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Good substitute for Montrachet Mondays (no corkage)?!

I just found out that Montrachet is being renovated, and therefore will not be open next Monday for their weekly "no corkage" night. Does anyone have any suggestions for a Monday BYOB (good wine) restaurant destination (or even, low corkage)? I know Tartine is closed on Monday; Ivo and Lulu is a bit too down-market and noisy for what I'm looking for. Ideally a reservations place, since we will be a party of 6. Could be a new restaurant without a license?

THANKS!

Sep 19, 2006
tigger2 in Manhattan

Question about BEER -- how do you choose?

Hi, all:

Thank you VERY MUCH for all of your responses. I also found the Beer Advocate site and was thinking of getting the opinion of the beer lovers on that site.

Best regards....

Aug 22, 2006
tigger2 in Beer

Question about BEER -- how do you choose?

I have a question for all of you beer drinkers out there -- how do you categorize the beers that you drink, from good, better, best? For example, do you think:

-- Domestic beer is good, imported beer is better?
-- Macro beers are good, micro brews are better?
-- Lagers are good, pilsners are better, ales are best?
-- Locally-brewed is best?
etc etc.

I am trying to understand the thought-process that people go through when selecting and differentiating among beers. I don't actually really drink beer, so I can't figure this out, and unfortunately, need to understand this pretty quickly for some research I am doing.

Also, how would you categorize the following beer brands: Budweiser, Miller, Heineken, Chimay, Brooklyn Brewery, Ommegang?

Thanks a lot for your help!!!!

Aug 21, 2006
tigger2 in Beer

Coming to NYC from SF. Can't get a res at Babbo. Suggestions?

Babbo has several tables in the front that are open for walk-ins, so you might just want to wait at the bar.

Some other Italian places to consider are: Peasant in Nolita, Aroma in the East Village, Crispo on 14th street, Lupa in Village (also Batali), Po in Village.

Aug 20, 2006
tigger2 in Manhattan

Has anyone tried the new Tasting Room on Elizabeth Street? Or new Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar?

I've been to the previous incarnation of TR on 1st St, was wondering if it's as good as before
And how is Jack's new place?

Aug 20, 2006
tigger2 in Manhattan

How is L'atelier de Joel Robuchon?

I went last night to L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the Four Seasons, and overall, was very disappointed. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but my friends in Paris and those who have been to the one in Las Vegas had raved about the food. Perhaps also I had ordered the wrong dishes, but there were other problems beyond the food.

We arrived at 930 on Friday night, and the restaurant was half empty. In fact, by the time we left at 1100, we were the last diners there, and the wait and kitchen staff were huddled in the corner of the open kitchen waiting for us to leave.

Note: we sat at the counter, and ordered a la carte (tasting menu is $160 pp, which isn't outrageous but we wanted to try different items). Had 5 small plates and 1 large: iberian ham with bruschetta; sardines tart with parmesan shavings and baby basil; tuna belly with olive oil; cod in broth with vegetables and wonton skin; grilled vegetables with buffalo mozzarella; (large) steak tartare with hand-cut fries.

Here were the pros and cons of my experience:

CONS

food:

1. Stale, old bread basket with mediocre bread, although they were cute and small rolls
2. The iberian ham was very dry, and although the waiter claimed that it had been sliced fresh, and pointed to the machine, I did not see anyone slicing any ham. The limes that came on a plate with our vodka tonics were also dry, as though they had been pre-sliced and sitting around for hours.
3. The hand-cut fries with the steak tartare were not very crispy, although I liked their unique shape.
4. The tuna belly was stringy -- it had very apparent white striations that remind me of bad sashimi.
5. The rest of the dishes we tried (sardine, grilled vegetables with buffalo mozzarella, cod) were okay, but not fantastic.

service and decor:

1. The Captain had only tried 2 dishes (the cod and the iberian ham), and kept saying, "Yes, actually that is one of the dishes I've tried..."
2. The other wait staff did not know what they were serving, e.g., when I asked what was on a piece of bread with the iberian ham, they had to get the Captain to come over to explain (a hunk of butter); same thing with the wonton skin on top of the cod
3. There were fingerprints on several plates, and more atrociously, on the butter for the bread! This could be a function of the lighting at the counter, but still.
4. The service at the counter is overwhelming, to the point that I felt as though they were being intrusive and in fact eavesdropping on my conversation. (Which they were, because when I was expressing my displeasure (quietly) to my boyfriend, the waiter came over to ask what the matter was.)This was likely because we were the only people in the restaurant.
5. The decor is not my style -- too eighties and black. But that's purely personal preference.

PROS

1. The waitstaff, I believe, recognizes that there are glitches, given how new the restaurant is. They were very open to receiving feedback, and were gracious about it.
2. We saw IM Pei and his wife there, as well. That was pretty cool.

I hope that these problems were just a function of a bad (slow) night, and new restaurant jitters. However, for those prices, I would rather go elsewhere (or have 2 great meals at less pricey places).

Aug 20, 2006
tigger2 in Manhattan