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njbbqman's Profile

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Best Sarasota Pizza... Dometrio's, El Greco, Valentino's or...?

Believe it or not, the best pizza in Sarasota is on St. Armands Circle! Stop it....I see you laughing, but it's true. There's a terrific new Italian joint called Venezia, with a wood burning pizza oven, home made pasta, and a couple of outdoor tables. Individual pizzas are very good (not Star Tavern good for the Jersey folks). Definitely worth a try in a fun location that is not normally known for its food.

Apr 21, 2009
njbbqman in Florida

Good meals in Berlin

we're just back from Berlin and had a couple of good meals--two of them italian, and one a local trendy spot. The most enjoyable dinner was at a place about a ten minute cab ride from your hotel called Der Godene Hahn--a very authentic italian bistro in a young non-touristy neighborhood. Great antipasto, delicious grilled dorado and redfish, and very well prepared linguine with seafood. Best part was the wine, music (bartender has a huge vinyl music collection) and the local atmosphere. Very cool place.

Good dinner at Bouchardt, right near your hotel for local high end trendy, and also really enjoyed Bacco Di Bucco, another italian not far.

Best of Prague

I just returned from Prague also, and had a better experience than expected. We travel a lot, and love the local favorites, not the big, well known tourist places. That said, we spent a couple of weeks in Central Europe, and weren't crazy about the traditional old-style (heavy!) food--but discovered some real gems. Read my post linked here: for more on a spectacular meal we had in Prague at La Degustation.

World class meal in Prague!

We just spent 4 days in Prague, and went prepared for good but not great meals. In general, the food was above our expectations. We had a very good lunch at Hergetova Cihelna, just below the Charles Bridge, sitting outside overlooking the river. The tuna tempura style on wasabi mashed potatoes was delicious, as was the arugula and spinach salad with parmesan. My wife had an interesting paella, that was well-prepared. One of our friends had the chicken tika masalla, that was also perfectly cooked. As you can tell from the variety, it's a pretty interesting menu if you are not looking for a heavy czech meal.

But the greatest surprise was our dinner at a new restaurant in Prague named "La Degustation Boheme Borgeoise." It was truly one of the best meals we've ever eaten in Europe! Warning: be prepared for a long (beautifully paced) evening and lots of food.

The chef was trained in Barcelona and studied at CIA--and is attempting to bring a unique dining experience to Prague. Think French Laundry. Based on our experience, he's succeeding, and deserves to be "discovered."

The menu offers three different 10 to 12 course meals, with a couple of amuse bouche thrown in for good measure. There's a traditional menu, a modern central Eurapean menu, and a creative "Borgoise" menu. My wife and I both had the "Borgoise." The menu changes every night, so I'll hit some highlights, with no idea whether any of these things will be on the menu when others visit. Additionally, there's a corresponding wine pairing for each menu, which we also ordered.

Our menu featured a couple of different kobe-style beef preparations, including a tartare, that were outstanding. The duck was fantastic-- a unique combination of flavors that reminded us of a great meal a few years ago at Jean-George in New York. A souffle style fois-gras melted on your tongue. And there was a boullabaisse with the most flavorful broth we've ever tasted.

While it wasn't cheap (by any means), it was very fairly priced, especially considering the weak state of the dollar. At around $100 pp (the menu we ordered was the most expensive of the three), it was an unbelievable evening of food as art and entertainment. ($200 including wine and tip).

If you are going to be in Prague, and want a uniquely delicious dining experience, I highly recommend this.

Best Sushi in Northern NJ

Nouveau Sushi in Montclair-- It's run by an ex-nobu sushi chef who moved to the burbs, and is as good as, if not better than Nobu (at half the price). Montclair is BYO, so if you want some great sake (or wine), bring it with. You MUST order the spicy tuna handroll and the yellowtail carpaccio with hearts of palm.

Feb 11, 2007
njbbqman in New Jersey

What's your favorite place for take-out in Manhattan?

I'm always looking for new places to stop on my way back to NJ...what are your favorite Manhattan take-outs--both restaurants and dishes that re-heat well!

Jan 01, 2007
njbbqman in Manhattan

What Are The Best Dishes In The Whole World ?

spicy tuna hand rolls from nouveau sushi in montclair, nj

Jan 01, 2007
njbbqman in General Topics


i need to add a vote for new pass bait shop and grill in sarasota--had great cheeseburgers with grilled onions last week--with fries for under $7.00! def worth a try.

Jan 01, 2007
njbbqman in Florida

Sarasota - Get real .... any good Greasy Spoons?

had fantastic burgers (and fries) at new pass bait shop...also, the pancakes and omelletes are very good at blue dolphin in st. armands.

Jan 01, 2007
njbbqman in Florida

SARASOTA--here I come!

We just got back from Sarasota, and had a couple of terrific meals--the two best were Fred's and The Table. The prices were reasonable (at least by NY standards) and the food was both creative and good. Of the two, I'd have to recommend The Table as the best. My wife and I both had the Chilean Sea Bass served with prawns wrapped in Chorizo...excellent. Our daughter had the filet, which was also delicious. Save room for dessert--Creme Brulee cheesecake was great. In case you're interested, also had a good bar scene--and happy to say that the service was excellent, too.

Jan 01, 2007
njbbqman in Florida

Trattoria Omero Florence, Italy

We went to Omero a few weeks ago with our kids, and it was one of our favorite meals. Not only was the food superb, but the setting outside of florence in the back of a neighborhood grocery store with big windows overlooking the hills at sunset only added to our enjoyment.

The chicken under a brick is a must-order, as is the sliced steak over arugula. My wife still talks about her spinach, ricotta, truffle ravioli in a butter sage sauce as one of the best pasta dishes she's ever tasted.

One warning--arrange for a car or taxi to pick you up after dinner, or give the restaurant at least half an hour to get one for you--5 or 6 tables cleared at the same time at the end of dinner, all eye-balling each other outside to snag the two taxis that happened to wander down this quiet street...

Enjoy a fantastic meal here.

Jul 26, 2006
njbbqman in Italy

Fact or Fiction?

a scoop of garlic/herb butter on a steak hot off the grill gives it that great steak-house flavor (think sparks)...(but don't tell my cardiologist i'm suggesting this)

Jul 08, 2006
njbbqman in Home Cooking

Need Gourmet Sandwiches Recipes

a place on nantucket serves a great sandwich they call the thanksgiving sandwich: thick sliced, soft, fresh baked bread, warm, sliced (thick) roast turkey, stuffing, fresh cranberry sauce, and mayo. not sure it's worth the trouble for an office meeting, but i get hungry (and nostalgic for nantucket) just thinking about it.

Jul 08, 2006
njbbqman in Home Cooking

sushi in sarasota?

heading down to sarasota in a few weeks and have searched the boards but can't find mention of any good sushi there. any suggestions? also, any updated thoughts on the best seafood place?

Jul 08, 2006
njbbqman in Florida

Amazing meal in Montclair, NJ at Nouveau Sushi

the prices are on the high end for nj sushi but a great value if you've gone to high end sushi places in the city. one of the things i love about going out in montclair is byo since i have a pretty good wine cellar--and i'd rather pay store price than the restaurant mark-up. figure on spending $50 per person.

Amazing meal in Montclair, NJ at Nouveau Sushi

We had dinner on Friday night at Nouveau Sushi, a relatively new sushi restaurant in Montclair, and it was so great I felt I would make it my first post. In fact, calling it a sushi place is probably an insult, because we had some hot dishes that were as good as we've tasted. We've passed it on occasion, was always crowded, but didn't know much about it. Checked Zagat, and nothing there, either. In light of our meal, I'm sorta shocked it's not listed.

I'll start by saying that we love sushi, and have been to all the great places in Manhattan multiple times--Nobu, Nobu 57, Blue Ribbon, Sushi by Gary, etc. Our dinner here was as good, and in a few cases better, than anything we've eaten in the city. Who woulda figured in suburban NJ?

We started with spicy tuna hand rolls. I find that almost every place makes these differently, and we enjoy sampling the different styles. These were the best we've had. Crispy seaweed, not too much sauce--and there was roe in the mixture that gave it a great flavor and texture. We then had cuttlefish with mushrooms. It was perfectly cooked in a broth that enhanced the flavors, but we loved the whole thing.

We saw some people at the next table with a plate of black cod in miso on lettuce, and had to try them. These were better than the similiar dish at Nobu. The waiter recommended a soft-shell crab salad with thai dressing, that was out of this world. And finally, we had half a dozen pieces of sushi (most with little garnishes, sauces, etc) that were fantastic.

I guess you get the idea that we enjoyed our meal. We can't wait to go back, cause there were lots of other things we spotted that we want to try.

We've been getting ideas off the boards as guests for almost 6 months, but this was one of those meals that I couldn't wait to share.