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Everything posted by mzrb

  1. This is just an open call to any caterers/personal chefs out there: What do you charge to cook for a 12-person sit-down dinner (appetizers, no first course, main course, dessert/coffee, etc). Do you like to charge by the hour? By the person? I've done it both ways and realize I am earning less than my babysitter and sigh...it would be nice to make a teensy-weensy bit of money. Not even sure if this is the right place to post this question. But, I appreciate any and all input from you wise folks out there. Thanks.
  2. lovely egulleters, i need to take someone to lunch whose job has just relocated from mid-manhattan to englewood cliffs. i'll have a car, but don't think we can go too far afield. any recs for lunch in the area? it can be dive-y or nice, but not schmancy. thanks for all your help.
  3. Are there any good Korean restaurants around Montclair that don't require me going to Fort Lee? I promise, one day soon, I will have GPS and get my act in order and get myself to the Fort Lee area, but I keep hoping that there is a Korean restaurant somewhere near Montclair that might help quell my cravings...And if Fort Lee area is my only option, then suggest away. Thanks.
  4. mzrb

    Chengdu 1

    YES! We've asked the chef/owner about this and he said they are definitely having a Chinese New Year celebration. As soon as I get details I'll post them. ← Great! Count DH and me in! (I'm assuming a group of E-gulleteers will want to get together) ← and me too!
  5. Am usually chocolate purist. However, i loved the bacon bar. Am thinking of making the ultimate morning pain au chocolate this way: warm a croissant, slice in half, put in a few pieces of bacon chocolate bar, close up the croissant to let the chocolate warm up. Not a bad start to the AM, no?
  6. In England, brandy butter is often served on warm plum pudding. And tastes very, very nice.
  7. mzrb

    Brussels Sprouts

    Hmm, that's interesting... I wonder if that has anything to do with the oft-heard saying of sprouts tasting better after a frost... ← Perhaps, but the important part of the Richard's recipe was left out! Put the frozen brussels sprouts into a saucepan, cover them halfway or so with chicken stock and throw in a generous knob of butter. Bring up to a boil, then simmer, covered. When stock has just about evaporated, remove the lid and glaze the brussels with the remaining liquid. They turn into buttery, soft, delectable sprouts of love. And about the easiest way to cook vegetables ever.
  8. A great way to make it disappear would be to fold it through ice-cream ....... ← Please, oh, please tell me where I can find your recipe for Chocolate Fruitcake. (looked on your incredible, fabulous, much-loved site, but couldn't find...) Thanks.
  9. I couldn't agree more. I find the majority of norther NJ restaurants that are fussed over and touted as The Next Great Thing usually leave me driving home wondering, "Why do people who live here not know what good quality food is?" I bow in deference to FG's knowledge of great ethnic eats in these parts, but I challenge folks to name, say, an Italian or modern American restaurant that is worth schlepping out here for. Even towns like Montclair, that people consider a restaurant mecca, have few notable restaurants. Many restaurants: yes. Many good quality ones? No. I await some new recommendations that will knock my socks off...but with NYC so close, why shouldn't I just go there for quality, price and service!
  10. I must corrrect you dear; It's Woast Wabbit. ← You are sooo right! (And, please don't tell anyone that Me, The Editor wrote "anyway" instead of "any way." sigh. must have been the song agitating my brain. (and thank you, Brant, for your kind offer below! )
  11. Anyway I can help!!! java script:emoticon('')
  12. A friend wants to make rabbit...anyone know of a market/butcher in the Montclair area where such a request could be satisfied? The little guys in our back garden just won't do the trick it seems... Thanks!
  13. FYI, Whole Foods in West Orange is now selling fresh pasta from the Severino family. I had the plain old spaghettie which was lovely...but they also had fresh pumpkin ravioli.
  14. hello there, as with all things whole foods, if you're going to get your fish there, befriend the dep't. manager, so you can get the real story about when the fish came in, which was frozen, and have them let you poke it/smell it, etc. i have had too many experiences there with fish that did not smell like the sea, if you know what I mean. i have catered using their fish, but only after some interrogation (in a nice way, mais oui!) . if you're aching for fresh fish and pasta that is just so for your party, don't forget there's new york city very very close. you can be at chelsea market and The Lobster Place within 30 mins from U. MTC if you drive in at non-rush hour times. you can always write me offline if you want to know more.
  15. If you can find a Bosch 24-inch model, please email me and tell me where! I found myself with a dead 24 -inch Bosch (she'd put in many, many years of service...was here when we moved in), and no available 24-inch models, save for an Italian manufacturer named Ariston, which we bought when desperate. What a huge mistake. It's been a lemon since Day One. I'll happily elaborate for anyone who is interested in buying an Ariston, as even my dealings with customer service were dodgy. Good luck!
  16. Summit Cheese Shop is a real winner, and worth travelling to. They know their cheese and they go for unusual offerings, instead of the standard, expected ones (altho they have those too). It's just the kind of shop that deserves our support. They are always threatening to go out of business, and I always panic. Cheese and whole foods suffers from lack of knowledgeable staff and it's pre-cut-ness, which makes it prone to get moldy and often necessitates the scraping off of the outer layer to get rid of the plastic wrap taste.
  17. no news on vidalia, but did get take-out from daddy-o while we were down there last week, and it bordered on inedible. we got super-simple food (grilled flounder, corn, scallops, baked potato) and the flounder was mushy, the corn undercooked and the baked potato just sort of weird and inedible. that said, my parents stayed at the hotel and thought it a wonderful sleeping experience! i would love to know any new recs people have after their summertime visits there. thanks.
  18. For inexpensive and delicious, I would highly recommend Moustache in the West Village for Middle Eastern/Lebanese. Also, Do Hwa (Korean) on Carmine Street would make a vegetarian happy.
  19. I would definitely try the new place in Montclair..."The Flour Patch Bakery". It's a transplant from New York, makes real buttercream (swiss meringue buttercream!), and offers very whimsical designs as well. i had cupcakes from there last week, and they are easily the best in the area....and miles ahead of places in the city like magnolia. www.flourpatchbakery.com they're located down on glenridge avenue, near lackawanna plaza (the new address doesn't seem to be listed on the site.)
  20. mzrb

    Chengdu 1

    And me! Have guests staying with me who are just moving here from Hong Kong...we got take-out from Chengdu (i let them order)...and they were very impressed with what NJ had to offer. Along with the usual suspects we all know and love (say, like the sichuan dumplings), we also had bok choy with black mushrooms which was simple and clean-flavored, pork with garlic sauce...from the szechuan side of the menu and was so absolutely different from any "with garlic sauce" offering at a typical restaurant. For instance, it had chunks of fresh garlic in it! Lamb with szechuan flavor was great. But to be able to order with 10 or more people...it boggles the mind what all we could get up to tasting. I feel like their number one fan sometimes, practically stopping strangers in the street and telling them to go. Well, I suppose you guys are strangers...but somehow we all seem now joined by the Chengdu bond!
  21. I am a big fan of Nouveau Sushi where the chef/owner is a former chef from Nobu. The stuff from the standards to the "nouveau" sushi is always good and very fresh. The miso cod is also classically good. It's a nice-looking restaurant as well. I have found the quality of fish at DaiKichi to be not that good and avoid the place. there's a place on North Fullerton just off bloomfield that someone with a better memory than me will remember the name of, that is also supposed to be good.
  22. I had them at Corso 98 on Walnut Street in Montclair recently and they were very good.
  23. mzrb


    I had dinner at Felidia on Saturday night and couldn't have been less impressed. This was to be a celebratory meal, and while my companions are all charming and good company, the same could not have been said of the waitstaff...when we saw the waitstaff. The restaurant was running as if it were in it's first week of business, with lots of kitchen-waiter kinks to iron out...not a well-established restaurant with Grand Dame of Cuisine at it's helm. The kitchen was obviously slammed that night with multiple big parties. So, giving them the benefit of the doubt, I'd explain away their not taken our order until 50 minutes after we were seated (and only then after batting our eyelids with more and more fervor at various waitstaff), to the restaurant trying to give the kitchen a little break. But then a waiter should come over and announce his presence, hey, even WELCOME us to the restaurant. All basic niceties that one expects from a top-tier restaurant. Or even, say, the Olive Garden. Dinner for our 8:15 res was finally served at 9:50. We did have apps, but they were all of a sudden in such a hurry to clear our table that they did a big no-no and cleared all the dishes while one of our party was only half-way through her pasta. Dinner was not rushed to us after this, so it's not as if it were waiting in the wings. It was just unprofessional. Finally we began to catch on, and by the time it was dessert, we straightforwardly asked the waiter how long it would take, and he exasperatedly (and honestly) replied, that the kitchen was slammed and we wouldn't get it for a long time. So we opted for the bill and that was that. The check was tossed on to the table with a perfunctory thank-you. The food itself was fine. A few standout dishes (the gamberi and a green linguine with speck) but the cod maindish was flavorless, and i thought it odd that on a highly-touted seasonal menu they proudly offered parsnips 3 different ways. So, as you can tell, we were very disappointed and won't consider going back. Not in a town like NY where there are so many gracious and delicious restaurants.
  24. mzrb

    Chengdu 1

    Went back again. i went with two willing, if timid, eaters yesterday. (they humored me, and I think, were sort of stunned by the amount of food i ordered)...we enjoyed the slippery wontons in hot oil, the drypanned beef (which had so many different layers of flavor. ate the leftovers for dinner and it was even better), plus sauteed snow pea tips which were simplicity itself and perfect. But: One dish completely stood out. It's called shredded duck with szechuan flavor. They smoke a duck, then shred it and pan fry it with thin shreds of snow pea and onion and lots of red pepper flakes. Then you roll it up in a pancake (a gen-u-ine homemade pancake, i might add. HOMEMADE...when was the last time you had a homemade pancake??) with hoisin sauce. It was fire-breathing dragon hot, but oh-so delicious. Even my "I-don't-really-care-for-spicy-food" friends toughed it out and had seconds. So happy.
  25. I know you said no ganache...but have you made a whipped ganache? it's where you get the ganache all nice and cool, but not solid, obviously and then whip it up. Flo Braker's recipe in her book is good, but I also just make my favorite ganache (i include the addition of a tbspn or two of softened butter) and whip it up. It's stable, it's insanely chocolatey but light and yet appeals to the finickiest of eaters I know, my 4-yr-old. I, too, searched for a long time to avoid the weird-textured 10x icings, etc. Am also a fan of the Rosie's bakery (out of Cambridge MA) chocolate icing recipe, which involves merely melted chocolate and sweetened condensed milk and a blender. Also nicely stable. Would you like me to look it up for you? (Am away from my bookshelf at the moment).
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