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Everything posted by ewindels

  1. I'm headed upstate the weekend of August 9 for an annual trip to the Berkshires, driving up on a Friday night after work. In the past we've stopped at the Daily Planet diner in LaGrange, if only because it's close to the parkway and therefore convenient, but we have all tired of this option and are interested in something better. Hudson is an option but it's 20 minutes off the parkway and at the very end of our trip: something slightly more mid-route would be preferred. I'm personally campaigning for good wine. And not too expensive... Any and all suggestions welcome!
  2. That was also my (brief) experience: you can add bottles to their database, which is how it grows. My problem was that for some reason the site would not allow me to add to My Cellar a bottle that they already had listed. Too bad that it didn't occur to me to try to re-list as a solution to the issue. Kind of fascinating that they seem to be the only game in town: Vinfolio seems to be principally about getting you to buy wine via them, as opposed to tracking an existing cellar, and I can't find anything else, which leaves me back with my Google Drive spreadsheet.
  3. Following is the entire exchange with Mr. Levine, verbatim. I will let it speak for itself. For background, I was trying to register the Juan Gil 2010 to my cellar, but the Cellartracker site, despite displaying a large number of options from this bodega, would only allow the 2012 vintage to be selected. Me: Why do I have to register separately for the forum? I have been attempting to add the Bodegas Juan Gil 2010 to my cellar. The site refuses to recognize anything other than 2012 Bodega Juan Gil Honoro Vera Calatayud, no matter what I do.If these are endemic issues, I'm going to stop trafficking on the site now. Which would be a shame, the site seems to have some great features. Cellartracker Sorry, the forum is separate. It takes 30 seconds to register, and you only need to do it once if at all. For the Juan Gil, please just type less or be careful with your search. The wine is there and has been for nearly a year. https://www.cellartracker.com/pickproducer.asp?szSearch=Juan+Gil+2010+&PickWine=on&NoVintage= And: https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=1378939 I am not sure what is endemic here. I do recommend reading the search tips: HELP Search TipsSearch using any information from the wine label. If you don't get any matches, try typing less (e.g. just the first few letters of a producer or vineyard name). Use a wine label decoder if you are unsure how to interpret a label. Me: I've tried six times tonight, reselecting the straight 2010 bodegas vintage each time. The site keeps defaulting to the 2012. Darn, and I had such high hopes for your site. Cellartracker: Ed, Somehow a quarter of a million people have managed to add 40 million bottles. Can you please tell me the steps you are following? Clearly something is going wrong, and I would be happy to help. I hope you march onward to a pleasant weekend. Me: Mr Levine, I have typed the term "juan gil" in the search bar. Of the many options that are then listed, I have six times tonight clicked the 2010 vintage. Despite which, the site persistently defaults to the 2012 vintage. The tone of your response indicates that I am at fault. I don't know how to reply to that. Cellartracker Mr. Windels, There are two ways to do this: 1) Do your search on the ADD WINE screen which is more optimized for this scenario: https://www.cellartracker.com/pickproducer.asp On the QUICK LINKS menu click on ADD WINE TO CELLAR. 2) Or if you are doing a general search and then wish to use the side panel on the right, please note that you much FIRST click onto the row for the wine in question. I am guessing that your 2012 is the first item in the long list of items returned in the search. So THEN click on the row for the wine you wish to add. Alternatively if you hover your cursor over the wineglass icon for the specific wine, a HOVERCARD appears that you can also use to add the wine to your cellar. You might want to quickly peruse this help topic which covers this, and the brief screencast video would likely be very helpful as well: https://www.cellartracker.com/content.asp?iContent=41 I am not sure how you are inferring tone from an email. If I were to infer the tone of your email, it might be passive aggressive since you repeatedly have sent me emails that are pointed and accusatory and threaten to “leave” a site you have barely used and never paid for. However my site is free, and I willingly answer questions directly. I believe the answers you seek are above. Me: Wow... Cellartracker: So apparently I inferred incorrectly.
  4. I'd be grateful to get the communities recommendations on the above. Cellartracker had some very good features, including a substantial existing database which made adding items to my account easy, but their customer service has proven to be a comically unpleasant experience. I'm exploring Vincellar/Vinfolio, but as of now their database is limited and manually entering in over 800 different bottles with full details is more of a project than I care to undertake, so any other recos would be greatly appreciated. I'm looking for: Something with a mobile option as wellA large-ish (subjective, I know) existing database, including label photographsThe ability to easily share a post to social mediaI'd principally like to be able to look up search someting in My Account if I'm out and about to see if I've drunk it already and if so what I thought of it. So I don't need gargantuan or professional options, at least now. Thanks, all!
  5. Sorry, gang: OakBROOK, not OakLAND. 5PM show at the Drury Lane Theater in Oakland, letting out 7:30, so... 8ish? We're driving. Preferences: I've loved Blackbird, and Girl and the Goat (though that was awfully noisy). We're going to Filini tomorrow night, so maybe not Italian again. Doesn't have to be very polished / upscale like Blackbird, I would love a good and reasonable wine list.
  6. I'm staying with friends this weekend in Lincoln Park, and attending an early theater performance in Oakland. Any recommendations for GOOD dinner joints on the way back to LP? Thanks!
  7. Thanks, all! Jaleo looks like the spot (also they were available).
  8. Folks, of the places listed here, which would you recommend for a pre-National Gallery lunch this Saturday for a single person who won't be dressed up, so a bar lunch would be fine. I'd like to sample the best and brightest, but e.g. Citronelle seems way too formal. Thanks!
  9. I'm in the capital this Saturday and Sunday for The Kennedy Center. Dinner on Saturday is at the Center itself (locked in, no options), so I've only got lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday to explore. Saturday I'm open to anything: Richard? Andres? I'm hoping to spend the afternoon at the Gallery, so convenience would be nice but mandatory. Sunday breakfast I'm entertaining an older couple coming in from Arlington, so if there are any logistical considerations in terms of the Metro that might influence location choices... This one should be low-key, they're not shmancy. Thanks in advance!
  10. I'll be out on the island next week and was wondering what gulleters were currently recommending? I'm hoping to revisit American Season and Sfoglia. Anything else?
  11. Steve, thanks for store reco: I managed to do a quick run through it, and while I wound up not actually buying anything, man were there truckloads of stuff I would have liked to. Stores like that alone make one contemplate moving to Flushing... Spicy & Tasty, I have to say, was a little disappointing. It was certainly tasty, but not very spicy: nothing like the original Grand Szechuan, or more recently Szechuan Gourmet before the Times review (after which they seemed to have dumbed down the content). Now S&T may have looked at this very Caucasian couple and given the kitchen the warning, but I wouldn't have known how to counteract that, so it was a bit frustrating. But definitely tasty.
  12. I will be making my first visit to this restaurant tomorrow evening, and wondered if there were any recommendations for good food stores in the vicinity, particularly asian. Google Maps lists a Hong Kong supermarket on Main Street: any thoughts on this?
  13. I've found that if you get there before noon, the wait's not horrible and the dumplings are still nuclear temperature. And an order of the chive-and-pork, plus a pork-filled sesame pancake, is hands down the best lunch in the city, and for $3 probably the best bargain. But Prosperity sounds like a promising alternative. And FG, agreed on the Mosco street place.
  14. ewindels


    What a shame to read these, especially I was looking forward to making a re-visit sometime in the near future. Does anyone know if Bryant is still involved? That might explain some of these recent experiences.
  15. ewindels


    Holy cow, what a meal. Why are people not hammering on the door of this place? I'm still floating from it (metaphorically speaking, of course, after all the bread we consumed...) Lezzee: their portuguese version of prosciutto, which can compete with the best anywhere. The foie gras terrine is a superb deal at $15 for this quality, and while the fig accompaniments didn't add anything notable to the dish, they were delicious and interesting on their own. The peas with bacon and summer truffle and some foam are ethereally sublime. Hangar steak topped with an egg and served with a potato/oxtail terrine is terrific and hearty, but the sliced loin of pork with manilla clams and smoked corn, scented with spanish paprika, is hands down the best thing I've eaten in recent memory: we came awfully close to licking the plate, and fighting each other for the priveledge of doing so.Desserts were the chocolate combo thing, which was excellent, and the sonhos (doughnut holes), which are so superb on their own that the accompanying sauces are frankly superfluous (although the hazelnut one is pretty delicious on its own). I'm already lining up potential partners for my IMMINENT return visits.
  16. Seriously: Chef Boyardee on a big platter. Carmine's in their early days did this sort of thing way better.Sfoglia is incomprehensibly and lamentably absent from this discussion.
  17. A winner overall. The space is well laid out and accomodating, if a little tight, particularly when it gets crowded at high time, but that's to be expected. The food's terrific: a little more rustic and unfanciful than what Carmelini was doing at A Voce, but excellent all around. Whipped ricotta with grilled bread is fine, the latter generously replenished when we ran out, which we did fast. If livery flavors scare you, the chicken liver crostini will do you fine, as they're ameliorated and sweetened with vin santo. The gabagoul and grana is a funny idea, but for $14 the portion is a little paltry. Ditto for the calamari stuffed with chorizo and served on smooth polenta, a great combination. The grilled jumbo shrimp doesn't have much innate flavor, and the lemon and garlic on it weren't particularly distinguishable. Spaghettini with lamb amatriciani had just a hint of bite to it's rich, hefty sauce. Even better was a special of orecchiete with rabbit sausage and fresh shell peas in a light broth with little strips of prossiutto fat: the peas singing with flavor against the other ingredients. Roasted trout was beautiful with crispy skin, and the accompanying steamed new potatoes outshone the side of Rustic Potatoes with garlic and parmigiano-reggiano that we ordered. Fire-roasted Garlic Chicken For Two (which is also available for One) had too much and too many herbs on it for my taste, but was beautifully cooked. The porchetta is a knockout: infused with fennel and rosemary and with simultaneously unctuous and crispy skin. The side of fresh bitter greens is a perfect contrast. The lemon tart is an exceptional, perfect example of the dish. The Chocolate Torta itself was fine, but outshone by the accompanying cardamom gelato. A bottle each of a Dolcetto and a Barbera, a few starter drinks, one or two caffeines, and with tip the damage came to $94 a person. All around, good value for the quantity and quality of what we got.
  18. ewindels


    Beautifully put. If this isn't the most gorgeous room in NYC, it's in the top 3. (At least, the front room is. The back room, where we were initially seated, was, to be diplomatic, not to my taste). The bathrooms make you want to genuflect. Service was very good. The food was fine, correct, enjoyable, but there were no "wow" or "oh my god" moments, of which there were several at Corton. If I had to nitpick (and being an UWSer, this is a given), I remember the mignardise being a little sloppy and off-handed (I would have expected one item for each of the two of us, instead of the odd numbers rolling around on the tiered tray). That's my only point. For a Special Occasion or Romance, this is it, especially if and when they have the fireplace going again.
  19. Folks, I've got some colleagues going to Indianapolis this Sunday 4/19 for a meeting the following day, and need to find someplace nice and not too raucous for dinner that night. I was hoping for Elements, but they're not open on Sundays. I'm shying away from steakhouses, which in NYC at least tend to be VERY raucous. Any recommendations greatly appreciated.
  20. ewindels


    I find LP's very unhappy experience interesting for a Thursday, although I guess Thursday is still the new Friday... or whatever. My one experience at Commerce, while not nearly as bad, would keep me from the place permanently, and that was on a Saturday night, when any sane New Yorker knows to stay home and order in, to avoid the tsunami of out of towners. Particularly in the West Village. Now one of our party showed up an hour late, so I don't fault the restaurant for changing our seating to a miniscule table behind the bar, where we had to duck large, bulky posteriors all night. That said, we suffered the same delays in food arrival as LP, though overall I have to say the food was pretty good (sorry, I don't remember a thing). Being imprisoned where we were, it was pretty much impossible to get any server's attention. Add to that a noise level that left my ears ringing for two days afterwards, and the offer of a free meal wouldn't get me back there. If it makes you feel any better, LP, when we finally left with pounding heads and squashed persons, there was quite a crowd of people assailing the hostesses for exactly the same reasons you had to, so you are / were not alone.
  21. ewindels


    I should clarify on my post above that I felt that, with few exceptions, we ordered the wrong dishes, but as it wasn't my birthday I wasn't the decision maker. From what I recall of the menu, I can easily see where we could have done better, which however doesn't address the temperature issue... unless the temperatures were deliberate. Or the service or atmosphere issues, but those are personal and subjective.
  22. ewindels


    At the risk of incurring the wrath and scorn of the more militant members of the New York forum, I have to be honest in saying that, following my visit to Shang last night, not only do I concur with the Paper of Record's view of this joint, but frankly I thought they were kind. That staircase gives one visions of what it must have been like to be summoned under suspicion to the Kremlin or SS headquarters, and the bar area once gained is no less ominous and forbidding. And while I’m aware that the Lower East Side is considered by some to be the non plus ultra in hipness, a second story view of the schmatte district really doesn’t add much glamour or atmosphere. Even the extremely tasty and effervescent “Galangal Storm” (galangal-infused simple syrup, lime juice, Plymouth gin, club soda) available at the bar wasn’t potent enough to dispel the sepulchral gloom of this space. The dining area isn’t much of an improvement, for all the peach and coral colors accented with dark woods, and suffers from noticeable climate issues. Initially seated by the big aperture opening on to that cavernous staircase and therefore subjected to drafts from the ground floor entrance, we were moved at our request across the room to a table by the windows, where the ferocity of the heating system causes the drapes to billow decoratively. Denizens of New York’s dining scene who recall Von Gerichten’s ill-fated 66 in Tribeca will find Shang to be old news: fusion takes on Asian cuisine, though the menu here scans much wider afield than what I remember of 66, which skewed more towards China. Long story short, everything we had was thoroughly unremarkable, despite long and elaborate lists and descriptions of ingredients whose roles in their respective dishes were largely undetectable. Portions tend towards the luxuriously miniscule (i.e. a lotta money for little food). Steamed Wild White Snapper with ginger, red dates, citrus and tree ear mushrooms, fresh soybeans was a peculiarly sweetish dish sitting in a bland broth. Crispy taro puffs with spicy curried beef were about as spicy as Hamburger Helper. Crispy Skinned Young Garlic Chicken with sweet and sour onion marmalade was not crispy skinned, though it was quite tasty and that marmalade would be a wonderful component for a foie gras dish (of which there are several on the menu though we didn’t attempt any of them). Mongolian Lamb Chops with glazed bananas, chili mint, carrot cardamom chutney and peanut sauce was probably our favorite, though the chops were overcooked. None of these dishes come with accompaniments, necessitating an order of the fried rice, which despite what seemed an agglomeration of ingredients was bewilderingly bland. No starch freebies of any sort are offered, and while I realize that is probably culturally authentic, at this price point a basket of something while you’re waiting patiently for the hooch or first round of dishes to arrive should be seriously considered by the proprietors. More than once I was tempted to jog down to nearby Eldridge Street and grab a few orders of four-for-a-dollar. An overall description would be tepid: flavorings, seasonings, and worst of all temperature. In fact tepid was the warmest any of our orders came, and the majority were room temperature, including the fish, which was not a happy experience. The warmest dish was a chocolate banana cake, very successful, as was the lemon meringue tart. The fairly predictable wine list contains few options under $50. An initial bottle of Albarino was so completely flat and unremarkable that I did something I never do: sent it back, and exchanged it for a run of the mill but reliable Sauvignon Blanc. Service was not happy: our waitress parked herself at the (second) table as soon as we were seated and staunchly remained there until we had ordered booze, ignoring our attempts to converse or give the menu a thorough perusal. After that, it was difficult flagging her or anyone else down. Total we were 2.5 hours at the table, with considerable waits between courses despite the room being barely full when we sat down. Shang follows a long line of establishments where the quality or even enjoyability of the food plays a considerably secondary role to a “scene”, in which latter aspect it did not, to my view, appear to be succeeding very well last night, though it was certainly full when we finally were able to depart at 10. Whether there will be enough of an audience in the new economy for this sort of thing, willing to spend healthy chunks of money on posing for little gustatory gratification, will be a decisive factor in the survival of places like Shang. No one seems to be depending on the food to play a role.
  23. It is heartening, in these times of chaos and uncertainty, to find most of my fellow gotham gulleters still reliably obsessed with two imperatives: getting in with David Chang and the immediate and gruesome demise of the Times' principal restaurant reviewer. What nirvana said comrades in comestion hope to achieve from either of these attainments I’m not sure I understand, and either one seems to be a lot of work when nirvana is so much more easily attainable and available just steps from the Chang empire at Apiary, where Scott Bryant has landed and is recreating the stellar cooking so many of us thrilled to when he was Veritas. Located in the heart of the east village in an unprepossessing block of low storefronts, Apiary’s quiet, understated elegance distinguishes it from its immediate neighbors and the general area, more given to economic eateries with a student demographic, though Apiary is undoubtedly hoping to capitalize on all the recent high-end residential construction in the area. The space is small, intimate and elegant in a cool, slightly modernist way: pale walls accented with dark wood slatted divisions, dark mirrors, and low plush seating furnished by the restaurant’s sponsor, the furniture company Ligne Rosset. The menu skews French / bistro, with the occasional global touches and hints. We had: Apps: Crisp sweetbreads, with romesco and frisée Thai squid salad, with lemongrass, ginger, peanuts, mint Serrano ham dressed with aged balsamico and a little arugula Terrine de foie gras with grilled bread Entrees Grilled pork loin, shaved brussel sprouts, glazed tokyo turnips, calvados Grilled hanger steak, roasted shallots, potato puree, green peppercorn sauce Chatham cod, chickpeas, bouillabaisse broth, rouille Confit of duck leg celery root puree, french green lentils Desserts Cherry financier brandied cherries Apple tarte tatin whipped crème fraîche Warm valrhona flourless chocolate cake vanilla ice cream I could rave about each item individually, but it’s easier to say that the whole was superb. The only thing of note was the hangar steak, traditionally a lower cut of meat that comes across pretty rubbery and chewy. That was also the case here, though in the restaurant’s handling was terrific, but we all were interested in the inclusion of a lower-end cut in what was otherwise a high-end handling, though it fits in with the bistro skew of the menu. Also the brussel sprouts had the merest whiff of something spicy: I guessed wasabi powder, a friend suggested mustard seeds. The kitchen insisted neither was involved, but whatever it was, it was superb and would be a worthy thing to attempt on one’s own. Service couldn’t have been smoother or friendlier. Though full when we left, the noise level never approached the onerous. Best of all was the price: the above, with two bottles of wine and three caffeines, came to $100 a person including an extremely generous tip. If, like myself, you were wowed by Bryant’s cooking at Veritas, you won’t be surprised to find that he’s back in full form. If you never get to Veritas, make a visit to Apiary a priority.
  24. Couldn't agree more with Mussina: my meal at Corton last Tuesday turned out not only to be the perfect way to celebrate the Inauguration, but a superb way to dispell the gloom of the oncoming year. This was overall one of the best meals (and general experiences) I've had in memory. Not that our choices really matter, but in case anyone cares: Overall many foams... lots of Japanese ingredients I'd never heard of. Teeny gougeres and somethingorother squash genois, the latter all but evaporates on your tongue, just amazing. Amuse: foie gras chantilly under another squash foam topped with a tissue thin toasted lacey brioche round Aunt: veggies and fruits, all individually cooked (geez, what a bitch that must be), me: foie gras with beet gelee. Aunt: the beef , me: lamb three ways with a side of cukes and lamb in eetsy cubes. The neck rocked. Aunt: the chocolate dessert, soft in the center, interesting spice, can't remember what, probably something Japanese. Me: cheeses, all fine, none really killer tho maybe I'm too much of an afficiando at this point, and putting in two gruyeres seemed uninspired. Whole array of bonbons and mignardises and stuff, and lighter than air shortbread cookies to go Killer bottle: Dom Deux Anes L'enclos 05. Total with tip came to $130. GO NOW.
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