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Everything posted by WK2

  1. These are all terrific ideas, folks. Thanks for responding to me. I especially like the idea of teaming up with local culinary schools and giving seminars to cooks and chefs. That matches up with my personality (I'm a pretty academic lawyer; not really a salesman) and I think it would eventually pay dividends. As for Ecuador, I'm sure most food people in New York would love to be in a less regulated environment! As part of my interest in the subject, I've been trying to collect all the recent appellate decisions in New York that have anything to do with restaurants and food - suffice to say, I've had no lack of examples. UPDATE: Also, would you go to a more informal legal seminar held at a restaurant or bar? If so, what time and day would it have to be to attract people who actually run or own restaurants? I would have thought during the day is the only option.
  2. Hi all - Maybe my question is a bit obscure, but here goes. I'm a young-ish lawyer in NYC, just moved from a big extremely fancy firm to a smaller place where I have a lot more freedom to find my own clients. I'd like to develop a practice as a lawyer that serves, in part, the food community, especially smaller developing places in my neighborhood and elsewhere (though I'd never turn my nose up at a big restaurant group either, of course). It seems to me that many chefs and restaurants could benefit from really good, sophisticated legal advice from someone who cares a lot about food and the people who make it, and I don't think they're always getting it because, perhaps, they think it can't be economical. So, assuming you're in the unfortunate situation of needing a lawyer, how do you go about it? Would it annoy you to be approached cold by someone like me? Do you rely on your friends? I'd love to hear any ideas.
  3. Here's another dubious use of the word "program", with respect to a dessert menu. http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2012/02/101-best-new-desserts-in-the-country.html#photo=16x00039
  4. WK2


    I guess I'm resurrecting a long dormant thread, but my wife and I finally stopped by Aldea last Friday. I'm of two minds. Some of the food was really good; the sea urchin toast, the sonhos with the variety of sauces. But I'm not sure I thought the main courses we had (wild striped bass with caramelized broth and a red snapper dish) were exceptionally better than dishes in the same price band and below. For example, I recently had a fish dish at the Grammercy Tavern tavern room that I thought was much more pleasing. And neither of us thought the octopus or the terrine we had was different than anywhere else (indeed, I had exceptional octopus at Motorino, of all places, recently). And we paid rather a lot of money. I also didn't love the upstairs room, although we had a lot of space and were comfortable. Aldea's a very good restaurant - just didn't think it was worthy of special plaudits, is all. '
  5. I tried it. It's less offensive than the others.
  6. I didn't see a topic like this, though maybe I missed it. I was wondering how all of you came up with your ideas for meal every week. I used to sort of wing it, but then I realized I was forgetting about meals I really liked for months at a time. So then I made a spreadsheet listing everything I like to cook in categories. On the weekend I look through my list, then spend an hour or so with coffee looking through a favorite cookbook or two before shopping. Of course, the supermarket or market might inspire an idea or shoot down something else, and some days I don't feel like eating what I had planned, so we improvise. What do you all do?
  7. My wife loved Porto Rico importing company before we got spoiled with intelligentsia and Stumptown. It's much cheaper, and may satisfy your craving.
  8. “A marble bar encourages interaction between customers and the baristas they will order directly from . . . ." I don't get it. Is it the marble that encourages interaction? Or the bar? Because most coffee places have a bar. So it must be the marble. But I've never thought of marble as encouraging interaction, particularly. Anyway, what sort of interaction, exactly, other than ordering and getting coffee? Maybe you can negotiate the prices or something... Very odd.
  9. That's pretty bad. Actually, I've found that the word "program" to refer to a wine menu itself a little grating. I don't see what it adds. Used for soda, it's just silly. Can't you just say, we'll have schmancy sodas? I suppose what they mean by "Expect affordable versions of American diner classics" is "Expect high-end versions of American diner classics that are still kind-of affordable but are way more than a diner"
  10. As I think about fulfilling my mother's yearly christmas order for smoked salmon, I thought I would revisit this thread. Has anything emerged to challenge Russ & Daughters in the past four years?
  11. Lupa was my stand-by New York city treat when I was still a student and made it down on the bus. I could go at off hours, and just about afford it. Now that I can definitely afford it, I can never get in, because I have to go when everyone else is there. The review reminds me that I need to make a trip soon.
  12. WK2

    Pizza in Rome

    For whatever reason, I'm especially craving that sandwich. Looks completely ridiculous. And now that I think of it, I don't know anyone who makes a sort of mortadella pizza sandwich here in NYC...
  13. I did some googling on the topic, and came up with this article that at least implies that even CDM uses Polly-o, but it's nothing definitive (and maybe even implies is over-reading it - my theory is that if indeed you need a license to make cheese, then one could figure out whether CDM has such a license or not). http://www.westchestermagazine.com/core/pagetools.php?pageid=6184&url=%2FBlogs%2FEat-Drink-Post%2FAugust-2008%2FFor-the-Germ-o-Phobes-Some-Dirt-on-that-Home-Made-Mozzerella-in-the-Water-Tub-on-the-Counter%2F&mode=print
  14. Thanks for the list, which I had never seen. Prune,yes - that's the kind of thing I was thinking of. For whatever reason, Ko seems different to me. Maybe because it is a branch of a larger empire.
  15. Would be interesting to discuss other examples of similar farces. I knew about the mozzarella. I know from baker friends of mine in France that many croissants (even at otherwise artisanal boulangers) now are (high quality) frozen croissants thawed and proofed in the morning. I can't think of anything else right now, but suspect there are many more things people think are hand made or fresh but in fact are not (maybe handmade tortillas in Texas et al? Probably the masa is all supplied by one giant factory).
  16. On Saturday night my wife and I dined (by accident) at Grocery, a tiny restaurant on Smith Street in Brooklyn. The whole place can't have been more than a few hundred square feet - since then, we've been joking that we apparently could run a restaurant out of our living room - and yet the food (as I'm sure others know) is ambitious and well executed. The experience reminded us a little of dining at a small sole proprietor kind of place in Paris. Anyway, it raises the question to me - what are other similarly microscopic restaurants that nonetheless are ambitious? I'd love to hear favorites.
  17. I was in London from Houston/New York (it's a long story) this week, and stopped in at Roganic for lunch on Tuesday. I have to echo everyone here - it was a delightful meal, well worth the time. Rogan arrived just as we were starting our meal, cheerfully dragging in some luggage, and there were photographers obviously taking photos for some kind of review. All the other diners seemed to be industry professionals, just from the bit of eavesdropping I was able to do. We only had time and money for the five course option, but I think it gives a perfect introduction into Rogan's cooking. The potato dish, which I understand to be a classic, is just a wonderful achievement. The onion ash combined remarkably with the delicate creaminess of the new potatoes Rogan uses. We were also especially taken by the mackerel dish,and in general thought that the sauces and creams enhanced the dishes rather than masked anything as is so often the case. Honestly, the restaurant reminds me of a more successful "Corton" in New York. Exacting, technical, beautiful food, but with a little more joy. I suppose I might say that the brill with chicken salt was more fascinating than delicious, and the red wine I ordered was a little warm, but that doesn't really detract for me from what was one of the better meals I've had in a while. And, like others have said, Sandia Chang and the rest of the front of house were a delight. I bet the 10 course menu, which I saw several others enjoying, was fantastic.
  18. WK2

    má pêche

    Right - I certainly didn't think it was worse than most other high end mid-town hotel lobbies - just not distinctive. But, just as an example, I would prefer to have had the exact same drink at the Ace hotel's lobby, where what I can get now is a stumptown macchiato.
  19. WK2

    má pêche

    We visited just for a quick drink last night and had the Seven Spice Sour and the Short Island. Both were excellent, and as noted upthread, fairly worthy of other cocktail destinations. I'm not so sure about the mezzanine as an environment, though. We were comfortable but found it a little sterile for our tastes. Also, we found the service (such as it was for just a couple of drinks) to be a little clunky, and I noticed several servers furtively asking each other what I take to be elementary questions ("Which one is position 2 again?). Those are obviously kinks to be worked out. Next time we'll try some food. It looked good to us. As for the dining room, which I spied on my way to the slightly disorienting bathroom (a urinal full of ice - huh) I like the layout but like others was a little put off that it was completely underground. If Chang is able to turn a storage area into a viable restaurant, though, more power to him.
  20. Just reporting back on where I ate in the evening. My meetings were a little busier than I expected, but I still managed to get out to Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill. Despite the extraordinary wait (at least an hour) I enjoyed the food very much - a bracing seviche to start, wolfed down next to the counter with El Indio tortilla chips, and then two delicious mahi mahi fish tacos. I chased it all down with a Ballast Point wheat beer. I had also eaten at some fast food taco stand for lunch, downtown. I'm sure for you people it was entirely pedestrian, but I promise you if it opened in New York there would be riots. Just excellent. Modus closed last week. If you're in downtown, you're more or less in, or close to, the Gaslamp district where there are more watering holes per square foot than pedicabs on the street. You will have your pick of just about anything. Oceanaire at 4th and Island does a terrific clubby, oyster bar happy hour. Top of the Hyatt (40th floor or so) at the embarcadero will provide you with a spectacular view of the harbor. If the marine layer doesn't come in early that day, you'll be able to see for miles and miles and miles. Dobsons is good for cocktails and mussel bisque. And then there is Candelas, one downtown and one on Coronado. Upscale Mexican in the style of Mexico City. Good to very good. You can get to Coronado via the water ferry and then it's a short walk to the restaurant which is right on the bay. Here's thelink to the Candelas web site El Vitral is very new downtown at 8th and J. Upscale Mexican, good selection of tequila. Buzz and early review have been decent. Downtown is pretty easy to navigate especially if you use the trolley system. There is an around downtown pass you can buy that I think is about $1. In what part of downtown is your meeting? ←
  21. WK2


    We went last night as well, based on recommendations from here. A few observations before getting to food. The dining room was *empty*. So empty that I asked one of the staff what was going on. He said that they had only 14 reservations for last night (Saturday) but were expecting 70-80 on both Monday and Tuesday, an odd quirk of traffic he attributed to the fact that their core customer spends August weekends sunning themselves in the Hamptons. Take that for what you will. I also noticed that the tables no longer sported the "crisp white linens" Bruni half-mocked in his review. I wonder whether that is an intentional nod towards the mood. In terms of what we ate, we intended to have the prix fixe, but it didn't really speak to me. I would have been happy with the striped bass that was on offer as a main course, but wanted neither a ricotta tart or either starter. So we went off into the carte. Happily this was a good choice. First courses: We had the Taste of Nice and the Octopus a la plancha. While the Taste of Nice is perhaps a little overwrought in the sense that I'm not sure I want six different preparations on a plate, each item was delicious. I especially enjoyed the pissaladiere loaf, which I had never seen before, and the squash blossoms. As for the stuffed red pepper, my only comment is that Allegretti must keep a squadron of Armenian grandmothers imprisoned in the back, as it tasted exactly like my own grandmother's dolma. The octopus was presented as a single long tentacle, lightly dusted with pimenton and served with potatoes. There's not much to say about it, other than that I found it terrific. Tender, well seasoned. Just a very enjoyable dish. Main Course: Black and White taglietelle with seafood: I had been wanting the seafood soup as a first course, but ended up with the octopus. But the black and white taglietelle with shellfish was a noble substitute, as it replicated much of the flavors one would expect in such a soup - certainly fennel and a little spice creeping around the edges. The shrimp dotting the pasta were perhaps the best cooked shrimp I have ever enjoyed - just this side of wobbly. Cod with Crispy mussels: This was seafood cookery every bit the equal of Le Bernardin. The cod was barely opaque, skin crisp, and the saffron sauce gave the whole thing some needed flavor. As for the crispy mussels, I am sure there was some sort of sweet spice in the breading (clove?), which imbued the whole thing with a sort of North African flair. Dessert: We shared the peach frangipane. A classic dough, excellent peaches, and a delicious peach gelato. Yes, as others have said, perhaps not a $10 dessert, but I didn't care. We also had cocktails before the meal. Many thumbs up to the Cucumber sling, a refreshing summer drink involving muddled cucumbers, lime, cilantro (!) and mint with 2 oz of Hendrick's gin. Not quite what you'd get at one of the big cocktail lounges, but very nice nonetheless.
  22. Hi all - I'll be in San Diego from NYC for the first time next Thursday for a business meeting. The meeting is short, so I'll have the whole evening to spend wandering around. I'll be downtown, no car. What I'd like to eat, predictably enough, is really good mexican food, since I have never been anywhere that has it. I'm also looking for a excellent cocktail place where I can molt comfortably with something gin based for a few hours. I read about Modus in this thread. Does that fit the bill? I'm happy to walk about a mile at a time, about. Thanks.
  23. Excellent choice - as a matter of fact, my wife and I were at White Star at right around the same time last night - 4 drinks clocked in at $28, including one of my newer favorites, the 1920. ← We had a good time. They charged me $10 for the Sazerac, but that's still cheap. My fiancee had a gin rickey and the margarita, and I added a $7 old fashioned.
  24. Maybe we can make this thread a little more systematic. Ok, so this is selfish - I'm putting together a list for my wedding guests, and this thread strikes me as presenting an amazing ready-pack for visitors to our city. EDIT: This has been edited as per suggestions. High End/French base: per se Le Bernardin Jean-Georges Corton New York Katz's high End/Other Momofuku Ko (Chang/American) --> Ssam as backup. Babbo (Italian/American) Kitchen Counter @ Beacon (American) Blue Hill (American) Degustation (Spanish/American) WD-50 - (Martian/American!) Steak Luger's Wolfgang's Keen's BLT Prime Mexican Rosa Mexicana BBQ RUB Hill Country Fette Sau The South Redhead Amy Ruth's Pizza/Burgers Keste Motorino Co. DBGB City Burger Pubby The Spotted Pig Minetta Tavern DBGB Sushi/other Japanese Yasuda Totto Kyo Ya Ippudo Szechuan Wu Liang Ye Spicy and Tasty Cantonese Cantoon Noodletown
  25. The mexican food over here is much better. It's just that if you want to eat what that person is likely talking about, New York's version of it is not ideal in comparison to, say, Californian or Texan mexican food. Having said that, any mexican food in America is so much better than what was available in London when I lived there that it might be worth trying anyway. I think Sneakeater's suggestion of Minetta tavern is perfect. I haven't been there, but there really is no better distillation of recessionary New york. And they have (reputedly) one of the best burgers anywhere.
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