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smoked salmon bagel near 85th and broadway?

Funny... also given that both establishments share a penchant for surly waiters.

One drawback is that Barney Greengrass will be significantly more expensive than elsewhere. A bagel with lox and cream cheese is $14.

Nov 21, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

Upper West Side

I would skip Kefi and go to Fish Tag (also a Psilakis joint). Better food and better PQR.

Sep 06, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

Where do you dine at least once a month?

You should get a Chase Sapphire preferred - 2X Ultimate Rewards points on dining that can be transferred to a few airlines, including United.

Aug 10, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

Birthday Dinner-izakaya?

I'm a big fan of Tsukushi, but I'm not sure it fits the OP's fun izakaya requirement.
Though it attracts a fair amount of criticism here, I'm fond of En for what it is. The space is dramatic and provided you order well, the food can be good while on the pricey side of reasonable. Also, be aware that most two-tops get seated at the counter facing the kitchen or the central island / mini 'garden'. If you're not into that you may want to specifically request a table when you reserve.
I also like Aburiya Kinnosuke and they have some semi-private tables (though not sure whether they have them for two).
And Zenkichi in Brooklyn has some pretty romantic booths - but that's material for the outer boroughs board - and I haven't been there for a couple of years.

Jul 07, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

japanese knives

Korin is it. Most of the store is dedicated to Japanese knives and they really know what they're selling since it's their main business.

As far as the prices for the super high-end knives, much like wine, they're a function of supply and demand. The really expensive ones are made by masters with a very limited output, and in a cuisine where knife skills are everything, and you have a quasi-spiritual connection to your knife (sounds schmaltzy but it's true), a chef may be willing to spend a small fortune for a knife they'll literally use for a lifetime. But of course Korin has affordable ones too.

If midtown is more convenient, you could also go to the Japanese Culinary Center on 45th b/w 2nd & 3rd.

http://japaneseculinarycenter.com/

Jul 05, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

Taking Students to Little Italy, Recommendations?

Also, I wouldn't really bother with bemoaning the decline of Little Italy.
Though historically significant, the main reason it has receded to a symbolic block or two is that as soon as they could afford to move, the original residents couldn't get out of there fast enough to get away from the cramped tenements and really unpleasant living conditions (this is long before Manhattan real estate became what it is today). I have many friends who grew up there in the 60's and 70's and it was not a fun or picturesque place to be. I'm really not sure where a lot of these romanticized notions - including those held by many New Yorkers - of the neighborhood come from (Maybe movies? I just don't get it.).
And red sauce Italian is the chicken with broccoli of western cuisine - if you were disappointed by the lack of 'locals' at the place recommended by the concierge, I can't imagine how you would react to any of the old school places. An Italian wouldn't eat that food if you paid him (that includes me, born and raised in Rome). So definitely follow Simon's advice... or take it a step further and catch the train to Flushing - they'll be far more rewarding experiences. Happy chowing.

Jul 02, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

Is there ANY decent pizza on the UWS?!

After resigning myself to eating mediocre City Pie pizza for the last few years I have discovered two respectable pizza joints in the low 70's.
For a sit down or delivery single person pizza with a very thin Roman-style crust (full disclosure: I'm from Rome so that's what I crave - pizza purists flame away), Gina La Fornarina does a very respectable job, though it's way too expensive for what you get. Still - cravings need to be satisfied on occasion.
For a grab-and-go slice, though I would never have guessed it, Little Italy Pizza on Amsterdam b/w 70th & 71st is great. IMO it's by far the best slice in the neighborhood with a surprisingly thin and crunchy crust that somewhat approaches what I might get back home. And I suspect the reason I was so pleasantly surprised is that the guys making the pizzas are mostly from Egypt and many, many Roman pizzerie are staffed by, you guessed it, egyptians. Just a theory - but very happy to have these guys around.

May 12, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

Mullet Roe?

Or also in Chelsea Market, Buonitalia usually has bottarga from Sardegna.

Mar 28, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

Sushi Yasaka UWS

Just wanted to give a shout-out to a great relatively new addition for sushi on the UWS which has not been mentioned much. Aside from Gari, this is by far the best option in the neighborhood. Great selection (with neta that is the right size!) and very reasonable prices for what you get. Plus they deliver (which is a good thing when you've just added a new member to your family and are somewhat 'trapped' at home ;)
It's in one of those cursed restaurant spaces that is constantly turning over so I'm trying to push business their way to make sure they stay, as the UWS sorely needs this!

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Sushi Yasaka
251 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023

Jan 28, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

Date Place on UWS

How about Fish Tag? IMO best PQR in the neighborhood, good for a date, and they have a pretty mellow bar area in the front.

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Fish Tag
222 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024

Jan 28, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

Omakase for two around $150. Other sushi rec's?

I must respectfully disagree with foodwhisperer. There is no reason anyone should ever eat at Sushisamba.

Jan 28, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

Omakase for two around $150. Other sushi rec's?

Thirding Shimizu. BTW why the Thursday rec?

Jan 28, 2012
snaporaz in Manhattan

BEST JAPANESE IN NEW YORK-VARIOUS STYLES

I know En doesn't have many fans here, but I've found that if you order wisely it can be quite good, especially for a group. Just went with nine other people who are not japanese food lovers like myself (honestly it wasn't even my choice) on Saturday, as usual ended up doing all the ordering (does this happen to you guys?), and they were thrilled. Got some obanzai (very good, especially the pork belly and lotus root), sashimi moriawase (just ok), fresh scooped tofu (very good), kara age (of course a huge hit, very good), raw tuna and avocado salad (meh - but people liked it), miso marinated black cod (I was trying to stay away from this but people wanted it, good). Asked if they had shirako (for me!) but no dice. Anyway, nothing special, but a dramatic space and a crowd-pleaser of an izakaya, which can be tough when people aren't there just for the food, and don't get the charm of a place like, say, Ariyoshi. So it does have value as something like... "best crowd-pleaser izakaya for a big group".

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En Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

Dec 06, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

BEST JAPANESE IN NEW YORK-VARIOUS STYLES

+1 for Momokawa. IME they also tend to have very good sashimi - much better than any other mid-range place in the city.

Dec 06, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Stumped! I’m trying to find a traditional French restaurant but…

It's probably not fancy enough but how about Le Veau d'Or for very old school french?

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Le Veau d'Or
129 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022

Nov 23, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Sushi Help

I'm a big fan of Shimizu and you could definitely have a feast for that amount or less, depending on your appetite. You can sit with Shimizu himself, though a bit of Japanese goes a long way since his English is not that great, or with the other itamae (his name slips my mind), if you like a lot of interaction.

Nov 18, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Omakase at Morimoto or Nobu 57?

Ok... it's omakase (お任せ) not omakaze (that would be お任ぜ ) - and I do know what it means (approximately: "I trust you" or "I'll leave it to you"). However on these boards and elsewhere it is most often - though as you say not exclusively - applied to sushi.
That said, in retrospect I agree that it's not being very helpful to be asked about two choices and answer "neither" - so apologies for that. I just really dislike the food at both of those restaurants, especially the sushi but the cooked dishes as well, all of which I consider extremely overpriced. I also firmly believe that the only reason they're still in business is the celebrity chef element - hence my comment. Anyway, I'll leave it to those with a preference to recommend one over the other.
And +1 for Kyo Ya - was just there and it was outstanding.

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Kyo Ya
94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

Nov 15, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Omakase at Morimoto or Nobu 57?

Please forgive the implicit criticism of your choices here, but with all the excellent options for omakase in NYC (Yasuda, Shimizu,15 East, Kanoyama, Jewel Bako etc.), may I ask how you narrowed it down to two celebrity chef chain restaurants (30+ for Nobu, 6 for Morimoto) that don't really specialize in sushi? Honestly my answer would be neither.

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15 East
15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

Shimizu
318 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

Sushi Yasuda
204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

Jewel Bako
239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003

Kanoyama
175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Nobu
105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

Morimoto
88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Nov 14, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Where to buy a Cutting Board in NYC

The September edition of Cook's Illustrated put a bunch of cutting boards to the test, with the three front runners being:
- Proteak Edge Grain Teak Cutting Board (Highly Recommended)
- OXO Good Grips Carving & Cutting Board (Recommended)
- John Boos Chop-N-Slice Reversible (Recommended)
Since there is no shortage of kitchen supply stores in NYC, maybe a better strategy would involve trying to find a store that has #1 and #3 (#2 is thinner and plastic so I'm assuming you're not interested) so you can check them out for yourself.

Nov 14, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Big group (8-10), short notice, $50 all in - suggestions?

:) $50 per person. If that were for the entire party I'm sure I could find a McDonald's to accommodate us.

And thegforceny I like that strategy very much - though I can't say I have a fave in the theater district - so thanks a lot for the suggestions!

Nov 04, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Big group (8-10), short notice, $50 all in - suggestions?

I hate to post something like this, but I find myself in the unenviable position of having to figure out a venue for a last minute birthday dinner tomorrow (Saturday) night. Two weeks ago I might have suggested something like Fish Tag, but obviously it's way too late for that. There are some options on OpenTable in the $$ category, but I realize that I have never been, or don't even know about, most of the places. In the event that there might be a hidden gem somewhere in the endless list of probable duds I thought I might reach out to fellow hounds so... suggestions? TIA!

Nov 04, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Fishtag: what do people think?

I think it's good PQR but the three times I've been there since it opened I thought the food was off balance, often having too much acidity and/or sour elements. I think he's trying to do the David Chang acid counterpoint thing but less successfully. But it is one of the more interesting affordable eats on the UWS. And agree that those menus are so complicated as to be ridiculous.

Oct 24, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Sushiden – Another Good Midtown Sushi Restaurant

+1 on Shimizu - both for quality and convenience of location it's been my go to sushiya since it opened. Looking forward to your review.

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Shimizu
318 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

Sep 30, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Degustation - very poor

Very sad to see Wesley go. For a long time Degustation was IMHO the best bang for the buck finer dining in NYC.

Sep 16, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Where to go for AWESOME FUN IZAKAYA.

I would add Rockmeisha to the list if you would rather do your izakayaing further downtown with the slightest hint of decor. But the food is way better at Yakitori Totto and Aburiya Kinnosuke.

And for a higher price point / higher price-quality ratio, I always find Brasserie EN to be a crowd-pleaser, though it is not my personal favorite. The space is pretty dramatic, it's not in midtown if that matters to you, and the food can be good if you order wisely.

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Yakitori Totto
251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

En Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

Aburiya Kinnosuke
213 E 45th St, New York, NY 10017

Rockmeisha
11 Barrow St, New York, NY 10014

Sep 08, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Sushi Etiquette Question for CH Sushi Experts

I don't have much to add to Silverjay's comment except to say that I have never done or seen it done in [my sushi-filled albeit limited trips to] Japan or in New York, but have both seen it done and done it myself a number of times in L.A. Which might make regional sense given L.A.'s relatively more 'informal' vibe. And I hope I'm not opening up a can of worms here.

Sep 08, 2011
snaporaz in General Topics

Introduction to Japanese

I would add Momokawa for shabu-shabu, sukiyaki, and other assorted washoku, including some generally outstanding sashimi.

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Momokawa
157 E 28th St, New York, NY 10016

Aug 20, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan

Reservation for the bar at Spring?

"I also understand that sometimes when the upstairs is full, some diners are seated there but can "eat like upstairs", which means the actual Spring menu."

Thanks for the info. This is most likely what they offered us. And it may in fact be the best of all possible outcomes given the Mrs.'s dietary restrictions. It would be great if she could pick and choose while I had the menu. It would also be great for me to be able to order different wines by the glass, since part of this "allergy" also prevents her from drinking alcohol.
Do you think it would be a problem if I had the menu du marché while she selected from the Buvette menu? Or will my dinner take way longer than hers?

May 05, 2011
snaporaz in France

Reservation for the bar at Spring?

Despite calling a month ahead to the day, I was only able to secure a reservation at Spring for the bar, as the main dining room and the upstairs were already booked up. I was assured the bar has the same menu as at a table so I figured NBD. But as I read more about it, it seems like the only "bar" area is the Buvette in the basement level, which as far as I can tell has a limited menu and does not take reservations. For those of you lucky enough to be familiar with the new space, is there another bar area that is not the buvette? Or have they changed their reservation and menu policy for the downstairs?
Also, I just found out that Mrs. Snaporaz has developed a temporary "allergy" to things like raw fish and unpasteurized cheeses (if you catch my drift)... which is great and all but not so easy on the chowhounding in Paris. Has anyone dined at Spring with similar limitations? And what was the outcome? TIA!

May 04, 2011
snaporaz in France

Spanish restaurant/wine bar

+1 for Txikito.

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Txikito
240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

Apr 20, 2011
snaporaz in Manhattan