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atievsky's Profile

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Barcelona Food Tour and Restaurants

I just got back a few weeks ago from 5 days in Barcelona and 3 in the Costa Brava. Sorry you missed Tickets - it was really fabulous and qualifies as one of my top 3 meals of all time. It would be worth a trip back to Barcelona just to eat there again. TOTALLY incredible food.

We enjoyed Bar Pinotxo and El Quim de la Boquería in the market which were both as good as Paco Meralgo (way too crowded) and with fewer tourists and lower prices. Seafood restaurant El Pescadors near Barcelonetta was also outstanding and mostly locals. Tapas 24 was basic, very good and also filled with locals and quite good. Currently I'm having a severe case of tapas withdrawal!

Apr 26, 2013
atievsky in Spain/Portugal

Begur/Costa Brava Revisited

Just got back from 5 days in Barcelona and 3 in the Costa Brava. Two of our meals were among the top 5 of all time for us (Tickets in Barcelona and Bo Tic in Palamós. Stayed one night in Castell D'emporida.Highly recommend Bo Tic for molecular cuisine. One of our top meals of all time, rivalling Tickets in Barcelona. Very elegant restaurant with gracious service. We spent the second hight in Begur at Hotel Aigua Blava but only ate breakfast there. Instead we had a basic, but excellent fish dinner at Sa Recassa in Aiguafreda, (after a harrowing night drive down the mountain to the beach for a midwesterner). My only regret is that it was too cold to eat outside. We also had a lovely lunch in Girona but I'll have to add that restaurant at a later date.

In Barcelona we stayed at Hotel 1898 and enjoyed Tickets immensely , El Pescador - which is really underrated, Taco Meralgo, Tapas 24, (as well as 2 tapas bars in Boqueria.) Currently having severe case of tapas withdrawal!

Last night of our trip we had the tasting menu at the stunning Hotel Miramar.

Apr 26, 2013
atievsky in Spain/Portugal

Costa Brava and Sea Rocket Bistro

Just returned from 8 days in Barcelona and adjacent coastal Spain Having severe tapas withdrawal attacks. I will be in San Diego (Gaslamp with car) in a couple of weeks. Looking for authentic tapas and very fresh inventive seafood. Non-touristy. Does Costa Brava in Pacific beach make the grade? Other recommendations for Spanish? Also, how is Sea Rocket Bistro?

Apr 19, 2013
atievsky in San Diego

Burgerim

Has anyone been to new Israeli hamburger chain US flagship -Burgerim - in West Hollywood?

Apr 19, 2013
atievsky in Los Angeles Area

Prix Fixe lunch deals?

Marea 2 course lunch $42. Not cheap but still a deal at this temple.

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Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

Feb 08, 2011
atievsky in Manhattan

Trying to narrow things down for lunch next week at a Jean-Georges restaurant

Depends on what part of town you'll be in
JoJo is in a beautiful townhouse and really very special for lunch. Very upper east side crowd.
Perry Street has a great menu and is very slick, comfortable seating, bright during the day, but very cool at night. Consider for brunch as well.

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Perry Street
176 Perry Street, New York, NY 10014

Feb 07, 2011
atievsky in Manhattan

Please tell me the restaurant that has blown you away within the last 6 months...

5 course tasting menu at Recette. As good as plenty of 2 star Michelin restaurants that charge double for the same food.
(But dying to go to Marea, waiting for an opportunity when I'm not paying for 5 other diners....)

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Recette
328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

Feb 07, 2011
atievsky in Manhattan

Recette review

Had the same 5 course meal you did a few weeks later. I thought it was as good a meal as over the top Cyrus (28 Food Zagat and 2 Michelin stars), in Healdburg, Sonoma County, CA. which is similar to French Laundry, I am told. Very impressive. Wish they could handle my party of 6 two weeks from now but it's a small place.

Feb 07, 2011
atievsky in Manhattan

Tasting Menu at Mahattan restaurants

Recette. 5 course tasting menu for $75 and seven courses for $125 (too much food for me). Extremely high quality for the price - reminiscent of the expense account foodie temples. Very memorable, trendy small Village space with lots of windows - nice atmosphere, hopping place. you won't go wrong. In 4-5 yrs the chef/owners be famous and will open an overpriced gastronomic palace in midtown for the expense account crowd and financiers. Very highly recommended. There has been a lot of excitement generated on Chowhound.com about this small and still relatively unknown place. Do not miss this meal. Strongly suggest you eat here - take a late reservation if it's the only time you can get in.

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Recette
328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

Feb 07, 2011
atievsky in Manhattan

Aureole in transition with new chef - other prix fixed lunch suggestions?

Has anyone been there recently? Was at old venue before move. Has menu changed with new chef what was your opinion?

Looking for weekday price fixed lunch suggestions at high end Midtown and nearby UE side foodie temples.

Feb 07, 2011
atievsky in Manhattan

Michael Symon - overhyped/overexposed?

NO. Think you Clevelanders have lost your minds or tastebuds! He needs to open more restaurants on the East Side including one in University Circle and another in Beachwood

A+ Lola - great value, terrific food, mindblowing meat and savory fish preps (5+ times dining, great experiences, great wine list, excellent service, never a less than exceptional meal or disagreeable server)
A+ Lolita - A bit of the West Village in Cleveland. Even better value with food just as good (or arguably better according to my spouse), definitely more fun (Have been there 10-12 times). Would cost 50% more in NYC

A- for B Spot - Fast food at it's best! Nine dollar fabulous burgers may not as good as the one Daniel Buloud charges 35 bucks for, but fabulous offerings and the best in fast food. Onion rings are to die for. What's all the fuss?- pass the Lipitor, I'm going back there....

May 17, 2010
atievsky in Great Lakes

Dinner after the Cleveland Orchestra

I've been to l'Albatross at least 6-8 times in the past year. Highly recommended. Well prepared brasserie fare. Menu is very good, the specials are even better.

Mar 18, 2010
atievsky in Great Lakes

How to Eat Less Meat

This is vegetarian torture. Ersatz meat. Who needs it. I went meatless years ago by substituting healthful fin fish and occasional shell fish instead of the red stuff. I like my vegetables to be treated with a light hand so they still taste fresh and flavorful. Cut the high fat milk products and cream sauces to a minimum, too. Sure, there is nothing like a terrific steak, but if you limit your red meat intake to 1-2 x per month and then only eat it when the quality and occasion are worthy of the high calories and fat content.

Mar 18, 2010
atievsky in Features

Visiting Cleveland, which restaurants I should not miss ?

I think there are about a half dozen very special restaurants in Cleveland with very good food, some of which are quite distinctive and because they are here and not in NYC, LA, SF are probably about 30-40% cheaper. Here is my list:

Lolita - Iron chef Symon's casual restaurant, don't miss the charcuterie appetizer.

Lola - not to be missed, but bear in mind that this is heavy fare. Order pork or anything slow cooked.

L'Albatross Bistro (classic French bistro with comparable food to Balthazar in NYC) Univ Circle, close to Severance Hall (try to hear the orchestra as long as you're in Cleveland

Paladar - nuevo Latino - fabulous food,terrific drinks,and even on weeknights this place really rocks, in Eaton Center, Woodmere in eastern subs, definitely worth the drive, still not well known outside the suburbs, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

B Spot - Micheal Symon's fast food hamburger joint in Eaton Center, Woodmere - DO NOT MISS if you're in the Eastern subs, cholesterol heaven, I suggest the national award winning "Fat Doug" topped with pastrami or the " Red Hot burger with pulled pork piled on top for nine bucks and a side of onion rings with a draft of hoppy Dogfish Head IPA (20 boutique drafts in stock) - then you can check into the Cleveland Clinic to get your coronaries unclogged (BOTH HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)

Momocho is fun, too -

If you have the craving for Asian - try Siam Cafe in "China Town" area, they do Chinese and Thai very well and have an extensive menu

Mar 16, 2010
atievsky in Great Lakes

Best Restaurant in Cleveland -- Money No Object

I know this is an old posting, but FYI here is my 2 cents. Lola is top restaurant by a long shot, but Giovanni's would be top choice for a business dinner due to service and general ambiance. Fire indeed is very good. Don't bother with Bluepoint if your client knows good seafood as it's pretty unimpressive by big city standards. Actually, Mortons downtown in Tower City might be a very good safe choice if this is a serious client and you don't know his/her food preferences.

Dec 11, 2009
atievsky in Great Lakes

Going to Cleveland tonight, good downtown choices?

The only reason NOT to like Lola would be if you don't care for relatively heavy food. Otherwise it is certainly world class by ANY standard, which is why all the true foodies go wild over it. The value is incredible, as this place would be at least 50 % more pricey in NYC or Chicago, I assure you. I think that so many locals here are used to mediocrity, they don't know the real thing when they see it. I would certainly place Lola with Mario Batali's Lupa in NYC and Blackbird in Chicago, but frankly, Lola is the best of the 3. Kudos to Iron Chef Symon!

Dec 11, 2009
atievsky in Great Lakes

Fresh Seafood in Cleveland???

No one is dissing Cleveland because the fish isn't as fresh as coastal cities. It just shoud be born in mind: Let the buyer/consumer/eater beware. Fish (even farmed!) is low in fat, has high nutritional value and tastes good. Those are the reasons that I make it a staple of my diet. I urge everyone else to do the same.

Don't discount the nutritional value of farmed fish in the American diet. Also, although it may not taste as good as wild in many cases it makes a perfectly adequate, tasty and much less expensive substitute for daily eating. Good quality, fresh farmed fish is also quite tasty.Yes it's bad for the environment, but I guess we all have to draw the line somewhere, and most people can't afford to eat $20 a pound wild salmon for routine dinners.

The fish coming into WF stores is off the boat with or without a middle man and is shipped whole for processing in the store. The fish sold by just about everyone else (except a few restaurants) in this town has been cleaned and often cut into portions by processers, which one would anticipate would delay delivery. I found this out on a search for fish bones and heads for cooking soup stock. Ask for the bones and heads and you will see who has freshest fish!

I suspect you could do as well at Mitchell's as ordering directly from the docks, for a lot less money.

Also - be conscious of what is seasonal, you are much more likely to find the fish to be really fresh, as it is moving in large quatities when it's in season. E.g. last week I had some fantastic PEI farmed mussels from Heinens, best I've tasted by far (including NYC oyster houses) since I eating on the docks in PEI in 2008.

Nov 19, 2009
atievsky in Great Lakes

Cleveland The new - old Lockkeepers in Valley View ?

Anyone been to the "new" Lockkeepers in Valley view since Dante left?
Looking for an early dinner after opera HD broadcast at Cinermark nearby or early restaurant opening in Tremont.

Favourite Niagara wineries to visit?

You don't need to go far from town to experience Hillebrand, Stratus, Jackson-Trigg. Lunch at Henry of Pelham was superb experience and food. Hillebrand Late lunch which with Jazz festival was very memorable. Don't miss these two venues for meals. Jackson-Trigg has best buy in icewine according to Wine Spectator with 1/2 bottle of Vidal in 50 (Canadian) dollar range. Eat breakfast at the patisserie next to Stone Road Grille.

Frontera/Rick Bayless restaurants--thoughts?

Only interior Mex food I've had anywhere that was better than these restaurants was in Oaxaca, Mexico where Bayless finds his inspirations and some of his recipes. In my opinion, Topo/Frontera is the only place to go north of Mexico City and Oaxaca. Sure, there are other Mex restaurants that are pretty good, but if you want the real thing eat Bayless food!

Dec 03, 2008
atievsky in Chicago Area

Bluefin Sushi - Boca, South PBC

Had an excellent experience here. Extremely fresh, well made rolls. Really world class and relatively inexpensive. Priciest item was the "lobster bomb" roll ($21) which consisted of 2 lobster tails and was really fantastic. Green Dragon, Red Dragon, Sushi Bomb rolls (sans cream cheese) - all in the 10-12 dollar range and quite large - were also outstanding. Nobu step aside!

Dec 03, 2008
atievsky in Florida

Best pie bakery in Boca, Delray, South PBC?

Thanksgiving was a great success. Upper Crust has terrific pies, certainly. We bought 5 on Wednesday AM. Would love to do a taste off with WF pies someday.

Dec 03, 2008
atievsky in Florida

Thanksgiving Rpt: Whole Foods, Glick's Kosher Market, Upper Crust (pies)

Armed with 1/2 case of wine brought as checked luggage (Chalone Estate Chard, Klinker Brick Zin, Schlumberger House Red - all excellent and well under $20), I catered Thanksgiving dinner for 19 this year in my elderly mother in law's house in south PBC, without actually cooking a thing. We pre-shipped plasticware including those fake metal plastic utensils in order to minimize shopping on Wednesday. Turkey was superb-possibly the best I've ever had from Glick's Kosher Market in Delray - extrememly moist and flavorful. Accompanied by Glick's has several locations in the NY area as well - see their website. The sides all came from Whole Foods in Boca, who faxed me their menu 6 weeks previously. Highly recommend the mashed sweet potatoes, squash risotto, root vegetable medley (aquired taste for foodies only), chestnut-cornbread stuffing, and two salads on the regular menu: brasserie and heart of palm. 2 containers of Green bean cassarole was not our favorite and went uneaten. The pies we picked up early on Wednesday from an old time pie bakery - Upper Crust in Lake Worth on N. Dixie Highway. They won't accept phone preorders so we went early. Most of their pies were pre sold, but fortunately they had everything we wanted: Pumpkin (5/5 one of best ever), peach (fresh 5/5), pecan (4/5 - like NY Times cookbook recipe better, but it really was very good, dutch apple crumb(5/5), sour cream apple ( not my fav but very very good 4.5/5). we finished the evening with a "box" of Starbuck's coffee that was still hot after 4 hours. All the sides were microwaveable and the turkey came packaged in foil so it was easy in the oven and a very clean operation. We ate terrific leftovers for the rest of the weekend. Fabulous. Much better than any restaurant in my family's opinion.

Dec 03, 2008
atievsky in Florida

Best pie bakery in Boca, Delray, South PBC?

Whole Foods - ask for catering department and they can FAX you the menu. They have the complete package priced by the person. The Brothers farmers market in Delray on Military trail. They also have standard fare menu they will FAX you. It is probably worth making a phone call to Too Jays and 3Gs delis.

Oct 30, 2008
atievsky in Florida

Best pie bakery in Boca, Delray, South PBC?

I found Palladio, recommended by Chowhounders a couple of years ago for high end groceries and prepared foods. Their phone is disconnected. What about The Brothers on Military Trail in Delray. Any experience with their baked goods?

Oct 30, 2008
atievsky in Florida

Best pie bakery in Boca, Delray, South PBC?

Thanks. I called Upper Crust and they faxed me the list of pies. Fabulous. Exactly the kind of old time bakery I was looking for...with all the limitations- no over the phone orders - but they say they usually have most everything available if you go early in the day, even on Thanksgiving, so I'll probably take the chance, since I can always pick one up at The Brothers of Whole Foods, I figure.

Oct 30, 2008
atievsky in Florida

Best pie bakery in Boca, Delray, South PBC?

I'm putting together a Thanksgiving feast for 16 from 1200 miles away. So far, I've been relying on Whole Foods heavily. I love pie - so much more than any cake and Thanksgiving means there will be multiple pies. I'd like to buy the fruit pies: Apple, pumpkin (or is it a vegetable), and a pecan pie, from a down home good ole southern bakery like the ones I knew in Southern Maryland where we summered or the even better product from Custom Bakers of Island Park, L.I. Any suggestions?

Also -if you can suggest other markets, restaurantswho have foodie quality sides for Thanksgiving besides WF I would appreciate the info.

Oct 28, 2008
atievsky in Florida

Great food in Cleveland

Indeed there are some really good restaurants in Cleveland, but it's difficult to avoid the mediocre., as I have written before on these pages, from my vantage point as a relatively new Clevelander from DC and NYC. I think Lola is world class - a great bargain at the price .hands down Cleveland's best food in my humble opinion. If you have one meal to eat in Cleveland, that's the place to have it.
I have had mixed experiences at Bar Cento, which I really want to like because of atmosphere, extensive wine and beer list. While I initially thought it was reminiscent of many restaurants in NYCs West Village - I was disappointed on my last visit with the pizza. Maybe it's just decent bar food..... Sergios in University Circle area is pretty good and the restored townhouse has a very special atmosphere. Mint is a terrific neighborhood inexpensive Thai - highly recommended. We love Aladdins for inexpensive mid eastern fare - definitely walkable.
I have not been to Baricelli (which I have heard good things about) , but am totally unimpressed with the half dozen or so places I've been to in Little Italy. They serve 1950's style Italian-American food for the most part. I was totally unimpressed with the "famous" pizza parlors there and would avoid them totally. If you can get up to Shaker Square - which will require a cab or car - Fire and Sergios Sarava are very good. The latter has an extensive Nuevo Latino menu and sometimes has live music. Boulevard Blue has a limited menu with excellent food, mostly local ingredients and is running free entree and half price wine coupons on the web. Real NYC atmosphere with free live music on Friday nights makes this a wonderful dining experience. Can't figure out why it's not more popular.

One more thing - Strongly recommend that you avoid mediocre food and service Table 45 at the Intercontinental Hotel.

Lola Cleveland. Iron Chef? (long review)

One more comment: Price $58 without drinks is cheap for an upscale downtown restaurant in a large city. I don't know what you had at Babbo, but my bill was double. Otto is a pizza house - inexpensive by NYC standards. Compared to other cities with iron chef quality (not by any means limited to those chefs on the food channel) restaurants of similar style and quality, e.g. Chicago, NYC, LA, SF, DC, Miami , Dallas, Philly, Boston, Las Vegas, N restaurants , Lola is a LOT less expensive. While I have never eaten in Columbus, it's generally not considered to be a large city in the traditional sense and certainly doesn't have an iron chef.

Momocho, Cleveland Report

Momomcho , Ohio City Cleveland. Interior of Mexico Cuisine

Our second visit to Momocho this past Saturday night and the food was quite good. There is one mole offering: pork chop al carbon / mole coloradito / huitlecoche "tamale dumplings". The chop was outstanding, mole was passable but nowhere as good as what you can buy on the street in Oaxaca, and the dumplings were to die for. Others at my table enjoyed the adobo lamb chops, grilled flat iron steak taquitos and the seared tuna taquitos. The sauces accompanying the taquitos were very good. Our mistake was order ing 2 guacamole orders, which was too much for a group of 4. the pineapple / jicama / chile habanero / mint guacamole was the table fav. We weren't thrilled with the smoked trout guacamole recipe, but it did contain large chunks of fish and was well prepared. (We've had their traditional guacamole on a previous visit and found it to be quite good.) Unfortunately the chips were quite ordinary supermarket style. We also had a side dish that was quite good - roasted corn on the cob (highly recommmended as well as black beans (a buck and a half!). That all turned out to be quite a bit of food. I should also state that it appeared that they were using authentic ingredients, including avocado leaves, not generally seen in Mexican restaurants in this country.

We ordered a standard margarita pitcher,which is a deal for 30 bucks, and was as good a regular margarita as I can recall having anywhere. After one glass, you can't tell the difference in any case. Excellent selection of tequilas for drinking neat if that is your preference. The flavored mixed drink menu is also pretty extensive and there is a decent wine list as well. Bill for four with large margarita pitcher and two additional expensive drinks was $150.

Restaurant is very casual with road house atmosphere. Authentically decorated with Mexican paintings and newspaper clippings of masked Mexican wrestlers.

While it doesn't approach the food we had in Mexico City and Oaxaca, I can highly recommend Momocho for interior Mexican food in this part of the world.