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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

Ice & Vice

Popped in again and tried the "Shade" this time, described as "smoked chocolate" - very similar experience. Was it good? Yeah. It was a really, really good chocolate ice cream. Without a single detectable molecule of smoke flavor. I'm really torn on this place. I want to like them more, but now half of what I've tried - while good - simply hasn't lived up to their descriptions. It's like no one is taste-testing them for flavor levels. If it had just been sold as "chocolate" I'd have been 100% satisfied with it. Weird.

Jun 13, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Grand St.: Bánh Mì Saigon or Paris Sandwich and other treasures?

It's odd - you see goose feet/web/palm fairly frequently, and goose intestine as well. I've seen stewed goose head on a couple menus in Sunset Park. But rarely ever the rest of it. What are they doing with the rest of the goose?

Jun 11, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Grand St.: Bánh Mì Saigon or Paris Sandwich and other treasures?

I usually get the duck liver ones or the straight pork, depending what I'm making. One of my favorite side dishes to make at home is to just chop one or two up and throw them in the rice cooker along with a handful of small conpoy (already reconstituted) - seasons the rice beautifully, adds some extra textures. If I'm using the liver ones I'll usually wait until close to the end before mixing them in, since liver can taste a little funky if it cooks for the whole length of the process.

Jun 10, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Grand St.: Bánh Mì Saigon or Paris Sandwich and other treasures?

Huh. I've been in SMJ probably once a month for the last four or five years to get sausages, and somehow I've never tried (or even noticed) their zongzi. Will have to remedy that...

Jun 10, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Ice & Vice

I'm not crazy about floral flavors like rose, so I haven't tried the AB, but I do like raspberry cheesecake so maybe it's worth a whirl.

Tea Dance sounded good, was debating between that and Mahjong when I was there. Maybe I'll try a scoop on my way home...

Jun 09, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Ice & Vice

New brick and mortar ice cream shop opened up on East Broadway, they've been doing the food fair circuit for a bit, pretty good stuff. Had some of their stuff before and popped in to try some more. Their flavors are fun and creative, fans of Oddfellows and the like would dig them.

That said, this visit's try was good but disappointing. Gave the "Mahjong" sorbet a whirl - jasmine tea, white peach, peach lambic - and it was... well, a peach sorbet. A tasty one, sure, but even knowing there was jasmine tea in it I couldn't detect a trace. And the lambic was absent as well - none of that telltale tartness one expects. Granted, they were using a fruity peach lambic so all that did was double down on the peach and obscure the other flavors. Doesn't really make sense to use peach on peach - just use an unfruited lambic or gueuze.

That said, it tasted good for what it was. It just only tasted like one of the three supposed ingredients.

Other flavors I've had in the past have been good - "Three Little Pigs" was enjoyable - I was gonna say bacon ice cream is kind of played out and kitschy now, but maybe we're at the point where it's gone beyond that and it's actually becoming a staple flavor like chocolate and vanilla. Probably only a matter of time before Ben & Jerry's release one. I also liked (though I don't recall seeing it the brick and mortar menu, I can't recall the name) one that was, like, fig & goat cheese on a toasted baguette.

I'll be back. Hopefully they tweak that Mahjong, because if they actually balanced those three flavors it'd be one mighty fine sorbet.

Jun 08, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Grand St.: Bánh Mì Saigon or Paris Sandwich and other treasures?

They've changed their morcilla recipe of late - at some point over the last year or so, I noticed it once and figured it was a fluke, but ever since it's been the same. Much heavier onion content now, it almost tastes like a sauteed-onion-sausage, sometimes. Distinctly less meat in it, the flavor isn't as porky. They actually refer to it as the "onion" version at the counter now, as opposed to the not-house-made "rice" version (only sold pre-packaged in the grocery)

It's still good, but just not the sausage I was so fond of when I first started going there. I'll get it if I'm there, but I wouldn't send people out of their way for it anymore.

Jun 08, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

George Mendes's New Portuguese Restaurant- Lupulo

Hmm. How was the uni prepared on the asparagus? Just draped on top, or as a sauce? I could see the latter working as a twist on the old asparagus-and-hollandaise warhorse.

Jun 06, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Grand St.: Bánh Mì Saigon or Paris Sandwich and other treasures?

That's my stomping grounds, now. Hard to add to what's been said, a few thoughts:

+1 for Spicy Village (especially the famous "Big Tray Chicken" - get an extra order of noodles with it to sop up the sauce)

+1 for Despana

+1 for Piemonte Ravioli, and say hi to Bambino the shop cat if he's hanging around!

Nearby on Hester (between Forsyth & Eldridge) is Sun Ming Jian, great place for Chinese sausages - I'm awful fond of the duck liver ones, but they're all good.

For groceries, on Mott there's New York Mart, and on Elizabeth you've got Deluxe Food (which can be a madhouse) and, on the corner of Hester, Hong Kong Mart. Po Wing Hong further down Mott is good too.

Chung Chou City on Grand & Elizabeth is my go-to for higher quality conpoy (dried scallops) and stuff, but the quality comes at a price.

Jun 03, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

Salted duck eggs (or chicken if that's all there is)?

NY Mart definitely has them, just gotta look more carefully I guess.

Other places I've seen them:
Po Wing Hong
Hong Kong Mart
Chinatown Supermarket (Allen & East Broadway)

They're usually near the regular eggs, in six-packs, by the pidan (1,000-yr-eggs)

Sometimes you'll find just the yolks vacuum-packed in the refrigerated case as well, if you only need the yolks.

May 30, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

The BEST KIELBASA....WHITE EAGLE (Brooklyn)

Agreed. For the last few years in that neighborhood, for Polish meats I've been going to Jubilat Provisions a few blocks North.

Eagle's much-ballyhooed beer selection was no longer worth the bother, either. It meant something a decade ago, but with a craft brew shop opening every other block in Park Slope, they weren't so special anymore - and worse, they continued to price their beer as if they were the only store in town. Pretty consistently their beers would be 5-20% higher than anywhere else.

May 28, 2015
sgordon in Outer Boroughs

George Mendes's New Portuguese Restaurant- Lupulo

I won't order any steak with the word "aged" that doesn't have the word "dry" directly preceding it.

Probably half the steaks down at the local Associated or C-Town have been (wet) aged 6o days.

May 27, 2015
sgordon in Manhattan

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.

May 23, 2015
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.

May 23, 2015
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.

May 23, 2015
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
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