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Apple pectin in Manhattan?

bumping this old thread because I had the same question -- needed apple pectin for a French Laundry recipe for concord grape jellies (served with peanut butter truffles). I found it at LifeThyme Market on 6th Ave. near W. 9th -- looks like apple pectin is alternatively used as a dietary supplement of some kind? Got a 4 oz jar for about $11.

Jun 12, 2012
ellabella in Manhattan

Is Danny Meyer selling EMP?

Oct 04, 2011
ellabella in Manhattan

Nice Green Bo/New Green Bo -- best dishes?

I've been known to make a meal of the soup dumplings and the dry-cooked string beans -- NGB's version has big morsels of the preserved radish, which I actually like better than having it all minced up.

Aug 09, 2011
ellabella in Manhattan

Medium Rare

Thanks for the spirited discussion, all. Taking into account some of the concerns expressed above, here's my bottom-line review, in hopes that it might help someone who is thinking about going to Medium Rare:

(1) In my opinion, if you're a restaurant that does one dish, there's no excuse not to do it impeccably. And if that dish is steak, part of doing it impeccably means cooking it correctly. That's why the quibble about an overdone steak rises above the level of quibble -- to me, at least.

(2) In my opinion, the sauce served at Medium Rare is not good. Think liver, bouillon cubes, and salt -- rather than beef stock, herbs, or butter. On a pragmatic level, this means that if you go, my advice is to order the sauce on the side. Because if you don't, your steak will come swimming in it, and if you -- like me -- don't care for it, even an attractively affordable $19.50 meal can seem not-worth-it.

(3) In my opinion, Medium Rare is not worth a repeat visit, even at such an affordable price. This is in part because the sauce is not palatable to me. But it's also in part because I've seen this exact same concept done elsewhere, and done successfully. MR isn't executing at that level -- at least not yet. So if I want a three-course steak frites prix-fixe, I'll go elsewhere; and if I want to spend $19.50 on dinner, I'll also go elsewhere.

Medium Rare
3500 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington D.C., DC 20008

Medium Rare

Sorry, maybe I should have said that Medium Rare was clearly "inspired by" Le Relais?

Acknowledged in the Washingtonian here, for what it's worth:

I can't speak to Georgetown in the 1970s, as I wasn't alive back then; but I don't just mean to point to the "steak-only" concept -- I mean more generally the concept of a three-course prix-fixe, including salad with mustard vinaigrette, and steak frites served in two portions, with "secret sauce."

In either case, there's clearly nothing wrong with being "inspired by" or even "ripping off" an older existing restaurant. My only point was the Medium Rare seems frankly to invite the comparison with an established chain, and suffers from it.

Medium Rare
3500 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington D.C., DC 20008

Medium Rare

Went to Medium Rare tonight for an early dinner. The place was empty at 6 PM on a Thursday night, perhaps not surprisingly. I was hoping this place would be comparable to Le Relais de Venise l'Entrecôte, which I tried in Manhattan earlier this year. Considering the fact that MR is a blatant rip-off of Le Relais's concept, I thought the quality and execution suffered much by comparison.

We ordered one steak medium, one steak medium-rare. Medium-rare turned out fine, but the purported 'medium' was definitely a bit too close for comfort to well-done. The quality of the meat is fine, though the slices were uneven and the whole thing looks a bit sloppy. The salad was good (butter lettuce leaves, not frisée or 'mixed greens' or iceberg, thankfully; mustardy vinaigrette). The fries were fine.

Above all, though, this "secret sauce" just doesn't do it for me. It tastes mostly like liver. I think it could benefit from a good dose of something delicious -- glace de viande? Mushroom stock? Cream? Butter, even? It seems like they were going for "umami bomb" but tastes like mediocre pâté, melted down.

I suppose you get what you pay for at $19.50 for all, but I won't be going back.

Medium Rare
3500 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington D.C., DC 20008

Malted Milk Powder - where to find?!

Myer's of Keswick on Hudson -- look for Horlick's or Ovaltine (the non-chocolate kind). Last time I was there they carried both.

Myers of Keswick
634 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

May 15, 2011
ellabella in Manhattan

West Village, early Friday dinner

Looking to try a new spot in the West Village/Far West Village -- we have theater tickets for an 8 PM show on 47th Street, so would love to do something relatively low-key, i.e. not requiring a reservation, not too involved (since we have only an hour or an hour and a half to eat), and on the early side, before taking the train uptown. Is there anything good in this category near the Christopher Street subway?

I've been thinking of trying Buvette -- anyone been?

Is Little Owl doable for a walk-in party of 2 around 6 PM on a Friday? I feel like I always see hordes of people on that corner.

Commerce? I've had drinks there and liked the vibe, but how is the food?

Thanks in advance for any quick thoughts on this last-minute brainstorm request...

Little Owl
90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

50 Commerce Street, New York, NY 10014

42 Grove St, New York, NY 10014

Mar 04, 2011
ellabella in Manhattan

Steak Frites in NYC - not the restaurant with the same name, but the dish.

I was here for dinner last weekend after a trip to MoMA, and I really enjoyed it. The prix fixe is $24 for green salad in mustardy vinaigrette + steak frites with their 'secret' sauce. I usually order medium rare but ordered rare here and thought it was perfect. We sprung $24 for a bottle of perfectly serviceable house Cotes de Bordeaux, and I think $7 for profiteroles in a dark chocolate sauce. Simple, and delicious, especially for the price.

Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote
590 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022

Feb 26, 2011
ellabella in Manhattan

Has anyone tried Volt for Brunch?

I had brunch at Volt this weekend and my overall impression was that the food is somewhat better than the restaurant. Like six dower I felt the service was inexperienced and not great -- but the dirty converse sneakers and ill-fitting slacks/button-downs were reflective of the weird mix of formal/informal I think Volt is trying hard to balance.

Highlights -- Shiitake veloute that was rich and flavorful without being too heavy. Four-minute eggs whose flavor was enough to make me believe some of the hype about super-fresh/local eggs. An impeccably cooked, shockingly tender hanger steak with great beef flavor. A nice cheese plate of all-American selections, surprisingly good. Side of smoked bacon that was exactly the right smoky/sweet balance, and very crisp, not too thick-cut.

Lowlights -- cocktail program (really very little that was interesting -- a fairly standard Manhattan, dark & stormy, etc.), with a strange emphasis on super-sweet cocktails (including one with Godiva chocolate liqueur and espresso? ick) (I had something with Lillet and Domaine de Canton that was pretty forgetatble). A bizarre beef cheek omelet containing just a few shreds of beef whose flavor was totally overwhelmed by a super-sharp cheddar cheese (might have been a bad choice on my part). Strange bread service (ice cold butter; supermarket-quality cinnamon roll; 'rosemary' roll with no trace of rosemary flavor; though the biscuits were excellent!).

I don't know if I'd go back. It was a pleasant, bright space but the amateur-ish service seemed at odds with the atmosphere. The brunch menu seems to bounce back and forth between comfort-food favorites with little embellishment or surprise (corned-beef hash; chicken sausage -- you order these things knowing exactly what you're going to get) and slightly higher-end gussied-up lunch dishes like the shiitake veloute or a tuna tartare. That said, at I think $35 for three courses a la carte, not a bad deal at all (if you don't mind the drive). I'll have to do a bit more research before deciding if dinner would be a worthwhile venture.

228 North Market Street, Frederick, MD 21701

Restaurant near McSorley's

i know this is at the very upper end of your $18-30 entree range, but what about faustina in the cooper square hotel? i feel like it would actually be relatively easy to make a meal of their bread, olives, salume, and appetizers. i was there a few weeks ago and loved the poached duck egg & fonduta, the warmed/herbed olives, and both the speck and prosciutto.

25 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003

Nov 02, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

Cheap, Cheap rest between E4th & Grand st.

these are all decidedly toward the southern end of your range, but i like these three viet places. pho grand has maybe the 'nicest' atmosphere -- feels a little more spacious and less clattery than the other two, which are more standard chinatown-esque storefronts (though nam son is much bigger than pho bang). all are casual, cheap, and (relatively) fast (i've had the best service at pho bang -- they can be a little slow at pho grand).

pho bang @ 157 mott
pho grand @ 277 grand
nam son @ 245 grand

Nam Son
245 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

Pho Bang
157 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

Pho Grand
277 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

Oct 02, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

Best fruit in NYC

probably because it's ~3.5 years old! nonetheless, google still works pretty well...

Sep 14, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

Affordable Rustic Italian near Greenwich Village

strong second rec for malatesta -- i love this place. look for good pasta specials and the gnocchi are always delicious. it's not fancy, but authentic and relaxed. note that it's cash only, and depending on what night you're planning to go you should think about making a reservation (it's packed on friday and saturday nights, and pleasantly abuzz most other nights of the week).

Aug 16, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

your favorite desserts that make you fly like scooby doo

sugartoof, i'm always on the hunt for good hamantaschen. where is moshe's? do they make them year-round? is there one kind of filling they do especially well? thanks in advance for more info!

Aug 11, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

West Village - Cheap cheap cheap

taim is fantastic! some other options in the area:
- pinto (thai) on christopher st. does a super-cheap lunch special for something like $8 for the standard two-course appetizer + main. i like their green curry -- nothing exceptional but for the price it's great. also, they deliver if you are working at home.
- if you are looking to get out of the house, i like tartine, though it's not universally loved -- i had excellent moules marinieres there over the weekend, though that probably breaks the ~$12 budget (comes with french fries!).
- baoguette on christopher st. -- also not universally loved, but i've enjoyed the sloppy bao. i get it extra spicy and it does the trick.
- closer to central village, faicco's on bleecker makes ridiculous, enormous sandwiches -- enough for two meals. ~$9?

260 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

253 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

Pho Sure
120 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

118 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014

Jul 26, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

thai in the village

anyone tried pinto on christopher st., near bedford i think? i walk by all the time and have been thinking of trying it. it looks a little more upscale than your standard hole-in-the-wall but the prices seem to match going rates for decent thai.

Jul 23, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

Top 5 "Must Eats" in NYC

i love the cumin lamb hand pulled noodles at xi'an too -- but on a 95+ degree night, those cold liang pi noodles really hit the spot for me (along with the tiger vegetables). i think it's the wheat gluten squares -- i love the texture. and the noodles are just the right amount of chewy. plus, if you order them cold, they are ready in seconds, and you don't have to jockey other takers out of the way!

sad to say, but i've never tried the charcuterie at bar boulud -- but after your description, i can't wait to do so. sounds like a great deal, and very classic french preparations. at lupa, if i remember correctly, the affetati piccolo came with several slices each of prosciutto di parma, speck, and coppa cotta; a bowl of the divine lingua, served with slivered onions in a kind of vinaigrette; and a mosaic-like salad-sized plate of the testa.

Jul 21, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

Top 5 "Must Eats" in NYC

sidestepping the chang/momo debate to suggest:
- lobster roll @ luke's ($14 i think)
- pork burger (better than lamb, i think), liang pi (cold) @ xi'an famous foods (cheap!)
- pretzel croissant @ city bakery ($3.50?)
- peking duck sesame pancake sandwich @ vanessa's (cheap!)
- oyster po' boy @ cheeky sandwiches
- sweet coconut bun @ golden dragon boat on the bowery (85 cents?) (probably more a personal favorite than a consensus choice)

someone recommended lupa -- i could make a meal of their house-made charcuterie/carne -- incredible lingua, speck, testa...$20 for the platter, i think, which is plenty for two people to try everything!

Jul 21, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

Birthday Dinner Decision?

to my mind these are both outstanding choices and really differ most in the 'tone' of the experience. i think the service at le bernardin is much more kind of old-school -- i am always very aware (not in a bad way) of the well-oiled machine at work there. i think it's restrained, elegant, and refined. EMP is just classic danny meyer when it comes to service -- i think of it as a 'younger' experience somehow, with well-trained, knowledgeable staff who seem more casual (again, not in a bad way) that at le b.

Jul 13, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

DBGB for Dinner: What to Order (or make sure I don't!)

i think the thing to do is order any and all sausages that sound good to you as a group, and share! the main courses i've had were delicious but i think the menu right now looks somewhat heavy for summer. the burgers are over-the-top (though the piggie is undeniably delicious). for dessert, i've never had a dbgb ice cream sundae that i didn't love -- i still dream about a grapefruit/gingerbread version i had back in march that's out of season now. have fun and let us know what you end up trying!

Jul 13, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

single female in nyc drinks and food at the bar

the thread bookhound and Phil suggest is good -- one i don't see mentioned there, however, is marea, where i've had very good experiences eating at the bar as a solo female myself.

Jul 11, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

Best Bubble Tea (aka Boba/Pearl/Tapioca Tea)

second teado -- "tea that tastes like tea" for sure.

Jun 23, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

ISO food-shopping strategy for West Village

many thanks to all for the help!

Jun 10, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

ISO food-shopping strategy for West Village

I just moved to the West Village and am looking for wisdom about grocery/food-shopping -- both everyday essentials and more interesting/exotic ingredients. I used to live in a more central G. Vill. apartment where I could easily hop down to Chinatown for cheap fruits and vegetables and other Asian ingredients, and walk home through pieces of Little Italy for great meats, cheeses, and breads. I'd go to Whole Foods on Bowery if I needed something specific, and Morton Williams on Bleecker if I was desperate for a particular ingredient late at night. I had Amy's, Faicco's, Murray's, and Lobster Place in easy reach.

I now live one block from Hudson River Park and the closest grocery store is a horrendously overpriced D'Agostino. Gourmet Garage on 7th Ave. strikes me as a good resource for specialty foods but not for daily life shopping. Should I still be trekking to Chinatown for my weekly fruit-and-veggie run, or is there a more convenient way? Anyone have experience with Fresh Direct? Any advice much appreciated!

The Lobster Place
252 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

Jun 09, 2010
ellabella in Manhattan

Intl' Markets in Rockville area?

Three suggestions in Rockville area (not sure if this is exactly what you were after):

1. Korean Korner (for a hilarious mix of Asian and Latin items)

2. Kam Sam for more Chinese/Taiwanese (really good prepared foods too)

3. Maxim (a little grungier but has some things that Kam Sam doesn't)

Korean Korner
12207 Veirs Mill Rd, Silver Spring, MD

Kam Sam Supermarket
300 N Washington St, Rockville, MD

Maxim Supermarket
460 Hungerford Dr, Rockville, MD

must-try duck dishes?

i'm looking for any recommendations for great duck dishes in boston. i read about a great-sounding one at aquitaine ("Sliced Duck Breast, Roquefort and Walnut with Ravioli Bacon-Braised Cabbage & Pumpkin") but recent reviews of that restaurant on this board have made me more dubious. any other suggestions much appreciated!

Nov 12, 2007
ellabella in Greater Boston Area

Central Michel Richard Review

Celebrated my dad's birthday monday night at Central, and really enjoyed it - though it was slightly uneven that night, I thought the experience overall was great and I would certainly go back.

Highlights: tower of charcuterie (we ordered 'for 2' but there was enough for 4 at least) that included house-made prosciutto, two kinds of sausage, frisee salad (including some addictive pickled/marinated cherry tomatoes), the famous 'faux gras', and amazing duck rillettes; a light and sweet onion tart; lamb loin special served on flageolet beans with lots of garlic and fresh thyme; beef cheeks special (intensely flavored and rich); kit kat bar dessert (intense dark chocolate, irresistable crunchy hazelnut wafer inside); banana split (playful, but also so yummy - dark chocolate ice cream and strawberry sorbets to die for, lots of crunchy toppings, and all served on a sectioned cafeteria tray-style plate); a crush-worthy chef (Cedric, are you single?).

Lowlights: salmon served on bed of lentils had been advertised as 'medium to medium-rare' but came absolutely overcooked; a little too noisy for my taste; not quite enough room in between the tables (servers kept bumping into the back of my chair as they were serving the next table).

3 courses plus a bottle of wine for 3 people came out to about $175.

Prove Me Wrong About Brunch

i actually had a disappointing experience with the blue room brunch just last weekend - while some of the dishes were enjoyable (octopus salad, lemon-buttermilk pudding (?), pancakes (!)), i thought most were somewhat disappointing - lukewarm, mass-produced, and not too inspiring. for $23 i felt a little ripped off, honestly. plus, my high hopes for a good spicy bloody mary were dashed by a glass of VODKA with a splash of tomato/spices and lots of ice. couldn't even finish it.

on a happier note, a brunch that i truly enjoyed was at masa in the south end - i'm more of a savory-breakfast-dish lover anyway, and HERE were some awesome spicy bloody maries. maybe worth a try?

Jun 14, 2007
ellabella in Greater Boston Area

Good Place for Sandwiches Near a Picnic Area?

how about take out from parish cafe (361 boylston st., right by arlington T) and eat in the public garden right across the street?

Mar 13, 2007
ellabella in Greater Boston Area