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Everything posted by Mayur

  1. There's another definition of glans, you know.
  2. The LES also has Suba. And Katz's (don't forget Katz's!). Plus Royale for burgers. And at least one or two fair late-night Japanese places (raji can correct me on this, of course!). Brick Lane's open late weekends too. raji: In general, are the places you listed open *late* (as in until 2am)? If so, which ones? (I get a jones on for yakitori, ankimo, and all sorts of other stuff at that hour, and as you said, the really good stuff in the EV pales next to those midtown places...)
  3. Kalustyan's is at 26th and Lex, Spice Corner (or whatever) at 27th. That isn't very far. I'd estimate about 15 minutes walking time. About the same for Dual, 1st Av. between 5th and 6th. I suppose it would take 25-30 minutes to walk to Chinatown, depending on which part. ← 14 blocks as opposed to 1-2 blocks, and a subway ride as opposed to a walk, are significant differences in my book. YMMV.
  4. Awesome idea, TBoner! I might have to give that a spin with my (sadly almost drained) bottle of Don Julio Anejo... Funny; I just made myself a drink that used campari and scotch and went to this thread to post it:Dave Wondrich's Scozesse (from Chef, Interrupted by Melissa Clark) 1.5 oz. blended Scotch (Johnnie Red; I have a giant bottle of it) .5 oz Hendrick's gin .5 oz Campari .5 oz lime juice 1 tsp honey syrup Wondrich recommends shaking with cracked ice; I tried this method and was somewhat unsatisfied. Decided to go with something that Phil over at Death & Co has been doing and do a stirred drink despite the citrus quotient. So, for the second one (oh my liver!), I stirred the above ingredients with cracked ice in a chilled shaker. Oh my heavens, this is good. Silky, smooth, beautiful mouthfeel, and just that residual blend of sea-smoke bite (probably from the JWalker's high Islay quotient; other blends may drink differently) and bitterness from Campari. Delicious.
  5. That's a great drink, John. One of my PDT faves.
  6. Your neighborhood's also prettier than mine in general... Seriously, though, the primary characteristic of a "good food" location is, IMO, median walking distance to desired options. My current walking distances are: 1) 2 min to D&Co. That's actually probably stretching it... an extra 2 min to PDT, and soon an extra 1 min to Phil and Ravi's impending tequila bar. 10 min to Pegu or M&H complete my necessary list; I don't need to drink more than that! 2) 5 min to Pylos for excellent Greek (IMO, the best in Manhattan), 7-10 min to Otto or Lupa for Italian (I'm not counting Babbo, since that goes in the "fancy restaurant I would cab to anyway" category), 7 min to WD-50 or Falai, 2 min to Brick Lane, 2-3 min to Prune, and 5 min to either Momofuku, Graffiti, Hearth, or UPN. 3) 15 min to Chinatown (or M&H for the alcoholics) and DiPalo's. Congee Village, Skyway, and the best fish markets are much closer since they're on Allen. 4) 3-5 min to an IMO perfectly decent supermarket (the Bowery WF), and an equal distance to a wonderful market (Essex). 5) Two greenmarkets (the not-so-great Orchard St, and the quite good Tompkins Sq) within 5 minutes. 6) 1 minute to Dual for spices, Indian dry goods, etc. 7) 3 min to d/b/a for beer, whisk(e)y, or other brown stuff. 8) 3-5 min to Il Posto Accanto for wine; I'll probably just head to Hearth from now on, though. 9) 10-15 minutes (man, those avenue blocks are long!) to 9th St Espresso for coffee, or 3 min to the Mudspot for everyday caffeination. 10) 5 min to SOS Chefs for truffles, foie gras, etc. And so on. Other than work and actually visiting people, I tend to leave my "neighborhood" for: A) The USQ Greenmarket, although with Paffenroth, Red Jacket, Ronnybrook, and Blue Moon (as well as an excellent, unnamed poultry vendor) at Tompkins, my incentive to do so is somewhat diminished. Still, it's only a 15 minute walk at the outside, and I've never felt the need to take a cab home. B) Trader Joe's, although I rarely go due to the crowds. C) Fancy restaurants. Those merit a cab, though, and advance prep (reservations) mean I'm not likely to notice the distance. D) Serious ethnic shopping (Flushing, northern NJ, or Edison). E) Astoria for Greek/Middle Eastern food. F) The WV for Perry Street brunch, Spotted Pig late-night munching, and Blue Ribbon Market. G) Fairway for serious grocery-loading; this is usually combined with a trip to LeNells now that there's one in Red Hook (yay!). H) 9th Ave for Esposito's and International Grocery, plus the occasional binge at Casellula. But everyone's neighborhood living probably works this way, in any case. People in the WV/NoLiTa/Chinatown (I'd *love* to live in Chinatown!) are as close to me as I am to them, etc. People near USQ, Midtown West, or way downtown have subway access that allows them to hit most everything. People in Jackson Heights are living in honest-to-goodness, actual ethnic New York. People in Park Slope are near A&J, Al Di La, and Franny's. And so on.
  7. Y'know what, though? None of those places really grabs me; I'd rather have Degustation or Mercat nearby than Bar Jamon/Casa Mono, 9th St Espresso than 71 Irving, and the rest of the places you listed just don't do it for me. That's really my problem with the USQ area.
  8. Funny; just made myself two variants on Brian's 19th Century Cocktail, one using Dubonnet Rouge and the other house-made Noilly Prat Ambre: 1.5 oz Woodford Reserve .75 oz lemon juice .75 oz Dubonnet Rouge barspoon White Cacao Quite tasty, this. I put a drop of chocolate bitters in there to gild the lily, but really, this is rich enough on its own. The Dubonnet version is pretty great.
  9. It's truly awesome. (I like the bacon garnish idea, though!) That Staggerac is a monster; I'd never have thought it would work, but man, that Stagg bourbon goes down like melted chocolate (okay, 144 proof melted chocolate, but...)
  10. What's an example of this in a neighborhood other than the EV/LES? Nah. I'm saying that in the context of the OP, talking about what side of the avenue a store's on (a difference of what? 30 feet?) doesn't really strike me as relevant to the definition of "neighborhood." If we were talking about why the UES might be a good food neighborhood, I doubt we would leave out something on the north side of 96th St. What other amenities, exactly? My only problem with Union Square is the lack of good affordable restaurants or decent bars within a two- to three-block radius (yes, now I'm being picky!), and the fact that it's too long a walk from Chinatown or from a decent Indian grocery. (EDIT: Also the fact that the USQ WF is a madhouse!) Absolutely. The easy part is figuring out where I'd prefer not to be rather than where I'd want to live (although I grew up in the WV and have lived in NoLiTa).
  11. The wine list is IMO well-chosen, although some of the prices for glasses are a bit on the shocking side. Cocktails are competently prepared, though you're not going to get a martini stirred with hand-splintered Kold-Draft ice or anything like that. They're trying, though.
  12. Well, if you're after "more post-dinner dessert places than Chikalicious and Veniero," I can only assume you're looking for something high-end dessert bar-like. Stupak's full-on tasting for $25-35 isn't a bad deal by those standards. It wouldn't be an eG topic without a discussion of terminological specificity... I'm defining "neighborhood" as "set of everything that's walkable within 10 minutes." The OP was clearly indicating what neighborhood would be best from the perspective of proximity. Given that the WF is one block further away from St Marks than, say, Ssam Bar is, I think it qualifies as being in the same neighborhood. But in any case, I'm going to go with FG and chefboy insofar as groceries are concerned. The length of the walk to Chinatown and lack of decent bars would be a downside for me, though!
  13. Second the Ali's shout-out. Plus you get such delicious foul and baba ganoush with that blob of hummus...
  14. All that is a great set of points. I guess it boils down to the fact that NY has a variety of good food neighborhoods! In all honesty, it's probably easier to pinpoint the worse ones than the better.
  15. Sure, but if you're talking about a neighborhood that has all of the above, you're not describing *any* neighborhood in NY. With R4D out of the picture, the only other "dessert bar" restaurants are Kyotofu and the bar at Michel Cluizel, the latter of which is in an otherwise not-so-abundant-with-options neighborhood. From the EV, WD-50 and Falai are within easy walk for dessert, and I consider both of those superb options for dessert with almost no rivals in NYC. Most of the decent restaurant options in Chinatown either deliver (go Congee Village!) or are either a 10 minute walk (I go for dim sum every weekend, and DSGG, which is relatively far down in that neighborhood, isn't more than 15 minutes door to door). The EV is as close to Chinatown as you get except NoLiTa (the intervening neighborhood). IMO, Brick Lane is as good as you'll get for Indian without being in Curry Hill (again, limits options for everything else), next door to Devi (ditto), or in Jackson Heights/Flushing. East Village Thai and Holy Basil are actually quite good by overall NY standards, and it's not like one can really hang out at Kittichai all the time unless one's wallet is quite sturdy. The WF actually has a pretty fair chocolatier; and to be honest, fine chocolate, like Per Se or JG, is something that's enough of a rare buy that it can be traveled for. As to cheese: I'm sorry, but the cheese concession at the Bowery WF is not to be shrugged at, even compared to Murray's. I'll take the ability to get Stichelton and Borough Market Cheddar over almost anything. Bread (*definitely* a necessity!) is easily available either via delivery from (or a 10-minute walk to) Balthazar or at the Greenmarket. Likewise, for serious gourmet stuff, I'd rather hit SOS Chefs than Dean & DeLuca, both for price and quality. But, as Nathan said, downtown is a small place, and pretty much everything one wants is within gentle distances.
  16. unfortunately, JG, Per Se, Masa, Yasuda, LB, Esca etc. are all above 14th street... ← Those all strike me as meals that one will probably plan ahead for, and can afford to take a cab to...
  17. I think Nathan may be talking about "sitting on the fault line" between those neighborhoods. For instance, living on Lafayette and Spring is a two- to three-block walk from "central" SoHo, NoLiTa, Chinatown, and TriBeCa. You'd have access to a fairly OK butcher (Albanese), an excellent Italian grocery/formaggeria/salumeria (DiPalo's), the vast wealth of stuff that is Chinatown, and (actually, what would you want from SoHo food-wise, Nathan?).
  18. Midtown? I'd have to go with the East Village or *possibly* (simply for better access to DiPalo's and Chinatown) NoLiTa. For instance, in the EV (my neighborhood), I'm within spitting distance of both Momofukus, Degustation, Prune, Hearth, Barbone, Pala, etc etc, a not-too-bad walk from the Union Square Greenmarket, an equally not-too-bad walk from Chinatown, have a fancy supermarket (the Bowery Wholefoods) in my back yard, and have easy access to both the Essex St Market and the Tompkins Sq Greenmarket (which is actually pretty good and growing these days). Plus there are all the best cocktail bars in the city (the only one that's actually far is Flatiron, and I don't miss that when M&H, D&Co, PDT and Pegu are all within about 5-7 minutes walk), Astor Wines and Warehouse, 9th St Espresso, and the 1st Avenue/6th St strip of Indian grocery stores. I can reach DiPalo's or Raffetto's in a not-too-long walk as well. The two things I'm lacking are a decent butcher and a decent fishmonger, though I can buy meat from the Greenmarket and break it down myself as needed, and the fish at the Greenmarket is probably as good as one is getting these days if you're a home cook (or I can scavenge cheap stuff from Chinatown).
  19. Yeah; sorry about that. I did make the thread title and request a bit confusing... serves me right for being in a hurry!Thanks for the help, Andy and John!
  20. Hi all! Just trying to figure out what the recipe for these two cocktails are. For some reason, I can find neither on any web databases. I'm guessing that Imbibe! has them, but I don't have my copy handy (it's on loaner). Also, suggestions for ryes or gins (respectively) that go well in these recipes would be great. Thanks!
  21. Had a lovely meal here last night with fellow eGer raji and a few other nice folks; dishes were as described by FG (and wonderful!), although raji's lecture on ishiyaki was too short. In general, I agree with johnder's comments, both positive and negative. Certainly, I'd like to see more wines in smaller amounts (I'd have no problem with rationing to small glasses rather than top-ups), although the Beaune would have needed to have been wrested from my cold dead hands! More specifically, the Cab Sauvignon that gets trotted out with the kobe beef should really only be poured with the short rib/foie gras dish (since that's one of the few dishes that can stand up to it), and the ice wine served with dessert is flat out too sweet. One thing I found strange about last night's dining experience (and it may have been a fluke of the palate) was how much more I liked the strong flavor accents than the subtler ones. The richness and aggressiveness of the short/rib foie pairing, the rustic simplicity of the pizza, and the smoky, bacon-like aroma clinging to the striped bass are what stand out in my mind; the scallop dish seemed mostly about a buttery richness from the apple and cabbage. The squab was the one dish that most successfully married richer/bigger and lighter/subtler flavors on my palate. I thought the smoking kir was sufficiently visually impressive to justify the anti-carbonation effect, although that said, I did drink it a lot faster than most of the other diners. Sadly, I did not experience the "price performance" element of it since I ended up having to pay for two (the g/f cancelled about five minutes before we were due to arrive!) 'Twas a reasonable attitude on the part of the restaurant, though, and Waldy and the staff were very gracious about it, to the point of his giving me an "IOU" for dishes on a non-Thursday.
  22. Vermouth. An attempt at approximating the Noilly Prat Ambre... (I know, hardly Repeal Day-ish. I went and had lots of drinks at Death & Co in order to compensate, though most of them were made with tequila...)
  23. Ali's Kabab Cafe in Astoria. I know it's not in Manhattan or Brooklyn, but it's easy enough to get to from either of those boroughs, and it's *wonderful.* Ali has wine, but he'll let you BYO (and it's recommended to do so, since his wine is not of the best). [EDIT: Ali's is also a tiny, charming boîte along the lines of Ivo and Lulu or Prune, so if you like that sort of thing...] Another option might be the Mitchell London Steakhouse at Fairway; I think they *do* have a wine list now, but the wine enthusiasts still seem to tote along their bottles (as well as cases full of beautiful glassware!) without a problem.
  24. The salt levels at both Momofukus have seemed high-ish to me on occasion. Ditto at Kampuchea, at Prune, and at a couple of other places doing "big" flavors. But in general, I haven't noticed this to be a common problem, and my usual response (sending the food back) has been met with aplomb. I have *absolutely* no problem with restaurants not putting salt on the table. Salt levels are one of those essential things that I expect the chef to get right at a quality establishment. I'd be as nonplussed to be presented with sauce on the side or a dish of beurre fondue for finishing.
  25. Almondine in Dumbo makes one I like.
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