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Posts posted by jauster

  1. My husband managed to get us a reservation next week at the Basement Bistro in Earlton. Has anyone here been? What to expect? All I've read has been rave reviews from some very prominent sources. I am very excited!

    And, on a lesser note, how do people dress?

  2. Tribeca - wish I had more options...but alas here are our usuals

    Bubby's for decent Mac n' cheese, good veggie bean chili, & tasty fried okra

    Sosa Borella for Numero Uno Pizza & pasta specials

    Landmarc for a ton of wonderful food like cod, steak, pork chops (by far our best option but $$$)

    Nam for Bun Cha and lemongrass chicken

    we order about 2-3x per week

  3. Went to Babbo for the first time last night and ordered the pasta tasting menu. I agree with all who say Babbo offers an excellent value for your fine dining $$$$. Followed recent advice and substituted the beef cheek ravioli for the pyramids. The dinner was wonderful, but I must admit my husband and I got a little pasta-ed out and started coveting other tables entrees. Overall, I don't think I would actually recommend the pasta tasting menu approach. We would have preferred to order a couple antipasti, a couple pastas, and a meat entree to share. Still, I must say it was an outstanding meal, every dish was very enjoyable. Our favorite was the black tagliatelle with peas with the garganelli with funghi trifolati a close second.

  4. Cmon waiting 55 minutes for a burger,they are not that good

    They are pretty darn good. Plus, the weather was warm for the first time this spring. I don't think folks really minded hanging out in the park in line. I'm sure this is the initial rush - people are excited for spring and excited that their favorite burger is back. Once we're in the middle of summer, lines will be much more manageable like last year.

  5. Went for lunch today. Got there around 12:45. Wait was about 45-55 minutes. When we left at 2:15, the line was still as long as when I got there. Am happy to report that nothing has been lost during the off season. My cheeseburger was the best!

  6. I am heading to Maine Oct 1-4 for a weekend getaway. We are staying on Moose Lake which is near Hartland, ME off of 95. One day, we're going to drive over to Acadia. On another other we may drive south on Route 1. I have picked up quite a few places to check out based on this discussion - Thanks! I was wondering if anyone knew places a little more central to 95?



  7. I live in the neighborhood and Nam is one of the only places from which I can get delivery. It is over-priced without a doubt, but I do like a couple of things there - the Bun Cha, lemon grass chicken, and ribs. These are not knock out dishes, but they are fine for when I want some convenient Vietnamese. The rolls fried and spring are both below average for such basic dishes. Once you get over the $2-4 per item extra you pay there versus other places, it’s fine, but not some place I would recommend.

  8. I tried out Jacques-Imo's NYC a few weeks back basically because of the raves for the fried chicken (Amanda Hesser's review, here, etc.). We got there around 7:30 pm on Tuesday and had almost no wait. The decor does not bother me. It's pretty silly and over the top, but so is the original (which I have only been to once several years ago).

    Well, all four of us ordered the fried chicken, and I had the macque choux as the side. We were all pretty disappointed, concluding that Popeye's does it considerably better. I also was not pleased with the macque choux, and I love that dish or almost any dish featuring corn. The best part of the meal was my $6 Abita Amber. It's hard to reproduce a restaurant so entrenched in its surroundings like Jacques-Imo's outside of the region. I'd say save your $$$ for a trip to the original.

  9. I tried out 5 Ninth last night, and thought it was generally just okay. Overall, not worth the $$ at this point. I would have liked it better if the prices were about 25% cheaper, but for a $27 entree, I expect more. The space, however, is very charming, especially given the neighborhood.

    We waited nearly 20 minutes to get seated for our reservation. After waiting about 20 minutes for our appetizers, we attentively knocked out another 30 minutes waiting for our entrées. Finally, we waited for our waitress to pick up our check long enough to tire and switch our payment method from credit to cash. This may still be opening bumps, but after over three months in operation, you can’t be sure.

    I started with the roasted beets and out-of-this world bacon ($12). The bacon nearly over-powered the beets, but a bite of the two together resulted in a nice texture. However, the texture of my dining companion's wide noodles in a lobster and coconut milk broth ($15) was off. The broth was the consistency of alfredo sauce and the noodles were too slick for the dish, but the flavors of the coconut and other spices were pleasantly balanced. Others had noted that they liked that dish, but texturally it failed to work for me. I did enjoy the blend of flavors of my John Dory (fish similar to black bass) with garlic sauce, mustard seeds, mushrooms, and new potatoes ($28) - though it may have been a little over-cooked. My companion's duck ($27) was perfectly roasted, but sat in a very salty sauce that overpowered anything that came in its path.


  10. Yesterday, I tried out Starwich, since I was in the neighborhood. I was there from 11:45-12:15 and there were only 5 customers the whole time. Staff out numbered the clients the whole time with 5 doing something or other behind the counter. It seems this place is suffering from location, location, location. If it were in midtown, I'm sure it would do a brisk business and people wouldn't blink at the $9 sandwich prices.

    As for my sandwich, it was excellent. I had turkey, avocado, daikon spouts, heirloom tomatoes, muenster, and dijon mustard on a Tuscan log. It was served warm, and the portion was pretty large. The only thing I would change was the avocado, it was in spread form. It had chunks, but I would have preferred whole slices (even if they do tend to slide out the sandwich).

    I don't think I would go out of my way to go there, but it is good - leaps and bounds better than the pathetic sandwiches Cosi puts out.


  11. Went to Landmarc for the 3rd time last weekend. Ran into the same problem as last time, under-cooked food. Two of us ordered steaks (hanger and ribeye) medium rare. The steaks came out rare-rare. To the point that our waitress looked at mine and said, "Eww, that's really rare." Anyhow, they put them back on the fire and brought them back out cooked appropriately. The steaks were good, not great. If it weren't for the awesome fries, I don't think I'd order steaks there again. I so want to love this place and show it off to friends, but every time something goes wrong. It's just so close to being the perfect neighborhood place, I might be a sucker, but think I'll keep going until they get it right.


  12. This week I bought:


    eggplant, I haven't used this yet

    peaches from Terhune Orchards, just ate 2, and they are GREAT!

    sour cherries, made into compote for crepe, delish!

    I didn't see any more strawberries this week. Are they gone already or am I just getting there too late?


  13. Last night, I tried out Lupa for the first time. We wandered in around 6:15 and were seated immediately sans reservation. The place was a little too loud for my taste, which often resulted in us shouting to each other. I wish we had been seated outside. I am also not down with the menus. I wish they had the translations for each dish under the Italian. It took me a while to read the menu because I was constantly flipping to the glossary on the back of the menu. I see the authentic appeal, but functionally, the menu is a pain.

    We started with the octopus appetizer and a special fried prosciutto and sage balls coated in bread crumbs. The octopus was awesome, best I’ve ever had. It came with a white bean puree dotted with garbanzo beans. We think out waitress said that it was a confit. I guess that is how they got the great texture, tender and firm, no rubbery feel in the slightest. The prosciutto and sage balls were super salty. I would skip next time. For entrees, we both had pasta specials. I had the farfalle with pork ragu. Again, a huge hit. My dining companion had the orecchiette with spicy pork sausage and fennel. That was not as good as the farfalle. Still the pasta itself was outstanding, just the sauce was not very impressive.

    I have heard so many great things about Lupa, and we had a pretty good experience. Honestly, I think the hype built it up for me to expect a little more over the top. (Probably because much of the hype I’ve heard comes from people who have ate with former employees there = special treatment) It’s not like I won’t go back, I definitely will. I thought it was very good and very reasonably priced. Maybe, since we ordered so many specials, we missed some regular menu favorites that should not be over looked next time.


  14. My husband and I tried out the Shake Shack this afternoon for lunch. There was a short line, only a couple minute wait. We got two cheeseburgers ($3.50) and cheese fries (~$2.50). The burgers were great, very juicy. The seasoning reminded us of a Wendy's burger. I hope that doesn't scare you away, because it's flavored like the best Wendy's burger you can imagine. The fries were crispy with a nice dose of liquid cheese. They were a bit heavy handed with the salt, but that may have just been our batch.

    We got back in line to get dessert (again almost no wait), we tried out a single scoop vanilla. Very rich, no melting problems as some had mentioned. I think the whole meal is a very good taste per dollar value. We'll be back.


  15. My second trip to Landmarc was a mess. Four of us went last night on my recommendation, and I was embarrassed. We had two big and one small problem with the evening. The appetizers went fine, nothing standout, nothing bad. Then our entrees arrived, one burger (without the cheese that had been ordered), one pork chop, and two livers. Problem is, only one liver was ordered, and the salmon was missing. We immediately sent it back with the runner. A few minutes later, our seemingly hearing impaired server (he kept asking what?…what? all evening) came over and apologized and said the salmon would be out shortly. When my friend ordered the salmon, the server noted that the chef prepares it medium rare. My friend, not really comfortable with this idea, requested it to be medium. Well, when the missing salmon arrived, it was raw in the most of the middle. It looked like the seared rare tuna that was so the craze a few years back, no where near medium. At this point, I am feeling terrible. My friend opts out of the salmon and goes for a burger. It came to the table prepared as requested well after everyone else was done eating.

    The liver was mushy. In Paris it had a much firmer texture and was served quite a bit rarer. Here I went with the waiter's suggestion of medium rare and the meat couldn't have been served any rarer.

    Now to big problem #2, I have to agree with Bux on the liver. It was SO rare. The center was a mushy, gelatinous mess, really gross. We asked our waiter about it. He said, “I don’t know about liver. I haven’t had it before.” You’ve got to be kidding, ask someone son. It’s supposed to be one of their specialties. I think some of you who went in the beginning got a better dish. Marty’s was not nearly as charred looking on the exterior as it looks in slkinsey’s picture. He ate around the edges and was full by the time he could ask our waiter about it.

    We finished with desserts that were on the house, one lemon tart, one blueberry crumble, and two chocolate mousses. All were tasty. Luckily, we were all in good moods, and didn’t let all the problems bring us down. However, outside the restaurant, I asked my friends who hadn’t been there before if they would come back. They answered with a resounding, “no.” I don’t feel as strongly, mainly because it’s in my neighborhood, so I am willing to cut it more slack. There aren’t too many decent relatively inexpensive places that I know of in TriBeCa. Plus, there are things I’ve had there that I really like (burger, steak, quail), and the wine prices are great.


  16. Cheese is added, the burger is placed on a buttered toasted-on-griddle Martin's potato roll, condiments are added and the burger is wrapped for handheld eating.

    I love that they're using Martin's potato rolls. That is also my bun of choice for home grilled burgers :smile: I need to get over there...


  17. David Rosengarten did an article on the best mail order steaks in the Rosengarten Report. His testing was done on strip steaks. His Utilmate Five Star finds are:

    Lobel's $29.97/LB fresh

    Palm Restaurant/Palm Pak (800) 388-PALM $27.25/LB can be shipped fresh or frozen (they did fresh

    Main Street Steaks $31.25/LB frozen

    Peter Luger $43.87/LB fresh

    Allen Brothers $31.60/LB for wet aged/frozen, 34.45/LB dry-aged/frozen

    Gepperth's (773) 549-3883 $12.99/LB for Black Angus Strip/frozen, $18.99/LB for Prime Strip/frozen

    These prices are certainly out of date, since this is from a while back. However, you can see the relative costs.


  18. My husband and I just hit a few places in Nantucket & the Cape. The best and brightest of our samplings was at the Black Cat Tavern in Hyannis by the ferry docks. This place is decked out in the interior with portraits of cats dressed up as historical figures such as Henry the Eighth and the Earl of Sandwich. We sat on the patio and enjoyed the harbor views, since the weather was unbeatable.

    Here the clams were bursting with flavor, juices, slime, and everything else we were looking for in a fried clam. We ended up eating here twice both on our trip out and back. I was knocked out by their fish and chips. They gave me a thick hunk of cod that tasted fresh and was wrapped in a crispy well-done batter. I didn’t even need to pick up the salt shaker. The texture was firm and flaky, and there was hardly a hint of grease.

    I think I am going to make the Black Cat a Cape tradition...


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