sgordon's Profile

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Updated Itinerary Due to Chowhound Input

I've learned not to get too worked up in advance over a meal / the planning - if it goes downhill, I'm left lamenting I should have gone with whatever my other choice was instead...

Mar 26, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Best Monday Night Omakase

Yeah, just realized that - Sono needs a night off, I guess.

I'm not enough of a straight-sushi guy to ever do the $400 omakase stuff. Would be wasted on me. I vastly prefer a kaiseki with a couple exquisite sushi / sashimi courses along the way.

Everyone's been going bananas over Shuko, though - should be a good meal, for sure. Though after taqx, tip, and sake it might be creeping close to the $400 number...

I got no issue with fusions. Heck, 90% of the world's cuisines are inherently fusions to begin with...

Mar 26, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

good bluefish in nyc

Palo Santo in Park Slope has it - simple, pan roasted with a salsa verde. Also in the Slope I've seen it on the menu at Applewood, not on the current menu but might be when you're here.

Ed's Lobster Bar has it, though I've never ordered it - it has some faux-truffle something-or-other on it, can't stand the taste of that stuff. But I like Ed's okay overall.

El Quijote offered (offers?) it simply broiled, but who knows with the management changeover what the menu will look like. Not sure if they're temporarily closed / still open serving the old menu / when the new version is opening - anyone hear?

You'll find smoked bluefish here and there as pates and whatnot - a favorite is Momofuku Ssam Bar's broccoli salad with smoked bluefish vinaigrette, though it's only available weekday lunch.

All that aside, I find it hard to believe you can't find good fish in the Bay Area aside from sushi! Even putting aside the uber-$$$ places like TFL, Manresa, etc... maybe Piperade or Prospect or a place in that price range?

But that conversation's for the SF board, the NYC Chowhound Cops can be trigger-happy with the deletions if you stray from topic too much. (Probably get deleted just for mentioning a couple Brooklyn restaurants...)

Mar 26, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Best Monday Night Omakase

If doing Kaiseki, I suspect you've read the love on the board for Kyo Ya. It has to be booked in advance, though - best if it's a few days, at least. You can also put together an amazing a la carte meal at the bar for around the same price, and go heavy on the sushi / sashimi if you like. Lately people have said good things about Hirohisa and Rosanjin as well. Rosanjin also does an omakase, as I recall. And I'm sure Sono at Kyo Ya would, though it's not mentioned on the menu - never asked, his kitchen dishes are too good to skip.

And Shuko, which has been getting excellent reviews, has omakase / kaiseki options (though everyone who's been seems to say go for the kaiseki, since it comes with a lot of sushi/sashimi anyway)

Mar 26, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Updated Itinerary Due to Chowhound Input

Never had the quail. They're in our regular delivery rotation - pretty much always get the kebbe kras, their hummus (we always get the "Hummus Beiruté") and the Mouhmara is great. Good shankleesh and labneh, and the falafels are decent, if not, like, Taim-level. We might round it out with a Shawarma or Kebab or whatever the daily special is.

I like their tabouleh but sometimes it's a little overdressed and I'll actually throw it in a colander before dumping it back in the container.

Their thin-style pitas I'm not crazy about, but that's just a regional style I guess.

Mar 26, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Viable Italian Options LES/EV/WV for this Saturday

Seems the OP is looking for Italian-American (red sauce, parm) not so much Italian-Italian, which some of the suggestions seem to be leaning towards.

I see tables at:
Carbone
Both Gallis (Soho & LES)
Gelso & Grand (new place, haven't been yet)
La Mela (classic family-style Little Italy joint - pay a set price for AYCE)
The various Franks (Frank's, Li'l Frankie's, Sauce, Supper)

There's also Parm - no reservations, though, bound to be busy on a Saturday night.

Mar 25, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Consistently good food in Chinatown?

I like Ping's a lot, too, but it's definitely one of the "know what to order" places for me. Some of his fusiony flights of fancy fall flat, while others are fantastic. The more traditional dishes, though, they do pretty solid renditions.

For Cantonese, I've found Fuleen to be pretty consistently the best in Manhattan over the last few years. They're not trying to reinvent the wheel, but what they do they do very well.

There are also any number of smaller places with streamlined menus - Xi'an, Vanessa's, etc.

Mar 25, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Pat La Frieda vs NYC steak houses

Costata delivers via Caviar. Maybe the OP could just add the delivery instruction "don't cook" to the order.

Mar 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Bar Dining at Carbone

A bigger question might be, can a solo eat at Carbone?

Again, physically possible, but given the generous portion sizes you might tap out after one dish. I find it's a great place for group dining, but I'm not sure it's the best place for a solo. And I'm not a dainty eater by any stretch.

Mar 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Updated Itinerary Due to Chowhound Input

For Middle Eastern I've been partial to Balade lately - their kibbeh is the best in town I think. Ilili ain't bad either.

There's also Bar Bolonat and Balaboosta - different style, more modern.

I don't think I've ever heard anyone ask specifically about stuffed artichokes before... Only one I can think of is Artichoke Basille's, which is decent, but I'm no aficionado.

Friday night cocktails - really depends where you're going to dinner. One of the busiest nights of the week for cocktail bars, so a place that takes reservations might be your best bet - PDT, Pegu Club maybe. (Pegu is actually much closer to Babbo that either D&C or PR, might be a better call for Thursday...)

Mar 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Soto, Sushi Nakazawa

It sounds as though you prefer meals which include both composed dishes and sushi / sashimi - I'm in that camp as well. High on your list I'd suggest putting not omakase places but kaiseki - In addition to the aforementioned Shuko, Kyo Ya is one of my favorites, and there's been some love on the board for Hirohisa as well, though I haven't been myself yet. Rosanjin people have said has been very good of late as well.

There's also Brushtroke, of course, Ichimura at Brushstroke for straight-up sushi/sashimi omakase, and 15 East.

Mar 23, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Need someplace good UES restaurant from friends expecting something good!

Does that price include drinks? Two glasses of wine can easily be $20-$25 of that, putting the food price into a whole different category.

Also, when is this for? How many people total? If it's for tonight, getting a table for 5 or 6 last minute can severely limit the options.

Mar 21, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Park Slopers -- what are your go-to spots for take-out?

There's -okay- Indian but I tend not to do it in the Slope, since half the week I'm on the LES and if I get the craving I've got Malai Marke for delivery there, which is top-notch.

But for when I'm Slope-side, and don't feel like cooking:

Ghenet
Coco Roco
Colombia
El Viejo Yayo (agreed, the one on 9th is superior)
Java Indonesian
Los Pollitos II
Peperoncino
Pork Slope (if I'm drunk and it's late)
Taco Santo

I'll also wander further South on occasion to:
Castillo
Mi Castillo
El Continental
El Tesoro Ecuatoriano
Tacos El Bronco
Don Pepe's
Bamboo Garden
New Spring Garden
East Harbor
Puebla de Los Angeles
Usuluteco

Mar 21, 2015
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Pat La Frieda vs NYC steak houses

Almost forgot - Cafe Cluny has an 80-day:

http://www.cafecluny.com/menu/

- they tend to fly under the radar.

Mar 21, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Pat La Frieda vs NYC steak houses

There are a couple companies that make home versions (Imperial, Bluestar) - but a $1500+ unitasker is kind of hard to justify for most people for a home kitchen. Plus the cost of installing a second hood, more than likely.

Mar 20, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Butcher with extra-old dry-aged steaks in the city?

See, smell...

But see for sure. I'm spending $45/lb on something, you're damn right I wanna see how much of what I'm paying for is fat, bone, etc first.

Mar 19, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Good place for after-dinner drinks for a group of 8

+1 for Brandy Library, but definitely have a reservation for a group that size. It's a little bit of a hike if you're walking, though.

A little closer to Hudson Clearwater:

Employees Only
Little Branch
Pegu Club

Further South, in the same hood as Brandy Library, you've got Ward III and B Flat too.

Mar 19, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Anchovies -- place w/ best prices for jars of them?

Many Chinatown groceries carry them.

Mar 18, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Btw Asia Society and The Surrey Hotel

How quick is quick? Half hour, hour? For a full meal or just a little bite/snack?

Mar 17, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

ISO Mee Grob or Mee Krob, the crispy Thai noodle appetizer

Mar 17, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Relaxed dinner with "native" New Yorkers

Those are good choices - not sure about the P&A liquor license, as noted above.

You might also look at:

Public
Momofuku Ssam Bar (great cocktails, and even more cocktails next door at Booker & Dax if you have to wait on a table)

If they want to go uptown, Lincoln has a fun design-your-own Negroni program where they have multiple options for each of the three components of the drink.

Mar 16, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

One free night in Manhattan

Ma Peche or Momofuku Ssam Bar might be good food-wise, but the vibe might be a bit -too- casual for you.

Aquavit has a three-course prix-fixe for $85. Creative food, comfortable upscale vibe, and conveniently located for you. Smaller dining room, attentive staff.

Lincoln is another good option in Midtown - two different prix fixe options ($62 and $76 currently) for three or four courses - while not exactly family-run, very comfy place with a nice ambiance. Creative, modern Italian.

Batard also offers multiple prix fixe options - $55/$65/$75 - upscale but casual scene, well-regarded here.

Either of the Il Bucos could work - either the flagship or Il Buco Alimentari, though the flagship might have more the vibe you're thinking of.

Babbo - if you can get a rez - is always high on my list for Italian. A bit more bustling than the above, still feels like a neighborhood joint, even as the food bats higher.

For Japanese, I've been very high on Kyo Ya lately - it's like a little hideaway, food is excellent, creative, more on the subtle side than the hit-you-over-the-head-with-flavor side. They specialize in kaiseki tasting menus but you could easily dine a la carte on your budget and have a wonderful meal.

Mar 16, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Excellent lunch today at Haldi in Curry Hill -- Hemant Mathur's new Kolkata-themed restaurant

From what I've read, Mathur is going through the the six restaurants one at a time and revamping the menus (Haldi was the first he did) - the idea being that each will truly focus on one regional style, and excising the tikka masalas, vindaloos, saag paneers, etc where they don't belong, and slimming down each menu to a dozen or so dishes that each place can execute really well - no more pick-a-protein/pick-a-sauce menus. They probably haven't updated the website yet.

I was a fan of Tulsi, looking forward to seeing what he does at all of them. Though hopefully he keep the Saag intact at Malai Marke, IMHO it's the best in town...

In other news, Eric McCarthy, the original chef from Brick Lane (and who is not nearly as Irish as his name would suggest) has taken over Tulsi. He was always pretty solid, was good during his time at Tamarind as well. Looking forward to seeing what he'll do.

Mar 16, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan
1

Hirohisa: Amazing Japanese Dinner

Once a month is pretty "regular" rotation!

Haven't been to Rosanjin in yeeeears. Kind of forgot about them. You been recently? They holding up well? The couple times I went I found them good, but just a little less interesting than Kyo Ya.

Mar 16, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Hirohisa: Amazing Japanese Dinner

It was early on, too. I can't count how many places got legitimate one-star or two-star reviews that six months or a year later had upped their game and were well deserving of another. Just the nature of most journalism, where years could go by before there's a second (if there even IS a second) update review.

Mar 16, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Hirohisa: Amazing Japanese Dinner

Wow. Have to check them out. Surprised they've eluded my radar until now. Especially since, looking into it, Wells actually DID already star them last year. (Just one, though)

Mar 13, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Affordable and tasty restaurant by Lincoln center for a family?

You may want to check beforehand, as often promotions can't be combined - i.e. if you do Savored, you can't do free corkage or vice-versa.

When I'm at LC and not doing anything fancy a la Lincoln, I'm always fond of Rosa Mexicano. Solid eats, good drinks. They have a $32 prix fixe, but you could easily come in under $40 for an app and entree a la carte as well.

The Smith is also a good option with a real something-for-everyone kind of menu.

If you can sneak a smidge higher on the price range, Bar Boulud does a three-course prix fixe for $45.

Mar 13, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Noresore (baby eel) at Kyo Ya!

I hadn't been in some time, so I revisited a few "classics" (the Gratin & Chazuke) - and the Ebi/Uni has been on the menu a while, I believe, though the kind of shrimp and kind of uni he uses varies with season. That's a great dish, the interplay of the rich ikura and the peppery radish slices hiding underneath is wonderful.

I love the presentation of the Chazuke, with the five different dishes and all - and while I know it's normally prepared with Hojicha (roasted green tea) as Kyo Ya does, I tend to prefer that dish with an untoasted tea, like a Sencha or even a cheaper Bancha - I like those floral, vegetal notes that are lost in the toasting. Still a good dish, just not the way I'd personally make it. Maybe I can request a different tea next time.

There's also Fugu on the current menu for those interested. Personally, my one experience with it years ago I found it a bit boring.

Might head back again soon and do only seasonal items / specials. Maybe I'll take the plunge and try the crab if it's still there, but that would mean passing on, like, two or three other things.

Mar 13, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Noresore (baby eel) at Kyo Ya!

$18 - a little pricey for a small app, but you'd pay the same for an equal quantity of any rare sashimi/crudo I suppose, if not more.

Mar 13, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Last Minute Reccomendations?

^What Blumie said^

Having a rez is always your best option.

You could try walk-ins at:

Momofuku Ssam - probably not too long a wait on weeknight, and you can always hang at Booker & Dax next door and they'll text you when your table is ready.

Kyo Ya - I walked in last night around 7:30, got seats at the bar.

Neither are Italian or French, though you'll flourishes of every cuisine on the Momo menu. Kyo Ya is not remotely either, but they're kind of great.

For -specifically- Italian or French, I'm seeing Opentable openings at 6:30 - 7:00 at:

Ai Fiori
Bobo
Bouley (if you want to get really fancy)
Cafe Cluny
Ciccio
Costata
DB Bistro Moderne
Gentleman Farmer
Il Buco Alimentari
Lafayette
L'Apicio
Lincoln (7:30) - they might have bar seats open earlier though, and if not both Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud could be good options right nearby.

...and I'm gonna stop halfway through the alphabet. Peruse at your leisure:

http://www.opentable.com/s/?datetime=...

If you can dine later, there's a 9:00 table at Babbo open.

Mar 12, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan