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uwsgrazer's Profile

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Convivium Osteria OR Locanda Vini e Olii??

How's the noise level at Convivium? I stumbled on this thread as part of my "research" after seeing sgordon's mention of the place on the Manhattan board. I'm looking for a lively-ish place, but I also don't want to strain to have to hear my fellow diners. Also, any pointers on seating would be much appreciated. I thought I read something about an outdoor garden, but maybe I'm getting my information confused ...

about 8 hours ago
uwsgrazer in Outer Boroughs

Gabriel Kreuther - reservations (not just on bookings!)

Thanks for the helpful cooking insights of Kreuther's various restaurant affiliations. Glad to hear that you got an 8 p.m. table. Hope that GK will live up to your Ritz CPS experience - and more

about 12 hours ago
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Gabriel Kreuther - reservations (not just on bookings!)

Thank you, ellenost. I found 8 p.m. for the Saturday one week earlier than originally planned and booked it. That date should be fine, but I'll discuss with my partner. Either way, we would prefer the 8 o'clock seating. Many thanks!

about 13 hours ago
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Gabriel Kreuther - reservations (not just on bookings!)

Interesting. My call with the restaurant focused exclusively on (a) Saturday night, though.

about 13 hours ago
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Gabriel Kreuther - reservations (not just on bookings!)

If I had to identify an "issue", I would say that it would be going to GK and then finding that the overall experience didn't live up to expectations, because our service seemed inferior to other, more worthy guests (or in less personal terms, if the restaurant seemed to cater to certain tables, in particular). I'm not at all suggesting that this will happen, but I feel as if to some extent I have been put on notice that the restaurant does differentiate among its clientele. And I'm speaking broadly here, I fully recognize that plenty of business enterprises need to be mindful of their customer base.

If I had had my heart set on going to GK and then this happened, I might agree that this shouldn't be such a big deal. But I really didn't. It's more when I started reading the positive reviews here and elsewhere that I considered trying to book a dinner for an upcoming special occasion. I actually did not care for the meals I had at The Modern, and it was really only when I heard a very favorable review by someone, who said that she actually did not care for Kreuther's cooking at The Modern, that I gave GK serious consideration. So, you're right: perhaps I'm not the target audience for GK, as I'm certainly not a devotee.

The fact is we have sooo many restaurants to choose from in Manhattan that I personally don't feel compelled to focus on only one or two. I feel fortunate to have gone to my fair share of top places. Sometimes the experience has been sublime, but there were a number of times when I didn't share the rave reviews that I read on this board or elsewhere. I figure that's the way it goes, and even the exceptional places can slip up on occasion as well.

about 13 hours ago
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Gabriel Kreuther - reservations (not just on bookings!)

Thanks for all the feedback, 'hounds! So, I guess it was okay to feel a bit put-off by, in essence, being told that my business isn't valued at the same level as certain other clientele. But, hey, I suppose there's something to be said for being straight about things.

Still undecided about whether to keep the reservation. Definitely doesn't engender any warm feelings about the place, though that doesn't on its own mean that I wouldn't give it a try.

about 15 hours ago
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Gabriel Kreuther - reservations (not just on bookings!)

I booked a table for Saturday night next month on Open Table. The earliest acceptable time I could get was 8:30 p.m. I figured that I would grab that and perhaps inquire later about moving up the time.

When I spoke with the reservationist just now, I couldn't really improve the time, other than by 15 minutes - if I were to switch to a different Saturday night. That on its own was no surprise. What was a bit disappointing was when she explained that September was a difficult month, etc. and that from 6:30 p.m., I think, to 8:00 p.m. is particularly tough. Again, no surprise and totally understandable.

But, then she seemed to suggest that those times were set aside and totally unavailable -- even if one tried as soon as the reservation window opened. I was surprised to have this so baldly stated that I asked for confirmation, saying something like, so, these times are set aside for "preferred" diners, is that right? Confirmed.

I fully recognize that restaurants will hold tables for special guests, etc., but I was a bit put off to hear this outright -- so much so that it makes me want to reconsider going. I mean, presumably once you are seated the service will be fine, but I would feel kind of silly for not heeding the hint, if you will, if we received indifferent (or worse) service.

Here's the question: is it common practice to openly disclose that certain times are set aside for "special" diners and that only less popular times are open to ordinary folks?

1 day ago
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Best restaurant for chocolate cake

I looked at both links Ttrockwood indeed kindly provided, but I didn't realize additional information was available by scrolling down. I guess I was distracted by the notion of the Brooklyn Blackout Cake. Thank you gforce!

Aug 25, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Best restaurant for chocolate cake

Looks and sounds delicious.

Does the cupcake also come with chocolate pudding?

Does two Little Red Hens sell individual slices of the blackout cake for walk-in purchase?

Aug 25, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Best rotisserie chicken in NYC

Me too - disappointing. Not necessarily so much dry but just lacking in seasoning. For the price ($17+ ?) not sure it was worth it.

Now the porchetta sandwiches, I could buy those everyday!

Aug 09, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Applewood - chef change?

Thank you. I think I read that the owner(s) had decided to move out of the city, but my understanding was that that was a while ago. I guess I didn't realize that the owner-chef was still working in the kitchen, though.

I hope the high-quality food continues and would be interested in any recent reviews.

Jul 31, 2015
uwsgrazer in Outer Boroughs

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Already have capers in the pantry. I also thought capers should be part of the spread and was starting to question that as they didn't get included in posts with the red onion, tomato, etc. Now I know, and they will for sure be on the table! Thank you!

Jul 31, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

No chopped liver fans in the group, apparently. I mean, I potentially could be if given the opportunity, I suppose. But one person in the group for sure needs to stay away, I was told -- more for you.

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Perfect. Thank you for that clarification, Ttrockwood. I was starting to worry about having a few pounds of cc sitting around in the fridge ... and no smoked fish or other good stuff to go with it. Whew.

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan
1

Applewood - chef change?

We thoroughly enjoyed our meals the two times we visited. Our latest meal was early this year. I happened to be looking at their site, and it looks as if the head chef has changed though my google search uncovered nothing.

Am I right, is there a new chef (who was the restaurant's former sous chef)? What happened to the prior executive chef?

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Outer Boroughs

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Thank you!

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Ha, great idea! Maybe I will -- it's either that or pay a visit to El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette, no doubt only more popular after the recent Times review

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/din...

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan
1

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Gosh, that does sound good. Especially the chopped Granny Smith apples part. Something to look forward to. Next time.

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Thanks - will have to pick up some Ben's cream cheese

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Thanks .. I just placed the order. Yes, I'll definitely need to place another order again soon and try that Scottish salmon.

What's the "salty"? Is that the belly lox? I agree, I do love eggs, salmon / lox and scallions or chives (not sure which I actually had). I suppose if there is a fair amount of leftover nova, that could go into the eggs.

Good to know about the sable-sturgeon pricing. I felt so sure that I paid a fraction of the price ages ago (okay, admittedly a very, very long time ago!)

Yup, I bit for R&D's website description of the superiority of their cream cheese (all natural, no gums or preservatives blah blah blah)

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Got it - absolutely no day-old bagels will be served at the brunch.

Thanks for your wise counsel!

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan
1

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Sounds very tasty to me. And thanks for the pointer on sable quantity.

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Thank you ZaZa and rmh17. I'll probably save a trip to Absolute and just pick up R&D bagels tomorrow for toasting Saturday. The added benefit will be I can pick up a couple of bialys, a favorite of one of the guests and not stocked by Absolute.

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

My understanding was that you place the sturgeon under the nova, to absorb the fish oil. But my recollection is that sable is pretty oily already. So, the question is do you eat sable the same way as nova, i.e., cream cheese and sable on a bagel and / or does it work as a base the way sturgeon presumably does?

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

I wouldn't mind enough leftovers for two people. Actually, I was kind of looking forward to that for Sunday morning. The other couple aren't big eaters, so I suspect there will be plenty to nosh on the next day (unless we eat it up the night before).

Yes, I see your point about the Gaspe, I just kind of thought it would be fun to try / compare different smoked fish varieties. But, you're right. It won't be a lot of salmon and everything will probably just blend together after a while.

Yes, I think that was the issue I had with the sturgeon I bought (not from R&D). Maybe I'll go with the sable.

Thanks for all your ideas and suggestions!

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Yes, I also love scallion cream cheese - it's on the shopping list!

That pickled lox with cream & onions sounds good. Not sure if including that might be too much this time around, but I would definitely like to try it one day.

I planned to serve red onion slices, but I will also try to find a decent tomato or two to serve; your whitefish-baked salmon combo sounds delicious.

I also like toasted bagels, but when it's "fresh", as in bought within a few hours of consumption, I kind of feel as if it should be eaten untoasted, even though I'm not sure it might not taste better toasted. Put another way, maybe fresh bagels don't "toast" so well, and you actually need slightly stale bagels for toasting ... Now you have me thinking I should just buy R&D bagels tomorrow and toast them Saturday. It would be nice to avoid a trip on the subway to Absolute Saturday morning.

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan
1

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Yes, I was planning to order the Gaspe salmon as the "primary" salmon served, but I thought of supplementing with a couple of others (western nova, Irish organic, Scottish smoked salmon ...). Maybe that's overdoing it, and I should just order 1 to 1-1/4 lbs of Gaspe and 1/4 lb of either sable or sturgeon.

I used to buy sable as a less expensive (by a lot, I thought) substitute for sturgeon, which I thought I loved, but then I remember finally having it again and not loving it as much, if that's possible. Not sure which to get this time, as sable and sturgeon are now priced so close ...

Fair point about the potato salad.

How do you serve the picked herring with cream & onions?

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

Thanks, tex. That does sound yummy - maybe I'll wait to feast on the Heebster in the cafe. While two of us on Saturday would likely enjoy the Heebster, I have a feeling the other two would not.

Couldn't agree with you more about Russ's sub-par bagels. I only had them once in the cafe and thought that perhaps I just happened to get a bum bagel. I guess it wasn't a one-off, after all.

Just for the record, Russ & Daughters' fruit strudel is "mixed fruit": apples, prunes, bananas(?), etc. I think I'll stick with rugelach (only) for Saturday

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Russ & Daughters - food shop order

I plan to phone in an order later today for pickup tomorrow. The food will be served this Saturday. I figure I'll get some smoked salmon, sturgeon, whitefish & baked salmon salad, potato salad, cream cheese and rugelach.

Any "musts" to try that I've overlooked? The one thing I'm debating about getting is the fruit strudel (not sure if it's even available - it's on the paper order form I have but not listed on the website). I only need enough food for four people. While some leftovers would be fine, I'm trying to avoid an excess, especially among sweets.

I plan to buy bagels from Absolute Saturday morning.

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan

Freshest whole garlic

I've also had a hard time finding decent garlic. Normally, I would go to Fairway (Broadway & 74th), but I've found that the heads are oftentimes dried up. Now I go to Eataly. The garlic I used this past weekend tasted good (subtle taste), though the skin was hard to peel off the cloves. I assume, but am not sure, that this is a sign that the garlic may be fresh ...? Regardless, it's a great excuse to visit Eataly.

Jul 30, 2015
uwsgrazer in Manhattan