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MBShapiro

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  1. MBShapiro

    Public

    I experienced one of the worst meals I've ever had in NY at Public. There are way too many other great places in the city to waste a dinner there.
  2. MBShapiro

    Tia Pol

    Had as close to a night in Spain as i'm going to get in NY last night. I began with some cava and a few plates at El Quinto Pino and then walked over and had some plates at Tia Pol afterwards. I was really impressed with both places, although I felt Tia Pol was a better overall, more rounded restaurant. First, El Quinto Pino. This place is really small. I mean tiny. Maybe 8 seats at the bar and 8 more around the perimeter of the restaurant. However, as it was a rainy Sunday night, we had no problems getting seats. We got a few plates, including the now famous uni panini, the pork craklings, white anchovies, eggplant and honey and a special they were running that was described as a pork hash with fried egg on top. The uni panini was as spectacular as advertised, with a good dose of spicy mustard and plenty of rich, sweet uni. It was a relatively small sandwich, but i could eat 6 for dinner and be completely happy. The pork cracklings and white anchovies were both simple, but delicious. The eggplant was pretty good, topped with bonito flakes, but nothing really special. The big miss of the night was the pork special. It was totally dried out and just salty. Even the fried egg on top (two little quail eggs) were overcooked with hard yolks. Not a good dish at all... Anyway, our server, upon hearing our plan to go over to tia pol after, was kind enough to call over and put our name on the list. By the time we got there, they were ready to seat us. We had a nice table in the back and ordered a few things: patatas bravas, padrone peppers, a foie special, chorizo cooked in sherry, lamb skewers, and the almond tart. Out of all of these, i would say 4 were great, one was good and one was ok. The foie was particularly outstanding - a nice sized lobe seared and topped with flaked salt and plated with what can be best described as gourmet applesauce. The patatas bravas were the best I've had in NY, and while I liked the lamb skewers, my dining companion said they reminded her of taco seasoning (too much cumin i guess). The dessert was also suprisingly good. A moist almond cake with dulce de leche and some sort of ice cream (sorry i forget the flavor). Anyway, these two places were on my list of restaurants to try for a while, and I'm glad I went, as most everything was good to great.
  3. MBShapiro

    Momofuku Ssäm Bar (2006–2007)

    Went last night and tried a bunch of things i have never had or haven't had in a while due to seasonality. Started with the brussels sprouts and didn't like them as much as i used to. Maybe the fish sauce/mint/chile combo has run its course with me. And those sprouts were tiny little suckers. Maybe the size of peanut m&ms... Also had the apple kimchi and loved it. That dish has all kinds of flavors working together, the spiciness of the kimchee'd apples with the cooling subtle sweetness of the maple labne. It was really great. The mushroom salad was awesome too - really flavorful and rich mushrooms with a tasty pistachio/dashi puree and added crunch with crosnes and radish. Mains were less impressive, but not bad at all. I had skate, which, like Fat Guy, i generally am not a fan of, but ended up liking. The pork short rib clay pot was everything you'd expect - rich, meaty, etc, but i thought the pine nuts added a great texture and extra layer of flavor to the dish. There was no PB&J there that night, but the real star of the dinner to me was the cheddar shortcake. Holy moly. I don't like crazy flavor combinations for the sake of keeping things interesting, but this just worked. I loved it and could have eaten 5 more. No meal is complete at momofuku ssam bar without that cheddar shortcake while it's still on the menu.
  4. MBShapiro

    Sam Mason's Tailor has Arrived

    I know I'm new here, but I have to dissent to the praise for Tailor. Here is a summary on my meal Sunday night: Drinks: Didn't like the blood and sand, but that paprika punch haunts my dreams. I don't know why particularly, but i really loved it. Tart, refreshing, savory, balanced, etc... Savory: Foie was a miss for me. Didn't taste enough like foie gras. It was rich and decadent, but more in a chocolate bar sort of way. Duck tartare was one of the two dishes I liked. It was rich and pleasantly gamy. The marjoram pesto brightened it up a little, and the cherries gave it a nice sweet/tart note. The meat was toothy. In a good way. Red snapper was interesting, but I don't think it worked well as a whole dish. There weren't really any very strong flavors. I think there just wasn't enough salt on the dish. The fish was bland, the avocado ice cream was just creamy and not that flavorful. Why was there watermelon and black olive there? What kind of combo is that? Who thought of that? Peekytoe crab with pineapple and ham was ok... crab was fresh and light, but what was that foam doing on top? I think foam for foam's sake. Could have used more salt. Pork belly was really good. Great texture, especially on the slices where the skin was crispy on top. Really nice butterscotch sauce to go with it. My favorite dish of the night. Only dessert: Peaches and tomatoes was disappointing. Why were there tomatoes there in three forms?? I just didn't think the dish worked. The peaches were too sweet/spiced to work with tomatoes no matter how they are manipulated. Overall, the room is great and some of the food was really pretty good. And there certainly is something to be said about food that makes you think. And I know the concept is the interplay between sweet and savory, but overall I don't think a lot of the food worked. I know the chef has a pastry background, but that is no excuse for under salting. Savories were too desserty and dessert was too savory. When discussing a restaurant, ultimately it has to be judged on the food, and for me, it just didn't work. Is this a 3 star restaurant? Absolutely not. 2 stars? Maybe... There are six savory dishes on the whole menu! And in a small plates format nonetheless. Will I be back? Yeah. And not only to drink either, although I will certainly be back for that.
  5. MBShapiro

    Fastest Delivery in NYC?

    I'm not sure if this is the answer, but one way they could get the food out so fast is bringing you food that was destined for another table. This could easily happen if: a) the restaurant does a lot of volume, which republic certainly does at certain times b) you order items that get ordered a lot and get made a lot let's say you put in an order for gyoza and spring rolls. they are really busy and putting out a lot of orders of both of these things. therefore, it would be really easy to just bump up the ticket for your food and take the next order of each of those things and send them on a bike out to you. maybe they value their delivery business a lot and prioritize it like that... another possibility is that you're ordering things that don't take very long to make. IIRC, waiters at republic have wireless order taking devices that send right to the kitchen from the table. thus, your order would already be in the kitchen as soon as you hang up. if it gets made right away, it wouldn't take more than 7-8 minutes, depending on what you order, and a bike from there to where you live (i think i live in that building too, btw, with cozy downstairs) would only take 3 or so minutes... those are just a few thoughts, but it certainly is mind blowing
  6. I'm pretty sure I would decline Otto on a weekend night or Bar Americain ever. Also, I might not want to go to a free meal if I had to be in the company of someone I didn't like. But I guess there aren't too many places atrocious enough that I would not accept a free meal. Most places that have been bad in the past or have bad reputations, I would still be curious to try out for free. At least most restaurants have their liquor licenses...
  7. MBShapiro

    Del Posto

    I had dinner at Del Posto last night, and had very mixed impressions. I have some philosophical problems with the restaurant, but more on that later. First of all, the space itself is stunning. Very elegant and grand. I felt like I was in a grand 19th century ballroom, in a good way. I met one of my party a little early for a drink. The snack mix they gave us at the bar was great - really nicely spiced. They got my cocktail wrong at first, but it was easily fixable. The wine by the glass list was pretty good and diverse. I eventually had a nice glass of aglianico. The food was hit or miss. I started with a warm mushroom appetizer which was the best course of the night. Then we got the nudi with broccoli rabe pesto and that was totally forgettable. Next was the gnocchi with braised pork shoulder, which was tasty, but suffered from gummy gnocchi. My main course was the lamb. I thought it was weird that the server didn't ask me for a temperature, and the lamb came out close to medium well. The different parts were unidentifiable, and half were too tough to cut through with the steak knife they gave me. The dish was a complete mess. Dessert was a great chocolate souffle and a good watermelon granita. Overall the food was pretty tasty, but for that price, that ambience, that type of service and that ambition, I thought Del Posto left a lot to be desired. Plating in every dish save one (nudi) was poorly thought out and poorly executed (just slopped on a plate). Ultimately, I think it speaks to the rusticity of Italian food in general, but if that's the case, can you truly have a four star Italian restaurant? Overall, the quality of the food didn't match anything else in the restaurant, and I just think that really turned me off. I don't think I'll go back unless someone else is paying.
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