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Sweet Afton

I really enjoyed my one trip to Sweet Afton. I worked through a spicy cherry margarita, and several of the drafts (all Brooklyn-based), and thought the cocktail-and-beer-curator did a nice job here. We enjoyed our food (burgers, pickles, mac-and-cheese) but I would've loved *one* menu item that would cut through the heaviness of everything else on the menu. Some sort of salad or raw-ish vegetable would've been fantastic. That said, I'll be back.

Sep 23, 2009
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Añejo Manhattan

Chandler... this would be true, except this recipe isn't a manhattan with tequila... it's:

4 parts tequila : 1 part vanilla liqueur: dash bitters : dash sweet vermouth.

which seems a far cry from:

2 parts rye : 1 part sweet vermouth : dashes bitters

Not trying to be a grump... it just seems like this drink deserves it's own name (sort of reminds me of the vodka and fruit juice "martinis")

May 27, 2009
danoots in Recipes

Chelsea Date

Just a voice of dissent here... we only ate at Red Cat once, but had a great experience. It's definitely 'neighborhood-y", but the comfortable feel of the restaurant and the homey food add up to a winner in my book.

Gascogne... I've eaten there quite a few times (although only at lunch), and despite the nice surroundings, I have never had anything there that was anything beyond "just okay".

Feb 03, 2009
danoots in Manhattan

Culinary Walking Tours

Agreed, Raheem runs a really great tour.

My wife has been on most of the big food tours in NYC (she runs a NY for visitors web site), and she really likes the Foods of NY tours. She dragged me along to their sushi tour (more of a walk-through sushi 101 at a single restaurant) last week. It was really enjoyable, and I learned quite a few things about sushi I didn't know... Raheem was a pretty fantastic guide.

Based on that tour, and the wife's raves about their other tours, I'd definitely consider using these guys for your geeky-food-tour needs.

Oct 17, 2008
danoots in Manhattan

Black Peppercorn Syrup

I would advise against simmering vermouth... I think you'd find it'd mute/kill the flavor.

If you wanted to avoid adding sweetness to the drink, I'd instead try creating a black pepper tincture (add a bunch of cracked peppercorns to grain alcohol / let stand for a week / drain) and add a few drops of that to your martini.

Sep 30, 2008
danoots in Recipes

NYT has finally discovered Flushing

Heh... I was heading here to post the same map. Great resource.

Jul 30, 2008
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Drinking While Pregnant

You are absolutely ridiculous. You can't possibly explain the report I referenced earlier (French vs. American babies... almost twice the rate of fetal alcohol in Americans vs. French, despite French women drinking nearly twice as much, in moderate amounts). Agencies like the CDC *always* speak in absolutes, because it absolves them of responsibility.

For example, the AAP (American Association of Pediatrics) states that ANY television watching for children under two years inhibits the development of your child's brain. I certainly hope your children under two have NEVER seen the television turned on -- if so, you're doing permanent damage to their brain!

I'm going to do my best to exercise self control, and wash my hands of this nonsense.

Jun 27, 2008
danoots in Features

Drinking While Pregnant

Those case studies are a bit ridiculous, no? Let's deal with real people, real situations, not this silliness.

The only actual facts you've cited refers to *heavy* drinking, when no one has suggested heavy drinking is a responsible, intelligent thing to do for pregnant women. The discussion was the occasional half-glass of wine or beer in the later stages of pregnancy.

IAnyways, this is clearly not a conversation that will produce results. I'm clearly not going to convince you of anything, and until you suggest some real evidence that very moderate alcohol consumption can have an impact in later stages of pregnancy, you're not going to convince me.

Jun 26, 2008
danoots in Features

Drinking While Pregnant

From what I understand (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong), smoking is actually not nearly as harmful to a fetus as excessive drinking. Not that I'm condoning it... I've never been a smoker.

I personally think "Diana's" opinions on this matter, although heartfelt, are utterly ridiculous. During my wife's pregnancy, I did fairly extensive research (including reading the NYT article mentioned above) about moderate drinking during second and third trimesters of pregnancy. There seems to be absolutely no evidence (Diana -- you said there was -- I'd love to see the source for this?) that an occasional glass of wine could have an impact on an unborn baby. Our pediatrician echoed this line of thinking.

For a bit of evidence, look at the rate of fetal alcohol syndrome in the USA, compared with France. Although alcohol consumption in pregnant women is almost double the amount in the USA, France reports about 33% fewer cases of fetal alcohol syndrome. The difference -- in this particular study, the number of *heavy* drinkers was significantly higher in American women. (source:

Jun 19, 2008
danoots in Features

Indian on 6th St. that doesn't suck?

Panna II has fairly lousy food, but I nonetheless almost always bring any NYC newbies there. It's cheap, BYO, and a lot of fun.

Jun 12, 2008
danoots in Manhattan

LIC Waterfront...anything fun?

I've been thinking about the Waterfront Crab House, but hesitated to post it on this thread. Tried it only once... our verdict was the food wasn't very good, but it has a really great "old New York" atmosphere that I enjoyed. I think it's worth trying, if only for the atmosphere.

May 13, 2008
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Low Fat Milk That Tastes Less Low Fat

In the NYC area, Ronnybrook Farm sells organic low fat milk that has a much richer mouthfeel than traditional low fat milk. They also have skim milk which is still good. Very good products. Fresh Direct carries them.

May 01, 2008
danoots in General Topics

Pasteurized whole eggs?

Yup... same place, and probably same chef... Paul Vandewoude, who was still running Tartine when I went a few years back.

Our cooking class was part of a tour, "A Culinary Walk Through Italian Greenwich Village", run by Marisa Tomei's mother. It probably wouldn't offer many hidden gems to chowhounds, but it was a fun tour nonetheless.

May 01, 2008
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Pasteurized whole eggs?

I'm curious which cooking class you heard this from, because I've only heard this once before, and it was also at a cooking class... I just can't remember which. I'm guessing it was the same class, and I'm also guessing that the chef was off-base. I initially tried looking into this further, and couldn't come up with any information to support the theory.

May 01, 2008
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Pegu Club

Although I definitely don't want to present myself as an authority here, those that suggest Pegu is a "be-seen" place, or that the drinks aren't artfully created are just plain wrong. Owner Audrey Sanders is one of the most respected cocktalians in the world, and the bartenders on staff are amongst the most skilled in the city. I think there are legitimate reasons to criticize Pegu, but think some of the previous comments were off base.

Mar 31, 2008
danoots in Manhattan

New bakery in Jackson Heights?

I love Lety's... yours is an interesting observation on the coffee though... I wonder if they've changed it since I tried Lety's coffee a couple months ago. The few times I had it, it was horrible -- weak, and indistinguishable from street cart coffee.

Mar 16, 2008
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Starbuck's Jackson Heights

>...and they fill the espresso cup to the very top for just $1.85...<

That's a problem. A properly poured double expresso should be (someone else correct me if I'm off base) about 2.5 ounces max. Bigger is definitely not better in this case.

Feb 23, 2008
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Uncle Georges in Astoria

Agreed IrishNYC. The logic was unusual in that post. If that is true, why even order grilled fish in a Greek restaurant, if you can get grilled fish at hundreds of other restaurants in the area?

Feb 15, 2008
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Starbuck's JH's

Agreed, but... Dunkin Donuts coffee David?! Ack.

Feb 08, 2008
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Best 5 restaurants in Jackson Heights?

After living in the nabe for a couple years, we've recently begun eating at Thai Son -- for Vietnamese. We've been enjoying it. It's cheap, and convenient for take-out (right by 74th street station).

La Portena is about the best value I'm aware of for a "steakhouse" -- their skirt steak is gigantic (big enough for two), delicious, and somewhere in the range of $15 with salad.

Jan 26, 2008
danoots in Outer Boroughs

LIC or JH for dinner

Dissent on Tournesol. Not a lot of this type of restaurants in Queens, so it gets some points there, but don't think it distinguishes itself from many of the other small French places in Manhattan.

Jan 24, 2008
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Hill Country - Hype Country

I split a pound of moist brisket earlier this week, and thought it was some of the best I've ever had (albeit very fatty, which may or may not be to your taste).

What I choked on were some of the prices -- I ordered the "devilled eggs", and got literally one ice-cold egg split in half. It was fairly unremarkable... a bit bland. The price, however, was remarkable... $3.95. Add to that a couple of $4 glasses of iced tea and a $5 small dish of potato salad, and it made for a very overpriced lunch.

Jan 09, 2008
danoots in Manhattan

McSkillet Burrito and International Delight Coffee Creamer

I find it strange that people get grossed out about finding a piece of bone in their meat. What, exactly, is the objection?

Jan 03, 2008
danoots in Features

new sushi coming to Jackson Heights

Don't harsh my buzz, David.

While I'd love to get even a Mickey's-caliber sushi place in JH, *anything* is better than Happy Kitchen.

Dec 12, 2007
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Best places to buy BEER in the 5 boros

I just made my first trip to Bierkraft ( ) in Park Slope this weekend, and was impressed in their operation. Don't know specifics, but they've got a pretty huge selection in bottles, plus the option to buy "growlers" (jugs) of beer, which you pay a deposit on, and return to refill. Think they have more than 10 types of nice beers for sale in this method, which worked out really nicely for us. They also have a huge cheese selection, charcuterie, chocolate, and Sullivan Street Bakery bread. Their prices seem competitive, if not cheap. It's pretty impressive, and worth a visit.

Nov 13, 2007
danoots in Outer Boroughs

Añejo Manhattan

Interesting sounding drink. I'm curious as to how this has any relation to a Manhattan, though...

Oct 24, 2007
danoots in Recipes

Is there anything you just can't make, no matter how hard you try? [Moved from General Topics board]

Thanks much for your help Caroline. I'll give that a shot.

Oct 21, 2007
danoots in Home Cooking

Is there anything you just can't make, no matter how hard you try? [Moved from General Topics board]

Good bread. I've never been able to bake a really great loaf of bread in the style I want... a relatively light loaf with a still-toothsome crust. Mine have always come out pleasant, but too dense, no matter how I alter the recipe / baking method.

Oct 20, 2007
danoots in Home Cooking

Is Greek Food the New Italian Food?

I think the key (re: gyros) is that Rafiqi's doesn't serve anything that resembles a gyro you'd find in Greece. In fact, they don't even call them the same thing (even the Greek vendors here call them JIE-ROES ... EE-ROES in Greece).

I'd a little afraid of what mainstream American Greek restaurants will be like. On my trip to Greece this year, I didn't eat one tomato that was less-than-perfectly ripe. There is such an emphasis on very high quality, fresh fish and produce. I don't think this is something we'll be able to replicate in the U.S. ...

Oct 15, 2007
danoots in Features

Ramos Gin Fizz

There are two types of OFW - middle eastern and french. The french OFW is generally the type used in cocktails, although if you didn't like the drink with the middle eastern type, I'm not sure using the french would change your mind.

I love this classic New Orleans drink, although I can understand why others don't. I think it's important to mention that the drink should be shaken for a looongggg time -- upwards of 30 seconds -- to get the texture right.

Oct 01, 2007
danoots in Recipes