paella nights are over. And too bad I can't afford to take their jamon-cutting class.

And I put Breads Bakery on my list. I have no idea what a babka really is, but I've always wondered since I'm a big Seinfeld fan. Too bad they don't also have cinnamon babka! =P

Oct 12, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Thanks! I added The Eddy to the list of dinner options. Their menu looks amazing. Have you had their tasting menu? It's tempting, but I'd have to add on the bacon tater tots. Tater tots are my weakness. One of the best American culinary inventions ever.

I'll definitely drop by Snowdays too. I didn't realize shaved snow worked its way to the East Coast. Always thought it was something that's been getting popular on my side of the US (California). I hate how all the newer shaved snow places are serving in Yogurtland-ish cups. It makes it so much more difficult to eat. In Taiwan (where it originates), shaved snow is always served on a plate. The ribbons are allowed to delicately layer and you're able to eat them as layers. Only place I know that does that is Class 302 in Southern California.

Oct 12, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

They were excellent! Panko and lots of Old Bay folded in. And crusted with pulverized Herr's Old Bay potato chips for an extra hit of Old Bay/vinegar flavor. Served with a squeeze of lemon and a wasabi sauce that really enhanced the flavors.

Best clam chowder and crab cakes I've had yet! I might be a bit biased.

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Thanks! I'll look into that other thread.

Starting with Tocqueville really could put a bit of a kink on the food adventure. It would probably last 2.5 hours and we'd be stuffed for another 2.5 after that. That $68 lunch tasting is so tempting though.

Oct 11, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Taim looks amazing! Thanks!

I'm up for anything. Stomach space is not a concern. See my trip review from a past Manhattan trip. I packed my second stomach for this trip as well: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/965876

Oct 11, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Absolute Bagels on UWS

I like to walk and explore via public transportation, so it hasn't really been a problem. Sort of fun just walking around and seeing what happens. See my thread here:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/990764

So I walked 2 miles in the rain to Higbie Bagels today and arrived 5 minutes after they had closed. The employee saw my sad face staring into the store, so he let me in and pulled some bagels for me for free. But they were TERRIBLE! He must have accidentally grabbed the bag of two-day old bagels or something. No shine, no chew, just tough. I'm going to have to walk back again tomorrow to try fresh ones.

Oct 11, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan
1

Absolute Bagels on UWS

I'm in West Islip this month and only 2 miles from Higbie Bagels. No car, so I'm walking there and back today. 4 miles of walking for a bagel. Better still be good!

I shall get both plain and pumpernickel!

Oct 11, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan
2

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

I'm going to be in Manhattan for an overnight trip and have the first day free to explore. I've eaten around Manhattan quite a bit, so the goal will be to catch a few things I've missed and maybe try a few places I haven't heard of yet. No specific cuisine in mind. Willing to try anything.

The plan is to start in East Village at Xi'an Famous Foods for lamb cumin burger and liang pi. From there, going on to Otafuku for takoyaki (I've tried countless times to go here, but each time, the trip is aborted or one reason or another). Then maybe stopping at Momofuku Noodle Bar. And then slowly making my way towards West Village with no specific plans (maybe drop by Stumptown and Tartine) until dinner somewhere in West Village. The day ends with the late night beef ramen at Takashi (finally in town for a Friday night).

For dinner, I'm considering NoMad, Spotted Pig, or any other place. We will be casually dressed, so won't be able to do something like the tasting menu at Tocqueville, which was my original plan. Cost is not an issue.

Any places I should hit in East Village, West Village, or between the two? My other option is to head up towards High Line/Chelsea Market area and then up to Gotham Market for Ivan's. My only requirement is that I'm able to make it down to Takashi by midnight for ramen.

Any help would be appreciated!

[edit]
I just remembered Tocqueville has an amazingly cheap lunch tasting menu, so I picked up a lunch reservation for now. How dressy would we have to be to fit in at lunch? Maybe I'll start with the meal at Tocqueville and then slowly head over to East Village for the evening until I need to get to Takashi at midnight?
[/edit]

Oct 10, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Absolute Bagels on UWS

I had the same experience at Absolute Bagels. It got such great reviews that I made a special trip there to get a bagel. And it was pretty disappointing.

I got a plain bagel since that's now I rate bagels. It didn't have the sheen, the delicate crunch, or the chew that I like in a bagel.

How come Zabar's bagels don't get any hype? I think the plain bagel there is excellent. I'm also a big fan of Ess-A-Bagel. And if you're ever on Long Island, Higbie Bagels in West Islip is great too.

Oct 10, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

Today was the evening of chowder cooking. Turned out really well! Used 52 Top neck clams (Southside didn't have chowder clams), the clam juice from steaming, heavy cream, potato, onion, and salt pork fat. It was definitely the most clammy clam chowder I've ever had! And there's a lot left over, so I expect it to be even better tomorrow after the ingredients have had time to mingle.

Too bad the pictures don't capture the amount of clams in the chowder, but here you go:
http://imgur.com/a/t3tpU

As you can see, I also made crab cakes (1/6th of a pound of lump crab per cake) and the Food Wishes recipe for Oysters Rockefellar. One heck of a delicious dinner.

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

I'm from the left coast currently living in the desert of Vegas! What do I know about clam chowder? At least I far prefer an NY slice to the puts-you-right-to-sleep monstrosity that Chicago puts out or the crazy broccoli rabe and kale pizzas I see in California! =P

I'm going to buy some New England from B&B, some more from Southside, and then make my own and hold a double blind taste test with my housemates. I hope I don't come in 3rd place.

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

I think I'm just not used to Manhattan clam chowder (and not much of a fan unfortunately). Southside's came out sort of luke-warm and my taste buds were not expecting it to be a Manhattan version, so it was disappointing. I'm sure if it came out really hot and my brain was in the mood to try a Manhattan clam chowder, it would have been great.

What's the Manhattan clam chowder trinity?

I'll soon be making clam chowder of the white variety, and I promise you it won't be potato soup with clam seasoning! I'm on a mission to make the most clam-y clam chowder ever made. I imagine it being like essence of clams with a hint of potato (and an even fainter hint of pork). =)

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

I'm going to try making some clam chowder, so I think I'm going to walk to Babylon to catch the bus to Southside Fish and Clam. I can try the food and buy fresh oysters and clams. And apparently Southside DOES sell a New England clam chowder, but I guess the employee assumed I meant Manhattan when I just ordered "a cup of clam chowder".

I'll probably walk back to West Islip from Southside to drop by Stop N Shop and whichever liquor store I pass. Anything else of note to try on my walk along Montauk Highway between Southside Fish and Clam and West Islip?

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

So I still have time! I'm off this weekend, so I'll have to decide if I want to go out there or maybe go meet up with a buddy in Manhattan. or I could just sit around at home cooking seafood.

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

I think I might end up doing both places if I make it out there. If nothing else, Brickhouse can shuck me some Blue Point oysters. Their pricing is the same as the ones I bought from B&B and I had to shuck those myself!

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

Thanks, it's on my list! From the Yelp reviews, it looks like they recently revamped and shortened their menu and the reviews are pretty mixed now. But doesn't seem like anyone who gave poor reviews ordered anything fresh. Worst case, I'll enjoy some Blue Point oysters.

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

Thanks! Gallo Restaurant looks great. It seems really well-priced. A whole chicken for $10? Hopefully my plan to go out to Patchogue and Montauk works out and I can drop by. I'll definitely report back if I go.

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

Thanks! That's perfect. I'm thinking about going on an overnight trip to Montauk, so maybe I'll take the bus to Patchogue and then continue on LIRR to Montauk.

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

As luck would have it, the owner of the home I'm renting for the month and I wanted to cook up a seafood feast for dinner and we went to Southside Fish and Clam to buy some steamers. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to eat there, but I did order a cup of Manhattan clam chowder to go. It was pretty good (as far as Manhattan clam chowders go...I'm not the biggest fan of that style of clam chowder), but I ordered it not realizing they don't serve New England at all. Hopefully I'll find my way there again to buy more seafood and can try the food. Anything specific to try? I saw them cutting up a gigantic locally-caught tuna, so I have high hopes for the place.

We also dropped by B&B Fish and Clam to get oysters and I got a cup of their New England clam chowder. By far my favorite clam chowder so far. It was much less viscous, yet very rich from the cream and the butter. I wish there had been a few less potatoes and a few more clams, but the flavor was excellent. It was so good that I'm already trying to figure out how to go back to get more of it.

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

The end of the line for the S40 is the Patchogue LIRR station and it looks like The Oar is only two blocks away, so it's definitely doable! What do you like to order there?

Thanks for asking your parents! I'm up for anything, but preferably seafood (and chowder...yum). I'm from Los Angeles, lived in San Francisco, and spent time in Vegas and Manhattan, so I'm looking for things that are more uniquely Long Island. Local fish, mussels/clams caught nearby, interesting stews or chowders, etc. But if there's a great restaurant that's special, I'd go no matter what cuisine it was.

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

Thanks! I'm not sure I'll be able to make it out that far though. The bus travels Montauk Highway until the Babylon LIRR station. Southside Fish and Clam is 3.5 miles west of the end of the line for the bus.

I added it to my list in case I make it out that way. I tend to string together a bunch of restaurants to try in one go, so hopefully I'll find a few more things out that way.

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

I'm in West Islip for the month with no car. I've been trying to see what I can of Long Island by using the Suffolk County bus system, but they run so rarely that it's tough to get around. I've decided taking S40 along Montauk Highway between Babylon LIRR and Patchogue LIRR is the easiest way to experience at least a little bit of Long Island.

Today I took the bus to Bay Shore and walked down Maple Avenue to try Chowder Bar. Long Island clam chowder is pretty darn good! I was impressed with Chowder Bar's version. The acidity and spices from the Manhattan clam chowder helped cut the richness of the New England clam chowder. I also got an excellent serving of steamed mussels in white wine and garlic. Unfortunately, I also decided to order the New England clam chowder by itself at the end and it was disappointing. It was bland and had very little clam flavor. Does that mean their Manhattan clam chowder is amazing since the combo was great?

I then walked back up to Montauk and continued walking East into Islip to try White Cap Fish Co. They served me six amazing top neck clams on the half shell, but their Long Island clam chowder was lacking, as was the crab cake. I tried the components of the Long Island clam chowder separately before mixing them together. Surprisingly, I think the New England part of it was better than Chowder Bar. But the Manhattan part of it was terrible. Mixing the two made for a bland watery mess that mostly went uneaten. The crab cake was also terrible. It was one of those crab cakes that consist mostly of breading and the "crab" was imitation crab. There was absolutely no texture to it and, again, most of it went uneaten.

I then continued East on Montauk and tried a rainbow cookie from Manhattan Sweets Boutique (excellent) before hopping back on the S40 to return home.

I really liked Chowder Bar, even though I know it's sort of a tourist spot since it's so close to the ferries.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to other places to try between Babylon and Patchogue without straying too far from Montauk Highway? I'd be willing to walk around a mile or so off Montauk to try anything worth trying.

Won't be returning to Per Se

What's better than the granola are the chocolate bars they give out for those celebrating a special occasion. You get two chocolate bars in this sliding box that you get to take home to enjoy. And they're the most amazing chocolate bars I've ever had. Cookie on the bottom, a layer of peanut butter creme, and a layer of seasonal berry gel on top, all enrobed in dark chocolate. I wonder if I could request it even if I'm not celebrating a special occasion.

Sep 30, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan
1

Is WD~50 a must visit?

The caveat is they may no longer officially honor that bar pricing. I knew about it because I had done it a few times back when it was officially on the website. When I went a couple weeks ago, I assumed the offer was still something they did daily. The waitress said she'd have to ask Chef if they could still do it. Luckily, the kitchen gave the okay and I was able to order. The staff at the bar and the kitchen staff did not seem phased at all, so I think it's something they still do often, just not officially. Other guests who sat at the bar wanting to eat were only offered the choice of the two tasting menus.

So if you can get them to do it, the deal is you get to choose anything from either tasting menu. Your first two are $25 total, with each additional course $15. If you have two people, of course each person can choose their first two courses for $25 (and you can share, so it'd be like trying four dishes for $50).

The shrimp grits are a must. The cured duck dish is essentially duck pastrami and insanely good.

One of my fondest memories of WD-50 was bringing a group of 8 to eat at the bar. They gave us the long bar table by the window. Instead of choosing our dishes, we just told the waiter we wanted a total of 20-24 dishes and to let the kitchen decide what to bring out (and to bring out doubles of their favorites). The kitchen coursed out this great share-able meal. We tried almost everything on the menu and walked out at $60 per person after tax and tip.

Sep 30, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Won't be returning to Per Se

To Per Se's credit, I had a reservation for four and one person had his flight canceled the day he was supposed to come out to join us. The three of us arrived and they had already set the table for four. The staff were not phased at all. They asked us to have a seat at the bar while they re-set the table and then brought us in.

The food was not memorable at all (except for Oysters and Pearls) and the customer service aspect was terrible, so I would also not return to Per Se. I had a really bad experience with the reservation person leading up to the meal and my few special requests were either not noted or not honored. It was such a poor customer service job that I took the time to write a long email to the GM. I dined at EMP a few nights later and it was like night and day.

Sep 30, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Is WD~50 a must visit?

I had the long tasting two weeks ago and I highly recommend it. His food is a bit less "playful" now compared with a few years ago, but the flavors are stronger. I walked in at opening with no reservation and asked for two seats at the bar to do the long tasting. They took my number down and told me to try back in an hour and a half. When I returned, they were able to offer me the four-top that's located right before the two aisles of the main dining room. The pacing and progression of the meal were perfect. Many standouts with no duds.

I happened to be in the area a few days later and returned to the bar to do the "first two choices for $25 and each additional course $15" meal. I chose my favorites from the long tasting: shrimp grits, chicken liver, and cured duck. They still brought me flatbread, the amuse, and the mignardise. And then I got a kitchen tour and met Wylie. A great experience!

Sep 30, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan