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French/Italian Pastries in Nyc?

Had a lemon tart from Bouchon last night that was excellent, but agree that everything is not always that good (and yes, they're not truly French - in fact, my favorite item is their completely non-French bacon/cheddar scone which makes a nice weekend breakfast, although not as good as Sullivan Street's savory brioche - which I guess is also "French-syle" but not French :)).

Nov 20, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

French/Italian Pastries in Nyc?

I'd add Bouchon Bakery in the TWC to the French list, although I'd say they're more "French style". They're good, whatever you decide to call them.

For Italian, I'm with Kathryn - the best is in BX and BK - and since we're in the Bronx, we normally get our fix at De Lillo's or Morrone's in the Arthur Ave. area.

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Bouchon Bakery
10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

Nov 20, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

arthur avenue

Yeah, there's a growing Mexican population in the Arthur Ave area - the other Sunday, morning there was a woman selling tamales from a cart by the park on Arthur (between 187th-188th). I had just had a morning coffee and sfogliatelle and didn't try one, but she seemed to be very popular, so next time...!!

Nov 16, 2010
Striver in Outer Boroughs

Venison!!!! I am craving it but oh so hard to find. Where is it on the menu currently?

Saddle River Inn is always a good bet for game, and knows how to prepare it.

We dined at Bistro 18 in Montclair the other night; one of our party - who often orders game when available - had venison (as I recall, it was a special) and enjoyed it very much.

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Saddle River Inn
2 Barnstable Ct, Saddle River, NJ 07458

Bistro 18
18 S Fullerton Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042

Nov 16, 2010
Striver in New Jersey

Need Broadway lunch place for Saturday matinee with kids

Five Napkin Burger (9th and 45th) would work - see if you can get a res, as it's very popular. There's also Virgil's (BBQ) just east of TS on 44th; again, very popular so a res is advised. Both are reasonably priced.

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Five Napkin Burger
630 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036

Nov 16, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

Where to go for what my 70 y/o Mom thinks is a "fun" meal? But foodies need to be appeased, too.

My guess is that you're thinking of Asti's in the village, which closed quite a while ago.

Nov 16, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

Thanksgiving Pies

Patisserie Lulu, a bakery we often patronize in Scarsdale (and which is our go-to for holiday items) just opened a branch in Chelsea (8th around 15th, I believe). Their delicious organic caramel apple pie is a perennial hit at our Thanksgiving dinner, and though we haven't made it to the new branch yet, I have enough faith in their extremely high standards and skills to recommend the Manhattan outlet. I'm fond of LPC's sour cream walnut apple pie, too (only the large, not the smalls) - but Lulu's is definitely better. I'm not sure they offer it at the Chelsea branch, so be sure and call.

Nov 15, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

Woodlawn/ Riverdale Irish bakeries?

Don't know the one Recursion is talking about, but the min-bagels at Rolen Bagels (on 236th and Riverdale Ave. - kosher, so they're closed Saturdays but open Sundays) are outstanding. The regular ones are good, too, but the small ones are terrific. Nice selection of lox and cream cheeses, too.

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Rolen Bagels
3601 Riverdale Ave, Bronx, NY 10463

Nov 12, 2010
Striver in Outer Boroughs

Dinner after a show at the Beacon

I like both Nice Matin and Bar Boulud, but they're very different places.

Nice Matin is more bistro-like, both in food selection, demographic, and pricing; lots of good choices, large and bustling, more of an UWS neighborhood crowd. It's also closer to the Beacon if you feel like walking.

Bar Boulud, which specializes in house-made charcuterie (and very good it is), is more upscale, gets more of a Lincoln Center crowd, and is correspondingly pricier. It's also more cramped from a seating pov.

Check out the menus, think about the type of place you favor - I don't think you'll be unhappy in either case. I'd check the hours, though - I think (on weekends anyway) Bar Boulud is open later.

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Nice Matin
201 West 79th Street, New York, NY 10024

Bar Boulud
1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Nov 11, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

Times Square dinner with my parents AND my kids

Agree with others on the priciness of Redeye Grill - and if I was doing family Italian in that area, I'd go to Trattoria Trecolori for solid Italian American style cuisine at a very reasonable price point and a warm and friendly atmosphere. Don't care for Becco at all.

Virgil's is actually not a bad option, given the OP's considerations; Marseille - which I like - could also work, although it's a bit more "adventurous". I'd also consider West Bank Cafe, which has a nice contemporary American menu and ambience (and also makes an excellent cheeseburger and fries).

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Trattoria Trecolori
254 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

West Bank Cafe
407 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

Nov 09, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

playing tourist in a couple of days, X square area

Stick to the 9th-10th Ave. area and you'll have plenty of options without having to go somewhere else. Times Square bagels on 44th right off TS are fine (better than H&H IMO). For Italian, Esca for upscale (seafood, primarily), Trattoria Trecolori for homestyle southern Italian, Gallo Nero for Italian wine bar), check posts for others. For Thai, Wondee Siam; I also like Breeze for an interesting non-traditional take on Thai. No particularly good places I'm aware for B&W's or Italian cookies in the area, but if you wander west, Sullivan Street Bakery on 47th near 11th has some excellent savory choices (not a pastry shop). For basic burgers, Shake Shack on 8th and 44th is worth the line (much shorter than Mad Sq), 5 Napkin burger on 45th & 9th is fun (love their lamb burger). Lots more - avoid the traps and there are plenty of good and interesting dining options in the area.

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Sullivan Street Bakery
533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

Trattoria Trecolori
254 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

Esca
402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

Wondee Siam
792 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Gallo Nero
404 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

Nov 08, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

Special occasion-type place in Queens? Or Roberto's in the Bronx?

Got it - and now I recognize it (it's on east 187th, near Terranova (a very good bread bakery). Must say, though, that we live in the BX and have been shopping on Arthur Ave for years and have never gone to Joe's (or heard any buzz about it). That doesn't mean anything in particular, and it could well be worth a visit - though I doubt it will be better than Casa for what we buy. :)

Nov 05, 2010
Striver in Outer Boroughs

Special occasion-type place in Queens? Or Roberto's in the Bronx?

Nice thought ;). Don't know of Joe's - are you thinking of Tino's? There's also Mike's Deli in the Arthur Ave Market, and Calandra's cheese store (good ricotta) - lots of excellent food shopping in a small area. Casa's my primary deli, though - I just find them a notch above the rest for most salumi and cheeses.

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Mike's Deli
2344 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458

Nov 05, 2010
Striver in Outer Boroughs

Special occasion-type place in Queens? Or Roberto's in the Bronx?

There are several good sources of fressh mozzarella in the area (not sure which one Roberto's uses; we like Casa Della Mozzarella the best), so a caprese is a good option (although best when tomatoes are in season)- but consider the scamorza, smoky and melted over sauteed spinach, as a starter. The specials usually have a mixed scallop and shrimp app, and that's also definitely worth considering. Enjoy - and do think about the specials first; it's been our experience (and that of others) that you'll get the best meal with that approach.

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Casa Della Mozzarella
604 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458

Nov 05, 2010
Striver in Outer Boroughs

Special occasion-type place in Queens? Or Roberto's in the Bronx?

I agree on 5:00 as being reasonable - but no later, if you don't want to wait. Roberto's food is very good (stick to the specials on the board for the best choices, particularly whatever pasta "in cartoccio" they're serving), and we always enjoy dining there.

Nov 05, 2010
Striver in Outer Boroughs

Cape May Suggestions

We've had excellent dinners at both Washington Inn and Union Park. I like the blackened prime rib at 410 Bank, but I don't think it's as nice a place for dinner as either of the first two (nor is Black Duck).

Union Park is BYO, so if you have a special bottle of wine or two you'd like to have with dinner, this would be the place to go. Washington Inn, OTOH, has one of the best wine cellars in the state, and we found their pricing to be very reasonable. I don't think you can go wrong with either, and their menus are available on line for you to check out.

Finally, we've heard good things about the Ebbitt Room and Peter Shields, but haven't made it to either yet. Their menus are also available on line.

As for B&B's, while we usually rent a house in Cape May Point when we're down there, we've stayed at - and enjoyed - the Abbey, in the heart of the historic district.; however, that was years ago, and I cannot vouch for its current state. We've also stayed at Congress Hall (for a wedding), and while it's not as charming as the B&B's, it's certainly a decent option with a nice bar and lounge (the Brown Room, mentioned above).

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Union Park
727 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ 08204

Washington Inn
801 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ 08204

Ebbitt Room
25 Jackson Street, Cape May, NJ 08204

Nov 04, 2010
Striver in New Jersey

Doctor Brown's Cel Rey Soda [moved from Not About Food board]

I rarely drink any soft drink, but if I'm eating fatty pastrami or corned beef, the only beverage I want is a Cel-Ray (for the same meal, my wife goes for Dr. Brown's Cream soda; Black Cherry is also acceptable).

Nov 02, 2010
Striver in General Topics

Top 10 Bakeries in the 5 Boros? [moved from What's My Craving?]

We were just in Artopolis in Astoria last weekend for the first time - and were very impressed by both the store itself (which is very attractively designedl) and the quality of the baked goods - not just Greek (excellent baklava selection and galaktoboureko, among many choices), but French-style and Italian (large selection of different flavors of taralle) as well.

On the savory side, we took home a spanakopita and a tyropita - both crisped up perfectly in the oven and were delicious. We'll return soon!

Nov 01, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

Suggestion for good restaurant near Lincoln Center

Ditto for Bar Boulud, especially the charcuterie "degustation" (platter of assorted house-made charcuterie plus a "rack" sampler of hors d'ouevres) - fun to eat and very tasty.

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Bar Boulud
1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Oct 29, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

Seeking best eggplant parmigiana in NYC- preferably on the Upper East Side

Mike's is a very busy deli with some tables in the Arthur Ave Market, not really a restaurant. We ordered two large trays of the eggplant parm for a recent party, and it all vanished in about 5 minutes. No one was disappointed, except that it was all gone.

Oct 29, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

44th and 11th

Stop at Sullivan Street Bakery on 47th between 11th and 10th (closer to 11th); try a slice of their pizza or - if they have it - a savory brioche. Their breads are great and worth taking home; we're addicted to their multigrain.

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Sullivan Street Bakery
533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

Oct 29, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

What's the best place to buy baklava?

Finally got around to Artopolis last weekend, and couldn't agree more with the other posts. Their pastries and backed goods are terrific (and the store itself is beautfiul). There's a great variety of baklava, and I'd rank it as good as Guluoglu (Turkish style). We brought home a spanakopita and a tyropita ( phyllo cheese pie) - both were outstanding when crisped up in a hot oven.

They also had a large assortment of flavored taralle, which I think of as Italian (and like); we'll try some next time we're out there, which will be a lot sooner than I would have thought!!

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Artopolis
23-18 31st St, Queens, NY 11105

Oct 28, 2010
Striver in Outer Boroughs

Do you prefer eating pasta without parmesan?

As others have pointed out, it all depends on the particular dish - and the cheese should be treated as a condiment or seasoning, not as an additional ingredient (iow, use a light hand unles the recipe specifically calls for it, like many risottos do, or to add more intense flavor to an aglio/oilio).

For example, I like a dusting of reggiano on a bolognese, some pecorino romano on an amatriciana or an arrabiata (the saltier flavor complements the spiciness), and no cheese at all on any seafood based pasta or risotto. The microplane graters produce light flakes of cheese, which I prefer to the granular bits produced by standard graters (or food processors).

Oct 26, 2010
Striver in General Topics

Coney Island: Worth the Trip?

Major ditto. It's a fun day at NY's shore, and I agree with those posters who find Nathan's franks and fries just taste better at Coney, just as cotton candy always tastes best at the circus. Sometimes the set and setting are as important - or even more so - than the food. It's about the overall experience.

And yes, if the OP goes, a stroll around the Brighton section should definitely be on the itinerary.

Oct 26, 2010
Striver in Outer Boroughs

Are there dishes that are "restaurant menu immune"?

A French restaurant I like (Passione in Montclair, NJ) asks for 20 minutes lead time for their classic - and very good - chocolate souffle. If you know you're going to want it, it can certainly be done even within a one-hour timebox.

Oct 22, 2010
Striver in General Topics

Lunch with kids near AMNH?

Nice Matin on 79th and Amsterdam (just a few blocks from the museum) is a large, bustling west side neighborhod bistro-type restaurant with a variety of reasonably priced food choices (including their excellent 5-napkin burger). You should definitely check out their website.

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Nice Matin
201 West 79th Street, New York, NY 10024

Oct 22, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

First date, high West 40's/50's

Gallo Nero is good but - and a big but at that - it's very small, fairly cramped, and the seats (unless they've changed them since I was there) are not comfortable.

I strongly suggest you check out Print, in the Ink48 hotel on 11th and 48th. The decor is modern and very attractive, the seating is well spaced (good for a date), the food - contemporary American with terrific vegetables (and I'm a meat-lover, too) - is excellent, service is fine, price is reasonable for the quality. We've eaten here several times in the last few months, and are looking forward to returning soon. Incidentally, they've also got a roof lounge ("Press" - get the theme? :)) on the 16h floor, if that appeals to you for before or after dinner drinks.

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Gallo Nero
404 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

Oct 20, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

Suggest a restaurant near 45th & 8th

West Bank Cafe (42nd just west of 9th) is one of our go-tos in that area for the kind of ambience you're seeking: non-touristy, relatively calm. Cuisine is contemporary American with Italian touches and consistently very good, service is fine and wine-by-the-glass selection usually has some interesting choices. There's a small late-night theatre/cabaret downstairs, so I'm not as sure of the post-theatre ambience as I am of the pre- (when we normally dine), but I think it's worth checking out.

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West Bank Cafe
407 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036

Oct 15, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

Whole Wheat/ Whole Grain bread

Even better, IMo, is the multigrain bread baked at Sullivan Street Bakery. We get it at their 47th & 11th outlet, and it's one of the best breads I've ever had; addictingly good. The rest of their breads are also super.

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Sullivan Street Bakery
533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

Oct 12, 2010
Striver in Manhattan

Restaurant attire [split from UK/Ireland]

I definitely had BK in mind, but he might get by in VA if he added a periwig... :)

Oct 05, 2010
Striver in Not About Food