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Everything posted by ELA

  1. ELA

    obnoxious diners

    Yes, there is. I've seen the intervention be done extremely well and all has ended perfectly -- and I've seen it not go so well. Like many things in the business -- it might not be so easy, LOL. Eric
  2. ELA

    Sushi etiquette

    I've heard so many of the myths, and many of the truths. "Don't do that -- you'll offend the sushi chef" or "Don't put your chopsticks there, it means . . ." or any of the other do's and dont's. After hearing so many of these claims, I started to ask. I want to learn the right way and wrong way -- although it's food, how wrong could you get? LOL. The learning curve on something like this could be a lot of fun. On one hand, I don't want to offend anyone. On the other hand, I want to enjoy my food. Eric
  3. Thanks for the info. I am looking forward to this place. Eric
  4. Thanks for the reply. Since I am going to be there about 10 days, I am looking for a different restaurant each night. I'd like a steakhouse or two. I'd like to get an Italian restaurant suggestion for another night, even though I am going to Christini's. I really want to find a top notch sushi place (maybe two, as I think I'll go for steak and sushi more than once -- two serious staples in my diet, LOL). I'd like to find a top seafood place. I'll check out the places you suggested, and thank you very much again. Eric
  5. A happy and healthy holiday season to all. I will be heading down to Orlando for about 10 days or so and wanted to hear from some of the resident experts on Orlando's Best. I am not staying in, nor am I going to Disney World, but if it's worth going, I'd have no problem going there for dinner. I've been to, and absolutely and greatly enjoy Christini's -- top notch all around! I know there is a Shula's and Del Frisco's there -- any preferences? Is there a better steakhouse? Also, what's the best sushi place? Any other must go places? Thank you in advance. Eric
  6. Friday night, New Brunswick, pre-theatre -- you got some nice places you can hit. Of course everyone has their own likes, dislikes, styles and speeds, but for me I'd rather step outside the diner, prepared foods, etc. environment. Don't get me wrong, if that's what you like -- do it and enjoy! Eric
  7. Bacchus -- forgot about that one, good choice. Eric
  8. I don't know Fairfield exceptionally well, and I am not sure if it's your style, speed, etc. -- but how about Don Pepe? Also, check out a place called Ecco or Ecco Qua, or something like that. I have no idea if it's still there, but I had some good lunches there. There's another place that isn't in Fairfield, but it's not too far -- South City Grill (Mountain Lakes, Rt. 46). Eric
  9. I might not call it simple, but check out SoHo On George. Great atmosphere, excellent food. It's not too far from the theatre either. If you are looking for something a notch or two down, then look at Cyldz. Eric
  10. I like the place. Great experience. I enjoyed it and will go back. Eric
  11. BTW, it's a drive from Fort Lee, but it's worth it -- The Chef's Table (yes, a BYO, in Franklin Lakes). Eric
  12. Just for starters -- The River Palm (Edgewater) -- top-notch steak. The Assembly (Englewood Cliffs) -- also a top-notch steak. JD's Steak Pit (Fort Lee) -- order the burger off the menu. The Bicycle Club (Englewood Cliffs, 9W) for burgers. Rebecca's (BYO, Edgewater, Old Gorge Road) -- excellent Cuban food, family owned and operated. Vespa's (Edgewater) for good Italian. Eric
  13. I'll be there as well. Every hotel has been booked since it was announced that Monmouth Park was getting the Breeders Cup, and you will probably find much of the same for restaurants. I'm a regular at the track, but I am not familiar with the area's finer establishments. The place will be a zoo so don't expect to get out of there quickly, so make your reservations accordingly vis a vis time. I think I have heard good things (I think some of which I might have heard here) about Nicholas, and there are few others. There's another place I've heard a few good things about -- I think it's called the Melting Pot -- it's a fondue place. You could head north, say toward New Brunswick (maybe 45 minutes away) and there are several places -- The Frog And The Peach is one, and SoHo On George is another. I'll check my horsemen's guide and with a few friends who live down there and I'll post a few if I find anything out. Who do you like in the Spring? LOL. BTW, good luck! Eric
  14. I'm sorry to say I wasn't able to get there on my past couple of trips -- too busy, plans, etc. Is this place still a "should go"? I'll be in my usual spots in Jupiter in the next couple of weeks (and certainly when it starts getting colder here in Northern NJ), so I am going to make plans to go if the regulars say so. Thanks. Eric
  15. I buy it all the time. It's a must to have around for me, LOL. Eric
  16. I watched the first two episodes and I liked it. There's always going to be wanting more of this or that. Now, I've never seen the UK show, nor am I in a position to voice an opinion on Ramsay being harder, softer, etc. What was/is the UK show called? The subjects seemed real-life to me, which I think is missing from a lot of the reality TV nonsense out there today (rather ironic), and although the "outline" of the two shows could be the same -- a ton of shows are like that.\ Anyway, I liked them and I'll continue to watch. Eric
  17. Well, I guess it's as simple as -- if you can cook Italian food better than the cook/chef/Italian restaurant, then you stay home and cook it yourself. If you don't want to cook/clean/etc. -- then you go out to the Italian restaurant for inferior food. Great thread everyone, and thanks for the info. I'm still craving for Casa Dante, LOL. Eric
  18. For my Uncle's 70th, they had the food catered from Forte. I had, possibly, the best chicken that had been sitting for a few hours that I ever had in my life. Chicken Savoy, I think, it was boneless and when I look up recipes most of it is done with whole chicken. We don't dine out too often but I'd love to try this place out next time we do. ← I forgot to mention that a friend of mine has spoken highly of this place. I've heard some other favorable comments as well and unfortunately had plans to go rescheduled on me. Thanks for the comments. Eric
  19. Well, everyone here must be a really great chef/cook -- so who wants to have me over their house for dinner first? LOL. Seriously, I understand the point, and they are well taken -- and I agree to a point. Be that as it may, I think even the most basic dishes -- should be better in a quality, good, whatever you want to call it "Italian" restaurant. If it's not, then find a new restaurant. If you like your own risotto or veal parmigiana better than the chef at Casa Dante or LuNello's -- hey, I can understand that. However, a professional chef should be doing things that can't be done in your own kitchen -- and if they are not, then find a new restaurant. I am not going out just for the experience or because I don't want to cook/clean/etc. Now as far as "tastes" (not "taste") if the chef is doing something with his sauce -- even on the most basic of dishes -- I can understand someone not liking it. Of course. Some like chocolate and some like vanilla. Anyway, we go to places we like, where we like the food -- what the chef is doing, tastes, flavors, experiences, and so many other things. If you haven't been to an "Italian" restaurant that is doing more than you can do in your own kitchen -- keep going! LOL. Enjoy the quest! Eric
  20. Great -- keep it coming. I know there is not a shortage of connoisseurs here. Has anyone been to Casa Dante lately? I am making plans now and I am very much looking forward to going back. Thanks again. Eric
  21. Excellent choices. I also used to very much like Pizza Chef (in Fort Lee). I remember Donna's also and I've always liked Sicillian pizza (actually, more than regular pizza). I now live much closer to Kinchley's, and I've always liked it, but I've never been fanatical about thin-crust pizza -- once in a while, change of pace, etc., nevertheless, Kinchley's is top-notch. Eric
  22. Unfortunately I can't get the crew to go with Harvest Bistro. A few of them got some "nice" reports back on Baci, so that's where we are going. I'll report back. Eric
  23. I know this has been discussed, but rather than rehash old threads I thought it was time to revisit. Having recently moved my usual rotation of restaurants has moved as well. In addition, places change. So, my usual sojurn to Jersey City to Casa Dante has now become a longer trip, but this place to me has always been worth the drive. I just can't seem to get it into my usual rotation due to the distance, drive, friends, etc. I always liked Cafe Italiano (Englewood Cliffs), but I haven't been there in a good couple of years -- and I really have to try the Cliffs Steakhouse next door before a return trip to Cafe Italiano. I was going there both pre and post liquor license. The chef, and I think there might have been a change somewhere along the line, always had some nice specials that were well implemented. I specifically remember a seafood risotto with a very nice sauce that was excellent. I haven't been there in quite some time, but David's (Cliffside Park) was a place I always enjoyed -- small, always packed, but excellent food. I lived around the corner when I first moved to the area, and then after moving it will still a "neighborhood" place. This is another place I really want to get back to. E & V -- guilty again, haven't been since a business lunch a while back, and another "really need to get back to" place. A bit of a sleeper for me has been Granita Grill (Westwood) -- BYO, quiet, nothing super-fancy, but good, tasty, quality food. A few have fallen off my list as well -- changes, for the bad, ownership, management, chef, etc. (don't need to go there, LOL). Anyone been to LuNello's in the new location (not so new anymore)? So, what about some other places? Neighborhood kind of places? Even the big names in your area. I think many know about the big names, that seem to be all over. What about some of the neighborhood places -- all over -- Northwest Bergen, Passaic, Essex, etc. If enough people post we could have a ton of neigborhood places all over the place. Thanks. Eric
  24. See, I tip roughly the way you do, but I think the "cost of living" argument is BS. Because one thing that has been going up as fast -- or faster -- as the "legitimate cost of living" is the cost of a good dinner out. Diner waitresses have it tough, vis a vis check size versus cost of living. Servers in upscale joints? I think tabs have more than kept pace. ← I see your point, but to me it's not about math. Of course the math is linear, but I also think there is a "business owner" and "employee" aspect, but that's just me. It's a food chain discussion, no pun intended, LOL. I also don't view it as "justification" to my point, because for good service, I'll overtip. I've never gone through the #'s, nor would I ever, because as I said it's not important to me. However, the math and money to me are not the same. While the tab may have gone up from $100 to $125, with no increase in the tip -- at 15%, the tip is now $3.75 higher. While that in and of itself might be the applicable % increase, I would see that as myopic to some extent. I don't view it as the 15% on the more expensive check -- it's about dollars, not percentages. I think the non-monetary aspect is more important to me. Eric
  25. My own personal attitude about tipping is that "it's not tipping I believe it -- it's over-tipping" . . . as per Mr. Vincent Antonelli in My Blue Heaven, LOL. Seriously, when called for, I tend to overtip for a variety of reasons. I know there are servers who work for net zero-wage and really work for tips, and I know there are others who do get a pay-wage. That's not really the issue to me. When I have a server who works hard, and puts forth the effort to see that I am taken care of and have an enjoyable meal, I appreciate that. I don't view being a server an easy job and I can empathize being in a "service" business. In addition, thank god, I can afford it. Therefore, for these and other reasons, I do so. Perhaps I am naive, however, I believe that as an occupation, or as an industry, these are hard-working people in a tough business. When getting good service, I think 20% has now become the norm. We've seen legitimate cost(s) of living in the past 10 years -- not the CPI of course -- and like everything else, the level of tipping as well should have increased in my eyes. Now, in my mind, and in my situation -- 20% pre-tax and post-tax (in NY and NJ) is a trivial difference, again, in my mind and situation. Thus, I tip 20% after-tax. I am OK with that. If I get great service, exceptional service, I tip more than 20% post-tax. All of this is considering the the service is good of course. Bad service is something completely different. Eric
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