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LenNJ's Profile

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What is your favorite cookbook of all time?

I love Portuguese food and live near a huge Portuguese population and there are many authentic restaurants to choose from - but I'm going to be moving out of state where there isn't a Portuguese eatery in the entire state so I needed to learn how to cook the dishes myself. I found Portuguese Homestyle Cooking and thank God, the recipes were similar to what I'm used to eating and they turned out great - now I can have Alentejo pork with clams anytime!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1566...

Oct 28, 2009
LenNJ in Home Cooking

What is your newest favorite ingredient??

I LOVE hot sauce and collect tons of different types - lately I've become addicted to both sriracha and garlic chili sauce, I use the sriracha as a dipping sauce for tater tots and mix the chili sauce into everything from soups to marinades to pickleing recipes.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002PSOJW?ie=UTF8&tag=hellficollec-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0002PSOJW

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

Oct 28, 2009
LenNJ in Home Cooking

Is there such a thing as a bad Oxo product?

I really like OXO - except for their knives. I'm addicted to the soft rubber handles but out of all my OXO knives which is about 11 (steak set included) 4 have separated at the shaft - one brand new. I'll stick with full tang going forward - my Calphalon set never gave me any issues.

Dec 22, 2008
LenNJ in Cookware

Jfood at Stella - Not a Good Experience

Not sure if I missed something but it sounds like you're saying that in addition to having two meals that you didn't eat comped, the dessert which you did eat should have been comped too because you only ordered one?

Sorry if I've misunderstood.

Apr 30, 2008
LenNJ in New Orleans

Crawfish Boil on a slightly smaller scale?

That's where my BF and I enjoyed our 6lbs of crawfish and it was a truly awesome experience and yes their beer selection is great – they have a cool water fountain in their courtyard which is a copy of the lineup of all the taps at the bar but with gushing water instead. We started with a pitcher of Hoegaarden then tried a few different pints - the Rouge Hazelnut was my fave! They have really good burgers too in case you’re still hungry. We got there really early and they weren't ready to open yet, there were a number of people sitting at the little tables outside munching on their crawfish waiting to get in.

Tip – while at Big Fisherman, pick up a cardboard box cover and plenty of newspaper to take with you otherwise you’ll be eating out of the bag.

Apr 30, 2008
LenNJ in New Orleans

Crawfish Boil on a slightly smaller scale?

Go to Big Fisherman (seafood market) at 3301 Magazine Street, buy your crawfish then walk across the street to the Bulldog bar and enjoy them with a pitcher of cold beer in their courtyard!

http://bulldog.draftfreak.com/

Apr 29, 2008
LenNJ in New Orleans

Best Gumbo in New Orleans or La. as a whole.

Smoked duck and sausage gumbo at the Chimes by LSU in Baton Rouge!

Apr 28, 2008
LenNJ in New Orleans

Best Wine Bar

Update - we were dying for some fondue and went back this past weekend, but will not be going back again. They moved to a new location across the street, upped the prices, shrunk the portions and de-flavorized the gruyere recipe. Oh well...

Apr 22, 2008
LenNJ in Manhattan

Street food?

HC - I actually ate at one of the street food vendors on Frenchman, it was a BIG bbq grill towed by a pick-up called 'biddles with the kibbles' or something along those lines - ordered the bbq sausage sandwich and ate it at the Apple Barrel and it was simple but good. There was another vendor across the street that had a good menu but we didn't have a chance to taste test - they put up tiki torches around the area for 'mood' lighting. Both vendors were in the Cafe Brasil area.

Mar 05, 2008
LenNJ in New Orleans

Now searching for hush puppies!

My boyfriend LOVES Virgil’s Hush Puppies - I'm not a fan in general but I eat them just for the maple butter they serve them with!

Jan 15, 2008
LenNJ in Manhattan

Know any Fondue restaurants in NYC?

Ditto The Pig - for the cheese/chocolate fondues - the burlesque club ambiance and the wine/drinks! My fave is the Pig's Blood (sparkling wine with port). I haven't been to the West Village location, not sure if one is better than the other.

Jan 07, 2008
LenNJ in Manhattan

Girls' Night Out (East/West Village)

Xunta Tapas is good for hanging out with friends and drinking sangria. They also have a flamenco dancer on Thursday and Saturday nights but it's packed as a result and you would need to reserve a 'barrel' table. Some people complain of bad service but I've never had an issue there. We loved the octopus so much - the waitress asked the kitchen for cooking directions so we could make it at home.

http://www.xuntatapas.com/

Dec 12, 2007
LenNJ in Manhattan

Seafood near Carnegie Hall?

Shelly's is nearby (same company that runs Redeye Grill) - they also have a raw bar and I think they still have live jazz downstairs. Not sure if one is better than the other.

http://www.shellysnewyork.com/

Dec 11, 2007
LenNJ in Manhattan

Wait time for Serendipity 3?

Looks like the wait time just got a bit longer...

'Health Dept. Closes Serendipity 3 Restaurant'

http://www.1010wins.com/Health-Dept--...

Nov 15, 2007
LenNJ in Manhattan

Oysters, martini, steak, wine

Though it's lost that special something since they moved to a new location - I would suggest Shelly's http://www.shellysnewyork.com/ on West 57st. We are also martini and oyster fanatics and can vouch for their quality at Shelly's - their site says that they're also a wine bar and their menu includes a few steak options. We normally sit at the bar to eat so we can stare at the raw bar selections...it use to be more entertaining when they were across the street and the second floor bar overlooked the live jazz band.

Nov 13, 2007
LenNJ in Manhattan

Best Wine Bar

The place does 'stink like cheese' - some nights are worse than others depending on what's being ordered - the place is really small so it lingers and you smell it even if you don't order fondue. BUT - this place is not really a wine tasting kind of place, it's down and dirty eat drink and be merry - probably best for people how don't take their wine too seriously - just love to drink it. BTW, when I say small, I mean the kitchen is about 2 feet squared and the cook and manager need to move out of the way so you can squeeze into the bathroom – but the place is very cozy and intimate and the lively french music and slightly burlesque décor make it fun.

Nov 13, 2007
LenNJ in Manhattan

Most overrated NOLA restaurants

Breakfast at Brennan's for sure - I wish I could just sit at the bar and order the Eggs Nouvelle Orléans without the extras or the side show.

Nov 13, 2007
LenNJ in New Orleans

Best Wine Bar

Honestly, we love the gruyere fondue so much, we haven’t tried anything else except for the dark chocolate and cayenne dessert fondue which is also great but we did ogle the cheese board served at the table next to us (the ten cheeses plus many extras) and it looked like enough to feed a small family - will try that one next time along with the brie in filo, have made something similar at home and I have no doubt that will be good!

Nov 13, 2007
LenNJ in Manhattan

Best Wine Bar

My boyfriend and I really like Bourgeois Pig in the East Village - a french fondue place that refers to themselves as 'the dive bar of wine bars' very casual and romantic, tiny with tufted armchairs and setees with amazing and inexpensive fondue and half price bottles of wine for happy hour. Also good for appetizers and dessert.

http://www.thepigny.com/

Nov 12, 2007
LenNJ in Manhattan

Food and Jazz for Nawlins newbies

My boyfriend and I are also from NJ and go down to NO at least once a year - we don't like traditional jazz at all but love New Orleans style jazz - the best place to hang out is in the Frenchman St area which is a very bohemian neighborhood with amazing music.

Clubs to check out would be:
Spotted Cat
Apple Barrel
Blue Nile
and must go to Café Brasil on a Fri/Sat nite - if you're lucky one of the local big brass bands are playing

For food - definitely Jacques-Imo's and we absolutely loved Stella! and GW Fins is good too. If you like oysters, stand at the counter at Felix’s and chit chat with the shuckers. We also liked Bennachin Restaurant which is a pretty divey local place with great and inexpensive food – and do the touristy thing and check out Café Du Monde. Unfortunately, most of our favorite places like Olde Nawlins Cookery and Mahleanani are closed.

Oct 26, 2007
LenNJ in New Orleans