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Everything posted by WestOrangeFrank

  1. Not sure if this belongs in another thread, but please help me out... I'm about to book a seven night foodie Tuscan trip (near Arezzo). I'm still doing my research, but it looks beautiful. The trip includes 16 hours Tuscan cooking instruction, trip to a Salami factory, Pecorino and Goat cheese farm, Wine estate for wine tasting and lunch, Olive oil mill and oil tasting. I even got a 30% last minute discount, bringing the price to a nice deal. All meals/wine included. Is there anything I should be cautios of in such a trip? The people involved seemed legit and well organized. The website is also put together well. http://www.italiancookerycourse.com/ After seven nights at the villa, I'm thinking of spending a day for Siena/Florence, then a full day in Venice, then down back down to Rome for a night before heading back to the states. Thanks for any input, Frank
  2. Ok, just had a meal from Nobu @ Crescent Center. the food was great, but the front house still has a few kinks to work out. The good My five co-workers didn't have a reservation on a Wednesday at 8:00, but I called on the way over. The chic hostess "couldn't make any promises" for a table, but we showed up anyway and scored a side bar table tucked in the corner of the place. Thanks! The ceviche was as good as something you would expect from the TriBeCa joint. When asked for soup recommendations, the beautiful server promptly replied with the better seller at the restaurant (miso over mushroom $8). The miso was good, two hunks of tofu. OMG - the 'new style' sashimi ($18) is flash seared in a red chili infused oil topped with a few sesame seeds (fish of choice, we had salmon). Totally shareable. The house special role - a rainbow role of sorts, really hit the spot. For desert, the green bean yuzu was a winner, and the fresh fruit platter ($12) was delicious and well presented. A lychee martini washed it all down wonderfully (~$14). The not so good I found the market price of the toro sashimi to be a bit high ($20 for two ~1oz pieces). Being from the NY area, we are spoiled by a wonderful daily Tokyo imported Fatty and White Tuna priced right at Sushi House in Hoboken NJ (www.sushihouseofhoboken.com). The poor single diner next to us waited a long time for his sashimi which never did show. The bar service was very slow. Servers bumped into each other on two occasions, one time dropping shot glasses on the floor behind us. What also looked good was the full lobster served in a wide bowl over some wasabi something or other. It was brought to our table by accident, we never ordered it. The shrimp shooter concept is approaching ordinary, but Nobu does it anyway. Five shooters were brought to our table by a runner, but again, we never did order them. Another great looking dish that we didn't order which was brought to our table was the blackened cod. This dish was brought to our party of six by a runner as we were finishing our desert. Overall, a great dining experience. Much more than sushi on the menu. The dining room is DECKED out and the clientele and staff are easy on the eyes.
  3. WF in the old Pathmark? That's great news. Traveling to Kings in Caldwell, or the Essex Green shopping center has been tough. Someone had said that Pathmark location was going to be a Sears?! :biggrin:
  4. That is an amazing story AgaCooker!! Think you can still take him up on the offer next time you're in Chippewa Falls? Seems logical that because it goes to Texas, it should go to metro NY/NJ, but it doesn't. http://www.leinie.com/where.html Closest we get is upstate NY (think closer to Canada than New York City). As for Miller messing up - I'm in the consumer packaged goods beer business - temporarily working as a consultant to big Miller now (which has done some amazing things for Leinie's distribution). Miller hasn't messed with the recipe and has grown Lienie's more than we can ever imagine. I'm new to the beer business - but from what I've learned, there's much more than we know. I've gotten my appreciation for this liquid gold working in good ol Milwaukee! Where are you originally from in WI? Can you explain the popularity of beer cheese soup?
  5. There's no excuse for that, did you dine on a Saturday? TF has become popular and doesn't always easily handle the ~200 person crowd they willingly try to accommodate on a Saturday. I've eaten a couple times on a Saturday and had good experiences, but I have had near perfect experiences on Fridays/Sundays. The general manager handles these hiccups seriously - and is very eGullet friendly. You might want to ask for him next time. A note to TF - the seating area with the brick oven might be a nice place to satiate hungry guests with complementary snacks (pizza, etc.) on a Sat. night... But maybe that's just me and my stomach.
  6. Dinner party huh? There's a fine establishment serving chicken, called cluck-u on Morris St in Morristown. Curlz has a good point on calling Trattoria Fresco. I hosted a lovely party of 18 for at the restaurant. The guy there Evan knows how to arrange a party. The place has charm and isn't pretentious. http://www.artfuldiner.com/trattoriafresco.html
  7. The Spring/Summer menu is about to be released. For those of you who wonder why some tables have table clothes and some don't... those with red table clothes are wrought iron patio furniture... Saturday's at TF are getting more and more popular, we tend to eat there on weekdays (incl. Fridays). So I asked to see the tentative summer menu, there are two new pizzas on the menu - 1) agrodolce - at first I thought it was another TF made up menu item name - but it turns out it means 'sweet and sour'. sausage and cherry peppers. TF needs a glossary on their menu! 2) Yellowfin tuna. with spicy greens. The fall/winter staples have made it to the main course, but prepared a little diffrenetly. Don't quote me on this, the summer menu is still being worked out . I'm looking forward to eating in the 'secret garden' outside.
  8. Have you tried Penang yet? They are a small local chain and considered Malaysian fusion in Edison right off 9. 505 Old Post Rd, Edison, 08817 - (732) 287-3038
  9. As a beer guy, I'm a fan of Tun Tavern, across from the Sheraton. There's better food in the area, but Tun has nailed the hand crafted beer crowd.
  10. I agree with the others on Trattoria Fresco. They have always appreciated the eGullters (say hello to the dining room GM Evan). 435 Bloomfield Ave, Caldwell, 07006 - (973) 226-8800
  11. We've grown to love Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss. there aren't any distributors to the NY Metro area. Anybody else like this stuff - and better yet - can offer a way for us to find it?
  12. How do women have a knack for distinguishing wine characteristics (better than the average Joe)? Why does North America have so many taboo topics which are mundane to other countries?
  13. Wow Glenn, a couple thoughts and questions if you're interested: 1 - Hudson county is thirsty for melted cheese - cant wait to get there 2 - would you mind sharing your culinary history? 3 - Can you share any secrets to why Melt has caught on like wild fire (location, innovation, inspiration, etc.)? 4 - Thanks for making J.C a better place!
  14. Lreda, what a great way to spark convo - eG'ers love a forum.... Lately, we've been phasing out a main course. Do you offer half sized portions?With apps and small plates stealing the show lately, we're taking a break from entrees. After menus offering an app, a side, and then a main course, saving room for sweets, we opt to not stuff ourselves. Am I alone here, does anyone else like to taste witout commiting to an entree?
  15. I can third miki motos and washington st ale house. Washington Ale has better than average pub fare. If you're around on a Wednesday, the prime rib special is very good. Having spent some time with DuPont, we frequented Feby's Fishery often - 3701 Lancaster Pike, Wilmington, 19805 - (302) 998-9496. Great lunch place, fresh fish specials daily. Avoid Union Street Restaurant and Walter's Steakhouse across the street, way overrated and overpriced.
  16. Our women have it so easy!!! The wife and I are the same way in our house. She enjoys easy drinking wines. If eating at home (i.e., I cook), we will always have A bottle. If dining out on weekends, we'll bring two bottles for the two of us, sometimes not finishing it all or shaing, sometimes we do. I'm a big fan of loooooonngggg dinners, where this is possible w/o getting sloshed. If a restaurant could figure out a tasting menu w/ wine pairings, at a decent price, we would drink less than we do at our local BYOBs. Being out of town for work is usually wine/drink free for me, although, I'm currently working in Milwaukee for a brewing company, where it's good for business to have a few. So mostly in line with everyone else here, if at home, and having dinner with someone else, we'll open a bottle. The European consumption vs. the US question is a good one. does anyone know the per capita consumption of other countries vs. US ?
  17. Mariposa please tell us more about any of your winery experiences!!! Mendoza is next on our Argentina visit list! syzygy8 - you could probably rent a nice remise (limo-style professional driver) for a decent rate. They jack up the price some for tourists, but still a fair amount compared to other (USA based) metro-city rates. syzygy8 can you please post any of your experiences in this area?
  18. you and I are different breeds nickarte! But luckily for you BA has some great dining options. I second the idea of Italian in La Boca. I put the homemade gnocchi at the top of my ever tasted list. You really can't miss in this neighborhood for Italian. We really liked Il Matterello (Martin Rodriguez and Villafane). Prices weren't the highest, weren't the lowest (no more than $15 for a dinner plate).
  19. Thanks everyone, these are great recommendations, and I'm looking forward to having a taste of Milwaukee over the next few weeks. Mo's was good. Dining alone sucks, room service sucks, chain restaurants suck, but having a per diem and eG recommendations help at Mo's, I sat at the bar, the bartender didn't miss a beat in service. They use one of those mini-bar tables to make the bar more eat-able off of (similar to those Outback uses). The piano was a nice touch. The mozzarella and tomatoe salad with a balsamic dressing drizzle was a big portion for an app, and it tasted alright. Looked like standard beefsteak tomatoes, would've preferred something that looked/tasted more vine ripened, and the basil was a bit wilted, but whatever, I had a 24 oz. Mo's Signature bone in prime ribeye on the way. About Mo's... when I called around to a few restaurants and asked about menu/beef/how and things were prepared, the person who answered the phone knew everything. When calling the others (Chophouse and Butch's) answers required a transfer to the kitchen. Not a big deal, but just goes to show you how knowledeable people at Mo's are. the steak was very good, medium rare, as expected. If I go back, I'll skip the roasted garlic steak accoutrement, and ask for a light salt/pepper seasoning (which wasn't even on the menu as a dressing, maybe they do that already anyway?). Now if this place could get some Lienenkugal (sp?), we'd be set! Looking forward to other. The Prix Fixe @ Bacchus looks promising, thx for the info and link KendallCollege.
  20. Hm, not in NY, but a 15 minute train away is Epernay. http://www.epernaynj.com/emenu.html Haven't been, but have seen lots of talk in the other regional discussion board.
  21. There's a common theme is many of these posts..... celebrity chefs. Emerils, Marios's, Wolfgang's, Bobby's, etc. What does that say about NYC? It might be time to start a listing for NYC's most UNDER-rated!!
  22. Second Peter Lugaes, and mostly EVERYHTING Luckylies says. Please - Bobby Flay is a jerk - he's cool on TV, but has lost touch on being a person. The rest of these places have been riding on a spark of reputation: Union Sqare Cafe, Nobu - better sushi at Sushi House in Hoboken and same supplier, Blue Water Grill - and I'd like to add One if By Land... to that list. Please don't hold this against me, but I've moved to New Jersey (where I can bring my own wine), and have had some wonderful experiences making me wonder what lure of NYC is left.
  23. A Pasta Extravaganza with Ryan DePersio on “Today’s Kitchen". Is Ryan trying to take over Katie Couric's spot as host!?!? j.k. Fascino is great no doubt. In four visits in less than six weeks, I tried every aspect of the menu that I was interested in. (Little) Anthony claims people return to have what they like, but on the flipside, I'm a specials guy. While the front house (Mr. & Mrs. DeP) is no doubt on-point, the servers have slipped some. Not that I discriminate on age, but the young wait staff has smudged the otherwise perfect reputation of this fine restaurant. I’ve seen dishes come to the wrong tables, and subtleties of serving and clearing not followed. Ryan is a very talented worldly chef. The next time he shows off his stuff in an intimate setting in the restaurant, I’m there. Otherwise, why does Fascino stick so rigidly to a set menu? Shouldn't specials be more than a ravioli. Am I alone here? Curious to hear your thoughts.
  24. My wife's Cuban, and whenever her grandfather comes up from Cuba, ir, Miami, we go to this place. As a gringo, I'm told this is authentic, and I believe it. I decided to only order things I have never seen on any menu. I started with the garlic soup. I haven't seen any vampires in a long time. The roasted garlic was in a tasty broth, with a poached egg smack in the middle. For my entree, I followed suit with the in-laws and had the stewed ox tail. The meat fell off the bone. I wouldn't have ordered it otherwise, but I'm glad I did. Reminded me a bit of a mini shank. The decor is 80's deco style. The white sangria is good. They also have middle of the road Spanish wines and latin beers. Latin America (201) 863-9280 4317 Bergenline Ave Union City, NJ 07087 The North Bergan area has more Cubans than Havanah, or so I've heard. Please let me know where else you eG'ers have tried.
  25. We're planning on steaming corned beef and cabbage; or we might just eat some dog food, it's a toss up.
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