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Everything posted by therese

  1. I'm adding on to this thread, as we just paid a similar to visit to Coney Island and Brighton Beach (except that it was hot and sunny) anybody who find this thread might find our experience at Primorski Restaurant helpful. Primorksi is located on Brighton Beach Ave, so not directly on the boardwalk. There is apparently entertainment in the evenings, but we were there for the lunch special ($4.99 for three courses as per the web---it might have been another $0.50 or so more on our visit, but still pretty remarkable). The room is large and dark, with a dance floor at the back. The tables were dressed for dinner (seems like there were pink tablecloths), and the whole enterprise feels very nightclub-ish even during the day. Not surprisingly I had to ask for the lunch special menu, but service was otherwise correct, if not exactly jovial (and not particularly anglophone, but then that's part of the charm). Lunch started with salad of cabbage and carrots, dressed in a fairly sour vinaigrette. I also ordered an assortment of salads from the a la carte menu (which included potato salad and red beans with walnuts and other things I don't recall, possibly because I decided to drink not one but two 16.9 oz Ochakovo beers, which each run a whomping $4.00 and are pretty tasty). I had borscht (Ukrainian, a hot version with lots of vegetables, pretty hearty) and the others had kharcho, a lamb and rice soup that they all liked (though my daughter eschewed some of the less meaty bits of lamb). For my main I had kupaty (Georgian sausage) served with mashed potatoes, husband had stuffed veal (stuffed veal breast with some sort of forcemeat stuffing, which of course he wasn't expecting, and bothered to ask what I thought "stuffed veal" might be), son had blintzes stuffed with meat (reportedly tasty), and daughter had Russian crepes with jam. Lunch comes with coffee or tea at the end, but we skipped it and dessert as well, as we were stuffed, and anticipating possible consumption of sweets later that afternoon at Coney Island. All in all a very pleasant (and inexpensive) lunch. I've not eaten elsewhere in Brighton Beach, so have nothing to compare it to, but we enjoyed it.
  2. Day 6: It's Friday, and time for another trip to the outer boroughs. Brooklyn again, starting with Brighton Beach (I'm linking to this thread because of the photos, as we didn't take any of food interest---just imagine that docsconz et al. are experiencing a sunny, hot day). The original plan was to start our day at Coney Island and finish up with dinner and a show at a Russian night club. An initial search suggested that National would provide the best combination of over-the-top entertainment and reasonable food, and so I booked via email, but a few days before we were due to leave I got email notifying me that they'd decided to close on Friday for maintenance (or possibly a private party or a staff holiday) and would we be able to come on Saturday instead (with a promise of free champagne and a discount on dinner)? But we couldn't, and I figured it was fate, and so we ended up in Brighton Beach for lunch instead. We ate at Primorski, which is located on Brighton Beach Ave rather than directly on the boardwalk (where waiters were actively soliciting business from the passers by). Primorksi's does offer a show in the evenings as well, but we were there in part to take advantage of the lunch special. I'll post details of the meal to the above linked Brighton Beach thread. After lunch we caught the train down to Coney Island, where we strolled on the boardwalk (me shaded by an umbrella---my husband and I were both struck by the fact that nobody on the beach had a parasol, insanity from our southern perspective), all road on the Cyclone, and then had ice cream for dessert (chocolate Italian ice for me---I don't know where we it was from, as the children obligingly fetched it while I relaxed on a bench under a pavilion). Oh, and they also rode the go carts. On the way home we stopped in Brighton Beach to buy pastries from a woman selling them from a stand in front of one of the shops (poppy seed, sweet cheese, apricots and cheese, and blueberry) and some fresh fruit for my daughter and me(blueberries, red cherries, and white cherries). Very old world, very cool for the kids. I stayed in for dinner, sending the family out to forage. They returned with sushi, which I ate in bed.
  3. Picnic tables are the work of the devil, or somebody else who doesn't want us to sit and enjoy a nice leisurely meal: no padding, no support for your back. I'm guessing that Puritans were somehow involved.
  4. Thanks. Maybe I'll just make a point of visiting NYC as often as possible. Bajillions of restaurants yet to try...
  5. Dinner at The Modern two Thursdays ago with my husband, fellow eGulleteer FabulousFoodBabe, and her husband. We were visiting from out of town (from Atlanta), our second visit this year (once without children, once with). First visit to The Modern for all of us. Fabulous booked dinner early, as Mr. Foodbabe works nearby. The original plan was dinner at 6:30 following drinks at the Four Seasons, but either Fabulous inadvertently booked us at 6:00 instead, or The Modern decided that we'd be hungry early. In any case we showed up on time, and were ushered to our very nice table, a very cushy upholstered black booth that afforded all of us lovely views of the garden on the other side of the two (maybe three) story glass wall that runs the length of the restaurant. The view was particularly cool that evening as it featured very loud, very exciting storms all evening. Despite the early hour the bar was hopping and the dining room already busy. We all had cocktails (a sidecar for me, ensuring that I can't recall every last detail of the meal). Cocktails were accompanied by pumpkin seeds and something else. I think. Maybe Fabulous can help me here. Three amuses were next, all plated together. One was a sort of pasta/rice paper demilune (no recall whatsoever of the filling), the second was a beet something other (called a tapenade?) on toast (described as crostini, except that the server was describing it in the singular, so one of those very slightly jarring grammar moments), and the third was a small skewer of several items, among which I recall watermelon and feta. This last item was described as a "broo-sket-ta" and at this point I became very confused indeed, as the only thing on the plate that looked anything at all like bruschetta had already been described, and the item in question looked very much like a brochette. And then I realized that our server (or somebody instructing him) had confused bruschetta (frequently mispronounced in the U.S. as "broo-shet-ta") and brochette (correctly pronounced as "bro-shet). So, at least an A for effort, even if I did end up so confused that I'd begun to question the wisdom of ordering a sidecar on an empty stomach. For dinner proper I started with seared foie gras with cherries, followed by lobster with corn, and finally milk chocolate dacquoise. The seared foie gras was excellent, and the milk chocolate dacquoise was absolutely fantastic. I don't usually have chocolate after a meal, but since I particularly like milk chocolate and also particularly like dacquoise I got it anyway, and it was lovely. My main course was problematic, though, and under different circumstances I would likely have asked for a replacement. It was too salty. I like salty food, and if anything sometimes find upmarket food to be a bit undersalted, but this was just too salty. Not inedible, but not great, and certainly not what I expected in this setting. Turned out Mr. FoodBabe's main was also too salty, but in the end neither of us brought it up with our server, instead discussing the possible effect of smoking on the palates of the kitchen staff. Or maybe nobody was actually tasting the food. Somewhere along the line (after dessert, I think) we were brought little cones of sweet stuff (hmm, something with berries?), and then a large assortment of petits fours. Our server actually suggested that might take these home, and for the first time ever we did so, as a treat for the children. These were nicely boxed up for us to pick up at the hostess stand on our way out, along with small loaves of cake for breakfast the next AM (though these turned out to be a lot more like babas au rhum than banana bread, so maybe not the breakfast of champions). So, very nice evening all around. Service very attentive, if a bit "young", and decor/ambience excellent. Food uneven, but more winners than losers, and had I brought it to our server's attention I'm sure it would have been remedied immediately.
  6. PJ is baby number two. He's human baby number one, but overall baby number one is the canine. ← The first is not, I hope, as "gear-intensive" as the second.
  7. Day 5, continued: We had 6:30 reservations for dinner at The Modern, early because Mr. FoodBabe works nearby so he could meet us for drinks right after work. Fabulous took the train into GCT and we relaxed in the living room at Morgans Hotel while my husband finished getting ready. We introduced the children and then sent them upstairs, catching a cab to the Seagrams building, where we'd planned on having drinks at the Four Seasons before dinner. But The Modern had apparently moved our reservation up to 6:00, so instead we all just walked there directly, under very threatening skies. Detailed review of our meal at The Modern on the restaurant-specific thread (as soon as I get to it), but bottom line service and food a bit uneven, offset by excellent company and fantastic views of the evening's deluge. Attempts to catch a cab in Midtown after dinner entirely fruitless, so we had a nice stroll home to find the children already asleep.
  8. I don't hear that every day. ← I calls 'em like I sees 'em. And your your van's nowhere near full. Wait till baby #2 shows up...
  9. He volunteered that it was a "wrap" of some sort. Maybe that's what he meant. ← Hold it, hippos don't have shells.
  10. Day 5: Having spent a relatively late night out we slept in a bit later than usual and didn't really get going until about 11:00 on Thursday. We already had early-ish dinner plans (with FabulousFoodBabe and Mr. FoodBabe), so knew we'd only manage to squeeze in one other meal. So we took the subway north to the eastern edge of Central Park and strolled across it, our final goal being Barney Greengrass. As neither child's ever lived far enough north to experience a real deli, and both like smoked fish, this was a place we didn't want to miss. So imagine our chagrin when they turned out to be closed. Yes, closed for a summer holiday, which I don't begrudge them, but oh, how disappointing. We were pretty hungry by this point, and I hadn't made back up plans, so we just walked in the very next place we saw, Popover Cafe. A bit grungy, but busy, and I figured that was sufficient recommendation in this setting. We were seated in a booth in the bar area, which was nice because we had good views of the street as well as the door to the kitchen. I had borscht (which comes with a popover, very good), a nice hot beefy version with a dollop of sour cream. Husband also soup, I think, but possibly a special. Son had a hamburger (he wanted to know the difference between the regular hamburger and the Kobe beef burger and I told him, "Five dollars") and daughter had a tuna salad sandwich on a popover. The kids had ice cream sundaes for dessert, both of them obscenely large. I took the train home to rest and shower before meeting Fabulous (arriving shortly at GCT) while the rest of the family visited more of Central Park and picked up take-out for the kids' dinner.
  11. He volunteered that it was a "wrap" of some sort. Maybe that's what he meant.
  12. Day 4, continued: Forgot to mention above that we stopped for ice cream on the way home from "The Drowsy Chaperone." I can't recall the name of the place: sort of a fancy dinner, on a corner, brightly lit with lots of mirrored tiled. Server originally so surly that I nearly pulled the plug and walked out, but then we ordered, and our competence apparently won him over. I had a chocolate egg cream, and the rest of the family had various permutations of sundaes or milk shakes. I also forgot the mention that the Bronx Zoo actually did show up on the family's "food radar": when my son later asked the rest of us what had been the worst meal of the trip they all answered, unanimously, "The food at the Bronx Zoo." I didn't ask for details, but my husband actually shuddered when contemplating it.
  13. therese

    Al di Là

    The great deal of effort was really to see our friends, as last time they'd made the trek into Manhattan to dine with us (at 66). And it's not like riding the subway is huge effort in any case. I think that it being Sunday night might have made the difference---leaving the poppy seeds off the casunziei suggests that the "B" team was running the kitchen.
  14. There's another outer boroughs day coming up, so stay tuned.
  15. Ooh, the secret to searching. Thanks! It's a good measure of just how much fun we had that the heat didn't really make much difference in the end. And it was significantly cooler than it had been the previous week.
  16. therese


    An early dinner two Wednesdays ago with husband and children (13 and 16) prior to a show at the Marquis, "The Drowsy Chaperone." We walked from the hotel (Morgans at Madison and E. 37th), which offers the opportunity to see all sorts of restaurants along the way that we most definitely didn't want to visit, as well as lots of opportunity for the kids to taunt me: "Hey, Mom, look, it's the Hard Rock Cafe! And Olive Garden---ooh, we've never been to Olive Garden!" They're such cards. This was our second visit to Tintol, and a few things have changed in the interim. The most important is that they now take reservations, so if you are trying to make a curtain you might want to consider that option, particularly on the weekend. We were still able to get a table, but the restaurant was largely full by the time we arrived. They've also dropped some of the more interesting beverages, including some cocktails and (I believe) digestifs that I'd tried and liked last visit. The food is still great, and service fine in spite of the place being packed. We had... piquillos with brandade cheese platter (can't recall specifics, as we were inhaling the food) grilled octopus almondegas potato salad with tuna and olives (though I was sort of underwhelmed by the olives in this one) papas bravas (very spicy) ovos verdes (two orders) No time for dessert, so I don't know if those options have changed. Excellent value, service and kitchen both very efficient, and we had no trouble making our curtain.
  17. Lightweight. Watermelon consumption only reaches the "alarming" level when you're each polishing off an entire large one. PJ's just stunning, by the way.
  18. Day 4: It's Wednesday, and since my daughter wants to visit the Bronx Zoo, and I don't like zoos very much under the best of circumstances (and between heat and the fact that Wednesday is free admission at the Bronx Zoo this visit will occur under conditions that are far from optimal) my husband agrees to let me hang out in Manhattan for the day. Note that "hang out in Manhattan" is super secret female code for "go shopping." I did plan on heading downtown to try out the new branch of Unique Pastry that I'd noticed mentioned in a blurb in that morning's New York Times (I actually took one of the papers from Morgan's breakfast service so that I could tear it out) but was too tired from shopping (really, I was) and didn't want to ruin my dinner that evening. We had plans to see "The Drowsy Chaperone" so went for an early dinner at Tintol, which was very good and very convenient.
  19. therese

    Bondi Road

    Dinner a couple of Tuesdays ago with my husband and two teen-aged kids. It was the end to a fairly long day of touring, so we were fairly early, probably about 6:00. Only a couple of other tables occupied when we arrived, and the staff was clearly adjusting to the new menu format: you pick the fish you'd like, and then add sides (one side being included the price of the fish). The owner stopped by to chat several times during the meal, and we pointed out a couple of issue that he already knew about, including extremely wobbly tables (exacerbated if you're sitting at the high bar tables along the banquette) and the lack of a foot rest for patrons sitting on the banquette, such that eventually the circulation to your feet is compromised (as reported by both of the kids). Apparently they've just had a new (bright yellow) floor installed and are still making some finishing touches to other physical aspects of the space. I asked about the tasting menu when we first arrived, and it is still available, and is essentially the same as described in Eatmywords' original post except that it's now $35 and is served in three courses: three starters, three small servings of fish (varies as to availability) with three small sides, and dessert. We got two tasting menus to share among the four of us (which the server actually suggested was a possibility) and rounded out the meal with an extra fish main course accompanied by potato salad. Overall nice for a neighborhood sort of place. Fish very nicely done, though I found some of the sides on the tasting menu difficult to distinguish. The pavlova's meringue had wilted in the humidity. Were I to return I'd probably skip the tasting menu and go for the new menu format. It was very busy by the time we left, about 8:00.
  20. therese

    Al di Là

    And it was a lovely evening. Given that I'd picked the restaurant in part because I knew it would be convenient for them it worked out nicely. And they both clearly enjoyed their meals, so that was also nice.
  21. Thanks for the link. I'd seen that somebody had managed to find it recently, but then couldn't remember who and so it was still lost to me. Details of our meal now posted to the Al di La thread.
  22. therese

    Al di Là

    Dinner here a couple of Sundays ago with my husband and children (their first visit to NYC---you can check out the other places we dined here) and a couple of friend who live a short bike ride away from Al di La. We were a bit late (having taken the subway, and estimated too little time for the trip) for our scheduled rendezvous of 5:45 PM, but our friends had done some fast talking and scored us a large enough table in the adjacent wine bar around the corner. I can't quite recall what all of us consumed, but I'll do my best: Daughter: Carpaccio, followed by Tagliatelle al Ragu, followed by Gianduiotto Son: appetizer I can't recall, followed by Fegato alla Veneziana, followed by Gianduiotto Husband: appetizer I can't recall, followed by Spaghetti alle Vongole, followed by sorbet Me: Grilled Sardines with Arugula, followed by Casunziei, followed by an almond and apricot tart Our friends: only vague details Service was friendly but uneven, with lots of misplaced dishes and confusion over whether we'd ordered something or not. But okay for a trattoria. Food was similarly uneven. High points were the carpaccio, tagliatelle, calves liver (by report) and spaghetti with clams (again by report). My grilled sardines were okay, nothing special. The casunziei (ravioli stuffed with beets and ricotta) were positively afloat in butter and grated cheese that overwhelmed whatever flavor the filling might have had, and without the expected poppy seeds. My dessert featured a dry, not-too-tasty nut crust and insufficient fruit to make up for it. The children had both chosen a dessert, gianduiotto, described as "chocolate ice cream with hazelnuts served in a tall glass with whipped cream." They'd both had gianduiotto candies before, and so were a bit nonplussed to find the dessert comprised almost entirely of whipped cream, with relatively little in the way of either ice cream or nuts. My daughter's not a huge fan of whipped cream (some is okay, just not an entire glass of it) so her brother ate most of her dessert. So, in summary, a nice neighborhood place, but I can't recommend going out of your way to eat there, at least based on our visit (and of course your mileage may vary, etc.).
  23. Day 3: Today is Tuesday, and we've specifically planned to go the American Museum of Natural History, not because there's anything particularly special going on there, but because we wanted to go to Barney Greengrass, and Barney Greengrass isn't open on Monday. Having eaten breakfast a bit late, though, we decide to head directly to the museum. We eat lunch at the museum food court, and it is, um, icky. Later that day I skip out on the family's visit to the Lizards & Snakes: Alive! exhibit and hang out with a beer at Cafe on 4, which to my chagrin is featuring what looks like pretty decent Oaxacan food (which of course nobody was eating, though I was sorely tempted to go ahead and get a tamale even though I wasn't hungry). Try and score a table near the windows if you go to Cafe on 4 during your visit---really nice views. The museum closes, and we take the subway to see Ground Zero, and then make our way to dinner at Bondi Road. Home to bed.
  24. therese

    Blaue Gans

    Dinner last Monday at Blaue Gans with my husband. We were visiting NYC with the kids (details of the visit here) but fortunately the day's activities had exhausted them, and so we were left free for a late-ish dinner. We arrived at about 8:00 to find the restaurant about one quarter occupied. Service prompt and friendly, as per our last visit. Husband asked for help choosing a wine, a white, but as it was stored someplace cold between pours I don't recall seeing the label myself. Anyway, very nice. I started with a special, gazpacho, and husband had English pea soup with mint and pineapple. I continued with a special of veal sweetbreads with gnocchi (described as gnocchi, though they were actually shaped more like fingers than knuckles) and peaches, and husband had some sort of schnitzel. For dessert I had poached peach with elderflower sorbet and husband had Black Forest coupe, once again breaking the rule against ever eating anything bigger than your head. In fact, now that I think of it, the veal sweetbreads were supposed to have been an appetizer, and the mere idea that somebody could consume that dish and then go on to another savory course strikes me as improbable. I wasn't able to finish it. Of course, I've never actually seen Sneakeater eat.
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