kraw's Profile

Title Last Reply

Esca

I'm with you: Esca is one of the most overpriced, overrated restaurants in the city. I don't get it. I went last night, ordered the shark special. It was so heavily breaded and fried, it looked like something from the Gorton's Fisherman. The spaghettini with sea scallops was way too salty, perhaps to mask the fact that the scallops were slightly unfresh (were a bit metallic tasting and a smell, too, and not a good one), and the tuna carpaccio was tasteless. And their afogato (sp?) doesn't measure up to Al Di La in Brooklyn, not by a long shot. If I'm going to drop that kind of money on a fancy Italian restaurant, from now on I'm going to Babbo. I hate to say it, but that place lives up to the hype.

Jun 27, 2007
kraw in Manhattan

spicy mina dinner hours

thanks for the tip, and the quick response!

Jun 22, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

BURGERS!!!

Stone Park burgers are certainly the best in the Slope, no doubt about it. I'm a Chicago girl, and we're a beef-eatin', beef-lovin' town, and they get it sooo right. The Good Fork in Red Hook also get it right, with their own special spin: a bialy bun and tempura-fried onion rings. It's not for everyone, but the burger itself is perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. Nice and juicy and---damn, I'm hungry and it's not even 10:30. Anyway, not the kind of places you'd expect to get great burgers, but so it goes. Yum!

Jun 21, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

spicy mina dinner hours

dumb question: do they serve dinner as early as 5:30? i have to go to an event in that neighborhood at 7, and have never been to spicy mina. have been dying to try it FOREVER and saw this as a great opportunity to dine there. anybody know when they open their doors and start serving?

Jun 21, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Babouche in Park Slope?

I went on Sunday night, had the Kefta Tagine, which was delicious. My friend had the shrimp with coriander and pesto and that was also really good, but the other dishes failed to impress. The music was cranked up high (on a Sunday night at 7? It was like dance club level -- kind of ridiculous), the service was terrible, and the prices were pretty darn high for couscous dishes. I hope these guys get their act together because it's a beautiful space, and when those dishes worked, they really worked. I had leftovers today, and the kefta tasted even better.

Apr 30, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

don't go to red hook ballfields... till next weekend

I got a tasty pork taco at the baseball fields. There were a number of food vendors. I was the only gringa--most of the people eating up were actually people watching the game or the players themselves, but I certainly wasn't turned away. They were there last weekend, too. Still, one risked getting hit in the head with a flying baseball, but it's the risk you take for really good food. Well, it's the risk I took. Made my whole weekend!!

Apr 30, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Red Hook Ball Fields 2007

we went this weekend, but they were at the baseball fields, and there were far fewer. had the most amazing pork tacos -- how i've missed them. don't know if this was a soft opening, or if they are moving to the baseball fields, or what, but i was happy to have found them. will check the soccer fields this weekend (the 28th).

Apr 24, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

brooklyn fish camp

all i meant was, i am always amazed at the ungraciousness and ungratefulness of al di la's proprietor. he won't offer his devoted clientele reservations or prix fixe menus, or many times, even a warm greeting at the door after years of dining there. i go for the food -- i wish it wasn't so good because i'd like to take my business elsewhere. i really find that guy to be incredibly arrogant and unneighborly. i've lived in this neighborhood for 15 years, and i've been going there since it opened. in fact, i go out to eat a lot and my palate is at once very discerning and up for new adventures, like a true chowhounder. i rarely do DiB, but i think it can be a nice treat, a way to try out new places or otherwise see business say, hey thanks for your patronage. i love to reward great service and good and great food, and i do -- by coming back for more and more, and for bringing friends and writing encouraging postings. i don't think anyone has ever praised the guy for being a savvy host or proprietor.

Mar 26, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

brooklyn fish camp

i have found brooklyn fish camp to be consistently mediocre and overpriced. i want to like it because the atmosphere is nice and so is the wait staff. don't know why people like it so much. and their DiB special is really stingy -- one prix fixe offering, and it's measly at best. when i was there last week, it was a small bowl of soup, shrug-your-shoulders-eh shrimp tacos, and a key lime square with an under-baked pie crust. every other place had tons of specials from which to choose. if you're not going to give it up for DiB, then don't bother, i say. but no one asked me, i realize. shame on al di la, by the way, for not participating at all. i love their food, but the owner is so unfriendly and unappreciative of his devoted neighbors who keep coming back for more. a little thank you in the way of participating in DiB would be nice, no?

Mar 26, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

a chestnut for your thoughts

i definitely want to give it another try. it's such a cozy spot, and good service, well, that's a rarity. it is so welcoming in there. i rarely want to give a place more than a few tries, but this is a place that i would love to keep giving another shot to if only because it's so lovely in there, and the staff is, too. gotta encourage good ambiance and good times. it's not that the food wasn't good -- just wasn't as good as i'd expected. i will say that the beet salad totally rocked and so did the cheesecake.

Mar 22, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

masa harina/masa flour in park slope?

thank you, both! great tips!!

Mar 22, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

a chestnut for your thoughts

ok, i've been twice now, and i love the staff, the atmosphere, and the prix fixe menu deal cannot be beat. but i have to say, after hearing so much buzz on these boards -- that it's on par with saul, and better than grocery -- i'm underwhelmed. i prefer the space and indeed the atmosphere of chestnut to both of these places, but their food isn't nearly as good as applewood in the slope, good fork in red hook, or grocery down the street. i wish it was. the pork was tough and chewy and the chicken and parsnip gratin was so salty i could barely taste it. same with the cavatelli. i was so heartbroken: i really wanted to love this place. anyone else feel this way? we had the best waitress both times, and a great bartender as we waited for our table (though we waited over a half hour even though we had a reservation) the most recent visit, and in general a lovely experience, but, sigh, well, what can i say? we went midweek once, and once on a saturday.

Mar 22, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

masa harina/masa flour in park slope?

does anyone know if there is a place in park slope that sells masa harina/masa flour? that pupusa article in the nytimes today sure did whet my appetite. . .

thanks!!

Mar 21, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Weird experience at Ici

I have to say, I'm with tempehtempeh. I'd been eagerly awaiting my first trip to Ici after hearing so many good things about it. I went for dinner and found the service to be ungracious and erratic -- slow when you needed them, fast when they needed something from us (money, plates). The food was ambitious--aspired to Applewood heights--and missed the mark. I was so disappointed, because it was such a beautiful place, and I loved the atmosphere. Sigh. If it wasn't so pricey, I'd give it another go, but I'd rather spend my money at Applewood, Al Di La, Grocery, Saul, Chestnut, jeez the list of great restaurants at that price point goes on and on. I'm just sorry not to be able to include Ici among them.

Mar 06, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Authentic Thai food in Brooklyn?

watana siam in the slope is consistently good. their tofu spices and the ribs appetizer are so flavorful that the minute i finish, i'm looking forward to my next dinner opportunity to order.

Mar 01, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Pollo in Park Slope

There is no shortage of rotisserie chicken places in the Slope, I realize, but some are better than others. Pollo, a Peruvian chicken and rice joint with a very small menu, just opened on 5th Avenue between 1st and 2nd Streets, replacing what had to be the worst sandwich joint ever--and how you screw up a sandwich is beyond me, but I digress. Anyway, I thought the prices were a little high considering the competition with Coco Roco ($12 for Arroz con Mariscos, $9 for half-chicken) but I have to say, that was some fine tasting chicken. Moist with a crispy, flavorful skin, with a little chili kick cooked inside. The sauces they provide on the side are fresh and homemade. Also had their avocado salad and some tostones--generous helpings and very tasty, too. All in all, I was very impressed and will definitely try it again. It was empty when I went there for take out (and it is a nice build out -- not fancy, but much nicer than a plain ol' take-out place) and they seemed ecstatic to see a customer. Anyone else try Pollo yet? I think they just opened a week or two ago. Definitely give it a try. The added benefit: they're warm and friendly in there.

Feb 28, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Franny's slump?

the crostinis have always been amazing and remain so, and so are the appetizers. the pizza just seemed like the hook. and the bartenders, especially karen--"kay-ron the destroyer"--is especially wonderful. her drinks are divine, her recommendations for food and wine are always on target, and her rosemary lemonade vodka drinks in the summer are the best i've ever had. but earlier in the fall, the menu wasn't changing around as much, and the sausage on the pizza wasn't as tasty or as perfectly textured as it had been in the past. perhaps i'm spoiled. . . spoiled by their good cooking. maybe they were having an exhausting couple of months. who knows? on their worst day, they are still better than most comparable places in nyc.

Feb 05, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Best Brooklyn Lox

In Park Slope, there used to be a guy, and I'm pretty sure he's still there, at The Blue Apron who really knows how to cut lox -- an artform if ever there was one. He cuts it so thin, so perfectly, that if you're in a pinch and can't get to Fairway or Russ & Daughters, this might help. Don't know if it's cured or smoked, but, hey, at least the salmon will be cut in perfect, thin slices, and that is crucial.

Jan 11, 2007
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Red Hook Smackdown

My mistake for screwing up facts. I'm genuinely sorry--not my usual M.O. That said, being French is no excuse for being rude, not at all. I would think most French people would be offended, just as I am offended when Americans are rude and obnoxious abroad, or even here at home.

I've had a good meal at 360, and one ok meal there. But never a memorable one. All I can say is, once The Good Fork opened in Red Hook, 360 looked less and less appetizing. . . . Pit Stop sounds nice. My curiosity is piqued. . .

Dec 20, 2006
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Red Hook Smackdown

The guys at 360 might aspire to be French, but they are as American as a Ford Explorer. The food is good, if uneven--nothing spectacular, and yes, it is French. Thanks to Jacques Pepin and Julia Child, any old American can cook French if they have the passion and desire. And, no one, least of all, me, is looking to make friends in restaurants -- decent table-side manner will do. But whether you are a gourmand, or just a simple diner, it's not too much to ask for good, attentive service--it is an integral part of the dining experience. The guys at 360 have, in my experience, been consistently rude to me, and to my friends, when they've gone there, too.

And, for what it's worth, in my frequent trips to Paris, I have found the service at every restaurant there to be impeccable. They take the restaurant biz very seriously there--incomparable, and any restauranteur there would laugh at an attempt to measure 360 against any bistro there, let alone a restaurant. In the times I've dined at 360, the chef and our waiter were hanging in the back slothlike, watching football, and couldn't be bothered to check on any of the tables to see if the meals and diners were ok, see if drinks need refilling, and dishing a whole lotta attitude if anyone asked for salt or pepper because they thought their food was already perfectly seasoned. the best restaurants everywhere, from per se in manhattan to saul in brooklyn, all have salt & pepper on the table. so, i'm glad you are given warmth and hugs at 360, but count yourself lucky. you are one of the few.

Dec 20, 2006
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Red Hook Smackdown

360 is good, but the service sucks, and they are incredibly arrogant, which keeps me from ever wanting to return. The Good Fork is fresh, tasty, innovative, and cozy--the service is gracious, attentive without being obsequious, and warm. Can't say enough good things about it. I love dining in Red Hook and am thrilled that the restaurants that are opening there are at once culinarily daring and neighborly and cozy. My two cents.

Dec 20, 2006
kraw in Outer Boroughs

COOKBOOK RECOMENDATION FOR YOUNG, BEGINNING COOK

Joy of Cooking, Bittman's How to Cook Everything, Jamie Olver's The Naked Chef, and Donna Hay's Off the Shelf. Most of the recipes in these books replace the fear and anxiety of the kitchen with breathless enthusiasm because many of these recipes are failsafe and are pretty easy and straightforward, yielding fantastic, and often very quick, flavorful meals, while acquainting the novice with a wide variety of herbs, spices, vegetables and meats.

Dec 11, 2006
kraw in Home Cooking

Tempo Presto

and those homemade oreo cookies, and peanut butter chocolate cookies: those kill me. so good, so deadly. . .

Dec 05, 2006
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Tempo Presto

anyone try the presto cuban? now that's a sandwich!
also, the prosciutto and granny apple with fontina! both are hot paninis. haven't had a cold sandwich at tempo presto in a while but those rock, too. also, they're chipotle potato salad -- obscenely delicious.

Dec 04, 2006
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Lula's on Kedzie

Guess I should've gone for brunch. . .

Nov 30, 2006
kraw in Chicago Area

YUM! Sheep Station, on 4th Ave down from BAM

Their salads are really tasty, and so are their french fries. And they have other yummy veggie sides. Small menu, but something for almost everyone. . .

Nov 29, 2006
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Lula's on Kedzie

I went there over Thanksgiving weekend, visiting friends. Sweet neighborhood place with great atmosphere, but the food is not as great as everyone says. It was raved about in Chicago magazine in their 50 Best Chefs issue, and I was a bit surprised, because Chicago is a fantastic food city, and this was, well, overhyped. I had duck breast and duck confit, which was undercooked -- not just rare, but undercooked. The creamed spinach was very good, and the parsnips, were good, too, but few and far between. My friend's pork chops were gristly -- not a very good cut, and for $25, they should have been kickass. The salads are the restaurant's best features aside from the ambiance itself. But I don't think I'll go back, unfortunately, not when there are so many other fine places to try. Sigh. Was so looking forward to my dinner there, too.

Nov 27, 2006
kraw in Chicago Area

Sushi in Park Slope or South Slope?

Kiku is good for rolls, but their sashimi leaves something to be desired. I second, third, fourth, fifth Taro on Bergen. Fresh fish, tasty rolls and sashimi, and amazing prices. Stands up in delivery, too. Yamato is pretty good, too. Their white tuna is like butter. Seriously--not even trying to imitate Linda Richman. And their servings are huge -- big fat rolls, and huge slices of fish. Their prices, however, are as high as Blue Ribbon sushi. Well, at least they give you bang for your buck. The atmosphere there is a bit antiseptic for my taste, but also good delivery -- not all sushi places are good when they leave the restaurant. . .

Nov 22, 2006
kraw in Outer Boroughs

Brunch at Thalia's

their take-out is pretty good. good sandwiches, salads, and soups.

Nov 21, 2006
kraw in Manhattan

Press 195

that beet salad and the faux cubano sandwich are my two favorites, too. but two weeks ago, i have to add this new fave to the mix, one of their specials of the day that should be a regular fixture on the menu: a yam and carmelized onion puree soup. so delicious, perfect for fall and winter. goes perfectly with that cubano, i tell ya! best sandwich in the 'hood.

Nov 18, 2006
kraw in Outer Boroughs