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Barley Swine vs. Qui

Thanks. It seems like generally, the consensus is Barley, which I was leaning towards anyway. About how long does their tasting menu take? To compare it to NY, is it more along the lines of an all night affair like EMP or Per Se or do they get you in and out like Momofuku Ko? I obviously don't want to be rushed, but would prefer not to spend the entire evening at dinner either.

Feb 17, 2015
cubicles in Austin

Barley Swine vs. Qui

Going to be in Austin in early March for my bachelor party. While most of the planning has been done by others, I wanted to take my best man and one other friend out for a thank you dinner the night before everyone else gets down. After looking through a bunch of threads as well as some other research, I was thinking either Barley Swine or Qui would be a memorable meal and a great way to start the weekend. If you could only do one, which would you go to and why?

Feb 14, 2015
cubicles in Austin

Craft, Telepan, or The Modern Bar Room?

I agree with trockwood's recommendations. While I prefer the Modern in a vacuum, based on your request, of the three I would definitely go Craft. Betony, while delicious, I would not recommend for a non-adventurous eater.

Jan 13, 2015
cubicles in Manhattan

Romantic tapas birthday dinner in Manhattan

I'd go with estela. Had heard great things but hadn't yet gotten there before I went last weekend - it was fantastic. The oft-raved about beef tartare was as good as advertised, and several other dishes were very good as well. Only let-down was the fluke starter, which was fine, but nothing more.

Jan 13, 2015
cubicles in Manhattan

Please Help Critique My San Fran Eating Itinerary

+1 on b. patisserie. simply perfect. knead patisserie is also excellent.

Please Help Critique My San Fran Eating Itinerary

If youre willing to go up to $150, I would definitely recommend the shorter tasting at Atelier Crenn over both Chez Penisse and AQ. Last time we were in town we went to both AQ and Atelier Crenn - while AQ was good and a fun vibe, the food at Atelier Crenn was on an entirely different level. The food is not only beautifully and imaginatively plated, but it tastes amazing as well. It was truly one of the best restaurant experiences I've ever. We make bi-annual trips to San Francisco and Atelier Crenn is the one place we are guaranteed to return.

Cocktail Pairing: Steamed Maine Lobster Dinner

how about a Last Word (gin) or Final Ward (whiskey)?

equal parts:

green chartreuse

Jun 06, 2014
cubicles in Spirits

Eleven Madison Park - 5.45 or 9pm

have you been to EMP? service is amazing regardless of timing, and at this level restaurant, service will not suffer depending on time. also, the only "choice" is picking your main protein, so while you certainly aren't rushed, at a 5:45 reservation the volley of amuses will likely start around 6:00.

May 24, 2014
cubicles in Manhattan

Ai Fiori vs Craft

both very good but completely different; really depends on what you're looking for. craft will have very simple food prepared well. ai fiori is still fairly traditional, but more more creative and boundary pushing then craft. the vibe of both will be completely different as well. ai fiori is pretty corporate, kind of midtown expense lunchy.

May 24, 2014
cubicles in Manhattan

Gramercy Tavern or Blue Hill?

agree that Stone Barns is clearly superior, but Blue Hill New York is still excellent

May 22, 2014
cubicles in Manhattan

PDX to NYC Late May - Research done, but would appreciate some help

its not really a place to go for a straight scotch. yes, im sure they have a well cultivated list, but if you're not ordering punch or cocktails there, you're really missing the point. it would be like going to a dessert place, only ordering a few appetizers without trying any sweets, and then saying the place was no good.

Apr 18, 2014
cubicles in Manhattan

Upscale Non-touristy Advice Needed

+1; if you order carefully, you can definitely get out of louro and not exceed your budget. the food is also outstanding.

Apr 14, 2014
cubicles in Manhattan

Upscale Non-touristy Advice Needed

while these are all amazing restaurants, they dont seem particualry responsive to the OP's request, as they are nowhere near the price point.

Apr 14, 2014
cubicles in Manhattan

Tasting Menu/Splurge Dinner?

I'd stick with Rogue. been twice and it was amazing both times. the cocktails are great too if you're into that.

Mezcal: Which Manhattan liquor store has the best selection?

check astor wines and spirits

Mar 19, 2014
cubicles in Manhattan

comfortable and delicious birthday dinner

have you been to annisa? what about jungsik?

Jan 08, 2014
cubicles in Manhattan

seeking nice and quiet village restaurant rec

cafe cluny

Jan 05, 2014
cubicles in Manhattan

Help us plan our First Anniversary Saturday!

I love the Modern as well, and its still a good suggestion, but recognize that the current chef is leaving at the end of the year. The new chef is also amazing, but it may take a bit for the place to find its groove again after the transition. just something to consider.

Dec 30, 2013
cubicles in Manhattan

L'Artusi vs. Dell'Anima vs. I sodi

both l'artusi and dell'anima are great, although I prefer l'artusi just a bit. haven't been to i sodi.

you could also take a look at rosemary's or lupa.

Dec 28, 2013
cubicles in Manhattan

Help us plan our First Anniversary Saturday!

what about Blue Hill? You can request a table in the back room which is much quieter and romantic.

Nov 26, 2013
cubicles in Manhattan

Where to buy squid ink in NY?

Kalustayans often has it in the back in the refrigeratored section

Oct 04, 2013
cubicles in Manhattan

Great place for a 21st birthday in SF


Cocktail Packed 4 Day Itinerary for SF

when did you go to smuggler's cove? I think timing can definitely be everything, as I was lucky (from what I hear) to go at a time when the bar was only about 1/2 full and not only did my drink receive ample attention, the bartender was more than willing to discuss the different drinks and rums on offer as well as the sf cocktail scene in general and the differences between ny and sf at length. from what i hear that may have been the exception that proves the rule, but it was certainly nice. from what i gather SC does get extremely crowded/busy and that could def make for a subpar experience.

Cocktail Packed 4 Day Itinerary for SF

+1. was in SF a couple weeks ago and hit up the Alembic, Bourbon and Branch (and Wilson and Wilson), and Smugglers Cove, as well as having drinks at AQ. While all the places made great drinks, coming from NY, SMugglers Cove was unique and the clear stand out.

Commis 2013 [Oakland]

went to commis on my trip to the bay area a few weeks ago. it was good, but didn't wow or merit a trip as a destination restaurant, imho. since its clearly shooting for a two star experience, id say it overall fell a bit short.

two absolute stand-outs were an oyster with oyster broth gelee and the egg dish, which was quite similar to the one described by robert above. id agree it was a seriously kick-ass dish. the oyster was also delicous, one of the few oyster preps where i felt the oyster was actually improved by its accoutrements. the west-coast oyster was smooth and sweet and held its own against the flood of deliciously briny gelee. simple; elegant; a perfect bite.

some less successful dishes were a lightly cooked scallop dish where everything was prepared excellently but the ingredients just didnt "sing" and the fish course (I honestly forget what type), where again the execution was perfect, but the dish seemed boring, almost soulless.

Overall everything was good, and it wasn't a bad experience, just not one that I'd go out of my way to experience again, especially the great wealth of other options in the bay area, and the difficulty in getting to commis from san francisco. as far as how it compared to our other meals, it didn't hold a candle to atelier crenn (one of the best and most exciting meals i've ever had) and was about on par, although much different, from our meal at AQ. imo, one michelin star is right about where commis currently belongs.

SF/Napa Trip Feedback - Labor Day weekend

+1 by far the longest lines of anything at the farmers market, roli roti included. honestly, we went last weekend and didnt find the lines at roli roti, craftsmen or wolves or really any food place to be that bad. waited about 5-10 minutes and then got our food.

New Yorkers come to Napa! Need Food Recs

bouchon isnt trying to be per se; it never was. if anything, the comparison has to be between french laundry and per se. for nyers, i'd compare bouchon to what balthazar was a few years back, and perhaps to what lafayette is now: really good, mostly traditional french bistro food, prepared excellently.

bouchon v. bistro jeanty v. bistro don geovanni (and other trip itinerary dilemmas) [Napa Valley]

Ok, back from the trip and time for a recap. I'll try to keep it somewhat brief, while still providing useful information/feedback. For now, I'll just post the results of our Napa dining, SF eats will gets its own (longer) post. As for Yosemite, as expected food was hardly the highlight: had adequate pizza one night in Yosemite Valley and a perfectly acceptable if nothing more meal at our hotel, the Wawona, the other night.

We ended up going to Mustards, Brix (Zuzu was pretty full and could not seat our party of 8 at any reasonable hour) and Bouchon. For lunch we again hit up Solbar and were not disappointed. While I could not convince everyone to order the Lucky Pig, those that did were not disappointed. While not super creative or "fine-diningy" the dish is just absolutley mouth-wateringly good. Earthy sesame crepes, rich, unctuous pig, acidic lime, fresh herbs/lettuces, crunchy peanuts, and tangy sauce really make every bite explode in your mouth. I once again highly recommend visitors take a jaunt up to Calistoga to check it out.

Mustards was what it is. Generally large proteins with tasty sauces and some fresh vegetables. Overall everything was pretty tasty, if not particularly creative. Everyone else really enjoyed there meal, although I will note my duck was fairly overcooked and dry and I did not feel the plum sauce went well with it at all. The caramel/chocolate tarte dessert was rich and delicious, if not quite so as I fondly remembered. Overall a pretty good meal, but would search out some of the new suggested options next time I returned sans family.

Brix was very dissapointing. From the service (disinterested, slow and just plain weird/bad) to the food, nothing at all remarkable. Yes the vegetables are fresh, but that's true (almost) everywhere in the valley. Nothing was exciting or even that tasty. Definitely a place I will not be returning with such a wealth of other options.

Bouchon was, similarly to our last visit, outstanding. With a few dishes ordered by others I got a hint of what some have described as inconsistency/variable quality, but I maintain if you order right, you can have a tremendous meal - not a mind-blowing creative one, but simply a well-conceived, well-executed and delicious one. The french onion soup was very good, but was outshined by the soup of the day, I believe some kind of cold summer squash. The truffle risotto special was creamy, earthy and just overall perfectly exectued and delicious. The mussels as usual were very good, as was the [duck? I think] ordered by someone else, but the scallops I felt were only ok. the chocolate mousse for dessert was exemplary.

Visiting this week, looking for good solid Italian food not best or most expensive

of those on your list, I'd say l'artusi is far and away the best. i also like morandi, although in a similar price range prefer perla and il buco alminteri

Jul 16, 2013
cubicles in Manhattan

eliminate 3 out of 5; final itinerary decisions for 3 night stay

After more fully looking at it, you're right, time-wise its only adding about 15-20 minutes to the trip. However, the question is are we really going to want to drive from commis to sfo and then get back to our hotel at 11/12 or whenever we get out of or 9:00 reservation at Commis. Eating somewhere nearer in the city would allow us to drop off the car first, and just have to worry about getting back to the hotel after dinner.
I guess the take-away is commis is doable, but then I come back to is it worth it? the SO and I love food and plan our vacations around it, so if, as mariacarmen seems to think, it is orders of magnitude better than the other options, I will certainly sacrifice a long day of driving/late night to experience something unique and special. On the other hand, while I rarely find myself blown away by italian food, i do feel our itinerary is slightly lacking without a single cal-italian experience during our 3 dinners in napa and 3 in sf, so maybe adding incanto wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.