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DamienV's Profile

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Pescetarian Birthday Dinner

I had reservations at ZZs, but I had to cancel a few days beforehand due to a meeting, so I only ended up eating at Marea.

The meal started off with the sommelier bringing a white wine based on our preferences. It was nice, but perhaps a bit sweet for what I was in the mood for. We started off with three crudos. They were all fine. Very fresh and light, but nothing stood out. Next was the Astice - burrata with lobster, eggplant, and basil. It was well prepared, but lacked salt and I think it needed a little acid. The dish, like most we tried that night, was kind of flat. We chose the Malloreddus for our pasta course, which is served with jumbo lump crab, sea urchin and basil. The pasta itself was slightly coarser and had a richer wheatiness than house made pastas I've had previous. Not unpleasant, but not as good as I've had. The dish overall was again lacking in flavor. The grilled sepia livornese was our last savory dish. I thought it was solid, but the tomatoes used to make the sauce were a bit bland. I'm not sure if it's a question of quality or a need for reduction to concentrate the flavor. The dish needed a bit more oregano or olive oil to make it pop.

For dessert we had the Strati di cioccolato with salted caramel and pistachio gelato. It was fantastic. We drank a sicillian amaro with our dessert and it paired wondefully.

Service was friendly, but a bit slow. Our server seemed to have a very large section. The sommelier had opened our wine and left it to decant somewhere, but we sat for 5-10 minutes with our first course in front of us before our server brought the wine to the table. Overall I was disappointed with the preparation of the food. If our bill had been half the price I still would have been displeased. Next time I'll give Babbo a try.

Oct 02, 2013
DamienV in Manhattan

Pescetarian Birthday Dinner

Thanks for the sound advice. We would still spend a fair amount and I'll definitely let ZZ know we'll be an hour-hour and a half tops. This is my first trip to NY since there was a porn shop on every corner and FAO Schwarz was the highlight of my visit. I probably won't be back for awhile, so I'd like to visit a lot of places. I realize this isn't optimal. ZZ seems to have the setting and personality I'm looking for but I don't know if I'd like to make an entire meal from their menu. I'm leaning toward Marea for dinner, but their dessert wine by the glass is a short list and I was really hoping for a nice Marsala or Oloroso. I realize how nitpicky I'm being, but it's New York, I'm on vacation for the first time in a year and a half and I'm getting old.

Aug 01, 2013
DamienV in Manhattan

Pescetarian Birthday Dinner

Now I'm really torn. I definitely want to start off at ZZ's if I can get in. They only take reservations one month in advance. Then I'm thinking either Babbo or Marea for dinner, but I can't decide between the two.

Should I go somewhere else for dessert too and make it a triumvirate?

Thanks for the great advice guys.

Aug 01, 2013
DamienV in Manhattan

Pescetarian Birthday Dinner

Sorry, I should have been more specific. $350-$450 including alcohol and tip total for my girlfriend and I.

Jul 31, 2013
DamienV in Manhattan

Pescetarian Birthday Dinner

Hello everyone, I'm going to be in Manhattan at the end of September and I'd lake to make a reservation at a great pescetarian friendly restaurant. I'm willing to spend $300-$400. I would prefer a place that's more fun and laid back than stuffy. Think Schwa over Alinea in style, but I'm open to all cuisines. Thanks for any and all ideas.

Cheers!

Jul 31, 2013
DamienV in Manhattan

6 Hours in Tokyo, Sushi, Shopping, and more food!

Thanks for the advice guys. Do you happen to know of any good bars where we could get a good cocktail before our flight back? Probably around 3pm.

Feb 07, 2012
DamienV in Japan

6 Hours in Tokyo, Sushi, Shopping, and more food!

I wasn't able to get a reservation at Sushi Taichi so I made one at Sushi Kanesaka instead. Thank you for the advice.

I'm kind of confused on how to get there though. Are there people in the airport that can help me find the right train that speak English?

Also, are they any good shops, department stores or breakfast places in the area?

Feb 06, 2012
DamienV in Japan

6 Hours in Tokyo, Sushi, Shopping, and more food!

No need to be sorry, thank you.

I am curious, why Sushi Taichi over Kanesaka and Saito? I've found lots of info and press on both but pretty much nothing on Sushi Taichi. I also see that both chefs seem to be very friendly to Gaijin.

Jan 24, 2012
DamienV in Japan

6 Hours in Tokyo, Sushi, Shopping, and more food!

You're amazing Ninisix! Thank you tons, that sounds like a perfect plan. How do I go about making a reservation for Sushi Taichi? Do they speak decent English there?

Jan 23, 2012
DamienV in Japan

6 Hours in Tokyo, Sushi, Shopping, and more food!

Hello everyone. I'm looking for some good advice for an upcoming trip. My girlfriend and I have an 11 hour layover at Narita airport in late February. Our flight gets in at 7:35am and I figure with customs, train times, and airport security on the way back we probably have 5-6 hours to spend in Tokyo. This will be our first time to Japan.

Most importantly we want to eat lunch at an amazing sushi restaurant. We are willing to spend at most $200 USD each. I speak very little Japanese. I'm considering Sushi Saito, Sushi Taichi, and Sushi Kanesaka. Some other factors: Despite being fairly small people we both pig out at sushi restaurants and we'll be wanting to consume a significant amount of food and hopefully sake. We will want to do some shopping and maybe hit up another restaurant in the area without having to travel too far. We both love pretty much everything sushi-wise except maybe aoyagi D: What do you think?

I am intent on buying a couple bags of 'Kin sho bai'? That spelling is probably very bad. It's the stuff that's basically high end furikake with pine nuts and bonito that's more moist and has the texture of ground beef jerky. I'm told it's usually purchased in Japanese department stores as a gift. Any idea what to actually ask for and where I could find it?

After shopping I'd like to enjoy some more food. I'm down for noodles, tempura, etc. Probably more of a hole in the wall, good food, even more fun type of place. My girlfriend and I are pescatarians, so no chicken, pork or beef. Ideas?

Thanks for reading, cheers!

Jan 22, 2012
DamienV in Japan