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need union square restaurant with elder parents

Well, if you've had consistently good experiences over time, maybe I just hit it on a bad day -- I had been once a number of years ago and remember it being fine if not great. I was really put off by my experience this time, though.

Nov 17, 2010
noob in Manhattan

need union square restaurant with elder parents

I have to respectfully disagree about City Crab -- someone dragged me there for lunch recently and it was terrible. It feels (and even smells) like a restaurant on its last legs, and our food ranged from mediocre to inedible. My crabcakes were average at best, not very fresh, filled with bits of shell and way overpriced. My friend ( the one who insisted on going) had about three forkfuls of his seafood pasta and couldn't eat any more, it was so bad -- and he is not a foodie or a light eater, more of an indsicriminate shoveller. I would recommend the OP stay away. La Pizza Fresca on 20th might be good -- nice place, straightforward but delicious italian food, not too loud.

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La Pizza Fresca
31 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

Nov 17, 2010
noob in Manhattan

Bar Room, Scarpetta, Locanda Verde, Babbo, EMP, Momofuku Noodle - what to order

Looks like Maialino has 5:30 and 9:30 on Opentable for that Sunday, but maybe if you called they'd have something better?

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Maialino
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Oct 26, 2010
noob in Manhattan

Bar Room, Scarpetta, Locanda Verde, Babbo, EMP, Momofuku Noodle - what to order

Funny -- I was at Convivio with a party of 4 the same night (I think) and had a very similar experience. For primi, I had the cicatelli al forno, which was just ok, a little too smokey but the waiter specifically warned me that it was when I ordered, so I can't hold that against them. In general, the pasta was fine but not special. The fusilli was the best out of the four we had. Malloreddus was fine, the uni was definitely there, but certainly not a generous amount.

For my scondi, I had the duck, and had the exact same experience as you -- the breast was good but the sausage was very rare, pretty much raw in the middle. I asked a passing captain if it was meant to be that way, and she said yes, but offered to have it cooked more if the texture bothered me. I declined, figuring it just wasn't to my taste, but now that you say the same thing, I feel better about my opinion. Pink duck breast is one thing, but raw ground spiced duck -- blech. The spicing made it taste more or less like pork sausage, which may have contributed to my discomfort, since raw pork creeps me out even more than raw poultry.

The one outstanding dish was the chicken liver crostini appetizer -- a real oh my god dish. I took one bite of my companion's and spent the rest of the meal wishing I had chosen it for my own appetizer. My affogato was very tasty as well, so I would recommend that if the OP goes.

Service-wise, our waiter was very gracious and dealt well with the two difficult older ladies in my party, but we felt rushed by the busboys and the kitchen -- they tried to pick up our plates every time we put our utensils down, even when we obviously weren't finished, and the next course rushed out as soon as the previous plates had been cleared. We complained about it to the server and he spoke to the kitchen, but it didn't make much difference. The place was packed and I'm sure the kitchen was slammed, but -- it was Friday night, at a michelin star restaurant, they should know how to deal with a full house.

Anyway -- I wouldn't recommend the restaurant based on one visit. But since you and I were there the same night, maybe it really was the proverbial off night...

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Convivio
45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

Oct 25, 2010
noob in Manhattan

No. 7 Sub Shop

I just had a great sandwich from no. 7 -- mile end smoked meat with chinese mustard, lychee muchim, and potato chips. Really explosive flavor -- salty, sweet, spicy, vinegary, gingery, pow! I had pretty much written off no. 7 -- good, interesting sandwiches but not always wow good, and too small for the price when I'm equidistant from Defonte's. This sandwich, though, I will go back for as long as it's on the menu. I think I would rather have one than a katz's pastrami sandwich, and that's saying a lot.

Oct 08, 2010
noob in Manhattan

soup (takeout) Flatiron/Village

Too late for your cold (I hope), but Cafe Medina on W. 17th has the best non-homemade soup I've had anywhere. 4 or 5 regular flavors and 4 or 5 daily specials every weekday, and you can sample as many as you like before ordering. There's something for everyone, but my standbys include african chicken peanut and mexican tortilla soup with chicken meatballs (had that for lunch today). Their Tuscan tomato bread soup is great too, though you should try it before ordering -- it may be too sweet or too chunky for some, kind of like eating a container of really good tomato sauce with a spoon.

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Cafe Medina
9 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

Oct 04, 2010
noob in Manhattan

EMP Lately?

Oh, duh. You're right, it must be pick a column -- makes much more sense than the other way, and is also less gimmicky. Sorry for the misinformation, I'm a little nervous these days...

Although I was starting to get intrigued by the horizontal possibilities...

Sep 07, 2010
noob in Manhattan

EMP Lately?

Apparently the 4 course menu will be a "pick one ingredient from each column" tasting menu: http://elevenmadisonpark.com/PDFS/sam...

From the website: Our menu format is intended to offer an experience in which our guests can enjoy the inherent surprise of a tasting menu, while still maintaining some control. Dishes are listed solely by their principal ingredients, and guests are invited to make their selections, share any ingredient dislikes, and allow us to design their meal from there.

I have a dinner reservation there on Friday night with my new fiancee and her mother, first time I'll be seeing the future mother-in-law since the engagement (gulp). Now I'm a little worried, not only by the price increase (big psychological difference for me between 95 and 125) but by the mix and match -- seems a little gimmicky. It wasn't broke, I don't know why they're fixing it. OTOH, I have had 4 or 5 meals there including the gourmand and never been disappointed in the slightest, so I am fairly confident that we will be blown away by the food and charmed by the mix and match -- if it weren't such an important dinner I would just relax and be thrilled that I was getting to try the new menu in the first week.

Very curious to hear early reports before Friday...

Sep 07, 2010
noob in Manhattan

Brancaccio's Food Shop (Windsor Terrace / Kensington)

He does wonders with farro! I usually think of it as a pretty dull ingredient, but I had his farro and beet salad the other week, and it was outta sight -- subtle, tasty, and you feel virtuous for eating it!

Interesting about the sandwiches -- thanks for the tip. I've been meaning to try them, even more since they got that little NYT mention, but now maybe I'll just stick to the prepared foods. Why pull your starter when he's pitching a perfect game? Although I will say that I've had the meatballs a la carte and they were delish, so I don't know if I can resist getting a hero sometime.

Jul 15, 2010
noob in Outer Boroughs

Freezable, take-to-New-Hampshireable Brooklyn pizza?

I may be way off-base, but I've often thought that a square pie from Difara would freeze decently -- have considered trying it to send to a pizza-deprived Brookyln transplant friend in LA but never pulled the trigger. Wouldn't be the same as fresh, but if you reheated it in a cookie sheet with oil the way he cooks them, on highest heat, might be ok... it's certainly not too delicate like a pie from Tottono's or Lucali would be, and anyway it's so delicious that would be good no matter what. Would love to hear the results if you try this -- or at least other hounds' thoughts on whether it's a stupid idea.

Jun 22, 2010
noob in Outer Boroughs

Brancaccio's Food Shop (Windsor Terrace / Kensington)

I'm just bumping this thread to keep Brancaccio's on the radar. We picked up dinner from here last night for the first time in a few months, probably the 5th time altogether, and it was as good as ever. We had:

Double bacon mac and cheese -- unbelievable, as good or better than their truffled mac and cheese that gets a lot of justified praise. Reheating it in the microwave spreads the bacon flavor perfectly without turning the mac mushy.

Chicken salad with apples and raisins-- I love chicken salad but am disappointed by it more often than not when I order it in a new place. This was as close to my platonic ideal as it gets-- tangy, with just the right balance of salt, sweet and crunch. Better than mom's.

Broccoli Rabe - good, not my favorite veggie they do (that would be the brussels sprouts, which I fear may be gone until next winter), but I wouldn't kick it out of bed.

Brownie -- huge and delicious, as good as mom's -- I won't say better twice in one post.

Anybody who lives in Windsor Terrace / Kensington / Greenwood and doesn't get food from this place is nuts. It's not super cheap, but as the OP says, no more expensive than ordering an app and entree from one of our few, mediocre delivery options, and infinitely better. With most prepared food, I feel that I (or my girlfriend, to be more accurate) could make a tastier version if we took the time to buy the ingredients and cook. That is not the case here. This place deserves to be around forever.

I haven't tried their rotisserie chicken or sandwiches but can't wait to do so. Looks from the website like they've started limited delivery, too. I just hope we're in their range.

Jun 18, 2010
noob in Outer Boroughs

Things I love about Brooklyn

Lucali. (and Difara, of course)

Sunny's Bar in Red Hook.

Yunnan Flavor Snacks -- the food, of course, but I also love watching the woman spoon precise amounts of her various ingredients into the takeout container to create that vinegary, spicy magic. She must do it hundreds of times a day but she always seems like she's paying careful attention to what she's doing.

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Lucali
575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Jun 15, 2010
noob in Outer Boroughs

Downtown Manhattanite moving to Park Slope

Yes, I was saying that Matamoros is good but somewhat greasy and unrefined. I love it, would probably rather go there than Fonda, but you seem to place more emphasis on refinement than I do. Also, it's right in your neighborhood so is a good option for when you don't want to go on a mission to Bay Ridge.

(I didn't mean gringo yuppie as a perjorative -- I'm one myself! It's just the most efficient descriptor of the Park Slope market that Fonda is catering to.)

Yeah, I don't know about the mixed Yelp reviews. A lot of them seem to be about service, which is probably a reflection of how busy and crowded the place is -- service has been very gracious but occasionally harried in my experience. It may also be that the kitchen is inconsistent and falls behind and turns out bad food sometimes -- I've never experienced that, but I wouldn't doubt it. Or it may be that I don't really know what I'm talking about, I wouldn't rule that out either! :)

I like the Marco Polo and the Pork Adobo. The duck tortilla ap is pretty good, and I love the chorizo and melted cheese ap but that may be too greasy for you. Guacamole is v. good but not transcendent.

I don't quite understand your point about the prices -- they're pretty reasonable for the neighborhood and the quality of the food, and they're cheaper than La Esquina -- I thought you were looking for a replacement for LE?

Speaking of Chinatown dives, as you no doubt know from the Sunset Park threads, Yunnan flavor snacks is awesome and unique -- I know you're mostly into Cantonese, but if you don't mind the spice and oil check them out, as well as Grand Sichuan house in Bay Ridge -- better than Spicy Bampa for sichuan IMHO.

Ok, I'm really done now. I'm just starting to recapitulate all the threads that I lurk on. sorry.

Jun 12, 2010
noob in Outer Boroughs

Downtown Manhattanite moving to Park Slope

Fonda in Park Slope is really good, a five minute walk from where you'll be living, and maybe more your speed than Matamoros, etc. -- like La Esquina, it's a restaurant for yuppie gringos, but serves excellent, refined and authentic Mexican. It's been getting mixed reviews lately, I think just got a bad TONY review, but I disagree strongly with the negatives. I'd put it in my top 5 in the Slope. If you go, call for a reservation or be prepared to wait, it's always packed.

Jun 12, 2010
noob in Outer Boroughs

Downtown Manhattanite moving to Park Slope

There isn't a great raw bar beyond Blue Ribbon that I know of. Ici is really good, you should try it. It won't be exactly like your favorite bistro in Manhattan -- but you have to let go of that bistro. It's not your neigborhood place any more. My point was simply that the quality of the mid-range places in Brooklyn is equivalent to those in Manhattan, broadly speaking. Brooklyn lacks some things, like raw bars, and has others, like middle eastern. On the high end, there's no comparison, of course.

I haven't eaten at Cafe Cluny and only eaten at market table once, some time ago, so I can't give you an exact comparison, but I would say Saul and Applewood are comparable, probably more creative menus. Saul is unequivocally better than MT in my very limited experience. (Saul has a great duck confit, btw). Haven't been to Buttermilk Channel but my impression from friends and the internet is that it's hit and miss.

Anyway -- I've been sucked into the tired old Brooklyn / Manhattan debate. It never ends. The point is, you'll be a Brooklynite soon, so relax, take a deep breath, let go of your old haunts and comfort foods and open your mind to new ones. You've identified and researched a lot of places on your own, so stop agonizing, get off the internet and go try them! It won't be as bad as you fear.

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Ici
246 DeKalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Applewood
501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Buttermilk Channel
524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Jun 11, 2010
noob in Outer Boroughs

Downtown Manhattanite moving to Park Slope

You're definitely not going to replicate your Manhattan experience, but as Jen says you need to shift to different specialities and cuisines, which this thread and board searches should help you to do. To be honest, though, in terms of absolute quality, apples to oranges, none of the Manhattan places you listed outdo what's available in Brooklyn IMO, with the exception of the Japanese places. If you had said you're a regular at EMP, Marea and Per Se, I would say you're SOL -- but Blue Ribbon Bakery and Basta Pasta? You'll find replacements.

Jun 11, 2010
noob in Outer Boroughs

Downtown Manhattanite moving to Park Slope

It's kind of apples and oranges, DSGG vs, East Harbor, since EH is a huge palace with carts. I've never had anything there that wasn't fresh and delicious, but if you don't like carts, you may be out of luck for Sunset Park dim sum -- though other more knowledgeable people may know made to order places there.

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East Harbor
714 65th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

Jun 11, 2010
noob in Outer Boroughs

Downtown Manhattanite moving to Park Slope

New American: Saul on Smith St. I don't know if it's a destination by your definition, i.e. can't be matched in Manhattan, but definitely NB.

Burger: Bonnie's is good but Dram Shop is different/better/NB, I think. The setting is annoying, too much of a sports bar, but I do crave that burger. Small and peppery and greasily delicious-- more fast food style than Bonnie's but in a good way.

Beer Snob bar: Beer Table, obvs. I'm not enough of a beer snob to know but might be a destination?

Dive Bar: In ascending order of actual diviness: O'Conner's, Jackie's Fifth Amendment, Timboo's. All are old man bars, but O'Conners now mostly belongs to young people who like old man bars.

Dim Sum: East Harbor in Sunset Park

Hummus: Tough to get to, but Mimi's Hummus in Ditmas Park is worth the trip. Israeli style, the best I've had.

Obvs Tanoreen for baba and everything else middle eastern -- the hype is justified, though the new space is a little corny, I miss the old storefront.

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Beer Table
427 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

East Harbor
714 65th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

Jackie's Fifth Amendment
404 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Timboo's
477 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Jun 10, 2010
noob in Outer Boroughs

Pimm's in Manhattan?

Clandestino in Chinatown/LES has a terrific Pimm's cup. They have a tiny outdoor patio in back -- it's not a garden by any means, more of an airshaft, but technically outdoors... It's a great low-key but not divey bar, good drinks, good music on the bartenders' ipod.

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Clandestino
35 Canal St, New York, NY 10002

May 18, 2010
noob in Manhattan

A True Literary Cafe Anywhere in New York??

Mcnally Jackson Books in Soho. Great bookstore, good cafe.

May 11, 2010
noob in Manhattan

No. 7 Sub Shop

Yes, agreed. And slightly smaller / more expensive than lamazou.

Mar 22, 2010
noob in Manhattan

No. 7 Sub Shop

They're small, definitely not a bargain, but they're not outrageous for high end, creative, yuppie sandwiches. They're about the size of sandwiches from wichcraft or lamazou, which are simlarly priced. One is just barely enough; two is too many, as I discovered. I would feel great about paying 6 dollars for one; i feel grudgingly ok about paying 9.

Mar 22, 2010
noob in Manhattan

No. 7 Sub Shop

I tried it today too -- had 2 sandwiches because I wanted to sample, and because I'm a pig. Roast beef w/ pickled blueberries and smoked Gouda was delicious. Very good roast beef -- no boar's head here. The blueberries and gouda really complement each other nicely, lots of back and forth between the almost winelike BBs and the, um, smokey gouda. Maybe I missed it, but I didn't notice any doenjang on the RB; it seemed to have migrated to my other sandwich, the turkey Cubano w/ picled daikon, chinese mustard and swiss. This was an interesting combo of flavors, too, but ultimately less successful -- it was too salty for me, I didn't love the turkey (nothing specifically wrong with it, but it just didn't impress me as the roast beef did), and the doenjang (if that's what it was) was a little overbearing in combination with the strong mustard. The pickled daikon was good, thinly sliced, nice flavor.

I would rather have a good traditional cubano than the one No. 7 served, but I'm glad I tried it; the roast beef, on the other hand, can hold its own against more standard versions. Based on one visit, I have a third sandwich shop to add to Lamazou and Defonte's in my work lunch rotation.

Also, I'm skipping dinner.

Mar 22, 2010
noob in Manhattan

Best Chicken Salad? (cross-post from manhattan)

Excellent! I was beginning to think nobody else cared about the stuff. Those are both fairly convenient to me, I'll definitely check them out. Thanks!

Anybody else? I want to find the best!

May 09, 2008
noob in Outer Boroughs

Best Chicken Salad? (cross-post from manhattan)

Just ate another lousy korean deli chicken salad sandwich my desk -- the kind where you can taste the canola oil, not the mayo. From a quick search on CH and elsewhere, nobody seems to have much of an opinion about my favorite salad. The best I've had in NYC is from Murray's Bagels -- good chicken, almost too salty but not quite, sets off their sweet bagels nicely. But there must be better -- I know the platonic ideal of chicken salad is out there -- where is it??

May 09, 2008
noob in Outer Boroughs

Best Chicken Salad?

Just ate another lousy korean deli chicken salad sandwich my desk -- the kind where you can taste the canola oil, not the mayo. From a quick search on CH and elsewhere, nobody seems to have much of an opinion about my favorite salad. The best I've had in NYC is from Murray's Bagels -- good chicken, almost too salty but not quite, sets off their sweet bagels nicely. But there must be better -- I know the platonic ideal of chicken salad is out there -- where is it??

May 09, 2008
noob in Manhattan

New Wine Shop in Windsor Terrace

It's great. Still the same basic setup as the old one in that space, although I think that's changing, but a whole new attitude and selection. I kind of liked the old owners despite, or maybe because of, their surliness, but the new guy will give you a 2 minute description of any wine in the store, recommend comparable wines, etc. He seems to really know his stuff. I did a double take the first time I walked in there and heard someobdy using the word "grassy".

Apr 23, 2008
noob in Outer Boroughs

Coco Rocco

Nope, it's still open. They closed for renovations once...

Apr 21, 2008
noob in Outer Boroughs

Pickled Oysters (cross-post)

Thanks! That picture and description makes me want to try them even more. I was hoping for locally produced ones, but maybe I'll order from Hama Hama once I exhaust other options. I guess I'd better just call around to gourmet stores and oyster bars-- I can't believe nobody in this whole city carries them.

Apr 17, 2008
noob in Manhattan

Pickled Oysters (cross-post)

Apologies if I'm not supposed to do this, but I posted this on the Craving board yesterday and didn't get any response, so I'm reposting here in hopes of getting some more eyeballs:

I'm not sure this is actually a craving, since I've never tasted them, but I was just reading some NYC culinary history and all the talk about pickled oysters made me curious (apparently they were ubiquitous around here until the mid-19th century and then went out of fashion). Anyone know where I can get some in NYC?

From a cursory google, it looks like they may have been a special at cookhouse at one point but I don't see them on the menu.

Apr 17, 2008
noob in Manhattan