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Joel Robuchon or e by Jose Andres?

I'm faced with the same choice but have a few other thoughts to factor in and am looking for your recommendations.
I've been to L'Atelier once before in Vegas and once in NYC and although i liked it both times I wasn't blown away. I thought the food wasn't very well balanced. It has been several years however and at least in Vegas, I was there after probably too many days of eating and drinking so I might not have been in the best mindset for the meal. If I didn't love L'Atelier, is it silly to go to JR proper?
How long does the meal at e take? I asked for a reservation between 6 and 8 and they offered me 8:30. I'll be arriving that day from the East Coast and I'm worried that if I sit down to a 3 hour meal at what is basically 11:30, I won't enjoy it. But I could always take a nap... I am reserved for 6:30 at JR.
Other factors - It's my husband and my five year anniversary so the price difference between the two is not an issue. And for point of reference, our favorite restaurant in NYC is Marea and our favorite in Las Vegas was Restaurant Charlie. But although those are both seafood restaurants, we definitely eat meat.


Restaurant Charlie
3355 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Sep 08, 2011
bml in Las Vegas

Recommendation Challenge!!!

Back 40?
Mercadito Grove? (although not seasonal/organic)

Jul 29, 2008
bml in Manhattan

If you can't get into Babbo, where does one go?

That's a good question. I don't know if they have a problem with kids who are clearly under 21 dining at the bar. That might be worth a phone call. But I also agree with the poster below that Peasant is excellent. I haven't been there in a while but I loved there suckling pig.

Jun 24, 2008
bml in Manhattan

If you can't get into Babbo, where does one go?

Unfortunately, Andrew Carmellini just left A Voce. I really loved that place. I haven't heard any word on how things are since his departure.

If you're willing to eat at the bar at Babbo, you can show up right when the open. If you aren't a big group and get there right away it shouldn't be a problem.

Jun 24, 2008
bml in Manhattan

Strip House - what cut to order?

I go to Strip House pretty frequently and always order the same thing:
porterhouse for 2 (not on the regular menu but always a special)
black truffle creamed spinach
creamed corn with bacon

I'm a big steak person but usually not much for char. Strip house really sold me on the concept of a crispy outside. I dream about the spinach even more than the steak. If I get an appetizer it's usually the oysters. Portions here are huge and I like to save all of my appetite for the steak and sides. Even the salads are gigantic and too filling if I'm really going to have at the steak.

Jun 21, 2008
bml in Manhattan

Saturday brunch near St. Vincent's hospital

In addition to these, I just saw that Cafe Cluny opens at 8:00. I haven't been, but it sounds like it would fit.

Feb 01, 2008
bml in Manhattan

Seeking: best gin martinis in Manhattan

This request is trickier than you would think because the current generation of cocktail purists (I'm thinking the Flatiron Lounge/Pegu Club/Employees Only folk) do not keep the gin cold. They consider the water from the melted ice a crucial component. I'm married to a frozen-gin martini enthusiast and it's hard to find at the nicer cocktail lounges.

Jan 30, 2008
bml in Manhattan

Walking into Casa Mono or Boqueria on a Friday Evening?

Casa Mona takes reservations and Boqueria doesn't so if you get there by 6:30 I would think you would have no trouble at the latter. I've had some luck walking into Casa Mona on a weekend night but if they can accomodate you they may tell you they need the table back by a certain time.

Jan 28, 2008
bml in Manhattan

Wine bars in Chelsea or W. Village?

The one on Bedford is actually 'ino, inoteca is its sister restaurant in the Lower East Side, but I think ino is a great recommendation. Right near by on Downing off of Bedford is Downing Street Winebar. Both of these places are very small so if you can't get a seat at one you could always try the other.

Jan 28, 2008
bml in Manhattan

Carbonara downtown?

Hi all,

Grub Street's feature on traditional carbonara preparations has given me a serious craving. Any places downtown (preferably central or east village or LES) that serve a great one? I get it at Otto all of the time and love it but I go there a lot and am looking for something different - ideally at Otto's price point or below. I've done a search and seen some recommendations for the carbonara at Crispo. Is that the way to go or would you suggest anything else?


Jan 17, 2008
bml in Manhattan

Going to Lupa tonight at 6pm

Not for your no carb friend, but my favorite pastas are the gnocchi (pretty universally praised) and the bevette cacio & pepe. The main dishes are a la carte and there are vegetable contorni to supplement. We usually start with some cured meats and vegetables - the vegetables change pretty regularly so I can't recommend anything specific but whatever is with pecorino is usually a good choice, and then get those two pastas and split a main course. For non-fish I love the pork shoulder.

Jan 17, 2008
bml in Manhattan

Any suggestions for drinks before dinner in the West Village?

I lived right there until very recently and unfortunately there just aren't many bars close to that stretch of 5th Avenue. Before dinner, if it is early enough, you could go to Otto but the bar gets crazed pretty early. If you are just looking for a bar close by, I think your best bet is probably Park Bar on 15th Street. If you are willing to walk to the other side of Washington Square I would recomend The Dove on Thompson or Pegu Club on Houston.

Jan 09, 2008
bml in Manhattan

Lavanga or The Mermaid Inn for Second Date

I also would recomend Lavagna and am suprised to read that some would think it's too pushy. I understand what one poster said about it being cramped but whether or not that is an issue probably depends on how formal the two of you are. Also, as an added bonus, two very good friends of mine had their first dates there and the relationships have been going strong so I feel like it brings good luck.

Jan 09, 2008
bml in Manhattan

My last meal in NY?

What about Gramercy Tavern? They have a vegetable tasting menu for $88. I've never done it, but I've always wanted to.

Dec 13, 2007
bml in Manhattan

Pasta heavy menu for pre-marathon dinner

Although I love Lupa and Otto, their pasta dishes tend to be a just little rough on my stomach - definitely not what I want the night before a marathon. In the past I've gone to Da Andrea on Hudson and Malatesta on Christopher on Marathon Eve and enjoyed them both very much. I think I'd recommend Malatesta over all as I think their homemade spaghetti is one of the few worth ordering out and pretty perfect for the meal in question.

Oct 16, 2007
bml in Manhattan

What to order at Tia Pol?

I agree with everything that's been recommended and would add the periwinkles and the blistered peppers with sea salt. The latter aren't on the regular menu but are very often offered as a special. These two dishes, the patatas bravas and the chorizo and chocolate are my favorite. And, for dessert, I love their calimocho.

Sep 07, 2007
bml in Manhattan

A Voce - review

This past Sunday, I took my parents to A Voce for dinner. I had been there twice before, both times last summer, and really enjoyed it and I thought the food was even better this time. We were a group of four and shared the fritto misto, the duck meatballs, sheep’s milk ricotta, and fig and duck breseaola salad to start. We enjoyed everything but the duck meatballs were the standout and definitely lived up to the hype. The ricotta was also a hit. For my main course I had the summer corn ravioli which was amazing. The mushrooms in the sauce balanced the sweetness of the corn and gave it a bit more depth. I didn’t try any of the other main courses but my father, who can be pretty picky and old fashioned in his food preferences said, “This is really a quality restaurant” – very high praise. We also had the olive oil cake and the buttermilk panna cotta for dessert and they were both excellent. The service was perfect: helpful, professional and friendly. I was a little worried about the sound level but it was not an issue. Our reservation was early and the place was pretty empty when we arrived, but by the end of the meal they were full and my mother, who isn’t great with background noise, didn’t have any problems hearing. Food and service-wise, it was a fantastic meal.

But the thing that impressed me the most about A Voce was the wine list. I am not a wine expert by any stretch, but I’m relatively knowledgeable and I have ordered a lot of bottles of wine in a lot of restaurants so I’m pretty aware of how different places put their wine lists together. On the A Voce website they say that the list is designed to offer affordability as well as luxury and that they offer many bottles under $80, but I was amazed at how many bottles they had under $50. At a place where main courses are priced up to the $30s, so many inexpensive wines is really a treat. There are so many great, interesting, inexpensive wines out there, I think it shows respect for a restaurant’s guests to offer them those options instead of forcing them to shell out more than they may want to if they are going to order a bottle. It also makes me feel more comfortable asking for help from the very accessible sommelier if I can tell him that I am looking at a price point where I have more than a few token choices. Having been to Borough Food and Drink the night before, where the service is clueless and mains max out at $20 but the cheapest bottle of sparkling wine was $55, I was amazed to see two proseccos in the low $40s on the A Voce list. Of course there are lots of more expensive bottles as well, which worked out perfectly for our group: my father bought a ½ bottle of a more expensive white burgundy, and the rest of us split a bottle of an Alto Adige Gewurtraminer. I left very happy and excited to go back. I think it is the perfect place to go when you are looking for something special without going the fixed price or tasting menu route.

Aug 24, 2007
bml in Manhattan

Veritas Tasting Menu

I did the off the menu tasting menu at Veritas for an anniversary about 2 years ago and it was the best dining experience I've had, although I have not been everywhere. I cannot remember how much it cost, but it wasn't out of line with the cost of the regular menu. I asked them about doing a tasting menu when I made the reservation and they said it would be no problem and to ask the server when we arrived. When we did show up for our reservation the waiter mentioned to us that he knew we were interested, asked if we had any dietary restrictions and quoted us the price. At this point the only dish I remember was the monkfish fois gras which was one of the top 10 things I've ever had. I've tried it other places since and nothing has come close. Also, Scott Bryan came out of the kitchen a few times and kind of checked out how we were doing from afar in an uncreepy way which made us feel very well cared for.

I highly recommend going this route, particularly if this is the type of food you enjoy.

Aug 13, 2007
bml in Manhattan

Source for fresh unhomogenized milk in Manhattan?

Ronnybrook Dairy's milk is pasteurized but not homogenized. I've never made butter from it but the whole milk definitely gets a nice layer of cream on the top. They are at the Union Square Green Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays and although the milk doesn't come in mason jars, it does come in returnable glass bottles. Their website is:

Jul 03, 2007
bml in Manhattan

Meal good for a large group - with restrictions

Hello all,

I have a family trip coming up where I am responsible for cooking dinner one night and I have been racking my brain to no avail to come up with a menu. The situation is this:

12 adults - kids eat earlier and are fed by their parents
No nuts of any kind due to allergies
It's a bit of a competition and I am only responsible for one night so it's okay if it's labor intensive
No one is a very picky eater but nothing raw or too spicy will fly
Need to be able to get ingredients locally (Outer Bank of North Carolina, Corolla area) so can't rely on Manhattan-style specialty shops
Will be dependent on rental house cooking equipment. There will be a grill.

I was going to do a spanish theme and make some tapas for cocktail hour, make sangria, and do a paella, which I've never made before but have done some research, but I am worried about the pan. I was even going to bring down some chorizo.

Any suggestions?

Jun 21, 2007
bml in Home Cooking

Looking for small jars of honey

I bought honeys and spice mixes from Blue Ribbon Market for favors at my wedding. They now sell the honeys online, but those are 12 oz and $12. I went to the store (14 Bedford St, near Downing) and spoke to Sasha who helped me get 140 small jars together and gave me a bit of a price break. I gave him about 1 months notice, which was no problem on their end.

Jun 19, 2007
bml in Manhattan

Good, fun restaurants with gardens below 14th St?

I went to bar-bo-ne on B between 11th and 12th last night and was pleasantly suprised. It's Italian, and the menu has both traditional and some more inventive seasonal items. I wouldn't call it fun in a boisterous, party kind of way, but it's certainly not stuffy and the food was really good, not expensive and the garden is really nice.

Jun 08, 2007
bml in Manhattan

Garden seating in W. Village for engagement celebration dinner

They just open up the ceiling, I believe.

May 23, 2007
bml in Manhattan

Garden seating in W. Village for engagement celebration dinner

My first suggestion is August, on Bleecker between Charles and 10th, but although they fit your cuisine type requirement (I think they bill themselves as pan-European), I'd still check the menu to see if you think it would work for your friends since it's not what everyone thinks of when they mention those cuisines. Crispo (Italian) and Gavroche (French) both on 14th street have nice gardens in the back and are pretty traditional in their menu offerings.

May 23, 2007
bml in Manhattan

Champagne Brunch

NY State liquor laws don't allow the sale of on-premise alcohol before noon on Sunday. There are certainly places that don't follow this law, but there are others that will not sell you a drink before noon, so you might want to beware.

Feb 21, 2007
bml in Manhattan

Great cup of coffee and pleasant atmosphere near Washington Square park?

Think Coffee on Mercer near West 3rd. Excellent coffee, good treats, and lots of space to sit.

Aug 01, 2006
bml in Manhattan

Fantastic coffee

Think Coffee's iced coffee is the best I've ever had. They were listed in NY Mag's iced coffee article because they cold brew their iced coffee. I have no idea what that means, but I do know that I am consistenly amazed how it can be so much better than other iced coffee without tasting "different" in any way. Not sure if I'm making sense...

Jul 18, 2006
bml in Manhattan

New Restaurant in Lower East Side

My first guess is Little Giant. It has been open for more than a year I think, but not much longer than that and it has two female owners. It is on the corner of Orchard and Broome. I went once about a year ago and enjoyed it.

Jun 28, 2006
bml in Manhattan