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Posts posted by SusanGiff

  1. No, you can't really notice the smoke at all, it will not effect your meal.  I'm an ex-smoker and very sensitive now as well and I couldn't smell it even though I could see people doing it. The place is very loft like and open.


    Mike, you must have gone a different time or night than we did. I found it VERY smoky, and I had to air out my clothes that night (and I'm not particularly sensitive to smoke). This close to the ban, I'd advise waiting if smoke really bothers you.

  2. Wow! So, after I saw Ling's pictures I immediately looked up Pierre Marcolini, because I'd never heard of it and it looked so absolutely gorgeous. And the next day found myself, hmm, on the east side of Manhattan for a doctor's appointment, and then driving home thinking, hmm, wasn't that chocolate place somewhere--hey, there it is! I parked illegally out front. The lovely French salesgirl told me the chocolates go especially well with a soft red wine or espresso, and I'm thinking, "How about with gas fumes, cause this box ain't making it home intact?"

    The bad news is, those are the tiniest and most expensive little chocolates I've ever bought. (Your friends are wildly generous.) The good news is, they really are amazing. They've turned me into a total chocolate BITCH. Honestly. In addition to a little 8-piece box, I bought bag of 7 single-origin tiles, and and have literally hidden them in my bedside table drawer so I don't have to share with my husband. I love him very much, but they're just so small and so good.

    So thank you for spreading the good word. And now I have to order some Amadei Porcelana online.

    By the way, I'm a huge Pralus fan. The flavors are really deep and distinctive, the chocolate's creamy, and the packaging's cool.


  3. Jonnnie Carraba's and Johnnie Carino's are two chains that surpass Olive Garden.  I don't know how widespread they are.

    I don't know. I waited 30 minutes for a table at Johnny Carino's once (because I actually LIKE Chevy's and it's the same company and Johnny's was near the movie theater) and it was horrible. Worst restaurant pasta I've ever had.

  4. I'm excited to try the chocolate bar that was blended with ginger.  Sounds like it will be an interesting combo!

    It rocks. My favorite of all the stuff I bought there.

    As for the Anais comparison--Chocolate Path isn't house-made chocolate, strictly dark chocolate products from other sources. Not much that's filled or ganache, ie, which is what Anais sounds like based on the pricing you're mentioning. So now I'm going to have to check Verona out, too, I see!

  5. Funny you should ask. I was craving Japanese down there one day and just popped into a place I'd never heard of, and haven't heard of since (I even searched the archive): Nagomi, at 179 Prince St. I loved it--extremely fresh sushi with some pleasant and surprising preparations. I don't remember the details, because it was a few months ago, but I do remember this outrageously tasty spiced ice tea they gave me at the end of the meal!

    Unfortunately I also don't remember the prices...Just how good it was.


  6. I don't have time for a long post, and really, Daniel's pictures are worth many thousands of words anyway. But suffice it to say that we DID indeed go Friday night, because my taste buds must be obeyed. Fabulous ribs and chicken, those sweet potato fries are superb, and my pulled pork sandwich was a treat (but guys--why no slaw on top as a part of the sandwich? That's the Memphis way). We didn't order the beef ribs, which was a big mistake. To say that Bruce and Phil were gracious hosts is to wildly understate the situation. A friendly joint where our kids weren't snarled at when they hogged the pool table. And free refills on soda! What more could you ask?


  7. If your kids are adventurous, how about a tapas place? Small portions for them, multiple dishes for you. Plus, if they're like most children, you need to go fairly early, so you can beat the crowds. I'm thinking Tia Pol, which I haven't been to but am eager to try.

    I'm wildly jealous. Very soon, my ultra-picky kids will actually be too old for the children's menus, and then what will they do? What will WE do?


  8. Wow, talk about a response!  Thank you for all the suggestions, everyone; it's going to be a lot of fun trying all these places. 

    I haven't browsed much of eG outside of the NJ forum, so I'll be sure to seek out the Coffee/Tea threads.

    I'd definitely recommend that. It's where I've gotten suggestions for places to order from far afield, and so far they've been right about every one. In fact, Food and Wine recently did a coffee piece and recommended a lot of the same places, so either they're really good, or F&W is also relying on eGullet. Not out of the realm of possibility.

    Have fun!

  9. The issue, with respect to coffee roasting, is when was the coffee roasted.  None of the coffees at Whole Foods gives you an idea of what day roasting occurred (yet... provides an expiry!).  Same for places like Bean's or Porto Rico.  Coffee deteriorates quickly after roasting...

    Not sure what Whole Foods you go to, but the one in Edgewater in particular as well as any other one I've bought coffee from has a sticker on the coffee bin or barrel that tells you when it was roasted.

    At the Montclair Whole Foods, the sticker on the bulk-bean bins tells you when they last FILLED it! Which of course tells you absolutely nothing, because they could have filled it this morning by pouring in a bunch of beans that were roasted weeks ago.

    I've noticed that even Peet's, purchased in retail outlets as opposed to online, tells you how long the coffee's good, not when it was roasted; they used to have a roast date.

    That's why I love ordering from little places online--my bag comes with my name pencilled on it and a roast date of a couple of days ago. Makes me feel special.

  10. Personally I like OG better than Fascino but that's just me.  You will enjoy any one of the three mentioned here though.  OG will be bigger portions and cheaper than Fascino and not as "stuffy."  Fascino is a great place but I;d go elsewhere for dessert, IMO that is the only part of their place that lacks.

    Not just you! I'll out myself now as one of the few who is disappointed by (okay, unimpressed with) Fascino, where I've had uneven meals--as in a couple of great dishes rounded out by a couple of okay-to-lousy ones. By contrast, I've never had a bad meal at Giotto. That is, when I can get in.

    Friends and I who lunch together monthly, more for conversation than food, went to Giotto in December and it was fantastic. (Unfortunately, all I remember at the moment was the risotto special, which I split, and a really fine salad.) I think it's one of the more under-discussed restaurants in town.


    edited to add: By the way, if you're thinking of any of these three places, make your decision asap and call now! It's getting ridiculously difficult to dine in Montclair. And as a backup, I'd suggest Indigo Smoke, especially for a more down-to-earth, fun celebration. That's some good eatin'!

  11. I had brunch once at Five Points because I love that place and had heard theirs was terrific. I got the sense that it <could> be great, but the day we were there they were overwhelmed and the kitchen seemed to be having problems, so my eggs were overcooked and other stuff was cool. The service was nice, and I wouldn't hesitate to go back, perhaps at a less prime hour.

    A thought: Is Blue Ribbon Bakery open for brunch?


  12. I didn't either, until I got a tip! I think she's trying to do a slow build, although apparently Baristanet has written her up.

    To clarify, it's on Greenwood, across from Lackawanna station. I'm not sure exactly what the street is called at that point, Greenwood or Lackawanna Plaza.  But it's within a block of Bloomfield Ave.


    To clarify, it's not in Lackawana Plaza--the mini-mall with Pathmark and Dunkin Donuts, but rather it is on Glenridge Ave or Pine St?

    Okay, I <think> I have this right. If you're heading east on Bloomfield Ave., you turn left before you hit that mini-mall. According to mapquest, the left is onto Israel Crane Way, which quickly becomes Greenwood. It's on that block, on the west side of the street. If you hit Glen Ridge Ave., you've missed it. But no, you're right, not in the mini-mall. If you go, suggest she put a map on her website! Have fun, sample well.


  13. I'm a huge fan of dark chocolate. I had no idea this store even existed. I don't ever really go to Lackawana Plaza as until now there was really no store to draw my attention.

    I didn't either, until I got a tip! I think she's trying to do a slow build, although apparently Baristanet has written her up.

    To clarify, it's on Greenwood, across from Lackawanna station. I'm not sure exactly what the street is called at that point, Greenwood or Lackawanna Plaza. But it's within a block of Bloomfield Ave.


  14. What are the prices like?

    I'd say the bars (about 3.5 ounces) are in the $4-5 range, which seems typical for this level of quality chocolates. But that teensy bag of toffees was a shocking $10. I was in such a fugue state while I was there that I wasn't paying much attention, just adding stuff to the counter. Still, they were delicious, and very nice for company.


  15. I'm shocked--shocked!--that no one has written about this new store on Lackawanna Plaza yet, or maybe I just missed it. Dark chocolate fanatic and owner Susan Jeffries Fine (I think that's it) has a small but extremely tasty inventory of dark chocolates from around the country and world tucked into one side of what is or was an interior design space. She keeps a drawer full of samples of everything she's selling. I picked up a bar of Weiss 68 percent with candied orange peel--this was a brand I'd never seen or heard of anywhere outside the chocolate show in New York City; one bar of straight 73 percent chocolate and one with bits of ginger from an American company called NewTree; and some outrageous chocolate covered toffee, also with ginger (I'm on a ginger tear this winter) from BT McElrath. She told me she's concentrating on stuff you don't find easily elsewhere, but she carries a handful of pretty Marie Belle bars, too. Check out the website.

    If you live in the Montclair and, like some chocolate addicts I know, have previously had to go to NYC for a serious chocolate stash, this is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.


  16. I bought some imported bufala at the uptown Fairway in Manhattan. You'll have to bear in mind that it was my first taste of the real thing, but it was a pretty transporting experience. So if someone's tried that and knows it's just eh compared to the REAL real thing, please please please show me the way!


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