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Mr. Nilsson Restaurant in LIC

Carrot tops are definitely edible they're just a little bitter, it was mixed with parsley and the flavor is tempered by being frozen, so you're actually not getting a full carrot green flavor. The slight bitterness and herbaceousness makes the sweetness more interesting.

about 1 hour ago
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Quiet LUNCH on upper eastside on Sundays recs?

Atlantic Grill UES? Not the most amazing food, but good enough and the side room tends to be ok for conversation.

about 10 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Tapioca Pudding

I made some tonight with blackberries and cinnamon, you can see the pudding is pretty thick. I added a tablespoon of sugar to the pot (two cups) of pudding because the berries were a bit tart.

about 12 hours ago
Pookipichu in Recipes

Tuome - Modern American Chinese

PS - Photos of the sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf at Tuome. I totally agree with Ziggy that the sausage is too sweet, on the plus side, it's plentiful.

I think the chef's palate veers a wee bit too sweet.

about 14 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Tapioca Pudding

I have an even simpler recipe :) leave out the egg. I use coconut milk as well, dairy makes my insides blow up like a balloon. The pudding is plenty thick and I personally don't care for the taste of the egg in the pudding. For variations I'll soak the tapioca in green tea and add some diced mangos. I don't add any sugar whatsoever, I find the tapioca is lightly sweet and fruit is enough to sweeten.

about 15 hours ago
Pookipichu in Recipes

Wan Chai Seafood in Flushing - Excellent

They suffered a burst pipe this past Chinese New Year weekend and it closed down the restaurant temporarily, :( hoping they get on their feet quickly.

about 16 hours ago
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Dim sum in NYC

Meetup is happening March 5th, 7pm at Hakkasan, let me know if you can/want to join. No crocodile feet but we can save that for warmer weather :)

about 17 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Mr. Nilsson Restaurant in LIC

I'm really surprised by the value of this restaurant, I've found food in LIC to be a bit pricey but Mr. Nilsson was almost a crazy good deal based on the quality of the cooking and the ingredients they are using. I don't want to jinx it and have them raise their prices, but in Manhattan and BK I'd expect to be charged $100+

PS- They said they are going to change their menu every few weeks so it may be completely different when you go.

about 17 hours ago
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

How Top Chef could be "fixed" - according to Grantland

I think many contestants could get a huge advantage simply by watching the show. For instance: Learn how to shuck an oyster, learn some simple desserts, learn the dishes that are popular or native to the location/city you are competing in. There are a remarkable number of contestants that don't do the above things, which is mind-boggling at this point.

FWIW on the show Tom asked Mei if Voltaggio gave her any tips and hints and she said no with a bummed out look.

about 18 hours ago
Pookipichu in Food Media & News

Mr. Nilsson Restaurant in LIC

So something interesting opened in Queens, it's a restaurant within a restaurant concept. Mr. Nilsson is a new-nordic restaurant that opened inside Sage General Store. I'm not a huge fan of Sage General Store, it's fine and has been around forever but I always found it a bit pricey for what you get.

They renovated the decor, it's a little bit more spare, more open, fewer rustic tchotchkes, it's still casual rustic though.

Similar to Casa Del Chef in Woodside (with Blue Hill alum Alfonso Zhicay), Mr. Nilsson's chefs have pedigrees, Greg Proechel is of Eleven Madison Park and Blanca and Michael Kollarik is of Momofuku and the Dutch. Unlike pedigreed Il Falco (with chefs from Il Mulino) the food at Mr. Nilsson is excellent.

They've only been open for two days and only offer tasting menus. They have a 4 and 7 course tasting. The four course is $48 and the 7 course is $84. I opted for the 4 course to experience the restaurant (plus I had had a HUGE multi-course lunch at L'ecole).

They started with a complimentary amuse that was far and above your standard restaurant offerings, it was a seared (I believe torch seared) scallop on fermented sunchoke puree. The scallop was succulent, plump, very lightly cooked with almost a natural/crudo texture, briny. The sunchoke puree had an earthiness that I thought was soy but there is none in the dish. It's dusted with cocoa and hazelnut (that I couldn't taste).

First course was a cruciferous salad with gorgeous romanesco, pickled cauliflower, crispy brussel sprout leaves, red/purple? watercress with toasted amaranth, on labneh. This salad was stunning, colors and plating was like nothing I've seen in Queens. The flavors progress from bitter, sour, creamy, savory and earthy. I found it interesting they didn't opt for a sweet component, something I appreciated. Lovely textures, crunchy and smooth.

Next was another amuse or entremet, confit fingerling potato dusted with fennel, served with anchovy aioli. The fingerling is crisp, creamy and although I generally do not like fennel, it really made the dish taste lighter and brighter, the anchovy gave a savoriness that was excellent.

Second course was a cured mackerel dish with pickled beets, hawthorne, trout roe, buttermilk, dehydrated rye crisps and dill. Thinly sliced mackerel is cured in aquavit, I don't drink alcohol so I'm a bit sensitive to the taste. That being said, the alcohol astringency is not excessive. The quality of the fish was evident, fresh, nicely textured and the acid of the beets and brightness of the herbs helps to balance the assertive flavor of an oily fish like mackerel. The crisps are really lovely, crisp then melting in mouth and the pop of fresh trout roe both tie the dish together. The only issue I had was slivers of mackerel skin that were very tough, I'm guessing from the curing. It was like a small string I couldn't quite chew through.

Next was another amuse/entremet chicharron with a dab of chicken liver and sprinkled with chives. The puffed pork skin is really delicious, and the chicken liver is textbook, it's bright with sherry flavor, chives, balancing the metallic notes and funk of chicken liver.

Third course is an Icelandic cod but they allowed me to substitute for duck (I'm a duck person). They let you know at the beginning of the meal they will accommodate food allergies and reasonable substitutions.

The duck dish is exceptional, like something out of EMP. I'm really surprised to be eating this kind of food in a homey restaurant in Queens. The duck is precisely cut, perfectly seared, crisp skin, fat is well rendered. The skin is dusted with cardamom, cumin and coriander, it actually tasted Chinese to me, if you try it, I think you'll understand what I mean. Really bright flavors, the duck was incredibly juicy, not gamey at all. If I'm going to be brutally picky (why not? the meal is fantastic), there was one thin thread of sinew running through the meat, due to the thickness of the meat not unexpected. The sinew wasn't inedible, (unobtrusive, unlike the mackerel skin) and he dish was incredibly well executed. The duck comes with micro nasturtium, rutabaga and charred eggplant puree. The rutabaga has a subtle sweetness and the nasturtium a subtle spiciness, eggplant bringing a rich creamy texture and smokey bitterness.

Next was yet another amuse/entremet, funnel cake fritters dusted with freshly grated parmesan, aleppo peppers and fried sage leaves. The funnel cake is a perfect crispy vehicle for savory parmesan and if you've never had cheese with sage leaves, the flavors pair remarkably well. Greaseless, it's simple, comforting food executed with skill.

Fourth course was a brown butter cake with crisp purple and orange carrots, honey semifreddo, over a bed of green ice granite. The granite is made from carrot tops and parsley. The butter cake has a lovely texture, moist, good crumb, very lightly sweet, the carrots are very crisp, very light and pair well with the honey semifreddo. The sweetness level of this dish is extremely well-received by me, BUT may not be to the taste of those who like very sweet desserts. This is the type of dessert with rich, cake textures, creamy textures with herbaceous notes and hints of sweetness. It's almost like a Chinese dessert in that you need to really look for the sweetness and along the way you will discover other flavors, vegetal, savory, tart.

Lastly they give you a small satchel of housemade granola to take home (which is less like granola, than a moist and sweet chunk of granola cake), the granola is actually sweeter than the dessert so those who like sweetness, you can eat it right away.

The flavor profiles tend toward the bitter, sour/astringent, savory. I appreciate the food because it's light and does not veer toward the stereotypical and crowd-pleasing sweet/salty tropes.

Service was attentive and patient with my constant questions. Mr. Nilsson/Sage General Store is close to the 7 train and is really easy to get to (for me at least).

To put this meal into context, it's probably the most aspirational restaurant in Queens, superceding M. Wells Steakhouse and with a more varied menu than Mu Ramen. The presentation, thoughtfulness and quality exceeds anything I've had in Queens with the exception of Mu Ramen. Compared to Michelin'd Danny Brown, there's no comparison Mr. Nilsson is head and shoulders above. Casa Enrique is a joke and totally undeserving. M. Wells is brilliantly and superb(ly inconsistent). Salt and Fat is a step down. Casa Del Chef doesn't have the same level of technical skill. Trattoria L'incontro and MP Taverna are a step down. Mu Ramen is exceptional in its genre and the only player in the same ballpark (i.e. aspiring to be a destination restaurant). There is nothing in Queens like this restaurant. I need to eat at Mr. Nilsson a couple more times, they've just opened and this is my first meal, but the potential is there. On their second day, they're cooking some of the best food I've had all year, comparing well to and better than Michelin starred, acclaimed restaurants in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens et al.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/din...

about 19 hours ago
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

NY Dim Sum [moved from Philadelphia board]

The Buddakan in NYC actually isn't bad, Stephen Starr, nightclub vibe and chain aspect aside, the food has been quite good (not my favorite Chinese restaurant in NYC, but good enough I would take people there), although food was uneven in my most recent visit.

about 20 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

New Sichuan Restaurant in Midtown West : Savor Sichuan

Looks really good, thanks for sharing.

http://www.eater.com/forums/new-york/...

about 21 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Mission Chinese Food

I don't blame you, clearly management thought they were going to start serving lunch and they didn't, just wanted to let other people know in case they were thinking of making the trek, it's sort of in the middle of nowhere-ish.

about 23 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

How Top Chef could be "fixed" - according to Grantland

In retrospect, I really enjoyed this season of Top Chef, minimal manufactured drama, no elf sanctioned bullying/drama (head shaving anyone? Heather "I cook market to table, not that Asian crap"), no extreme physical endurance tests (grabbing ingredients from a crocodile pit in 120 degree weather), no cooking for 500 people with one hand tied behind your back... the majority of the challenges seemed to be more about preparing good food than crazy challenges, the no-elimination challenge was a breath of fresh air.

The TX season, despite some great contestants, was a low point for TC in my opinion, the production seems to have moved away from that lowest common denominator, drama factory. I appreciate that. I wish TC would show more of the actual cooking and technique, that's about all I want more from the show. And less of the contestants in the morning, brushing their teeth, getting dressed or drinking coffee. Less of Padma doing gratuitous bikini segments, or closeups or her eating or her chest. Get rid of Last Tom Colicchio's Choice Kitchen. But otherwise, I think TC is fairly good tv.

Mission Chinese Food

Fyi - Just burned my lunch hour going to Mission Chinese, they are not open for lunch yet, door was locked. Bummer.

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Mission Chinese Food

Thanks for the update, they really need a new website or at least put information on their website.

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

UWS w/kids - refining list

I did a double take at that name, I'm perplexed why the menu calls it Korean rice cakes when stir fried rice cakes are a traditional and common Chinese dish.

Feb 24, 2015
Pookipichu in Manhattan

1 year anniversary - small, seasonal and intimate.

I love the experience at Annisa, intimate, warm, very professional service, lovely and interesting food.

Feb 24, 2015
Pookipichu in Manhattan

1 year anniversary - small, seasonal and intimate.

Annisa?

Feb 24, 2015
Pookipichu in Manhattan

best calzone in ny area?

Nick's Pizza in Forest Hills has a great calzone.

Feb 23, 2015
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Recommendation Brooklyn (south) or Staten Island - 80th birthday party - 20 people

Have you considered Tanoreen? They can easily accommodate 20 and the food is very good, lots of non shellfish, no pork.

Feb 23, 2015
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Italian - Nassau

Lol maybe it's time to try it again.

Italian - Nassau

Try La Parma, it's not going to blow you away but it's solid, I like the one by the water best ( there are several)

Il Toscano is pretty good, I haven't been in years though (in Douglaston), probably closer to you than most places in Nassau.

How Top Chef could be "fixed" - according to Grantland

What bugged my about Choi was his comment that they "effed up" and weren't cooking with "soul". It's the kind of silly, useless commentary that's hard to counter, compared to other judges: "this is over-salted, the flavor of vanilla doesn't pair with the lobster and citrus, this is burnt, this wasn't properly strained, this is undercooked in the center, etc.". How do you prove you cooked with "soul". Who is he to say they didn't cook with soul? It's really quite rude imo. It's the type of arbitrary commentary I'd expect on American Idol when judges are trying to ding a contestant that isn't their favorite.

He just rubbed me the wrong way with his foul mouth, cockiness, dearth of useful commentary, combined with my personal estimation of his culinary qualifications via trying kogi truck, bleh. If that's what soul tastes like, I can do without.

Things that don't necessarily agree with you, but you eat anyway ...?

Any kind of cow dairy. Will give a panoply of internal upsets that are best relieved in solitude.

Feb 23, 2015
Pookipichu in General Topics

A restarutant trend that should die in 2015:

Eggs with a 1,000% markup.

Adding something crunchy, just because. Not because it makes a dish taste better, but due to food shows, etc. the trend that if your food is soft it HAS to have a crunchy element.

Desserts that have no skill, show no skill, require no skill yet are offered at fine dining restaurants.

The >$15 burger trend. Burgers used to be a gateway menu item, affordable, filling. Your burger should not be the cost of a steak. French fries should not cost $10, do not drizzle artificial truffle flavoring on them. Do not jack up the price because of that horrible artificial truffle flavoring.

TRUFFLE OIL, although this trend is dying, it should be dead already.

Good Chinese Place For a Birthday Meal?

missmasala, have you considered Decoy or Hakkasan? Their pancakes (made in house) for Peking duck are by far the best I've had in the city. The small bites at Decoy are actually quite good. Neither have round tables though. Decoy has a communal table that might work, and Hakkasan has a room that would work for 10 people (I've thrown a b-day party there).

Feb 23, 2015
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Two Chicagoans In NYC in mid April

I would go to Ilili over Al Bustan, great food, lovely space.

Ippudo (midtown) over Totto, because it's a much nicer space and food quality is about the same, not a huge fan of either after trying Mu Ramen in Queens, which is better than both. Ramen Lab is a new place that opened up to good reviews, but I have not been yet, you might want to take a look.

Not a fan of the "dim sum" cart format at Ma Peche, what I ate there was mediocre. If you want small bites, the dim sum brunch on weekends at Hakkasan is excellent, they also have dim sum during the week but the selection is more limited.

If you like Royce Chocolates, you should try Kee's Chocolates, they're better, artisanal, small batch, made fresh, day of. Theres one on 39th street between 8th and 9th avenue and one in Soho on Thompson Street, both are superb, some of the best chocolates I've had worldwide.

I'd avoid Aquagrill for lunch, and I've found in the past few years, their service leaves something to be desired. For oysters, I also really like Upstate, which is small and gets crowded, but great.

For American desserts/cakes, Baked Bakery on Church Street is excellent.

I've been to Clinton St. Bakery several times now, I find it overrated, especially with the long waits on weekends, granted I'm not a huge fan of pancakes and their other food is so-so (e.g. fried chicken). I think overall the brunch at Locanda Verde is better, the room is nicer and the wait is shorter.

Tuome is a great restaurant, their pig out for 2 is excellent.

You can get mini pancakes at Chikalicious Dessert club which are fun and delicious.

I've only eaten at Pepolino once but my meal was SO, so-so, not horrible, but nothing I'd ever return for, ever. I think the food is expensive for what you get and it's fine as a neighborhood place for Italian food that is thoroughly mediocre, but I wouldn't recommend it for tourists.

Union Square Cafe's brunch is really good, you might want to check them out as they are closing this year.

Feb 23, 2015
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Gui Lin Mi Fen - Flushing

I'm glad you had a good experience. With regard to portions, I'm a bit of a porky pig so it takes a bit to fill up my belly :)

Feb 20, 2015
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Big group?

In addition to these, Fung Tu can handle 20. Lots of options, downtown.

Feb 19, 2015
Pookipichu in Manhattan