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"Special" Sunday brunch place -- instead of River Cafe :(

Any recommendations for a place with a beautiful room and great food that could stand in for the River Cafe this Sunday? We have an annual family brunch there to celebrate a bunch of birthdays, but, as folks probably know, it is sadly closed due to Hurricane Sandy. Anywhere in the city is okay.

Nov 15, 2012
Fay in Manhattan

Best source for fresh seafood in or around Nice

I haven't been to Nice in a few years, but my favorite place to shop for fish and everything else used to be the old covered market on Rue Buffa, corner of Gambetta, next to the Casino supermarket. I found it to be a more pleasant shopping experience than the open air market in Vieux Nice. Also, this may sound completely heretical, but if you have a car, the gigantic Galleries Lafayette supermarket at Cap 3000 in St. Laurent de Var is worth a visit. Huge (expensive) fish selection.

Jul 04, 2012
Fay in France

Le Petit Celdadon for Sunday lunch?

Thanks, Oakglen - and please forgive the typo in the name of the restaurant: it is Le Petit Celadon, not Celdadon (should anyone do a search in the future.)

Jun 22, 2012
Fay in France

Le Petit Celdadon for Sunday lunch?

Has anyone tried the the 58E weekend lunch menu at Le Petit Celdadon (in the Hotel Westminster) recently? There were some posts about this a few years ago, but I haven't found anything more recent. It sounds appealing and somewhat like the late, lamented La Table de Robuchon, which I thought was one of the best lunch values (and best meals) I had during a trip to Paris a few years ago. Especially would like to know if it's a good "starter" introduction to something approaching haute cuisine for my two traveling and dining companions, who are eager to have that experience but can't afford the really top places, and for whom a more relaxed atmosphere is likely to be more comfortable than ultra luxe.

Of course, if anyone can suggest other places open for lunch on the weekend that would be a good approximation of La Table de Robuchon, I would be grateful! We'll be in Paris for only 4 full days -- Friday to Monday, and I am the designated food curator. Places I am thinking of for the other days include Septime, La Table D'Eugene, Neva, L'Office, Tintilou, Dans les Landes and Bistro Volnay -- still working on narrowing down the long list -- but I would also really like to include something classic and classy in the mix.

Jun 21, 2012
Fay in France

Brooklyn - Gowanus -Park Slope

Speaking of drinks - I really like Blueprint on 5th near Berkeley Pl. Especially in love with the "Smoky Mary's" (chipotle tequila with some other smoky things mixed in).

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Blueprint
196 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Mar 17, 2012
Fay in Outer Boroughs

Kiwiana

Yup, we tried it out the other night. Very nice addition to the neighborhood. The menu has a number of interesting items at a variety of price points ($12 vegetarian pot pie vs. $25 snapper). Service was attentive and friendly. We had the smoked and pickled mussels (very simple dish -- just a jar of pickled, smoked mussels served with bread and butter), fried chicken with truffled honey (yum), corn and crab soup (very good),vegetarian pie (excellent), beet and ricotta salad (good but a tad under-seasoned.) The people next to us were having the lamb burger topped with a fried egg, which looked mouthwatering. The dessert was excellent --- passion fruit and coconut creme brulee.They did not yet have a liquor license but the hostess told me that they would be focusing on wines from the Malborough region of NZ. All in all, we found it to be a very pleasant, casual place with interesting food and a comfortable, homey vibe.

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Kiwiana
847 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Aug 29, 2011
Fay in Outer Boroughs

post-graduation early dinner/late lunch in upper manhattan (west side)

I'm looking for a place on the UWS or even further uptown (graduation ceremony is in Washington Heights) that can accommodate a party of 8-10. The ceremony ends at 3 pm, so the timing is not great. We're thinking we could wait until 5 and have an early dinner, but a place that has continuous service yet is not a diner would be optimal -- if such a place exists. Requirements: delicious food, friendly atmosphere, moderate prices (say, up to $20 for an entree). Any suggestions??

Jun 22, 2011
Fay in Manhattan

Any Montreal foods, restaraunt places in manhattan?

There is also Le Pescadeux, which describes itself as a French-Canadian maritime restaurant. Have not been there yet, but am eager to try it.

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Le Pescadeux
90 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

Nov 21, 2010
Fay in Manhattan

Montreal Bagels

It is?? I grew up in Montreal eating St. Viateur bagels (white seeds only, please) and never heard it pronounced that way -- but I moved away 20 years ago so maybe this is a new thing....

Nov 20, 2010
Fay in Manhattan

Multiple city dining suggestions needed

In Arles, consider Restaurant Lou Marques, in the Jules Cesar hotel. This was the site of my first real "gastronomic" meal in France, many years ago - so it holds very special memories for me - but I've been back since then and still think it is a lovely special-occasion place. Not super-fancy or over-the-top by any means, but elegant and comfortable.

Nov 20, 2010
Fay in France

Sue Perette (on Smith between DeGraw and Sackett)

We had a wonderful meal at Sue Perette recently. I am so happy that I found this place. I've spent quite a bit of time in France, and have been longing for a reliable, comfort-food type of French bistro that is so easy to find in France but so darned difficult to replicate here for some reason -- Moutarde and AOC Bistro being prime examples of places that should fit the bill from the looks of things, but that have disappointed me on several occasions. Everything we ate at Sue Perette was either terrific -- especially the Magret of Duck, perfectly cooked and served with an unctuous sauce that had hints of espresso -- or fine/acceptable -- lentil salad could have had a little more oomph; portions of the trio of crudites were a little skimpy but hey, how many places in NYC serve celeri remoulade??? I was just happy to have this dish without having to peel and shred the thing on my own, which is what I usually have to do when I have a hankering for it. Desserts were great, service was friendly/chatty, we had a great bottle of St. Joseph to wash the whole thing down - in all, a lovely meal. I thought prices were fair. I will definitely be back.

Nov 20, 2010
Fay in Outer Boroughs

Normandy help

In Chartres, I highly recommend Le St. Hilaire. Lovely little restaurant with a creative menu, slightly off the beaten path. It was recommended to us by the owner of a cheese shop in town and it was a fabulous recommendation. Not sure if they do lunch, but It's worth checking.

As for Bayeux, we ate at La Rapiere during our recent visit and can't really recommend it. I mean, it was okay but fairly formulaic. Best part was probably the "trou Normand.".

Re Mont St. Michel, perhaps consider packing a basket of cheeses, charcuterie and other goodies while you are in Chartres and skipping the restaurants altogether?

I wish we had made it to sa.qua.na. We passed by and it looked wonderful, but the friends we were traveling with weren't up for it....

Oct 12, 2010
Fay in France

Staying in Little Italy for business. Places to eat, some Italian, but what else?

I would recommend Balaboosta, on Mulberry, just above Spring -- a few blocks up from what I suppose is "core" Little Italy. It is nominally Israeli-- but I would characterize the cuisine as basically upscale mediterranean, with excellent tapas-type appetizers, pastas, fish etc. I ate there the other day with a group of friends and everything (food, service, ambience) was superb. The "chicken under a brick" was especially delicious

Oct 03, 2010
Fay in Manhattan

How is the food at City Winery? Anything better nearby?

I have eaten there twice before shows. The food is actually really quite good! The hanger steak is particularly delicious, as are the veggie sides. Great wine list (ask for the big list - there is a shorter version on the menu, but the larger list is very extensive, and comes with a friendly, earnest sommelier.) Another option is to get a drink and oysters at the bar at aqua grill around the corner first, and then continue with light fare at city winery. But as I said, I have enjoyed the food there and it is nice to get there early, grab a good table and relax before the show.

Sep 15, 2010
Fay in Manhattan

Where to shop in Nice and the surrounding areas?

Have you been to Marche Buffa, the old covered market on Rue de Buffa and Rue Gambetta? I haven't been to Nice in a few years, but used to visit regularly, and this was my "go to" market for just about everything - meat, fish, produce etc. Only open in the mornings - not sure about Mondays, though. It is smaller and much less "touristy" than the market in the old city, with fabulous quality and selection. If you are in a pinch for ingredients tomorrow (Monday), I suggest you head out to the food wonderland that is the Galeries Lafayette supermarket at Cap 3000, just outside Nice in St. Laurent de Var. It is gargantuan and you will definitely find whatever it is you are looking for. My children once counted something like 40 varieties of butter in the dairy section.

Aug 08, 2010
Fay in France

Solo CH in Paris/Brittany - Sep 2010

This may be too late to be of help, but we recently stayed at Lan Kerellec in Trebeurden for two nights. The hotel itself was lovely - though our room, called "Petite Tradition" on the website, was so petite we barely had room to stand. We decided not to eat in the hotel's restaurant, because my husband found the menu too limited - but we did eat in two places in Trebeurden that I would highly recommend: Le Quellen and La Tourelle. Both were reasonably priced, high quality places with excellent local seafood and other great menu choices. La Tourelle is listed as one of the restaurants participating in the "Fresh Breton Seafood Platter Charter" (http://www.tourismebretagne.org/broch...), which I thought was kind of cool, though I have to agree with a previous poster who questioned the effort it takes to get the meat out of those monstrously huge crabs! Le Quellen makes a homemade Kouign Amman - served warm, with "black flour" ice cream and that incredible Breton salted caramel sauce - that is to die for. I am still thinking about that dessert. It was definitely one of the best things I ate during the entire 4-day trip to Brittany.
Trebeurden is a small resort town, very different in feel from Cancale, which is far more bustling and touristy. It was fun to be in Trebeurden on a night when there was traditional Breton folk music and dancing by the water. It drew lots of people from the community and was just a wonderful slice of life to observe and be part of.... (I think this happens every wednesday night during the summer - not sure until when.)
In Cancale, we tried to get into Le Surcouf, which many on this board have recommended, but arrived before they were ready to serve dinner and our dining companions were unfortunately too hungry to wait. But there are plenty of places to go in Cancale for oysters and seafood plateaus. I'd also recommend a visit to the Roellinger spice shop - we went to the one in St. Malo and spent a good half hour sniffing and tasting (and buying!)

Aug 07, 2010
Fay in France

Bayeux vicinty recs?

Thanks for the recommendations and comments. Was the butcher shop/restaurant "La Table du Terroir?" I've seen that recommended in a few places.

Jul 05, 2010
Fay in France

Bayeux vicinty recs?

Can anyone recommend some great places for dinner in and around the area of Bayeux? We will be there for a few days next week, and so far, I haven't found many recommendations for that area specifically..... We will have a car, but prefer not to travel very far in the evenings for dinner, since we expect to be tired from long days of sightseeing, and will be hitting places such as Cancale (for oysters), Plancoet (for dinner at Crouzil) and other destinations in Brittany later in the trip.
Many thanks!

Jul 03, 2010
Fay in France

Fornino Park Slope--Thumbs Up!

I have to agree-- found the food to be mediocre at best. I am pretty bummed about this, actually, as we were regulars at Tempo and at the old Cucina prior to that, and I really wanted to love this place. It all started out okay. We went on Friday - place was extremely busy but we got a table right away. Nice room, good vibe. Service was friendly. The menu sounded great, and I actually had trouble deciding what to order. But then the food arrived and nothing tasted very good! I had the sicilian pizza (onions, eggplant, anchovies, peppers, no cheese) and the eggplant was basically raw. I started to doubt myself and wonder whether this was intentional (do sicilians prefer eggplant al dente?) but then reality set in and I realized it was basically just a very badly executed dish. The pappardelle with duck and goat cheese was okay but just blah. The caeser salad was served in a style that has now officially become my pet peeve -- though it's a dish I almost never order -- long, whole leaves of romaine stretched out on a plate, sprinkled with a little dressing and cheese and a few bad croutons. I've seen it served this way elsewhere, but I don't get it....
Anyhow, I am hoping that perhaps this is just growing pains for a new restaurant in the neighborhood and they will turn things around, but at this point I am not hopeful.

Jun 01, 2010
Fay in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn restaurant for private party/lunch for 100+ -- any recs?

FYI, Blue Ribbon does not do private parties - at least not weekend luncheons :(

Jan 16, 2010
Fay in Outer Boroughs

Brooklyn restaurant for private party/lunch for 100+ -- any recs?

I am looking for a restaurant in the general Park Slope vicinity (though I'll consider other areas nearby) that can accommodate at least 100 guests for a private affair. Most of the "private party" posts that I've seen on CH have been for smaller groups, and I'm struggling to find a place that has good food, nice atmosphere, is reasonably priced, and is also large enough to accommodate this big a crowd. If Tempo were still around, we'd probably have gone there, but sadly that's not an option any longer.... Can anyone recommend a place that might fit the bill?

Jan 11, 2010
Fay in Outer Boroughs

South Beach with picky 12-year old - trip report

Recently spent a few enjoyable days in the South Beach area with my rather picky 12-year old daughter. Since she won't touch any fish/seafood, and would probably be happy eating every meal at Subway's or the nearest pizza parlor, it was a little tricky to find restaurants that would appeal to both of us, but I am happy to say we were pretty successful. Here is a quick report on a couple of the places we visited:

- David's Cafe II (off Lincoln Rd.) -- It took some work to convince my daughter to try Cuban food -- celeb photos on the entrance wall were a big help in that regard -- but it was well worth it, as this place was a huge hit. She loved her order of grilled (or was it sauteed?) "chicken steak", served with lots of onions, fried plantains, black beans and a garlicky dipping sauce. I wasn't too hungry and just had an order of the caldo gallego, which was good, but could have been served a tad hotter. Cuban coffee was excellent and the service was very friendly.

- Joe's Stone Crab -- Thank god for the fried chicken at Joe's, which enabled me to eat my stone crabs in peace as my daughter devoured every delicious, crunchy bite of her order. We also had the onion rings and (of course) the cole slaw, which I personally prefer without the odd mayo/relish topping, but whatever. The claws were huge and delicious. I could barely make it past the third one, but the waiter was happy enough to pack up the leftovers. (Guess what -- leftover stone crab claws make a great midnight snack in your hotel room!) In retrospect, since we were there for lunch, I should have ordered the lunch special -- 3 large claws plus cole slaw, hash browns and some other item I'm forgetting for $30. The waiter definitely steered me towards the larger and more expensive full order of claws, which cost $47 a la carte - ouch! It was definitely a good idea to go at lunchtime, though - there were crowds, but absolutely no wait for a table.

- D. Rodriguez Cuba (in the Astor Hotel on Washington) -- since David's Cafe was such a huge hit with my daughter, I decided to take a chance on upscale Cuban. Plus, I was a huge fan of Rodriguez's Patria restaurant in NYC, and I was eager to see if he could top that unforgettable "fire and ice" ceviche that caused such a stir years ago.... The restaurant is brand new and I think still working out some kinks in the kitchen, but it was a really fantastic experience. To begin with, the service was over-the-top solicitous, warm and friendly. My daughter (picky, picky) did not like her main course of house-cured pork with Puerto Rican-style pasteles, and when the waiter noticed that she wasn't really eating much, he offered to bring something else. By then, she had so filled up on the complimentary plantain chips and yummy sofrito salsa that she really couldn't eat much more, so we declined -- but the offer was appreciated. I skipped the mains altogether and had three appetizers: a red snapper ceviche with espelette pepper (the evening's only special); empanaditas filled with shredded oxtail (delicous); and a yucca flatbread topped with raw tuna and drops of ultra-spicy red pepper sauce (less exciting than the other two items, but still very tasty). Dessert was also excellent - a bit of confusion ensued when the coconut cake arrived topped with pineapple ice cream instead of the promised coconut, but this was quickly corrected with an extra scoop of coconut ice cream along with coffee on the house. On the downside, I read somewhere that they were offering complimentary mojitos during the month of December, but this was not offered to us and I was charged for my (extremely delicious) mojito. Oh well. The room is also lovely, and there is a huge outdoor garden where I would definitely choose to sit next time; sadly, it was freakishly cold for Miami the night we ate there (in the low 50's), so we had to eat inside. Overall, it was a wonderful evening and I would certainly return.

- Pita Loca -- some Israeli friends had told us about this small, hole-in-the-wall type place, which is on 6th between Collins and Ocean. Excellent, authentic falafel and shawarma. Fantastic fries as well. It's good to know about this spot if you are looking for a quick, tasty and inexpensive meal near the beach, but away from the hawkers of Ocean Drive.

- Eno's Wine Bar (on Lincoln) - high tech wine bar with very nifty machines that dispense automatic pours in different sizes (1 oz, 3 oz., 5 oz.). I really enjoyed this place. Again, service was very friendly, and they were happy to accommodate my daughter with a glass of coca cola and a plate of olives, while I kept myself busy tasting 1 oz pours of various wines. There is a small food menu in addition to the extensive wine choices.

-- News Cafe. This was a concession to my daughter, as it felt unfair to bring an almost-teenager all the way to Miami Beach and not eat at least one meal on that part of Ocean Drive. We had passable buffalo chicken wings, black bean soup and Israeli-style chopped salad. Certainly not a food destination, but compared with the other choices along that strip, I'd say it served its purpose.

-- Books and Books cafe. Came here for a quick dinner before seeing a movie at the cinema on Lincoln Road. My daughter wasn't hungry and didn't eat; I had the oriental chicken salad which was very good, though a bit heavy on the soy/sesame dressing.

-- Big Pink Diner. We stopped here basically for an early evening snack, as my daughter was hungry and I wasn't. She had a child's portion of Mac and Cheese and I had a garden salad, which was the size of three ordinary salads. I gather the "thing" here is portion size -- we saw many other families devouring gargantuan portions of what looked like standard, but well-prepared diner fare. My daughter was very happy with her Mac and Cheese. Considering that she is something of an expert in that particular food, it was a high compliment.

As I've noted above, I was struck by how friendly the service was in virtually every place we visited. I had expected - in part based on reports here, but also elsewhere - to encounter snooty service and "attitude," but that was not the case. I have very fond memories of visiting Miami Beach as a kid with my parents -- and eating mostly at the late, lamented Wolfie's! I'm glad for the significantly more varied options that exist nowadays (though it would have been nice to revisit Wolfie's, for old time's sake.... )

Dec 25, 2009
Fay in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Baluchi's Indian Just Opened on 5th Ave. btwn 2d and 3rd

Ate there a few nights ago and I'm sad to report that the food was just plain awful. The appetizer of roasted mixed vegetables consisted of a couple of chunks of mostly raw onion, broccoli and a pepper or two, briefly dunked in tandoori paste and yogurt and then "cooked" just long enough to be charred on the outside and completely raw on the inside. Raw onion. Yum. The black chickpea salad also tasted overwhelmingly of raw onion. Chef must have been on a roll. Tandoori chicken was dry and blah, raita was too sweet, etc. etc. They even managed to ruin the Kulfi - it was served frozen solid, but when chipped away had the grainy texture of ice cream that has been in freezer for way too long. It was also completely lacking in flavor - pistachio or otherwise. Service was quite friendly, but it just can't compensate for the complete lack of cooking ability in the kitchen. Too bad.

Nov 23, 2009
Fay in Outer Boroughs

Montreal Bagels in NYC (coming soon)!

As an expat Montrealer now living in Brooklyn, all I can say is OMG!!! I grew up eating St. Viateur bagels -- they were the preferred ones in my household (white seeds only, please.) My friends and I would easily devour an entire bag of the warm, fresh-from-the-oven bagels in one car ride home. The only problem is that they go stale very quickly. However, you can pop them in the freezer and then reheat in the toaster the next morning -- almost as good. (I wonder if Mile End will import them frozen...) Good smoked meat would be icing on the cake. And while we're at it, some Montreal cheese bagels would be much appreciated, too!

Jul 09, 2009
Fay in Outer Boroughs

Bussaco lately?

We had a lovely meal at Bussaco last night. Hadn't been there in a while and was surprised to see how much the menu had changed -- for the better, it seems to me. There is greater variety, and definitely more "wallet-friendly" options. It's my understanding that the first chef is gone now -- which doesn't seem to be a problem, as the food was great. We had an unusual and delicious special of goat curry (actually, goat served two ways: a piece of seared loin, served medium rare, and green curry over rice) and excellent moules frites. Service was attentive and the atmosphere relaxed. I'm glad we rediscovered this place.

Jul 05, 2009
Fay in Outer Boroughs

Good restaurants near Gordes (in Provence)? Also, CĂ©vennes/Lozere Eating Recommendations?

I recommend Le Mas Tourteron, just outside Gordes. We had a lovely meal in the garden a few summers ago. My family still talks about the cornucopia of desserts -- a long buffet-style table laden with an endless array of delicious items. When my son (then 10 or 11) had a hard time deciding what to try, the server suggested he have one of everything! They loaded him up with four or five plates, and he was smiling for days...

http://www.mastourteron.com/

Jun 26, 2009
Fay in France

Chez L'Ami Jean or Itinéraires?

CLJ was closed when we were in Paris recently (over Christmas), so we unfortunately didn't get to try it, but we did have an outstanding meal at Itineraires. The food was delicious, with some particularly creative/inventive dishes, and we found the service and setting to be very convivial. It was crowded, but certainly didn't feel packed. It was definitely one of the best meals we had all week -- other places included Chez Denise, Le Gaigne (a disappointment), Le Pamplet, Balzar, and a few others I am forgetting at the moment. I thought it was a great value and would recommend it highly.

Feb 07, 2009
Fay in France

Best plateau de fruits de mer in Paris? (Preferably open on christmas day)

Thanks. We are staying in the western edge of the Marais, not too far from the Beaubourg (if that area is even considered part of the Marais - I think it is, but I'm not really sure about that!)
Are we okay without a reservation at Bofinger, or any of the other places mentioned? I don't want to commit to a time and then find we are all too exhausted, so I was hoping to play this by ear. Price is also a factor -- will all brasseries be fairly similar in that regard?

Dec 23, 2008
Fay in France

Best plateau de fruits de mer in Paris? (Preferably open on christmas day)

We are arriving on Christmas Day for a one-week visit. I have made reservations for the rest of the week but not for that first day -- I am a bit wary of committing to a dinner reservation for fear that my kids (ages 11 and 15) will be too jetlagged to stay awake until dinner time. Can someone recommend an excellent brasserie where we can simply walk in when we feel like it and enjoy and excellent platter of oysters etc? I've been considering La Rotonde, but I am hoping to find something comparable that is a little closer to the Marais, where we are staying. And am I being realistic in thinking that we can get by without a reservation on Christmas day?

Aside from the "open on Christmas" issue, I am also simply interested in where folks think one can get the best plateau in Paris.

Thanks!

Dec 22, 2008
Fay in France

ISO sandwiches/food for a crowd in Park Slope

We'll be having a crowd of people (like 50) for a family gathering on Sunday. I'm looking for a place other than Fairway that does large platters, 6 ft hero sandwiches, that sort of thing. Any recommendations?

Oct 24, 2008
Fay in Outer Boroughs