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candyismmm's Profile

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Best mac and cheese?

I've yet to try all these Mac n' Cheese Nazi places, but Blue Smoke is good....Trader Joe's frozen can be good (but some boxes are better then others...eek).... and whatever you do....avoid the fried mac n' cheese appetizer at Moe Pitkin's.

Jan 14, 2007
candyismmm in Manhattan

Looking for Greek restaurants in the vicinity of 56th and Lex.

This isn't really the answer to your question exactly, but there's an old Greek bakery around 44th and 9th ave. that serves warm Spanokopita and all the sweets. There's also a Greek yogurt specialty shop a couple doors over from Sullivan Street Bakery, and the owner has a good assortment of Greek treats.

It's been a while since I've paid either a visit. Hope they're still around.

Jan 14, 2007
candyismmm in Manhattan

burger in union square area - good hood joint

I'll second the suggestion for Metro Cafe. They use Balthazar bread, and the meats really good. I seem to recall they had waffle fries too. Definetly more of an attempt at an upscale burger then the classic monster over at Molly's, but they're both really great.

Jan 02, 2007
candyismmm in Manhattan

burger in union square area - good hood joint

that's the place.

Jan 02, 2007
candyismmm in Manhattan

Top Steak in NYC

I'd think one would really have to like throwback type dinners to enjoy Keens. My dinner there was barely a notch up from Tads. You know it's a bad sign when they're serving those frozen dinner rolls you heat up. I found their steak to be overcooked and a tough piece of fatty supermarket grade meat. The sides were were very no thrills in my opinion. I was actuallly scared to eat my NY Strip because it had a dark reddish hue like you get with a very tough unedible piece of meat. I'd think this would appeal to someone looking for a very old fashioned meat and potatos type meal, but it doesn't justify the price or history of the place. I read reviews that made this sound like a can't miss steak, but we sent our meal back.

Jan 02, 2007
candyismmm in Manhattan

Babbo - Has This Happened To Anyone??? [moved from Manhattan board]

It's stories like that which kill any and all desire to bother with Babbo.

It's one thing to bump your reservation, it's another thing to insult you with that "theater tickets" line. Who makes dinner reservations AFTER the theater with the running time and travel all scheduled out? The worst part is you played the game. You gave them a reservation way in advance, and even called to confirm it - if they can't take care of their vips or handle walk ins without ruining somebody elses diner plans, then they better rethink things. You should complain.

Jan 02, 2007
candyismmm in Not About Food

burger in union square area - good hood joint

Tracey J's sports bar. I kid you not. They make a great turkey club too. It's a tacky sports bar but the burgers are top notch.

Jan 02, 2007
candyismmm in Manhattan

is johns pizza on bleaker better than the one in times sq ?

In regards to cheese, I would think you might have been a little more pleased with the many, many pizza parlors popping up that use fresh hand rolled mozzerella.

John's happens to used very processed cheese, maybe even an oil based cheese supliment. It's a bit like getting spaghetti and meatballs in Little Italy for that old 50's red sauce style taste of Italian.

Dec 30, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

A Voce - Why, oh why?

You're right about the sweetness, and it wasn't a good kind of sweet.

We found the atmosphere mellow and nice, but we were there early in the night, so the place was still empty. The troika of hostesses in evening wear (complete with costume jewelry) was a bit much.

There was an absurd number of waitstaff tripping over each other. It must be one server for every 3 tables. They were polite and attentive with us, luckily.

As for the wine - the majority of bottles were in the $100-$300 range, with several in the $1000+ range. If you're pushing collector bottles with chintzy food then of course "all American wines taste the same". Cough. For what it's worth, the $8 glass of Pinot Grigio is a winner if say you really, rally dislike Pinot Grigio and wish it tasted more like a stale/bitter generic house white.

Dec 30, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

A Voce - Why, oh why?

Just got back from a dinner at A Voce, and felt the need to add to the many reviews posted here, only this time with a warning not to bother.

Simply put, the service is nice, the room is nice (if you don't notice the foam coming out of the ripped cushion at the corner of the bench)... but food was absolutely bland. Italian? Uh, if they say so.

The Pork loin special arrived with red cabbage, and was smoked to taste like sweetened ham. Rolf's would hav done a better job with the dish. It was baffling. The Gnoochi were rolled so small that the texture was more like little rubber pellets with unseasoned ground meat tossed on for wjat was billed as a lamb bolognse. It tasted microwaved, and fast food honestly. The menu mentioned mint as an ingredient with the Gnoochi, but let's just say you have to have fine tuned taste buds to notice it. The ricotta smeared on top helped, but all in all this wasn't the type of dish a trained chef should be serving. It wasn't understated so much as amature. Something you would make at home while watching the Food Channel, and then having to apologize to your guests for not getting it right. Putting this on a menu for more then $15 is a crime. I have a hard time believing anyone looking for an Italian meal would be satisfied with this.

Worse, the Brocolli rabe was served in a pool of water, without the garlic or oregano described in the menu. It wasn't cooked properly, so it was unedible.

The table next to us had obviously read all the reviews and were desperately trying hard to have this 3-star dining experience, complete with different wine for each course.... but they ended up ordering the same dishes we did, and couldn't force excitement by the time they got to the entrees. It was reassuring to know it wasn't just our servings, the place is just crummy.

The duck meatballs were yummy, but not worth the trip. The polenta sticks were the best thing they served, but weren't any better then what a $10 a dish pasta joint would sell. That's how I would describe this place.

If they were just a cheapie but nice little Italiam establishment in the neighborhood, it would be fine... but even then, I still wouldn't go back. I kind of get the feeling the chef's just trying to cash in on the Batali craze or something. Th abundance of duck dishes indicates he's trying to spread his menu for maximum profit. Again, I have a hard time understanding how the people giving this rave reviews are talking about the same place.

Dec 29, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Comiing to NY from SF and in need of advice

Tobias - just to retract my earlier suggestion of Cuban... I've had two awful cuban meals in the past week, and in particular, I'm pretty horrified I've been recommending Son Cubanos to people so heavily. It's amazing how much damage a new manager and chef can do!

Dec 29, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Any rock solid dinner choices left?

Oh wait, maybe I just worded myself poorly. I'd like to spend the least amount possible, really! $150 is my spending limit. Any more then that and it better come with an Ipod floating in a cup of safron flavored foam.

I just want a solid meal without feeling like I'm playing the lottery. I don't feel like price really corresponds to quality these days anyway.

Dec 29, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Any rock solid dinner choices left?

Thanks for jumping in with the (honest) disclaimers on some of these!

Dec 28, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Any rock solid dinner choices left?

My only criteria is that it's really good food that will restore my faith in New York again. Price range would be under $150 on the high end, without wine...but I love cheap eats.

I'm going to look into Col Legno, thanks!

Dec 28, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Any rock solid dinner choices left?

Just the type of answer I was looking for, thank you!

Will check that out.

Dec 28, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Any rock solid dinner choices left?

I take it back - we actually had fine meals at Blue Smoke, and Molly's... but I wouldn't call either "consistant".

Dec 28, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Any rock solid dinner choices left?

So here's the question - What's your rock solid, sure shot pick for a solid dinner in Manhattan? I'm talking consistant, you leave feeling good about life (rather then say, sick with a bad taste in your mouth, and feeling ripped off). I just want good food foor goodness sakes. I'm not interested in deconstructed "new tastes", just some place who can get the old tastes right, and serve them properly. So ideally, nowhere too reliant on new american or pan-fusion-whatever.

Here's the reason I ask: My mother is in town, and literally every meal we've had has been a horrible experience. We usually splurge, visit our favorites, and of course, try to find new places that will become our new favorites...and when we love something we pass the word on.

Well... I don't know what's going on here, but we can't find a single decent dinner. All the places we used to love, and that I've suggested to people have been horrible this time around. Portions have changed, presentation has changed, classic menu items are missing, value has decreased, service is absurdly rude, etc. I'm not talking about off nights, I'm talking outright lousy.

Has anyone else noticed an increase in mediocre dining here? I'm beginning to think the trend is more hype, less quality.

Dec 28, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Comiing to NY from SF and in need of advice

It's hard to get a bad cup of coffee in New York, so you won't find many artisan coffee places like Blue Bottle. Joe's Coffee in the West Village is said to be a good neighborhood place with a cult following - and they sell cupcakes that Amy Sedaris makes.

Otherwise, you can pop in to any of the Puerto Rican Coffee Roasting locations (I'm screwing up the name, I think) and take out a cup of their house blend, or buy some beans for presents. They specialize in organic latin american coffee.

For Tea you can try Teany, but beware, the food/desserts are all vegan.... and you're on vacation from SF...

You could try Amy Ruth's in Harlem for chicken and waffles.... latin foods are something you won't see much of in sf, you already know the burgers here are tops... if you're into high concept celebrity chef food you should stick to the establishments which have been open for under 5 months. Oh, and you can try Grey's Papaya hot dog stand in the W. Village for a really surreal NY experience.

Bakeries - Balthazer, Ceci Celo (again spelling?), and Sullivan Street Bakery (which may have changed it's name). Moishe's on 2nd avenue is good for Hamentaschens and Challah. Amy's bread is a lot like Acme Bread in the Bay, but prety good. I'd say just pop into Dean and Deluca and browse their baked breads section because they carry a few items from everybody.

Dec 25, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Pizza Grupo-

I tried one of their other locations on Lexington Avenue, Vezz - and I have to agree that this pizza is silly.

It was like a kid took a cracker, and tried to make a pizza in his easy bake oven. The toppings tasted very store bought, the cheese was like the cheapie stuff you get at Gristedes that doesn't really melt properly. The sauce was very sweet, and while I normally love sweet sauces, this was a bit too Ragu with Sweet and Low added. The sausage was more like they chopped up one of those pepperoni snacks you get at a 7-11. This would be gourmet if you were camping in the woods.

You're not alone YoungHood. I don't get it.

Dec 23, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Restaurants with a dessert tasting menu?

Public has a sampler with 3 desserts. It was delicious, and a good mix between traditional, and experimental. I liked the pumpkin infused vodka too.

(Went back to try their dinners that same week and was very dissapointed.)

Dec 23, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

something comparable to Schillers

Try Pastis, or Balthazar. Same owners, better food.

Schiller's is pretty empty and relaxed during the day. I've been twice, and thought the omelette was pretty good before I bit into some eggshell. Second time around I tried the burger, which was about Greek diner quality.

There's also L'Express (I think I'm screwing up the name) on Park Avenue South, around 20th.

Dec 23, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Comiing to NY from SF and in need of advice

Another SF transplant here....I'd highly suggest skipping Katz's (not as good as Max's which isn't saying much) it's more about saying you went then the food....seriously. New York deli is more of a myth then anything these days. Those are fighting words, but I'm being honest.

My advice - go real New York and try a steakhouse! (I like Strip House becuase it's a nice experience and cool red room....some people will say it's garbage...everyone has their favorite.)

I second the high end sushi suggestion earlier.
You might try a burger out here, since SF really lacks an equivalent (Molly's for massive burgers in a old Irish pub, Walkers where a real cross section of New Yorkers dine in one of the cities oldest bars, and there are tons more)

Try some pizza at one of the many places making fresh mozzerella pies. There's a street war to determine the best, but you can go basic and try Lombardi's. (sometimes it's better then others). You won't find anything close to this style of pizza in SF (maybe the East Bay, but still)

Try some cuban food (my SF friends all love San Cubanos + they have great Mojitos)
Get some drinks at Campbell Apartments for a splurge in a nice old room. It's inside of Grand Central and has a lot of history.

If you have time - try cheesecake here (Veniero's, and Juniors are good, but there are lots of places.) Same with Red Velvet Cake (skip the cupcake trend, it's on it's way to SF).

Polish diner food at Veselka is a great cheap place in the East Village. I suggest the Pirogies. If you love fried food, get them fried.

Oh, and for bagels - the two classics are H & H bagel or Ess A Bagel.... but there's a chain around the city called Pick A Bagel that makes a great bagel and you won't have to make it a big event to get one.

have fun!

Dec 19, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan

Christmas spirit?

Rolf's definetly has decorations, but they're more of the drag queen variation. Think upside down Christmas trees and mannequins hanging from the ceiling. The drinks, and struedel are nice, and the place is a real experience.

Dec 19, 2006
candyismmm in Manhattan