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Parlor - 90th/Third

I actually tried to go to Parlor last Wednesday evening around 6:30pm. The restaurant was only about 15-20% full yet the hostess would only seat us at a small bar table in the window. When we asked for a bigger "normal" table, she said she couldn't accomodate us due to reservations. We left and went to another restaurant, but when we walked back by Parlor around 8:00, the restaurant was still half empty. That rude behavior will take them nowhere. My friend just suggested going there tonight to check it out, but I refuse to return to a restaurant with that level of service. She said she has a similar rude story and will fill me in later. I hope everyone else has a better experience than me.

Jul 08, 2008
xtgirl in Manhattan

Parlor - 90th/Third

Has anyone eaten at Parlor yet? How was it? Thanks!

Jun 26, 2008
xtgirl in Manhattan

Any tips for a Babbo first timer?

Pastry634, I showed up at Babbo with a good appetite and think this was the perfect amount of food. While I probably could have left satisfied without the desserts, I'm glad that I tried them. I highly recommend ordering the way we did if you are a party of two.

How easy do you think it would be to walk-in as a party of 4 on a Friday or Saturday evening at 5:30? Any suggestions on how early to arrive?

Jun 10, 2008
xtgirl in Manhattan

NYC Favorites, a look back at the past 4 years

After four wonderful years in NYC, I am moving back to my hometown of Chicago. While I haven't been to many of the top restaurants in Manhattan, I do feel that I've sampled quite a bit. In fact, today, I counted that I have been to 215 restaurants in Zagats and many more that aren't reviewed in Zagats. I thought I'd share my favorite dishes:

Best Dishes:

Truffle Egg Toast at 'inoteca
Pork Chop at Babbo
Orecchiette Pasta Special (sausage, olive oil, garlic) at Lupa
Most anything and Sripraphai (in Queens, not Manhattan)
Shake Stack at Shake Shack
Crab Cake appetizer at Tabla
Ragara and Paneer Kurchan at Chola
Fondue at Artisanal
Spinach Artichoke Dip at Penelope
Pancakes at Clinton Street
Vegetarian Sampler at Beyaglu
Pork Soup Dumplings at Shanghai Pavillion
Shrimp Entree at Pampano
Elote Asado at Cafe Habana

All the restaurants referenced above also happen to be some of my favorites in the city. I also like Frank's on Clinton Street, Los Dos Molinos, Jaiya (spicy Thai in Manhattan), Joe's Shanghai, Taco Taco, and Gnocco.

Restaurants I find overrated are Blue Water Grill, Atlantic Grill, Bouley, Fresco, 'lil Frankies, and i Trulli, and Jane.

Jun 10, 2008
xtgirl in Manhattan

Any tips for a Babbo first timer?

I wanted to thank everyone for their advice on what to order for a first trip to Babbo. My friend and I went last night and had a fantastic dinner!

We took everyone's advice and shared 2 appetizers, 2 pastas, a main course and two desserts. For appetizers, we chose the grilled octopus and crispy pig's foot. The grilled octopus was my least favorite dish of the evening. It was a bit "fishy" with little flavor. The pig's foot was incredibly tasty and unique. For pastas, we chose the beef cheek ravioli and love letters. While the beef cheek was good, it wasn't great. It tasted like pot roast. The love letters, on the other hand, were incredible - just the right amount of spice. For entree, we had the pork chop, which was absolutely the best pork chop I've ever had. This was my favorite dish whereas the love letters were my friend's favorite. For dessert, I had the crostada and my friend the lemon pound cake. While I originally wasn't wowed by the honey ? crostata, it grew on me by the third bite and I recommend it. the lemon pound cake was unmemorable. All in all, it was an excellent meal! I can't wait for my next visit.

By the way, all of this plus a nice bottle of white, came to about $90 each with tip - so reasonable!!! The upstairs was a great atmosphere although with the 100 degree heat, it could have been a little cooler (I saw the thermostat set to 79, which is a bit toasty).

Jun 10, 2008
xtgirl in Manhattan

Babbo: A la Carte or Tasting

Kathyrn,

Thank you very much. Your analysis is very helpful and exactly what I was looking for. I had really wanted to try a tasting menu but after reading people's recommended dishes, I'm worried that I'd be missing out of the must-haves by doing the tasting. Your post confirmed my thoughts....thank you.

Jun 09, 2008
xtgirl in Manhattan

Babbo: A la Carte or Tasting

Thanks Lucia. I had actually read that thread as well as many others. I was hoping for more discussion on the pros and cons of the tasting menu versus ordering off the menu assuming this will be our first and only time to Babbo. If we order from the menu, I have a good idea of what to order based on all the discussion. Are the dishes on the current tasting menus a good representation of Babbo, or would we be missing out? Thanks!

Jun 08, 2008
xtgirl in Manhattan

Babbo: A la Carte or Tasting

My friend and I are going to Babbo for dinner tomorrow. Based on reading the boards, it seems that most people recommend ordering 2 appetizers, 2 pastas and 1 main for two people. Up until now, I had thought we would be doing a tasting menu. For those of you who have been to Babbo, what are your thoughts (pros and cons) on ordering off the menu versus doing a tasting? If you think a tasting is the way to go, do you recommend the pasta or traditional tasting menu? Thanks!

Jun 08, 2008
xtgirl in Manhattan

Vegetarian Tasting Menu

Can you please recommend some restaurants that have a vegetarian tasting menu? I'm looking for a mid-range restaurant (less than $100/person) rather than a Daniel or Per Se. I prefer something with a nice atmosphere, and while not a must, prefer ethnic cuisines (Indian, Thai, etc.) Thanks!

Apr 07, 2008
xtgirl in Manhattan

Ethnic Finds

Thanks nsxtasy,

I have been to Vong's and it's a good option for non authentic but flavorful Thai. Did Amarit used to be in the River North/Streeterville area? I recall ordering decent Thai food from a place with that name but it wasn't in the South Loop (and it's been 5-6 years).

I think good Chinese may be tough to find in both Manhattan and Chicago :(

Thanks to everyone for the recs....truly appreciate it.

Feb 24, 2008
xtgirl in Chicago Area

Ethnic Finds

I'm moving to Chicago from Manhattan in the next few months and am looking for some great, ethnic finds. I tend to like Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, and Turkish. I'm also looking for the best Shanghainese soup dumplings and Peking duck. I'd like suggestions south of Addison and north of Roosevelt, if possible. Thanks a bunch!

Feb 18, 2008
xtgirl in Chicago Area

Your personal 20 most visited restaurants (share them!)

1) Pampano
2) Tabla
3) Artisanal
4) Penelope
5) 'inoteca
6) Sripraphai
7) Totonnos
8) Lupa
9) Shanghai Pavillion
10) Chola
11) Diwan (work)
12) Veselka
13) Clinton Street Baking Company
14) Buddakan
15) Bouley
16) Tao
17) Taco Taco
18) Cafe d'Alsace
19) cafecito
20) Beyaglu

Feb 17, 2008
xtgirl in Manhattan

Chola -- What to order?

I love the Ragara appetizer and Paneer Kurchan. There is also an excellent chicken dish with coconut.

Oct 26, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Best Chicago Foodie 'Hood

This is great to hear! I love the feeling of Old Town and am considering buying a place there. I like the closeness to the downtown area, and Wells looked to have a lot of restaurants, bars, boutiques, etc. When I'm back in Chicago next week, I'm going to drive around Lincoln Square and check it out although I'm concerned it's a bit of a hike from downtown. I really do not like Lincoln Park so I hope OT isn't just an extension of the trixieville.

Sep 07, 2007
xtgirl in Chicago Area

Best Chicago Foodie 'Hood

Thank you all for your suggestions! I will definitely check out Lincoln Square and the other 'hoods mentioned here and on the LTH forum. Also, thank you for the link to LTH; I wasn't aware of this great site.

P.S. I don't really appreciate, the "you won't be happy anywhere" comment. Perhaps it wasn't meant the way I took it, but I am originally from Chicago and am moving to Chicago to be back in the city I love. Food is important to me so I want to be where I have the most access since this is what I've become accustomed to living in Manhattan.

Sep 03, 2007
xtgirl in Chicago Area

Best Chicago Foodie 'Hood

Thanks for your reply. I guess I'm spoiled living in Manhattan. I have American, French, Mideastern, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc. all within a 5 minute walk of my apartment. Is there not a neighborhood with all of this within a 10 minute walk?

Sep 03, 2007
xtgirl in Chicago Area

Best Chicago Foodie 'Hood

Hi,

I'm likely relocating from Manhattan to Chicago in the next six months, and while I've lived in Chicago before, it was right out of college, when I wasn't such a food snob. That said, I'm curious to hear which Chicago neighborhood(s) have the best mix of reasonable, ecletic food. I tend to grativate towards ethnic cuisines but like a "high-end" restaurant thrown into the mix occasionally. I'm considering Bucktown/Wicker Park, Old Town, LP, and Lakeview, but am open to an argument for another 'hood, as long as it's accessible to the Loop.

Thanks!

Sep 03, 2007
xtgirl in Chicago Area

ues indian

I just ordered in from Dakshin and it was the WORST Indian I've ever had.

Jun 22, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Best Chinese in UES

Are there any Chinese restaurants in the UES (preferably north of 80th) better than Shanghai Pavillion?

Jun 13, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Lupa without Reservations

My cousin is in town this weekend, and I would like to take her to Lupa even though we do not have reservations. How early do you think we should arrive to be seated without a reservation, and are they also packed at lunch? Thanks.

May 23, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Parents meeting in manhattan for the first time - perfect dinner spot?

Shanghai Pavillion is great. For next time, I'd recommend Penelope on Lex and 30th.

May 21, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Fun, Inexpensive Manhattan Restaurants

Let's say the Village - East or West.

May 20, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Fun, Inexpensive Manhattan Restaurants

This is very ill-defined request, but my cousin is in Manhattan for the first time next weekend. I'm looking for trendy, fun, inexpensive (under $30/pp without alcohol) restaurants that are unique to NY (i.e., you can't find similar in the Chicago area). We're open to anywhere in Manhattan. Thank you in advance!

May 20, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

dinner tonight in east/west village or les

If you can go on the earlier side, try 'inoteca. They don't take reservations so there can be a wait. Great wine list and awesome food...not expensive.

May 19, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Union Square Cafe - Need Suggestions

Heading to Union Square Cafe tomorrow night for my 30th birthday dinner - any suggestions on what to order? I'm not a big fish person so would appreciate non-fish suggestions.

May 15, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Suggestions for week long visit- E 91st St

Try Taco Taco on 2nd Avenue between 89th and 90th.

May 07, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Need Greenwich Village Recommendation

Just thought I would thank everyone for their suggestions; I am trying Jane tomorrow night, Lupa for my birthday in 2 weeks, and hopefully Cuba in the near future.

We ended up going to Habana de Alma and had a wonderful meal. I had the beef with chimmichurri sauce, and it was very tasty. My friend had fish, which she said was "excellent but what fried food isn't - nothing spectacular". We both enjoyed the pitcher of sangria; it was a bit sweeter than my ideal but went down easily. There was live music and despite us sitting right in front of the band, it still wasn't too loud. I definitely recommend a visit to Habana de Alma - great atmosphere, reasonable value, and decent food.

Apr 26, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Jane

A friend and I have reservations at Jane tomorrow night. What do you recommend we order?

Apr 26, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Need Greenwich Village Recommendation

Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, they are fully booked. How is Habana de Alma?

Apr 21, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan

Need Greenwich Village Recommendation

I'm meeting up with some friends around W. 3rd and Sullivan/Thompson tonight and need a recommendation for an affordable (entrees under $20) within a 10 minute walk from there. I'm open to any cuisine and would like a good atmosphere. Thanks!

Apr 21, 2007
xtgirl in Manhattan