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Mid priced/casual/good - Chelsea or Meatpacking?

My husband is meeting a friend for dinner tonight, probably Chelsea or Meatpacking or somewhere in the vicinity as the friend is driving in from NJ. What's good and not crazy expensive on the mid/lower West Side? Thanks!

Jul 08, 2014
vvv03 in Manhattan

In Soho tonight, good takeout recs?

I'm going to find myself in Soho tonight around dinnertime. I don't want to sit and eat somewhere, but I feel like there are so many great places to pick up something to bring home. I was looking for recommendations .I've never eaten at Hampton Chutney. Is that good? If so, what to order? Any and all suggestions welcome! (I will be around Spring and Broadway but I'm open to walking a bit, too.)

Jul 07, 2014
vvv03 in Manhattan

Anywhere to get good salumi closer to downtown than Eataly?

I'd like to pick up some nice salumi tomorrow for the Italy/England World Cup match on Saturday. I work at World Financial Center and Eataly is a good half hour in the wrong direction for me. I assume that there is nothing good in the Financial District, but how about Tribeca? Soho? Anywhere below 14th on the West side..? I want some really good stuff -- fatty sopressata, very good aged parm cheese, nice olives, etc. Any ideas? Forza Azzurri!!

Jun 12, 2014
vvv03 in Manhattan

Stockholm, Gothenborg, Oslo- any decent food recs appreciated

A friend is leaving tonight for a week in Sweden -- Stockholm, Gothenborg, and Oslo. I was horrified when she told me she'd done zero research on where to eat. (Not really, but seriously, though, food is so important on a vacation, right?) I've never been to Sweden -- does anyone have any recs of where they might get a great meal? It's two friends, one from NY and one from London. I imagine we'd be talking street food, casual eateries and maybe one or two upscale (but not totally high end) places. Thank you!

Jun 05, 2014
vvv03 in Europe

What's nice for casual friend dinner Grand Central area?

It's been a long time since I've posted such a general question, but we're meeting another couple for dinner, preferably walking distance from Grand Central since they will be traveling back to Westchester afterwards. Doesn't have to be super close. Any cuisine, nice cocktails a plus. Just good ambience, good food. A nice place to hang out. Any suggestions? I really don't hang out there much except to have a drink now and then.

May 28, 2014
vvv03 in Manhattan

Anyone have a great Pancit recipe to share?

I work with a young Filipino American woman who brought me some pancit today to celebrate my birthday. I knew nothing about Filipino cuisine, but I loved this dish! Her father had made it and his version was two different kinds of noodles, shredded chicken, snow peas and carrots.I asked her if he would share the recipe, even in very casual terms, so hopefully she'll provide it, but in the meantime, does anyone have a great pancit recipe to share? I googled it and it seems that there are tons of variations. I'm looking for something chicken based if possible (because I fell in love with his version.) Thanks in advance!

Apr 30, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

? name of Italian fried honey cookies

My mom makes these right before easter. Little balls of dough that are fried and then covered in honey heated with cinnamon sticks. She is from Abruzzo and there they call them Cecechiati.

Apr 17, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Going to be in Baltimore for two days.

I'm an ex Baltimorian who hasn't been for years. you said "any Greek restaurant" -- is the Black Olive still around? If so, did it jump the shark? Also, how is the Helmand these days? Still any good? I used to love that place. Finally, are the steamed shrimp still fabulous at John Steven?

Apr 17, 2014
vvv03 in Washington DC & Baltimore

Tour with food stops in Jewish Ghetto Rome?

My friend will be in Rome for her honeymoon this June (God help her!) She is a Jewish NYer and a huge foodie. I've already hooked her up with Elizabeth for a food tour, but I seem to remember there is a women who is really good at doing a tour of the Jewish Ghetto. Does anyone remember her name?

Apr 01, 2014
vvv03 in Italy

Question about Hershey's Black Magic Chocolate cake recipe

This may be one of the more obtuse questions ever asked on here, but please cut me some slack and I'm not a great baker and I know that being exact counts for a lot. This weekend I made the famous Hershey's Black Magic Chocolate cake. The good news is, the texture was terrific -- really moist, nice crumb. The bad news is, it wasn't very chocolatey. I'm not even a death by chocolate dessert kind of gal, but the flavor was a little flat (and I didn't even use Hershey's cocoa, I used Ghiardelli.) My question is, would the chocolate taste intensify a bit if I used more cocoa next time? It calls for 3/4 cup, I was thinking of using a cup. But then I wonder what that does for the texture? Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Jan 26, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

ISO best recipe for roasted bone in pork shoulder that doesn't require overnight prep.

I have a 7 lb bone in skin on pork shoulder I'd like to roast for tonight. I've searched the boards and have some suggestions, but most of them would have required overnight brining or marinating. Anyone have a nice recipe that makes for a great roast in a day? I have all day to cook it. I liked the idea of a salty-sweet type glaze or crust, but again, most seem to want this process to have started last night and obviously I dropped the ball on that. Thanks!

Jan 25, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Give me your best not-too-fussy cake recipe, please

I've posted before that I struggle with making cakes that are too dry. Not making excuses for myself as I do think I'm screwing up *somewhere* along the way, but I also think I have a terrible oven. I'm in a rental and got a thermometer and it's usually 25-50 degrees off. But even adjusting for that, the cakes often don't cook in the middle, which leads to the overall cake being really dry. But I digress. My question is, if you have a recipe for a cake that is really moist and yummy and rarely screws up, can you please share it? My husband loves something sweet for breakfast. Ideally nothing too fussy and icing is not necessary (actually, I prefer it to be without icing.) Crumb cakes or any other kind of cake that might make a nice breakfast would be greatly appreciated!!!

Jan 11, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Need immediate help saving my filet mignon roast -- very time sensitive

I have a crap oven (there will be a follow-up post on recs for a new one shortly.) I tried to roast a 2-3 lb filet mignon roast for 15 mins at 500, turned off stove for 45 for minutes with door closed. Some of the outside is cooked, but it's mainly raw. Not rare, scary out of the fridge raw. What now? Do I try another ten mins at the highest heat I have?

Jan 01, 2014
vvv03 in Home Cooking

My first (last) meal at Pastis was shockingly mediocre to bad

We went to Pastis last night for dinner with a group of out of town friends (I'd recently posted for suggestions.) I was looking forward to it since Balthazar remains one of my favorite restaurants for consistently good food but I'd never been to Pastis. Wow was I ever disappointed. The specialty cocktails didn't draw me in and the one I got was cloyingly sweet. My daughter's french onion soup was too thick, the cheeseburger and fries were nothing to write home about. But most importantly, my tuna nicoise was terrible. Gristly raw tuna (I ordered it rare, but it was hardly even seared on the outside) and totally lacking in flavor. I was so surprised at how badly it measured up to its sister restaurant that I did a little research when I got home and found out (too late, alas and alack) that it is closing in January. So my question is, did it always not hold a candle to Balthazar or has it gone downhill? Or did the head chef get another job and they have the bus staff cooking until they shutter the place? I've heard great things about this place over the years, I'm curious.

Dec 28, 2013
vvv03 in Manhattan

Teach me all you know about ham, please.

My Food Coop ended up having a spiral cut "semi-boneless" ham -- 8.5 lbs for $50 (organic) so I bought it. I assume semi-boneless (which I haven't seen before in my internet search) means there is a small amount of bone, which I am hoping for because I definitely intend to make soup with the leftovers. I'll let you know how it all works out. Thanks again for all your help!

Dec 22, 2013
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Drawing a blank -- really good somewhat touristy family friendly suggestions?

Great suggestion! thanks, all!!

Dec 21, 2013
vvv03 in Manhattan

Teach me all you know about ham, please.

Thanks for all the great advice! After I posted, I did a search (should have done it the other way, I know) and vvvindaloo asked almost the exact same question a few years ago (down to the question about the sides.) it was so uncanny (especially given our similar handles) that for a moment I questioned whether I had written it then as well. (I didn't.) Anyway, thanks again for all your great suggestions!

Dec 20, 2013
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Drawing a blank -- really good somewhat touristy family friendly suggestions?

We have friends coming into town who want to meet us for lunch or dinner on Dec. 27. They love NY and like to hit places they have heard of, not necessarily hidden gems. They have two grown kids and we have well behaved 7 and 10 year olds. They first suggested Eataly, which I was game for, but then they decided they weren't into it. Then he suggested Union Square cafe. I've heard about it, but have never been. I think it may be a bit too upscale for 2 little kids, though. They don't need crayons at the table or anything, but I wouldn't necessarily want to bring them somewhere that others think is awesome for a romantic anniversary dinner. I thought of Balthazar, which is an old standby for me, but I'm not sure I can get reservations and I also think I have taken one too many out of town guests there. I know I am missing other places where the food will impress and the vibe will be sufficiently cool NY. I don't think location matters too much. Any ideas?

Dec 20, 2013
vvv03 in Manhattan

NY based food gifts to send to remote colleagues, please!

Great questions, sorry I was so vague. At this point I'm down to Massachusetts (because I can't send wine or liquor) -- thinking of spending $30-40 plus postage. Thanks for the suggestions!

Dec 18, 2013
vvv03 in Manhattan

NY based food gifts to send to remote colleagues, please!

Last year I did Zabar's black and white cookies. I feel like Junior's is too commercial at this point. Any ideas?

Dec 18, 2013
vvv03 in Manhattan

Teach me all you know about ham, please.

I am thinking of making a ham for Christmas (does one roast ham or is that the wrong verb..?) I grew up in an Italian family and for some reason my dad wasn't keen on ham, so we never had it. I, on the other hand, really like it but I guess it's never made the rotation on my cooking list because I didn't grow up with it. I made one once about ten years ago for a party and recall it was quite good (I used Ina Garten's recipe and intend to use it again.) Anyway, all if this is a precursor to my original query -- I'd like to make a ham for Christmas but I'm really not sure how to go about it. I live in Brooklyn and I'm not even sure where to get a ham (don't laugh.) I looked online and there are a lot of hams that seem like they are pre-glazed, which I don't think I want. I'd love spiral cut with a bone in, but I don't need a honking huge ham, do those only come in honking huge size? So how do you order these things is the first question? Second, what are your favorite sides to serve with ham? Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!

Dec 17, 2013
vvv03 in Home Cooking
1

7 Fishes -- give me some kind of easy, tasty fish dishes

I am first gen Italian American. My mother always did the Seven Fishes including a wonderful Zuppa di Pesce, Pasta con vongole, bacala and friend smelts. I work full-time, have a small apartment in Brooklyn and while I pride myself in being a pretty good cook, that level of seafood cooking is too ambitious for me. I usually make pasta con vongole and some sort of easy shrimp dish. I would love to add one more dish. Anything easy-ish/foolproof-ish and possible made ahead of time-ish?

Thanks!

Dec 16, 2013
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Decent happy hour in Financial District, Bowling Green side?

If anyone sees this post in the next couple of hours and can suggest a place with decent drink/food specials, please let me know! Thanks!

Dec 12, 2013
vvv03 in Manhattan

Why is my pizza dough tough?

This is incredibly helpful. Thanks for all your responses!

Nov 25, 2013
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Any recs for inexpensive wine glasses?

We just broke yet another of our Spiegelau wine glasses and this is from our second order of them in a couple of years. We don't put them in the dishwasher and we're not brutes, but they just seem to break very easily for us. I need to order new glasses and this time I'd like to go a little less expensive. Not that Spiegelau is really pricey, but if they're going to break anyway, I'd rather buy a whole lot and not sweat it. I just don't want them to be too thick and clunky and, well, really cheap looking. Any suggestions?

Nov 16, 2013
vvv03 in Cookware
1

What are you baking these days? November 2013 edition! [through 11/30/13]

I've made this cake twice in a row and it's really great. http://food52.com/recipes/1846-faulkn...

Nov 16, 2013
vvv03 in Home Cooking
1

Why is my pizza dough tough?

Today I made pizza using Marcella Hazan's recipe. The basic premise is dissolve yeast in small amount lukewarm water, add small amount of flour, add small amount of Olive Oil and salt and then keep mixing amounts of flour and lukewarm water until it's still slightly sticky, but a formed ball. Then you knead it on a floured surface for about ten minutes. It all went quite swimmingly and the dough itself seemed lovely. I put it in an oiled bowl, covered it in plastic wrap and let it rise room temperature. Again, all great. Spread the dough in the pan, still going swimmingly. Put it in a preheated oven 450 degrees, can't wait till it gets out. The pizza wasn't bad, actually pretty tasty. But the dough was hard, kind of chewy. The bottom crust was also on the crunchier side, but I guess that beats the alternative of soggy. But the crust itself was the sort of thing no one ever eats, not even crust lovers. Where do you think I went wrong? I felt like I did some really good kneading. i used regular flour, could that be it..?

Nov 09, 2013
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Can someone help me roast some sausages?

Thanks everyone. I also found this recipe (the picture is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for, not sure of the results.) Maybe I'll follow this but parsteam the potatoes (I have to do it stovetop, as I don't have a microwave.) http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverything...

Oct 31, 2013
vvv03 in Home Cooking

Can someone help me roast some sausages?

I have some lovely Italian sausages in my fridge and I have this idea in my head that I can toss them in a big tray with sweet yellow and red bell pepper, sliced onion and chunks of potato with olive oil, salt and pepper and it will come out sort of crispy/caramelized delicious. But I fear it's one of those efforts where I confidently fly by the seat of my chef pants and come out with some sort of grayish mush that no one wants to eat. What do you think? Can I cook this stuff simultaneously and make it work? Should I put one thing in before the other? Saute beforehand? Slice the sausage or whole (with holes poked in)? Oven temp? Time? Abort mission entirely? It would be nice to eat this after a night of trick or treating. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Oct 31, 2013
vvv03 in Home Cooking

What veggie with a shrimp scampi type meal?

It's not really shrimp scampi, it's a recipe I got from a latin american cookbook and I swear, it's quite good. I only say scampi type because it does involve shrimp, butter, garlic and wine.

Oct 30, 2013
vvv03 in Home Cooking