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Large Format Meals?

Thanks Gordeaux and GourtmentWednesday for the suggestions! Generally, I'd lean towards Chinese, Thai, or Mexican, though I think "insanely good food" is probably a best first principle. Sun Wah and Yusho both seem like very good choices. And if I wind up at Mercat or Frontier, I'll write up a review.

Oct 21, 2013
inkybrain in Chicago Area

Large Format Meals?

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to put together a large-format/family-style meal for a group of friends (about 6-10 people total) in the next month or so and was hoping to call upon Chowhound's collective wisdom for advice. Currently, I'm thinking of trying Mercat a la Planxa's half suckling pig; has anyone had that recently, and if so, would you recommend it? Are there other places people would suggest instead? I know Frontier will do things like wild boar and what have you, but most of the choices there seem like they're for substantially larger crowds. Thanks in advance!

Oct 21, 2013
inkybrain in Chicago Area

"Modern" Food Ideas?

You should also consider getting a Chicago-style hot dog. I am totally serious about this. It'll tie into the mass production of food, the development of global supply chains, factory labor, the commodification of mass culture, and so on. I think the Vienna Beef Factory gives tours, though I haven't been on one myself. Obviously, a hot dog might be a supplement to everyone else's (terrific!) suggestions.

Jul 17, 2013
inkybrain in Chicago Area

Etxebarri questions

I just wanted to report back on how our meal at Etxebarri was. Short answer is that it was fantastic. Slightly more detailed version: After a less-painful-than-expected drive (copious maps helped), my friends and I arrived at the restaurant on a very pleasant afternoon. Sitting down to look at the menu, there was indeed something for everyone. We all shared the chorizo, which had a really delightful tang to it, as well as the grilled foie gras, which was unexpectedly excellent (unexpected insofar as I never hear about it in any reviews). Then as appetizers they had the baby octopus and the prawns, while I had the grilled goat butter. Thumbs up all around here, though I do think I came out ahead with the grilled butter. Seriously, that stuff has shown up in my dreams a few times. Anyway, on to the mains! My friends split the red sea bream. Huge, attractively presented, perfectly cooked. Of course, I took the on-the-bone ribeye, which, I swear, was about the size of the Bismarck. Without a doubt the best steak I've ever had. Delicious crust, perfectly cooked to rare inside, deep and complex beefy flavor. What really impressed me was that almost all the juice was retained inside the actual meat, suggesting that it had been rested properly. That's obviously a very basic step, but one I find a surprising amount of places overlook. For dessert, my friends had the apple pastry, whilst I indulged in a nice glass of Patxaran. I love that stuff, and it's hard to find back home. Walking out, we all took a moment to smell the charcoal and savor one of the best meals we've had in a long time.

Total cost per person was about 87.5E per person, including wine. This could probably be lowered a bit by omitting an appetizer or so, though, on the other hand, those were delicious.

Thanks again to everyone for all the helpful responses!

Jun 29, 2011
inkybrain in Spain/Portugal

Etxebarri questions

Thanks everyone for the advice. Heeney, that's more or less the gameplan. I've tried subtly (and unsubtly) suggesting to my friends that they try stuff a little less done, to no avail. So I think I will end up ordering the beef and they seafood of some kind. That way, everyone should get something they like.

May 29, 2011
inkybrain in Spain/Portugal

Etxebarri questions

Thanks for the responses! It's good to know that Etxebarri is reasonably welcoming, and that it seems everyone should be able to find something they like there. There's so much good food in this area, and I'm glad my friends will get to partake.

May 05, 2011
inkybrain in Spain/Portugal

Etxebarri questions

Hi everyone,

I know there is no shortage of Etxebarri posts on this board, but I tried searching the archives and couldn't quite find the answers I was looking for. Maybe this is just due to my own poor search skills! But granting for the moment that it isn't, I have two questions:

1) I will be traveling in the San Sebastian area with some friends in June. I tend to like meat done rare; my friends (loudly) abhor anything less than well-done. And it's a very similar situation regarding seafood. Will they be able to get anything at Etxebarri? I'd really love to get out there, but I'd rather not cause a scene, or, worse, insult the restaurant/chef.

2) Assuming we can find something for everyone there, what would an a la carte lunch cost? I've been able to track down a basic price range on tasting menus, but not much else. Specifically, I was thinking of three courses, exclusive of wine.

Thanks to everyone in advance!

May 04, 2011
inkybrain in Spain/Portugal

Advice on a few options in Paris

Though La Gazzetta was suggested, it's true, by the recent NYT article, I had heard some positive reports about the other three, and all four seemed to have fairly "safe" options for my friends. It sounds like l'Epigramme is the way to go. Thanks everyone for the advice!

Apr 20, 2010
inkybrain in France

Advice on a few options in Paris

Some good friends are flying in for a short visit, and naturally, I want to show them just why I've been talking so much about the food here. They do appreciate good food, though they are not the most adventurous eaters in the world (Boudin noir is probably out). In terms of budget, I was looking to come in around 40-60E per person, not counting wine. Unless I'm way mistaken, that should provide for a pretty nice, though not extravagant, meal. Here's what I've come up with so far:

L'Epigramme
L'Agrume
La Gazzetta
Jadis

Do these seem like good options to the folks here on the board? Or is there some particular place I'm unaccountably missing? Any advice would definitely be appreciated. Thanks much in advance.

Apr 20, 2010
inkybrain in France

Restaurant near Park Central Hotel

Thanks for your recommendations everyone! They're quite appreciated, and I wish we had enough time to visit them all. I think we're going to go with the restaurant at MoMA. Looking forward to it, and to New York in general. Thanks again.

Jun 10, 2008
inkybrain in Manhattan

Restaurant near Park Central Hotel

Hello New York chowhounds! I'm writing on behalf of three Los Angeleno chowhounds, who'll be visiting the city in a few weeks. We'll be staying at the Park Central Hotel, which, I understand, is right near the Museum of Modern Art. This is very exciting. But equally exciting is the chance for good food. Could I call upon anyone here for their recommendations? Preferred cuisines would be French, Italian, New American, and, I don't know, Traditional? Whatever one would call food that's good and satisfying, but not necessarily super-adventurous. As for price point, we're looking to come in around $20-$40/person for entrees. Ambiance is not especially a concern, though quieter is generally better. One more wrinkle: one of our party is a vegetarian (eggs and dairy fine, but no fish). As he has said though, anything more than a salad is perfectly acceptable.

Thanks in advance!

Jun 08, 2008
inkybrain in Manhattan

In from Chicago for birthday - suggestions?

Right, actual details would probably help. Sorry! Anyway, I'm in my late 20s and (enough with the pretense) my parents their early 60s. So quieter is probably better. As for price range, $30-50 per person would more or less be where we top out - lower or a smidge higher is fine, so long as the food is good, of course. Regarding food preferences, Californian or "New American," Italian, or French would be preferred. Wine or alcohol is not especially important. I like wine just fine, but try to seek out the good stuff for home consumption. I hope this clarifies things, and thanks.

Nov 11, 2007
inkybrain in Los Angeles Area

In from Chicago for birthday - suggestions?

Hi everyone,

I'm coming home from Chicago in a few weeks and am being taken out for a birthday dinner. Alas, my gracious benefactors are a little less obsessive about food than I, and so have asked for recommendations around Santa Monica or the Beverly/Wilshire area, though we are willing to travel a little bit further if necessary. And there's a further catch: I'm a vegetarian, so no meat or fish (though eggs and dairy are fine). The place need not be a strictly vegetarian restaurant of couse, so long as it has options that aren't mere afterthoughts (i.e. a plate of grilled veggies). If it helps at all, I was thinking about Rustic Canyon as one possibility. Any and all recommendations are appreciated!

Nov 11, 2007
inkybrain in Los Angeles Area