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Everything posted by davythefatboy

  1. I can't believe how many restaurants have bathroom door locks with "twist the little knob to lock or unlock". If you go to any hardware store, you will see that bathroom door locks always have a pushbutton to lock, and unlock when you turn the knob. But of course the really best thing if you care about your customers is a plain knob with no lock, and a separate airplane bathroom door type lock (except usually they rotate rather than slide) that shows "VACANT" in green or "OCCUPIED" in red. I mean, why not respect your customers, and why make your staff endlessly try the door handle (picking up germs) in order to find out of the bathroom is free?
  2. If you leave 80% of your entree on the plate at a place where you are a regular, it's pretty unlikely that no one will say a word until you get your check, although it can happen.
  3. We like being regular at restaurants for the hospitality. We don't expect freebies (and sometimes are annoyed when they don't fit our picky tastes or use up room we were saving for a desert so good we are happy to pay for it). As a rule, if we complain about food in a restaurant where we are regulars, it's not really because we care if we get something else (we're generally overfed), it's because we care about the restaurant and want to give them useful feedback - we think that feedback from a regular will be trusted. But it frequently doesn't work that way - last night we had some super mediocre squash ravioli at a restaurant where I usually have spinach ricotta ravioli. The pasta was simply weird - mushy, doughy, downright unpleasant. If it was my first visit to the restaurant, I wouldn't return. Oh, the chef and the manager were both off that night. What I heard back from the waitress was that she didn't try it, but the kitchen said it was "fine". They gave me a different entree (and didn't charge for either one), and also didn't charge for a slice of their delicious cheesecake that I had ordered. And I went away unhappy - I wasn't looking to save a buck -I'm a regular because I like the food and the hospitality. I just want this restaurant to thrive. So it was very disappointing that my feedback on the ravioli was blown off and they will serve the same messed up ravioli to others. Are regulars usually over-priveleged jerks who don't have a clue and want a deal, or are they usually fans of your cooking who you trust to tell you when it's off the rails? Or is there no usual?
  4. Onion Chile Rava Masala Dosa (I usually get a at Saravannas in Manhattan).
  5. Taglione with Dandelion Greens at Tana del Grillo in Rubizzano (outside Bologna) was simple and excellent.
  6. Had Tortelloni with Ricotta and Spinach five times in Bologna (huge variation in both pasta and filling). Trattoria Annamaria’s was by far the best and more than enough reason to return. But the side dish of Friggione blew me away. Basically stewed onions with tomatoes. Who knew you could get that depth of flavor from onions?
  7. I can't help but notice you are referring to an article from 2009. I have to say that I find four year old restaurant reviews frequently differ from the actual restaurant today. Maybe Yelp is corrupt, maybe it was, I don't know. I just don't think that recycling such old news is really useful. Hey, those french fries you served me in 2009 were really....
  8. I'm wondering - what's with "the best"? Is there an absolute standard for gelato? In which case it's just a scientific or chemical analysis you want? Personally I keep wanting to fall for various local shops, and Laboratorio del Gelato is excellent but totally inconvenient, closed the last two times I was nearby, and nothing special when you buy it in the frozen case at Murray's or Gourmet Garage.The stuff from Philly (Capogiro) has been very very good when I've had it at various restaurants, most of whom now seem to prefer to serve their own homemade but inferior product. But in the Village I mostly find myself getting hungry for the Bacio at Grom. I feel guilty, because it's an international chain, but it's delicious. Is it the best? For my palate, in my three block radius, yes.
  9. Sorella is interesting indeed. Morini is unlike any food I've had in Italy, and not in a good way. Squeeze of balsamic glaze on your pasta anyone?
  10. Some communcl tables (Co in NY) are unfriendly and too wide and too loud, you are closer to strangers than to your friends. But we recently had a great meal at Graffiti in the east village, and the other couple at our table were as fascinating and enjoyable as the food. Can't wait to go back for the food, happy to eat with others who enjoy it.
  11. can you say a little more about these two places? What did you eat? What did you drink? What did it cost?
  12. Sorry to be dumb, I frequently eat dessert, but I am not familiar with "dessert programs". Is that like when I went to the Festival of Gas Pavilion at the 64 Worlds Fair and my father was doing legal work for George Lang and he gave us one of every dessert on the menu? That was a program I'd love to eat in repeats...
  13. So easy for a liberal (ovo lacto) vegetarian to eat in Italy. At virtually any restaurant. Frustrating to find Italian restaurant's like this in NY that only know how to cook meat. Maybe that's what they mean by the Italian-AMERICAN thing?
  14. I'm finding this thread terribly confusing. I have never found stars to be very tasty or interesting, I go to restaurants for the food. And I love Italianish food. Is the food at Lincoln delicious? Are there dishes that you "get hungry for" and want to return to enjoy again? Which ones?
  15. The peperonata side dish was respectable.
  16. Had an excellent restaurant week lunch at Tabla and an "ehh, never coming here again" dinner last week. At lunch the salad and a dish of rice and lentils were both delicious. At dinner, three chutneys and three vegetables (including lentils) were phooey. Clever to make the bread "sourdough" except it was tasteless. The chutneys were all strangely sweet. The veggies were just uninspired - cauliflower (unappealing presentation, tasted slightly better than it looked), brussels sprout leaves ( the menu said brussels sprouts, but for some reason they decided to save food cost and texture by deconstructing), and the very ordinary boring dal listed on their dinner menu. Perhaps the rice would have been wonderful, we didn't order any. The waiter asked how everything was as he cleared the half full plates, and we said just okay. I can't remember his exact words, but in effect the waiter asked "is anything so bad that I need to do something about it?" But in a case like this, it's on us do something about it, by steering clear. YMMV. Perhaps you need to order meat. P.S. Maybe the problem is that we really like Indian food.
  17. We normally avoid Michelin starred restaurants in Italy, finding them too complex and formal for our tastes and our sense of Italian cuisine (simple preparations of perfect ingredients). Luckily we didn't find Il Duomo in the Michelin guide, but rather in the L'Espresso Ristoranti D'Italia iPhone app. We usually use Slow Food and Gambero Rosso, but didn't purchase the latest Slow Food guide until a day later. Il Duomo was the only L'Espresso three Toque restaurant in Sicily, and we decided to try it. We were very glad that we did. They seemed to have missed our attempt to reserve over their web site Christmas weekend, so we walked in without a reservation. We're picky eaters (I'm a liberal vegetarian, my wife also eats seafood) and we didn't see much on the menu for us. My wife was dreading an overly complicated fish dish. So we asked for a vegetarian tasting with wine. They flinched for a moment and then said no problem. We didn't take notes or pictures, but it was a very good and satisfying meal, and the service was nicely paced and comfortable, although lacked the warmth and personality we so often find in Italy. The wine service was excellent and complemented the food very well - I think they served a total of six Sicilian wines, and at one point when I may have drained my glass rather quickly asked if we'd like another glass of the same or to try something different. It was a very unusual zibbibo from Marsala. I nearly always go for red wines, these were almost all whites. The courses that I recall: Mushroom soup with obligatory foam. Very good. Zucchini blossom stuffed with beautiful ricotta cheese, thick black truffle slices on top (said to be Sicilian truffles). Lightly breaded fried local cheese slices layered with "caponata", a layer of tomato - a highlight of the meal Fresh pasta A (rather uninteresting consistency and flavor) Fresh pasta B (see A) A single "Pasta alla Norma" ravioli - very delicious. A baked "Ragusan" cheese mold with onions and a lot more very tasty complexity on the side. Outstanding. This was the one item we had that was also on the ala carte menu. Deserts - a bit of a blur, something on prickly pear soup, some chocolate truffles, some petit fours, a cassata All in all a very enjoyable experience. Quite over the top, but not pretentious. We'd go back in a heartbeat (maybe once a year at most). Other high spots of our dining in southeastern Sicily (place we'd eat at every month if they were in New York): Oinos in Siracusa - a high concept creative restaurant with few veggie choices but they were all delicious. Gazza Ladra in Siracusa - classic slow food restaurant. Stellar orange and fennel salad. (was also outstanding at Locale in Bucheri without the fennel - clearly the local oranges give them a running start, but the olive oil, oregano, red pepper are all perfect and in proportion. Where to get great Sicilian oranges in NY?). The simple pastas here were also perfect, with pistachios or with "sicilian red pesto". Shockingly small amount of amount of the pesto, and it was just right. Trattoria del Crocifisso in Noto - perfect Sicilian antipasti (eggplant a few ways, rice ball, fennel, amazing roasted peppers, etc) Nowhere did we see the huge antipasto buffets we remembered from 23 years ago, perhaps because it was off season. The one well rated restaurant that disappointed was Don Camillo in Siracusa, although their atypical take on Caponata was very good.
  18. We tried this place last week for my wife's birthday. We're basic five ingredient Italian diners, don't usually go for fancy, and even worse, I'm a vegetarian at a fish place. The fried peppers I had to start could have been any tapas place in the city, the addition of lemon was a tiny change and underplayed. I think it was the only veggie starter offered. My wife had a crab appetizer that was in her words "too messed with". I've heard that Michael White is an amazing pasta guy, so the Pansotti with stinging nettle pesto was quite a letdown. It doesn't help that I think that Pansotti are large thin ravioli with a healthy dose of greens inside them and a walnut sauce, and these were more like Capelletti or something with a runny ricotta filling in a dark murky pasty green sauce (the menu did describe the dish accurately, other than the name Pansotti). Sure stinging nettle sounds cool on a menu, but why bother if it isn't going to be delicious? It also doesn't help that the Pansotti at Babbo (which I've never seen there before) blew me away a few weeks ago (Babbo consistently impresses me on every third or fourth visit). I can't remember the deserts. Four stars? Not in any world I can imagine.
  19. Some people seem to really like the sausage from Faicco's pork store that they use at Keste, some don't.
  20. I thought that Ray's on 6th & 11th distinguishing feature was the onions in (or amongst) the sauce on the square slices.
  21. 'ino is just north of Soho and may fit the bill. 21 Bedford Street.
  22. Love DiFara. One small correction - Fiore di Latte is mozzarella from Cow's milk, not buffalo milk.
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