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Single diner in Miami

I've been a solo diner several times in Miami and loved it. It seems Macchialina has scaled back their happy hour and only does it now on Wednesday nights, which is a shame, because I started my last solo trip with a lovely prosecco and an out of this world swordfish dip (which doesn't seem to be on the menu anymore!)

I also ate at the bar at Pubbelly Steak, which I think is moving or moved; did the full tasting at Pubbelly up at the bar; and the bar at Yardbird. I adored Pubbelly steak and thought pub belly was a little overrated. You can feel very comfortable there with a bourbon drink and a book; the bartender chatted with me a little but sensed when I was ready to be alone and read. I had something fried chicken that was fantastic - chicken and biscuit, I think - it doesn't seem to be on the menu anymore but maybe there's a separate bar menu. I think they have a new chef/owner (was the blond guy from Top Chef a few seasons ago), not sure how much things have changed (I was there in 2013).

I'm curious to try Khong River (Pok Pok PDX is one of my fave restaurants in the world). I peeked in and looked like the bar would be a nice place to eat.

For ethnic, I've not had the nerve to go up to Little Haiti or Havana by myself, but I did eat at Tap Tap and it was tremendous. I had an excellent Haitian mojito and the fried platter with goat meat added and a side of coconut spinach. Everything was great; I loved the malanga fritters and the sauces for dipping, and liked the goat much more than I thought I would. It's a colorful little place with a small front porch, slow-on-purpose service, and a place where a solo diner would feel totally comfortable.

I'm conflating two trips into one now, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but last trip I went to Bazaar by myself at high pretty-people-time (10 or 11pm or so) and sat by myself with a wonderful cocktail and really enjoyed it, it's a nice poolside setting. I don't know if people were looking at me, but I was looking at them, so it's all good. I didn't eat there.

If you like seafood I wouldn't miss My Ceviche - I've eaten there multiple times and it's the bomb. Love anything octopus there (burrito is great), any ceviche, just haven't tried the stone crab. It's all takeout so you can go eat on the beach or in the park, or - bonus! - if you're in your room and just don't feel like another solo dinner, they deliver in the SoBe area. Did it twice and was very happy with the option.

Good luck and enjoy!

Nov 25, 2014
edub in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Trip Report: Kabuto, Bazaar Meats, Wicked Spoon

Thanks Uhockey - not sure where I got MoZu, maybe that's what the DC Mandarin restaurant is called (never been there).

I got the Five50 reference but I think restaurant names like that are too cute by half. I like the unnamed secret pizza place in Cosmo - in name and pizza. I'd like to go back there; I feel I should try it when not under the influence of a night's worth of cocktails to see if it's as good as I remember.

Nov 22, 2014
edub in Las Vegas

Trip Report: Kabuto, Bazaar Meats, Wicked Spoon

Does anyone remember that Julia Roberts movie where she played a food critic? She's taking a bite and the whole restaurant crew is watching her with bated breath. Then she says something like, "I'm writing it up as inventive and breathtaking." And they all audibly sigh with relief. I can only imagine that's what goes on when you're comped a $1000 meal as a high-profile restaurant critic.

As for overpriced, we could only make this comparison: we got a plate of seven or so slabs of fresh tuna, of medium thickness, for $40. Meanwhile, two nights earlier we had consumed incredibly fresh and delectable tuna and many other varieties of sashimi quality fish at Kabuto - an entire multi course meal of it for $80 a person. Bazaar is a lot of fun - but so is Jaleo, which is so delicious and so on-point price wise. Instead of enjoying the tapas experience, they've designed the tapas portion of the meal as a lead up to the heaven-sent meat course, and when that blindingly expensive meat doesn't live up, it's a let down. We skipped dessert so I can't say if that's a meaningful consolation prize.

Nov 22, 2014
edub in Las Vegas

Trip Report: Kabuto, Bazaar Meats, Wicked Spoon

Yes, please - correct away! It's a great place. It reminds me of a wonderful gem we have here in DC called Rodman's, if it had ten times more space to fill with international fare.

Interestingly, the only review I had really read about Bazaar was EatingLV and that was glowing. We had to look around and ask each other, is the meat really not *that* good?

Nov 20, 2014
edub in Las Vegas

Trip Report: Kabuto, Bazaar Meats, Wicked Spoon

I almost forgot about my stop at International market. This is a true foodie destination and you Vegas-based Chowhounds are lucky to have it! I didn't check out the produce and proteins since I wasn't cooking, but I saw some glorious stuff in other peoples' carts. I was really impressed by the British section, the extensive Scandinavian and other sweets (LOTS of licorice), all the different European sections, Middle East, etc. I picked up some Greek quince jam and pandan jam which may or may not be Thai. Since we were in travel mode I mostly otherwise picked up sweets - an awesome salty licorice assortment that included a vanilla mint variety; green tea kit kats; a Milk Tray; and some filipino honey banana chips. They had a huge assortment of different pannetote flavors but that unfortunately wouldn't fit in the suitcase.

A foodie experience that I'd highly recommend - along with our tour of poke shops on our last trip, consumed poolside with cold beers. So many different options, I'm ready to go back already!

Nov 20, 2014
edub in Las Vegas

Trip Report: Kabuto, Bazaar Meats, Wicked Spoon

Hi Chowhounds - we had an relatively unusual Vegas trip for us - more casual eating punctuated by a few awesome dinners. It was our first time at Kabuto and the meal pushed us towards a realization that we've been approaching: anything but stellar sushi is really not worth it. Kabuto upped our game big time; we'd never had an omakase before and we'll be saving our bucks for the fine places in DC that offer it. Everything was fresh and immaculate, the service wonderful, the presentation beautiful. We did the $80 version and the only thing we didn't really care for was the grilled course - next time we'll go without it and order more off the menu. We also felt it was a little heavy on the tuna (Spanish), which was delicious but also served three or four ways. The umi was spectacular. My husband loved the mackerel. Even the green tea tiramisu was divine and since we were already feeling a bit too full for our planned stop at Raku sweets, it definitely put an end to that dream. Next time.

I'll quickly say that we did several in-room breakfasts at the Mandarin and can give it high compliments. It's the exact same price for the same meals at MoZu, so I can say that it's definitely worthwhile for an upscale breakfast, like a work meeting. Bread basket was particularly good with an out of this world blueberry muffin. Little treats like diced dried tropical fruit with the oatmeal made the ordinary special.

We grabbed a few slices for lunch one day at the new Five50 (weird name) in the Aria and it was good pizza. I had the foragers, white based with ricotta, spinach and mushrooms, and it was very good, but very oily. My husband loved the traditional red sauce with meats.

We meant to make a meal of happy hours at the Cosmo, but many of those great deals are unavailable on Fridays, so we got a bunch of apps at Comme Ca, which was one of the few venues doing the "social hour" on Friday. It was ok. I wish I could give it higher praise, and I don't know that we had a broad enough range of food to really judge it -- for instance, I would have liked to try the escargot pie but we loaded up on other choices, including a charcuterie plate and a cheese plate, which I didn't really taste. The octopus was just fine - wrapped in some kind of meat which wasn't mentioned in the description and which we didn't identify. The tartare was similarly good but nothing to sing about, with the poached egg yolk just sitting on top waiting to be mixed in and nothing much else going on in way of seasoning. We had a pickle jar, but everything came with pickles and they weren't particularly good or bad. The company was much better than the food.

Our highlight was a 40th birthday dinner at Bazaar Meats, which didn't disappoint - much. Highlights, by far, were the exceptional beef tartare, which would be delicious on its own but came with delectable warm Parker rolls that sent it over the top; the famous cotton candy foie gras, which would convert a vegetarian; and the "smoke and ice" oysters, whose applewood smoke permeated the whole table and which were off the charts in unique but unadulterated pleasurable taste. The place is just so crazy expensive that it's hard to relax, knowing that each tiny slab of tuna is $8, for instance. A lot of choices were delicious but not price worthy ($22 leche de tigre clams; the small portion of octopus for $18 that was really elevated by the homey potato and paprika accompaniment.) Vegetables, particularly brussel sprout petals and cauliflower, were excellent. The concept is really neat - truly a tapas approach to a steakhouse - but for us the disappointment was the meat itself. The whole meal refers to this coming glorious steak, by layering courses with seafood first, then tartares and meats, to prepare for the total carnivorous glory of the steak (or pig or other "central" meat dishes). They even bring very elevated small trays to hold up the meat above the heads of the diner on the table, and when it arrives it looks Flintstonian spectacular, with the ruby red slabs cut away from the bone. The meat was: good. Maybe really good. But not out of this world, blow me away spectacular. And for $50 pound, on the bone, it really should be. Translate this way - each bone-in rib eye weighs about 2-1/2 pounds. So you're paying $125 for a steak that yields about 12 oz of edible meat. At those prices, you need to be elevated by the actual eating experience, and not just by the height at which it is served or the pomp and circumstance surrounding it. When I took a bite of meat that exploded with flavor, I realized it was from one of the sparse flakes of sea salt that had been scattered too judiciously. I'm not sure whether to take from the experience that even spectacular meat needs seasoning, or whether this price point will always deliver disappointment. I'd also say the wine list leaves something to be desired - not a single cab in this meat-centric restaurant for under $170 or so. And no sommelier, at least as far as we could tell - no one came by, and when we made inquiries of the waiter, he never offered to deliver one. Long and short, we'd go again, but only to the bar to have the oysters and tartare with cocktails. And even then it's not too likely we'd go all the way to the isolated end of the strip where SLS resides just for apps. Since we're from DC, we're spoilt for Jose Andres choice, and most of those (like the wonderful Zaytinya, which starts your mezze meal with hot pita and pomegranate molasses laced olive oil) at least start with free bread!

Before our late dinner at Bazaar, we stopped into Cleo for a drink and quick app, and were glad we did. It's a nice atmosphere and the appetizer we got - carrot harissa - was great and reasonable in price ($7). It came with a large hot piece of laffa bread - tasted a little in between laffa and focaccia, actually, but it was very tasty. The harissa could have veered into baby food territory but the pureed carrot was topped with sliced ones, and the spice profile was not just spicy, but also varied and complex in flavor. No baby would eat it, which is why we loved it!

Finally, a dilemma for the ages. To buffet or not buffet for the Vegas foodie gourmet? We've always stayed away, although I've been severely tempted by Wicked Spoon since it opened. On United, however, they're gifting passengers with coupons to Cosmo joints, and there was a 2-for-1 offer for Wicked Spoon. We had to go. It was really quite great! Not for the brunch purist, maybe, and definitely not for the person who wants to inhale crab legs and shrimp cocktail (they had neither). I was craving Thai and we had to end this trip without a visit, so I started on the Asian side of the buffet. I grabbed a tiny cone of lemon cream and pesto that was delicious and that never reappeared. The papaya salad was not a highlight, quite salty, but I loved the five spice duck wings and the ddeok, which I'd never tried before. Later, they put out some delicious takoyaki with shrimp (got it fresh which I'm sure made the difference). Kale salad was way overdressed, but really good when tucked into the beef brisket benedict. Almost everything I had ranged from good to great and really nothing was inedible (the sushi innards were not bad, but I couldn't waste space on the gummy sushi rice). A tiny bite of smoked salmon pizza just reminded me that smoked salmon never needs to be recooked. Gnocchi in boar ragu were nice, and my favorite was probably the chestnut risotto, which was perfectly toothy and creamy and rich and the thinly sliced chestnuts sweet and meaty, not overcooked. Dessert was the main disappointment (it's a visual feast, though!) Pumpkin eclair, so promising, was just bad. Baba al rhum was tasty, as was a layer cake with a creamy coffee and a crunchy layer. I didn't like the Thai tea ice cream which I know many others have praised. Tip for the brunch purist is to arrive early, and for the buffet purists to arrive later - they were replacing a tray of eggs in purgatory with a hearty seafood stew (lots of shrimp and squid) when I was already on to dessert). I'm hungry just writing this.

Great trip, as always. Thank you Vegas, for offering the best of high and low cuisine!

Nov 20, 2014
edub in Las Vegas

Milos

if you were going to Milos for lunch and price was no object, what would you order? Would you still order the bargain lunch? Also any recs there for wines by the glass?

Nov 14, 2014
edub in Las Vegas

Lemongrass

Sadly I just realized that neither LOS or Chada are open on the weekends for lunch.Would going to Lemongrass in Aria just make me sadder? Any off strip Thai that approaches the others that is open?

Nov 14, 2014
edub in Las Vegas

Recently renovated, and probably the most refined brunch in Las Vegas - Veranda at The Four Seasons

I just logged in to look at Sunday brunch ideas so thanks for this! We are staying at Mandarin Oriental - any thoughts on MoZen brunch? I remember reading that the sushi and seafood were weak.

Nov 07, 2014
edub in Las Vegas

Andre's at the Monte Carlo vs. Alize at the Palms

Ellenost, did you ever get to Andre's? I'm planning a November trip now and based on reviews by Uhockey and others I'm considering it for one of our meals. If you've been I'd love to hear how it was.

Oct 30, 2014
edub in Las Vegas

Happy Hour on the Strip

I wanted to revive this topic for 2014. We did an awesome happy hour crawl in Vegas last year but most of the places we went (American Fish, PJ Clarkes, the Palm, Diego) are closed.

Does anyone have recommendations? Must be on or very near the Strip. (We might consider the Barrymore though we've already eaten there.) So far I'm considering Sushisamba (repeat from last year - it's a great deal and tasty); Pub 1842 sounds great but is only M-Th and we're doing this on a Friday. Would stop for just a great cocktail, but won't eat anywhere without great food (ie no $1 wings).

I'm also considering Andre, but would love feedback about whether this is worth a whole dinner for the tasting menu rather than a happy hour stop. (Currently dining one night at Bazaar Meats but could do Andre instead.)

Many thanks!

Oct 29, 2014
edub in Las Vegas

Isla Mujeres in March!!!

SO excited to be going to back to Isla Mujeres in March. We went almost five years ago with a toddler - now we'll be returning with a 6 year old and 3 year old.

Our most memorable meals there were not too fancy and largely near Ixchel where we stayed and will be staying. Pristine ceviche - bought at one of the places near the pier. There was a place in the beginning of the town near Ixchel that had delicious chicken and it came with spaghetti - it was memorable for us because it was beloved by the kid. Does anyone know what that place is? Also the fried plantain sandwiches; a cafe in La Gloria that had exquisite hibiscus juice and breakfast; and the best chilaquiles ever from one of the market places.

I'm looking for more great recommendations for gourmet adults and non gourmet kids. Basically we'd be very happy eating fresh seafood and authentic Yucatan or Mexican the whole time, throwing in some fries every once in a while to keep the kids real. We never had tacos while there and wondering where to go for those. I'd love recommendations and help refreshing my memory about the places above!

Many thanks!

Oct 22, 2014
edub in Mexico

Street food in Paris (trucks, carts, etc.)?

I came across this post because I may be in Paris in a few weeks for a day. From a childhood summer spent there, I remember getting baguette sandwiches (vegetarian, as I was vegetarian at the time) from vendors in a pard. Does that still exist, and where? Thanks!

Aug 12, 2014
edub in France

critique my food choices in wine country

Wow - thanks, maria lorraine! High praise coming from you! I really valued reading all your advice in researching this trip.

Jul 21, 2014
edub in San Francisco Bay Area

Carneros Wineries and Restaurant Suggestions?

Since I read this whole thread with avid interest when planning our two days in Carneros, I thought I'd link to the write up I just posted (also includes some DCV): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/981653. We were a lot less ambitious with a much less refined palate than OP, and we were really appreciative of all the guidance from the community through this thread!

Jul 20, 2014
edub in San Francisco Bay Area

critique my food choices in wine country

Here's the readout on my trip - the itinerary was two days in Carneros/Glen Ellen, one day in Dry Creek Valley.

We arrived too late for Mayo. We headed straight for Glen Ellen Star. FABulous. The wood oven yielded some delightful vegetables - the carrots with mole and sesame brittle were outstanding, and better than any dessert we could have ordered. Octopus with harissa was excellent (delectable lemons and octopus was charred but completely tender). I thought the gnocchi in my husband's lamb ragu excelled, and I was delighted with the brick chicken and creamed corn.

We decided to stay at the retro Glen Ellen Inn instead of Petaluma, and headed out to a private tasting of our favorite wine, Road 31 pinot, in Stag's Leap. Please do yourself a favor and try this wine when you see it but don't join the Truckers list because then there's more wine for us.

We liked Oxbow for lunch; we had the arepas because we're fans. Good but not $20 for two good! The facility is very nice and we would have been over the moon if not for the similarly wonderful Union Market that's been installed recently in our hometown.

Truchard was a treasure. Mathew gave us a nice tour and generous pours and we really felt attached to the Truchard family after his history. The wines were better one after the other. The Roussane is their signature and very tasty. We loved the merlot and I really enjoyed their Cab. I'm told their wine is considered "old world" and restrained. The $30 tasting fee is waived with a three bottle purchase and their shipping is more than reasonable.

We hit Domaine Chandon for a glass of bubbly on the patio. It's kind of a seminal Napa experience; we didn't feel we missed out without the tasting. We liked the 2012 brut and ultra brut a lot.

We went to Scribe, and while this was one of the nicest settings imaginable, it was one of our least favorite wine spots. The vibe is hipster-chic-ish and a little pretentious. It's totally at odds with the picnic settings, right-on-top-of-the-vines setting. The cheese plate was quite flimsy for $25/person. We didn't really care for the wines other than an interesting skin fermented chardonnay.

We did dinner at the Glen Ellen Inn, in keeping with the retro vibe of their cottages. Very solid. It was perfect to roll in and out of our room to get there, but I don't think it's worth a special trip. Calamari was so-so (ginger meant a few pieces of pickled ginger on top rather than marinated or integrated into the fish), moules frites in saffron sauce was tasty but heavy. Free ice cream sundae complimented the retro vibe! Adorable patio, great for a drink and snack if in the area.

By happy accident we ended up at Fremont Diner for breakfast. I wasn't too intrigued since we live close enough to the South to get the real thing, but I also didn't appreciate the farm fresh/Cali/Latin influences on the menu. For example, house roasted brisket hash with kale - divine. Scrumptious home made plum jam with biscuits and hot sauce with breakfast sandwich. If biscuits were served warm and coffee was stronger, this would be a 10 for breakfast.

We stopped at Artesa for the art and ended up sharing a glass of Pinot rose. We learned during this trip that we just don't care for this varietal of rose, but it was certainly nice.

We loved, loved Adasta. One love for the wine and one for the experience. It's a genuine rustic small farm run by a family of intellects - they have literary themed family parties, you get a dose of astronomy and Latin in learning about their name, history of the place to the 19th century, etc. Tom Sawyer could have grown up happy here, especially if he took up baseball and croquet and maybe tomato growing. We adored the unoaked (and inexpensive!) Chardonnay and loved the pinots. The only wine club we joined on the trip.

We picnicked in Sonoma square - the Sonoma cheese co was adequate - they have cheese scraps in the back of the less busy half of the store, so I was able to get some gorgonzola dulce, packaged red grapes and bread with Perrier. A decent lunch, but I noticed in general when out and about that it was harder than I had expected to find nice cheese and bread.

We hit MacRostie, which appealed to us in part because of the industrial thing (they taste and produce essentially in an industrial park). We did like the wines, but coming on the heels of our love affair with Adastra we weren't enamored of any in particular.

Dinner was at Girl and the Fig, and what a treat that was. The menu was much lengthier than we had expected. I did a champagne flight which I did not love, but it's hard not to be charmed by their fig twist on a kir royale. Very good (but not outstanding) beef tartare. A strong cucumber soup was enlivened with bright pickled shallots. Roast peach salad was plated summer. Burger (by recommendation) did not disappoint. Nice cheese plate with several yummy components for dessert, although I really couldn't figure out why there was no brie/camembert-like selection (are there no good local choices? Are they passé? Does France know that?) The waiter was a one of a kind experience. Highly recommend.

We had been trying to get to El Molino Central all trip and were determined to make it happen for breakfast. First in line for chilaquiles; by far the best latte/cappucino of the trip. Very, very good chilaquiles, although we've never had this style before with scrambled eggs on the side and unincorporated. We both prefer them mixed in, or even better, with no eggs but with roasted chicken. Anyways, small complaints. No doubt we'd plan a lunch/dinner there with more time. I was intrigued by the fresh sauces in the deli case, including some kind of pumpkin seed pesto that had a Mayan name.

First winery was Quivira and we enjoyed it a lot. I had taken the farm tour off our itinerary because we'd done several tours, but I know I would have loved it - their garden is awesome, all kinds of vegetables and fruits and herbs and green, and everything biodynamic. We'll certainly do it next time. I liked the dry rose. The zins were big for us because we'd concentrated on pinots until then. I could drink the moltepuciano every night. Friendly folks too. I'd get there earlier to avoid the hordes of bike groups hogging up the picnic tables.

We liked Mauritson a lot. We really got to taste a wide variety of zins and my favorite was Jack's Cabin. We're encouraged to see a few of these wines, and Quivira, in our local wine stores.

We quickly stopped at Healdsburg Shed - wonderful structure - and went to our last stop at MacPhail. We had a wonderful tasting experience. Lauren was fantastic. Loved the modern shed structure here as well but we're told they're moving to Guernesville next week, so along with the earlier suggestions from this thread I think we have the makings of our next trip to wine country. We tasted a wide variety of pinots and deeply enjoyed them. We were quite a bit tipsy by the end!

And there you have it ... an amazing trip. We did some meticulous planning and then left ourselves lots of room to change plans, go slower and go with the flow. I think it's the only way to do wine country. I hope this is helpful for others - Chowhound is a real "pay it forward" kind of place!

critique my food choices in wine country

Awesome! I think I have to make this a reality!

Jul 09, 2014
edub in San Francisco Bay Area

critique my food choices in wine country

Thank you all for your replies! Upon considering the wealth of top notch eats in Glen Ellen, we're actually thinking of staying there for one or two nights instead of Petaluma. What would be top choices there - Glen Ellen Inn/Fig Cafe/Olive and Vine? And any good bakeries or place for picnic supplies?

Jul 09, 2014
edub in San Francisco Bay Area

critique my food choices in wine country

Hi Chowhounds,

I would love some help with the food portion of my itinerary (Wed July 16-Sat July 19). I've pored over previous posts but still have questions!

The first day (not even a half day), we have a 5pm reservation at the Mayo Family tasting room. I haven't seen a recent Chowhound review. Can anyone give me feedback?

We also have a 7:45pm at Glen Ellen Star. I was under the impression that Mayo wasn't really a lot of food - would it be overkill to do Mayo as appetizer and Glen Ellen Star as dinner? And is Glen Ellen Star all that?

We are staying in Petaluna, so breakfasts will probably be from Della Fattore and other bakeries, except that one day we'll venture to El Molino for chilaquiles (we are addicts). Has anyone been there for breakfast? Most lunches will be picnics we bring with us from Petaluma, or something quick we procure on the way. The one exception is the first day, when we'll be coming through Napa, and I'd like to stop at Oxbow. I was thinking the arepas place for lunch, would welcome thoughts.

We end our first day at Scribe, so was thinking about a 6:30pm at Girl and the Fig. Is it still top-notch, or are there other better places in Sonoma town? I adore figs but from what I see on the menu it doesn't appear I'm guaranteed them. Would welcome thoughts on the Sonoma night dinner.

Friday night we were planning on Central Market, so we could stay local to our hotel. Reviews seem to be great. Are we missing anything else in Petaluma? (I want to pick up a sandwich with Dutch crunch bread somewhere along the way too).

Saturday is our Healdsburg/rose day. If we are up early might do Healdsburg shed for breakfast but haven't seen many reviews. We want to hit Quivira, Mauritson, and MacPhail. Any good lunch options along the way?

We are taking the redeye out of SFO Saturday night, so for dinner I was thinking Picco in Larkspur (based on the raves I've read on Chowhound). Would that leave us with full tummies and happy memories before heading back East?

I really welcome other suggestions and alternatives. We went to Ad Hoc 7 years ago and had one of the most memorable meals ever, but everything I've read suggests that it's gone downhill (and for some reason that extra fifth course they offer seems to throw the simplicity of the menu off). But you wouldn't have to work too hard to change my mind. Other delicious options welcomed! Thanks.

Jul 07, 2014
edub in San Francisco Bay Area

What really happens at a restaurant when the customer can't pay?

This brought back a memory for me: my first time traveling by myself, during grad school, to Paris. It was on the heels of a devastating breakup and I felt very brave spending a weekend alone in a foreign country, using my rusty French. I wanted to eat duck and wandered around one night til I found a place, sat down with my book and enjoyed a three course meal. When the check came I reached into my bag and panicked - my wallet wasnt there, I had left it a the hotel. I explained that I was going back to get it to a dubious waiter (and I suspect the panic diminished my language skills). I rushed back, grabbed it, went back and paid, then slinked off into thenight. Only later did I realize that in my panic I had left no tip, and I was mortified. I imagined them cursing La Stupide Americaine in my wake. I still think about thatight, wishing I could go back and pay the tip, but knowing I have no idea whatsoever where the restaurant was. But I do remember that the duck was delicious.

Jun 29, 2014
edub in Not About Food

Best fresh fish markets in DC, pref. NW?

I wanted revisit this thread from nearly 7 years ago - any new good places for fish in DC/Bethesda/MontCo? I recently bought salmon at Great Wall in Rockville and it was outstanding. I don't know if it was farmed, but it was a great price ($8/lb) and looked and tasted pristine.

Any other places to buy fresh fish? I've got BlackSalt on my list and A&H when it reopens. Whole Food strikes me as crazy expensive (though they have sockeye on sale today only, for something like $13/pound.

gooseberries and other fruits

Has anyone seen gooseberries, red and white currants or other less popular fruits in farmers markets or stores yet this year? Bonus points for cloudberries!

Specific wine itinerary questions - I've done research!

I'm not - it was a joke. I think they're the most maligned winery on this board. Thanks for the Heitz tip!

May 26, 2014
edub in San Francisco Bay Area

Specific wine itinerary questions - I've done research!

Interesting - we don't really know that much about the stages of wine making. There's one particular Pinot we order every year and when we reached out the winemaker that's what he suggested. We'd be happy just to shake his hand and drink a glass with him!

May 26, 2014
edub in San Francisco Bay Area

Specific wine itinerary questions - I've done research!

Thanks - just looked at MacPhail's website and am intrigued. Definitely going to check it out!

May 26, 2014
edub in San Francisco Bay Area

Specific wine itinerary questions - I've done research!

Thanks SFDude - I checked and they both do roses. Thanks for the Sanglier tip. Re: Bistro Ralph - do you prefer it to Scopa? We have just one dinner in Healdsburg. Thanks much!

May 26, 2014
edub in San Francisco Bay Area

Specific wine itinerary questions - I've done research!

I've read countless threads over the past few days, and now would appreciate specific advice on my proposed itinerary. I have three days, and I am considering whether to change it around (possibly making it busier) by spending the majority of one day on Spring Mountain, per your powerful recommendations. We love pinot and quaff rose like water during our long hot spring and summers, but in addition to those we'd love to learn more about other varietals. Also love a good cava/sparkler (we did Schramsberg on a previous visit). Propensity towards smaller producers when possible.

Wed night: coming up from San Fran around 4-5pm - too late for tastings. We are tentatively staying in Healdsburg and would like to check out the Wednesday wine maker dinner at Scopa (winemaker for our week is not posted yet).

Thursday the plan was Dry Creek Valley. I'm leaning towards a couple of producers that are close to each other where we can taste roses and red zins - was thinking Quivira, Mounts, Mauriston. Appreciate additional suggestions especially for good roses.

The rest of the day is open - we just need to make our way back to Napa where we're staying. I was thinking about hitting one or two tasting rooms in Sonoma - Patz and Hall was one.

We are actually huge foodies but this is one trip where we're willing to play it fast and loose because the wine comes first. I'm sure we'll do Ad Hoc one night, and fried chicken at Addendum another time. We're too poor for French Laundry and ate at Redd last time. Is there a moderate dining experience that we shouldn't miss? We can probably be happy with arepas from Oxbow and other non-sit downs if the food is good enough.

We have a barrel tasting the next day (Friday) near Stag's Leap at 11am. Originally we were going to go to Carneros that day, but I am wondering if we should spend the day or most of it at Spring Mountain. I'd like to try Paloma, Pride Mtn, and Smith Madrone - I find the idea of tasting a lot of different varietals from small producers appealing, and If the scenery is really gorgeous, that would be a big plus. And we could hit V. Sattui on the way back - bonus.

If we do Pride Mtn et al, that only leaves us Saturday for Carneros. I would really really like to do Saintsbury, Adastra, and diRosa for an art break. I'm also a sucker for international festivals, and I see Gloria Ferrer is having a Catalan Festival that day. Has anyone been and cares to comment? I know their wines are not favorites on this board, but I'm curious if the food is good - there's a lot to be said for plentiful sparkling wine, good eats, and Spanish music and dancing. We have a 10:50p red eye out of SF.

The current Saturday itinerary with the festival puts a lot of pressure on our last day, so I'm still unsure about spending Friday at spring mtn rather than doing Carneros in two days. Change my mind?

Thanks!

May 26, 2014
edub in San Francisco Bay Area

toqueville v Italian

Sadly, I can't report on how the food was: we decided on Del Posto, but I ended up being very ill with a nasty virus and unable to eat (I can attest first hand that the toilets and bathrooms are clean!) My husband hurried through a few courses - octopus and chickpeas, which he liked; 100 layer lasagna, which he said was "very good" but overhyped; and a Flinstonian veal chop. Under those conditions, I think it's hard to judge the food, because you're not eating in a relaxed manner.

I will make these comments about the decor and service: it feels like you're in a huge cruise ship dining hall, with the wide staircase and the circular upper level balconies perching over the lower level. It's quite nice for that kind of thing, but not our style. On the service: waiters were *everywhere*. I couldn't get over it. Often two or three fussing over a single table. You never didn't see waiters. And yet, we had to ask twice for a ginger ale, which our waiter informed us was in the "queue" (note: it was a bottle of Canada Dry). Very slow even though we let the waiter know I was sick and we wanted to make it a quick meal.

All in all, we might consider going back for the tasting experience; but we are still blown away by the meal we had at Babbo's two and a half years ago and the charming atmosphere there. I'd probably plan our next celebratory New York Italian meal there, with Lincoln as a back up.

Thanks for everyone's inputs!

Nov 27, 2013
edub in Manhattan

toqueville v Italian

Thanks everyone for the recs! Lincoln sounds wonderful, putting it on the list for next trip. Del Posto is perfect because we are staying in the neighborhood, can take a nighttime stroll on the high line, and the 100 layer lasagna will be divine - lasagna is hub's favorite. The five course tasting strikes me as not unreasonable at $126 - but is the wine tasting ($155) only available with the 8 course captain's tasting? That price point to accompany a five course tasting would be extravagant.

Nov 19, 2013
edub in Manhattan

toqueville v Italian

No reservations via Open Table - I will try calling. I am not opposed to the price at Del Posto if it's totally worth it - thoughts? Do you recommend one over the other? We had a tremendous birthday dinner a few years ago at Babbo and it's still our standard.

Nov 18, 2013
edub in Manhattan