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MommaJ's Profile

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Primary Food & Drink Greenwich?

Well, if anyone hasn't tried it yet, you're out of luck. It closed after a mere six months.

Jun 23, 2014
MommaJ in Southern New England

Walmart Kills another Local Business

Oh please. The landlord invested in property to make money, not accommodate your Chinese food preferences. Walmart exists to make money by having locations that serve its customers, not to bow out of a quest for suitable space because the restaurant owners are nice folks.

Everyone is behaving exactly as they should in a free market economy. Being outbid for space is a normal risk of renting. The restaurant owners agreed to a lease without any, or without enough,guaranteed renewal options. They took a risk, and lost. My favorite seafood store just closed down because the landlord got a better offer from a cupcake place--good for him. The cupcake folks aren't evil, they didn't "kill" the seafood store. Same goes for Walmart. I guarantee a lot more people will enjoy the expanded Walmart than ever ate at that Chinese restaurant.

Jan 13, 2014
MommaJ in Southern New England
2

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - December 2013 [old]

Just wanted to say thanks for this thread--It's a far more useful approach than the "TJ favorites" threads. Our store has been open about a month. I stopped in twice, didn't see anything that intrigued me other than sweets I don't bring into my home. After reading this thread, I'm convinced it won't be worth my while to stop in again. Too many "meh's" and "nays", and too many unhealthy "yay"s. I don't have the time or inclination to make a special trip for just a few items. I kinda wish the bookstore TJ's replaced would come back!

Dec 24, 2013
MommaJ in Chains

Turkey Defrosting Disagreement

And this is why I always buy a fresh turkey! There are toms available, and the money saved on a frozen one is not worth the aggravation. My bathtub is reserved for the humans!

Nov 26, 2013
MommaJ in Home Cooking

Making Stock in the Oven?

My make-ahead turkey gravy recipe calls for simmering roasted turkey legs on top of the stove for 6 hours to come up wit the stock. I'd love to liberate the stovetop for other endeavors by having this process take place in the oven. Is this possible? What temperature would be best?

Nov 25, 2013
MommaJ in Home Cooking

Name of restaurant in Danbury CT

It's Kebab and Curry. Easy peasy--found that Pancho's was on White St., and searched "curry" on Yelp until I found a place on White.

Nov 06, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

Best Fish market in Stamford

Very, very sad to report that the owner of Stamford Fish and Seafood told me the store will be closing permanently after 10/26/13. The rent got too high. I will truly miss the excellent and friendly service and wonderful selection. Rumor has it that a cupcake place is coming into the space--how awful is that??

Oct 24, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

Suggestions gift certificate good quality restaurant Stamford Greenwich area

Your absolutely right--I confused the two steakhouses. I actually think Morton's location is worse--there's no there there.

I guess what I call Napa's PR efforts are accomplished by being well-connected in town and thereby on the list for visiting corporate types. I think it's become a knee-jerk response to send visitors there. Having only dined at Napa once (in Taibe's era), and my entire party having been very disappointed with food, service, and cost, I never returned, so I'll admit I'm not in a position to critique the current incarnation.

Sep 10, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

Chow Supertaster cancelled

Just came here to agree with all the eulogies and to add that my three times a week visits with Supertaster were always followed by some poking around the rest of the site for items of interest. That won't happen anymore; I'll just visit when I have a specific item to research. Surely that can't be the result CHOW desired. I'll add that I think it was extraordinarily tacky of CHOW not to afford James a goodbye video or address the demise of the vlog in any other fashion----rude to him and disdainful of his fans. In "old" journalism columnists were able to use their final pieces to explain the circumstances, thank their readers, and perhaps impart some final words of wisdom. They didn't just disappear without explanation. The new journalism sucks.

Sep 10, 2013
MommaJ in Food Media & News
1

Suggestions gift certificate good quality restaurant Stamford Greenwich area

Thought I might give my opinion on a few of the places that have been suggested:

Bonne Nuit (French bistro) and Olio (hard to categorize)--both cozy and unpretentious, great food.

Valbella (Italian)--big, fairly noisy, "see and be seen" spot, food fine but costly, there are better Italian restaurants in the area with more reasonable prices.

Napa--most overrated restaurant in the county; the PR effort way outstrips the food, ambience and service.

Mortons (steak +)--classic steakhouse menu, gigantic portions of well prepared food (will never forget the time H ordered the roast chicken and was brought an entire chicken--not a Cornish game hen, a chicken), elegant atmosphere, attentive service--but it's a chain located adjacent to a shopping mall, which may make it less special for some.

Sep 09, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

Any places along the Merritt Pkwy (CT)

Dinosaur BBQ is a very long way off the Merritt (though close to I-95).

Sep 08, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

Easy Banana Bread

Very bland, blah recipe, though the texture was nice. (I included chocolate chips, and it would have been really disappointing without them.) I think it absolutely needs vanilla and some brown sugar, maybe even more salt, to give it some depth of flavor. Skip this one, there are better versions of banana bread.

Jul 07, 2013
MommaJ in Recipes

Howard County Sunday Brunch

We'll be seeing a show at the Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday night and staying in a hotel in Columbia that night. Any recommendations for a hearty and delicious brunch in the area on Sunday morning?

Jun 22, 2013
MommaJ in Washington DC & Baltimore

Kit's Thai Kitchen (Stamford)--closed, boo hoo!

Anyone have any insider info on what happened here? The place had good food, nice personnel, easy parking, and every time I was there the tables were full and several people were waiting for takeout. And then suddenly, after years of operation, poof, it's gone. I know the restaurant business is hard, but this place certainly seemed successful. The only other Thai restaurant in town (not counting the Pan Asian places with a couple of Thai dishes on the menu), is Little Buddha, which is tiny, farther from my home, and has terrible parking. Phooey. I'll really miss Kit's.

Jun 20, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

One Night in Greenwich

Jean Louis left the restaurant biz to become Vice President of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. He still offers catering in the Greenwich area, though I have no idea how he manages that from Vermont.

Apr 05, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

One Night in Greenwich

I highly recommend Douro--Portuguese/Mediterranean tapas and more. Fabulous food, and unusual choices. It's on Greenwich Ave., good for walking and gawking, and for dessert you can make it a perfect evening by walking over to Daniella's (on the same street) for gelato. I think Terra has seen better days, and the trouble with going to Port Chester is that if you care for an after dinner stroll, there's nowhere you'd want to walk.

Apr 05, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

Stamford, CT

stuki, this is a very old thread, hence the reference to Il Falco, which has been closed for several years, and the lack of any mention of some of the newer spots in the city.

Feb 14, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

Help?! Daughter's 16th---any suggestions?

if you aren't 100% wedded to the Japanese idea, The Melting Pot in Darien is a perfect choice for a bunch of teens. I'm not wild about it myself, but the younger set seems to adore it, and the experience lends itself to a party atmosphere.

Feb 05, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

Dessert Destination in Fairfield County / Westchester

In Stamford, Chocopologie, 213 Main St., open until midnight or Volta Gelateria Creperia, 30 Spring St., open until 11.

Jan 29, 2013
MommaJ in Southern New England

BLAVOD: anyone know where to buy in CT?

I should add that any of those stores should be willing to do a special order for you even if they don't have Blavod in stock--it's not a big deal since they have already a relationship with the distributor. Happy Halloween!

Oct 08, 2012
MommaJ in Southern New England

BLAVOD: anyone know where to buy in CT?

I can tell you that the CT wholesaler for Blavod is Ace Distributing in Plainview. Maybe if you call, they'll be able to tell you what liquor stores buy it from them.

Oct 07, 2012
MommaJ in Southern New England

Has anyone been to The Melting Pot in Darien, CT?

Coalhouse Pizza in Stamford (a lot more casual than Melting Pot, but not a dive) has live music, including jazz , a few times a week--their website has the schedule of upcoming performances.

Jul 24, 2012
MommaJ in Southern New England

"Open Rice" at old Main Wah on High Ridge in Stamford

Well, it's open, claims to be "pan-asian"--anyone try it yet? I find the name annoying, sounds like it was a failed attempt at translating something.

Jul 02, 2012
MommaJ in Southern New England

New Brazilian rodizio opening in Stamford

Hmm, apparently it's run by the same people who run The Melting Pot in Darien, home of overpriced mediocrity. Doesn't bode well.

I read CT Bites to find out what's new, then come here and to OmnomCt to get the real story.

Mar 27, 2012
MommaJ in Southern New England

Easy Beef Stew

Chuck isn't going to get tender in an hour. I use a very similar method for stew, but cook the beef 90 minutes before adding potatoes (small red are best) and carrots, then cook for 45 minutes before adding peas.

Mar 06, 2012
MommaJ in Recipes

Trade Joe's opening in former Borders's location in Stamford??

Wondering where you heard about this. Stamford is not on their website's "opening soon" list, and the building still has a for lease sign on it. The parking seems really inadequate for a food store. I was hoping for something more interesting in that location. We sure don't need more supermarkets, and personally I've never shared the love for Trader Joe's.

Feb 25, 2012
MommaJ in Southern New England

Underwhelmed by Napa & Co (Stamford, CT)

I'll second this, but didn't love the place when it opened either. H and I and another couple tried Napa about six months into its run. All of us thought the food (four different entrees, four different appetizers) was ordinary, the service poor, the atmosphere lacking, and the prices excessive. I was somewhat embarrassed because I had pushed everyone into trying it. I attribute Napa's overblown reputation to the very astute PR abilities of the owners and the "emperor's new clothes" effect--when everyone is gabbing about how great a restaurant is, no one wants to seem like a rube with no taste by critiquing it. Meanwhile, its fame means that it is THE place to do corporate entertaining in the area, which allows for the high prices.

Feb 19, 2012
MommaJ in Southern New England

Capital Grille Stamford

No, not a joke, and yes, I'm complaining about the portions being too big! After all, I'm paying for all that food I can't eat. Is it really odd to want to order and pay for a normal human portion of food? Even when I can go right home, I don't want to take a bunch of miscellaneous leftovers that may or may not get picked at for the next few days--neither H not I want to eat the same food a day or two later because we like variety in our diet, so most restaurant leftovers get tossed after a few days. As for sharing, that doesn't work when there are two diners who don't like the same food, so I think it's a ridiculous way to structure a restaurant. Had we known about the portion sizes (and I assure you no one advised us that the entrees were meant to be shared), we would simply have eaten elsewhere, because I don't know of any way to plan around that kind of service unless you poll the people you plan to eat with in advance and make sure there are at least two willing to share each entree. I realize there are those that are impressed by massive quantities of food, but I'm not one of them. In fact, there's nothing that kills my appetite faster than some monstrous chunk of meat or mound of pasta overhanging the plate--makes me feel like a farm animal at the trough. I guess this is just Capital Grille's shtick, but I find it totally unappealing.

Nov 07, 2011
MommaJ in Chains

Popular flavors that you don't care for

juli5122, there are a lot of folks who hate licorice flavor, but I've never come across anyone else who hated licorice flavor, cherry flavor other than fresh, AND green peppers! Nice to meet ya! I don't mind rosemary--but it would have been too darn spooky if that was on my list, too. On the other hand, I can't stand soft boiled eggs, which apparently aren't a problem for you. (My kids used to joke that they would make me a mothers day breakfast of soft boiled eggs, with a saute of green peppers and fennel on the side, and a nice cherry danish.) The worst part of being anti-licorice is that fennel has become so chic in recent years--there's a dish on every restaurant menu that flaunts its fennel. Can't wait for that fad to pass.

Nov 07, 2011
MommaJ in General Topics
1

Spice Affaire - Stamford, Anyone Tried?

We ate at Spice Affaire tonight, using a "one entree free" coupon to give the place a tryout. It was a major disappointment, easily the weakest Indian restaurant in the area. To start out, they have no idea how to present the place. There's no sign on the exterior of the building, and you have to enter the hotel's main restaurant, Shelleys, to get there. Once inside, you realize that the two eateries basically overlap--we sat at what appeared to be the Indian portion, but were given menus for both. Very off-putting.

The ambiance is bland hotel-style, with no Indian influence other than the recorded music. Service was just adequate. The food was mediocre to poor. The paratha was entirely tasteless--I usually can't keep my hands off Indian breads, but only had a bite of this. H's chicken saag arrived as lamb saag. It had taken so long between appetizers and mains that we couldn't wait for a redo and he just ate the lamb--five tiny cubes. (The waiter offered a free dessert with his apology, but we had no desire to try any more of their cooking and declined.) My chicken biryani was dry and tasteless (I had to salt it--the first time I'd ever needed to use salt in an Indian restaurant--and douse it heavily with raita to make it palatable), and of the fruits and nuts that are basic to this dish, I was able to locate exactly 2 raisins and one half-cashew. In general, there was just no depth of flavor and inadequate use of spices in all the dishes (ironic in light of the place's name).

There was hardly anyone in Spice Affaire at prime dining time (and during a week when all the hotels in town were filled with power outage refugees). Given their lackluster food, out-of-the-way location and poor marketing (most people in town don't even know it exists), I give the place another few months before they have to throw in the towel. There are several good Indian options in Stamford and surrounding towns--there's no reason to dine at Spice Affaire

Nov 01, 2011
MommaJ in Southern New England