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Everything posted by Nathan

  1. I think I had my first mojito at the Sushi Samba in Fort Lauderdale about ten years ago. the whole stalk of sugar cane you used as a sort of swizzle stick was a nice touch.
  2. Nathan

    Pacific Time

    I had a middling to good meal there a couple years ago...glad to see it return.
  3. hate to say it, but M&H has long had a reputation as a great "closer bar"....a reputation almost as high as its reputation for cocktails (the secret number thing only adds to this reputation). (and there's plenty of heavy making out in those booths...) I think all of these places are fine for neophytes if they're willing to show curiosity. although I'd been to Bemelman's Bar under Audrey, it was M&H which first really introduced me to cocktails. I said I wanted a gin drink and out came my first Aviation. it's been downhill from there.
  4. PDT D&C Flatiron Pegu Tailor for something different.
  5. I thought it was pretty good then. but it's definitely grown up.
  6. I think it's more just fatigue. yes, D&C has an amazingly broad menu. but you do reach a point (at some bars anyway) where you've either had every drink or the remaining drinks are riffs that especially don't interest you (for example, I'm not a fizz guy...) so what happens is that you want something on a theme...and so you specify an ingredient or two and a flavor profile...and you get something perfect in response. it doesn't matter whether it's on the menu or not. it makes you happy. I mean, I can make a sharp Last Word or Corpse Reviver #2 at home....but I know that variants on those themes are always being played around with behind the bar...it's nice to try some of them.
  7. I don't want to speak for other people but I'm pretty sure that when Sneakeater (and myself) are talking about going "off-menu" we don't mean improvising new drinks on the spot. if anything, many of them are drinks that one has heard of but never seen on a menu. (for example, the other night at PDT I was served a Cameron's Kick)
  8. yup. but it does make for confusion. if you asked food media types to list the city's five best cocktail bars you'd probably get something like: Pegu M&H Employees Only Angel's Share D&C actually, i guess three out of five isn't so bad.
  9. I agree with your last paragraph, but take issue with the "take the money and run" characterization. Acting as a consultant doesn't mean you have control over decisions that management makes, including how to keep standards high and train staff. ← true. I didn't mean for that to be pejorative. people have to make a living.
  10. variable. Gin Lane was just awful. just awful. very much a "take the money and run"...some of the house drinks he made for Dell'Anima are better than decent. others aren't. he's the grand-daddy of them all...and seen as such. but people have definitely moved to a point of obsessiveness that he didn't. but everyone reads his books. the thing about "cocktail consulting" is that at most it means the original recipes given to the restaurant/bar were competent. it doesn't say anything about the execution.
  11. yes, but with the top restaurant bars you at least know that if you stay on-list, you'll have well-made drinks. both Barry and Naren (and Eben obviously) have maintained quality across the board when it comes to the house list. heck, Naren even has them jiggering vodka sodas (from the bottle, no gun) at Bobo. but yeah, that's a huge difference between tiers one and two (another is the sheer obsessiveness of the big five (six).
  12. had a great meal here on Saturday night. sampled the "crudo fish stix" from the bar menu. neat. fried sweetbreads with turnips and beer foam were simply terrific. nice balance of salty and bitter flavors. fluke was good...though I think I'm becoming a little bored of the fish/fruit thing. fried skirt steak was just nuts. I simply can't believe people aren't eating here more. they sent out a (comped) black garlic chicken. interesting. sort of a high-brow take on (Hunan?) Chinese. quite tasty. served with the dark meat, however, were a couple big pieces of white meat absolutely bursting with flavor. either souse-vide or poached. palate cleanser of Angostura ice cream was nifty. finished with mango ravioli served with black rice ice cream and cilantro. pretty good as desserts go.
  13. Wallse's brunch is a terrific deal.
  14. thoughts: A. my taxonomy of NY Cocktail bars would go like this: 1. PDT, D&C, Pegu, M&H, Flatiron/Clover. Little Branch gets an honorable mention but it suffers from some of the same flaws as the restaurant bars below. 2. Next after the big five (six) are the top restaurant bars. Tailor, Bobo, Elattaria and Grayz. Each of these places (Tailor is of course, very unique) has an excellent list but you can only go off menu if one particular bartender is working (and Eben's not usually downstairs so you can't really do that at Tailor). Naren for Bobo, Barry for Grayz. Note to slkinsey et al, neither Bobo nor Grayz's current cocktail programs bear any relationship to their original ones. you also may not find an accurate list online. they both brought in excellent people later in the game who have raised standards drastically. Naren, for one, is well-known in the NY cocktail scene....and at least one egullet regular, Mayur, besides myself is regularly drinking there. 3. a level below this you have the places purporting to make the classics and/or new drinks of distinction. each of these places does some things right and others very wrong. they are: Angel's Share/B-Flat, Employees Only, The Hideaway, Blue Owl, Bar Milano, Rayuela and a couple others. basically, any Charlotte Voisey or Junior Merino consulted place...or any Danny Meyer restaurant is at this level as well. 4. after that you have complete crap. B. people can surprise you anywhere. for example, I was at Kingswood a couple weeks ago and ordered a rye manhattan. the bartender then chilled the glass, found the angostura, and stirred. (much more care than they take normally.) I've experienced this elsewhere as well. C. White Star is terrific but not really a cocktail bar. D. I've only been to the Randolph once...and Sasha was making cocktails. I don't know what it's like normally.
  15. (full disclosure: a couple friends are among the partners behind it) Vespa Wine Bar (82nd and 2nd?) has a different vibe than a Bar Veloce...but it's rather comparable. I wouldn't travel for it but if I was up there I'd go to it.
  16. in no particular order: Aviation (my first love) Last Word Martini Manhattan Sazerac Vieux Carre Sidecar/Margarita Daiquiri Corpse Reviver #2 French 75
  17. thanks for the advice everyone... although I imagine I'll visit while on leave once in a while, active duty is a four year commitment minimum....so this is very much a farewell tour of NY restaurants over the next month....thus my question over what to prioritize in the limited time remaining...
  18. Balthazar. or even the hanger steak au poivre at Schiller's
  19. ah....I'll admit to never understanding the attraction of bagels or knishes. ethnic I'm not so worried about....especially, ahem....middle eastern, or Korean or Mexican. but I'm thinking about three visits to Sripaphai are in order.
  20. Chelsea is no culinary mecca...but it's in walking distance of plenty of worthy places...(so, yes, the relative size of the UES is certainly a factor.) you also have the point that there are two UES. there's the hyper-affluent but generally culinarily conservative part of west of Lexington (more or less) and the starter apartments (i.e. Murray Hill-esque) east of Lex which constitute some of the cheapest real estate below 96th street...with the concomitant frat boy row of 2nd avenue etc... or at least that's the image downtowners have of the UES. so it would take a lot for a restauranteur to bring them up. maybe a major name with downtown cred.
  21. I should add that Tailor and WD-50 are givens...
  22. (background for this topic: at the beginning of October I'm leaving the city for a commission in the Army JAG. I'll be in training in Charlottesville until the end of the year and then training at either Fort Benning, GA or Fort Sill, OK until next summer...so I'll post questions on the appropriate forums for those places as those dates draw closer) I'm looking for a list of places that I should be eating at that are the best of NY and not likely available elsewhere (at least at this quality level) in the U.S. right now my list is something like: the Momofukus Italian French awesome sushi (I'm not going to end up in L.A. or the bay area) notable NYC restaurants I haven't been to: Picholine DiFara's Peter Luger's (but I've been to Wolfgang's) Gotham Bar & Grill Chanterelle Daniel Oceana Cru Veritas Per Se Masa EMP under Humm The Modern proper which of these are "musts" before I leave? (keep in mind I'm about to take a significant pay cut) thanks.
  23. This EV NYU-y restaurant is pretty, spacious and probably has decent food (haven't tried any). But if you're going to have a supposedly serious cocktail program and put drinks like the Aviation on the list....you shouldn't be completely screwing them up. Now you've got generations of new drinkers thinking the Aviation is some sweet cocktail with oodles of simple syrup in it. If you want to make dreck, at least do the rest of us a favor and don't pass it off under classic nomenclature. Really ticks me off.
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