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mla19's Profile

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ko or blanca?

I've only been to each once so I am not a great judge. But I can tell you that my one meal at Ko in 2011 was outstanding and I still think about it often. Hope to finally revisit, now in their new space, for my birthday in March. I ate at Blanca in 2012 and have no interest in going back.

Jan 29, 2015
mla19 in Manhattan

Piora revisited- Fantastic dinner!!

So glad to read this. I went once with a friend when Piora was fairly new and loved everything about my meal, including the gorgeous room. I'm going back soon with my husband this time and am happy to hear it's still great. Agreed it doesn't seem to get the appreciation it deserves.

Jan 29, 2015
mla19 in Manhattan

The best of Connecticut?

In lower FFC, each of the Bill Taibe restaurants in Wesport are excellent and worthy of a stop (Le Farm, The Whelk and Kawa Ni). Also good:

Mecha Noodle Bar in Fairfield
Colony in Stamford or Fairfield
Brasitas in Stamford or Norwalk
Estia's in Darien
Espresso Neat (Darien and Westport) or Lorca (Stamford) for coffee
Rincon Taqueria in Norwalk
And Fortina is soon to open in Stamford. They'e already in Armonk and Rye Brook, NY and excellent

Jan 29, 2015
mla19 in Southern New England

Fortina opening in Rye Brook

Hmm I bet you were mischarged, which is a shame. Fortina's pricing is generally pretty reasonable, especially given it's tastier than most Westchester joints at a similar price point.

I'm Angry and I'm not Taking it Anymore! Westchester NY

Ok so not a cocktail and not entirely relevant but i must share a story about los gemelos in port chester. I just love that spot - its food and prices. The other day i order their lone red wine with my meal. It was listed on the menu at $10, which i thought was a bit steep for Gemelos but generally in line with the going rate for house wine by the glass. Five minutes later, the waitess plops an entire bottle of red wine on my table. Yup, that price was for a full BOTTLE.

There are some great and reasonable spots in Westchester for food and drink. They're just much fewer and farther between than NYC.

Fortina opening in Rye Brook

We tried Rye Brook last Saturday (a week ago) at 5pm with our young kids and another family. Service, food and amibiance were absolutely perfect - even better than our last visit in Armonk. By 630 the place was packed. They're going to kill it in both towns and I'm sure Stamford, too. While we were there, I saw Rob and John (2/3s of the owners). I suspect, at least for now, they'll travel back and forth through the night.

As for the food, our old favorites were as good as ever (tenderoni, burrata, pork braisole, bread pudding), but we tried their brussels bravas for the first time and they were pretty much the best side dish I've ever had. We ordered a second batch. We dine in NYC often and we think Fortina honestly stands up against its city counterparts. It's really that good.

Re the noise, I'm in my 30s and I'm a city mouse, so that stuff doesnt bother me (I actually prefer the energy of a crowd), but I think that atmosphere is par for the course with Fortina, and you either "get" their shtick or you dont.

Cosme soft opening

Went last night and looks like things haven't changed much. Food was outstanding but service, particularly from the hostess, was comically bad. Luckily, we enjoyed what we ate so much, that it made the slow/amateur service tolerable. The husk meringue dessert was to die for.

Nov 14, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Campagna - the old Bedford Post, Bedford, NY

Did you get your res on Open Table or by calling? I predict this being a hardish ressie especially during holiday season!

Can't wait to hear what you think. Having Michael White pastas in the burbs is a dream come true!

And I can't believe how quietly they opened. I follow Chef White on Twitter and Instagram. No mention.

Campagna - the old Bedford Post, Bedford, NY

Did you get your res on Open Table or by calling? I predict this being a hardish ressie especially during holiday season!

Can't wait to hear what you think. Having Michael White pastas in the burbs is a dream come true!

And I can't believe how quietly they opened. I follow Chef White on Twitter and Instagram. No mention.

Locali (New Canaan) - Outstanding Dishes

Interesting. I tried it once and was not impressed with the food or service. It was only a few months ago but the food didn't leave much of an impression as I can't remember a single thing we ordered.

Side note - for wonderful pizza not too far from New Canaan, check out Fortina in Armonk.

Oct 27, 2014
mla19 in Southern New England

Trip Report: Grace, Schwa, Au Cheval and Little Goat

Thanks to everyone for the help in planning a great time in Chicago this past weekend. We had lots of fun (gorgeous weather!) and some delicious meals. Quick summaries below.

Au Cheval (lunch): My husband and I knew we were going to love Au Cheval from the moment we walked in. The atmosphere was top notch - relaxed but still buzzy, even at lunch. The cheeseburger with egg and thick cut bacon lived up to the hype, though it's certainly not something I could eat often. We also ordered the bone marrow with a divine beef cheek marmalade and the duck heart hash. All excellent and not for the faint of heart. We were still full many hours later.

Grace (dinner): A wonderful dinner. My husband and I each ordered the Fauna menu. Each dish was presented beautifully and ranged somewhere in taste from very good to outstanding. My favorite dish by a long shot was the Miyazaki Beef with Vietnamese flavors. That whole plate came together perfectly and it was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. I also really enjoyed the mini bread tastings that came with each of the savory courses. I've never seen that done before. Service was polished across the board, and the sommelier was especially excellent. The night ended with a tour of the kitchen and getting to briefly meet Chef Duffy.

Little Goat (brunch): A modern and improved take on the average diner. This is a place we would come to often if we lived in the city, particularly since it's child-friendly and we have young kids at home. As an out-of-towner, I'm happy I tried it once, but wouldn't look to go back on another visit. The hash browns (who knew it'd be a weekend of hash browns?!) were fantastic.

Schwa (dinner): Certainly the strangest restaurant I've ever been to. Chef Carlson was unfortunately not present at our meal so I wonder what effect that had on our experience. I appreciated the uniqueness of it all - food and beyond. But ultimately, the dishes were all way too sweet for my palate. I was craving something salty and savory the whole meal. The menu just didn't work for me.

We also had some awesome Tiki drinks at Three Dots and a Dash on Friday night. And we tried some doughnuts at Doughnut Vault and Firecakes.

A great weekend!

Oct 27, 2014
mla19 in Chicago Area

The Little Pub ROCKS Ridgefield, CT

I know this is an old post but I just had to weigh in to tell you that I agree entirely with your burger assessment. Little Pub just opened in Greenwich and it's making a killing. Constantly packed. I've been several times now and the food just isn't special. The burger, which you'd think would be decent at a pub, is totally flavorless and bland, like you said. Oh well - another letdown in Greenwich.

Oct 13, 2014
mla19 in Southern New England

Working in Greenwich - Nearby lunch options for take-out/delivery

Try Steam on the Ave. It's a bit pricey but much, much better quality than any of the other Asian fusion spots in town. I've tried a bunch of items off their menu and pretty much everything was great. I used to frequent Penang but Steam is better.

Another great option for lunch, albeit not near Greenwich Ave, is Villa Nuova on the Cos Cob/Riverside border. Delicious sandwiches and hot food options.

These two are pretty much the only restaurants I actually like in Greenwich.

Oct 13, 2014
mla19 in Southern New England

Zero Otto Nove in Armonk

Hi 51rich, I'm sure you already know this but if you live in New Rochelle, you're much closer to the original ZON in the Bronx. As I mentioned in the other thread, I've been to the Arthur Avenue location a bunch and it's good (and popular), but nothing amazing and not as good as its sister spot, Roberto's. Definitely less special than Fortina. In the Bronx it does get crowded but if you go early enough, you get right in. I'm sure the same will be true of Armonk.

Help us decide on an Italian restaurant for early December girls trip...

Morini and Maialino are two of my favorites. You can't go wrong. Morini is a bit more casual, hip and loud; Maialino more refined and comparatively subdued. With young girls, I'd say Morini would be more fun. The atmosphere is rustic but none of what you mentioned take away from the experience.And Morini's pastas are out of this world. Enjoy wherever you end up!

Sep 22, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan
1

Grace - Fauna and Flora Menus

Interesting that you had such a different experience. I was previously unaware that you could so easily substitute courses from each menu at Grace (not a common occurrence in fine dining). And should that be the case, I would gladly pick and choose from each menu.

I do appreciate the responses and agree that whether the restaurant allows us to freely substitute or not, we will not make any decisions about what menu to pick until we get there and see what most appeals to each of us.

Thanks, everyone!

Sep 16, 2014
mla19 in Chicago Area

Grace - Fauna and Flora Menus

Hi All - My husband and I are traveling to Chicago the last weekend in October and are very excited for our meal at Grace. For anyone who has been before, would we be remiss to each order the Fauna menu? We do want to get the full experience of Chef Duffy's food, but we both also really like our meat and seafood. A mostly vegetarian menu doesn't really get us too excited. I suspect if we ask our waiter that night, he or she will tell us to order one of each menu. But I'm curious to hear other diners' perspectives. Thanks!

Sep 15, 2014
mla19 in Chicago Area

Best dinner in the city for under $100 pp

I would definitely do Contra. $55 pre fix. It's amazing and better than some higher priced fine dining restaurants.

Edit: Just re-read the OP's request and saw he/she doesn't want a tasting menu. Disregard my post :-)

Sep 10, 2014
mla19 in Manhattan

Weekend in Chicago - Grace, Schwa etc.

Quick update: Was able to get a Grace reservation for Friday 10/24 and just today I got through to Schwa for Saturday 10/25 (thanks to Chowhound for the tip that if the phone goes right to voicemail, that means they're on the other line).

Of course, I'm nervous that Schwa will ultimately cancel on us but we figured it was worth rolling the dice for something we (and our dining companions) really wanted to try. For breakfast/lunch, we're thinking Au Cheval on Friday and Little Goat Diner on Saturday. Anyway, quite excited for what should be some really special meals. Will report back!

Sep 09, 2014
mla19 in Chicago Area

Palombo Bakery-White Plains

Interesting how the last two favorable posts were each made by first time posters......

Affordable Restaurants [Lower Westchester]

I'm in Greenwich so PC is very close to us and closer than lower Westchester, but I'm with you, Misti and Acuario provide delicious, affordable and authentic food. I could be happy eating all my meals in PC.

Ridge Hill New Eating Options:

Five Napkin is decent. Not that we need more chain burgers in the suburbs but it's a somewhat appealing addition.

Weekend in Chicago - Grace, Schwa etc.

Thanks, All. The other couples are college friends of my husband and I just got word that one of them has balked on our Friday dinner, likely due to cost. The couple that remains is open to anything and has been to Schwa and Goosefoot already. I think anything we pick will be fine with them.

Re: Saturday, Little Goat sounds great!

Aug 19, 2014
mla19 in Chicago Area

Weekend in Chicago - Grace, Schwa etc.

My husband and I are traveling from the NYC area to Chicago in late October. We're aiming to have dinner Saturday night at Grace. Friday night we're dining with two other local Chicago couples. One of the local husbands is pushing for Schwa, but their tendency to cancel last minute concerns me. If not Schwa, which would be a better counterpart to Grace and better for our larger group - Goosefoot or El Ideas? El Ideas seems more in line with Schwa but perhaps Goosefoot is the "hotter" restaurant at the moment?

Also, Saturday I'll be on my own for lunch while my husband watches football with his local friends. I'd love recommendations for any good spots that actually serve lunch on Saturdays (not just brunch). So far I've only really found Little Goat. I'm fine with traveling around the city. We plan to do Au Cheval for Friday lunch as my husband is itching for the burger.

Aug 18, 2014
mla19 in Chicago Area

armonk pizza

I've eaten at both Fortina and the Arthur Ave ZON quite a few times and I find both the pizza and non-pizza items much better at Fortina. To me, Zero Otto Nove is good while Fortina is great. I do agree, though, that ZON is more traditional and Fortina more modern. From the burrata to pastas to steak Florentine, Fortina hits it out of the park. They excel at more than just pizza.

As an aside, for great food in the Arthur Ave area, check out Tra Da Noi. Not pizza but fantastic.

PALOMA, Stamford, CT great restaurant!!

Yup same place. Didn't care for it one bit. We have 2 young kids so I hear you on traveling far for meals being tough, but we'll make the trip if it's worth it and we do the 45min-1hour trip into the city just for meals on a regular basis. Paloma just didn't warrant a return visit for us.

Aug 14, 2014
mla19 in Southern New England

Inn at Pound Ridge open

My thoughts exactly. Ok food, impersonal service and gorgeous space.

Inn at Pound Ridge open

Funny two friends of mine went to Inn at Pound Ridge recently and raved about the food. Said it was one of the best meals of their lives. But these are friends who don't care much for food/dining. My husband and I, on the other hand, have been twice and thought it to be just okay. I'd take Fortina and North over it any day.

Rincon Taqueria in Norwalk - Wow

Finally made it here. Excellent food and value. Portions tremendous and the food is simple but flavorful and fresh. Can't wait to go back.

Aug 14, 2014
mla19 in Southern New England

Campagna - the old Bedford Post, Bedford, NY

I can't wait for it to open. Love me some Michael White pastas!!