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Famous Halal Cart - Weekends

Thanks, kathryn. I'm hosting a friend from LA and she's very excited about tasting their food.

Jul 22, 2009
wojohowitz in Manhattan

Famous Halal Cart - Weekends

Does anyone know if the Famous Halal Cart is open for dinner on weekends?

Jul 21, 2009
wojohowitz in Manhattan

Bologna and Verona

For Bologna, I would recommend three restaurants. For a traditional trattoria, Trattoria Biassanet on Via Piella just south of Via Righi was wonderful. I loved the "caramelle" pasta - tri-colored pasta stuffed with ham and meat and shaped like caramel candies.

For a more formal dining experiece, go to Ristorante Grassilli on Via Del Luzzo between Via Maggiore and Via San Stefano. I think they're only open for dinner, though. I would recommend sharing the tagliatelle al ragu and the risotto ai funghi. Also Orianno was a terrific waiter.

The last recommendation is for Ristorante E Cucina on Via San Vitale at Piazza Aldronvandi for non-Bolognese food. The chef offers three tasting menus of four courses- one for fish/seafood, one for meat, and one for vegetables. We had the fish tasting menu and each dish was an inventive mix of flavors with perfectly cooked fish. Dessert was also great.

Jun 12, 2007
wojohowitz in Italy

Alchemy, Park Slope

I had dinner with sister and her family this past Sunday evening. We shared the fried cuttlefish and a salad as appetizers and we had the fish and chips, pan-seared scallops, and lamb stew for entrees. As noted my many, the cuttlefish were terrific. We actually had a second order because my 3 yo niece wanted some more. I didn't try the salad (I can't remember the ingredients), but my sister & husband finished it. The lamb stew was tasty, but had the consistency and richness of a soup, not a stew. The scallops were perfectly cooked so that the crust was a nice contrast to the tender interior. The best entree was the fish and chips - fried skate and roasted fingerling potatoes. The skate had a nice light batter and the wing had curled up into a ball from the frying, but the fish was very moist and tender with little residual grease. The fingerlings had a nice texture, a little denser than regular chips.

Unfortunately, it took more than 30 minutes from when we finished the second order of cuttlefish and when we got our entrees. They upgraded the scallops from an appetizer size (2) to an entree side (4), but it was still frustrating to see numerous hamburgers (which looked very good) come out of the kitchen before our entrees that had been ordered by diners seated after we had finshed our appetizers.

Mar 14, 2007
wojohowitz in Outer Boroughs

Best Fried Clams/Calamari in Brooklyn?

I just had the fried cuttlefish at Alchemy and it was really good. Light, seasoned batter that was crispy and the cuttlefish was fork tender but still had a snap. It's served with lemon wedge and chipotle aioi.

Mar 14, 2007
wojohowitz in Outer Boroughs

Korean in Shanghai

If you're ever in Beijing, there's a decent Korean BBQ a little south of the University of International Business & Economics.

Good Food and comfortable in Fort Green/Clinton Hill

Thomas Biesel has a spacious dining room and the noise level is pretty moderate. The food is really good, but it's Austrian, which can be a little understated for some. Alternatively, A Bistro is small - only five or six four tops - so a large party could pretty much take over the entire place. Again, the food is terrific - bistro offerings with west African accents.

Mar 13, 2007
wojohowitz in Outer Boroughs

Dinner at Sumile Sushi

I had dinner with friends at Sumile Sushi this past Saturday night and it was excellent. One friend had the hanger steak and my other friend and I had sushi. The hanger steak with shitake mushrooms and Japanese salsa verde was cooked perfectly medium rare. It was tender but not mushy with a great beefy flavor that was brought out by the shitake mushrooms and a dab of wasabi (waiter's suggestion). For the sushi, my friend had the salmon & mango, California, spicy tuna, and crispy shrimp rolls and I had the anago & avacado, hamachi & avacado, and plain tuna rolls. I wasn't a fan of the salmon & mango roll, but all of the others were terrific. The California roll was made with lump crab meat. The spicy tuna roll had a nice amount of spice and not overwhelmed by mayonnaise. The texture of the battered and fried shrimp was a great contrast to the rice. Both the hamachi and anago rolls verged on richness overload, but balanced by either a light spicyness or citric tang. The tuna roll was nice and simple and really balanced out the richer rolls.

We ate at the sushi bar and the service was fantastic starting with the amuse bouche of age dashi tofu. The highlight of the evening was one of the house cocktails - the Eric Mason (iced tea with yuzu lemonade with vodka and a splash of bourbon). It wasn't exactly a good match to the food, but it went down very easily.

One surprising thing about the evening was how many empty tables there were at 8:30.

Mar 08, 2007
wojohowitz in Manhattan

Want to wow the fam in Slope or Ft Greene

I know that brunch is not the best gauge of a kitchen's talents, but I recently had a bad brunch experience at Ici a couple of Sundays ago. I ordered the pork hash with two eggs over easy. There was a pool of oil under the pork hash and the eggs, which were overcooked so that the whites were rubbery, also had pools of oil on them.

Mar 06, 2007
wojohowitz in Outer Boroughs

Brawta, Mo-bay or Other? Who has the best?

Stir It Up on Atlantic by Thrid Avenue and The Islands on Washinton just north of Eatern Parkway are also very good.

SIU got a limited number of offerings from the steam table and they run out of things occassionally, but the food is tasty. They don't have a liquor license, so I'm sure they'll let you bring in beer or wine. Also, they have homemade drinks as the commercial brands and ginger beer is not alcoholic.

Islands' food is better than SIU but the dining room is tiny.

Feb 07, 2007
wojohowitz in Outer Boroughs

Smoke Joint -- already on the decline?

Did you speak with the owners? They are very friendly and open to comments from their customers. An important way to keep new restaurants from going downhill is by letting the owners/managers know. This also applies to a kitchen's inconsistency.

I'm planning to eat there this weekend so I'll report back.

Jan 23, 2007
wojohowitz in Outer Boroughs