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Aiceegray's Profile

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50 Best Dishes in New York

Wow--what a .list this could become...maybe you'd need to narrow it to 50 best dishes by cuisine!!!! But I'll play:

Prune's eggs en cocotte for brunch - A slowly baked runny egg topped with chicken and natural chicken juices served with Brioche to soak up the goodness alongside a butter lettuce salad with the perfect mustard vinaigrette
Degustation croquetas - so light and airy, crispy on the outside creamy on the inside and perfectly fried
Pizza from Una Pizza Neapoletana
Beef Cheek Ravioli at Babbo
Love Letters with Mint & Lamb Ragu at Babbo
Gravy Meatball Sliders at Little Owl
From the Omakase Menu at Sushi of Gari - Salmon topped with Hot Tomato Nigiri Sushi
From the Omakase Menu at Jewel Bako - O Toro Nigiri Sushi bruleed with a torch and topped with rock salt (and maybe a squeeze of yuzu)
The Sheep's Milk Ricotta Gnudi with Brown Butter and Fried Sage leaves at Spotted Pig
Clinton Street Baking Company - A brunch special: Poached eggs over homemade corn beef hash cakes and biscuits. Add a side of cheese grits...mmm
THe Chawan-mushi at Sakegaru
The Ka Jang Tang (Spicy Pork bone and Potato soup) at Kunjip
An H&H bagel with lox from Zabar's and Ben's real cream cheese from Murray's cheese.

Jan 09, 2008
Aiceegray in Manhattan

The Pump Energy Food---Why no nutrition facts?

Does anyone else find it strange that the Pump, which touts itself as healthy food oriented, does not post any nutrition facts? I often order from the Pump and while I do believe that ingredient for ingredient, the food is generally low fat and low calorie, I am concerned by the large portions and various combinations of ingredients. I figure, a lot of low calorie food is probably just as bad as just a little high calorie food. I am not advocating that the Pump reduce its portion size, but I would like to know just how many calories are in one of these "servings" so that I can self-regulate.

I actually went to their website, to see if they had any sort of suggestion box or email address for comments, but they don't. In contrast, the Pump-like competitor, Energy Kitchen, is extremely transparant about its nutritionals, posting them right on the website next to each menu item. I'd like the same proof that the Pump's food is really as healthy as it says. If anyone has any suggestions or insights on the calories per serving in the Pump's food please feel free to share! Thanks!

Sep 11, 2007
Aiceegray in Manhattan

Best omakase menu

Sushi of Gari 46 if variety and quality of fish is your concern. Last time I went I had snow crab sushi which is pretty rare to find in the city and they pair the fish with interesting toppings such as hot tomato, pesto, even mini-salad on top --very creative

Jewel Bako is just great because Yoshi, the head Sushi chef (he did not go to 15 east, a different jewel bako chef did) has a great personality and is great at explaining things. Plus, Jack Lamb is just such a gracious host and the atmosphere is very welcoming and just plain fun. The fish is not as unique as at Sushi of Gari, but overall a great experience

May 15, 2007
Aiceegray in Manhattan

Stressing over perfect meal/ambiance

Sure, Just to elaborate on Tasting Room, the space is beautiful and the menu format is great for sharing and tasting alot of different things. (Make sure you go to the one on Elizabeth street and not their wine bar on 1st and 1st). The upfront room has a bar and cozy booths with banquettes while the room in the back is airy with charming rustic wooden tables and cute small gold lights on the ceiling--very charming and romantic in an elegant, understated way. The food is seasonally driven new american--I liked it because the chef's style is to just buy top ingredients and let the quality of the food shine --e.g. I am not usually a fan of chicken/poultry at restaurants, but they had a great hen dish with leek and morels that just had the natural pan juices as the sauce and with the thigh meat made into the a sausage). I also loved dishes like the smoked trout eschebeche, and the poached sturgeon with black lentils and smokey bacon. Dishes like Clam pot pie (served in the clam shell as the pot) or the lamb that comes two ways (as a meatball and as just a cut of meat) are also quite creative and whimsical without being over the top. Everything on the menu comes in "taste" size or "share" size so it is easy to order alot of little portions and have a tapas size meal or order a satisfying entree size of something you love alot.

Apr 13, 2007
Aiceegray in Manhattan

Restaurants in University City

I also went to school in Philly so I know it well. In University City, White Dog is Great! (Especially like their Nachos off the bar menu and they also have a nice brunch) Best Brunch is RX on 43rd and Spruce. Also, if your son likes Tangerine, Pod is another Stephen Starr restaurant--sushi on a conveyer belt and fun atmosphere. I know you said no asian, but it is sort of fusion so not super asian. For casual college student type place, you might want to try New Deck Tavern. Another breakfast favorite that is a college hangout is Izzy and Zoe's---awesome chocolate banana bread pudding and jewish specialties.

Outside of University City, Django is a must try and would be great for your "on the nicer side" dinner. If you like smaller restaurants: For Seafood, Little Fish is great; For French, Pif; Chloe is also delicious but more of a date place. For a more casual meal, Monk's Beer Bar (about 400 beers available) has the best mussels and belgian fries and great food too. If too crowded, I'd recommend stepping next door to Black Sheep--great pub with great food. For Italian, Melograno (northern Italian) is delicious. Fork has great New American.

I could go on forever...I live in NYC now, but I firmly believe that dining in philly is often more enjoyable than in NY. I would love to hear where you ended up going and how you and your son liked it!

Apr 12, 2007
Aiceegray in Pennsylvania

Stressing over perfect meal/ambiance

Tasting Room

Apr 12, 2007
Aiceegray in Manhattan

Current Favorite Dish/Item for Less than $10?

Oh dear. Where do I begin?

-$2.50 - Falafel & Hummus on pita at Mamoun's
-Sapa Happy Hour features items such as $1 oysters and the following items are all $2 or $3: Potato Knish with Caviar, Duck Confit Steambun (served taco style), mini steak sandwiches on brioche, FREE warm chocolate chip cookies at end of meal if you know to ask.
-Many of the Soups at K-town, especially the Ka-Jang Tang (Spicy Stewed Pork Ribs and potatos) at Kunjip and the Chigae with Squash, potato and bean paste at Cho-Dong Gol--all under $10
-Choice of 3 tacos for $8 at lunch at the Pampano Taco Stand
-And let's not forget...a WHOLE chicken at Peruvian Restaurant Pio Pio for $8 that comes with a lovely green sauce

Apr 12, 2007
Aiceegray in Manhattan

need 'ino truffle egg toast recipe [moved from What's My Craving]

This one seems pretty on. Also read on a blog that for Bread, Ino uses Ciabatta from Blue Ribbon Bakery down the street.

Apr 12, 2007
Aiceegray in Home Cooking

Omakase Question.

The most important thing with omakase is to always call ahead to make a reservation at the bar so that you can sit right in front of the chef. Other than Yasuda and Jewel Bako, I would also highly recommend Sushi of Gari 46(they have some unique offerings like Salmon topped with hot tomato, lobster sashimi, japanese snow crab, or bruleed o toro --each piece of fish paired perfectly with a special sauce or other accoutrment.) . I'd say it's best to form a relationship with the chef, but I would consider the relationship to be more about letting him know about your food preferences. A good sushi chef will always ask how you like the piece he just gave you, what kind of fish/other creatures you like. By sitting at the bar you can also see and point to other delicious items that others are eating and give the sushi bar direct feedback on what looks good to you. Buying sake never hurts, but most sushi chefs just love when their customers are interested in what they are eating. so ask questions, let the chef know what you think is delicious, and each piece you will get will be even more delicious than the next!

Apr 11, 2007
Aiceegray in General Topics


Casa Mono is the most interesting in my opinion. There's also Pipa, Boqueria, Xunta, Tintol to stay on the more spanish style tapas. If you like small plates in general, Degustation (only 14 seats around an open kitchen) is one of the most fun, interesting, and tasty dining experiences in the city and it has the most heavenly croquetas. and Stanton Social has interesting takes on favorites from various cuisines---great french onion soup dumplings (imagine the best part of the soup in one bite---gooey cheese covered bread bites moistened with onion soup), great mini-snapper tacos, fun mini donut plate with caramel and chocolate dipping sauces.

Apr 09, 2007
Aiceegray in Manhattan

What to do with leftover hard-boiled eggs?

Easy, Fast, Amazing Recipe from my one of my favorite chefs Jacques Pepin---illustration of what a culinary genius can do with a simple hard boiled egg. This recipe is always a hit at brunch and I even love it for dinner.


Excerpted from Jacques P�pin Fast Food My Way. � 2004 by Jacques P�pin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved.

4 servings

When I was a child, we ate eggs more often than meat; they were economical and nutritious, and I remember these dishes with fondness. We rarely eat eggs for breakfast at our house now but enjoy them in gratins like this one, which we serve as a first course or light lunch.

The recipe, intended to serve four, uses six eggs, which means that each person consumes only 1 1/2 eggs. The sauce is also lean. Although it can be made with fresh tomatoes when they are at their best, I often use canned tomatoes instead, because they’re more flavorful, more colorful, and less expensive during much of the year.

6 large eggs (preferably organic)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 medium onions (about 12 ounces), sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can peeled tomatoes
2/3 cup grated Swiss (Gruy�re or Emmenthaler) or mozzarella cheese (2 1/2 ounces)
1. Poke the rounded end of each egg with a pushpin to help prevent it from cracking, and lower the eggs into a saucepan of boiling water to cover. Bring the water back to a boil, then boil the eggs very gently for 10 minutes. Drain and cool in ice water for at least 15 minutes, or until the centers of the eggs are completely cool. Peel the eggs and cut each of them into 6 wedges. Arrange the wedges in a 6-cup-capacity gratin dish or baking dish.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onions and saut� for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Crush the tomatoes into pieces and add them along with their juice to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and boil gently, covered, for 4 minutes.

3. Pour the onion and tomato mixture over the eggs in the gratin dish and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake the gratin for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat the broiler. When the gratin is cooked, broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat source for 2 to 3 minutes to brown the top. Serve.

Apr 09, 2007
Aiceegray in Home Cooking

Dacquoise in midtown

The best is at Tartine in the West Village!

Feb 13, 2007
Aiceegray in Manhattan

Best Mac' n Cheese?

Blue Smoke's is perfect because you get both the creamy lusciousness of a fabulous cheese sauce and the texture of the the crusty top and perfectly cooked elbows. The blend of cheeses they use has that twang that is so neccessary in a good mac and cheese. I am not a fan of their BBQ, but their sides---especially---the mac and cheese and fry bread are to die for.

I found cafeteria's mac and cheese pretty bland. If I recall correctly they use a mix of fontina and another cheese and I found it rather dry.

Freeman's mac and cheese is good if you like your mac and cheese straight up (basically just cheddar and noodles) and on the dryer side. Nice bread crumb topping that is brownded nicely.

Have heard bad things about S'MAC

Feb 13, 2007
Aiceegray in Manhattan

Snow crab sushi

I just had some great snow crab at Sushi of Gari 46!

Feb 13, 2007
Aiceegray in Manhattan

Love K-Town---Recommendations for new places?

Thanks Everyone! I totally agree that the best Korean food is in Flushing and I go to Flushing all the time for real Taiwanese food, so I welcome any suggestions there. It seems like most Asian food in Manhattan pales in comparison to the places Flushing and my mantra is "WILL TRAVEL FOR GOOD FOOD." If any of you Korean food fans also love other Asian food, One of my favorites is going to the Little Fat Lamb for the "Ying-Yang" Hot Pot---a divided hot pot that is half spicy peppercorn broth and half medicinal/herb broth. They also have homemade fishballs that they form tableside, dropping each one fresh into the boiling pot.

Oct 18, 2006
Aiceegray in Manhattan

The search for great FISH TACOS continues...please help!

Pampano's taco outpost is delicious and you can't beat their lunch special. $8 for 3 tacos including that fish taco you are craving!

Oct 17, 2006
Aiceegray in Manhattan

Best Brunch-manhattan

Prune or Clinton Street Baking Company are definitely the best in the city. Both are cute and small but go with Prune if you want more elegant, delicate (but still filling) food and Clinton Street if you are looking for hearty, stick-to your ribs. Prune: Great Fried Oyster Omelette, Eggs en Cocotte, and Ricotta Dessert featuring fresh ricotta from Joe's Dairy and seasonal fruit. ALso has a great bloody Mary --the Chicago Matchbox that features lemon vodka and is served with a veritable salad of garnishes on the side -- pickled green beens; picked brusseled sprout, olive. Clinton Street: Can't beat the Cheddar Grits, Spanish Scramble is also solid, and in the winter they often have a special Corned Beef Hash Benedict that consists of Homemade Corned Beef hash patties on top of one of Clinton's delicious biscuits with hollandaise on top---one of the most delicioius morning meals I have ever had! People also like Clinton's pancakes and waffles---I always prefer savory for brunch, but agree that they are delicious.

Oct 17, 2006
Aiceegray in Manhattan

Love K-Town---Recommendations for new places?

Calling all Korean food experts! I love Korean food and often go to K-town, but I am stuck in a rut of going to only a handful of places. I like Kunjip and Shilla best and have also been to Won-jo (decent), Kum-gang-san (aka the tourist trap) and the small place next to Kum-gang san that specializes in Sulungtang. Can anyone recommend some good places other than these? I tend to prefer places that have great soups and stews rather than places that specialize in BBQ. Also, any great places for Soon Doo boo, the soft tofu soup? (When I used to live in Philly, I would go to a place that only served variations on Soon Doo boo, the soft tofu soup, and have not been able to find an equivalent in New York that measures up.) Thanks in advance for your help!!!

Oct 17, 2006
Aiceegray in Manhattan