Mike in Rhinebeck's Profile

Title Last Reply

Rye Bread Long Island

Country Boy Bakery in Long Beach. It's a schlep from Suffolk but worth it. www.countryboybakery.net

Mar 13, 2014
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Sunday in Hyde Park with friends

For lunch, the Hyde Park Brewing Company is almost directly across Rt. 9 from the entrance to the Visitor Center at the FDR home.

Jan 30, 2014
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Sunday in Hyde Park with friends

Aren't the CIA restaurants closed on Sundays?

Jan 30, 2014
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

First-Timer in Toronto

I will be in Toronto for two nights with no car, attending a conference at the Hyatt Regency on King Street. Am looking for recommendations for dinner,preferably within walking distance, for interesting ethnic restaurants (Thai, Vietnamese, or anything unique to Toronto). While cost is not an issue, I am not looking to spend an arm and a leg. Thanks.

Jan 29, 2014
Mike in Rhinebeck in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

What are some "shouldn't miss" dishes at Proof?

Report on Proof

Thanks to all who responded with recommendations. Dinner at Proof turned out to be sublime. While everything -including cocktails, wines, and desserts - we ate was excellent, we agreed that the most outstanding dishes were the tuna tartare, the potato gnocchi (with autumn squash, sage brown butter, and Brussels sprouts, among other items, and the lamb chops with farro. While we have enjoyed dining at other DC favorites (e.g., Brasserie Beck; Oyamel; Central Michel Richard) and have yet to sample other restaurants which frequently are discussed by 'hounds, I see a return trip to Proof in the very near future.

Jan 26, 2014
Mike in Rhinebeck in Washington DC & Baltimore

What are some "shouldn't miss" dishes at Proof?

I am an out-of-tower who will be eating dinner at Proof in 2 weeks with 2 others. What are some of their "signature" dishes -those that we should not miss if we never get to eat there again? Two of us will try almost any food, whereas the third is a bit picky and won't touch seafood. Thanks

Jan 09, 2014
Mike in Rhinebeck in Washington DC & Baltimore

Four Breakfasts in/Around Charleston (long)

The rice dish did not contain any white rice.

Jan 05, 2014
Mike in Rhinebeck in Southeast

Hotels and restaurants to visit in Paris, France

We visited Paris in April 2009. For a truly non-touristy lunch, we very much enjoyed Chez Janou (chezjanou.com) on two occasions; not terribly expensive and (at the time) reservations not necessary. It is in the 3rd Arr. and a short walk from Place de Vosges.

we also did a lunch at Chez L'Ami Jean (http://www.lamijean.fr/3en.aspx) in the 7th Arr. (about halfway between the Eiffel Tower and the Musee d'Orsay); the three course lunch was expensive (now about $42 Euros) and required advanced reservations (about 2 months ahead of time). We will never forget the old-fashioned rice pudding dessert with salted butter caramel.

we also rented a studio apartment where we ate most breakfasts and one dinner; hard to recall most of the other restaurants as they were not unique . . .

Jan 05, 2014
Mike in Rhinebeck in France

Four Breakfasts in/Around Charleston (long)

OK - here they are; sorry for the delay and the length:

Saturday night dinner at Hank’s Seafood:
After a very frustrating and long day of driving (or should I say “sitting”) on I-95 from DC to Charleston, we arrived at Hank’s full of anticipation, based upon a friend’s recommendation that Hank’s had “the best” seafood in Charleston. We started with drinks: son had a beer while my wife and I ordered cocktails from their specialty list. I had a Southern Gentleman (Gentleman Jack, Southern Comfort, a splash of OJ, some simple syrup, mint leaf with crushed ice) and my wife had a Gin & Tonic made with jack Rudy Tonic. Both drinks were weak and we were unimpressed. My starter was a 1.2 dozen oyster sampler (2 each from the Gulf, Nova Scotia, and the West Coast) – the smaller non-Gulf oysters were very tasty. For entrees I chose a special that was pan roasted Carolina bass with roasted vegetables plus another accompaniment that I do not recall. The fish was perfectly cooked with a nice crust on the outside. My wife had shrimp and grits (creamy, not stone ground) which she said was very, very, good except for a few small pieces of shell that were NOT associated with the tails. Son had a platter with a fried crabcake, fried shrimp, hush puppies, cole slaw, and fried sweet potato chips. While he raved about everything, the sweet potato chips were especially impressive. He finished with Peanut Butter Pie, while my wife and I shared Cherry Crisp with vanilla ice cream which, truthfully, was nothing special. Service was efficient but a bit stuffy and not at all “warm.”

Sunday night dinner at Monza Pizza on King Street:
We were attracted to this place because several web sites had chosen it as “best” pizza in South Carolina and because we wanted a lighter dinner on at least one of our nights in town. We were not super hungry because we ate a large brunch at Lost Dog in mid-morning and because we drank several beers that afternoon at Charleston Beer Works while watching the Panthers. Our server bragged about having been selected as 11th best pizza in the U.S. We had two of their 10 inch pizzas: the Materassi (fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella & basil) and a special with apples, manchego cheese, sausage, and some other items. Monza’s wood-fired oven bakes these pizzas quickly with a thin crust with just the right balance between chewy-ness and crusty-ness. We liked both pies but found them similar to other wood-fired oven pizzas from across the country; frankly, we were surprised this place received such a high ranking. I also had a wonderful warm salad composed of wood roasted seasonal vegetables with parmigiano reggiano cheese andbread crumbs, topped with a local farm egg cooked sunny side up. This was fabulous, and I really liked the way the slightly runny but warm egg yolk and the cut-up egg whites melded with the light dressing on the rest of the salad. While we were there, I saw only a few other tables but about 10 staff members and on the way out learned that they had a back patio; it would have been nice if we had been offered an opportunity to sit out there as it had been a beautiful day.

For dessert, we stopped on the walk back to the hotel at Paolo’s Gelato Shop on John Street; while we enjoyed all 4 flavors we tried, the pistachio was outstanding!

Monday night at Fat Hen on John’s Island
After having consumed a pedestrian but convenient lunch at Hyman’s (many downtown lunch spots were closed on Monday, and others took an extended Christmas vacation), we drove through a drenching rain 15-20 minutes out to John’s Island to this country French-inspired restaurant located on a main highway in an otherwise residential area. Given the time of year, it was very dark upon our arrival, and a bit difficult to see signs directing us to parking, which is in the back (which is where the main entrance is located). We were seated in the large and (a bit) noisy front room, and were impressed with the convivial nature of the space. Our server was very attentive and got us started with drinks - nothing for my wife, but a Low Country Lemonade (Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, Triple Sec, fresh squeezed lime, splash of Sprite, garnished with lemon) for my son and an Orance Fashioned (Orange bourbon, bitters, soda, orange wedge, cherry) for me. These drinks- especially the Lemonade – were much more satisfying than those we had at Hank’s. We shared a delicious appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes that came with pimento goat cheese, pepper relish, and tomato jam. The kitchen must have been very efficient because despite the crowd, our main courses emerged very quickly (in fact, I felt that our entire meal was a bit rushed). Son had Salmon Bearnaise with mashed potatoes and garlic spinach (which I wound up eating, as he does not eat cooked spinach), I had the tilefish special and my wife had the Grilled Butcher’s Steak with demi glace, bearnaise, garlic spinach, and pomme frites. We were all very satisfied and decided to forgo dessert.

Tuesday night (Xmas Eve) dinner at Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B.)
My son and I, as a continuation of our tradition started in 2012, wore bow ties to dinner; given our relative inexperience tieing them, we arrived just in time for our reservation! We had eaten a light lunch that day at The Glass Onion (which was OK but we did not understand all the fuss about this place). Wife and I started with Prosecco and son had a rum and Coke to toast the holiday, and later he switched to beer and I had a glass of Pinot Gris with my dinner. I started with SNOB’s version of She-Crab soup (called Charleston Crab Soup) which was very good but was not an adequate replacement for she-crab soup that I had had in the past. My main course was an amazingly outstanding plate of pan-roasted fish (sorry – forgot what type!) that came with potato gnocchi, a few roasted veggies and a creamy puree. Again, the fish was perfectly cooked, and its juices blended well with the sauces in the bowl that bathed the gnocchi and veggies. I ate very slowly to savor this dish, which was my favorite of all the meals I consumed in Chucktown. My wife had pan-seared duck breast with Charleston gold wild rice pirlou, Brussels sprouts, apple compote, and a honey thyme reduction. She liked it very much (as did I, having an opportunity to taste a few bites) but – in her words – “not the very best duck she ever had.” My son stuck with turf and ate a grilled CAB ribeye filet with herbed goat cheese, red onion jam, grilled okra (which he did not touch), and Madeira sauce; other than the okra he cleaned his plate and then enjoyed Peanut Butter Pie while my wife had Espresso Chocolate Pie with Oreo crust and chocolate sauce and I had sorbet for dessert. Our server, as well as the other servers with whom we interacted, were knowledgeable, warm and very helpful, making us feel very much at home. Despite our having a 5:45 seating, we never felt rushed even as we lingered over dessert while the front reception area of the restaurant was crowded.

All three of us felt that the overall experience (food, ambience, service) was clearly the best at SNOB, where we would go back in a heartbeat. While we enjoyed the dinners at Hank’s, Monza, and Fat Hen, we would first like to try other Charleston restaurants for dinner before returning.

Jan 05, 2014
Mike in Rhinebeck in Southeast

where to eat,sleep and visit between ithaca and bennington that good, real, interesting and non-chain?

Cafe Madison in Albany, NY, (on Madison Ave. near College of St. Rose) has an outstanding breakfast/brunch menu and is definitely NOT chain.

cafe madison.bmtmgt.com

Jan 04, 2014
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Four Breakfasts in/Around Charleston (long)

My wife, 22-year old son, and I just returned home from a trip to South Carolina, during which we spent 4 nights/3 days in Charleston. Here is a report on the 4 breakfasts we enjoyed.

Sunday brunch at the Lost Dog Cafe in Folly Beach: Sunday, Dec. 22 was a warm and sunny day (temps eventually hit about 80 in downtown Charleston) and we drove the 15-20 minutes out to Folly Beach for brunch. Arriving shortly after 10 AM, we were surprised to have no wait to get an indoor table; the outdoor seating areas looked inviting and were full of dog-lovers with their pooches as well as a bevy of smokers. We each ordered specialty coffee drinks and started off by sharing an "awesome Cinnamon Roll" which was good but not awesome. Son had biscuits and sausage gravy (in fact, he had this as breakfast all 4 days in a row) and a side of grits, wife had a HUGE breakfast burrito (meat, eggs, beans, tomatoes, cheese, etc.) which was accompanied by grits, and I had Eggs Benedict modified with a fried green tomato between the egg and Canadian bacon. We were served very quickly despite the crowd, portions were huge, and the food quite tasty (except that he fried green tomatoes were quite acidic - more so than those I ate elsewhere in Charleston). Service was a bit rushed, as might be expected given how busy they were. Walls were decorated with many photos of dogs.

Monday breakfast at Hominy Grill: set in a residential neighborhood in an old barbershop, we again had no wait to get a table inside, whereas those seeking to sit outside on the patio had to wait. Extremely nice and personable service from our waitress, who took time to explain not only the breakfast options but also items (T shirts, coffee cups, etc.) that were available for sale. Son had B&G again, wife had sausage, eggs, grits, and toast, and I had a Hangtown Fry (eggs scrambled with oysters and bacon) with grits. As opposed to the relatively creamy grits at the Lost Dog, these were stone ground grits with a distinctive "crunch" that we all very much enjoyed. We finished up by sharing a piece of sublime buttermilk pie, which we enjoyed in a relatively leisurely way in the relaxing ambience of the restaurant.

Tuesday breakfast at the Dixie Supply Bakery and Cafe: a very small storefront about two blocks from the historic Charleston Market, patrons line up, place an order at the counter (which strongly prefers cash), and then find a table either inside the crowded room or at patio furniture just outside. The long line appeared to include both tourists and locals, Not too many fancy dishes on this menu; son again had biscuits and sausage gravy, while wife and I each had scrambled eggs, grits, and biscuits. Apparently, this place is famous for tomato pie, but it was not listed on the menu posted on the wall above the counter, otherwise I would have ordered it. Grits were like those at Hominy Grill, biscuits were better than Hominy Grill!

Christmas morning breakfast at Toast: this restaurant is attached to the Days Inn on Meeting Street about a block or so from the Historic Market, and was one of the very few places open on Xmas Day. No wait at all upon our arrival at 8:45. Son had his usual B&G, wife ate scrambled eggs, meat, and grits, while I had shrimp and grits covered by a "lobster" sauce with very small pieces of pork sausage. Grits were very creamy and a bit runny but otherwise this was a good dish. Fairly simple interior of the restaurant. All the staff, however, were attired in "Santa gear" and were amazingly cheerful and inviting given that they were working on Christmas morning!

We enjoyed all 4 breakfasts and would return to all 4 places. Son felt that the biscuits and gravy were best at Lost Dog Cafe, and my wife enjoyed her breakfast at Lost Dog the most (she might not want to return to Dixie Supply because of the tight quarters and lack of wait staff).. My favorite was Hominy Grill for the combination of food and ambience, with Lost Dog a close second.

Dec 30, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in Southeast

Driving home for Christmas [lunch in Ithaca/Corning?]

Not sure if Binghamton is too distant from "Ithaca/Corning", but if not, the Lost Dog Cafe (lostdogcafe.net) is a fun place.

Dec 11, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Hudson valley day trip or....

Harvest on Hudson for lunch. If the weather is nice, you will have a great view of the river.

Nov 14, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Christmas in Charleston?

My wide and 22 year old son will be spending time in Charleston over the Christmas holiday. Are there any "not to be missed" Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day brunch options that we should check out? We are open to most any type of cuisine. Thanks

Oct 21, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in Southeast

Last minute trip to Bay Area and have no idea where to eat.

My family of 4 New Yorkers recently returned from Bay Area visit, and offer the following suggestions. The food quality of our dim sum meal at Lai Hong Lounge in SF Chinatown far surpassed our most recent Manhattan, Flushing, and other NY dim sum experiences, despite the oddity (for us) of ordering off the menu as opposed to choosing from a cart. And the cost ($52) for a very large brunch for 4 also beat NY prices!

For the Monterey peninsula, we second the Passionfish recommendation, and also suggest the Crown and Anchor in downtown Monterey if you like a fairly authentic English pub atmosphere and food. In addition to about 2 dozen different British beers, they offer tasty food (my pan-fried sand dabs were great) and wonderful sticky toffe pudding for dessert. If you go a little way off the beaten path, Cafe Rustica in Carmel Valley is a delightful spot for lunch (sit outside on the beautiful shaded deck if possible); my thin crust mushroom pizza was outstanding, as were the salad and sandwiches my family had.

Aug 30, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in San Francisco Bay Area

Sunday Breakfast - Dottie's or Brenda's? [San Francisco]

Based upon one visit to each place, I would not necessarily say that Dotties has better food than Brenda's - both are very, very good. THe main difference is that the menu choices are more limited at Brenda's, which (being on the edge of the Tenderloin) is in just as "seedy" an area as Dotties.

Aug 14, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in San Francisco Bay Area

Yummiest weekday breakfast? Staying near Union Square [San Francisco]

Try Dottie's True Blue Cafe on Sixth, or Brenda's French Soul Food on Polk near the corner of Eddy.

Aug 12, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in San Francisco Bay Area

Five or Six or Seven Meals [San Francisco]

My wife, 2adult kids and I spent last Fri-Sat-sun in SF and had several memorable meals, but we all agreed that the best, by ar, was our dim sum brunch at Lai Hong Lounge on Powell in Chinatown. We got here early (between 9:30 and 10) and were seated immediately. No carts at this place; rather, you order off a menu which has the advantage of getting the dishes hot and, for the less popular dishes, pretty much made fresh to order. While we have eaten great dim sum in NYC, Lai Hong Lounge far surpassed all of our prior dim sum adventures. While all the dishes we sampled were superb, we liked these the best:
Har gow (steamed shrimp dumplings)
Steamed custard buns
Stuffed eggplant
Turnip cake
Deep fried donut holes (not really holes, but more like a popover)

Jul 31, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in San Francisco Bay Area

Breakfast spots?

Dottie's True Blue Cafe on 6th between Market and Mission. Get there early, as there will likely be a line. Check out the chalkboard for daily specials.

My 2 adult kids and I had a wonderful and very filling breakfast there this past Saturday; I had a special which was two zucchini cakes topped by poached eggs and salsa, accompanied by home fries and a small bowl of mixed fresh fruit. The kids and I split a humongous pecan cinnamon roll, and we each had coffee and a drink (mimosas and a Bloody Mary). Great start to a great day.


Jul 31, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in San Francisco Bay Area

3 days in Monterey-Carmel area

my wife, 21 year old son and I will be spending 3 days in the Monterey Bay area in early August. We are interested in dining suggestions for lunches and dinners; we enjoy almost any type of cuisine but would prefer to experience any regional specialties that are not necessarily available elsewhere. We plan to bring only casual clothes so nothing too fancy please. Thanks!

Jun 16, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in California

3 days in Eureka-Arcata

my wife, 21 year old son and I will be spending 3 days in the Eureka-Arcata area, visiting the Redwoods and just relaxing. We are interested in suggestions for lunches and dinners; we enjoy almost any type of cuisine but would prefer to experience any regional specialties that are not necessarily available elsewhere. We plan to bring only casual clothes so nothing too fancy please. Thanks!

Jun 16, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in California

Good diners/casual spots on Rt 17?

Piccolo Paese, just off Rt. 17 at the Rt 52 exit in Liberty, is much more elegant than a diner, although when I have been there I sat at the bar where the full menu is available. Some true CHOWHOUNDS might scoff at the high prices, but the rod is great. Check it out at piccolopaeserestaurant.com

Jun 11, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Heading for Cooperstown...

Ommegang Brewery is just a few miles outside Cooperstown. In addition to their own beers, they also serve lunch but not dinner.

Apr 14, 2013
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Christmas dinner in DC?

My family and I will be spending most of Christmas week in DC, and would like to eat a special dinner in late afternoon or early evening. We will be 5 people (youngest is 21) and have access to a car. While we prefer not to have to dress up, we will consider doing so if necessary. Any suggestions? American French, or Italian cuisine preferred.

Nov 17, 2012
Mike in Rhinebeck in Washington DC & Baltimore

Best pumpkin pie + apple pie within 80 miles of Manhattan?

Me Oh My Pie Shop is bit further than you specified in Red Hook, NY, about 20 miles past Poughkeepsie. www.meohmypieshop.com

Nov 14, 2012
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Lunch bet. Rhinebeck, NY and West Point

There are several restaurants on the waterfront in Newburgh with nice Hudson views. One is aled Torches on the Hudson, which may e the sister restaurant of Shadows on the Hudson in Piughkeepsie.

Sep 20, 2012
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Mexican Restaurant in the Hudson Valley Area

Two possibilities:
If you want to go high end, try La Puera Azulejo on Rt. 44 just west of Millbrook.
More informal ad less expensive will be Mole Mole,which has two locations in Poughkeepsie ( oe ach near Marist and Vassar) and one near the Kingston waterfront. The original owners of Mole Mole are from Oaxaca, I believe.

Sep 14, 2012
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Hudson Valley catering -- Oliver Kita vs Main Course

All my experiences with Main Course during my 11 years in the Hudson Valley, whether at the restaurant or at catered functions, have been very positive. However, it has been at least 3 years since I left the Hudson Valley.
No experience with Kita.

Sep 05, 2012
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)


We like Joey' on Mohawk Street

Aug 20, 2012
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)

Lunch spot between JFK and Kingston

I assume that your route is taking the Van Wyck Expwy to the Grand Central Pkwy to the TriBoro Bridge (which leads to the Major Deegan Expwy in the bronx; the Major Deegan turns into the NYS Thruway. in that case, following the suggestion of EM23 for thnic food in Queens, Sripraphai (in Woodside,)is not too far from your route and widely considered among the best Thai food in the NYC metro area. A bit further north, not too far from the Airmont Road Thruway exit is Sutter's Mill along rt. 59, to which I have not been but which has received positive mention at this site. And if you can tolerate your hunger for a bit longer, get off the Thruway at Exit 18 (Newburgh) and take Rt. 9W north to Kingston. along the way, stop in Marlboro at the Raccoon Saloon for one of the best burgers (and homemade potato chips) in the Hudson Valley.

Feb 13, 2012
Mike in Rhinebeck in New York State (exc. NYC)