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Tubulus's Profile

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HK - What happened to Puttanesca?

Just renovated, seemed to be doing decent business, and overnight it's shuttered, interiors ripped out, signs all gone. Strange.

Jan 31, 2014
Tubulus in Manhattan

Iconic restaurant for a gift

Thanks. Someone else had recommended Komi and Obelisk - I take it those are a bit more modern-y?

Nov 11, 2013
Tubulus in Washington DC & Baltimore

Iconic restaurant for a gift

Per person before tax, alcohol, etc. little higher ok too.

Nov 09, 2013
Tubulus in Washington DC & Baltimore

Iconic restaurant for a gift

Hi
I would like to get a DC friend a gift card for a restaurant and I know nothing of DC restaurants. Something that would be a 2* michelin-type place, say $100 ish for food. LIke a Gramercy Tavern, Marea, etc in NYC. Non-Europe influence a plus.
Thanks!

Nov 09, 2013
Tubulus in Washington DC & Baltimore

Saturday lunch and Sunday dinner in Vieux Montreal

Arriving tomorrow around lunch to our hotel (Nelligan) in Old Montreal.
We will be hungry. Any good suggestions?
As much as I would like to head over to Schwartz's or Jean Talon, I think my rather pregnant wife will not be in the mood to wait for food! We have res at Joe Beef so don't need anything huge...just good!
Sunday night - have reservation at Europea. Worth the money/trip over?
Any other suggestion perhaps within walking distance? (or near the jazzfest)? Does Garde Manger reserve any tables for walkins?
Thanks!

Jul 05, 2013
Tubulus in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Miami trip recap

Spent a few days in Miami (I'm from NYC) and ate some good food.
Some quick thoughts -

Michy's - Excellent food. Loved the gnocchi with lamb meatballs, though meatballs could have been a bit moister. Excellent overall dish. Also had squash blossom, croquets, spaghettini with seafood. All great. Prices were too high. Hated the room - reminded me of a crappy Chinese restaurant. I'm just not used to the strip mall aesthetic.

Yardbird brunch - Pretty much perfect. Great buzzy bright fun room. Food excellent. I have dirty dreams about the chicken biscuits.

Michael's - Disappointing. The stracciatella was amazing, though it helped that I'm a tomato freak and haven't had a good one in months. Otherwise, meh. Pork chop was a complete failure - came out basically raw, had to be sent back. Too sweet, not enough char, texture was off (probably from the multiple cookings). Pastrami pizza was OK. A bit doughy. Pastrami had a weird texture, too soft. Maybe it's not meant to be a pizza topping.

The Dutch - best meal of the trip. Oyster sandwich, lobster salad, mahi, snapper, lime pie were all interesting, flavorful, and cooked perfectly. Outdoors at the W is very ppleasant.

One thing that really struck me was how quickly we were in and out of every restaurant. Even with app, entrees, and dessert, no meal lasted more than 90 minutes and most were closer to 1 hour. Felt like apps came within 2 minutes of ordering. Must be a Miami thing?

Jan 23, 2013
Tubulus in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Best Dishes 2012

Delicious. Their coq au vin is also excellent (though not on the menu right now). I think Benoit is underrated.

Jan 04, 2013
Tubulus in Manhattan

Pomp and Consequence: the newly revamped Eleven Madison Park

It seems like the $ that would have gone into some more ingredients is now going into the extra service costs for the gimmicks. The gimmicks are definitely fun and memorable, but in the end I would have preferred another real protein course. Three root veggie courses is about 1.5 too many. It also leaves me with very little interest in going back, since I've seen the gimmicks already! I wonder if the gimmicks will be changed with the menu for future seasons.

Jan 04, 2013
Tubulus in Manhattan

Minetta reservations - prime seating still impossible?

Or just come back in summer. I had zero issues booking whatever I wanted last summer. Customers must all be in the Hamptons.

Jan 02, 2013
Tubulus in Manhattan

Minetta reservations - prime seating still impossible?

I have to think that they don't release prime time tables opentable. There are 5:30 and 6pm almost every day except saturday, and 9:30 most nights. Have you tried calling?

Jan 02, 2013
Tubulus in Manhattan

EMP lunch review (short)

This does not seem surprising to me. Dinner seatings are very spread out at EMP, presumably so that each station in the kitchen is not overwhelmed. With only an hour of possible seatings for lunch (instead of 4 hours at dinner!) I imagine it would be a bit overwhelming for the kitchen to feed a full restaurant in that short a timespan.

Nov 28, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

EMP lunch review (short)

Yes that apple brandy was pretty unpleasant. We were not invited for the kitchen tour, but asked for it before we left and they were happy to oblige.

Nov 27, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

Thoughts on EMP

Good to know. I guess the grid is just gone.

Nov 21, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

Thoughts on EMP

At the beginning there was the usual "any allergies, specific dislikes." Also got to choose duck or steak. But that was it. They catered around the dislikes (my wife doesn't like "fishy" things so they subbed squash for sturgeon in the smoked course and apple foam for uni in the shellfish ragout) although it was still the same course just with subbed ingredients. From the looks of it everyone was getting the same courses.

Nov 21, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

Thoughts on EMP

Had dinner for my birthday last night at EMP. A few thoughts:

1 - The grid is no more. We both had the same menu (with a few adjustments for personal dislikes). I am not sure if this is permanent - there was the Governor fundraiser (really, a fundraiser for a restaurant? anyway that's another topic...) in the private room, so maybe they limited the menu.

2 - The food overall was excellent. Highlights were the parsnip course, the shellfish ragout with uni, and the lobster (much better than the lobster at per se). The gimmicks (picnic basket, card trick, smoked sturgeon, etc) were fun and kept it interesting without distracting from the food.

3 - Service, as you would expect, was excellent. Handwritten birthday card was a nice touch, if a little cheesy. We were in the table in the back corner where the carts are, and I actually enjoyed being there and seeing the choreographed dance of the staff.

4 - Wine list had some great values and the somm geared us to a great bottle. Lots of decent bottles with some age for not crazy prices (though sadly not as much as there used to be). From what I saw the table next to us getting, the paired tasting was all wines from the BTG list and did not seem to be a great value. Better to go for a few glasses and then do a bottle or half bottle.

5 - Kitchen tour and cocktail was a lot of fun.

Nitpicks -
1 - The ribeye was overcooked. The side dish with the steak was amazing (foie, oxtail, foam, etc), but the steak itself was overcooked and a tiny portion of end pieces (cue Woody Allen). Should have chosen the duck! It sounded like the duck was a large portion, so it was a bit confusing getting two little pieces of steak.
2 - Value - I realize that a large portion of the cost is service and a huge number of employees, but protein-wise the meal seemed a bit skimpy. The only substantial protein courses were the lobster and the steak. There were three root veggie courses (carrot tartare - excellent, salsify - ok, and parsnip - amazing). I'm sure they pay extra to get the best of the best, but root veggies are cheap. I understand what they are trying to communicate - look at how good these humble veggies can be! - and in that they succeeded, but something still felt a bit lacking. Would have been nice to have a piece of fish, or maybe some pork, or chicken.

So in the last 6 months I've been lucky enough to eat at three 2 and 3 star restaurants in NYC (EMP, per se, and ko). Overall - I thought EMP was the best experience - combination of comfort, service, fun, and food. Ko had the best food (lack of comfort was made up for by the lower price). Per Se was great, but almost too overwhelming and was a bit of a stiffer experience.

Nov 21, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

OK: family friendly, very good food, good beer list

Waterfront Ale House

Nov 15, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

Per Se Dilemma

It was $275 in early 2010, $295 today. Not too much of a difference. 2.6% per year annualized.

Nov 14, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

Per Se Dilemma

Just wait. The giftcards don't expire (we used ours, which was a wedding gift, on our second anniversary). Sure it'll be worth a bit less by then (ie in terms of what you get for the money), but so what.

Nov 14, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

Le Midi question

A friend from North Carolina recommended Le Midi as he had loved Chip Smith and Tina Vaughn's restaurants in NC. Now he's hearing that the two have left Le Midi. Anyone have more info?

Nov 08, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

The "new" menu at Eleven Madison Park

PSA - 2 tops available for tonight. Never seen that before...probably out of towners who had to cancel. (same at JG btw)

Nov 08, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

Trader Joe,s UWS After Storm?

I don't get it either. Fairway was its usual crazy self but my wife was in and out in 3 minutes buying some spices for dinner. What in the world does TJs have that Fairway doesn't?

Nov 05, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

Neighborhood staples near Columbus Circle

We recently moved to the Columbus Circle area, and looking for some more of the good "neighborhood staple" type restaurants, ie places with great food where 2 people can eat and drink (1 glass each) for $100 give or take. Care most about food, atmosphere less important, 10 minute walk from columbus circle. The pricey places are easy to find info about, but looking for some more weekday night, easier on the wallet choices.
So far we've enjoyed:
Nick & Toni's
Taboon
Brasilina (huge portions so price is not bad if you split things).
Don Antonio
Bello

So what else? There seem to be about 1000 restaurants in the area...

Thanks

Nov 01, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan

Suggestion for a few more restaurants

Ah, well will have to hit R'Evolution next time...we were back home by the time our reservation was supposed to be! One of many good excuses to go back.

Oct 29, 2012
Tubulus in New Orleans

Suggestion for a few more restaurants

Exactly, the cocktail scene seems so big I figured the wine scene would be good too. But I guess as far as sourcing it's easier to find liquors than interesting wines. Was thinking of going to Bacchanal on Saturday night but it was freezing. Terroir needs to open up a southern branch.

Oct 29, 2012
Tubulus in New Orleans

Suggestion for a few more restaurants

A few random notes:
1 - New Orleans chefs know how to build flavor. So much flavor in everything we ate the whole weekend, and not just from piling on the salt and fat (in fact I found the food less salty than what I usually eat in NYC). Great contrast were our two apps at Herbsaint - the gumbo and ceviche. Both bursting with flavor but totally opposite ends of the spectrum - bitter, salty, dark gumbo, and bright, acidic, crunchy (pumpkin seed) ceviche.
2 - Wine lists in New Orleans generally suck and are all the same. A longer list of very recent vintage Burgundy and and then a couple choices from a smattering of other regions. Mostly very well known producers (I think every list had Seghesio zin). On the other hand, markups were very low, so at least the price was right. Maybe I'm spoiled by NYC but with such interesting food I was expecting better wine lists. I imagine the laws and distribution system are pretty archaic.
3. I know there is supposedly excellent Vietnamese food outside the central FQ/CBD/etc. Would be cool if some of it made its way into the more tourist-accessible areas. We definitely needed a break from Creole/Cajun by the third day (hence Domenica).

Oct 28, 2012
Tubulus in New Orleans

Suggestion for a few more restaurants

Thanks for all the responses. Sadly we are already home as we changed our flight to beat Sandy, but happily we had an excellent weekend of eating. We ended up doing dinners at Herbsaint, MiLa, and Domenica. Lunches were at Parkway, Felix's, and Commanders Jazz Brunch. The best were Commanders and Mila, but we really had no bad, or even mediocre, food the whole time. Favorite dish though was lamb neck with fideos and roasted tomatoes at Herbsaint. Also of note was the excellent Muffaletta that we just ate a day after picking it up at Cochon Butcher.

Oct 28, 2012
Tubulus in New Orleans

Suggestion for a few more restaurants

Would you choose Stella! over R'evolution?

Oct 24, 2012
Tubulus in New Orleans

Suggestion for a few more restaurants

Thanks I think we have a winner. I guess we could also split a meal at Willie Mae's. I assume finding parking for an hour outside of either shouldn't be an issue?

Oct 24, 2012
Tubulus in New Orleans

Suggestion for a few more restaurants

Last question bump - we decided to rent a car so we'll be driving from the airport to the Quarter. Any recs for any interesting place to stop to get a bite (something weird about first meal in NoLa being pizza...? Thinking Willie Mae's (though I know it's not really on the way), but open to anything interesting as long as it'll be quick and open at 3.

Oct 24, 2012
Tubulus in New Orleans

Bash Burger at B&B Winepub (Burger & Barrel)

Personally I liked the mushroom & gruyere even better. Thought the Bash was too pickle-y and not bacon-y enough (maybe bad execution that night?). Both very good though.

Oct 22, 2012
Tubulus in Manhattan