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Eleven Madison Park is still the NYC Champ

I have to say - I'm not a huge fan of most of the fine dining places that often get a lot of love on this board (Jean-Georges, Bouley, Tocqueville, etc). It's not that I hate them. The service is good, the decor is lovely. I just haven't found the food particularly great or memorable overall. I always leave thinking the experience was good, but not really worth the (high) price of admission.

One major exception, is EMP. I've only been once since the switch from the grid menu. On all previous trips it was not my name on the reservation, so as far as they could tell, I was a first time diner. There were only two of us. We didn't order expensive wine. There was nothing to indicate we should receive any sort of special treatment. And it was hands-down one of the best meals of my life.

I'm sure being known to the house comes with perks, as it should. But EMP is great even if you're not known at all.

about 2 hours ago
lexismore in Manhattan
1

Help us decide on an Italian restaurant for early December girls trip...

I know I'm not foodwhisperer but...the Cappelletti is pretty amazing IMO.

Rich though, so I usually get one for the table to share.

about 2 hours ago
lexismore in Manhattan

old fashioned strawberry shortcake in nyc

I had a great version of this once at Craft, in LA.

No idea if the NY location offers it as well.

Sep 11, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Your favorite place to get a slice of NY pizza?

Yea, I grew up calling them Sicilian slices as well. Not sure what the origin is. Maybe it's Sicilian-American pizza :D

The artichoke slice is pretty much pizza dough with heaping piles of artichoke dip on top of it. You did well to resist their pushing.

Sep 10, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Your favorite place to get a slice of NY pizza?

Not sure what you had, but IMO the only thing worth getting at artichoke is the square slice.

Sep 08, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Cheap lunches in east 30s/40s

The Hunan section of the menu at Hunan Manor has some great stuff.

Aug 28, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Best BBQ in NYC

Normally, your post would lead me to the conclusion that you just don't like brisket, which would be fine.

However, you say the brisket you've had is "always dry." In that case, you simply have not had good brisket.

For example, the moist brisket at Hill Country is so juicy it literally soaks through the multiple layers of paper they wrap it in. I won't argue with you if you don't like the taste. But to say it's dry is simply factually incorrect.

Aug 27, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Best BBQ in NYC

Completely different. Beef, not pork. More tender meat. I like a lot of the food there, but I think the brontosaurus rib is the best thing on the menu.

Aug 23, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Good Fried Chicken in the City

Fast food or not, Popeye's spicy fried chicken is good.

Best sushi (delivery) East 80s/90s?

Inase on 1st avenue and 83rd st.

Aug 21, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Looking for the quintessential true sushi bar/experience in New York.

Yasuda is definitely more rushed. They even inform you of a 90 minute time limit when you reserve. That being said, I've never actually had them kick me out.

My picks would be:

15 East with Masa if you want a more formal atmosphere.

Dojo with David if you want a more relaxed/party atmosphere.

I've also had great meals at Ichimura, Sushi Azabu, and Nakazawa.

Aug 20, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Sushi Nakazawa, has anyone been recently ?????

I ate with Yasuda numerous times, and he never gave me more than 2 pieces at once. Certainly his personality was a bit overbearing at times, but I had some great meals with him.

Blue Ribbon soho does give you all the pieces at once, even if you order omakase and sit at the bar. I'll have to try Blue Ribbon Izakaya.

As for "sizing to the mouth," at Sushi Azabu, I've had them serve the ikura and uni gunkan maki to my wife in two, smaller pieces, while serving to me in one large piece. She thought it was adorable.

Aug 07, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Sushi Nakazawa, has anyone been recently ?????

There was a theme to it. But it was still too many pieces at once. Most chefs (there, and elsewhere) do a similar progression, but without putting so many pieces down at once.

I definitely prefer the slower pace.

Aug 06, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Is Halal Guys Much Better than your Favorite Halal Guy

If you went during the day on the SW corner of 53rd and 6th, you got the impostor cart.

I believe the real cart arrives at 7 PM.

The SE corner of 53rd and 6th is the correct cart during the day.

Aug 05, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Sushi Nakazawa, has anyone been recently ?????

I ate with him once. He would give me like 5 pieces of nigiri at once. Not a fan.

Aug 05, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Your favorite place to get a slice of NY pizza?

Yes, they're still there. And they're still great.

Aug 04, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Sushi Nakazawa, has anyone been recently ?????

I liked it better than Kiriko's tamago, yes.

Yes, more like pound cake than the typical dense egg custard (attached a photo).

Have you been to 15 East? They also have that style of tamago, but I find the sushi to be better.

We do have a Sasabune on the UES, but it's not particularly good IMO. Sasabune in LA is better. But still not amazing.

Jul 30, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Chef Yasuda is leaving Sushi Yasuda

I've had great meals with Tatsu, post-Yasuda.

Jul 30, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Sushi Nakazawa, has anyone been recently ?????

Which places do you like in LA? Which have you tried in NY?

I found the food at Nakazawa to be somewhat, but not leaps and bounds, better than Kiriko and Zo. The tamago is the best I've ever had though.

Jul 30, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Nice restaurant where we can wear shorts?

I would feel strange at Minetta Tavern in shorts.

But I imagine some people do it.

Jul 30, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Alternative to EMP

The Modern is great. OP had asked for an a la carte option, so I think the Bar Room would be better.

Jul 28, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

15 East - Pedestrian Sushi and A Scaly Foot

It was great. Just make sure when you reserve, you request a seat with Masa - he doesn't serve the entire bar.

That sucks about solo diners, although I actually prefer 15 East to Nakazawa (although I've only been to the latter once, due to the reservation process).

Jul 28, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

15 East - Pedestrian Sushi and A Scaly Foot

The Scaly-Foot situation sounds like a real problem. It's a small bar, so that's not good. But it seems like this review is hardly about the food at all. The meal is dismissed in one sentence "...everything was average..." without even a mention of what was served. Meanwhile, paragraphs are spent talking about the (admittedly rude) people eating next to you.

I had dinner there last night. I hadn't been for a while, so I was curious if perhaps the quality had declined. I found the opposite to be true.

I'm forgetting some things, but the meal kicked off with sea bass sashimi, poached octopus, sea snail, uni/ikura "cocktail." Numerous pieces of sushi - some of the standouts were shinko (amazing), grouper, delicately torched kinmedai, tuna progression (akami/chutoro/otoro), a lightly smoked sockeye salmon, aji, iwashi, saba, giant clam, ark shell clam, an uni progression (Santa Barbara, Hokkaido, Kyushu), melt-in-your mouth anago, all finished off with a negitoro hand roll, with nori so crisp and delicious it rivaled the best I've had in Japan.

If this is pedestrian sushi, I'm scared to try the real thing.

List of top steakhouses in NYC

I've never had the steak at Craft, so I can't comment on that specifically.

I hear what you're saying - it sounds like you like that dry-aged funk. An area which Strip House doesn't particularly shine.

I think of them as a great steakhouse across the board - not just a nice variety of quality steaks cooked correctly, but good appetizers, sides, desserts, service, wine list, even decor.

I'd be hard-pressed to name a steakhouse in Manhattan that is better overall, but if it's out there, I want to know about it!

Jul 27, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan
1

List of top steakhouses in NYC

I have tried the Black Label - imagine the funkiest-tasting dry-aged steak you've ever had, ground into a burger.

It's delicious. My only complaint is that it's SO much like a steak, I almost wish I was just eating a steak. But it's definitely worth trying, IMO.

I found Club A to be a totally average steakhouse. I think the high Yelp ratings may be a result of them offering a ton of promotions through groupon/Savored type deals.

In general, I avoid using Yelp scores. By all means, read into the 2-4 star reviews, but the 1s and 5s are often undeserved. If we follow Yelp, Del Friscos is better than Lugers, which certainly has not been my experience.

Jul 27, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Union Square Hospitality Group

I think the tavern room at Gramercy Tavern and Maialino are good choices - more a question of whether you want American or Italian.

If it were me, though, I'd opt for the bar room at the Modern.

Jul 27, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan
1

Alternative to EMP

I'd look at the NoMad like Kathryn suggested - same chef/owners as EMP.

Also Betony, which was opened by EMP alumni.

Jul 27, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

List of top steakhouses in NYC

Of the ones on your remaining list, I think Strip House is the best.

I don't think any of them are better than Luger's though.

Not your question, I know, but you could also check out Minetta Tavern. Not a steakhouse, technically, but their steak for two gets a lot of positive attention. I found it good myself - certainly better than Club A.

Jul 26, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Your favorite place to get a slice of NY pizza?

http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/11/...

I'm glad not everyone likes it. The wait is long enough already.

Jul 25, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan

Per Se salon, Marea or Momo Ko

As someone who did jump on the Ko bandwagon, this is good advice.

If you don't like the idea of bar seating around an open kitchen, definitely don't go to Ko. I just find the food there to be better (and more interesting) than at Marea.

Jul 24, 2014
lexismore in Manhattan