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first visit to chicago

thanks kathryn, i'll look into that. BTW, in the fall on the manhattan board you recommended i go to motorino for pizza...went to forcella instead. i should have listened lol

Feb 28, 2012
yosh1 in Chicago Area

first visit to chicago

one sister sounded (and looked, on the website) great, unfortunately she's booked up that weekend - thanks tho

Feb 28, 2012
yosh1 in Chicago Area

first visit to chicago

My wife is flying me to chicago for four nights over easter weekend to take me for a (belated) birthday dinner at alinea(sun night). We ate at mugaritz in spain last summer and i'm really excited to compare the two. I've also booked topolobampo for fri lunch, and the girl and the goat for mon dinner. We've reserved easter sun brunch at the publican, but my wife would much rather go to m henry (she loves pancakes) but the no reservation policy worries me a bit (we're hoping to go to the cubs game that afternoon). How much of a problem will we have getting in? As far as fri dinner, i've been trying to book schwa, but haven't had any success yet. I'm going to keep trying, but if we can't get a seating, we still like the idea of doing a smaller, more intimate BYOB that night - thoughts about el ideas, bonsoiree, etc? Sat is going to be more of a casual (re:lots of drinks!) day - deep-dish pizza, maybe hot dougs or something similar, and a blues bar (which one?) at night. I've read some of the postings about chicago pizza places and its no surprise that people are as opinionated here as they were in NY about pizza there, so we still haven't decided which one to go to. Again, any ideas/suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Feb 28, 2012
yosh1 in Chicago Area

too many places too little time

my wife and i and my brother and his wife will be in NYC for 4 days in the middle of Nov. it's our second visit, their first. We are loaded up on the "destination restaurants", lunches at EMP, Jean Georges and Per Se and our final dinner at Le Bernardin (my poor mastercard!). We are also doing the LES tour mentioned before on CH - Russ&Daughters, Katz's, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, et al for our fourth lunch and a dinner at Peter Luger. What i need help on are our two open dinners. One will be pizza - been to Patsy's in Harlem, leaning towards Motorino's; the second dinner a fun, relaxed Italian place - been to Scarpetta, have a reservation for Ciano but what we really want is a neighbourhood spot with good food, fun atmosphere and a reasonable winelist - options include (but certainly not limited to) Da Andrea, Al Di La, Bamontes, Apizz, Frankies Spuntino, Anthony's Pizza. One option is trying Roberta's and having our pizza/ pasta at one place. Oh yeah, somewhere in there i've got to squeeze in Sammy's Halal and would like to hit a Shake Shack as well. Advice?

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Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

Apizz
217 Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002

Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

Da Andrea
35 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

Sugar Sweet Sunshine
126 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Ciano
45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

Motorino
349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Sammy's Halal
6th Ave W 4th St, New York, NY 10012

Nov 01, 2011
yosh1 in Manhattan

Eleven Madison Park Dinner: Prix Fixe or Tasting Menu??

How would you compare the lavender duck at EMP vs the rotisserie duck at momofuku SSam (I saw on your blog you've had both - they looked great). i have a dinner res for 4 @EMP in a few weeks and was thinking of ordering the duck as a supplement to the prix-fixe, which at $35pp means its the same as the $140 charge @momofuku

Oct 23, 2011
yosh1 in Manhattan

two day london dining blitz

having woken up at 4am (local time) July 1st, i've got a dinner reservation for the first day at Dinner, and a lunch res for the second day as well. i'm obviously only keeping one - we have an existing dinner res for Ledbury on the first night too, so my question is there much of a drop off between lunch and dinner at either Dinner or the Ledbury? it looks like the menu at Dinner is the same, unlike the Ledbury, and having a late lunch at Dinner after sight-seeing would be more convenient as well. also, since i think we're going to the Ledbury now, should i skip the Harwood Arms and maybe do the Bull and Last for our "pub night"?

Jul 04, 2011
yosh1 in U.K./Ireland

two day london dining blitz

actually i've read some of your threads about SS while making our choices about where to dine. as far as the Ledbury goes, it sounds great, but it seems like it could be anywhere - so i'm torn. i did do some checking on the Opera Tavern and the pork/foie burger looks great, but i'll be eating tapas for 3 nights in SS so i don't know if i want to eat them in London as well. Dinner sounds appealing (esp the apps) but all the hype has me a little worried

Jun 10, 2011
yosh1 in U.K./Ireland

two day london dining blitz

my wife and i will be in London for the first time for two days in august before heading off to San Sebastian. Since we have reservations in SS at Mugaritz and Akalare, we've decided it would be financial overkill to try and get reservations at the Fat Duck...but would still like to do one of London's "destination" restaurants, perhaps for lunch. we touch down monday around 1pm, and are staying in the tower hill area, so we'd thought a late lunch at Tayyabs/Needoo Grill, and then a late (midnight!) dinner reservation at St John Hotel. we'll probably hit a pub (or two) inbetween, maybe the Harp in convent garden, though we are certainly open to suggestions. we have a reservation at Harwood Arms for quiz night dinner tuesday, and were wondering where to go for lunch. while i'd love to head out to Whitstable and visit the Sportsman, my wife is unimpressed with that idea...so where should we go? the Ledbury has consistently fantastic reviews on site, but is it a place that could be in any world class restaurant city? would we be better off trying to get a reservation at Dinner for a more "only in London" experience? chowhounders, any thoughts?

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St Johns Restaurant
24 Sir Thomas Street, Liverpool L1 6JB, GB

Jun 10, 2011
yosh1 in U.K./Ireland

Sushi In Tokyo

one of the guide books mentions grills under the tracks and we're all over that kind of thing (although they didn't refer to it as "piss alley "). since it doesn't look like i'm going to get in to one of the higher-end sushi places barring a last-minute cancellation, can anyone recommend somewhere memorable to go that we'd actually be able to get in to? i've e-mailed aronia with no response yet so i don't have a lot of hope there, and i'm going to guess ryugin is probably going to be just as difficult...and while joel robuchon was the best restaurant i've ever been too, just about every world-class city has a corresponding world-class french restaurant, we'd like this to be "an only in japan" event. Thoughts?

Mar 09, 2011
yosh1 in Japan

Sushi In Tokyo

we are arriving on march 28th so i guess l'osier is not happening. as far as tapas molecular bar, we had a reservation for easter sunday at alinea, and while that is going to have to be pushed back due to our japan trip, we are going to go there so i see your point about choosing more "japan-specific". i've read a bit about daisan harumi on this board, but most of the praise seems to be for mr nagayama during the week. so if you were me, and you had to pick any two sushi restaurants considering anything at this level is going to be leagues better than i've experienced before, either both for lunch or one lunch and one dinner, what would you choose, factoring in being able to get a reservation within 3 weeks and a 20000 yen pp limit on the dinner (less so for the lunch)?
PS sorry to be such a pain but this is something my wife and i really want to experience. we've eaten at 3* french restaurants in france and the US (we're Canadian), but there seems to be something almost elemental about sushi, satisfying like an exemplary steak but with much more subtlety. without completely overblowing the whole thing, which unfortunately i probably have, this is a chance for us to experience something under normal circumstances we can't and since there are lots of other places to visit(and foods to try), aren't sure when we'll get a chance to again.

Mar 07, 2011
yosh1 in Japan

Sushi In Tokyo

Fuku was on my list (i saw it on Bento and it sounded great, as did tatsukichi) but it's always reassuring to have a second positive review. as far as our sushi dining goes, we are budgeting for one high-end lunch for sure, and would like to try one other top sushi place as well, wether its for lunch or dinner kind of depends on if we were to go to an expensive kaiseki restaurant for dinner or not (tho i'm thinking that on our next visit to japan it will be to kyoto and we might wait to do that there) or perhaps something like aronia de takazawa? we are also curious about lunch at l'osier or tapas molecular bar (not sure my wife will eat japanese food for 7 days in a row lol) any thoughts? thanks

Mar 07, 2011
yosh1 in Japan

Sushi In Tokyo

ok, i'm in much the same boat as the original poster. first trip to tokyo(or japan for that matter), don't speak japanese (even tho my mother was japanese), and high-end sushi experience is limited to a trip to sushi yasuda in NYC. from researching this board, and a few dining blogs, i think we're going to tsukiji market for a sushi breakfast, a set lunch at sushi saito (tuna is my wife's favorite) and another meal at a top (michelin rated or not) sushi restaurant so we can compare. have looked at usual suspects from this board, sawada (leaning towards), daisan harumi, mizutani (squid is one of my favorites), and kyubei. any advice? is it worth the stretch to do a set dinner instead of another set lunch? while i'm asking for help, i may as well go all in and get feedback on our choices so far: seigetsu; nodaiwa (unagi- my favorite); narutomi/honmura an; menya kissou. need a yakatori rec, preferably a small hole-in-the-wall locals place that is somewhat gaijin friendly(reasonably priced is a bonus) - assuming that's not birdland? any other cheap but good eating/drinking recs for dinner would also be appreciated. thanks

Mar 07, 2011
yosh1 in Japan

dining choices for small wedding group

sorry i've been unable to respond til now...it's been nuts. the rehearsal dinner is only going to be for 6 people, 2 of whom weren't blown away by galatoires, the other 2 who are abstainers and non-foodies, and ourselves. i'm pretty sure they would enjoy bozo's quite a bit, while my fiancee and i could visit galatoires and take it all in just the two of us...it will probably be a last minute decision based on how everyone feels. just a couple of additional questions...how good are the steaks at la boca and is verti marte open yet? (gotta get an all that jazz, it wouldn't be a trip to NO without one!)

Dec 06, 2010
yosh1 in New Orleans

dining choices for small wedding group

myself, my bride-to-be and about 20 other hungry canadians will be in NO for 5 nights for our wedding. some of us are frequent visitors, others have never been. there are tried and true favorites we're going to, but we haven't been to NO for a few years so i could use some help(we will have a car). the rough itinerary looks like so
wed lunch(plane lands just before 2): either crabby jacks, boucherie or cochon
dinner(about 8 of us): either brigtsens or galatoires(been to NO 8x and have
never gone!)
thurs lunch: redfish grill(its in our hotel)
dinner: either bozo's or dinner in our suite for everyone with domenica's pizza
mchardy's chicken, parkway po-boy's and tee-eva's sweet potato pie
(and lots of beer before we go see kermit@vaughn's)
fri breakfast: stanley or elizabeth's
early rehearsal dinner(aaron neville concert@7): either casual @bozos
(if we haven't already gone) or galatoires(6 newbies on fri aft -
will we enjoy it?)
sat lunch: bayona for groomsmen
wedding dinner: august
sun brunch: mr b's(love the bbq shrimp)
dinner: commanders
mon lunch: dickie brennan's steakhouse (extra banana fosters bread pudding for
honeymoon plane ride)
basically the big question is about galatoires. we would really like to try bozos, but for our rehearsal dinner should we choose galatoires? also, we will be coming back for 3 nights after the honeymoon, landing on xmas day. coquette, restaurant atchafalaya and mila look good (we have res for sun night @stella). feedback?
thanks ryan

Dec 01, 2010
yosh1 in New Orleans

looking for wedding dinner advice (long(winded) post)

This may sound like a dumb question...but is Donna's still open? We've tried calling and the line is disconnected...so we haven't actually spoke to them for about a month...

Jul 16, 2010
yosh1 in New Orleans

looking for wedding dinner advice (long(winded) post)

thank you, we're hoping it could be something special. Any opinions about the food?

Jul 15, 2010
yosh1 in New Orleans

looking for wedding dinner advice (long(winded) post)

My fiancee's favorite place on earth is New Orleans. So when it came time to plan our wedding, there was only (re: she gave me) one choice. There will be about 30 of us, flying in from Canada, 20 of whom have never been to NO, and about the same number who aren't what you'd call foodies - they enjoy good food, but aren't really that adventurous. The wedding will be in dec, with the ceremony in Jackson Square followed by a second line. We had planned to have dinner at Dickie Brennan's steakhouse, followed by a private reception at Donna's with our favorite zydeco band. We picked Dickie Brennan's because while we do enjoy it, its also a safer choice then August, and more centrally located than Brigtsens or Commander's (we would have picked Gabrielle's had this been pre-Katrina). The problem is that, for the most part, Dickie Brennan's could be in any major US city, that there is very little inherently New Orleans about it. So we were thinking, what if we did the dinner at Donna's as well? We know its not a conventional wedding venue for sure (a little decrepit, but with charm), but as long as the food is good (we haven't eaten there but have tried some of Charlie's recipes that he wrote out on a cocktail napkin and they were pretty good), the fun factor, we think, would make up for it. And it really would be an "only in New Orleans" event. New Orleans' chowhounders, any thoughts?

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Brigtsen's Restaurant
723 Dante St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Jul 14, 2010
yosh1 in New Orleans

Vegas Return

Do any of these places have pozole?

Mar 14, 2010
yosh1 in Las Vegas

Help me with Vegas

i've already booked Robuchon and i've got one free night available...i'm trying to decide between the (probably) taste of wynn menu@Alex or spending a little (or maybe alot) more and going to Savoy. I think the taste of wynn is a pretty good deal for 89$, and was wondering if you could tell me what i could expect a three-course wine pairing to cost (i really hate the 3X-4X mark-up that seems to be standard in Vegas). Do you know if BYO is allowed?

Mar 12, 2010
yosh1 in Las Vegas

Vegas Return

Actually, I printed the Stripsteak coupon as well, but I think we're going to skip it because of the so-so reviews. And I made a reservation at Robuchon after talking to the hostess who was very gracious with all my questions and requests. I was a little worried about "attitude" at Robuchon, but she helped alleviate this somewhat. Maybe, if time permits, we'll try the Bubbles and Bites Bar@Savoy

Mar 05, 2010
yosh1 in Las Vegas

Vegas Return

Returning to Vegas for the last week of March. Our last (and first) visit was decidedly hit-and-miss, with the hits being off-Strip (Lotus, La Mexicana) and the misses (Cut - very disappointing) being some of the higher-end Strip places. However, with the economic downturn and the resulting incentives to get diners back (ie, Taste of Wynn, various pre-theatre deals, Robuchon's prix-fixe) we are going to give it another shot. We have reservations for Raku and Lotus, and are probably going to do lunch at two of Los Molcajetes, Los Antojos, and Mundo (can't get good Mexican in fridgid Canada), and breakfast/brunch at Bouchon and Country Club@Wynn (how is the Sunday brunch?). What I need is help deciding on one, possibly two dinners from a list of: pre-theatre@Le Cirque or Michael Mina, Alex -Taste of Wynn, TGV menu@Guy Savoy, or the three/four course @Robuchon. Cost isn't as much of an issue as feeling it was worth it. We ate at Picasso last time, and while it was very good (beautiful surroundings, excellent service), the meal itself wasn't revelatory - in my experience, I'd compare it to Scarpetta in NY, simple ingredients well executed, but not ground-breaking. The problem was Picasso was over three times as much as Scarpetta. It's just that feeling of "wow, that's it?" after the meal is done and the fare is presented. Recommendations?

Mar 04, 2010
yosh1 in Las Vegas

If you had to pick ONE Italian restaurant...

i got a dinner res for EMP for sat night (must have been a cancellation) so i'm thinking more of a neighbourhood place for sun - good food, lots of wine. there's al di la but we've got res for mon at peter luger so i don't know if i want to spend two nights in brooklyn (we're only here for three)

Oct 23, 2009
yosh1 in Manhattan

If you had to pick ONE Italian restaurant...

Want to do an "Italian" day on the 31st. Going to Nick's pizza in Forest Hills for lunch (we'll be out that way...is there any parking around there?), need a rec for dinner. We are probably looking at a late night seating, so reservations shouldn't be an issue. Open to neighbourhood joints, or more upscale as long as its not stuffy, quality of food (esp pastas) is paramount. Have a res@Marea, but open to Convivio, Scarpetta, Apizz or just about anything else as long as its memorable. Resonable wine list is a plus so what would you choose?

Oct 22, 2009
yosh1 in Manhattan

first visit to NYC

chicken and waffles

Oct 16, 2009
yosh1 in Manhattan

first visit to NYC

As far as halloween sat for a late night dinner, i was thinking maybe going to NY noodletown after watching the parade instead of Marea. i would still like to do Italian, tho. Besides Convivio and Scarapetta any advice? How about Al di La in brooklyn?

Oct 16, 2009
yosh1 in Manhattan

first visit to NYC

RGR,
looking at your photos helped me decide on going to EMP. Everything looks great. Any recs on the 2 for $28 menu? Also, can you add dishes like @JG? Thanks

Oct 16, 2009
yosh1 in Manhattan

first visit to NYC

from what i've read, EMP seems more like the atmosphere we'd like. excellent service, beautiful space, but perhaps not a formal or 'uptight' as JG. I have a reservation for mon lunch

Oct 16, 2009
yosh1 in Manhattan

first visit to NYC

i have reservations for JG for monday lunch and Marea for a late Sat dinner (~10). these are not set in stone, as i could swap EMP for JG, or try Scarpetta or Convivio instead of Marea. Anyone with any thoughts?

Oct 16, 2009
yosh1 in Manhattan

first visit to NYC

Thanks RGR. Would you pick Keen's over Peter Luger's? The reason i keep going back to it is it's reputation as the best steak on earth (at least that's what we hear out in the boonies)

Oct 09, 2009
yosh1 in Manhattan

first visit to NYC

We're going to be in the village to see the halloween parade so i thought about Keste for dinner before, but the reviews i read were mixed. And with Peter Luger's, the problem is there really is not much better than a really good steak. You just never know how good the cut you get on a certain night is going to be. So I keep saying I'll never do another high-end steakhouse, but...

Oct 09, 2009
yosh1 in Manhattan