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Canadian Needs Lunch Recs For Client

Artisanal can be REALLY loud, maybe not good for business. Eleven Madison Park and Tabla are good choices and your colleagues will be impressed with the food (if money is no object as you stated).

Jun 04, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Coming to NYC and need some foodie help

Re: $60 prixfixe for Saturday, you could look into Convivio. The setting in the hidden-away Tudor Square Park is very nice, and while the resto might not be called totally romantic (although the outdoor tables could qualify), the price and food quality are exactly right. $59 for a four-course prix fixe that's really, really good. It is Italian but quite unusual, not red-sauce by a long shot.

Re: Sunday near GCT, a fun choice is Sakagura, an underground (literally) sake bar with yummy Japanese bar food. A more adventurous choice than Szechuan Gourmet, especially if you are doing Chinatown the day before.

Jun 04, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Koto Sushi on 6th Ave & Flatbush

I'm with Rogue above. Was afraid because I also walk past every day and never see anyone in there. The counter girl was asleep at 4pm when I went in to grab a menu! Ordered in last night and got both cooked apps and sushi, and it was good. Excellent BBQ squid in garlic sauce and seaweed salad, good miso eggplant, and solid sushi/sashimi/rolls. And much faster for delivery than the always-crowded Taro, needless to say. I still like the atmosphere at Geido, but this place may become my go-to for delivery.

Jun 01, 2009
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn Recs for Three Couples?

Fort Greene is full of places with serious food that are relaxed. Try Kif for Middle Eastern, iCi for New American (both have outdoor spaces), or No 7 for eclectic New American (the kimchi pirogies are really good). Stone Home Wine Bar has very good food too, although not that adventurous. The various French bistros (chez Lola, chez Oscar, etc) are also solid. With 6 you can usually reserve at these places, too.

The best of the walk-to-able neighbourhood is Park Slope's Italian al di la, if you are prepared to drink wine with your friends for a long time in their wine bar while you wait to eat (they don't take reservations). But the food is well worth the wait (and thus it'll be a long and chatty evening with great food at the end, which might be just right.)

May 30, 2009
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs

Minetta: which burger?

Nobody answered my question so I had to decide all by myself. Here's the review:
I got the Black Label burger and it was the right choice. It was really phenomenal, but not a standard burger experience--dry-aged, funky, rich, and very intense. I would not go eat it over and over. But I would tell anyone going to Minetta Tavern that they must eat it once. In fact, my friend had the dry-aged strip and he and I both liked my burger better.

I had it with cheese (they don't recommend it, and they are right) and the caramelised onions on the side (I do recommend this, as I think the sweetness of all the onions would clash a bit with the burger. I used about a third of the onions they served).

We also has the squid stuffed with salt cod which was very good, and a side of mushrooms and frites, which were excellent. Pots de creme for dessert were fine but not that special.

We ate at the bar (no problem getting seats but get there by 6), which I liked a lot--friendly, professional, knowledgeable bartenders, and they don't let everyone waiting for tables into the bar so it doesn't get wildly packed and jostly. Go and enjoy!

May 30, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Minetta: which burger?

Going there tonight. Am stuck on which burger to get. The Black Label gets all the raves, but Frank Bruni liked the Minetta burger better. I'm a medium rare gal. Any advice appreciated.

May 29, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Best Octopus (Non-Sashimi)

Shang does a very good octopus sliced paper-thin, with tomatillo and pennywort relish.

See this New Yorker shout-out for it:

May 26, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Any restaurant rec's near 105th & Broadway?

Awash--best Ethiopian in the city, 106 and Amsterdam, not expensive, great for vegetarians.
Noche Mexicana--Amsterdam 101/102, authentic Mexican, sit-down tables, cheap

May 21, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Good Restaurants on the Upper East Side?!??

Fort Greene to the UES?? -- poor you.

I was stuck on the UES last week and went to Beyoglu because I saw a comment somewhere that it was the only reason to trek to the UES for a meal. I was sceptical but was truly shocked by how good it was. Like everyone else, I only had the mezzes, but they were FABULOUS and cheap.

I also second Itzocan, the owners run the place with love and the food is interesting and good.

May 19, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Anselmo's Pizza in Red Hook

Hm. Am surprised at the low marks this place is getting. I am much closer to the original poster's opinion. I went for lunch as they just opened last Saturday and it was fantastic. Light crust, right amount of char, tasty garlicky sauce, good cheese, generous topping of wild mushrooms. I didn't want to post a rave because I didn't want it to be overcrowded next time I go... but I say, go!

(the paper plates and cups are a bummer, though. And brie is definitely odd.)

May 05, 2009
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs

A proper Cornish pasty in NYC?

I am pretty sure they have them at Meyers of Keswick, on Hudson St near Jane St. That store sells all the food you homesick Brits crave--Branston pickle, Hob Nobs, PG Tips, etc. Enjoy.

May 05, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Fort Greene Ethiopian

Went last night with high hopes. But have to agree with the more negative posts on here. Had the meat and veggie combo: that meant seven different bland dishes on a plate. "Spicy", "mild", it all tasted the same. And yes, the injera was strangely soft and smooth.

I don't love Ghenet on Fourth Ave either, but it's better than Bati (too bad, as it's further from my house!).

Apr 30, 2009
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs

Kif in Fort Greene

Went to Kif for the first time on Sunday night. It seems to not have made much of an impression on the CH boards, which surprised me as it was pretty good. I was feeling North African and was deciding between it and Babouche on Fifth Ave, which seems to inspire much scorn for its pricing and so-so food. I was glad I picked Kif.

Nice inside, especially the garden part, and the food was tasty. Hubby raved about his Kif Burger (in pita bread mixed with nuts and some other things, with yogurt and goat cheese) and said he would drag people here to try it. Mom loved her lamb tagine (the lamb is steeped in spices for 24 hrs, the owner told us). My couscous royale was not as good as theirs, but, with an extra helping of sauce and harissa, was fine (and very large). For appetizers, the sweet chicken-in-phyllo parcels with spicy sour sauce were great, as were the salted cod-balls. The Moroccan beer was also unusual and excellent.

Decent pricing; slowish service; vibe was mellow and nice. Give it a try.

Apr 28, 2009
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs

Beer Table--it's a joke, right?

I went to Beer Table last night, very excited to try new beers and to have their Tuesday prix fixe dinner, as I have read so many good things about it. But the whole experience left me feeling like the emperor has no clothes.

The beer list is interesting, sure. But come on, the choices of beers under $14 was miniscule, and very rapidly the prices went up to the $30s, $50s and even one bottle for over $100. How can it not be possible to curate an interesting list in a price range that is at least faintly affordable, especially these days?

And the prix fixe menu was laughable, both on paper and on the plate. OK, it was only $25. But a small plate of string beans that were highly unmemorable (at dessert, when I said it was much better than the first course, all three of my companions said, "What was the first course? I forgot.") and a mound of dandelion greens in bacon grease with two pieces of fatty bacon on top is NOT a meal. I will admit the large lemon square with a terrific salty crust for dessert was good, but I left feeling like it was oversized to make me forget that it was essentially all I'd eaten.

Rarely have I felt so taken in by a place. Is anyone with me?

Apr 22, 2009
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs

Motorino Pizza on Graham

Went on Easter Sunday. Airy space, fun to watch the pizzas being made. I thought the pie was pretty darn delicious. The oil and sea salt really make the flavours pop. Unlike some others, I found the dough to be fluffy inside, crisp and chewy on the outside, and very moreish. I found the tomato sauce to be kind of plain, but they do it on purpose--imported tomatoes, prepared simply, no garlic or onions cooked with the tomatoes. If you like clean honest tomato flavour, it's for you. Otherwise, maybe ask for extra garlic. Hubby said he thought he could taste each ingredient separately rather than one glorious symphony of tastes, but that is a quibble and possibly a matter of opinion as to which is more desirable. I thought the pies were a fine size for the price & quality of ingredients.

Apr 13, 2009
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs

What are the most overrated DC restaurants?

Was in DC this weekend. Found two places to add to the "overrated" board: Founding Farmers and Burma Restaurant.

Founding Farmers. Such a disappointment. I ordered the burger because I thought it would be simple, tasty and a no-brainer. Medium rare came out thoroughly grey and rubbery. I sent it back and got another one identically grey and overcooked. The meat tasted like cardboard. And they had no mustard except French's. Come on.

Burma restaurant: everyone loves it because it's an exotic cuisine. True. But the food is actually terrible--those people in the kitchen don't care and are just riding on their reputuation and laughing at you. Trust me. I've lived in Burma. Note that all the rave reviews posted on the wall are from the 90's. Don't waste your money.

Shang, in Thompson LES

Took the mother-in-law last week and was nervous because of the mixed reviews. But I liked it, and she loved it. The reviewer who said you feel like you ate a feast that was clean, light and elegant was spot on.

Sure, you can get similar food in Chinatown, especially if you order the more standard Chinese fare. But the slightly fusion/"nouveau" Chinese dishes were, I thought, worth the not insignificant price. Everyone is right to like the Singapore slaw. The XO prawns were also well enjoyed by my table, as well as the octopus.

The clunker was the scallop and chorizo. Tiny, overpriced and muddy tasting.

A dish that hasn't gotten a lot of attention but which was blow-me-away good was the pancakes with foie gras and blackcurrant jam. OMG, so good. Almost as good was the simple mantou bread--it had a satisfying, slightly greasy crisp outside and fluffy inside, almost like a savoury doughnut. Terrific for sopping up the nice sauces.

Go, order wisely, and enjoy.

Apr 03, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Quiet lunch near Columbus Circle?

Hello, I need to have a business lunch (for 2 persons) near Columbus Circle tomorrow. Any ideas for somewhere simple, not expensive, and quiet, and which will take reservations or not be so busy that we can't get a table? Thanks!

Mar 26, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Macao Trading Co

I agree with the post above. Fun for the scene (although it's loud), but the food was not that great and I wouldn't go back. The cocktails were good (Dragon's Milk and the kaffir lime-infused gin one). Between four of us we ordered seven or eight small plates and three mains--nothing was bad, but nothing really was memorable, except perhaps the bacalao fried rice. Yes, the lamb meatballs were good. All the greens were tasty too and the "ants crawling up a tree" was a bargain, a huge plate of pork noodles for $11. My friends (who lived in Hong Kong and loved Macanese food for its fusion quality) were disappointed that there was either Chinese or Portuguese food, but not Macanese food (the bacalao fried rice being the one exception).

Mar 09, 2009
chowbeth in Manhattan

Xmas Lunch/Dinner in Mexico City?

Thanks to DiningDiva. Hacienda de Tlalpan was indeed open, stunning and delicious, and we had no trouble getting a cab there and back (and bonus, no traffic). A great recommendation.
Cafe Tacuba in the old city was open for Christmas Eve dinner too for anyone else looking for Xmas dining.

Jan 14, 2009
chowbeth in Mexico

Xmas Lunch/Dinner in Mexico City?

Hi there, you Hounders have great info on Mexico City so I'm hoping you can help me. Meal (lunch or early dinner) for 2 with Mom, Christmas Day. She'll probably want her turkey and stuffing and I would do that too, although a little Mexican twist would be welcome. Looking for something nice and leisurely, price not really an object. Ideas? Thanks!

Dec 19, 2008
chowbeth in Mexico

Ici for a wedding? Any experiences?

I had my rehearsal dinner there two years ago. It was great and the owners were very helpful. You should just go talk to them. As I recall we had the option of just the ground floor or also the upper floor too, which could work for an event and then a dinner space. Or you could do the ceremony in the garden. It's a very cozy space but it won't hold more than about 40 people for dinner in the ground floor.

Dec 16, 2008
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs


Everybody's right. I thought the cheeseburger spring rolls and the reuben fritters were fun ideas, which they are, but the burgers had no flavour and the fritters were mega greasy. I would spend my money elsewhere unless you want to look at the scenesters, in which case just drink.

Dec 01, 2008
chowbeth in Manhattan

real khao sui, anywhere in Manhattan?

Hey Ephramzz,
You missed one at least:
Bangkok Grand Palace 882 First Avenue (btw 49th and 50th)
The rest of the food isn't great, but the khao soi is not terrible. I wouldn't go out of your way, but if your quest really to try 'em all, then go for it!

Nov 28, 2008
chowbeth in Manhattan

Best Thai in Manhattan?

Zabb City is probably the most authentic if you stick to the Isaan-style dishes (laab, spicy salads, etc). Their stir-fries and curries are less good.
Overall, I think Rhong Tiam is the best.

Nov 28, 2008
chowbeth in Manhattan

Top 10 Bars for Beer Snobs

The food at the Spotted Pig is really terrific, and the space is great, but it is uber-trendy and popular so you always have to wait. But the bar is pretty big to wait at and serves good British pub beers that are hard to find in other places, like Old Speckled Hen.

Nov 17, 2008
chowbeth in Manhattan

Best Old School Bar with Best Burger in Manh

Seems like Corner Bistro on Jane Street would fit your bill too, especially on a weeknight when it's not so packed. I like all the bars you name and CB is in that genre, plus it always gets ranked as one of the best burgers in the city.

Nov 17, 2008
chowbeth in Manhattan

O'Henry Bars

Yes, your urgency is very intriguing. Why don't you telephone and check with Dylan's Candy Bar, in Manhattan around 3rd/60th?

Nov 17, 2008
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs

Chao Thai

I read this post and was excited all week to be blown away at Chao. Was pleased when we arrived that 3/4 of the clientele were Thai. But in the end, Hubby and I were pretty disappointed. We tried to order most of what was highly recommended on this post as well as a few of our faves from our days living in Bangkok, and we explained we'd lived there and could really do "phet maak maak" (Thai spicy). But the food was only ok. Genuine flavours, but kind of muted and not really spicy, only midly nose-running.
We had:
Fried watercress w/chili (pak boong fai deng): Hubby found it too fish-pastey, and it was soggy.
Laab pork: not spicy, not very bright-tasting
Soft shell crab with mango salad: not bad
Three buddies salad (yam sam grob): ok
Pork with string bean & curry paste (moo pad phrik ging): pretty good, with fresh crisp beans and fairly spicy, but not much like the curry paste we used to eat almost daily in Bangkok. (It was good heated up the next day, maybe better.)

Did I hit a bad day??
Anyway: I won't go again. Rhong Tiem is considerably better in Manhattan, and if I'm trekking to Queens, I'd definitely stick with Sripraphrai.

Chao Thai
85-03 Whitney Ave, Queens, NY 11373

Nov 17, 2008
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs

Senegalese/West African near Brooklyn Flea/BBG?

Joloff (Senegalese) is great! I went without big expectations because it was so cheap and the website does not do it justice. But: it's cute as anything inside, the staff is nice, the clientele was cool and varied, and the food was really good. Bright fresh flavours and huge portions. I had the chicken with okra & tomato sauce, others had the chicken mafe and the lamb chops with lemon sauce, and everybody was really pleased. This place deserves more love. Only flaw was that the service was slow, but for a relaxed dinner with friends, it's terrific. The weird juices (baobab anyone??) are a bonus. No liquor license but you can BYOB.

Nov 10, 2008
chowbeth in Outer Boroughs