sgordon's Profile

Title Last Reply

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

- although that said, you don't really see them under either name much in NYC for some reason. That's what the LIRR is for, I guess...

about 23 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Growing up in CT all along the coast "fritter" & "cake" were interchangeable, just regional preference for one name or the other. In fact, in all the Northeastern fried seafood I've eaten, from Bar Harbor to Asbury Park, I've never seen the two names mean anything different from each other. Even at Aunt Carrie's in RI (supposedly the originators) the "Clam Cakes" on the menu are described as "clam fritters"

about 23 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

I -believe- Gulluoglu (sp?) Cafe on 2nd and 52nd has sugar-free baklava and other pastries, though they might be special-order items. There's also a location in Astoria.

about 24 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Hmm. Somehow I'd never seen either of those. Probably because they're not in Chinatown I never took notice. North of Delancey is the last area I'd expect to find it on the island.

2 days ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Last time I had it at Red Chopstick in Flushing it reeked like a barefoot homeless person on a subway car in August. Maybe that was just a particularly stinky batch, as I'd had it before and it wasn't so extreme. That night it was too stinky for me, actually, and I'm all about anything funky and fermented.

I've heard tell that some of the places out there have multiple batches - one for the Chinese customers and one for the gweilo.

Linda's Mini Kitchen - a cart in Sunset Park, on 8th in the 50s - I found more pleasantly funky, although the aroma gets pretty strong as she cooks it. Strong enough that the business she was parked in front of asked her to move down the block aways.

Jul 27, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

What are those handful in Manhattan? I've never seen ST in Manhattan Chinatown, not even in the non-tourist Two Bridges section. Only ever in Queens (Elmhurst, Flushing) and Sunset Park. I'm honestly curious if there is a place or two in Manhattan that makes it, I'd like to know.

Jul 27, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Heck, $24 for just an entree, let alone a whole meal, isn't "high end" anymore.

Jul 27, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Which would you choose to host a group dinner?

It's a straw... that looks like a penis. Pretty straightforward. Popular at bachelorette parties, for drinking "penis coladas" and such.

I wish I didn't know that, but live on the LES long enough and you're bound to run into a few on a Saturday night.

Jul 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Which would you choose to host a group dinner?

Of the "clubsteraunts" mentioned I'd certainly say B&E has the best food, certainly ahead of Tao and Buddakhan, although it's far from great. Tao & Budda are also - while still drawing crowds - getting kind of dated. Stanton Social might be a good call, a little more relaxed than B&E (same owner/chef) but it's not really a "designy" place.

Acme still draws a sceney crowd, especially on the weekends, and the food is light years ahead of the other clubby places. It's a place that really works on both levels, so it could be a good call for something that pleases all types. The room itself is not much to look at, but the people are. It's a more "mature" clubby place - I don't mean old by that, just more of a glitterati crowd than a Jersey bachelorette party one. Penis-straw free environment.

Also in that neighborhood, Gato might not be a bad choice. It's got the celebrity-chef connection for the out-of-towners, and even many in-town foodinistas were pleasantly surprised, food-wise. It's also a good room - not ostentatious, but nice, and a decent amount of space between tables so you don't feel you're packed on top of the group next to you. It's not as bustling as Acme, though.

Agree generally with what's been said about S&P - I vastly prefer Public.

I really like ABC Kitchen, but I like ABC Cocina even more.

For something more of-the-moment cool, Mission Chinese could be a lot of fun. There's a great private room downstairs if you want that (though a private room would probably increase the price dramatically, you can ask...) - it's really annoying there are no menus on the website, but they have package deals for larger parties at a couple different price points.

Jul 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Stinky tofu is -not- easy to find in Manhattan. And if you have a secret source, give it up.

Jul 23, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Did not know Falanghina had closed... But it's been awhile since I've been, didn't really keep up on them, not sure how I remembered. Fitz is a newer place, very solid neighborhood joint - a little out of the way from the main part of Williamsburg, but worth checking out for dinner if you're in the area.

Almost forgot - haven't tried them - but if you're ever in Park Slope, L'Albero Dei Gelati has them as well. I noticed once they offered it as a gluten-free option to the bread they usually serve with some dishes.

As I think more, it goes by different names from different regions. Down the road in Tuscany it would be "cecina" - although searching that on menupages will get a million hits for Mexican cecina, which is a totally different thing. I feel like there used to be one on the menu at Babbo by that name, but I'm not seeing it now.

Across the border in France it'd be called "socca" as I recall. Search any of those, it's all the same thing aside from the toppings.

There's probably something similar everywhere there's chickpeas. There's something at that new Uruguayan place on the LES (Charrua) that looked similar - and there's a fairly large Italian expat community in many parts of South America (they do a lot of pastas there) so it might even be a direct descendant of the farinata. whatever it is. Maybe I'll try one tonight...

Jul 23, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Using duck eggs, I assume?

You'd think David Chang would have fit that into the duck-lunch-brunch menu at Ssam by now.

Jul 23, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Not sure how your Veal Valdostano search went, but spell it Valdostana and you get a lot more hits -

http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/...

Jul 23, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Name a dish that you cannot find anywhere in town that you have to make yourself???

Falanghina on St. Mark's Place has them.

Fitzcarraldo in Brooklyn has them too. (Better ones, IMHO)

Jul 23, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Business lunch to impress near Doubletree 569 Lex

I'd probably lean towards The Modern - nicer room than Aquavit. And as I said, the lunch menu at Aquavit isn't really as exciting as dinner. It's good, but a bit more straightforward.

Jul 22, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Business lunch to impress near Doubletree 569 Lex

+1 for Aquavit, although I find the sparks really fly at dinner versus lunch. The Modern could also be a great call.

Betony and Marea are good, but not really within a "few" blocks.

What's the client like? would be good to have more info. How old are they? Are they steak n' potatoes types, or into fancy creative food? For some clients, Smith & Wollensky (steakhouse) might be the best call in that area.

Jul 21, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Braised Short Ribs Year-round?

All'onda's dry-aged short ribs for two.

Mighty Quinn's "Brontosaurus Rib" isn't braised, but it's damn fine.

Jul 17, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Aquavit vastly exceeded expectations!

He officially left Aquavit about a month or two before the second star came in. From what I gather they'd already been in transition (he didn't leave abruptly) for a couple months - so, maybe half the year in question was under Jernmark, a couple months with both, a couple with just Bengtsson. Hard to say at what point they decided to make the upgrade, but it was clear they were gunning for it for some time. There's no question he helped them earn it - even if just by training Bengtsson.

Notably he's had a couple Michelin-starred chefs come from his tutelage - Elise Kornack at Take Root used to be his sous, and Frederick Berselius of the now-closed but Mich-starred Aska worked under him as well. His NY legacy might be the extended chef-family-tree that comes from his stint at Aquavit.

Jul 16, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

KENERET!!!

That's going waaaaaay back...

It was owned by two brothers, Armenian Jews who grew up in Libya in the 30s/40s, passed through Israel and eventually came to NYC in the 60s. They closed in the mid-80s during the massive downturn in downtown restaurant business that accompanied the early AIDS crisis, when people were paranoid you could catch AIDS from toilet seats, or if a gay person even looked at your food. A number of places went under in those years, especially in Chelsea, the West Village, etc. People were scared to eat out, especially in what were know as "gay" neighborhoods.

Vogue published a couple of their recipes in the 60s, if you want to try recreating them:

http://www.vogue.com/3300085/haute-cu...

One of the owners moved to Florida and opened a bagel shop, he passed away in the 1990s. The other brother I don't know. He'd be 90+ now, if he's still alive.

There's still great Middle Eastern to be found in the city, though. Next tme you're driving in take the Verrazano and hit Tanoreen in Bay Ridge. Fantastic.

Jul 06, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
2

Thomas Keller Agrees to Pay $500,000 to Settle Per Se Tipping Allegations

Sometimes you agree to a settlement because it's better for the bottom line - it's worth it to put a stop to the bad press and continued lawyer's fees. It's essentially paying off a bribe, in some cases - a "settle or we'll bring the big inflatable rat" kind of thing. Just google "Maimon Kirschenbaum" - a quite infamous lawyer who's made himself very rich doing this.

In this particular case - if you actually read the article - it's quite clear there wasn't any tip-stealing going on.

Batali & Bastianich, frankly, got a bad rap on the Babbo case. Though again, no one actually accused them of "stealing" tips - but that became the story that went around by people who never actually read the documents. I don't know all the details of the Del Posto case so I'll withhold judgement on that for now.

Jul 06, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

In need of a new Indian take out place

+1 for Malai Marke. I think their Saag is the best in town, personally.

You can add any of the other Hemant Mathur owned restaurants as well - in addition to MM there's Chola, Kokum, Dhaba, Chote Nawab, and Haldi. Each place has a different regional specialty, all worth checking out, some one might dig more than others. MM is probably my favorite of them, though, with Haldi second. That said, some of them I've only been to once since Mathur took over, but all meals were solid.

They all deliver via Seamless/Grubhub and if you're out of range they deliver through Caviar.

Jul 06, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Won't be returning to Per Se

Get in line, buddy.

Jun 26, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Won't be returning to Per Se

I think by "penalize" kosmose just means that (unless he's in a bar seat) he's a solo diner at a table that could have been a deuce, thus the staff would be getting only half the tip they would have. I can actually see the logic in tipping generously if you can (and clearly kosmose can) - even 40 (double the standard tip) or 50 percent for exceptional service. 100% is a bit of a stretch, though I'm sure it's appreciated by his regulars. It's quite refreshing to see someone who can afford it spreading the wealth a bit, but not in an overly ostentatious "$1000 tip on a $20 dinner" way.

So, kudos to you, kosmose. I'd like to think were I as financially fortunate I'd do the same.

Won't be returning to Per Se

Egads. If after 20 visits they can't remember your likes/dislikes (do they, like, not have computers to put customer notes in?) I wouldn't be tipping extra on top of an included tip anymore, for sure.

Curious, if you tip an extra 30% on top of their existing service charge, do you tip 50% at other restaurants? And if not, why give such a generous extra tip to staff who are mechanical and impersonal?

How do you tip at omakase meal?

Unless the menu says "gratuity included" (and I don't believe theirs does) - standard, 20%.

Jun 25, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Restaurant familiar to Bond St

I love Blue Ribbon Izakaya, but I'm not sure I'd call the dining room "elegant" - nice, yes, but elegant I'm not sure.

Nobu has a crispy rice dish if you want to spend $$$. Was pretty good as i recall, but it's been years since I've been. It's also a blast from the past, but probably a darn sight better than Bond St.

Other modern Japanese choices up at the elegant (high-end) end - Brushstroke, Morimoto. 15 East is great but a little more traditional. There's also O Ya, which just opened.

If you're into modern Korean, Jungsik could be a good option.

Jun 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Soft shell crab season!

Had raw(!)-ish soft-shells this weekend in Jackson Heights at Cevicheria El Rey. Sweet and delicious. The shells, though soft, are still a little too hard to eat when uncooked, so you just chomp down and suck the meat out.

Jun 22, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

ISO Suntory Kakubin

It isn't exported to the US. You'd have to order it from overseas. Since it's their cheaper line, not sure it would really be worth it with the shipping charges.

Jun 18, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Cheap Lobster

On Allen Street? They closed in 2012. There's seven stories of halfway-completed luxury condos there now.

Jun 17, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Cheap Lobster

Lobster Place is going to be one of your more expensive options, but their quality is always good. Best prices will be in Chinatown (the ones in tanks, not on ice) as long as you're comfortable knowing how to pick out the good ones. Aquabest always has good quality though they're a little pricier than the CTown average. Northeast Lobster on Madison is a little out of the way but pretty solid and a little cheaper usually.

Jun 16, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan