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Everything posted by Curlz

  1. Must confess that I haven't been down to AP much in the last year, but I have friends who go frequently; where is this place? Is it on a main street? I'm curious to know how AP is doing in general; when I've been down there on non-summer weekends, it seems that the only restaurant that's really packed is Bistro Ole or the new(ish) bar/rest to the right of Market in the Middle--but that gets a younger crowd and it's certainly not all about the food.
  2. According to a post on CH, Fink sent out the following email: "I don't work there anymore. I will be taking catering orders for the spring at finksfunky@optonline.net. Keep an eye on www.finksfunky.net for updates!! I should have a smoker equiped kitchen too work out of in a few weeks. Thanks for your support, Fink "
  3. That Danny Meyer is one smart guy.
  4. A sign at the bar/restaurant across from Smitty's (City something?) says Smitty's BBQ is now available there...
  5. Okay, some of you may scream loudly that I'm very late to the party, but a certain eG pal of mine just called to ask if I've ever heard of Fette Sau, and I must admit that I hadn't; and neither had he. With all of the reading I do here and elsewhere, I'm wondering how it slipped under the radar. It's obviously been around for a couple of years already. FetteSau website TALK TO ME, PEOPLE! Thanks! Curlz
  6. I'll add my vote for Carol Murphy Clyne...she used to run the Viking Cooking School (which I would no longer recommend) and I worked with her for a while. She and her husband are both knowledgeable, lovely people--and you'll have FUN, too!
  7. Funny...I'VE been wanting to get there since posting this.
  8. I'm assuming that one could also spend a decent amount of money (with wine) at The Manor, Highlawn Pavillion, Rats, or David Drake...but I still don't think we're talking Per Se prices. Fwiw, there's a difference between wanting the best MEAL vs. the most expensive. Sounds like her boss is a tool who just wants to impress someone with $ signs. Yeesh.
  9. Friends are planning a family party for about 100 people here in a few months; I've never heard of it. Any feedback (good or bad) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Curlz
  10. Curlz


    I've never objected to the stemware at Blu, but I have at other places--but have never (doubt I would ever) bring my own. That said, if you're particular enough to post this question, I'd suggest you bring your Reidels just in case--but see what you think of theirs before you (no pun intended) break yours out! My two cents. Also--expect them to whisk your bottle away after they pour--if you object, just tell them you want to keep it at the table. Have a GREAT meal! And happy birthday!
  11. Next door gets a Very Good in today's NYTimes... Click here to read it The only disagreement I have with Mr. Corcoran is about the chilled corn and cantaloupe soup...I had it a few weeks ago at Blu as an amuse, and again at Next Door the following week, and my family was fighting me for it once I let them try it! I thought the chili oil really balanced out the mellowness of the other main ingredients, but hey--at least he agrees with me about the basil ice cream! The bolognese is also amazing; it's one of my niece's favorites when we go there--although she also scarfed down the calamari salad with avocado, cucumber, and sesame-ginger vinaigrette on this last visit. I completely concur that with the prices being what they are at Next Door, the place should be packed all the time; not sure what the issue is, as everyone I talk to who has been there raves about the food and the prices. Why anyone would head to a diner when you can get such a high quality meal at a low price is beyond me! ETA: Zod is really getting a LOT of nice press...there's a feature article about him in this month's (restaurant) issue of NJ Monthly as well.
  12. Simply as follow-up to my earlier statement, I knew those pies weren't Roberto's because I've never seen that much char on a crust he has made. This is coming from a non-pizza expert, but from someone who knew the first time she had his pizza that it was something VERY special. I've never been disappointed by his technique, or the taste of the crust. Haven't had a neopolitan pizza anywhere else that matches it, either!
  13. As I was reading this post and looking at the pictures, I kept thinking "Those aren't Roberto's pizza's..." And now I have my answer. Not saying it's a good thing that you aren't getting the same quality when he's not at the oven--but that's the only explanation I could imagine. I think his crust is exquisite, no matter what toppings are involved!
  14. Curlz


    I've been remiss in not posting about a fantastic dinner that I had recently at Blu, but someone is holding out on the photos. So in the interest of spreading the love, here's the tasting menu that six of us had: Chilled corn soup w/almonds, cantaloupe, chili oil--STUNNING. Sounds bizarre, but trust me that every one of us said "WOW" as we tasted it! I believe that on the menu it includes shrimp when ordered as a first course. Gravlax over avocado w/vanilla oil, soy caramel --another thing that makes you go "Hmm...?" when you read it, but trust me--an amazing combination of flavors! This is a dish that's normally served as salmon tartare w/the same components (Sans avocado, irrc) but with a quenelle of smoked ice cream on top. It's fantastic that way, too. Summer risotto w/poached egg, a TINY (just right, imo) amount of white truffle oil, and chives. Note: I'm normally killed on the fullness scale by risotto; not here...this was the perfect amount (remember, it was a tasting!) and somehow, it was light. LOVELY. Scallops over pureed cauliflower (SWOON) w/black olive oil dust and black olive oil paint. Great crust on the scallop (and in my case, Cod), and one person at the table declared this was the most perfectly-cooked and best scallop he had ever had. Escolar with PEANUTS and a beautiful green sauce under it that had just a decent amount of kick to it, and small amount of foam on top (Can you tell that I missed the full description? Perhaps someone else will chime in...) This was a course that the chef sent out as a bonus, and it was wonderful. I don't believe I've ever had escolar, but I've read about it, and thought it was great--and (obviously) perfectly cooked. Duck breast over braised red cabbage with caramelized turnip, red wine and fig reduction* (SO thick we were wiping it up w/bread) I know it's not necessarily a July-sounding dish, but I. DON'T. CARE. A ridiculous volume of desserts then hit the table, and we just kept passing them around, although SOME people were a little too protective of their plates! My favorite was without question the Black olive oil cake with basil ice cream,* and orange 'custard'* . SWOON x4. Really. I'm not a sugar freak, so I'm always attracted to a more savory approach to dessert, but this just blew me away. Incredible flavors, each so beautifully defined that it seems like they only had the main ingredient in them--if that makes any sense! For the rest of the dessert freaks, we had (with apologies to the chef for not remembering them all in great detail): P.B. ice cream, dark choc cake Hazelnut mousse (?) over a small mocha cake w/fried bananas Coconut panna cotta (didn't try it as I'm not a big coconut fan and I was busy stealing basil ice cream) Banana cake (?) Dark chocolate combo plate w/strawberries Apple/peanut butter Napoleon [damn good too] *I'd like to bathe in this. Another spectacular dinner at Blu. It's that simple. Had to share!
  15. Not sure why I'm stumbling upon nothing but closings today, but the Bergen Record food blog reports that Smitty's has closed.
  16. Curlz


    Just read that Ox closed rather suddenly this past week...full story on their home page. If any restaurant owners/managers in the area are reading this and looking for staff, it sounds like theirs was a rather loyal group--and they're now in need of jobs!
  17. Curlz

    David Drake

    Great info...thanks very much! Curlz
  18. Curlz

    David Drake

    Can you DD fans (helloooo, Randi!) tell me your favorite tables/why? The owner of our company (a ridiculously particular man) thinks DD is one of his favorite new places, but he was saying that he's not sure about sitting in one room vs. the other. Fwiw, he prefers a square or round table vs. one where 2-3 people sit on each side. (I said he was PARTICULAR)...in any case, your suggestions/reasoning would be greatly appreciated, as I've never been there. Thanks in advance!
  19. Curlz

    Chengdu 1

    Separate of the new chairs being wooden and pretty, they're FAR more comfortable than the old ones! Had another delicious dinner last night. Sometimes I think the hot and spicy prawns actually CALL me.
  20. Bump: The new iteration of the Riverside Farmers Market opened on Friday. I think it's called Green Farm Market, but I'll confirm the next time I drive past. The manicurist I use in the same building told me that the sushi bar inside the store is now separately owned--by a guy who really knows his sushi. That part isn't open yet and the store isn't 100% restocked, but other than some empty shelves, I wouldn't have known it had changed hands since the last time I was in there if I didn't know it for sure! Signs even look the same, and they're handwritten. Baby bok choy was 1.29/lb Asparagus 2.49 a bunch, Baby bellas were 1.79 Zucchini .79/lb If they maintain the same quality of produce as the previous owners, I'll be there twice a week again, as the Lyndhurst Shop-Rite's produce is hit or miss, depending on the day. Also now open over there: the liquor store and (in place of Java's Brewin') a "sports cafe/bar" that has free valet parking at night. Haven't been to either.
  21. According to a post on Chowhound, Front Street closed about 6 weeks ago. I hope those guys are still competing and that they resurface somewhere with more traffic so they can make more of a go of it!
  22. What he said. Verbatim.
  23. Curlz


    Thanks, all. Sadly, I'm already back, and didn't have PC access (which was actually a VERY nice thing) while I was on LBI. I didn't know the island geography well enough to know where we'd be when I originally posted, but Mrs. Fink had our neighborhood pegged! We were staying all of a block from M&M Steam Bar and just decided it looked like it had to be good (basically a fish market w/some random tables out front--BYO, and we were glad we went! A few of us had their Summer Salad special; a good mix of greens + grilled eggplant, peppers, squash w/a choice of grilled or blackened tuna, mahi, or salmon. I had the grilled tuna and despite having ordered it raw, it was cooked through and DELICIOUS. I was far too hungry to send it back. Everyone was happy with their dinners, and we were proud of ourselves for trying it. We also hit the "Chegg" as they call the Chicken and the Egg...tasty enough food, but we wish we had been there for breakfast instead of dinner, but our options that night were few as it was late and the island was empty. The Chegg was one of the few places that was busy/not closed/not about to close. Of all things, the fish burrito was a big hit at our table. I had a half rack of ribs that were fine, but nothing exciting. Still wishing that one of us had ordered some wings, as they're the specialty. Next time. Best breakfast was at the Dockside Diner, and my favorite ice cream was the Maine Blueberry at the Skipper Dipper, but we also liked The Meltdown , which is right across from M&M (I had black raspberry there that was v. good). We also found Leo's Yum Yum a couple of blocks south of the ferris wheel, which is the only place we saw selling all homemade ice cream. Come to think of it, the Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin I had there was darn good TOO. Seriously--a ton of good cinnamon, and it was full of raisins and basically tasted like a cookie. NOTHING wrong with that! The Custard Hut, which is closer to Surf City, was NOT. GOOD. 'nuf said.
  24. Curlz


    I've done a search for LBI and nothing shows up on the NJ board...?!? Any/all suggestions for all kinds of places would be greatly appreciated, as a quick trip down there just came up (and supposedly the SUN will also be there!). Ice cream, bars, restaurants, sandwich shops...bring it on, please! Thanks much. Curlz
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