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Best Octopus in Manhattan?

I have to pile on to the recommendations for 15 East, dell'anima, Babbo and Marea and add one, with a huge caveat: Pearl & Ash. The first time I tried it, it was my all-time favorite octo dish. The next two times, it was great. The last time, it was leagues below the others on this list.

Morini's version is also nice. L'Apicio's is good, too, though I like dell'anima's better.

And, Rubirosa is also nice, though, to me, not in the same category as those above.

Dec 04, 2013
Jorel in Manhattan

Traditional Piedmont cuisine and white truffles

Babbo and Del Posto would be great options, if you're ok with that price point.

Oct 24, 2012
Jorel in Manhattan


White was playing with the dough and even the toppings every night of friends & family so what Slice had has definitely changed at least a bit. I really enjoyed what I've had there (also f&f). I imagine they will continue to tweak the dough as they go. I'm waiting a month or so before going back. One thing I will say: the fior di latte for dessert was amazing.

Jun 30, 2012
Jorel in Manhattan

Beer places in Manhattan

I second Spitzer's Corner when it's not crowded. I also really like Randolph Beer on Broome St.

Jun 29, 2012
Jorel in Manhattan

Best Salted Caramel Chocolate Dessert

It's not my thing, but I have friends who love theSalted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae at ABC Kitchen.

Jun 24, 2012
Jorel in Manhattan

Birthday Dinner in Chelsea or Nearby

I was there Friday night as well and had a surprisingly excellent meal.

Veal meatballs - wonderful as always
Special hamachi crudo - excellent
Beets - didn't try but my friend enjoyed

Duck bolognese - fantastic
Siamese ravioli - very good
Octopus pasta - not quite as good as the others but a great compliment

Special duck breast - cooked perfectly. One of the best I've had in NY

Gelato - simple but wonderful
Pana cotta - didn't try but friend also liked it

It wasn't cheap and it wasn't four star service but it was an unexpected excellent meal.

Jun 24, 2012
Jorel in Manhattan

The Modern

I agree: The Modern is wonderful. Other than the 4-5 top restaurants in NY (Daniel, Jean Georges, EMP, Le Bernardin and, for me, Babbo), The Modern is probably my favorite restaurant in the next tier. Unique food; unique room; warm, friendly service; good for a special night. I would have put Alto (underrated IMHO) in this category too before it closed.

Jun 24, 2012
Jorel in Manhattan

Looking for amazing but cheap Italian place for casual birthday dinner

I'll second the rec for Frankie's 17 on Clinton St and offer another: Bianca on Bleecker. Nothing on the menu is over $15. I really like the Gnocco Fritto, the Lasagnette and the Lasagna.

Frankies 17 Spuntino
17 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

5 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

Jul 16, 2011
Jorel in Manhattan

Which restaurant in nyc or nearby serves great pork chops?

Babbo's pork chop is, by far, the best I ever had. A phenomenal dish. So good I asked the server to pack the bone to take home with me.

110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

Aug 28, 2010
Jorel in Manhattan

Little Giant Review

Great review. Thanks! I'm going tonight. All three dishes and the biscuit sound great. Does anybody else have any recommendations on what to order / what to avoid?

Aug 21, 2010
Jorel in Manhattan

Nudel in Lenox, MA - best restaurant in the area

I'll attach some stars to this review.

35 Church Street, Lenox, MA 01240

Apr 26, 2010
Jorel in Southern New England

Nudel in Lenox, MA - best restaurant in the area

We're up in Lenox, MA (from NYC) six or seven times a year and have been in constant search for a good restaurant in central or southern Berkshire county, and we've finally found it - Nudel in Lenox. Wheatleigh is good, but uber pricey and I've heard good things about Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough, but Nudel is the best moderately priced placed I've tried in the area.

The menu changes nightly and is seasonally driven and, when possible, locally sourced, so recommendations on particular dishes will be moot. But, having gone twice in one weekend, I have to say that the chef, Bjorn, is very talented. His two preparations of octopus were phenomenal, and he worked magic with local radishes. Spaghetti bolognese with bone marrow was fantastic, as was Yukon Gold gnocchi. Braised octopus, octopus and mussel tacos, radishes with soft polenta and BBQ ribs with cheddar grits were all fantastic.

It's a small place, no reservations, and it caters to foodies for sure, but approachable and affordable. Highly, highly recommended. For the money, compares with my favorites in NYC even.

11 Hawthorne Road, Lenox, MA

Apr 26, 2010
Jorel in Southern New England

Fall Eleven Madison Park lunch menu

Anybody out there have the $28 lunch at EMP in Sept or Oct? Haven't been this fall and interested in what's especially good on the current menu:

Thanks in advance!

Oct 14, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

PLEASE HELP need 6' sub for tomorrow

Parisi on Mott St for sure.

Oct 08, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Gramercy Tavern tonight - Tasting menu, which substitutions?

Any quick thoughts as to what I should politely request to sub in on this season's tasting menu are greatly appreciated. We're there at 7pm tonight.


Sep 14, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Best Restaurants on Curry Row?

I'm a fan of Saravanaas on 26th & Lex. Great dosa and utthapam.

Aug 01, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Week in NYC; Review my line up please

Yeah, I'm with kathryn (as I often am): dining solo at the bar at Babbo is one of the best NY dining experiences one can have. I also like doing so at Veritas. Others have had good experiences doing so at Scarpetta, but on the one occassion I went there (on July 4 of all days and and I sat in the dining room) I was underwhelmed.

I was also underwhelmed by Perilla, but I am definitely in the minority on that one; there are many posters here who I respect a lot who like it.

As for the rest of your list, I would agree with others to skip Del Posto, Bar Americain, Morandi and Taboon and Thalia.

Aldea, Convivio, and Clinto St Baking Co will require getting there at the right time (early) but each is well worth it. Go to Clinton St during the week, not weekend.

I think you are smart to through DiFara on to your list, and, as kathryn suggested, search the Outer Boroughs boards for Flushing recs. I love the underground mall food court. I'd add Sripraphai and either Spicy Meena or Deshi Biryani to your list of outer borough musts.

Ssam bar is awesome. Highly recommend. Dinner is fine there on a weeknight. Co and Porchetta are nice lunch recs. I'd hit Veloce Pizzeria for a sausage slice and Despana for good Spanish sandwiches and, of course, Banh Mi Sau Voi on Lafayette for banh mi, as other lunch recs. And you'll save $ for dinner.

Have fun!

Jul 31, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Need help from the Babbo pasta experts

Thanks everybody. I'm down to deciding between two

- Gnocchi with Braised Oxtail
- Lamb’s Brain “Francobolli”

Any last minute votes from those that have tried both?

Jul 31, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Need help from the Babbo pasta experts

I'm going for the sixth or seventh time Friday. I want to try a new pasta and am in desparate need of advice from the experts that have been to Babbo many times. I have already had:

Goose Liver Ravioli (my favorite)
Pumpkin Lune (excellent)
Goat Cheese Tortellini (excellent)
Mint Lover Letters (very good)
Beef cheek ravioli (very good)
Maccheroni alla Chitarra (only ok)

I want to try something else. I like everything and appreciate the more nuanced pastas. I'm considering almost everything other pasta and have mixed reviews from others on:

Gnocchi with Braised Oxtail
Spaghettini with Lobster
Garganelli with mushrooms
Lamb’s Brain “Francobolli”
Stinging Nettle Pappardelle w Wild Boar (did this replaced Chianti stained papparedelle?)
Pappardelle Bolognese
Linguine with Clams, Pancetta and Hot Chiles
Black Spaghetti with Mussels, Spicy Salami Calabrese and Green Chiles

I really need expert advice. the Gnocchi and chianti stained papparedlle get the next most pub, but experts, like kathryn, seem not to love it.

I need help. If you've been to Babbo multiple times and have any "expert" advice, I'd really appreciate it.

Jul 30, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Plan B for Babbo?

Blue Hill is great. I really like Commerce, too.

Lupa is good. Ushi Wakamaru for sushi.

Jul 28, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Least crowded Whole Foods in Manhattan?

Yeah, Sunday afternoons and anytime from 5:30-8:30 pm are bad, but I went today (Monday) at 12 noon and it was very enjoyable.

Jul 27, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Your 10 favorite Manhattan restaurants?

I certainly can't think of a Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant in Manhattan that I would rank anywhere near most of the places listed on this thread. I mean, there are a few decent places on the UWS and I like the tacos at Pinche, but it's still not even close for me.

Jul 27, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Anything new & good on Babbo summer menu?

A) I've been to Babbo a half-dozen times.
B) I post semi-frequently about Babbo
C) I've searched the board already
D) I'm not asking what to order or for ordering strategy

Just wanted to know if anybody has been in the last two months and knows if there is anything worth trying on the menu this summer, or if anything has been particularly good the last month or two.

Jul 27, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Babbo Pasta Tasting Menu

If interested in sampling lots of pasta at Babbo - and there is nothing wrong with that - I think you can do better by (if there are two of you) each ordering two or three pasta courses and sharing them. I think some of their best pasta dishes are not on the tasting menu.

Jul 27, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Babbos and Commerce, or Gotham and Gramercy

I'd lean toward Gramercy Tavern. A much better restaurant, I believe, and a slightly more relaxed atmosphere.

Babbo is, indeed, not uptight at all, but the downstairs dining room is definitely more lively than upstairs. I would call now and request to be seated downstairs if at all possible and then remind them when you show up (on time). They typically can't guarantee it, but do their best to accommodate the request.

Jul 27, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Your 10 favorite Manhattan restaurants?

You eat way better than I did when I was 17. Kudos.

Jul 27, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Your 10 favorite Manhattan restaurants?

I'm surprised at the absence of some popular NY fine dining establishments, especially those serving fine French cuisine: Les Bernardin, Daniel, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, La Grenouille, Picholine, Adour, Aureole, etc.

I've only been to Les Bernardin (and loved it) and haven't gone to the others simply because of price. Maybe, especially in these economic times, other 'hounds are as thrifty as I, but with Per Se on the list, I would have thought a few of these would have made the top 10, too.

Jul 26, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Mexican in NYC?

Anyone looking looking for fajitas at an authentic Mexican restaurant will also be disappointed. Not that there is anything wrong with fajitas or Tex-Mex cuisine... I'm just sayin'.

Jul 23, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan


I ate at Emporio the night after it opened and don't remember much other than I was not impressed. perhaps it's worth another try. However, I find myself regularly satisfied at Bianca when I want neighborhood Italian and the prices can't be beat - $12 for their Lasagna is a steal and $15 for a decent steak.

Jul 23, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan

Veloce Pizzeria report - brief

I went back last night to give it a second shot and liked it much more - still not amazing, but worthy of a night out.

This time, I split the calamari and a sausage pizza with a friend + two beers for me.

The calamari was very nice - one of the better versions of "lightly breaded and flash-friend" calamari I've had - and the greens were a nice touch. Worth ordering if you're here, but not worth searching out.

The sausage pizza was very good, almost excellent. The crust had the same flaky and tender texture as before with light charring on the bottom, perhaps a bit less than my first time. However, I thought the sausage held its own against the substantial crust and really worked well. It was a very good pizza, though not a great one. I can't imagine this ever being my favorite pizza in NY (or even in my top 5), but it was good. I think that I am with kathryn in so much as I simply prefer Neapolitan style pizza better.

Perhaps only the sausage pizza (of the five on the menu) will have toppings that can rise above the heft of the crust, but I'll give the margherita one more shot.

Jul 22, 2009
Jorel in Manhattan