u

uwsgrazer's Profile

Title Last Reply

Special dinner: Babbo?

Thank you - all great points. Yup, the Le Bernardin menus kind of blew me away, in terms of price point. I guess my reasoning (not saying it's justified, just trying to explain) is that Le B is, yes, more refined and serves food that I certainly couldn't prepare at home and is probably not so easy to replicate elsewhere (though I'm sure 'hounds could come up with substitutes). On the other hand, Babbo's food, while very good the one time I went, doesn't seem quite as unique or "special". Not at all saying that one is necessarily better quality or anything than the other, especially when factoring in cost (to determine "value"), but I just feel that if I want a really (potentially) incredible fish / seafood dinner, Le B's is on the short-list. If I want an incredible Italian meal, the list of options seems quite long.

Appreciate the pointers on dining upstairs as well as steering us away from the pasta tasting menu. That was actually what we had our sole visit years ago. I figured we had just not been hungry enough when we arrived (which is probably true), but I think you make a good point about it being just carb overload. If we go, we'll definitely consider the regular tasting menu or creating our own. I think making our own may be the way to go. I guess I'm actually a kind of light eater, so restaurants serving generous portions don't do much for me. And, actually, when I've done tasting menus in the past (Babbo, Le B, EMP), it was way too much food -- it was actually kind of unappealing to have so many dishes that I ate but didn't really want to, or that I reluctantly skipped.

On that point, I'm really stuffed now, after having an enjoyable and nice dinner outside at China Grill. Not to change the subject, but I've found them consistently good over the years. I don't think the restaurant gets much play on the board, so I figured I would mention it. That said, the restaurant is so ridiculously loud inside that I would only consider dining outdoors, which of course limits when I could go.

Aug 21, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Pistachio muffins ... from Food Emporium ... Any reviews?

Excellent :)

Aug 21, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Pistachio muffins ... from Food Emporium ... Any reviews?

Wow. I'll have to check that out - thanks!

Aug 20, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Special dinner: Babbo?

Eh, thanks for the feedback, everyone. I guess I'm starting to have some ambivalence about Babbo. Actually, I think Le Bernardin was / is kind of a higher pick than Babbo, but somehow Babbo got thrown in given our love of Italian food and a past dinner where our reduced appetite limited our enjoyment.

Maybe I should do a more exhaustive search for where to go; it just takes time and effort and is also kind of a crapshoot in the end. I've always been pleased with Le Bernardin, not that I go regularly and, in fact, haven't been for a few years now.

But I do tend to think that Le Bernardin is "safer" and less likely to disappoint. Babbo may be more "fun" and relaxed, on the other hand. If we decide to go for Le Bernardin, we still need reservations and chances are we will have to go on a day other than the intended celebration day. That would be fine, if not ideal. Okay, we'll need to ponder this. Open to any additional thoughts from folks.

Thanks for all the input!

Aug 20, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Pistachio muffins ... from Food Emporium ... Any reviews?

Funny. Unfortunately (or not) the Food Emporium by me has closed. But I will now have to look for pistachio muffins the next time I am in a neighborhood with a local Food Emporium

Aug 20, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Special dinner: Babbo?

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply, Multifoiled. I tend to agree with you, food served in Italy and Italian food in NY are each distinct in their own way, even if they also share similarities.

I'm still interested to hear any additional guidance or suggestions from other 'hounds, but I'm happy to know that we should be able to enjoy a special and leisurely meal

Aug 20, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan
1

Special dinner: Babbo?

SO and I have a special dinner planned for next month. We managed to score a reservation at Babbo, for 6:15 p.m., but got shut out at Le Bernardin, basically due to negligence (didn't realize they started taking reservations Aug 1 for the entire month of September).

Do we need to worry about being rushed at Babbo? Given the early start time, we're going to want to have a drink, nibbles or whatnot before starting dinner. We may opt for the tasting menu, with wine pairings, in which case we also definitely do not want to be rushed.

Finally, we've been fortunate to have visited Italy recently and even have an upcoming trip planned for later this year. We love Italian food! That said, are we better off enjoying Italian food in Italy and having our sepcial dinner elsewhere?

We're on the wait-list at Le Bernardin. Not sure of the odds, but in case we can get a table, should we take it? I recognize that the food is very different, but based on past experience we would also be very happy to dine at Le Bernardin.

Aug 20, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Berger Cookies may be victim of trans-fat ban

I also bought some recently. I happened to be pacing the aisles trying to find a dessert that wasn't the standard store-bought fare. I vaguely recalled that the Berger cookies might be what I had read on Chowhound and confirmed that they indeed were, when I got back to my hotel room.

Well, I think I ate one and a tiny part of the second one. I didn't take them with me (why bother) but felt kind of bad about just tossing the almost full package, so I just left them off to the side.

I guess next time I should look for the Otterbein's.

Summer seafood takeout from Bethesda eateries

Mmmmm, sounds yummy -- thanks!

Keeping strawberries fresh ... in yogurt?

Thank you both. I realize my post could have been clearer. What I meant to say is that I only wash what I plan to eat as well as what looks as if it's on the verge of going bad, so I was looking for a "home" for the berries that I couldn't finish eating -- and yogurt made a perfectly acceptable holding place

Aug 04, 2014
uwsgrazer in General Topics

Keeping strawberries fresh ... in yogurt?

How interesting. I would never have guessed that placing strawberries in a jar would preserve them. No strawberries around to test this, but I'll have to try it some time -- thanks

Aug 04, 2014
uwsgrazer in General Topics

Summer seafood takeout from Bethesda eateries

Great, thanks for the endorsement of Freddy's RI-style calamari!

Edit: What does Rhode Island-style mean, how is it actually prepared?

Summer seafood takeout from Bethesda eateries

I know, it's suboptimal to do takeout fried food, but dining-in isn't an option, in this case. We've had Freddy's takeout a couple of times now, and people enjoyed the food, so I think it will be okay (if not ideal). That's another reason to load up now in the warmer summer months. No way would we try this in winter!

Summer seafood takeout from Bethesda eateries

Agreed, but as this will be a special occasion price isn't an issue

Summer seafood takeout from Bethesda eateries

Thanks to this board we discovered Freddy's Lobster and Clams. We love the fried belly clams (a special, I guess - never tried the fried clam strips on the menu) and the lobster roll (cold version). We tried the pasta with clam sauce and thought it was just okay. The NE clam chowder is pretty good

We're planning another takeout meal, a particularly special celebration in this case. I think I noticed fried calamari on Freddy's menu. How is it?

Another idea would be to get some takeout from Black's Bar & Kitchen as well. The online menu shows calamari, both grilled and fried options, as well as fried oysters.

Any experience with any of the above? There's no particular theme to the meal, I guess just high-quality seafood options that work well for takeout and are in restaurants or shops concentrated near Freddy's, since we'll want the food to stay reasonably fresh and hot

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

Keeping strawberries fresh ... in yogurt?

Looking for ways to keep fresh strawberries from rotting. I'm referring to store-bought strawberries sold in a plastic container. I know the best way is to just eat them right away, but what's the next best way to make sure they don't rot?

Of what I don't eat, I'll wash them and "prepare" them (remove stems, cut off any bad parts) and then try to keep them dry (via paper towels) in a bowl stored in the refrigerator.

I'm wondering, if I place the fruit in yogurt will that help to keep them from breaking down?

What else do people do?

Jul 27, 2014
uwsgrazer in General Topics

Balthazar downhill alert?

Thanks for sharing. SO and I went years ago for breakfast and were just thinking we should return for another meal. Now we know better. How disappointing, but I must say that the slice of coconut cake I bought last week, next door at the bakery, was outstanding -- albeit no bargain at $6.50 for a not particularly generous serving.

May 06, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Wheat berries: Winter vs. spring

Thank you. In that case, I better not mix what's left of the winter berries with the spring ones.

Apr 23, 2014
uwsgrazer in General Topics

Wheat berries: Winter vs. spring

I buy wheat berries in bulk from the local market. I always get the "organic winter hard" berries to make a wheat berry salad. But I just noticed the last package purchased was labeled "organic spring hard". The grains seem to be slightly smaller, I think, but it's hard to say for sure. I thought maybe the store just changed the labeling, but the two packages seem to have different bulk bin #s.

Is there a difference between the two? Can I use the spring grains to make a wheat berry salad, will they have the same effect?

Apr 22, 2014
uwsgrazer in General Topics

Kosher breakfast food

Thanks for all the helpful feedback. I'll probably head to Fairway. dyrewolf, I really appreciate your point about keeping the food wrapped in the original packaging, so he can see the relevant labeling and whatnot.

Apr 20, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Kosher breakfast food

I plan to bring a couple of breakfast cakes to work as part of a team event. I'm still undecided as to exactly what I will bring, but probably either some pound cake like stuff or maybe small danish.

One person keeps Kosher and I will obviously want to bring something separate and suitable for him as well. Looking for suggestions for reasonably high-quality Kosher breakfast foods, ideally that can be purchased the day before. As it's only one person, I'd prefer not to get an entire cake or anything, but it also shouldn't look too solitary / skimpy or anything.

Apr 19, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Brunch suggestions near Neue Gallery

The prospect of a wait, perhaps as long as 30 minutes or more, is a deterrent, in my book. In that regard, standing in line and eyeing those fabulous window seats with the gorgeous park view only to be offered some small table on the side is another downer. Sure, you can hold out for a window table but by then the time investment could be substantial.

Mar 24, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

New(-ish) UWS restaurants

No, I don't think it was Bustan. It was definitely an Italian place, and it's possible I read about over a year ago :-\

Mar 23, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

New(-ish) UWS restaurants

Nope, I know Ouest and was thinking that could work for this Friday's dinner. The main drawback is that we've already taken this relative to Ouest for a past dinner.

I haven't been to Ouest in ages! I wonder if it's still good / decent.

Mar 23, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

New(-ish) UWS restaurants

Osteria Cotta looks great. How's the noise-level in the upstairs dining room? The website shows reservations only for parties of six. We'll only be three and on a Friday night I imagine there will be a wait. Ugh.

We must be practically neighbors, dyrewolf, and West 80s sounds more appealing to me than Numero 28 at 92nd Street!

I just read about the new recliner seating at the 84th Street multiplex. Wild.

Mar 23, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

New(-ish) UWS restaurants

hmmm, maybe Numero 28 was it. I thought the place I saw had a more extensive menu, but looking more closely I guess Numero 28 is more than simply pizza. The menu lists salads, pasta and a limited number of secondi.

How is it, have you been to Numero 28?

Mar 23, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

New(-ish) UWS restaurants

Thanks, coasts! I did search Westside Rag before posting, but I couldn't find the place I was trying to think of.

So many places to choose from, just wish the odds of picking a winner were better … :)

Mar 23, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan
1

New(-ish) UWS restaurants

I read about a couple of new places that I thought opened the past few months (okay, maybe more than that). One had Italian food, and I thought was on Columbus Avenue in the 80s, maybe; it was written up in the NY Times and made it sound like more of a neighborhood-type place (casual, tavern-like …).

Now that I need a place to go this Friday night I'm drawing a blank. Any ideas? Good Italian food or similar (i.e., basic food, nothing too adventurous …), entrees in the mid-$20s or so and manageable noise-levels to allow for conversation.

Mar 23, 2014
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Bethesda takeout - best seafood stew and best fried seafood

Yum. Maybe I'll have to find a way to get to Freddy's, after all. I love fried clams!

Note: The OP was to source foods for my father, where dining out isn't so convenient.

Battle of the Potstickers

Wow, thanks Oxalis. I'm not familiar with Kanpai Sushi. I like your idea of a progressive meal, though I will probably wait for warmer weather to execute on that suggestion. So for now I think the plan would be some tempura and gyoza, followed by treats next door at the bakery.