Steve R's Profile

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Herald-Tribune Review of Cafe L'Europe -- Sarasota

Much better French place only 15 minutes away on Longboat Key -- Maison Blanche. Our 2 dinners there last year were very nice.

Jan 24, 2015
Steve R in Florida

Where do Foodies or Locavores eat in Tampa Bay Area?

I think Sidebern's is gone, to be replaced in a couple of months by their new place "Haven".

Jan 21, 2015
Steve R in Florida

your favorite italian restaurants in Brooklyn

Sorry. We're speaking of a place that closed down over 20 years ago. It was off Quentin Rd. Again, sorry... someone resurrected a very old thread & it has taken on a new life.

Jan 15, 2015
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

your favorite italian restaurants in Brooklyn

If you went to the one on McDonald Ave, then yes it was very good. Seriously good. The eggplant parm., the chicken Parm., the baked ziti & the lasagna were personally ingested by me & my family at an alarming rate over at least a 10 year period. The data showed that it hit the spot 110% of the time, so it's confirmed... well, at least in my memory.

Jan 15, 2015
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Is Chowhound dead?

Not me. We drive to the Village from Bklyn Hts to eat all the time. Even been known to drive to Gramercy, UES, etc. However, the main use is for getting around Bklyn, from tennis at Prospect Park, Dyker or Marine Park to restaurants all over the borough. Even drive to Flushing. And, of course, to get outta town.

Jan 14, 2015
Steve R in Site Talk

Is Chowhound dead?

I have one too.

Jan 13, 2015
Steve R in Site Talk

Is Chowhound dead?

I get it. No problem. Thanks for responding.

Jan 12, 2015
Steve R in Site Talk

Is Chowhound dead?

goldangI95:

Wow. First of all, you described me & my friends pretty well in your 1st paragraph, although, by the way, our fridge also has a variety of condiments & I cherish the moments that our bill is only $50pp, even in our local places in Brooklyn. My wife & I worked hard for many years to get to this point & I'm not sure why you've felt the need to bolster your hypothesis about some of the reasons CH posts might be down by caricaturizing us with (very) thinly veiled disdain. I am truly unhappy that many in our society do not have access to the things I take for granted, of which going out to eat is not the most important (health care, housing and other things spring to mind) & I believe that I do my part to make this a better place to live. I'm sure we can all do better, but that's a topic for another place & time.

There are a lot of reasons that CH's postings ebb & flow. My guess is that very few of those that used a site like this are the ones now eating frozen peas for dinner instead of going to the places we post about & that's why traffic is down. Just a guess.

If you're ever in NYC, get in touch & we'll take you out to dinner. Maybe Bkeats will join us. I'd invite you over but white wine, moldy cheese (however expensive) & condiments probably wouldn't be enough.

Jan 12, 2015
Steve R in Site Talk

Is Chowhound dead?

Pookipichu:
I'm not sure why you're downplaying the effectiveness of your own (& others') posts about these type places. You've either put many places on my list or confirmed whether or not I should go to others. And you're on a board that probably most resembles the original CH. In the past year, diverse "finds" of all levels have been written up, some of which became media darlings only after 'hounds reported on them. Seriously: La Vara, Delaware & Hudson, Chez Moi, several old line red sauce places, Kao Soi, E. European places in or near Brighton Beach, Taci's Beyti, some Bklyn 8th Ave C'town places & several other Bklyn places have been found or revisited by a # of longtime CH folks, including me. And, in Queens, you, ScoopG, erica & many others have informed & reminded folks about the malls (new & old), Ly's, S&T, Lttle Pepper, Fu Run, Golden Palace, and many other regional Chinese places in Flushing (& Elmhurst). Then there are the Roosevelt Ave posts about the Latin American street carts & storefronts. And a couple of LIC finds.

I can't disagree about the signal to noise ratio but, although the glass is half empty, it's still half full as well. Just my 2cents.

Is Chowhound dead?

Harters:
Yes, it applies, but we both seem to enjoy the France board, which is much more than that (although it has a lot of it). The 5 or more "core posters" on that board are not only helpful to tourists, but actively engage in some very solid conversation. Less so the Italy board, but its still more than an "echo chamber". And the Outer Boroughs board in NYC has a lot of stuff (mainly Asian ethnic, but some others as well) that are more like what CH was founded for: ferreting out excellent food being served in places that folks probably wouldn't otherwise know about.

The many other sources for finding out openings, closings & interesting data (like eater, seriouseats, personal blogs, etc.) has certainly lessened the need to rely on CH for this, and the structure of CH more & more engenders crossover with other sites reviewing food (yelp, trip advisor, open table) that have lowered the bar (my opinion of course). But its not over yet… I still find some meaningful back & forth on CH, as well as discovering (being directed to, actually) places I wouldn't have otherwise gone & learning things about the places I travel to. So, I guess I'll stay and weather this new "outrage" (as some drama folks have labeled it), as I've done all the others. Hopefully, you will too.

Jan 11, 2015
Steve R in Site Talk

Is Chowhound dead?

cstefan206:
Which venues in Seattle are you referring to? Asking only for my personal need. Thanks.

Jan 11, 2015
Steve R in Site Talk

I am in sympathy with my Parisian food lovers

Best wishes to all. I look forward to the day that our greatest differences are over tipping policy and what time to eat dinner. And that even these are settled without bloodshed. May we all live to see it.

Is Chowhound dead?

Exactly. (my shortest post ever).

Jan 06, 2015
Steve R in Site Talk

Is Chowhound dead?

"Mouthfulsfood.com was also a great place"

Was? Didn't know we died. ;-)

At any rate, many from CH helped form eGullet due to the limitations of the type of board this was & then mouthfulsfood.com was formed largely out of eG folk. The boards are very different & many of us who have been around since the beginning find that participating on both CH & MF work best for us. You'd be surprised with the overlap of membership, especially on the NY boards of both.

Jan 05, 2015
Steve R in Site Talk

Chez Moi on Atlantic - The old La Mancha space

Just figured that I'd take the time to bring this back to folks' attention. Since last year, there has been a chef change (not ownership, thankfully) and the food has actually gotten even better. We love it and go often. Friendly, unpretentious, fairly priced… a real neighborhood feel. We'll always miss La Mancha (& Jose) but, if this would have moved in next door, we'd have divided our time between them.

Jan 02, 2015
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Automatic gratuity - what % is normal?

Well, you asked so I'll give you an honest answer. Nothing you write that the restaurant did seems to be out of line to me. When you reserved, they explained the 18% would be added. 10 minutes is not out of line as a wait for drink orders -- as has been said, they may have wanted to let you settle in, or maybe they needed the time to do so. Another 10 minutes until food orders were taken is also not excessive -- 20 minutes to allow you all to settle in, order drinks, start drinking and peruse the menu is very reasonable. Also, it may not take 20 minutes to get burgers & pastas ready, but those were only 11 of your 16 orders and I'd guess you'd have a more reasonable complaint if they served those meals and left your other 5 co-workers waiting for their food while 11 ate their burgers and pasta. As for separate billing for 16 people at a gathering, my take is that the restaurant should get accolades for even trying to accomodate you on that. Waiting until dessert is ordered to print out a single check may be inconvenient, but I really wouldn't think this is something to be expected. Maybe the one person could have given someone else his/her expected bill and have them take care of it at the end of everyone's meal?

Again, just my 2 cents. Not meant as anything other than my opinions in response to your inquiry.

Automatic gratuity - what % is normal?

duplicate post… sorry

Jan 02, 2015
Steve R in Not About Food

Automatic gratuity - what % is normal?

Maybe Harters & others should be incorrect (maybe not) but I'm afraid he's not. I'm not an Olive Garden kinda guy (pretty "knowledgeable" actually) & I basically tip 18-20% all the time, going up somewhat if the service was outstanding or if there's some other reason to do so (comps, etc). Only if the server has gone out of his/her way to be obnoxious or totally inattentive have I given less than my usual anywhere. Most of the time I rationalize this (or maybe its correct) by thinking that most problems aren't caused by the waitstaff so why would I use their part of my cost for the inadequacies of the place? Instead, I tip, I leave and I don't return. And I write up my bad experience.

Again, I'm not claiming that I'm more "correct" than you or anyone else, just explaining what I do and why. And, certainly, my tipping practice changes when I'm in Europe although, from my interactions with folks whom I trust on the France (& Italy somewhat) boards, I'm probably overtipping and ruining their culture anyway with my 10% additions for the waitstaff.

Jan 02, 2015
Steve R in Not About Food

Keen's Steakhouse - Don't Go!!!!

My answer to that specific question would be bourbon.

Dec 31, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan

DiFara Square Pie question

Hey Jeff - is this your 10 year anniversary answer to the OP?

For what it's worth, I love his square slices without additional toppings.

Dec 29, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Keen's Steakhouse - Don't Go!!!!

I think they've improved the dip since '06. I think they're now raising free range crabs in one of their upstairs rooms. I know their Prime Rib & chops are good though.

Dec 21, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan

Fairway Cheese Departments, c. 2014

The Red Hook Bklyn store has a good space with helpful staff.

Dec 21, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan

Intimidation of Restaurant Reviewers

Thank you for posting this. In general, I think you have elegantly captured the situation & I very much appreciate your thoughts on the topic. But, I do have a quibble with your last paragraph. You state: "..just like criticizing a film is pointless if you do not know what went in the making of the film, criticizing a restaurant must always be done with the humility of someone that may have eaten all his life, but is not working all his sweat out in a kitchen making dishes for a crowd of spoiled brats". As a consumer, I don't think that I can agree with the notion that criticism of the product is "pointless" if not based on knowledge and experience with the manufacturing process. If I don't like the way a watch looks or if it doesn't keep time while on my arm, I can criticize it's usefulness without having a clue as to how to make a watch. Similarly, when I critique a film, its about how enjoyable it was for me to watch. With a restaurant, it's from the perspective of how much I liked how the place felt to me, how good the food tasted to me, how well I was serviced, whether I felt I was charged what I consider an appropriate amount for what I received, etc… the eating experience, not the technical aspects of the food's creation. On the other hand, I totally agree with you that this should all be done with the "humility" you describe, as much of the time even food I don't appreciate is part of the life's work of another and should be respected as such. Again, thanks… great post.

Dec 19, 2014
Steve R in France
1

Grand Central Oyster Bar- Park Slope

Every time I go past your block(s), I miss Tempo. I even miss Terroir, although I only went to this outpost once (& wasn't impressed… I'll stick to the E.Village). I can't see myself going to GCOB there when I've only been to the one in Grand Central Station maybe 4 times in 25 years (& that was only to bring out of town friends to where they insisted on going).

Dec 18, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

patsully:

just my 2 cents as one of the original CH posters. I discovered the change (that all posts now appeared as unread & with pagination) when I went on the boards yesterday. I figured it was some interim glitch & left. Went back on today, it was still the same, so I signed out, removed the cookies and came back in to the site fresh. Still the same. I figured it was a change that was going to make my life on the board very difficult and probably decrease (or end) my participation & left for an hour. While doing other things (don't ask), I realized that I should check the Site Talk board & did so. So… here I am. I followed another user's advice on another thread and successfully changed my settings. All is well again.

My point: you almost lost a 20 year user & frequent poster on quite a few boards because, as others have said, I too am not particularly interested in, or used to using, the Site Talk board. Wouldn't have hurt to put a heading on every board on the site for awhile, explaining that our view will change and linking to instructions on how to maneuver from there.

Okay, so that's more like my 3 cents. Best wishes for the days ahead.

CH has changed - WHY?

Thank you from me as well… it worked exactly as you described.

Dec 18, 2014
Steve R in Site Talk

Intimidation of Restaurant Reviewers

"..but now that oodles of people who can't tell a croque-monsieur from a hot dog or a vin de pays from a cru classé are flooding the market, it becomes a potential, large-scale calamity".

Truthfully, as much as I agree with your overall sentiment, I don't think it will. As absurd as it may seem, the adage "all publicity is good publicity" seems to override the immediate effect of a bad review. People remember the name of the place but fail to remember how they heard of it. And, now that there are so many "reviews" everywhere, the impact of one or two is felt much less than when one of the 3-4 published reviewers panned a place.

That being said, I really do like to see owners/chefs fighting back, even if its against me. I remember in the earlier days of CH, I wrote about a place I wound up loving later on, saying that some of the dishes were excellent but that the chef's forte was not found in his fish dishes. Several months later, when sitting at the place with my wife, the waiter asked me what we wanted to eat & a voice came from the back of the room for all to hear "well, he won't be having the fish". I'm still friends with this chef, long after his place closed.

Dec 17, 2014
Steve R in France

Great Italian in Dyker Heights

I'm gonna agree with AubWah on this but want to make sure you know what you'll be getting there. New Corners is an old line Italian red sauce place where eggplant rollatini is a $10 appetizer but enough for 2-3 people (don't miss it). It's a place that probably "sources" its ingredients from the local Key Food and industrial suppliers. It's "home cooking" in the sense of an average home where dinner recipes were handed down but skill in the kitchen was self taught and uneven. It has booths where you can look up to the tv screens and play Keno. Their "rush hour" is 5:30pm. All that being said, it's one of my favorite old style places in NYC and it matches perfectly with the Dyker Hts. Xmas Lights. Go there.

Your other choice, more upscale with a great wine cellar is Tommaso's on 86th St. Unfortunately, although the menu is more interesting (i.e.: wild boar over linguini, cacio e pepe), the food is very mediocre and much more expensive. We went back just last week and wished we were at New Corners (except for the incredible wine bargains).

Dec 15, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Does anyone know of a bar that serves Eggnog?

Waterfront Ale House on Atlantic usually has "Sam's Serious Egg Nog" behind the bar but, since they're closing at the end of the month, I'm not sure if its still available. Call and ask.

Dec 08, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Last Minute – City Hall / Shotgun Wedding – Dinner Suggestions?

Well, there is City Hall (the restaurant) not too far from you. Sorta the right name for the event, no? I think that the food's good enough (don't expect Gramercy, but its better than Arturo's), the drinks and atmosphere perfect and the prices close enough. Congrats.

Dec 01, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan