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just returned from 3 nights Madrid/3 nights Barcelona-my thoughts on where we ate

Madrid:
Finca de Susana (lunch)-very reasonably priced menu del dia. Appetizer salad and dessert were great, entree was totally bland. Still a nice place for lunch.

**El Mollete-recommend 100% for dinner, loved everything about it including the owners, staff and food. Goat cheese appetizer was amazing, ill dream about this.

Ramses-recommended by Hotel (Me Madrid), very cool decor, wasnt crazy about the food, prices, and especially the RUDE service. Not recommended, also seemed like its losing popularity.

Barcelona:
**Gelonch-Another one i'd recommend to any traveller. Had the 52 euro 9 course dinner, which was worth every penny and delicious. Didnt leave feeling stuffed but more than enough food. Service was excellent, the only complaint was that pacing between courses became a little too long towards the second half of the meal, they could probably use another waiter. Excellent dishes and explanations of each course.

**Cal Pep-AMAZING meal, perfect for our last night in spain. Got there 15 minutes before it opened so we could join the queue outside and get one of the first seats at the bar/be in the first group to eat. The people who didnt get a seat had to wait behind us until we were finished eating. No ordering here, just tell the waiters if you prefer meat, seafood, or a combo of both and wait for the food to be served. Not cheap, and the meal is over quickly but well worth it. Extremely friendly servers. Perfect experience, very different pace than Gelonch but i'd recommend both.

May 11, 2011
saracuccio in Spain/Portugal

Two 27 year olds spending 3 nights each in Madrid+Barcelona this May would love some suggestions

My friend and I will be visiting Madrid and Barcelona in May. I studied abroad in Madrid in 2004, and while some of the same restaurants may still be popular (Bazaar, La Finca, Zalacain, etc) I'd love to try something new as well. I've never been to Barcelona, so thats all new to me. Im thinking in each city we'll do 1 splurge dinner (up to about 150 american dollars a person with alcohol), 1 tapas dinner, and 1 wildcard/something fun. Any must try suggestions?
Thanks!
-S

Feb 27, 2011
saracuccio in Spain/Portugal

Sunset Grill - White Plains

went here about three weeks ago: here was my post/review-
I know there are a lot of Sunset Grille fans here, so i figured i would share my experiences at their brand new location. First off the old phone number doesnt work, I finally go through using 995-9205. Went on Saturday night, opening day was Monday. I was definitely disappointed with the space...kind of feels like a ski lodge or a basement, and could use some renovations. Hopefully an update will come with time. As for food, so far they have an abridged menu but its basically the same as before. Chips were good and hot, salsa could use some work/a little spice. Shared the tacos al pastor (pork and pineapple) with my husband which we usually love, but they seemed a little bland and a bit too big. I had the skirt steak as my main which was fine but a little oily. The rice was definitely not mexican style but almost a rice pilaf. Beans were very good. Husband had chimichangas which he really enjoyed, he always comments that they use great quality meat in their burritos which is not true of all mexican restaurants. The other couple we ate with had burritos and chicken quesadillas which they seemed to like but didnt really comment on. Food just tasted a little less flavorful than i remembered. My margaritas were great, no complaints there, and seem exactly the same as they were in the old spot. We all shared the churros con chocolate for dessert which they split up into four little plates with four separate shots of hot chocolate, this was delicious!! The service was also excellent, and the chef came out multiple times to make sure we were enjoying everything. Overall the meal was fine and i will try it again, but hopefully we just experienced some opening week jitters and the food will return to the same quality as i came to love in the old location.

Jan 04, 2009
saracuccio in New York State (exc. NYC)

Quince or Ame Friday night?

Hi all, I have reservations at Quince and Ame this friday night, we are visiting from LA. Which would you recommend? Thanks!

Dec 22, 2008
saracuccio in San Francisco Bay Area

Tried the newly reopened Sunset Grille

I know there are a lot of Sunset Grille fans here, so i figured i would share my experiences at their brand new location. First off the old phone number doesnt work, I finally go through using 995-9205. Went on Saturday night, opening day was Monday. I was definitely disappointed with the space...kind of feels like a ski lodge or a basement, and could use some renovations. Hopefully an update will come with time. As for food, so far they have an abridged menu but its basically the same as before. Chips were good and hot, salsa could use some work/a little spice. Shared the tacos al pastor (pork and pineapple) with my husband which we usually love, but they seemed a little bland and a bit too big. I had the skirt steak as my main which was fine but a little oily. The rice was definitely not mexican style but almost a rice pilaf. Beans were very good. Husband had chimichangas which he really enjoyed, he always comments that they use great quality meat in their burritos which is not true of all mexican restaurants. The other couple we ate with had burritos and chicken quesadillas which they seemed to like but didnt really comment on. Food just tasted a little less flavorful than i remembered. My margaritas were great, no complaints there, and seem exactly the same as they were in the old spot. We all shared the churros con chocolate for dessert which they split up into four little plates with four separate shots of hot chocolate, this was delicious!! The service was also excellent, and the chef came out multiple times to make sure we were enjoying everything. Overall the meal was fine and i will try it again, but hopefully we just experienced some opening week jitters and the food will return to the same quality as i came to love in the old location.

Dec 21, 2008
saracuccio in General Tristate Archive

Mexican tmw night in White Plains/Hartsdale/Scarsdale/Tarrytown etc?

Hi, we were hoping to try the re-opened Sunset Grille tomorrow night but i cant seem to get through to their phone line, is it not fully open yet? If not, any suggestions for decent Mexican resaurants? I guess i'm looking for Mexican rather than Pacifico type latin-fusion. The only other one i've tried is Santa Fe in Tarrytown which i thought was just passable. I know there are some recommended places in New Rochelle but would prefer to stay closer by. Thanks!

Dec 19, 2008
saracuccio in General Tristate Archive

In SF from LA/NYC for two nights-where to eat/spend mom's money??

Ha maybe you're right! Forget that limit! any others?

Dec 14, 2008
saracuccio in San Francisco Bay Area

In SF from LA/NYC for two nights-where to eat/spend mom's money??

Hi, my mom, sister, and I will be in San Fran (staying at the Clift) for two nights after Xmas. I havent been to SF for at least 8-10 years so im a little out of the loop. Im sure this is a hugely broad question but what are some recommended/popular dinner spots for us? Price doesnt matter, although i'm not sure we're looking for French Laundry priced tasting menus. Type of food isnt really an issue. This is a friday and saturday night too so i'd love to make the reservations asap. Thanks!

Dec 14, 2008
saracuccio in San Francisco Bay Area

craftbar/accademia di vino/or soho grand for bday dinner??help!

Hi, because i am eternally indecisive i have 3 reservations for my 25th birthday this saturday night!. We will be a group of 10 people. I would like something fun where we can linger for a while and have some good cocktails. I dont want people to pay a fortune, but i know these arent "cheap" which is fine. Only chose Grand Bar and Lounge at soho grand because i figured we could order small plates etc throughout the night and also invite others to join us after dinner and stay at the bar for a while, but i havent heard anything good about the food there.

What do you all think? thanks!

Mar 23, 2008
saracuccio in Manhattan

dining alone near Columbia U -- suggestions?

I am a Columbia alum, here are a few ideas:

Some friends of mine like Regional, around 100th St. I havent been there though

Max Soho on 121st and Amsterdam is a good small italian restaurant, dont think they have bar seating.

The Mill Korean is decent and right near campus, around 114th street.

Avoid Tomo Sushi.

If you are willing to go below 90th street thats a whole other story...

Mar 05, 2008
saracuccio in Manhattan

25th Birthday dinner for group-recommendations please, nothing cheesy!

No real preference for cuisine. For location i would like to stay below 55th street. I know that doesnt help much! This group is used to spending a lot of money at bars etc. for friends birthday and i just prefer a dinner. I like an atmosphere like Otto, i just dont think their food is that good. Considering Inoteca, bar stuzzichini, Le Souk, La Esquina, open to anything else thats newer. Doesnt need to be as "cool" as Waverly Inn but something fun.

Mar 05, 2008
saracuccio in Manhattan

25th Birthday dinner for group-recommendations please, nothing cheesy!

Hi, Im looking for somewhere to have my 25th birthday dinner/drinks. We will probably have a group of 15 or so. Used to try out all the new spots but I moved to Westchester last year so i am a little bit out of the loop for new restaurants. Any suggestions for somewhere with good food and drinks. Doesnt need to be rowdy, would like somewhere where they will let us linger a bit though. Prix Fixe would be fine, probably want to keep it in the 50-70 dollar range per person either way.
Thanks in advance!

Mar 04, 2008
saracuccio in Manhattan

Easter Brunch

A friend and I are looking for somewhere to have brunch this Easter. We'd like to go somewhere that has an Easter menu, doesnt need to be prix-fixed but she would love to have Ham, so something traditional. I think she prefers not to spend over $80-100 per person. Any restaurant suggestions/places you've dined on Easter in the past would be appreciated, thanks!
-Sara

Feb 27, 2008
saracuccio in Manhattan