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Help with new parents' rare night out

It's almost my birthday so we trying to plan to get a sitter and go out for a nice meal. Pre-baby, we might have tried to get a reservation at someplace like Le Bernadin (pre-fixe, multicourse, dress up, expensive, etc.). Now, I think we'd prefer something more laid back but still refined -- I am thinking more along the lines of Craft, but not Craft as that's where we went the only other time we've done this in the last year. I think we're open to anything, but not huge sushi-eaters.

Jan 09, 2013
JMJD in Manhattan

Please help -- Location for Sunday afternoon family party, 30 -40 people, Brooklyn Heights & vicinity

Target price is around $30 per person if that sounds reasonable, including food and room together. Alcohol is probably not a factor since it's an afternoon and not a drinking group.

In terms food preference -- there will be kids so needs to be kid-friendly. No specific types of food desired/ruled out, though I think for this kind of an event we'd prefer more standard fare (probably not a dim sum hall or anything as an example.)

Apr 22, 2012
JMJD in Outer Boroughs

Please help -- Location for Sunday afternoon family party, 30 -40 people, Brooklyn Heights & vicinity

We're looking for a location to host a small family gathering, 30-40 people, somewhere in Brooklyn on a Sunday afternoon in June. We're in Brooklyn Heights but would be fine with a place anywhere in Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill or even Park Slope if the location is good.

Also OK with recommendations for places where we can rent a room and bring in food though would prefer a place that comes with tables & chairs so we don't have to rent.

Apr 22, 2012
JMJD in Outer Boroughs

reasonable upper west side location for a wedding rehearsal dinner

I think kefi has a private room and a good atmosphere for a large celebratory event. Greek food. Good luck!

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Kefi
505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

Jan 14, 2012
JMJD in Manhattan

Cafe Boulud Tasting Menu w/ Preg wife...What will they cut? What should I pay?

They are not altering courses, they are serving fewer courses....I feel like other places of that caliber would accommodate this by substituting courses that are more appropriate for the poster's wife....I would go elsewhere. No sense haggling over what should be a pleasant experience. Though if your reservation is soon it may be difficult.

Jun 27, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

Lamb in manhattan

Really liked the lamb chops at Devi although it has been a while since I have been there. Not sure if it is under $30 or not.

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Devi
8 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003

May 31, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

Grand Cayman -- special occasion?

Heading to Grand Cayman and interested in suggestions for a special occasion dinner besides Eric Ripert's Blue. More interested in the food than the setting -- the view is more of a nice to have. Price-wise would like to keep it around $200 if that is reasonable. (Probably won't be ordering bottles of wine as we're not really drinkers.)

Am also curious whether things are walkable in the Seven Mile Beach area in terms of being able to walk to restaurants for dinner. (Safety? Sidewalks?) Do you need to take cabs to get to non-hotel restaurants? Are there places that are a quick walk for inexpensive breakfast/lunch?

Thanks!

May 21, 2011
JMJD in Latin America & Caribbean

Day Walking/Eating in Soho and the Villages

Would add in Despana in Soho -- they have an area in the back where you can sit and have some tapas.

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Despana
408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

May 07, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

Jewish food

Zabars is probably worth a stop if you are going to Barney Greengrass -- they have good knishes in a variety of flavors (in the back by the chickens), and a lot of people like the rugelach. And smoked fish/appetizing to go.

Would skip Ben's unless Kosher is on your agenda. Katz's is worth the attention it gets for the pastrami. Have heard good things about the matzoh ball soup at Second Ave. Deli. Would also say that you may want to check the Boroughs board for Mile End -- it is actually Montreal style Jewish food, not NY style, but they have some interesting stuff.

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Zabar's
2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

May 07, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

Italian Waiters

Go early or late (or on a weeknight, early in the week) if you want to catch Carmine in a chatty mood. Sometimes he's out of town too....

Apr 21, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

Fried Green Tomatoes?

Dinosaur has good ones though I am no expert...and the rest of the food is pretty good too. Might be a fun experience for europeans

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Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
777 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

Apr 08, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

green couscous from maoz

Is it tabbouleh? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabbouleh
)If so it was not couscous -- it is bulgar with lemon juice and parsley. But maybe I am wrong and they do have green couscous...

Apr 05, 2011
JMJD in Home Cooking

Jacques Torres Brooklyn

Ice cream doesn't start until later in the season I don't think. (But it is great when it is open!)
Otherwise it's worthwhile....hot chocolate (esp. the wicked), chocolate-covered cornflakes & cookies are all good!

Apr 03, 2011
JMJD in Outer Boroughs

Dining Suggestions

I don't know if Craftbar is that special...and not sure about Rouge Tomate. I think you could possibly swap those out. But in terms of must eat -- it depends on where you're from, what you can't get there that you can get here, those types of variables.

If you've never had deli, go to Katz's. If you don't get good Chinese, check out Flushing. If you've never had great smoked fish, try Barney Greengrass. There's a lot to NYC outside of places that take reservations....

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Barney Greengrass
541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Katz's Delicatessen
205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Rouge Tomate
10 East 60th Street, New York, NY 10022

Mar 29, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

Feeding a 13-year Old Boy

Keste is more like the pizza you would get in Italy....John's is more of a NY style pizza experience. You may want to try both. Search the boards for recommendations for NY style pizza, but places like Keste, Motorino and Co are a different kind of pizza.

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

Mar 29, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

Feeding a 13-year Old Boy

Katz's for deli....order pastrami (don't go and order turkey or silly things like that)
Pizza -- search the boards, NYC pizza is better than Toronto pizza
Balthazar or Pastis might be fun for a trendy/bistro kind of night.
Shake Shack also seems appropriate given the age.
To stretch -- maybe a steakhouse? Keen's could be fun and there are many other options.

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Keens
72 West 36th St., New York, NY 10018

Shake Shack
Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

Pastis
9 9th Ave, New York, NY 10014

Balthazar
80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Mar 28, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

what is the best caesar dressing?

Fairway has its own in a bottle that I like -- it's a bit mayonnaise-y but I think the flavor is good. And it's not a bottle of chemicals. (Also like their "spring joy" and one that tastes almost like sour cream -- can't remember if it is ranch or blue cheese.) If you want to sample before you commit to a bottle, buy a boxed salad.

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Fairway Market
2350 12th Ave, New York, NY 10027

Fairway Market
2127 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Mar 21, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

My love/hate relationship with Fairway

The chaos is part of the experience....have never had horrible luck with the produce and appreciate the selection. Since we moved, it is the one thing I truly miss -- I used to be able to stop by the 72nd street store to pick up some meat or fish on my way home. There's nothing that compares where I live now, and no place really to buy fish at all. When I can get to Fairway it's a treat.

I've often wished they'd open a smaller satellite store that just carries meat/fish/produce/prepared foods/bakery and maybe cheese (forget the groceries I can buy elsewhere). Yes, I'd rather buy the groceries from them too because their prices are better, but what most neighborhoods in NYC truly need are good stores with decent versions of those items.

Mar 13, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

Steak Frites For 8-Year Old

Would say Landmarc....not as interesting as Balthazar or DBGB overall but very kid friendly. I think they bring the kids cotton candy for dessert. Not sure about reservations but just call...

Mar 06, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

ISO World's Best Mac 'n' Cheese

I like the Cook's Illustrated recipe, made with mostly cheddar and some deli american cheese (not kraft singles). It's got evaporated milk and maybe 1 egg and is done on the stovetop.

I added the american cheese to the mix after reading an NYT article on mac & cheese many years ago -- they said that the oils and whatever that they put into the velveeta style cheeses (like American) help make a better smoother texture than just straight cheddar.

Jan 23, 2011
JMJD in Home Cooking

Hill Country Fried Chicken

So it was pricey, but I have to admit I really liked the home made chick-fil-a sandwich. Sides were OK and didn't try pies, but also -- refillable Boylan's soda? Awesome!

Jan 04, 2011
JMJD in Manhattan

Picky mom in town advice!

I saw Five Points mentioned but not Cookshop...I think that could be a decent option for mom. I also think Jane might work.

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Five Points
31 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

Dec 30, 2010
JMJD in Manhattan

Wine and Cheese restaurant recommendation

There's a wine and cheese bar called Caselulla (might be spelling that wrong) in Hell's Kitchen that's great. Artisanal is a french bistro that specializes in cheese -- the atmosphere is noisy and loud and it's a big room but great cheese/wine. More off the radar....Celeste is an Italian restaurant on the UWS where the owner (if he's not in Italy) will pay special attention to you if you are into wine (particularly expensive wine) and his cheese plate, which includes some interesting selections he claims to have smuggled back from Italy. Would recommend going late just for wine/cheese because it's super crowded during regular dinner hours.

Dec 27, 2010
JMJD in Manhattan

Favorite thing to cook in a cast iron skillet

Wow thanks everyone....you've got me craving cornbread and bacon now!

Dec 21, 2010
JMJD in Home Cooking

Favorite thing to cook in a cast iron skillet

Thinking of getting one and wondering what's your favorite dish to cook in it? I know people who swear by it to fry stuff (latkes, chicken) but what else can it do?

Dec 20, 2010
JMJD in Home Cooking

Best UWS Italian take-out / delivery option?

For next time...Fairway has had some pretty good Italian food in their prep section and I am sure you could order trays/half trays from them.

I would say Dean's is OK, not great for that type of stuff (pizza is better) but haven't tried the others.

Dec 19, 2010
JMJD in Manhattan

Killer lamb dishes?

The lamb chops at Devi were always very good...yogurt marinated, I think, served with a great pear chutney. Have seen here that they've changed ownership though so not sure if it's still on the menu or as good as it has been.

Dec 06, 2010
JMJD in Manhattan

Where to eat and see in New Year's Eve for my bf's 30th??

You'll find most NY-ers don't want to go to Times Square, but if you feel like you must experience it, go for it in spite of the warnings.

A lot of restaurants in NYC do special New Year's events with champagne toasts and prix fixe menus, often with an earlier seating and a more expensive seating closer to midnight. Take a look at OpenTable.com -- they often have a list of places and what their special celebration is for the evening, along with the costs and the ability to make online reservations.

As for comedy clubs I have never been, but research some of the smaller places online (try NYmag.com or TimeOut) for a more NY type of experience.

Nov 21, 2010
JMJD in Manhattan

Greenwich Village ice cream sundae

Too late for this but I think Blue Ribbon has sundaes....and if it's anything like the outrageous bread pudding it is well worthwhile.

Nov 21, 2010
JMJD in Manhattan

Help! Friday night family dinner, UWS

I like Kefi for this....it's a big place so you should be able to get a reservation for a big group, and the menu has some plain things for the unadventurous. (I always have liked the pork dish with fennel and capers...and the meatball appetizer is also very good.)

I like Bettola but I think it's too small...Ouest is good but a bit pricer, and Landmarc (uptown) is just so-so. I feel like Dovetail is closest to recipe, food-wise, but more sophisticated. But I think it would be beyond the price range.

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Bettola
412 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Kefi
505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

Landmarc
179 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Nov 21, 2010
JMJD in Manhattan