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bluecabochon

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  1. bluecabochon

    Wallsé

    As Oakapple's companion at Wallse, I can only second that we had a wonderful meal. The service was attentive yet not intrusive. Even better was that the tables on either side of us remained empty until we left. I wanted to mention that my appetizer, the potato rosti with lobster, was excellent. Previous E-Gulleters have praised this dish, which features succulently tender lobster with crusty potato rosti, which I could eat all day. I would never have imagined cod as a strudel filling, but it was flaky and moist and slid gently from the strudel at the slightest pressure. The servings are not huge, yet they're filling. A basket of lighter-than-air bread was also consumed without much fear of carb excess. The dessert was delightful, but it was a tough choice, as there was also a pumpkin tart offered on the "special" menu that I'd like to try sometime. We wanted a light dessert, but here were heavier, richer choices available, including a dense-looking chocolate cake that a diner nearby only picked at. (!?!) We were brought a dish of almonds covered in dark chocolate, which were then rolled in cocoa powder, to nibble on with our coffees after dessert. I'm very interested in trying out Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie until I can return to Wallse for another meal.
  2. I was last there a couple of years ago for my birthday; I don't remember what I had, but my friend's duck was so dry that it was, to my palate, inedible. When questioned, the waiter shrugged as if to say, "that's how we serve it".
  3. I had dinner here on Saturday with oakapple. We made a day of Sleepy Hollow, starting at Philipsburg Manor, Kykuit and then Blue Hill at Stone Barns. We had hoped to be able to walk around the grounds at Stone Barns but as it was getting late and it had been a warm day, contented ourselves with what we saw as we drove up by taxi and could see from the entrance - rolling hills with horses, green fields, barns and the impressive Norman-style stone barns that house the restaurant, kitchen, cafe and store. We took Metro-North, which cost $14 per person RT to Tarrytown. The trip took 37 minutes, but depending on which train you take , it can also take 50 minutes. It was pleasant and there were plenty of cabs available at the station ready to take us wherever we wanted to go. It is possible to find a good deal online for combined train travel and admission to Kykuit - we discovered this later. There is a website called hudsonvalley.org that has a lot of pertinent information about the area and travel tips. The cabs we took cost $5 to Philpsburg Manor, $9 to Stone Barns from there and $12 back to the train station from the restaurant, so it is doable without a car. We shared the ride back to the station after dinner with a couple who had traveled from Brooklyn just to eat there - 2 hours each way. They got their 5:00 reservation the day before, online. As we had no reservation, we were hoping to walk in and eat at the bar for an early dinner, which we had no trouble doing. Mindful of Andrea Strong's friend's experience, oakapple wore long pants rather than the shorts that would have been more sensible on that hot day. We arrived at around 5:30. There is a "door garden" on the left before you enter the courtyard, full of flowers, herbs and lettuces; one is encouraged to "snack". We toured the garden after dinner and recognized flowers that graced the bar area as well as lettuce in our salads. The stone buildings are beautifully regal, with a turreted silo adding medieval ambience. The entrance, in the right next to an outdoor cafe sporting a surprisingly few number of tables (which was closed) is discreet. The interior, described here already, is masculine in feel; cream walls, earth tones, natural wood textures, ebony wood floors and accents. It has been carefully designed - the plates and accessories echo the decor in ways that are very satisfying visually. We peeked into the dining room, which looked spacious and comfortable, with terrace beyond with seating that would be lovely on a cooler night. The bartender, Tina, was very knowledgable and capable, taking food and beverage orders, running to the kitchen, serving drinks and generally looking after everyone. There was a trio and another couple at the bar already; during our meal another couple appeared, for a total of 9 people dining at a bar with maybe 12 spots available during our two-hour stay. Our dishes were brought to the bar by black-clad young servers, in timely manner, although a diner next to us complained to Tina about the delay in serving their second course. We neglected to ask for a copy of the menu and the one posted online is not exactly the same as ours (asparagus was replaced by tomatoes as the featured vegetable) so I am regrettably, unable to recall precisely what was in each dish, but we had the 3-course meal, which was superb. I chose a salad with the amazing poached egg dredged in nuts, with pancetta, and oakapple had the tomato and seared watermelon with tomato sorbet, for the first course. Mine was superb, with the egg the star of the meal. The tomato salad, visually gorgeous with tomatoes ranging from gold to orange, red and green, was delicious, the watermelon a surprising addition. The tomato sorbet was also a delight. I was glad to have tried this unusual salad with the last of the summer tomatoes. Oh, there was an amuse of sweet, finely pureed corn soup, served in a tiny, tall glass. For the second course, we both had crabmeat that was placed between paper-thin slices of yellow squash. There were four of them per plate, and they were nestled amid the most tender of pale green peas? beans? I'm frustrated that I don't know exactly what they were. Delicious and surprisingly filling. For the third course, oakapple chose the braised bacon and roast pig, which I did not taste, but was told was excellent; I had the crescent duck breast with asian greens and a stew of carrots and toasted spices. The duck was perfectly moist and melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the carrots were perfectly prepared, sweet and that word again, tender. The ingredients in these dishes are few but are presented beautifully and purely, to their best advantage. What a contrast to our meal at the Bridge Cafe the night before, where potentially subtle cucumber and avocado soup was destroyed by Tabasco sauce(?). Featured drinks included a mojito,a cucumber martini and their "Non-Bloody Mary", which we watched being prepared. It was fun sitting at the bar and we got to watch Tina in action and see what others were eating and drinking. I don't recommend it for a large group, but for two, or three seated at a corner so all can talk comfortably, it's a great way to have an impromptu meal at this exclusive spot. We passed up desserts and coffee this time as we were already quite sated. I almost forgot to mention the buttery biscuits that were shaped like the pages of an open book. I had a few too many of these, but it was worth the carbs and fat from the sweet, fresh butter. They were quite generous with them and they arrived warm, in a rustic-looking wire basket that chimed with the natural surroundings. I would love to go back later in the year to sample seasonal root vegetable and game offerings that I imagine would be a celebration of the harvest like no other. Tina told us that as soon as the restaurant closed that evening, they would be setting up for a wedding celebration the following day. The restaurant was bought for the whole day, which turned out to be cloudy, which is a shame, but a wedding reception at Stone Barns - what a dream setting that must have been!
  4. I am another Inwood resident and urge folks to try out "A New Leaf" in Fort Tryon Park. It is a lovely setting; I was taken there for my birthday and had a swell time. On 187th Street in Washington Heights I like Bleu Evolution (nice garden in the rear) and the more casual 107 West, which also delivers. 107 West features some organic fowl and salmon; portions are generous, it's filling, healthy food and it has a relaxing atmosphere. A decent little Mexican restaurant on 207th just off Broadway is Hoppin' Jalapenos - nothing special, but somewhere to go other than the Piper's Kilt when another burger is out of the question. I like the Kilt, but for a year after I moved up here it seemed to be the only place in the neighborhood. I've done a lot more cooking since I moved up here.
  5. bluecabochon

    Landmarc

    Oddly enough, I remember commenting to oakapple that there seemed to be too much vinegar in the salad dressing, and yes, there was a lot of it. I so wish that I had been able to do the gazpacho but the carbs in tomatoes are lethal for my blood sugar. I did try the bread, which was excellent, even though I'm not supposed to have any. Their bread basket was just too good to pass up! We had a cute waiter, who was very friendly. I enjoyed the retro music that seemed at odds with the industrial setting. After lunch oakapple took me upstairs to show me the round, closed-off booth for a private dining experience that would be fun to share with a special group. The upstairs section seemed airier and I noticed a few small tables squeezed into the tiny outdoor balcony, where some couples were sitting, enjoying the sun. I liked the textural aspect of the design of the place, simple yet not bland, which gave a feeling of space and serenity that was most welcome on that warm day. I did agree with oakapple that the bar in the rear seemed a bit small. I would not choose this bar as a place to hang out but a place to wait for my table if I was sitting nearby, I doubt I'd enjoy weaving my way toward it through a full dining room if I were going to be seated upstairs. It was a very enjoyable lunch and Ihope to go back again!
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