j

JeffOverley's Profile

Title Last Reply

Manhattan Best Bites, $3 and under

Slices at Patsy's ($1.75), crispy fish tacos at Dorado ($2.95), egg + cheese on a roll at local bodega (~$2), tacos at El Aguila ($3), honorable mentions to the tacos at Taco Mix ($3.50) as well as the butternut squash or cauliflower slices at Grandaisy ($3.50).

Apr 20, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

ABC Kitchen vs Scarpetta

Had the pleasure of visiting both recently, and definitely vote ABC. Scarpetta was certainly very good, but the pastas didn't quite live up the hype, whereas ABC was flawless (had crudo, pasta and a glorious mushroom pizza).

Apr 01, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

New(-ish) UWS restaurants

Maybe you're thinking of Kefi on Columbus near 85th? It's Mediterranean, blending Italian and Greek. Not new but re-opened fairly recently after lengthy closure.

Mar 25, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Good mexican restaurant in Manhattan?

I'd recommend walking along East 116th Street in Spanish Harlem, roughly between Second Avenue and Park Avenue. You'll see ladies making tortillas in windows and in front of small restaurants, and can hop from place to place trying different things, i.e. goat at El Aguila, al pastor and suadero at Taco Mix, etc.

Mar 25, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

South African

This might not check all your boxes, but Tolani on the UWS pours lots of South African wines and even makes its own biltong as part of a fairly eclectic menu.

http://tolaninyc.com/menu/

Mar 17, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Mountain Bird

This mostly jibes with my experience, except I think it's definitely worth the trek uptown for Manhattanites. Very few places doing this style and caliber of bistro fare at such a low price point. Don't miss the cassoulet or the snout-to-tail starter plate.

Mar 09, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Your favorite place to get a slice of NY pizza?

If I recall correctly, they do both fresh and canned, but there's typically at least one slice with portabellos, which I believe they'll also add to any previously made slice (not ideal, but an option).

Feb 24, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

any suggestions for restaurants on upper west side that hold Passover Seders?

My Most Favorite Food is very popular with observant Jews, and it goes big for all the major holidays. Place gets terrible reviews on Yelp, but for what it's worth, I live above it and can confirm it is always, always crowded.

Grill 212 is much more well-regarded, from what I can tell, but I'm not sure of its holiday offerings.

Feb 24, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Your favorite place to get a slice of NY pizza?

Speaking for the UWS, Freddie & Pepper's does a really nice slice - it's got that layered texture where the bottom is super-thin and crispy, giving way to a bit of chew.

Also, the fresh mushroom slice at Rigoletto is a personal favorite - big, crisp, foldable, all that.

Feb 24, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

6-day trip report - Jungsik, Per Se, Ko, EMP, and more! (long)

Wow, hardcore. FYI, I'm pretty sure Shake Shack last year started a gradual transition to fresh-cut fries from crinkles at all locations, not just UWS.

Feb 18, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Suggestions for Lincoln Center Area Restaurant w/ VEGETARIAN Dishes

Not sure what price point you're thinking, but at the low end, Nanoosh is a clean, respectable sit-down spot for Middle Eastern eats. You could also find bibimbap or pasta at The Smith for a bit more money.

Feb 08, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Recs for Udon/Ramen Noodle Soup on the UWS?

I second Yasaka for udon. For ramen, you could also go a bit north to Jin at 125th & Broadway - it's right at the bottom of the staircase to/from the 1 train.

EDIT: WTF this is from seven years ago, I assume the OP has found his/her soup by now.

Jan 30, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Quick + small tasting menus?

Both look really interesting, thank you.

Jan 23, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Quick + small tasting menus?

Yep, thanks, I think Contra's the best I've found for our appetite/budget.

Jan 23, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Quick + small tasting menus?

Sorry for belated reply - ideally $75pp or less for food. Thanks!

Jan 23, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Quick + small tasting menus?

Anyone have suggestions for tasting menus that don't involve huge time commitments and tons of food? My wife and I are light eaters and just can't hang with marathon meals.

We loved the old menu at Torrisi - seven small dishes paced briskly over the course of like 90 minutes. Anything comparable out there?

Jan 20, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

NYC deli food all exactly the same

There are tons of Chinese/Latin/Spanish spots on the UWS. They aren't fusion, but instead offer traditional versions of both cuisines, i.e. orange chicken in one part of the menu and ropa vieja in another.

Jan 07, 2014
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Best restaurants in East Harlem?

El Paso Taqueria - despite the name, it's a nice sit-down spot with sit-down prices ($10 cocktails, $15-$20 for main courses). I haven't been in a while, but I recall very friendly service and stellar guajillo lamb wrapped in banana leaves.

Dec 12, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Upper West Side

Burke & Wills - newish spot at 79th & Broadway with really nice Aussie-inspired fare (and a speakeasy upstairs).

Nov 06, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

how did you become a foodie?

I'll second the commenter who suggested tapas - you can try a lot of interesting items for not a lot of cash.

Not sure of your neighborhood but there's a fun new spot on the UWS called Casa Pomona that has plenty of reasonably exciting selections, e.g. octopus, oxtail, white anchovies, grilled sardines, blood sausage and charcuterie, that are very approachable.

More broadly, as others have noted, you need a willingness/eagerness to explore - high-end restaurants will have superb food, but venturing into ethnic enclaves and traveling is how you'll broaden your culinary horizons.

Nov 03, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Trader Joe Vs Fairway Olive oil

I mean, it just depends - if you're sauteeing a bunch of chicken and veggies, all those flavors will almost certainly drown out the differences. If you're gently cooking a piece of fish or tossing some pasta, probably a different story.

Oct 17, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Trader Joe Vs Fairway Olive oil

TJ's President's Reserve is a really great value, but the standard Fairway olive oil is significantly better, in my opinion. Not clear from your post if you've had both, but if not, buy each one and do a blind taste test, see if you have a preference.

Oct 16, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

juni or betony

I've also had the chicken. It is superb, really like a completely different protein and amazingly rich for poultry. There maybe could have been a few more veggies alongside, but not a big deal. Here's a pic from the Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2013...

Oct 16, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

juni or betony

I've had the cavatelli - like the NYT said of the whole menu, it's got those "clear and pure" flavors that are simple yet exquisite. It's served with a tableside pour of mushroom broth that really is a knockout.

Oct 16, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Killer Omakase at Sushi Yasaka (West 72nd St)

Glad you enjoyed. I live above Yasaka and consider myself blessed. Wife and I spent $55 for takeout last night and had a small feast of deliciousness. Easily the best sushi I've had at such a moderate price point.

As a side note, even the $4 garden salad is amazing - huge portion of exotic farmers' market greens with vibrant veggies and a distinctive yuzu dressing.

The great thing has been seeing it become popular - we moved in right when it opened about two years ago, and the staff was basically despondent the first few months because of the slow business, and now, you're lucky if you can get a table without waiting on a Tuesday night.

Oct 13, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

best moderately priced sushi in manhattan

I second Yasaka if you're on the UWS - they have mini/full omakase for only like $25/$45, and the quality is ridiculous for that price. I believe some of the guys who opened it are Gari alums, but could be wrong.

Oct 03, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Anyone buy from the Flying Pigs Farm at the Union Square Greenmarket?

Haven't tried any of the really pricey cuts, but the basics, e.g. Canadian bacon, are like a completely different meat - marbled, rich, unreal. In fact, they're so good that I spent $75 last month just to ship one package of Canadian bacon & one package of brats to the West Coast for my dad's birthday ($50 for shipping).

Oct 03, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Jacob's Pickles (UWS)

Food's very good, and while most of the cocktails are a little sweet and watery, the BLT Bloody Mary with bacon and a pickled egg is close to flawless.

Oct 03, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Burke & Wills, 79th & Broadway, UWS

Anybody else been to this Aussie-inspired place yet? I stopped by last weekend and was pleasantly surprised. Normally wouldn't post this, but given that so much buzz surrounds any remotely promising restaurant opening on the UWS, figured it was worth an exception, since I've heard barely any chatter about the spot.

Here's my Yelp review (five stars, food pics at link):

http://www.yelp.com/biz/burke-and-wil...

(Absurdly long review alert) ... This Aussie spot opened a couple weeks ago with very little fanfare, but definitely deserves some love. The main dining room has a great feel - small and tucked away in the back, featuring lots of charcoal gray and vintage black/white framed art, with a huge old-school arched skylight overhead.

Drink/food list is small for now but apparently will be expanded once any new-restaurant wrinkles are ironed out.

Speaking of drinks, they're nicely balanced and actually pretty of-the-moment in terms of going back to the classics (think gimlet, Tom Collins, whiskey sour, etc.). Wine selections hail largely from New Zealand and are solid representatives of well-known Kiwi labels (Brancott, Fernridge, etc.).

As for food, what few flaws exist are more than acceptable at this price point, not to mention at a newly opened spot. We only tried small plates, including ...

*Bass ceviche with coconut milk, chiles and either kaffir or mint (can't recall) - strong fish flavor subdued by cool/spicy/herbal dressing. Really interesting.

*Beef tartare - excellent anchovy flavor, perfectly sized shards of bovine. More egg and garnish on side would be nice, and toast points would be better than baguette, but those are very minor issues.

*Merguez sliders - cooked medium-rare, the rich lamb countered by cool cucumber and soft potato buns with natural sweetness. Brilliant.

*Chilled corn soup with crab - not sure I would change anything here. Lovely corn flavor, reasonable amount of shellfish.

*Oysters with cucumber mignonette - fresh, clean, what else can you say?

*Kale Caesar - finely shredded, studded with fava beans and pumpkin seeds, properly dressed, with fat rectangles of pecorino on top. Win.

*Prawns with chimichurri - huge, legitimate prawns in a vibrant sauce. The full-body presentation might be putting form over function, as it's hard to grill shrimp without overcooking while also getting rid of the nastiness between head and body (when deep-frying, that gunk is obliterated and you can happily eat the whole crustacean). That said, the shrimp were cooked very nicely, akin to a steak done medium.

Staff was on-point, and oh yeah, they play golden oldies, which deserves a sixth star. Good times.

Aug 16, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan

Inexpensive french near midtown for tourists on a Monday?

Matisse in Midtown East has always been a favorite of mine. Affordable, very traditional, not too stuffy, amazing live jazz some nights.

Aug 02, 2013
JeffOverley in Manhattan