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Everything posted by Curlz

  1. As far as I can tell, they'll all be getting there on their own. Most of the clients are going to the conference, but those who don't will be coming from within a pretty short distance. I guess anywhere that is within a cab ride or T stop from the Westin and/or has parking--so all options! I would likely keep them in Boston (vs. Cambridge, for instance), but throw your good ideas my way and I'll share links/menus/distances with her as needed. THANKS!
  2. My boss has just asked me to help her find a few restaurants in Boston for some upcoming client lunches and dinners. She'll be at a conference at the new Westin Boston Waterfront, and I'm at a total loss as it's (sadly) been years since my friends lived in/around the city! For reference, the last time she was up there, she had lunch at Brasserie Jo and at Stephanie's on Newbury. Dinner was at Hammersly's Bistro, which she really enjoyed, and said she would return to except for the fact that our clients will think it's the only place we know up there. We're looking for non-chain places that aren't overly formal, but where the food and drinks/wine are good. Budget isn't a major issue, but $50-60pp isn't unreasonable, so don't hold back on the good spots! At least one of the dinners will involve a small group (8-10), so if there are any recommendations for restaurants with a semi-private (semi- is actually preferred over a full private room) space, that would be great too. Thanks in advance for your help, my fellow eGulleteers! Curlz
  3. For those of you who were fans of Roberto's pizza while he was at A Mano, there's good news! Definitely worth a re-visit.
  4. Curlz


    Was at Stamna last night for a birthday dinner with 6 friends...as usual, a wonderful meal and a terrific experience; I'm hardly a regular, but the owner and a few staff members always seem to remember my face <grin> and even if they're faking it (don't think so), they make us feel SO welcome every time, which is always a nice way to start. The food was wonderful, as always. I could just make a meal out of the apps...the cold dips, the grilled octopus tentacles (YUUUUUUUUUM), gigantes, makarounes...well, I do have my favorites there; that's for sure! The place was packed as usual, and in my conversation with the owner, he said the review I mentioned upthread has only increased traffic--even during the week. There aren't too many restaurant owners who are able to say that these days-that's for sure. If you're going on a weekend night, I'd highly recommend a reservation, and even then, you have to go and know that you might wait--Stamna's a place where you don't really want to leave once you're settled in!
  5. Curlz


    Stamna is written up in today's NJ Dining section of the NYTimes... Corcoran gave it a Good, but the review reads more like a Very, at least imo. Odd. If anyone understands the logic of how they determine good vs. very, I'd love to hear it!
  6. Thanks, Pam and baroness! Good to know about those. Since posting, a chef pal has agreed to take me to a section of nearby Paterson where I may also find it. I'm hoping to get it in time to serve on Sunday, but if not, I'll go on line.
  7. Bumping this thread, because I have only just tried Zaatar for the first time last week, and I'm totally addicted (are you sure it doesn't contain CRACK)?!? My problem is that I can't find a local source (still trying)--do any of you know of a good online source for it? I want the blend... Btw, sprinkle it in Fage yogurt, drizzle a little olive oil on top, and...WOW!
  8. Curlz

    Chengdu 1

    Gong Hey Fat Choy! A group of us were at C1 last night for our annual Chinese New Year outing...thought I'd share, especially since some of these dishes are only on the special New Year's menu for a few weeks: -Spicy Baby Wontons (a sub for a crab and __ soup b/c we just LOVE these) -Steamed (boneless) spare ribs in lotus leaves*** -Lamb chops -Crab with rice cakes -Scallops in ginger -Peking duck -2 whole fish; one in a sweet sauce with pignoli nuts on top, the other was fried/crunchy with a somewhat...er...let's say fermented flavor to it. -Spicy Jumbo Prawns -Sauteed Snow Pea tips -Sliced lotus root in orange sauce (GORGEOUS) -Double-cooked pork (belly) w/fermented black beans* (We opted to have this for dessert instead of the sweet that was on the menu. Really.) We also added Ma Po Tofu, as our C1 virgin said it's one of his favorite dishes. Let's just say it passed his test. The lotus-wrapped spare ribs were fantastic; the meat took on a beautiful floral flavor, which we all assume came from the leaf. Prawns were stunning, and of course, we doubled that order. And the lotus root was one of the best palate cleansers I can recall anywhere! The menu showed $348 for 10 people (it's slightly higher per person as the number of diners declines); by the time we got out of there with our substitutions/additions and tip, it was $50pp. PHENOMENAL value, and another great meal at C1!
  9. Proof once again as to why I only use Zagats as a phone book. Seriously; if you haven't already, it's time to realize that Zagats is useless!
  10. I haven't been, but I know a few people who rave about Fiorino's...they say it's one of the few great restaurants in Summit.
  11. Martini Bistro is another choice...some GREAT martinis (if you're drinking), decent food, and parking in the lot on the corner of Essex and Main Streets. Not blow-you-away, but certainly good, and the selection ranges from (big) salads to steaks--without breaking the bank. Fwiw, I'm a fan of their fried calamari w/chipoltle dipping sauce... We've never been rushed out of there, either. Martini Bistro website
  12. Today 100 NJ bloggers (many with food-related blogs) are blogging about the Community Food Bank of New Jersey's serious need for help this season... Considering that we're all here because of our interest in food, I hope you'll take a minute to read about it! Click here
  13. SHWEW. Almost had a heart attack when I read your first post, SK! I love Saffron...and don't forget they have a fantastic lunch buffet bargain! Still around $9 pp, unless it has changed in the last month or two.
  14. I've recently been WOWed by the bakery that is attached to Regina Margherita in Nutley, too...on Washington Avenue. SERIOUSLY wonderful Italian pastries and cookies. Haven't had the cakes or pies, but I suspect everything is delicious there!
  15. Definitely BYO, although the last time I was there they had just gotten a license to sell NJ wines ONLY. So it's BYO, imo! Fwiw, I haven't been back in months, as my last experience was definitely lacking. I know that Roberto trained the staff that remains, but since he's gone, the pizza just isn't the same. My $.02.
  16. Curlz


    Sdog--is this the rather wet looking round cake? If not, do you have any idea what that dessert is? When we were there, the waiter brought over a plate with 3 desserts on it--the baklava (HEAVENLY-I get it every time), the custardish-filled phyllo one, and a slice of the aforementioned cake. He then literally said "I don't know how to tell you what this is but the baklava is very good." I pressed him a little, but since my friend was dying to try the custard one and the baklava, it wasn't an issue, but I'd sure like to know what it is! The place was still slammed by the time we were leaving so I didn't want to bother Alex or the hostess, but I'll certainly ask next time; just figured you might be able to clue me in. I am now going to stop procrastinating and get cooking for tomorrow, but thanks in advance for your help!
  17. How about Dabbawalla? I've only been once, but I thought the food was delicious, and it was recommended to me by a rather trusty source!
  18. Curlz


    Here's what little I know...it's from the owners of Egan's (next door), and the focus was to be on seafood. Looks high-end in terms of decor. That's as much insight as I can offer, other than to say I didn't realize it was open yet! Are you sure it's open?
  19. Curlz


    Despite the dearth of posts on this board, I feel certain that many of you are still dining out, so I just had to give another shout-out for Stamna. Had dinner there again last night, and it's JUST. SO. FREAKING. GOOD. I strongly recommend making a meal of a LOT of the app choices (unless you're wed to the idea of a whole fish) because then you at least get to try a LOT more with each visit! The taramosalata and grilled calamari were terrific, and I can't wait to eat the rest of the Greek sausage and makarounes! The horta (sauteed greens, which have been sweet dandelions every time I've gone) is not to be missed, nor is the baklava. I just love this place...can you tell? Note that they only take reservations for two-tops "up to a few days" before the weekend; after that, put your name on the list and stand in the teeny tiny waiting area and drool while you wait. Highly recommend a reservation regardless of the size of your group if you're planning (ahead) to go on a weekend night.
  20. I haven't been there yet, but a friend of mine swears by Mompou for tapas AND atmosphere.
  21. Don't know if it's mentioned in either of the above links, but Open Table has an "Appetite Stimulus Plan" promo going, and both Fascino and Serenade are on the NJ list...
  22. I've been a big fan of OME Caterers for years, and Craig Shelton, a James Beard winner, is now their executive chef. I haven't used them since the ownership/chef change (I changed jobs and am no longer running events), but I would contact them in a heartbeat, especially because they were always coming to our building or to someone's home; they really know how to do the off-site thing very well. Unless there have been major changes to their approach, they were always very accommodating of our budget, we bought the liquor directly from their supplier (w/o a markup by OME), and the food was wonderful. Don't be put off by that slick new website...at least float the question!
  23. Curlz


    How did we ever live without Google?!? This sounds like an Italian version of naan or kulcha! Not that there's anything wrong with that... If you find a local source, please do post about it!
  24. It's been too long since I've posted about Next Door...I really do think it's one of Montclair's gems, and today was a great reminder of that fact. The four of us (one a vegetarian) were originally headed to Egan's because the carnivores were in the mood for burgers, but they weren't open yet, so we headed to Next Door. GREAAAAAT IDEA! Who knew that a) they were open for lunch on Sunday (not me) and that b) they have SUCH a great burger (again, not me)?!? My bro and I were both swooning over the DUCK Reuben and the previously planted idea of a burger, so we decided to order one of each and share halves. The reuben came on terrific, thick-sliced grilled multigrain bread, packed with duck, sweet red cabbage, and melted cheese. We went with the burger w/gorgonzola, which was cooked exactly to medium, as requested. The reuben came with a small mesclun salad. My niece had her favorite at ND, the spaghetti bolognese, and our resident vegetarian requested the pasta fagioli (veg version) and the roasted vegetable sandwich. To say we were happy was an understatement. A few other customers started chatting with us, saying it was their first visit to ND (they live in Millburn) and they were just shocked by how good it was and by how reasonable the prices are. 'tis true! Iirc, the burger was $9, the pasta $10, and the reuben was $12. The bowls of soup are deep for $5, and that's what they were raving about--the mushroom barley. I believe the guy said "I really didn't think you could do much to mushroom barley soup until I had that..." I encouraged them to check out Blu (without their young kids), which they said they certainly would. For those who have tickets to shows at the (new) Wellmont Theater, Next Door would be a great choice before or afterwards! Great on a low-key Sunday, too...
  25. Thanks for the alert, Duchess! The classes look great.
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