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markabauman's Profile

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Who's been to Eataly?

While visiting Chicago at the end of last week, I took a friend for lunch and to browse around with a friend who has never been to an Eataly. I have been to the one in NY several times. Of course, the layout in both was dependent on their reconfiguring existing spaces. I found the Chicago branch to be much more organized and navigable. Maybe we were lucky (it was Thursday afternoon), but it was positively serene compared to my visits in NY, which also include midweek visits. We had lunch in the Pizza/Pasta ristorante and food, wine and service were all excellent. One minor disappointment was in the highly-publicized Nutella bar. They sell and use for dishes they make up there the Canadian version of Nutella for the American market, which probably represents the vast majority of Nutella sold in the US, as compared to the original Italian version which is hard to find (I usually buy it at BuonItalia in Chelsea Market in NYC), which is more expensive. There are threads on this site and elsewhere about comparisons, but I believe the general consensus is that the Italian original is superior in terms of taste, quality of ingredients, etc. No surprise. The disappointment is that Eataly portrays itself as being the purveyor of the best there is in terms of Italian products, but then settles for a lesser product, probably for economic reasons, possibly predicated on the usual customer not knowing/caring/wanting the original. Even the two people working the bar didn't know about the original or that there was a difference. Where did they think it came from? Otherwise- great store, nice visit. Will certainly return on future trips to Chicago and recommend it to my Chicago friends.

Apr 07, 2014
markabauman in Chicago Area

Islamorada Recs Needed

Now $2 Stone Crab claws; $4 tuna sashimi. Still good.

Mar 25, 2014
markabauman in Florida

Recommendations for small plates, drinks for a group

Thanks; I've spoken to their GM; the location- which is very important in terms of proximity to the convention center/hotels works well as well as some of the sample menus I saw/price point. Thanks; most appreciated.

Jul 17, 2013
markabauman in New Orleans

Recommendations for small plates, drinks for a group

Thanks. We're also looking at Grand Isle.

Jul 16, 2013
markabauman in New Orleans

Recommendations for small plates, drinks for a group

A group of about two dozen of us will be looking for a place for small plates, bar food, drinks, etc. on a Sunday evening in early November. We'll all be centered around the convention center, Hilton, Marriott, etc. Nothing formal, people will come and go as they wish. Any suggestions, recommendations? Thanks.

Jul 04, 2013
markabauman in New Orleans

Hornell/Alfred area- any recommendations?

Have to travel to Hornell this week. Any suggestions for places to eat in the area? Even decent pizza, etc. would be fine. Thanks.

Best way to cook rice noodles

I was going to use some fresh rice noodles (about the thickness of udon for soup) in a soup dish. Should they be cooked separately (briefly, I assume) and then add them to the soup, or just cook them directly in the soup?

Mar 08, 2013
markabauman in Home Cooking

Italian 00 flour

I haven't seen Caputo "00" at BuonItalia. They do carry Gran Mugnano brand, both a pasta and a pizza variety.

Jan 09, 2013
markabauman in Manhattan

Pizzeria Posto/Rhinebeck-anyone been yet?

Thanks for clarifying that; my information came from someone local to Rhinebeck and a friend of Gianni's! Must have mixed them up. Will try Market St. soon. Thanks again.

Is the Vitamix a food processor too?

I love my Vita-Mix, but it certainly cannot do a number of simple functions that my old food processor can do such as grating, slicing, making dough (bread and pasta), etc. If you are happy with your blender, stick with it and get a food processor, though pureeing always works best in a blender.

Sep 03, 2012
markabauman in Cookware

How do YOU say it?

Maybe it's analogous to the different pronunciations you hear for "basil". Most people I know say "bay-zil", but you also hear "bah-zil".

Sep 02, 2012
markabauman in Not About Food

Pizzeria Posto/Rhinebeck-anyone been yet?

Has anyone been yet to Pizzeria Posto in Rhinebeck on Market St.? It is Gianni Scappin's new place. He also runs Cucina in Woodstock and is the head chef at lunchtime at Caterina de' Medici at CIA. Probably too early for a website & menu online as none has turned up in a search. Hope to get down there soon, but was curious if anyone had anything to report. Thanks.

How do YOU say it?



Aug 27, 2012
markabauman in Not About Food

Wine Country Off the Beaten Path

We are considering spending up to 10 days (or more); possibly flying into Portland, then visiting the Willamette Valley, specifically, of course, for pinot noir, but anything else as well. Maybe going in the other direction into Washington. Any specific recommendations, possible itineraries for the Willamette region?

Aug 16, 2012
markabauman in Wine

Schenectady's Little Italy

Went recently to Marotta's on Union St. Technically not in the Little Italy section, but close by-next to Manhattan Exchange, etc. Nice patio as well.
Our group of four had some interesting pizzas that we shared. I liked that they had Perroni on tap.
Another welcome addition to that area.

Jacob & Anthony's (S. Springs)

We've had a number of organization meetings at J & A. They have been most accommodating.

Whole Foods coming to Albany

I've heard the same story for some time, but that it is a "gentleman's agreement" that I'm sure no corporate officer would ever acknowledge due to legal liability like the FTC getting after them. Those overlapping stores appear to be in their fringe areas. It might be hard to imagine that each store would enter their respective central markets (no pun intended, or not?) like the Capital District and Rochester. Although in business, you never know.

Cafe Capriccio (Albany)

I'd like to think it was an aberration, an exception to the rule due to the timing being restaurant week. Even the best of places can get overwhelmed at Valentine's, Easter, Mother's Day and Restaurant weeks can be the same. I would hope you might consider a return second-chance under more normal circumstances.

Grimaldi's in New Paltz

Sorry to hear that they closed, though there's not much tolerance for serving minors, although I see it where I live with selective enforcement.
So what would be a second choice for pizza if stopping in the mid-Hudson valley?

Anyone been to Satsuma Japanese (Ballston Spa)?


Anyone been to Satsuma Japanese (Ballston Spa)?

It appears that Mino is once again closed in Ballston Spa. Anyone know where Mino might be now?

Replacement for Brindisi's, Saratoga Springs

Another DZ restaurant (Chianti, Forno Bistro) in S. Springs?

Best Thai in Albany PLEASE!!!!

I will have to pay attention, as I actually often watch him cook the dish a la minute. It's possible they are dried, then rehydrated as opposed to truly fresh. Will let you know.

Best Thai in Albany PLEASE!!!!

Quite sure Mike makes it with rice noodles, not egg. I also realized that the question was asked of Albany; I figured Troy isn't that far away for it to be considered as well.

Best Thai in Albany PLEASE!!!!

Although not a Thai restaurant, as such, Thunder Mountain Curry quite often makes great Thai food. They are found in the student union at RPI and usually on Saturday at the Troy Market. Some of the best Pad Thai I've ever had; always makes it fresh and to your desired spice level. Often will do other Thai dishes as well as great Indian and Pan-Asian food.

Trader Joe's coming to Albany

Oysters - along thruway NYC - Albany

Not sure where you're located or how far you are willing to travel. Can get great fish/squid/mussels/clams/oysters at the Troy Farmers Market on Saturdays from Pura Vida Fisheries out of Suffolk County.

Jaleo v Jullian Serrano

We went to Jaleo last Friday night while visiting LV. My original intent was to go to Julian Serrano, but chose Jaleo based somewhat on the CH reviews. Food was creative and tasty, though way too salty. Yes, riffs on classics is a characteristic of Jose Andres, but I have to agree with the above- potato chips instead of the classic? If it ain't broke-don't fix it. Wine list was interesting, but like most places in LV a bit overpriced. While we enjoyed many of the dishes overall, and service was excellent- if we return to LV, I'll certainly give Julian Serrano a try. We did not have the paella. And like so many other places in LV, loud and smoky.

3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Oct 16, 2011
markabauman in Las Vegas

PENN station vicinity help needed!

Great recommendations; the Serious Eats page is an excellent resource. Thanks very much.

Sep 22, 2011
markabauman in Manhattan