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Authentic szechwan option in Durham

Forgot to mention that the Ma Po tofu was outstanding. Upon glancing at the other reviews it looks like I am not the only one that liked it. It was crazy-hot, though!

Feb 16, 2012
shoneycu in Southeast

Authentic szechwan option in Durham

My husband and I have been four times now. Overall it's been great, but characterized by vast inconsistency. The Americanized Chinese is pretty standard. Good, nothing outstanding. Mostly we get ordered from the authentic Szechwan menu, and it varied between "best thing I've eaten in a month" to "I can only take one bite of this." Double cooked beef, which Greg liked a lot, was the latter for us. On the other hand, the wonton soup with red chile oil -- which is not a soup at all, but rather dumplings on a plate with a tiny bit of broth, and red chile oil drizzle -- I could eat every single day.

Feb 16, 2012
shoneycu in Southeast

Lunch and early dinner in Chelsea, alone, 2/25

Thanks so much! I'll report back on my return. I appreciate your help.

Feb 16, 2012
shoneycu in Manhattan

Lunch and early dinner in Chelsea, alone, 2/25

Looks beautiful! You also responded the last time I was in NYC alone -- pasted below. You and I were both big fans of La Mangeoire. Is he doing the cassoulet again this winter? :) Thanks so much for your help, and by the way, your blog is also very nicely done. -Sherry

"Thanks for reporting back, shoneycu! Glad that you were pleased with your choices. I'm especially glad that you enjoyed La Mangeoire. As you may know, 4-star Chef Christian Delouvrier is in charge of the kitchen. We've been there twice and both meals were excellent. We'll be heading there again on Friday. We read that Chef Delouvrier is serving his cassoulet during the month of January, and my husband, the cassoulet addict, has to have it.

Warmer since you were here? Forgeddaboudit! Another snowstorm is about to hit. But, as you said, perfect weather for cassoulet!"

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La Mangeoire
1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

Feb 16, 2012
shoneycu in Manhattan

Lunch and early dinner in Chelsea, alone, 2/25

Thanks Kathryn! You helped me last year also -- I took your recommendation on the Breslin for a brunch, and loved it. I think you also suggested Scarpetta last year, and I didn't make it, so I'm going to try for it this time.

Feb 16, 2012
shoneycu in Manhattan

Lunch and early dinner in Chelsea, alone, 2/25

Hi everyone!

I'll be coming to NYC from North Carolina for one night only for a show at the HIghline Ballroom. Since it's such a quick trip, I'd like to eat in the neighborhood. I'm staying near the Highline Ballroom. I'll have time for two lunches (or one lunch/one Sat. brunch) and one casual early dinner before the show.

My fellow Chowhounders were invaluable on my last solo trip to NYC, so I'm trying again. I'm open to a range of ideas for lunch/brunch. Dinner I'll keep casual, since I'm dining alone, although fine dining spots with bars are fine.

Thanks a million -
S
sixplateswinebar.com

Feb 16, 2012
shoneycu in Manhattan

NYC this weekend, no reservations!

Have a great dinner tonight! I did not mention that I also had the grilled octopus starter, which in retrospect was quite summery with a tomato and pesto presentation, but it was fantastic anyway. Unlike your husband, I've never been a cassoulet devotee, but I swear I think I became one at La Mangeoire. I've been looking for a place that serves it in the Triangle already. Happy eating!

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La Mangeoire
1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

Jan 28, 2011
shoneycu in Manhattan

NYC this weekend, no reservations!

Hi, Everyone -- I hope you guys have warmed up. I thought NC was cold before I left, but those temps. last weekend were painful. Otherwise I had a good trip with some good food.
Sat. lunch - I ended up eating at Shake Shack (I was having lunch with a friend, who loves it) for lunch one day. Good burger, cheap price, it was fine. John Oliver was in line behind us, which was fun.
Sat. dinner - La Mangeoire French bistro, the owner is a friend of a friend. It was the perfect choice for the frigid cold, as they had a cassoulet special which was just wonderful.
Sun. brunch - The Breslin at Ace Hotel. Really great bloody mary, very hip vibe (though I'm not a very hip person!). Fries were to die for. I had the three cheese and prosciutto grilled cheese.
Sunday dinner - Momofuku noodle bar. I had the pork buns, which were surprisingly too fatty for this southern girl who grew up on a hog farm, and the Momofuku ramen, which was excellent.

Thanks for the recommendations, I'm looking forward to trying more of them when I head back to NYC. Hopefully in warmer times.

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La Mangeoire
1008 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10022

The Breslin
20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

Jan 26, 2011
shoneycu in Manhattan

NYC this weekend, no reservations!

Thanks so much, kathryn. This was very helpful.

Jan 21, 2011
shoneycu in Manhattan

NYC this weekend, no reservations!

Wow, this is great. Thank you ALL for your suggestions. I wish I had longer to try more of them! I'm looking forward to a great weekend of good eats. If you're ever in Durham, NC, and feel like small plates/wine bar, come visit my wine bar, referenced here in the Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/din....

Jan 20, 2011
shoneycu in Manhattan

NYC this weekend, no reservations!

Thanks, Pan. I checked Open Table for several places, including Momofuku, for last minute dinner reservations with no luck. Anywhere that reserves some walk in tables would be good to know about. I do plan to go to Chinatown for lunch. Good to hear I can walk in -- any suggestions for the best? I've had Great New York Noodletown before so other specific suggestions for inexpensive in Chinatown would be great.

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Great New York Noodletown
28 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

Jan 20, 2011
shoneycu in Manhattan

NYC this weekend, no reservations!

I'm headed to NYC on a last minute trip this weekend and I have no reservations. I've not been in two years, and I need advice for where to go that I can either walk in or get a last minute reservation. Lunch, dinner, or brunch on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Looking for one blockbuster meal, and the others moderate or inexpensive. Especially interested in all Asian this weekend but open to anything. I'm still getting over all my southern holiday food. Staying in midtown. Thanks for your help!

Jan 20, 2011
shoneycu in Manhattan

50 things to eat in NC

This was in the N & O and reminded me of our discussion about liver products & scrapple. It appears that a group of Pennsylvania Dutch relocated to parts of NC and popularized scrapple in certain parts of our state -- http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/10/2...

Oct 22, 2010
shoneycu in Southeast

Txakolifest Six Plates Durham NC

I'm really sorry I didn't catch this before we held Txakolifest this year. Hopefully you went and had a great time. I am one of the 6P owners --The event is the brainchild of my business partner/co-owner Matt, who has traveled to Spain in search of great txakoli. We hold the event each year, with rotating Basque food and oysters to pair with the wines. Hope it was fun!

Sep 11, 2010
shoneycu in Southeast

50 things to eat in NC

burgeoningfoodie, you are probably right. when I read your post it occurred to me that our scrapple was always what we made . . . I grew up on a hog farm. I never got it from a grocery store. So I probably stand corrected, that was just a tiny microcosm of my neighborhood (mcgees crossroads nc)

Sep 07, 2010
shoneycu in Southeast

50 things to eat in NC

I skimmed the replies but didn't have time to do an in-depth reading, these may have already been listed, but here are some I would say are very NC: a streak-o-lean sandwich on white bread. . .(a very specific cut of pork fat, it is NOT fatback, not smoked, and has a hard "rind" down one edge, check Piggly-Wiggly or Carlie C's grocery stores, and some rural Food Lions). Cucumber pickles. . . pear preserves from those little hard green pears that give you stomachaches if you eat them raw. . .Chocolate hundred-layer cake. . . chicken pastry from an old hen. . . . Carolina Packers hot dogs. . . homemade peach ice cream. . . scrapple . . brains or salmon roe (see above grocery store list) and eggs. . .those little orange boiled potatoes at bar-b-que joints . . . corn sticks. . . I grew up east of Raleigh so this may be a disproportionately eastern NC food list.

Sep 01, 2010
shoneycu in Southeast

Recommendations for Myrtle Beach, SC

If you're in the mood for Italian, you should try Villa Romano. The owner, Reynaldo, is from Rome. He and his wife oversee the kitchen and dining room every night, and the recipes are all Reynaldo's takes on Italian-American. It is delicious. The prices range from roughly 18-25, but you get salad, soup, a bruschetta appetizer and bread for that price. They get consistent votes for best Italian in MB.

Don't overlook Murrell's Inlet, a few minutes south of Myrtle Beach, in your food quest. Some of the best seafood can be found down there. Have fun!

birthday dinner for beer guy during SF visit?

THANKS from NC everyone! I'm going to look at these suggestions and pick from among them. I appreciate your willingness to help out -- it looks like we'll have lots of options for a birthday dinner he will love.

birthday dinner for beer guy during SF visit?

I'm a chowhound from Durham, NC. My husband and I will be visiting SF (staying in downtown Marriott) from this Friday, 8/10 until Tuesday 8/14. His birthday is on the 12th. He's into specialty brews and burgers. Any ideas for a birthday dinner along these lines that's still nice enough for a special occasion? Thanks!

Raleigh - Fancy Restaurants

I used to live in Raleigh and absolutely adored Vin. I miss it still -- I'm in Durham now and don't make the drive often. I have posted on the many merits of Piedmont on this board in the past, and they hold true, but I would still say that if you're trying to stay in Raleigh, Vin is the way to go. And by all means, get there early and have some cheese, wine, olives, and bliss in the lounge area before your meal. Cheers!

Good eats on Amelia Island?

I'm vacationing there with my family from Dec. 27-31. Does anyone have any recommendations at all? Everything welcome: all meals, all price ranges. We'll be eating out several times, and forewarned is forearmed! Thanks and happy holidays.

Chapel HIll: Red Lotus

Had lunch at Red Lotus this week to celebrate the end of exams. The service was friendly and fast, but the meal was.......not good. No better way to describe it. Rather than too sweet, I found that everything my husband and I ordered was far too salty. And STICKY. In fairness, maybe it was that we were lunching late -- around 1:20 pm, but the food definitely felt and tasted as though it had been sitting around on warmers or under lamps for an hour or so. And the spring rolls were just soaking in grease. The bright spot in the meal was a truly delicious egg drop soup (I know, I know...but this is my guilty pleasure). It was light and flavorful and I would go back there just to eat it again. Otherwise, I'm not so impressed.

Good Showing from Piedmont in Durham

Just came back from a meal there tonight. I loved, loved the location and atmosphere. It felt totally comfortable but still nice and elegant, and in the grand tradition of Durham fine dining, completely at ease in neighborhoods many aren't familiar (or comfortable)with. I think this is a good thing.

As for service, very friendly if a bit slow -- I'll take slow if it means good things are happening in the kitchen. The duck liver mousse was interesting and full of flavor, and if you like that sort of thing you'll enjoy trying it. The green tomato jam served with my cheese was about the best thing I've ever tasted. The menus change every day.

There are still some kinks to be worked out, including a few bucks overcharge on the bill and warm chardonnay, but all in all I think this is such a promising addition to downtown Durham. As a longtime fan of Andy's at the Federal, I'm happy to see him get his own place. I'm excited to try the brunch.

Meals under $10

I just recommended Chai's Noodle Bar and Bistro for kids, and also think it's a good bet for under ten bucks. He's got pretty good noodle soups, especially the egg noodle woup with garlic and your choice of fried tofu (my fave) or sliced chicken or beef. The apps are a little greasy, but cheap, and, let's face it -- delicious -- and nothing on the menu is over ten bucks except the specials.

And the bubble tea......Wow. Maybe not quite the real deal, but they sure taste good. You could have one for lunch, they're so filling.

I second 9N9, very yummy.

Torrero's has a mean bowl of tortilla soup for 3.00. If this is a chain I apologize, I know of one or two others in the area but I think they're locally owned?
My husband and I have raging and ongoing disagreements about Cosmic. He would walk there through a blinding snowstorm, but I don't find anything all that distinctive about it. Maybe I'm ordering poorly? I've tried most of the burritos and a quesadilla. At any rate, it's definitely cheap.

Weekend in Chapel Hill, NC

Glad you enjoyed Chapel Hill! Next time you visit your friend and are on the lookout for a fine dining place, definitely try Lantern -- the best Asian fusion in the South (check the Gourmet magazine write up). Owner/chef Andrea Reusing is amazing, and committed to locally produced food. My husband I love it. Also, if you're ever in town during warm weather, I highly recommend the Carolina Inn's bluegrass on the front porch -- Friday afternoons. Can't beat it for Southern charm. Come back soon!

Noisiest restaurants in the Triangle?

Elmos Diner for casual breakfast/brunch...Both Carrboro and Durham locations are great for kids. I am surprised to see Pop's on your list, durhamois, as I typically equate that restaurant with a romantic night out (small tables, dim light, close seating) -- I suppose it could be a little noisy, but I would say that it seems "trendy-noisy" instead of "kid-noisy!" Fosters market always has lots of little ones running around. Also, for casual Asian -- though perhaps not the most kid-friendly menu -- try Chai's noodle bar and bistro on Erwin Road. Not a place where people would mind a little kid noise. All these places are a little more casual than Pop's and Talulla's, but I don't have kids yet and am guilty of being one of the people who try to avoid sitting next to the table with toddlers at fine dining establishments. :) I adore kids, but no kidding, had a chicken nugget land in my plate recently when I sat withing throwing range.