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ISO the grandest seafood tower!

Searching for the awesomest - freshest - over the top - seafood tower in NYC! Preferably one with more than the usual suspects in the mix (clams, lobster, oysters, shrimp etc) Would love some whelks, periwinkles, langoustines. Celebrating an anniversary and will go all out!

Jan 08, 2013
ilny in Manhattan

French oysters in Manhattan?

Thank you for the information and answers to my questions. After reading the T&L piece I have a kind of appreciation for the author's comment about oysters being last of the "go to" foods. Unfortunately I dont ever travel to Europe but am in Taipei and Shanghai a few times a year. My future trips to those cities will still be about consuming local delicacies and ingredients but from now on also a reminder about the opportunity to enjoy oysters from around the world. Thank you for your time and reply!

Apr 16, 2012
ilny in Manhattan

French oysters in Manhattan?

I was recently in Shanghai and enjoyed Gillardeau oysters for the first time in my life. Last week I had a sudden craving for oysters and decided to look up my go-to raw oysters spots in Manhattan and their oyster menu. It suddenly dawned on me that only oyster from North America are ever on the menu. That prompted me to research if there are USA restrictions on importing oysters beyond waters within North America countries? But then I thought how could this be? NYC is considered one of the culinary destinations in the world and many restaurants overnight all kinds of fresh seafood, meats, cheese, macaroons, noodles etc from all over the world... but not oysters? Still, as of yet I can not find them listed on menus anywhere. Is it possible to eat oysters from Europe or South Africa or Australia like I enjoyed during my trip abroad when home in NYC?

Apr 15, 2012
ilny in Manhattan

Does anyone know where to buy fresh bay leaves in Manhattan?

Manhattan Fruit Exchange in Chelsea Market. About a buck. Call first because even if it's not displayed out on the shelf they probably have it in the back.

Apr 09, 2012
ilny in Manhattan

This is not a joke ... how do you open a jar of Pommery Mustard?

Yes, that was the solution. I inserted a small knife applying a gentle lift every half inch or so around the whole jar 5 full turns and got it out. I had called the "artisanal" cheese shop where I bought the Pommery and they told me to use a cork screw! Knowing how soft and thin the cork is now I don't think that would ever work. Thin blade a little precision and patience paid off. Thanks!

Apr 09, 2012
ilny in General Topics

This is not a joke ... how do you open a jar of Pommery Mustard?

I purchased a 8.8 oz jar of Pommery Moutarde Royale. It is the one in a ceramic(?) jar that is corked and with a wax seal. I've removed all the wax around the mouth of the jar, only some wax is still left on the cork top. I have run a small knife around the tight space between cork and jar, but can't seem to get the cork to move at all. Am I suppose to use a cork screw? This is quite an expensive jar of mustard and I am trying to not butcher the cork into bits into the mustard. Thanks any experienced advice with opening this product is appreciated.

Apr 08, 2012
ilny in General Topics

Chinatown Prix Fixe for large group

Just curious, what do you mean by "Chinese-only banquet set"... does that mean the menu is only written in Chinese? Would I have trouble trying to order without being able to read Chinese?
Also, at your $200 dinner, how many people were in your party and roughly how many dishes were served?

The truth is I've dined with large groups of friends many times before in Chinatown, but we always seem to order the same dishes on our own, and not only miss out on trying new things but the bill can become an issue because some people just want to pay the cost of their own dishes ( and I'm always stuck paying the most for some reason). I'm attracted to this family dinner set because I think it can offer us an opportunity to try the restaurant's highlights and all around good spread of proteins, carbs, soups, veg etc.... And I'd like nothing more than to just tell all my friends bring ie: $40 bucks and we'll all be sampling 10 great chef selections - something like that.

THanks again for your input!

Dec 21, 2010
ilny in Manhattan

Chinatown Prix Fixe for large group

Thanks you! I used "prix fixe" and assumed 15 dishes due to a review on Yelp about East Boat, obviously I am not familiar with this type of family dinner package. You mentioned just about any restaurant will accommodate such a dinner, can you recommend a few good ones? My friends and I would especially like to enjoy some fresh seafood. Thanks again.

Dec 20, 2010
ilny in Manhattan

Chinatown Prix Fixe for large group

I read over at Yelp about East Boat Lobster Restaurant's prix fixe for 6 at $155.00 which breaks down to about $25.00/person. And the entire meal delivers roughly 15 dishes with a focus on fresh seafood. Do any of you know of other restaurants in Chinatown that provide prix fixe menu such as this? I'm planning a dinner for next week and think it's a real convenience to just be able to tell my friends, bring $30 and you're set for the night. I appreciate any leads guys, thanks in advance.

Dec 20, 2010
ilny in Manhattan

Prepared Chicken Stock??

I did the prepared chicken stock thing forever, I've also done the home-made (or tiny apartment-made) fresh chicken stock thing. But recently I've become a fan of "Better than Bouillon", it's a paste that you mix with water. I buy it at Whole Foods and have used it for soups and also to make sauces etc. It refrigerates for a long time and I just love it. I've also tried their beef base but not really a fan of that one. Try the chicken base, it's about 6 bucks and a little goes a long way.

Dec 18, 2009
ilny in Manhattan

Live Dungeness Crab

I find the most well priced, best maintained, and freshest crab and lobster at a seafood store on Centre street. Sorry I don't have a name but it basically spells out "Live Seafood Crab and Lobster" on the store front awning and you can also see a tank in the window. Inside the shopkeeper has a system of irrigated pools of crab and lobster by size and kind. The store is on the East side of Centre St, just north of Canal and above/across from Howard St which comes to a dead end on Centre from the west. I buy Dungeness and lobsters from them all the time for home cooking. They also close at 6pm on the dot.

Apr 23, 2008
ilny in Manhattan

Need help with ordering at Russ and Daughters-whats your favorites???

The Smoked Stuffed Trout is one most simple and remarkable preparation, I get this every time I am at Russ - in fact it is THE reason I make the trip to the shop. The flesh of smoked trout has been removed and boned and mixed with mayo and seasoning, then the whole mix is stuffed back into the trout, it is a plump yummy delight perfect as a sread on bagels or crackers or simply enjoy by the spoonful.

Jan 18, 2008
ilny in Manhattan

Best burger delivery for the East Village?

Look into Rush Hour, although technically they are in the LES do deliver to EV. They are a Isreali kosher quality run venue, however cooks for the NYC palettes, ie; cheeseburgers. I have been going there for years and have had also ordered from them before for delivery at friends apts in EV.

Jan 10, 2008
ilny in Manhattan

Sweet Tooth in Chinatown

Try those made to order mini eggy pancake-elettes from the street vendors, you cant go wrong. They are sweet, hot, and creamy - and at like 20 pieces for a buck or two you wont mind the wait while mass bodies brush by you to chase after fake designer handbags.

Jan 10, 2008
ilny in Manhattan

Soup Dumplings for a Party of 16

You might want to place a call to Joe's Ginger. I've known it to be the same operators as Joe's Shanghai and they pretty much have the same menu, more importantly -- the same soup dumplings. The upstairs is smaller than downstairs but could appropriately accommodate such a party. I've been going there ever since JS became a monster tourist destination, and when seated upstairs I have seen them arrange and rearrange tables to accomodate families or parties of that size on a fly. I'm sure if you arrange the dinner in advance it should suit your needs. Let us know what you decide on!

Jan 10, 2008
ilny in Manhattan

Langoustines in NYC

I had my first taste of langoustines last summer at a quaint little restaurant in Philadelphia - actually it wasn't even on the menu or special, but a tradition of encouraging patrons to visit the kitchen led me to notice a small secondary sink where these little guys were living. I requested the chef (father of this family run joint) to cook up some by his choice of preparation - I became hooked! So back in New York, I have been seeking them out on menus and want more. I've eaten langoustines so far only at Soto (W Village), Piccolo V(Queens), and recently Valbella (Meatpacking) where they had it as a daily special. All three restaurants had different styles of preparation not only by cuisine but also texture, I preferred most the ones at Soto which "just" cooked the shellfish, soft and succulent as a carefully prepared scallop, and as a bonus the langoustines also had roe attached to its very slender body. And while I did not at all care for the shitake mushroom sauce Soto pours over the langoustines, they are still my favorite so far. So can anyone point me to restaurants that serve this yummy crustacean, with heads and all??! Thank You!

Jan 10, 2008
ilny in Manhattan

La Bergamote-a croissant to rival Claude??!!

I live 2 blocks from LB and have seen it through its many renovations and transformations over the years. I have never been the type that "hang around" and drink coffee for endless hours reading papers or novels as many patrons appear to do every time I pass by or stop in there. But I do know it quite well. In its early days My BF at the time and I actually created an in-store experimental video art performance where we played "a song" for each of their signature pastries to help with promoting the shop to the neighborhood... uh anyway fast forward ... . My repeat orders over the years are croissant, pan au chocolat and the truffles, hmmmm the truffles!! I remember when they used to be .25 a piece and are such a rich and bittersweet delight for me I continue to shell out many dollars despite its slight shrinking in size and increase in cost over the years. I've had all the sandwiches you noticed, and yes they are good. They are not THAT good in my opinion for the price tag, and actually they are all very simple combinations that I would find myself still hungry after eating it. For example, the saucission you mentioned is literally 2 or 3 thin slices with a light spread of mustard, and prepared in a dry simple manner. It is not bad, its just so happens to run for about 6 or so dollars that I couldn't imagine myself ever THAT lazy to not just construct it at home (again I live close by). Well I must also admit that it's been years since I have had that sandwich, maybe it has changed. I did in LB early years adore their Rillette sandwich, but over time I found its diminishing spread and increase in cost to be a turn off. I do still get the tuna & egg sandwich at times, It tastes good and is portioned and seasoned properly. You will not be disappointed with anything there, everything is fresh and made daily. My feeling is that the sandwich variety is not the highlight of the shop. Pastries on the other hand, given the depth in preparation and timing, I have no issues with the expense.

Dec 26, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

Where to have khinkali?

I have never had these Georgian dumplings, I only found out about them while getting lost online on various food/travel blogs. I was struck by its similarity to the Shanghai dumplings in shape and also that there is soup enclosed with the meat mixture. I am really curious to try them, So anyone know where I can order these dumplings in the NY area?

Dec 21, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

How do you like bone marrow?

Will definitely have to give it a try at Blue Ribbon. I often get so overwhelmed with delicious options on the menu that I had not yet ordered their marrow.

Dec 20, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

How do you like bone marrow?

I like bone marrow in the various ways I have experienced and have come to know them. I've enjoyed it when charred, broiled, stewed, braised, cooked in a soup. No matter the type of cuisine, seasoning, or preparation - just that it's hot and warm. So to my surprise, a dinner with BF at Craft Steak last night has totally redefined my understanding for bone marrow use in dishes. I personally was not turned on by it, but this is NOT a post to knock CS.

I am curious about marrow that is served cool and slightly bloody, totally intact and basically raw. We tasted bone marrow first in an appetizer - Fried bone marrow with Porcini marmalade, it was tubes of extracted marrow enveloped in a thin batter and flash fried served to us at about room temperature and slightly bloody. We also were served marrow with the Ribeye for Two, this time a more traditional standing bones speared with a marrow spoon. The first bite was warm and juicy and quickly cools off into a cold solid throughout. Having had marrow twice in one sitting I determined that this must be their interpretation and a style I have missed out on all my life, cool temperatured, "sashimi" like marrow? Frankly, while I am well aware Mr. Tom and his patrons have 50 lifetimes of culinary knowledge on me, but had this "raw" style been my first introduction to marrow -- I am not sure I would have been so encouraged to become its lover.

So, I am curious how other CH like their bone marrow? and if there are other places that serve marrow in unconventional ways (to my experiences listed above) that I must try to give the "cooler" marrow another go.

Thanks guys.

Dec 19, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

Food Networks new game plan (from the ny times)

Before all of CH loses entire faith in FN programming... good boys and girls get a Christmas Day Marathon of Anthony Bourdain's "Cook's Tour"!
FN will also rebroadcast Bourdain beginning Jan 8th 2008.
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/a...

Yes! I read that press release with some disbelief, double checking the publish date and source in hopes to not have been duped by an Onion piece. heh. In this article Tuschman on Bourdain,
"Anthony Bourdain is a passionate foodie who has amazing stories to share as he takes viewers on a unique tour of our planet," said Tuschman. "We look forward to introducing new viewers to this memorable Food Network series and know they will enjoy Anthony's unique voice and unforgettable adventures."

I am very pleased with this decision. Reruns are perfectly okay with me.

Dec 17, 2007
ilny in Food Media & News

Burgers! Please Opine regarding your faves

wow can't believe I haven't read even one vote for DADDY O??!!! and yes do order it with the tater tots... and enjoy a fine crafted cocktail with it as well.

Dec 16, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

Why can't NY understand the croissant?

La Bergamote has what you are looking for. They also have a pain au chocolat that is out of this world, with a similar buttery texture and flakiness as the croissant.
(212) 627-9010
169 9th Ave,
New York, NY 10011

Dec 15, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

Have a res at Crispo this weekend - What should I order?

bone marrow.. Bone Marrow... BONE MARROW!

Dec 13, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

Golden Unicorn, Dim Sum, downhill?

rainorshine
I dont have 3 or 5 for you as I don't frequent weekend dim sum TOO much. About two months ago I had done some research on CH and local food blogs and decided on 88 Palace, it is excellent. The restaurant is much less chaotic then the usual, the dishes are tasty and well made - ie: wrappers and rolls are sealed tightly and properly and not falling apart or gushing juices. Little details I noticed there that separated it from what can often become somewhat of a "mess hall" of an experience.
88 East Broadway, 2nd fl, New York, NY 10002

Dec 07, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

Restaurants you love that are rarely mentioned on Chowhound

So glad you asked because I love Takahachi on Avenue A and rarely see it recommended to posters craving for sushi or Japanese. I find it to be way above average Japanese that is more than fairly priced. I never have doubted or experienced less than excellent quality seafood whether it's sashimi or cooked. I, with a friend (or BF -- every one of 'em throughout the last 7 years ;) ) can walk out paying less than $100, gluttonously stuffed, and with a nice buzz because dinner usually means 4 or 5 hot Sakes for us... . My only "complaint" is the restaurant often runs out of the Hamachi kama by about 9 o'clock which would prompt me to give a dirty glare to BF about him showing up late. Seriously, as soon as I am seated I ask the waitress to please put my name on one yummy collar!

By the way Brian_S, about Casimir, many many years ago their mussels salad and a glass of wine was my favorite meal.

Dec 07, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

Looking for a restaurant to do a small wedding plus dinner (50 people); ideas?

You may want to check into Valbella in the Meatpacking district. It is a wonderful restaurant with traditional service and very solid food. While it shares a zipcode with all the new hip nonsense nightlife that seem to never quit rising and collapsing on itself, the restaurant's philosophy is of another "school" yet in a modern setting. You and your guests can enjoy the excitement of the neighborhood (and of course the wedding!) minus inexperience and excessive trendiness. I have also been at Valbella for several small scale F&B events; Vodkafest, Rumfest ... so I know it is about right for 50 or so people upstairs or downstairs. Upstairs has its own bar and a charming open wine cellar, the space is quite versatile with attractive lighting and was totally designed for private events in mind. You will want to get in touch with David, there are two Davids, the younger of the two is the manager to speak with about private events. Good luck and wish you very best, happy and healthy!

Dec 05, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

Best place for churros?

Five Points serves it on their weekend brunch menu, about 4 or 5 churros accompanied by a mug of bittersweet hot chocolate (not a chocolate dipping sauce). I haven't been there in almost a year but it was a favorite for me and my boyfriend when he used to live in that side of town. The churros are definitely made to order, super hot and creamy interior with crunchy and very lightly brown (I think) sugar dusted exterior.

Dec 05, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

Rao's: Have you eaten there lately??

I dined there a little over a month ago. IF you are there to experience the food, you will probably be disappointed - especially with a CH palette. If you manage to be invited to dine there you probably already know it for all of its delight - a type of time warp and storytelling by Nicky "the vest" (bartender), Frankie, and rest of the staff that is archival and sensational. You will see fashions and shiny shoes out of a formal menswear catalog dressing patrons, and you will giggle and laugh with a kind of awe and sincerity as you do when hanging out with your best friend's great uncle. You will truly enjoy your time there, but it will not be because of the food. Now, the food: Simply put, you will not be appalled or get sick or be turned off by it. But you will think at one point - as I am certain all diners have done there, that after all the anticipation and the waiting and the schoomzing ... whats the big deal here? I define it as, things taste the way they should. Marina sauce tastes like a bunch of tomato married with some herbs and seasoning, meatballs taste like a a well rounded recipe and not memorable, sausages in a sauce tastes - well like good italian sausage, and again - nothing out of this world in comparison to the out of this world privilege it is for you to eat there. Things taste right, okay, with pastas while are not homemade are cooked al dente - and just fine. Table wares are not fancy, stainless steel knives and forks, very ordinary bread and breadbasket, plain water and wine glasses, no grand burgundy stemware -- Nothing really to knock, but nothing slightly above an average family style like italian restaurant in the city ... or in the suburbs. If anything you could probably buy their sauce and develop it further on the stove top with additional herbs and seasonings (which i have done a number of times) to create something exceptional.
When you goto Rao's its kinda like visiting friends, you catch up and have some laughs. You eat what they feed you, they like you and you like them, its all dandy. They will greet you at the door and walk you out. Last time while crossing the street to Raos I was slightly accosted by a homeless man for money, Frankie and co. standing outside shouted and rushed the man away from me. When you are their patron, you are their friend, and they kinda do own the corner in that 'hood.
Know that while there is this "rule" in place for you to get a table, the place is run by great guys that will never deny you entrance to just hang out at the bar and have a few laughs with Nicky.
Hope this was helpful.

Dec 04, 2007
ilny in Manhattan

Your bit on Bernaise

SO in your opinion, which restaurant(s) makes it most worthwhile?? I'd like to keep my post as simple as possible because I don't care to install judgment/benchmarks or to "hound" your potential responses to death -- but again, simply, which place has YOUR favorite? Please tell and I would be glad to just build a savory map created by CH to visit these establishments. Again, its just about the Bernaise -- I often request it with a side of french fries minus the steak, so main protein is not a factor here. CH Manhattan... Take me to your Bernaise!

Looking forward to your sincere disclosures ;)

Nov 26, 2007
ilny in Manhattan