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Benjamin68's Profile

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Need Minetta Tavern recommendations

I went last night. It was pretty much perfect. I recommend the squid, trout, pommes Anna and chocolate souffle. The only disappointment were the cocktails, which were imbalanced.

Sep 22, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Need Minetta Tavern recommendations

Thanks, have you heard about anything else being good even if you haven't experienced it first-hand?

Sep 21, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Need Minetta Tavern recommendations

I'm going to Minetta Tavern this evening and would appreciate some recommendations other than the cote de boeuf and Black Label burger. Thanks so much.

Sep 21, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Where's a good spot to buy uni?

I'm looking to use some in a pasta and crab dish.

Jul 01, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Which butcher sells best-priced, Prime dry-aged beef?

Thanks. I expect it to be expensive, but I'm just curious if there are some relative bargains out there for great stuff.

Apr 30, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Which butcher sells best-priced, Prime dry-aged beef?

Would appreciate some ideas other than, say, a places like Lobel's, which is prohibitively expensive.

Apr 30, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Looking for a great price on fennel pollen

Thanks, I actually tried the Penzeys at GC and they don't sell it there, though I believe I've bought it from them via mail-order. As I recall, Penzeys quality was better (and their price higher) than Kalustyan's but apparently there's not enough demand for them to stock it at GC.

Mar 06, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Looking for a great price on fennel pollen

I love using fennel pollen in roasted meat and fish dishes, however, at the pace I'm consuming it and the price I'm paying for it ($20 an ounce at Kalustyan's) I'm concerned that I won't have enough money to send my child to college. Therefore, I would appreciate suggestions for where I can buy it for less than $20 an ounce in either Manhattan, outer-boroughs, or via mail-order.

Thanks for your help.

Mar 05, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Where can I buy the new Fage 5% yogurt?

Fage, which now has a plant in upstate New York, has introduced a new 5 % fat yogurt that I've only spotted at two stores in New York City. I'd appreciate if Chowhounders could let me know where they've seen it.

Mar 05, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Need Boca Raton and Delray Beach Dining Recs.

Hi JFood,

My baby came down with a cold so I was only able to go out one night, and that was to Cafe Boulud, which was pretty close to perfect and on a par with the one in NYC, but with better atmosphere (at least in terms of the outdoor seating; indoors looked a little boring). I'm sorry if you read "NYC attitude" in my comments. I was genuinely hoping to find some transcendent food in your neck of the woods, but -- and you probably won't like it -- found scant evidence that it exists. You may not think that I've done enough eating there to make that statement, but I did try 32 East, supposedly one of the best places in town, and it was a - "whatever." Moreover, there are many ways to infer things about a restaurant without actually dining at it (menu, decor, atmosphere, prices) and I didn't see any place that had all of those going for them and was endorsed en masse by your brethren. Not even close. Yes, Sundy house looks like a nice place for a drink, but is it worth $65 for dinner? I may be wrong but my sense is, absolutely not. Not when I can do the $45 early-bird outside in a beautiful courtyard at Cafe Boulud and have complex interesting food. Next time I'm going to do the prix fixe lunch, which is an even better deal.

The Curmudgeon From Up North

Feb 21, 2009
Benjamin68 in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Need Boca Raton and Delray Beach Dining Recs.

Thanks for your help. I'll let you know how it goes.

Feb 14, 2009
Benjamin68 in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Need Boca Raton and Delray Beach Dining Recs.

Uh, no offense, based on looking at the web site, that recommendation seems wildly off the mark for what I'm looking for.

Feb 12, 2009
Benjamin68 in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Need Boca Raton and Delray Beach Dining Recs.

I am completely open to anything so long as it's not generic, American-ized stuff. I'm particularly partial to Turkish, Thai and Mexican. Thanks, again, for your thoughts.

Feb 12, 2009
Benjamin68 in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Need Boca Raton and Delray Beach Dining Recs.

Thanks for the feedback, so far. Can anyone at least think of an exceptional ethnic restaurant. At this point I'll even take a stellar artisan bakery.

Feb 12, 2009
Benjamin68 in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Need Boca Raton and Delray Beach Dining Recs.

I will be in the Delray Beach/Boca Raton in at few weeks and am looking for dining recommendations. I have a reservation at Cafe Boulud at Palm Beach and, being familiar with his restaurants, assume it's got to be "solid" at worst. However, I'm at the end of my rope in terms of options in the Delray Beach/Boca Raton area.. Two years ago, I cam down for a weekend and dined at 32 East, which was "Okay" but hardly interesting, memorable or worth the price relative to what I could get for the same money in SF or NYC. Actually, the most memorable part of the experience was the sight of a muscular, jewelry-adorned guy ostentatiously parading about the dining room with a dangerously over-tanned woman on his arm, stopping by different tables to say hello. I later learned he was a "prominent" local restaurateur. While it was fascinating to watch this man's behavior, ultimately it was not not worth the price of the meal.

In any case, I really could use some killer picks or lunch or dinner, and am open to any kind of food so long as it's a really good example on a national level and not just, "The best in Delray or Boca." If it's a place where I'm going to spend more than $50 a person, I'd prefer that the menu not be circa 1995. For instance, the Sundy House looks like a lovely place but, sorry, the menu is a snooze to read and doesn't exactly make me want spend $35 an entree. These days, in NYC, where I'm from, many top restaurants are offering $35 three-course prix fixe menus. Obviously, Boca and Delray are not NYC, but there's got to be something in your area that will help make the trip memorable. Thanks for your help.

Feb 12, 2009
Benjamin68 in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Looking for Calabrian chiles, salt-packed anchovies and olives in brine

Thanks for the ideas. By coincidence, I was in Despana today and tasted some of their olives packed in brine and, unfortunately, wasn't crazy about them. By the way, I can't say enough about Despana's mojama and bottarga.

Feb 08, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Looking for Calabrian chiles, salt-packed anchovies and olives in brine

Thanks for these responses. What about high-quality olives in brine? I usually buy olives from good sources (e.g. Fairway) but I'm pretty sure most places stock them floating in olive oil, no? The author of a cookbook I'm reading says that the usually inferior quality of the olive oil masks some of the flavors of the olive, therefore she recommends buying ones in brine.

Feb 08, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Looking for Calabrian chiles, salt-packed anchovies and olives in brine

I would appreciate some assistance locating Calabrian chiles and salt-packed anchovies -- other than those sold at Buon Italian, which I find too fragile and expensive. Does DiPalo sell them? Also, where can I get high-quality olives in brine, as opposed to oil, which is how I believe most places sell them?

Feb 06, 2009
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Seeking excellent Chinese restaurant not far from Convention Center/Union Square

Thanks for all these suggestions, and sorry to inadvertently kick-off such a heated discussion about the relative safety of the surrounding neighborhoods of certain restaurants. I believe we're going to be coming straight from the Convention Center. As for the budget and atmosphere, I would say not more than $50 per person, and more toward "refined" than "funky" though we're not fussy.

Aug 22, 2008
Benjamin68 in San Francisco Bay Area

Seeking excellent Chinese restaurant not far from Convention Center/Union Square

Thanks. Anymore non-Chinese, non-private room suggestions in the area, meaning just a great reasonably priced place that can smoothly accommodate 15?

Aug 15, 2008
Benjamin68 in San Francisco Bay Area

Seeking excellent Chinese restaurant not far from Convention Center/Union Square

I'm from out of town but am looking for a top-notch Chinese restaurant not too far from the Convention Center/Union Square to host a group dinner for 15. If the place has a private dining room, all the better, if not, that's ok, too. If there are no good Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood, I'm also open to non-Chinese restaurants, too, though I'm not interested in nostalgia joints or places that emphasize quantity over quality. Thanks so much for your help.

Aug 14, 2008
Benjamin68 in San Francisco Bay Area

Who has the best price on high-quality vanilla extract?

Would appreciate some suggestions, thanks.

Aug 12, 2008
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Who has best selection of monofloral varieties of honey?

Yes, I believe Blue Ribbon's honeys are made by an employee's family apiary in Mexico.

Apr 29, 2008
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Who has best selection of monofloral varieties of honey?

I was thumbing through an old copy of Saveur and came upon an article on great monofloral varieties of honey. Who has the best selection in the city? I know Kalustyan has quite a few but am curious if there are stores that specialize in them.

Apr 29, 2008
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Question about type of vinegar to use when making ricotta

I'd appreciate it if someone could post that recipe.

Apr 17, 2008
Benjamin68 in Home Cooking

Question about type of vinegar to use when making ricotta

This weekend I made ricotta again, but this time with lemon juice. It was vastly superior to the recipe with vinegar. If you're interested in doing it, the recipe is "Fresh Homemade Ricotta" on Epicurious.

Apr 15, 2008
Benjamin68 in Home Cooking

Where can I buy maple sugar?

Need some for a Claudia Fleming dessert. Would appreciate some leads.

Apr 14, 2008
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Inspiring East Midtown Indian Lunch Buffet?

Looking to do a high-end East Midtown Indian lunch buffet today. Past favorites have included Dawat (many years ago), and Utsav on the West Side. Have been slightly disappointed with the buffets at Chola and Bukhara Grill, so I'd like to skip them this time. If location were not an issue, my first choice for an Indian lunch, in general, would be Devi's three-course prix fixe, but it's too far away. In any event, would appreciate some suggestions.

Apr 10, 2008
Benjamin68 in Manhattan

Question about type of vinegar to use when making ricotta

Thanks. The recipe I used, from "The Best American Recipes - 2005/2006," called for a quart of milk, a cup of heavy cream, a teaspoon of salt and two tablespoons of white vinegar.

Apr 07, 2008
Benjamin68 in Home Cooking

Question about type of vinegar to use when making ricotta

Thanks, for both ingredients (buttermilk and lemon juice) what kind of proportions should I use?

Apr 06, 2008
Benjamin68 in Home Cooking