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3-4 bourbons as a gift

He loves Blanton's. Thanks. These are great suggestions.

Nov 22, 2014
versicle in Spirits

3-4 bourbons as a gift

Thanks, but 600+ posts over seven years is a bit much and I know a fair amount about the common bourbons anyway. Looking for input from some of the connoisseurs I know are on this board about the best bottles right now and which distilleries would provide a complementary range for tasting.

To get the conversation going, Michael Dietsch responded on Twitter with suggestions for High West, esp. a Midsummer Night's Dram, and the Four Roses limited edition this year, and David Wondrich with Parker's Heritage wheat whiskey. (Thanks, guys.)

Nov 21, 2014
versicle in Spirits

3-4 bourbons as a gift

I'd like to get my husband a few bottles of bourbon as a birthday gift. I'm looking for a range of tasting notes and a group of special bottles. We tend to have Bulleit on hand. He likes Jefferson's, Elijah Craig, and Woodford for every day sipping. I prefer rye, so if there's one with a high rye content, that's appealing. I'm in NYC, so I should be able to get my hands on most brands. What are some that would be complementary but sufficiently diverse?

TIA.

Nov 21, 2014
versicle in Spirits

Myanmar in Falls Church or Mandalay in Silver Spring?

My spouse and I will be staying in Baltimore over the weekend. We're been to Myanmar and would like to make an outing to a Burmese restaurant. Are these the only two in the metro area? Is one better?

Anniversary dinner near Dead Rabbit in Financial District

Looking for somewhere for a wedding anniversary dinner in proximity to the Dead Rabbit downtown. We'd like to start with cocktails there and then on to dinner. Probably the only type of restaurant we aren't interested in is a steak house. There doesn't seem to be much else within walking distance.... Any ideas? (We're adventurous eaters and cost isn't an issue as long as we're not in the realm of Per Se.)

Sep 30, 2014
versicle in Manhattan

Sunset Park: Favorite Restaurants and the Dishes Therein

Not a destination maybe, but nice for people who work over there.

Jun 30, 2014
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Sunset Park: Favorite Restaurants and the Dishes Therein

Has anyone else checked out the new food court in Industry City? It looks like there are a lot of commercial kitchens with some opening up attached storefronts. I walked through the other day and there were maybe three places up and running, all doing a brisk lunch business. Colson Patisserie and Ninja Bubble Tea, and another whose name I've forgotten. There was a spot for Blue Marble as well, though it didn't look ready to open to the public. There's a nice outdoor courtyard with tables and chairs.

Jun 27, 2014
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Taksim Square 2 in Sunset Park

Since the OP seems reluctant to bite the bullet and just give the place a try, I decided to stop in at lunch today. This is the one on 3rd Ave. and 35th St., under the BQE. I'm not well versed in Turkish food, but this was a decent lunch. I got the meze platter--eggplant in a rich tomato sauce, a raw tomato salad, hummus, and baba ganoush. The baba was pleasantly smoky. The tomato salad tasted maybe a day old, but all in all everything was fine. The kebabs and kofte were being cooked to order. Prices were reasonable. The place was clean.

Jun 25, 2014
versicle in Outer Boroughs
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Fernet Magnoberta

I've had Branca in cocktails, but don't have a bottle at home. Last night I made a cocktail with rye, white whiskey, simple syrup, Angostura, and the Magnoberta. Something called a *cough* Bumpass Hound according to the blogger at Cocktail Quest. I substituted the Magnoberta for the Branca. It was a delicious cocktail, actually, but I don't have anything to compare it to.

Apr 20, 2014
versicle in Spirits

Fernet Magnoberta

Picked up a bottle of Fernet Magnoberta on Arthur Ave. this weekend. Any suggestions on how to use it? Is it interchangeable with Fernet Branca?

Apr 19, 2014
versicle in Spirits

Digestivo store in Brooklyn?

I second Mt. Carmel--they have practically a whole wall of amari.

Apr 08, 2014
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Spirits local to Los Angeles

I'll be in Los Angeles for a few days and am wondering if there are any interesting liquors being made there that I wouldn't easily find on the east coast.

Feb 14, 2014
versicle in Spirits

Kopiaste - Astoria

Do they offer a vegetarian version of the meze extravaganza? It doesn't look like it from the online menu. Zenon Taverna does a meatless version of this.

Jan 30, 2014
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Astor Bakery

Well, Canelle is close enough to the Jackson Heights greenmarket, so maybe that will become part of the Sunday morning routine. Artopolis is great--I'm a sucker for their melomakarona--but they don't have much on the breakfast pastry front, which is what I'm usually looking for.

We've gotten decent baguettes at Leli, but haven't tried much else. Yaxpac, what do you like there?

Jan 30, 2014
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Astor Bakery

I definitely don't think their croissants compare to anything at a really good bakery in Manhattan, but they're the best thing going within a ten-minute walk of my apartment on a weekend morning. If anyone can suggest something better on that side of Astoria, I'm all ears.

I doubt they get a very high turnover on the desserts....

Jan 28, 2014
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Astor Bakery

To clarify, we're talking about Astor Bake Shop on Astoria Blvd.?

I've had a lot of pastries there over the years--all breakfast pastries like croissants, muffins and scones. I'd say about 3/4 of the time these are great. Sometimes they're stale, like they've put out yesterday's fare. I've never tried the desserts.

The real problem for me is that the staff there is untrained and inexperienced, and the place generally is not sure whether it's a cafe or a sit-down restaurant. I've had a couple of lunches there and service is very, very slow even in an empty room. I've also gone there in the morning wanting to eat a muffin and drink a cup of coffee at a table. They insist that you have table service for that, instead of ordering at the counter, and it takes much longer to get someone to come take the order, go get it, bring it back, get the check, pay, get change, etc. than if you'd just been allowed to get it yourself.

Their coffee has also gone way downhill. When they opened, they served a nice robust brew from a local roaster and you could even buy beans there. Now the coffee is so weak that one time I had to check that the liquid in my cup was even coffee-colored.

It's a lovely, light-filled space and I like the croissants enough to keep going back, but I always wish it was a little better and a little better managed.

Jan 27, 2014
versicle in Outer Boroughs

M. Wells Steakhouse

My husband and I had dinner there last night. We started with cocktails: their version of a Manhattan and the Queens Cocktail, which had an Old Tom gin base, some herbal liqueur components, and a hint of pineapple. They were well crafted with high quality ingredients and at $10 apiece, a bargain. While we were at the bar, we had their version of Pimientos Rellenos de Atun, which was spicy pickled peppers stuffed with trout. $1 a pop.

Everyone probably knows by now about the live trout tank. I had the trout and my husband had the brisket. We started with some appetizers from the seafood bar: excellent oysters, clams in a jar, and the geoduck. The clams were plump, tender, and juicy, but the novelty of the jar was lost on me. The geoduck was overpowered by a green tomato chow-chow.

The brisket is served on a couple of pieces of French toast. It looked like an enormous amount of food. It had been cooked for 16 hours with many different kinds of pepper and was tender, with a complex flavor. I thought it was a little sweet, but my husband liked it. The trout was cooked in red wine, and served with a creamy sauce with chives, potatoes, and cabbage. It was excellently prepared, but I thought the trout flesh itself was a little bland. It was undeniably fresh--I saw the chef take it out of the tank and a few minutes later it was on the table. This was also an enormous amount of food and probably could have served two.

The wine list had a lot of interesting bottles, with plenty of options south of $75. The sommelier was friendly and made a good recommendation well below the cost point we named as our limit.

Service overall was great, the space is beautiful. They brought out a complimentary piece of red velvet cake for my birthday. It was huge and my husband and I were happy to share it--two desserts would have been too much food. I'm not a big red velvet fan, but this was less sweet than other versions and had an almost prune-y taste that I liked.

All told, with tip, the meal was $220. Unless you're set on eating the steak, I think it's very doable to eat a good meal there without spending a fortune.

Dec 16, 2013
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Vegetarian dishes at Little Pepper

We're taking a group of friends to Little Pepper for a celebratory dinner next month. There are a few vegetarians in the group (some of whom will eat fish). What dishes do you recommend for the table for these meat-free folks? I've had the fresh cucumber with mashed garlic, scallion pancake, the lotus root with pepper, and I think the shredded potato with cabbage. All good, but we'll need more for this group.

Also, I've never tried some of the more expensive dishes on the menu--are those meant to serve a larger number of people? I'm thinking of the Braised Sliced Fish In Spicy Soup Base in particular. Actually, any advice on ordering for a group of eight will be helpful.

Sep 23, 2013
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Differences between bittering agents

This is helpful. Thanks. I've been doing the bitters on the palm thing, but it's good advice to take it through the whole aroma - full strength - dilution process.

I guess with the bittering agents themselves, like gentian and wormwood, maybe I should just put some of each in Everclear or HPV so I can get a better sense of the difference in the quality of bitterness and flavor they impart. I haven't been able to find anything written that talks about how these particular ingredients differ from each other.

Sep 19, 2013
versicle in Spirits

Differences between bittering agents

I've got a lot of canning jars sitting around the kitchen right now, full of various combinations of bitters ingredients. This seems like a potentially infinite hobby. My question is--what is the difference between the various bittering agents? How would a single flavor come out differently with gentian, wormwood, quassia...? Any thoughts?

Also, I have a very medicinal-tasting set of bitters that I made mostly out of ingredients foraged in my back yard--burdock root, barberry root bark, lavender, with some additions of peppercorn and cardamom--cured in high proof bourbon. I added some dark simple syrup to try to round out the flavor and it tastes good, but I'm struggling to know what to do with it vis-a-vis cocktails. Ideas?

Sep 18, 2013
versicle in Spirits

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE EAST

Is it similar to an old tom style gin?

Sep 18, 2013
versicle in Spirits

Inwood

Wow. Inwood is seriously underrepresented on this board. A search didn't turn up anything from the last couple of years. What are people eating up there?

Sep 12, 2013
versicle in Manhattan

Marble Hill

Thinking about relocating to Marble Hill. What can we get to in the way of good eats? We have a car so surrounding neighborhoods in the Bronx are easily accessed.

Sep 10, 2013
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Atera v Corton v NoMad

I'm planning to book for a special occasion. Looking at the policies, it looks like the $250 per person includes the meal, the tax, and the gratuity. It states that drinks and additional gratuity will be billed the night of. I hate to be a rube, but I'm assuming that one bases the additional gratuity on the amount that one drinks. Is that correct? (Notwithstanding additional gratuity for exceedingly good service....)

Sep 06, 2013
versicle in Manhattan

What is the Spicy Mina, Chengdu Heaven, Southern Spice of today on chowhound?

Seems to be market price based on the fish. You browse the day's selection and decide what you want. I think their best prep is the simplest--grilled and served with lemon. It's all pretty basic and delicious mainly because the fish is so fresh. Love this place both for eat in and to buy fish to take home and cook.

Aug 31, 2013
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Rotgut tequila

I'm a little afraid it may harm the septic system if I dump it down the sink.... I'm not a tequila drinker so I can't qualify exactly how bad it is, but it smells sort of sweet and retails for $10 - 12 at the local liquor store.

Aug 22, 2013
versicle in Spirits

Rotgut tequila

Someone left a nearly full bottle of Montezuma tequila at my house. Should I pour it down the drain or can I do anything with it? Maybe infuse it with chiles?

Aug 21, 2013
versicle in Spirits

Uses for Lavender syrup?

I'm currently experimenting with lavender syrup in combination with gin, lillet blanc, and grapefruit bitters. Working on the right proportions.... Would love to hear some other ideas.

Jul 11, 2013
versicle in Spirits

Where do you buy rabbit?

International Meat Market on 30th Avenue in Astoria carries rabbit. I don't remember the price but I also doubt it's $10 / lb.

Mar 20, 2013
versicle in Outer Boroughs

Arthur Avenue

Here's a pic of the haul.

Mar 11, 2013
versicle in Outer Boroughs