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lotsanivanh's Profile

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Looking for party room 30-40 people

great recommendation! we've hosted several office parties in the stable and it's always a hit. marcy, events coordinator, makes the planning process a breeze. i believe the stable is a max of 40 people, so weather is not an issue if you keep it under 40, since the stable is enclosed with heat. you even get your own bathroom. enjoy!

Feb 05, 2011
lotsanivanh in Outer Boroughs

I-87 from NYC to Lake George

maybe you're thinking of skytop steakhouse. never been but hard to miss the (massive) sign.

I-87 from NYC to Lake George

based on your examples, it sounds like you are looking for casual dining. here are some options we frequent and love, all not too far out of the way from exit 20 saugerties/woodstock...

cafe mezzaluna, latin bistro

love bites- relatively new cafe, vegan/vegetarian friendly, cozy with just a handful of tables

fez- middle eastern

of these three, i favor cafe mezzaluna, where we will be going today. in need of their freshly squeezed oj mimosas.

if you're looking to grab a quick bite to go, dallas hotdogs i hear is good.

authentic italian in bay ridge or bensonhurst

tommaso's is solid, love this place. have yet to have one bad meal there. and the owner sure can belt some tunes. i think this occurs on friday nights? next door, at mona lisa's, they have an extensive bakery. i'm a sucker for the cannolis there.

Jan 30, 2011
lotsanivanh in Outer Boroughs

Heading to St Martin!! What's new there

that's too bad you had such a bad experience. while i agree that the ambience could use significant improvement (although much better than la marine, former restaurant in that location), we had a very different experience with both food and service. the staff couldn't have been friendlier, from the valet to the waitress. and our meal was phenomenal as well. have you been to bacchus in hope estate? i'd love to hear your take on it.

St. Martin - Le Santal or Le Cottage?

the only place in grand case that i know of that is consistent with 1:1 is spiga if you pay with cash.

Heading to St Martin!! What's new there

we stayed at esmeralda (our place is under construction), but didn't have dinner at l'astrolabe, although the villa we were given was directly behind. there's just too many places and not enough time. enjoy le ti provencal. langostines just arrived when we were there and that was ordered among other things. very $$ at 14euro for 100grams (? i think) but well worth it. they also had a grand marnier souffle ice cream... i'm salivating as i type.

St. Martin - Le Santal or Le Cottage?

haven't been to le santal, but have been to le cottage a number of times. definitely keep that reservation. grand case has established recognition as a culinary mecca in the caribbean. you will have a memorable meal in a great atmosphere. if you've never been to the island, i'd request a table on the porch vs sitting indoors. people watching adds to the experience. bruno, the owner, does an amazing job with preparation. have yet to be disappointed there. if you go and enjoy, another great place to go (lunch only) is bacchus in hope estate. stephan works there now and he was formerly the sommelier at le cottage. $$ lunch but well worth it. option three, mario's in sandy ground. reservation is required and i believe seating times are 7pm or 9pm. enjoy your first trip! we started off once and now go back at least a few times a year.

fyi, being your first time you may not know this, service (tip) is included on the french side of the island. there are some establishments who will tell you otherwise so be aware. first time we visited st.martin we double tipped and wish someone had told us this bit of info. a local and good friend of ours has a rule of thumb, 5-10% additional if you are extremely happy with the service, but not necessary.

Heading to St Martin!! What's new there

we just returned last night from another great trip to sxm. are you looking for new restaurants only in grand case? le ti provencal was one of our favorite meals; new location moved recently to the former location of la marine. if you're looking for new restaurants in other areas, patagonia (puerta del sol plaza) and ernest& fidel (porto cupecoy) come to mind. i haven't tried either but hear good things.

BEST of St. Maarten?

i was surprised to get an email notification today that this thread received some responses. the last time i posted was on this thread and didn't know chowhound sends email notifications. well, we just returned from st.martin today. would've been yesterday had our flight not been cancelled. here's a list of some of my favorites in no particular order:

mario's, le cottage, le ti provencal, yvette's, poulet d'orleans, calmos cafe, le pressoir, spiga, karakter (a must, very cool beach bar with live music on thursdays and fridays.. closed on tuesdays), treetop lounge at loterie farm, dinghy dock, buccaneer beach bar, mark's place...

i have loads of recommendations. we own in st.martin so we frequent the island and have lots of info that may be helpful.

BEST of St. Maarten?

of the places u listed i have been to l'hibiscus and le cottage, and both very good. attached photo is of a shrimp creole kebab at l'hibiscus. and no i have never stayed at la samanna. from what i've been told it's overrated. i prefer staying in orient bay because i love the beach there and it's close proximity to grand case.

favorite restaurants in St Maarten

finally went to mario's on 5/23 and it definitely exceeded my expectations. thought the hype would ruin it for me, but it was a memorable meal. as for spiga, it still ranks as my favorite. we usually sit outside on the porch and don't find it uncomfortable temp-wise.

st.martin (long report)

ok, sockster, here's my st.martin report and anyone else who's interested... within the past few yrs i have been to st.martin a handful of times and hope my insights are helpful to those who are headed to this fabulous island. first, i will admit that i am a bit biased and have a tendency to dine mainly on the french side, grand case in particular since it's the "culinary capital of the caribbean" plus the convenient proximity to orient where i stay. so for our meals, here goes:

breakfast is a meal i usually miss because of sleeping in late, but this time around we went with friends and felt slightly obligated not to sleep in until noon, so we had the continental breakfast offered at the resort where we were staying. on previous trips i have had satisfactory breakfasts at safari grill in orient village. but my favorite breakfast would have to be zee best in simpson bay. delicious pastries baked daily and if i remember correctly it's the rare place on the island that offers breakfast until early afternoon.

my favorite lunch in st.martin is simply a baguette w/ gouda or any cheese and an apple. i know it sounds rather unexciting, but i absolutely love this simple spread while sitting on the beach and got my friends addicted as well. we'd grab our lunch from tap 5, a mini-mart across the way from orient village and conveniently open from 7am-11pm, and walk back to the beach. we did this most days. however, there were days we swayed from this habit. we went to shiv sagar (indian, st.maarten), which is better than pride of india in simpson bay imo. one thing on the menu i haven't seen elsewhere is paneer pakora- very good. we also went to los calmos cafe, beachfront restaurant in grand case, where i go to every time. i absolutely adore this place, both for lunch and for a laid back place to grab a drink at night. for lunch the menu is pretty extensive along w/ specials, but i highly recommend the grilled creole chicken and as my choice of side i always opt for the zucchini gratin. another lunch spot we hit up was bikini beach tapas bar & grill in orient bay. the grilled half chicken is amazing and happy hr is great here as well. i haven't yet tried the lolos, but skys the limit in grand case is supposed to be a pretty good choice from what i've been told for local fare and good bbq and i'm truly mad at myself for not going yet after all these times.

as for dinner, this is where we splurge and have yet to have a disappointing meal. that said our least favorite dinner we have had so far was at il nettuno in grand case, which honestly was not a bad meal at all, but pales in comparison to the other options. my #1 choice every time has been spiga (italian, grand case). it's located on the northern end of grand case, hence quieter and easier to park and the food is unbelievable. this time around i got the tagliatelle w/ beef for my main. the beef was extraordinarily tender. gives u a better idea what to expect: i forgot to make note if they still offer 1:1 currency match, but i am pretty certain they do. another grand case restaurant which i highly recommend is le pressoir, excellent every time. my friends particularly enjoyed their apps: tastings of 4 soups and the foie gras. myself, i ordered the lobster tasting menu, and aside from the lobster bisque which i found to be average, it was a great choice. the lobster tail was served with a mango sauce. and the lobster tasting menu came w/ a choice of dessert. i opted for the creme brulee and also helped myself to the cheese platter that was ordered for the table. other grand case recs which i have dined at previously, not on this recent trip, are (and not in any specific order): l'hibiscus, le cottage, tastevin. we always make reservations when dining in grand case even during off peak season, although this time around we were shocked to see how quiet the restaurants were, including spiga where the tables were always full well into the night. if in philipsburg, i would check out l'escargot. we actually made a special trip out there for dinner and although a good meal, not sure if it was worth it's own trip, but if you are on front st it is a good choice. as for mario's bistro in sandy ground, i am thrilled that i finally went this time around. i was kind of worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations because of the hype and how difficult it is to get a reservation, but we made it for my bday dinner and it blew our minds. mario nicely signed his cookbook for me too, which will hold a special spot in my cookbook collection. mario's bistro, along with spiga and le pressoir, is now added to our must go places for dinner.

and here are some dinner recs for those who are staying in orient bay- places to eat in the village... of all the times we've been to st.martin this was the first time dining there and not by choice (our car rental had roaches!), but it was a blessing in disguise. i forget which nights there is live music performed in the middle of the village with restaurants surrounding, but i think it's twice a week. it adds sthing nice to the village dining experience. the winner here was le cadre, tapas. some tapas we ordered: steamed chicken dumplings, escargot w/ blue cheese butter, escargot w/ butter & herb, beef carpaccio, curry meatballs, fresh mozz & tom skewers... a few more things i can't remember now, but we ordered 2 bottles of wine and it all came to approx $160 for 4 of us! this was by far our cheapest dinner and it was really good to boot. cote plage is prob next in line. i thought the beef carpaccio here was better than le cadre. and the sliced chicken breast w/ wild mushroom sauce at cote plage is a dish i highly recommend. i am guilty of ordering that both times i went; it really is that good. as for tai chi ("thai" but more asian fusion, where u can also order sushi) was simply ok although seems to be a popular place. again not bad, but not that exciting either.

all in all, st.martin holds its reputation for fine dining because the food really is as good as they say... happy eating!

BEST of St. Maarten?

i'll be more than happy to post when i return. i'll be heading out on tues for a week. i've yet to have a dissappointing meal in st.martin, which leads me to believe one of two things: i have good taste when it comes to food and/or st.martin really is the culinary mecca of the caribbean. u will love orient bay; it is absolutely beautiful and since u will be there off peak season it'll be all the more peaceful. ok, i'll be getting back to u in a couple of weeks...

favorite restaurants in St Maarten

spiga is amazing!! i make sure to make a reservation for spiga whenever i go to st.martin. as an added bonus they match 1:1 currency, which is rare on the french side. le cottage is also very good. other grand case restaurants i like are pressoir, tastevin, and l'hibiscus.

BEST of St. Maarten?

i think it's been a few yrs since my last post... but since st.maarten/st.martin is near and dear to my heart i felt compelled to reply. i've been to the island several times and will be going again next week and tend to dine mostly at grand case, due to its proximity to orient beach, where i stay. with that said, here is my (lengthy) 2 cents of places to eat:

my top 2 picks in grand case without a doubt are spiga and le pressoir.

spiga- very highly recommend. one of my absolute favorites. and one of the rare restaurants on the french side that match 1:1 currency, which is more common to the dutch side. need to make reservations if u decide to go.

le pressoir- spiga was always my fav grand case restaurant, but this is way up there also.

other grand case restaurants worth checking out: l'hibiscus, tastevin, and los calmos cafe not so much for top spot dining although food is not bad but def great spot for drinks.

i've yet to go to mario's located in sandy ground but hope to remember to make a reservation this time around. it's supposed to be phenomenal and here u will def need a reservation made well in advance.

if u need other not so top spot recs, i'll be glad to give some suggestions. have a great time in st.maarten/st.martin!

seeking jars for bottling

fishs eddy carries ball mason jars. goodluck in your search.

Dec 17, 2006
lotsanivanh in Manhattan

best korean in brooklyn

i could be mistaken, and if so, someone feel free to correct me but i think there are only 2 korean restaurants that exist in brooklyn. one relatively new in williamsburg, i think... the other place is kimchee in bay ridge where i highly recommend. it's a family run place and service is always friendly and attentive. the food is very good as well. if you're interested in trying it out, kimchee is located at 93rd st and 3rd ave. goodluck in your search.

Aug 31, 2006
lotsanivanh in Outer Boroughs