Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by cganzer

  1. Agreed, but having just reviewed two places with notable flaws in the food, and given them higher star rankings, it sounds internally inconsistent to me.
  2. That sounds right to me. I always assumed that Bruni made the call that, with only 52 columns a year, and so many places to review either for the first time or to re-review, that there was no reason to give zero star reviews unless the place was either too important to ignore, or such a spectacular experience (Ninja!) that it was worth doing. Mimi Sheraton, also, was writing in the pre-blog era, when it was much harder for people to hear about "important" restaurants that turn out to be complete disasters. So perhaps Sifton is taking the view that an appropriate restaurant for a one-star review is a good, noteworthy restaurant that he'd like to use his platform to call attention to. On the other hand, I don't understand how "one of the city's great meals" can be a one-star experience. As with restaurants of this type generally, dining there can be a somewhat undignified experience, which no doubt puts a cap on the number of stars, but with zero clunkers mentioned in the text, as well as praise for both the flavors and the kitchen's technical excellence, I thought it was inconsistent. I thought it was extremely well written, finally showing the promise from some of his past articles.
  3. Yes, that's the one, on the east side of the street. Very good dumplings and great sesame pancakes.
  4. Thanks! I definitely appreciate it. I think I probably just packed at least one jar badly. I didn't pick them whole apart from the very smallest ones (which I did cut slits in), so I'm not that worried about the solution penetrating; I pickled the vast majority in strips and they're not that thick to start with.
  5. I used two brines, one 5:1 vinegar:water, one 3:1.
  6. Hoping someone here who's done this before can help me out, as I've never done this before. I pickled 20 pounds of Hungarian wax peppers yesterday. Sterilized jars and lids and all that, and the seals all seem to have taken. Here's my q: there's at least one jar (haven't checked them all yet) that, when upright, appears to be full of brine. However, when inverted, it only looks to be half full. Should I be worried?
  7. Has anyone here returned post-review?
  8. Went last night for the Champagne BYO. Food was terrific.
  9. Yeah, and not terribly well chosen. Also, they earned my enmity when my group brought a couple of bottles there. Now, I knew they charged $20 corkage, as I'd asked prior to our visit, and I don't begrudge them the fee at all. However, for that price, cheap "Chinese restaurant" glasses aren't really acceptable. And it didn't make us feel better about the fee that we'd opened the bottles ourselves at home to make sure they were sound, and that despite charging us the fee for both they didn't offer us new glasses when we switched from white to red.
  10. Motorino. It does get a good bit of love but it doesn't seem to have the buzz of Keste or Co. It should. It's a pretty civilized trip from Manhattan and, while the menu is limited, it's excellent. We all thought it was better than both Keste and Co., after multiple visits to each of those. Also the wine list is incredibly well priced, and the cheese and cured meats selections are top-notch. A group of 5 of us dined well (apps, a pizza each and 2 bottles of wine) and with a tip over 20% it was still $33 a person.
  11. I have never dined in Little Italy, but I'd imagine that there are places that, even if the food is objectively not as good as that available elsewhere in the city, provide an overall experience (ambience, service style, etc.) that evokes a nostalgia that can't be replicated elsewhere, and I could certainly see someone wanting to experience it even knowing that better execution is available elsewhere. That said, the suggestions to put together a picnic from Di Palo or Alleva make a lot of sense to me.
  12. I went on both days, and as everyone has said (and predicted), Saturday was a mess and Sunday pretty civilized. Armed with a fast pass and a stack of takeout containers, I tried most of what was there, some more than once. As always there were some hits and some misses but the overall standard was high. I got The Pit's whole hog both days, and as in the past I've found the place to be very variable. On Saturday the texture was terrific but it was extremely underseasoned; Sunday the vinegar sauce had really taken hold in the pork and it lived up to its reputation. Patrick Martin's whole hog was also good, and the pre-constructed cole slaw and hog sandwich looked weird but worked. Sadly their pickles didn't make it to NYC. I'd always skipped Ubon's, which I now consider a major error. I'm not all that into barbecue sauces, so I won't rate their "Champion's Choice" sauce beyond saying that it seemed pretty good, but I really liked the very smoky meat, which had a good bit of crispy skin mixed into it. Big Bob Gibson's was also excellent, although they seemed curiously reluctant to promote the white sauce, which I'd thought was their hallmark. The lone bottle was out of reach and when I asked for it the woman overseeing the sauce area poured a tiny amount into a little plastic cup rather than offering me the bottle. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's pulled work was well cooked, but they'd drenched it in sauce rather than just having bottles out, so it wasn't great for my sauce-liking-but-not-loving taste. And while I liked that they had bits of pork in their baked beans, the beans were inedibly sweet. BlackJack BBQ's pulled pork was the weakest of the lot, without a lot of flavor in the meat and served with a very spicy sauce that overwhelmed it. I like spicy foods a lot, but it didn't work here. I was thoroughly unimpressed with Baker's tough, dry ribs, which didn't have enough flavor to make up for the poor execution. Pappy's were much better, although very fatty. And I really don't get all the love for Mike Mills. They were cooked extremely well, and I liked that they're doing something offbeat with the beans, but the flavors didn't seem to be there. I was a fan of Jim 'n' Nick's smoked sausage with pimento cheese although I'm still not sure whether they were intended to all be eaten together or not. The sausage was on the dry side but the flavors more than made up for it, and I thought the pimento cheese was really tasty. I went by the Salt Lick at around 2:30 Saturday, when they'd already run out of brisket and were getting low on sausage as well, where they gave out two pieces of sausage to make up for the missing brisket. I suppose they misjudged demand but having come up here for years, it's hard to see how they could have been THAT wrong. As always their sausage was one of the real highlights of the event, although the brisket, when I returned Sunday, was a distant second behind Ed Wilson's outstanding version. Wilson's was pretty fatty, but had great smoky flavor and was much more tender than the Salt Lick's.
  13. cganzer


    I'm 1-1 on the potatoes with burnt ends. The first time I got them they were terrific, lots of pork bits with crisped up fat and well cooked potatoes; the last time, the meat was really tough and dry. Conversely the first time I got the sandwich I thought it was dry and the seasoning was unbalanced (even knowing that it would be pretty fennelly), the other time the meat was moist, the skin was cooked perfectly and the seasonings were applied well. Sounds like there's some consistency issues.
  14. A 15th was added, Skip Steele of Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis, serving ribs & beans. I finally remembered to get a fast pass! Super excited.
  15. I went there on Monday and was told that they are no longer BYOB. Like a number of other places, they were warned that it would put their liquor license in jeopardy. We'd already opened the wine at home, and brought glasses, so we just pulled them out and poured it for ourselves before we found that out, which no doubt made other diners jealous. Burrata pizza, the batillochio (mozzarella, truffle spread, and allegedly porcini, although we couldn't find them), toscana salad and pizza del re were all terrific.
  16. I think so. It would be an astonishgly short time since the review, and as far as I know there hasn't been a significant change in the kitchen.
  17. cganzer


    I went there on Friday night and thought it was not perfect, but excellent and absolutely a restaurant to be excited about. (Note that several members of our party have known Scott Bryan since his days at Luma, at least one socializes with him outside of work, and he knew that. Based on other reviews we've read I don't think it affected the kitchen's output, but it seemed worth mentioning.) We were there for a BYO wine dinner, and asked the restaurant to make a tasting menu for us, so we were able to sample a good cross-section of the available dishes. The first dish, a Thai squid salad, was great. Despite the name it wasn't spicy, and the acidity level was perfect. The next was a sea scallop with some microgreens. Unfortunately, this dish was somewhat oversalted; a true shame as the scallop was cooked perfectly and the non-salt flavors were terrific. This would have been as good a scallop dish as I've ever had if it had been salted a bit less. Crisp sweetbreads with romesco sauce and frisee was another just-miss. The sweetbreads were also prepared perfectly, but the spicy romesco overwhelmed the dish (and the wines). I've read other reviewers who loved the match of the romesco's heat and the sweetbreads, though, so maybe it was just us. Atlantic skate with clam chowder was probably the best dish of the night. One of my favorite dishes at Veritas during Bryan's time there was the skate, and my extremely high hopes were justified. Following that, we had a dish of duck breast (again, cooked perfectly) matched with duck confit (alas, oversalted and a bit dried out). Finally, our last savory course was a portion of hanger steak with risotto. The meat was, again, prepared well, but neither the risotto's flavors nor its texture really seemed to come together. We wrapped up with a small cheese course served with 3 excellent honeys, followed by desserts: a superb cherry financier, and very good versions of warm chocolate cake and tarte tatin. The staffmentioned when they presented the desserts that there is no pastry chef; Bryan is doing all of it himself. The service staff seemed stretched a bit thin, but part of that may be because they're not used to larger groups. They were very nice to us, always welcome when you're the last party in the place, but we had to request extra bread a few times (necessary as the sauces were so good), and our server didn't have a great sense of how much to pour out to get 8 or 9 pours to a bottle of wine. Also it was a modest struggle to get appropriate glassware, which seems inconsistent with the restaurant promoting itself as a wine destination with no corkage fees on Monday nights. Overall, we were extremely happy with the quality of the food, and the prices are very reasonable for the quality. I'll certainly be back.
  18. cganzer


    I know they don't deliver, but how do they feel about takeout orders?
  19. Agree about the l'Arlots. Also had a bottle of the Clos des Forets St. Georges 1999 a couple weeks that I loved. I liked the Boillot reds quite a bit, and was pretty underwhelmed by the Clos de Tarts, except for the 1999 (but I believe that was a minority view). Missed the salmon rillette, but the 11 Madison park peekytoe crab with sea urchin foam was awesome, as were the short ribs. Dinner was off the charts.
  • Create New...