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Carmen Anthony's Waterbury & New Haven Closed

Been there on numerous occasions at the Waterbury location. Perhaps the best spot for dining was in the bar. The booths were comfortable and the noise level was considerably lower than the main dining area.

The steak was excellent, quite below the Knickerbocker on University Place in NYC - but that's another story.

Time to move on and keep the memories.

PS. Huntingdon St/Chase Ave/Homer Ave is a very busy street even before the reconstruction going on. There were numerous business going in and out of business in that stretch of road. Some like the Castle just up the road from Carmen's just went downhill about 12 years ago and continues to survive, I assume, on its bar business.

Waterbury itself is a tough market for restaurants.

Oliver's Tavern closed

The one in Essex?

Feb 22, 2015
algct in Southern New England

What cooking gadgets changed your life?... Well at least your cooking?

A Turkish coffee grinder instead of a pepper mill. The bottom part catches the little pieces of pepper that will fall to the surface of your table/counter on an otherwise satisfactory Peugeot mill.

The other advantage is you can really crank on the sucker & do some serious pepper milling.

My old Frugal Gourmet pepper mill died & I needed a replacement.

Feb 13, 2015
algct in Cookware

What cooking gadgets changed your life?... Well at least your cooking?

For everyday use - a Kyocera ceramic vegetable peeler (both small & large sizes depending on need). Beats metal peelers & lasts years.


A really good sharpening steel (my grandfathers from the 1950s Dexter I think) - every day.

Accusharp hand-held sharpener (every couple of days) weird, cheap & it works if you are a little deft with the pressure & alighment. Hint - the cutter blades can be reversed & juxaposed for 4 cutting arrangements when the effectiveness of the tungsten carbide cutters wanes. Extra blades are available.

Chef's Choice electric knife sharpener when the above implements are ineffective. Originally, I used this for sharpening, but learning to sharpen with a steel is worth the effort. Then I was turned on to the Accusharp, just 2-3 light pulls is enough to pull the edge into line. Granted, if you have odd cutting angle knives & cleavers (read hand made or posh), the above 2 won't work. Back to a whetstone. But for mainstream cutlery, it's just fine. If you are careful by not applying too much pressure at the hilt end, you don't get a curve in the cutting edge which will need a professional re-surfacing of the blade.

Feb 13, 2015
algct in Cookware

The best of Connecticut?

Lao Se Chuan the Boston Post Road in Milford.

Excellent Sechuan cusine - equivalent to Chinatown or Flushing in NYC.

Small place, most expensive entrees are under $20. The $6 lunch special is nothing special.

Hao Se Chuan in West Haven on the BPR (about 3 miles futher east) is almost equivalent. The joint is a little darker and less inviting inside.

The food is we-take-no-prisoners approach to the cusine. If you want General Tso's Chicken, why bother going to these places unless grandma from the Upper West Side is tagging along.

Jan 31, 2015
algct in Southern New England

Latkes - Matzoh Meal or Flour, Your Preference?


Since I was a kid, grated peeled potatoes (Long Island/Maine), grated onions. Squeeze out the liquid, add back the potato starch from the liquid. Separate the eggs & beat the whites until stiff.
Combine everything & fry away.

The big thing is how fine to grate the potatoes. I prefer a coarser grater, similar to a Swiss rosti, but a little finer, VS the knuckle scraper type box graters.

The egg whites give it a little more lightness.

Nov 24, 2014
algct in Home Cooking

9 of the Most Underrated Dishes at Japanese Restaurants

Had everything at my favourite restaurant Omasa in Hartsdale NY in the '80s at the behest of the owner - except the eel apple pie (must be a LA LA land thing).

Also, not mentioned is
* yama-kaki (grated mountain yam with cubes of maguro tuna & a dollop of fresh wasabi. Just add some soy & off you go.

* a variant with ikura (salmon roe) instead of the tuna

* crispy fish bones as a cocktail snack - never got the Japanese name.

* mirugai (geoduck) bellies - cooked on a grill, oh yes!

* yama imo - mountain potato julienned & done temaki style.

* oden in the winter.

* hamachi kama - grilled collar of yellowtail (may be more popular nowdays)

* shashimo - smelt sized female fish with a skewer through its gills, grilled in groups of 3 or 5. Eat everything.

* cod roe (tarako?), a little spicy, served in a congealed group (sounds worse than it is)as nigiri, bright yellow in colour.

* and engoa (edge of fluke) - the edge of fluke (hirame) which is the muscle which the fins are attached to. Best time is in winter, in the summer it can be quite chewy.

Nov 24, 2014
algct in Features

Sea urchin

Daido Market at 522 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, New York has uni most of the time, as well as a limited selection of fish for sushi & shashimi.

Also available on occasion is hamachi-kama (yellowtail collar) which is superb grilled or broiled in a toaster oven.

Oh yes, there is a major difference between east coast & west coast uni. I prefer the Maine variety which has variations, but is more flavourful.

Nov 24, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Secret to spaghetti with garlic and oil?

Actually butter has less calories per unit weight. It can contain up to 30% water.

ALL fat is 9 calories/gram. EVOO, vegetable oil, trans-fats, bacon fat, unsaturated, polyunsaturated & monounsaturated.

Nov 06, 2014
algct in Home Cooking

Jani in Milford closed???

I passed Jani (Asian) on Cherry St in Milford yesterday & saw a new sign above the joint "QING" & Asian Fusion below it.

Anybody got some more info?

I've like the place since it opened for their roast duck noodle soup & having hamachi-kama on the menu.

Nov 05, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Great restaurants in Springfield area

I'd recommend
A Touch of Garlic
427 White St,
Springfield, MA

Ate there last February & the food was good & tasty. A little out of the way. It's a small place but accommodating. Recommend reservations.

Oct 02, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Chick fil a - Wallingford CT

I originally thought it was called Chick-a-fil & couldn't figure it out.

Dislexia is wonderful.

Aug 25, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Shop Rite

You are correct about the Shop Rite in Milford about the fish counter. The manager is quite friendly and will not hesitate to direct you to what he considers a good hunk of fish. Often he will have sections of tuna/swordfish which he will cut to order. I just missed some steamers for $5.99/lb (they were there for a few days, but when I got around to them.....).

Also correct on the Black Bear deli meats (Bagelman01).

They do have stuff my wife likes Kashi cereal & Russian Kefir so I get there often enough.

The selection of odd meat bits is good for stews etc, but I'd rather pay $25/lb for a good aged steak at Whole Foods a mile up the street when I eat steak.

I was talking with the counterman at the Shelton Stop&Shop fish department & he said the quality of the fish went down when they changed their supplier from the Boston area to NYC (to save money allegedly). Apparently the purveyor is living up to "you get what you pay for".

Jul 29, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Musings on the relatively low activity on Southern New England Board

I mostly lurk & have something to post only when it would be interesting enough others.

Jul 29, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Fairfield County Neighborhood Italian Restaurants-Solid Food with reasonable prices

Whoops! Forgot about the Fairfield County constraints.

True about the dead restaurant walking syndrome - if your restaurant were not in trouble, Robert Irvine would still be slinging hash somewhere & not making a decent living in the entertainment business.

Also forgot about Biagio's Osteria in Ryder's Landing, another upscale joint with OK food, but a bit pricey. Nice if you like to listen to "The 3 Tenors" or Andrea Bottichelli (sic) on the flat screen TV, but it seems like the restaurant equivalent of a sports bar.
Enjoyed the osso buco though.

Jul 06, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Fairfield County Neighborhood Italian Restaurants-Solid Food with reasonable prices

Just did a drive-by by Stella's.

"Open for Mother's Day" displayed prominently on the valence above the windows. But there is a "coming Soon" sign for another restaurant. It may be Franco's, it was after the witching hour so I don't remember the name.

It took over 3 years since the Restaurant Impossible episode for Stella's to die. I hope the owners didn't lose too badly since the owner had a large ego (on the show).

It will be interesting to see the new joint since Casa Nova is 1/2 mile up the road in the equivalent of Shelton's Appalachia and was a little more upscale plus the bonus of a wood fired oven for their pizza's which my wife does not like & prefers GG's 5 minutes over in Milford.

Jul 06, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Student Prince (Springfield) is closing this weekend [moved from Boston board]

As someone who visited the Fort over the last 30 years, it is sad to see it go, the game dinners, the fresh oysters, the martinis served in their own iced decanters.

Towards the end, it was not the same; the quality of the food was up to snuff, but the service was in decline.

"It's the stuff that memories are made of"

Jun 26, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Model train diner along rte 91?

Yes! The hamburgers were good, but they also had real onion rings - not the breaded kind, but the crispy battered kind. I think they made it there.

BTW - it looks like the old Sun Ming restaurant has finally given up the ghost. They had an off-the-menu menu with some really interesting items for the more (back then in the 1970s) adventurous diners. Huntington was still pretty much white bread & even the Wimpy's Burgers on 110 folded quickly - too bad, good burgers.

May 23, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Sally's Building for Sale???

I'll just have to keep the over 60 years of memories.

As a native Bronxite - it thought I knew pizza until my New Haven relatives took me to Sally's (yes, they had the private number back then). I ordered a plain pie & got - what? No Cheese? It was kindly explained that plain meant plain, you want cheese, order cheese.

Didn't matter - the pie was great. Instant convert.

May 06, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Piada's is belly up - Milford, CT

Looks like in the last 2 months or so Piada's (Italian sandwich joint?) on the Boston Post Road in Milford directly across from Lao Sze Tuan ,went out of business after about 1 year in the former Village Bagel's space.

Is this a cursed location or just bad food. I thought of dropping in, but never made it.

Has anybody been there?

Mar 11, 2014
algct in Southern New England

Homemade grain-free dog treats?

We have 3 beagles - the only things they don't eat is catnip!

But for treats, cooked chicken necks & gizzards (cheap & useful for making chicken stock). You can break up the necks to whatever size you need. Turkey necks are good too, as is chicken backs - don't use thighs, drumsticks or wings - the bones shatter into needle shaped shards.

For the occasional treat just to get their attention - popcorn! One kernel is enough to get their attention.

A chickpea can be used instead of the popcorn if you feel guilty about empty calories....

And - there is always Cheetos.

PS Dogs don't need high protein - cats need more than dogs. I've had to cook for a beagle with digestive troubles for years & the chicken necks (or chicken/fish/beef/whatever flesh), carrots, rice, peas, greens & some leftovers (no onions, garlic or grapes) kept him in good stead till it was time to go to the fire hydrant in the sky.

Nov 05, 2013
algct in Not About Food

Matzo Meal Substitute For Matzo Balls?

It is possible to ship a box to Japan from the US.
Shipping would probably be about $15 for 1st class package.

Have you a relative that can do the deed???

Compared to Japanese prices, a 50-cent knaidlah would be a bargain!

Jun 26, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

cooking ribeye

I just use a plain old cast iron pan - maybe there is a difference in the conduction of heat; flat vs ridges.

No sear marks though. I just close my eyes & don't look too closely (heh, heh).

Jun 26, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

How about a summer soup?

There is Rhode Island style too:
Manhattan minus the veggies
New England minus the cream!

Very light - clam broth, (chopped onions,celery with a little bacon/salt pork or olive oil (if you are Kosher), chopped clams & potatoes.

RI style exists east of New Haven CT through Rhode Island & maybe to Fall River Mass all on the coast.

Jun 26, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Food for a pet's death?

I meant to say dimension.

Sorry for the confusion.

No dogs were harmed in the making of the above image.

Jun 26, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Food for a pet's death?

Old image - Naugy is on the left & is still being a "hoover".
The other two - Brick & Yauser have left their mark on this dimention.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

A Call for the difficult, the labor intensive, and the cheapest recipes

Another thought are Indian pickles. Very cheap ingredients depending on the pickle somewhat labour intensive and definitely need time to cure.

Also preserved lemons (middle-Eastern) are relatively inexpensive, take time to prepare, and definitely need time to develop. Once done - lots of uses!

A dessert item is a fruit compote.
Take various dried fruits, add water almost cover, add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom seeds (1 clove to 3 cardamom to a small cinnamon stick - more or less),
a little lemon peel, simmer until the fruits have plumped up somewhat. Cool & place in the fridge for a day or so.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if you like.
The chilling and waiting creates a natural syrup.

Main ingredients (for my taste) are (dried) prunes, apricots, pineapple, cherries, pears, apples, mangoes (in moderation), cranberries if you like tart, coconut is OK, but I won't cook it - just add it into the mix afterward.

Whilst on the fruit subject -
Try poached pears in wine sauce. A fair amount of prep work peeling and coring the pears. About 40 min of cooking, thence some chilling involved.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

A Call for the difficult, the labor intensive, and the cheapest recipes

Done Kimchee - need large containers, wouldn't recommend plastic if you are using ANY oils - such as dried fish/shrimp as some recipes call for. Ceramics, glass are just fine.

Cool, cellar storage is a good idea when things are to be fermented.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Food for a pet's death?

Sashimi works just fine.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking

Dr. says, "No SALT ALLOWED" now what?

Stay away from baked goods! There is a lot of salt in those suckers.

Read the labels - you will not be eating too much processed (industrial) food.

But, get either fresh or dried spices (Indo-Pak stores have a lot) to flavor up things.

The other item is hot pepper (chile, siracha) to liven things up. Just a drop or 2 is all you need.

Fresh basil - available at most supermarkets in a pot - you can put on a windowsill, snip a leaf or two & it will last for a few weeks is cheap enough.

Jun 25, 2013
algct in Home Cooking