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SF Bay Area Hounds trip report

First thank you for this board. We go to NYC at least once a year but it is always great to catch up on what's happening. We were in NYC 6/9-6/17 and here are some reviews:

First night we arrived late to the city and had 9:15 reservations at Empellon Tacqueria. I do not get the fascination with the place. The service was abysmal and the food simply mediocre and overpriced. I will say we may be spoiled for a tacqueria anyplace other than in the SF Bay Area. We would not go back.

Sunday we had our usual brunch @ The Spotted Pig. We surprisingly got a table within 15 minutes. The corned beef hash and poached eggs along with a spicy bloody mary hit the spot.
Sunday pm we were meeting friends and walked to Grove and Bleeker for dinner @ Buvette. We loved this place. One of us is a vegetarian so we ordered several vegetable plates which were all delicious. We did get two orders of mussels which were not particularly good. The desserts astound. We split a Tarte Tatin and a chocolate mousse. Both were fabulous. I'd go back h ere in a heartbeat.

Monday we met our cousin on the High Line and walked and walked. We actually got tacos from the taco truck stand on the High Line which were far superior to those at Empellon at half the price.
That evening we met other cousins at Nomad and had a spectacular meal. We were seated in the parlor which I think is the nicest place for dinner. The food, service and everything about the place was grand. The highlight of our meal was my slow cooked halibut(sous vide) which is perhaps one of the best things I have ever eaten.

Tuesday we were at the Met so ate in the cafeteria. It's nothing great but we split a chicken salad sandwich. We had Murray's bagels with cream cheese, lox, tomatoes, red onion and capers for breakfast. It was divine. That evening we walked to Pearl and had another great meal. We always go to Pearl having decided it was Pearl over Mary's Fish Camp long ago. One of us had the lobster roll and one of us had the scallops. We split a bowl of their great clam chowder.

Wednesday we were at the Bronx Botanical Garden so had to go through Grand Central. On the way home we stopped in at the Campbell apartment for bone dry martinis. We hopped on the subway and returned to our hood (W Village).We were pretty bushed so decided on something simple. We checked out Corner Bistro (too loud and too much of a scene), Cafe Cluny (too pricey for our tired selves) and ended up at Tavern on Jane for GREAT burgers.

Thursday we headed to Christopher Street for our usual stops. We ended up at Joseph Leonard(another favorite) for a delicious lunch. We split a chilled asparagus soup, smoked salmon toasts and a market salad. That evening we went to the theatre. We had 10 pm reservations at another favorite Dell'Anima. It was noisy and delicious as always. One of us had the pasta with spring truffles, pecorina and a perfectly coddled egg yolk, the other had the parpadelle bolognese. We split the huge argula salad. The torrone gelato was just ok.

Friday we did more museum and then cabbed over to Al di La. I must say I have loved this place every time we have gone before(several). It seemed lacking. I know this is outer boroughs but this was our one excursion. We decided we'd try going deeper into Brooklyn next time. Perhaps our days at Al di La are over.

Saturday we had birthday reservations @ Recette. It was delicious as always. We split the arugla and kumquat salad(ok) one of us had the chicken dish(very good) and one of us had the scallops in beurre blanc with caviar. That was the winner.

Sunday was our day to leave and so we managed another brunch @ The Spotted Pig. It was just as good.

I miss New Yawk!

Jun 26, 2012
roxie in Manhattan

In desperate need of Dinner Recommendation between 23rd & 8th in Chelsea...

The Red Cat might suit your needs.

May 03, 2012
roxie in Manhattan

Please help with restaurant choices

Cookshop was a joke for breakfast. Our waiter was insane and the food was just meh.

Apr 23, 2012
roxie in Manhattan

Please help with restaurant choices

We so thoroughly enjoyed our bar seats for lunch @ Joseph Leonard in the Fall. We are going back!

Apr 23, 2012
roxie in Manhattan

Chelsea Market

We usually stay in the West Village very close to the Meatpacking District. CM is one of our first stops(as we rent an apartment when in NYC). We do pick up a few things @ the Fruit Exchange but always hit Ronnybrook for milk, yoguart and Bread Alone granola.

Apr 23, 2012
roxie in Manhattan

Recommendations for memorial day weekend trip to NYC

Where is Pok Pok in NYC located? We have missed it on our previous trip to Portland and hit NYC mid June.

Apr 20, 2012
roxie in Manhattan

Help in San Jose

Two Oakland hounds are heading to San Jose for a conference. We will be @ The Doubletree near the airport. Any ideas as to where to get good or very good food in the area? We will have a car so can drive.

Apr 11, 2012
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Best mid priced Italian with a vegetarian?

There is also "Meatless Mondays" @ Dell'Anima

Apr 10, 2012
roxie in Manhattan

The Dressler

Two SF hounds coming to NY and hoping to branch out a bit. We are regular (now every 6 months) visitors and always include Al di La in our plans. We are thinking of trying The Dressler. Has anyone been there of late and how was it?

Apr 02, 2012
roxie in Outer Boroughs

Visiting Berkeley for the First Time - Need Critique's

Rapini~ever been to Adesso or Dopo or Baywolf?

Mar 08, 2012
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting Berkeley for the First Time - Need Critique's

Good going on Commis. I thought it might be out of your price range so did not consider recommending it before. It's on a great street(Piedmont Avenue) which is well travelled in the evening. It's my hood and it's filled with great places.

Mar 08, 2012
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting Berkeley for the First Time - Need Critique's

I almost forgot to recommend taking the bus down Telegraph to Pizzaiolo in the Temescal district. This is wonderful,good and creative cooking by a Chez Panisse alum. CHeck it out on line.

Mar 08, 2012
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Visiting Berkeley for the First Time - Need Critique's

Corso and Chez Panisse Cafe are easily arrived at by taking the bus. Corso is closer to your hotel and can be walked to. You can catch a cab to Chez Panisse Cafe outside the BART station on Shattuck.
Do think about trying the chicken in butter @ Corso or the polenta al forno or both.

Plum is a big haul on public transportation and you will be in the Uptown district of Oakland which can get somewhat dicey after dark especially if you are a woman(and I live in Oakland).

Mar 08, 2012
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Need SF recommendations for Midwest Hounds

Help~coming to SF next week and need some great "foodie" ideas including great sushi.

Park Tavern is on the radar.

Jan 14, 2012
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Hounds seeking Charleston Advice

Business meeting in late November and in need of a few great restaurant recommendations.
I have never been to Charleston so really don't even know where to start. The "boss" hosts a dinner usually @ a high end place in the various city venues business meetings take place in. There are mostly meat eaters in the group but some prefer fish(shellfish is ok). HELP plz!

Oct 03, 2011
roxie in Southeast

Buttermilk CHannel and others

SF Hounds coming to NYC. Buttermilk Channel looks good and did include some SF Chefs. Has anyone been lately and how was it?

We are heading more into Brooklyn this trip and will re-visit Al di La and probably Franny's. Any other suggestions in Williamsburg would be appreciated.

I have the Brooklyn Cookbook and The Dressler and Du Mont look interesting.

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Buttermilk Channel
524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Aug 16, 2011
roxie in Outer Boroughs

1st NYC trip, fine dining chosen, now looking for best pizza, hot dog, deli etc...

If you like pastrami I'd say Katz's and ask for the "less lean" pastrami when you order your sandwich. I love R&D and always hit it when in NY.

Since you like coal oven pizza and want a whole pie, I'd say take the subway to Brooklyn and hit Giraldi's. It's an institution and the lines can be long but it's part of the experience. You then can walk back to Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a great way to spend the day.

Apr 26, 2011
roxie in Manhattan

Eugene, Oregon

love those voodoo dolls!!

Mar 07, 2011
roxie in Pacific Northwest

Getting lost in SF restaurant info

Greetings from an ex Fodorite~travelling by BART is relatively easy. I would absolutely recommend you try Pizzaiolo in Oakland's Temescal District. It's casual and delicious. The chef is a Chez Panisse "grad". I'd recommend taking the Rockridge stop on BART and taking the cab(a very short ride) to the restaurant from there. The food is market driven and locally produced. Cocktails are inventive and the wine list is very good. They are closed on Sundays.
The prices are right!!

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Pizzaiolo
5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

Feb 03, 2011
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Long time Nancy Oakes fans underwhelmed

We used to live around the corner from both Pat O'Shea's and L'avenue and dined @ both on a regular basis(we still rmember the breakfast days at L'avenue). We also followed her to Boulevard and felt great she had "made it" but mourned our loss of our neighborhood favorites. Last night we tried Prospect and were rather underwhelmed. The prices are rather stiff and the servings relatively small. Highlights were the Chilled Market Vegetables and the hand picked crab salad. The green goddess salad was rather plain . We split the Dayboat scallops which were actually overcooked. Dessert was the Meyer Lemon-Caramel tart(ok not great and rather lackluster). The Ramsey Chard was good but @ $17 a glass(and a relatively small pour at that) . We found the dining room cold.Service was good not overpowering. We will probably not go back.

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Prospect
300 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Jan 24, 2011
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Great food after MOMA

Former long time city dwellers(now in Oakland) heading to MOMA on Sunday afternoon. Please help with suggestions of places within close walking or driving distance for dinner. We are painfully out of "the loop". Frances is an option (the Castro is still close driving distance in our minds). Any other ideas or similarly veined places?

Jan 18, 2011
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Great dinner & brunch in Eugene

We're headed to Eugene in early March to visit two nieces at U of O. We want to take them out to dinner and to brunch. We'll be @ The Best Western adjacent to campus but will have a car. There are no dietary restrictions as far as I know other than one niece is not a big fan of red meat.
Ideas?

Jan 03, 2011
roxie in Pacific Northwest

SF Hounds in Portland for one night

We have an overnite in Portland before heading to Eugene to visit nieces at U of O. We have not been in Portland for ages. We will be staying at Hotel Lucia. From what I can tell Little Bird would fit our desires. I ate @ Adina ages ago and liked it but would forgo same this trip. Any other suggestions like Little Bird would be appreciated. Where might we go for a good breakfast on Saturday before heading out to Eugene? Thanks in Advance.

Jan 03, 2011
roxie in Metro Portland

Urbani truffle products?

forgot to add..I bought black truffle Urbani butter @ Piedmont Grocery just last week as well.

Nov 29, 2010
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

SF hounds thank all you New Yawkers!

We had the meatballs which had been billed as great..we found them "meh". I cannot remember the address of the Ray's except to say it was in Soho. I was more taken by the fact we were in the "original" Ray's than by the actual slice. Mushroom was a mistake but a plain cheese slice should be just fine. So far...John's on Bleeker still can compete. We did go to Grimaldi's ages ago and have yet to make it to either Fanny's or Di Fara.

Now about those runny soft boiled eggs..I like a runny yolk but gelatinous whites is where I hold back.

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Grimaldi's
47 W 20th St, New York, NY 10010

Nov 29, 2010
roxie in Manhattan

SF hounds thank all you New Yawkers!

We are frequent travellers to NYC going every year for at least a week. I wish to thank folks on this board for all their help and give some responses to places we did eat:
Evening 1: we arrived @ JFK and barely made it to our apartment then on to Lupa in time for our 10 pm reservations. We had the proscuitto platter which was some of the best proscuitto I have ever eatern. We went on to have pasta dishes which were carbonara and I think Amatriciana. We tasted the mussel pasta from the table next to us and vowed then and there to return for same before we left NYC. We did.

Day 2: Jet lagged we opted for Co(we were staying near the High Line). The pizza was good but the butternut squash salad was dynamite. We had hit COok Shop for a late breakfast and were way underwhelmed. Something was way off with the service and our soft boiled eggs took about 20 minutes and were still quite underdone. I don't think we will hurry back.

Day 3: Lunch @ Jean Georges which was lovely. The coach farms cheese gnocchi was out of this world. We also had the beef tenderloin which was delicious. Lunch is a value here if you stick with the $32 for two courses but somehow with cocktails and wine( glasses) and one dessert we spent $150.

Day 4 : Our anniversary dinner @ recette. I cannot rave enough about this place nor will I forget the seared scallops with a shellfish emulsion. Service was attentive without being overpowering. I did not mind the close tables although I understand some folk's objection to that.

Day 5: a day trip to Governor's Island then home for take out from La ZIe.

Day 6: we poked around the Village and ended up at The Spotted Pig. That burger is delicious.

Day 7: Soho and Nola shopping with a slice @ Ray's followed by dinner @ ABC Kitchen. We were meeting relatives who had suggested this place. If one goes definitely get the Delicata Squash appetizer.

Day 8: Brooklyn a full day of it followed by dinner @ Al di la(see other board if I get there)

Last pm: back to Lupa!

We absolutely would re-visit recette and Lupa. I'll save my RAVES for Al di La on the outer boroughs board.

We had planned on Pearl and Keste this trip but never made it to either place. Le GIgot looks quite good and I think we'll plan on visiting that next Fall.

Thank you again for all your help.

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Lupa
170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

Jean Georges
1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

ABC Kitchen
35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

Nov 29, 2010
roxie in Manhattan

Urbani truffle products?

I bought Urbani black truffle oil recently @ The Pasta Shop on College.

Nov 29, 2010
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Christmas day in Napa

They objected to the $80 pp in the Meadowood Cafe. I have not heard the specifics on their objections to Terra.

BTW~Solbar looks great to me.

Nov 28, 2010
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Christmas day in Napa

We have relatives arriving from the East Coast who will be in Napa by early afternoon. They are looking for a place for dinner-not traditional Christmas Feast. They will be staying @ the Westin in Napa. Does anyone know of a good place to eat in the area of that hotel. I had sent them suggestions which included Meadowood and Terra but they were not interested. Thanks in advance.

Nov 27, 2010
roxie in San Francisco Bay Area

Al di La Spaghetti Vongole recipe?

Seems I read a new cookbook was out which included this fabulous recipe. Does anyone know the name of the cookbook or where else I might find the recipe. We ate at Al di La last month and the dishes were wonderful.

Nov 02, 2010
roxie in Outer Boroughs