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maz819's Profile

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Recent Sushi Azabu impressions?

At the moment, this is my favorite sushi place in town. Better than Yasuda. We went a few times before the chef change, and have been back since, and all times except one (pre-change) have been amazing -- well, the food at least. Service when not at the counter is always horrible and slow.

We always get the omakase, generally only fish. The toro is divine and the uni is the best I have ever had (get the one from Japan not from California). The new head chef is Shinichi Inoue, who was there before as well, and who is very personable and lovely. Another chef we have had a lovely time with is Tomoyuki Hayashi. There's a third chef who is a much older man and is unfortunately not very good, at least at keeping orders straight.

As for the atmosphere, on almost every occasion I've been there, we've been annoyed by finance guys who were rowdy and obnoxious, but we just tuned them out. And at times, there's a gross fishy smell (probably from searing they do in the kitchen) that I could do without. I've never eaten in the upstairs area, but now that the new restaurant (Darumaya) is coming in April, I've already made a reservation and am excited!

Mar 26, 2014
maz819 in Manhattan

NYC foodies in Umbria/Tuscany

I guess we're doing it backwards -- letting the food dictate where we go, as opposed to letting the towns we want to visit dictate which restaurants to go to :)

Sep 17, 2013
maz819 in Italy

NYC foodies in Umbria/Tuscany

Thank you all!

Are any of the restaurants I mentioned above past their prime or not worth going to?

Sep 17, 2013
maz819 in Italy

NYC foodies in Umbria/Tuscany

Thanks ttoommyy. Any other thoughts from anyone? Particularly for Tuscany? For now I have these starter thoughts to narrow down in Umbria and Tuscany:

Siena: Hosteria il Carrocio, Ristorante Grotta Santa Caterina,
L'Osteria, Osteria Castelvecchio, Antica Osteria Da Divo

Chianti: La Bottega, Osteria alla Piazza, Ristorante Malborghetto, Fattoria Montagliari

Montalcino: Osteria Osticcio

Between Montepulciano and Pienza: La Porta, La Grotta

Panicale: Lillio Tatini

Montisi: Da Roberto

Orvieto: I Setti Consoli

Would love some thoughts!

Sep 15, 2013
maz819 in Italy

NYC foodies in Umbria/Tuscany

I'm heading to Italy next week -- spending the first few nights in Rome (for which I have a long list of yummy spots thanks to Chowhound), and then off to Umbria (specifically Montegabbione). We will have a car, love food, and our objective is to relax by driving around the beautiful scenic area and eating amazing food. Any tips on some local/hidden gems in Tuscany and Umbria that we shouldn't miss? We are willing to drive as far as Siena (which is a little over an hour away). Cost doesn't matter, though we do really love restaurants with a rustic/local ambiance, and will be getting our fill of some fancy places in Rome.

Thank you!

Sep 13, 2013
maz819 in Italy

Hudson Valley catering -- Oliver Kita vs Main Course

Any thoughts on Omnivore catered events?

Sep 07, 2012
maz819 in New York State (exc. NYC)

Hudson Valley catering -- Oliver Kita vs Main Course

Hi all -- my fiance and I are getting married in the Hudson Valley and are trying to pick caterers, which is proving to be a little difficult for us apparently. It is one of the most important things to us for our reception. So, here I am. We are looking for a dinner that will highlight local produce -- simple yet yummy farm-to-table cuisine. And we are looking to use a caterer in the area to cut down on cost (as opposed to bringing someone in from the city). We've already met with a bunch; our last two to consider are Oliver Kita Catering and Main Course -- and we have high hopes, I think b/c we're starting to run out of options. Anyone have experience with either? Most of the things we've heard about Main Course are positive, though we have heard a couple negative reviews. Haven't heard too much about Oliver Kita other than what is on wedding sites, and it's hard to know there how the reviewers feel about food. Any thoughts from fellow Chowhounders are always welcome! Many thanks.

Sep 05, 2012
maz819 in New York State (exc. NYC)

De Buyer in Paris?

Anyone know where to find De Buyer products (pans) in Paris? I know E. Dehillerin and Printemps, but anywhere else?

Nov 05, 2011
maz819 in France

De Buyer Affinity vs. Carbon Steel

Anyone know where in Paris to find De Buyer pans, other than E. Dehillerin and Printemps?

Nov 05, 2011
maz819 in Cookware

De Buyer Affinity vs. Carbon Steel

I have used cast-iron; it would be great to have something lighter and smoother. Thanks for the help!

Nov 03, 2011
maz819 in Cookware

De Buyer Affinity vs. Carbon Steel

I see. I already have an All-Clad frying pan, so might not make sense to get the Affinity line. Carbon steel on the other hand is completely new to me.

Nov 03, 2011
maz819 in Cookware

De Buyer Affinity vs. Carbon Steel

I'm visiting Paris and hoping to buy a De Buyer frying pan -- which is better, Affinite or the black/carbon steel? The Affinity are much more expensive. I know Carbon Steel requires seasoning. Does Affinite? What are the other differences? Pros/Cons of each? Thanks!

Nov 03, 2011
maz819 in Cookware

Where can I find a Maté Gourd in NYC?

I'm looking for a nice Maté Gourd. I know there are some available online, but I would love to buy one in person, to really see what I'm getting. Any idea of Argentine or other South American markets in NYC that would sell some?

Dec 13, 2010
maz819 in Manhattan

Artisan Cheese Makers in France

I wasn't aware of those EU regs -- you make a good point. I'd be fine learning from someone who makes small quanitites for "personal use" -- it may even be a better learning experience -- but I understand why they'd maintain low profiles.

I can get by in French, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. Thanks for that link - I'll be sure to contact them. If you have any other thoughts, let me know!

Apr 24, 2010
maz819 in France

Artisan Cheese Makers in France

I am looking to spend a few weeks learning how to make cheese in France this summer, with a local artisan cheese maker that makes cheese by hand. The farms I have come across while researching online are generally large operations. It seems as though the local cheese makers don't have much of a web presence (as is expected, I guess). Does anyone have any recommendations/ideas on something that might fit the bill?

Apr 22, 2010
maz819 in France