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gwh912's Profile

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maietta in Englishtown?

Terrible

Dec 11, 2014
gwh912 in New Jersey

Have New York fine dining restaurants been declining in quality?

I'm surprised re: Atera at the dishes you didn't care for. I though the trout liver dish was brilliant - and thoroughly enjoyed the pigs blood tart (if I recall, it was served with tomato jam)

My meal there last Tuesday was outstanding. I think they have gotten much better than when they first opened and continue to evolve. Though, my one complaint all three visits was the final savory course but, after ~ 25 courses, its hard to complain

Dec 06, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Have New York fine dining restaurants been declining in quality?

I agree that the old guard (Daniel and specifically Jean Georges) just don't excite me anymore. That said, with spots like Ko and Atera, Operating at such a high level (I am actually en route from Saison in San Francisco which I'd out on same quality level as my most recent meal at Atera)...lots of great options at high end still if you expand from the traditional french dining scene

Dec 04, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Anyone want Saison 9:00 pm Reservation Today for 1 (Thursday December 4th)

I thought my hotel was closer to the restaurant but I'm in Redwood City and may not have enough time to get there after day of meetings

If anyone is interested in the reservation, let me know (9pm, for 1)

Thanks

Dec 04, 2014
gwh912 in San Francisco Bay Area

Dinner for One @ Atera Tonight - Reservation Available 9:30

Anyone interested in taking a reservation for 9:30 tonight @ Atera? I'm not sure I'm able to make it in time

Dec 02, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Don't shoot me... looking for red-sauce Italian and "NY Chinese"

Try Carbone for an elevated riff on "red sauce" Italian

Long weekend Dec 12-16. Reserved.

Batard is great - we really enjoyed Piora as well. Not familiar with the other two as much.

Nov 15, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Kitchen at Grove Station (Jersey City)

So after a dinner Monday @ Thirty Acres ; and a wine dinner last night at Betony - I thought I'd take it easy today and order delivery. But after hearing a new restaurant opened up nearby at Grove Station, I opted to keep the streak going. Space is quite nice - and while the waiters are obviously new and still learning - the staff has good intentions and seems extremely interested in ensuring all diners walk away having a great experience. I believe one of the owners sat at a table behind me - and just listening to their description of the dishes - I could immediately tell there was a distinct focus on quality.

The head chef worked at Daryl Wine Bar in New Brunswick, and most recently at Battello. IMHO, and having dined at the all three examples, this new restaurant (I believe after speaking with the chef, this is the first time he had primary control over food and menu) is the best of the three (and lightyears better than Batello)

Chef came by multiple times throughout the meal and was really interested in diner feedback

Sweet and Sour Lentil Salad | cauliflower|apricot|jalapeno|shallot|honey|yogurt

Not one to usually order order a salad - regardless of where I am - this came highly recommended from my waiter and for good reason. Well balanced, great acidity - great color - this was a great, well balanced (and light!) starter, with no superfluous ingredients. The jalepeno provided a subtle bit of heat on the back palate - a trend seen and well executed throughout the meal

Tuna Carpaccio|Black Sesame Puree|Daikon|Asian Pear|Pickled Radish|Cilantro|Ginger|Fresno Chile

Usually disappointed with tuna crude/carpaccio dishes outside of NYC - I ordered this to see how the kitchen could turn out a raw fish dish. Sourced from Pacific Seafood daily, the tuna was extremely fresh, and paired great with the pickled components which provided the acidity to cut through the fish - with the deep, earthy characteristics of the black sesame puree. Again, the de-seeded fresno chile provided a backdrop of heat - overall, a well balanced, well-executed dish. I found out that every night - whatever daily allocation of sashimi grade tuna that doesn't get ordered/served during service - ends up in the Nicoise salad in the breakfast/lunch hours

Garlic and Paprika Shrimp| Housemade Cucumber Kimchi|fried unripe tomato|lemon

I think I slightly struggled with this dish primarily due to the diversion from the trends of the first two plates. This dish, which seemingly combines Spanish and Korean influences, felt somewhat out of place in terms of menu design. Those totally insignificant issues aside - the dish still was very tasty - with the shrimp taking the forefront with an aggressive garlic/paprika dusting - and the slightly spicy kimchi backdrop. While the flavors here are strong and have a lot of promise - I thought the dish was missing a sauce to tie the ingredients together and while the cucumbers were fine - I think calling them "kimchi" set unfair expectations. Still, it tasted fine - and I think with a few minor tweaks, this could be a really successful dish, especially considering the restaurant is only a few days old

Hudson Valley Duck|Apple Saffron Emulsion|Braised Red Cabbage

A strong, high quality duck dish - I would have preferred a slightly crispier skin and a little more seasoning - but I'm likely splitting hairs. This is a high quality piece of duck - perfectly rendered down - for an extremely reasonable price.

They were offering 10% off for the first week so my total bill was only $57.00 (unbelievable considering portion sizes and quality) This is going to be a great addition to JC and to me - is a place I'll likely go a few times a month since I live 5 minutes away. Best of luck to the chefs and owners!

Nov 12, 2014
gwh912 in New Jersey

Cosme Dinner Reviews

Plates are definitely small considering prices. Some dishes moreso than others. The mussels tostada as an example was difficult to even split two ways (basically each of us got a bite or so)

Nov 10, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Cosme Dinner Reviews

So, with work and such, I've been on a chowhound break for awhile (I know, terrible excuse) but looking forward to getting involved in the daily boards again.

Friend and I went to Cosme, and ordered almost the whole menu, and thought I'd share thoughts.

I had arrived on the early side, along with 5-6 patrons outside looking in, as the front of the house prepared for 6pm service. Sat at the bar waiting for my friend, enjoying, to my estimation, well made cocktails (not listed online, and I didn't take notes, but believe the best of the bunch I tried was the Striptease).

Will keep notes quick and easy. I will say - while some of the dishes were not revelatory (especially those with lack of seasoning or acid), I think the kitchen is coming out with some great glimpses ofhigh-end cooking, and with some time, should be a great addition to the lackluster Mexican food scene we have in NYC.

Must Orders:

Cobia al Pastor, Pineapple, Cilantro
Sliced Raw Hamachi, Fermented Serrano, Black Limes
Smoked White Ayacote Beans, radish, charred cucumber
Husk Meringue, Corn Mousse

Mussel tostada, russian salad, chipotle mayonnaise 12

While touted as one of the signature dishes (at least from our waiter and a few Yelpers that had gone prior), we found this a little bland. In theory, it should work and the flavors aren't bad - but it was missing some "pop" from the plate for our liking and didn't stand out amongst other, more flavorful dishes

Sliced raw hamachi, fermented serrano, black limes 19

This, on the other hand, was a great and simple dish. Done sashimi style, the fermented serrano made the dish, and was a refreshing starter with great depth of flavor.

Scallops, wasabi, cucumber, jicama, lime 18

Another good dish, although not as strong as the hamachi to our estimation. Still, simple, light, and extremely fresh Scallops provide a great entry to the rest of the meal.

Smoked sepia, salsa mexicana 17

The sepia is long, pasta like strands, this was an interesting dish texturally and provided nice contrast to the other raw crude preps.

Mushroom barbacoa, chilpachole 22

Served with fresh tortillas, we found the chilpachole again lacking enough punch to carry the dish. While I tend to love anything in a fresh tortilla, we both found the sauce to be kinda bleh and missing the seasoning/acid to stand out.

Smoked white ayocote beans, radish, charred cucumber 14

Both of us - believe it or not - felt this salad was the strongest dish of the night. Perfect balance, with the mixed greens at the top, and the smoked ayocote beans providing great earthiness and depth, it was a perfect "salad" with a different spin.

Burrata and weeds 22

My dining companion enjoyed this more than me - but no doubt, it was high quality burrata with "weeds" (almost like a salsa verde). Not much to it, and probably best suited as a starter with the raw crudo, it was extremely fresh and accomplished what it set out to do. I found it out of place with the rest of the food, but to each his own.

Cobia al pastor, pineapple, cilantro 22

Another favorite - this taco really succeeded where the mushroom did not. Great depth of flavor - plus I'm a sucker for the al pastor style, this is another must-order

Lobster pibil sope, chorizo, black beans 24

Yes - the lobster was fresh - and it was served with fresh tortillas, but the black beans were gut-sticking heavy. It was a very heavy-handed prep, IMHO, that did nothing to the lobster except make the dish feel heavy and dated. Not a strong entree. Least favorite dish of the night.

Duck Carnitas Tacos for 2 - 44

Served a full duck, this is a lot of food. It is, though, a rather simple prep, with some onions on top, and a sauce (can't remember) on the side. The tacos were fine, but for a large format dish - we, and the table next to us, both felt it needed a little work and wasn't anything revelatory, although perfectly "fine". Make sure to use the sauce to avoid the duck feeling too dry in the taco (we neglected to realize this until about halfway through)

Husk meringue, corn mousse 12

This dessert was delicious! My dining companion thought it needed lime zest or something in the custard, but I think it'd be splitting hairs. A great finish to a meal with ups and downs - but with lots of promise.

Nov 09, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Volver - First impressions

I didn't see him either.

May 05, 2014
gwh912 in Philadelphia

Why isn't Jungsik receiving more attention?

I agree. Our second time there, the captain had a bottle of champagne waiting for us at the table by the window in the quieter, smaller room. Last time I was there, a buddy and I had some of the Armand Rousseau on the menu, and were amazed of how attentive/interested the sommelier was in how we liked it, as well as remembering what we had ordered our last few times there off the list.

Food is always stellar, but the service keeps us coming back

May 04, 2014
gwh912 in Manhattan

Volver - First impressions

Honestly, its hard to say. My wife and I tend to be quick eaters (we did 41 degrees in Barcelona in just over 2.5 hours), and we were finished in just about 1.5. I think they read us perfectly though and timed our pacing accordingly and given their efforts towards great service, I'd be surprised if they rushed you out in an unreasonable time. It should bear mention that there was plenty of room for other diners when we were there at 5:15pm and left just before 7pm.

Apr 29, 2014
gwh912 in Philadelphia
1

Volver - First impressions

I agree - at the pre-theater price point, I think its a definite go. Having tried the pre-theater (and as you can see above, thoroughly enjoying it....) I am still hesitant to do the full performance especially considering only 3-4 courses. I usually always go for the longest menu , but I think in this case, for the price point, the shorter is where the value is....my two cents

Apr 29, 2014
gwh912 in Philadelphia

Volver - First impressions

My wife and I went to Volver for the pre-theater menu ($75 per + 20%) since she had some finals the next day and didn't have time for the full performance menu. Space is beautiful, and food for the most part varies from very good to great - though, from a value perspective, I believe the pre-theater menu is the better bet (considering only an additional 3-4 constitute the larger menu)

Prior to our arrival, someone called to go over a few "pre-dining" questions - asking questions like mode of arrival, and if "there was anything they can do to elevate our experience". Nice touch, but lots of uncomfortable silence after we politely said....no, not really? :-)

The one strange element was that we referenced my wife has a dairy allergy, but were then asked again by the captain at service if any dietary restrictions he should be made aware of, at which point we explained the details of her allergy again. No big deal, just some new restaurant "kinks" to work out. We had the same experience with the wine pairing - even though I had the grand wine pairing, and she opted out, they paired the first course with wine, and I figured out when they were attempting to pour her second glass that they were mistaken. Again, little to fret about, and both were handled gracefully.

The service is exceptional, despite the opening kinks, and the restaurant's team has done a wonderful job to train all the staff members. It replicates a true "fine dining" environment, while still remaining somewhat casual (two of the parties when we were there were wearing button down shirts with jeans) The only issue we had was with the ridiculously small wine pours on the tasting - though with complimentary champagne in the beginning for my wife and another wine that the sommelier opted to let her try from the tasting, the best of intentions shone through. The sommelier seemed nervous (we asked which prefecture the sake came from, and she said she wasn't sure but immediately came back with the answer and some additional information which we found not only redeeming but demonstrating a desire to answer our question sincerely and quickly)

Anyway, on to the food. The initial try of small bites was interesting - with some caviar and creme fraiche (good, but nothing out of the ordinary); some cured meets including iberico ham and guanciale (good), and, believe it or not, my favorite dish of the night and one of the best bites I have had all year. Unfortunately, I didn't write down the specifics of how they did it, but it was deviled duck liver mousse, with the mousse piped to look like a yolk, and the "egg white" - well, its not an egg white (IIRC, it had strong citrus notes, but I don't remember the exact prep without having my notes handy) and Pedro Ximenez gel. It was literally the perfect bite.

Tsjiki Market Fish with Horseradish and Green Apple Snow - Very fresh fish, and very tasty, though the prep felt a little "wet" to me with the sauce and the snow, slightly "drowning" the beautiful slabs of fresh fish. Maybe a personal preference and probably splitting hairs as the dish was tasty

Cereal Dish (white asparagus milk with rice flakes, quail eggs, chicken oysters, truffle and thyme marshmallows) - supposedly a play on Lucky Charms, this is the most out there the menu gets, but for some reason, it totally worked for me and was an interesting, tasty and thought provoking take on savory cereal.

Living Garden with goat cheese dirt, pistachio puree, duck skin crumble, almond milk crisps, carrots and curried raisins, looked really dry, but upon combining perfectly worked as a tasty and well balanced salad.

Veta La Palma, with Bomba Rice, Shrimp, Fumet, Espelette, Seasonal Fish and Nasturtium - my favorite entree of the night, the seafood broth base was awesome and made the dish. A more traditional prep, for the most part, than a lot of the prior dishes, but a delicious and super flavorful expression of the type of cuisine you would expect from eating at his other establishments, yet elevated and perhaps bolder in flavor.

Wagyu - Cooked on Embers, Beet Root Puree, Salsa Criolla, Beet Root Crema and Nury Potatoes - Look, the beef was definitely high quality, but it was not the best wagyu prep I've had (personally, felt mine was slightly overdone) and the accompaniments were tasty but I didn't fully understand the whole combination. All in all, steak was still extremely tasty, but I had higher hopes considering the pedigree. I do think the dish has potential and hopefully, the temperature issues will be resolved.

Desserts in my opinion were unremarkable.

All in all, I really liked, but perhaps, did not love, the whole experience. It was quite good, but only two of the dishes (one entree, and one amuse) landed in the amazing category for me. That being said, for $75, I thought it was a great deal all things considered, and believe they will continue to get better and refine the dishes and preps even further. Since the waiter, as well as some other preliminary reviews seem to suggest the best dishes are almost all on the theater menu, I don't know that I would jump for the performance menu and associated pricing, until the restaurant was firing on all cylinders. But do go, book a pre-theater tasting, put away any preconceived notions of the place being too expensive or too "not Philadelphia", and have a great and enjoyable meal

Petruce et al. newly opened on Walnut in Philly

We went last night as well for opening night - thought all in all, it was really promising.

Loved the CHICKEN with Charred Cabbage, Scallions and Egg Yolk sauce on the "et al" portion of the menu. Lamb Breast was nice on the large plates as well, but didn't think the scallops, despite good, were anything special or different from the thousands of iterations around the city.

For the small to medium plates....
We didn't have the onion soup, but shared the beets (perfectly fine, but plays on pretty typical flavor combinations we've had many times before); carrots with bagna caudal and pistachios (great flavor combinations but a few carrots seemed to be cooked unevenly - chalk it up to opening night :-) ) ; chicken liver parfait with rhubarb and sourdough (absolutely delicious and visually stunning - a must order); the mushrooms with soubise and marrow (which I loved and counted as one of our favorite dishes); the octopus with rice grits, field peas and hot sauce (thoroughly enjoyed); lasagna (somewhat out of place on the menu but still tasty, if a little too crispy on outside for our liking); cannelloni with cauliflower and taleggio (our least favorite on the menu- outside too crispy, and plating a little jumbled);

Desserts were tasty (tried the Roasted Pineapple and Lemon Meringue from above) but the Soft Serve Vanilla Ice Cream with Cocoa Nibs and Malt Syrup was unreal. I know, soft serve ice cream? But it was the best soft serve I have had (as I have never been a fan) and was a perfect ending to the meal, and proof that simplicity sometimes just works.

Wine list well priced but very limited (hoping this will expand as time goes on).

Looking forward to seeing the restaurant evolve and definitely a great new addition to the dining scene.

Mar 22, 2014
gwh912 in Philadelphia

Avance

food was great - one of the best additions to Philadelphia in a long time and much better IMHO than the prior tenant. Go with tasting menu with wine pairings, go with a cocktail or two to start, and be glad to see Philadelphia get a true fine dining institution with loads of potential to compete (and I think, based on my most recent meal) exceed the likes of Lacroix (though it is definitely less formal with a mixed dress in the dining room)

I ate alone, and enjoyed just under three hours of many hits and few misses...

Laurel, new BYOB on EPx from Top Chef contestant Nicholas Elmi

We tried it last week. Felt it had promise, and loved seeing Elmi delivering dishes to the table.

That being said, none of the dishes really meshed to us and while the dishes sounded inspired, they never really came together on the plate.

Also, service, while well intentioned, was an issue, with our table being "lapped" according to our waiter; with both two-tops next to us getting their 2nd and 3rd courses (and cleared) before we even got our 2nd, even though we sat down first, and finished first course ten minutes before either table did. Waiter seemed to laugh it off but it meant about 45 minutes of no food on weeknight.

Hoping for the best, and will try again in a few months after they have worked the kinks out...

Big decision! Agricola or Mistral?

MISTRAL without question. Interesting and delicious food (many hits, some misses). Outside of a decent flatbread and (used to) have Pappy Van Winkle by glass , Agricola is a great concept that to me has fallen flat. Service, especially in bar, leaves a lot to be desired

Nov 26, 2013
gwh912 in New Jersey

Destination Dining Outside NYC

Not trying to be argumentative, but living in NJ and splitting balance of time between Philadelphia and NY - I wouldn't recommend 90 acres or Bernards Inn as a destination restaurant.

Both are good, especially considering other local options. Maybe even destination worthy within their respective areas of NJ.

But coming from NYC, I think you'd be slightly disappointed in the food. Not that its bad; but in relative terms...

I second Northfolk or Blue Hill. Or Basement Bistro (iirc?) if you are super lucky or willing to make a weekend of it. Or head up to Maine and do White Barn Inn and Arrows ?(though I didn't care too much for latter my two times there, I am in minority)

Sep 12, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

Marigold - no menus

it wasn't as good as the first time I went. Some dishes were great, some were trying to be so much but just flopped.

I don't understand why there wasn't enough surprise on the old menu when you chose a few items and the stream of amuse (to me, highlight of meal) seemed to keep things plenty interesting

I will also say on last visit - noise was way too loud

Still like the restaurant, love the value, but seems like a step in wrong direction

Sep 12, 2013
gwh912 in Philadelphia

JUNI

Friend and I went here before the new Sushi Nakazawa - again, unfortunately still in office so limited time for a review - but wanted to get a few thoughts out.

Truthfully, the main issues with JUNI involve its "packaging". Being touted as vegetable-forward is deceiving at best, and to be candid, this new fine dining establishment doesn't reinvent the wheel entirely - but all that said, its still really freaking good.

Amuse started a bit strange when me and my buddy were asked to split three amuse bouche - with one on each of our plates and one in the middle to "fight" over

(Cold) Foie Gras with Frog Hollow Peach Tartare, Pistachio Dust and Housemade Brioche - 4/5 - delicious and perfectly done, although nothing we have never seen before. I'm a sucker for peach and the beautiful foie made it all the better

Haas avocado – peekytoe crab – californian caviar – coriander

A reiteration of flavor combinations I've seen before, the addition of perfectly cooked quail eggs on the edge of the plate, and the perfect execution of an albeit tired theme, still worked for me and was thoroughly enjoyable 4/5

summer squash – langoustine – naval orange reduction – marigold

Langoustine was great, and addition of squash blossoms (I believe?) inventive, but I found the reduction and squash combination a bit sweet.
3.5

anise hyssop – grimaud duck – chef’s garden candy beets – hibiscus jus

I will say, outright, that for traditional "fine dining", especially with appetizers, that despite delicious, seemed to stay within the lines a bit too much for my liking - the entrées were spectacular.

This is a great duck dish - super flavorful, and unfortunately, I don't remember quite enough about it, as however it good it was, it was overshadowed by the venison to follow

quinoa – veal tenderloin – burdock – mizuna – hon shimejis

I will go out and say it. After being served the duck, we had resolved that this was a talented kitchen (plating as beautiful as the best in NYC) that needed to just think a bit more outside the box. I'm okay with traditional, especially when it tastes this good, but it wouldn't hurt to show us something, within the premise of restaurant, that exemplifies a willingness to take a little risk - or do something a bit different.

This venison dish did just that. Pickled hon shimejis, black truffle emulsion, perfectly cooked veal tenderloin, I have to put it out there - this is one of the best entrees I've had in awhile (even though the veal could have used a tiny bit more salt for my liking) - The earthiness, and umami in this dish is crazy - and fitting as a perfect cap to the meal, I would come back just for this dish

I think, with a few more risks taken, this can join the ranks of the top echelon of the better, refined, fine dining in the city

Langoustine with

Crab Salad with Avocado and Quail Eggs

Aug 22, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

[Sushi Nakazawa] Anyone to join me on Sep. 6 (Fri)?

I went last night for the opening. At work, so I don't have time to write up a detailed review, but a few key items to mention -

Definitely a new top contender for great sushi, despite a few missteps. Sardine (from Oregon) was definitely the overall favorite from the meal (and one of my favorites ever) with pieces like King Salmon, Scallop, Sweet Shrimp, and various pieces of toro also top notch. Actually, I had one of, if not, the best toro hand roll I've ever had.

A lot of the shellfish was cracked open right at that counter - full fish broken down and sliced right in front of you, which I think added something to the overall experience. You were able to choose your sea urchin (somewhat gimmicky) but an ode to the quality and freshness of the ingredients (though for some reason, we much preferred the uni from 15 EAST and found the iron/metallic flavor and texture of the version here slightly offputting)

All in all though, it was a great meal, and if a few of the rough edges can be worked out, this could be a contender for one of the top spots in the city.

Sparkling Wines, Wines, and Sake - as well as flights of the three - are available - we did a sake pairing and although we enjoyed it, the pacing was strange as we had three glasses for the first three pieces and then noticeable gaps in between.

We ordered a few additional pieces but were cut off at three as it appeared, since they were breaking most of the fish down to order, that they cut us off. Oh well

Get there before it becomes totally nuts.

Aug 22, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

Uncle Boons

I thought it was great (agree with below posters that crab dip mediocre and to be avoided) but the chicken liver curry, betel leaves, and green curry (been a long week and can't remember details) were all fantastic.

Jul 02, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

'Craft' - What makes it so good, so popular and constantly referred to by foodies?

I have always loved Craft for what it is - incredible ingredients, cooked simply, but perfectly. My only gripe is that the prices are somewhat high, but I think again, it goes back somewhat to the quality of product being used.

Can't answer why it doesn't at least have one star (domestically) as I think it is better than a number of those...that being said, if I were in charge of Michelin on this side of the pond, I wouldn't be tossing stars to every reasonably good restaurant in NYC; especially since many of the one stars, to me, are operating at very different levels. It takes away some of the distinction IMHO

Jul 02, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

Between Annisa and Blue Hill ... which would you choose?

Annisa by a decent margin.

Jun 01, 2013
gwh912 in Manhattan

Mistral, Princeton

Went tonight for dinner. All in all - a lot of promise, and going to be another great addition to Princeton dining scene (and steps away from new Agricola) To be candid, it has the potential to be my favorite restaurant in Central NJ that I can comfortably wear jeans to - but it does have a few kinks to work out

The menu and ambiance truly feels like a more casual Elements. Many difference influences on the menu, with some dishes (such as Octopus with patatas bravas screaming of Spain or the Mediterranean) while others ("kimchi pancakes" or "korean short ribs") more Asian inspired.

Best part - its byob, shaving my typical elements bill in half.

The pros

Excellent

Clam Chowder Mushi - Wow - this was great. All of the flavors you'd expect in clam chowder, but complimented with "smoked potato" and razor clams. A perfect example of elevating cuisine with different techniques but with a purpose

Korean Short Ribs with Morel Kimchi - Best Dish of the night (for me) by a long shot. Unexpectedly simple - but a total knockout dish with an amazing flavor profile.

Onsen Egg with Asparagus, Fragola, and Roasted Maitakes- A close second for best dish of the night. Soft poached onsen egg - with the earthiness of mushrooms and spring notes of the crispy asparagus - a true comfort dish, somehow elevated.

Very Good

Fluke Crudo with Tomatillo Jelly, Avocado Puree, Szechuan Pepper (I think - getting hard to remember?) Loved the balance and freshness of this dish. It reminded me of the type of raw dishes that I've grown to love at Momofoku Ko - where the fish is the star but still complemented by aggressive flavors not typically associated with raw seafood dishes.

Good

Bucatini with Soft Shell Crab - My wife liked this much more than I did but it was a simple pasta, with some fresh soft shell crab - this dish was most like what I had expected from the restaurant - which upon booking my reservation, I had assumed was going to be simple, Mediterranean flavors. Only complaint that it was served somewhat lukewarm

Chicken Yakitori - Not what I expected (no "stick" served") and to be candid, I can't fairly evaluate as I do not like orange flavors with savory foods, but my wife said it was good, not great. I took her word for it for the most part but tried the chicken and felt it was fine.

Not so great

Octopus with Patatas Bravas - Just having returned from an eating tour of Spain, I am probably (unfairly so) critical of this type of dishes. Unfortunately, the potato component was more like a latke; which would be fine, if the spicier sauce that unites patatas bravas worked. The octopus was inconsistent, with some pieces tasty and others way too tough - and the sauce never came together. We both kept detecting a really off-putting metallic taste to the sauce, which made the whole dish taste medicinal. The dish has potential but didn't work in its current iteration for me.

Sweetbread Canneloni - Bland sweetbreads. Chewy, gummy Pasta. A rare total miss on an otherwise delicious menu

Desserts were tasty but not yet memorable - favorite was Rhubarb tart with Buttermilk Ice Cream which was nicely balanced.

Only gripe was that they don't accept AMEX. So despite my glowing review (yes, it is a worth a 2nd and 3rd (....) visit, I will stomp my feet in frustration that they don't accept AMEX

So.....go. It looks like they have plans to put a fireplace in the outside area and with only 45 inside seats, it may not be easy to get in to in the next few weeks

May 24, 2013
gwh912 in New Jersey

Tickets vs. Cinc Sentits + other Barcelona restaurant questions

Thanks! Looking forward to making it back to Spain once work slows down a bit

Apr 01, 2013
gwh912 in Spain/Portugal

Late Night Eats before flight...

Hounds,

I'll be in your great city from Wednesday-Friday this week, and the boards have been very helpful in helping me craft the few meals I have free, with August and Stella! in the works, and a few of the good ol' standbys

That being said, I have a 5am flight on Saturday morning - and expect to be out already on Friday until 12-1am easy with some colleagues. I initially intended on getting a hotel but thought maybe $300 would be better spent elsewhere, especially since I am leaving for airport around 3am the next morning.

So, my question is this - is there a place with good food, cocktails/wine list, etc - where I can snack at bar until 2:30-3am until I have to leave for flight? I am staying at the JW Marriott in FQ I believe and will likely want to be in the general area, though worst case, I can always take a cab.

Gastropub type food and atmosphere would be great, but really just focused on good food and drink

Thanks

Apr 01, 2013
gwh912 in New Orleans

Tickets vs. Cinc Sentits + other Barcelona restaurant questions

Have you looked at 41 degrees? (experiences menu)

Capping off a trip which included amazing meals of Martin Berasetagui, Arzak, El Cellar De Can Roca, Asador Extebarri, Alkimia, and more - 41 degrees remains the most memorable and consistent (amazing feat considering it ends up being over 50 unique tastes)

Best meal of my life, perhaps.

On a different note altogether, we hated Quimet and Quimet. While it was slightly skewed, having come from San Sebastian, nothing we ate at Q&Q was great - and the shrimp appetizer was bland and low quality - and the mushroom croquettes cold in the middle.

Feb 18, 2013
gwh912 in Spain/Portugal