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Everything posted by robyn

  1. robyn


    I'll give the thread another bump. A friend we will be dining with in New York said that this is his favorite restaurant. Any recent visits or opinions (I read the Bruni review and know that the restaurant will be moving later this year). Robyn
  2. Paris is certainly a "big city" - and many high end restaurants there are closed at least 2 days a week - sometimes 3. It isn't that easy finding a high end restaurant open Sunday night in NYC either. It isn't a Bible Belt - or provincial thing. Employees need a day or two off! Robyn
  3. That's one of the reasons our next refrigerator will be a Liebherr: there's no shortage of shelves or racks. Even if one of them in the the 36" model will be a bit tall for me to reach...hubby can keep his special snacks up there! So funny...when we bought our current refrigerator 20 years ago, it cost $500. Of course, it was a very basic model, but it's worked fine all these years. Its replacement will cost about $3,700. - L. ← Regarding the Liebherr - I took a lot at it and it looked nice. But call the firm you usually use for appliance repairs and/or the factory authorized place for the firm. And get the full story about repairs. I live in a metro area with a population of about a million - and the parts for many exotic appliances aren't usually in stock locally (or sometimes even in the United States). Nothing like waiting 2 weeks for a part when something like your refrigerator is dead. FWIW - when we were thinking about repairing our 14 year old Maytag washer (which we concluded in the end didn't make sense) - the parts we needed were all in stock in town. Also - if I recall correctly - none of the 36" models has a lot of interior space compared to exterior dimensions. Finally - regarding high shelves - the funniest I saw was Thermador. It had a high top shelf with an electronic up/down button. This didn't make any sense to me at all - because if you stored things under the top shelf - and you moved the top shelf down with the up/down button - you'd crush everything underneath the top shelf. And if you didn't store anything under that high shelf - why would you need the up/down button? Just put the shelf where you want it. Robyn
  4. Hi Linda - I'm glad I was able to get a repair too. Hope it lasts <fingers crossed>. And now the refrigerator looks good as new (combination of throwing out things that should have been thrown out 3 months ago - a thorough cleaning - and replacing a couple of lightbulbs I didn't even realize had blown out). FWIW - there are a lot of good appliance repair web sites. And I was glad that the fix the repairman did matched the suggested fix on many web sites for people who had similar problems with their refrigerators. Thanks for the clarification about the quotes you got on white. Robyn
  5. Hey guys - for many of us tourists - "it's just lunch". And a pretty good one at that at a reasonable price. Is it a great restaurant? No. But it is a pleasant place to lunch if you're wandering around the Ferry Building (especially if you are on eastern time and eat lunch early before the crowds get there). FWIW - we had a decent meal there - and good service. Also - I don't drink wine - but I do enjoy cocktails. And I don't drink at lunch. Which is why we did lunch at Chez Panisse (the cafe). Robyn
  6. I'd be skeptical about using the Bunn with a timer. Because you turn the machine on by closing the lid where you pour the water in. The coffee starts coming out almost instantly when you close the lid. I don't know what would happen if you closed the lid - and the power wasn't on. Nothing good I suspect. Also - the main virtue of the machine (except perhaps in terms of saving energy) is that hot water is stored in the machine - you are "topping it off" when you make coffee (you have to wait a while for the water in the unit to heat up when you first buy it - or after you clean it or shut it down for vacation). The water stored in the unit won't be hot if the power hasn't been on for a while when you try to make coffee. So - if you power on the unit only when you want to make coffee - you'll probably wind up with cold cofee. I'd call the company and get its opinion first. But I suspect using this unit with a timer isn't a very good idea. Robyn
  7. Good news. The apppliance repairman came today and he actually got the refrigerator working (although it needs 2 new parts - machine will fail again in about a week without these parts). Total repair bill will be about $300 - and there is no guarantee something else won't fail 4 months from now - but the cost/benefit analysis makes sense (compared to our washing machine - which died a few months ago - there we were talking about a $350 repair versus a new machine for $450). FWIW - I have used this repair service (large firm) and this particular repairman before (I think he's good). Asked him which of the high end machines he would choose for himself and he said Subzero (because of its commitment to customer support). OTOH - he said the firm - which does warranty work for lots of manufacturers - stopped working for LG last year because of the difficulty in getting parts from the company for warranty and other repairs (put the repair service in a bad light). Of course - the repairman only tends to see appliances which are broken . pnwradar - I'm the wife . And my husband always brings in the groceries (he does a lot the shopping too). We have a pretty big garage - but I am not sure where we'd put a walk-in. There would also be a flood danger (we're in hurricane country and the garage is lower than the rest of the house). Also I keep lots and lots of things in the fridge that I want handy. Guess if I planned the house again - the idea of making a pantry even larger than the walk-in-pantry I have now - which is a couple of steps from the kitchen - and putting some sort of refrigeration unit in it - would make sense. KarenDW - Perhaps you could use magnetic tape (sticky on one side - magnet on the other) or something similar. If you have to remove it sometime in the future - you might need to use something like Goo-Gone - so I'd make sure the finish is "Goo-Gone" safe. LindaK - The list prices for all of the refigerators I looked at this morning before the repairman came were lower or much lower for white than stainless. So I don't know why you got the quotes you got. Finally - regarding lack of storage in various units - I have at least one clue why. I was cleaning off my shelves/drawers today - and counted how many I have. I have a lot more in use than you get with the current model of my refrigerator (and there are some I don't even use). You can probably get a fair amount of extra space if you buy additional drawers/shelves as needed for a new unit. And I have a clue why manufacturers are doing this. The current version of my unit costs less now than I spent for mine 14 years ago (found the same when I replaced my washing machine) - even though the CPI is up almost 40% since then. So - to keep prices down - manufacturers have to cut lots and lots of corners. Robyn
  8. I like medium roast coffee with a fair amount of non-diary creamer and a little sugar. Mild and mellow. I must have one cup in the morning - but that's it for the rest of the day. Your mileage probably varies . Robyn
  9. Or maybe the coffee is lousy because it's been sitting around for a couple of hours? I've used everything from regular Folgers to 100% Blue Mountain (the latter being an occasional splurge) with good results. My only problem with the machine is it doesn't turn off automatically. A good thing when my husband wakes up 2 hours later than I do - a bad thing when we're10 miles away from the house and can't remember if we turned off the coffee! Robyn
  10. LindaK - The prices quoted to me for Kitchenaid in white are less than those for stainless. Perhaps you were dealing with places that had stainless in stock while white was a special order - so they were willing to discount more on the stock item? FWIW - the Kitchenaid white these days isn't that attractive IMO. It's a high gloss kind of hospital white (my current refrigerator has a more muted textured white surface). The most attractive finishes I saw were satin somewhat stainless looking (but not real stainless which shows a lot of fingerprints). Still one huge stainless looking appliance would stick out like a sore thumb in my kitchen - and you can only see the refrigerator if you're standing by the stove. So it probably won't be a problem. As for the configuration. I have some problems with the French door models. Most have very shallow bins. Many put the icemaker in the refrigerator compartment itself - which takes up a lot of room. When you put the icemaker "on the door" - you lose a lot of door shelving. If the icemaker is in the freezer section (no "ice" in the door) - that takes up a lot of freezer room - and you wind up with a plastic tub of ice cubes (which - best I can recall from years ago - frequently winds up being one big ice cube). The side-by-sides have disadvantages too - like the narrow shelves in the freezer. But - overall - they seem to have more "useable" space in the average 36" wide model. But be really careful when looking at any refrigerator in terms of drawers - shelves - etc. For example - one Kitchenaid side-by-side model I saw on the floor had 3 freezer bins - one of which wrapped around a freezer light smack in the middle of the freezer compartment. Pretty nice use of space. But - upon checking - the current version of that model had 2 freezer bins - and a shallow shelf with perhaps a 2" "lip" on the back which backed up to the freezer light. That shelf would hold almost nothing - things would tumble off the back of it - and it wasted a whole lot of space compared to the previous bin. Seems that the manufacturers are trying save a buck here and a buck there and they don't care very much about the resulting utility of their products. I think in terms of configuration - it comes down to a matter of personal preference IMO. What you buy - and how/when you use it. Think about it when you're looking. Take stock of your current needs - and your wants - even make a list. Where will I put this - that or the other thing. For example - I use the bottom bin in my current refrigerator (one of three) for onions and the like. They sprout too quickly if left on the counter in Florida most of the year - and we don't have "root cellars" (or any other kind of cellars for that matter - not with a water table 2-3 feet below ground level ). So I am only bending over for onions. And if I need to store a "party platter" (which isn't too often) - I can put it in my garage refrigerator. Today I went to the 2 higher end appliance stores in town. Ferguson's (a national outfit) and a local store. I expected to be blown away - but I have to tell you that I was surprised at the cheesy quality of the fittings in many very very expensive refrigerators (like from $5000 to low 5 figures). Thin glass - lots of plastic like you'd find in a low end Whirlpool - no metal on the shelves. My 13 year old Kitchenaid has heavy duty tempered glass shelves which are edged in metal - not crummy plastic. But the new lighter glass/plastic cheaper shelves on the Kitchenaid didn't look or feel any worse than those in the high end brands. I happen to be a cabinet nut - have a lot of expensive German cabinetry throughout the house. But at least the cabinets I've bought have superior finish work and fittings. With these expensive appliances - I am not sure what you are paying for except a lot of advertising. Although my research wasn't exhaustive - the warranties seem the same as on the low end - 1 year except for things like the compressor - where Kitchenaid - at 10 years - seems to have the best warranty. FWIW - since I will probably wind up with a side-by-side Kitchenaid just like my old one if my old one can't be saved at a reasonable price - I am going back to the appliance store to see if my old shelves and the like will fit into the new model. weinoo - I looked up some reviews for LG refrigerators (among others). And all I can say is that a fair number of people reported that theirs had caught on fire! (Apparently a problem with lights not going off - and melting stuff which in turn caused fires). I can understand complaints about mushy ice cream or frozen lettuce in a refrigerator - but not complaints about fires. So that manufacturer is off my list (even though the problem may have been solved with the newer models - I am not taking any chances). The appliance repairman will come tomorrow morning and give us his verdict. I have to say - it is not much fun shopping for appliances these days. Robyn
  11. We got a GE Profile french door/bottom mount and I HATE IT. After numerous repairs, it was replaced by the company free of charge( during the first year). I still hate the bottom freezer though. I find it holds a lot less and its just a general PITA to find something as you have to remove everything to see whats on the bottom. ← Exactly. The drawers are a pain to pull out fully loaded as well. ← That seemed like a potential problem to me too - especially since many models have flimsy bottom shelves. Figured they would groan under the weight of even a 12 pound turkey. That is why I figured if we bought a model with bottom drawers - it was best to have 2 separate ones than 1 with a bottom shelf and top pullout. And perhaps I should take another look at the side-by-side models - like the one we have now. FWIW - there is an old thread here about having a refrigerator in the garage, We have one - a Montgomery Ward house brand we bought about 14 years ago. As basic as it comes - all wire shelves - not a single drawer. Cost about $200. Used mostly to store liquids from water to beer to wine - but it saved me more than it cost me today (I tend to cook a lot in the winter - and had a freezer loaded with everything from quail to pork loins). And to the people who wrote in that thread - the temp in our garage ranges from about 40 to 90 (we're in northeast Florida) - and the refrigerator is still going strong. Perhaps one day it will die - but it doesn't owe us a thing at this point. Like the $79 TV we keep outside on our porch all year (it's kind of cute - the lizards live in it during the winter to get a little heat). Robyn
  12. I only use my convection oven for baking. And have found that lowering recommended cooking temps is harmful to the health of one's baked goods. Although you do have to shorten the cooking time. Robyn
  13. We have this Bunn machine. It is really so fast that if you turn it on and go out to get the paper - you'll have ten cups (5 mugs) of coffee ready by the time you get back. It also has a pretty good warranty (3 years if I recall correctly) - and the company does honor it (our heating pad broke after a year and the company sent us a new machine pronto when we returned the broken one). We had a cute 1 or 2 cup pod machine at a hotel we stayed at - and I was thinking of buying one until I saw that the pods - even in bulk - were about 25 cents each. That is a lot for a cup of coffee you make at home. Robyn
  14. Our 13 year old Kitchenaid refrigerator has apparently bit the dust. The refrigerator part was somewhat warm this morning - which led to one set of possible diagnoses based on some internet reading. This evening - the freezer started to warm up too - which leads me to believe that the compressor is dying. Doesn't make much sense to make such an expensive repair on an appliance this old. I will check with the repair people tomorrow - but I am not optimistic. I only have several non-negotiable requirements for a new refrigerator. It must be white (our kitchen is "white on white"). It must be a 35-36" wide model to fit into the existing space. It must be available for fast delivery. And it must be a brand that is relatively common (it's hard enough to get common brand appliances repaired where I live - and I have no desire to wait 2 weeks for parts for more exotic usually higher end appliances and then find that the repair person doesn't have a clue how to fix the thing). That said - we made the rounds of all the usual suspect big box stores today - and the model I think I liked the best was the 25 foot or so cubic foot LG with the ice in the door and the 2 freezer drawers on the bottom (which I can get in a couple of days from Home Depot). I don't know beans about LG - it didn't exist when I last bought a major appliance. Nor do I know about the advantages/disadvantages of the "French" freezer drawers as opposed to the older side-by-side models (because the former didn't exist when I bought my last refrigerator). The freezer drawers seem useful - but more useful when there are two. About the main disadvantage I saw in almost every model I looked at were the crispers weren't very tall - not tall enough to hold - for example - a cabbage. The manufacturers seemed to pay more attention to how many pizzas you could store conveniently than to fresh food storage. But I guess that is how most people eat these days. And I am not sure how well an "in the door" icemaker works when it is stuck in the refrigerator compartment or refrigerator door - as opposed to the freezer. Or how convenient a refrigerator without an "ice in the door" feature is (haven't had one of those for maybe 20 years or more). Anyway - if you've bought a refrigerator in the last couple of years - or have been exploring to buy a new one - or even just "window shopping" - I'd be glad to hear what you have to say pro and con. FWIW - I am a pretty decent home cook and cook a lot from scratch. Any and all opinions are welcome. Thanks. Robyn
  15. I was going to ask the same question - and you beat me to it! Doubt anyone will drive from Miami to Tallahassee for some veggies . Robyn
  16. Joe's does not take reservations (and Robyn is right, is not open Mondays for lunch). As for staying downtown vs. South Beach, MGF&D is not in downtown either, it's in the Design District, and you will be cabbing it there (or renting a car) whether you're staying at the Four Seasons or the Tides. The difference is maybe a couple miles. ← FWIW - I don't think anyone should be without a car in the greater Miami area unless it's absolutely necessary. Or unless all they want to do is stay in a very limited area - like 10 square blocks on South Beach - during their stay. It is not a cab or public transportation friendly city. Robyn
  17. Keep in mind that I am totally prejudiced against South Beach (didn't like it when I lived in Miami and don't like it now). And I am not sure it is the most pleasant place in the greater Miami metro area for the kind of "girls weekend" you're talking about (unless you want to sit on the beach all weekend - not recommended unless you want to nurse a bad sunburn when you get home). On my part - I'd probably stay at a place like the Four Seasons - in Miami proper (good deals available - like stay 2 nights/get 1 free) - rent a car and see/do the best of what greater Miami has to offer. Whether it's sightseeing - or shopping - or eating (none of which is in South Beach IMO). That way you won't have to worry about the cab ride to Michael's Genuine or similar - or a cab ride to a good authentic Cuban restaurant. If you want to go clubbing one night on South Beach - then you can take a cab or hotel car or limo (note that serious "clubbing" on South Beach usually starts several hours after I go to sleep - and many (most?) clubs cater to very young people. Also note that Joe's does not take reservations - and it is closed for lunch on Monday. I do think it is worth a trip for lunch though - just on a day it's open . The place usually isn't that crowded at lunch (not like the zoo scene you'll find for dinner). Robyn
  18. You and Bryan and others can discuss how much salt there was - but - if it is a garnish (as opposed to a heavy hand with sauces and the like) - I doubt any chef would have a problem serving the salt of his choice for a dish in a salt cellar on the side. In fact - when I've been in restaurants that serve various kinds of (sometimes weird - although Maldon is pretty mainstream) salt - they are usually served on the side. When I do "garnish salt" at home - it is usually on the side too - so my guests can salt to taste. Once - when we were eating some high end tempura in Osaka - my husband totally screwed up mixing the 5 salts and various sauces in front of us. And when the staff saw that - they didn't giggle. They just whisked away the mess he'd made - and perfectly paired the salts with the sauces for the various pieces of tempura. I doubt we will encounter that degree of professionalism in service in New York - but I also doubt we will encounter hard and fast rules (if you won't have this much salt on your dish - we will throw you out on the street!). FWIW - we even have a local restaurant here named "Salt" (at the RC in Amelia Island). And it sounds like we will have fun eating at Corton. Robyn
  19. Although I live in the south - my attitude about salt is if you can taste the salt in a dish (or worse - the dish is overwhelmed by salt) - the dish has too much of it. Note that I am not a salt sissy - I can't even taste the salt in Chinese food . But too much is too much. Do you think most of this salt was added to dishes right before serving (in which case - I can ask that it not be added) - or are you talking about salt that can't be removed because it's added early on in the food preparation process? Robyn
  20. FWIW - since our last trip was to Paris (in October) - everything in New York (and the United States) seems relatively inexpensive to me. No sticker shock! Robyn
  21. Thanks for all these replies. I have heard of some of these restaurants. The names of others are new to me (guess things can change a lot in 4 years - especially in Manhattan). Will look up all of them in the next week or so. No problem with Babbo. We went there on our last trip. Didn't care for our meal (I wrote it up here - probably in the Babbo thread). And we won't be returning. Robuchon sounds like a great idea for the night we arrive. We're always tired after a trip - and we usually wind up dining badly our first night because we don't make reservations (in case our flight is delayed). And then we wander around at dinner time and usually manage to find a lousy place. But since the restaurant is in the hotel - if we are late - the hotel can take care of things. I love the phrase "haute barnyard' - and I do like restaurants like that. Places like Bacchanlia in Atlanta - Chez Panisse in California - etc. Ko is Momofuku Ko? The place where you have to tie up the speed dial on your phone for a week to try to get a reservation? Bryan - you're right - it's not our cup of tea. I know Le Bernardin is considered one of the top restaurants in New York. I will have to decide whether to get over my 20+ year old grudge against the owner (arising out of a nasty incident at the Miami restaurant having nothing to do with the food - which we liked a lot - my husband and I were regulars at the restaurant until the nasty incident). What do you think are the other top restaurants in Manhattan these days? We've been to Jean Georges - but that was so long ago (8 years) that I doubt that our past dining experience is relevant. We've been to Per Se. Food was pretty good in both places - but my husband thought the wine service at both was deficient. Don't think he'll want to try either again. Don't know about Masa. We had very high end sushi in Japan a couple of years ago and I don't think we want to spend twice or thrice what we spent in Japan to have fish that has made a round trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Tsukiji fish market and back. But I will see what my husband thinks - it's a birthday dinner "possible". Have never been to Daniel. What do you think of it for a birthday dinner? My husband loves French food with a slightly contemporary flair (I'd probably have to drag him kicking and screaming into a place like WD-50 ). And since it is *his* birthday - I will go over the possibilities with him (after I've screened them) and we'll try to pick a restaurant that we are pretty sure he will like. We've been to Cafe Boulud in Palm Beach a couple of times (liked it) - and to Cafe Boulud in New York (didn't like it - tables too close together). But I suspect Daniel is a different level of restaurant. OTOH - it is kind of old. Is it tired? Some restaurants of that vintage are - others aren't. That covers the NYT 4 stars. There aren't many of them. Any places that haven't been "anointed" but which you think deserve to be? BTW - I'd rather eat at a place that seems to be on its way up (like Corton) than one that hit its peak 5 years ago and is on its way down. I know I'll have other questions. E.g., the place that will work for my husband's birthday won't work for a family get-together (if I can arrange one - and especially if my almost 90 year old aunt can make it in from Queens). And we'll have 5 nights in NYC - so we can cover a fair amount of ground. Robyn
  22. We decided to go to NYC in late May for my husband's birthday for a long weekend (5 nights/4 days). Haven't been there for about 4 years. Am looking for some restaurant recommendations with the following (and - like I said - somewhat idiosyncractic) requirements: 1. Excellent food - preferably high end. Although - with 5 dinners and 4 lunches - some alone - some with friends and family - we'll be doing meals in the "middle" too. Any cuisine is acceptable. 2. In Manhattan. 3. None of this reservation at 5:30 or 10:00 stuff for non-regulars. We want to eat dinner at dinner time (about 8) - with no bum's rush so the table can be turned over for a second or third or fourth seating. 4. We prefer sitting at tables - not counters. Would accept a counter with comfy seating (my husband has a bum leg and a bum back). 5. Fun atmosphere. Not a place with 30 serious out of town foodies all taking pictures. Just to give you a "for example" - last time we were in New York - we dined at - among other places - Per Se and David Burke & Donatella. We liked DB&D better than Per Se because - although Per Se had the better food - I hated eating dinner at 5:30 (only reservation we could get at Per Se) - and DB&D had a really nice upper east side buzz (the food at DB&D was really good when we dined there - but I've heard the food there is not as good now as it was then). Don't know whether it makes a difference - but we'll be staying at the Four Seasons and I assume the concierge staff there can make difficult (although not impossible) reservations for us. Anyway - all suggestions would be appreciated. Happy New Year, Robyn
  23. robyn

    Le Bernardin

    Both tasting menus on the website say "Per Table Only". I agree with Oakapple's idea about substitutions (assuming you don't agree to do the fixed price menu). Robyn
  24. Amen to that (for a lot of reasons having nothing to do with a discussion of food). Robyn
  25. I was going to recommend the 100 euro Guy Savoy lunch (a bargain IMO) - but the restaurant will be closed for the holidays while you're there. I think your best bet for less expensive lunches would be looking for "blackboard" lunch specials at bistros and the like in the neighborhoods where you'll be doing whatever else you plan to do. We had quite a good one at Le Zinc (within easy walking distance of the Louvre) for 19.95/pp. "Far out" isn't necessarily an answer. If you're spending 3 euros/pp on the metro to get to there and back - that is a nice chunk of your lunch budget. BTW - if you do "take-out" - make sure you know where you're going to eat it. January isn't exactly a great month for a picnic in the park . Be prepared for lots of price sticker shock (the dollar is about even with the euro over the last 52 weeks - but the pound is down 25% - so Paris will seem even more expensive to you than it does to us "yanks"). Robyn
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