Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

mtr's Profile

Title Last Reply

Lightner leaving Atera on March 28th

I loved Atera under Chef Lightner but I have to say I love it even more under Chef Emborg's vision. The pacing and arc of the meal has a coherence now that previously was the one thing that wasn't always apparent, at least to me. More similar now to Ko, in that respect, but with dishes whose individual components are spectacular on their own and sublime when woven together. Given their space limitations I believe this will become one of the hardest reservations in New York as soon as word gets out how good it is.

May 27, 2015
mtr in Manhattan

Long Gone But Not Forgotten! Outer Borough Memories

Eileen's Fabulous Cheesecake. It really was amazing.

Sep 10, 2014
mtr in Outer Boroughs

New musts in Brooklyn?

If you like sushi try Katsuei, 7th Avenue and 3rd Street. New, not sure if they even have their signs up yet but the best quality sushi in Brooklyn. Not cheap, but good sushi usually isn't.

Nov 14, 2013
mtr in Outer Boroughs

Won't Work for Food

Waaaahhhh, I want my organic corn flakes and I've got lots of money and I don't have time to play by your rules, here, just take more money, okay? Please. And the 16,000 members who avoid this mentality are the snobby ones? The worst part of the coop is the long lines to check out, particularly on week ends. None of the other stuff is in the least difficult to keep up with if you have half a brain. Sure, there are plenty of people who can be obnoxious but frankly that's more a NYC phenomena than something that's just limited to the Coop. Shop (avoid the weekends if possible), do your shift, go home, is that really so hard? And if you don't like talking to people with food agendas then don't. Trust me, they're not going to chase you down the street.

Jan 24, 2012
mtr in Features

Italy trip food suggestions

Absolutely go to Sostanza in Florence, great food, not too expensive, make a reservation as they fill up pretty fast.

Via della Porcellana, 25, 50123, Florence, Tuscany 50123, IT

Oct 06, 2011
mtr in Italy

Looking for feedback and suggestions on foodie vacation to NYC

Lunch reservations at Ko are not so difficult to get and the meal at lunch is more extravagant than the one served at dinner. Service isn't in the least pretentious and the chefs, who are standing right in front of you, are happy to talk to you about the food. I never thought of the food as gimmicky, if you want that than head to WD 50, if anything what they serve is a lot more straight forward than a lot of high profile places.

Mar 24, 2011
mtr in Manhattan

Chicago Chowhound Looking to Spend $$$$ at a Manhattan Restaurant

If cost is no issue and you don't like over bearing service then head to Ko for lunch. They only serve tasting menus and it's about as unpretentious as fine dining can get. Also, lunch is more extravagant than dinner plus it's a lot easier to make a reservation. And for the "As Good as it Gets" experience I'd vote for Eleven Madison over Per Se, although if you can go to both more power to you.

Mar 24, 2011
mtr in Features

Hiring "SERVERS", the posting said. But where do you find the good ones- in this generation?

Of course simple courtesy is the way to go when dealing with strangers and you don't need to be from the south or an old fart to be polite. Having a sense of humor sometimes also helps, but apparently not always.

Mar 19, 2011
mtr in Not About Food

Hiring "SERVERS", the posting said. But where do you find the good ones- in this generation?

I agree that delving into the personal lives of complete strangers is not exactly what I'm looking for from the people serving me dinner but I do like it when they're cordial. To that end, I find it remarkable that you would be offended by someone addressing you by name. Oh well, sounds like if Sir is preferable, just imagine how much better Your Royal Highness would be.

Mar 18, 2011
mtr in Not About Food

Slipping the waiter a "tip" under the table

I don't think I've ever read a thread where so many people are so out of touch with the server's reality of working in restaurants. Servers make nothing relative to the people who can patronize places that expect four figures for a dinner and if you don't think that each one of them is scrambling for any crumb that falls from the table than you are living in La La land.

I still remember my first bartending job, 23 years old, busting my butt and trying to do the right thing in an upscale midtown Manhattan restaurant, and scratching my head why at the end of the shift I had basically nothing kicked back by the waiters. When I asked the owner how come I didn't get any share of the tips, even though drinks were routinely 30 percent of the bill - I'm an old guy, this is back in the day when Manhattans and Martinis were the order of the day - he said if you don't like it, leave. So I left and I'm sure he replaced me with someone else the waiters could shaft.

As you walk out the door with a happy little food and wine buzz, if slipping the bus boy a 20 makes the night feel right than God bless you. But please, just do us all a favor and let go of the self serving assumption that there is any altruism, from you to them or eventually from them towards their fellow employees or even the IRS, trotting along after that cash under the table.

Aug 12, 2010
mtr in Not About Food

Leaving a Massive Tip

I always tip more than 20 percent. Really, what are we talking about here, at the most an additional $5 or $10? The service I receive and the favors and comps I get from places that I regularly frequent - and even not so regularly, with the computer memories most restaurants have today - are easily worth far more then what is a very minimal cost. Well worth it for the many positive dividends it pays down the road.

Jul 14, 2009
mtr in Features

Bad Dinner, No Tip

Shocked at the number of posters here who want to "blame the victim" or simply assume that the story is fake. Where do you get your inside information?

And no, I wouldn't even leave a penny if I was treated that poorly by a waiter, although I have to say in 30 years of eating out I've never experienced anything even close to being that bad. Maybe I've been lucky but is bad service really that prevalent?

Jul 14, 2009
mtr in Features

Dinner with a Tightwad

I know that Marcia has probably long since moved on to more important things but I wanted to chip in on her query about capping a tip when wine is extremely expensive.

I agree with you that tipping less because you chose to buy the beef wellington rather then the hamburger is absurd and no reasonable person would do that. However, the cost of food, even extravagant food like foie gras and caviar, never achieves the same ratio of cost disparity that some "special occasion" wines routinely have over more routinely priced wines. I've had the good fortune to see some magnificent restaurant cellars and I've seen first hand that the good bottles are all treated the same, stored in the same wine cellar, decanted into the same crystal and tossed into the same dumpster at the end of the night. It's not like the server is putting five times the skill and expertise into opening a pouring a $200 bottle then a $40 bottle, so is one really worth a $40 tip and the other an $8 tip? Don't get me wrong, I tip as lavishly as I can afford, often more then 20 percent, and if I can't do that then I go out less or I go to more modest restaurants. It's just that I'm well aware of the retail cost of wine and when I'm being charged two to three times for a bottle than what I would pay in a wine store I can take it to a point but eventually it just feels like you're getting soaked, at which point the tip becomes the victim.

That being said, and I know I'm contradicting myself here, as for the obscenely priced bottles, well, if you can afford to pay $600, $800, whatever for a bottle of wine then you can afford to pay the proper tip on them as well. Nothing screams cheapskate louder then someone who leaves a $100 tip on a four figure tab.

Jul 14, 2009
mtr in Features

Wellfleet and Vicinity Recs

I can't post prices for BlackFish, my memory is just not that good, but they were more reasonable than a lot of the nicer restaurants in Ptown. We spent $186 before the tip for two, with about $80 of that on the wine/bar tab and a foie gras added in between the apps and dinner. I seem to recall about $10 - $18 for apps, $19 - $34 for entrees. Really great meal, we're looking forward to going back ASAP, although some menu selections as well as the preparation of some of the dishes seem more appropriate for cooler weather. If noise bothers you ask to sit in the back when you make your reservation, it's a little quieter back there - plus it's very beautiful.

Aug 13, 2008
mtr in Southern New England

Restaurants in the Boroughs like Blue Hill at Stone Barns

why does anyone offer up comments about places that they haven't been to since whenever? hated rosewater four months ago, went there last week to check out their new chef, clearly now worth a visit. Does this site provide up to date info or just folks talking about a meal they had two years ago?

Jan 22, 2008
mtr in Outer Boroughs

Saul - Not all that impressed

You do realize that Coco Roco at 392 Fifth is probably a good mile and then some away from Saul on Smith Street. I assume you meant the Coco Roco that opened on Smith Street a while back.

Dec 08, 2007
mtr in Outer Boroughs

What If You Ruin the Turkey?

i bet you can come up with something a little more constructive than that, mwliechty. but why do that, take every opportunity you get to let us know how superior you are. condescend away, and enjoy the holidays.

Nov 24, 2007
mtr in Features

Elementi on 7th Ave. (Spot where Snooky's was)

I went last night and, although they still have some kinks to work out, when they are on the food is as good as anything being served in Park Slope right now (lamb chop special was superb). The arrogance of posters who blast places they've never been to never ceases to amaze.

Oct 13, 2007
mtr in Outer Boroughs

Narrowing choice for Birthday Dinner - Please chime in :)

What kind of room do you want to be in? All the places you mention have terrific food but very different atmospheres and it is a birthday party, right?. The food at Chanterelle is sublime, but the room is pretty austere. Food is great at Daniel, classically French (duh), but the room is a little bit Disney in it's attempt to create a "formal" dining experience. If you're in a Blue Hill kind of mood, it's worth the road trip to head up to Tarrytown. Great space, relaxed (relatively) service, wonderful food, beautiful grounds. That's my vote, if you can get in!

May 30, 2007
mtr in Manhattan

restaurants near the Fortezza da Basso in Florence

This may not be much help because I don't know the names of the restaurants, but there are two on Via Porcellana, which is pretty close to the train station, that are terrific and cheap. The first one is small, has white tile on the walls and is always packed. The Florentine Bisteca they serve is off the hook. Also, one night when we couldn't get in there we went to a restaurant down the street (as you walk away from the station), same side of the street, had the best pasta vongele I've ever tasted. I wasn't impressed with any of the places near the Fortezza da Basso, lots of touristy spots. Also, there is a little square behind the mercado and there are a bunch of restaurants with outdoor dining that are very reasonable.

May 20, 2007
mtr in Italy

Has anyone been to Masa?

Depending on what is being served price is now up to $400-$600 pp, plus drinks, plus tax, and they add on a mandatory 20% tip. The food is pretty good, but give me a break. It's a restaurant for people who don't give a second thought about dropping $2,000 on a meal for two. If that's you, congratulations, but I think it's why the place was basically empty the Friday night I recently went. To the mere mortals among us, it's a case of the emperor has no clothes, particularly so in a city full of restaurants serving meals that are just as good (if not better) at a fraction of the cost .

May 13, 2007
mtr in Manhattan