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Everything posted by Mayur

  1. Off topic, but:I've had less-than-fabulous experiences with the rice at Shimizu (colder than I'd expect, and a little dry). How have yours been? Back to topic: Anyone other than BryanZ have a thought on how the rice at Sasabune is?
  2. What variety did he use to make the gnocchi? Just curious (I've always used russets and they've worked just fine, but new info always helps...)
  3. That's interesting, Siobhan. I'd actually be a little leery of infusing the vodka directly with thyme (or lemon thyme); those herbs have an extremely powerful profile that can come across as positively industrial-solvent-tasting with overuse. It's worked in your experience, though?
  4. Coco Roco is worth trying for all sorts of reasons. Ceviche, for instance!
  5. Perry Street seems like your winner, especially given geography. I'd also strongly consider Wallse. EMP has always struck me as a more sober than festive spot... but then again, I just don't like the scale and decor of the place. The focus is also, IME, squarely on the plate, whereas Perry Street is an awfully nice place to just hang out AND eat great food.
  6. Very true! Still, it amazes me that given the crowd and location, that place maintains its standards cocktail-wise.
  7. I'd actually have to say that I'd sorta *expect* the bartender at a place like Coco Roco to turn out a credible pisco sour, given the drink's origins and the fact that the place is a true-blue quality Peruvian restaurant. It's sort of like going to a charming, authentic little bistro and realizing that the proprietor has strong and informed opinions about his wines and brandies. That said (probably overly harsh), I'd say that I've had luck at Mas on Downing St in Manhattan (which, being a little country French nook, I expected to have a decent wine list but hardly anything in the way of cocktails, and much less so a knowledgeable, talented bartender), and 5 Ninth (also Manhattan), which is entirely too trendy and silly a place to really require a good bartender.
  8. Hi there! I'm sure you're probably locked in to plans, but: For Sunday brunch, you really should consider Landmarc instead of the Odeon if at all possible. Regardless, those are good choices. The Bar Room is really exceptional IME. Are you just doing Monday lunch, or dinner as well? Ssam Bar is open Monday evening, and is perhaps the best place in town for that evening, since it's a chef's night off then.
  9. Maybe. High-end English restaurants are also a heckuva lot more expensive on average, and have a clientele willing to pay. I spent my university years in London constantly wondering *why* I was paying so much for food that would cost half of what it did in NY, and that was for the budget places. The Michelin-anointed ones scale accordingly. I don't know whether COG for food items scales the same way.
  10. OG is arguably better IMO as well, but they are very heavy on the seafood. I tend to prefer a little more variety, which DSGG has in spades.
  11. I don't know about that. You may have hit Degustation on an off night. (Man, was everything packed in our neighborhood this evening!) The place does sometimes require reservs (so does R4D, every once in a while), and I do have a biased perspective (I have a somewhat easier time garnering seats there than many), it's very much in the "casual haute" category. $50 for five courses or an average of around $12 for individual plates, informal setting, but food of an elevated provenance and demonstrating impeccable technique geared toward the serious diner. Knife + Fork might be like this too, but I haven't been yet.
  12. For coffee? Grumpy, West 20th between 7th and 8th Avenue. No other place in the 'hood comes close. By NYC standards, it's a bit of a walk, but it's just really good. On the bigger breakfast tip, City Bakery (18th btw 5th & 6th) is an NYC landmark and worth checking out, probably. Everyone has his Chinatown favorites (and dislikes): You may want to check out the BEST OF: Chinatown Dim Sum thread, although it's not very useful IMHO. My favorites are Ping's, Golden Unicorn, Golden Bridge, and Triple 8 Palace. Others will say that Golden Unicorn is crap and that you should hit Jing Fong. All I say is: Go early and you'll get the best of what each place has to offer. For seafood-ish dim sum, I recommend Ping's (22 Mott St) or Oriental Garden (14 Elizabeth btw Bayard & Canal Sts). For a more general selection, I like Golden Unicorn (18 East Broadway). My favorite Chinatown dim sum place continues to be Dim Sum Go Go at 5 East Broadway (right by the Manhattan Bridge and about a block down from Golden Unicorn), but there are no carts, so that may not be quite as fun as peering and pointing. Chinatown Brasserie (also no carts) is good, but pricey. Both of those would not, IMHO, deliver good performance at that price. Ssam Bar is, as Sneakeater said, the knee-jerk (read: no-brainer) choice right now. If you call *now*, you can probably get a bo ssam (and thus a table for eight). At $180, plus a max of about $120 for other dishes (that's if you're *real* pigs and get another dish per person), you're still way below $50 a head before alcohol. And it is, IMHO, possibly the single NY restaurant that you simply shouldn't miss.
  13. Well, I guess now we've got a reason why London surpasses us as the cocktail capital of the world, according to Ms. Saunders.
  14. No, at least IME. The RHR resto's execution was far more consistent than that of the one at the London, and achieved moments of brilliance that were sadly lacking in my meal at GRNYC two weeks ago. That said, I wasn't as impressed with the RHR restaurant as some other folk of my acquaintance have been, and it was probably the weakest Michelin 3-star I've eaten at in the UK (Nico at Ninety and Marco Pierre White delivered better meals back in the day). So Ramsay's approach and my palate may be unhappy with each other anyway.
  15. Well, it wasn't open tonight.
  16. Sorry, I wasn't being clear. What I meant was that Lutece was a "relatively but not quite traditional French restaurant with a clear eye toward quality of ingredients and focus on the plate rather than the setting" in, say, 1980. That's what Daniel is now. IOW, I was *not* suggesting that Lutece was somehow "avant-garde" or "trendy." Just trying to forestall any argument to the effect that I was equating it to WD-50 or Alinea. Actually, I think the Rachou example is very illustrative of how Lutece might have evolved. The reviews of LCB back in the day pretty clearly indicate that it was a place with a particular (moneyed) crowd that wanted particular (traditional French) food, and that Rachou gave his clientele what it wanted. Even then, Sheraton's reviews had words like "stodgy" to describe certain preparations. Lutece, by contrast, was seen by Sheraton and by Bryan Miller (and I agree with this) as chef-driven with a firm focus on the food and a serious culinary aesthetic. Incidentally, I don't think that GR is necessarily a useful comparison to drag into the mix. The food there is, IMHO, simply not as good as what NYC's best has to offer. Whether it's worth two stars or maybe three (although I would argue that the latter would an insult to Bouley) is a different question.
  17. What about Lutece? Would that still get four stars today? ← Not a chance. ← I disagree... but I also think that's because Andre Soltner wouldn't necessarily be cooking in the same style he did then. Still, having eaten *many* meals at Lutece and many at Daniel, I think that if the latter deserves four stars given its time and place, the former would as well. The Coach House (mentioned earlier) fits the "old-school restaurant with four stars" example perfectly, IMHO. But that was twenty-five years ago now...
  18. Hmm. I think it has a whole lot more "applejack flavor," which I suppose isn't quite the same thing as "apple flavor." But there is unquestionably a huge difference in intensity of flavor between the two. Anyway, I'd be interested to see how you think the bonded applejack shows in your typical blended applejack cocktails if you make your own "blended" by using half bonded applejack and half vodka. Interesting! I'll play with these and see how it all turns out! Yea. Most of those ones, if I am not mistaken, were formulated back in the days when you could only get the blended version. They work great, so no reason to reformulate. But I wonder how many people with access to both are developing new recipes with the blended stuff. I know that back when I was playing "Johnny Bonded Applejack-Seed" and giving out bottles of the then-unavailable bonded stuff to my NYC 'tender friends, they tended to disappear in very short order. This is not to say, of course, that there aren't any possible applications where the milder blended stuff isn't better. Similarly, I prefer the less emphatic profile of Old Overholt over Rittenhouse bonded in certain cocktails. But I guess I just love bonded applejack so much I've never had a cocktail with blended that I wouldn't prefer with bonded. ← Well, it's an interesting issue! I think it's hard to figure out how the different flavor profiles work beside actually trying 'em out, so I guess I'll do that!
  19. Sneakeater and Nathan: Thanks for the suggestions! Sri Lankan would be great, since they'd probably do chilli brain fry, which is a super-delicious use of the (chicken, IIRC) brain. I find pigs' feet annoyingly difficult to get, given how tasty they are. The pig's-foot soup at Chao Zhou is indeed super-tasty (I love that place!), but I wish that some French staple recipes featuring it were more easily available.
  20. You're absolutely right that to discuss this intelligently, we have to get a handle on the legal definition (if any). OTOH, I'm not too sure it's intelligent to be discussing this at all. ← Point taken.All I can say is that I feel quite fortunate to have D&Co in my neighborhood, and I hope it sticks around!
  21. Quite possibly the legal one, actually. I'm not familiar with the NYS liquor license laws, but I'm sure there's someone on these boards who is.
  22. My vote for best blood sausage goes to Landmarc, which also has decent (though unexceptional) kidneys and excellent sweetbreads. For tripe, my favorite so far is that at Momofuku Ssam Bar (which also has a veal's head terrine, pretty competent sweetbreads, and a "banh mi" with a high offal quotient), although the tripe at Yeah Shanghai Deluxe is pretty good in my book also. Plenty of Irish places about town do black and white pudding, which is sort of "processed offal", I guess. If you get into livers and sweetbreads, my feeling is that the list just gets too long. Crispo does have the brain pasta still, and is the only place I can find that serves brain, something I happen to find utterly delicious. Anyone have any brain options?
  23. I agree that bait-and-switch tactics are not acceptable; however, I also do think that D&Co. is not the type of bar of which the East Village has too many. There are at least twenty dive bars within two or three blocks of me, any of which I could happily see perish. I only have one quiet, civilized, high-end cocktail spot in that same radius. That said, class consciousness and a democratic sensibility do make it problematic to give D&Co. a free pass just because it's a *fancy* bar. But really, I can't imagine how it contributes negatively to the quality of the neighborhood, especially when I can think of several genuinely disgusting establishments right around it.
  24. My point was that you're looking at a total $15 spread between the *low* end of the spectrum and the high end, which in my book is not much. Compare that with the options for making a Manhattan, a sidecar, a sazerac... the list goes on. Tempering the blended Lairds with vodka is something I actually hadn't thought of, so I may have to revise my statement after trying that tonight!That said, the reason for the calvados substitution is that I don't have the budget to keep around an enormous bar, and a bottle of Laird's (either version) is a heck of a lot cheaper than a bottle of decent calvados. Also, I don't quite agree with you about the bonded's flavor profile vs. the regular's. IMHO, Laird's bonded is certainly more "whiskey-like" but not really more "apple-tasting" than the regular. Whiskey-like isn't always an accent that one wants in an apple brandy, whereas Laird's regular, being smoother, has worked out better for many of the apple-based cocktails (mostly homebrews) that I've made. For instance, the bonded was simply too rough for the applejack/Pimm's No.3/lemon juice/maple syrup/five-spice cocktail I put together for Thanksgiving; a few of the Flatiron Lounge house cocktails that I've ripped off use Laird's regular as well (like me, they keep both regular and bonded behind the bar and use them for different applications).
  25. Having made many of these in my time, I'd have to disagree. A caipirinha made with Fazenda Mae de Ouro is about fifty times better than one made with Pitu (and for not that much more money per bottle either, in absolute terms). Likewise, I think that Pisco sours showcase a great deal of the Pisco flavor, and a really cheap bottle is going to taste harsh, not "funk[ily] flavor[ful]." I might have to disagree with that too. (Contrarian I am today!) I keep both around for drinks, because I actually tend to think the bonded packs a bit too much oomph for certain cocktails. The Jack Rose? No question; the bonded's edge is practically required to balance the drink correctly, and its assertiveness is nicely showcased. For various other cocktails (especially for substituting applejack for VSOP calvados in, say, a Tantris sidecar) I find that the regular bottling works better.
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