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chiba's Profile

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June 2014 Openings and Closings

The watermelon salad on their Instagram looks good. Has anyone tried it?

Jul 04, 2014
chiba in Greater Boston Area

Lardo in Astoria?

Muncan Foods makes a version of lardo that is quite interesting.

Dec 14, 2013
chiba in Outer Boroughs

Kirkland Tap!

The front-row kitchen seats are a lot of fun. A pork chop special was juicy and good. Sides of polenta and brussels sprouts were fine. Great environment though and super-welcoming service. Look forward to trying again.

Dec 14, 2013
chiba in Greater Boston Area

Fuloon As Good As Ever 12/4/2012

But it's so grimy and tired there… definitely detracts from the food...

Dec 14, 2013
chiba in Greater Boston Area

Cinquecento Roman Trattoria, Any Reports?

Outstanding brunch is worth checking out. Bucatini carbonara was delicious. As was the basket of freshly baked/fried goods - ricotta fritter, croissants, sugar donuts, gianduja brioche.

Dec 14, 2013
chiba in Greater Boston Area

Thanksgiving meal for kids ages 3 to 6?

Only in America is there such a thing as children's food. Children around the world enjoy virtually the same foods their parents eat. This perception that children must eat special food can damage their palates, and by extension, their health.

Oct 30, 2013
chiba in Home Cooking
3

Fresh Turmeric

Ideas for use?

Oct 05, 2013
chiba in Home Cooking

Baby Lemons?

Anyone know a source for baby lemons in Boston? They're cute.

Oct 05, 2013
chiba in Greater Boston Area

Neptune's Too Good for the North End?

It is sad. And frustrating. Especially for people who want to see the NE continue to prosper, to both respect its past and evolve at the same time. The self-parody and cliches are so tiresome.

Why do so many Italian-American establishments feel the need to self-parody, to dive headlong into those worn-out narratives? It would be more interesting if some places avoided the stereotypes and simply focussed on good food. Not talking about fancy, but honest, humble, authentic. Excellent classic Italian-American, excellent updated Italian-American, excellent regional Italian, excellent fine dining, excellent hole-in-the-walls. There's room for everyone. It would just be great if more places could emulate the dignity of Umberto's and avoiding falling into the trap of slapstick cliches...

Jul 14, 2013
chiba in Greater Boston Area

NY Magazine's "Sichuan Belt" in midtown Manhattan

What is the name of the Shaanxi place north of Boston? Sounds interesting... Thanks!

Jun 06, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

NY Magazine's "Sichuan Belt" in midtown Manhattan

For a worthy Cantonese meal that doesn't aim to be fancy try the Best Little Restaurant on Hudson St. Despite it's name, it's a good unprepossessing "average" Boston Cantonese restaurant. But after just a few bites you will be able to tell how much more effort they put into things than the "average" Manhattan Chinese restaurant.

If New Yorkers (and remember, I'm focussing on Manhattan here - and yes I understand that there is worthy Chinese food in the outer boroughs) went to Boston (or plenty of other cities) to sample some average Chinese food like that served at BLR then maybe they would begin to understand what they're missing and perhaps hold NYC restaurants to a higher standard.

May 25, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

NY Magazine's "Sichuan Belt" in midtown Manhattan

NY Noodletown is an excellent case in point... Despite the hype and Bourdain blessing, it sucked when I went recently. Maybe it was great many years ago...

May 25, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

NY Magazine's "Sichuan Belt" in midtown Manhattan

I do agree that's more regional diversity represented lately and that's encouraging.

May 25, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

NY Magazine's "Sichuan Belt" in midtown Manhattan

Agreed. Vietnamese is virtually non-existent in Manhattan, how can that be in a world-class city? Vietnamese is one of the trending cuisines of the 21st century and Manhattan is way behind the times. Boston, on the other hand, has several excellent Vietnamese places.

Burmese is another case in point. I can't think of a single place in Manhattan. Boston has Yo Ma, authentic and amazing!

And then there's Korean... Outside of Koreatown, where's it's very hit or miss, it's really hard to find...

May 25, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

NY Magazine's "Sichuan Belt" in midtown Manhattan

When I say NY, I mean Manhattan for this discussion. Places I've been to on the UES have been forgettable to bad, for example. Very disappointing and at first, surprising, in such a great city.

If it's Chinese-American food or Chinese regional cuisine, it is what it is and it's all good for me, but it has to be good for what it aims to be and on the average it isn't.

May 25, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

NY Magazine's "Sichuan Belt" in midtown Manhattan

That's the point. New York is a great city, but it cannot be assumed that just because NYC is great that its Chinese restaurants are great. The average Chinese restaurant in Boston or Montreal is far superior to the average Chinese restaurant in NYC. NY Chinese restaurants on the average are not that great and New Yorkers don't seem to mind.

May 24, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

NY Magazine's "Sichuan Belt" in midtown Manhattan

Manhattan.

May 24, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

NY Magazine's "Sichuan Belt" in midtown Manhattan

"I take issue with the quality of meat cuts as much as I do the freshness of their vegetables. I think the turnover in chefs and sporadic corner cutting for profit margins just effects NY places far more than on the West Coast."

Precisely, couldn't have said it better. Thanks sugartoof!

Quality... that's my issue. This has nothing to do with authenticity or style, but if a restaurant is serving a humble eggroll, it should be a worthy one. But too often in Manhattan, it isn't. The average Chinese restaurant in NY just doesn't strive for levels of quality that you find in Boston or Montreal, for example. The standards in NY have just dropped so low.

May 24, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

NY Magazine's "Sichuan Belt" in midtown Manhattan

It's not trolling and that's part of the point. So many things in Manhattan have become fossilized and if anyone dares point that out then it's ts for them.

"For a city so metropolitan, and so rich and diverse in the culinary scene, it is rather odd that the New Yorkers are so parochial, and insecure, when it comes to their Chinese."

That's been my experience too. For such a world-class city, the Chinese food is not that great. And worse, most New Yorkers have no idea. That's not a good place to be in for such a world-class city.

May 22, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

Best New Brunch in Brooklyn?

Lots of old faves like Buttermilk Channel and Fort Defiance and Little Neck... but what's new?

May 11, 2013
chiba in Outer Boroughs

Littleneck in Gowanus

Just had a simple, yet amazing brunch at Littleneck in Gowanus.

The most generous and haunting rendition of the generally ubiquitous shrimp and grits I've ever had. I forgot to ask, but the 6 large shrimp seemed to be wild caught. Order the excellent crispy potatoes to go with it to soak up the extra sauce.

Friendly and no attitude.

Apr 13, 2013
chiba in Outer Boroughs

Best Thai in UES

Thanks, Gary, for that recommendation! Jaiya is truly outstanding. Had delivery last night and enjoyed everything we ordered. Even something as simple as coconut soup (Tom Kha) was a revelation compared to other Thai places, so rich and velvety. Looking forward to trying other dishes!

Apr 12, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

Ramps 2013

Sustainable-wise. The places in the wild where they are harvested cannot regenerate them fast enough to meet demand.

Apr 06, 2013
chiba in Greater Boston Area

Best Thai in UES

Thank you, Gary! The menu looks great. Just called and they do deliver to 96th. Can't wait to try it. Any recommended dishes?

Apr 06, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

Ramps 2013

Ramps are wonderful, but we are loving them to death. Please consider giving ramps a pass this year.

Apr 05, 2013
chiba in Greater Boston Area

Best Thai in UES

that will deliver to 96th St? Thanks for any advice!

Apr 05, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

Agata Valentina or Eataly - sushi quality seafood?

Eataly has outstanding, often wild, seafood. Some good local choices too. Not sure if they would be a source for sushi though since it seems like seafood for sushi requires different considerations/preparation and be best sourced at a more sushi-minded market like Mitsuwa or H-mart in NJ... It's worth asking at Eataly though since their quality is so consistently high.

Mar 24, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

Best ramen right now?

Ippudo is consistently excellent. Arrive before 11:45 at lunch and walk right in...

Anyone have an opinion about Naruto on the UES?

Mar 24, 2013
chiba in Manhattan

Fuloon issues?

I've enjoyed several great meals there over the years usually overlooking the generally run-down and not-so-clean setting... But on my last visit in December it just seemed not only more run-down and dirtier, but the food lacked it's usual oomph.

Let's hope that in 2013, they can clean the place up and get back on track...

Jan 10, 2013
chiba in Greater Boston Area