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Seeking Cantonese restaurant in NYC for banquet for 100

I'd definitely lean away from Manhattan if people will be driving. There'll be cheaper parking in Queens and Brooklyn.

For Brooklyn, Pacificana hasn't been bad lately - their dim sum game (which used to be among the best in Sunset Park) isn't as good as some of the other locals nowadays, but I've been a couple times for dinner in the last six months and it was pretty solid both times. They're not reinventing the wheel, stick to classics and you'd do fine.

Also very good in SP are Bamboo Garden, East Harbor
(probably the best place for a seafood-heavy meal) and New Spring Garden. For dinner, I think any of them would be good. They all have at least one red backdrop (with dragons, of course) you can use. It's pretty much de riguer if you want to do any wedding business around there.

1 day ago
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Convivium Osteria OR Locanda Vini e Olii??

Well, a day late, but I'd have voted for Convivium probably. Not that you'd have a bad meal at either.

1 day ago
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Blood sausage in NYC?

What JM said. I get mine (pig) in pints at Asia Market Corp on Mulberry usually, it's in the frozen case along the left wall about halfway back. And I've seen frozen duck blood at a couple of markets, though it's a little less common.

Some non-Chinese butchers will get it for you or special order it, if you want some free-range-heirloom-breed blood I suppose. I've never asked, but I'm sure Ottomanelli's (the Bleecker Street one) could get it for you, might even have it frozen in stock.

1 day ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Spring 2015: New in Chinatown

Just realized that I've seen King's Kitchen before - they opened in Sunset Park a couple years ago. I've walked by that one (on 8th and 51st or 52nd, IIRC) a number of times but haven't wandered in yet. Guess they're doing well if they're expanding to Manhattan. Will have to pop in to one of them.

May 21, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Anyone have a Picture of Hy Tulip Jewish Deli in Brooklyn 86th St?

Try to contact Ralph Scotto - former owner of Wolf's and Celebrity Deli until he went to jail in '07 for tax evasion. He's out of the slammer now, but he got his start at Hy Tulip way back in the day. I don't know what he's doing these days but he has a LinkedIn page:

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/ralph-sc...

May 19, 2015
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Spring 2015: New in Chinatown

Cutting Board actually opened in late 2012, not quite "new" anymore. Reviews have been fairly mixed - Rob & Rob at NY Mag were quite fond of it, as I recall. I've meant to check them out for curiosity's sake but keep forgetting to.

May 18, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Which Italian restaurants serve homemade tomato-flavored pasta?

I can't think of any restaurants off the top of my head, but they sell it retail at Piemonte Ravioli Company. Probably at a few other places too (check Eataly, Raffetto's, etc...)

May 18, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

fung tu or marc forgione? realize they're totally different(altho lower manhattan-ish), sort of like who's your favorite child, but really wanted to go to batard,couldn't get in, so i'm struggling between these 2 and oiji(but can't seem to get info on it)

I don't think either one would be right for a vegetarian. It'd be one of those cases where there might only be one option per course for him, although I think Fung Tu might have a couple more options than MF. I like both restaurants, but they're not right for veggies.

Dirt Candy was a good suggestion, if you can get a reservation (they also have no-rez bar seating if you want to wing it.)

Kajitsu, also recommended, is great. I'll throw out HanGawi as another good option, a vegetarian place that the rest of us enjoy just as much. Beautiful setting / ambiance there as well.

Italian places are always good too, as there'll usually be multiple pastas as options for mains that are veg.

May 18, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

another slew of dead restaurants

Well, NY Dolls had a certain old-school torn-upholstery skeevy charm. On the skeeve-meter it was no Cordato's, of course, but they were in a class of their own...

May 08, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Private Chef

How fancy do you want to go? Price range? Any particular cuisine style(s) you prefer?

I don't want to post people's contact information here, but you can email me direct at notmusic at gmail. I know a few personally at different price points, specialize in different things, though a lot might depend how soon it is / if they're booked (summer is a busy season for catering & private chefs)

May 05, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Is DBGB any good besides the sausage?

Funny thing, I think DBGB is good -except- for the sausages.

May 05, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

2 lunches and 2 dinners in Brooklyn...need to make it count!

Where are you coming from? Any cuisines you're not particularly interested in / have a lot of back home?

Sunset Park is an easy subway ride from Carroll, and out there you've got good Mexican and sometimes great South American fare, as well as a number of regional Chinese styles in addition to the big Cantonese / Dim Sum houses. (Many consider SP to be the best neighborhood for Dim Sum in NYC, above Flushing even)

I'd recommend:

El Tesoro Ecuatoriano (Ecuadorian) - More seafood-focused then the other Ecua places in the area. Great ceviches, and their salsa verde is so good it makes even the cheap-ass tilapia they put under it amazing.

La Cuarta (Peruvian) - best on the weekends, when they expand the menu to include a bunch of homestyle traditional dishes.

There's good Mexican out there as well, and while there are chicken and occasional seafood dishes, it's very pork and beef centric. I don't know any Mexican places out there where that one "must have" dish is a poultry or fish one. (Though the avocado margaritas at Maria's make anything you eat with them a must-have dish...)

For Chinese, the Cantonese places (Pacificana, Bamboo Garden, New Spring Garden) are probably your best best for seafood, and also the better dim sum options - BG and NSG especially for dim sum. For dinner, it's best to go to those places with a group of at least 4 people since most of it is served family-style.

A little further than SP is Bay Ridge, where you've got Tanoreen - what many consider among the best Middle Eastern places in the city.

+1 on Pok Pok, an easy walk from there. If you want to walk up to Park Slope there's interesting Indonesian at Java Indonesian Rijsttafel, more refined South American fare at Palo Santo, solid Northern Italian at Al Di La and great Southern Italian/Iberian at Convivium Osteria.

Apr 30, 2015
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Taking opinions - Saturday in May

+1 on that. Loooove Despana.

Apr 29, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

+1 to Sneakeater. It's also difficult for a restaurant that's not a set-menu prix fixe to take a credit card, as for a la carte there's no specific "amount" dinner would cost. At places like Per Se, EMP, etc, of course they're going to take a card. But for a Manzo or Lincoln it's not really feasible, it's an extra step the diner doesn't want to go through.

Apr 28, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Taking opinions - Saturday in May

Clinton St as a backup doesn't make too much sense since there can be ridiculous waits (like, 2+ hours) on the weekends. I like them fine but it's not worth a two-hour wait, IMHO.

Nordic Preserves, little shop in Essex Market - their selection of cured & smoked fishies is just as good as R&D's, I think, with many in a different style. You can get them as sandwiches or just buy some gravlax & herring by weight to nosh at the tables there.

Sons of Essex - no. Just, no.

Apr 28, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

Most restaurants do ask, as a courtesy, that you cancel within a certain time frame, generally 24 hours. OpenTable won't even let you make two reservations for the same night on one account.

Obviously last-minute things happen and sometimes people have to cancel last minute, but that doesn't mean one should go into it KNOWING that you'll be cancelling at least two of your reservations last-minute.

Apr 28, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

If one in four diners are drop-ins, that only means that three in four are in reserved seats. It's not to say one in four drop-ins become diners.

It's really kind of frowned on to drop a rez last-minute like that - if you were to get a table at Babbo or Maialino, you'd be cancelling on Manzo with only an hour or so's notice. And holding two rezzies at once (for Lincoln and Manzo) - well, three including the 11PM Babbo one - is really kind of loading your plate too much, especially for popular places like those. Others might be checking Opentable right now and the two you don't wind up going to can miss out on business.

Personally, I love the late tables at Babbo - best tables of the night, in my opinion. At that point there's no potential rush to flip you for the next rez, the staff relax as one by one tables empty, not to be repopulated... the somms have been sampling the wine all night and are feeling a bit loose... you start the meal with the bustling vibe and it slowly dissipates into something very relaxing.

Apr 28, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

I'm not a fan of pasta tasting menus, personally - winds up being too much of the same thing, carb overload. It's like, no one would want a sandwich tasting menu.

Apr 28, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

Other way around, not that it matters.

Apr 27, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

If you're okay with dining late, there -are- two-tops and four-tops available at Babbo both Friday and Saturday at 11:00. (and Thursday and Sunday a little earlier)

Apr 27, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

I'd never even heard of Aurora before you posted that.

There are the other Batali/Bastianich places - Esca, Manzo, Del Posto if you want to get super-fancy. I love Babbo myself, it's my favorite of the bunch, but it's not like you'll have a bad meal at the others.

Not sure about Scarpetta since Conant left, it was always very solid, although since it became a chain I'd been reticent to recommend it to travelers for some time - go somewhere only-in-NY.

Lincoln is nearly always a good call lately, though my last meal there was a little underwhelming that was out of the norm for the quality they've been hitting over the last couple years. Chalked it up to an off night.

I like Marea quite a lot, their secondis aside - going a la carte, doing crudi, antipasti and pastas - hard to go wrong.

What are the actual nights you're going to be here / open? Is it soon? Given that it's (at least in part) a weekend, much could be booked already.

Apr 26, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Soft shell crab season!

I've grilled them. Can't recall if I've seen them in a restaurant that way, but I imagine some place must.

I recall them being sauteed at The National, and probably a lot of other places I'm not remembering as well, but that's basically pan-frying if not deep-frying.

Apr 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Soft shell crab season!

Walking in to Babbo on a Friday night could prove difficult - on weeknights (depending on the time) it can be a little easier.

If you're not dining solo and you're okay with dining late, there are sometimes late two-tops available on the weekend - check opentable for 10:00 - 11:00, might be something there.

The last time I had SSC there (last summer) it was unfortunately a little over-fired, but that was a fluke. Or, it was a crab, but, y'know...

Apr 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Cherche Midi or Osteria Morini?

They're about even. I'd say CM has better cocktails and OM a more interesting wine list, FWIW.

Other places to consider: Marc Forgione, Costata, Minetta Tavern, Balthazar, Babbo, Marea, Carbone. In some cases the best steaks are "for two" though.

Apr 19, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Oh, Marcus, Why?

Nils Noren, but close enough. He's still at FCI (or it's called ICC now) and is in charge of the "high-tech" department of funky new culinary whiz-bang modernist stuff, as I recall. He also runs the great Cooking Issues blog with Dave Arnold.

Apr 17, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Dinner at Chaulk Point Kitchen tonight. Suggestions?

I've heard similar stories from a number of people. Shuffling people to the bar to get more $$ out of them, pretending they're busy when the dining room is clearly half empty, etc...

Apr 16, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Soft shell crab season!

On the prix fixe menu you get your choice of crudo or antipasti for the first course. But it would be listed under antipasti (apps) - "crudo" is just raw dishes.

Not that it much matters, I suppose, unless you have some rare condition that allows you to only read the first half of menus.

Apr 16, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Oh, Marcus, Why?

True that.

I mean, credit where it's due - he was one of the more creative, forward-thinking chefs back in the pre-Wylie days. But there was definitely a point at which he just kind of lost his mojo. The last couple years he was at Aquavit the menu barely changed a blip, was just kind of a greatest hits collection, and prepared without much flair - I remember my last visit under his regime was, one dish aside, one of the most disappointing meals I can recall. Everyone from FOH to the kitchen seemed to be on auto-pilot. And he was in the house that night. He'd probably checked out, mentally, already - his interests were going in directions that just didn't fit with Aquavit, which is fine. It's just that nothing he's done since has been terribly exciting.

Apr 16, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Oh, Marcus, Why?

Samuelsson has disappointed me for well over a decade. He started strong at Aquavit but his last years there he was coasting and uninspired. Red Rooster was disappointing both times I tried it. American Table is as generic a sandwich soup n' salad joint as you'll find. Both Riingo and Merkato 55 were failures. Not sure why anyone would get excited about anything he does at this point.

He might be a good TV personality but as a chef/restaurateur he's been a snooze for years.

Apr 15, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Bite Of Hong Kong Opens On Chrystie in Chinatown

Quick research shows it's owned by Tan Hung Lee, who also owns 83 Chrystie and that Karaoke parlor around the corner on Bowery. Will walk by on my way home, though, see if there's a menu out.

Apr 09, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan