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Everything posted by whitetrufflechick

  1. ;-) Started the thread, yes.... but who was it that first ventured forward? hee hee..... Its become an obsession.
  2. Tried Gazelle today for lunch (sadly Silver Oak around the corner is not open for lunch on Mondays). Had a decent burger, Irish smoked salmon & goat cheese appetizer and a Carrot & Ginger soup(which had quit a nice spicy kick to it). Really liked the soup, but had an odd experience a few minutes after lunch. Paid the check and went across the street to Whole Foods and checked out THEIR soup bar. Sure enough, Spicy Ginger and Carrot soup was one of the soups of the day. Bizarre coincidence or does Gazelle get their soup from Whole Foods and run it across the street? OR, even stranger, does Whole Foods get THEIR soup from Gazelle and run it across the street?
  3. Hi Rachel, Thanks for clearing that up. When I go with co-workers, I'm usually able to exercise some self-control and keep my plate stack pretty low, with a side of udon soup. Recently, I took my 22-year old son who had a ball picking and choosing and trying things that looked good to him that he may not have tried just based on a menu description. After about an hour, he had such a tall stack that it made me laugh. The best part of the meal was when he said, "Don't worry, Mom. I've got the bill." Wow. Probably one of the first times he's ever done THAT. Sidenote: Took him to St. Michel afterwards for cream puffs and eclairs. I paid. <grin> Between his sushi fun and pastry heaven, it was an afternoon to remember. WTC BTW, a large part of the discussion during lunch centered around the carousel-worthiness of other types of cuisine. It was great fun trying to figure out what could go best on the little plates.... tapas? Italian? Thai?
  4. Hi Jason, Pointless endeavor is a bit harsh, no? I LOVE Minado, but for thoese who don't feel like going the whole buffet route and just grabbing a quick lunch for a couple of bucks, East fits the bill. Their soups are good, their sushi fresh and I can usually get out of there for under ten bucks and in under forty minutes (as a teacher, important). Just curious if you're comments are refering to the East from the past or the new East with the carousel?
  5. PurplePirate and I just signed up! Can't wait! YAY. :-)
  6. Just thought I'd post a note about East in Teaneck (on Teaneck Road). I hadn't been to East in years until a few weeks ago. Formerly, it was the type of place you'd take off your shoes, sit on the floor and have some ok Japanese food. Working only blocks from the place, co-workers and I decided to give it another shot. We had noticed the "carousel sushi" mention on their signage out front and that raised our interest. Well, over the past six weeks or so, we've been back to East many, many times. It is, indeed, a carousel (conveyor belt) setup. The majority of the seating is around a bar, but there are booths that the sushi carousel passes along. Each little dish has 2-3 pieces of sushi, sashimi, desserts, small seaweed salads, etc. and dishes are priced according to color (a buck for white plates on up. Top of the line is the elusive GOLD plate ($6.)), and to date we have never seen one on the belt - though we continue to use it as reason to justify our frequent trips -- oooooh, maybe we'll see a gold plate this time! The sushi here is fresh and along with the conveyor belt (btw, it take exactly 5 minutes for one revolution - yes, we've timed it, computer geeks that we are), you can also order off of their menu. I also have to mention the oddities that sometimes appear on the belt: to date, we've seen cheesecake slices, tiramisu and flan go by. Makes me laugh every time it passes by.
  7. BTW, the evening BEFORE New Year's Eve, we dined at Silver Oak (AGAIN!..lol) and Brad, waiter-extraordinaire mentioned that they are in the process of putting together a Mardi Gras dinner with the proceeds possibly going to misplaced chefs from New Orleans. It sounded like they are preparing to pull out all the stops.... Had him book us a table on the spot. :-)
  8. We had booked a New Year's package at the Middletown Westin that included dinner at the Copeland. Dinner was great, service was only so-so and a nice time was had all around. Happy New Year all!
  9. ....and so how was it? What did you have? :-)
  10. Six of us had the Chef's Table experience at Ginger and Spice last night, complete with the Hummer picking us all up at a central location (my house in Oradell) and dropping us off at evening's end. The menu was fixed, though we did order a couple of sushi rolls off the main menu. With the exception of a request for the Lemon Grass Soup for dessert, the choices were left in the chef's hands (we were asked in advance about allergies and a special request was made that no raw ingredients, ie. fish were included in the menu). We went with the five course ($65. -- there is also an 8 course option) and some of the courses included Coconut Shrimp, Oxtail Spring Rolls and Tempura'd Steak. My fave course was the South African Sea Bass. We brought our own red wine and the Sangria that they made for us was so easy to drink that it was dangerous - have a lovely headache today as evidence of this. :-) Service was absolutely attentive and accommodating, with our server providing information about our courses and making sure our every need was addressed. Sitting in that large, absolutely private booth allowed us to laugh and have fun without fear of disturbing other diners. At the end of the meal, after an introduction with flourish (did I hear a drumroll in the background?), he introduced our chefs to us who thanked us for allowing them to host our little gathering and chatting about what it was that we ate. We headed back out to the Hummer at meal's end and asked our driver (who also happened to be one of the owners) if he would go out of his way and take the ten minute trip to the "Elvis House" over in Mahwah (an annual month-long Christmas light spectacular at the home of an Elvis impersonator). He agreed to take us for a drive-by and I think he may have been amused by the specatacle as well. It provided a lovely ending to a wonderful holiday get-together with great friends, great food and great wine.
  11. 4 of us ate there Sat nt and were not that impressed. Service was great, place is small and we won't go back. Food was mediocre and thats all I can say. Different strokes .... But, all four of us agreed, not thrilled. ← Hi! Wondering what it was that you and your party had ordered that you found lackluster. From the homemade barbeque chips with the barbeque dipping sauce to the chocolate pecan pies, etc., I'm just surprised to hear mediocre as a descriptor. Definintely agree on the different strokes theory, but could you elaborate? Would love to hear about dishes that might be missing the mark, since I plan on going back again soon. WTC
  12. Actually, it ended up being a Saturday brunch. DON'T even get me started on the concept of taking creamy, tangy mac and cheese, enrobing the macs in a high quality cheddar and putting it under the broiler. When they served it, it looked like a CHEESE OMELET (as opposed to an egg omelet) stuffed with mac and cheese. Holy Moley.
  13. You're welcome, Dumpling, At the moment, I'm trying to come up with another excuse to make it up to Silver Oak. That would make it three Friday nights in a row. Mmmmmm... just thinking about it. Then again, there's always Sunday brunch.
  14. I am also sad to see Melt go. Took the trip down there from Bergen County twice and each time it was well worth it. Would love to see Melt smack dab in the middle of Westwood or Ridgewood and sharing the space with a kick-ass ice cream merchant. Just a thought.
  15. Ended up back at Silver Oak again last night. Meal number two. From the mozzarella hushpuppies and 'crabby chicken' apps to the chocolate pecan pie, the meal was again perfect. Entrees of Snapper sautéed with orange zest crust served with spaghetti squash and herb emulsion and the Craw-Cat-Fish were, again, wonderful. At 6:45, we were the only two in the dining room and by 8pm, the room was filled to capacity. This is definitely some of the best southern cooking I've ever had anywhere, and certainly the best and most authentic, while at the same time maintaining an air of originality, in the NYC/NJ area.
  16. Channel cat or farmed cat? Just curious. I despair of ever finding channel cat on the East Coast but it never hurts to ask. ← No idea and didn't ask. Sorry.
  17. Made our way over to Silver Oak tonite after reading (or not reading) about it here on Egullet. This cozy 25-seat bistro is located on Wilsey Square, on the OTHER side of the railroad tracks, away from Ridgewood's main drag. Keeping that in mind, its relatively easy to find in a row of storefronts with plenty of street parking, including a metered lot across the street (25 cents an hour till 8pm, free after 8pm). We made reservations through Open Table and I'm glad we did, as we saw others, bottle in hand (its a BYO), turned away because the place was fully booked for the evening. Most of the clientele were groups of 4 or more, some who seemed to be known by the staff as regulars. Not bad for a place that's only been around 8 weeks, according to the wait staff. Though the room is small and the tables placed with long banquette on one side with chairs on the other, there was ample space left between tables and we didn't have the feeling of sitting RIGHT on TOP of the table next to us which I usually have in setups like this (Les Halles comes to mind). Even with the ample space, there was some nice between table banter going on and as each dish came out, other tables would ooh, aah, and comment and ask questions. Overall, a very congenial atmosphere. The only drawback was that as the evening progressed, it became a little LOUD for my own personal tete-a-tete - then again, in a room full of happy diners in groups larger than two, that can happen and is, to me, an indication of good times being had. Onto the food: Starting with the basket of homemade Barbeque potato chips with sides of homemade barbeque sauce and jalapeno green goddess dressing, we knew we were in for a flavorful night. Thinking it was a great substitute for a bread basket, were we ever wrong. This was merely an amuse of sorts...after the appetizer course, out came the breadbasket, full of crunchy on the outside, perfectly soft on the inside bread with a side of basil? and olive oil. Appetizers that were had were the Shrimp with Grits (Fresh gulf shrimp sautéed with Kentucky Ham, red eye gravy and served over cheese grits) and the Gumbo special. Both dishes were well-seasoned and tasty, but a bit heavy for starters. These would have made a great lunch on their own, OR one to share between two people would fit the bill as well. Live and learn. A lightly dressed onion & beet over greens salad (included with the entree) followed. My entree, Craw-Cat-fish, was Catfish filet stuffed with lump crab meat in a straw potato crust & crawfish e’touffe served over sautéed greens & margarita marmalade dip. It was an outstanding dish... spicy, creamy, crunchy, yum. Again, two hungry people could have easily shared this dish and I took most of it home for tomorrow's lunch. The margarita marmalade dip was a great surprise and the cool sweetness of it enhanced the richness of the southern cooking. My partner enjoyed his Lamb Four Ways (Grilled lamb chop, Stuffed rouladen, braised shank & sausage served with goat cheese bread pudding and yoghurt mint sauce) with again, the only criticism being such HUGE portions (is that a bad thing? the jury's out) We were stuffed to the gills by the end of dinner and the waitress offered an enticing selection of homemade pies, ice creams and sorbets. I succombed to an Orange/Rosemary sorbet, as it sounded so refreshing. And it was (though we could only finish half of it). Service was very friendly, accommodating and unobtrusive. I'd go back to Silver Oak in a hot second and I would really like to try their lunch menu and brunch menu as well. Forewarned is forearmed and the only warning I can give to eGulleters is to either go with a huge appetite or split some dishes or leave with a doggie bag. Another warning? Get to Silver Oak quickly, because as soon as word gets out -- as I fear it already may have with the local folk -- I predict it will be very difficult to get a reservation at this absolutely wonderful southern-inspired-cooking-with-a-flair restaurant.
  18. Planning to have a wonderful meal for three at The Park Steakhouse in Park Ridge. I'll let you know how it turns out! Happy Thanksgiving.
  19. Ah, now you're talkin' my neck of the woods. Let's start with Forest Ave. From Bergen Mall north all the way to end in Westwood/Hillsdale, there is 1 sit-down Chinese place (Panda Forest) at Midland Ave in Paramus it on Forest Ave. ← Now it's Kumo? or something like that I used to love Panda Forest but it's been a different name & management for about 5 years or more - but I may be wrong? Sounds like you and I love all the same places - LOL! But you're probably 1/3 my size so you can eat one of each and be fine at the end of the day! ← Haven't been there in years, though I drive by it every day. I think I'm existing in a time-warp at times these days. :-)
  20. Rainbow is in the Asian Market mini-mall across from the now defunct Finks and current salubrius Chinese takeout place.
  21. Ah, now you're talkin' my neck of the woods. Let's start with Forest Ave. From Bergen Mall north all the way to end in Westwood/Hillsdale, there is 1 sit-down Chinese place (Panda Forest) at Midland Ave in Paramus (along with a KFC and a Dunkin Donuts) and I believe that's it on Forest Ave. As for Kinderkamack, starting in River Edge and moving north, the ones that come to mind are Rainbow in River Edge (Middle Eastern), Sanducci's (Italian) in River Edge, Charlie Brown's in Oradell, Felice's in Oradell, Badlands Cafe in Oradell (Fresh Tex-Mex), Cool Beans Coffee House in Oradell (funky, eclectic soup, sandwiches and such - great Chai), Pimaan Thai Restaurant in Emerson, Marra's Italian Market (Italian Deli-style - related to Marra's in Ridgewood), Picnic in Emerson (gourmet to-go foods), Rosa's in Emerson (small sit-down pizzeria & Italian restaurant), Arthur's steakhouse (not a fave of mine but some love it), Cafe Terrana (Italian in Emerson Plaza), nothing in Westwood on Kinderkamack Road, but plenty in town a block or two off Kinderkamack (PJ Finnegans - Irish, Iron Horse - American, Its Greek to Me, etc). Moving up to Hillsdale, nothing on Kinderkamack until Woodcliff Lake, where there's a Blue Moon Cafe (Mexican) and then up to Park Ridge where The Park Steakhouse is (do they serve lunch? I have a feeling they do) and then onward into Montvale where you'll find The Porterhouse (Irish) and I think that's the end of Kinderkamack Road (it turns into a 4 lane highway at that point. Needless to say, I spend countless hours myself traveling the Forest Ave/KKK Rd. circuit. I'm sure there are plenty I forgot, and I'm not vouching for gourmet fare at any or all of these places, but if you're in need of a lunch once in awhile, its a start. BTW, if you ever feel like deli, Schreiber's in Oradell is a great German deli with unbelievably wonderful potato salad and a Cold Russian Sandwich (Turkey, Cole Slaw and Russian Dressing on Rye). MMMMMM..... :-)
  22. I vigorously questioned them about this offer :-). Apparently, I asked if they would go to Cresskill - they said yes. Oradell - They said yes. Hillsdale - they said yes. They won't go around picking up everyone individually, but if your dining party meets at one house, they'll go there and pick everyone up. They assured me there was no additional cost other than the Chef's Table meal itself and it was open to anyone who reserved that table.
  23. Ginger & Spice has become one of my favorite places and I see that previously someone has already posted about their 9-course tasting menu (I think the price was maybe $65?). Anyway, I was chatting with the staff there one evening and they said that when they do the chef's table tasting, they throw in a complimentary ride to and from the restaurant in their yellow Hummer. I couldn't give a fig about riding in a Hummer, but the idea that all of us can enjoy wine with dinner and not worry about driving home is certainly appealing.
  24. Nicely put, Brian. Would love to read many more reviews of this place.
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