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claire de lunacy's Profile

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Latest on Himalayan food in/near Jackson Heights?

Mustang Thakali is AMAZING. I went there last night at the recommendation of friends that live in the neighborhood. The Farsee Goat was eye-rollingly good -- small chunks falling off the bone, in a pumpkin sauce that was velvety heaven. We had the Buff Chilly, which was delicious, the Dried Beef, vegetable momos (out of this world-- so simple but so good). Sauteed mustard Greens. There's a bento box appetizer that includes a chunky mixed pickle which is spicy and creamy and has an after-burn that lingers...mmmmmm. A small bowl of lentils in a butter sauce was delicate and fragrant. Tomato chutney was smoky and astringent with coriander. Dundurak was a mixed vegetable dish that was interesting, but paled in comparison to the other dishes; so much competition!

The service is gracious and they are very helpful in explaining different dishes. I cannot wait to return. So many interesting dishes on the menu, I'm looking forward to working my way through the menu.

Mar 12, 2010
claire de lunacy in Outer Boroughs

Where is the Best Dim Sum in Manhattan? [Moved from The Best board]

I took some friends to Red Egg on Sunday, for brunch. The food was very mediocre. The service was rude and scattered. (I asked for hot chilis in oil, a ubiquitous condiment in Chinatown) and was told there was no more. But in asking another waiter, I was immediately brought out a large plate of it. We were served a wrong dish, and they also forgot 3 other dishes. the dumplings were decent, but lacking in flavor. Overall, I'd say skip this place. Do not get the spare ribs in olives-- they were all bone. the garlic spare ribs were gristly, and only one or 2 had any meat on them. We had one waiter, a slightly older gentleman, who was very kind. It was extremely loud. the scallion pancakes were cold, and tasted of oil that had friend LOTS of other things. I will continue my DimSum Travels in CHinatown and report later. this was a complete disappointment.

Mar 30, 2009
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Best Thai in Manhattan?

I totally agree, I used to live on the LES and would order from there every chance I got. THis place is amazing. The jungle curry (no coconut milk) is delicious, and they can make it extra-spicy (Thai-style) if you ask. It's a tiny hole in the wall, but the stuff that comes out of their kitchen is addictive. the highlight here is the food, not the ambiance.

Nov 03, 2008
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Very Picky Father Visiting

I second prdct's recommendation of Crispo. It is really a wonderful little restaurant, and highly under-rated. Great branzino main course for you, great starters, great ambiance and cozy garden (covered) in the back.

Oct 27, 2008
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Where to find Thai tea in Manhattan?

Yes, I love that shop. They are very nice in there, and there is a huge selection. I got Thai tea there last year, to make at home. (makes a great semi-frozen slushy as well!)

Jul 02, 2008
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

good place to bring small group (4-6?) for birthday cocktails & tapas?

I really love 1492, on clinton street between stanton and Rivington.
There's a beautiful outdoor garden, and the the food and vibe is great.

Jul 02, 2008
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Black Hound Bakery, which cake to get?

the dark chocolate layer cake with a layer of marzipan beneath the frosting is absolutely DIVINE... and I don't like sweets or chocolate, in general. You can't really go wrong with anything from BLack Hound though.

May 03, 2008
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

2007 list of best sashimi/geoduck in Vancouver BC?

Thanks Hungry One! We got some good info on the down-low about Sakae and Okada... I will give a full report later. I am considering a double-dinner, as tonight is our last night in vancouver (then it's off to the island and port mcneill) We did have oysters and seafood at Joe Forte's (mediocre) and dinner at Guu on Robson (if they have it again, the takowasabi with wasabi stems was OUTSTANDING).

Oct 11, 2007
claire de lunacy in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

2007 list of best sashimi/geoduck in Vancouver BC?

Hi Chowhounders, I am a NYC chowhounder looking for the best, most unique sashimi experience in Vancouver-- in your opinions. I will be dining solo, and I am looking for very unique types of fish/shellfish, very fresh. The restaurant can be plain, fancy, whatever-- I am simply looking for great fish (and geoduck!) I would like to do omakase or per piece menu. The other threads I read were already a few years old, so it would be great to hear your updated lists.
Thanks!

Oct 10, 2007
claire de lunacy in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Cin Cin: review

We had a business dinner at Cin Cin in downtown Vancouver, BC (would not have been my first choice, based on other Chowhounders' opinions) last night. I had the opportunity to sample various dishes-- some were good, some were mediocre and some downright awful. First, I would like to say that the wine list is spectacular. There is a fantastic list spanning many great wines of the world. Our server was knowledgeable about the wines and all preparations of the dishes (surprisingly, that doesn't happen all the time). We were a large group, and all plates came out simultaneously, and hot, as is to be expected (but again, does not always happen).

We tried the antipasti misti-- it was a nice plate of mixed apps, no fault there. We also had the beef carpaccio with sliced matsutake (?) mushrooms and roasted pine nuts. It was merely ok, really lacking in flavor.I had to request a bit of lemon to liven it up. I also sampled the albacore crudo, again nothing special. Main courses that I tried were the halibut-- it was rich, and very well prepared. I ordered the "Alberta Beef tenderloin" with chanterelles, a shallot confit and a jus, on some type of mashed potato mound. There were 3 tiny chanterelles sprinkled on the plate, and basically no sauce for the beef. It was perfectly cooked-- rare-- as I had ordered it, but really could have used a bit of sauce to bring out the flavor. My husband ordered the Sablefish (black cod) with Manila Clams, beans and chorizo. The clams were SO far gone, they were mealy and soft, and had a rank, fishy flavor and odor. The dish was totally inedible, and was honestly wondering if he was going to end up in the hospital later that night with food poisoning. It took ages for the bus-people to clear the plates after every course, and we were left looking at the remnants of our meal for quite some time. The restaurant was also uncomfortably hot and stuffy.

This is a quite expensive place, and there were highlights to the meal, but I witnessed many transgressions, and would not go there again. Plus, one thing that really irks me (especially in fine restaurants) is the presence of spelling errors on the menu. I mean, really-- food is your game here-- please take the time to check the proper spelling of the ingredients. It highlights some amateur moves that shouldn't be present in a restaurant that purports to be of such high quality.

Oct 10, 2007
claire de lunacy in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

favorite places to forage

I agree about Patel Bros in JAckson Hts for spices and Indian groceries-- it's amazing to go in there! and about half the price of Kalustyan's as well.

Esposito's Pork Store on 9th and 38th is a wonderful butcher-- old-school, they really know their stuff over there. And the prices are good too.
Giovanni Esposito & Sons
500 Ninth Ave., at 38th St 212-279-3298

CHEESE--- don't forget East Village cheese-- 3rd ave and 9th st. possibly the best prices for cheese anywhere in the city. their selection isn't as extensive as Murray's, but you can't brealk the bank there either. I have found beautiful ripe époisses wheels there for $2.99!!! (usually $15)
and raw milk manchego is usually around $7 /pound.

I've a got a good fishmonger in chinatown on Grand and Chrystie, on the southwest corner-- although I wouldn't buy shrimp from them these days, due to the recent ban.
Wild Edibles on 3rd Avenue and 32(?) street is wonderful. True gourmet/dayboat shop.

I'm always on the hunt for good little specialty places. Good post!

Jul 19, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Won't Work for Food

How about joining a CSA?
they are available all over brooklyn and nyc, and support local farmers, and many are organic. We joined one in Bklyn Hts, and every week we go and pick up 2-3 bags of lovely, just-picked organic produce, eggs, fruit and meat. The signup process starts in the fall and spring, and from early June until November you get to enjoy the produce from a local farmer. It's super-easy, very convenient, and actually a pleasure to see what you get every week. We supplement our fruit and veggies (picked just the day before) with trips to green markets and a local butcher on Smith Street. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

http://www.justfood.org/csa/

Jun 29, 2007
claire de lunacy in Features

Dinner near 12th and 6th

Crispo, on 14th between 7th and 8th is HUGELY underrated and one of nyc's best kept secrets. there's a beautiful garden in the back, the food is superb, the service lovely, and it's not expensive at all. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't tell... it will get more crowded!
It's a really lovely place, definitely go and check it out.

Jun 28, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

The best NYC steakhouse?

Sorry, Luger fans, in my opinion (and others' as well) it's gone wayyy downhill in the past few years. Plus I just can't stand the blaring lights, worn-out decor or grumpy (at the minimum) service. Some people may find it endearing, not I. I have to put strip House and Keens at the top of my list-- I've been to both places many, many times and have never been disappointed. the ~18,000 ceramic pipes on the ceiling of Keen's is a wonderful touch, and the service and food is just great. Strip House is a bit schmancier, a lot sexier and great for a date. Dylan Prime not bad either. mmmm, feelin' like chomping into a big ol' steak after this thread! I believe keen's is also the oldest steakhouse in NYC...

Jun 28, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Real Tabbouleh

this really IS the real tabbouleh. Love the main ingredients being parsley and tomatoes: more like a salad, instead of a soggy grain dish, as most of the stuff one finds in the US. The lemon juice really makes it shine.

Apr 06, 2007
claire de lunacy in Recipes

Tandoori-Style Marinade

A tandoori masala (spice mix) is more authentic than curry powder. If that is not available, garam masala is a nice substitute. Otherwise, good basic recipe, with great results.

Apr 06, 2007
claire de lunacy in Recipes

Palm Springs: Any farmers' markets or CSA?

Yeah, we went there. It was mostly prepared food and one vendor selling strawberries. And a LOT of schlock! Maybe it gets better later in the season? thanks.

Feb 25, 2007
claire de lunacy in California

Palm Springs: Any farmers' markets or CSA?

We are thinking about moving to Palm Springs from NYC, and are having a hard time finding local produce or a CSA (community supported agriculture) program. Does anyone have any information on this? We'd like to avoid having to drive into LA every time we wanted fresh, local produce. We get the best selection in NYC, and would expect to have a similar experience in CA, but that isn't the case-- at least in our limited experience. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Feb 25, 2007
claire de lunacy in California

Best Mideast on Atl. Ave.

My vote goes to Fountain. the food is always so fresh and flavorful. We eat there about once a month, and have never been disappointed. Tried tripoli, very disappointing. they did have a very interesting grain dish, but otherwise just eh.

Feb 16, 2007
claire de lunacy in Outer Boroughs

ISO: FRESH PORCINI MUSHROOMS

meyer lemons are now at Fairway in Red Hook.

Feb 16, 2007
claire de lunacy in Outer Boroughs

Sichuan Peppercorns Available??

the ones I tried from Dynasty Supermarket in Chinatown were really amazing: the description of sucking on a battery is perfect. Yes, the black seed should be removed. I bought a 50g bag for $1.68.I also picked up a jar of chili sauce called, aptly, "Spicy Sauce" from "Fish Well" brand. Prickly ash (sichuan peppercorns) are a main ingredient in the sauce, and it's delicious.
http://www.dynastysuper.qpg.com/

Jan 11, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Tamales, Tamales, Tamales...

There's a mexican woman who stands at the uptown entrance of the 1 train at 137th street.
her tamales are $1 -- reg chicken and spicy chicken. They are very good, not dry at all. I make the trip from bklyn to stock up on her tamales! there's also a coffee shop of 23rd st and 7th called Sucelt. their tamales are bigger, and come in 4 varieties-- ranging from 4 to 7 dollars each. they are also very good.

Jan 09, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

A Great Cheap Breakfast in the East Village

clinton st baking co has wonderful breakfast, but not super-cheap. its worth checking out, though. cozy, sunny room, nice service, a real neighborhood place.

teresas on 2nd ave has good cheap food. i'd avoid veselka at all costs: it's crowded, loud, disorganized and the food is terrible.

Jan 09, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Does New York mexican food really suck?

El Toro Partido on 139th and Broadway. It's a hole in the wall, but SOOOOO good. I recommend the chicken pipian (pumpkin seed sauce), but pretty much everything there is good. And I don;t even like Mexican food that much! I live in brooklyn, and it's an hour each way on the train, but its worth it. PLUS-- on the uptown side of the 1 train, at the 137th street station there's a Mexican woman standing by the subway entrance selling fantastic tamales for $1 each!!! That makes the trip doubly worthwhile. mmmmm... gettting that craving again...

Jan 09, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Patisserie Claude's Croissants-What's Wrong with ME??!!

Ceci Cela on Spring street and Lafayette is great for croissants. I am addicted to their almond croissants...
I think they also opened a branch in Tribeca, around Chambers St.

Jan 09, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Has anyone tried ElQuiote on 23rd?

El quijote is ok. food isnt that great, and the service is nothing to speak of. I do love the ambience, but for that I go to the bar and have drinks and snacks. EL CID down the road on
322 W 15th St is phenomenal. You can't beat the food (the grilled fresh sardines are amazing and splurge on the baby eels if they are in season), and the ambience is great as well.

www.tapasrestaurant.com

Jan 09, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Sichuan Peppercorns Available??

Dynasty supermarket on elizabeth and... hester? just below Grand st. NE corner.
they are in the spice/dried foods aisle, and are labeled "Prickly Ash".
Bought some 2 days ago!

Jan 09, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Murray Hill/ Kip's Bay: Chow wasteland or secret treasure trove?

I Trulli. Such a treasure... and they've got a wine bar next door.

Jan 09, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Where to take hard-to-impress mom on Saturday? Help!

Danube is lovely, as is Chanterelle. Depending on the time of day, you may be able to get a reservation. I've never been disappointed by Aquagrill either...
Il Buco on Bond St is still quite good. Savoy on Spring and Crosby.

Elephant gets very busy and hectic ( I once had an entire bowl of mussels spilled in my lap from a harried waiter) but the food is inexpensive and good.

i'm also going to back up Hearth. So delicious.

Jan 09, 2007
claire de lunacy in Manhattan

Mail order knishes???

I believe shauben is right. I lived a block from Yonah Shimmel for 15 years, and they had no sweet knishes: only blintzes were made with cherry or other fruit filling, and are a different shape. THeir round knishes are baked, and other square knishes with the crispy coating are all deep fried. I always loved their knishes: a prefect snack on a cold day! And the lox and herring and smoked fish at Russ and Daughters down the street are to die for... Ahh, I miss the Lower East Side...

Dec 11, 2006
claire de lunacy in General Topics