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Babbo or like Babbo

Thanks sgordon! I have an 11pm reservation on Friday night, but that's a little late for us (considering that we're normally in bed at 9:30pm!) We're going to hang on to it while we look at other options (like Lincoln and Manzo).

about 18 hours ago
edub in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

Ooooh, and they have a pasta tasting menu. I want to go to there.

about 18 hours ago
edub in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

Thoughts on Perla? I know the chef just left.

1 day ago
edub in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

Thanks so much - yes it's soon, next weekend. Managed to get a prime time Batard reservation for Friday just last night so I'm being optimistic! Thanks for the rec on Lincoln, going to look into it. Loved Marea but we've done that; I just didn't love all the courses and the atmosphere as much as Babbo.

1 day ago
edub in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

Maialino looks great although no reservations available during our time window. But looks like full dinner menu at the bar. We have a Osteria Morini here in DC so would probably not go there first. I've never had Venetian so All'onda looks tempting - do you like their pastas?

1 day ago
edub in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

What do people think about Aurora? I've done some research on the board and it seems to get love. We want to stay downtown, and we want delicious fresh pasta above meats etc. Thanks again!

1 day ago
edub in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

Thanks, we've actually been to Marea, delicious but not the full package the way Babbo is. Kathryn, I looked at lunch, but we only have Saturday open, when we were hoping to go to Smorgasburg ...

Apr 25, 2015
edub in Manhattan

gramercy tavern - tavern wait?

Thanks! What did you get?

Apr 25, 2015
edub in Manhattan

Babbo or like Babbo

I have a love affair with Babbo and through a mishap missed the reservation window for our upcoming New York trip. I was trying to substitute another Italian, but honestly, what I've read about most places (Locanda Verde, for instance) leaves me cold. Any suggestions for other places? Any tips/tricks to getting in? We may head over and try the bar but my better half is not a great wait-er. Thanks!

Apr 25, 2015
edub in Manhattan

gramercy tavern - tavern wait?

How about for a Friday lunch? Want to try their off-menu burger.

Apr 25, 2015
edub in Manhattan

Isla Mujeres Eats

Any updates for 2015? Im interested in the new Mayan place - also, whether limon is worth the special trip. Is it too nice for kids? I'm intringued by the idea of hibiscus tacos.

Mar 21, 2015
edub in Mexico

27

Looks amazing - do you know if they take reservations? And are the cocktails on a par with what you get from Broken Shaker?

Jan 24, 2015
edub in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Surprised No Mention of Siena Tavern--SoFi SoBe

They have an interesting-looking happy hour 6-8 daily and I'm thinking of checking it out tomorrow night. It's down at 4th and Washington, so if the food disappoints there's always an octopus burrito at Mi Ceviche as consolation.

Jan 24, 2015
edub in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Friendship Heights Whole Foods in slight decline?

Funny you should post this - I was pondering whether or not to contact management about my experience there today. I had two items to buy and the only checkout option a huge line of at least 15 minutes. It made no sense to wait that long for two items I didn't need that desperately and I left.

veal spare ribs

Anyone know where I could get these in the DMV?

Ramen - pork substitute

Mr. Dub and I do Sat night "date night in" cooking projects, and we've been wanting to do tis one since last year! He loves pork and we don't keep it in our house (we're lightly kosher), so it's fun to make these kind of things, trying to be as close to authentic as possible.

Jan 03, 2015
edub in Home Cooking

Ramen - pork substitute

I like this idea. If I can find them, what about veal ribs for spare ribs? I agree w a pp about not going the beef/lamb route, but veal seems to have an "other" quality that would make the broth special if not perfectly authentic.

Jan 03, 2015
edub in Home Cooking

Ramen - pork substitute

I'm planning to make the ramen recipe from Bon Appetit sept 2013 and I don't eat pork. I'm fine with the chicken necks/wings and will use veal shoulder for pork shoulder. I'm stuck on the spareribs though. I don't think beef short ribs would substitute well because the meat is so rich and dark - though I imagine the gelatin from the bones gives the broth an important quality. Can anyone suggest a substitution?

Jan 03, 2015
edub in Home Cooking

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