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Best macaroons?

Highly recommend La Maison du Macaron! They have some fabulous flavors.

Just to clarify the difference between macarons and macaroons. They both come from a common origin of an almond paste/meringue cookie made with no flour, and thus gluten-free. However, "macaroons" (pronounced with a long O) evolved into a chewy coconut confection, while "macarons" (pronounced mah/kah/roh) evolved into an almond flour based two-part filled cookie.

Jun 28, 2014
j. marie in Manhattan

Get to DeRobertis Pasticceria before it's too late

It's already too late - let's just mourn for the place it was in its heyday. Judging from the quality of the cannoli that I purchased and did not finish the other day, I would say kindly that the owner's heart is just not into his pastry business.

May 31, 2014
j. marie in Manhattan

Where is the best EGGPLANT PARM in the city?

John's of 12th Street has a great eggplant parm.

Sep 06, 2013
j. marie in Manhattan

Need some good recs near East 15th Street

That is a pretty comprehensive list, alkonost.

I would add:

Little Poland for a really decent breakfast and cup of coffee when you don't want to walk as far as Veselka or deal with the crowds there;

John's of 12th Street for dinner - good red-sauce Italian, reasonably priced, place has 100+ years of history, love the Tuscan ragu;

De Robertis for Italian cookies - recommend the bird-seed cookies, also has 100+ years of history!

Mar 13, 2013
j. marie in Manhattan

Can you recommend a brand of Pumpkin butter?

Some TJ stores may still have some. I found mine right before New Year's at the Edgewater, NJ store, so it's possible that one of the NYC stores still has some in stock. I don't know if it's possible to call the individual stores and find out.

Jan 05, 2013
j. marie in General Topics

Chicken at NoMad - is it that good?

Yes, the chicken is most definitely that good. Really and truly the most amazing chicken I have ever had.

Jan 04, 2013
j. marie in Manhattan

Can you recommend a brand of Pumpkin butter?

I recently picked up a jar of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter and thought it was very good. Very pumpkin-y, not overly sweet, and with a nice blend of spices.

Jan 04, 2013
j. marie in General Topics

Momofuku Ssam Bar, Pegu Club and The Dutch

Wow. Well it sounds like the recipe as it was originally served. The addition of the leg meat to the breast meat would have made it really yummy to a duck lover as myself. I just don't recall the specifics of the first time I had the dish, just that I loved it. However, on my visit last month when I noticed something other than duck meat between the skin and breast the server confirmed that it was pork sausage. Maybe they only do the upscale duck meat version for the dinner menu and serve the less expensive pork sausage for the lunch menu?

Dec 31, 2012
j. marie in Manhattan

Momofuku Ssam Bar, Pegu Club and The Dutch

It's an interesting discussion, but the first mention I see of pork is in a 2012 comment. The link to the NYT blog announcing the lunch menu talks about the new duck lunch, no mention of pork. Would the May 2011 glowing comparison with EMP's duck been made had there been pork sausage in that dish? An online search turned up enthusiastic descriptions and reviews of the duck rotisserie up to the fall of 2011 with no mention of pork; the first mentions of the pork sausage (both complementary and not) show up in early 2012. Whether or not one likes this preparation, I cannot understand why the chef isn't upfront about including pork sausage in the description instead of hiding it behind an asterisk. It just seems unnecessarily sneaky. And it made me feel foolish as a customer to discover this after I ordered, which is why I won't return.

Dec 30, 2012
j. marie in Manhattan

Momofuku Ssam Bar, Pegu Club and The Dutch

My first visit to Momofuku Ssam was shortly after they started offering the lunchtime rotisserie duck over rice. Amazing and wonderful meal. A year later, about a month ago, I went back for the same dish and found myself not loving it quite so much. It seems they've got a little asterisk on the menu that mentions that the duck rotisserie also contains pork. They are now serving a layer of pork sausage between the duck skin and the duck meat, which makes it a different dish than what the menu implies:

DUCK
rotisserie duck over rice*
– duck scallion, ssam sauce, crispy shallot
– add lettuce
– add chive pancake

And yes, while the asterisk refers to "*please note, the following duck dishes contain pork", if you're looking for the word "duck" you're not likely to see the reference to pork. So I'm disappointed that I did not experience the duck that I was craving, nor can I continue to recommend to friends that eat only poultry. It seems pretty deceptive to change the dish and not the description. Were they thinking they could lower the cost basis of the dish and people wouldn't notice?

Dec 30, 2012
j. marie in Manhattan

Omnivore visiting NY with an herbivore

They could try John's of 12th Street. Pretty traditional "red-sauce" Italian food, but they are very accommodating to vegans and vegetarians.

Aug 04, 2012
j. marie in Manhattan

Union Square Greenmarket - who sells spray-free produce?

The best way to find out is to ask directly about whether they spray, and if so, at what point in the growing cycle and what their overall philosophy is on spraying. While "certified organic" tells you that there is no spraying, there are farmers who aren't certified organic who follow the strictures of organic farming, as well as farmers who generally don't spray unless it's absolutely necessary. (Tomato disease a couple of years ago pretty much made it impossible to find a tomato that wasn't sprayed that summer, so there were virtually no "organic" tomatoes.) I don't know specifically the answer on the apples, but I recall having some interesting and educational conversations with farmers at the Union Square Greenmarket about blueberry spraying as to whether the fruit itself was sprayed or only the plants at the beginning of the season before the edible fruit started forming.

Dec 11, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

Where to buy delicata squash in Manhattan?

I saw some, but in very small quantity, on Saturday at the Union Square Greenmarket. Also, the ones I saw Saturday were rather small and not like the ones sold in greater quantity a few weeks back.

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Union Square Greenmarket
Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

Nov 21, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

Il Vagabondo or John's on 12th?

If the OP is truly interested in real old-school I would discount some of the places mentioned above, some of which don't seem to fit the category of real old-school and also seem rather expensive. It's been years since I've been to Il Vagabondo and I wasn't impressed, but maybe it's gotten better? Haven't been to Rocco's but have heard some good things. I do get to John's every so often and enjoy the place and the food. There was a period of time when the food was not the best, but it seems that over the past couple of years they got their focus back and the food is as delicious as I remember when I first started going many years back.

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John's of 12th Street
302 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Nov 19, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

wedding lunch on a sunday in december for 25-30 people, must be italian

I've been to a few private parties at John's of 12th Street. Menu is Italian and they have several party menus in different price ranges.

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John's of 12th Street
302 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Sep 16, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

Looking for amazing but cheap Italian place for casual birthday dinner

Lil' Frankie's would be a nice choice. Food is good, not too expensive, and you can get a decent glass of wine. They have an amazing chocolate torte for dessert.

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Lil' Frankie's
21 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

Jul 15, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

Vegan & Omnivore - Food Help Needed

The menu at Blue Ribbon doesn't seem to have a great variety of food for vegans, who eat no animal products whatsoever (including fish). The challenge for FoodFemme is to find a place that serves omnivore food but also has a variety of vegan main courses and is willing to understand and respect the rules of vegan cooking when preparing those dishes. The alternative is to find a vegan restaurant that serves such wonderfully done vegan food that an omnivore can also enjoy. Candle 79 falls into this category (wonderful place), and I'm sure Blossom would, too (haven't tried it myself yet). I'm omnivore but have dined with vegans on several occasions. It can be challenging for them to dine at non-vegan restaurants as they can't always trust that the kitchen understands that they cannot throw butter or chicken stock into a vegetable or grain dish.

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Candle 79
154 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021

Jul 09, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

Vegan & Omnivore - Food Help Needed

John's of 12th Street has been offering a vegan menu alongside its regular Italian dishes. Sounds like that should accommodate both omnivore and vegan.

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John's of 12th Street
302 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Jul 08, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

Milkbar overrated

Agree on the Stollen. Amazing stuff and I'll look for it again next holiday season. But I was unimpressed by the red velvet soft serve I tried once, and some of the other things I've tried were way too sweet for my taste.

Jun 09, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

lobster

The lobsters at Centro Vasco are always done to perfection and they have a variety of sizes.

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Francisco's Centro Vasco
159 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

Mar 24, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

Looking for a restaurant in NYC making its own seitan good enough to write an article about it

The seitan scallopini at John's of 12th Street is amazing and is house-made.

Mar 03, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

Best So-Cal Mexican...Jalapeno!

Thanks for that suggestion. Years ago a SoCal native introduced me to his version of Mexican food, and I've never found a place in NYC that matched his cooking. (His father was from Mexico and had a successful restaurant in L.A. way back when.) It's a distinctive taste and style that I find to be a very clean and straightforward type of "tasty".

One of the yardsticks I use is the quality of the rice. It must be fluffy, and that generally comes from browning the rice beforehand. Not a lot of people know about that.

Mar 02, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

Looking for local MILK to use for cheese making?

Milk Thistle is my all time favorite milk, and if I were making cheese this is what I would use. This is where you can find:
http://www.milkthistlefarm.com/buy.php

Mar 02, 2011
j. marie in Manhattan

Old-School Italian restaurant suggestions

John's of 12th Street is a good choice if you're looking for authentic old school. They've got the 100 year history and the Prohibition-era candle, plus I think the food is pretty good and not overly expensive.

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John's of 12th Street
302 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Dec 13, 2010
j. marie in Manhattan

Farmstead/ Artisinal Cheese on UWS?

Ardith Mae sells their goat cheese at both the Columbia and the 77th St & Columbus Greenmarkets on Sundays. I find their chevre to be the best around, but I'm fond of their aged cheeses as well. Nice people, too.

Dec 05, 2010
j. marie in Manhattan

Burgers at the Brindle Room?

I rarely order burgers these days because I'm fussy about them and I hate to be disappointed. Stopped into Brindle Room for lunch just about a month ago (my first visit) and enjoyed one of the best burgers around. I'd say it's definitely worth a visit.

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Brindle Room
277 E 10th St, New York, NY 10009

Nov 18, 2010
j. marie in Manhattan

Yuba (tofu skin): Where can i get it in NYC?

I'm a huge fan of the yuba rolls served in broth at Mana on Amsterdam near 92nd St. I usually take an extra order home with me.

Oct 29, 2010
j. marie in Manhattan

Recommendations for East Village

Don't see a mention for red sauce Italian, but an inexpensive option is John's of 12th Street. Prices are reasonable and portions are large and it's one of the few places that still has tablecloths. They serve a great chicken parm. Lobster meatballs are good, too.

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John's of 12th Street
302 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Aug 09, 2010
j. marie in Manhattan

Per se

I've been to Per Se three times, and for me, the experience was memorable and worth it. By "experience" I define it as a combination of out-of-this-world food, impeccable service, and sharing the meal with others who were in on experiencing the magic. Without all three of those components it becomes a very expensive, albeit wonderful, meal. Depends on what your mindset is about your expectations as to whether it's worth the money.

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Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Jul 10, 2010
j. marie in Manhattan

Vegetarian Restraunts on the Upper West Side?

Mana is not 100% vegetarian as they have a few fish dishes on the menu. However, if you ignore the fish dishes everything else is vegan. I've been going there for years and always find the food fresh and delicious. Highly recommend going on weekends for delicious pancakes.

Jun 17, 2010
j. marie in Manhattan