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Everything posted by Nathan

  1. Most/many of the NY lunch specials began during the last recession. Ditto for many of the $35 dinner specials. Restaurant Week began during that recession and restaurants just kept serving those meals year round. (which is why restaurant week has always been a joke)
  2. Uh ssam bar! And, as Sneakeater said, Sripaphai
  3. Ok, I went there on a weekend.
  4. was there a specific night when Bar Pilar was supposed to be good? cause it sucked when I went there.
  5. a couple thoughts: 1. perhaps part of the problem is that in NYC the best cocktails are served at bars not restaurants. with a couple exceptions, virtually all good cocktails outside of NY (in the U.S. anyway) are served in restaurants. the SCB is primarily a NY phenomenon. at one level that's good, the SCBs are able to be better (generally speaking) than other establishments due to cocktails being their sole focus...but they also run into the problem that their customers often look at them as bars. the expectations of a restaurant are simply different. 2. I understand where Sneakeater is coming from. I really do. With that said, new cocktail geeks have to come from somewhere. I first got into serious cocktails in late 2003/early 2004. I was already a gin drinker (I had somewhere gotten the idea that this was the retro thing to do) and heard about the atmosphere and theatrics of Milk & Honey. so I went. the light came on. then I started going up to the Bemelman's Bar, etc. but if it wasn't for the cachet of M&H I might never have been introduced to serious cocktails until quite a bit later. I hardly think I was the only one. 3. which leads back to the original subject of this thread. I was a gin drinker. in my experience, the successful prosyletizing I've done for serious cocktails has been mostly with people who were already gin or whiskey drinkers (usually bourbon or scotch). Those are the people who are already predisposed to liking alcoholic beverages that actually taste like something. vodka drinkers usually have a much larger road to cross. 4. you know what? there are plenty of people who will respect a well-made drink when they're at an SCB but will turn around and happily drink a vodka tonic later the same evening. they're the same people who will happily eat at Ssam Bar one night and Asia de Cuba the next...and enjoy them both equally. and there's probably more of them then there are of us.
  6. 1. Actually Yasuda (or his staff) will quite readily refuse to accomodate a customer. I've witnessed it more than once. 2. They will definitely make you a burger at Jean Georges if you really want one. Yasuda and JG have very different conceptions of service. Neither is wrong. Phil can get away with the Yasuda approach in NY (rightfully). I doubt he could in say Austin. Your compromises will be dictated by the nature of your clientele. Pegu or Flatiron have to be more accomodating to the rubes than say PDT because they need far more customers.
  7. It's the role that vodka has had in pushing out good spirits that is the real problem.
  8. I think that quality infused or flavored vodkas are an entirely different matter.
  9. The sad reality is that PDT is almost certainly more known for its entrance than it's drinks (of course most of those people aren't getting inside)
  10. If you are desperate before June I could spot you some should you find yourself in the B/CS area. ← thanks! but I think I have enough to last me until then....
  11. I've yet to see a bar of the PDT/D&C/Pegu/M&H/TVH quality level which had more than 1-2 (if any) vodka cocktails on their menu. That doesn't mean that they're mutually exclusive...but it does mean that (so far), the lack of vodka on the cocktail menu is a marker.
  12. Is there any source for this in Texas? I'm almost out of my current bottle. Specs and Grapevine have nice bourbon and tequila selections but suck at almost anything else.
  13. since I've been outed, as others have said, I have nothing against vodka neat and chilled and it does have a balancing role to play in a few drinks (things I could have said if I was giving them more than a two sentence soundbite)...the Vesper, the DDS...and that Atomic sounds interesting....but as the main spirit in a cocktail? there's nothing wrong with a Moscow Mule except that it tastes even better with rum substituted.
  14. I did something fun last night. made a Last Word followed by a Final Ward and then a Pete's Word back to back to back. really interesting to line them up and see how the substitutions affect the drink.
  15. so in a week the Army sends me to Hood (still not sure if I'm going to rent an apartment in Killeen, Belton or Georgetown). Fino has a promising cocktail list but I can't find anything else (online anyway). also, liquor store suggestions? I know that the hill country is bbq central and think I know what the standards are....but anything closer to Hood as well? Tex-Mex ideas? Chinese, especially real Sichuan or Shanghai-style? French? Italian (not Italian-American)? contemporary restaurant food? molecular/avant-garde? offal? (I'll check out Feast in Houston) Japanese (sushi/izakaya, ramen, kaiseki etc.)? extensive beer lists? wine-bars? tapas/Spanish? Vietnamese? Thai? Korean? thanks much!
  16. Nathan


    That's ridiculous.
  17. Nathan


    I've found that most people posting on Yelp have no clue what they're talking about. There are exceptions of course.
  18. wow...I recall having a similar discussion to this a while back on the Ssam Bar thread. back then I used the term "shill" to refer to people that were comped at restaurants and then wrote about those meals (whether the comps were disclosed or not...though the latter is certainly more egregious). interesting to see some opinions on the matter change since then. of course, we also saw what happened when some people stopped writing about certain restaurants...they stopped getting comped. as I said then, foodboards and bloggers have become, to a large extent, adjuncts of the restaurant PR industry. at least of the savvier restaurants and firms. don't get me wrong, I love love the Momofuku chain...but Chang was also definitely one of the early adopters of using the foodboards and bloggers as PR (and still one of the best). I think it is a legitimate and serious issue. (and if you leave NY it's even more acute....foodsites in other places (like OK) seem to often rely upon comps as a matter of course and don't even seem to notice that there might be any question at all concerning the matter.) as for Ozersky...I kind of see him as a male Andrea Strong...he really does love each place that he writes about....
  19. well...in a week I'll be at Fort Sill in Lawton, OK for a few months. any updates to the above (for Oklahoma City) and anything in Lawton? TIA
  20. what of the Momofukus? or the one star for McDonalds?
  21. Yeah, mas is crowded but never a long wait for seats at the bar (I'm there now actually). Have to disagree on Zocalo, it's standard modern restaurant food. No more than that. Will check out continental divide before I move to Oklahoma in 2 weeks.
  22. Nathan


    It seems to me that the star rating might have been different if Daniel didn't already have four. Not sure.
  23. People have always known what he looks like. With a notable father and a celebrity brother he's kind of difficult to hide.
  24. He can't unilaterally introduce a half star system or review/demote restaurants without at least three visits. the number of days in the year is a serious impediment. as for Dovetail/81 and Ssam Bar/Ko....I think those judgments partially depend upon the price points. Bruni does seem to take price into account more than his predecessors.
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