t

therenowtoo's Profile

Title Last Reply

"Let's meet for drinks"

So helpful, precisely the sort of recommendations I was looking for! And Grand Central is super convenient, as I work 2 blocks from there. Thanks!!

Sep 03, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

"Let's meet for drinks"

I'm not sure why the thread would be deleted. I searched first and found lots asking for advice on where to get drinks. I also purposely asked for places that also serve food worth eating as, after all, I care way more about that than I do about cocktails. Thanks for the reply though! Bryant Park (do you mean the Grill there?) is a good idea.

Sep 02, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

"Let's meet for drinks"

Hi hounds! Now that I'm permanently settled in NYC with a job that permits me a social life, I have jumped head first into the (so far not very awesome) world of online dating. I'm determined to stick with it and give it a fair shake though.

Anyway, it seems to me that the near universal suggestion for a first real life date is "meeting for drinks." Now I'm not much of a drinker -- I prefer to EAT my calories -- so I never know anywhere good to suggest. So I thought I'd turn to you folks.

Do you have any suggestions for restaurants and/or bars with good drinks, appropriate meeting-for-the-first-time atmosphere, and interesting, tasty noshes in case either (1) the date turns out to be a good one and we want to linger OR (2) it turns into a disaster and I need to console and/or distract myself with something delicious?

Sep 02, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

more feuds

Not sure how to do it, but maybe Economy Candy v. Dylan's Candy Bar?

Cannoli: Veniero v. Rocco v. new place that serves only cannoli

Meatballs: Locanda Verde v. Meatball Shop

-----
Veniero's
342 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003

Economy Candy
108 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

Dylan's Candy Bar
1011 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021

Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Jun 23, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

more feuds

Black and Whites: Donut Pub v. William Greenberg
Cheese: Murrays v. Saxelby
Halal plate: SE corner 53rd and 6th v. Kwik Meal

-----
Donut Pub
203 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

Kwik Meal
45th St and 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036

Jun 23, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

The Extended Tourist's Pizza Review

And I almost forgot!! (Not surprising considering what I thought of it...) but I went to Pulino's last weekend. I shared an appetizer that involved snap peas, mushrooms, toasted breadcrumbs, parmesan.... and it was absolutely delicious. I could eat several bowls of it. In fact, I wish I had just stuck with that and forgot the pizza. We ordered three to share, and well, they were just a mess. Both literally and in terms of taste. A pizza with prosciutto didn't taste a bit of prosciutto, but overwhelmingly of bland, bland, bland tomatoes. The tomatoes also turned the pizza into a wet, sloppy mess. I've been to Keste and a bunch of other places that do the neapolitan style pizza; I understand that a bit of wetness in the middle is to be expected and I don't mind it. But this just did.not.taste.good. A small breakfast pizza with egg on top (and I don't remember what else) was better but, well, completely unmemorable. The best of the bunch was a white pizza. All I could taste was the cheese, but hey, I like cheese. Add to it $3 for, I kid you not, probably less than 6 ounces of soda, and a waiter with a 'tude, and let's just say I was underwhelmed. Not a total loss though. I went, I tried it, and now I know not to bother again.

-----
Pulino's
282 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

Jun 21, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

The Extended Tourist's Pizza Review

My six month work trip has turned into a permanent relocation, so now I have lots more time to continue my pizza exploration.

This Saturday my brother and I ventured to Patsy's in East Harlem. The place was practically empty on a Saturday afternoon at 1 pm, but we had a life sized portrait of Old Blue Eyes hanging on the wall next to us to keep us company. We decided to stick to an old favorite and ordered the pepperoni pizza. I really loved it. The crust was the perfect mix of crunch and chew. The crushed tomatos and cheese were simple, fresh, and tasted just as they should. What little bite might have been missing from the cheese, I supplemented with some ground parmesan that did the trick nicely. And the pepperoni had a great spicy kick to it. It was definitely more oily than some other pizzas in this genre I've tried (Grimaldi's, John's though not Di Fara's), but that actually was a good thing. I intended to behave myself and only have 2 pieces, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. Service also was very good, polite, helpful and prompt. For me, Patsy's is a definite contender to be among my favorites. ('Cause really, there's no way I could choose just one favorite.)

Jun 21, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

A Sunday, on Arthur Ave, with Reservations

We ended up as Pasquale's, and had a nice time. We were both starving by the time we arrived. They seated us promptly, and gave us some bruschetta, parm, and bread to start. Bruschetta and parm were very good, bread mediocre. I ordered the pasta with peas and prosciutto, my brother got the penne arrabiata. My dish was a solid rendition of an old favorite. It was rich, creamy and very satisfying. My brother really enjoyed his dish as well, but when I tasted it all I could taste was the heat. Service was FAST and polite. All in all, I have nothing to rave about, but also absolutely nothing to complain about. Probably won't go back, but that's just because our short walk up and down the block revealed a bajillion other restaurants (and pastry shops!) that I want to try.

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Jun 21, 2010
therenowtoo in Outer Boroughs

A Sunday, on Arthur Ave, with Reservations

Thanks for the further info Striver.

Jun 10, 2010
therenowtoo in Outer Boroughs

A Sunday, on Arthur Ave, with Reservations

Thanks! I'll definitely check out Enzo's as well.

Among Tra Di Noi, Pasquale's and Enzo's, which would you choose?

-----
Enzo's
1998 Williamsbridge Rd, Bronx, NY 10461

Tra Di Noi
622 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458

Jun 09, 2010
therenowtoo in Outer Boroughs

A Sunday, on Arthur Ave, with Reservations

Thanks! Just to be clear, it doesn't HAVE to be red sauce, I was just meant it certainly can be so long as it's a good rendition. For us, "red sauce" isn't a bad thing though for some I know it is.

I read a lot, lot of reviews here that said Mario's had gone downhill/was a tourist trap. Has that not been your experience?

Jun 09, 2010
therenowtoo in Outer Boroughs

A Sunday, on Arthur Ave, with Reservations

Thanks. My understanding is that neither takes reservations and that Roberto's isn't open on Sundays. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong?

Jun 08, 2010
therenowtoo in Outer Boroughs

A Sunday, on Arthur Ave, with Reservations

Hi! My brother is coming to visit over Father's Day weekend, and we have tickets to the Yankees/Mets game on Sunday afternoon, June 20th. We were thinking about going to Arthur Ave for dinner afterwards (I've never been).

In searching the board for recommendations, I discovered that lots of places are closed on Sundays. We are looking for somewhere that is open (obviously), has excellent food (can be "red sauce" Italian American -- that's what we are, that's what we grew up on, and we love it), and that takes reservations (neither of us has the temperment to wait an hour or more for a table).

Based on what I've read here, so far my thoughts are Pasquale's Rigoletto and Tra Di Noi. Neither of these seems to have websites though (at least, that I can find; help??), so I haven't been able to confirm that they're open on Sundays and take reservations. Any information, thoughts, or recommendations between the two would be much appreciated! (I promise to report back!)

-----
Pasquale's Rigoletto
2311 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458

Tra Di Noi
622 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458

Jun 08, 2010
therenowtoo in Outer Boroughs

The Extended Tourist's Pizza Review

Hmmmm... I'm beginning to think Artichoke will have to be next on my list. Thanks everybody!

Jan 24, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

best cupcakes in Manhattan?

Forgot to mention, I also tried Baked by Melissa last weekend and enjoyed them very much. I had 6 of the 10 (maybe?) flavors and thought each was unique. In terms of portion control, the size is awesome. In terms of bang for your buck, not so much. $5 for 6 cupcakes the size of three stacked poker chips is just insane. They were good though. The cookie dough, cinnamon roll and PB and chocolate were the stand outs, for me.

Jan 24, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

The Extended Tourist's Pizza Review

I've been so remiss in updating, but that does not mean I've been remiss in eating pizza. Since my last outing to Di Fara, I've been to Co., John's of Bleeker and Motorino.

Co. -- disappointing. I had the cauliflower pizza and my companion had the ham and cheese pizza. The cauliflower pizza was almost tasteless. I was looking for that awesome crunchy, sweet carmelized flavor of roasted cauliflower combined with the nuttiness of the cheese, and neither were thre. Blah. I also wasn't a fan of my friend's ham and cheese pizza. The ham was tough and hard to chew, and the cheese made it a bit too greasy for my liking.

John's of Bleeker -- very solid! Somewhere between Grimaldi's and Arturo's in terms of flavor. Not as bland as Grimaldi's and not as spiced as Arturo's. I enjoyed it very much and would go back (though I still prefered Arturo's). It was a good version of what I have come to think of as traditional NY pizza.

Motorino (east village) -- this may be sacrilige on this board, but I liked, I didn't love. :-( I got the brussel sprout pizza thinking it would be like what I wanted the Co. cauliflower pizza to be. But there were almost no brussel sprouts on it! A few leaves. And I don't know what people mean when they say the pancetta was too smoky. Unless I happened to take a bite where some lay, I couldn't taste it. Cheese was very good, but I didn't think the extra drizzle of olive oil was necessary. Can't complain about the crust. (As an aside, I also had the octopus appetizer, which I liked very much.) On the plus side, I heated up my leftovers in a toaster oven the next day and I almost liked them a bit better than I liked the original. So while this isn't glowing review, it isn't a pan either. It was good pizza, just not transcendent, to me.

Jan 22, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

best cupcakes in Manhattan?

A few weeks ago I tried several cupcakes from Big Booty Bread Co. on 23rd and 8th. I hadn't heard anything about this place, but pass it on my way home from the gym every night (I know, I know). Friends and I had the Cookies and Cream, Dulche de Leche and a Red Velvet. These were EXCELLENT. And I was eating them a day old! Moist, flavorful, sweet but not too sweet, creamy icing... Dulce de leche had this fantastic surprise caramel center.... mmmm

Friends and I have been on a cupcake-a-thon for several months now, searching for the favorite in the city, and we declared it hands down the winner -- the Dulce De Leche one in particular. They were up against Magnolia, Crumbs, Buttercup and a truly awful batch from Jersey. A week after BBB we tried SSS and everyone agreed they were a close second, but BBB still won. I'm not going to bother with a ranking anymore, partly because it's been so long since I had Eleni or Red Hens or Cupcake Stop... suffice to say, I think people should give Big Booty a try.

Jan 22, 2010
therenowtoo in Manhattan

best cupcakes in Manhattan?

I feel obliged to edit my reply, since by some convergence of circumstances, I had cupcakes from three different places this week. (What can I say, I love cupcakes.)

I had two Cupcake Stop cupcakes on two separate occasions and both were decidedly mediocre -- dry, dense, tasteless cake. The icing (peanut butter) was good, but to me dry tasteless cake is unforgivable. It's why I can't stand Magnolia. Anyway, both times I was eating these in the evening, and all my previous experiences (all of which had been terrific) had been around noon, so maybe freshness is an issue. Either way, Cupcake Stop now drops to #5 for inconsistency.

I also tried a mini cupcake from Eleni's in Chelsea market this weekend and it was very, very good. Moist, chocolately cake with sugary, creamy-not-grainy buttercream. It shoots to the upper tier of the list.

I also tried bites of six different cupcakes from BIlly's, and sadly, it doesn't crack the top 5. Although the carrot cake and banana cake ones were very good (moist and flavorful), my go-to comparator cupcake (chocolate with vanilla buttercream) was dry, dry dry and the icing was hard and overly sugary. The same could be said for the yellow with vanilla buttercream. Very disappointing.

My new list:
1) SSS
2) Eleni (based only on the mini)
3) Buttercup
4) Red Hens
5) Cupcake Stop (on probation; will get dumped if inconsistency keeps up)

Oct 11, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

Non-stuffy lunch near Rockefeller Center

Thanks for the replies everybody! I really appreciate the input. I actually decided to go with Bar Americain. It seemed the most mainstream and, therefore, "safe" since I don't know his food or dining preferences. I got scared off by recent threads on bad service at Bar at the Modern. (Plus, it was a little more expensive than I had originally thought). I'll let you know how it goes, even though I'm not sure the board is waiting with bated breath for reviews of a Bobby Flay restaurant.

Oct 10, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

Non-stuffy lunch near Rockefeller Center

I am meeting a work colleague for lunch next week, and I could use some advice. I say "colleague" because that is the PC term we use around the office these days, but he's definitely my superior. That being said, it is more of a social, "what have you been up to these days" lunch. He's told me to pick the place, but I don't know whether he, our company, or we as individuals will be paying, and I don't want to presume anything or look like I'm hoping to get a fancy schmancy meal out of it.

Anyway, I'm looking for an inexpensive (entrees not over $20, maybe a prix fixe option in the $20s range), non-stuffy, but non-fast-casual, non-hole-in-the-wall, restaurant that serves good, well prepared food and strikes the balance between offering a comfortable experience while not being overly formal. Also, so I don't impose too much on his time, I'd like it to be near our office in Rockefeller Center.

I did a search and came up with these options. Any thoughts (or additional suggestions) would be much appreciated.

Bar at the Modern
Maze
Dervish
Cibo
Scarlatto
La Bonne Soupe
Akendiz

FWIW, right now I'm leaning towards Bar at the Modern... but I can be swayed. Thanks so much in advance.

Oct 09, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

best cupcakes in Manhattan?

My preferences in order:

1) Sugar Sweet Sunshine
2) Cupcake Stop (yes, the truck; I think their mini cupcakes -- never had a full sized one -- are excellent and underrated)
3) Buttercup
4) Two Little Red Hens

Oct 02, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

BEST BAGELS IN NYC

Just curious: why did you bring back this thread (before you posted, last post was July 2009) just to link it to an even older thread (last post Jan 2007)?

Sep 28, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

Le Fooding?

I went Saturday night. I arrived at 5 minutes of 7, and the line stretched down the block. I stood shivering in the cold until about 7:45 when I finally made it in. I immediately was hit with a wall of people -- one line facing one way for the gelato, another line facing the other way for the Minetta burger. I managed to grab some cheese and bread and went to scope out the different stations, hoping to jump in the shortest line. Silly me. There were no short lines. So I grabbed some more bread, and just picked one. I didn't even know what I was waiting in line for, it was so dark out and the crowd was so dense. The bread was gone before I moved five feet. Sadly, for me, it continued that way all evening. I would wait about 15 to 20 minutes per line, grab the plate, then immediately jump in the next line. It was so chilly that the food was cold before I was done eating it. Then I had another 10 to 15 minutes to continue my wait in line, still shivering and with an empty plate in hand. Everything I ate was very good (my favorites were the taco and the Minetta burger), but nothing was awesome. And, I have to honestly say that the crowds, the cold and the loooooong lines made for a pretty unenjoyable experience for me. I didn't bother with the gelato and left immediately after I finished my last bite. Maybe if I had upgraded I would have had a better time. :-(

Sep 28, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

New York Taste 2009

Great, thanks sophie! I'm feeling even better about buying the VIP ticket. Really looking forward to the event.

As an aside, I just got back from the Harvest in the Square tasting event where in addition to trying some tasty food (my faves were from Casa Mono/Bar Jamon and the marshmallow milkshake from The Stand -- omg, totally lives up to the hype), I also got to see a bunch of people from previous seasons of Top Chef in the crowd. Great fun.

Sep 24, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

Been to Eisenberg's lately??

Didn't check menupages, and didn't have the egg salad, sorry. Only things I tried were the BLT and the egg cream.

Sep 24, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

The Extended Tourist's Pizza Review

Yep, Artichoke already is on the list, as is Joe's. Thanks!

And believe me, lots of people put Grimaldi's among the best. Maybe not people who post on this board (though I am fairly certain I read about it here first), but lots of others do. I didn't know a thing about NY pizza before I started researching to create my list, and Grimaldi's was mentioned over, and over, and over again. And I don't think it's unmerited. It might not have been my favorite so far, but it really was very good.

Sep 13, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

The Extended Tourist's Pizza Review

Lured by the claim that Di Fara's tends to be the hounds' consensus for the best pizza in NYC, I decided it had to be my next stop. So bright and early this morning I laced up my sneakers and began the 9.2 mile run from my apartment in Chelsea. .2 miles in I stopped for sustenance at Donut Pub (and seriously people, the old fashioned sugar from Donut Pub beats anything coming out of Doughnut Plant -- and yes, I've had the blackout and the PB&J). Properly fueled for my trek, I set out again. After another brief stop to tour the Prospect Park farmers' market, I arrived at Di Fara's about 20 minutes before opening. About 7 or 8 people were ahead of me in line.

Even though I had done my research, I was a little nervous about the ordering process. I shouldn't have been. I watched as the man behind the counter (I assume the son) wrote orders down in a notebook ... sort of .. and waited until everyone in front of me had gone. When he looked at me expectantly, I ordered my two slices, one regular and one square with pepperoni. I got my regular immediately, from a pie that had just left the oven. He said the square would be a little bit, so I took my regular and grabbed a seat to eat it while I waited.

The slice was gooey with cheese and tomato and that dribble of olive oil. The extra sprinkle of parmesan was already melting into the mozzarella, and the basil already wilting from the heat of the pizza. I lifted it for my first bite, needing two hands, one for the crust and the other to hold the drooping end.

It was awesome. The tomato flavor was front and center, the mix of cheeses a perfect complement, and the olive oil the perfect finish. Each bite as I made my way to the crust only got better and better. It had the freshness that I had loved from Grimaldi's, but without any of the blandness. Not spicy or sweet like Arturo's, just rich and full in flavor.

The square slice was a whole different thing, and just as awesome. I loved, loved, loved the crust. When it came out of the oven I was a little disappointed because my piece (I knew it was mine because it had the pepperoni on it) had a long burnt edge. And no, it wasn't the dust from the oven. It was burnt. A few of the pepperoni were beyond the "crispy" stage and at the "charred" stage as well. But again, the first bite into that crunchy, oily crust and I didn't care. I ate the thing, burnt part and all.

You all are right. This was the best pizza I think I've ever had. I feel like such a follower, but fact is fact. Cripes it's good.

Ok, NOW, next up....maybe Co., maybe John's ... maybe Patsy's...

Sep 12, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

Been to Eisenberg's lately??

I was there on Monday, and just posted about it in the Egg Cream Roundup thread. Had a terrific BLT and what I am beginning to suspect was a mediocre egg cream. (It was my first egg cream though, so hard to tell). RGR replied that her BLT there was awful, so it may be a hit or miss thing. But I loved the atmosphere, and again, the sandwich I had there was simple, yet great tasting.

Sep 11, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

Egg Cream Round-up

This discussion about what an egg cream tastes like has actually been really interesting. The bottom line take away though is that clearly I need to try a few other options and see how they compare. FWIW, the yoo hoo comparison, whether accurate or not, doesn't really help me since I can't remember if I've ever had yoo hoo, and if I have, I was very young. So thanks for the additional suggestions for places to go everybody. I'll definitely be hitting them up when I get a chance!

Sep 09, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan

Egg Cream Round-up

I stopped in to Eisenberg's for lunch yesterday and had the BLT and an egg cream. (Although this isn't an Eisenberg's thread, I have to say my sandwich was incredibly basic, incredibly simple, incredibly un fancy-schmancy... and incredibly delicious. Totally hit the spot. I also was completely charmed by the quiet guy behind the counter who prepared my sandwich and put it in front of me with a smile).

Before this I was an egg cream virgin. Are they supposed to taste like carbonated, uber-watered-down chocolate milkshakes? I'm not trying to be negative or snarky ... I guess from the name I always imagined it being creamy and chocolatey, and this wasn't really either. If that's how it's supposed to be then awesome, I can now say I've tried it. But if it's not, I wanna know so I can try it again elsewhere.

Sep 08, 2009
therenowtoo in Manhattan