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Posts posted by madziast

  1. lidia's first two books: "la cucina di lidia" and "lidia's italian table"

    rogers & gray's river cafe cookbooks

    arthur schwartz's "naples at table"-- mainly one of the quickest and easiest recipes, delicious, eat it at least once a week--pasta with canned tuna, peperoncino and fresh tomatoes; also good basic tomato sauce

    faith willinger's "red, white and greens" (i prefer interestingly prepared vegetables to just about everything)

    also have "passion for piedmont" by matt kramer, "ultimate pasta" by julia della croce, nancy harmon jenkins' "flavors of tuscany" but i find i hardly use them.

    surprisingly, i've used "recipes and memories" by sophia loren, it was a gift and turned out to be a good one. just got the valentino cookbook (piero selvaggio) so the jury is still out, i absolutely love the restaurant...

    i don't cook fish or meat (canned tuna notwithstanding) though so my picks are veg/starch oriented

  2. Babbo remains on my list of places to go (and there's so much to have there!!! besides the pasta tasting menu).  I suppose if worse comes to worse, you could always try Lupa, or failing that, Otto.  :blink:  :hmmm:

    babbo is very uneven in my opinion and although i did have good meals there, the last time, which was about a year ago, a greasy braised fennel app made me sick. i don't think i had ever sent the food back before (or since) in a restaurant. had to cancel the rest of my order and leave. not much inclination to go back, but then again, there are so many restaurants in new york. in terms of service, i think that in some cases, mario's star status makes some staff members feel like they are special/stars too.

    but, Soba--Otto??? Otto????!!! if all else fails go somewhere else! Otto is great for wine or even gelato but unless the food has vastly improved lately please don't go there for dinner. Mario's touch is there (lardo, etc.) but you can't call it Mario's food and it's just plain bad.

    by the way, you can always eat at Babbo at the bar or get one of the walk-in tables they save in the bar area, best to go on the early side though.

  3. brick lane on the dreaded 6th st. is supposed to have some of the hottest food in the city. i believe they actually offer free phaal curry to those who can finish the dish. where is tom steele when you need him, he did an article on it, wait a second, here:


    and no, they just give you free beer if you finish the dish

    Jason, I agree that Tabla is fantastic, not very traditional but truly wonderful. What about Tamarind? ate the re once when it first opened and it was ok but ppl keep raving about it...

    the cinnamon club from london is supposed to open a new york branch. can't wait, loved the food there

  4. but what if the restaurant simply bought one?  who cares if it was the one sitting out front or a new one.


    i don't understand. are you suggesting that rocco promised something and then didn't follow through?

    besides, the article claims that vespa supplied "a trendy Italian scooter". i saw several lined up out front. and i've heard nothing that suggests that vespa took it or any back.

    no, i was expressing doubt that the restaurant BOUGHT one for an employee, it was part of the deal with the show, up to producers to use scooters as fit. mind you, giving her a vespa was brilliant product placement. not only that, it created conflict, which is what producers of shows like this look for. how many times was the word "vespa" uttered? how many shots of vespa for our viewing pleasure? he could have driven her, you know. or send her home to change on a subway, like the other guys.

  5. ""I kind of put my energy out there and hope things work out," he said. "It's always great when people talk about you. Everyone loves accolades. Everyone loves to be loved." "

    He might want to rethink that now, especially if he checked out this board.

    the ego doesn't concern itself with pesky little boards

  6. Did the guests have to sign a waiver upon entering to allow their images to be used in a TV show?

    No, the guests didn't have to sign anything. My brother lives in that building and throughout the filming they had a sign up that said "if you are reading this sign you have given your consent to be on TV".

  7. overall, i think the review was pretty accurate--wonderful food but the service/decor is a bit old-fashioned and not in line with newer Italian restaurants such as Babbo, Fiamma or L'Impero. not that it's worse--it's just different/a bit dated in those respects esp. for someone younger looking for a scene. the food is infinitely superior to all the other places (sorry Mario, you almost poisoned me the last time with the braised fennel salad grease trip). actually, i don't think grimes said anything about the dercor, it's just my impression. reviewing a restaurant on a Sunday night in July is not exactly a friendly gesture, you're bound to encounter "the B-team." i guess the idea is that every night should be the same but let's face it, the reality is it's not. most chefs are off on Sunday anyway.

    if you think the food sounded good, you should go--there is a $50 three course prix fixe with a glass of wine that the times mentions but what it doesn't say is that you choose your 3 courses from the a la carte menu! as far as nyc prices go, it's a great deal

  8. as he slips into a banquette of a bevy of blondes:
    • "When people come to Rocco's, they want to see Rocco. So, the most important thing I can do is be with my customers"

    he he, of course we noticed. we also noticed that he only feels like fulfilling the expectations of female customers--he never forces himself on a table of men...

    Eric Ripert was definitely recycled from previous episodes, so were food shots. how many ppl out there know/care about Ripert? Gina Gershon is a bigger draw and more recognizable to national audiences. and that's who the producers go after, ignoring the fact that most ppl who watch the show are into food and more likely to lust after a meatball than Gina...

    similarly, Rocco will go out of his way to lure female employees back, but made only a half-assed effort to keep his "best waiter." don't tell me he didn't realize the vespa, salary & promotion would piss the rest of the staff off. just more drama for the camera. 'cause you gotta keep it real. ah, and what a happy ending, ppl loving food once Rocco rolls a few meatballs and has a revelation. or maybe it was the blessing? what happened with the meatballs that were not blessed? will they arrive cold again? can customers order their meatballs blessed or not? if it weren't for yoga's eye rolling excercises, my eyesballs would be stuck in the back of my head permanently by now

  9. interestingly enough, someone i used to know worked at union pacific briefly and when he called fron the restaurant he'd say "i'm calling from jail''--a reference to the fact that the staff were not allowed much freedom or many phonecalls from the payphone. i believe there was a "no talk/minimum talk at work" policy, as well. not sure how true it is, definitely very different from what kitchen environment is in most restaurants. would certainly explain lack of relation to staff

  10. When a product that sponsors the show is represented as being objectively endorsed, it's deceptive.

    i agree, and it's heavy-handed, insulting, annoying as hell. and then you get the commercials. but it is not that new--how about chefs/hosts endorsing sponsor's products on PBS cooking shows? they are produced the same way (production company secures sponsors to pay for the show then sells it to individual stations), the push is, mercifully, somewhere between "the restaurant" and "queer eye." it's still $$ for the show and whoever stars in it--surely they don't endorse only and exclusively their absolutely favorite products? they use sponsors' products on the show, do they use them at home? does it matter? nobody complained that Jacques Pepin poured sponsor's wines to go with his food on his show... is it a question of trust in the endorser? the product? of having mitsubishi, amex and coors shoved down our collective throat just a touch too forcefully?

    tommy, was not using amex a conscious, defiant decision or were you saying that all that advertising and placement hasn't made you reach for the product yet?

  11. there seems to be so much confusion about the show--who paid for it, how's NBC involved etc. one of the reasons that "reality tv" is so popular with the networks is that it's cheap programming for the networks (and ppl can't get enough of sb else's "reality")--the production cost is covered sb else.

    a production company (in this case, mark burnett productions, which produces survivor) raises money by selling sponsorship. it's the sponsors who pay for everything and that's why product placement is so pervasive on the show. the drama about having to open but needing another week was not about a 1000 reservations, calling ppl to cancel and losing $$. Well. it was about losing $$--the production company's $$. When you hire a crew, you hire a crew, delays are costly, and shcedul for editing was tight.

    by the way, product placement is the future of tv, we're going to see more and more of it, as nauseating as it is. queer eye for the straight guy is doing it too (the products must receive the boy's seal of aproval). more to come, i'm sure.

    rocco's show is terribly manipulated and has as much to do with reality as rocco does with cooking at the restaurant. enough was said about that. the show follows the same principles as any script--set the stage, introduce conflict, add more conflict, then resolution/climax when the hero redeems himself. always go to a commercial at a dramatic point (ditto for eposode end). now spread that over 6 episodes and presto! retch, retch.

    the night linda stasi was there (Posts's TV critic, mind you), rocco was briefly shown talking to his publicist (a girl, not the guy from the 1st episode). of course, they knew she was coming, even the pr ppl were on hand. everyhting is controlled, staged and manipulated. i was at the opening party, which they didn't acknowledge as such--they just used the footage to pad the friends & family night and following evenings; e.g. showing drew nieporent and other chefs, a waitress drinking with guests, showing a pretty full restaurant (the weeks after the filming stopped but before the show premiered, rocco's was very slow and getting a reservation was not a problem).

    by the way, will he ever learn how to pronounce linda stasi's name? i guess we'll find out on sunday.

    what does everyone think--will it hurt his professional reputation or amplify it? i think that as a serious chef he'll get a beating for chasing fame & $$, but ultimately, he may become a more bank-able chef to open a restaurant and do other projects. few chefs after 40 want to spend the time in the kitchen, it's a rough environment and physicallly very demanding. and the culture is so celebrity-obsessed that the food is an afterthought for high profile chefs anyway

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