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Pookipichu's Profile

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Seafood in Manhattan?

I used to recommend Aquagrill quite regularly but recently had a horrible experience there with service (inattentive and dismissive) and food (signature oysters were sloppily prepared).

I hope it was a one-off, but I don't think I'm going back there any time soon.

about 2 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Which restaurant rating?

Each system is a mixed bag, they all will give you a general direction but I wouldn't rely on any one source. Yelp has a lot of useless reviews from people who are completely ignorant of the cuisine they are reviewing. NYT reviews depend on the tastes and predilections of the reviewer du jour. Zagats ratings can be totally skewed. Michelin reviewers tend to have a very specific euro-centric idea of what is "good", that is not necessarily universal. S. Pellegrino is advertising.

They are all helpful in creating a list of restaurants you want to try, then look on CH for more in-depth reviews and opinions that will give you a better picture of what to expect.

about 2 hours ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan
1

Per Se salon, Marea or Momo Ko

" a lot of people rather do like her work"

She won a James Beard award (WTH, best patry chef??), and she's all over the news and a CH darling so yes I realize she's popular.
Magnolia's Bakery is popular, that's the whole point of "hype", that doesn't make it good. You may be hesitant to call it hype but I'm not, because I'm not basing my evaluation on just one dessert by Tosi. I read about crack pie, I was excited to try it and the grasshopper pie and the cookies and the softserves, none of it was good, to top it off, the custom cake was seriously awful. When you get a custom cake, you can assume there is more effort put into it than her regular desserts. Furthermore, everyone was impressed that my co-worker had ordered cake from a famous place, but no-one had seconds, most people didn't even finish their slice and these are people non "foodies" that will eat almost anything sweet. Lastly I've not tried a custom cake from a reputable baker that was as bad as the cake from Tosi, especially not at that price point. Our office has ordered from Buttercup, Financier, Baked, Sweet Melissa's, Dessert Delivery, Billy's (a mix of good to meh)... I didn't start off disliking her desserts, I gave them multiple chances. it's a combination of undeserved praise and the James Beard award that set me off when there are multiple pastry chefs who are more deserving of recognition. Lastly, Hakkasan is not hyped, if anything it's underrated, it's the best Chinese restaurant in NYC and yet panned. Their marketing department is inept and the reviews were and have been pretty scathing and I feel like they didn't do enough research on NY's culinary groupthink before opening.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Per Se salon, Marea or Momo Ko

Frankly I've tried many of Tosi's desserts and I call BS on her desserts. Marketing hype/emperor's new clothes, a co-worker ordered one of her custom cakes for a birthday and it was seriously one of the ugliest (think homemade by a 12 year old and a tasty bake oven) and driest and sweetest things, just totally inept, yet it cost over $100.

PS - Hakkasan's desserts veer on the less sweet side, more of a Chinese palate when it comes to sugar. Also when I refer to technique, I'm not talking about molecular gastronomy, I'm talking about consistent high level execution of texture, flavor, appearance, I'm a baker/home cook and so I appreciate when I see skill/technique.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Per Se salon, Marea or Momo Ko

Do you mean "stretchingest" pastry chef as in technique or unusual ingredients? Because I'm talking about technique. I haven't been to Del Posto recently so I have not tried the vegetable desserts. I wasn't overly impressed with Del Posto and I haven't been back. Perhaps I'll make a trip to try the new desserts.

As for wd-50 I thought the S'mores dessert was pretty clever and tasty.

I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience at Hakkasan, it's not perfect, but I can't say I've had a perfect experience at any restaurant whether it be EMP or Per Se, etc.. I watched a waiter watch my goat cheese lollipop slide down the stick at EMP and he paused, had a panicked look, thought for a second, and still served it to me (among other gaffes).

I've tried almost all the 4 star restaurants in NY and many of the 3's, Hakkasan has one of the best pastry chefs in NYC. Desserts at Hakkasan are stellar (recent fresh peach tart with sugar cage and pistachio), interesting and beautifully presented. Sometimes I just shake my head over some of the simple things being served and raved about, like a trite, sloppy looking olive oil cake with some gelato or a gag worthy sugar bombs, dry cakes and popcorn milk desserts a la JB winner Tosi (total farce).

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Per Se salon, Marea or Momo Ko

sgordon, did you try the desserts at Hakkasan? I'd be curious to get your opinion. I've had desserts at all three restaurants you've mentioned, EMP, Del Posto and wd-50, (and Per Se but not recently). I find restaurant restaurant desserts in NYC underwhelming in general but I had a chocolate cremeux at both EMP and Hakkasan very close in time and the one at Hakkasan was superior in texture, flavor, execution and presentation (the EMP bar was just plain and the Hakkasan one had gold ombre). It didn't help that the EMP cremeux had a muddled milky flavor. The last time I was at Del Posto I felt they relied too much on simple desserts and frozen milk, nothing that really stretches a pastry chef and the desserts at wd-50 were all interesting but were more enjoyable in concept than taste, like their chocolate pouch with chocolate crumbles inside.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

Pizza party! 11 more people should be easy

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

7-Layer Coconut Cake like the one at Peninsula Grill in Charleston, SC

Kin Shop's coconut cake isn't poundcake nor is it 7 layers, but I highly recommend it, it's probably my favorite coconut layer cake on Manhattan and I've tried many.

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

yumyum1nomnom@gmail.com

Getting together 20 people shouldn't be difficult, I know 2 people who would definitely join.

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

I'd join if you want to do a CH pizza get together :)

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

A year in New York

John Dory is awful, regardless of the Yelp reviews, I had one of the worst meals in NYC there.

Small portions, cheap ingredients, high prices, middling execution and just ridiculous. I had oysters there (mediocre), the stuffed squid (tasty but small and not worth it), the oyster pan roast which was basically toast and oyster flavored foam. It was so little food, we cut our losses and walked over to Ilili to have a real dinner.

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

A year in New York

M. Wells Dinnette is open until 6PM (I've eaten early dinner there). Their menu is small and changes frequently, if not daily and it can be hit or miss. Sometimes there's nothing on the menu that I feel like eating, other times, they've sold out of dishes. I would call ahead to get an idea of what they're serving.

M. Wells Steakhouse is only open for dinner and some of the food is very good, but the steaks don't impress me and much of the food is hit or miss as well or will have some element that throws the dish off.

If you're going to LIC, I'd suggest you try Tournesol (very reasonably priced, well executed bistro fare) or LIC Market (excellent new-American with a focus on local ingredients). Their duck hash is really delicious.

Jul 23, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

A year in New York

You might want to consider:

Hangawi for delicious vegetarian dishes, they prepare mushrooms scrumptiously.

Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken for southern fried chicken that's moist, juicy and well-seasoned. Get the chicken when it's fresh out of the fryer, not when it's been sitting around.

Breslin - Their lamb burger is phenomenal and their menu is strong overall, although they're a little heavy handed with salt. I request them to go easy on the salt.

Hakkasan - Fantastic dim-sim brunch and the best Peking duck in town. Top notch desserts.

Decoy - Very good non-traditional dim sum items, small bites.

Tori Shin - Perfectly grilled meat skewers. I find them more consistent than Yakitori Totto which is also very good but sometimes the meat is overcooked, and the waits are long.

Mad For Chicken/Turntable - Korean fried chicken that is done well. Go for lunch if you like a quieter environment, night time the music gets loud and the atmosphere is more like a noisy bar than restaurant.

Maharlika for very tasty Filipino food, sizzling sisig is lush and well-prepared pata.

Jul 23, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Costata: The Underrated Michael White Restaurant that Covers All the Bases

Fiamma was amaaaaazing. One of the best meals I've ever had in NYC, experienced in a nearly empty room. I had a 12 or more course meal there with so many goodies, and everything was delicious. There was this molecular gastronomy "egg" on a spoon dessert that I haven't seen anywhere else.

More enjoyable than the meals I've had at EMP, Per Se, Marea, LB, Del Posto, etc. In fact I went to Del Posto not long after my meal at Fiamma and there was no comparison from start to finish in the food (tasting menu). Everything was better at Fiamma and the meal at Del Posto was more expensive.

Does anyone remember the grey haired waiter there? He provided exceptional service and he's one of the few waiters that I still think about, I loved the food so much he insisted on giving us a tour of the kitchen and introduced us to the chef who gave us a "who the eff are you face?"which was sort of hilarious and charming, because apparently very few people were brought back there other than friends and family.

Jul 23, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

"Artisan" Western-style bread in Flushing

PS - if you haven't tried it, there's a very good pastry shop next to Nick's Pizza called Bonnelle's. Leagues better than the pre-fab crap at Martha's Country Bakery (which I really don't like).

Jul 22, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

A weekend with conservatives

Annisa is a wonderful restaurant, really a gem. Comfortable, refined without being stuffy, cordial, thoughtful service and lovely food that's thoughtful and inventive without being outlandish.

I've been to Bouley and while it's charming and elegant, I preferred the flavors, preparation of the food overall at Annisa. You can't go wrong with either.

I definitely would not leave Annisa off your list.

I would advise against Gotham Bar & Grill, my last meal there was marked by mediocre food and inattentive/rude service.

Jul 22, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

"Artisan" Western-style bread in Flushing

I agree that I'd sooner go to Cannelle for their excellent pastries than the bread.

Regarding, LL, hopefully it's a fluke, I haven't been there in the past year but the last sandwich I had there wasn't pre-assembled. :(

Jul 22, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream?

Everything at Milk Bar is so sweet it tastes vile to me. I don't understand the popularity/hype at all.

Jul 22, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan
2

Best Wednesday pre-theater dinner near W. 45th St.?

Not far from your theater, I recommend the following restaurants:

Hakkasan - IMO the best upscale Chinese food in Manhattan. Also they are participating in restaurant week and have pre-theater dinner.

Oceana - Upscale seafood, reliably well-prepared. I'm not sure if seafood is a strongpoint in KY?

Jul 22, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

"Artisan" Western-style bread in Flushing

The bread at Cannelle is very good, as is La Boulangerie, I haven't had the same breads at both so it's hard to compare. Cannelle is definitely worth a trip.

For a place that's close to Flushing, Leo's Latticini has Italian bread and it's worth checking out because it's near Tortilleria Nixtamal.

For artisanal bread you're probably best sticking with La Boulangerie based on distance and quality.

Tous Les Jours and Paris Baguette are both gross to me.

Jul 22, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Quickly Bubble Tea

I haven't been to Chatime, do you recommend Gong Cha more or Chatime?

Jul 22, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Mission Chinese pop-up

I was a huge fan of Mission Chinese and was planning on going to a pop-up but I'm going to pass now. That's a real shame, their food was almost too salty to begin with and it sounds like they've crossed that line. I wish restaurants would go back to more restrained salting and just leave a shaker on the table.

Jul 22, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Quickly Bubble Tea

Try the bubble tea at Ten Ren, it's my favorite that I've tried in Flushing. I actually liked Quickly more than the bubble tea at Coco and Kung fu. I order tea without milk and usually without a lot of bubble or syrup and the tea at Quickly is smoother and less processed tasting than Coco or Kung fu.

Two Quickly locations closed in Flushing, one was replaced by a Coco.

Have not been to Gong Cha yet.

Jul 22, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Mission Chinese pop-up

Wow, over-salting is a huge pet peeve of mine. Thanks for the report. Even the green salad was salted?

Jul 22, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Looking for best Dim Sum for a Sunday Brunch in NYCity

+1 I was there recently for the dim sum brunch, Hakkasan serves the best dim sum in NYC.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/857196

Other options include Red Farm/Decoy which does good modern dim sum.

Jul 21, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Group lunch near 8th ave + 16th street?

Maybe Bareburger?

Jul 21, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Whole strawberry shortcake recommendation (Brooklyn or queens)

If you're looking for a strawberry lawyer cake, I recommend Cannelle:

http://cannellepatisserie.com/our-sel...

or Baked:

http://bakednyc.com/baked-goods/cakes...

Jul 20, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Guide to NYC's 10 Best Greek Restaurants and Tavernas

Photos

Jul 20, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs
2

starving in Times Square....

Not sure what your budget is or what you like to eat, but dim sum at Hakkasan is quick and really good.

Jul 20, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Guide to NYC's 10 Best Greek Restaurants and Tavernas

Based on your recommendation, I made it out to Loukoumi today.

They serve a basket of pita and bread. On the table is an olive oil that is mild in flavor, with a pleasant bitterness.

Had the mixed appetizers (meiitzanosalata, tzatziki, taramosalata, skordalia) - tzatziki was excellent, fresh, well balanced in flavor, tangy, one of the best I've had. Meiitzanosalata was also very good, excellent texture and fresh, but I would have liked a little smokiness similar to babaghanoush. Skordalia was very mild and could have used more garlic. Taramosalata was a little too fishy for my taste and not balanced.

fried calamari - really great flavor and enjoyed the breading but the calamari was tough. If it had been cooked less, would have been a very strong rendition.

loukaniko - excellent, housemade sausages that had great snap, great char and lovely meat funk. There were also citrus notes, perhaps orange peel. The sausages are a little salty but pair beautifully with tzatziki and pita.

grilled sea bass - Very fresh, a little bit salty. The lemon/olive oil drizzle they give you is delicious with the fish.

fried spearing - the star dish, highly recommended, delicious, lightly fried, fresh and clean fish flavor, delicious with generous squirts of fresh lemon juice.

finished with galaktoboureko, very generous portion, not too sweet, and a nice texture in the custard but the phyllo was a little chewy. It also needed more cinnamon. They dust the plate with cinnamon and you can dredge the custard though it but there wasn't enough.

All in all, a very solid experience, highlights were the tzatziki, loukaniko and the fried spearing.

My initial impression is that I'd place it above Taverna Kyclades (which I really dislike), Telly, Stamatis, and about the same as Agnanti with an edge to MP Taverna (even though it's not standard), because their bulgur salad and grandma's meatballs are so good.

Jul 19, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs
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