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Curlz

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  1. Curlz

    Chengdu 1

    Would those be the hot and spicy PRAWNS (or so they say on the menu)? Definitely one of my favorite favorites there...
  2. Where is this place? Did it take over the old Trattoria Fresco space?
  3. And that's right around when she stopped going there...makes sense.
  4. Thanks for the recs, all! As it turns out, I got down there for a couple of nights myself; best meal was definitely @ Taka, but we had perfectly acceptable pub food at Brickwall in AP as well. Good info re: the former Bistro Ole chef--thanks for that, too--one friend used to love BO but says the last time she went, they put CHEESE on the Firecracker Calamari. I have to agree that is a MAJOR foul, as it is a decidely non-cheese dish! Do you know when the chef changed?
  5. Headsmack! I've been to Taka... And thanks for these other recs; keep 'em coming if you have any more.
  6. Friends are heading to OG/AP for a few days next week and have asked me for recs...Bistro Ole is the only thing I can come up with. Any specific recs you can share would be greatly appreciated! They'll need meals over a few days, so all price points/types of food are welcome. Thanks! Curlz
  7. I know they did a renovation of the space (and sadly, covered up the view of the ovens), but I haven't heard anything about a change in management...
  8. Never heard of it 'til now, but this experience tells me all I need to know.
  9. All of the above suggestions go on the assumption that you'll have a car--which you WILL need in this area. My vote would be to head to the Ironbound, Newark's famous Portuguese section. Safe, easy to get to, great eats to be had--although if you're solo, the huge portions might be wasted on you... A little more info would help with other ideas! For that matter, have you already been here and left?
  10. It is ALL. ABOUT. THE. PRAWNS. And the lamb. And the pork belly. (at Chengdu 1, that is) Oh, and don't forget Ants on a Tree! And fwiw, if your mother-in-law isn't going to join you for the exotic dishes, there is plenty of 'regular' Chinese on the menu that she can order...
  11. Curlz

    Chengdu 1

    Had to bump this up since there was the "where to go for spicy food?" discussion and C1 became the focus... I get to C1 pretty regularly, but dinner this past Friday night was, for some reason, above and beyond on the fantastic scale. Every bite was greeted with "Is it me, or is this particularly amazing tonight?!?" Lien was in the kitchen so we know that's a factor, but even so--just wonderful. We had the spicy baby wontons (a given on every trip), the hot and spicy jumbo prawns (OMG just thinking about them might get me back there tonight), the spicy lamb (which had just the right balance of heat/sichuan peppercorns), sauteed long beans (YUM!), and samples of the dishes for the kids. SO. SO. GOOD. The place was packed with Asians and non- alike, so the kitchen and service slowed a bit, but you know what? I don't care! If you haven't been in a while, go--C1 is as good as ever.
  12. WOW. So if we all show up with Zhelder, it's free 'Q for all, right? Seriously-congrats all around! While I didn't get up to CC's while they were open, it was on my list to try; now I have reason to get up to Bourbon again soon.
  13. Think I can get some FAST help from y'all?? I'm leaving at Noon tomorrow for ATL for the weekend, and I just realized I did NO research food-wise, which is very unlike me! I'm going for a wedding, so my options for getting out are limited to lunch on Saturday and Sunday (if I can break away from my friend's relatives). We're staying in Duluth and will have a car, but I'm going to have to stay fairly local. Having been to Atlanta proper (that is, downtown) once before, this time I'm looking for LOCAL must-try stops...anything near where I'll be? The search for Duluth only came up with some tofu house, and trust me, that's got NO appeal. Good BBQ or some other local eats if you've got 'em, please! Nothing crazy $$$, either--under $20/pp for lunch would be great. Thanks in advance for the assist! Curlz
  14. Curlz

    Stamna

    My, my...look what I started! Seriously, I'm thrilled; I thought the place was terrific, and am looking forward to being a regular. Please do post reports if you go!
  15. Having read about Stamna here, I knew I had to give this place a shot. WOW! Great, clean flavors, very fresh seafood, and reasonable prices. The five of us started with the cold dip platter (tarimosalata, tzatziki, skordalia, and an eggplant dip I can't recall the name of) which came with tasty hot pita bread, and we also had a dish we thought was truly fantastic--makarounas (sp?), which is a whole wheat pasta with a ton of caramelized onions, cheese, and olive oil. We were going to order the halloumi, but our waiter told us that the other cheese was his favorite, and it definitely didn't disappoint. Sorry I can't remember the name of it! For entrees, we had a greek salad, the grilled (whole, head-on) shrimp/calamari/octopus platter, and a whole fish that was described as "white snapper." The grilled seafood was exquisite; simple, grilled beautifully, and as sweet as can be. The octopus tentacles were particularly tender. The fish was filleted tableside and a lemony (light) sauce poured over it. It was flaky, very fresh, but fairly tasteless. Hard to say it was a disappointment per se, but I'd much rather have the grilled seafood or try one of the other entrees next time! We rounded things out with sides of greek potatoes and 'greens' that turned out to be dandelion leaves. They were wonderful and dressed simply with olive oil. We didn't have dessert, but that was due to a niece screaming for ice cream, because she had seen Holsten's up the block. Next time I'm definitely going to try dessert at Stamna. The restaurant is BYO, was packed to the gills , and prices were reasonable (apps mostly in the $8-10 range; entrees $15-high 20s for seafood specials) so I do suggest a reservation for a weekend night. They have some al fresco seating as well. Overall I just kept saying "This is such clean, simple food...and I could easily eat it every day!" Service was very friendly (in the best way possible). I suspect this will become a new regular spot for me. They don't appear to have a web site, but I pulled this info off of Baristanet: Stamna Greek Taverna 1045 Broad Street Bloomfield (973) 338-5151; open for lunch and dinner; closed Mondays.
  16. This piece from the Bergen Record might offer some explanation...
  17. A friend went here last week and said it's a cute spot, the 9.50 wine was far better than the 6.50 one (they were drinking Malbec, iirc but he didn't tell me which one), and the cheese plate was more than generous for the price ($11ish, iirc). Sounds like I'll have to check it out. Anyone been lately?
  18. Curlz

    Crave

    Just to clarify, Chef LoPinto left Crave; he wasn't fired. The Bergen Record blog has been updated to reflect that fact. Click here to read the expanded and updated article His immediate next venture isn't a restaurant, but I certainly look forward to having Anthony's wonderful food again--hopefully soon!
  19. Jan, you're welcome to come to MY house any time if that's your idea of a hostess gift! :-) Good call.
  20. Curlz

    Crave

    Here's a not-quite-review of Crave (well, really more of Chef LoPinto's cooking ) on the Bergen Record food blog...came out last week but I just saw it. Can't believe it's been a year already since Earth closed. SIGH... Click here
  21. I like al fresco dining, but not when I'm going to inhale car fumes (i.e. the tables out in front of Tuptim or most in NYC). The patio in the back of Joe Bartoni's in Montclair is lovely-and there are umbrellas, so you're not sitting in direct sun (unless you choose to)...and you can have a sandwich or a full meal-whatever you're in the mood for. Chairs there are also fairly comfortable-something I can't say about most places. My favorite local al fresco dining over the last few summers is probably a BYO picnic at OSPAC in West Orange once they start their weekly concerts! More than anything, I miss the huge screened-in patio of my youth (complete w/hammock and grill)...we used the grill year-round, the patio itself from March-October. SIGH.
  22. Very often when a business (of any kind) closes, there are legitimate reasons for those involved to refrain from public discussions of the details. While it’s nice that people care enough to wonder ‘aloud’ here on eG about what happened, perhaps the guys aren't ready or able to share anything publicly right now. But you can still get those Amazing Hot Dogs and fries that we all love in Bound Brook...
  23. Friends who hang in Asbury Park each summer have taken me here, and I have to agree...great food, fun vibe. It's always packed when I've been there-even off-season (but always on a Sat. night). The dish that I immediately thought of is the Firecracker (iirc) Calamari; served in a hot skillet, and VERY spicy but I loved it! The caldo verde was decent, too-and a Portuguese guy who was with us enjoyed it as well.
  24. You're surprised he hasn't posted? My guess is that he has far more important things to deal with.
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