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Reliable Knife Sharpener

thanks for the 411...any excuse to hit the Chelsea Market is a good one.

Feb 08, 2009
johleer in Manhattan

My Trip to NO--long with reviews

Just wanted to drop a line after a recent visit to NOLA and comment on how much i loved what I ate--which had not been the case ojn previous visits--though that is clearly through my bad choosing....

Cochon-I had read about this place for the longest and could not wait to try it. In fact, wheni agreed to go on this trip reservations here was the second thing i did (after getting Saints tix). Started at the bar with a good bourbon--Evan Williams single barrel (think it was the 1998 but not sure). At the table we ordered the alligator tail which was excellent--this dish has always been so rubbery and to have it taste like a gamy, rich, densely flavorful meat was an experience. We also had the boudin which was rich and meaty but not incredible and the roasted oysters which were possibly the best starter I ever had...rich and plump and briny with just some warmth and and a creamy, piquant sauce....definitely need to get these when you go. For entrees we got the cochon (duh) and the brisket and both were fabulous...we were way too stuffed for dessert especially as we were going out afterwards...This place goes beyond the hype and is hightly recommended.

The next day had lunch at Mothers---had been here before and will go every time I am in NOLA...split the oyster Po boy and a famous Ferdi...warm, fatty perfectly prepared meat , cool debris and gravy too..are you kidding? Also had a file gumbo which I expected more out of but this is probably me and not them to be honest---gumbo is one of those regionalisms that you expect to transport you to a time and place but in reality is just a pretty good soup.

That night went to EAT in the FQ--actually saw it the first night there but they were closed. Our waitress at Cochon knew the owners and encouraged us to go; as it was BYOB went to a really nice wine shop on Tchip and grabbed a few bottles--dont remember the name (something kitchy I think) but a great selection, nice folks working as well. At Eat we shared the spinach and artichoke gratin--this will remind you why you started ordering it and why every chain in the country now attempts it. I followed with a wedge salad...perfectly decadent with fat bacon and awesome blue cheese. I was kind of annoying by asking off the menu for a blackened redfish which they made for me with no problem at all...it was delicious-peppery and buttery and light. I paired it with some curly fries and it was great: spicy and buttery-smooth, hot, crisp and peppery all together on one plate. The chef/owners were really very nice; we had name-dropped our waitress on the way in and they wound up sitting with us just BS-ing for a while. then they gave us free dessert. The whole meal before tip was like $50 which was just rediculously cheap....you should really, really eat here.

Next day--I just walked around NOLA. I recommend (if you are staying in the FQ, which you probably are) just walking Magazine from the FQ to the Audubon with a Garden district detour. Then turn right up to St. Charles and right again to get back (or back on the trolley, which is what i did). And if you do I highly recommend you stop for a sandwich at Mahoney's Po-boys...a just incredible selection. I got the muffa--it was so good--fatty and meaty and vinegary and olivey all on warm toasty bread. I could barely eat half and wished i could have eaten more.

Thats it, not too bad for 3.5 days there. Also got down to Frenchman street, won $500 at Harrahs and did I mention that Saints beat the Falcons? And I met a gorgeous girl while watching Rebirth at the Maple Leaf? Yeah, I love NOLA.

Feb 07, 2009
johleer in New Orleans

Reliable Knife Sharpener

Anyone know of a good place to get my Global knives cleaned up....someplace downtown would be best...thanks

Feb 07, 2009
johleer in Manhattan

First Visit to NYC - 3 Nights & 2 Days - HELLPP

They have a bench outside and there is a small park...forget the name...one block away...kinda cold i know but these are Canadians!

Feb 07, 2009
johleer in Manhattan

Noodles on 28 jacked up their prices. Any recs for another chinese restaurant in Gramercy

Also gonna have to go with Jimmy's--I am pretty picky about Chinese and think that they are well above average...the lunch platter is an incredible bargain...4 dishes, rice and soup (enough for 2 good meals) for $5...and good, authentic dishes too. I have had salt/pepper seafood and ma po tofu from there within the last few weeks and they were really excellent. Price is right as well.

Also, do not forget about Mee Noodle House over on 2nd...they have great noodle and wonton soups and when my friend got tofu with vegetables I was really surprised at how well the tofu was cooked. I have also gotten scallion pancake there and it was completely crisp and not at all greasy...a very underrated and inexpensive place.

Feb 06, 2009
johleer in Manhattan

After Work Cocktails in Midtown

I like Divine Bar WEST on 54 b. bway and 8th. great cocktails and really good, eclectic food and a fun atmosphere. Extensive wine and beer lists and inventive cocktails. The upstairs is perfect for small groups. Not as schwank as the Mandarin bit the $$ will go a lot farter and the food may be better.

Jul 12, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

restuarant in the 50s west side?

You could check out Blue Point...I have not been there yet but have heard good things. It is @ 46th and 9th. Another really good place for fresh seafood is Uncle Nicks Greek at 9th and 50th. Very, very good grilled frsh fish as well as good shrimp, octupus, etc. Lots of meat and vegetarian options as well. Flaming cheese is impressive but a little bland, the village salad is always fresh and ripe. The warm feta and tomato salad is really, really good. Highly recommended. Limited outdoor seating as well.

Jul 09, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

What to eat at Del Posto?

Had a single dinner there...ordered the venison and was underwhelmed. My veggie wife had a risotto with aged balsamic vinegar that was really excellent

Jun 16, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Hell's Kitchen Indian food?

No, they have meat and veggie selections and they are pretty good. We live in HK and are absolutely astounded how crappy the Indian food is there. We order from Bombay Eats most of the time, and sometimes go to Bay Leaf in Midtown but we are waiting for something half-decent to open closer

Jun 16, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Brunch at Hell's Kitchen

we go to brunch at 44 x 10 every now and again. Good egg dishes and salads; above average burger. Good bread basket also.

Jun 16, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Recs, please, for W Village brunch, mother/daughter

Wallse is in fact Austrian, not American or French or Latin...

August is an excellent choice, I really like that part of the W. Village; it is more quiet and peaceful. Maybe a better spot i need someone to help me with...There is a small French bistro, the menu changes daily and they have incredible pastry and coffee. It is smallish inside but have 3-4 tables outside. I think it is on 11th street. Anyone know the name??

Jun 16, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

A Vegetarian Bouley...

Thanks for the detailed account. My wife is a vegetarian and we were really impressed with Cafe Boulud and were thinking about going back there soon; instead i think well try Bouley.

Jun 16, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Dinner Near 43rd & 9th tomorrow

"Little place" is really more of an attitude and/or position on the food heirarchy than a matter of square footage. Dim sum is often served in palatial rooms, but they can still be little places.

May 14, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Dinner Near 43rd & 9th tomorrow

I am not sure what moderate prices entails, but if you have one meal in Hells Kitchen i think it has to be Esca at this point and they are somewhat reasonable. I have been to rachels 2-3 times and am not a big fan; especially of the mac and cheese (though living in Georgia may have spoiled me). West Bank is good, I am not as big fan of Marseille as others (RGR) but it is solid. A little uptown is Eatery which is very good (especially the mac and cheese, oddly enough). Lots of little places up and down 9th ave are solid esp. Alyssa, Breeze Thai, Uncle Nicks Greek.

May 11, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Take the Anti-Stuffiness Challenge!

Have you tried the Cafe Boulud? It may be a little more upscale than you are wanting but it is fairly casual, laid back and busy with absolutely incredible food.

May 11, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Hells Kitchen - Sunday Breakfast?

If you want typical American breakfast then do as they said and go to a diner. The Fairway is over-rated, though they do have good waffles. Better bet is a little bit of a walk--Theatre Row diner on 42nd b. 9 and 10th.

Do NOT eat at the 1050--when I moved to NYC our apt. was not ready and I made the building put us up at the Skyline b/c they accepted pets--do not eat the food is all I will say. The hotel itself was fine.

If you want brunch I agree that 44 and X on 44th and 10th (duh) is good...my wife and I go there frequently. A maybe more memorable option is the Bar Americain. Google for the address. This is a Bobby Flay restaurant with somewhat traditional american food, excellent cocktails and an all-around great brunch. Very highly recommended and a shortish walk from your hotel.

Enjoy

May 11, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Good eats near the Wang Theater?

I would also agree with skipping the chains, with the exception of legal which shouldnt even count as a chain. If you are adventerous eaters definitely go to Panang (also a chain, actually). Excellnet, unique, wonderful food.

Apr 26, 2007
johleer in Greater Boston Area

Dinner around Lincoln Center

Pretty much right across the street is Rosa Mexicana which a kinda trewndy, very good new-style Mexican restaurant. One of my wifes favorites.

Apr 26, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Red Sox/Yankees: Here we go again!!!

Phebe is a great bar. Riveara is overcrowded, way too expensive and the food downright sucks!! All bars will be showing the games obviously, but the best place to go for a rfed sox crew is Phebes. Used to be a list at redsoxconnection, try googling red sox bars new york city and see what you get.

Apr 26, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Really good soup dumplings and a question

Been downtown a lot this week and loving the access to Chinatown. Went to szechuan cooking (pretty sure that is the name) @ the corner of Mott and Bayard. Loved the soup dumplings! Never had these before--dumplings you "pop" and a porky, fatty broth squirts into the spoon. Eat the dumpling and chase with the soup. How cool. Also recommend the lunch special szechuan hot tofu. Cubed tofu wokked with peppercorns, scallions, ginger and chinese sausage. Excellent. Had pho for lunch today.

Question: Fast (less than 1 hour) and cheap (around $10) lunch for my last day in Chinatown for a long time. No dim sum, no Pings seafood, already had banh mi, pho and the above. What would you do, if you were me?

Apr 26, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Banh Mi?

I am on jury duty so downtown all the time...funny you should ask now. I am really impressed with banh mi sau voi cafe at lafyette and white. yes, it does double as a video store but it is really excellent anyway. Fresh bread, excellent regular and iced vietnamese coffees, etc. Definitley check it out

Apr 26, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

BEST PLACE To Take a Client--Money No issue

Gonna have to give mopre info--location, type of clients, what time,etc.

Apr 25, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Midtown Manhattan (I think) Restaurant Recommendations?

Check out La Marais, I beleive they are owned by the same folks as Les HAlles. Also, for a not so fancy place especially for lunch, try Taam-Tov. For a very quick lunch, get a sandwich at Pick-a-pita.

Sorry, in a rush, no time to link but all easily found on google or nymag.com

Apr 24, 2007
johleer in Kosher

Spanish with vegetarian?

might want to try Tia Pol--good tapas, always a good idea so you can have some meat, if you want it. decent selection of moderate cavas, if you like that sort of thing.

Mar 21, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Looking for good lunch specials on 9th Avenue

Defintely check out saigon 48 on 48 b. 8 and bway. Vietnamese, obviously!

Mar 21, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Vegetarian in NYC

Pure food and Wine--good lasagna, rest was crap. havent we truly expanded as people since we started applying heat to our food??

For excellent vegetarian also consider Cafe Boulud. whole section of the menu dedicated to fresh, in season veggie dishes. well thought out, prepared and served. Best option in the city, in my opinion (but I have not had the $250 per se veggie tasting menu)

Mar 21, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Devi--give it a try

Cause i am never adverse to veggie stuff, just not going to be exclusive to it. plus, my wife often cannot go to nicer places because of a complete lack of dishes for her (she does not eat seafood and is allergic to mushrooms) and I wanted her to be able to taste everything they had to offer.

Mar 20, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Kibbles 'n' Kidney Failure

Most commercial pet foods are really quite healthy and one of the primary reasons (along with vaccination, good veterinary care, advanced diagnostic, medical and surgical procedures and the ability/desire of people to pay for the above) that animals today are living so long. Yes cats and dogs are generally obese, but this has as much do with their (read: their owner's) exercise (or lack thereof) practices and overfeeding of these foods (again, sound familiar) than with the ingredients. Exhaustive research into the dietary needs of animals have been done; there are multiple ways to supply those needs. The wheat gluten is a source of protein, not carbohydrates. The situation is a dreadful one. My best friend's cat is in the hospital from it right now, but let's not demonize the entire pet food world for this.

Mar 20, 2007
johleer in Features

seafood in manhattan

Le Bernardin is considered as such, very white glove French service. Big $$$. Maybe better to go at lunch for the prix fixe. I have not been.

I have been to both Mary's Fish Camp in the W. Village and Esca and would encourage you to try both, as well as the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal. Commuter restaurant sure, but the food is really good and you can do worse than the oyster roasts and a few cold beers.

Mar 20, 2007
johleer in Manhattan

Devi--give it a try

Went to Devi with the veggie wife the other evening. Little background on this is last year we went to Dawat and swore we would never go for a fancy Indian meal again after that disgusting, overpriced abomination. Apparently we forgot and wound up at Devi.

Nice atmosphere, very warm and accommodating staff. No pretension. We got the veggie tasting menu, $60 bucks a head ($100 if you want wine, but we did not). Wife had a mango based cocktail that was really well done (I had a few Kingfishers). Since you get the choice of two different dishes at certain points on the tasting menu we had all of the dishes offered. None of the foods is so vastly different than "typical" Indian food, instead it a more refined preparation with an emphasis on subtle, solid spicing.

Ill skip the whole play by play, suffice ot say that the only less than stellar dish was the Idly Upma, here served crispy outside and chewy inside but lacking any real depth of flavor. The Calcutta Jhaal Muri exploded with flavors, the sweet potato was offset by just the right amount of lime to tickle, the Manchurian Cauliflower was even loved by my cauliflower hating wife, it came in a rich, sticky-sweet tomato sauce with small bits of blackened and carmelized crust clinging all over. Spinach stuffed naan was solid. The Mirch Ka Salan aur Puri was a great pepper curry--we sopped all of the sauce up with the fresh puris served with. The last dinner courses were actually a bit of a comedown, but the desserts, especially the saffron bread pudding were a great close.

Highly recommended.

Mar 20, 2007
johleer in Manhattan