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oddcouple1's Profile

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Critique My Itinerary

Totto Ramen for a good, late night snack. Easy walk from Times Square. They close at 11 and there is usually a line, but so worth it if you get in.

Also, if you don't get to Chelsea Market, check out Gotham West Market- some outstanding choice, and closer.

Def Russian Samovar. The Horseradish Vodka, or do a half and half with half garlic and half dill. OMG. However, I would caution against too many pre-theater drinks there. I did that once. Don't remember a minute of the show, except I was up dancing and singing the whole time apparently...

Jan 02, 2015
oddcouple1 in Manhattan

Where to eat for Cassoulet Week

How did I not know about Cassoulet Week? I would have planned a trip!! Oh the envy! I made it once from scratch, after visiting France. I managed to locally source the ingredients ( a feat here in NH) and used Saveur's recipe. It was amazingly rich and came out delicious. Sorry for the threadjack. Will be watching to see what you chose!

Jan 02, 2015
oddcouple1 in Manhattan

Le Bernardin - what to order?

I was lucky enough to eat there last week, just before Christmas. We had the Holiday Tasting Menu. Everything was superb, though I would agree that the Tuna Crudo (over the baguette crouton and foie gras) was by far my favorite. Enjoy!

Jan 02, 2015
oddcouple1 in Manhattan

Sage or e?

Hi, did you go to e? Looking for recent reviews, and also trying to find out the cost. Thanks!

Sep 21, 2013
oddcouple1 in Las Vegas

Headed to Romania next week ...

We are not staying in Bucharest, but going out into the country. First up is the Tulcea area, for the delta of the Danube. Then back inland to Sinaia and Brasov, then up to Budapest for 5 days. Looking for any recent experiences! I did a search but didn't find much here on Romania. Thanks!

Jul 10, 2013
oddcouple1 in Europe

Reykjavik: fish/local faves/fine dining/street food/markets?

Islenski Barinn down by the City Center is our favorite place. It's mostly locals, very casual, has a bar with decent beer selection and really really good homecooked food of a huge variety. This is where we tried hakarl finally, after eating several other fantastic meals there.

Jul 10, 2013
oddcouple1 in Europe

Iceland other than Reykjavik?

Hotel Ranga in South Iceland was one of the best meals we have ever had. I cut my med-rare lamb with my fork, for real. The freshest of fresh, amazingly prepared and white glove service, well worth the $$. It's a nice hotel if you can spend the night.

Jul 05, 2013
oddcouple1 in Europe

Clams in April?

I live on NH seacoast and we eat LOTS of clams through the winter! Just had some about a week ago at Newicks, giant tender bellies. We had steamers for the appetizer, and fried for the meal. :)

Where to eat in Iceland- August 2012

Yes that is the Sea Baron I believe. We had the lobster stew as well as whale meat kebabs there.

Oct 30, 2012
oddcouple1 in Europe

Reykjavik: what's the latest?

I replied to someone else in the "International" board with a couple ideas- hope that helps!

Sep 11, 2012
oddcouple1 in Europe

Where to eat in Iceland- August 2012

In Reykjavik, our favorite spot is Islenski Barinn. It is right in the City Center and is not touristy at all. It seems to be a favorite hangout of locals while the tourists all flock to the "French" place across the street. Here we have tried several traditional Icelandic dishes. They are simple, hearty and delicious. Very casual, easy going and moderate prices.

Salthusid in Grindavik is FANtastic, should you find yourself there on your way to/from Reykjavik, possibly after visiting the Salt Cod Museum?

If you are anywhere near Hella, Hotel Ranga is a luxurious resort by Icelandic standards and has a Michelin-worthy restaurant in my opinion--

Have a great time! Iceland is my favorite place to visit, no matter the season.

Sep 11, 2012
oddcouple1 in Europe


Hotel Baeren in Wengen has an AMAZING restaurant. You don't have to be staying there but you probably will need to call for a reservation. That's about it for Wengen. There is a hotel on the main drag that has a pretty good fondue, but service was slow and our cc info was stolen there (yes, we know for certain) so I wouldn't recommend it unless you pay cash.

Sep 11, 2012
oddcouple1 in Europe

Trader Joe's Open in NH at last!

I am pretty sure every person in the state was there over the weekend.

No more 2 hour round trips for White Bean & Basil Hummus and my favorite frozen polenta sides!

Sep 11, 2012
oddcouple1 in Chains

Our Meal in El Paso at the Texas Roadhouse

We actually had our first meal there last night, at the Newington, NH location, little bit different experience. I had been once a long time ago and didn't remember much, my husband had never been. As a rule, we don't eat at chains, but we were feeling "adventurous"... we had the same spiel as you did when they discovered we hadn't been there. We tried the Rattlesnake Bites and Fried Pickles. The first were not too bad, but the pickles were pretty much inedible. They were the thinnest fried pickles I had ever seen- as a consequence of frying, they were dry and chewy, and bathed in what tasted like a pound of salt. We told our deer-in-the-headlights server, Gen, that we couldn't eat them. Then we got salad, which wasn't too bad except for the ridiculous amount of dressing and the saltiest croutons I have ever eaten. then, instead of free bag of peanuts, we got a large plate with little sample cups of corn, green beans, pulled pork, chili, mashed potatoes, white gravy and brown gravy. It was weird.

Our entrees arrived- husband had an 8 oz sirloin and baked potato, I ordered chicken fried steak (which I love and is not on many menus in this area). I had asked for my gravy on the side. It came. It looked too crispy. I cut into it and the best description I can come up with is cardboard jerky. It was not even 1/8 inch thick and was burnt. I informed our server nicely and asked for a pulled pork sandwich instead. She ran to get the manager, who took one look and offered to switch it out. She brought me the pulled pork, which was fine, but my side of fries again had so much salt I couldn't eat them. Service was fine, I don't get irate or nasty-toned when I have issues, as long as they are resolved properly and these were. Husband's steak was cooked fine, but lacking in flavor, which seemed weird because of all the salt in everything else. We had a long discussion over the state of America, the obesity problems, the fact that I could have made a much better meal for much less $$ and why do these places continue to thrive, blah blah blah. Long story short, it reiterated the reasons why we generally choose not to patronize chains. I assume all TRH prepare food the same way and use the same products; I wonder if anyone else has noticed how terribly salty it is!

Jun 30, 2012
oddcouple1 in Chains

That time of year...looking for something new/different in the Plateau area

The different preparations range from $19.95-$22.95. AYCE is just Sun-Thurs I believe.

That time of year...looking for something new/different in the Plateau area

Thanks all... we are back and had a few fantastic meals! Because it was Grand Prix weekend, some places were hard or impossible to get into but we were happy with our choices for the most part, after long hot days at the circuit.

Night 1- Tried Le Jardin Panos and were pleasantly surprised- Mr. OC had the lamb shish kebab and I had shrimp and sea scallop brochettes. Much to my delight, the seafood was cooked perfectly and tasted great. We started with some dolmas grape leaves stuffed with lamb and rice), which were excellent and tender, and served hot.

Night 2 - Le P'tit Plateau- we just can't miss this one. It is Mr. OC's new favorite (it used to be APDC) in town. Had their amazing escargot and house smoked salmon; Mr. chose the magret stuffed with foie gras and I opted for the cassoulet (yay!), which was out of this world, sooo rich and yummy. We shared a dessert of dark chocolate mousse on a praline crust. Heaven.

Night 3 - Au Cinquieme Peche - in the words of Mr. OC, "Why haven't we been here before??" Amazing. Wonderful service. We started with the seal merguez "poutine", followed by the Onglet de boeuf, escargots, asperges et huile d'argan (hangar steak with snails and asparagus) for me and Ris de veau crousti-fondant, champignons et tĂȘtes de violon (calf sweetbreads with muchrooms and fiddleheads)for him. Both dishes were beautiful, food p0rn worthy, and tasted as good as they looked. I asked for medium rare, and it was more rare but it was just fine that way. Dessert for Mr. was Iced nougat, pistachio and apricot and cheese plate for me. I am a sucker for the cheese plate. We will definitely return.

Night 4- Lombardi on Duluth - it was Mr. OC's night to pick dinner. He is not on these boards and pretty much trusts my judgment and research. I thought we were going to wind up at Casa Tapas, but we ended up at Lombardi. It was ok, I have had better Italian, but it was fine. They had a special Table d'hote with pasta dishes related to Grand Prix drivers/brands, which was pretty hokey but whatever, they are obviously a tourist magnet! My dish was a large, somewhat dry boneless chicken breast in a cream sauce of shrimp, sundried tomatoes and tarragon. The side of penne arribiata was good. He had cannelloni, said it was "fine" and ate every bit.

Night 5- Biere et Compagnie - Mr's second pick. Going on a Sunday night is nice, laid back, and unlimited mussels if you are in the mood! They must have 45 variations of mussels. I chose them with a sauce of white wine, cream, goat cheese, garlic, shallots, celery and port. Heavenly. He had the tandoori spice mussels. They come with fries and it is a reasonable price for some fantastic fresh mussels.

Along the way, we managed a stop at La Binerie for lunch one day. The tourtiere was soooo good. I did not care for their version of chomeur but Mr. OC did. Something about the texture didn't sit well with me. The pea soup was very good also. We hit Premeiere Maison each morning for croissants and sandwiches to put in our cooler and take to the track. SOMEday I will sit down and eat some of their amazing pastries!

Sandwiches / picnic food near Concordia

We drive up every year from NH and bring our own bottles of water- put it in the freezer at the apartment and then use it to keep everything else in the cooler chilled without wating valuable space with ice packs.

That time of year...looking for something new/different in the Plateau area

This will be our 8th trip to Montreal for the Grand Prix. We rent an apartment in the Plateau, our favorite area. We are looking for some new/different dining experiences in the area. Budget is not an issue; we don't care about the cost as long as the food is fantastic. Our apartment this year is on Henri Julien near Rachel and Duluth, so within reasonable walking distance of that area, say 10 minutes walking.

I would love to find some more nearby Quebecois or French "comfort food" options- one of my missions in life is to taste as many versions of cassoulet as possible, and I would love to have some authentic tourtiere. Other than that, we are adventurous and open to just about anything. Seafood is not a must, as we live on the NH seacoast and have plenty here.

Places we have been, most more than once:

APDC (every year... the last couple years, we have been disappointed with the service)
L'Petit Plateau
Khyber Pass
Casa Tapas
Chez Doval
Biere et Compagnie
La Banquise

Thank you in advance!

Cheese in iceland

I just got back from Iceland; we saw tons of dairies and farms over our week of driving around the entire western half of the country, but nothing indicating cheese. I did find this info from 2010:

Good luck!

Jan 18, 2012
oddcouple1 in Europe

Prime Rib Roast Successes and Disasters....

My first prime rib came out amazing. It was boneless, about 6.75 lb, a really good amount of marbling and very well tied and shaped. I cut slits in it and stuffed garlic in the slits, rubbed it with rosemary, fresh ground pepper and horseradish overnight. Let it come to room temp, rubbed a little salt, and threw it in 450 oven for 20 minutes- amazing sear/crust! cranked it down to 325 for about an hour and 40 minutes, let it rest for 25, and it was so tender we hardly needed a knife. Rare in the center, nothing was much more than medium rare. I was really nervous about overcooking it, but, now I would not hesitate to do it again!

Dec 26, 2011
oddcouple1 in Home Cooking

Pizza and utensils

I spill pretty much anything I eat on my shirt. Pizza sauce/grease etc., is next to imposible to get out. Utensils reduce the occurrences of spillage by a huge amount. :P

May 25, 2011
oddcouple1 in General Topics

What seasonal foods do you look forward to?

Fiddlehead ferns
Hard-shell lobsters - had some last Friday night!

May 25, 2011
oddcouple1 in General Topics

Please tell me if you have experience with a CSA?

I am in the seacoast area of NH, right around 15 miles from where this company docks. Supporting the local small fisheries here is is a HUGE effort, and it is the least I can do, and you just can't beat the product!

May 03, 2011
oddcouple1 in General Topics

Please tell me if you have experience with a CSA?

I was in a fish CSA last summer. It was weekly, you could buy a half or full share. I got ~2 lb of off the boat fresh fish, whatever was caught that day. We had haddock, sole, cod, pollack, BIG fillets. If there was an extra big catch, they would have additional fish to sell at the pickup point, and a few times they had scallops and lobster as well. The prices was the same if not better than the supermarket, and the fact that it came out of the ocean that day made all the difference. You could go down to the docks when they pulled in also. LOVED the experience, may do it again (dates are tough because we will be out of town a few weeks).

May 03, 2011
oddcouple1 in General Topics

Switzerland - Lucerne and Wengen

I will be watching this thread- we will also be in Wengen in July!

Apr 24, 2011
oddcouple1 in Europe

Bringing meats and cheeses back from France

We brought back almost 10 lb of cheese from France in November, probably close to the same in cured meats, and a few lb of tinned items, and some fresh truffle. No issues. If you bring fresher cheese, quadruple wrap in foil, plastic wrap, baggies, and put it in with your dirty clothes. You can't tell the clothes stink from the cheese stink!

Apr 11, 2011
oddcouple1 in General Topics

What regional foods do people just get wrong?

To add to the New England items...

I second the clam chowder. I love taking people out to places where the chowder is "thin" ie made with milk and not a crapload of cornstarch and heavy cream. ANd they usually end up liking it better. It also has to have nothing more than a little saltpork and onion, potatoes and clams. No celery, no corn, nothing else. I am iffy on the saltpork and onions for anything other than a little extra flavoring. I had some once where they though putting sherry on the top was "authentic" - really?

Boston Baked Beans are not anything like the canned ones. Friend's Baked Kidney Beans might be the closest that I have had from a can, but real homemade sauce can never be matched.

My husband is from St. Louis and he is a chef. Every time we go out, if there happen to be "St. Louis Style Ribs" on the menu, he orders them and he is ALWAYS disappointed. I am still pretty unsure of exactly what they are supposed to be!

I am not sure if this is regional, but cold roast beef subs need to have RARE cold roast beef, very thinly shaved and piled on. Not warm, not evenly brown colored. Ick.

Apr 02, 2011
oddcouple1 in General Topics

Boston rec: French brasseries

We ate at Brasserie Jo on Friday evening prior to seeing Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert at Symphony Hall (a treat in itself!). The food was very, very good, starting with the warm baguette and horseradish pickled carrots. I had a Cranberry Maple Martini which was quite strong and yummy. For apps, I had the roasted bone marrow and my husband had the sweetbreads- both were hot, fresh and very flavorful. Then it took almost an hour to receive our entrees. Yes, it was a busy Friday night, but we had to be out by a certain time to make the show. When it finally arrived, my Steak Frites was perfection. Hot, crisp fries, perfectly cooked steak. Husband had the Duck Confit with Lentils- 2 large duck legs, crispy on the outside and melty-soft inside.

Unfortunately, we had exactly 10 minutes to eat our entrees before we had to run 2 long blocks to the show, so were not able to really enjoy our meals. The maitre d was at our table apologizing for the wait. He mentioned that a new menu had just been introduced the night before and there were still some "kinks" to work out, and comped us appropriately. New menus should be introduced on Sunday or Monday, so that by the busiest days of the week, they are ready to go. We were very disappointed but would go back on the food alone and hope that the service had improved.

Brasserie Jo
120 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

What's your "secret ingredient?"

I saw Chipotle Tabasco a few times here... I am a big fan of both Siracha and Sambal Olek, usually used with a little bit of sweet Mae Ploy chili sauce.

Feb 24, 2011
oddcouple1 in Home Cooking

Nice at Christmas

We just got back from a week in Nice, fabulous time, though it was snowing lightly when we left! We stayed right on the edge of old Nice and ventured out everynight to somewhere different in the neighborhood. So much to choose from! We did have a phenomenal meal at L'Universe. Husband is a chef so this was a pretty big deal. Other places of note in Old Nice-

La Villa- excellent Corsican /French food. The charcuterie platter was out of this world. I had a perfectly cooked risotto with chevre, sea scallops and asparagus, hubby had a lamb brochette that was slightly overdone but overall this was an excellent -little pricey- experience.

Our last night was at Chez Memere- they were closing up for the holidays, so they probably won't be open for Christmas- I had a lamb shank with thyme, their house special. I was hoping for cassoulet but she had already run out- I would go back there as my first stop next time!

Our last lunch was at Bistro D'Antoine, We didn't have a reservation but we were willing to sit ouside under the awning next to the heater in our coats, gloves and blankets that they offered. :) Excellent choice- rabbit terrine and sausage and lentils.

We ate at Cayenne Kafe one night - they had great pizza and atmosphere. Whatever you do, either try to go by 7-ish or make a reservation for any places you want to try- we were turned away several times.

Dec 03, 2010
oddcouple1 in France