sgordon's Profile

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Is Russ & Daughters Cafe everything l hoped it would be? Yes.

It's called "Sturgeon Queens" (not Kings) - 10PM.

It's replaying the next night on WLIW (21) at 7:30.

http://thesturgeonqueens.com/

Nov 24, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Food Suggestions Mid December NYC?

There's no significant Honduran population center to speak of here, but there has been a bit of El Salvadoran (cuisine-wise, pretty similar) immigration. Check out El Salvador Restaurant in Bushwick or, better, Usuluteco in Sunset Park. There might be a couple Honduran places on Staten Island.

Steak - the usual suspects (Peter Luger, Keen's, Minetta Tavern)

Italian - how expensive? What style? That's a VERY broad range.

Breakfast - where are you staying?

Nov 24, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Tongue: Authentic Mexican Outer Boroughs

It was goat eyeballs - and yeah, at Puebla. Sietsema wrote them up a few years ago:

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkint...

Nov 21, 2014
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Looking for an ultra trendy place for a group of 8 in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is a big area. Where are you (mostly) starting from? Would be silly to recommend a place in, say, Park Slope if you're in Williamsburg.

Agree with Sneak, Luksus (while nice) is absolutely not the place the OP is looking for. If you like beer their attached bar, Torst, is great, and you can order small plates (salads, sandwiches, etc) but it's very specifically beer-focused, beverage-wise.

Roberta's was a good call as well.

South of Flatbush, Blueprints is a great little cocktail bar with excellent food. There's also The Clover Club, which is very trendy, so with a group that size I'd make a reservation if you can. Both keep their kitchens open pretty late. Over in that part of town as well is Frankie's, solid Italian food, always a scene on the weekends, good wine and cocktails.

Nov 21, 2014
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Eating our faces off, any suggestions?

Nordic Preserves needs more attention. I actually go there more than R&D these days. If it's gravlax (and not smoked salmon) I'm looking for, Nordic is my main joint. And I think their herring is even better than R&D, though it's not like you can go wrong at either...

(Nordic Delicacies also needs more attention, but I can save that for the Outer Boroughs board...)

Nov 21, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Eating our faces off, any suggestions?

Yeah, it was the bread that led me to not include Banh Mi. Though we've all got our favorites - I like Sau Voi Corp, because I always prefer to get my Banh Mi at a counter inside a Vietnamese bootleg DVD / ladies undergarment / lottery shop if I can. They're actually a good place to get little non-sandwichy snack, like Nem Chua (sour pork sausage on a stick)

If the weather were to be nicer I'd say get a bunch of stuff from DiPalo's, Despana, etc, and take it all down to Columbus Park, where you can chill out on a bench and watch the competing Chinese Opera singers and folk bands, high-stakes domino games, old Chinese people taking their birds for walks (really) and gweilo doing tai chi. One of my favorite places in the city to while away a couple hours when it's warmer.

Nov 21, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Eating our faces off, any suggestions?

CICF's ice cream's aren't the greatest, no, but there's a certain nostalgic attachment I've got to them. The Almond Cookie flavor - well, it tastes exactly like those almond cookies that used be de rigueur dessert along with fortune cookies and orange slices at every Chinese restaurant everywhere, so it brings back some memories. Also I think the "Zen Butter" flavor is pretty dang good.

Nov 21, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Eating our faces off, any suggestions?

I would also say avoid sandwiches - i.e. don't fill up on bread. One gutbomb sammich and your food tour is done for the day.

Nordic Preserves at Essex St. Market - great gravlax and herrings, with some creative twists you wouldn't find at R&D. (Not that R&D is a bad choice by any means...)

Head over to SoHo - maybe Taim for felafel or Despana Cafe for tapas (Despana is a also a great store for picking up stuff to take home with you)

Run through DiPaolo's for more take-home eats. Grab some burratta for sure.

Mosey down into Chinatown for some dim sum - Nom Wah or Dim Sum Go Go are both good.

Hop on the N Train to Sunset Park, get off at 36th St Brooklyn. Wander up to El Tesoro Ecuatoriano for some Ceviche de Pulpo y Concha and a beer. Wander down 5th Ave to any number of good taco places - if the Tacos El Bronco truck is open, hit them for sure... Walk down to Bay Ridge and finish the day with some Middle Eastern Meze, or Nordic Delicacies maybe, for house-made spekepolse and sylteflesk and other Scandinavian cured meats... post to the Outer Boroughs board if you haven't already...

Eating our faces off, any suggestions?

I never understood why people would feel compelled to recommend a tasting menu that would eat up the entire budget of the OP after tax and tip, when the OP wanted to hit "several places" in the course of their trip.

I'm also not sure why people would feel compelled to deride other posters for providing a link to useful information, a link which probably wouldn't come up very easily Googling search terms form the OP's post, unless you were going to look through all 10,000,000 results

But in order to not come off as snarky, I'll note that I agree Tulsi is, in fact, outstanding, if not remotely something that fits into what the OP is looking for.

Where did Gracefully source their bread? Anyplace nearby that gets the same stuff (Filone)?

Sad to them close, too - but they have another location on 1st Ave btw. 18th St & 19th - you can always go there, not too far from the original one.

Nov 20, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Birthday Dinner Suggestions

Not sure how Marc Forgione would push the budget where Bouley & Marea wouldn't - they're both significantly more expensive. At Bouley even if you both only ordered the least expensive app, entree, and dessert, and only drank water, it would still come to over $200 after tax/tip. Marea you could sneak in under that, perhaps.

Forgione (annoyingly) doesn't have prices on his website, but unless you were just having pastas as main entrees at Marea, MF would be a little cheaper. In fact, I think the full tasting menu (seven courses, I believe, plus three or four amuse bouches) at MF is the same price ($99) as the regular 4-course prix fixe at Marea.

Nov 19, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Looking for help with one more restaurant choice

I do like Jack's Wife Freda, but as someone else pointed out the cafe at Despana is pretty great, right in that neighborhood. It's also a great place to pick up stuff to take home - top-quality canned fish (some with prices to boggle the mind) plus hams, cheeses, etc. Their morcilla (if you dig morcilla) is the best in town, you can get a pound vacuum-sealed to take home and cook up yourself.

For your other dinner, maybe lean away from European - or go Northern Europe for something different, i.e. Aquavit, which has getting quite a bit more notice under the new chef over the last few months (including a second Michelin star)

Or go Asian to break things up a bit - Ichimura/Brushstroke, or Kyo Ya for kaiseki - if you can reserve the tatami room the ambiance is transporting. There's Soto if you want to go uni-crazy, Jungsik for modern Korean - we got a few good options, to say the least.

Nov 18, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

ISO: Best White Truffle Deal at Retail

I think it's a whopping $36 this year. Inflation!

Nov 16, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Dinner party for 12 suggestions...

Lupa has a back room that fits groups of varying sizes, and I've also seen them do big groups in the main dining room by pushing tables together.

Nov 13, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Dinner party for 12 suggestions...

Not so much up my sleeve as in my belly...

Nov 13, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Thanksgiving Orphans

...and this just got posted:

http://ny.eater.com/maps/new-york-cit...

Nov 12, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Dinner party for 12 suggestions...

Check out Roberta's, too - they have some great vegetarian options (especially among the pizzas)

Also, Italian places are always great for "mixed" groups - there are always veggie pastas available as mains. Scarpetta has a full vegetarian menu with veggie entrees in addition to the regular menu. I'd check with Lupa as well, they have a good group deal - $79/pp for a four course menu. There aren't any veggie options for the entree course standard, but they could come up with something if you asked I'm sure.

Lincoln has a small private dining room downstairs that would seat fifteen, though it's windowless so it can feel a little claustrophobic. They also do groups upstairs, too.

Nov 12, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Thanksgiving Orphans

There might still be tix available for the wd-50 T-Day dinner... You can get solo seats at the bar.

A number of years ago I happened to find myself solo on Tday, and just on a whim I grabbed a turkey sandwich from Katz's instead of the usual pastrami, corned beef or tongue. Damn fine with a shmear of mustard, washed down with a Cel-Ray.

Nov 12, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Vollkornbrot- where to buy?

I don't know of any specifically German bakers in town, but dense ryes are a hallmark of both Eastern European and Nordic cuisines, so I'd check some of those places - like the better Polish groceries. There's Jubilat or Eagle Provisions in Park Slope, and there's that meat market in the East Village that's been around forever the name of which is eluding me. Maybe Nordic Preserves in the Essex St Market has something, too. Nordic Delicacies and Leske's (both in Bay Ridge) might be worth checking out as well. It won't be called "Vollkornbrot" (which just means "whole grain bread") but a little trial and error you'll find something similar. Go on a bread crawl! Could be fun.

Nov 12, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

ISO: Best White Truffle Deal at Retail

Don't know what they're like this year, but Buon Italia has had good prices in the past. Certainly better than D&D and the like.

Prices will also come down as the season winds along and stores need to get rid of their stock. Last year Eataly dropped their price in mid-December for a one-day sale to $4.48/gram (about $126/oz) - not cheap, but this year's crop is selling for $168/oz currently at Eataly.

Reminds me, the annual Buon Italia truffle feast is next week... you might want to check it out:

http://chelseamarket.com/index.php/Ev...

Nov 11, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Scallops?

Whatever raw preparation they're doing at Momofuku Ssam Bar is usually top-notch. Their uni is always great as well - crazy good quality. There are both scallops and uni on the current menu.

Babbo pretty consistently does them well, but they're not year-round, just an occasional special. Last fall there was a great scallops and corn entree, right now there's a special with pumpkin puree and pumpkin-seed vinaigrette - haven't had it yet, though I imagine I will next time I'm there. There's also a different scallop dish on the lunch menu, with parsnips and walnuts.

As a general rule, Lincoln + Shellfish = good eatin'.

For Chinese I always find Fuleen, Ping's, and Oriental Garden to do a good job.

For Japanese, Soto (which is THE place to go uni-crazy as well) will always have something great, though the prices there can add up fast.

I'd also imagine that whatever Chef Ramirez is cooking up at Brooklyn Fare is pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Nov 10, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Italian Chelsea or below

And let's not forget the design-your-own Negroni program!

Nov 08, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Italian Chelsea or below

You know, I always forget about them. I was there once, just after that review - the GF was picking up something at Barney's and it was around dinnertime, so we decided to give it a whirl, having just read Wells' write-up. It wasn't bad - nothing memorable, but not bad. We didn't eat much, split the lasagna he'd mentioned, I think we had a duck dish, dessert. I seem to recall the antipasti (though we didn't have any) being very pricey - up in the 20s, like Felidia - while everything else was a bit more normal, and finding that odd that only one category seemed overpriced.

I would check, but their website has no menu. Which frankly would preclude me from recommending them even it had been really memorable food, because I think it's total bullshit for a restaurant website to have no menu.

Nov 07, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Italian Chelsea or below

Yeah, I don't recall the prices being quite that high last I went. Though I also can't recall if I was the one paying that time, either. Once you're in $20+ app / $40+ entree territory, you better be dishing out not just decent, but best-of-class grub.

Nov 07, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Looking for a trendy place for group of 8

Beauty & Essex. Doesn't get much more scene than that, and at least the food is better than at Buddakan or Tao.

Acme, VERY sceney on the weekends, plus there's the bar downstairs for post-meal scenery. Probably the best food of all the "scene" options. More NYC arts & fashion crowd than bridge & tunnel partiers (which is what you get at Buddakan, Tao, etc) - so depends what you're looking for.

Is Catch still a thing? Or has that closed along with the rest of the EMM-pire yet?

There's also sceney steakhouses - American Cut, good place to meet hedge fund managers.

Nov 07, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Italian Chelsea or below

That's a bummer - that pocket of town isn't really the best area for eats. As I said, the food at Felidia is... nice. Though their prices are kind of exorbitant, I think, for what you get - it's been a couple years since I've been, but looking at the current menu... $21 for a squash and broccoli rabe (appetizer) salad is ludicrous.

It HAS to be Italian? There's a couple other good options in that area if you can go for a different cuisine: Aquavit isn't far, and while the tasting menus would be out of reach (especially after drinks) the three course prix fixe for $85 is nearly the same as three courses at Felidia would be - but at least you'd be getting two-Michelin-star food. ($150 before tax & tip would be about $116, not much room for drinks - but hey, you could always put the food and wine on the card and tip in cash from your own pocket - what's the tip on $150, $30? You're still getting a heckuva meal for what little you drop.)

A little cheaper, but still nice - there's Tulsi, for upscale/creative Indian fare. And the Rosa Mexicano on 1st Ave (their original location) is actually still pretty good, very solid food and drinks. Also the Bar Room at The Modern would be in budget, and they're -maybe- a fifteen minute walk, if that. Don't know who the chef is at Monkey Bar these days, but they used to be pretty good, might still be.

Nov 07, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Italian Chelsea or below

Overall I like it better. There are some highlights at Marea, sure - the lobster antipasti, the octopus pasta, etc. I just always find the secondi a let-down. As I said in another thread, I find the secondi lacking at a number of Italian places - just at Marea I find the drop-off more extreme between courses than i do at Lincoln.

It's hard to say, though, as the menu at Lincoln changes every couple months while much of the menu at Marea stays the same - so obviously, it can vary. Sometimes I think Lincoln is better, other times maybe I'd say they're comparable/even - but given the price difference, Lincoln would win in that situation as well.

Lincoln also has a great lunch deal - $36 for two savory courses, and as I recall a minimal charge if you want to make it three. Not everything's available on the lunch menu, but there's a pretty good assortment.

Nov 07, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Is Del Posto worth the splurge?

Hmm. Every restaurant has off nights, too, and unfortunately if it happens to be your first time somewhere, in a city like NYC there's often very little impetus to try a place again, not with so many other new options.

My first experience with Lincoln was also a little iffy - this was back when they first opened, when they were very overpriced and hadn't yet found their footing. I didn't have anything BAD, but it was just kinda underwhelming, especially given the $$$ involved. It was some time before I went back - I happened to be meeting my mother in that area so I figured, what the heck, they seem to have a decent lunch deal. And it was practically night and day from first experience. (Actually, given that it was lunch, it was literally night and day...) So, second time around - really enjoyable. And it's one of the only Italian places in town really doing anything modernist, which I appreciate - it's no replacement for Falai's flagship on Clinton Street, but it'll do until Chef Falai (hopefully) launches a comeback...

Also, I had a better experience with the beef-two-ways than you did - I liked the hazelnuts, personally. And I had no serious gristle issues. Though if I'd had serious gristle I wouldn't have hesitated to send it back - a kitchen of that level is fine with that, they want to know if anything's off.

I do find occasionally the secondi a little bit of a dip from the antipasti and primi - but I find that to be the case at a lot of Italian places, though at Lincoln I don't find the secondi nearly as big a drop-off as at Marea.

Nov 07, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Italian Chelsea or below

I would say Felidia is a step down from your original reservation at Lincoln. Felidia is fine, nice classic ambiance, but kind of nothing to write home about. The food at Lincoln is far more exciting. Honestly better than Marea, for the price. And he makes a fantastic uni pasta if that's your thing - he does a spaghetti con vongole, only amps it up with urchin. Unless by Midtown you meant you have to stay in Midtown East. It's maybe a ten minute cab from the hotel, and a reasonable walk (maybe a half-hour, or twenty minutes if you walk like a New Yorker) if the weather's nice.

Also maybe look at Esca, their uni pasta is pretty great as well. About the same distance, but you could also take the E train which is right by the Kimberly.

Nov 07, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Is Del Posto worth the splurge?

Del Posto is very good, and if you can go for lunch it's an absolute steal - $49/3 courses, $59/4 courses (and with the amuses and fancy bread basket and whatnot it's more like 5 or 6 courses) - dinner is even fancier.

It's excellent food, executed perfectly, but not terribly -adventurous- if that's what you're looking for. For me, I find the food at Babbo overall more exciting. One thing I'll give Del Posto is I think the pastas are consistently better than Babbo. Also, nearly everyone agrees the bread at Babbo has always been criminally blah.

There are standout dishes at Babbo you hear people talk about again and again - the famous octopus appetizer comes up a lot, and deservedly. I'm also fond of the lamb's tongue (though you have to really like lamb, it's VERY lamby) and the testa is spectacular. Go with two or three apps, share one pasta as a mid-course, then two entrees and one or two desserts - you'll be very satisfied, and at a lower price point than DP. On the other hand, Babbo does have more low points than DP, too - it's all in what you order. There's nothing -bad-, but if I never have the calamari again, I'll be fine. A skirt steak I had there wasn't the most exciting thing. And Babbo's tasting menus are... meh. Better to order a la carte. DP doesn't always hit the same highs, but it might be more consistent across the courses.

That said, it also depends on the vibe you're looking for - DP is very "fine dining" in ambience, while Babbo is more hustle-bustle, especially downstairs. (If you go there, request an upstairs table when reserving - the music is a little quieter, the tables spaced further apart)

Babbo also has a pretty deep wine wine list, if you're into it - well they both do, but I've found the markups more reasonable at Babbo - i.e. for $50 at Babbo you can find wines that retail in the $20-$25 neighborhood, while at DP the same $50 might get you a bottle that's more in the $13-$16 range.

Though granted, Babbo is a tough reservation. It may all be moot.

My other recommendation would be Lincoln - Chef Benno can be a little more modernist, though there are excellent traditional options on the menu as well. It's kind of a mid-point, ambiance-wise, more fancy than Babbo but not as white-tablecloth fancy as DP. And the prices are very, very good - $60 and $75 prix fixes. If you're a seafood fan, I think Chef Benno does some of the best Italian seafood in town, especially with shellfish. (His lobster roe pasta with lobster sausage is sadly missed...)

Speaking of seafood, there are many who like Marea as well, and YMMV - I find they're great for antipasti and primi, but the secondi often feel like a step down. I also feel they're priced a little high, especially compared to Lincoln.

Nov 07, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
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