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  1. I'm headed down to New Orleans for the first time in September and this thread has been very helpful, as eGullet always is... What do you think of my plan? Thursday - Arrive, late dinner at Cochon, cocktails at the Lobby Bar at the Pere Marquette if Chris McMillian is around. Other cocktail options - Sazerac Bar, Carousel Bar, Swizzle Stick, Arnaud's. Staying in the French Quarter. Will go check out the bars on Frenchmen St. and the izakaya if we get hungry around 1AM. Friday - Bread pudding and bananas Foster at Brennan's. A quarter- or half-muffaletta from Central Grocery (to be eaten overlooking the Mississippi... with an Abita). Po'boys from Parkway. Pimms Cups at Napoleon House. More drinks at Cure. Late dinner at Herbsaint. Should I replace Herbsaint with Brigtsens, Bayona, Gautreau's, Lilette, Green Goddess... others? I feel slightly silly eating at two Donald Link places in two nights, but the menu at Herbsaint looks great. I'm looking for some variety in my dinners... Saturday - Beignets and cafe au lait at CdM. Po'boys at Parasol's and Domilise... and/or food at Lil' Dizzys... maybe Willie Mae's... Liuzza's... I'm keeping things pretty open here. Dinner is the tasting menu at August. Sunday - Unfortunately, leaving at the crack of dawn... which just means we're staying up all night Saturday! I know some of this is touristy, but I've been told even the most insanely touristy things I can imagine (Central Grocery, Cafe du Monde) are worth a stop. Thanks for all of your feedback, in advance!
  2. i don't want to stir up controversy -- asking me to pick porchetta or tony luke's is like asking me to choose a favorite child... but side note: if you get the platter at porchetta and ask for bread on the side, you can assemble yourself a nice little sandwich: the amazing, mind-blowing porchetta plus garlicky/spicy greens (i think it was broccoli rabe) on that amazing sullivan st. ciabatta. the plate also comes with white beans which i thought were just OK. back to the glories of philadelphia!
  3. Hello! Looking for some very basic answers regarding dining in Paris. I'm going for the first time and realized I only have three weeks left to plan. It seems like reservations are recommended at most restaurants (ex. l'Os a Moelle and Cave du l'Os a Moelle, Aux Lyonnais, Le Troquet/Le Cantine du Troquet...) How far in advance should I call for a reservation -- immediately, or a few days beforehand, or is it relatively easy to get same-day reservations? We have a small party (3-4 people). I have a long list of restaurants I'd like to try, so we can be flexible with reservations-- there isn't anyplace I absolutely have to get into. While in town I imagine our meals will be a combination of: - 1 or 2 lunches at a 3-star Michelin place (to satisfy my curiosity)...I'm thinking Arpege and/or Gagnaire -- I assume I will have to book these tables ASAP. - Lunches at more casual places like the ones I named above. - Picnics, so I can buy food at markets/bakeries and take advantage of beautiful green spaces (near the Eiffel Tower, in the Jardin du Luxembourg, etc.) - Small dinners... in restaurants? Where would you recommend having dinner? Lunch seems to be the big meal of the day. Sound good? Thanks in advance.
  4. Thinking of visiting New Orleans over Easter weekend (Friday-Monday or possibly Thursday-Sunday). Is that a bad idea? Do restaurants get overcrowded, overpriced (special $49.95 Easter brunch!) etc.? I've never been to NOLA before, so I'm hoping to check out Cochon, August, etc. Would another weekend in April be better? Thanks in advance!
  5. I would highly highly recommend Matyson's $45 tasting menu (M-Th), it's always delicious. Marigold Kitchen does three courses for $30 on Sundays. Pick any appetizer, entree and dessert from the menu. Lolita and Bindi also just started doing prix-fixe nights. Lolita runs one on Monday and Bindi does one Tuesday and Wednesday nights, inspired by whatever the chefs find at the Headhouse Square farmers' market that week. $35 per person, BYO, might be cash only. Both restaurants are on 13th between Sansom and Chestnut, and they have great homemade mixers (strawberry, watermelon-mint, etc.) if you want to bring tequila, rum, or vodka. An example of this week's Bindi menu: FROM THE CHEF (you will receive all of the following items, served family-style) tomatoes, simply as is gold and red jewel tomatoes, maldon sea salt tomatoes, raw chilled tomato shorva, indian and lemon cucumber, spices APPETIZER tomatoes, fried green tomato "pakora", turkish orange eggplant, spicy tomato-sesame chutney MAIN COURSE tomatoes, oven dried * bengali style mahi curry, oven dried heirlooms, green chili, panch phoran spices, lime rice tomatoes, pickled * cumin-yogurt marinated chicken, rich tamarind-coconut dal, heirloom tomato pickle tomatoes, confit * spice grilled lamb loin, curry leaf, pickled "red of florence" onions, lemon chickpea salad BREAD tomatoes, roasted hand rolled griddle bread, tomato kut, caramelized onion, ghee, sea salt, house raita DESSERT tomatoes, frozen and tomatoes, candied brandywine tomato granite, yogurt almond sooji cake, lemon candied tomatoes * vegetarian option available with chef's substitutions
  6. i've been meaning to mention that i had a belated birthday party here on opening night and had a fantastic time... the staff went out of their way to accomodate our party of 12-15. but in news of greater interest to most people, i wanted to mention that the chimichanga (a new menu item!) is delicious. like philadining, i had not understood the appeal of a chimichanga until now. but it's everything you loved about your original american-style enormous burrito (warm savory meat, rice, beans, contrasted with cold creamy sour cream/guac and bright tangy salsa) with the added dimension of a flaky tortilla shell. think crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. fantastic!
  7. i will admit i haven't read through all of the posts on this thread, but brief thoughts since i just ate at zahav and tinto last week-- zahav was OK. we ordered the b'stilla/pastilla and it was nice. not earth-shattering, but nice. crispy phyllo dough wrapped around a sweet/savory filling of shredded rabbit, raisins, etc., hints of cinnamon, powdered sugar sprinkled on top. i tend to think rabbit tastes like chicken in many contexts, especially when you've got dominant flavors like cinnamon and sugar competing for your attention. tinto was delicious. i forget how much i like jose garces' food because there are so many new places to try out. but i would definitely get the shrimp pinxto (four huge grilled shrimp skewered with a bit of chorizo, a lovely caramelized candylike grape tomato, and esplette pepper), the bomba rice with fava beans, the mushrooms (sauteed in obscene/delightful amounts of olive oil), the baby artichokes (tender, lemony, truffly). nice wines by the glass, too! i was underwhelmed by the cheeses (i prefer big stinky oozy cheeses or aged crunchy almost crystalline cheeses). are you, as a professed cheesehead, going to tria?
  8. Back on the decor topic: I too give the designers props for the look of the place; it's beautiful. Somebody over on Citypaper called Parc Pastis-Lite, or Pastis II -- which is actually OK by me. All French bistros could look like this (leather booths, tile floors, distressed mirrors, golden lighting) and I would be happy. Too bad the food doesn't (yet) live up to the space. We tried: oysters, escargot, pate, steak tartare, french onion soup, tuna tartare, skate, duck confit, strip steak, calf liver, lamb, chocolate mousse, pot de creme, tarte tatin, peach tart, and creme brulee. (We were excited... as you can probably tell.) Things that were tasty: Bread, oysters, French onion soup (FINALLY! Delicious concentrated beefy broth without being overly salty), calf liver, creme brulee, and chocolate mousse (dark, intense). Duck confit was decent, with some nice crispy skin-melty tender shredded meat action. Things I was disappointed by: I've had better escargot at Pif and LBF -- I get that the main point of escargot, in the butter-and-garlic preparation, is the butter-and-garlic part, but our snails were so small, they were almost pointless. Steak tartare -- also OK, but lacking the flavor intensity of Ansill's (more purple mustard perhaps? Caper berries?). Tarte tatin -- mushy apples on puff pastry. No caramelized butter-sugar-and-apple magic going on. Overall, this experience gets a solid B -- acceptable food in a city sorely lacking in French bistros but nothing to get excited about. I'm hoping it's because the place is new and the kitchen is still figuring things out. Keep your fingers crossed. And in the meantime, I need to get back to Cochon.
  9. I would suggest that if you're looking for the crispy-roasty-tender-fatty-salty contrast of good roast pork, don't turn to the roast pork sandwich; instead, just try the roast pork entrees at Osteria (it's a special) and Cantina los Caballitos (on the regular menu). I have eaten my fair share of suckling pigs of several nationalities (Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Hawaiian, Dominican) and I think the versions at those two restaurants are stellar. I do like me a Philly roast pork sandwich but yeah, don't go in expecting porchetta. It's more about a great roll, spicy greens, sharp aged provolone and tenderness/jus.
  10. bump! I had the cochinita (pibil?) for the first time at Cantina last night, and may I just say, that is an utterly exquisite piece of pork. It encapsulates everything I love about a good roast pork dish, regardless of the nationality of the cuisine/chef/pig. Good Chinese, Italian, and Mexican roast pork should all just have that tenderness, that salt, the roasty crispiness, the mouthfeel of the pulled pieces... oh god, it was so good. So so so so good. I want more. I can't think of when I've had pork like that recently. This definitely competes with Osteria for best roast pork dish in Philly. Everything else we had -- tilapia taco special, goat tacos, roasted pineapple-avocado-mache salad, desserts, margaritas -- were all their usual tasty selves, but the cochinito was a revelation to me. I don't order enough entrees there, usually finding myself distracted by appetizers and alcohol.
  11. I got one of the heritage birds last year -- I think it's worth it if you have a smaller group to feed (I had six) -- a better, more intense turkey flavor as shacke alluded to above.
  12. Four Seasons's juices are really good... but sometimes I just want a Jamba Juice-style smoothie. The styles, as Rae mentioned, are totally different. Jamba Juice in the Whole Foods at 10th and South is closed? What happened? I feel like Philadelphia doesn't get the whole California-style smoothie thing -- Amazon and Rainforest whatever are nowhere near as good. Sorry I didn't answer your question, boggah -- it's because I don't know of any good substitutes for my beloved Jamba!
  13. it's a duck's head silly! hey dagordon, how was the meal?
  14. I second that... but go early since they tend to run out.
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