Steve R's Profile

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Nargis Cafe - Uzbek With an Attitude

I now wish to go here (&, no doubt, will be doing so). Thanks for posting... this thread goes a long way in reminding me what I'm still doing on CH.

Sep 15, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Al Di La - Whats Good These Days

I can relate, friend-wise. Like you, I have quite a few who only know from old skool NYC places & just don't get places like Al Di La. My mother, born & raised in Bklyn, would have worried about my taste (well, she did anyway) had I ever had the poor judgment to bring her there. And then I have the set that can't understand why I go to New Corners or get takeout from Vinnie's in Carroll Gardens. Or even that I appreciate Carbone's upscaling of red sauce "cuisine". Glad you liked Al Di La... let me know when you want to join us at Noodle Pudding.

Sep 15, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

N.Y.C. visit

As fate would have it, I was at the home of a mutual (to Sneakeater & mitchleeny) friend last night & he was going on about a nice meal recently had in Philly at a place (Fork/High Street) voted one of the best new restaurants in 2013 (?) At any rate, I was shown the Brunch Menu at High Street and, lo and behold, listed under Sandwiches was "Pastrami on Rye w/Cabbage & Onion Slaw, Russian Dressing & Gulden's Mustard". Apparently, what's old is now new as well. Just sayin'. :-)

Sep 08, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan

Delaware and Hudson - Patti Jackson in Williamsburg

Now that the NY Times has weighed in, I hope business has improved. We're looking forward to another dinner there this Wed eve. As an aside, we don't do brunch but have heard that D&H now serves a very good one.

Sep 08, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Need something to do After Barge Music and Before River Cafe!

First of all, we always voluntarily go to River Cafe an hour before our reservations so that we can begin our meal with a leisurely drink (or two) at their bar area, overlooking the skyline/water. But, if you don't want to drink first, the area between BargeMusic and the River Cafe is a perfect place to just stand & watch the boats & people. If you need more than this (or more than a walk in the new park), I guess you could walk toward Dumbo to the Carousel. Honestly, an hour will fly by and I'd really recommend the first option… have a drink at the R.Cafe bar & soak in the ambience. That's a good part of why folks go there.

Aug 30, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

N.Y.C. visit

Well, Sneak & Mitch, my old friends, we part ways on this one. Although the basic "tradition" is for Russian dressing & Cole slaw to be put on corned beef, I've seen many, many NY'ers do this with pastrami instead. Me, I'm a simple mustard guy but it ain't blasphemy.

Aug 28, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan
1

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

"What was the name of the pizza place in Carroll Garden that was I think on President? They made a pretty fabulous pizza in the days before all the pizza hype. I recall they brought a head of roasted garlic with bread when you sat down. That was awesome stuff.."

Cristardi's

Aug 28, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Rome/Umbria/Florence Food Itinerary. Minchilli, Parla, Kalb, Fant: How Did I Do?

Eliz. usually knows these things and it might've changed since we were there last year, but we went to Casalinga twice and both times called earlier in the day and made reservations. When we arrived, we were ushered in past a line of walk-ins within 5-10 minutes… well worth the phone calls.

Aug 27, 2014
Steve R in Italy

Classy meal in Williamsburg, NY?

Thanks for the post. You've obviously gotten around during your summer stay. If you're still there, I recommend you try Delaware & Hudson. If the original poster was currently asking his/her question, that's what I'd be suggesting.

Aug 26, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

SuSu's??? Really? Well, maybe the piano bar or late night "parties". Btw, if you want to reacquaint yourself with the family, I'm pretty sure her brother still owns Jakes on Columbia, just down from Alma.

Aug 22, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Le Jardin Bistro on Ave. C

How did I miss this? We went to their previous location for years and loved it (well, that the back garden was a perfect setting didn't hurt any). Thought it was long gone and now, here it is again. Thanks for the post… and, if this location is as good as the previous one, try the herring appetizer.

Aug 18, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan

Hoping that New York chowhounds are using discretion with their recommendations

Well, I guess I'm just going to pile on here. Yes, I miss the days when the Red Hook Ballfields were undiscovered. And I miss just popping in to DiFara's for a slice. But, really… why would I be on CH if I didn't intend to tell others about these places &, in turn, be told about other places? And, do you really think that anything on CH won't find its way elsewhere even if we didn't cross post on Yelp or other boards? As others have said, that ship has sailed. Just live with it and find new, interesting places to go. It's a big city.

Northern Italian in southern Brooklyn?

Glad you liked it &, correct, it's not a secret place but well liked in the area. The chef/owner is also co-owner of Fragole on Court St & that's been a neighborhood "go to" place for quite awhile now. These, plus several others dot the "northern-ish" Bklyn neighborhoods :-) and fit the bill for moderately priced good food. If you're ever in the mood for another adventure into Park Slope for Northern Italian, you should stop at Al di La, a very longstanding CH favorite.

Aug 14, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

The evolution of food commentary - are the Chowhound values of the distant past still valid?

That's exactly right.

Over my many years on the NYC boards, I've been livid when owners underhandedly posted rave reviews of their own place or got others to do so. I've also seen notable "reviewers" shill for places that gave them free stuff. But I've also noticed some non-professional posters who are bat shit crazy. Yep, there's negative to be found all around us & keeping all this crap off the board is probably a tough job.

But, on the other hand, some folks have responded to the current situation far too one sidedly. As you (c oliver) say, "we're already reading professionals here". For example, if not for a host of them in Italy, giving of their time and knowledge by being posters on CH (Maureen Fant, Elizabeth Minchilli, Katie Parla, "vinoroma"), my stays there would never have been as great. Yes, they have blogs to push, books to sell, apps to download, even market tours, cooking classes and wine tastings to promote -- but they have all been upfront about it & have never withheld info. by answering CH questions with "well, if you buy my …., you'll get what you're after". Instead, they promote themselves by being reputable parts of the CH community and building their reputations (& businesses) that way.

Bottom line: the CH "value" that I cherish is that of the open sharing of information as to where I can find great food & wine. Yes, food commentary has changed and the ratio of static to value can sometimes be a bit frustrating. But I can't think of another place that has ever had someone post a stall by stall summary of an underground food mall in Flushing, NY's Chinatown & explain exactly what everything being sold there is, how it tastes and what they think of it… then get 115 comments from others on what they liked there and why.

Inviting Professional Voices to the Community

I agree with EatFoodGetMoney that motivation is not the issue. Besides, if you want to take a "time will tell" approach, well... time has already told. Just look at the Italy board & see what free assistance & productive discussion has resulted from the participation of Maureen Fant (mfant on CH), Katie Parla, Elizabeth Minchilli, "vinoroma" & other professionals in the food & wine industry. You can do much the same on the France board & I'm sure other boards as well. Keeping the shill owners, promoters and other professionals in check is/will be a challenge, I'm sure. And, as with others who have posted, I'm not sure about the overall direction things are going. But, in my many years here on CH (as well as on eGullet, mouthfulsfood.com & other boards), things have never been all warm & fuzzy but yet CH remains a good place to be.

Jim Leff's Slog: Chowhound's Coup de Grace

As a fellow long time poster on CH, a fellow member of the other boards that Bob Martinez refers to and someone who met and became friends with Bob years ago thru this board, I am taking the unusual stance of agreeing with Bob on his recounting of CH history and his qualified optimism on this issue.

I don't want to agree with Bob on things and I'm sure that there'll be a price to pay for doing so, but that's where I am so I might as well say it.

Aug 08, 2014
Steve R in Site Talk

Jim Leff's Slog: Chowhound's Coup de Grace

jrvedivici -

You're making things too black and white; there is lots in between and folks are correct that exerting some pressure thru constructive presentation of their opinions is a good idea and may yield some results.

Business decisions are balancing acts of cost:benefit and it is realistic to assume that there is business worth to having a lot of long time CH participants remain productive participants. Like it or not, CH owners are in competition with many new (& not so new) food resources and, to remain in business, it needs to stand out in some way from the glut on the market, from blogs to other food boards to restaurant review sites to cooking/buying resources. My take is that we (long timers like myself and many others on this thread, as well as newer knowledgable members) remain a precious resource helping to differentiate CH from Yelp and other competitors, and our participation will we weighed against the benefits of new policies. Let's see how it shakes out.

As for the "good old days", let's not forget that eGullet, Mouthfulsfood.com and several other boards were formed mostly as a result of unhappiness with CH's rigidity and its limitations & not just out of the clear blue. All was not warm & fuzzy back then either. Just sayin'.

Aug 08, 2014
Steve R in Site Talk
1

Northern Italian in southern Brooklyn?

Nope, none that I know of. There are a couple of places on Bay Ridge's 3rd Ave strip that say that they are Northern Italian, but their menus don't seem to back it up. All of the ones that we frequent are in the Northern Bklyn neighborhoods. However, although I haven't been there in years and was never enthralled by it to begin with, Tomasso's is the kind of place that does a little of everything and Northern Italian items are within the menu. They may well be okay at it.

Aug 08, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Guide to NYC's 10 Best Greek Restaurants and Tavernas

Not Greek & not regularly on the menu, but Noodle Pudding (Italian in Bklyn Heights) has great smelts or baitfish periodically. This past week, they've been serving a large plate of them, cleanly fried, for $10 as an appetizer & I've had them twice, sitting at the bar.

Aug 06, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Di Fara Pizza HORRIBLE

Depending on the date chosen, you might only need 10. Sounds good.

Jul 24, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Fairway Cheese Dep't

Yeah, yeah. Just making sure you realized it, since your CH page says that you wish you could get rid of notifications on some old threads with new posts. Zounds? :-)

Jul 23, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan

Fairway Cheese Dep't

You do realize that the rest of this thread is 9 years old, right? Just about the time that Fairway started rapidly expanding. Now, 9 years later, lots of changes have occurred but we find the cheese dept. at our Red Hook store to remain pretty darn good… service and product.

Jul 23, 2014
Steve R in Manhattan

Delaware and Hudson - Patti Jackson in Williamsburg

Hopefully it'll be around for quite awhile, but the lack of buzz to date is confusing. It's been open for approx. 2 months and is in the former Egg spot on N.5th St (off Bedford) in Williamsburg and has about 40 seats. It's an interesting format… for the $48pp fixed price, you choose your entree (there's a fish, a meat or a veggie option that changes regularly) and everything else is brought for the table to share. Everything else means 6-8 small plates of delicious food, from (the 2 times we were there) fava bean hummus to oysters to smoked bacon w/string beans to raw veggies to green tomato tart to stuffed squash flowers to…. well, you get the idea. Then a smallish "2nd course" plate (same to everyone) which also changes regularly & is listed on the menu, then your entree. The 2 nights we were there, the fish was tuna one night (sushi quality) and pike the other; the meat was lamb medallions one night & hanger steak the other. All were excellent. After this, desserts come out and each person gets 3-4 small ones on a plate (like bite sized strawberry short cake, a rich choc. cake, some berries…). Then, just to max out the sugar fix, another plate of assorted sweets (pistachio white choc. and other small bites). Wines are well selected and sold by the glass (around $10) or bottles ($30-$70, one or two above). http://delawareandhudson.com if you want to know more about the chef or the concept. For me, the proof's on the plate. Go now.

Jul 23, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

How A Major American Travel Magazine--Conde Nast Traveler--Gets Paris Food Shopping Hilariously Wrong!

First of all, a lot of trouble can be saved by using http://www.simplygourmand.com, as they carry beaucoup de French products and ship quickly… I've just looked to double check, so I know that they list jars of cassolet, the fruit juice syrups and several other things on the list, including an extended Bonne Maman inventory. I believe they are based in NYC to boot (Washington Hts. area). Outside of this, several items are actually pretty easy to find: The cordial juice syrups (not the brand shown) & a couple of other products (jars of pates, etc) are found at ethnic groceries like Kalustyan's (Lex. Ave) or Sahadi's (Atlantic Ave, Bklyn) or even some chain stores like Fairway or Garden of Eden. Of course, small goat cheeses & macarons are at most outdoor markets &/or in artisanal bakeries/cheese shops all around NYC but I'm sure you weren't asking about these.

Jul 20, 2014
Steve R in France

Guide to NYC's 10 Best Greek Restaurants and Tavernas

Holy crap! I'd never heard of this place & just went on their website. The owner/chef is the long lost (at least to me) guy from my favorite place of 20+ years ago Roumeli Taverna. If he's cooking at anywhere near his place's original level (he sublet Roumeli for the latter years and it went downhill), it's well worth a try. Thanks for the link & recommendation.

Jul 19, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Eggplant parm I want some. Recs in Brooklyn

Depends on what style you want. The old line red sauce version aint bad at New Corners in Dyker (they make a dynamite version of eggplant rollatine as well). On the other hand, there is a very nice version, less heavy but with fresher flavor, at AlMar in Dumbo. Credible versions at a bunch of other places. Personally (as my wife cringes), I love Vinny of Carroll Gdns (Smith St) for a large serving with a fresh loaf of bread… a little greasy but just the way I remember it growing up.

Jul 19, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs

Guide to NYC's 10 Best Greek Restaurants and Tavernas

I happen to agree with what I think is the thrust of your posts here; that except for fresh fish simply grilled, its hard to find real down home (or upscale) Greek food with solid flavors anymore. The dishes are there, but the cooking seems, well like a light beer compared to beer. It seems to be easier these days to get this in Turkish or Middle Eastern places (I guess the most similar to Greek that can be had). That being said, have you tried MP Taverna on Ditmars? http://michaelpsilakis.com/mp-taverna... I haven't, but Michael Psilikis has a pretty good reputation.

eta: just saw that queenseats already recommended it.

Jul 17, 2014
Steve R in Outer Boroughs
1

Tourist Hate

Well, actually, I meant that its the confluence of the 2 factors that pretty much impacts things. It means that a smaller # of folks are left to respond to a lot of requests on the France, Italy and similar other places boards due to the language restriction (there are many monolingual food experts in Paris, I'm sure, that don't write (or wish to write) in English or on a predominantly English speaking board). On the non-big city boards in the US, there aren't as many requests, nor as many choices of places & on the big city boards in English speaking areas (NYC, London…) there is more potential for responses & opinions from non-regulars, since English is the common language of all (except maybe a handful of us Brooklynites). NYC is a prime example -- as you know, there are as many "coming in for 3 days, where do I go eat…?" or "what's the best…?" requests there as here, but there are more people responding (yes, I know… Kathryn is an exception…our very own JT). By the way, I don't mean my statement to be a complete analysis, only to add on to ptipois' post.

Jul 16, 2014
Steve R in France

Tourist Hate

2 factors that I think contribute heavily to this are that 1)CH is an English language board, limiting who can participate in places like France, Italy, etc. & 2)Paris is a famous big city with lots of tourists coming & going, needing advice.

Jul 16, 2014
Steve R in France

Tourist Hate

I honestly don't know why that's so hard to do for some people. Whether good natured quipping (which, really, is what some of it is) or otherwise, take what you want & ignore the rest… it's an internet board & they really can't hurt you. Like everything else, it's a pain/gain equation that each of us has to decide for ourselves. I've given up trying to convince folks to stay on CH (or other) boards…that's their call. But there's a lot of value to communication with others about things we care about, even if all of the communication is not "feel good". I thank the folks here on the France board for all the help they gave me with my recent trip & really don't fault them for not being as sweet as those who helped me with past trips on the Italy board :-)

Jul 16, 2014
Steve R in France
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