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From SF - Michelin and casual, delicious places

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/16/din...

It could be he's absentee currently, and his team are just executing the last menu he came up with - dunno. But that's the official date.

about 13 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

From SF - Michelin and casual, delicious places

He's there until March 28th.

about 15 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

From SF - Michelin and casual, delicious places

They do offer a la carte, but you can do a two-course meal (antipasti and pasta) as a prix fixe - easier and many of the antipasti are good. It might be a two-course minimum and then you can add courses ALC, though. Not positive.

about 19 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

From SF - Michelin and casual, delicious places

Probably a rez would be best, given that it's over the weekend.

about 19 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

From SF - Michelin and casual, delicious places

Ichimura is good for sushi, as are the usual suspects like 15 East and Yasuda. Haven't been to Nakazawa yet, but people seem to be pretty bananas about it, aside from the occasional contrarian. Sushi Dojo is pretty solid at a lower price point, as is Kanoyama. And Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya I've had some very good meals at. At many of the above I prefer to mix it up with sashimi and kitchen items, though.

Kyo Ya always has some very interesting items if you're a more adventurous eater - currently there's Hokkaido Horsehair Crab among other things, if you feel like splurging on that rarity. And the cooked/kitchen dishes are often spectacular if you'd rather mix it up and not do straight sushi/sashimi. They do serve Atlantic Bluefin sometimes, which I find a little bothersome, but I just don't order it.

Soto is a particularly good choice if you're an uni nut. He's famous for the multiple ways he works it into dishes. Uni miso soup, smoked uni and lobster, etc...

about 20 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

From SF - Michelin and casual, delicious places

Well, EMP still has 5:30, 8:00, and 9:30 tables for three on the 29th, and a 9:30 on the 27th listed on opentable. Grab one while the grabbin's good.

about 20 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

From SF - Michelin and casual, delicious places

If it absolutely MUST be a Mich 3 for Mom's birthday, personally I'd rank them:

EMP
BF
Jean-Georges
Le Bern
Per Se

Masa, recent reviews suggest the shine has worn off significantly. (Same could be said for Per Se as well)

If you want to take a little road / train trip, there's Blue Hill at Stone Barns, which isn't in the running because they're not -in- NYC. But I think many would consider them on the three-star level. They're probably the East Coast's cousin to, say, Manresa (which arguably deserves three stars, at least from the cooking from David Kinch I've had...)

If you're cool with going to upper-level two-starrers, I'd probably put these in the first tier:

Aquavit
Atera
Blanca
Ko

maybe Jungsik as well, but I haven't been since early on.

Ichimura is great, but I'm not sure you'd want to do sushi counter for that meal. I'd actually do Brushstroke over Ichimura, even though it's only a one-starrer. I love Soto, but you seem to be tilting towards a tasting menu kind of place, and they're more of an a la carte joint. Marea you've already heard my thoughts on.

Daniel I'm not the biggest fan of, but obviously some people love it.

about 23 hours ago
sgordon in Manhattan

From SF - Michelin and casual, delicious places

How many people are you dining with for your big Michelin-Star dinner? There are a few tables for two, three, and four on March 29th at EMP that will probably be gone by the time I hit "Post" on this, but check opentable.com, maybe one of 'em will still be there.

1 day ago
sgordon in Manhattan

From SF - Michelin and casual, delicious places

If it's just "best pasta" I'd probably do Del Posto, Marea or Lincoln for lunch over Babbo. For a whole four-course dinner I'd go Babbo or Lincoln, personally.

Marea and Lincoln do a two-course prix fixes for lunch, and Del Posto there's a three-courser with choice of pasta or secondi, and an option to add a course for a nominal amount. Del Posto's lunch deal is very highly regarded. But then there's that Fusili...

1 day ago
sgordon in Manhattan

From SF - Michelin and casual, delicious places

For Italian, I like Marea but only to a point... that point would be the pastas. The secondi I've been by and large unwowed by. The prix fixe includes all four courses (antipasti, pasta, secondi, dessert) but I would just as soon get extra antipasti. Every time I give it another shot and every time I come away with the same opinion - we just went yesterday for brunch, in fact. Antipasti, great. Pastas, spectacular as always. Secondi... meh. Even though it's a better "deal" to go prix fixe I always find I wish I'd just gone a la carte and skipped that course.

While I'll agree it's among the best pasta in town, I think a better overall Italian -meal- can be had at Lincoln, Babbo, or Del Posto. Even Ai Fiori (another of Michael White's places) I'd kind of recommend over Marea, although I kind of dislike the room.

On the other hand - that Fusili at Marea. It's famous for good reason. One of the most perfectly balanced dishes in the city, I think. I could eat it by the tubful.

In lieu of EMP or BF... You could try Atera, Momofuku Ko, or the Kaiseki at Kyo Ya or Shuko. I'm not a fan of Per Se, personally, but they're an obvious option too.

Might be good if we know what nights you're going to be here, we can look at opentable and see what's available.

1 day ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Reservation for 10 for next Saturday- HELP

Looking over the openings on Opentable.com I'm seeing quite a few... these might be good:

Agozar
Balade
Casa Mezcal
Craftbar
Essex
Hill Country
Il Buco Alimentari
Ilili
Kefi
Laut
Malai Marke
Papatzul
Pera / Pera Soho
Porsena
Rosso Pomodoro
Ten Bells
Toloache Thompson
Westville Hudson

1 day ago
sgordon in Manhattan

Taking opinions - Saturday in May

Had some great snacks & cocktails at Booker & Dax the other night - one of the ham boards, the liver mousse, and a fantastic octopus escabeche. Plus a great rye & caraway cookie from Milk Bar. I always feel like if I go into Ssam it should be for a full meal, but B&D is good for quick pre-show bites.

Feb 27, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Taking opinions - Saturday in May

It's not a bad list. Maybe subconsciously you really want to go to Narcissa since you listed it twice.

Mind you an 8:00 show sometimes won't actually start until 8:10 or 8:15, and it could take you 10 minutes to get out of the theatre, so you're edging in on 11:00 by the time you actually step out the door for a 2.5 hr show. As long as it's not the Sunday show you're going to (I assume it's Hamilton, which ends Sunday May 3) most of the above will offer 11:00 tables but for some that might be that last seating of the night.

Of the above, Lafayette and Cherche Midi will be the most "straightforward" of the options, food-wise. They're both good - if you like Balthazar, you'll probably like Lafayette. CM is solid as well. Desserts are better at Lafayette, generally.

Acme and Public are going to be the furthest outside the box - not crazy adventurous, but moreso than you'd find at the others. Acme will be more bustling, a bit noisier and more sceney.

Gato I like, even though I found my halibut criminally over-saffroned one night. More aggressive flavors, which is kind of Flay's thing - he doesn't really market in subtlety. It's good, though, and I really like the layout. Tables aren't packed on top of each other to do as many covers as humanly possible. It's a very comfortable room - you're not elbowing your neighbor diners and there's enough space to pull your chair out a bit without worrying you're blocking the waiter's passage.

Feb 26, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

boulud sud or bar boulud?

They're both solid, same price point for the most part. It's really just which menu calls out to you more. Andanada I haven't been to.

Whichever you choose, make sure to have a reservation. Pre-theatre tables can fill up pretty quick, depending how many shows are running at LC on a given evening, and they both get a pretty good size after-work crowd as well.

Feb 26, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

boulud sud or bar boulud?

Depends what you're looking for. They're both solid. Boulud Sud might be a little more adventurous in terms of flavor profile to some, though "adventurous" is a relative term. Bar is good for charcuterie, glass of wine or two, some fairly straightforward classic entrees. Sud is more the place I'd hit for an extensive meal with multiple courses, try a lot of different things. Price point wise they're pretty comparable.

I'd say if any of the trio are vegetarian they'll have a wider variety at Sud.

In the same neighborhood (in Lincoln Center in fact) is also Lincoln Ristorante, fantastic modern Italian. Not to confuse matters further.

Feb 25, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Husbands birthday dinner (party of 8)

THIS Saturday night? A table for eight might be tough. Or a future Saturday? What's the actual date, if so? Easier if we can look at opentable and see who actually has tables.

Feb 25, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Eataly?

I've found that as well - the tourists aren't there for groceries. But it can be a bit of a clusterf-ck just making it up and down the aisles. Certain areas - like at the end of the refrigerated cheese section right before the fish counter - can seriously bottleneck sometimes.

Feb 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Eataly?

The OP's Eataly gift certificate probably won't be honored at Raffetto's, I'm just guessing.

(They're great, though - but I do prefer Piemonte Ravioli Co., if only because I'm awful fond of Bambino the shop cat.)

I wouldn't buy any Urbani (or other prepackaged "truffle") products, personally - I can't stand the taste of 2,4-dithiapentane.

I do like the pastas at Eataly, and they come in a more interesting variety than I've found downtown. Had some lovely beet ravioli a couple months ago, with pureed beet greens inside beet-juice pasta. Just the kind of little thing you wouldn't find at Raffetto or Piemonte, where they have their standard 8-12 (or however many) flavors they do very well, but never stray from those flavors.

But really, my main suggestion to the OP would just be to go on a weekday before 5PM. It's busy all the time, of course, but weekends can get bonkers.

Feb 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Eataly?

That seems like a fairly standard price for porcini. Though I almost never use fresh porcini - it's one of those shrooms I ternd to only use as a flavorant on in sauces, so frozen or even dried is fine depending what I'm making.

I actually find their prices pretty comparable to any of the other big retailers - and occasionally see great deals. Last year I remember finding Chanterelles for a good 30% less than I saw them anywhere else. Just a couple weeks ago I picked up some beautiful beef cheeks for only $9.80/lb - already cleaned & trimmed.

Feb 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Husbands birthday dinner (party of 8)

Is there a reason you're -not- going with Maialino or Barbuto?

How soon is the dinner? Any preferred neighborhood? Weeknight / weekend?

Feb 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Who makes the best THICK hot chocolate?

You don't see it in Manhattan too often, but the occasional Mexican place will make champurrado, which is basically a hot chocolate thickened with masa, sometimes with a hint of cinnamon. Awesome on a chilly day. Menupages lists only three places downtown that make it, but there may be other holes-in-walls / bodegas that have it.

Sunset Park is really the place to get it, though - walk down 5th Ave in Brooklyn from the mid-30s to 60s and half the restaurants have it, and there's a great street vendor on 5th in the 40s who sells champurrado and esquites.

Feb 24, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Best restaurant roast chicken: Barbuto, Mighty Quinn's, other?

In no particular order: Barbuto, Marc Forgione, NoMad, Great NY Noodletown (especially if you're slightly inebriated at 3AM)

Feb 23, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Small private party in Brooklyn?

That's pretty big for a "small" party.

For keeping the price down, I'd check out some the Chinese banquet halls in Sunset Park (right by Bay Ridge) - Pacificana, Bamboo Garden, New Spring Garden, or East Harbor. Everything is served family-style, prices tend to be pretty reasonable if you're not going for the fancier dishes. Usually they'd work out some kind of prix fixe banquet menu for large groups. There may be some other large Chinese places in Gravesend but I'm not as familiar with the mini-Chinatown there.

Feb 23, 2015
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

Recommendation Brooklyn (south) or Staten Island - 80th birthday party - 20 people

Hmm. For a group that large in South Brooklyn your best bet would be Chinese in Sunset Park (Pacificana, Bamboo Garden, East Harbor, and New Spring would probably be the best bets) - some of the rooms are so cavernous that noise isn't really an issue even if it's not a fully private room, but a sequestered off area. One of the big Russian places out in Brighton Beach could work too, although you'd definitely want a private room there, they can get pretty boisterous.

There's also old-school Italian-American, like Gargiulo's out by Coney Island.

I think Tanoreen in Bay Ridge has a private room, check with them.

Feb 23, 2015
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

First date - with restrictions

Some tamari does have wheat - some brands don't but some do in small amounts, so it would be quite dangerous for someone with Celiac's to take that as a blanket statement. (People with fake trendy gluten "intolerances" on the other hand, don't need to worry)

You have to check the ingredients. Among common supermarket brands, San-J is gluten-free, for example, but Kikkoman is not.

Feb 19, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Serious Eats: Where to Eat Chinese in NYC

Well, I'm just going on the sample size of menupages.com

Feb 18, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

Depending on how soon you're looking at, Shuko may not be doable, but Kyo Ya (also the recipient of a glowing Wells three-star) is as stunning a kaiseki as you'll find in NYC. Probably a bit more adventurous than Shuko's, from what I've read about Shuko - haven't been yet, guess it'll be at least a month before I do...

Feb 18, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

First date - with restrictions

Dirt Candy is awesome! But good luck getting a rez there in the next two months...

Feb 18, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

The room has always been a bit meh at AQ. That said, it's much better since they moved it up to the front instead of that windowless back room it used to be in.

Feb 18, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Aquavit - Betony - Lincoln...help me choose

Shuko is booked solid for the next month already, aside from a 10PM deuce in mid-March. And that's probably already disappeared in the five minutes since I looked at it.

Feb 18, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan