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Great atmospheric bars for a cocktail?

Thanks again to everyone for the great suggestions. Heading to Manhattan for several days on Wednesday. Sure to hit a couple of these! Cheers.

Jun 07, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

Great atmospheric bars for a cocktail?

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

May 31, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

The Current Fascination with Charcuterie [split from Ontario]

(Note: This thread was split from the Ontario board at: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5888... -- The Chowhound Team)

I have found Nota Bene good, not great. The boudin noir dish, in my opinion, is just overkill. Charcuterie ok (and homemade), but, honestly, what is with the current fascination with charcuterie? Again, good, just not great. I had very good service here, however, when I have been.

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Nota Bene
180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

May 29, 2010
torontoview in General Topics

Great atmospheric bars for a cocktail?

Can anyone recommend any great atmospheric bars for a cocktail in Manhattan? Not really looking for an atmospheric dive bar....more like somewhere really nice to have a drink and soak in the ambience. A view would be a plus (but not essential).

Thanks for the help!

May 29, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

Marea menu recommendations

Thanks everyone for all the input. Looking forward to this.

May 28, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

Mind-blowing dinner in Toronto?

Great food might stand on its own. Great service or atmosphere without great food is nothing. But in order to be great, I think a restaurant needs both good food and good service. Atmosphere can add to the experience, but is not as important.

In my original post, I guess I was referring primarily to fine dining. But I haven't had a great meal in Toronto in a very long time, just good ones.

I conitnue to be open to all suggestions and will definitely check some of the recommendations (of any sort) out.

Marea menu recommendations

Could anyone who has been to Marea make some menu recommendations please? What is especially good there? Coming to NYC and have resos there in a couple of weeks. Any advice from regulars and/or those who have tried a few items would be most appreciated.

Will probably do a prix fixe with three crudos (pay the supplement), a pasta, main and dessert. Any no misses?

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Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

May 25, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

Mind-blowing dinner in Toronto?

Thanks. These are great suggestions. Will add to my list.

Pre-theatre?

Thanks. Saju looks great. Now I am completely torn between it and dbBistro Moderne.

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Saju
120 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

May 24, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

Mind-blowing dinner in Toronto?

Oh and thanks also for the Feast of Fields tip. That does sound like a wow. I love the concept. Will definitely check that out, too.

(ps) Sorry about the it's in my previous post. My phone self-corrected. Grrr. And of course it should read that for once after quite a long time I would like to leave a place wowed.

Cheers everyone.

Mind-blowing dinner in Toronto?

Yes, I, too, was wowed at Susur. And at Chez Panisse, where not only was the food the day we went amazing (the menu changes everyday), the service was informative, insightful, warm, cordial, friendly without being overly familiar.

I was also wowed once at Scaramouche, many years ago. Maybe I should give it another try.

But lately, and I am being very honest here, not jaded or snooty, I am finding stuff in Toronto just ok....good but not great.

And here are a couple of examples of stuff that makes me crazy. Recently, I was at a "fine dining" restaurant in the city. I asked for a wine recommendation in the $150 range. The waitress "consulted" the sommelier, but did not send him over to the table to discuss options or to talk wine. He did choose a nice one, but just had her bring it...with no discussion of it's virtues whatsoever. Then, throughout the meal, the waitress kept filling our glasses beyond the three-quarters mark. I had to ask her politely to stop. Brother.

At a popular trattoria, the waiter brought my whole grilled fish. "Your potatoes and vegetable will be right out." I nibbled at my fish and when it was two- thirds finished inquired of my sides. He had forgotten. Nuff said.

Don't get me wrong...many of the meals I have had have been good, just not great.

You'd think there would be greatness in a city this size.

It is not about, "Why is Toronto not Manhattan." it is about, "Why do Torontonians always settle for second best and think it is somehow ok."

When I pay over $300 for a meal, I think it should be perfect, not just good. Maybe it is just me.

I have the luxury of travelling quite a bit, so I am exposed to nice places. I don't always eat in fine restaurants, nor would I want to. I would, however, for once after quite a long time be able to leave a place in Toronto and say, "Wow, that was amazing."

So thanks for your suggestions. They are certainly useful. We can debate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the Toronto culinary scene endlessly. I just want to know where to go to be surprised.

I am going to check out some of the suggestions for sure. Much appreciated.

Mind-blowing dinner in Toronto?

I have not had a meal in Toronto that has blown me away since Susur left town. Have been recently to North 44, Auberge du Pommier, Canoe. While all good they were just not other-worldly, nothing like, say, Le Bernardin or Jean-Georges in Manhattan, Chez Panisse in Berkeley, or The French Laundry in Yountville. I am not a complete snob, but could someone tell me, please, where in this city I am going to find a meal that really wows me, with gracious, professional, non-attitudinal service to match? Somewhere on the same plane as Susur, with a chef who REALLY takes your breath away. Is there such a place? What do you think?

Pre-theatre?

Thanks. Good point. I am not so fussy about cuisine type, provided it is solid to excellent and good value. I guess a decent price point would be less than $50 per person without drinks or wine. A place that can definitely get you in and out in time for a show on W. 44th would also be a consideration. French, Italian, American are all good, but somewhere nice, where we'll enjoy ourselves, but, more importantly, the food. With resos alreay made for this trip for EMP, Le Bernardin and Marea, it is hardly like we need an out of the park experience. But any wows would be welcome!

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Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

May 23, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

Gramercy Tavern or Eleven Madison Park?

Thank you everyone for your collective wisdom. Eleven Madison Park it is; have my resos. May definitely try to sneak in a lunch on the tavern side of Gramercy, time, itinerary and hunger permitting.

Leaning toward db Bistro Moderne for the quick pre-theatre.

I love NYC. Nowhere else like it. Looking forward to this visit.

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Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

May 22, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

Pre-theatre?

Hi all. Just wondering if some of you could weigh in with some suggestions for a pre-theatre dinner in the Theatre District that will not break the bank. (I am going for dinner to Eleven Madison Park, Marea and Le Bernardin...my fave...on an upcoming trip to New York, so looking for a quick, but decent bite on a theatre night.)

Some very helpful person on this board suggested dbBistro Moderne, which I am leaning toward. They have a $45 before theatre pre-fixe, which sounds like pretty good value for this spot.

Anyone else been there.....or have any other suggestions?

Thanks.

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Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

May 21, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

Gramercy Tavern or Eleven Madison Park?

Thanks everyone for the feedback. Interesting: not even a single vote for the Gramercy Tavern in this duel.

As for pre-theatre, I had definitely considered dbBistro Moderne. You are right: $45 for a good prix fixe is pretty good value, provided the food is good.

I appreciate the feedback.

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Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

May 20, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

Gramercy Tavern or Eleven Madison Park?

Thanks so far for the feedback. Much appreciated. 3-0 so far for EMP! I think my instincts were right.

Also, while we're at it, can folks also recommend a good pre-theatre place? Would Marseille be a good choice?

Thanks again.

May 20, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan

Gramercy Tavern or Eleven Madison Park?

Hi. A question for those in the know:

I will be in New York for four nights in June.

One of those evenings is taken up with Le Bernardin (one of my faves of all time); the other with Marea (which I have also been dying to try).

Another night will be a quick bite and a theatre night.

However, for the other evening I am torn: Should I go to Gramercy Tavern or to Eleven Madison Park?

I have not been to either before, and would llike to try both; just cannot fit them both in on this trip. So if I had to choose one over the other, which one would it be--and why?

(I am inclined to go with Eleven Madison as Chef Humm just won the James Beard Award for best chef in NYC. But I have always wanted to try the Gramercy Tavern, too.)

Your thoughts?

Thanks.

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Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

May 20, 2010
torontoview in Manhattan