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Labor Day weekend in Louisville-- please critique

Thanks very much! I think it's going to look like this:

Friday dinner: Reservation at Harvest or walk into Doc Crow's/Milkwood/Hammerheads

Saturday:

Lunch: Still open; walk into Lily's/Havana Rumba/Hillbilly Tea

Dinner: 610 Magnolia

Sunday:

Lunch: Likely on a distillery tour

Dinner: Garage Bar or Milkwood

Monday:

Lunch: Mayan Cafe

I appreciate the help!

Jul 09, 2013
Cuisinescene in Kentucky & Tennessee

Labor Day weekend in Louisville-- please critique

Hi! My husband and I are making our first trip to Louisville over Labor Day weekend. We will be driving in from Columbus, OH on Friday night and leaving Monday afternoon. We will have a car but would probably just as soon take the trolley or cabs so we can enjoy some adult beverages worry-free. We are staying at the Galt House.

A little about us: We recently moved from NYC to a small town outside of Columbus. Of everything we miss about New York, we miss the restaurants the most. We've been lucky enough to go to a bunch of the fancy/expensive NYC places (Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Babbo, etc.), so we have pretty high expectations when it comes to restaurants where you rack up a big tab. Good service is very important to us, as is feeling like we got good value for the price-- we're happy to spend a lot when it's worth it, but we're not likely to believe that it was worth it just because we spent a lot. We're in our 30s and we like places that aren't museum-quiet, but where you don't have to scream, either.

We like all different cuisines and try to eat whatever is best wherever we are. If everything were equally great, we would tend toward Italian and contemporary American, but otherwise we would go for the local stand-outs.

The goal is to have one dinner that's more high-end and the others more moderate (I still think in NYC prices, so "moderate" could still include entrees in the $20 range, though certainly doesn't have to). We would be open to the idea of a fancy lunch and a more casual dinner, but we're probably more likely to keep lunch casual.

We would like to drive out to some distilleries (likely Maker's Mark-- my husband's favorite, though I know their production will be down for the season-- and Jim Beam, but I'm definitely open to suggestions) on one of the days. It's looking like Sunday right now because from what I can tell, the distilleries are open but a lot of the local favorite restaurants are closed. Monday we would probably check out of the hotel, eat lunch, and drive home.

With that, here are my initial thoughts. I would love your feedback/edits/additions!

Friday: Since we will be driving, I'm inclined to have a reservation in hand but be prepared to cancel if we get stuck in traffic, so I would need somewhere we can walk in. Probably not the right night for our high-end dinner.

Current thoughts:

Reservation at Harvest; potentially walk into Doc Crow's (Can you walk in on a Friday night? If not, where would you plan to walk into?)

Saturday: We'll probably just tour around the city-- no major plans. Probably a more casual lunch and the nice dinner

Lunch: Lily's, Havana Rumba, or Hillbilly Tea

Dinner: 610 Magnolia (I was able to book a table), Harvest, Doc Crow's (if we decide we don't feel like high-end), or Jack Fry's

Is 610 Magnolia worth it? Would you do that over Jack Fry's?

Sunday: Likely a distillery tour, so probably a more casual dinner

Lunch (if we're not on a tour): Havana Rumba, Proof on Main, or Hillbilly Tea

Dinner: Havana Rumba or Proof on Main (What other favorites are open?)

Monday: Tricky; I haven't found much that's open on holiday Mondays

Lunch: Mayan Cafe (less desirable if we've already been to Havana Rumba)

I'm sure we'll be hitting up the bar scene before and/or after dinner, so if there are any great happy hours-- or just great bars-- we shouldn't miss, I'd love to hear about them.

Thanks so much, Louisville experts! Everything I've read tells me Louisville is a hidden food gem, and I'm excited to experience it!

Jul 06, 2013
Cuisinescene in Kentucky & Tennessee

Help with an Anniversary Dinner

Unfortunately not, since August only does lunch Monday through Friday. But thank you for the reassurance about Commander's!

Sep 21, 2011
Cuisinescene in New Orleans

Help with an Anniversary Dinner

Hi, CHers,

My husband and I are headed to NOLA this weekend for our one-year anniversary. Right now we have dinner reservations at both Commander's and August. Commander's was the first place that occurred to me, since I had a birthday dinner at Commander's several years ago and remember that it was superb, both the food and service. I have been reading through the posts and see that some people feel that it has gone downhill in the past years, but that August is a favorite these days.

My husband and I are New Yorkers and appreciate excellent restaurants. To give you an idea, Gramercy Tavern is a favorite, as much for the service as for the food. In other words, we are looking less for trendy/minimalist and more for classic/elegant.

The question now is are we going to be disappointed if we go to Commander's? They certainly pulled out all the stops for my birthday dinner (albeit a long time ago)- would they do the same for an anniversary? Honestly, for this occasion, we might we willing to trade a little bit in the food category for a superior atmosphere and experience.

Should we stick with Commander's or go to August? I would appreciate all your thoughts!

Sep 21, 2011
Cuisinescene in New Orleans

Rehearsal Dinner Near Rye Brook-- Italian Restaurant Needed

We went during the Nor'easter weekend to look at restaurants, so a number of places were closed. Marianacci's didn't have power, but we got the catering menu. We ended up eating at Il Sogno, which my future father-in-law was quite taken with. Has anyone done a large party there?

I also got a recommendation for Alba's in Port Chester. Does anyone have group dining experiences there?

Thanks!

Apr 15, 2010
Cuisinescene in New York State (exc. NYC)

Rehearsal Dinner Near Rye Brook-- Italian Restaurant Needed

Thanks; I had heard of that place but didn't know they were closed for renovations. That's good to know-- we were thinking of checking it out this weekend! I guess that won't work. :) We'll keep it on the list, though.

Mar 11, 2010
Cuisinescene in New York State (exc. NYC)

Rehearsal Dinner Near Rye Brook-- Italian Restaurant Needed

Hi, CHers!

I am getting married in September and am in search of a moderately priced Italian restaurant near Rye Brook for a rehearsal dinner for 20-30 people. I assume with that many people, everywhere would be offering a fixed menu, so I'm not entirely sure what "moderately" priced would be. Perhaps around $40pp, not including drinks and tip? We can certainly go under that, but I'm not sure how high my in-laws would want to go.

As close to the Hilton in Rye Brook as possible would be great. Thanks in advance, everyone!

Mar 11, 2010
Cuisinescene in New York State (exc. NYC)

NYC Attorney Returning to Cambridge for Recruiting Dinner

Well, I got a reservation at Craigie Street after all, but then the partner hijacked my table so that he could woo a candidate in a smaller group. Now I'm supposed to take out another candidate somewhere else.

The good news is that this means I can venture into Boston. It's going to be me, the law student, and our recruiting coordinator (a young-in-spirit 40s woman). I think I've narrowed my choices down to Mistral or Clio.

Any thoughts? I think Clio may have the food edge, but I'm afraid the atmosphere will be too formal. Or is there somewhere else I should definitely go? (I've been to No. 9 already and am looking to branch out.)

Thanks again!

Oct 02, 2008
Cuisinescene in Greater Boston Area

NYC Attorney Returning to Cambridge for Recruiting Dinner

Hi!

I'm a Harvard Law grad now working as an attorney in NYC, and I'm coming up to Cambridge next week for a recruiting dinner (about 5 people, including 2 law students and the recruiting partner). I remember from my HLS days all the typical recruiting restaurants: Sandrine's, Rialto, Upstairs on the Square, Harvest, etc. Craigie Street Bistrot was a favorite of mine (though I hear it moved locations), but I can't get a table for 5 the night I need it.

The partner has asked me to pick the restaurant. Where should I go, CHers? Price is not an object-- it should actually be on the more upscale side. Oleana is out-- the food needs to be a bit more "mainstream" (new American, French, Italian, steak, seafood), much as I would be up for a culinary adventure. Given the mix of attendees, nothing too hip, loud, or where the partner is going to feel out of place and really old.

Any thoughts on Salts or Rendezvous? TW Food? Rendezvous had just opened when I was in Cambridge, and I think I went once, but I'm not sure if it's up to par these days. I haven't been to the other two. EVOO? Other suggestions that I haven't thought of?

It's going to be a Sunday night and we are restricted to CAMBRIDGE. A place that takes reservations is a must. I'm looking for something besides the "usual suspects" that the law students are already bored of (i.e., where all the other firms take them).

Thanks so much for all your help, CHers!

Sep 26, 2008
Cuisinescene in Greater Boston Area

Coconut Extract-- HELP!!

Update:

Thanks for saving my fudge, everyone! I ended up finding coconut flavoring at Westerly after striking out at the Food Emporium and Williams-Sonoma. I did call Kalustyan, and they said they had it, too. I'm looking forward to checking out both Kalustyan and New York Cake and Baking!

May 08, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Coconut Extract-- HELP!!

Hi, CHers!

I am making a Mother's Day brunch for my boyfriend's parents (whom I will be meeting for the first time this weekend, so the pressure is on) and on the menu is my signature coconut fudge. I was all prepared to make it, and then found out that I am out of coconut extract-- an essential ingredient. I tried Associated, Gristedes, the Gourmet Garage, and Fairway; none of them had it. If Food Emporium doesn't carry it, I'm at a loss for where else to look. Does anyone know where to find coconut extract? I think ordering it online is too risky at this point, given the timing. Any Manhattan grocery store, gourmet shop, or baking supplies purveyor suggestions would be very welcome (and even better if they're on the UES).

Thank you so much for your help!

(And my apologies if this is not an appropriate place to post this question. I'll be happy to post elsewhere if you direct me to the right board).

May 07, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Dinner in midtown east.....any ideas??

Cibo is nearby (2nd at 41st) and has a nice prix fixe menu.

-----
Cibo
767 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Apr 03, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Romantic, dark, semiformal, French restaurant

JoJo is OK. It's not exactly dark and intimate-- at least on the lower floor. I haven't been upstairs, so I can't comment on that.

Mar 27, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Relatively Inexpensive Italian for a Triple Date

Reporting Back!

Thanks for all the great suggestions, CHers! We ended up at Da Andrea, and had a great experience, so I figured I should report back.

First off, the group dropped down from 6 to 4, and we were 20 minutes late for our reservation. I called when I knew we were going to be late, and they were wonderful about giving us a later reservation time and a smaller table-- even more impressive when I saw the line of people waiting out the door and on the sidewalk to get in.

The menu was just what I had been looking for: plenty of options, and amazingly inexpensive. Most of the bottles of wine were under $30, which was a welcome surprise.

I asked our waitress about the Tigelle Modenesi (which I had never encountered in my time in Italy) to find out whether there was any cheese involved in the dish, explaining that I had given up dairy for Lent. Not only did she assure me that the parmigiano that is served with the buns and prosciutto is on the side, but she also told me that all dishes are prepared to order and that any dish I wanted customized to be dairy-free could be done. We were off to an excellent start.

We selected a bottle of dolcetto d'alba, after going back and forth between that and a nero d'avola. At those prices, we figured, we could get the nero d'avola after polishing off the dolcetto, which is what we did. Both were lovely, unfussy wines.

For appetizers, we had an order of the tigelle, the steamed mussles, and a spinach salad with sundried tomato vinaigrette. Everything was just as it should be.

For our mains, two people had the veal and spinach ravioli in cream sauce, which they said were terrific. Another had the pappardelle with sausage ragout, and both she and her boyfriend were picking at it long after they were full. It was too good to leave. I had a braised lamb shank with cannellini beans and mixed vegetables, and it was just as a lamb shank should be: homey, hearty, fall off the bone tender, and with a delicious sauce that I couldn't stop sopping up with the bread left on the table.

We were too full to order dessert, so we stopped there. The desserts sounded just like the rest of the restaurant: unpretentious and just right. I couldn't help but laugh at the translation/description of tiramisu`, though, which was described as "Italian tiramisu`"-- not much help for anyone who doesn't know what tiramisu` is!

I should also mention that the wait staff was extremely friendly and attentive. Our water glasses never went empty, and they never cleared dishes before the whole table was through with any particular course, which I'm pretty sensitive about. The warmth that everyone who works at Da Andrea exudes is really a testament to the fact that this is a family owned and operated place.

All told, with two bottles of wine, tax, and tip, we walked out of there for $180 for the four of us. Even better, we all agreed that we really enjoyed everything we ate and would gladly come back.

So thanks for the recommendation! I'm looking forward to my next trip!

Mar 17, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

French Culinary Institute

I second Lucia. L'Ecole's service was terrible and the food was nothing I'd go back for. They must have been teaching the students about citrus that day, since all six dishes that my friend and I ate had dominant citrus notes. Not that there's anything wrong with citrus, but the meal as a whole was uninventive.

Mar 12, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Which should I ditch?

If you managed to get a reservation at Babbo, don't let that one go. That's like gold. I haven't been to Sushi Yasuda, but I hear it's absolutely ethereal. I think that one's a keeper, too.

Mar 04, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Relatively Inexpensive Italian for a Triple Date

Thanks for the input. I think I'll stick with Da Andrea, and I'll definitely report back!

Mar 03, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Relatively Inexpensive Italian for a Triple Date

Thanks for the suggestions so far, gang! I have a provisional reservation at Da Andrea. I have an Italian last name and the man taking the reservation didn't need me to spell it for him, which I take as a good sign.

How does everyone feel about Da Andrea? Is there a compelling reason against it or in favor of somewhere else?

And to clarify, we'll definitely be drinking wine. We have a couple of grad students in the mix, but we're all years past the legal age. :)

Feb 29, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Frustration Booking Babbo!

Everyone has to confirm reservations the day before, so that's when most cancellations happen. But by all means, keep calling and see what happens.

Feb 29, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Chowhound Challenge...hidden gems for dinner tonight near USQ around 10:30 PM

I had a very good date experience at Three of Cups (1st Ave at 5th St), a little neighborhood Italian place. It was a young/fun crowd and a cozy spot with a wood burning oven in the front. The menu was largely handwritten (lots of specials) and everything we ate was quite good. It's definitely in your price range. And it's great for a couple: They didn't rush us out of there even after we had occupied a table for over two hours-- on a Friday night.

Feb 29, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Frustration Booking Babbo!

They take reservations until closing (midnight, I think), so you can sometimes get lucky calling later in the day, after the morning rush. Of course, then the time options are greatly reduced.

Feb 29, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Relatively Inexpensive Italian for a Triple Date

Hi, Chowhounders!

I have a triple date coming up in a couple of weeks, and since I'm the resident foodie, I know the restaurant choice is going to fall to me. I need a place with relatively inexpensive (under $25) entrees, since two of the six are students. The restaurant should be lively enough that a group of 6 wouldn't annoy anyone, but not so loud that we have to shout. No need for a "scene"-- a neighborhood place is great. Ability to make reservations is a must; ability to use a credit card is preferred. Any neighborhood is probably fine, but Midtown (either side) or below might be better than the UES/UWS.

I'd like to go with something Italian, since that's a crowd-pleaser, but not a small plates place (my boyfriend and I just walked out of Suba hungry). My immediate thought was Crispo, but they require a credit card for a group of that size, and since no one's plans are firm yet, I'm hesitant to put it on my card now. I know everyone loves Apizz-- would that fit the bill?

You all always have great recommendations, so I'd appreciate any thoughts you can give me! Thanks!

Feb 29, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Suba Tasting Menu-- Do it now or save it?

Hi, all!

I'm going to Suba on Wednesday with a group of 4, one of whom has a number of dietary restrictions. I have a gift certificate for a 2 for 1 tasting menu dinner. I haven't tried Suba's tasting menu before, so I don't know what to expect. Should I use my gift certificate now and steer the group toward the tasting menu notwithstanding our picky eater, or should I save it for another time when my boyfriend and I are dining just ourselves? How much does Suba let you customize the tasting menu?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Feb 25, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

UES rut - need inspired suggestions

Try Vespa (2nd Ave between 84th and 85th). If they don't have a table available, they'll send you just down the block to Bar Vespa, where you can relax over some wine and cheese and wait for Vespa to call over and tell you your table is ready.

Jan 31, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Help! My boss asked for dinner recs near The Barclay Hotel on East 48th

A friend and I had a wonderful experience at Cibo (2nd Ave between 41st and 42nd). It was casual enough to go to in (nice) jeans, but nice enough to go to in a suit. They have a wonderful $35 prix fixe dinner menu with a surprising number of options, and the waiter even allowed us to choose off of the entire dessert menu, not just the prix fixe choices. The wine list is well-chosen, tending toward Italian. The food was spot-on, and the service attentive, but not fussy. Plus, we walked in at prime time on a Thursday and had no problem getting a table-- and they didn't rush us out after occupying the table for 2 1/2 hours.

You didn't mention what kind of atmosphere he and his friends are looking for, but Cibo is relatively calm and good for conversation-- not so good if they're looking for somewhere lively.

Jan 30, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Pizza near Madison Square Garden

Does Manganaro's serve pizza? Their menu doesn't have any pizza listed on it.

Jan 23, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Pizza near Madison Square Garden

I think my parents would be up for a 10 minutes (or so) walk for pre-game pizza. After the game, they would probably want something closer (they usually eat earlier than that). Thanks for the suggestions; I'll check those out.

Jan 22, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan

Pizza near Madison Square Garden

Hi, everyone. Thanks in advance for the advice.

My parents are originally from New York, but have since moved to Florida. They are coming to visit me in the City and are craving good old New York pizza like they remember it.

We will be attending a Rangers game, so I'm looking for a good pizza place where we can have a pre-game or post-game dinner. I'd prefer somewhere where we can sit down and they will make the pizza fresh; I'm looking for an actual dinner, not just a grab-and-go slice.
Ideally, this pizza haven would be within easy walking distance of the Garden.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Jan 22, 2008
Cuisinescene in Manhattan