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EV Lebanese mentioned in NYT

I haven't had Israeli couscous but based on the photo from above, it looks much drier than risotto.

I can only compare to Moroccan/French style couscous that I've had previously, which has been served steamed, with a side of broth/stew but not in the actual liquid. The couscous I had at Au Za'atar was in the liquid and was creamy and porridgey.

Haven't been to Bereket, but the food is on par with Souk El Shater which is also Lebanese. I haven't tried enough of the menu to give a solid recommendation, I was satisfied with the meal/experience for the price. It's pretty reasonable and has some ambiance. I'm going to let the kitchen and staff find their footing before I go back to reassess.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Visiting from Toronto - thoughts/suggestions?

I like the smoke shack burger at Shake Shack if you're looking for a fast food burger.

Also, don't neglect the flag ship stores in Manhattan, I've found better deals in Manhattan than many outlets. St. John's was having up to 60% off sales, Gucci, Valentino, at Ferragamo 50% off shoes. Only a few stores don't have sales or are stingy with discounts. Saks has some good sales too.

I haven't had the pre-fixe lunch at 15 East, only a la carte dinner and omakase. I had a bad experience with the soba and the a la carte in the dining room was disappointing in general. Nothing was great, merely good and expensive. Perhaps someone can chime in on the pre-fixe lunch.

You know your appetites best, lunch then porterhouse 3 hours later might be too much, especially if you've had breakfast. :)

Blue Ribbon Market does a fried chicken picnic, David Burke at Bloomingdales does burke in a box and Bouchon at Time Warner has some nice picnic items.

1 day ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Visiting from Toronto - thoughts/suggestions?

Be careful of trying to pack too much in (food and otherwise), unless you have a huge appetite, you'll find diminishing enjoyment of your meals and exhaustion will affect your enjoyment.

I would definitely avoid Norma's. Burger Joint is meh, it's very packed, dingy, dirty, the prices have steadily increased and what used to be an inexpensive tasty burger is now a hype and hassle.

Ch An and 15 East are very dissimilar, Cha An is for a light lunch, 15 East excels with omakase at the bar. I've been disappointed otherwise.

Woodbury is for the most part, a total tourist trap.

2 days ago
Pookipichu in Manhattan

PDX to NYC Late May - Research done, but would appreciate some help

Great list. As for Asian, Kyo Ya is excellent, haven't been to Nakazawa but reservations are apparently difficult to get. What you should pick depends on what cuisine you'd be most in the mood for. Hakkasan for duck, dim sum. Tori shin for grilled skewers. Sugiyama for kaiseki. Maharlika for sizzling sisig, kare kare.

Apr 15, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Weekend visit in 33 days' time

As Ziggy mentioned the bbq at Mighty Quinn's is superior to Blue Smoke but Blue Smoke is much more comfortable and less tight. If you have a car, I prefer the bbq at Fette Sau.

I would skip Daniel, especially since you won't be ordering expensive wines. Their service can leave something to be desired if you are not a vip and I personally have been burned. Consider Le Bernadin, Picholine or JG.

Di Fara makes fantastic pizza and who knows how long Dom is going to continue. If you enjoy grandma slice, their's is the best rendition I've had. The wait is long but less troublesome if you have a car. After you put in your order, you can drive to prospect park, walk or sit in the park and drive back to pick up your pizza. Or better yet, drive to Baked in Red Hook and get some cake.

You might want to consider China Blue for Shanghainese food. The food is quite good and the space is elegant, but the restaurant has had issues with service which may be under control now. Their dong po rou, wuxi ribs and crispy eel are phenomenal.

Apr 15, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Balthazar downhill alert?

All of it looks awful, sorry you had such a bad celebratory meal.

Balthazar is so overpriced. I preferred Artisanal up until last year, but both places seem to have gone downhill. at $14 I expect the french onion soup not to be covered with a layer of charcoal.

Apr 15, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Upscale Non-touristy Advice Needed

Not sure if my suggestions are up-scale enough, but you might want to consider Aquagrill (oysters and seafood) and Union Square Cafe (American/Italian American food), both have great food and are very nice restaurants.

Apr 14, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Best Theatre District Restaurants

One more dish to avoid at Hakkasan, the veal short ribs in superior soya, the short ribs are cut too thin and are very chewy

Apr 12, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

What kind of restaurant has the highest profit margins?

All I know is that the pizzeria store owners I've met, do very well for themselves.... do you own a pizzeria or are you just taking my specific example and generalizing it for your own purposes?

Apr 10, 2014
Pookipichu in Not About Food

Touristy Spots Worth Visiting

Oops, yes, Madison Square Park :)

Apr 09, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Is anyone taking this course with the old NY times restaurant critic ????

I don't think he has much to offer in the way of culinary knowledge.... I don't know how he was able to become restaurant critic at the NYT in the first place.

Apr 09, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Touristy Spots Worth Visiting

Lol I can totally understand re: Jacques Torres, very charismatic.

As for pizza, sorry to offer a contrary opinion but Grimaldi's is really mediocre. I haven't been to Juliana's yet but it's next door and newer and the original owners of Grimaldi's so I assume they'll be trying harder to impress than Grimaldi's. You'd be much better off going to Motorino's for pizza.

Just FYI, the original Shake Shack is the one in Bryant Park, NY. :)

Apr 09, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Best desserts in NYC

Cassis with vanilla panna cotta and mango pudding

Apr 09, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Hakkasan

Ok one more dish to add to the do not order list. The veal short ribs with kumquats. The flavor is excellent, the citrus notes of the kumquat are clear, exceptionally fragrant and well-balanced, but the meat is unforgivably chewy. The ribs are served thinly cut, flanken style when the meat would be more forgiving served English cut and braised. If the short ribs had been braised and served with the same flavors and sauce, the dish would be stellar, but sadly, the chewiness of the meat is unacceptable.

One more pet peeve, I've written to the restaurant multiple times now regarding the Peking duck, about servers taking the steamer basket lid and letting the pancakes cool down. And the food service sending out Peking duck with multiple other dishes. Peking duck should be served by itself before (or after) the other main courses so that you have time to make the wraps and enjoy them without the pancakes or other dishes cooling. Do not let them take your lid and make sure they are clear there should be pacing of the dishes.

Apr 09, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Touristy Spots Worth Visiting

I'd scratch off Jacques Torres, the chocolates are disappointing. It's not on your list, but avoid Max Brenner.

Add to your list Grand Central Oyster Bad, Dominique Ansel, Kee's Chocolate, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar (don't actually eat in there! Just take a picture in front, it's famously awful) and walk to Shake Shack which is down the block.

Apr 09, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Bread in Sunnyside/LIC

Cannelle has excellent bread and is not far if you have a car.

Apr 08, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

I left cooked veggies out all night - safe to eat?

Safe. Smell the dish, if it smells fine keep it.

Apr 07, 2014
Pookipichu in General Topics
1

Planning French themed birthday, need help with the desserts!!!

I've had terrible experiences with the pastries at Financier, stale macarons and cakes, off-flavors. Their quality has plummeted over the years with their rapid expansion.

You'd be better off getting pastries at any number of places, Laduree, Lady M. Chikalicious. I really enjoy the carre chocolat at Laduree, the checker cake is really fun at Lady M. and the chocolat doughsaint at Chikalicious.

Apr 07, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Decoy under Red Farm - anyone been?

It's supposed to be a Peking duck specialist restaurant... they haven't implemented it yet... Peking duck is my favorite dish so I've called them every month and they have no idea when.

Apr 04, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

near the Javits Center

When I've had conventions or meetings at Javitz, I would grab food at Sullivan Street Bakery. They have the best food in the area for the price and is very reasonable.

Apr 04, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Lunch for office near Wall Street TODAY

If you haven't ordered already, maybe Bon Chon? The choices in the Wall Street area are not that great for delivery.

Apr 04, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Looking for the Best Strawberry Shortcake in Manhattan

Do you mean strawberry shortcake or strawberry layer-cake? If you're talking about strawberry layer-cake, Lady M does a pretty good version.

Apr 03, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Sunday Lunch - Theatre District

If it's celebratory, I would recommend Hakkasan brunch, their brunch is excellent and the desserts are Michelin worthy.

Apr 03, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Asian dinner for 6, 20-somethings in Manhattan/Brooklyn

Space is tight at Bun-ker too, and the wait can be pretty long for a table. Might be iffy for a group of 6 considering once they get there, they're committed, there's nothing else close by.

Apr 02, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

They're good for your heart...

Mung beans or hongdou beans can be used to make various sweet Chinese soups or used as a filling pastries.

Apr 02, 2014
Pookipichu in Home Cooking

Amazing ethnic spot for a party of 10?

Fu Run is really delicious and reasonable.

Tanoreen might run a bit pricey, not inexpensive.

If you like spicy food, I recommend Spicy Tasty in Flushing or Hunan House, Biang and Hunan Kitchen (also in Flushing)

Mar 31, 2014
Pookipichu in Outer Boroughs

Asian dinner for 6, 20-somethings in Manhattan/Brooklyn

I really dislike Joe's Shanghai, I think their entrees are appallingly bad. If you want dim sum, and a buzzy atmosphere, Hakkasan is the best choice but may be over depending on what your budget is.

Buddakan also has a really beautiful space and is very buzzy, the food, on the whole is pretty good with just a few clunkers. Food is pretty reasonable but the dishes add up.

Have you considered Queens instead of BK? Many great Thai and Chinese restaurants and much less expensive than Manhattan.

Mar 31, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Calibrating Yelp reviews for Manhattan/NYC

From your and rrems reviews, I'm assuming their portions and pricing have changed for the better. At least their menu has changed completely, they used to sell their leftover fat drippings paired with toast. I think it was $4 for a little bit of bread and... left-over fat drippings.

Mar 28, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

NYC Lunch Suggestion (Asian)

Joe's Shanghais is awful.

If you're looking to do Sunday dim sum, go to Hakkasan. They have the best dim sum in NYC.

Mar 28, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan

Where can I find the best chocolate bunnies and more?

I really don't care for Jacque Torres anymore, their chocolate has gone steeply downhill.

Mar 28, 2014
Pookipichu in Manhattan