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Everything posted by Cornellrob

  1. looked at the site and was wondering what makes a $2000 knife worth that much money when compared to a perfectly acceptable $200 wusthoff knife? what can such an expensive knife do? is it the craftsmanship that primarily dictates the price?
  2. Cornellrob


    I went to August a couple of days ago and had a superb meal there as well. In the two times i've been there, every dish my dining companions and I have gotten have been uniformly excellent. Baked spring onions is highly worthwhile appetizer. So is the guinea fowl special entree.
  3. Nouveau Sushi is probably the best sushi place i've been to in Northern NJ. That being said, it pales in comparison to reference places in the City that it ripped-off -- i.e. Sushi of Gari. I've had a number of satisfying meals at Yoshi Sono in West Orange.
  4. I had a great prepration of sweatbreads at Montrachet a couple of weeks ago. Crispy, moist, generous, rich, delicious.... See menu at Menu
  5. Cornellrob

    Beer Glasses

    Those are some excellent suggestions.... Thanks. I did manage to find this one too. Straubs
  6. Cornellrob

    Beer Glasses

    I am not sure if this is the proper forum for this, but does anyone know of any reputable online sites or retail outlets from which I could find an array of beer glasses available for sale? Not the standard pint glasses - looking for glasses to serve different styles of beer in - like a nice belgian ale or perhaps a doppelbock. I've been doing some searches online and have found a couple sites, but was maybe looking for a recommendation from someone who has actually purchased or built up a glassware collection. Thanks!
  7. I just noticed this thread and thought i would add my 2 cents.... I was at Cornell from '95 through '00, and i don't think I ever heard it referred to as "Johnny's Hot Truck". People just say "Hot Truck" - like "hey, let's get some Hot truck" or "hey, let's get some Truck." Also, FYI, the person who retired after 35+ years was Bob Petrillose, which was Johnny's son. Bob is a truly great guy, and it's only because of his dedication to truck, as well as to serving some truly delicious food, that he was probalby able to work in an environment serving drunken idiots all night long. I am a huge fan of Hot Truck, having easily eaten there over 300 times during my stay at Cornell (probably more than that actually). After Bob sold the Truck to the Shortstop Deli, there was a noticeable decline in the quality and care that went into preparing each sub. For example, the meatballs and link sausages, which use to be a delicious homemade concoction by Bob's wife, is now mass produced in the kitchen of the shortstop deli. That being said, Hot Truck is still a worthy diversion to anyone visiting ithaca or the surrounding area. The unique combination of ingredients will certainly add up to a great eating experience. I higly recommend getting "HSC Soprano, BBQ, G&G, Cut" which translates to a Hot Link Sausage Sub w/ 1 meatball, topped with Crushed BBQ Potato Chips, with Lettuce and Mayo -- the sandwich is then cut in half.
  8. Wow! Thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies. I almost half expected to get laughed at with my concern over speaking the language. It sounds like almost everyone on this went through something similar at some point...
  9. I haven't had much success in browsing past threads for this topic, but when in France and dining at some of the top restaurants, how necessary is it to speak or be able to read French? Do most of the best restaurants offer English menus or waiters who can easily translate for those without the skills? The reason I ask is I am strongly considering making my first trip to France this Summer, and I'd like to go out to some of the better restaurants if at all possible. However, i have no clue at all as to how i'm going to interpret the menu or even order for that matter. What happens when you do not go to a high-end restaurant? Like a well known Parisian Bistro? Thanks a lot for your help!
  10. Cornellrob


    My girlfriend and I were walking by August a couple nights ago on our way to Joe's for some pizza, when we noticed that there was a free table, so we decided to check it out. The place was noisy and crowded. It did smell really good - like burning leaves or a fireplace. The food that we had was like comfort food - generous portions, very flavorful, simple preparations that are just a joy to eat. I had the carbinade - beer braised beef w/ mustard, onions, topped with spaetzle. My girlfriend had mussels - plump, fresh, flavorful, in some type of a cream sauce. The prices are reasonable enough, and the food definitely good enough, to warrant checking this place out, in spite of noise or crowd.
  11. I managed to get to Stickey’s tonight, finally, with two friends. Food was reasonably decent, although I must admit that I wasn’t overly impressed. If I do go back, I will probably try some different items on the menu. I got the pulled pork sandwich, slaw on the side. I thought the meat was only slightly smoky in flavor, and was really quite dry. The pork had a grayish color, rather than the more pinkish color that I am use to. You can see the pictures above I guess, which is more or less the same sandwich that I received. My only main gripe, aside from the lack of smokiness and the dryness of the meat, was that there seemed to be a huge amount of sauce pooled on the top of the meat, and not really distributed throughout. That’s great I guess if you like the sauce, but you will be required to mix that in yourself. As a comparison, I usually find that Fink’s pulled pork has a intense smoked flavor, and proper amount of sauce thoroughly mixed in (but not too much sauce!). I also tried some of my friend’s pork ribs. These had a good smoky flavor, but were so dry that they required a substantial amount of gnawing to get off the bone. I’m no rib expert, but I think they may have been a little too dry, even for Stickey’s style of ribs. The ribs we received did not really look like those pictured above in terms of juiciness. For side dishes we had collard greens, baked beans, and mac & cheese. My personal preference was for the mac & cheese, which is what I would call a “dry” variety. Not wet and cheesy, like you sometimes find, and since I don’t really care for that preparation, I did enjoy Stickey’s mac & cheese. The collard greens were okay, but for me, the benchmark is Indigo Smoke, which I think makes fantastic collard greens – smokey, with that great ham flavor, not overly bitter, juicy, and soft, but not too mushy. Best part of the meal by far was the dessert – deep fried oreos. Everyone at my table agreed this was the highlight of the meal. Something about the batter in combination with those oreos – kind of like the flavor of a great funnel cake, mixed in with the savory creaminess of a melted oreo. The fact that the dessert was comped to us by the owner made it all the more better!! But truly, I would go back just for that dessert. We found the service to be quite pleasant and reasonably efficient. Aside from waiting an inordinate amount of time for the waitress to take our order, everything from that point forward moved along smoothly. Towards the end, the owner stopped by and asked us what desserts we’d like. We ordered the deep fried snickers bar and he told us that if he were choosing, he’d pick the oreos. He said that he’d just throw an order of those in on the house – and I’m really glad he did. In summary, I thought the food was just okay, but the overall experience was good enough that I would give this place another shot, at least for the oreos. I hope that the next time we go the meat is a little moister and more flavorful. Perhaps I’ll get the chicken, that looked pretty good…
  12. here in new york, when eating out sushi, i've noticed that at some of the higher end places, the so-called soy sauce doesn't really taste like soy sauce. it's too light in flavor and a little sweeter than soy sauce. can anyone confirm what better places will use - whether it's soy sauce or some type of special preparation with soy sauce as the base? at least a few places that I can think of - like sushi yasuda - have the "soy sauce" already lightly dabbed on each piece of sushi. i guess to try and prevent people from soaking each piece.
  13. I've never been to El Bulli, but isn't it actually supposed to be pretty cheap for what you get? At least compared to other world-class european restaurants...
  14. I've been to Kang Suh a bunch of times. I work for a Korean Company and my girlfriend is Korean. I really like Kang Suh in terms of the flavors and softness of the BBQ'd meats once they're cooked. However, the one thing that bothers me (as well as my girlfriend), is that we seem to get smaller portions when dining with folks who aren't korean. This is no joke. We have each been there in groups of korean people, as well as groups of non-koreans, and the portions seem to be different. Not to mention the service. Did anyone have any similar experiences in korea-town restaurants? I hate to discriminate or sound negative like this, but really, it was pretty bad. Very noticeable difference. I don't mind preferential treatment for people who clearly understand the language better - that almost makes sense - but for me, when people who clearly aren't of the same culture receive horrible treatment, it's just not right!!! But who knows, that could have just been a two-time deal, and i may be completely wrong. That being said, my girlfriend and I actually preferred Woo Lae Oak in soho. Although this seemed too trendy and "americanized" to get a decent meal, we found the marinades to be almost as good as those used at Kang Suh, and the texture of the cooked meats, particularly the Kalbi, to be better than that used at Kang Suh. When you factor the portions at Woo Lae Oak, which were substantially larger (almost twice the size), and that the service was a lot nicer, in a much nicer setting - there is really almost no reason that I can see to go to Kang Suh. Prices are also similar at both places. Only times I've had great meals at Kang Suh is when I've gone with work, where a meal for 12 people has been over $1000. That's a lot of money to spend at a Korean BBQ place!!! I haven't tried any of the other places in Korea-town, and am always up for suggestions!
  15. Of the Buffalo wings I enjoy the most, I must say that I am a big supporter of Cluck-U. But really, I don't like their wings so much as their Buffalo "fingers," and I don't really eat anything that's hot for the sake of it just being hot, and so I usually get mild. S ounds kind of strange i guess, but to me, cluck-u's mild "wet bites" or "hot bites," as they're sometimes called, are just perfect. A healthy portion of juicy white meat, crispily coated with breading in a wonderful sauce. If you like cluck-u, the best location in my opinion is the Morristown one, which uses a different breading from any other cluck-u in the country (I inquired about this after trying a few other Cluck-U locations with a seamingly different coating), which turns out to be crispier. My favorite wings though are at Benchwarmers in ithaca. Their "sweet and spicy" wings are just perfect. Usually plump, perfectly crisped, with a fantastic sauce -- and really cheap on mondays, at 20 cents a piece. Just My 2 Cents.
  16. I decided to try Mas last night. It's located at 39 Downing Street in the West Village. Overall, I thought the meal was excellent and that it was a great experience. As a prefice to this, I’m not all that great at writing descriptive commentaries of food that I eat, so I will describe about my overall impressions of the experience relating to ambience, service, and a little about the food. Sorry for the length of this. I called earlier in the day and asked for a 6pm reservation. I live in Jersey, and so if I eat in the City, I like to do it right after work on the earlier side. I was informed that there was nothing available at 6, but that there was an opening at 6:15, so I took it. Needless to say, it was empty when we got to the place, and we were seated immediately (does anyone know why they would say no availability at 6 even though they were technically open?). The room itself is small, cozy, elegant, with room for approximately 40 people. There were nice plates, silverware, glasses and linen. Elegant, but not over the top. Although there was some use of wood and stone in the design, it definitely did not feel like a farmhouse, which is what Mas translates to in English. In the center of the room was a larger table that could be used for a group of 8 or even 10 perhaps, or as a communal table. That looked like a cool table to sit at, but may be cramped if the room is crowded and service is buzzing around. There were a number of employees in the restaurant, and I counted at least 8 or so walking around the dining room at one point or another – and I’m not sure if that’s a lot for a small place like this. All of the service was extremely professional, courteous, and seemed to be very personable and receptive to questions. We received the menu, which was 3 pages of approximately 6 dishes per page. The first page was dedicated to the tasting menu, which is 4 courses – app, fish, meat, desert – of which you get to select from two choices for each course, except desert, where you choose from 5 or 6. Price for tasting was $68. It was suggested to us that the chef prefers to do the tasting menu, and that is the best way to experience his cuisine. In spite of that recommendation, my girlfriend and I chose a la carte selections. I guess partly because we knew we’d be sharing anyways, and because some of the a la carte items sounded so good that we were thinking that the portions would be a bit bigger in the a la carte. The menu seems to be more focused on seafood than meat, with only a few meat dishes on the whole menu. The appetizers were priced in the $9-$13 range, and entrees priced $26-31 range. In hindsight, probably a good deal to go with the tasting menu, as entrees seemed to be almost identical portions to that on a la carte. Now, onto the food. I started with an appetizer of trout w/ fennel, wild ramps, pearl onions. Then for main course had roasted monkfish w/ wild mushrooms. The trout was presented in two small medallions over a cream sauce w/ fennel and was creamy, soft, and matched up well with the sauce it was paired with. My girlfriend started with the sardine appetizer, in which there were two grilled sardines presented on top of some type of cracker, topped with pine nuts – which was extremely good. The sardines themselves were great, but the combination of flavors used made it really good. I just wish I could remember exactly what was in the cracker! For main course, I had monkfish w/ wild ramp puree. Girlfriend had lamb. Both of the entrees were fantastic. The monkfish was easily one of the best fish dishes I have ever had. The lamb tasted like lamb should, and basically spoke for itself. For dessert we got the cheese tasting and also one of the desserts. Both were also good, but I personally preferred the cheese tasting. The menu seemed to emphasize seasonal farmed ingredients (such as the ramps, which we were informed were in season now.) The neighboring table to my left was discussing Per Se and the training program relating to what was done at the French Laundry. I do not know if they had any role in either of those two restaurants, but they seemed very knowledgeable. The table to our right was asking questions to the room manager that seemed to indicate they knew quite a bit about the food business. Basically what I’m trying to say is that at this point, the primary people eating here seem to be either industry people or those “in the know.” By the way, both of those tables were really enjoying themselves. (I wasn’t really eavesdropping, but it’s hard not to when the place was so empty! Tables are close together, btw) My only gripe with the overall experience is that the service seemed to be hovering. This may have been my imagination, but then again, we were the only people in the restaurant for a good 20 minutes. By the time we left, 2 hours later, there were probably about 20 people in the restaurant eating. At that point, it started to get a little noisy, so I’m not sure about the acoustics either. Lastly, the tables are pretty close together, but I guess that’s to be expected in a small restaurant in the city. Dinner for the two of us came to $180 include tax, tip, and a $35 bottle of wine. I know that there has been some discussions lately regarding the seemingly irregular judging criteria of the NY Times in it’s food column. Regardless, this place will easily get 2 stars, and I see no reason why it couldn’t fit nicely into the 3 star category. The combination of ambience, service, and excellent food creatively prepared and tasty should lead it in this direction. Hopefully they’ll get a few more customers so it can stay in business! I highly recommend this restaurant.
  17. Has the Pizza Club considered going to Joe & Pat's in Staten Island? Bit of a trip, but their pizza is outstanding. More like the pizza you get at Patsy's in Harlem than a Lombardi's or Grimaldi's. Definitely worth it.
  18. Very interesting info. Thanks! Of the breweries that are relatively mainstream, I like the following.. Sam Smiths Anchor Andersen Valley Ramstein Hoegaarden Bigger Brews: Old Milwaukee, Rolling Rock, Michelob (AB), Some other beers can be great, but usually aren't. Magic Hat comes to mind. I used to live in VT, and could go directly to the brewery to pick up a growler of beer for 5 bucks. And let me tell you - that was really great - not just the price, but the taste as well!!! Don't usually get that kind of quality at the local Tavern. I also had a pint of Newcastle in Montreal once that just blew my mind. It was absolutely unbelievable the difference between that pint i had and what's normally served. Simply phenomenal.
  19. What kind of volumes does a brewery need to make in order for the beer to be considered macro-brew? Major improvements in distribution and supply-line channels, as well as manufacturing capabilities, has really gone a long way towards bringing a number of excellent beers out of the woodwork. Sam Smiths comes to mind. This is a brewery that maybe 8 or 9 years ago was hardly out there. Now i see it pretty frequently. Would that be considered a macro brew?
  20. Scarlett Knight - No, I did not have my meal sent back. To be completely honest, i'm not even really sure what the proper etiquette is with regards to sending a meal back. In my mind, i would only probably send back a meal if there was something about it that was obvious to everyone that somthing was wrong (i.e. roach, mold, etc.) It could be argued that perhaps my tastes were too demanding (i really don't think so), in which case I probably shouldn't be entitled to anything back. I've had similar quality fish at many places, but in this particular place, it was the combination of fish and the terrible sauces that were added to them that made this meal particularly bad. I guess this is more of a warning than anything else to people who go to Aozora expecting a solid sushi meal.
  21. I am writing this fairly quickly, so please forgive the grammatical and spelling mistakes in this. Went to Aozora for lunch today. And boy, was it horrible. Really dreadful.... I ditto Rosie's comment about the Tuna, and would like to elaborate on the rest of my meal there.... I guess i shouldn't have expected too much. Knowing what sushi is usually like in NJ sushi joints, and especially those with a lot of hype around them, i shouldn't have expected too much. In this case though, I did. I sat at a table, feeling the need for some privacy. I proceeded to order the Omakase sushi for $22.00, in spite of it not being on their special lunch menu, which actually had some good prices. The omakase is described "explore the limits of our chef’s creativity with his personal selection of nigirisushi and makisushi." This sounds pretty interesting, I thought. For this kind of money, which is relatively high by NJ standards, I should be in for a pretty good meal. I was definitely wrong. My platter consisted of 1.5 rolls and 6 pieces of sushi. .5 roll -- this was cucumber roll. not my favorite. certainly not creative 1 roll -- this was inside out asparagus roll, topped with negi-toro. had the potential to be good, but in this case, toro was devoid of flavor. Platter: Squid – extremely chewy, not prepared properly. It was grilled slightly, adding a bit of char, but no flavor. There was this cloying plum-type sauce that was heavily dabbed in the middle of the piece. This is easily the worst piece of sushi I think I have ever had – ever. Sauce was terribly sweet and did not compliment the squid at all. Piece was extremely chewy. I couldn’t wait to swallow this piece. Tuna – Tuna had a bit of sprouts on it. That’s it. Fish was not fresh tasting. Salmon – Salmon was fishy tasting, and slightly slimy, indicating to me that it was old. Luckily, the chef doused the fish in eel sauce, masking the taste. The eel sauce itself wasn’t really that great, being overly thick and overly sweet. However, in this case I was glad he added it. Normally though, eel sauce on salmon doesn’t work for me, and isn't especially creative. Yellowtail – This also had sprouts on it. Fish was moderately fresh tasting. White Fish – What is there to say about white fish? It is in general not very exciting. This had some condiment which I can’t remember right now. Shrimp – This was the cooked shrimp. Had some type of mayo underneath the rice. Not between the shrimp and the rice, but under the rice. Very strange preparation. I don’t like cooked shrimp as a sushi piece, and the mayo didn’t help it in this case. In my humble opinion, this place doesn't deserve any hype at all. Maybe i'm being unfair by judging this place on just one visit - but there were so many misfires on my one plate, and the overall experience was just so bad, that I cannot bring myself to try it again. I really can't. I'd prefer to give my money to a place like Yoshi Sono, which although isn't trendy, or doesn't have the ambience, at least has palatable fish, nice selection, and reasonable prices. I will never recommend Aozora for sushi. The other stuff is another story - i have no idea how that stuff is... Rob p.s. There were two gentlemen seated at a neighboring table who, contrary to proper sushi etiquette, proceeded to cut each piece with a fork and knive, and then blanket each piece with pickled ginger, and then as if that wasn't enough, allowed each piece to bath in soy sauce for upwards of a minute. After trying Aozora's sushi, I wish i had done the same....
  22. i believe that hatsuhana had a 4 star review at one point. not that it means anything, but thought i would add that.
  23. i went to Souths a couple weeks ago - in tribeca area near canal - and someone I was with got the burger there. got it with carmelized onions, bacon, and cheddar, i believe. i took a bite. it was absolutely amazing. perfectly cooked, juicy, charred outside (but not overdone), cooked to medium/medium-rare - just as ordered. unfortunatley, i couldn't eat more than a couple bites cause i was scheduled to have dinner at mark joseph steakhouse for a friend's b-day. sure wish i had eaten more, cause that burger was much better than the steak i had later that night, at 5 times the price - no joke. highly recommend this place. get the carmelized onions. significantly better than that corner bistro joint which seems to be big in all the popularity contests.
  24. Sounds like this place still has a while to go.... Went there on what turned out to be their opening day. I, like a good number of others, was turned away - due to them not having any food!!! They basically couldn't make virtually every dish! Pretty crazy. Hafta kick those smokers into high gear... They did give me a 10% discount coupon for my next visit though... That was pretty nice of them.
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