CFByrne's Profile

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Manhattan Hound Visiting: Sat rec PB - Delray corridor

Spoke to a chef working in the area... His thoughts on options other than B & B... I would trust this person's opinions... Unfortunately, most are not first-hand either.

"Cafe Sapori on Southern Blvd is a good place for a large party. Old school Italian, very "Palm Beachy" and the food is consistent. It's not trendy or creative, but the pasta is made in house and they have a great wine list.
"I haven't been to Table 26, but I hear good things. PB Catch is definitely classy, but I haven't eaten there so I can't really say if it's good or not. Jove at The Four Seasons PB is supposed to be good too."

1 day ago
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Manhattan Hound Visiting: Sat rec PB - Delray corridor

Looks like you're from NYC so you probably don't want to do Café Boulud Palm Beach... but if you do, that's an option.

The other obvious go-to spot in downtown Palm Beach itself is Buccan with JB nominee Chef Clay Conley. This is quite a bit more of a high-energy scene than Bouldud, but the dining is terrific.

Maybe the bigger problem as I see it: Even though it is off-season, you may have a tough time getting a Saturday night rez for 8 to 10 at any place good on four days notice... unless you go for maybe 6PM or 10PM. But you can also try calling.

Jul 29, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Miami Spice 2014 Edition

I thought the same thing when I saw "Seasons 52" listed...

But still, there are some useful tips here. And the article promises more detailed "Best of" lists in the coming days.

Jul 25, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Miami Spice 2014 Edition

Even Benn with some helpful filtering ...

Jul 25, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

La Caja China Pig Roast - First Timer Advice Needed

La Caja fans may want to show up at this event... (see you there)...


Guest Chefs: Aaron Brooks of EDGE Steak & Bar
joined by Jeremiah Bullfrog of gastroPod

Chefs Hanlon, Brooks & Bullfrog will prepare a surprise feast in their Caja Chinas

Jul 23, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

December Holiday Party in Palm Beach County: need suggestions for locale

An "outside the box" suggestion...

Call Guanabanas!

I have no idea if they would do this... And I am sure they would prefer Sunday (as would most)...

But it could be a cool idea. Of course, you do have the weather risk. But that's a lot lower in December. And maybe they have a tent or something for private parties.

Hmmm actually I see they do have a Special Events contact...

Jul 23, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Crayfish anyone?

You probably already know this, but be prepared for a certain level of disappointment if these whole crawfish are for eating (and not just garnish, for example, on top of a bowl of gumbo).

Crawfish do not freeze particularly well. The tails, not so bad, but the body... if you are into "sucking the head"... will be "not very good" at all.

Generally you can get live 'dads from LA from appx mid-Jan to around July 4th, with May typically being peak season.

Jul 23, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

How Are the Restaurants at The Culinary Institute of America?

I have a res for Bocuse... Will let the board know how it works out later this week.

Jul 14, 2014
CFByrne in New York State (exc. NYC)

red light-Kris Wessel's Highly Anticipated New Spot on Biscayne

Heading there tonight! Shrimp and ribs definitely on the to-do list... the corn chowder and oxtail sound likely as well.

Jul 12, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Oolite Restaurant - New from Kris Wessel - SoBe near Lincoln Road

Thanks TP. I also hear the Oxtail is good.

Anything else CHers???

Jul 11, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

the Texas ranger in Freeport

Well the "big news" coming is...

A guy who claims to have the original Ranger recipe is opening a place in Freeport. On the SE corner of Atlantic and Bayview. Said to be opening this month (July 2014).

I'm going to be visiting my old hometown next week so I'll have a first-hand report.

Meanwhile, this may help - scroll to bottom

Jul 09, 2014
CFByrne in New York State (exc. NYC)

How Are the Restaurants at The Culinary Institute of America?

Yes, they are open on July 17, and many other summer days.

"All restaurants of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY will be closed for a short summer break, July 26–August 19. We reopen August 20th."

Jul 06, 2014
CFByrne in New York State (exc. NYC)

Oolite Restaurant - New from Kris Wessel - SoBe near Lincoln Road

Hoping to make it down to Oolite this Saturday before the Ray Lamontagne show at the Fillmore.

Any early word on best bites etc?

I hear the famous BBQ shrimp will be available.

Laine says: "First and foremost, the restaurant will feature healthful dining. Wessel will show his love for regional, local cuisine by concentrating on "simplified eating with plant, land, and sea-based protein-driven offerings... the kitchen will adhere to the limited use of processed ingredients, gluten, and saturated fats. In other words, the restaurant will offer true locavore cuisine that uses natural flavors instead of chemical enhancements."

Website has no info really

But you can find more on FB

1661 Pennsylvania Ave
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
(Former site of Cooper Avenue)

Jul 06, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

one week in Freeport/Long Island

+1 for RS Jones (even though it is in Merrick!). The chef-owners were affiliated with The Bayou way back when it was great when it first opened in the mid 80's with JP and Lo in N Bellmore. Later, J&L opened Big Daddy's and Margaret and Carole opened RS Jones.

Anyway... good people... good fun... and excellent food. Ribs are always dynamite.

Jul 06, 2014
CFByrne in New York State (exc. NYC)

the Texas ranger in Freeport

There are a number of Facebook pages for folks that grew up in Freeport... and it's funny but this is one of the most common discussions.

The original in Freeport was up by the LIRR tracks in the 1960's... I had hundreds of chili specials there. Leroy was the guy who helped out John and later Perry.

For a brief while, they moved down to Woodcleft and had a place there. Perry ran that and it was good.

Erhardt's Clam Bar on Woodcleft also came up with a chili special that was quite good... Jimmy Chimeri was the guy there later on... But they are closed now (Jeremy's). In recent years, a few places on the canal have produced knockoffs but usually not that good.

- Charlie (South Freeport born and raised... 1955-1990).

And now... there is big news coming soon...

Jul 06, 2014
CFByrne in New York State (exc. NYC)

How Are the Restaurants at The Culinary Institute of America?

Reviving this older thread as it seems most apropos...

I'll be driving through the area on Thursday July 17, and for a number of reasons, specifically want to dine at CIA for lunch. Solo foodie based in South Florida enjoys any kind of excellent food.

Any comments on which of the 3 to choose? American, French or Italian? I know it's a tough question... I am leaning towards the French however.

American Bounty? "With a focus on the seasons and products of the Hudson Valley, contemporary and traditional regional dishes are brought to life in an honest and flavorful way."

Bocuse: "The Bocuse Restaurant provides a culinary journey through France. Reflecting today’s contemporary sensibilities, the menu focuses on deep flavor, unique preparation, and enticing presentation. Service is casual yet elegant."

Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici: "Truly authentic regional Italian cuisine at a sophisticated dining room overlooking a stunning herb and rose garden, and the Hudson River. Or enjoy wood oven pizza and other simple rustic dishes in the more casual Al Forno Trattoria. Dining at this grand Tuscan-style villa is a culinary escape to another world without ever having to leave the beautiful Hudson Valley."

Thanks in advance!

Jul 06, 2014
CFByrne in New York State (exc. NYC)

Miami Spice

Miami Spice is scheduled particularly because it's the dead season (I believe Sept and maybe Oct are the two slowest months of the year). Fort Laud has a similar event in October. Palm Beach in September...

Unlike South Beach Wine & Food Festival, it's spread out all over town. So I would imagine Miami Spice is barely a blip on hotel's radar. Plus I imagine it also attracts 99% locals rather than being a national draw.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this special event for your special event, you might want to take a look at the past two year's threads here to get some dining ideas...

Of course, this year's participants may vary. Personally, I had a fantastic meal for two at Pubbelly Steak:

2012 Thread:

2013 Thread:

Jul 05, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Amazing Summer Peaches at Michael's Genuine

The nectarines aren't too shabby either...

Jul 05, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Must Eats in Miami

Probably the first question the Miami experts here will need to know to help you more is: Was there anything in particular that made you pick Yakko San? Are you looking specifically for Japanese or Asian?

Because Yakko San is over 11 miles from your hotel, practically halfway to Fort Lauderdale!

On the way there, you could instead have stopped at (for example), Blue Collar - just 3 miles due N from your hotel on Biscayne.

Or any number of other closer places in Wynwood, Design District, Midtown, NeMesis... or even SoBe for that matter.

But from my meager knowledge, on a budget and not too fancy and no tourist trap, near you, I would say a couple of good starters would be BC and also Blackbrick Chinese.

EDIT: I see your convention is at the Miami Beach Convention Center. So that opens up the Beach area too. It would help if you can specify if you would prefer to dine near your hotel, or near your convention center. Because now you are talking about a much wider area... What type food are you looking for?

Jul 04, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Bacon Bacon BACON!!!

Here's a NEW one... a long time away though!

"Welcome to the Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest!"

"Come join us March 28 & 29, 2015 for a culinary journey with a pig and a barrel in beautiful downtown Delray Beach."

However, while I would like to love this event... I am frankly not crazy about other events from this organizing group... so... we shall see.

Jul 03, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Has anyone been to Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee yet?

Supposedly we will have one opening on the Ave in Delray towards the fall.

It's supposed to go in that mysterious little spot next to Tramonti that's been vacant since the Eisenhower administration.

Jul 01, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Trader Joe's?!?

"Just six weeks after opening its first Palm Beach County location in Wellington, Trader Joe’s announced the grand opening dates for three additional county stores.

First on deck: Delray Beach, which opens Friday, Sept. 5th at 1851 S. Federal Highway.

Next up: Palm Beach Gardens, which opens Friday, Sept. 19th at the PGA Plaza, 2560 PGA Blvd.

And finally, the funky grocery market opens in Boca Raton on Friday, Sept. 26th at 855 S. Federal Highway.

Jun 26, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Palm Beach County openings 2014

Not exactly... Those stores are going in at the new site on the north side of Linton near PetSmart etc... The ex-vacant lot where they sell Christmas Trees, Pumpkins etc. Also a Buffalo Wild Wings and Stabucks and maybe others at that location.

Also in the same area - but not that plaza - a Chik-Fil-A coming soon.

I have not heard of any food-related tenants at the Linton/US1 spot yet other than TJ's.

Jun 26, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Taylor Ham / Taylor’s Pork Roll

Torchio's indeed had it - but only a big loaf...

Maybe I'll check Publix next time I'm down in Pompano, there's one across from Blue Willy's, I can kill two hogs with one stone.

Jun 25, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Desperately Seeking Indian Food In PBC

Thanks for the update Lettuce.

I called and indeed they are open. I didn't write it down but something like Lunch 11:30 to 3 and then dinner 4 to 10. I will go soon and get the actual details.

The website is still barebones, but here it is... at least with address and phone.

Jun 25, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Boothbay Harbor in June (and Rt. 1 in between)

Apple, good call on Dunton's - it's a quintessential BBH experience IMO... even a local's favorite during the shoulder seasons so you know it is not a rip off.

Glidden Point also a rare treasure. Elsewhere in the country you'll pay 2x to 3x more for these kind of oysters.

King Eider's Pub in Damariscotta is a great place to get a drink on a bad weather day.

We also like Newcastle Publick House, right before you make the right turn into Damariscotta.

Jun 23, 2014
CFByrne in Northern New England

Blue Willie's BBQ

The parking "problem" has a very simple solution.

Directly across the street you'll find a huge Publix and a huge Marshalls, with a parking lot of about 200 spaces.

Yes, you have to cross US1 but we are all grownups here...

If you feel guilty, go in Pbx and buy a box of handiwipes...

Jun 22, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Hottest Taco Joint in Miami

Hope to hit up Viva Mexico after the Mets game this afternoon/evening.

They had me at "browned in lard."

"The process involves layering various cuts of pork in a heavy pot: the shoulder, tongue, stomach, ears, ribs, and rind. The swine sections are stacked in order of cooking time. They are then immersed in lard. Cooked over low heat in a method similar to the French confit, collagen breaks down. Tough meats become moist and tender. After two hours, the hog's flesh oozes with the pure flavors of unadulterated swine.

"Some carnitas-makers add Coca-Cola to the pot. Others opt for wine or beer. But Tovar uses none of these. His method involves a marinade of milk, salt, and sour orange juice. Prior to stacking up all the meat, he browns each pig part individually in lard. "Pork doesn't need anything else," he says. "Carnitas gets its signature flavor from time and lard.""

Jun 21, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Dim sum.


I hate to even mention the word "cart"... but...

I was there Sunday June 7, from opening at 11:29AM until I would say about an hour later at 12:30PM.

I dined at the "chef's counter" which is also right next to the door that goes into the "back of the house."

It's also next to where the (as far as I know) one and only cart is "stored".

Which you can see here:

At no time did I see anything resembling "cart service".

Now there is definitely "card service" - mark up the special dim sum menu card, give to waiter, and watch fresh and hot food appear on your table moments later.

But I did not see any "cart service". Maybe it is a new development in the past 13 days.

Although Frod showed an active cart in his post from a few months ago. Maybe it is sporadic. I'm checking with RH to see if I can get a definitive answer.

Jun 20, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale

Taylor Ham / Taylor’s Pork Roll

A friend of mine lives in a remote location.

He has asked if I could bring him some "Taylor Ham/Taylor’s Pork Roll" when I visit soon. I know I can get it online. (And so could he, for that matter).

But for "sentimental reasons", he wants to see if I can find in Florida and bring to him myself.

I know, it sounds nutty... but... whatever. Any retail source down here?

This is the specific format he wants, 1.5 lb in a linen bag.


Thanks in advance.

Jun 18, 2014
CFByrne in Miami - Fort Lauderdale