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phr208's Profile

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Graduation dinner for party of 8 on a Friday night

Ended up making a reservation for 9 people to do the bo ssam dinner at Momofuku Ssam Bar! It'll be more fun and casual, and we're the kind of people that sure love our pork in big portions. If anyone can comment on the bo ssam dinner, how many additional dishes would you recommend? Should we get 1 or 2 orders of the rice cakes with spicy sausage ragu? A round of pork belly buns? As delicious as they are, I somehow still have a hard time justifying spending $50 for 10 little pork buns, but I figure it's something one needs to try for their first time at Momofuku (the bf and I have been a few times, but our families have not).

Another thing about Ssam Bar. Although it's one of my favorite restaurants, one of the qualms I have are the portion sizes. While the rice cakes portion is huge and great for sharing, it seemed like all the other dishes were quite tiny for the price. I haven't been in over a year, so anyone have any updates on this?

May 15, 2012
phr208 in Manhattan

Fuleen Review

Thanks for the suggestions! Both places sound great, and I'll definitely consider for one of my grad dinners :) (having 2 separate dinner parties over the course of the weekend)

May 10, 2012
phr208 in Manhattan

Fuleen Review

8 or 9 people. $40-50/person, but flexible. Just want really good food. Are either BYOB?

May 10, 2012
phr208 in Manhattan

Fuleen Review

For a special occasion, which do you think is best (atmosphere and quality): Ping's, Fuleen, or Oriental Garden?

May 09, 2012
phr208 in Manhattan

Graduation dinner for party of 8 on a Friday night

My family lives in Chicago, and I'll be moving back there right after my graduation as well. I checked the La Sirene website, and they don't accommodate parties of 6 or more on Friday/Saturday nights...otherwise, it would have been a great choice, esp with the byob!

I'm honestly just looking for a good celebratory dinner for a group that's not too casual nor too fancy. In terms of location, I'm probably most interested in the West Village, but really open to anywhere in Manhattan.

Price-wise, something on the level of Apiary or cheaper would be ideal. And I'll definitely consider Apiary.

May 09, 2012
phr208 in Manhattan

Graduation dinner for party of 8 on a Friday night

For the Friday party of 8 graduation dinner, price constraints are pretty much what I said - $50-75, give or take. I'm just asking for recs for that dinner.

(every time I've been to Babbo, we've spent about $50-55/person!)

May 09, 2012
phr208 in Manhattan

Graduation dinner for party of 8 on a Friday night

I'm graduating from medical school on Friday, June 8th. My family will be flying in from out of town, and they will also be meeting my boyfriend's parents for the first time. We're looking for a place for all 8 of us to go out to dinner to in Manhattan that evening. Looking to spend $50-75/person (give or take), including tax/tip/wine. I thought about Ping's Seafood or Oriental Garden - which place is better?

But also looking for other options that's not banquet Chinese or Italian (since my fam will be going to Babbo during their trip as well). Other than that, there's no restrictions on type of cuisine/location, though we're all foodies, so we're just looking for awesome food that won't cost a great fortune. Thanks!

May 09, 2012
phr208 in Manhattan

Japanese noodle house in Chicago?

If you want a place in the city, the Noodles by Takashi on the 7th fl of Macy's (on State) is pretty solid. If you're willing to venture to the suburbs, then there's Santouka at the food court in Mitsuwa. Santouka is a ramen chain in Japan, so it's definitely legit. I've had a lot of authentic ramen in NYC and recently just came back from Japan, and Santouka is in my top 3 for miso ramen.

Sep 28, 2011
phr208 in Chicago Area

Girls Night Out in LES/East Village

Looking for a restaurant (not too casual, not too fancy) for 6-10 girls for Friday July 29th for 2 of our birthdays. We're partial to the LES/East Village with entrees running about $15-22. Considering tapas places too though, so looking at around $30/person if you include everything. I know that Friday night for that large of a group can be tough, but any recommendations are welcome.

Jul 18, 2011
phr208 in Manhattan

Any places open on July 4th?

My boyfriend will be in town over the long weekend, and we're looking for places to eat for lunch and dinner on July 4th. In or close to downtown is preferable, but willing to drive to other neighborhoods for good food. Also, we're mainly looking for cheap eats and more or less casual mid-range restaurants. Just nothing too fancy. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Jun 29, 2011
phr208 in Chicago Area

Food processor problems with splashing

Relatively new to using food processors here. I have a new Cuisinart 4-cup food processor. I was making asparagus soup tonight, and I knew that I had to puree the soup in small batches. My first batch was only filled about halfway (at the most, SLIGHTLY more than halfway), and a half second press on "grind" still resulted in splashing all over me and the counter. I feel like even if I had filled the bowl less than halfway, it still would have resulted in splashing. The lid and the bowl were completely latched. Is there something wrong with my food processor or should I just totally abandon the idea of using this mini food processor for pureeing soups?

Apr 18, 2011
phr208 in Cookware

Visiting Montreal for 4 days/nights. Need specific recs.

Thanks for the suggestions! We made 2 reservations for APDC just in case we really wanted to eat there twice but with the possibility that we'd be canceling the second, if we felt it was unnecessary to eat there again.

Are reservations for 5 people necessary at Lemeac, Holder, or Le Local? We would really like to go to a French bistro or brasserie...any other inexpensive options are welcome.

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Le Local
740 rue William, Montréal, QC H3C 1P1, CA

Aug 16, 2010
phr208 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Visiting Montreal for 4 days/nights. Need specific recs.

My family of 5 and I will be visiting Montreal this week and need some food recommendations. We have a pretty good idea of places we want to go to, but still have other meals to figure out. We are foodies, and aside from APDC, we're more interested in grazing and going to local neighborhood places to eat rather than more expensive places where reservations need to be made. Also, we are most interested in trying French/Quebecois/Montreal quintessential food.

1) We already have reservations for 2 dinners at Au Pied de Cochon. What dishes should not be missed? Also, it seems like the portions are massive. Is it appropriate to share entrees here?

2) Schwartz's, St. Viateur bagels, and La Belle Province are the cheap "fast food" places we plan on trying.

3) Would like inexpensive ($10-20/entree) and casual places for lunch and/or dinner in the following neighborhoods: Old Montreal, Mile End, Latin Quarter, the area surrounding St-Denis and Duluth (where I heard there are lots of inexpensive BYOB places), area around Blvd Rene-Levasque Ouest & Rue Crescent. Would like places that would easily accommodate 5-7 people (visiting relatives also) without reservations.

4) Is there anything worth eating in the Old Port?

5) Any places that are good for grazing rather than full sit-down meals

6) Jean-Talon Market: specific stalls to buy things to take back home to the States. Also, are there any food stalls where we can buy hot food for lunch and sit down somewhere? Any places worth trying in the neighborhood around Jean-Talon?

7) Lastly, is it legal to take home foie gras from Canada to the US? I always hear mixed things...

I know these are a lot of questions, but we prefer to not have every day and hour planned out, so we'd just like a variety of suggestions for all the neighborhoods we'll most likely explore. Thanks.

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Jean-Talon Market
7075 Avenue Casgrain, Montreal, QC H2S, CA

Aug 15, 2010
phr208 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

How far in advance should reservations be made for Au Pied de Cochon?

Thanks. Yeah they actually called back last night...called back my mom rather. But she asked for the earliest time possible, which was 5pm haha. I assume it'll be booked up by then anyways and that we'll still get a scene.

Jul 02, 2010
phr208 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

How far in advance should reservations be made for Au Pied de Cochon?

when i emailed them, i just told them there will be 5 of us, and we would prefer to eat on August 17 or 18. is it better that i left the days and times open and just asked them what will be available?

Jul 01, 2010
phr208 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

How far in advance should reservations be made for Au Pied de Cochon?

and they won't have a problem calling a US phone number?

Jul 01, 2010
phr208 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

How far in advance should reservations be made for Au Pied de Cochon?

Is it normal to have a difficult time getting ahold of the restaurant by phone? Been trying to call during service hours, and I just get voicemail...

Jul 01, 2010
phr208 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

How far in advance should reservations be made for Au Pied de Cochon?

My family of 5 will be visiting Montreal in August. Au Pied de Cochon is on the top of our list of places to try. How far in advance should we make reservations? It will be on a weekday.

Jun 27, 2010
phr208 in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Looking for a place for New Years Eve dinner

Need a place for my family of 5 to eat on New Years Eve.

We currently have a reservation for The Publican where they will be having a special 4-course dinner, but we have been there so many times (and love it) but would definitely be open to try something new. We might also prefer a place without the communal tables for this holiday.

David Burke's Primehouse New Year's Eve menu sounds pretty good. Can anyone comment on this?

Any other New Years Eve suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We are trying to stick to less than $75 or less per person.

Dec 06, 2009
phr208 in Chicago Area

North Pond vs. MK Restaurant

I'm trying to decide between North Pond and MK Restaurant for a dinner for 2 for the last weekend of August. Can anyone share experiences from either/both restaurants? The food at both sound equally great. I know the obvious difference in location, so I'm inquiring more on the food (mostly), service, and restaurant atmosphere. Thanks.

Jul 20, 2009
phr208 in Chicago Area

Degustation Report

and how far in advance should reservations be made for a saturday evening reservation?

Apr 15, 2009
phr208 in Manhattan

Degustation Report

How long did your meal take? I plan on going there in a few weeks but will also have other plans that night, so I want to plan accordingly.

Also, how far in advance do you recommend making reservations? I plan on going on a Saturday night and am thinking about a 7pm reservation.

Apr 11, 2009
phr208 in Manhattan

Where can I buy fresh pork bellies?

Hmart in Niles

Jan 08, 2009
phr208 in Chicago Area

Birthday dinner for out-of-towners, new Chicago ideas?

i just went to Sepia last night, and i really loved the atmosphere and interior decor. it's not over the top quiet and romantic, but it's definitely not loud either. the lighting is dim and very warm, which makes it romantic and ideal for a date. the food was great too, but not as great as Blackbird, which is probably my favorite restaurant in the city. If you really want standout food, go to Blackbird. Even though you'll be pretty near other diners and that it can get loud in there, I don't find the atmosphere to be cold. The interior is just minimalist, and the service is very friendly. If you really care about interior decoration and a more romantic atmosphere, go to Sepia because the food is still good. If you care more about really amazing food, go to Blackbird.

Jan 04, 2009
phr208 in Chicago Area

North Pond, Naha, or Michael?

had no idea that was common practice. note: aigre doux is closed the first week of january as well

Dec 08, 2008
phr208 in Chicago Area

North Pond, Naha, or Michael?

thanks everyone. well, it turns out that Graham Elliot's is also closed the first 2 weeks of January. anyone know what the deal is with all these popular restaurants being closed that time of year? is that just when restaurants take vacation? kind of upset about that, but hopefully Custom House or Sepia will be just as good. we have reservations for Blackbird for New Year's Day, so at least there's that.

we're huge fans of sweetbreads, but i'm big on dessert as well. i've pretty much narrowed it down to Custom House and Sepia at this point and will make sure they're open during the first weekend of January haha.

Dec 05, 2008
phr208 in Chicago Area

North Pond, Naha, or Michael?

Turns out BOTH Naha and North Pond are closed the first weekend of January, when my visitor is coming.

Now I'm thinking about Graham Elliot, Sepia, Custom House, and Otom. Graham Elliot gets a lot of mixed reviews though, so I'm not sure. Overall, I think Sepia is catching my attention the most at the moment but have not heard too much about it. Opinions? What's the atmosphere like there?

(Still considering Michael as an option, though I'd rather dine in the city)

Dec 05, 2008
phr208 in Chicago Area

North Pond, Naha, or Michael?

thanks! i'll still have to think about it for this one particular dinner, but i'll definitely make it out to Michael at some point.

Nov 16, 2008
phr208 in Chicago Area

North Pond, Naha, or Michael?

oh also...any comments on the wine list?

Nov 15, 2008
phr208 in Chicago Area

North Pond, Naha, or Michael?

thanks for the replies. i'm actually from lake county but intend on being around the city a lot when i'm home for the holidays.

it's still a tough decision! North Pond was my original spot for this dinner...then thought about Naha. my dad has been to both North Pond and Michael for business dinners and seems to like both equally. Never thought about Michael until he mentioned it a couple days ago. I'll have to think about this.

How's the atmosphere at Michael? Is there a dress code? Service?

Nov 15, 2008
phr208 in Chicago Area