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Best Salted Caramel Chocolate Dessert

General Greene, in Fort Greene, has a salted caramel sundae that is arranged on a piece of dense caramel cake. Lots of whipped cream, and delicious. For a less complex dessert, I love a cone or cup of their ice cream (sold from a little shack called "Fort Grace" on the street outside the restaurant). Their salted caramel ice cream with pretzels is especially great in combination with a scoop of chocolate. Yum.

Jul 03, 2012
starfish in Manhattan

Where to go in the absence of Florent?

My friend and I used to meet every month for dinner, drinks, and leisurely talk at Florent on Gansevoort Street. It was friendly (they always welcomed us like old friends), cheap, and the food was good. We really miss Florent since it closed and want a new place we can make our regular spot. We don't need to be welcomed like old friends, but we need 1) cheap; 2) a place we can hang for a while without pressure to move on; 3) serves drinks; 4) has a couple of vegetarian options, or at least appetizers or salads that could be combined to resemble a meal.

For convenience, East or West village would be good. But the bottom line is we need an easy connection to the A/C line (in the East Village, we'd go via the F).

Thanks for any suggestions!

Nov 10, 2010
starfish in Manhattan

Is there an archive of all Cookbooks of the Month?

Thanks!

Jun 16, 2010
starfish in Home Cooking

Is there an archive of all Cookbooks of the Month?

Can I find a list somewhere? Just got a gift certificate for Borders and would like to peruse comments before deciding which cookbooks to buy.

Jun 16, 2010
starfish in Home Cooking

Cafe Sim Sim

Had a great dinner at Cafe Sim Sim last night in a group of six. We brought our own wine. The restaurant was extremely slow but we didn't mind too much because our waitress was very sweet and it was fun taking our time with each new plate that came out of the kitchen. We had lots of appetizers -- the best dolmas I've had, filled with minced lamb, delicious eggplant salad, interesting red bean salad, pickled trout with a delicious yogurt dill sauce, and bread. Dinner was a combination of lamb kabobs, lamb lulya (minced lamb kabobs), lamb chops, beef kabobs, and the starring dish of the night, sturgeon kabobs and Sevruga sturgeons kabobs. Both sturgeons were fantastic, and came with a tomato-pomegranate sauce. We also had the potatoes with chanterelles (apparently the true identity of these mushrooms are in dispute) but we found them rich and delicious. When the old guy took up the microphone to croon, the music got turned up pretty loud but it was kind of charming. We spent about three hours at the restaurant. The total bill with a 20% tip was $135 -- about $23/person. And we were really happy with our dinner.

Mar 22, 2010
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Locanda Vini e Olii- Brooklyn's best Italian? Cliton HIll

I was quite disappointed when I ate at Locanda Vini e Olii last year. The food was fine, not noteworthy, the service was spotty, and the price was high. Locanda is right in my neighborhood, but when I want a good Italian meal in Brooklyn, I'd definitely choose Noodle Pudding in Brooklyn Heights over Locanda.

Feb 22, 2010
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Can I make osso bucco in advance?

Thank you all for your help!

Jan 20, 2009
starfish in Home Cooking

Can I make osso bucco in advance?

I want to plan a dinner for an evening when I'll be out all day. Would it work to braise the veal in advance and then store for a day or two?

Jan 19, 2009
starfish in Home Cooking

BAM-----we need a restaurant for after theater

Williamsburg and Carroll Gardens are both not very close to BAM. You might consider Osteria Convivium on 5th Avenue -- it's a wonderful place. Most of the restos right around BAM are not that great. Two new ones are about to open up -- a Turkish and an Ethiopian one. Don't know of their opening dates, though. Epoca, an Italian bistroish place on Fulton Street up the hill from BAM is nice. Also, Taro Sushi, across Flatbush, is great.

Jan 06, 2009
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Franny's

Having heard so much about Franny's, my SO and I tried getting pizzas there the other night. We were SO disappointed! The clam pie had maybe four clams on the entire pie, and the sausage, buffalo mozz, tomato, and hot pepper pie was similarly underdressed -- about five little pieces of sausage on the pie. We had been told that each was considered a dinner, but it was more like the bread you'd have with dinner. It was also overly salty. We actually had to put together a substantial snack when we got home because we were hungry. So, for $40, it definitely was not a "meal" I would repeat.

Dec 27, 2008
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Large fried chicken order in Brooklyn

Ruthie's on DeKalb just east of Flatbush (across from Brooklyn Hospital Center). She makes wonderful fried chicken (and the world's best meatloaf). And she caters.

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Ruthie's
96 DeKalb Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Oct 18, 2008
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Great African restaurant?

A wonderful, small restaurant in Fort Greene called A Bistro serves food that is a fusion between Senegalese and French. It's BYOB, too. Creative, delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere. And be sure to try the desserts! Carlton Ave. between Myrtle and Willoughby.

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Abistro
154 Carlton Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Oct 18, 2008
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Fantastic new place in Fort Greene

I've had a dinner and a brunch at General Greene over the past two weeks. The food at dinner was delicious and interesting. To put together enough food to feed two hungry people, however, is not cheap. The acoustics -- like at nearby Bonita -- required us to shout to hear one another. Encouraged by dinner, I went with two friends yesterday for brunch and we were seriously disappointed. Our waiter seemed disoriented and unfamiliar with the menu. We waited a long time for any food to arrive, and when it finally came the portions were sad. It's one thing to serve tapas for dinner; if your brunch menu is also tapas, it should say so clearly. The burger was petite (and the waiter brought no condiments); the smoked trout tea sandwich was inhaled in three bites; and the Cobb salad was small and overloaded with blue cheese. When I asked for bread with the salad, the waiter said he'd "put an order in" and came back about twenty minutes later with several small pieces of slightly charred bread, for which I was charged fifty cents. Clearly both the waitstaff and the kitchen were overwhelmed. It wasn't an experience I'd repeat any time soon.

I live around the corner and would love to see an interesting, reasonably-priced restaurant open up. I consider the best restaurants in the neighborhood to be Olea, A Bistro, and Ici. I might go back to General Greene for dinner but I don't recommend the brunch.

Aug 17, 2008
starfish in Outer Boroughs

dinner after a performance at BAM

I have never had a good dinner at Thomas Beisl. Last night, however, my SO and I had a wonderful meal at Stonehome Wine Bar -- very fresh, interesting dishes at reasonable prices and a nice atmosphere. I had braised pork cheeks with spaetzle and SO had well-prepared steak. Salads were great, and the lemon custard with huckleberries for dessert was memorable. You probably want a reservation if you're going on a BAM theater night. Otherwise, I'd say another good choice would be Taro Sushi, Dean at Flatbush.

May 07, 2008
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Kinara - Fort Greene or PS?

We ordered delivery from the Ft. Greene (Myrtle Ave & Adelphi) Kinara last night and the food was really delicious. Fresh, complex flavors, not at all greasy. We got the prix fixe dinners for $11.95 each -- a bargain! My SO got fish pakora for an appetizer and lamb with spinach for entree; I had lamb kebabs for appetizer and the okra for main dish. We really liked everything, and the okra in particular was wonderful. All the sides -- naan, rice, chutneys -- were fine. I'll definitely order from them again.

Jan 12, 2008
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn restaurant for group of 7 on budget

Pacificana in Sunset Park is a wonderful restaurant, big, casual, with great Chinese food. You can have a wonderful meal at Yemen Cafe on Atlantic Ave for under $20, and many large families like to eat there. They have delicious lamb but also some vegetarian plates. They don't serve alcohol; I'm not sure whether you can bring your own. Another great place is Tanoreen, a Palestinian restaurant in Bay Ridge. Inexpensive, delicious, friendly.

Dec 29, 2007
starfish in Outer Boroughs

NY Noodletown, New Green Bo, Yeah Shanghai, or ...?

I think it's hard to go wrong at Noodletown. Start with roast duck and/or spareribs, get some fish dishes and plenty of greens and some noodles -- it's going to be delicious. My daughter is a student at the Culinary Institute of America and when she came home for a weekend recently with four other CIA students, she took them to Noodletown. They went nuts. In fact, the next time they came into the city, my daughter wanted to take them to another place, just for variety, and they mutinied, insisting on going back to noodletown. I have eaten there many dozens of times over the last few years and have honestly never had a meal that I didn't thoroughly enjoy.

May 01, 2007
starfish in Manhattan

Need a Sheepshead Bay Update

I was just in Sheepshead Bay yesterday, stopping for lunch on a long Greenway bike ride. We ate at Istanbul on Emmons. The waiter was very polite and attentive, and we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch -- warm rolls with Cijik (sp?) -- creamy yogurt with mint, garlic, and cucumbers, followed by shish kebob -- tender grilled lamb with a nice accompaniment of vegetables. The Turkish coffee was lovely. I don't know that I would travel for this place, but if you're there, it's very pleasant and not too expensive.

Apr 05, 2007
starfish in Outer Boroughs

fairway in Red Hook

I love Red Hook Fairway. When I lived in Manhattan, I moved on from the UWS store to the Harlem store, as it was easier and less crowded. But Red Hook is the best, IMO. EVERYONE, even the unskilled workers, is very customer-friendly and helpful and will get you an answer to your question even if they have to go find a supervisor. The cheese and coldcuts are both amazing. The produce is different every week but I just take a greenmarket approach -- buy what looks fresh and good -- and have not had any problems, except maybe once in the dead of winter. There are always things specially priced that look good. The meats are excellent, and the fish guys really know what they're doing. I can understand why the layout might seem overwhelming -- the store is huge, after all - and I have had the experience of getting to fish or meat, choosing something to cook, and then having to hike back to produce for herbs or whatever. But once you learn how things are organized, it's not hard to navigate. And they have a great selection of chocolates! I've also had good experience with customer service: on the rare occasions that I've bought something that turned out not to be good (once a cheese, once a pate), they gave me credit, no questions asked. Admittedly, I am a recovering former coop member who just revels in guilt-free shopping at Fairway, where the cashiers are quick and efficient, the aisles are wide enough to handle the traffic, and you can buy everything you need under one roof. And of course, I love the terrace. You definitely do want to try to avoid the busiest times. I find that Friday afternoon/evening or anytime Monday are fine. Weekends are a zoo.

Mar 26, 2007
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Bittman Chicken Adobo - Wow

After years of using Bittman's books and reading his weekly columns in the NYT, I hvae figured out that he is best with simple, straightforward recipes. He is never good with Asian recipes of any kind -- they always taste inauthentic and like a dumbed-down version of the real thing. But for simple American cooking, he's great. His roast chicken is fabulous. Same with pan-grilled pork chops, and any of his quick shrimp recipes. His pancakes are great. I think you just have to know what to use him for and when to look elsewhere.

Mar 26, 2007
starfish in Home Cooking

katz's deli & serendipity

Here's a suggestion: go for your pastrami at Katz's and then go to Laboratorio de Gelato (just nearby) for a scrumptious dessert. Serendipity is okay, fun for a visit, but pretty much a tourist trap.

Feb 16, 2007
starfish in Manhattan

blood oranges in Brooklyn?

Thanks, all!

Feb 13, 2007
starfish in Outer Boroughs

blood oranges in Brooklyn?

Anyone know of a place currently carrying blood oranges in the downtown Brooklyn/BH, Park Slope, or Ft. Greene area? I don't want to go all the way out to Fairway.

Thanks!

Feb 13, 2007
starfish in Outer Boroughs

chiles & chocolate oaxacan kitchen

We tried to eat at C&C last night (Saturday) but had a frustrating experience. We arrived at 8:45 seeking a 4-top. They were packed (also tiny, and take no reservations) and suggested we go somewhere for a drink. They estimated 40 minutes wait, and took our cell number. An hour later, they hadn't called, so we walked back. The same parties were sitting at the tables, no longer eating, just lingering. The host told us she still couldn't seat us and urged us to go back out and hang for a while. We ended up waiting a total of 1 1/2 hours and never got a table; finally, past 10, we hopped in the car, drove to Noodle Pudding, and had a lovely dinner. (C&C called us as we were getting seated at NP.) We had really wanted to try C&C. But if you have only a few tables, won't take reservations, and won't suggest to lingering diners that they allow the table to turn over, then a lot of people will walk away without dinner. Perhaps they'll get their best business from deliveries.

Feb 11, 2007
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Good African Restaurants in Fort Greene Area?

The West African place on Fulton near S. Portland (Keur N'Daye?) hasn't really impressed me. But I highly recommend "A Bistro," on Carlton Avenue just south of Myrtle. It's a Senegalese-French fusion restaurant, very small and homey, creative and delicious foods, moderately priced, and BYOB.

Feb 10, 2007
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Girl's Night Dinner

I have a girls' night tradition at Florent in the meatpacking district. Kind of a French diner. They make great drinks, are always friendly and welcoming, and have good (not fabulous) food. We've never had anything but a good time there.

Feb 04, 2007
starfish in Manhattan

a*bistro

I love A Bistro. Full disclosure compels me to say that my daughter fulfilled her six-month restaurant work requirement there, prior to starting at Culinary Institute of America. The place is tiny and cozy, and Chef Abdoul is both a delightful person and a really creative chef (he worked in Paris and then was chef at Aquagrill in Soho before opening up this place with his wife, Cassandra, who is American). The "Senegalese fusion" description he uses is pretty accurate; there are Senegalese dishes but also a number of American dishes that he spices up with Senegalese flavors, including the delicious chocolate cake infused with ginger and the Sunday brunch spicy pancakes. We've eaten there a number of times and never had anything but a satifying meal, from brunch to burgers to braised lamb shank to short ribs to crabcakes and all sorts of wonderful fish dishes. Beautiful greens and salads, too. Even the tofu dish is flavorful. The BYOB feature is nice for saving money. Overall, it's a friendly, intimate place with very gracious hosts and great food. Definitely a neighborhood jewel. (And I'll always be grateful that Abdoul and Cassandra were great mentors to my daughter, who loved working there.)

Jan 28, 2007
starfish in Outer Boroughs

Best Wine Shop in nyc?

PJs on Broadway and 205th is great. They have some very knowledgeable people working there. We were recently helped by a youngish guy named Dan who spent a very long time giving us a great consult on a variety of wines. So far, we've really liked his recommendations (we were shopping in the under $15 range, and unbelievably, he suggested one $6 bottle which was actually really good). They are a long way uptown, but if you spend more than $100 they will delivery free anywhere in NYC (I live in Brooklyn, and they said that was part of the deal), and you can also order online if you don't want to make a trip up there. Before going there, I often went to Mr. Wright at 3rd Ave and 90th. Also a very big selection, big range of prices, and knowledgable staff who are eager to help.

Jan 12, 2007
starfish in Manhattan

All I know is that there are Poppy seeds in it its roll like fashion help!

I bought some fabulous poppy seed strudels in Brighton Beach. Just walk along Brighton Beach Avenue amidst all the Russian shops -- they sell them everywhere. We bought them from a lady selling them through an open window in her shop. $1 for a memorable pastry.

Jan 10, 2007
starfish in Outer Boroughs

BYOB - Brooklyn

A Bistro on Carlton Avenue just off Myrtle is a French-Senegalese bistro that is BYOB and has great food and a very friendly, warm atmosphere. I don't believe they charge a corkage fee. We've eaten there many times and never been disappointed -- the chef is very creative.

Jan 09, 2007
starfish in Outer Boroughs