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Everything posted by Nathan

  1. screw the conspiracy theories. Michelin has something like five full-time inspectors in New York. at 10 meals a week per person, that's 2,500 possible restaurants to visit. allowing for multiple person and repeat visits to the starred restaurants and you still have them easily covering 1,500 restaurants. as with almost everything in life, the real explanation is much simpler. they have different tastes and emphases than many foodies. it's really that simple; even if you find it hard to believe.
  2. Ssam Bar Fatty Crab Otto Babbo Perry Street Grand Sichuan Rhong Tiam Sripaphai PDT
  3. Nathan


    twas there the other night and the finocherretti (sp.?) was a very nice pasta. I haven't had it in a couple years, but the "Sicilian Lifeguard Calamari" is excellent.
  4. Alex's new cocktail menu, as expected, is very good. Nothing new to write about on the food.
  5. Nathan


    its mostly a gimmick. the bartenders care though. they just have the wrong presuppositions.
  6. For price points below the four stars/places where locals regularly eat: Monday Room Ssam Bar Perry Street Babbo Lupa Insieme Scarpetta Convivio Esca Sripaphai Spicy & Tasty Balthazar Blue Hill Bar Room at the Modern Tailor WD-50 Tavern Room at Gramercy Tavern Sushi Yasuda Peter Luger's/Wolfgang's Ino/Inoteca Gottino Terroir Monday Room
  7. My guess is that they exaggerated the demand for lunch at that price which doesn't involve Thomas Keller.
  8. a fair amount of us have the info but out of deference to M&H policy, it's best if people get to know you first. Hanging out at PDT et al is an excellent way to do that.
  9. when it comes to Chinatown or Vietnamese, unless you're sure the broth is pork, it's reasonable to assume that it contains beef at some level.
  10. Nathan

    wd-50 2008 -

    pretty new menu (to me anyway). smoked eel app was meh. striped bass with wood ear mushrooms and chicken sausage consomme was darn good. liked the concept behind the pork sparerib entree more than the result...but it was still pretty tasty. coconut cake with brown butter sorbet is fricktastic.
  11. Hmmm - so one eats steaming hot bowls of ramen on the street? ← I saw no seats at Rai Rai Ken or Curry Ya...so in my view they're street food (a concept of which I'm a fan...I just thought that was a different thread)
  12. There are non-spicy items that are done very well at Grand Sichuan, though you do have a point. It depends how non-spicy is meant by not spicy, I suppose. There are lots of good items at GS that aren't spicy, including veggies and that lamb dish. ← well..it's kind of a castrated way to eat Sichuan food. long experience has taught me that when someone says they don't eat spicy food it means that they REALLY don't....and that they'll even notice heat where chiliheads can't even detect it. consider that about 75% of people who say they "like spicy food" can't actually handle Sichuan heat.
  13. last I knew they'll meet that price in the back room at Lupa.
  14. The Chinese and mediocre Cuban cafeteria chains yes. And terriyaki boy and some of the korean fried chicken places I'd recommend in this context too. Other places violate the price guidelines once tax and tip are included. But ultimately where they eat is going to be determined by where they are and at what times. Which is why I thought the midtown lunch and vending cart links were a great idea.
  15. No one disputed that the price point couldn't be met on street food and Chinese (and I verified last night that rai rai ken is in fact a street food place). The problem is that these places are necessarily neighborhood dependent and aren't necessarily well-sited for a tourist itinerary. Furthermore, I interpreted the OP as asking for sit-down places, not food you have to eat on a park bench (which would suck on a day like today) or require her to run to Chinatown every meal. As well, all the Sichuan places are out. She doesn't eat spicy food. So stop recommending them. Finally, it is highly likely that a non-wine-drinker will experience poor service at a Batali restaurant. Especially at peak times. I've seen it.
  16. I just walked by a plywooded space that had a sign saying "Absinthe Bar And Restaurant Coming Soon". Is this the legendary cocktail and food people from SF? Anyone know?
  17. Otto - close enough. Ramen - Rai Rai Ken - Two bowls of ramen - $18. Two orders of various pickly things - $4. Water - $0. +tax and tip = $29 - $30. Regular menu - Great NY Noodletown - soups, rice plates, etc. Nothing over $6. Roast suckling pig is $9. Tea and water - $0. Add it up. ← ok. so if they happen to be in the EV or Chinatown. but what if they have to cab? (I don't buy anyone eating at Otto for $15pp).
  18. Try not to put words in my mouth. I said they are unique to NY, because they are in NY. You cannot get the Shake Shack experience, or the DiPalo's experience, or the Veselka experience, or the Great NY Noodletown experience exactly because they are in NY. You for sure can get somewhat similar food in a lot of other places. The Olive Garden reference is bullshit, because it's a chain. Nowhere did I mention any chain restaurants. And in Chinatown, you can for sure get great food for under $15 a head. As you can by sharing a pizza and a number of verdure at Otto, as you can by having lunch specials at various Japanese restaurants or ramen, at say Rai Rai Ken, or by sharing a turkey sandwich, a knish and free pickles at Katz's... ← 1. that's a very banal definition of "only in NY". fine. Burritoville was "only in NY". 2. kind of wrong on Otto or the ramen. Otto: 1 pizza. $13. 2 verdure: $12. water to drink. 0$. tax: $3. tip: $5. total: $33. the staff glaring at you for that order: priceless. ramen: two bowls of ramen: $28-30. before tax and tip. the reality is that once you add in tax and tip, unless you're eating street food or sandwiches or lunch specials at Chinese restaurants, cheap lunches in NY are more around $20, especially if you're in touristy areas.
  19. Right! I'm not disputing that there's great street food. but I can't think of any that I would travel for when there's a roughly equivalent option close by. obviously there are people (and another site dedicated to them) which believe that there are cart arepas so much better than other arepas that they're worth traveling an hour for. I just don't buy it. if you ask me where should you get a bahn mi or falafel? I'm going to ask you where you are. there are a bunch of perfectly good sandwiches available throughout this city. IMHO, which one to get is determined purely by neighborhood.
  20. think the Rose Bar with serious cocktails and you'd have exactly what they're going for. the good news is that the drinks aren't awful in the slightest. they're not great either. kind of one-note. they are doing a multitude of house infusions, house vermouths and syrups and the like. there's nothing wrong with that. in fact, to give them credit, when a young woman requested a vodka and soda they informed her that they "only have infused vodkas". same response to her followup of a rum and coke. she finally settled for wine (I guess she was really stubborn about not having a cocktail at a cocktail bar). when I arrived with a friend on Tuesday night around 11 there were a few people waiting outside and the guy with the clipboard (who has worked at a couple other spots around town). inside is quite attractive. I thought the staff were very nice (including the doorman). when we left a little after midnight (on a Tuesday!) there were about sixty people (literally) waiting outside to get in. meanwhile the bar was mostly empty. the thing is, if you're going to run a tight door, you're not going to get a serious cocktail crowd. it's a bit of an identity issue (I think the Randolph was trying something similar). but for now, it really is the Rose Bar with much better drinks.
  21. Nathan


    no clue. I didn't ask about the Eater report of his absence.
  22. Nathan


    It has reopened as a real restaurant. the same dishes as before plus a bunch of new apps and entrees. and still with an excellent cocktail program. including lesser-seen classics like the Corpse Reviver No. 1 and the Almagoozlum. we sampled some prawns (slightly different prep than before), the great weisswurst and some currywurst. (comped a round of drinks).
  23. I think that if you can budget $30-50/person for dinner you can eat very well. ← I COMPLETELY agree. I just don't think $15pp is very realistic. it's not even really realistic for Chinatown (after tax and tip)...unless you're just grabbing a Bahn Mi to go (which I do indeed do all the time).
  24. Shake Shack is simply a facsimile of Kopp's, Leon's, Gillies and similar places in St. Louis. There is nothing whatsoever NY or original about the Shake Shack. it's simply a midwestern transplant (and Danny Meyer would tell you as much). Veselka is no different from (and worse than many of) restaurants in other Eastern European-heavy areas like parts of Chicago and Milwaukee. I like Central Grocery in New Orleans just as much as I like Di Paolo when it comes to sandwiches. there are plenty of places in CA, Vancouver and Toronto comparable to GNYN. etc. ← This argument makes no sense whatsoever. The poster is not going to New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Vancouver or Toronto. The poster is coming to NYC. And Shake Shake itself exists only in NYC. In Madison Square Park. As do Veselka and DiPalos (I doubt that Central Grocery makes it's own mozzarella and ricotta daily, to say nothing of its selection of Italian cheeses). So, don't go to Per Se because you can get some of the same dishes at French Laundry. And don't go to WD-50 or Tailor because Alinea in Chicago does similar or even more experimental stuff. Don't go to Patsy's in Harlem because there's Pizzeria Bianco in Arizona. Don't go to Sririphai because there's great Thai in Vegas and LA. Hogwash. A great meal can be had in New York for $30...it wont be Per Se, it won't be Yasuda or Masa (btw, I hear there's sushi in other cities as well), but by picking correctly, a wonderful NYC dining experience can be had. ← I said these places weren't unique to NY. Now you agree. to me, when I see the words "only in NY" I think food that in North America can only be found in NYC. If you just mean a physical location. well, yeah, the Olive Garden on Times Square is "only in NY".
  25. the thing about NYC is that it's so fricking expensive here that even a casual sit-down meal can be easily a $100 a pp. (when people talk about Ssam Bar being inexpensive they mean that you can eat there for $50-75 a person with care). it's not about fine dining. it's about the rents. with that said, I thought you were coming from CA. yes, we have lots of great street and ethnic food (though so do Toronto and Ottawa).
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