Steve R's Profile

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Need Help in Provence foodie itinerary!

Thanks. Just the type of assist I'm looking for. And, if you're in the neighborhood, cycle by.

2 days ago
Steve R in France

Need Help in Provence foodie itinerary!

Thanks for the recommendations… we'll definitely follow up. The 2 bedroom apt with full kitchen and terraces that we've rented basically (according to the owners) opens onto the Tuesday market and we'll be joined there by another CH/MF member for a week of the stay. Hopefully, I won't gain 20 lbs. Any other recommendations, please post them or e-mail or pm me on one of those other food boards. You know how to find me. And thanks.

Apr 13, 2014
Steve R in France

Need Help in Provence foodie itinerary!

Hey, you know more than we do…. it'll be our first time in the south of France. We usually travel around Northern Italy, so we're looking forward to something new here. Do you have good dinner recommendations in the area (or lunch for that matter)? We have a list of things we want to explore (getting around by car but probably doing a lot of walking, since we're leaving the tennis stuff at home) but are pretty much waiting on the food ideas until we arrive, talk to our "landlords" (we're renting an apartment) and get the feel of the area.

Apr 13, 2014
Steve R in France

Need Help in Provence foodie itinerary!

Where in Provence? We're there (staying in Vaison-la-Romaine, but we get around) 5/24-6/14 & are reading this board in preparation as well.

By the way, how was Ft. Greene, Bklyn? The folks who answered your questions (Daniel, etc) are friends of ours, as is the owner of Bufalina on your home turf. Feel free to drop us a note (e-mail address on my CH "home page").

Apr 12, 2014
Steve R in France

RIP, Steven Shaw (eGullet founder)

There are quite a few of us still on CH who were around when Shaw et al started eG & who still participate in it and the other sites it "begat" over the years. This was very sad news….

Apr 09, 2014
Steve R in Food Media & News

Steven Shaw's death

His death came as a shock to all of us who participate in any of the food boards that eG "begat". Very sad.

Apr 09, 2014
Steve R in France

Unusually great ethnic spot for 10 people?

Ok… you got my Queens and Bklyn recs. on the Outer Borough board. Here are some for Manhattan:

Maialino (upscale and excellent - order the whole maialino (duh))
Bowery Congee (or their other place)
Lan Sheng (midtown Szechuan… as good as any in Flushing)
Hecho en Dumbo (haven't been in awhile.. may be dated rec.)
Ssam Bar (still good I hear…not sure about table for 10)
Dhaba (Lex/28th St) - one of the better Indian places

Mar 29, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan

Amazing ethnic spot for a party of 10?

Tacos Matamoros I or II in Sunset Park
Golden Palace or Fu Run in Flushing
Tanoreen in Bay Ridge
Taci's Beyta on Coney Is. Ave
Cafe Glechik in Brighton Beach
Latin American place on Roosevelt (not sure which is best)

Mar 28, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Florence - need some help to finalise plans

Good point. They have roast chicken as well and my wife and I debated trying the guinea fowl. Since the pastas were substantial and we were ordering 2 mains (boy, we order & eat too much!) we figured we'd be fine if it turned out poorly. The one we were served was not dry at all. It was, however, huge, and that may have helped, as the breast and legs were thick and less likely to dry out during roasting. This explanation from a dedicated non-cook, so take it for what its worth. Bottom line: very nice dish, which may or may not be repeated, so no warranty implied. :-)

Mar 18, 2014
Steve R in Italy

Florence - need some help to finalise plans

If you don't get to Florence much and you need to pick stand out places to go, I think you've done well choosing Cibreo (the more formal restaurant, not the Trat., I assume?) and Sostanza (think steak and butter chicken). As they are not at all similar, I get the feeling that "the sort of places (you) like" is pretty open, so I'll recommend La Cucina del Garga as a place you might also like to try. During our month stay last summer, it was one of the places we made sure to go back to a couple of times and really enjoyed. We also really liked Zeb (the place DavyTheFatBoy recommended here already) but, be aware, this is a modernistic counter type place but with food that is anything but. Very nice for lunch. If you like a bustling old school type of place with lots of traditional cooking, you really can't beat Trat. La Casalinga. However, go in remembering that this is not a fancy place and, in my opinion, they don't spend much time thinking about anything other than cooking the food and getting it to the table. Again, we went back twice & love the place. They accept reservations, which will get you thru the line at the door of folks who didn't think to make one. They do traditional pastas very well and we loved the bollito misto and the farina arrosto (roast guinea fowl). Beware - large portions.

Have a great time.

Mar 18, 2014
Steve R in Italy

Where does one find good food in Brooklyn Heights??

Been there, done that (& not so long ago either):
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/930492

Mar 18, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Louro -- New David Santos Restaurant in West Village

Having not been in awhile, four of us thought that last night's Monday BYOB "Mama Santos' Birthday" dinner would be a fine time to go back, especially since Chef Santos' mother was going to be there and we figured that he'd be at his best doing the foods she taught him ;-) And he was. We're fans to begin with (and know Dave Santos) so we were not impartial going in. No need to mince words here -- there was nothing in the 7course + desserts dinner that I don't think was above average and several dishes that were excellent. The Amuse was Seafood Fritter & a Piri Shrimp, then we received 2 Traditional Salads of Grilled Pig's Ear and Charred Portuguese Sardines, then Soft Scrambled Eggs w/Sweetbreads, then Pork & Clams, then Mariscada, then Feijoada, then Braised Rabbit, then 3 desserts (Flan, Pineapple "Mousse", and Apple Cake). Each (of course) was a small serving, cumulatively adding up to more food than necessary, worth way more than the $65pp he was charging & remaining one of the best deals in the city. If any of the above dishes show up on his regular menu, I suggest you get them. I'm seriously impressed.

Mar 11, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan

Incanto > Porcellino [San Francisco]

On our 2010 trip to SF/Napa, we ate at Incanto and at La Ciccia. I expected to love Incanto and maybe like La Ciccia (I was not too familiar with Sardinian food back then but loved the head to tail food served at several places here in NYC). As I wrote on CH at the time, we fell in love with La Ciccia and had what I considered to be an "ehh" meal at Incanto. Nothing bad, just leaving us wondering what all the fuss was about. They seem to have had a very nice run & I hope we just had an off night there (it happens) and that things in the new place go well. Maybe by the next visit to SF...

Mar 08, 2014
Steve R in San Francisco Bay Area
1

Flushing - a little food crawl with Chow-friends

And, if you're ever back around these parts, let us know.

Mar 07, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Recommendations for 'impressive' dining/drinking in Williamsburgh/Dumbo

Today's NY Times has a very good article/interview on The River Cafe's wine cellar. It makes me an even greater fan of the place.

Mar 05, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

A formula for avoiding sitting next to those pesky fellow Yankees who whoop it up and disturb your meal in Paris and finding good food in “secret places.”.

I can't speak for "almost 60 years ago" (sorry John) but I clearly remember meeting folks from Manhattan in Queens for Indian/Pakistanian/Begladeshian or Latin American or Chinese way back at least 30 years ago. Having grown up in Brooklyn, I've always explored much of the borough and have pretty much always had to go to Manhattan regularly. Of course, I still have friends (including some on CH) who won't cross the river to Bklyn even now. Their loss.

Mar 04, 2014
Steve R in France

A formula for avoiding sitting next to those pesky fellow Yankees who whoop it up and disturb your meal in Paris and finding good food in “secret places.”.

You all know how to find me (my e-mail is on my CH "home page" & several of you already know it). I love taking folks around Brooklyn. Or even Queens. And retirement provides me with the time to do so.

Mar 04, 2014
Steve R in France

3-4 dining recs in Paris - "reasonably" priced (whatever that means!!!)

In our never-ending mission to be trendy, I recently noticed that the Brooklyn Bridge is now full of locks. Not to mention tourists taking pictures of them as if they are the sight/site they are there to see. I have grown old.

Mar 04, 2014
Steve R in France

A formula for avoiding sitting next to those pesky fellow Yankees who whoop it up and disturb your meal in Paris and finding good food in “secret places.”.

Absolutely correct, if you confine yourself to the now very trendy areas of a very geographically large borough. Just last night my wife and I ate at a very good newly reviewed NY Times 2 star restaurant (Dover) in my immediate neighborhood (Bklyn Heights/Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens) & sat at a table next to a couple who took the train to Brooklyn from Manhattan (the West Village) to eat there. What a turnaround! However, last week I ate at a pretty down home rustic Georgian restaurant (Lagidze) in the middle of Brooklyn, across the street from a great neighborhood family Turkish restaurant (Taci's Beyti), and the week before I was in Sunset Park, Brooklyn eating in a small hand pulled noodle Chinese place 10 blocks away from the new Mexican neighborhood with families galore eating tongue tacos. I have nothing against the new Williamsburg, Bushwick, Boerum Hill or other similar neighborhoods in Bklyn (well, part of me does wish they'd all leave again), but lots of Bklyn is still what it was, a haven for various ethnicities to establish a new home away from home. Come visit again…. I'll give you a tour.

Mar 04, 2014
Steve R in France
1

A formula for avoiding sitting next to those pesky fellow Yankees who whoop it up and disturb your meal in Paris and finding good food in “secret places.”.

As I have a visit to Paris coming up soon, I have been reading this board & have now stumbled upon this very interesting discussion. As one of those NY'ers who regularly travels out to Queens for the various ethnic foods & communities available (as well as trekking to various ethnic enclaves inside my home area of Brooklyn for others), I'm pretty sure that, if I were to spend a longer period of time in Paris, I would find myself in what you are calling "la zone" to find interesting cuisine from the varied folks there. In fact, finding out of the way gems (& taking the inevitable hits) is mostly why I joined CH many years ago, even though it has since also become a tool for guidance when in Paris, Florence or even Hawaii. So, I guess I agree with the thrust of Ptipois' comments. But, then again, I don't belong to a place with such a strong food culture and tradition of its own and I must find other cultures' creations in order to eat well and satisfy my soul and palate. Thanks for the discussion. Now, where do I go eat in Paris during my 5 days there? (joke).

Mar 04, 2014
Steve R in France
1

Dover on Court St

Went tonite. Although the reservation was hard to come by (which I expected due to the NYT review), the place itself had several empty tables at 8pm. We were there before 7pm and watched as it got busier, but never to the point of being full. The kitchen was not overwhelmed and everything came out smoothly and on time.

The food was excellent. Everything showed care and a nice touch in the kitchen. Gougeres to start, then a 2nd amuse of root vegetable soup… both perfectly done, as already stated. The bread was very tasty and is made in house. A full small loaf of it was finished easily and both the ricotta/honey & white bean/black bean puree were good accompaniments to the bread. More was offered, but we declined. My wife's broiled oysters (she ate them while they were hot…I got part of one) were fantastic &, at $3 apiece, a good deal. My black tagliatelle with peekitoe crab meat, bread crumbs and a couple of other things was a nice official starter course and I'd get this again anytime. My duck entree and her lamb rib entree were just about perfect. All too often, the main ingredient (the "protein") is well done but the rest of the dish is either ehh or has things that don't go with the main. Not so here… both dishes were inventive, well thought out and had depth of flavor. I'd bet that my duck's au jus had bits of duck liver in it and it was rich in the way that only long cooking & careful reductions can accomplish. The veggies were very fresh and flavorful in both dishes.

The wine list is good enough and we found an Aglianico in the mid $50s that we liked a lot. The chocolate blackout cake was moist, rich and chocolate-y & came with beet gelato. A better match than I would have thought. (I almost ordered the dessert that had pumpernickel gelato, but I was veto'ed on that). All in, just over $200 and worth every penny. The new Brooklyn ain't all bad.

Mar 03, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

La Ciccia "call back tonight or else" voicemail - crossing the line or appropriate?

As a NY'er who loved La Ciccia when last my wife and I visited SF, I'm glad it worked out and I think you hit the nail on the head with your analysis of the situation. I don't blame you for having some apprehension after getting that call, but I can't say I blame them for making the call and protecting their business either. As an aside, last night (Sunday), we got a call from a hot newish restaurant recently reviewed in the NYTimes, asking me if we intend to come tonite as per our reservation. They're relatively new and want to ensure that all their tables are taken (especially since they have folks waiting), but were uncertain given the forecast of snow for today. So they checked up on everyone. I get it and, although I'm not happy to get calls asking me to reconfirm, I think it was reasonable for them to do it. Hopefully, our meal tonite will be as good as yours was.

Mar 03, 2014
Steve R in San Francisco Bay Area

Sicilian Food in New York?

Although your point is well taken (&, in fact, extends way beyond Italian food to the many posts about "authentic" ethnic foods found throughout CH), many of us who are long time CH posters try to answer these type of posts by recommending places (if we know of any) that serve the type of cuisine asked for and make it well, given the limitations of being here in NYC and not in the areas of origin. Ferdinando's is Sicilian food made by a "long time in Brooklyn" Sicilian family. Joe's of Ave U. is similar (specifically from Palermo). However, both have adapted their recipes, their methods &, in fact, their serving style (both are steam table operations, not made to order dishes) to their environment & business needs. But, if one wants to get as close as possible to the dishes one had in Sicily, these are some of the places one can try.

Mar 03, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan

Lagidze: new Georgian restaurant in Midwood

Well, the 5 of us ate a lot… no surprise there. I'm pretty sure that I'm the least knowledgable of the group on Georgian food, so hopefully others will weigh in, especially if I get something wrong. The salad was good, actually surprising me with tasty fresh tomatoes alongside cucumbers, etc. The eggplant stuffed with nuts was excellent, as was the spinach mashed with nuts. We ordered the chicken giblets w/nuts but I figured out later that what we got was "chicken in nut sauce". Not a good cold dish, since the chicken wasn't great and the sauce too thick and without much flavor or oomph. The mushrooms stuffed with cheese was just that &, since the big caps of the mushrooms held a lot of nice hot gooey cheese, this worked for me but isn't exactly anything other than what it sounds like. But, sure, I'd order it again. The "Xinkali" (Georgian dumplings) were much better than I expected. I love soup dumplings and am not a big fan of those with thick skins, but these thick skins were actually fine and the overall dumpling, while very filling, was tasty due to a generous amount of decent meat inside and a nicely flavored broth. "Beans Baked in Dough" was lighter than I expected and the beans were flavorful sandwiched inside fresh flat baked bread. We also had a large football shaped calzone/bialy like bread with a lot of cheese & an egg sitting in the center. This was very very good & I can't remember the name (was that "acharuli"?). I don't drink soda but none of us wanted alcohol enough to go out and get some to bring in, so we ordered the Lagidze label large bottles of "Pear Soda" and it was quite good, smelling of pear but tasting like Dr. Brown's Cream Soda. All in all, everyone felt (I think) that the meal was a good rendition of Georgian cooking and that the food was above average. I discovered that I know very little about this food and that eating a ton of bread dough and drinking a lot of sugar does not sit well with me. In summary, it's okay+ but I prefer the meals I've had in Cafe Glechik & a couple of other Russian places &, if I'm in that immediate neighborhood, I'd rather be eating at Taci's Beyta across the street. (I know… apples and oranges, but still).

Mar 02, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Planning trip toTuscany/Florence, but a food allergy question!

Additionally, in Florence (where we spent a month this past summer), most of the places speak English very, very well. I think, as Maureen said, that the issue is to dramatize the allergy (restaurants can be skeptical that a "little" will hurt) and make sure that they understand the restriction includes any amount & even if it's "only" in the preparation and that they believe it cooks off anyway. Besides, good Italian ordering requires a conversation with the staff & not just ordering off the paper presented. Have fun… lots of good white wine in the region to pair with your food.

Feb 28, 2014
Steve R in Italy

Where does one find good food in Brooklyn Heights??

The Heights Cafe has same owners as Dellarocco's Pizza next door &, according to folks there, it really is just a renovation & the Hts Cafe will re-open in 2-3 weeks. I'm not sure what happened (or is happening)… I guess we'll see soon enough.

As an aside, I think that Montegue St is (& always has been) more a part of daytime commercial traffic than evening residential commerce & what's there are business that make their money during the day & real estate owners who charge accordingly. With the new residential buildings on (or just off) Montegue, there's more chance of this changing, but I wouldn't bet on it. Rental costs are still too prohibitive for anyone to consider opening a serious dinner place on that strip & restaurants have to set up shop to cater to lunchtime folks who are in & out in an hour. Folks who live around Montegue St. and want to eat dinner in the neighborhood can now go to the edges of the neighborhood, since Henry St & Atlantic Ave have more and more places opening.

I'd just as soon the immediate neighborhood stay quiet in the evening (I guess its already too late for that, with the park, the new buildings & soon the Bossert Hotel). Oh well.

Feb 25, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Where does one find good food in Brooklyn Heights??

Yeah, that theory still holds, even though the density of the Heights has increased dramatically over the past 2-3 years and we now also get a lot more foot traffic around dinner time from the new park areas. More places are opening… not necessarily good ones (what the hell is with the Taperia???). We mostly go to Henry's End, Chez Moi, River Deli and Noodle Pudding when we eat in the neighborhood, but Waterfront Ale House is still good enough and I like Luzzo's. Queen's fine but not consistent. My wife likes Colony more than I do. Not so much Red Gravy. A recent meal at River Cafe proved to be an eye opener &, if you can afford it, I'd get there while they're on the upswing. Magical.

Feb 24, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Destination-worthy in Tampa?

Looks like a good % of the NY board goes to Bern's. We just got back from Longboat Key/St.Pete's/Tampa vacation and both nights we were in Tampa, we were in Bern's. Same as we did last year. The friends we go with (who live in NYC too) have a copy of the original wine book & we drink very well there at such minimal cost that I'm getting to believe that I can amortize my plane & hotel costs by eating at Berns instead of Luger or Manhattan places.

Feb 24, 2014
Steve R in Florida
1

A formula for avoiding sitting next to those pesky fellow Yankees who whoop it up and disturb your meal in Paris and finding good food in “secret places.”.

I will be the one laughing in Brooklynese. And not the new Brooklyn, the trendy one, but the old Brooklyn. Gottaproblemwiddat?

Feb 20, 2014
Steve R in France
2

The Arepa Lady Moves Indoors

We're digressing pretty far here and I agree that the person making the food is crucial at places where the attraction is the talent of the chef. We'll see if the arepas are more than mediocre and who's doing the cooking as time passes. Ya never know.

As for DeMarco's in Manhattan, it was actually 2 places (next door to one another), owned by a long time customer of DiFara's who enlisted a couple of the kids as partners & was able to use the name because of that. The pizza place seemed to be run by one of cousins and sometimes Dom's youngest son worked there. Boy, was it bad. It was the restaurant on the corner that Maggie was, as I understood it, supposed to focus on and cook in, at least as per the original plan. I never saw her in there and Dom basically refused to talk about the whole project, only saying "I got nothin' to do with it… bad idea". And Maggie was back at DiFara's pretty quickly, even while DeMarco's was still open. At any rate, there is a bona fide DiFara's in Vegas nowadays and reports are that it's good. Dom spent some time there when it opened and I believe its the oldest son running it. Anyone been?

Feb 19, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs