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what to pair with spaghetti with bottarga?

I was thinking of taking a chance on a delicious Cerasuolo from Abruzzo.. while there is sime fruit and perfume, there's also some good minerality and slight tannic structure to support weight. concerned though wuth citrus zest clashes, thoughts?

Oct 12, 2011
goodtimeguy in Wine

Ribeye for Two at Del Posto/Babbo

I went to DP for lunch back in April, which was my first time dining there in over 4 years. It was amazing.. it really was. The pasta, especially this orecchiette with crispy lamb bits... sick shit!
he Ribeye was no joke! After 3 courses when that thing landed on the table, it appeared more than sufficient. Rosy in color, juicy in texture, steely and fatty, succulent in every way, it was nothing short of brilliant. The bone was a marvelous chew when it was all said and done. Frankly the 2004 Col d' Orcia Brunello raised the entire experience ten fold...

Del Posto
85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Jun 17, 2011
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Taste of Barcelona tour???

I came across this tour from past NYT readers' comments in regards to comings and goings in and around Barca...

It involves 3 hours, 4 different supposedly "local" and off the tourist checklist sort of places.

100 dollars, accompanying rounds of food and drinks at every stop.

Any info beyond possible "plugs" would be much appreciated-

Jun 17, 2011
goodtimeguy in Spain/Portugal

Choptank closed -- Please recommend another good oyster happy hour in NYC! Fanny Bays or Shebune oysters...

Choptank's oyster happy hour was by far the best in town! You would NEVER see over commercialized and underwhelming blue points on their menu. People, there's a reason BP's can be given away for a dollar, they are mild, can spawn like crazy, and are so uniform and devoid of unique character. ANY good oyster man or Oyster source will tell you that. In cold winter months, for very reasonable prices and prob best overall selection, with s charm that is prob only consistently welcome to a few is the Oyster B at Grand Central. After that, for better atmosphere and wine selections etc... it simply gets pricey, i.e. Mary's, Mermaid and such. If all your looking for are production line oysters at rock bottom price, well then Fish is prob best for you. Try a Salt pond, or a Glidden Point and maybe you'll change your mind.

Mar 11, 2011
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Big Cuban Love from a Little Kitchen

Well, just after reading this, being a G rider, I rode on down to Pilar for lunch today, ready for all the promised goodness. As it stands I don't plan on any return in the near future.
Started with un cortado, a short espresso with what the owner said was just a bit of milk, he then apologized as he filled up the entire cup which was now essentially a latte, he oversteamed the milk and it had that slightly burnt taste.
Then I tried the shortrib empanada. It was big, was a lovely corn shell, not crimped at all, but shaped more likea football, my first bites were delicious, the smokiness of the meat had permeated the corn meal which was great and very good! Then... an ice cold center, yikes, this was after I was told they are fried to order, so I waited approx ten minutes for it to arrive, and then it was cold. He apologized saying the temp on the oil was to high, which made sense, the outside color changed rapidly indicating it was done, but in fact was underdone on the inside. once reheated, in an oven thankfully and not microwave, which I didn't see any ways, it was great!! and didn't even need the bbq sauce provided on the side. But strangely in attempt to apologize again, after already providing a very reasonable explaination, upon bringing over the re-heated emp, he said they were very short staffed today, I was just like huh? it's a small kitchen, how many more people did the need or could fit in there any ways, which "you" might be thinking, it's my first time there, I don't work there and what does it matter to me, but I couldn't imagine how another person would have affected whether my emp was cooked properly or not, when I was the only person there during the hour I spent, except for one guy who had a takeout sandwhich. There were 3 people in the kitchen as it were.
Hard pressed to say any empanada is worth 5 bucks, not because it isn't awesome, (even the more traditional crimped edged emp's were 4.50), but not terribly filling, a great walk in snack, but if you were told that you'd spend ten bucks for two empanadas you'd have bit of sticker shock I think. Now, onto the holy grail of Spanish, and obviously in this case Cuban cuisine: Pernil... ! The plate arrived, a solid portion of roasted pork arrived with a pile of white rice ( cubans from what I've seen, tend to eat more white rice than typical spanish yellow rice) a side of black beans and plantains.
This unfortunately did not deliver anything special at all. It was good, and well portioned for 9.75, and I will say while many of us are accustomed to heaping amounts of food from the Cibao sort of Dominican joints, I often over eat just for that same reason, so I have nothing to complain about in terms of the portion. though leftovers are great too, so perhaps I have a mixed opinion.. Back to the plate. The pork was uneventful, none of the cripy bits and pieces of rendered fat I'd usually expect, and it is a stretch to think the pernil would be fresh everyday..? Does it seem that even the El Cibao places, like Nuevo Portal in my hood on Smith st, make pernil everyday..? Maybe higher volume and regulars allow for that. As well, some parts ( two or 3 chunks,) were just out and and out dry.
A worse crime, both the meat and my side of beans were luke warm at best. At this point I debated quickly in my mind whether to get it reheated or overheated, or dried out in the case of the meat, and decided to take it as it was. The plantains were good, and were much needed to round out a flavor profile.
Overall, this just seems to be a case with Chow'ers falling in love with a cute space in an ermerging nabe where good people, with good intentions are just doing something that is just okay. Maybe we all over-analyze and get too hyped up from reviews, but then again the one emp, pernil and one poland springs for $18.75, it should be better than than it was for sure!

Jan 19, 2010
goodtimeguy in Features

The Wing Bar on Smith St.

I have been twice in the last week and I am happy to report this Wings are very Solid!
They are meaty, good texture and a well balanced crisp edge. The homemade auce that the Dad makes, (his sons and daughter are all partners. I haven't tried the hot, only medium, but, while fine for my taste I could imagine more hardcore heat lovers migt even find those slightly on the tame side, Though there is a really nice tangy backbone to the sauce and just a great overall consistentcy and flavor. It hits most if not all the right notes. The onion strings are GREAT! With some hesitaion in hoping to avoid any sort of mass produced items, even the jalapeno poppers were tasty, especially when rolled in some of the wing sauce. IWhile better than average found at most bars in the city, as they get settled in (less than two week old) they are NOT yet making their own blue cheese dressing ( in the works) As well, The cheesesteak was relayed to me as being very solid, although the previous review said otherwise, and I was hoping to hear better, they also have what was described as a monster Burger. Really it's a comfy place with a good vibe, a family biz, and hell, at least for the time being, Pitchers of Bud are only $7.50 !
A great addition to the hood, especially for the after midnight crowd.
Def worth a visit, although I don;t see this place really developing a non eating bar crowd environment, though there is a garden, they don't have much on tap and there doesn't seem to anyone who is a bartender by trade working there. Stick to Grat Bar Harry!

Wing Bar
275 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Aug 07, 2009
goodtimeguy in Outer Boroughs

Big Apple BBQ Suggestions

I almost completely agree with Kathryn's post, and I would even put it in about that order!
Bib Bob is A MUST! the best pulled pork/Slaw combo money can buy in NYC, at least for two days a year ..
17th St Ribs are close 2nd, Salt lick is Slammin and Ed Mitchell (if and when he has Cracklin Available!! ) is solid. There will be some new entries this year and I cannot wait.The Fast Pass works best on Sunday and on the earlier side ( 30-40 minutes before it even opens perhaps) to get a map, peek at a few and send one or two friends off to find a place in the different lines, meet on the grass and GORGE! Save the NY stuff for their locations, don't fill up on too much beer and waste space,. And as I like to do for a good cool down, albeit at a higher cost, I head to Eleven Madison for live tunes, a nice comfy seat in the shade and icy cold Mint Juleps sponsored by Pappy Van Winkle Family Bourbon !

Jun 08, 2009
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Best Biscuits and Gravy for Breakfast on Sun

I can't believe no one has mentioned Stone Park Cafe in Park Slope, 5th ave and 3rd St.
Biscuits are thick, chewy and dense, but still soft in the center and flakey on top,. The Gravy is meaty and thick, and well seasoned with black pepper! throw in two OE eggs a splash of hot sauce and WATCH OUT! Some of, if not the consistently best in the city. Better than Char #4's version, Even Virgil's which is more than decent, def better than Alias in LES, and slightly ahead of Clinton St..

Jun 08, 2009
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Today's visit to HB Burger and City Burger

Well, to all the burger-Maniacs such as Fat-boy Ozersky and others, I took one for team and went to both City Burger and H&B burger Today, and the reviews are in.
So the only important disclamer is that I did NOT pony up for the 12 dollar "black label" at City burger. I took a combo of a reg burger with American Cheese and works, FF and root beer.
Best part was indeed the meat itself, perfect MR and juicy, with really good flavor.
Sadly that's where the compliments end. The patty was perfectly cooked but with little to almost no char, and as such not much crust. And it was tiny! Smaller than the shack for sure., which seems to be most peoples' fav whipping post for some reason.
The toppings were certainly adequate but the bun was a LOSER, toasted perhaps, but maybe 1/2 an hour before being used, DRY as could be, started breaking apart almost immediately. The Fries were flat out terrible, they were soaked with oil, therefore not crispy and as a result barely touched.
On to H&B, I went for a simple approach here, MR no toppings, a few grilled onions on the side. The Burger was overall better, good flavor, but more enjoyable for the char/crust factor involved, and the soft bun that clinged to the meat so perfectly, I did add a little spicy mustard half way through just to change gears. I tried the bacon/pepper jack tater tots, nothing amazing but when in the mood as I was, were good. I really wanted to try the homemade chips with blue cheese but didn't want to interfere with the burger.
Final price
City burger combo w/ FF and drink 11.55
Plain Burger and Taters at H&B 12.15
Final result, edge to HB, but need to return to try the 12 dollar Black Label at City before final conclusion. But I imagine even it is better as a single burger, it's a catch 22- at such a high quality, I wouldn't dare put anything on or near it, and with the overall experience being sub-par how many times would I really go there, just for a $12 burger... not many I imagine.

May 19, 2009
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Rub or Hill Country????

Serious Answer to a serious question!
Hill Country's set up is what it is, get over and go to judge the food. I actually appreciated a wider and more comfortable setting, avoiding rush times can be a catch 22, the lines could be long, but the brisket is flying off the cutting board at high speed,. Even I need to repspect the fact that not every cut of meat, or slab of ribs is the best on every visit, and I have only been to Hill Country once, but I digress,..
So, my friend and I spent almost 75 bucks on almost every BBQ item, chicken, brisket, both sausages, and pork spareribs. With so much meat we only tried a few sides, beans, mac and cheese and cornbread. Seriously, with no exageration most of it was a let down!
The brisket was very good, and we went with the fattier cuts, I don't mind that at all! But after that the only other thing worth mentioning was the chicken, and really, who the hell goes out of their way at those prices to order chicken?? The sausage, bland, mushy and not good. This was our mutually agreed biggest dissapointment, especially just a month or two off Big Apple BBQ where we enjoyed both Elgin's and of course Salt Lick's sausages more than at HC. The sides were passable, except the mac was not good at all. It doesn't have to be buried in cheese, but it was terrible. We both made ugh faces biting into it. And the ribs, man, they were boring! not so overcooked or something like that, just bland and not very smoky bbq'ish at all.
On one particular trip last year, 10 friends joined me for dinner at RUB, several guests included other respected (in my opinion) BBQ aficianados and professional michelin level cooks who work here in the city. Now, BBQ for me is judged by Pork and Pork alone, so if you prefer beef, when the maybe Hill Country is for you. But if Pork products are as important to you as they are to me, RUB destroys Hill country. Seriously, I cannot imagine anyone really debating that issue. And that ALONE settles the issue, with finality!
We started with the meaty bacon bites, which were lovely, charry, but not overdone, meaty in texture, and the fried green tomatoes, which were just great while wating for the main events to arrive.
We had both spares and babybacks, there was a good split of which was preferable, with the spares getting the slight edge, I personally went through phases in the meal in my own choice, debating in those moments of rib perfection, meaty, tender, not too mushy coming off the bone, smoky, it was a tough call. And the REAL burnt ends were great, actual good sized chunks of brisket, and very tasty! honestly I didn't have much regular sliced brisket there at all, although a friend had a sandwich and said it was pretty good, not requiring much additional sauce. I enjoyed the more snappy texture and flavor of their sausage too. I am Carolina vinegar guy, and so for me the cole Slaw was perfectly executed. The beans were fine, if nothing special, stuff like that, as long as it isn't bad, gets a little lost in the mix anyways.
Desserts at BBQ places are always debatable, personal preferences run amuck, and the choices at RUB are more limited,but fried oreos, although simple were pretty good. Good luck deciding for yourself!

Feb 26, 2009
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Grumpy Old Man - Staubitz Guy is really irritating

I have to SECOND los Paisanos!! Mike has been the owner from his Dad for almost 40 years, their prices are fantastic and if anyone has been going in lately they have really upped the ante. Quail , pheasant and Venison and duck fat have all become available, the wide variety of spices, olive oils and other "gourmet" products have beocme numerous while old school "family" packages of household staples like butter, milk and meats are always available. Yes, Stuabitz has "Prime" grade steaks but they are so expensive that aside from the christmas roast who can afford it? LP has plenty of homemade sausages that are amazing, plus plenty of staff to help and they DO remember you!

Oct 13, 2008
goodtimeguy in Outer Boroughs

Yasuda - OK to just do lunch?

took my girlfriend here last year for a celebration dinner. Sat at the bar and ordered omakase. with all the Sake we could drink and more tuna than a normal person should eat, our bill was about 300 bucks sans tip.
I have found you just need to be upfront, tell them omakase for 100 pp. that will set your budget up front. what you drink or order after the initial meal concludes is up to you. but it is worth it. With such high quality in mind always ask what fish is truly in season and in limited availability. and then go for it!

May 19, 2008
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Best Mexican Restaurant in NYC?

for the real deal 104th and lexington- sorry can't remember the name - on the southwest corner though. all the best tinga, mole, carnitas, tortas and cemitas! NO frozen margaritas, only locals. and they take CC's.
also the place on Ave B and 10th, little tight mexican run place, great cheladas and small plates.
Or two women and thier street cart at Roosevelt Ave subway stop. Great Tortas.
Palapa on 6th is one of the better of the cheaper types.
Mi Concina deserves mention too.

May 19, 2008
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Hill Country - what's best?

Tpigeon said about right!
Brisket pretty good,
Regular sausage: terrible, little snap to texture, and certainly the mushy interior was no good.
Why the hell are they doing pork? the spareribs were lousy too.
Chicken was good but mostly as a side event, who is really going there for chix anyways?
Mash pot weren't great either.
Basically we tried about everything on the menu during peak lunch times to get top quality and RUB destroyed Hill country!!!

May 19, 2008
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Jean Georges or Nougatine Lunch

Nougatine is the cafe that services the Hotel. It is a different kitchen with different staff, they simultaneously make room service food as well.
As such- JG is where you need to go!
4 stars were earned here and only here.
28$ two courses, plus 14$ per additional courses. It can't be beat!

May 19, 2008
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Asiate Lunch Review

well I am glad you had a good meal there. they have been hit and miss. But without calling anyone naive, 11-13 dollars a glass is the starting point for most restaurants of this or greater caliber, particularly here, which is inside a hotel where rooms start at 600 dollars a night. Advice: use sites such as this one as to not be caught off guard. And les halles isn't a good steak house on any day - yuck!

May 19, 2008
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Cookies like Levain but on UES

Not sure any replica of any equaly quality exists on the planet!

May 17, 2008
goodtimeguy in Manhattan

Fiamma: Upping the Ante!

Are all 3 star Italian restaurants of the same fold? I think not. While good and sometimes great food has come out of Alto and Del Posto my entire perspective of contemporary Italian food has been completely leveled by a recent 1st visit to Fiamma. Reading someone else's recent posting forced me to retort.
First off, the whole menu is crazy, while the server lays out an option of three or five courses and suggests an order, something about following the traditional Italian meal, basically you can choose WHATEVER you want, whether it be 3 pastas, 3 meats, fish or any combination thereof. Certainly in my mind this breaks away from all preconceived SET pre-fixe menus. No one can argue about cost saving ingredients when Wagyu beef, wild red snapper and succulent lamb are all available, which were my three courses!
Now to the food and ambiance. The food is rich! As such my middle course of Snapper was a treat, As it balanced out my app and entree, where bold flavors generally reigned supreme, the delicate preparation of herbs and oysters with the fish were fresh and so clean on my palate. My guests marveled at their dishes as well, a roasted pig dish and a bucatini with ramps and guanciale were noted highlights. dining here is an indulgence, bring an open mind and big appetite. I heard you can sneak in for ala carte at the bar, try it for yourself, maybe they aren't terribly vegetarian friendly but the WOW factor was skyrocketing nonetheless! We left impressed, happy, well guided by the staff, and feeling where small details mattered, not to mention quite Full !!!

May 17, 2008
goodtimeguy in Manhattan