t

taystahl's Profile

Title Last Reply

Jungsik - Is it Korean?

Jungsik is Korean in much the same way as the dearly departed (for me at least) Tabla was Indian. It's Korean inspired, certainly, and if you're familiar with Korean food you can tie almost every dish you'll have there back to the traditional Korean dish that was its inspiration. My wife (who was born and grew up in Korea) and I had an incredible meal there and certainly walked away feeling like we ate Korean food.

I think that the major issue is that most people simply haven't seen Korean food interpreted and presented in this manner (not surprising, as Jungsik is one of the first restaurants to mine this territory in the US).

Ultimately, I'd just try not to get too hung up on the labels. Whether you think it's Korean "enough" or not, it's absolutely delicious and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to Korean food afficionados or neophytes alike.

(btw - I love that the manager asked you the question on your way out. We found that the restaurant is exteremely attuned to what their guests want/expect, and I'm glad to see this continuing.)

Feb 23, 2012
taystahl in Manhattan

Barcelona Trip: Commerc 24, Lasarte or Alkimia?

My wife and I will be in Barcelona for four days and have reservations for Commerc 24, Lasarte and Alkimia. That's a lot of high-end dining, and we'd like to spend at least one or two nights roaming around and grazing and/or eating at less expensive, less fancy, "local" places. Given that, we're looking for opinions on which of the three restaurants listed above we could drop out of our plans. For those who have been to any of these places, we'd appreciate opinions or input on any of these choices, or ideally, input on which should make the cut.

Thanks!

Aug 20, 2011
taystahl in Spain/Portugal

Bread & Tulips - A nice addition to the neighborhood

Thanks for the tips Kathryn! I knew that there must be other places doing something similar, but hadn't actually seen it (or maybe hadn't paid attention to it previously). I'll have to try some of your rec's above as I really enjoyed the pie at Bread & Tulips.

-----
Bread & Tulips
365 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10016

Aug 10, 2011
taystahl in Manhattan

Nice Green Bo/New Green Bo -- best dishes?

Two words: Crispy Eel. Eel skin fried until crispy, and served with a sweet brown sauce, cilantro and fresh ginger. Delicious.

Aug 10, 2011
taystahl in Manhattan

Bread & Tulips - A nice addition to the neighborhood

I'd never had a pie with an egg over the top either, but we really liked it!

Aug 10, 2011
taystahl in Manhattan

Bread & Tulips - A nice addition to the neighborhood

My wife and I live about a block away from the restaurant, which is located on the lower level of the Giraffe Hotel and decided to pop in for dinner last week. I'll provide some detail, but in summary, Bread & Tulips is a very solid option for rustic Italian, fitting in nicely with some of the neighborhood's existing Italian heavyweights (Maialino, A Voce, SD26) and in fact surpassing our experiences at some of those places in certain regards.

Setting: The downstairs locale is never a plus in my book...it makes for a cavern-like experience in even the best of rooms. That said, I didn't find the basement location of Bread & Tulips to be too off-putting, as they've executed it about as well as anyone could. Though it is subterranean, it feels like you're eating in a wine cellar, rather than a well decorated surgical theatre or (worse yet) a morgue, which is typically the sense I get from basement restaurants. It's cozy but not cramped, and the noise level wasn't an issue even with a full room on a Friday night.

Service: The service was decent - not great, but fairly efficient and certainly pleasant and accommodating (not that we made any crazy requests, but anyway...). They still have some kinks to work out (keep the water full, don't switch out servers mid-meal), but that's something we expect of a new restaurant. I can only assume that the service will improve as they find their rhythm, but as I said - it's sufficient as it stands presently.

Food: As it should be with any meal, the food was the highlight of our experience. We tried a few apps/small plates to start, including the beet salad (vibrant presentation, with a dressing that complemented the intensity of the beets while not stealing the show from them), the frito misto (standard issue, but tasty and well executed), and the crostini (a highlight - foie was creamy and rich and paired well with the rhubard and crushed pistachio nuts). For our mains, we shared the handmade pasta (which was excellent - pasta was flawless, and the lamb ragu was deep and flavorful with a nice spice to it), the lardo and egg pizza (another highlight - the crust was perfect - airy, chewy and slightly charred, the cracked egg was rich and runny and paired nicely with the lardo which was finely shaved over the top. The greens and peppers toned down the richness of the dish enough that it didn't overwhelm), and the rabbit porchetta (gamey and intensely spiced, but I missed the crackling skin of traditional porchetta). We finished with dessert - cheesecake and a rich chocolate tart of some sort (I can't recall the details of each honestly - I'm not a huge dessert person - but both were perfectly satisfactory and a nice way to end a meal).

Overall, we had a really great experience here and have already recommended it to friends looking for something new in the neighborhood. The food is very good and in some cases outstanding, especially at the restaurant's price point which is very reasonable (pizzas run around $14, for a pie the size of Motorino's if that means anything to you...). Go and give it a shot - you won't be sorry you did, and you may add another resto to your usual rotation if you live in the area.

-----
SD26
19 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010

A Voce
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Motorino
349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Bread & Tulips
365 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10016

Aug 08, 2011
taystahl in Manhattan

M Wells - what's on the menu these days?

What are the typical wait times like, say on a Sat./Sun. morning (say I get there at 10)?

Jan 17, 2011
taystahl in Outer Boroughs

GUERRILLA/MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY????

It's definitely Desnuda.

-----
Desnuda
122 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

Jan 15, 2011
taystahl in Manhattan

POLL: Tabla Is Closing: Will You Miss It?

I will miss it. We live in the neighborhood and have greatly enjoyed the revamped Tabla. The Tabla Tour is a great value, and is delicious. Maybe previous posters had different experiences than we did (I've heard mixed reviews from friends as well, so there does appear to be some unevenness in the kitchen), but I don't understand the comment about "fusion in the worst way." Cardoz is doing something that few are even attempting (in NYC anyway) and in my view, he's doing it successfully about 90% of the time. If you want Indian-Indian, go to Saravanna's or Bhatti or one of the other places in Curry Hill...don't complain that you didn't get the traditional Indian fare you were expecting at a restaurant that never intended to do that in the first place.

Oct 01, 2010
taystahl in Manhattan

Chicken liver dishes?

May not be the composed dish that the other posters have recommended, but for straight-up, unadulterated liver goodness, it's tough to beat the chicken liver yakitori at Yakitori Totto...

-----
Yakitori Totto
251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

Aug 09, 2010
taystahl in Manhattan

Anything new In Buenos Aires?

Yeah, I'd tend to agree with you regarding Puerto Madero. The only reason that I listed it was because that's where I'll be staying...

Nov 03, 2009
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean

Anything new In Buenos Aires?

Thanks! So, I'm all set on Palermo now. Any info on some other 'hoods? San Telmo? Retiro? Puerto Madero?

Nov 02, 2009
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean

Anything new In Buenos Aires?

Hey everyone,

I spent a month in Buenos Aires last April and had a fantastic time hitting up some of the great restaurants that the city has to offer. While there, I went to all of the places listed below (among others that I can't recall off the top of my head):

Chila
La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar
Aramburu
Defensa al Sur
Cafe San Juan
Les Anciens Combattants
Sipan
Mitico Sur
Tancat
Resto
Thymus
BoBo
Duvall

I'll be returning to BA in two weeks and would love to try some places that I didn't get to last time, or anything new and wonderful that has opened in the year + since my last visit. Any suggestions for new restaurants that are wowing, as well as any recent info on the restos listed above that might influence whether a return trip was warranted would be much appreciated.

Thanks guys!

Oct 29, 2009
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean

Best Restaurants on Curry Row?

Thanks all!

Jul 30, 2009
taystahl in Manhattan

Best Restaurants on Curry Row?

My wife and I just moved to the stretch of Lexington Ave. between 30th and 23rd St. Obviously, there are a LOT of options for Indian cuisine in the neighborhood...too many in fact. We'd like to narrow down our "favorites" list without having to sample every single one of them in the process, as that would be incredibly time consuming, not to mention costly.

We'd appreciate any recommendations that you've got, and any "avoid-at-all-cost" warnings as well. Extra points for specificity (eg. regional cuisine standouts, takeout rec's, etc.).

(and I know there are threds on this topic out there, but most are antiquated...I'm looking for fresh intel...)

Thanks all!

Jul 29, 2009
taystahl in Manhattan

Manhattan Conch Salad?

I think you're right small h... we're planning on hitting Chinatown this weekend to pick up some conch - it looks like homemade is the best bet.

May 11, 2009
taystahl in Manhattan

Manhattan Conch Salad?

I'm a Flay hater, and would be loathe to patronize Mesa unless absolutely out of options...

May 11, 2009
taystahl in Manhattan

Manhattan Conch Salad?

Might have to check out El Nuevo Caridad - may not be Bahamian conch salad, but the DR is close, right? :-)

May 11, 2009
taystahl in Manhattan

Manhattan Conch Salad?

Does anyone know of a place that serves a good conch salad? My wife and I just got back froma trip to the Bahamas and have been suffering from serious conch salad withdrawals...

Please help us get a fix!

May 05, 2009
taystahl in Manhattan

Nassau

Just got back from Nassau on Saturday, having stayed at the Hilton. I can report that "Conch Fritters" across the street from the hotel is atrocious. My wife and I had the single worst meal of our trip there (a literally inedible grilled conch). AVOID AT ALL COST.

That said, we had some great food as well, so here you go:

Arawak Cay Fish Fry: As stated many times before on this board, it's the place to go for some fantastic local fare. Conch Salad (my wife and I literally ate this every other day during our trip), Crack Conch, Conch Fritters, all great. We usually hit either Seafood Haven or Twin Brothers. You'll be happy with either.

There are some streetside joints just east of the Fish Fry that are great as well. We had a grilled conch from a simple black barbecue setup - it was as great as the one from "Conch Fritters" was bad.

For non-local fare, I'll second the above posts.
Cafe Matisse is very good Italian, with a really pleasant patio. A great place for lunch.
Shogun Revolver was awesome. You'll pay a pretty penny (well, not just here, anywhere really) but you won't regret it for a moment once you taste their food. The drinks are awesome too - really inventive and tasty as hell. It could stand up to most places in NYC. GO HERE.
Luciano's of Chicago was pretty good as well. Again, on the pricey side, but some very tasty Italian (Tuscan?) offerings. Don't ask me why it's "of Chicago"...

We didn't hit Graycliff, but did go to The Humidor, it's attached Brazilian churrascaria. It was very nice (great wines as well) and the grounds are stunning. It was worth it for the tour of their cigar-rolling operations and a nice walk around the garden if nothing else. The meat was very good as well, and I'm still craving the grilled pineapple. If you like churrascaria and you're tired of seafood, give it a shot.

Finally, don't be afraid of the Filipino restaurant behind the Straw Market (next to the nauseating Senor Frog's)! It's a total hole in the wall and a little bit intimidating (read: minimal-to-no descriptions of the menu items and a staff who have trouble articulating what exactly they are), but it was damn good and CHEAP! My wife and I ate lunch there, just looking for something different that wouldn't break the bank and were totally shocked by how good the food was. Here's an endorsement: When we were in there, there were three other parties, all of them Filipino, and all of them looked pretty happy with the food.

Have a great time - you'll spend $$, especially for the more upscale joints, but you can find some deals if you're adventurous and willing to explore a bit.

May 04, 2009
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean

Food freak must haves in BA

Do not miss the choripan from the street vendors outside the Costanera Sur ecological reserve (adjacent to Puerto Madero)! Juicy links of chorizo served on a warm roll with your choice of delicious, fresh chimichurris and salsas. The vendors line up outside the reserve on weekends and you can stroll down the boardwalk and select whichever supplier looks tastiest (fyi - you can't go wrong). I spent a month in BA eating at some of the best restaurants in the city, and my weekly choripan may have been the best thing I had during my trip. Authentic, fresh and uniquely Argentinian - what more could you want?

Apr 16, 2009
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean

Aramburu: yet another place in Buenos Aires to stay away from.

That's really disappointing to hear... I had a wonderful meal at Aramburu last March. Gonzalo and the rest of the staff couldn't have been nicer and the food was fantastic. Hopefully this was just a result of the remodelling, but it sounds like Gonzalo needs to take some night classes at business school...

Mar 16, 2009
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean

Last night in BA-restaurant

Agree with the last post - you'd do well at either place. Also, if you can find it, consider Aramburu - it's phenomenal as well.

May 25, 2008
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean

Buenos Aires Top Ten Restaurants

I recently spent 25 days in BA and hit a lot of great restaurants while I was there. Take a look at my post for some feedback on each.

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/518826

A few you shouldn't miss:

1. La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar
2. Aramburu
3. Thymus
4. Restó (Sociedad Central de Arquitectos
)5. Defensa al Sur
6. Les Anciens Combattants
7. BoBo
8. Duvall

May 20, 2008
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean

25 Days in Buenos Aires...lots of stuff to eat.

Aramburu is at 1050 Salta (between Carlos Calvo and Humberto 1mo). I think that they may only be open Thurs-Saturday, so I'd try one of those nights. It definitely doesn't have an obvious storefront either, but if I remember correctly, the name is on the window outside. Their phone number is (54-11) 4305-0439 and I would definitely recommend calling ahead to make reservations, if for no other reason than to ensure that they're open the night you want to go. Enjoy - the food is really outstanding!

May 20, 2008
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean

Buenos Aires..........

Check out my post "25 Days in Buenos Aires..." I reviewed a bunch of great places in the city. Based on what you're looking for, I'd recommend Les Anciens Combattants (but mind the neighborhood), Thymus, Aramburu and Resto.

May 13, 2008
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean

25 Days in Buenos Aires...lots of stuff to eat.

I just got back (on May 11th) from 25 days in Buenos Aires. I was there on business, which meant the joys of a daily meal allowance, so needless to say I spent virtually every night eating out. There were highlights aplenty (which I'll detail below) and some lowlights as well (which I'll spare you on). Prior to heading down to BA, I made a point of reviewing the postings on Chowhound for recommendations and tried a number of restaurants that have been mentioned in the past, so some of my reviews will be familiar to those with a knowledge of the board. I'll add my comments on these restaurants as well, because in some instances my experiences differed from past reviewers and in other instances a restaurant simply merits as many mentions as possible. But for anyone interested in a variety of opinions on the restaurants mentioned below, I'd certainly recommend a review of past postings by ALEDM, et al. for additionaly details.

A few notes before we get started:

My reviews will be segregated by neighborhood. You'll note that some neighborhoods will be better represented than others - this was due entirely to geography, rather than an objective judgement of which neighborhoods' restaurant scenes warranted a given level of attention. I stayed in Puerto Madero, so you'll note that I spent significant time in San Telmo, Retiro and the surrounding areas. I spent a couple of weekends in Palermo, so you'll note significant attention here as well. Ironically, you'll note that Puerto Madero itself is relatively underrepresented - this is due largely to the fact that I found most of the restaurants in Puerto Madero unworthy of mention here and I'm trying to hit on only the highlights to keep the post manageable. Finally, price was not a prime concern (as I mentioned, I was on a corporate meal allowance that subsidized my eating) but at the same time, I didn't go to some of the truly splurge-type restaurants the city had to offer (I'm thinking El Bistro, L'Orangerie, Nectarine, etc.) - what can I say, the meal allowance was only so big.

Finally, I use a five star rating system, five being the best achievable rating. Remember, that a restaurant even making the list meant that it was noteworthy, so a one star rating is by no means meant to convey that a restaurant was poor - it just didn't rate as highly relative to its elite peers.

That said, to the reviews:

Puerto Madero:

Chila: ****
An upscale "New Argentinian" restaurant located in a row of non-descript and largely interchangeable places that typify Puerto Madero's resturant row. Chila was the one highlight that actually stood out and warrants mention here. The atmosphere is decidedly upscale, but a bit forced. It clearly caters to the new money and tourists that make up a large percentage of the neighborhood's clientele, but the food was good. I had a fillet of sole in a tripe jus which was well cooked and very tasty. The service is efficient and attentive if not overly friendly or personable. You're definitely paying Puerto Madero prices though, at roughly $AR 50-60/entree.

San Telmo:

La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar: *****
If you're a veteran of these boards, then you'll be familiar with this place. There's probably not a lot that I'm going to add that hasn't been said by others, so I will just say that what Alejandro Digilio is doing here is top notch stuff. The molecular blended with classical techniques of La Vineria are something that you won't find elsewhere in BA (well, maybe at El Bistro, but still...) and the prices, which above average by BA standards, are a steal for what you get. To top off the experience, the service is excellent, particularly because they have only one waiter. I had the tasting menu two times - both times I was wowed by the dishes that were presented (almost entirely different offerings as well). Do yourself a favor and go there. This was the only restaurant on this list that I went to twice.

Aramburu: *****
If there was another restaurant that I WISH I would have been able to get to again before I returned to NYC, it was Aramburu. I have only seen it mentioned in passing on previous posts, which by my reckoning borders on criminal. Gonzalo Aramburu is another very talented chef, supported by the fact that he trained under some true giants (Daniel Boulud and Charlie Trotter). Like Digilio, he's introduced something new and different to the dining scene in BA that should really not be missed. Classical French styling, mixed with traditional Argentinian roots with just a pinch of molecular creativity make for an exciting and delicious meal. I had the pork confit w/ carmelized pears, rabbit three ways and apple tart w/ vanilla creme - all three were out of this world. Add in a sexy low-lit room, a friendly, helpful staff, and an excellent price/quality ratio and you've got one of the best dining experiences in BA. This is a place to keep alive.

Defensa al Sur: ****
Another excellent change of pace from the typical parillas of San Telmo, my meal at Defensa al Sur could hace easily ranked as one of the best I had in BA...I place it just a slight notch below, hence the four star rating...but it was close. Again described as "New Argentinian" (which seems to be a catchall term for using local ingredients with progressive, often French-influenced techniques), the kitchen here turns out some delicious stuff that delivers a great quality (and quantity - you'll leave stuffed) for the price. I had the pickled langoustines & vegetables, patagonian venison with mashed squash and cabbage and a dessert that I can best describe as thick cassis foam with a granola crisp and carmelized bananas. All three were excellent. The atmosphere of the small room is very romantic (too bad I was dining alone) and the staff were friendly and welcoming.

Cafe San Juan: ***
Best described as an upscale neighborhood restaurant, this place packs in the locals and it's easy to see why. The food is excellent and the prices are criminally low for what you get. Again, the order of the day is progressive takes on classic Argentinian ingredients and the kitchen does a great job of turning out some very tasty dishes. I had an app of the goat cheese and mushrooms on crusty baguette and the braised pork in what I assume was a red wine sauce with potatoes. The place is typically packed, so the atmosphere is boisterous and the room has the minimalist decor of a neighborhood spot. The wait staff was as attentive as their demanding table load would allow for.

Mitico Sur: ***
"Patagonian tapas" is how I heard the restaurant's cuisine described and I suppose that is the best I'll do. The menu consists chiefly of various "tablas" - platters of meats, cheeses, fish and vegetables to be eaten with or without bread. The combinations are delicious and the price to quality ratio is excellent, as one tabla will easily fill two people. The restaurant itself seems to cater to a mostly local crowd, and it's homey atmosphere is a testament to this mission. The wait staff was casual, but efficient and seemed just as concerned with chatting with patrons as with going about their duties - all of which was just fine with me for a leisurely dinner in BA.

Raval: *
An interesting combination of art gallery and restaurant, Raval is a good neighborhood restaurant featuring traditional Argentinian/Patagonian small plates - think chorizo sausage and calamari escabeche. The place hasn't been open long and doesn't seem to have quite caught on yet - don't be surprised if you're the only one eating. It's terrific for a quick lunch (at rock bottom prices - between $AR 6-13/small plate) and a break from the throngs at the San Telmo market. The food is nowhere in the league of the places mentioned above (or below in the other neighborhoods), but the atmosphere and friendly service make it worth a visit.

Constitucion:

Les Anciens Combattants: *****
Hidden (literally - you could walk by this place a hundred times and never know it was there) on a street of the "rough around the edges" neighborhood of Constitucion, is a true diamond in the rough. Les Anciens occupies a mansion that onced served as an officers' club of sorts for former French soldiers living in Argentina - they've even got a flag flown by Napoleon himself framed on the wall to bolster the cred. Walking into the grand house, you get the feeling that you're stepping back in time - it feels as though it's been maintained in much the same condition as it was when in use in its original incarnation. In following the theme, the kitchen turns out delicious classical French dishes like creamy cochon pate, coq au vin and braised rabbit - all exemplary in their execution. The service is formal to suit the ambiance, and the chef himself details each dish tableside (in French or Spanish, naturally). Yes, the restaurant is in a sketchy part of town (la zona roja), but those of you who work up the courage to brave the neighborhood will be rewarded with what is likely the best classical French cuisine on offer in BA.

Retiro:

Sipan: ***

A sleek, hip Peruvian joint in the heart of bustling Retiro, Sipan is a great option for sampling well executed ceviches, Peruvian small plates and creative sushi rolls. As a bonus, the drinks list is expansive with plenty of pisco options for those of you sticking to the Peruvian theme. The prices are slightly above average, befitting the trendy nature of the restaurant, but the service was warm and genial and my ceviche mixto, papas and bread pudding were all tasty and well worth the expense.

Tancat: **

Tancat is a bustling Spanish eatery specializing in small plates (naturally) and an expansive crudo bar. I sat at the bar, where the bartenders are quick to pour a glass of malbec or provide recommendations from the crudo bar. Half of the patrons seem to know the staff, personally, so I'm assuming that Tancat is a neighborhood favorite with a loyal following. If that's the case, it's certainly warranted, as the calamari w/ papas that I had were well prepared - tender and flavorful. The room is decorated with trinkets, various money from around the world, etc. and the atmosphere is boisterous, noisy and fun. With prices that are very reasonable, this would be a great restaurant for a small group, or for taking a seat at the bar and meeting some new friends.

DaDa: *
A restaurant/bar serving a variety of ecclectic international cuisine, DaDa features moderate prices (around $AR 30/entree), a good drink list, and well executed food. I went at lunch, and the place was full. My entree of chicken and beef strifry was tasty, and the portion size was filling. There's nothing here that will knock your socks off, but you'll leave satisfied.

Recoleta:

Restó: *****
Dish for dish, Resto stacks up with anything you'll find in BA. Located in the Central Society of Architecture, the place is tiny, and only serves dinner on Thursday and Friday nights. Make reservations - you'll thank me later. The room is austere and brightly lit, with a small bar and clean, white walls and tablecloths. The service is attentive and professional, but not particularly warm. It's what comes out of the kitchen that makes this place special. You've got a choice from among several different "menus" - or you're free to mix and match, but each meal consists of an appetizer, entree and dessert. I had the squid w/ field greens and roasted red peppers (tender and juicy), the trout w/ cashew risotto (perfectly medium rare, w/ an exemplary al dente risotto) and the quince tart w/ house made ice cream. While the prices aren't cheap (by BA standards), the quality and freshness of the ingredients is worth every peso.

Palermo/Viejo/SoHo/Hollywood:

Thymus: *****
Elegant (down to the violin duo performing during dinner) and romatic, Thymus is a restaurant that will satisfy even the most discriminating food snobs. I had the tasting for $AR 110 - everything from the amuse bouche of dumplings w/ cherry tomato confit to the perfectly roasted duck to the degustacion of house made icecreams was flawlessly prepared, with interesting, creative flavor combinations and beautiful presentation (bordering on fussy at times). The service is predictably excellent and efficient, as would be expected of a restaurant of its caliber. While not cheap, the prices actually aren't outrageous for the quality and freshness of the ingredients and the obvious skill with which they are prepared. One of the best dining experiences I had in BA.

BoBo: ****
Located in the BoBo hotel, BoBo restaurant is a fitting complement to its sheik, sophisticated surroundings. The mediterranean-influenced food is all beautifully constructed and presented. I had the tasting menu w/ wine pairing at $AR 150 which consisted of five courses: a duck confit dumpling w/ greens, a King crab/passion fruit/whipped potato dish (not sure what I'd call it), tagliatelle w/ almond-truffle cream scauce and prosciutto, lamb tenderloin w/ lentils and a citrus semifreddo w/ berries. All of the dishes were interesting, but some were less successful than others - the king crab/passion fruit dish was a notable misstep. The wine pairings were well matched and certainly helped to justify the high price tag. Service was very good - efficient and very professional.

Duvall: ****
International progressive cuisine on a rather sleepy street in Palermo. The interior is sparsely decorated, but classy, with a brightly lit main room and a downstairs dining area (which I didn't actually scope out). Given its location and targeted clientele (which during my trip seemed to be young professionals, expats and some upper-crust types), you pay essentially what you'd expect (which in my case was $AR 110 for the tasting menu plus additional for wine). The service was good, but if you're looking for a really professional wait staff you may be disappointed - the waiter had a hard time explaining some of the dishes, but he was really friendly, which matters more to me than precision. The food was very good - five courses, including: a field green salad with goat cheese and figs, king crab w/ white beans, raviolis w/ goat cheese, prosciutto and mushrooms, lamb with olive mashed potatoes and a degustacion of chocolate for dessert. The dishes were very good, but for me, just short of the top restaurants on my list.

Grappa: *
Grappa is an Italian place in Palermo Hollywood that I more or less stumbled upon while in desperate need of a cold drink. I ended up eating lunch there and was happy that I did. Italian classics are the rule (pastas, pizzas, etc.) and what I had (fried calamari, pizza w/ red pepper, pepperoni, etc) was good. The service was adequate and the room itself is pretty nondescript - a cavernous one room bar/restaurant - nothing too notable. Overall, a good neighborhood place that will satisfy your jones for Italian (and a cold beer on a hot day).

So that's it. I hope the reviews are of use!

May 13, 2008
taystahl in Latin America & Caribbean