bellastraniera's Profile

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Pacific East space in Amagansett?

Does anyone know who's buying the old Pacific East space/what will be in there this summer?

Paris - Benoit Now?

I went a couple of weeks ago and it was excellent. The foie gras and the cassoulet were the best dishes we tasted. A classic bistro that's efinitely worth revisiting. Here are some photos and a write-up:
http://gastrochic.blogspot.com/2007/0...

Jul 25, 2007
bellastraniera in France

the hungry cat

I'm from the East Coast, so I was a little wary of the Hungry Cat since they're purportedly serving "Chesapeake style" seafood, but it was great. The Chincoteague oysters were especially good. If they have the "surf & turf" special of duck with smoked trout, get that - it's a winner. What do other East Coast transplants think of it? Review with photos and menus is here:

http://gastrochic.blogspot.com/2007/0...

The best of LA restaurants in 3 nights, 4 days

Thank you, everyone. The gastro tour of LA has begun! First stop, Monte Alban. More to come in the following days.

http://gastrochic.blogspot.com/2007/0...

The best of LA restaurants in 3 nights, 4 days

Omigosh thanks everybody. I think I'm going to have to eat 5 meals a day to keep up... or maybe have tacos for breakfast! I made a rez at Blue Velvet for one night - that will be my trendy/good resto pick. Let me know if it sucks, though. Counter Intelligence gave it a thumbs up recently.

The restaurant at the Getty Center is indeed pretty. I went there when it first opened years ago.

I think I could definitely get my friends to go to the Abbey - will do.

The best of LA restaurants in 3 nights, 4 days

Thank you so much mc michael. That list is great. Maybe I'll check out Babita on my own in addition to a west side Mexican. The taco trucks sound interesting too. OK, and I'll try the pastrami - but I remember the Second Ave Deli here before it closed - LA has some stiff competition!

Good to know there are so many foodies there now. When I lived in LA 10 years ago, everyone's idea of excellent dining was the Cheesecake Factory.

The best of LA restaurants in 3 nights, 4 days

OK count me overwhelmed. LA is so huge! And there's so much good food there! But I have to stick to those geographic limits, or I'll be eating alone for four days. For sushi and Mexican - I just want people's favorites, whatever the cost (bargains always appreciated though). For hot spots, I consider hot spots in NYC to be places that also don't disappoint food-wise, right now: Morandi, Waverly Inn, Cafe Cluny, The Inn at LW12, etc. So what's the equivalent in LA?

The best of LA restaurants in 3 nights, 4 days

Please help this New Yorker.

I am coming to LA eating out for 3 dinners, 4 lunches/brunches. Where should I go? I'm staying near Laurel Canyon. Looking for the best in sushi and Mexican (Tia Juana???), and a cool trendy hotspot or two to try (preferably with good food!). Not Mozza. I live 2 blocks from Batali's Otto in NYC - it's the same thing. I'd like to stick to centrally located places in Santa Monica, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, West Hollywood, or Silver Lake.

If you need any dining advice about NYC, let me know - I'd be happy to trade.

many thanks,
bellastraniera

http://www.gastrochic.com

Del Posto Restaurant Week

Thanks for the Per Se tip, jasmurph

If you don't make it during restaurant week, the enoteca at Del Posto always has a $41 prix fixe. Menu & service are hit-or-miss. Decor reminded me of a mega-Vesuvio's (Artie's resto in the Sopranos). Full review here:

http://gastrochic.blogspot.com/2007/0...

Jan 24, 2007
bellastraniera in Manhattan

Macaroni and cheese with fancy things added?

I know, I know. But if I open up the field to all pastas, I'd really be risking death by overcarb.

I think Half King first started the mac n cheese with things in it trend a while back - theirs has bacon bits. Not so fancy, but that's the first one I remember.

Jan 22, 2007
bellastraniera in Manhattan

12th & University tonight -- walk-in, 5 people -- ideas?

All the faux-Asian places on University suck. Cafe Spice, the Indian joint, is the real deal, however, if you like Indian. The murg tikka lababdar (chicken tikka in a mildly spicy sauce) is amazing.

The Knick is good - excellent burgers - but I don't think there's a 5-top table in the bar area, and the resto can be fancy schmancy. Just tell people not to order the expensive porterhouse?

bellastraniera
http://www.gastrochic.com

Jan 22, 2007
bellastraniera in Manhattan

Macaroni and cheese with fancy things added?

I've noticed mac n cheese mixed with "luxury" ingredients (lobster at Klee, truffles at Waverly Inn) recently. Has anyone else seen this at any other NYC restos? What's good?? I'd like to take a culinary tour of them all.

gracias,
bellastraniera

http://www.gastrochic.com

Jan 22, 2007
bellastraniera in Manhattan

Dos Caminos - rants/raves/thoughts? going for dinner tonight

Indeed, the easy stuff is usually quite good. I've had good tacos & chicken there, the guac is great, and the mole sauce delish. I guess whenever many people see "tuna rolls" on a menu, they order it. Try to dissuade your friends from doing this...even if they are pescatarians.

bellastraniera
Gastro Chic
http://gastrochic.blogspot.com

Oct 11, 2006
bellastraniera in Manhattan

Dos Caminos - rants/raves/thoughts? going for dinner tonight

If you are ever dining with a big, unwieldy group of people who don't particularly like eating food, Dos Caminos Park is great. My reservation of mostly women changed from 8 to 8:30, from 6 people to 9, with various people coming and going throughout the evening, and still the staff was accommodating, absolutely sans attitude. Even when we ordered only guac and apps and drank sparingly (unspoken diets abounded), the waitress didn't complain. Some of the food was pretty bad - I actually gagged on some kind of mayonnaise-y tortilla-tuna roll - but if you're planning a big, fun drinks-with-food thing, this is the place to go.

bellastraniera
Gastro Chic
http://gastrochic.blogspot.com/

Oct 11, 2006
bellastraniera in Manhattan

forks placed tines down - has anyone seen this? [moved from Manhattan board]

Yes it reminded me of the British tradition of cutting all the corners off the queen's tea sandwiches, so as not to suggest any violence towards the crown. Let me know if you've seen the tines-down thing anyplace else in NYC. thx

Gastro Chic
http://www.gastrochic.com

Oct 06, 2006
bellastraniera in Not About Food

forks placed tines down - has anyone seen this? [moved from Manhattan board]

I was at Dona recently - very good, btw - and the forks at all the place settings were laid face down, with the tines facing the table. The waitress explained that the fork was easier to pick up that way. (I didn't think so.) Has anyone seen this place setting trend elsewhere? I also saw it at Cafe Gray. Assuming it is some kind of European dealio? What is the reasoning behind this?

Gastro Chic
http://www.gastrochic.com

Oct 06, 2006
bellastraniera in Not About Food

Who makes the best CROQUE MONSIEUR?

FYI I just went to Pastis for brunch yesterday, and the croque madame there is even better than I remembered. They must be making the bechamel sauce with white wine, or doing something else that is above and beyond the call of duty for a Meatpacking place that would be mobbed even if they served dog food. Very difficult to find a croque madame (with the egg on top) - but Pastis has got it down.

bellastraniera
Gastro Chic
http://www.gastrochic.com

Oct 02, 2006
bellastraniera in Manhattan

recommend somewherein time square

I like Angus McIndoe on 44th between 8th and Broadway. Upscale Irish place, good burgers, steak, and roast chicken, nice atmosphere. The staff is really kind and flexible. Here's a great article on the place:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage...

Oct 02, 2006
bellastraniera in Manhattan