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Bill O.'s Profile

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First date restaurants in northern/central NJ?

I recently revisited Uproot, somewhere in Somerset County, near I-78. Menu has small plates and entrees. You can dine in a bar area if you want to keep it simple, or in the dining room. Clean, modern look and certainly not stuffy. Have fun and please report back.

Apr 29, 2015
Bill O. in New Jersey

cold brew coffee questions

I've used the following recipe for several years (don't recall where it came from): a ratio of 2-9 coffee-water, but via measuring cup, not weight. So I fill my quart pitcher almost to the top and then add a little less than 1 cup coarse ground beans. Steep 12 hours @ room temp. Strain twice (pour into a filter placed over another pitcher. Repeat.). Then chill.
The result is a concentrate which you cut w/ water, about 50 -50 or to taste.
You did not state how your cold brew worked out...Your description sounds strong.

Mar 15, 2015
Bill O. in Home Cooking

freeze soda bread?

Greetings: I promised that I would bake Irish soda bread for my work mates in honor of St Patty's Day. This will mean making 3 loaves, 2 for work and one for the little woman. My question: As this bread is inherently dry, is it feasible to bake over the weekend and freeze. It will be a logistical problem to do this work the night before (Monday). My wife the purist says don't make in advance and freeze. I said I could add a bit of the butter to the batter to help moisten the finished crumb. We agreed the chowhounders would be the final word. Thanks for your replies.

Mar 13, 2015
Bill O. in Home Cooking

Englewood - Jerry's Deli?

I think Yum is probably referring to all of the free samples Jerry's provides: people stick their who-knows-where-they've-been hands in the little bowls of crackers, chocolates and cheeses. Even when a toothpick is staring them in the face, people will still pick up the cheese cubes w/ their grubby hands.

Feb 28, 2015
Bill O. in New Jersey

Englewood - Jerry's Deli?

Like a lot of places, you learn what is good @ Jerry's via trial and error. My wife calls Jerry's the 'Odd Lot of Italian Gourmet Shops.' The produce available appears to be strictly for convenience. I find the prepared items good but not great, but ok in a pinch when you're tired after a long day @ the office. That said, you have to come in relatively early, b/c they tend to run out of prepared food as the day goes on. We often buy fresh ricotta, bulk nuts, dried fruit and the Italian groceries--e.g., canned tuna, pasta, etc. The store has impulse purchasing down to a science: you will exit the store with more than you anticipated. Regarding the bread and pastries, we have not ever purchased these items from Jerry's, as the Great Balthazar Bakery is a few blocks away on the same street. Smilnggal, I would love to hear of your experience.

Feb 16, 2015
Bill O. in New Jersey

Any good ice cream or gelato place in Northern NJ(Tenafly area)

I would echo Conrad's in westwood. Do not care for Bischoffs. Also like Van Dyke's, but Ridgewood is a liitle far from Tenafly (good choice if you happen to be shopping @ the Paramus malls). I keep seeing Gelato places popping up in Pal Pk, which appear to target the Korean population. Have not been but I'm wondering if others have and can report back!!

Jun 08, 2014
Bill O. in New Jersey

Oysters Bergen County

Greetings, anyone have a favourite restaurant in Bergen for oysters on the 1/2 shell? Some old time places I know still do clams, but oysters appear to be less prevalent. Used to go to the place on 17 in Rochelle Pk and M & S in Riverside, but both of those are gone (and only mediocre). Assembly has them, as does the AYCE seafood spot in Little Ferry, but are either any good? Please limit responses to Bergen; I know I can go to the city. Thanks to all.

Dec 02, 2013
Bill O. in New Jersey

Is it me, or is Fairway in Paramus taking a turn for the worse?

Whole Foods salad/hot bar is $8.49 per lb.

Sep 29, 2013
Bill O. in New Jersey

non zagat's restaurants

My free Zagat's NYC guide came in the mail this week. After so many years, the entries are way too predictatble. Therefore, what are your favorite non-Zagat haunts?

Dec 08, 2012
Bill O. in Manhattan

Queens College?

Hello, we are going to a concert @ Queens College, this Sat, 11.17.12. Have not been in this area for decades. It appears this is a culinary wasteland, but does anyone have any suggestions where to eat prior to an 8.00 pm show? I will be driving and know places throughout the borough (and would welcome any out of the area suggestion), but I am attempting not to have to park twice. Any type of food is fine, but as my wife always says, 'Something good.' We appreciate any guidance. Thanks.

Nov 13, 2012
Bill O. in Outer Boroughs

Great Filet

Try Prime and Beyond in Fort Lee. It's BYO. Very casual; you won't be dining for atmosphere. But they have great steaks. Would recommend you check the website first.

Nov 13, 2012
Bill O. in New Jersey

Four days in Englewood

I am very surprised no one mentioned Bennie's. Check out the menu on line. Less exoctic than it sounds, but everything is fresh and homemade. They use seasonings imported from the mid-east. Also a BYO (like many in the area). I agree w/ other posters' recs of Simply Viet Namese & Pho Lao Thai. Do not agree whatsoever about Blue Moon. It is always crowded however, but imagine if it had good food! I like Jerry's better than Bartolomeo. They have a lot of imported Italian goods that are (semi) hard to find. Expensive is a relative term but I don't find the prices outrageous. I do like Axia, but I find it to be a little pricey. French bakery-Balthazar on S. Dean St. Worth the cost & calories (as is St Michel). At the end of the day, you should consider going across the bridge for some of your dining out (check NYC boards).

Oct 07, 2012
Bill O. in New Jersey

Fresh Hatch Chiles

Bought some yesterday in Englewood Shop Rite of all places. Have not yet tried them. I'm presuming these are peppers similar to those grown in New Mexico.

Sep 14, 2012
Bill O. in New Jersey

Basil infused vodka

I have some unique tasting basil in the garden--tastes a lot like anise. I had a revelation to steep some of it in some cheap vodka that I would otherwise not drink. Could anyone provide some guidance on how this is done--How long should you immerse the leaves? How much plant would one use, for say a pint of spirit? Obviously, this is not an exact science, and pity the taste tester who has determine the readiness, but if anyone could offer some base guidelines, it would be much appreciated.

Sep 12, 2012
Bill O. in Spirits

Favorite Italian Restaurant in Bergen County

I have always found Amarone in Teaneck very consistent. Not mind blowing, but very satisfying. I have tried a few different times to reserve for Fontana di Trevi but was told they were booked. Has anybody been??

Dec 06, 2011
Bill O. in New Jersey

Trendy Restaurants for Rehearsal dinner within 15 minutes of Woodcliff Lake Hilton

I might consider Restauarant X in Congers NY, Route 303, just north of the big mall. We had our wedding reception done @ Highlands country club in Garrsion back when Peter X Kelly had a restaurant up there. My friends still talk about the great food from that day 15+ years later. X is probably 20 minutes from the stated hotel.

Dec 06, 2011
Bill O. in New Jersey

I need help!! I am a tourist (be nice please :)

Hello, I will add my 2 pennies. I agree w/ a lot of the previous posts. However, I thought if you're staying near TSq w/ kids, you possibly might be exhausted at the end of some days. Therefore a good Chinese place walking distance is Szechuan (something), on W. 39, just west of 5th Ave. Cheap by NYC standards. There are also lots of Korean joints on W. 32 +/-. Almost every restaurant has a website now, so asking for places NOT on Google is a bit self-defeating. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM CHAINS!!
I know other posters have already mentioned, but economy candy will blow you away. The beauty of this place is all those other mentioned places are so close-Katz', Russ, Kosar's (closed Saturdays) and Tenement museum. Too many places to mention on the Lower East Side (a refreshment you will not find on Google are the shaved ice vendors, with their sweet syrups), very prevalent on the LES. Try the coffee shop on the SE corner of Rivington & Orchard (across the street from Little Giant), also LES.
Lastly, you have to go to Zabar's cafe on Bway and 80th--Ideal before or after Central Pk.- Did someone say you were from TX? Doesn't one travel to witness cultural differences? You won't find them anymore stark here, plus good & cheap bkfast and lunch

Little Giant
85 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

Szechuan Gourmet
21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

Aug 04, 2011
Bill O. in Manhattan


Hello, I've worked walking distance from Maywood's business district for 20 + years. Therefore, I have strong opinions: I Like Maywood Market, very consitent. You can ask to taste an item that tempts. They generally have enough samples out to make make a lite lunch, lol. That is a good place to bring home prepared dinner, good selection. Warning: If an item lacks a price, inquire. When something is too expensive, they generally 'forget' to post the price. Mario's is decent for pizza and the American Italian eats that come w/ the bargain. Some people @ the job like Hillman's for its pizza and lunch items. Skip Rick's luncheontte! Skip the bakery! Seafood gourmet's fish counter is excellent. Their carry-out prepared food is excellent! Everytime I get something to bring home, fresh or prepared, I keep thinking it can't be as good as last time, but I'm never disappointed. Favourite item to order for home prep are the scallops. You almost swear they somehow add sugar. Ate @ its restaurant once and take it or leave it. It's always crowded however and BYO. People @ work seem to like Paulie's Peruvian, but I have not been. People @ work also seem to like the Oak Ale House. It's fairly new, but co-workers drop by for a huge $5 menu and liquid lunch. Some visit for happy hour. Victor's Maywood Inn is servicable, IMO. This is a very Bergen County type place: Small party space, bar w/ after-work regulars and old-fashioned continental/southern Italian cuisine. I also Like the Moon-Doggie coffee shop. They have huge, fresh-out-of-the-oven muffins. The owners are characters. Of course, it's also easy to reach WF and Fairway. As the other posters have their opinions, I think you will have to visit both and learn both stores. Fairway has killer lox!

Victor's Maywood Inn
124 W Pleasant Ave, Maywood, NJ 07607

Aug 04, 2011
Bill O. in New Jersey

racchette (tennis racquet pasta)--where to buy?

I live in NJ and englewood shop rite carries the de cecco version. A few minutes over the bridge. Also, ,jerry's in Englewood might have this item (I would presume you can phone them to inquire). I would find it hard to believe you could not locate this item in NYC-whether it be Fairway, Eataly, Chelsea Mkt or Court St in Bklyn. I'm sure you can 'ace' this assignment.

200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

Jul 07, 2011
Bill O. in Manhattan

New restaurant in englewood in Sol & Sol location

Called Le Pant or might be Le Dant. They use that Old English type and I can't quite discern whether P, D or something else. Recently opened. Has been busy everytime I have passed by. It appears to be another mid east/med restaurant (just what Englewood needs). Has anyone been? If so, please report. I think I'm hesitant to try it, as Bennie's, Nisi and Rose's all serve this kind of food so well already. (as well as Hummus Elite which I have never had the pleasure)

Jul 04, 2011
Bill O. in New Jersey

Fish markets in North Jersey

rarely disappointed w/ the fish mkt in downtown maywood (pleasant ave).

May 27, 2011
Bill O. in New Jersey

Where to find gourmet Turkish delight?

I made some a few weeks ago based on a recipe/article from Harold McGee/NYT. Came out pretty good considering it was the first time. Used rose water. The process mostly takes place in the microwave.

Jan 23, 2011
Bill O. in Manhattan

Best desserts in Bergen County?

What about Balthazar in Englewood?
Have to echo agreement about the Italians and French but also want to add the Italian Bakery in Lyndhurst next to the train station.
B & W for the best crumb cake and some olde time favorites.
Paramus is close enough to NYC to warrant a return trip if you have some favorites, LOL.

Dec 22, 2010
Bill O. in New Jersey

Current EMP Menu Grid/Wine Pairings?

Went to EMP earlier this year, prior to their change in philosophy. Ordered 4 individual glasses of wine (2 each, for DW and self) and thought the poors were a little stingy.....

Nov 09, 2010
Bill O. in Manhattan

Del Posto gets 4 stars

Isn't it possible the restaurant recognzed Sam Sifton and thus he got the red carpet treatment??

Oct 20, 2010
Bill O. in Manhattan

Santa Fe - Restaurant Martin

Just returned from NM vacation--Martin is a very excellent restaurant.

Oct 18, 2010
Bill O. in Southwest

uproot in warren

Went a few weeks ago-- a very excellent cheese course.

Aug 21, 2010
Bill O. in New Jersey

manhattan shave ice

Neighborhoods where there is a large Latin contingent, e.g., Bway in the 140's or Delancey St.

Jun 16, 2010
Bill O. in Manhattan

Some suggestion please?

Wed-try Tabla's downstairs casual sister. More creative Indian and easier to control the cost. Good atmsophere and good drinks. Portions on the small side.
Thurs lunch. Try Grand Central Oyster Bar (although by that time, who knows how the gulf oil problem will have effected shellfish). DON'T DON'T sit @ a table--stroll up to the counter and order a dozen or two.
Fri-oy. Too much of a good thing. Try to split those up.
Sat-Wall St features only tourists on Sat. Do your sights and move along. You can easliy walk to C-town from there. Better to do lunch in the city and do Brooklyn afternoon into evening. Everyone has their Chinatown faves, but one can have dim sum by eating there earlier in the day. Walk its streets and see what appeals. Likewise for Brooklyn, walk on Court and Smith Sts (quick subway from C-town) and check out a very diverse eating area (the NYT just had a great review for Prime Meats this past week). Also check the outer boroughs board.
Sun-Don't care for Bouchon. Some posters might disagree. For my taste, the Whole Foods in the basement is just about as good and cheaper. Also, it will likely be too chilly to have brunch al fresco. Eat brunch indoors and take a long brisk walk in the park before/after.
We love Keens--per myself and every poster, order the mutton chop.

Grand Central Oyster Bar
89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

May 30, 2010
Bill O. in Manhattan

Custom Chocolate Molds

Place in Dumont NJ sells chocolate molds. Forget the name but near the corner of Wash. and Mad. I might have reason to pass by tonight. If so, I will repost.

May 19, 2010
Bill O. in New Jersey