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Canandaigua Chinese Food

Hi Everyone. We are new this board (former Philadelphians) and recent arrivals in Canandaigua. I was taking a flier and hoping someone might have a recommendation for the best Chinese takeout in the area. Finding our go-to takeout place comes just behind changing the utilities on our list of priorities!

Thanks to anyone that's able to help us out on this one.

Mar 05, 2013
tfalbo in New York State (exc. NYC)

Interesting but casual Saturday night dinner near Hotel Palomar?

While a little bit further from your place (3 blocks), I think Vernick Food & Drink may be a good fit. A variety of seafood & vegetarian options are available.

They take reservations, but I'm not sure what kind of availability there would be on a Saturday night a couple of weeks out. Worth a call if it looks interesting to you.

Feb 08, 2013
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Looking for a buitchery class

I attended a lamb butchery class at F&F. I really enjoyed it, and the ensuing meal was wonderful. I recommend the experience to anyone that's curious about the butchery process. But if he's looking for an interactive experience where he'll get his hands dirty and do his own butchery, this is probably not a great fit. It's more a demonstration than a class. Unfortunately I'm not personally aware of any interactive butchery classes.

Feb 04, 2013
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Help us choose where to use our Starr gift card

I agree with your 1-2 in some order. Pittore & Talula's provided 2 of my favorite meals of 2012. Neither is cheap, but on a gift card that's not so relevant.

I have only been to El Rey once, and haven't been to El Vez in years, but I agree with El Rey over El Vez in a landslide.

And Ranstead Room is a lot of fun. If you aren't big eaters, and enjoy a cocktail, then splitting the GC into Ranstead and then dinner may be a great option.

Feb 04, 2013
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Modo Mio, Il Pittore, or Amis?

I've had the pleasure of eating at all 3, and enjoyed each. I don't think that there is a clear winner among them. I was very pleasantly surprised by Il Pittore. The meal there vastly exceeded my expecatations.

It's been the longest since I've been to Modo Mio, so my memory is fading there a bit. But I remember the food to be quite good (and I promise you won't leave hungry).

I like Amis maybe better than some other folks on this board. We have had good luck going there and kind of grazing through things (esp. the Meatballs), so it's one of my favorites in the city. I do think that Osteria is better though, at least by my tastebuds. I prefer the bar area to the proper seating area at Amis, it's a bit more laid back, and while you're just as crowded as in the general seating area, it feels more natural near the bar (to me anyway).

I don't think you can go wrong with any of them.

Jan 17, 2013
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Is their a clear winner among these pubs?

I will go a little bit afield of your list, but I think that Pizzeria Stella may be a good fit for your criteria. It's still relatively close to Penn's Landing, and you should be able to get out of there for $40 easy. Decent draft list, not going to blow your mind, but it won't be the same taps you'll find at Applebee's. I am recommending somewhere I've never been, which is always risky, but I have gotten good reviews from several close friends with good taste that I trust. Maybe others on the board could weigh in. Unfortunately I don't do a ton of dining in that part of town. But I figured it's always good to throw a counter-point into the mix.

http://www.pizzeriastella.net/

Jan 08, 2013
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Caribou Cafe?

I had lunch there a little over a year ago as a party of three and everyone enjoyed their lunches immensely. Attractive space as well. I'd recommend it, as we often wonder why we haven't been back. It's a testament to just how good we've got it right now here in Philadelphia.

Jan 08, 2013
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Upscale BYO in suburbs -- need recs

I don't know how you define 'outside of the City', but you may consider Heriloom in Chestnut Hill. I haven't been yet (it's a bit above our standards price point), but i've heard vey nice things.

Jan 04, 2013
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Philly Italian BYOB

Oh, sorry about that. My page didn't load properly and I didn't see your final post on the thread until I replied, bucksguy. Enjoy!

(a few completely unsolicited recommendations: the rustico is a great way to start there, though it's kind of a lot of food for 2 people as a starter; they are known for their mushroom parpadelle, but on my most recent trip I had the sweet potato ravioli, which were extraordinary; the smoked pork chop and scallop/pork belly entrees also got very good reviews)

Dec 28, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Philly Italian BYOB

I am a huge Melograno fan, and we did just get a reservation last Saturday, which was wonderful. Food was as good as ever, even though they took my favorite item, the rabbit saddle, off the menu.

If you have any problems with Melograno, we also had a really wonderful meal at Radicchio Cafe just before Christmas. I'm not sure how people generally draw the lines of Center City, but I think that would still count. It's just below Vine St. Expressway on 4th Street.

The other three CC Italian BYOB's that are in our rotation are La Viola (great value), Mercato (formerly my favorite, reviews seem to be trending towards mixed at this point and haven't been in some time), and Bistro La Baia, which is a personal favorite, though I'm not sure if everyone would consider it as a Chow-type place.

Dec 28, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Talula's Garden or Le Bec Fin?

For what it's worth, we just had a dinner at Talula's for a special occasion the weekend before last and thought it was an effectively flawless meal.

I told them it was for a special occassion, and we were greeted very warmly and given the best table in the house (it was our first time there + we are no one!). Service was impeccable. Extremely friendly and attentive without being over-bearing or rushed in the least. Excellent ambiance, enough background noise that you don't have to feel guilty enjoying yourself, but not so much that you're shouting all night to the person sitting next to you.

Food was also exceptional. Got to enjoy the lamb belly & chitarra as firsts (lamb was quite good, while the pasta was extraordinary), and the pork duo & duck duo as entrees. I enjoyed both entrees as you got a good rich/lean (relatively speaking!) contrast with the tenderloin/rib & breast/confit in each case. It was a nice concept that was well-executed in both cases (and perfect for someone with decision-making deficiencies such as myself). I often find the entrees to be the less-satifying obligation at these types of meals, but not in this case.

We may have had good luck ordering (only 4 items) and a good night, but I didn't really have a single average bite of food the entire meal.

Dec 17, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Il Pittore: SALT SALT SALT

We just had dinner at Il Pittore on Friday night and enjoyed the meal. We don't typically like our food overly salted, and basically orderd "Salt's Greatest Hits" without being offended by the saltiness, so it seems that they have corrected that issue. The wines are still quite expensive, but as suggested by other posts for Il Pittore, it seems that the other higher-end places have pretty much caught up and a lower end glass priced in the $12-range now seems like the norm, and both glasses I ordered were generously poured. The bottled wines were fairly pricey, we ended up sticking with glasses because we didn't see a ton of value being had to buy a bottle within our price range.

The highlights were very clear to me, and very good. We were a table for 4 and each got three courses (app, pasta, entree) with some overlap, and I thought there was one standout at each course. The potato crocchetta was the best appetizer we got (runaway consensus among the whole group), but also enjoyed the octopus and mushroom/fava bruschetta.

Pastas were all quite nice, but I actually thought that the ziti was the winner in the pasta category. It was absolutely wonderful, simple as can be but just gorgeous. I was enjoying my pasta, the gramigna, quite a bit (also very simple flavors but good ones), but my fork kept creeping back to my S.O.'s plate to steal from her (luckily she's a fantastic woman and abides me). I didn't get to try the wild boar parpadelle, but it got excellent reviews as well.

Entrees were also quite nice, but not the equal of the pastas in my opinion. The suckling pig was my favorite and delicious, but I also enjoyed the veal cheek (didn't get to try the scallops, but they looked good).

It was not a cheap meal ($130 per couple including tax & tip with 1 glass of the least expensive wine each), but was quite enjoyable. And the space is beautiful... as it was as Noble. They changed the downstairs a bit (the old bar is still there,but patrons now sit at a bar on the opposite wall where that row of tables used to be), and I had only ever popped my head quickly upstairs as Noble so I can't say how much has changed there as my memory is foggy (usually thanks to Christian's heavy hand back in the good old days!).

Nov 19, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Best BYOB in Philly area right now? Want to treat retiring dear friend with oenophile husband.

Wow, tough start! I assume you'll be bringing your own distinctive wines to satisfy the oenophile. If so, I'd say the preferred BYOB right now is probably Fond, though I haven't yet been. On a personal note, I am a great lover of Melagrano, Pumpkin, Russet, Modo Mio, and Mercato (though a few issues with service there a ways back pushed me away, so it's been a while - perhaps others could weigh in). I would rank them in the following order for myself (with a relevant criteria in parenthesis): Russet (tolerance for a louder room), Melograno (best overall experience among my personal favorites), Pumpkin (intimate), Modo Mio (ability to stuff yourself!, cash only), Mercato (highest potential, hardest to predict). You can see I skew towards Italian. I also like La Viola as a good value, but if you are looking to treat someone it's not a great fit.

Nov 15, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

First time in Philly, early December

I just had a great meal at Osteria, and if you are interested in offal & the less conventional cuts I'd say that the chicken liver rigatoni there is an essential and probably one of the more popular pasta dishes in the city.

I'd also +1 Paesano's (mentioned below).

We have a pretty vibrant gastropub scene, so that would be worth considering as well. There are multiple threads on the subject, but the usual suspects are typically Khyber Pass, South Philly Tap Room, Standard Tap, and a few other that I am forgetting. If you are a beer drinker we have a lot of great local offerings. Dogfish Head IPA's are highly regarded, and I am a fan of most anything from Yard's Brewery (though particularly Philly Pale Ale & Brawler). There is also something of a cult following for Troeg's Mad Elf, which should be available depending on when you'll be here.

To add another option for American, I've had several excellent meals at Matyson (though not since they've changed ownership, which was some time ago). They do a tasting menu typically focused on a showcasing a single ingredient (but this week it is "Five Senses"). Unfortunately that's only available Mon-Thurs so I'm not sure you'd be able to get there if you'll have obligations in Exton.

I hope you enjoy whatever you find!

Nov 13, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Osteria v. 13th Street Stroll

Just wanted to report back quickly.

We ended up at Osteria, and were really happy.
They started with a pesto bread that was extraordinary. Of all my bread experiences (and they are many - I am Dr. Atkins' worst nightmare), this was very likely the best.

We also had a grilled vegetable antipasto plate, and cotechino sausage over polenta as starters. Both very good.

Then we had bottarga pasta, chicken liver rigatoni, and a pasta special which was stuffed with braised salsify. We enjoyed them all quite a bit, but among them I understand the love for the chicken liver rigatoni. It is certainly one of the best pasta dishes in the city, and one that I will return for.

I was quite stuffed, but also thought I had to try the polenta budino. Like the rigatoni, better than advertised. By no means attractive, but 10x more deliicious than it looks. Osteria certainly has not suffered from the expanding Vetri emprie. It has actually improved significantly since my last visit (which was a couple of years ago, and pre Amis and Alla Spina).

Nov 05, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Hop Sing Laundromat

What kind of numbers can you bring to HSL and have a shot at a table? I can range anywhere from 2-8 for this Friday night around 11:30 or so, and want to make sure that we have a prayer at a table. Also, do they do reservations or are we at the whim of the night?

Thanks!

Oct 31, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Great meal, excellent experience (prefer pasta)

We ended up with a reservation at Novita. It was the most compelling combo of cost/proximity/pasta/not needing to get decked out (we are taking a train into town), so we'll face the raucousness with joy... when in Rome.

But I am going to hit up Manzo for sure while my S.O. is tied up. My love of raw beef and her disdain for it make this a great opportunity to kill some time with a mid afternoon snack as I'm wandering through Eataly.

And we are also going to try and see if there is a cancellation at Maialino, as that would have been our #1 choice for dinner.

But thanks for all of your recommendations. This was a very tough decision and every single recommendation got strong consideration (I actually made a spreadsheet!).

I'll be sure to report back, if you've got any interest in a Philadelphian's opinion (we take our Italian seriously here).

I hope everyone is staying safe and that Sandy took it easy on you!!! (Obviously the fact that I am posting this points to how lucky I am compared to a lot of my neighbors)

Oct 30, 2012
tfalbo in Manhattan

Two Restaurant Week winners

Coopers/Jake's is tough from a service perspective. My 2nd favorite server in the city is there (not like I have rankings, but I have had two meals where the waiter and waitress were so far above and beyond, they'll always stick out to me), but we have also had some of the most colossally indifferent, glacial service there. We have come close to leaving the waters on our table and walking out several times because we were completely ignored for 25-30 minutes after sitting (the promise of bread and olive oil usually keeps us glued to our chairs). It really depends on who you end up with unfortunately.

Oct 19, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Osteria v. 13th Street Stroll

Thanks for everyone's insights. This is very helpful.

Also, thanks for the alternative suggestions of The Corner and Vedge (I also love Capogiro, but being mildly lactose intolerant and with an acutely lactose intolerant S.O., it is just an ongoing tease as we walk by!)

My strategy to keep it lower-stress would be to have 5-6 places in mind with a goal of getting to maybe 3 (incredible that you wouldn't need to stretch more than a block or two to get to 6), this way there would be no frustration if we get shut out somewhere (or several somewheres). I am expecting it would be a Friday or Saturday and we wouldn't be getting out till around 7:00 given current life craziness, so even feeling nice and flexible it still may be setting up for failure.

It's a very pleasant deliberation in the meantime.

Oct 18, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Great meal, excellent experience (prefer pasta)

I did notice the proximity, and I used to follow the chef's blog onThe Atlantic, thinking it would potentially be a good fit for my wife given their consensual love of pasta. If we think we are comfortable gearing up for a trek, I'll have her take a look at the menu to see if it sparks her attention. Thanks for jogging my memory on this one!

Oct 18, 2012
tfalbo in Manhattan

Great meal, excellent experience (prefer pasta)

Thanks everyone. These are excellent recommendations! Just what I was looking for.

I actually just called Maialino, and unfortunately their OpenTable is a fair representation of what's actually available 11/9. That looked great to me (perfect actually), but 10:00pm is most likely a tiny bit later than we'd want (we don't mind eating between 9:45-10:00, but sitting that late is probably more for the 25 year old versions of us, not the current version). We'll see what my beautiful wife has to say about it though.

In an effort to narrow these guys down a little bit, maybe you can provide a tiny bit more detail. The only other thing that is important to us, given the many options, we prefer a slightly more spaced out environment (who doesn't?). But we have been to a few nicer places where tables are on top of each other, and depending on who we've wound up next to, that has been the most (unfortunately) memorable part of the meal. So to the extent that any of these places give you a little bit of elbow room, we'd love to know that. Or feel free to introduce any new places into the fray.

Thanks again! This is perfect.

Oct 18, 2012
tfalbo in Manhattan

Great meal, excellent experience (prefer pasta)

thanks for the speedy reply! Dinner will be 11/9, which is a Friday night. I thought I might be in trouble with availability but the trip is kind of a last minute affair. I think we'd be a little bit flexilbe on timing, but would probably skew later as a 5:30-6:00 dinner doesn't hold a lot of appeal for us.

Geographically, east side is probably preferred, but not required. I'd just like to keep it to a 5-10 min cab ride if possible, though I've stayed in that general part of Manhattan a few years back and seem to recall that it's didn't strike me as a culinary hotbed.

Oct 18, 2012
tfalbo in Manhattan

Great meal, excellent experience (prefer pasta)

Hello NYers.

Sorry for what is probably a somewhat repetitive post. This is my first foray into the NYC board (we are Philadelphians), and I was so overwhelmed in trying to do some searching I thought I'd just try to put up a post of my own and see if I can harness your collective brainpower/tastebuds.

Two of us will be up in early November for an overnight, and are hunting for dinner options. We'll be staying at Madison/29th. We'd like to stick to a short cab or walk if possible.

Price isn't a major issue, though I don't think we're looking to spend top top top dollar (we'd prefer not to pass $100pp for food, but I'd consider it for a truly exceptional experience). The main thing is we're looking for a sure fire great experience. Our tastebuds lean italian, with top priority on pasta, but there's flexibility on that as well (with only caveat that we are lactose intolerant so French isn't always best for us). We are typically lighter eaters, so don't necesarrily care for a pound of pasta on the plate (though we haven't really embraced the two-bite course either).

One place we've considered is Butter just based on enjoying AG's personality on TV, but it seems reviews tend to be mixed here. I have always wanted to try Locanda Verde, but it looks like kind of a trek from our hotel.

Any help you guys & gals can provide would be invaluable!

Oct 18, 2012
tfalbo in Manhattan

Osteria v. 13th Street Stroll

I am working on a plan for my birthday coming up next month, and have narrowed it down to two ideas. Since I love an interesting cocktail and my S.O. could care less, my birthday is my only chance to go to Hop Sing with full support, so the night will end there.

As for the prelude, I am down to two ideas:

1. Osteria. I haven't been there in a couple of years and we cancelled our annual trip to Vetri this year due to stomach space constraints. So this seemed like a good substitute.

2. I thought it might be fun to wander up 13th Street and stop in a number of places for an app or a small plate type thing at each. So we could hit Jamonera, Zavino, Sampan (I am craving bao buns badly), and perhaps Barbuzzo and get a bite of something at each. There would likely either be 2 or 4 of us, so I'm not thinking that it would be a horrendous idea, but even in small numbers I could see logistics/crowds/etc turning this idea into much less fun in execution than it is in concept.

Any thoughts?

Oct 18, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Need a reccomendation for good food, even better drinks, and great vibe

When I think of the best cocktails I've had at dinner lately, the two places that jump to mind are a.kitchen and Ela. As far as scenes go, I think a.kitchen is probably more lively, though I am less enthusiastic about the food there as a lot of folks. While it is smaller plates, when I went we just ordered a couple of plates each as individual courses and it was very natural.

I thought the food at Ela was quite good, but it's a bit further removed from Hop Sing and a few of the other good spots if you are looking to mix it up a bit after dinner.

Oct 03, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

lightning round dinner before Merriam on Wednesday

thanks everybody. this is exactly what i was looking for!

Oct 03, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

lightning round dinner before Merriam on Wednesday

We have a concert at Merriam on Wednesday and are going to be rushing like lunatics to make it in time, so we'll have maybe 10-15 minutes to scarf down dinner. Are there any compelling options in the area? I'd like to just park once for both time & cost, and am not knowledgable about the quick bites in the area. It's Ben Harper so we won't be dressed up (or afraid of making a mess of ourselves).

Thanks for any ideas anyone may have!

Oct 01, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Where do you get good seafood?

Has anyone been to Fish lately? We had friends that went recently and said they converted to small plates. They have very similar tastes to me, and said that it was much less enjoyable under the new concept than the old. Just wanted to see if anyone else had observed the same.

Aug 28, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

The new Le Bec Fin

one quick Vetri aside, that will hopefully not derail the LBF discussion.
In terms of your comment on rushed service, were you at an early seating or a late seating?
We have been twice, sat late both times (8:30 or so as I recall), and have never felt even 1% rushed. We are glacially slow eaters, and things still moved at a very graceful pace even by our standards. I'm wondering if the earlier seatings tend to move more briskly since they have to turn the tables. I think your point about the feeling that "I could make this at home with 50 cents worth of ingredients" is a very interesting one with some merits (though in all of my efforts with his two cookbooks I have not come as close to a worthy proxy as I might like to tell myself).

Aug 15, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia

Restaurant for dessert main line or western burbs

I always advocate for churros as my favorite dessert, so this is a very loaded suggestion, but Verdad in Bryn Mawr has a nice atmophere (and churros as well). I think you'd be well served there. I have not been to Tango so I cannot comment unfortunately.

Aug 10, 2012
tfalbo in Philadelphia