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Miami help: 1.Great Cocktails/Fresh Juice 2.Sushi/Ceviche

Thanks to everyone for your MANY suggestions. I'm now returned from our trip and wanted to report back:
JAGUAR - We made it to Jaguar in Coconut Grove (which bizzarely reminded me very much of the part of Brisbane I'm from in Australia?). They had a great selection of different ceviches but I have to say the restaurant itself wasn't really my cup of tea. It was so big and had that almost 'chain'-like feel. Also the serving sizes were massive - definitely get your money's worth but I prefer smaller plates so that I can try more stuff. Plus it's just too warm to walk around Miami feeling like a balloon.
AREA 31 - Really enjoyed this. Fantastic view and perfect antidote to South Beach. Miami downtown is a whole other place when the sun goes down and the lights come out. Tasty cocktails with good fresh ingredients, tasty nibbles also - though we didn't stay for dinner.
BOURBON STEAK - Splashed out here for dinner. Excellent food and cocktails but very expensive (as I'm sure you all know). Our server was perfect. I probably wouldn't return though. The restaurant itself is beautiful but very large and doesn't feel intimate enough for me (personal preference) and the location is a bit out of the way. Also, it feels like a good solid restaurant you could find in any town - it didn't feel like it had much of a Miami touch at all.
MICHAEL'S GENUINE - Loved it. Great food (esp. seafood), great drinks. We went for lunch and enjoying lounging around and getting reasonably tipsy before browsing all of the fantastic design stores. I will definitely return.
FRATELLI LYON - After wandering the design stores we ended up here for aperitivo (who wants to stay sober?). I was quite impressed with the italian-style aperitif cocktails - very refreshing and not too strong. We lounged here for a good couple of hours - sipping and reading and the staff had no problem with that at all.
FLORIDA ROOM/DELANO - We braved the Delano one night to go see a great act play in the Florida Room (Tuesday - Big Bounce - recommend it!). I was surprised and really impressed with the cocktails. All fresh juices and well put together - unlike the drinks upstairs at the more debauched Rose Bar. Not cheap (of course) but worth it. I will return. Meanwhile, have sworn of the Rose Bar.
JOEY'S CAFE (Wynwood) - DeLicOus!! Really enjoyed our meal here as well as the wine. Unfortunately i didn't try the cocktails (it was one of our last stops so needed a break...). I had prawns in a tomato-based sauce on top of polenta to start - really incredible. Their pizzas aren't bad - inventive toppings but I'm spoiled by NYC. Pasta was lovely. Dessert was fantastic.
GARCIA'S SEAFOOD GRILLE - This was probably my favorite stop (although it's a tough call). Really fantastic seafood, including ceviche, cooked perfectly and without too much sauce or seasoning to cover the deliciousness of the seafood itself. Everything was juicy and tasty. Slightly more expensive than I had expected but I enjoyed it so much it was worth every penny!

Now missing the beach and detoxing until next time. Thanks again for all the fantastic tips!

Miami help: 1.Great Cocktails/Fresh Juice 2.Sushi/Ceviche

Thank you!! This is fantastic - thanks for all of this great advice.

Miami help: 1.Great Cocktails/Fresh Juice 2.Sushi/Ceviche

Sounds nice - I'll give it a go (and will stay away from the Mexican lasagne!). Thanks

Miami help: 1.Great Cocktails/Fresh Juice 2.Sushi/Ceviche

Australian coming to Miami for a break and to remind herself what the ocean looks like. I'm seeking advice on where to go for:

(1) Great cocktails made with fresh, seasonal juices? Last time I visited I was really dissapointed. Pretty much every fancy looking bar and hotel charges a fortune for really average drinks and I couldn't get a fresh squeezed anything anywhere for the life of me. I know that's just part of South Beach but maybe I missed something great?

(2) Fantastic sushi and/or ceviche?

Staying in South Beach but do have a car and planning a day trip or two to the Keys.

All tips welcome!

Good place for Tea

A few (very different!) options for your consideration:

The Adore - 17 East 13th St
Japanese run tea house that serves perfectly made pots of tea using leaf from Mariage Freres in France. Atmosphere is cosy and cute. Not particularly posh.

Tamarind Tea Room - 41-43East 22nd St
Tea room attached to the excellent Indian restaurant. Well made pots of tea and somewhat more polish surrounds to Adore. Tasty nibbles as well if you get hungry

Demel Bakery - under the Plaza at 14 East 60th St
In addition to tasty slices of cake and other treats, Demel serve good size pots of tea and don't seem to mind loiterers. I often head there with a book and sit.

Hope these help!

May 05, 2009
nibbly in Manhattan

What to get on Scarpetta anniversary menu?

I went last night (Monday) and had:

- Creamy polenta
- Tagliatelle
- Black Cod
- Banana budino with pecan gelato

Everything was outstanding and the portions are very generous. The dessert in particular was usual size. I was almost bursting by the time we left but I didn't leave much behind on my plates!

The wine parings were also excellent - btw if anyone can get me a list of what they were would be very appreciative - some are direct sourced by Scarpetta but I understand others are available at Astor wines.

The wines - three glasses proper glasses (not tasting size) are included in the $50 price for the meal.

Amazing value.

May 05, 2009
nibbly in Manhattan

Amai and Tafu closed--now where do I go??

Nooooo! I am absolutely devestated!
I need a replacement too...

Apr 27, 2009
nibbly in Manhattan

Channeling England - a nice cuppa in midtown east?

Looking for a good place to sit and read my book whilst sipping on a civilized pot of tea in midtown - preferably midtown east. Recommendations?

(I am a purist and hate sipping un-brewed tea from paper cups. It just doesn't taste the same...)

Apr 14, 2009
nibbly in Manhattan

Bridal Shower - brunch or tea

You might want to consider Paradou in the Meatpacking. I've found their management to be very accomodating and they have a lovely outdoor area comparable to August's. If you are booking far enough in advance they might allow you to take all of the back patio? Friday, Saturday and Sunday they put on a $29 unlimited champagne cocktail brunch (or you can just order off the menu) and the champagne cocktails are actually pretty tasty.

Apr 14, 2009
nibbly in Manhattan

Dessert/drinks ettiquette help!

Great idea and it is a nice place to stop in at for dessert/drinks after dinner! They do get pretty busy though so depending on the time you plan to head over you may need to make a reservation (they're on open table). My recommendation would be to go late and sit at the bar.

Mar 31, 2009
nibbly in Manhattan

New Year's Eve Dinner without Set Menu

If I hadn't already made my New Year's plans...I would be booking into Shang - Susur Lee's new restaurant on the LES in the Thompson. I haven't been yet but see the reviews are good. I used to live in Toronto and was a huge fan of his restaurants there. No set menu for New Years eve as far as I can tell. Report back if you go and make me jealous!

Dec 29, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

Dinner for 8 guys on new years eve, early 20s foodies

Crispo has a lovely atmosphere and the staff are great - unfortunately the food is totally over-rated in my opinion...

Dec 12, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

Really great TOFU?

Thank you – sounds exactly what I am looking for!

Nov 11, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

Really great TOFU?

I recently spent time in Japan and one of my very favorite meals (unexpectedly) was at a tofu restaurant in Kyoto - the tofu was incredibly fresh with a beautiful soft/silken texture and subtle taste. They served it by bringing to our table a large earthenware pot full of water (with a flame underneath to keep it simmering) and then adding large chunks of fresh tofu. The tofu was then eaten with various japanese pickles, tempura and other dishes served on the side. So simple and so amazing.

Is anyone aware of a place in NYC where I can relive my Kyoto tofu experience? Or, alternatively, do you have a recommendation for a food store that makes and sells their own fresh tofu?

Nov 11, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

Decent sushi in Chelsea?

I'm a fan of Momoya (187 7th Ave @ 21st). Probably not as cheap as Monster Sushi but definitely better and with good service.

Nov 11, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

Korean Restaurant Week - guidance required

Thanks for the heads up!

Oct 03, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

Korean Restaurant Week - guidance required

Wow - thank you - this is a great overview (obviously you are a Korean fan!)

Oct 03, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

Korean Restaurant Week - guidance required

I want to take advantage of Koren restaurant week to introduce myself to one or two great NYC Korean restaurants...but not having been here long enough, really don't know where to start...

Any experts out there who can give me a steer on the best bets? (or ones to avoid/pass)

Participating restaurants are:
Cho Ga
Dok Suni
Kang Suh Hoi Kwan
Korea Palace
Kunjip Restaurant
New York KomTang House
Seoul Garden
Sura Korean Cuisine
Woo Chon Restaurant
WonJo Restaurant

Oct 03, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

Has anyone been to Apotheke in Chinatown?

I went last weekend (Sat) and was pleasantly surprised. It's a lovely space and there was no issue getting in - and once in it was not at all packed. We were there around 11pm so perhaps that was still early? The doorman was managing entry a little - in particular stopping large groups and male-only groups from going in. Couples or small groups of women didn't seem to have any problem.

Mixed review on drinks - started off badly with my first cocktail having a rather heavy-handed splash of orange oil/essence mixed in that seemed to coat my entire mouth and sting my lips. I didn't finish it. I persevered with a second option - a sparkling berry concoction that was absolutely delicious and just right.

Nice atmosphere that didn't strike me as too LES/Chinatown hipster (though that may come!). Friendly staff though service isn't perfect yet.

No sign of food.

Sep 24, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

Where should I have my tea party?

I'm rather partial to a good afternoon tea and highly recommend Lady Mendl's - perfect for a civilized ladies afternoon. Tea & Sympathy is a little small and not so refined for my tastes - feels a little too cosy for my liking at times. Many of my friends swear by Alice's but their cakes are overly sweet and buttercreamy for me and it does tend to get a little rowdy with all the kids (save it for the baby shower...? ;-) )

Sep 07, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

Is Spice Market that bad?

I've found it great for a late weekend lunch - the service is better and you can linger without feeling rushed. I've given up going in the evenings. The last two times my small group had to wait 30-45 minutes despite having made month-in-advance bookings! Not acceptable in my book. However...the out of towners still love it so I am sure I have no choice but to return at some point...

Jun 06, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan

balthazar disappointing

We were up early on a Sunday last weekend and decided to finally give Balthazar a try as we guessed we could avoid any lining up. Despite the sparsely populated dining room the grumpy front desk ladies still had us wait a few minutes (for appearances sake??). We ordered, were served water and then waited, and waited, and waited. Finally coffee arrived. Then we waited, and waited until one of the staff dropped a check on our table...for the order of food we had never recieved! Needless to say we got up and walked out. No plans to return.

Jun 05, 2008
nibbly in Manhattan