c

cellardoor's Profile

Title Last Reply

Montreal Chinatown: Chinese restaurants with ducks (or piglets, etc) hanging in windows

By the way, belated thanks for all your help - much appreciated!

Mar 13, 2013
cellardoor in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal Chinatown: Chinese restaurants with ducks (or piglets, etc) hanging in windows

Yep, this, pretty much - thanks to all for the other suggestions though

Mar 01, 2013
cellardoor in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal Chinatown: Chinese restaurants with ducks (or piglets, etc) hanging in windows

It has to be either in Chinatown or the Old Port area, but it definitely doesn't have to be Chinese themed - I just figured that this would be low hanging fruit (or duck, as the case may be) and an obvious possibility (but being a non native who's only been in Montreal for circa 8 days before...I didn't take the other issues into consideration)

Don't want to double post, so I'm linking to some other ideas downthreAd that I mentioned:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8922...

Mar 01, 2013
cellardoor in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal Chinatown: Chinese restaurants with ducks (or piglets, etc) hanging in windows

Ah, that's unfortunate indeed...

Mar 01, 2013
cellardoor in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal Chinatown: Chinese restaurants with ducks (or piglets, etc) hanging in windows

Alternatively (maybe this should be placed in a new thread), are there any particularly spectacular looking groupings of fish, cured meats, cheeses, etc near chinatown OR the old port?

I mean "spectacular looking" somewhat literally; as in, makes for quite a visual spectacle due to quantity, backdrop, etc...

Thanks!

Feb 28, 2013
cellardoor in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal Chinatown: Chinese restaurants with ducks (or piglets, etc) hanging in windows

ah, that makes perfect sense - thank you for pointing that out.

reverting to the original question - are there any backups in addition to Ethan than have similar (non-quite-street-facing) displays?

Feb 28, 2013
cellardoor in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal Chinatown: Chinese restaurants with ducks (or piglets, etc) hanging in windows

hah - especially not the latter. williej's closer - was trying to find a good photo possibility for unconventional pre-wedding shots involving meats. If this were NYC, I'd do something meaty w/Lobel's, a Flushing (not Chinatown) duck display, maybe a large format pig's head gyro at Cannibal...but I'm from out of town.

Feb 28, 2013
cellardoor in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal Chinatown: Chinese restaurants with ducks (or piglets, etc) hanging in windows

Ah, thanks much.

Yep, as shown here
http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/f...
http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/f...

Ideally, if there's a restaurant that has a display like that that's actually street-facing, rather than near the doorway, that'd be great - do you know of any?

Feb 28, 2013
cellardoor in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Montreal Chinatown: Chinese restaurants with ducks (or piglets, etc) hanging in windows

This is a bit of a random question, but are there any Chinese restaurants in Montreal's Chinatown that have ducks (or piglets, etc) hanging down behind their windows?

On the other hand: if there are many such restaurants, are there some with
1.Particularly large displays or
2.near Boulevard Saint-Laurent & Avenue Viger Ouest

Thanks much.

Feb 28, 2013
cellardoor in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Degustation 10-Course Chef's Tasting Review + Photos

I'm generally positively biased, but fwiw, there was much more lead time re: transition than most chef departures - -planned (and disclosed to owner, ppl who asked about it, basically anyone sitting near at the counter near the chef when he talked about it) since ~late 2010
-chef had reduced # of days/week that he was cooking at the restaurant well in advance,
-consulting arrangement go-forward between chef and restaurant set up as well.
-Chef (Wes Genovart) and his wife had already been working on renovating the space in Vermont that's to become their future project, SoLo farm and table ( http://www.solofarmandtable.com/ ) over the period as well

Of course, having not been to Degustation since the departure, I can't say how the actual transition went. (Last day chef was actively cooking full-on in kitchen was near the end of April, even though he was still physically in NY much of the time.)

From OP, sounds like it's at the very least, still solid?

May 28, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Suggestions on my shortlist of fine dining restaurants in NYC (first time)

One fast response to the hi-end dinner list: I would strongly suggest adding Corton to the mix - if I had thought that you had more free spots for dinner before/you weren't set on doing one of Daniel/CB for dinner, I would have lobbied strongly for it. Will comment later/merged w a response to one of sgordon's existing posts in this thread.

-----
Corton
239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

May 03, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Suggestions on my shortlist of fine dining restaurants in NYC (first time)

To be clear, I’m still firmly in the “if OP must choose between Daniel and CB, do CB” camp. I’m also in agreement w/you (sgordon) wrt the boring factor personally (esp desserts, where the # available at CB is also a lot higher – and assuming quality is roughly constant, more choices that are actually distinct from one another probably reduces the boredom factor - also, while desserts are "prettily plated" at both, there's a degree of relaxation of the "needs to be ridiculously gorgeous, to the point of ossification/it's gotta cause the dessert quality to be a bit lower - all else held equal" factor present at Daniel.).

Here’s a devil’s advocate argument wrt the OP’s preferences and how much to weight the “boring” factor.

#1 I assume that partly, you find the Daniel menu inherently more boring (which seems like a valid critique to me personally, but that’s not what I’m concerned with)

#2 Speculation alert: I’m assuming many of the ppl posting on this subject are probably in NY, near NY, or travel to NY and dine. Thus, you have the opportunity to dine at CB or Daniel (but more likely, you’ll go to WD-50 :P) in a way that OP definitely doesn’t have – you may have made the choice btwn the two in the past, and continue to be able to make the choice to dine at either one.

I’d also assume that you find Daniel additionally boring because you have more choices/have chosen already/have the option to dine there if you thought the experience were worth it – but the main thing is, you have options (and probably old memories) that OP does not have.

Idle thought part:
OP+partner are here for just a brief while, so maybe the boringness factor attributable to #2 shouldn’t be as prominent. Perhaps they would rather experience the luxe/”very good at what they do”/safer-but-better*, since they _don’t_ have the option of doing both, or coming back easily to try one or the other, etc. Maybe for them, the “boring” weighting is still a factor, but much less so due to their inability to return easily.

*-not wishing to get into a debate about whether "better" exists, which one is better, etc etc - call it the haute/full monty/more luxe/more occasion dining-y or whatnot for the OP. [Of course, as discussed above, whether the _potential_ service issues then drag down the "better" experience is an additional factor.]

To be clear – I’m definitely still saying CB over Daniel, if it’s strictly restricted to those two.

Comments on attire, to be merged w/your (sgordon) longer post on the subject below.
|
|
V

-----
WD-50
50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

May 02, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Suggestions on my shortlist of fine dining restaurants in NYC (first time)

Indeed - it's all about the framing - and why I felt so foolish upon discovering that (if I understand your comments re jacket timeline correctly) I probably didn't need to wear a jacket for much of the last few years, even if I probably would have opted to do so anyway.

May 01, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Suggestions on my shortlist of fine dining restaurants in NYC (first time)

That makes sense - I can explicitly confirm that I called the reservation line within the last 4 days, asking specifically about lunch in the dining room and jacket requirements, and was told (not just by automated message, but by a live person) that the requirement had definitely been relaxed. [It also makes me feel foolish, but that's another story entirely.]

The opentable reqs still say jacket required, fwiw, but I'm not sure if that field allows them to distinguish between dinner and lunch. Also, the opentable page reflects highly outdated pricing for lunch as well.

May 01, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Suggestions on my shortlist of fine dining restaurants in NYC (first time)

I would strongly concur wrt the "go with Cafe Boulud vs Daniel comments," contingent on your committing for sure to one or the other (vs using a wildcard, for instance)

I would go in the same direction, but even further than RGR wrt commenting on the strange schism that seems to strike Daniel - as many others have observed as well, there's often huge variability in one's experience for whatever reason.

My 2 experiences at Daniel were rather similar to Ruth Reichl's bifurcated review of Le Cirque (I'm being silly, to some degree -- obviously, the highs and lows were far more moderate and I wasn't able to be/trying to be anonymous in one case and a "whale" in the other).

Furthermore, in my bad service case, the service directly affected the food (huge delays -> food arriving late/incorrectly heated, utter lack of concern from the person serving me about said delays, etc) - tho for all I know, perhaps the food was already worse.

In the excellent case, however, the service and food were incredibly on point. I was attired similarly, ordering similarly, arrived on time, etc, etc.

Possible variables might have been overall economic climes, how booked the restaurant was at the time, or simply having the fortune of being waited on by an excellent server (Pasquale, who seems to have gotten name-checked elsewhere, and hardly needs a CH bump).

In addition, given that you don't plan on ordering wine, my suspicion is that that would make it even more likely that you'd get the evil-twin Daniel treatment. I'd definitely also agree that you'd get more bang for your buck at Cafe Boulud, as you mention that price is a concern.

One last thing - RGR can comment on this better than I can, no doubt, but at one point CB was only serving the brunch menu on Sundays w/no option for the regular/imo more interesting lunch menu. You probably want to avoid that.

It somewhat surprises me that RGR got hit this way as well, tho maybe that makes the unevenness of service a little more egalitarian than I had thought :P

-----
Cafe Boulud
20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

Le Cirque
151 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022

May 01, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Suggestions on my shortlist of fine dining restaurants in NYC (first time)

RGR, can I respectfully ask just how recent the JG change that you're thinking of was? I suspect that there may have been more than one change (paralleling economic mini-booms, mini-busts, and waves of interest as various ratings came out), unless you're referring to the outdated opentable data.

Granted, I've never dined there w/o a jacket, but I was explicitly told within the last few days by their reservations line staff that the lunch jacket requirement in the main dining room was no longer a constraint. (Not saying the change happened in the last few days, just that I checked explicitly within that time period.)

Again, I've been there for lunch a number of times in the recent past, and seen many, many ppl being seated w/o jackets - I'd put little weight on this, but would weight the above heavily.

May 01, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Suggestions on my shortlist of fine dining restaurants in NYC (first time)

no worries - I def don't think the business suit is _necessary_, nor is it recommended (esp given that you'll be touring nyc).

The only reason I could think of would be if you felt insecure at Le Bernardin - not because I would expect them to treat you less well, though a significant minority on CH might disagree with me here - but because it might make you relax more and feel better about the experience itself. [edit: not saying you should feel insecure, nor am I saying the physical environment of Le Bern is a temple to high gastronomy - you'll most likely be surrounded by lots of expense accounters, and the decor is fairly prosaic. Not a knock - just an observation - I like the food and have never felt mistreated there, even when I wasn't ordering alcohol (tho granted, I order more food than norm). I have noticed, like many others, that at certain pre-peak times - eg, ppl who take the first seating at DINNER, not lunch on off-peak days, that you may get rushed out/they will tell you that they need the table back at 8pm. (Typically, you're told by email or via the person who confirms reservations by phone about the 8pm thing explicitly; that being said, the one time I was worried I might go over towards the end of my meal there, I was told by my server not to worry about it.)]

Also, just in case it wasn't clear (because of my overly geeky "median dresser", "outlier" language), from a purely observational (NOT "this is what you should or shouldn't do") perspective, there are regularly a number of explicit dress code violators (ppl in a fleece+jeans+sneakers) who are seated and treated, afaik, within bounds of normalcy, at lunch in JG and EMP (tho EMP staff I'm sure would prefer this to not be the case, they technically and fundamentally would be less likely to penalize ppl given their overall service model). JG may selectively enforce this based on other factors tho. Again, Del posto had some, but I've only been there for lunch and dinner once (and dinner is very different).

The explicit dress code violation wouldn't fly at Le Bern tho.

As for the Egg, it is definitely still available, but the protocol of requesting it is obviously not as codified (vs receiving it automatically due to being a regular who loves desserts, for instance, being someone who works in pastry and makes it know to the kitchen, etc etc). I think if you politely ask in advance - no harm, no foul whether they turn you down or not.

From Laiskonis' slightly outdated post (in that the egg has become more popular, such that ppl def. do explicitly ask for it):
http://michaellaiskonis.typepad.com/m...

Excerpt:
One appeal of “The Egg” is simply the element of surprise and its dramatic presentation, as it arrives at the table cradled in a porcelain egg cup, complete with a tiny silver spoon. As a pre-dessert, the portion size is rather small, but by design; I kind of like the idea of someone wanting just one more bite! What really makes this dessert special is the result, a synergy greater than the sum of its parts. The different textures and flavors find their ultimate harmony with the addition of flaky Maldon salt, the key ingredient of “The Egg”.

Today at Le Bernardin, “The Egg” often appears unexpectedly as a special treat for our guests, as there has never been any mention of it on any printed dessert menu. That said, we still produce anywhere from 50-100 on a daily basis. And yes, we still expect to break one or two out of each dozen!

The definitive recipe appears below. For the home cook, it does require a moderate investment of time and equipment, however, beyond the initial opening of the eggs, the individual components themselves are really quite simple, and can be prepared up to a day or two in advance of serving.

-----
Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

May 01, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Suggestions on my shortlist of fine dining restaurants in NYC (first time)

Wrt male dress code - it's not an either or situation. In all cases, I think you'll be fine (from a perspective of fitting in, as well as respecting the establishment/minimizing the chance that you'll end up being regarded as a second class citizen - not that that _should_ be an issue at any restaurant) as long as you sub something in for jeans (slacks, even khakis). You may feel a little underdressed at Le Bernardin, but not in a severe way.

In fact, JG's detailed opentable reqs (as opposed to the static, single dress code regs) that are emailed to you, were you to have put in for lunch via opentable, and automated message as well, shld explicitly mention that jackets at lunch are no longer required.

EMP prefers jackets, but their ethos is such that they are least likely to be at all unhospitable.

As a matter of course, if you're curious re: median diner attire at LUNCH (this is not prescriptive, just observational):
-Le B - suits
-EMP - all over the place, esp at lunch - median will be dress code respecting, but you'll have lots of outliers (they're jackets preferred at dinner not req'd)
-JG - median is probably jacket but not suit, lots of downwards outliers at lunch
-Del Posto - too few data pts, but definitely lots of downwards outliers who still get seated

From a worst case scenario standpoint, frankly, if you wear dark jeans w/no artfully distressed features, even Le Bernardin will almost certainly seat you as long as you're wearing a jacket.

-----
Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

Apr 30, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Limited Time Only (LTO) -- RJ Cooper Dinners

Posting contemporaneously feels incredibly and utterly out of character for me, but that.s peer pressure for you/inspired by ellenost, i suppose :P [so much for just say no...]

Agreed re pacing for sure. Agreed overall re service, though there were a bunch of minor but crossed wires early on wrt small random things like the fact that I -did- want the nonalcoholic pairing and so on. Hardly unexpected given the fact that they've only been open for a few days tho

Food so far is quite good, again w 1 or 2 exceptions that tended to be from early on in service, and some the simplest/least value additive/literally smallest courses (fortunately?). The more interesting/complex/larger items seem progressively more successful

Can I ask what seating time you were?

Apr 29, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Limited Time Only (LTO) -- RJ Cooper Dinners

thanks for the info. just to clarify, I was checking more on the comfort level of the seating than decor quality, since slcorlis' experience made me a bit nervous.

I'm assuming decor, etc, need to be at a higher level, given that this is a sequential popup - on balance, each new chef isn't going to completely revamp the decor I'd think...

Apr 29, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Limited Time Only (LTO) -- RJ Cooper Dinners

stupid sounding, but serious question - how comfortable is the seating/is it fairly standard?

Apr 29, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Suggestions on my shortlist of fine dining restaurants in NYC (first time)

In a word, no. In more words, no way in hell. It almost reads as if most of the restaurants below the top 4 paid the article writer to advert their less-than-world-class wares by mentioning 4 of the most recognizable/3-michelin/4-nyt star restaurants...and then jammed in a whole bunch of cruft below it

Some are renowned for their poor food quality - like the Todd English Olives. Many are clubby/scene-y to the detriment of the food.

There are a few exceptions (eg, from the perspectives of a significant chunk of new yorkers, Peter Luger's is still an "institution"/some ppl will argue that it still has the best steak in town)

-----
Olives
201 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003

Apr 29, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Suggestions on my shortlist of fine dining restaurants in NYC (first time)

To give some objective background re reasons to drop Gordon Ramsay from a legit mainstream publication, since others seem to be tiptoeing around the subject:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

"Gordon Ramsay sells off flagship New York restaurant
Gordon Ramsay has had to abandon his dreams of conquering New York, quietly selling off his flagship foreign restaurant after three years of money problems"

"t will continue to trade under Ramsay's name but his involvement with the restaurant – and the hotel's more casual sister outlet, Maze – will be limited to advice on the menus and service, and the occasional visit.

The British celebrity chef, who stars in three US TV reality shows, had reportedly invested £5 million into the venture but ever since it opened in December 2006, it suffered from lukewarm reviews and empty tables.

Tim Zagat, the co-founder of New York's most popular restaurant guide, said that, whenever he went, he was always struck by how few people were eating there.

"His fame put up expectations very high and they were not met," he said. "Whether or not it has two stars, it hasn't really ever been a success with New Yorkers." "

Apr 29, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Corton or Brooklyn Fare for Birthday dinner

update: post Sifton's 3-star review, "starting in June, the price of the 20-course tasting menu will jump to $185" (again, pre tax numbers)

Brooklyn Fare Raising Menu Price by $20 After Sifton Review
http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/04/...

Apr 29, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Corton or Brooklyn Fare for Birthday dinner

Purely as an fyi, while the no notes policy is still prominently displayed on the printed menu, on a more recent visit, I noticed a lot of people (surreptitiously, but not _that_ surreptitiously) taking notes on their smartphones w/o being asked to stop, as far as I can tell - and I'm pretty sure they were seen doing so by staff. [The first time I went, I noticed no such activity at all.] I'm not endorsing any sort of flaunting of the rules simply because one might not get caught/asked to stop, any more than I'd tell someone that "restaurant X regularly seats people who violate their explicitly requested dress code minimums - so you should feel free to disrespect those standards as well" - I personally consider it disrespectful, given the explicit instructions from the establishment. Just pointing out that the tide may be turning / they may be loosening up.

Apr 28, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Corton or Brooklyn Fare for Birthday dinner

Should add some quick updates from a recent return visit (focusing on previously relatively weak points, not going in depth into new dishes, etc)

1.As I mentioned above, the main misfire at BF (in my opinion) was the lamb dish. When I returned to BF more recently, the lamb cut served was different (and more to my taste), had a nice fatty component, still quite rare, and was definitely not a "problem" dish anymore. (Chef also commented that he did not use any sous vide techniques to cook it.)

2.This time, the tempura was overall stronger - in particular,
a)there was a tempura preparation of monkfish liver that was amazing (granted, this is in part because the balance of deep-frying w/delicate fish is sidestepped when you're doing tempura of, well, monkfish liver)
b)a king (I believe) crab tempura was accompanied by a bolder saucing, and also felt somewhat less fried (lump of crab to tempura shell ratio was larger), which made it work better overall.

3.Dessert felt somewhat stronger, despite being more chocolate-focused and also more traditional in technique (both of which I can appreciate, but often associate - correlation, not causation, I tells you - w/a certain degree of laziness when dining at top restaurants in NYC)

Apr 28, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Corton or Brooklyn Fare for Birthday dinner

Apologies famdoc - just realized that the reply-to-posts system that chowhound uses, makes it appear that your overanalysis comment (while clearly broadly applicable as a valid critique to my commentary style :P), was addressed to my post about the food rather than my shorter, but more persnickety/etc "just how much does the interaction level at BF get kicked up or down by various random changes/how many angels per pin" post ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7749... ).

Apr 28, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Corton or Brooklyn Fare for Birthday dinner

Glad to hear that your bday dinner went so well - hope your partner enjoyed it too.

Apr 19, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Corton or Brooklyn Fare for Birthday dinner

"cellardoor: this had to be your shortest post, ever. ;-)" -famdoc
Quoted for truthiness :P Oh wait...

Apr 19, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan

Corton or Brooklyn Fare for Birthday dinner

raw, can I ask where you ended up going/how it went?

Apr 19, 2011
cellardoor in Manhattan