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Everything posted by rhubarbd

  1. rhubarbd


    Curious - has anyone ever been to La Riviera in Clifton? I believe it's on Rte. 46. Red sauce Italian with zero ambiance, but i have to say i have a soft spot in my heart for it. Servers are dedicated and friendly, and the food (i've found) is tasty and generously portioned.
  2. Have to add my vote to the (quasi) naysayers ... Went for lunch around six months ago and found it totally unimpressive. For ambiance and quality, i find the lunch menu at Raymond's in Montclair more substantial and far more delicious. But maybe it's worth checking out for dinner ...
  3. Have lived in Montclair for seven years; our office is here, too. Rented an apartment all this time (great apartments are still available at really good prices); just bought a house in town three months ago. Office still in same location. Everything everyone's saying is true - housing prices are absurd; the schools are merely functional; restaurants overrated; parking is a joke; etc. etc. BUT ... I lived on the Upper West Side for many years and then in Brooklyn - and for me, Montclair combines the best of both. There are good movie theatres and fun, attractive shops; a Whole Foods Market; several great coffee places. And it's still a neighborhood. I walk around town and see people i know by name, and that's really nice. menton1 - BTW - the store is Hahne's and the good news is, it was recently purchased by two developers. They're turning it into retail stores and apartments.
  4. You got that right, robin - there's no decent Chinese in Montclair, so we're keeping our fingers crossed for Sesame. I'm in Glenn's camp, sad to say; was never impressed with Blue Sky - although i will acknowledge they served a delicious chocolate bread pudding. So ... out with the old; in with the new - let's hear it for good Chinese food here in town!
  5. $1,600, dinner for four, ADNY (with items comped, too). So for me alone, $400. Not worth it. Bought a gorgeous pair of boots last year for a little more. Have gotten lots more pleasure from them!
  6. I'll take Holsten's over Applegate any day of the week!
  7. Tony's is owned by the Dallas BBQ people - or at least they used to be. My guess is, they still are ...
  8. This is from a producer/friend at The Food Network: "HOW TO BOIL WATER is hosted by Frederic Van Coppernolle and Lynne Koplitz. It premiers Tuesday, April 1st at noon & will then air Tuesdays/noon, Thursdays/ 5:30pm, Saturdays/10am." Frederic used to be at The French Culinary Institute in NYC, where i had the opportunity to work with him for a brief period and found him to be highly professional. For what it's worth ...
  9. Had a very nice meal @ La Campagna around a year and a half ago. Don't know if it's still good - but we really enjoyed ourselves.
  10. We think Serenade in Chatham is among the most romantic in the state. But forget about it - just called for reservations and they have a waiting list already!
  11. Glenn, i called 95 Greene and checked. They say they're open for lunch and dinner.
  12. The food is fine at Leone's - not brilliant, but hearty & flavorful, and the prices are good. And yes, it's nearby, and that counts. But what seals the deal for us is the hospitality. We're there often enough that we've become regulars - the waitstaff hugs us; they remember which of us only drinks bottled water and who always orders the mozzarella salad ... that sort of thing. But the place is quirky, as i said before. The entire restaurant looks like it was decorated from a dollar store or garage sale, and sometimes when they're busy they have you wrap your own leftovers (!). That said, we still like it a lot.
  13. This is too funny - when i saw the headline for this thread, i thought, hmmm ... the only restaurant where i've ever experienced this is Leone's! I agree that it's an annoying and lazy policy, but i know it comes from the top at Leone's, which is a very popular but extremely quirky place run by the friendly but extremely quirky owner, Rose (also used to own Mexicali Rose in Montclair). We eat at Leone's at least once a week and have come to accept this wacky policy as just one of the things that makes Leone's .... Leone's. I don't know that i'd be so tolerant anywhere else.
  14. Hmmmm ... that's one eclectic list (i'm trying to stay positive!). Taste's an odd choice, as are several of the others. Taste is owned by the guy who owns Bangz, a super-busy hair salon in Montclair. He's well-intentioned, but has had three chefs in the one year they've been open. He wants to run a good restaurant, but i think he & his partners are not quite sure how ...
  15. Andrea Immer's going to have a show on PBS sometime in 2003, i believe. She went to Chile and shot several hours on the wine scene down there - winemakers, the harvest, etc. Should be interesting.
  16. Sorry for coming in on this so late ... but i believe it was Tommy way back when who asked who the skinny short haired girl on Calling All Cooks is. I think you may be talking about Erica Miller? Shiny black hair, petite, in her late 20s? She was also on Door Knock Dinners and In Food Today a lot. If that's who you're thinking of, she opened a restaurant on 14th Street in September called Kloe.
  17. Caviarteria sells superb American caviar - with a pack of blini and some creme fraiche, what could be better? And the price is pretty reasonable. Or how about good bottles of champagne? Depending on where clients are located, Gary's in Madison or Bernardsville could probably ship them. The Times did a great round-up recently of champagnes under $40; lots of good choices.
  18. Boy, i really don't agree. Beacon is so much more than meat-and-potatoes. Been there recently and had the wood roasted oysters with shallots, a great watercress salad, and the wood-oven pizza with mushrooms and truffle oil. Food was delicious and prices quite reasonable.
  19. Definitely give Gary's in Bernardsville a try. Much larger, newer space; plus a cafe with a dedicated chef; and lots of interesting cheeses (as well as other products).
  20. Yes. Sorry to say, it was not the positive experience you had. Went for dinner two weeks ago with great anticipation. Based on that evening, i would never go back. The restaurant is seriously overbooking at night and cramming in guests - so much so that i was knocked in the back and/or brushed against no fewer than five times by servers trying to squeeze past me to get to another table. All the recent positive reviews have clearly had an effect - the place was mobbed - but the front of the house is not handling things well. People were lined up at the door, waiting long times for their tables. Lots of irritated faces. We even sent back one of the dishes we ordered; rarely does that happen. Afterward, i got in touch with two food writers who had raved about the place, and asked if they'd been back since their initial reviews. One said that in fact she'd been back twice - but only for a drink - and the place was so overpacked, you could barely get to the bar, much less order food. Which leads to the question - how interesting would it be for a reviewer to return to a place s/he raved about in print, 12 weeks later? Just to see how well the restaurant was handling things ... Both agreed it would be a great story for someplace like The Observer.
  21. I'm coming in on this a little late, i realize, but Charles' comments blew me away because his experience at ADNY mirrored mine - particularly where the wines were concerned. Was there for dinner in mid-September accompanied by a very successful wine retailer whose knowledge and palate are superb. We had a number of problems with the wine service; one of which was a sommelier who was a very tentative & hesitant young woman. We had to ask several times for her to come to the table (because our friend wanted to talk with her directly about the list) - but the fact that we had to relay the request a good three times was surprising to us. During one course, we asked her to select a wine based on the wines we'd ordered & enjoyed with previous courses (and giving her a few additional criteria). What she chose worked beautifully for two people's dishes ... and not at all for the other two. ADNY has a rep that's tough to live up to, i know ... but it fell short that night. Disappointing.
  22. rhubarbd

    Dallas BBQ

    I used to know them quite well but it's been several years since we were last in touch. They also own Tony's di Napoli on the Upper East Side - don't know if you're familiar with that spot. Also very busy, big portions, etc. The daughter wanted to open a tapas bar downtown several years ago (the one who owns Sambuca), but i don't believe it ever launched. Or if it did, it was very short lived.
  23. rhubarbd

    Dallas BBQ

    The BBQ group of restaurants is owned by a father-and-son team, Herb & Greg Wetanson. The father had a chain of burger places in NYC called Wetson's (i believe; it was before i moved to NYC) that eventually went out of business. Herb opened BBQ and they've been incredibly succcessful. He's actually a very smart restaurateur. Incidentally, a daughter, Liza, owns Sambuca, which as you've mentioned is across the street from one of the BBQ's.
  24. Glenn -- When is the Elvis Costello concert? I ask because Calcada's only open during the summer. If the concert is in the fall, then the main restaurant, Theater Sq. Grill, is where they'll be serving. The food is more formal but quite nice. You should have a fine meal.
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