m

ManhattanLawyer's Profile

Title Last Reply

Critique/revise my rough Italy itinerary (Rome/Florence/Venice)

Hi again everyone,

If you're keeping up with my updates, thanks so much!

I'm winding down my reservations and have one open night in each of Rome, Florence, and Venice.

Rome:
Focus in Rome is going to be on pasta. I have reservations at Perilli and Cesare and need one more dinner reservation. Unfortunately, Armando, Colline Emiliane, Checchino, and Roscioli are closed. Would you recommend any of these for pasta: Flavio al Velavevodetto (reviews suggest it had gone downhill but might be on the rebound?), Nerone, Pipero, any others?

Florence:
I have reservations at Da Ruggero and Enoteca Pinchiorri and need one more dinner option. In Florence I'd like to make sure to eat somewhere with great bistecca. Sostanza is closed. Any thoughts/recent reviews on these: Buca dell'Orafo, Casalinga, Sabatino, and alla vecchia bettola? Would any of these have bistecca?

Venice:
Have reservations at Antiche Carapane and Anice Stellato and need one more dinner option. Testiere is closed. The open night is currently New Year's Day. Do you think some of the casual places to sample cicchetti will be open on New Year's Day? If so, we could make a meal wandering to a few of those places. Any reports on CoVino (the casual offshoot of Al Covo)?

Thank you!

Dec 16, 2014
ManhattanLawyer in Italy

Critique/revise my rough Italy itinerary (Rome/Florence/Venice)

Disappointingly, just found out that Sostanza will also be closed for 2 weeks over the holidays. Back to square one. Although I did make a reservation at Antiche Carapane in Venice for our last night!

Dec 04, 2014
ManhattanLawyer in Italy

Critique/revise my rough Italy itinerary (Rome/Florence/Venice)

As an update, just found out Alle Testiere will be closed until the 21st of January so now I'll need another option in Venice.

Dec 03, 2014
ManhattanLawyer in Italy

Critique/revise my rough Italy itinerary (Rome/Florence/Venice)

Thanks, Sid. I ate at Il Convivio last time I was in Rome, so looking for something different.

Dec 03, 2014
ManhattanLawyer in Italy

Critique/revise my rough Italy itinerary (Rome/Florence/Venice)

Husband and I will be in Italy from Dec. 26-Jan. 4. I’ve been a few times previously but never during holiday season.

I’ve browsed a lot of the threads here already and obviously my list will be dependent on what’s open during this holiday season but was hoping you could critique my list and then I could go from there figuring out which ones will be open.

We have one upscale meal planned on New Year’s Eve but for our other evenings, we would prefer more casual places, as I prefer those types of restaurants when I’m in Italy.

3 nights in Rome: Hoping to maximize eating pasta here, and I especially love carbonara and cacio e pepe. Would any of these be good for pasta? My short list is Armando, Perilli, Cesare al Casaletto, Piperno, Nerone. Any others instead?

3 nights in Florence: We have reservations on New Year’s Eve at Enoteca Pinchiorri so that night’s handled. Want to order chianina one of the other nights. Any must-visits for that? Was thinking about Sostanza for dinner one night. Thoughts on that? What about Alla Vecchia Bettola, Cibreo, or OSteria di Giovanii for the other? For lunch one day, is Nerbone still good?

3 nights in Venice, including on New Year’s Day. What do you think will be open on New Year’s Day? If possible, we’d like our other 2 nights to be Antiche Carampane and Testiere, if they are open, given the raves on this board -- But if you think there’s a different place I should go instead, or if either of these are closed when we’re there, what other back-ups do you suggest?

Thanks so much in advance!

Dec 03, 2014
ManhattanLawyer in Italy

Best late night dinner between LAX and OC

Will be landing at LAX around 11pm on a Thursday and driving to hotel in south OC. I grew up in Orange County but haven't been back in years. Are the late night dining options any better in LA nowadays? Would love somewhere great, if possible, or at least good. Any recs?

Thanks!

Help me plan Budapest dinners!

Hi,

We have four nights in Budapest, one of which is reserved for Onyx.

We are debating between the following. Please let us know which 3 you recommend:

Klassz, Rosenstein, Csalogany 26, Borkonyha, Bock Bistro

We were also planning on doing lunch at Pesti Diszno.

Thanks!

Jun 06, 2013
ManhattanLawyer in Europe

Question about reservations and critique my list

Thank you so much for responding, Sturmi! I was hoping to get your input.

Apr 18, 2013
ManhattanLawyer in Europe

Question about reservations and critique my list

Thanks for the input. I can't seem to figure out how to change the title to add the word Vienna. That was such an oversight on my part!

Apr 16, 2013
ManhattanLawyer in Europe

Question about reservations and critique my list

I’ll be in Vienna for several days in July and was wondering how far in advance it’s possible to make reservations, both at upscale places (would like to go to Steirereck) as well as more casual places (i.e. Rudi’s Beisl, etc.)? In NYC, usually you can only make reservations 30 days in advance but I know in foreign cities you can sometimes book farther in advance.

Additionally, would love some feedback on my proposed dinner line-up:

Steirereck
Rudi’s Beisl
Vestibul
Gasthaus Pöschl

We have two more nights. Of the following, which would you recommend, keeping in mind the above restaurants: Gasthaus Wolf, Phonixhof, Gaumenspiel, Glacisbeisel, Zum Schwarzen Kameel, Figlmuller

Does it make sense to have dinner one night at a heuriger? We will be spending a day in the Wachau Valley so presumably we’ll be spending some time in heiringa in Durnstein so not sure it makes sense to allot a dinner at a heuriger but would appreciate input.

Thanks!

Apr 15, 2013
ManhattanLawyer in Europe

Ti Amo Gelateria, East Village

I just posted about this place yesterday in the Cremeria thread. I really like Ti Amo. Agree that the dark chocolate was good and I also enjoy the custard and strawberry cheesecake.

It's a shame you can only get one flavor in a small and I agree the prices are a little steep but I will pay through the nose for good gelato :)

Aug 02, 2012
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

New menu at WD-50

I can't believe I'm the first Hound to have tried the new tasting menu. Went in June when they'd only had the new menu for a few weeks. I know Wylie's food can be very polarizing - many either love it or hate it - but DH and I have always been in the love it camp and we loved the new menu. I think DH and I preferred different dishes - my favorites were the pho gras, the root beer ribs, and the smores but everything was tasty. I think this menu is less focused on molecular gastronomy "tricks" than the previous menu but just my opinion. It was great.

Aug 01, 2012
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

Atera review (a bit long)

Fabulous report! I ate there in April when I think it had only been open for a few weeks and was blown away by the meal. The space was fantastic and the innovation was extremely impressive. Looking forward to returning when the season changes since I'd imagine the menu would, too (and in fact many of your amuses were different than the ones I enjoyed).

Aug 01, 2012
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

Reservations at Blanca

This actually isn't correct. I just called 30 minutes ago (so at 4:30) and secured a res on a Friday in August. They said they had lots of availability, it was just Saturdays that were booked fully.

Comodo - new restaurant in Soho/W. Village

Went here on Saturday against my better judgment of going to such a new place and was not impressed. Best thing I had was the ceviche, which of course wasn't as good as those in Peru, but I have yet to find one in NYC that is, but on the whole had a good balance of flavors and really fresh fish. I did think the cochinita was tasty (but the plain white rice accompanying it was undercooked).

The portions were a bit small all around (and my dining companions and I are all on the small side) and the presentations were so amateurish it looked like what an inexperienced home cook would put forth. My husband only got 4 small scallops so looks like you got one more than he did!

The tres leches cake was OK as was the flourless chocolate cake but I don't know if we just got the last of the batch or what, but our chocolate cake was enough for each of the four of us to have one small bite. It was comical. We would have said something but we are generally unfussy diners plus our server was quite absent-minded and as such there was a huge gap between when starters were cleared and mains were served and between when mains were cleared and he asked if we wanted dessert (we're talking 45 minutes in between when mains were cleared and he asked if we wanted dessert). We tried making eye contact a few times but he seemed preoccupied with several credit cards. Usually I give places the benefit of the doubt when they've just opened but this menu didn't excite me enough that I am dying to return anytime soon.

Aug 01, 2012
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

Best Gelato ANYWHERE - La Cremeria!

I've really been loving a new place in the E. Village called Ti Amo Gelateria. They don't put a lot of add ins in their gelatos, just focus on clean flavors. Their custard is outstanding as is the strawberry cheesecake. The dark chocolate is also tasty.

Aug 01, 2012
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

blanca taking reservations, still seemed like a lot of room

Thank you so much for this PSA. I tried calling a few times this morning but when I didn't get through figured it was pointless to continue trying. Just called and got through after 5 calls and got a Friday in 2 weeks.

Lively downtown spot under $50 per person?

Rubirosa, Balaboosta, Vandaag, Empellon, Rouge et Tomate

-----
Balaboosta
214 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

Vandaag
103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Rouge et Blanc
48 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

Rubirosa
235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

Empellon Taqueria
230 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

Jan 05, 2012
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

Question about Gallo Blanco and Barrio Cafe

Hi,

For various reasons it looks like I will be eating at both of these restaurants on the same day. Is there a preference between going to one for dinner vs. lunch? Meaning, should I have lunch at Gallo Blanco and dinner at Barrio Cafe or vice versa?

Thanks!

Jan 03, 2012
ManhattanLawyer in Phoenix

Two great meals at Yuba

Tonight was the 2nd night I had a terrific meal at Yuba, a newish Japanese restaurant on 9th St between 3rd and 4th Aves. Both times the restaurant has been close to empty which is so sad because, honestly, it was great.

First time I had their signature appetizer yuba (tofu skin) with uni, as well as a few other apps including some dumplings. Then had the sushi omakase. It was very generous in terms of the number of pieces we got and some different types of fish, too. The eel was particularly delicious, as was the shrimp sushi (they later presented the fried heads to us at the end of the meal), among other things. The bill came and we were surprised that the omakase came out to only $60 a person. I liken it to Seki and Seki would have been double that price for what we got.

Tonight had the omakase with both sushi and other hot dishes, like fried corn cake, shiso peppers. Seared toro and seared scallop sushi were both good as was monkfish liver in yuzu sauce. That was only $75.

Service is so friendly. They remembered us the second time and gave us some items on the house both times.

It's always amazing to me how some restaurants catch on so quickly and others don't and I will be really sad if this closes. I'm counting on fellow CHers to check it out!!

-----
Yuba
105 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

Nov 30, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

Please help finish my Chicago eating itinerary!

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to report back on my trip since you were all so helpful with your suggestions.

Our flight to Chicago was delayed so we didn't make it in time to go to Girl and Goat so we went to the Purple Pig, which was great. Given that it was 11 PM we didn't want to order too much but this is definitely a place I could see myself returning often. Service was also quite good.

We shared some cured meats: lingua agrodolce, fuet, jamon bellota - the lingua agrodolce was outstanding. We also had roasted butternut squash with pepitas and ricotta salata (very good); razor clams with oregano, lemon, and olive oil (good flavor and I'm not even a huge razor clams fan), and wagyu sirloin tips with fingerling potatoes, red onions, olives, bone marrow vinaigrette (great acidity from the olives). For dessert we had the apple and quince crostata which was an individual serving size. Very cute and good flavor. This was a wonderful place.

Brunch at Bongo Room was great. The portions are huge!! And we only got the 2 pancake order which is considered a "half-portion!" I had the red velvet pancakes and the Thai chicken sausage with ginger. Husband had the apple tarte tatin pancakes and the canadian bacon. Both were very good - and different!

Lunch at Lou Malnati's was the Chicago classic with cheese, sauce, and sausage. Very good flavor to the sauce.

We snagged a res at the Aviary which was a lot of fun! The cider drink where they bring you the cider to watch infuse was great. Also had the chartreuse one, the ginger one, and whatever the one that resembles an old fashioned is. Really enjoyed this place.

After Aviary we walked a block to the Publican. Fantastic atmosphere. Reminded me of a beer hall in Prague. Food was terrific. We had the La Quercia Rossa ham cured ham (delicious); wild king salmon lox with figs, fromage blanc, saba, and rye; Brussels sprouts with burrata, parmesan, onions, and lemon; roasted squash; sweetbreads with celery root puree & pomegranate salsa verde; suckling pig with golden turnip puree, truffled tapenade & feta; big woods blue cheese from Champaign, Illinois; and a waffle with honey butter and strawberry jam. Loved their beer selection - we had a dry cider and a red Flemish ale. The waffle was definitely the weak spot. Dry and flavorless. The highlights were the roasted squash and suckling pig.

Brunch the next day was at Frontera Grill. We had the appetizer sampler - cheese quesadillas, chicken taquitos with crema, ceviche tostadas, jicama salad & guacamole, then we shared enchiladas with chicken mole and tacos with skirt steak. The tacos and enchiladas were both very good but I was not as impressed as I thought I would be overall.

Dinner that night was Alinea. I don't have the menu in front of me so there's no way I could remember all the courses (plus that would destroy the surprise for anyone who hasn't yet eaten there). I will say that overall I am glad that I ate there. It was one of the most inventive places where I've eaten - definitely food as art. But it was not as magical as I had expected it to be. Service was a bit stiff - and, even more disappointingly, snobby. I am rarely a fan of wine pairings because the wines used in wine pairings are usually very boring and not that good and I'd rather splurge on a really outstanding bottle or two. Our sommelier not only said that wine pairings are the only way to go but then also tried to upsell us on the reserve pairings in a pretty insulting way. We'll just leave it at that. I did hear other servers describing the wine pairings in a less obnoxious way so I think that it was just an issue with our table’s sommelier. Onto the actual food, some of the courses were absolutely delicious. I enjoyed courses where I had to disassemble and reassemble my serving piece in order to eat the course. But overall, it just didn’t blow me away the way other hyped restaurants have done. I will admit I was disappointed that every table around us had the final dessert prepared by Chef Achatz and then when it came time for our dessert, the sous chef prepared it. I know that he is probably very very busy in the kitchen and therefore can’t serve every dessert but to be the only table in the room where yours wasn’t prepared by the Chef was disappointing.

Last brunch was at Perenniel Virant. I was very disappointed with this brunch. We had the maple-bourbon breakfast sausage with sunny side up eggs, home fries, toast; apple bread with spiced apples and cherry compote; and the farm egg skillet with sweet and hot peppers, onions, smoked cheddar, cilantro, toast. The food in my opinion was not prepared that well and the flavors were all very one-note.

So that’s it. I’ll be impressed if you read this far. Thanks for all your help again!!

-----
Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Bongo Room
1152 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Frontera Grill
445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

Purple Pig
500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Nov 14, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Chicago Area

Decent Italian that delivers UES?

Cafe Buon Gusto or Maruzzella

-----
Maruzzella
1483 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10021

Nov 09, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

cocktail bars

I love love love Cienfuegos. Mayahuel is also good. Raines is also nice. Silver Lining is new and I was impressed on my first visit.

There is a new Champagne lounge called Winston's which sounds great but for the fact that it's in a hotel so is likely sceney.

I haven't been to Bathtub Gin yet but would like to go.

-----
Raines Law Room
48 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

Mayahuel
304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

Cienfuegos
95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

Silver Lining
75 Murray St, New York, NY 10007

Bathtub Gin
132 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Winston’s Champagne Bar
420 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10016

Nov 09, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

What to order at Hospoda

I love this restaurant. It is very near where I live and I keep meaning to get back. When we ate there they hadn't yet started the 7 course tasting but I am dying to go back and try it. Don't think it would be too much food; the portion sizes are tiny. I looked at the current menu and don't think many things are the same from when I ate there; the beef tongue was delicious as was the rainbow trout and the ham (although it was presented as a main when I was there and is now a starter which makes more sense because that portion in particular was very small).

My husband did the beer tasting - it's all the same beer - just with different amounts of foam which makes them all taste different. He enjoyed it. I love how they have some unusual wines that you can order by the half glass. Last time I was there I had a delicious Hungarian red.

Please report back if you get the tasting!

-----
Hospoda
321 E 73rd St, New York, NY 10021

Nov 09, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

Pastry chef / London Chowhounder visiting NY, need your help please!

In Brooklyn there is Baked in Red Hook. There's also a new bakery called Bien Cuit that the Times raved about that I haven't been able to get to yet.

Nov 09, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

Visting Manhattan This Weekend & Request Opinons

I prefer Katz's over 2nd Avenue Deli. Something that is inexpensive but unique for lunch would be Num Pang, a Cambodian sandwich shop. The original is near Union Square but there is a new outpost on 41st street between Lex. and 3rd.

Are you interested in pizza at any point? I recently had a great dinner at a new place called Rubirosa. Outstanding pizzas; was quite impressed with this place. There's also Rouge et Tomate which was just given 2 stars in the Times and is very under-the-radar. I enjoyed my meal there.

-----
Num Pang Sandwich Shop
21 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Rouge et Blanc
48 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

Rubirosa
235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

Num Pang Sandwich Shop
140 E 41st St, New York, NY 10017

Nov 09, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

Where to order an Amish turkey for Thanksgiving

I'm fairly certain both Ottomanelli's and Lobel's do Amish-raised turkeys. We have a small family so we only order the breast which is why we can never order a heritage turkey (only come whole) but the turkeys I've been ordering from Ottomanelli's for the last several years are always delicious and juicy.

-----
Ottomanelli and Sons
285 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

Lobel's Prime Meats
1096 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10028

Nov 09, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

Please help finish my Chicago eating itinerary!

Hi everyone, I'm back! Leaving for trip soon and just have one last question. Here is the itinerary as it stands

Day 1:
Dinner: Girl and Goat

Day 2:
Breakfast: Bongo Room
Lunch: Lou Malnati
Dinner: Publican (late dinner so hopefully can do Aviary or Sable before, with strong pref for Aviary but I know it's tough to get in)

Day 3:
Brunch: Frontera Grill
Dinner: Alinea
Hopefully a midday sweet stop at Vanille and/or Floriole

Day 4:
Brunch: Here's where I'm struggling. This is on a Sunday so my first pick, Xoco, isn't open. Also need to leave for airport around 11:30 so am hoping to be at brunch around 9:45. I don't think North Pond opens that early which is too bad. Of the restaurants that will be open that early, many don't seem to take reservations and have long waits pretty early. In NYC I would never have to worry about places being busy at 10 AM, but based on reviews it seems like that is a popular brunch time in Chicago and I would hate to get somewhere and have a really long wait and not be able to eat, or have to rush through breakfast.

So my first issue is whether I roll the dice on a no res place, and if so, which one: Jam, Yolk, M.Henry? Another?

Or do I be safe and book a table somewhere? Mercat a la plancha (I love Catalan food but am worried that the brunch menu isn't online because it changes so frequently), or Perennial Virant?

Any opinions would be really appreciated, and I promise to report back with a very detailed trip report!!

-----
Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

Bongo Room
1152 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Frontera Grill
445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

North Pond
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

Perennial Virant
1800 N Lincoln, Chicago, IL 60614

XOCO
449 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

Nov 02, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Chicago Area

tertulia or txikito?

I feel like I can respond fairly accurately to your question as I just ate at Tertulia at 5:30 on Saturday (after going to a matinee). Got to the door around 5:20 and others were already waiting outside. By 5:30, the line was so big people had to wait to be seated. We were about the 4th in line so we were seated right away.

Food was delicious. Had almost everything on the menu and all was fabulous. The smoked amberjack, pork cheek bites, croquetas, and a special jamon iberico were highlights.

-----
Tertulia
359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Oct 13, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan

Best Kaiseki option?

I will do my best although with so many courses it's difficult to keep everything straight. I have only had kaiseki at Kyo Ya once and it was shortly after it opened. I had been to Sugiyama several times, including more recently.

One big difference is the ambience. Sugiyama is in midtown and feels like it (lots of people on corporate accounts in there). however, you can sit at the bar, which I always love because it enables you to interact with the chef and Chef Sugiyama is really fun to talk to. I like that you can choose from a few different kaiseki menus. I've almost always gotten the modern with wagyu but I have sampled the other dishes from the non-wagyu menu and they are good as well.

Kyo Ya's atmosphere is much more downtown. I have never eaten at the bar there. I think the food feels more inventive/modern here than at Sugiyama but, as I said previously, I am not a kaiseki expert. Plus the way they serve the courses is different because Sugiyama will put 4 or so different items on your tray at once. Kyo Ya separates out into like 10 or so courses.

If I could only dine at 1 it would probably be Sugiyama as evidenced by the fact that I've eaten there more than any of the other kaiseki restaurants. That said, this thread has me wanting to go back to Kyo Ya now since it's been a while :)

-----
Sugiyama
251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

Kyo Ya
94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

Oct 12, 2011
ManhattanLawyer in Manhattan