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Emeril's Restaurant v. Dante's Kitchen for Birthday dinner

We are coming to New Orleans this weekend to celebrate my husband's 40th birthday. We have reservations on Saturday night for Dante's Kitchen and Monday Night for Emeril's Restaurant. Hubby's birthday is on Valentine's Day (we'll be leaving that day). I'd like to call ahead to pre-order a special birthday dessert. Don't have much of a preference for which night we do it, although Monday is closer to his actual birthday. Of these two places, do either of them do a better "surprise" birthday dessert?
Thanks!

Feb 08, 2012
emmers in New Orleans

Queens BBQ Caterer with Trucks Suggestions, Please?

I'm not familiar with the Smokin' Grill and I'm going to guess that it's not less expensive, but I noticed a Hill Country truck in Forest Hills the other day (and my husband saw the workers in our local Key Food).. so thinking that they would do it.

Jun 05, 2011
emmers in Outer Boroughs

NEW Exo Greek Mediterranean Bistro Whitestone - thumbs down

Does anyone know if this place is related to the EXO that just opened on Austin St. in the old Mardi Gras space? I'm assuming it is - same name, same cuisine- but curious for confirmation. I hope it's good, we need better places around here!

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Mardi Gras
70-20 Austin St, Queens, NY 11375

Mar 06, 2011
emmers in Outer Boroughs

Solo dining in Madison, WI?

Thanks for the responses- wish I'd had time to see them! I attempted to go to Harvest last Wednesday evening. There was a concert at the Capitol, so the area was extremely crowded. I was about to give up, as parking garages were full, but lucked out and got a spot on the street. Harvest was very full, as were all of the outside tables. The hostess looked extremely overwhelmed- in fact, she could barely acknowledge me and a couple that came in right after me. I would have expected a pleasant smile and a "we'll be right with you," but she looked nervous and did not make eye contact and kept going back and forth to the front desk. Finally she said she would be with us but first had to finish what she was doing (I suppose marking reservations off a list). I asked if I could sit at the bar, but she proceeded to seat me at a table. The water glass on the table was already full, but I found it odd that I sat there for a good five minutes without anyone acknowledging me. I looked around and saw that most tables were full, but very few had any food. I decided that the service was going to be uncomfortably slow and I would have sat there by myself, very, very bored, so I left.

Sadly, at that point, I was tired and just wanted to go back to my hotel, so I picked up fast food. Not quite what I was looking for! I will definitely try Etoile next time and can probably skip Sardine. I can not believe I did not know about Mac & Cheese pizza (and funny, because I walked by Ian's- but I'm a New Yorker, so I immediately dismissed the idea of pizza outside of NY!) Sounds gross, but those are my two favorite things, so I will have to try it!! I did sample cheese curds at the surprisngly good restaurant at my hotel (Geier's at the Holiday Inn). Delish!

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Delish
1721 Town Center St Ste 104, Aurora, IL 60504

New Yorker Bar
645 N James Lovell St, Milwaukee, WI 53233

Jul 26, 2010
emmers in Great Lakes

Solo dining in Madison, WI?

Headed to Madison mid-week for business. Will have 2 evenings free for dinner. Looking for enjoyable meals at places where I'll feel comfortable as a woman dining alone. Interested in checking out places like Harvest and Sardine, so if anyone has any thoughts about those places, I'd love to hear. Also open to other suggestions- I eat pretty much everything except for Italian and Korean. Probably not interested in having Italian, sushi or Thai as I'm from NYC, so those are in high rotation for me. Like the 'local' concept that the above-mentioned places have.
Thanks in advance!!

Jul 18, 2010
emmers in Great Lakes

Solo dining- Providence

Will be in Providence for business, one night during the week. Staying at the Hilton, looking for a good spot for a solo dinner in either walking distance or short cab ride away (and where it would be easy/safe to get a cab back to the hotel- I am a woman and don't want to be in an unfamiliar place without safe transportation). I'm on an expense account but nothing overly pricey. Would love to try Bacaro, but is it too romantic? Any cuisine except for Indian is fine. Thanks!

Feb 24, 2010
emmers in Southern New England

Restaurant wedding venue

Not sure if it's too late for this, but City Hall restaurant downtown does a lot of weddings. I've heard good things and think it's pretty reasonable (I've heard about $90/head but that may be for a daytime event).

Sep 25, 2009
emmers in Manhattan

Black Pearl- Major Disappoinment

I agree completely. I really wish I'd read these reviews before I went (although i was not expecting to go there when i did and kind of had no choice in the matter). I was there recently for a 'celebratory' lunch with family and everyone was pretty disappointed in the experience.

I say experience more than meal, because the food was not horrible. But it was not great. I had the mussels and they were fine, but honestly, I've had better at a local pub. The baked clams were really disappointing. Two in our group ordered the bouillabaise, and while I may not know the perfect etiquette for eating bouillabaise, i have lived in france and i know it is a stew- which, to me, requires AT LEAST a tablespoon along with a fork.. We had to ask for a spoon and were given teaspoons, which were just completely preposterous to use with the huge serving platter sized bowl the dish came in. And again, maybe I am ignorant, but since the idea of bouillabaise is that it is a stew, i wouldn't think you are meant to completely ignore the base and just eat the seafood with a fork. So that was odd.

The server was completely spacy and strange.. Perhaps she was new, but between rushing us for our order (when the place was almost completely empty) and rather rudely telling us her name when we called her over, it all just made for an uncomfortable feeling. I am totally cool with her asking us to call her by her name instead of 'miss', but it needs to be done in a sweet, friendly way, not as a pissy response to an 'excuse me, miss?'.

Ugh, so if i did have to go back, i'd get the lobster roll (silly me, trying to avoid mayo!), but i hope i don't have to go back! (And it certainly wasn't cheap!)

Oct 04, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Toffee bits for baking-need to find some in Manhattan

No idea if they have it, but you could try NY Cake & Baking on W.22nd st (b/n 5th and 6th, closer to 6th). They have a website: http://www.nycake.com/index.asp
This store has tons of fun stuff.

Oct 04, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Berrywild review - new frozen yogurt contender

I third Berrywild. It's right near my apartment and i'm thrilled to have the option. I agree that it is much more reasonably priced than pinkberry- no need to spend $12 on a post-dinner snack for me & my bf. I stick mostly to the kinda icy, but have tasted the coffee flavor smooth one and it was very good (way better than tasti or hagen dazs coffee flavor). It is similar to Pinkberry- probably a drop less icy, which is good. I'd say it's equally as good as Yolato (my previous favorite) and a drop better than Flurt. They're all very similar. Never tried Bloomingdale's (must remedy that!)

Oct 02, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Miller High Life in Manhattan?

not a bodega, not overly convenient to your location, and not cans, but i just had a bucket of this (not by myself) at mad hatter saloon on 3rd ave and about 26th st.

Aug 27, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

What to order at Kyotofu?

I went about 2 months ago with a group for a birthday. No one was quite sure what they were ordering, but everyone was very happy with their choices. I can't quite remember the names, but about 4 out of 6 of us got what was a chocolate cake with a raspberry sauce and it was absolutely delicious (actually might have been the miso chocolate cake that kathryn refers to above). I think there was also some sort of passion fruit mousse or gel kind of thing with vanilla ice cream that was also very good. Sorry i can't be more specific, but just be adventurous and you will probably enjoy it!

Aug 20, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Max Brenner's Chocolate Shop

I've been about 3 or 4 times and my experience has ranged to fun, girls' night out indulgence (about a year or so ago) to my last visit, which was probably one of my worst experiences in a restaurant anywhere, ever. Mostly the service is just beyond atrocious. I went on a random weekday evening with two friends from out of town who said they wanted to go to Cosi for smores. Thinking that Max Brenner would be a newer, fun twist on the Cosi smores experience (and also that cosi was on the same block in case MB was packed), i talked it up and we went there. There were tons of empty tables and yet tons of people waiting to be seated. Many of the people waiting were tourist-types (yes, i'm stereotyping), so i opened my big obnoxious new yorker mouth to ask what the deal was. Hostess said that the kitchen was short staffed. Not sure what that had to do with not seating people at tables, even if they would have had to wait longer for food. We waited a while and since my friends thought the place seemed really cool, they wanted to wait instead of going to Cosi.

Once we were finally seated, we were treated to horrible, rude service and a ridiculously long wait for ice cream (although i expected that). Our table was by the station where the server rings up the check and our own waitress continually knocked into my chair every time she went over there. Despite this hovering over our table, she never came over to offer any water or apologize for the wait. After I while, I nicely asked if she could check on our desserts (we did not order meals) and she responded rudely and we continued to wait. It was just incredibly ridiculous. When we left, I asked to speak to the manager, but none was apparently available. I was given a phone number to call the next day, but ended up not bothering. I will just not go back.

I guess this one night could have been an extreme, so i would say if you really want to check it out, try it once. Maybe the one on 2nd is less pathetically run..

Aug 17, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Flurt Frozen Yogurt

thanks, by the way, i should mention that i noticed it from across the street and didn't feel like crossing to further investigate! i'm not THAT blind! and yes, the DD every 2 blocks is insanity... but when will the sunflower diner reopen?? (that should be in another thread, i guess..)

Aug 16, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Flurt Frozen Yogurt

I live in the neighborhood as well and have found Flurt to be pretty similar to Pinkberry. I think Yolato edges both out for me- it is a bit creamier (to me, anyway). Flurt is certainly a drop cheaper than Pinkberry, which is nice. The neighborhood is about to explode with nouveau fro-yo options, as something called "Berrywild" is about to open in the former Tower Copy shop space at the SE corner of 30th and 3rd (next to bagelry) and, although i do not have fabulous eyesight, i was pretty sure I noticed a sign for a new pinkberry coming in on 3rd ave and about 26th st. (where Osaka used to be). Beware if you google "Berrywild"- you'll get about 1 appropriate link!

Aug 14, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Pls advise! Gramercy date rec.

via emilia, resto (haven't been yet, but it has gotten some good reviews), metro cafe & wine bar, a voce, maybe thainy (funky decor, cheap tasty thai)

Jul 13, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Pipa - awful service, good (enough) food

I just searched this board for pipa reviews and found mostly brief, but glowing recommendations. I have to wonder if I just had bad luck, or if, in general, people are willing to overlook atrocious service for good food.
While the place serves tasty food and interesting cocktails, it is severely lacking in hospitality and plain old common sense. I was seated last night at a table placed directly under an air conditioning unit. I didn't notice it at first, but was soon knocked into by a busboy using a long handled mop to wipe it. Of course the mop proceeded to drip on me and there was not even an "excuse me" offered. When our humorless waiter (more on him in a minute) showed up at the table, i pointed it out to him and he simply said "well i can't move you to another table, so you'll have to move your seat over," despite the fact that there were several empty tables in the restaurant. The unit dripped on me and my friends, and possibly our food for the rest of the night- NOT sanitary.. hello, DOH!?
Then there was this gem- my friend inquired as to whether a certain ingredient was in a dish she was thinking of ordering. The waiter said he would find out but asked her for a “second choice”. She didn’t want to encourage the waiter to not request the first dish, so she asked him just to come back and let her know, which would also give her time to decide on another entrée. He never came back and eventually our tapas were served. We asked for the waiter and the manager came over and told her it was no problem to make the dish. The dish arrived well after the rest of our food. The waiter eventually appeared and said he had put it in originally, but since he hadn’t come back to let her know, that is doubtful. This waiter also played dumb when we asked how much a bottle of wine was by telling us it was “4 glasses”. Most people know that, we need to know the price, since it wasn’t listed. His answer was “whatever a glass is, times four”. Ok.. so now we are doing multiplication instead of enjoying dinner and there is no discount for a bottle? Pass.. I understand it is the waiter’s job to upsell alcohol, but he only seemed to be paying attention to us when it came time to push more drinks.
I know this is not the most chowhoundy post in that I am not really reviewing the food, which was, admittedly, very good (although not stellar), I am really curious what other think- is trendiness and tastiness enough to make up for a lack of hospitality? For me, it’s not. While the setting is pretty (though it is extremely tacky to have pricetags all over the place) and the vibe is fun, the service is completely sub-par for a place that touts itself and prices itself “upscale”. I would hesitate to go back.

Jul 11, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Sweet tea in Manhattan

brother jimmy's has it- probably not as good as the authentic southern kind, but not bad at all. there is also an arizona iced tea version sold at delis/grocery stores.. haven't tried it yet, but curious.

Jun 01, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Food/Drink around 2nd Ave @ 32nd

Benjamin on 33rd & 2nd- very reasonably priced and neighborhood kind of place. Mostly an "american" place- they pretty much serve all sorts of things- salads, burgers, wraps, and entrees. Always have interesting specials- especially the fish. I always think this place has better food than you would expect. They also have a really well-priced early bird if you are trying to make an early evening movie.

May 02, 2007
emmers in Manhattan

Group Dinner in the East Village

Xunta for tapas, very fun for a group and inexpensive. On 1st b/n 11th and 12th.

Dec 21, 2006
emmers in Manhattan

Best Brownie Sundae in Manhattan

I'll third the chocolate room for deliciousness, but i thought the brownie sundae was a bit small for sharing (or maybe my bf and i are just pigs?)

Dec 21, 2006
emmers in Manhattan

staying at 49th & 1st --dining and/or bar recs?

great- i'm very happy to hear that! thanks for checking.

Dec 21, 2006
emmers in Manhattan

staying at 49th & 1st --dining and/or bar recs?

i had heard divine bar east closed, which is why i didn't include it. thought i heard that a while ago, so i would think their website would be updated by now, so hopefully i am wrong!

also- had a very tasty brunch at the new dos caminos on 50th and 3rd about a month ago.

anyone know anything about smorgas chef on 48th or 49th and 2nd?

this also probably not the world's best recommendation but i like lasagna (yes, that's the name) on 51st and 2nd.

Dec 21, 2006
emmers in Manhattan

staying at 49th & 1st --dining and/or bar recs?

Shameful to admit- I'm a native New Yorker but I've never been to Luger! I do hear that it's lost some of its luster. I would say try calling- if you can get in (maybe doubtful for the time of year), go for the experience. If not, I would suggest MarkJoseph as a very good alternative. It's all the way down in the Financial District (261 Water St.), but it's one of the original 'offshoots' of Peter Luger and I've had some very good steak there.

Dec 21, 2006
emmers in Manhattan

Jury Duty lunch- NOT chinese/vietnamese/thai?

hey, i didn't see this in time (after i served on a jury for three weeks!) but thanks for the response- don't know how i missed it! I ended up doing a combo of plain old ny deli salad bar and dumpling/chinese mania (tasty dumpling, excellent dumpling house, wo hop, 69 bayard, etc.).

Dec 21, 2006
emmers in Manhattan

staying at 49th & 1st --dining and/or bar recs?

Be sure to go to "Top of the Tower" in your hotel for a drink to check out the great views. Haven't been there in a few years but i remember the cheesy decor being worth the views! Mica Bar on 51st b/n 2nd and 3rd is also a nice place to have a drink, possibly some appetizers.

You've got to check out Ess-A-Bagel on 3rd Ave at about 50th, 51st for some of the best bagels in the city. The Comfort Diner on 45th bn 2nd and 3rd is fun for a very casual brunch/breakfast.

You'll be near Smith & Wollensky's, as well as several other steakhouses- Palm, Blair Perrone. Also, P.J. Clarke's on 55th and 3rd- great bar, famous burgers.

And finally Zarela on 2nd and 50th is also good for Mexican (not to mention margaritas!)

Enjoy your visit!

Dec 21, 2006
emmers in Manhattan

Best Street Food?????

There is an excellent pizza truck- Jianetto's- that is usually at Front & Wall Streets during the week at lunch time. Not sure if they're there all day and doubt that they are around on the weekends. Do a search, there are some old postings on it. Great Grandma slice.

Dec 20, 2006
emmers in Manhattan

Jury Duty lunch- NOT chinese/vietnamese/thai?

Any suggestions for a lighter lunch around the Centre St. courthouses? I like asian food but don't want it every day (I'm going to be there for a while!) I have an hour for lunch and would like to stick to a cheapish budget of no more than $10/day.

Nov 28, 2006
emmers in Manhattan

Good Cupcakes in NYC

Throwing Crumbs into the mix. Several locations around the city, almost 3 or 4 times the size of a magnolia cupcake and all sorts of funky flavors.

I also second Sugar Sweet Sunshine and Buttercup. Billy's Bakery is worth a try too. Personally, i go to magnolia just for the banana pudding!

Nov 22, 2006
emmers in Manhattan

Anybody been to Shady Jake's BBQ on 31st & 8th??

AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE! Went there last month before a concert and it was essentially inedible. Later found out it is owned by the Riese group. Enough said. I had horribly dry chicken. I didn't even like the Mac and Cheese (and i can't even imagine the concept of not liking ANY version of Mac and Cheese except for the fact that I experienced it at Shady Jake's). We had high hopes because it looked cute but it was just downright awful. You will be much happier at RUB or Blue Smoke, both somewhat nearby.

Nov 17, 2006
emmers in Manhattan