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mla19's Profile

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Good Bar Food / Pub Grub?

If you want to go less traditional bar food but more special and interesting, try The Breslin, Spotted Pig or the Butterfly.

Apr 11, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Best desserts in NYC

This one may be a bit too simple but I always think about the salted caramel sundae with popcorn, peanuts and chocolate sauce at ABC Kitchen. Yum.

Apr 04, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Quintessential Dining Spots for a First-Timer in Manhattan

Agreed on the Ssam/Booker and Dax combo. And Uncle Boon's is great, too, if you're looking for Thai (in a hip, non-divey space)

Apr 04, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

French restaurants

+1 for Le Philosophe but note that it is a whole lot more casual and noisy than Daniel and Le Bernardin (in addition to being less expensive)

Apr 03, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Lunch at Ma Peche

I went a few weeks ago for dinner and loved the new format but I agree that it might not be the best for a weekday lunch. Our meal took awhile and even then, we didn't see every cart. But everything we tried was delicious and I'm really happy to hear that you loved the lamb noodles because we, too, thought they were amazing. Yum.

Apr 03, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Primary Food & Drink Greenwich?

Just checked this restaurant's Yelp page and reviews are pretty much unianimously terrible. I don't usually put much stock in Yelp reviews, but when there's smoke, there's fire and my experience was in line with these bad reviews. Curious if any Hounds have been recently. Also curious how aware and how much Chef Elliot cares about the less than stellar online talk about his place.

Apr 03, 2014
mla19 in Southern New England

Philly weekend - meals with and w/o kids

Thanks, everyone! Sorry about all the restaurant name typos. I wrote the post quickly from my iphone.

Anyway, I appreciate all the great suggestions and the vote of confidence to try Zahav at 5pm. We drag our older daughter to restaurants often so she sort of knows the drill (as best as a toddler can). And the younger one is still small enough to hopefully sleep or sit quietly in her carrier.

This trip isn't until July so I'll look into Laurel as a date night option as well as the others. I didn't recognize Laurel at first, but I should have since I watched this past season of Top Chef!

Oh and we (including our older daughter) ate at Amada in the Encore hotel in Atlantic City two summers ago and had a great meal. My husband usually dislikes tapas but loved Amada.

Mar 25, 2014
mla19 in Philadelphia

Philly weekend - meals with and w/o kids

Hi! We plan to take a trip from the NYC area to Philly for a long weekend this summer with our 2.5 year old toddler and infant. We'll mostly be doing kid friendly activities but would love to get some good meals in. If we ate very early, could we swing Pizza Vetri and/or Zahav? We'll definitely hit Federal Donuts at the very least.

If we can get a sitter, would love one meal without kids. Serpico really appeals bc Momofuku Ko is one of my favorites here in NYC but should we try something less similar to home? We've already done Bilbou. We eat all kinds if food/no budget. Just looking for a great meal worthy of a sitter cost :-) Thanks!

Mar 25, 2014
mla19 in Philadelphia

Reader's Poll Bday Dinner: Gato vs. Ma Peche Dim Sum

Went last night to Ma Peche. Thought the dim sum was great and lots of fun. As a previous poster said, the carts usually only had 1 or 2 servings so not ideal for a large group, BUT Ma Peche still offers a large format meal for big groups (not sure of the details but it's on their website). A very large group was there last night and everything they were served looked amazing. Worth looking into.

Mar 15, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Rincon Taqueria in Norwalk - Wow

Thanks for the report. I've read a few other glowing reviews and definitely need to try this place!

Mar 08, 2014
mla19 in Southern New England

Michael White to take over at Bedford Post Inn

I'm also very excited. Having Michael White's pasta in Westchester is something to celebrate!

Mar 06, 2014
mla19 in New York State (exc. NYC)

8 hours, 3 meals, NYC | Seafood! French!

Oops Nazawaka is also $120-150 before tax, tip and drinks so also pretty impossible to do with a $200 budget if you're looking to have a real lunch, too.

Feb 28, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

8 hours, 3 meals, NYC | Seafood! French!

Ko would eat up much of your $200 total budget at $125pp for dinner before tax, tip and drinks. And Di Fara, while awesome, is a schlep from Manhattan and usually features long (1-2 hr) waits. So it wouldn't work in your limited time. Your other options all seem doable though again, your lunch plus dinner will likely total over $200 unless you order very selectively.

Feb 28, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Lower Westchester bars/restaurants with quality cocktails

Only slightly less off topic to the OP's request but if one finds him or herself farther up north, there is an awesome cocktail bar in Westport, CT called Luxe. A really special place and a rarity in the 'burbs.

Feb 26, 2014
mla19 in New York State (exc. NYC)

Quick note on Laduree SoHo

I am no macaron aficionado but Pierre Herme's in Paris were divine. Have not had ones as good since, including Laduree. If only he would open up shop in NYC.

Feb 19, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Last Hurrah Before Baby - Pls help me pick spot

Duplicating this post from the Manhattan board due to some choices being in the other boroughs. Thanks!

Hello! Going out for my birthday in March, about a month before my due date for baby #2. Given dietary restrictions, inability to drink alcohol and general back pain prohibiting bar stool dining (sigh), I've narrowed down my choices to the following. If anyone has been to any or all, would love some insight. Thanks!

M Wells Steakhouse
All'Onda
Costata
American Cut
Juni
Dover

Feb 19, 2014
mla19 in Outer Boroughs

Last Hurrah Before Baby - Pls help me pick spot

Hello! Going out for my birthday in March, about a month before my due date for baby #2. Given dietary restrictions, inability to drink alcohol and general back pain prohibiting bar stool dining (sigh), I've narrowed down my choices to the following. If anyone has been to any or all, would love some insight.

Will post on the Outer Borough board too b/c of M Wells/Dover. Thanks!

M Wells Steakhouse
All'Onda
Costata
American Cut
Juni
Dover

Feb 19, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Kappo. An exceptional culinary adventure.

Bummer. Was looking forward to trying Kappo once I was no longer pregnant and thus able to comfortably sit in bar chairs again!

Feb 19, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Inn at Pound Ridge open

agreed

Feb 19, 2014
mla19 in New York State (exc. NYC)

Inn at Pound Ridge open

Wow, what an angry post. I am not a particular fan of JG or most celebrity chefs, but I have a few responses to your rant:

1) Yes, JG is not personally in each of his kitchens but he hires skilled chefs with their own set of talents who ARE in the kitchen. Have you heard of Dan Kluger, exec chef at ABC Kitchen? Dude is a rock star in his own right (with accolades to prove it) and I go to that restaurant to eat his food, not because JG has an ownership in the place. Mark Ladner at Del Posto is another example. Guy is incredibly talented and highly regarded. He is Del Posto - not Mario and Joe.

2) There are MANY overpriced, crappy restaurants, particularly in the suburbs. My current suburban town is filled with them. And it kills me to spend $100+ per person at these places. But sometimes, the price is worth what you're getting for it. The food, the service, the ambiance of a truly stellar place can warrant a high price. Can't say yet if Inn at Pound Ridge is one of these places since I haven't been, but to outright dismiss a place before trying it, seems silly.

3) It seems to me that you generally prefer less expensive (and older - John's Pizza? It's fine but there are several places in NY that have surpassed John's at the same price level), under the radar spots. Nothing wrong with that but recognize that like every other thing we treat ourselves to (theater, sports, concerts), we all have a different threshold for what we're willing to pay to enjoy the privilege. I'm not a hedge fund person but I love dining and so, that's where I tend to spend my disposable income.

4) I know it was just a mere example to make your point, but Bobby Flay is a joke in the food world and I would caution anyone to stay clear of any place with his name on it. (Same cannot be said of JG).

Feb 19, 2014
mla19 in New York State (exc. NYC)

Inn at Pound Ridge open

Yup, very frustrating! To clarify on Fortina, they were accommodating (no private room or inflated price per se), but my group of 10 required a pre fix family style menu beginning at $39/person for basics and going up in price depending on what you added. It would've likely been a good amount of food and a good value but we really wanted to have the freedom to order off the menu.

Feb 19, 2014
mla19 in New York State (exc. NYC)

Inn at Pound Ridge open

Unfortunately, that's a common move at least in this area. Parties over 8 or 10 people are deemed "private dining", often requiring a special menu, and inflated pricing. Happened to me when I tried to make a res for 10 at Fortina and forget about my attempts to plan an anniversary dinner in Manhattan for 10 - every place required a private room, pre fix menu and some even a room charge. It's a shame bc a group of 10-12, to me, is still manageable seeming. It's not like you're trying to fit 30 people at a table.

Feb 15, 2014
mla19 in New York State (exc. NYC)

New Restaurants..Fairfield, County.

Good to finally see some lower FFC action on this board. Like one of the posters said, there is so little traction that, as a Greenwich resident, I end up reading the NYS board for Westchester recommendations more than this board. In any event, here a few local restaurants we have dined at recently:

Primary Food and Drink (Gwich) - was really excited for this one but it was a huge mess. Food and service disappointing and prices sky high.

Mama's Boy (SoNo)- Only went once when it first opened and enjoyed my shrimp & grits and fried green tomato salad. Need to go back.

Nola (SoNo) - Had a couple excellent meals here but just learned it's closing for a few months to remodel (or whatever that means). Bummer.

LeFarm/The Whelk (Westport)- Neither is particularly new but I think they're the best restaurants in FFC so I try to get back as often as I can.

Mecha Noodle Bar (Fairfield) - Really, really good spot for ramen and more. Their mushroom dumplings are to die for.

South End (NC) - Just okay restaurant. Not worth the price or the effort unless you were nearby and needed a decent standby.

Estia's (Darien) - Also not so new but a favorite, particularly for lunch and breakfast. Delicious, fresh food with a Mexican bent. Warm, friendly atmosphere.

Harvest (Gwich) - I went once with friends and my husband went once with friends and we both had awful meals. The Gwich curse continues.

Finally, this one is not in FFC but nearby - check out Fortina in Armonk. A lot has been said about it on the NYS board (including by me). Excellent restaurant and one of the few spots around that we can bring our toddler to and still have a rockstar meal.

Feb 12, 2014
mla19 in Southern New England

Nice dinner @ Fortina in Armonk

the pies at fortina start at $10 and many are $15 or under. The pie that WCG mentioned is the most expensive ($21) as it contains truffles. And yes, it is to die for and well worth the expense!

Jan 27, 2014
mla19 in New York State (exc. NYC)

Bronxville vicinity for a Monday night birthday dinner for Mom.

Tarry Lodge is far more casual than Babbo. Also less special and less expensive. It's more of a loud, boisterous, night-out-with-friends kind of place. I wouldn't celebrate a special occasion there. All that said, it's not a bad place for a meal. But for contemporary Italian in Westchester, I much prefer Fortina in Armonk.

Jan 16, 2014
mla19 in New York State (exc. NYC)

Valentine's Day help [Restaurant North, Armonk vs. The Farmhouse at Bedford Post]

I agree with MRS. The food is excellent at North and though I haven't been to Bedford Post, I haven't heard anything too great about it to make me want to go. North is rather loud, especially downstairs, but to me, a vibrant atmosphere isn't necessarily a bad thing. The mood is still upscale at North and perhaps on Valentine's Day, it will be mostly couples dining, thus lending a more romantic feel.

Jan 16, 2014
mla19 in New York State (exc. NYC)

Estia's American in Darien, CT = GREAT!

Replying to my old post just to say that I've since been back to Estias for breakfast and lunch (often with our toddler in tow) many times, and it is consistently excellent. Happy to have it in our rotation.

Jan 03, 2014
mla19 in Southern New England

Primary Food & Drink Greenwich?

Hard to tell. The FOH problems may have been partly due to growing pains, and I would think the food should improve in time. But I've been to too many overpriced Greenwich spots with only mediocre food and service to be particularly optimistic. Very curious to hear other diners' reviews.

Jan 03, 2014
mla19 in Southern New England

Your current top 5 favorite restaurants right now

Limited to NYC (not favorites worldwide):

Momofuku Ko
Le Bernardin
Maialino
Il Buco Alimentari
ABC Kitchen

Dec 23, 2013
mla19 in Manhattan

Primary Food & Drink Greenwich?

@Stevel, curious what you thought of your meal there. We went last night and unfortunately, were pretty disappointed. Given the pedigree of Graham Elliot and the (typical for Greenwich) very high price point, nothing we ate was outstanding.

The meal started off on the wrong foot with two hostess stand snafus. They told us to wait in the bar/lounge and then proceeded to forget about us. We were only seated when my husband went back up to the stand to check on our table. Then, they tried to seat us in an empty side room rather than the bustling main room, which still had open two tops. After an awkward conversation with the hostess we were magically moved to the main room. My husband and I cannot stand when restaurants try to seat their bad tables before the good ones.

For our meal, to start, we split the reconstructed Cesar salad (I enjoyed but my husband did not as his piece was mostly dry lettuce in need of more dressing), a fluke sashimi with
Asian flavors (tasty) and duck angnolotti (served in a very disappointing watery sauce). As his main, my husband had the beef stroganoff, which had nice flavors, but the cut of meat was rather tough for a braised short rib. I had the lobster schnitzel. An interesting concept, but the lobster and panko crust were dry and not served with enough sauce. To finish, we had a banana creme bruelee that was quite delicious.

Our server was well intentioned and attentive, but like most restaurants in the suburbs, service was not quite as polished as you'd see in a similarly priced place in the city (ie the warm angnolotti was brought out at the same time as the cold salad and fluke rather than as a middle course).

The place is still very new, so perhaps it will improve in time, but for now, the curse of Greenwich restaurants continues.

Dec 22, 2013
mla19 in Southern New England