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Game for lunch: London

Thank you again for all the fantastic suggestions. It's been awhile since I've spent any real time in London - and given the number of culinary destinations on my list, I obviously need to plan a proper trip soon.

After my deliberations, I've chosen Hereford Road. They have grouse on the menu now, which sealed the deal. And they've agreed to hold one for me.

Thanks again. And if ever you need advice for NYC, I'll be more than happy to help!

Nov 25, 2009
mas in U.K./Ireland

Game for lunch: London

Looking around, le cafe anglais looks like a strong option as well. Thoughts?

Nov 24, 2009
mas in U.K./Ireland

Game for lunch: London

Thanks all, for the advice. Hereford Road looks very interesting. How would Roast compare, food-wise? It looks like they have more game on the menu (I'm looking for roast game, rather than in a pie).

Assuming our flights are on time, I'm confident that we have enough time for a tube journey from Paddington. Are there any other places that we should consider?

Nov 24, 2009
mas in U.K./Ireland

Game for lunch: London

This Thursday, my wife and I have a 12-hour layover at Heathrow on the way from New York to South Africa.

Rather than suffer through a long wait at the airport, we're going to take the Express into the city and enjoy a nice lunch.

Given that it's American Thanksgiving, I feel compelled to eat some sort of game. I'd much rather have grouse or partridge or pigeon than turkey...and I'm guessing London has some good options for this. Besides, the Pilgrims were English, no?

I've heard mixed things about Roast, but do love the Borough Market. Are there other places that would be better dining? Doesn't need to be formal - it's more important to be comfortable and delicious.

Thank you for making our Thanksgiving memorable.

Nov 23, 2009
mas in U.K./Ireland

honeymoon in paris

Has anybody tried La Gazzetta ?

Jul 20, 2009
mas in France

honeymoon in paris

wow. glad i asked - i was running with suggestions from the NYTimes and from this board.

ambroisie sounds great but incredibly expensive. what are some nearby 2 & 3 star places with good-value lunch menus?

Jul 20, 2009
mas in France

honeymoon in paris

hello all -

my wife (to be!) and i will be passing through Paris on our way to the Amalfi Coast for our honeymoon in September. we only have two nights in Paris - and I have some thoughts on lunch/dinner. I'd really appreciate feedback from the board.

i haven't been to paris since I was a broke college student and we're both very excited about the food.

we'll be staying at the Pavilion de la Reine.

(If this adds perspective, we're mid-thirties downtown New Yorkers)

Day one:

Lunch: Carre des Feuillants

Dinner: Chez Julien

Drink after dinner: Roof terrace at the Hotel Raphael

Day two:

Lunch: Le Cinq

Dinner: Les Gourmets de Termes or Josephine

Thoughts? Obviously looking to save a bit of money by choosing the nicer meals for lunch. And then more comfortable places for dinner. But would really appreciate all suggestions.

Also for good places close to the hotel for a coffee or wine.

All the best.

ms

Jul 18, 2009
mas in France

rhong tiam delivery / kurve fulfillment ?

last night we ordered delivery from rhong tiam, which never disappoints as (in my opinion) the best delivered thai you can get in the east village.

last night, they made us call their "east village sister restaurant" because of where we live.

had to be a takeout kitchen at Kurve.

it was extremely disappointing:
1. No spice, compared to normal RT delivery
2. Less overall flavor and complexity
3. Delivery took nearly 50 minutes, despite being only a block away....RT, though much farther away, has never taken longer than 25 minutes

has anybody else had this experience? can you convince the people at RT to fulfill your order anyway?

Dec 03, 2008
mas in Manhattan

Anyone been to Allen & Delancy since Neil Ferguson left?

I went this past Friday (11/14) and found it OK. I hadn't been before....it just didn't seem to be worth planning 2 weeks in advance for. This time, I was able to get a prime reservation just a day before - never a good sign.

The scallop starter was nicely done but heavily oversalted. As for the lamb duo, the chop was beyond overcooked (medium well vs. medium rare) and the neck was pretty good. The parsnip soup was OK, though its sweetbreads were gummy. The duck/foie main was nicely cooked and tasty, in a very simple way.

Service was chatty but attentive.

If you're in a booth, you'd think the room was incredible. Being in a 2-top, however, feels a bit like Siberia.

All said, the dishes are well thought out but not perfectly executed. I guess that's exactly what you'd expect given the loss of your chef. Given that - there are other restaurants in the neighborhood that I'd much rather go to...... at least until they find another chef!

Nov 18, 2008
mas in Manhattan

Degustation 10-course menu?

I had it last Friday night and was very disappointed. I've been to Degustation 5-6 times before and had the 5-course tasting once...and just ordered a la carte (typically ordering nearly the entire menu in the process). The flavors were very subdued and had a heavier-than-usual reliance on serrano ham (was the dominant flavor in 3 or 4 dishes). Maybe it was an off night, maybe it was because the chef wasn't in the restaurant? I'll definitely go back but I'm likely to order off the menu next time.

Jun 11, 2008
mas in Manhattan

Does it Get Better than a Burger Fried in Butter- a Seymour Burton Review

i just ate at SB's last night....my buddy and i both had the burger.

it was a great experience, though the restaurant was probably only 1/3 full.

the owner was a great host and politely suggested that maybe we try something besides the burger. the rest of the menu, especially the chicken, sounded really solid.

but we had burgers on our minds. and they were good.

juicy, perfectly cooked, nice crust on the outside. no vegetables (aside from the red onion, which i didn't want) to water down the meat experience. i think the butter had garlic salt in it, which was a nice twist. however, to nitpick, i think the garlic taste and the english muffin taste detracts from the taste of the beef a bit. the fries are thin and great.

all said, i am pretty confident saying that it's the best burger in the EV. i guess Royale and Epstein's would be the only other contenders (and both are decent), but this is a pretty big step up. not cheap, but good.

i'll be back. and might try the chicken next time.

Feb 08, 2008
mas in Manhattan

The Steak Wars

Keens. Wow. I just went last night for the first time. I had been avoiding it due to its pretty random neighborhood but decided that it would be a perfect, pre-knicks sort of place. I can't believe I have neglected it for 10 years of my life. 10 years that would be immeasurably richer if they were spent enjoying the 'mutton chop' that is certainly one of the best meat-eating experiences ever.

I can't stop thinking about it today.

As far as the other manhattan options: definitely BLT Prime over BLT Steak (the difference is aged beef vs. not). Strip house is great. I also like Wolfgang.

Luger is still a favorite, but after Keens yesterday, I think the 'nostalgic, old-school steakhouse' spot in my rotation may be given to Keens....

Nov 07, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Main difference between BLT Steak/Prime?

i read a recent article (about Prime steak, maybe in NY Magazine?) that pointed out a pretty huge difference: Prime has aged steaks. Steak does not. apparently this is due to the size and design of the restaurants....and Prime had space for an aging room.

Oct 05, 2007
mas in Manhattan

revelation about craving...soba koh

i live a block away from soba koh (it's on 5th street, between 1st and 2nd avenues). it's been there for at least a year now. i've been intending to go for exactly that long...but just haven't gotten around to it. like anybody, i have my cravings and they generally play a pretty big role in my decision of where to eat. i've just never found myself craving soba. or really being too curious about it. it just didn't seem too interesting.

until now.

saturday night i had a completely revelatory meal there: cold soba noodles with uni and salmon roe. julienned nori and shiso. cold broth poured at tableside so the noodles don't get soggy.

it was amazing. so light, so balanced, so nuanced. so simple. people often say that great seafood tastes like the ocean. this tasted like plato's ocean. it was absolutely incredible. i haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

not only was this dish so great, it changed my mind about what kind of food is cravable. it isn't always rustic, seared, cheesy, spicy or any of things i look for in my go-to foods. i love "intellectual" food, haute cuisine and molecular gastronomy...but never crave it. this wasn't any of that....it's soul food. it just took a different route there than i am used to.

what are some other places like this? things that you would never have seen yourself craving but now can't get enough of.

Aug 20, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Sour Cherries in NYC Area

union square greenmarket, $5/pound

Jul 17, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Any updates on Zabb Thai? Good substitute for Sripraphai?

i've ordered delivery from zabb city 3 different times - and the food quality has differed wildly.

and i've ordered the same thing.

first time - the green papaya salad was fantastic. really spicy, funky with dried shrimps and fish sauce (or whatever gives it the funky taste). nicely tart.

next 2 times - totally bland. not tart, not spicy, not funky.

noodles (pad kee mao) were mushy and bland.

should i try again?

Jul 03, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Grotto?

either would be happy. there was a huge group (15+) there last night, a few 4s afew 3s and maybe 5 pairs. it's a really casual and comfotable place that could be romantic or just chill, depending on your company.

Jun 01, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Grotto?

i just went last night. it's a lovely garden - clean, with a few big communal tables and then 2 or 4-tops around the periphery.

service is really friendly, if a bit distracted, but i can't think of anywhere casual enough to eat outside where that isn't the case.

food is simple and pretty straightforward, but it hit the spot. antipasti platter had some nice olives and higher-quality prosciutto than you usually find at this sort of place.

my table had pasta for our mains - mostly the carbonara which was pretty faithfully done and not too heavy or creamy and then a penne with asparagus and anchovy butter.

wine list was straightforward and limited, but we had a nice pinot bianca from alto adige.

i'll definitely back (and not just for the bar scene late on weekends, which is usually pretty fun)

Jun 01, 2007
mas in Manhattan

disappointing fried chicken at blue ribbon bakery

i've been obsessed with the fried chicken at blue ribbon since having it two weeks ago. so imagine my disapointment when i ordered it at BR bakery last night and it was nowhere near as good. the BR version had a unique sweetness that i can't stop thinking about, while the bakery's version was bland and overcooked (great collards though).

am i crazy? or was the original not as good as i remember?

May 19, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Frozen Custard in Manhattan

it ships well. you have to warm it up a bit - frozen custard is much more solid at freezer temperature than ice cream.

May 17, 2007
mas in Manhattan

The best cheese fries

love this question!

i know it seems like a cop-out and will probably bring out tons of people telling me that it's overrated, or not worth the wait, or both, but the cheese fries at the shake shack are really good. i think my favorite. the fries themselves are just ok, but i love their cheese sauce.

the frites place on 2nd street in the EV does cheese fries that are pretty respectable.

sometimes i like the cheez nastiness of the waffle cheese fries at atomic wings.

May 16, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Downtown Restaurant to Drink my Brunello

The Orchard was BYOB for a long time while they waited for their liquor license. They charge a corkage for it now, but I think everybody is so used to having done it that they couldn't be friendlier.

Probably the wrong cuisine, but I've had really great experiences bringing my own wine to Wallse.

I'm sure there are plenty of others that are just as friendly.....

May 02, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Drink near Prune?

depends on what you feel like drinking:

wine? definitely go to the Tasting Room wine bar. on the same block as Prune, but closer to 1st ave. where the full restaurant used to be before it moved to Elizabeth. great wine, espresso, etc.

another very close option is Lil' Frankie's Big Cheech. first ave between 1st and 2nd.

beer? scotch? in a super casual setting, go to dba. first between 2nd and 3rd. they have a great garden in the back too.

loungey? there's a new place called boucarou that's between prune and the tasting room. haven't been but looks sorta "swank" if that's your scene. wild card is that it has a big retractable roof, which might make it surprisingly great.

May 01, 2007
mas in Manhattan

morton bay bugs?

does anybody know of a place in NYC that flies them in? having a craving....

rumor is that bondi road does from time to time, but i haven't found them anywhere.

Apr 23, 2007
mas in Manhattan

mercat report

went to much-hyped mercat on friday night.

all said, it was a pretty impressive experience, considering they had been open for just 3 nights.

early reservation, 7pm.....the bar area was crowded but the dining area was just filling up. we left at 930 and the place was pretty packed by that time. the space is lovely, high ceilings, rustic wood floors and tables. service was friendly and the sommelier seemed to know his stuff. wine list was good, all spanish, though maybe a bit pricey.

the food? nicely prepared, quickly delivered and quite delicious (though in a pretty traditional tapas sort of way, no real new ground here). razor clams were cooked simply with olive oil and some herbs and then broiled. fantastic. fried artichokes were ok but a bit more of a pain to eat than was warranted by their flavor. the fried potatoes were simple but fantastic. pork belly had a nice crust on it and a rich flavor, but the standout dish was baby squids and fideos, all cooked in the squid ink. it was rich in flavor and had an incredible mouthfeel. for something so simple, i have been thinking about it since friday night.

cheeses were basic and spanish as well.

all said, i think it's a welcome addition to the neighborhood. i'll be back.

Apr 23, 2007
mas in Manhattan

softshells at soba koh?

while i love noodletown, soba koh is way closer to my house.....and i've seen that they have a few soft shell entrees on the menu.

has anybody had these?

if so, are they the big, juicy version like you find at noodletown? or the smaller, precooked version that finds its way into mediocre spider rolls all over town? soba koh is typically pretty legit, so i'm hoping the former!

thanks.

Apr 13, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Funky wine bar?

some other places to consider (with less in the way of flights, but more in the way of a fun/hip environment):
- in vino (4th street)
- il posto accanto (2nd street)
- otherroom
- inoteca is great but will be packed
- bar carrera or bar veloce (or both)
- perbacco (more food, but great wine options)

Mar 30, 2007
mas in Manhattan

SF couple looking for restaurant this eve

i travel to SF a lot for work so i think i know what you're looking for. my #1 reco for you guys would be Falai. it's on clinton street, on the LES, which is going to be far hipper and more neighborhoody than midtown. it's a tiny, gorgeous restaurant and everything is homemade. great vibe, great food.

momofuku ssam would also be a top reco.

as would degustation.

or - go with an east coast seafood joint like mary's fish camp, pearl oyster or tides.

i think these all give you the neighborhoody, hip and new york feel you're looking for. plus incredible food.

enjoy.

Mar 26, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Is Tony Luke's still open?????

can anybody recommend a good replacement for the pork/greens sandwich in NYC? i just had one at DiNic's in philly and am addicted.

Mar 15, 2007
mas in Manhattan

Frozen Custard in Manhattan

this is a great question. and as a milwaukee native, i am getting tired of having it shipped in from Kopps (which is an option). custard beach at GC has been closed for a few years.

double rainbow ice cream from Trader Joe's isn't a bad backup. they don't call it frozen custard, but it's really dense and has a nice eggy taste.

i'd love a Shack backup though.

Mar 14, 2007
mas in Manhattan