Toot's Profile

Title Last Reply

Neighborhood Lunch Spots Near the Metropolitan/Guggenheim Museums

If you don't mind a short walk La Tarte Flambee on 2nd Ave and 92nd is one of my favorite neighborhood places nowadays. But if one doesn't like tarte flambees it's probably not the best option...
http://www.latarteflambee.com/

Mar 18, 2014
Toot in Manhattan

Mont Blanc dessert to-go, preferably downtown?

Lady M has, but it is not downtown.

Feb 14, 2014
Toot in Manhattan

Best Lunch Options in DUMBO/Brooklyn Heights?

Well, too bad she had a bad experience. I only went once so can't say if I was lucky or she was unlucky :) But my experience was pretty good, both food and service were excellent.

Jan 24, 2014
Toot in Outer Boroughs

Best Lunch Options in DUMBO/Brooklyn Heights?

I don't really know the area at all and never been to Colonie or Vinegar House... but had to be at Brooklyn Heights last Monday and had a great lunch at Chez Moi. The menu is not creative and is pretty much the bistro classics, but the food was very good and the atmosphere really present. I would easily go back, but I am never in the area.. I had the smoked salmon club and my husband the croque madame. Both dishes were very good.

Jan 24, 2014
Toot in Outer Boroughs

Sao Paulo

Brasil a Gosto is one of my favorite restaurants in Sao Paulo. It's traditional Brazilian food treated in a nouvelle cuisine style. It's not cheap but not as expensive as DOM, Fasano and Gero, which are also very good. People are not as big in reservations in Brasil as they are in the US... we are not that organized :) Most places don't even take reservations but the more upscale ones will. You can check Brasil a Gosto website: http://www.brasilagosto.com.br/. They have an English version.

Jan 17, 2014
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil - Recife/Olinda

One of the best meals I had in my life was at Mingus in Recife. But that was more than 5 years ago and I haven't returned to either Recife or Olinda since. I don't know if the place is still as good as it was. In Olinda I had a great meal at Oficina do Sabor.

Jan 17, 2014
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

Rio de Janeiro - anything new that we shouldn't miss?

Volta at Jardim Botanico is definitely a place to check. I had a great meal there a couple of weeks ago. My favorite was the palmito pupunha appetizer and the guava and cheese dessert. The service is really friendly and the chef used to work at Brasil a Gosto in SP which is one of my favorite places in Brasil. It is not cheap but with the current dollar rate it is not too bad.
The place is really new, about one month or so, and there was some delays in the kitchen but people are so friendly that it didn't really matter.

Oct 01, 2013
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

UES Italian lunch?

I have always had very good service at Tre Otto and awful service at Sfoglia. Last time I went to Sfoglia the hostess was so rude to us that I never returned. That was more than 3 years ago though, so perhaps things have improved over there.

Jul 24, 2013
Toot in Manhattan

UES Italian lunch?

I like Tre Otto on Madison and 97th.

Jul 24, 2013
Toot in Manhattan

Good inexpensive restaurant near MOMA

La Bonne Soup is nearby and inexpensive, if you like French.

Jul 19, 2013
Toot in Manhattan

Restaurant near Guggenheim?

Tre Otto is my favorite place in the area. It's on Madison Ave bet. 97 & 98 Streets. The food is really good and it's not as expensive as the other places in the area.
There is also a pub/sports bar that I can't remember the name, but it's also in the same block as Tre Otto and they have great burgers. But Tre Otto has a nicer ambiance.

Jun 20, 2013
Toot in Manhattan

Romantic Neighborhood Place

I second Bacaro.

Jun 20, 2013
Toot in Manhattan

Any Excellent Feijoada in NYC?

I don't really think you can get a great feijoada in the US. They can't get all different kinds of meat here, so it will never be as good as in Brazil. I really never order here in the US; but a friend of mine likes the one they serve at Emporium Brasil at 46th St.

Mar 22, 2013
Toot in Outer Boroughs

Last minute trip to Rio with 2 small children (3 and 6)

You can safely use the tap water to brush your teeth. We do not drink tap water though. You can easily find bottled water to buy and most places also sell individually packed water cups. Brazilians do not really walk around with huge bottles of water the way Americans do :). Yes, it is safe to drink juices in any juice stands and restaurants. I am not sure what you mean when you ask if it is safe to buy juice "from the street". Street sellers usually don't sell juices; but as I said it's pretty much safe to buy from any business that sells juices. Just use your common sense, if the place doesn't look clean go to another one, but in general Brazilian food business are very clean.

Mar 18, 2013
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

Last minute trip to Rio with 2 small children (3 and 6)

You should do a search on this board for Rio, there are many threads that cover the city.

Your hotel is actually in Vidigal, not in Leblon. It will be a short cab ride to Leblon though. Unfortunately it is not really at a place where you can just walk out of there; you will need a car, but the hotel might have a shuttle. It's not really a good area for walking around. It's a good hotel, though.

You can safely travel around Zona Sul (part of Rio where you would want to be anyway). It is safe to walk around Zona Sul and also safe to take cabs and ride the subway. Just avoid wearing jewelry and keep your camera and other electronics inside your bag.

Some food suggestions:

Juices: Brazilian juice stands are amazing. My favorite is a store in Ipanema, Polis Sucos, Rua Maria Quiteria with Rua Visconde de Piraja. Don't miss it!

Kilo: try a kilo, you pay buy the weight like in a NYC deli, but the experience is quite different, waiter service, great food. It's a good way to try different Brazilian dishes since it's buffet style; and it is very good for kids as there are plenty of options. It's a very common restaurante style in Rio and you will find them everywhere. A very good kilo is Fronteira, they have in different locations, there is one close to the Hippie Fair in Ipanema, Praca General Osorio. Fellini in Leblon used to be very good, but I haven't been there in a long time.

Ice cream: Mil Frutas - as the name says, 1000 Fruits. You can taste ice cream made with different kinds of tropical fruits. White chocolate and passion fruit is my favorite. They have 2 locations: Rua Garcia D'Avila, Ipanema and Rua J.J. Seabra, Jd Botanico.

Gula-Gula: it's one of my favorite place for a casual meal. They have great desserts and salads. You can also find more hearty dishes there, so it does work for both lunch and dinner. If you go don't miss the petit gateu de doce de leite with tapioca ice cream, one of my favorite desserts. They have different locations and the one in Leblon not too far from your hotel.

Light food/salads: Celeiro in Leblon

Pizza: Cappricciosa and Braz. Don't miss Brazilian pizza, it's quite good.

Try a tapioca. They sell on carts on the street. It's a kind of crepe made with yuca flour. Really tasty. You can also find at the Hippie Fair with other tapioca snacks and food from Bahia.

Restô: very nice Brazilian nouvelle cuisine bistro in Ipanema

Alessandro e Frederico in Ipanema has very good contemporary food, pizza and antipasto.

Breakfast: La Byciclette (Jd Botanico) e Escola do Pão

Talho Capixaba in Leblon is a great bakery for "salgadinhos" (Brazilian savory snacks) and small bites.

Pão de Queijo: these Brazilian cheese rolls are sold everywhere and you should definitely try them. You can find them in a chain restaurant called Casa do Pão de Queijo, and in many other places.

I am not listing any of the high end places in Rio because that would be difficult with 2 small kids. Although Brazilians tend to be much more tolerant than Americans are about children.

Children menus are not as common in Brazil as they are in the US but Brazilian food is neither too ethnic nor too different to cause you any difficulties. The exception would be for "comida baiana" (food from Bahia) which can be spicy and cooked with ingredients which most people aren't very familiar with (coconut milk, Dendê oil).

I hope that this helps, but do a search. There are other threads worth checking.

Enjoy Rio.

Mar 13, 2013
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

Your takes on Northern Spy?

I went only once for brunch and liked it very much, the kale salad is very good. My husband went back for dinner after we had brunch and also enjoyed very much. It migh not be a destination place but the food is quite good and service attemptive, and nowadays I much prefer this type of restaurant than the ones with all the hype.

Feb 19, 2013
Toot in Manhattan

Place to eat near the Morgan: Madison & 36 St.

The restaurant at the Scandinavian House, Park and 37th.

Feb 04, 2013
Toot in Manhattan

family eats near Moma

La Bonne Soup, very casual French option, good for kids.
http://labonnesoupe.com/

Jan 03, 2013
Toot in Manhattan

cruise ship docking in Rio for Carnaval

Sorry, I am going to disagree with the Largo do Machado suggestion. Nothing against the area, Laranjeiras is actually my neighborhood when in Rio; and I spend lots of time at Largo do Machado running errands. It's perfect for that, but for going out at night, not really...Largo do Machado is ugly and busy... just my 2 cents.

Jan 03, 2013
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

cruise ship docking in Rio for Carnaval

Couldn't agree more, I don't really get the favela tour thing. Sta Teresa would be great, nice views and great food. I am not sure about the tram though, it might be still out of service. Aprazivel in Sta Teresa is really good, but expensive, it's worthy in my opinion but there are cheaper options too.

Dec 26, 2012
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

cruise ship docking in Rio for Carnaval

Yes, the Blocos are safe, no worries. As for the fun, it's not my type of thing so I am not the best to judge :)

Dec 24, 2012
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

cruise ship docking in Rio for Carnaval

Yes, Barra Shopping is not a destinaton place for food, but if one wants to go shopping it is a good option, especially during Carnaval, and there are good restaurants there like Gula-Gula. I guess my point is that mall food in Rio is not necesseraly bad the way it is in most US malls where you would have Mc Donald's, KFC and if you are lucky a Cheesecake Factory :). Barra Shopping has better options than that, and other malls like Sao Conrado Fashion Mall have really good places like CT Brasserie.

Dec 24, 2012
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

cruise ship docking in Rio for Carnaval

If I am not mistaken the ships dock at Praça Mauá. This is very close to downtown and you can easily walk to the subway during the day but I wouldn't recommend walking at night as downtown gets really empty at night. I am also not sure about the day walk since it will be Carnaval, business will be closed and might be very empty too, you should ask at the docks and they would know. By the way, Praça Mauá is very close to Rio oldest church, Mosteiro de São Bento. It's a beautiful example of Brazilian baroque art and worth a visit; they have Gregorian chant at their 10 am Sunday mass.

As for the taxi fare, cabs are not very expensive in Rio. From Praça Mauá to Ipanema without traffic it might be around R$30-40 which is about 20 USD.

Another good place for food is Barra Shopping, it's a mall at the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood. That would be a really long cab ride but you might be in a tour bus at some point that goes there. The mall has a really nice food court. Brazilian malls food courts are very good, it's nothing like an American mall.

Make sure you have a pão de queijo (Brazilian cheese rolls) with a espresso, you can find those anywhere, but Casa do Pão de Queijo has a good one; they are everywhere.

Dec 22, 2012
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

cruise ship docking in Rio for Carnaval

You should do a serch for Rio as there are many suggestions in past threads that might be useful for you.

The docks are not very close to the Zona Sul: Ipanema, Leblon, Copacabana. But without traffic (which is unlikely in Rio, especially during Carnaval) you could make it in a 30 min cab ride. You might also consider using the subway to beat the traffic, but the subway doesn't go until the docks, you would still need a cab or to walk a bit. It should be ok just make sure you don't wear jewelry or carry expensive cameras around your neck.

As for restaurants there are tons of them. Brazilian food is great and you will likely have very good food. I am going to list some favorites of mine, but it all depends on what your are looking for: romantic, cheap, hip, etc. You didn't give too many paramenters.

Portuguese/Brazilian: Antiquarius, it's really good, but very old school and considered one of the best restaurants in Rio and IMO it s true... The place is a Rio institution and it has been around for a long time. But Portuguese food can be very unfamiliar to lots of people; an American couple friend of mine hated their signature dish: cod fish with eggs, exactly because of the eggs... But that's Portuguese... It's expensive though.

Ice Cream: Mil Frutas. They have a store in Ipanema and at Jardim Botanico. You can taste ice cream made with many types of tropical fruits.

Juices: Brazilian juice stands are amazing. My favorite is a store in Ipanema, Polis Sucos, Rua Maria Quiteria with Rua Visconde de Piraja. Don't miss it! It's also great for sandwiches and a quick lunch. It's a stand-at-the counter type of place and popular after the beach.

Churrascaria: Porcão. If you want to try the Brazilian rodizio style this is my favorite. They have several locations and the one at Aterro is not far from the docks, but you would still need a cab.

Lunch:
Gula-Gula: they have in many locations and I really like their food and desserts: the petit-gateaux of doce de leite is great.
Celeiro: great for salads, Leblon
Bar Gaspar: at Praca Tiradentes (Downtown) it is great for “galeto” (roasted young chicken), picanha (grilled meat) and very busy at lunch time. You can have a very Brazilian lunch there.
You should also try one of the many "kilos" for lunch. These are very popular lunch places, you pay buy the weight like in a NYC deli, but the experience is quite different, waiter service, great food and they will range from very simple and inexpensive to more sophisticate. The ones with Brazilian barbecue are more expensive. There are 2 good ones at Praca General Osorio in Ipanema: Fazendola (less expensive) and Frontera (more expensive). Praca General Osorio is where the Hippie Fair is on Sundays; you are likely to go to the Fair, everybody does....

Cozinha Contemporânea (a kind of "New Brazilian" Cuisine, traditional ingredients with a fancy twist): Restô in Ipaneman, Brasserie Julien at Urca. In this category my favorite would be Aprazivel in Santa Teresa. It's much more expensive than the other 2 but it is very good and has a great view. If you go don't miss the palmito pupunha (fresh hearts of palm).

French: Olympe. Chef Claude Troisgros is married to a Brazilian and has lived in Rio for a long time. He uses Brazilian ingredients with French technique and all his restaurants are very good. Olympe is the most expensive and I have never been.

Italian: Fasano al Mare: really high end and expensive; if you want a splurge it's the place to go. I have only been to the one in Sao Paulo and it was quite wonderful. It's the same owner as Gero, another popular Italian restaurant. Gero is also pricey, but not as upscale and as expensive as Fasano. I have been to Gero but long time ago. It's good for people watching and I loved the food but it is the kind of place you can find outside Brasil.
My favorite Italian would be CT Trattoria from Claude Troisgros in Jardim Botanico.
Artigiano in Ipanema is also good and less expensive than the above, but they don't take credit cards.

Pizza: Cappricciosa (Ipanema, Jd Botanico) and Braz (Jardim Botanico). Don't miss Brazilian pizza, it's quite good.

Try a tapioca. They sell on carts on the street. It's a kind of crepe made with yuca flour. Really tasty. You can also find at the Hippie Fair with other tapioca snacks and food from Bahia.

Belmonte: for beer and salgadinhos (Brazilan savory snacks). Very crowded, cheap, young crowd. They have in many locations, the one in Lapa is very nice and Lapa is definitely worht a visit.

Breakfast: La Byciclette (Jd Botanico) e Escola do Pão.

Well, all the above suggestions are places that I like but I have no idea how they would be during Carnaval. When I lived in Rio I escaped Carnaval like I was running away from the plague :) so I haven't been in Rio during Carnaval in a long, long time. But that's me, I don't like crowds.

Have fun and report back.

Dec 21, 2012
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

Inexpensive sit-downs Downtown

Another vote for Caracas Arepas Bar

Oct 19, 2012
Toot in Manhattan

cheap, casual on the UES?

I second Yura and Corner Bakery. A great place for desserts, although really price, is Lady M on 78th. My favorite pizza in the area is Rizzo's. There is a new Italian place that opened recently on 91st and Madison - GIna La Fornarina - that has been very popular with kids, I haven't been there yet though. Tre Otto on 97 and Madison is very good and not too expensive.

Sep 14, 2012
Toot in Manhattan

Sao Paulo - Chef Alex Atala

Are you talking about D.O.M. or the rencently opened Dalva e Dito? I have been to D.O.M., but long time ago so not sure how the restaurant is nowadays after all the hype it has received. When I went it was a very good experience but not really out of this world.... It was very expensive, even taking in consideration that the dollar was very strong at the time. I don't really remember what I ate, hope you can get a more up to date opinion.
Dalva e Dito looks quite good judging by the menu on their website and I think it is not as expensive as D.O.M.

Sep 05, 2012
Toot in Latin America & Caribbean

wedding cakes at a good value

The original post is from 2009... The couple probably have already eaten their cake by now :)

Aug 23, 2012
Toot in Manhattan

Birthday dinner on a budget

I just had a wonderful meal at Caracas Arepas Bar last weekend. Very casual place, very small room but very good food and really inexpensive. And it's very close to Puddin which is a good dessert option for afterwards.

Aug 23, 2012
Toot in Manhattan

best high-end chocolate truffles in NYC

Maison du Chocolat no doubt, at least for me :)

Aug 10, 2012
Toot in Manhattan