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HARBS ... a nice (and better?) alternative to Lady M

I never had Varsano's or Royce. are these chocolates better than Lilac? I'll assume they are both better than the Baldman

Dec 24, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Bar Bolonat

The R thing is weird, kind of like a rolling Ch....Also, a lot of spitting when talking Yiddish and Hebrew, don't stand too close. It' all weird trying to spell stuff. Spelling in Thai is even worse. Some do k's same as g's, Issan, Isaan, Isan,, T's and D's same same. Sawasdee, Sawatdee,,, Krup, Kop ,,,all crazy.
Chag Samayach!
PS I like the real hot Red better than the Green

Dec 24, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Nish nush not open on Xmas--is there a good alternative?

I don't know what style falafel you want. Nish Nush is Yemenite style. Taim isn't. Ba'Al is Palestinian. I think Baba Ganoug is Syrian.
I personally only like Yemenite, and Arab ( including Egyptian which is lava bean). I don't like Ashkenazi Israeli falafel at all, especially in NYC but including in israel

Dec 24, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Bar Bolonat

well not to be picky and no disrespect intended.
The spelling is really Arabic or Hebrew, so it's a matter of phonetically spelling. Widkpedia has it as:
Skhug or zhug (Yemeni Arabic: سحوق saḥawaq, Hebrew: סחוג‎ s'khug) is a Middle Eastern hot sauce. "
The Hebrew has a Ch ( as in Chanukukah , a letter chet) so that's a tough one to spell. The yemenite does more of a H sound. Just like the difference of Hummus and Chummus.
I just call it Harif.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Mulled Wine?

Terroir ( Tribeca ) has it

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Epic omakase experience at Jado Sushi

Wow, very high praise. I must definitely try this omakase.
Is that tamago same style as Nakazawa and 15 East, or is it the sweet kind.
I never heard kohada called spotted sardine, but it makes sense. I usually have heard it called gizzard shad. I love the smaller ones ( shinko)

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

2014 Omakase Odyssey

I didn't realize they changed chefs. But the food surely shows it. I am surprised, as the chef's father has a kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto. You have to be good to survive with a kaiseki restaurant in Kyoto. Maybe they will get his father to cook at Kajitsu ( never happen).

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Nish nush not open on Xmas--is there a good alternative?

Try Ba'Al on Sullivan St. or across street from Nish Nush is Baba Ganouge they have excellent falafel and amazing Shwarma. I am a big fan of all three of these.
Nish Nush has the best hummus , and i love their pea soup.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

HARBS ... a nice (and better?) alternative to Lady M

you might be right. I'll check Harbs out and report back. Takahachi also makes Mille Feuille, many mousse cakes, some nice stuff. Here's background on their pastry chef:

"Executive Patisserie
Naoko Mabuchi

Born in Tokyo, Japan, she came to the United States to further her studies. After graduating form the French Culinary Institure she worked at Bouley Restaurant in New York City for more than 8 years. She traveled to Austria a few times to excel her skills. In June 2010 she was appointed as Takahachi Bakery's Executive Patisserie

Naoko is passionate about sourcing Japanese and European ingredients of the finest quality. Her pastries are delicate and ideal, as she is a strong believer in dedication and integrity."

She seems to have the background to put out good stuff. I'm simple and usually just get maron pie pastry.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Seared Foie Gras

I've had seared foie gras at Jean Georges many times and it was great. Are you saying they don't do it anymore?
I've also had great seared foie gras at Recette, Cercle Rouge ( dinner only), and as mentioned Bouley has great seared foie gras.
Per Se only had the terrine.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Pete Wells Explores Korean Restaurants in Queens

I prefer my kimchi very hot. I am surprised that in a restaurant with mostly Korean clientele that it wasn't spicy at all. I didn't like the trough thing there either. Pete Wells made it sound "special" in that the fat drips into , I personally didn't see how that was possible. I prefer charcoal as well, but wondered if it was just me.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Outer Boroughs

Best Dishes 2014

Some interesting dishes there. One place I do have to try is Marta's

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

HARBS ... a nice (and better?) alternative to Lady M

I meant Takahachi Bakery ,,oops

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

HARBS ... a nice (and better?) alternative to Lady M

Do you think the cake is better than Tribeca Bakery?

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

NYE Sushi?

Sushi Ko is a sushi place that is open late.But it isn't really a party place it is small and pretty quiet with some interesting sushi courses.
For a sushi sake party type atmosphere that's open that late, maybe East Village Yokocho ( for Japanese dishes other than sushi), it's open and lively.
And once again I recommend Sakagura ( but not really for sushi), but they have plenty of sake.
Sushisamba has a last seating at 11:30 PM NYE, that might be your best bet.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

2014 Omakase Odyssey

I like the places you mention above. I love Hirohisa but it isn't really a kaiseki place. But one of my favorite places. I think it would be more of a Kappo restaurant.
Rosanjin, I was there recently and pleasantly surprised how they improved from when they first opened. Very good tranquil vibe there.
Kyo Ya I frequent most often and enjoy the food there. I find his kaiseki to be excellent.
Brushstroke is kaiseki but with a creative touch. I enjoy the food there very much, although it is not a peaceful, quiet meal. The place is huge and frantic.
Kajitsu you didn't mention. I liked then better when they were in the EV. They are on the right track with their temple style kaiseki , but they need to step up there food quality and keep me from getting bored with repeated tastes.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Buddakan

I think Buddakan is a beautiful place. The food is is usually overly criticized , but I think the food is good. I haven't been there in a while, but the edamame dumplings were always a favorite of mine. You do say the food isn't as good as you've had in the past. So i'm wondering if I should go there next week with friends from out of town. It seemed like a good spot to take out of towers.
You say the place was empty, I guess at 5:30 you mustve been the first customer. I didn't think they opened that early. Is that why you couldn't sit in the main dining room?
When It is crowded , the bar area is too crazy a spot to eat. They always tell people there's a wait, so you get drinks at the bar. However, I've found if you say you don't drink you get seated immediately.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

arrogant swine opening, but....

I'll be back for the craft beer and I'll be happy to help him make some profit. Hopefully the uneaten leftover food eventually gets replaced by fresh food. I have to find out what day of the week is best to go to avoid leftovers.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Outer Boroughs

Arthur Ave Bronx

+1 on Dominick's. Good food, no menu, no check ( they just give you a price.) Very Bronx

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Outer Boroughs

Astoria Eats - Get thee to the Greek(s)

Thanks for the link,Aside from the usual spots like Telly's and Kyclades, there were some interesting places to visit. The Cypriot restaurant was one that sounded interesting.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Outer Boroughs

Pete Wells Explores Korean Restaurants in Queens

I think the meat at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong is very good quality and very good butchering. The pork collar is marinated then BBQ. I found the meat tender and tasty. The BBQ grill is gas not coals. Usually I prefer coals. I'm curious about other CH'ers views on this. Especially gas vs. coal with marinated pork collar. The pork belly looked great, but I didn't to try it. Pete Wells describes the egg and the corn/cheese getting dripped by the fat. Although they laid in canals surrounding the grill, I didn't see or taste any of the fat from the meat. I'm hoping some of our Korean food experts here chime in on Pete Wells' choices and are these really the best places to get these particular dishes.

Dec 23, 2014
foodwhisperer in Outer Boroughs

HARBS ... a nice (and better?) alternative to Lady M

Aren't the cakes from Minamoto Kitchoan flown in from Japan? I always thought they were. Same with pastries at Mitsuwa.
As far as the location for Harb's i don't think it is strange. It is near Sullivan St Bakery, It's not all the way uptown. I think the location is fine.
better for me than where Lady M is. Probably would have been better near E9th St.

Dec 19, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Recette: Monday with Jesse: Amazing, Creative, Delicious

Yes, it's worth double the price.

Dec 19, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts for Chanukah) in NYC

The custard ones are covered in chocolate ( much like a Duncan Donut boston Creme). However, the donut does not resemble anything like a DD when you eat it. A good one is "old school" thicker, tastier, delicious. The jelly donuts that I had the first night of Chanukah were coated in granulated sugar not powdered. The caramel donuts were similar to the custard ones, except filled and topped with caramel. Millions of these were made by the bakery for Chanukah. The ones i had were the old style and weighed over 3 oz. each, not the mini ones you see on Wikpedia. And not as much filling as you see there. The custard is equally as popular as the jelly. Im not sure when the tradition started, for me it was always latkes .

Dec 19, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

2014 Omakase Odyssey

I am very happy that you made it to 15 East and liked it. As i had said, and you confirm here, there is no comparison to lunch there and dinner. Dinner with Masa is the ultimate. Very glad you enjoyed. And yes the octopus is a signature dish as is his anago. His tamago is very much like that of Jiro/Nakazawa.
that being said, I almost went to 15 East tonite but was to lazy to travel. So I walked over to Ichimura, but the earliest seating was 9 and I was too hungry to wait. So i went up the block to Sushi of Gari. It gets a little confusing there. I wanted sashimi and sushi , and figured the sashimi would come first. That wasn't the case, it came staggered. Very weird.,,The 2nd chef was serving me at first, he used so little rice, I had to look closely to see if I was eating sushi or sashimi. The head chef took over after a while. The pieces started out as the famous modern style pieces, with extra toppings on the fish. But after they kind of saw that I just wanted good sushi, the pieces became more traditional. Outstanding were the abalone, the tuna, and shima aji. I also had sharako served tempura style, anago served the same way. The fish quality was excellent.
I guess it is weird to go to Sushi of Gari and have most of your meal traditional style pieces of sushi instead of the modern, but that is what I actually wanted. So the service was excellent and the meal was good. The price was very high. My bill for just me was close to $400 all in. Photo attached of the modern style pieces.

Dec 19, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan
1

2014 Omakase Odyssey

I think you like sushi a lot more when you're not in a rush. I was going to go to Ichimura tonite, but I was in a rush so decided to do it another day. Ichimura never used to do the double uni or triple toro thing, I think someone gave him idea to do something different than anyone else. The people from Nakazawa were in there once, trying to get ideas from him. But he just smiled , and doesn't tell them much.
The think I like best at Yasuda is the eels. "feel the eel", the thing I hated most was the management. I don't know what it's like now, maybe all new people.

Dec 18, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

2014 Omakase Odyssey

Taka is the head chef

Dec 18, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Sufganiyot (Israeli Jelly Donuts for Chanukah) in NYC

I had great ones, the other night, custard, jelly , and caramel.
From 15th Ave. Bakery.

Dec 18, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

2014 Omakase Odyssey

Well, at least you got a sampling of their fish. The fish quality is very good as is their rice. The head chef is very knowledgeable and gives an amazing omakase.
One day when you have time , sit at the sushi bar with the head chef and enjoy some of his creations.
It was explained to me that they would rather have the not fresh Japanese wasabi ( higher quality than the powder) than have fresh American wasabi.
It was said that the American wasabi is too moist and ruins the rice. Apparently Japanese fresh is either too expensive or too scarce. I am sure there is truth to this fault of American wasabi, as the person who told me is a reliable source.
I will certainly research it, as it is the first I've heard of this.

Dec 18, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan

Upsetting dinner at Brushstroke, what should have been done?

It is very considerate of you to post again. I happen to be a big fan of Brushstroke. Every night does not go perfectly smooth in the restaurant business. I hope one poster's unfortunate experience doesn't sway people away from Brushstroke.
Most restaurants would not care about this Poster's experience once the night is over and the bill was paid.
I personally appreciate your concern in the matter. I do feel bad that the OP had a bad experience though.

Dec 18, 2014
foodwhisperer in Manhattan