sgordon's Profile

Title Last Reply

Falai

Check out Ciccio if you've never been - like I said, it's very much in the Caffe Falai vein, reasonable prices, straightforward and fresh. You'll recognize some of the FOH crew.

about 11 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Michelin New York 2015 results

I know! A more apt restaurant name there never was, in retrospect.

about 11 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Michelin New York 2015 results

Has to be a bit bittersweet for Chef Jernmark, though - knowing those two Aquavit stars are for HIS work and now he's not there anymore...

about 11 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Falai

One of the saddest closings ever to me, personally. It started good, and developed into one of the best Italian restaurants in the city. We got to know each other a little bit after they closed.

Iacopo is mostly in Florence now. He still owns the little coffee shop (Bottega Falai) I believe, though he might have sold his share to his former business partner, not sure. He had an industrial bakery in Queens, and was doing breads and pastries for other businesses - at one point he redid the recipe and was supplying the apple strudel to Peter Luger's. He was going to supply the bread for Wylie Dufresne's father's sandwich shop, but that never opened, which was a bummer - they did a little popup at the San Gennaro fest one year and they were some damn fine sandwiches. He filled in at Le Cirque for a short time to lend them a hand when they were between chefs, but he didn't want to take it over permanently. He's been teaching seminars here and there, including at a school in Columbia.

Some of his former employees - a chef from Caffe Falai and a couple of his FOH crew - opened Bar Ciccio, which is a cute little place very much in the Caffe Falai vein. And Frederick Berselius (Aska) was a Falai graduate.

about 12 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

New York Michelin

I think maybe it's a trick. Keep the bread bland so diners don't fill up on it, then they order more food.

Lincoln has slowly, methodically, become one the best Italian restos in the city for my tastes. I was less than enthused about them when they first opened - the food was good but bah gawd they were overpriced (recall the infamous $22 single scallop dish...) - now the food is even better and the prices more than reasonable. $75 for a four-course prix fixe on that level makes it, I think, one of the better deals in town at the high end. (And the $36 lunch deal ain't bad at all...)

I'd say go try the lobster coral pasta with seafood sausage but sadly it's gone from the menu now... boo-hoo... hoping it returns next summer in one form or another...

about 13 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan
1

New York Michelin

My one main complaint about Babbo has always been the bread. It's kind of lifeless (but Italian breads often are compared to French - one area I give the French the edge)

I'm not bananas about the pastas in general, either, though there are a couple I like when I'm in the mood. Overall, I like the pastas better at Lincoln. At Babbo we might split one order as a mid-course between antipasti and secondi, just for a little taste. Depends what secondi(s) we're getting.

about 15 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Spontaneity

I've found that it's fairly easy to eat well without a wait just by checking Opentable before going out. Usually there's -something- available near whatever else we're doing. Especially if you're cool with a later (10:00 or after) table, which is fine timing for a post-movie meal generally.

For example, were I hitting a movie this Friday night on the UWS I'm seeing a number of tables between 9:00 and 10:00 available at Dovetail, Telepan, Lincoln, Bar Boulud, The Leopard, and a number of others...

1 day ago
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Please Critique My (Heavily Researched) Food Crawl Itinerary

One of my favorite lunches (though not one I do regularly, since it's spectacularly unhealthy) is just grabbing a burrata from DiPalo's and a hunk of bread and taking it down to Columbus Park. Just sit there eating the burrata and dipping the bread in the cream amid the chaos of gambling games and pet birds and old folk musicians.

I love the Morcilla at Despaña - the best in town, I think. I usually get it packaged and cook it at home but they make a couple little tapas there with it to eat in-house as well. At the tapas cafe I've also dug the chorizo & chestnuts. Not crazy about their Bocadillos, though - I've found the bread:filling ratio skews a little too heavy in the bread direction.

Also a great places to get top-quality canned seafood for late-night snackin' back at the hotel / home. The Cabo de Peñas brand is excellent (love their razor clams especially) and Don Bocarte is really good too. Got some really excellent stuffed squid there as well, though can't remember the brand.

1 day ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Italian Reccomendation for parents

Babbo is no more expensive than Maialino - in fact, I'd say it's a little cheaper. By NYC standards they're both squarely mid-range restaurants.

It can be a little loud, though, if you're not upstairs, and depending who's running the iPod the music could be off-putting to the folks. You might get an innocuous REM mix one night that pleasantly hangs in the background, but the next night it might be Zeppelin or something. Fine by me either way, but the latter might be too aggressive for parents, depending their age.

Lupa can feel a little tight up front but if one requests the back room (and it's not already booked) it's a bit more serene back there.

For slightly higher-end, more comfortable but still casual, Lincoln has been great. You have your option of $60 or $75 prix fixes - and if you're doing a late lunch, theirs is a steal at $36, though it's only served until 2:00 PM so that might not be late enough.

Sep 24, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

NYC 3 dinners

ABC is in a higher league than the other two - definitely, of the three, the number one choice for food. Like Spirit, I prefer the menu at ABC Cocina vs Kitchen, but both are very good.

B&E has better food than most "clubstaurants" but it's definitely more about the scene. Their sister restaurant, The Stanton Social, is pretty solid - overall I like the food more at SS than at B&E, and since B&E opened the scene at SS is a little more relaxed than it used to be.

Catch isn't even worth discussing.

Sep 23, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Lin's Gardens

I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that since the OP titled the thread "Lin's Gardens" it was probably Lin's Garden.

Sep 19, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Sunday Night Suppers Prix Fixe

+1 for Public. Also, Lincoln.

Sep 19, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Wanted - Sushi Nakazawa bar seating reservation

I have a rez I'm not sure I'll be keeping on October 7. Contact me via my facebook page.

Sep 14, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Best Lobster Linguine in NYC

Sadly, the lobster coral pasta is no longer on the Lincoln menu. The new Ravioli Nero that replaced it has the same lobster-scallop sausage, though.

Sep 14, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Feed me! Where to eat?

I like Rayuela as well, though it can get a little "clubstaurant-ish" on the weekends.

If it's just renovations, no big deal. Although we've all been around long enough to know that "renovations" is sometimes code for "closing" I suppose. One of their West Village places, Melibea, I believe has closed.

Sep 12, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Vegetarian / vegan recs? (downtown)

A little further North there's HanGawi, and their cheaper sister restaurant / noodle joint Franchia. Both vegan.

Souen (various locations) has lots of vegetarian / vegan options on their menu. Simple, straightforward, but tasty.

Angelica Kitchen is a nice enough place for lunch. Nothing fancy.

Most if not all Italian places should be able to accomodate. Bar Primi is decent, reasonably priced - six of the twelve pastas on the menu are vegetarian, and over half the starters.

Any Indian place would be fine - lately I've liked Malai Marke the best of the EV options. Banjara used to be one of the better ones too, though it's been awhile since I've been there.

Mehtaphor in Tribeca has a full vegetarian menu in addition to their regular one. Creative, fun stuff.

Any of the EV Ethiopian places - Awash, Meskel, or Haile - will have a number of veggie dishes.

Any Mediterranean / Middle Eastern place would be fine, just get a bunch of vegetarian meze. Balade is really good, they're in our regular delivery rotation. Of course Taim for falafel is great, and Hoomoos Asli I like quite a bit for more basic stuff, and you can actually sit there. Really enjoyed Little Rascal on Elizabeth the couple times we were there, though while all of the meze are vegetarian, they don't have any vegetarain entrees.

Sep 10, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Feed me! Where to eat?

..but the menu at Denny's did?

Sep 10, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
1

2 Burn-Your-Face-Off Spicy Dinners?

My standards?

You're mistaking be for someone with standards, I think.

Sep 07, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

2 Burn-Your-Face-Off Spicy Dinners?

Well, anyone with a lick of sense knows Connecticut-style lobster rolls are superior, anyway. Haha.

Sep 06, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

2 Burn-Your-Face-Off Spicy Dinners?

Hey, I won't stop you.

Sep 06, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

2 Burn-Your-Face-Off Spicy Dinners?

I think it means that to some people, nothing served outside its homeland is "authentic" enough for them, even if it contains the exact same ingredients and is prepared by someone from that land exactly as they would back home, or because it doesn't taste EXACTLY like the version of that dish they tasted that time they visited that country.

See also: Pho, Banh Mi, Cubanos, Ramen, Carbonara, Lobster Rolls, Rendang, Laksa, etc, etc, etc...

Sep 05, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

2 Burn-Your-Face-Off Spicy Dinners?

I actually prefer their jalapeno margarita, flavor-wise. The habanero adds heats, but not much in the way of flavor.

There are lots of good margaritas in town, both classic and non. But Barrio Chino's are among the better ones.

Sep 05, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

new york city [near Lincoln Center, walker friendly]

As if it needs to be reiterated at this point... +1 for Lincoln. Great food, beautiful room / service.

Sep 05, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

2 Burn-Your-Face-Off Spicy Dinners?

There are a lot of myths about how spicy much Asian food should be. The whole "Native Thai" and "Thai Spicy" thing started as a way to cater to Farang fratboys playing one-upmanship, much like the Phaal Curry at Brick Lane. (Though I do like many other dishes at Brick Lane - the Phaal, as many have said, is a joke. Even the original chef admits it was a gimmick, if I recall correctly.)

Thais tend to get dishes (or those dishes which have chilies) at a pleasant burn, and then use condiments like dried chili powder or chili vinegars to boost it up to their own taste if they want a little more.

However, if the OP's guests want extreme, Zabb Elee would be my first choice. I would build up to it, though - get the first couple dishes medium-spicy, then finish with something more extreme. That way you don't blow out your palates with the first dish. Keep in mind that Zabb can be inconsistent. I've had Level 3 (out of 5) that was face-melting on one night, but perfectly pleasant on another. And if they're -really- adventurous eaters, there's the pork blood soup.

Sep 05, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

2 Burn-Your-Face-Off Spicy Dinners?

I think for the most part "spicy" Mexican food isn't as spicy as some Asian food. It's kind of mid-range spicy at most. But the Tortas Neza truck in Queens has a great house-made chili sauce.

Also on the Mexican tip, maybe - Grapefruit Habanero Margaritas at Barrio Chino.

Sep 05, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Rosette closing

...and rather abruptly. Bummer, they were on the verge of some pretty exciting changes with Chef Carl taking over. Hopefully he finds a new place quick.

http://m.ny.eater.com/archives/2014/0...

Sep 04, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Looking for a place for anniversary

+1 for Lincoln, even though it's Midtown. The prix fixes ($60/$75) are a very good deal for the quality. And it's a lovely room at night.

Further downtown:
Del Posto - it's a longer meal (five courses, but you select them so it's not a strict tasting menu) and might -just- skirt the edge of your budget depending what wine you get.

Blue Hill or Gramercy Tavern - solid New American, nothing too experimental. Two classics. I prefer Gramercy of the two - the service is extraordinary, and the tables are mostly set a good distance apart from each other.

Bouley, perhaps, though their prix fixe (it's not really a tasting menu because you get to select your courses, even if they call it a "tasting") is a little high for your budget at $175. They do offer a la carte, but their ALC prices strike me as a bit high.

Brushstroke's Kaiseki menu might be closer to your budget at $135. While the appetizers are set in the style of a tasting menu, the entree dishes (one fish, one meat, one rice) you select yourself. There are also a la carte options.

If you're willing to go so far downtown you're in Brooklyn, The River Cafe is arguably the most romantic room in NYC, especially if you request a window-side table.

Sep 04, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Aux Epices, New Malaysian in C'town: anyone try it yet?

Here's all you need to know:

You liked something or you didn't.

After that, authenticity is irrelevant.

Sep 02, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan
1

New York Michelin

They give separate ratings for service, etc. The star ratings are (theoretically) strictly for food alone.

Sep 02, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan

Cheap Lobster

It's simply been a bumper year for lobster is all. Last few years have been very good, in fact. Nothing to do with sizing (they're priced per lb, after all, not per lobster)

Softer shells actually have a higher meat to shell ratio - obviously, a thinner shell weighs less than a thicker one, thus it's a lower percentage of the overall weight. If I recall right, about 1/3rd of a soft lobster's live weight is usable meat versus 1/4 of a hard shell's. Varies lobster to lobster, of course, it's not exact.

Puts it into perspective, though: even if it's a "cheap" $6/lb, that's actually about $18-$24/lb for what you can actually eat from it.

Some chefs say the hard-shells taste sweeter, but I dunno. Since they're around at different times of year there's no way to actually taste them side by side.

Aug 30, 2014
sgordon in Manhattan