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Steve R.

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    Brooklyn, N.Y.

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  1. As you know, we ate there twice during our month stay in May. Both dinners were excellent, with only one repeat dish presented on the 59euro tasting menu. That dish, which you picture above from your dinner, was incredible enough that I have to expand on your description. The (plentiful) pieces of halibut were topped with a mixture of cauliflower and white chocolate mousse/cream (not sure what to call it exactly, as it was less dense than a mousse, but thicker and more substantive than a cream) and then sprinkled with cocoa bits. The fact that it tasted great was a major surprise, as it sounds.... well, strange (at best). The wait staff agreed that they thought the chef had lost it when he first described what he was doing. Then they tasted it and, like us, were won over. Inventiveness that works is how I'd describe this chef's output. And I'm the one who complains that modern "creativity" many times means adding lots of ill fitting ingredients & results in a mess. Impressive place. Thanks for recommending it.
  2. Steve R.

    Parkside

    So, you took my advice and showed up here again. It figures that you chose to post about Parkside for your return. See you soon.
  3. "It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired". I just noticed the above signature line. Its better than the one I generally quote ("I don't have to outrun the gorilla, I just have to outrun you") & I'm stealing it for the future. Hope that's not politically incorrect ("appropriation" sensibility) -- let me know if you're insulted.
  4. Its all "gray area" & no one should pretend to know exactly where the "correct" answer lies. We're people and contexts change (hopefully evolve). But, if anyone thinks that the best answer to anything can be gotten by dismissing the question (or the questioner)... well, that's just plain wrong 😉.
  5. I basically agree. These things should be used to initiate discussion & to get people to understand each others' perspective, not as a sledge hammer to force the "other" person to accede. This society (in my opinion) needs more discussion and fewer decrees.
  6. The "old days" were fun. And AB was a great combination of business, personality & insightfulness. I met him several times, but my favorite story, by far, was AB's visit (I can't remember which show) to one of the small out of the way places I loved in Queens. The show portrayed this great food as being served, as an excellent option, at one of the several outdoor tables in front of the place. The tables were full of happy campers & it appeared as if AB and crew just showed up to find it this way. Well, those of you who have been around eG for awhile & know the faces of some of the almost original eG posters might get a kick out of seeing who's eating at those tables while re-watching that show. I know I do. And it wasn't just happenstance. And, to cap it all off, the place (except for that day) never had any outdoor seating.
  7. My question to friends these days is "when did the critique of 'political correctness' become of more importance than the issues that those (sometimes over the top and preachy) folks are trying to tackle"? Isn't our rush to distance ourselves from being "too correct" (not sure such a thing is a thing, but whatever...) a diversion from thinking about the issues raised by titles and song lyrics, etc.? "Crack pie" was (I'm sure enough to state this) never intended to traffic in human suffering, but only to cash in on an idiom that would help sell more pies. But, stepping back and trying to correct past injustices or insensitivities (for whatever reasons) isn't as bad as the original injustices or insensitivites themselves, is it? I don't think its too much to ask of me to spend a little time self examining what I say or do and editing out what I can.
  8. Keen’s. no contest.
  9. Glad we did. It’s a great place & obviously well liked. The hummus was very good, but I have to say that you’re putting out one of the best falafel sandwiches out there. I’ve been eating them for over 50 years - Israeli, Syrian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Greek - none better than last night’s. And that’s not just the one “F—k Trump Punch” talking.
  10. Both their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pg/firstfridaydupont/events/) & the Eventbrite site (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/first-friday-october-edition-tickets-50289493228) now have the Oct 5 date listed.
  11. Nope. I just assumed that it’d be on for October and that the website will be updated with specifics before then. If not, I guess we start drinking earlier.
  12. As I told Mitch, we will represent in his absence. Ginny & I will be in D.C. next Friday (10/5) and intend to show up for drinks and food after we take advantage of the "1st Friday Dupont" event at various Dupont Circle area galleries from 6-8pm. Although we are generally wine people and not expert cocktailians, we'll try our best to not embarrass NYC in general and the "weinoos" specifically. Looking forward to it.
  13. I agree with "Auspicious" only so far as believing that adding a tip to the bill without advance notification on the menu is not acceptable (to me). However, I would simply take it off the bill, pay the remaining balance & leave a cash tip for the waitstaff. Let the management decide to come to me or not -- I don't need or want to talk to them about their business practices -- let them take me to court if they wish to defend their added tip. In my opinion, an advertised "mandatory gratuity" in & of itself is not "bait and switch". It is, to me, much the same as a no tipping policy or a "service included" statement on the menu -- it just changes how the math is done. As long as I know in advance, I'm ok. Either way, I'll have to assume that the business takes care of its operation (including its employees). If anyone cares, I prefer to pay the bill & leave a tip of my choosing. For me, its a more direct way of knowing that the front of house staff is making a living. Of course, this is based on traditional practice in my home area and is full of holes if/when I think about it too much (i.e.; why don't I care that the back of house is being compensated fairly? why do I want to intervene in the business model at all?). At my age, I find it easier to just continue to do what I've always done, think about it as little as possible and take headache meds. when I don't follow my own advice and write posts about it. By the way, the "no tipping pricing models as in most of Europe" no longer exists as a general guideline for non-locals & barely for locals in most places that I've visited. Although no one can agree on what's expected from American tourists anymore, I can say that I've watched lifelong residents of Florence, Rome, Paris, Lyon, & other places put down 5-10% (& even "round up" in places where "service included" was clearly written on the menu), while I've seen dirty looks given to other tourists who left under 10%. Things change.
  14. We recently stayed at the Alexander Inn (12th & Spruce) and really liked it. Of the places you listed, we ate at Le Virtu. It was absolutely not what we expected. The web site & friends' recommendations had us thinking that this would be a darkish old school type place with an upscale wine list and tablecloths. Nope. A bright, airy place with informal, friendly service and both a server & a middle aged S. Philly (50s? 60s?) owner who spent time talking about Italy & the neighborhood with us. This was the most Brooklyn type place for us & we really enjoyed it. A bottle of Aglianico ($45 - reasonable) and a Sunday fixed price meal ($35pp) that included 3 courses (anything on the menu -- each course smaller than would be served off the regular menu) plus cookies. Cheese/egg meatless "meatballs", mixed fried vegetables as apps were both excellent. The pastas were exceptional & the highlights of the meal. As is usually the case with multi-course Italian means, the protein course was okay - I had lamb, Ginny had pork, both were good but nothing to write effusive statements about. We'd definitely return. We also went to Mr. Martino's Trattoria. This place is hard to summarize. It's very good home cooking and we'd go back if it was near our home. The owner went out of his way when we arrived and sat down to make sure we knew that it was "nothing fancy" & that his wife was doing all the cooking to order. Good self assessment. We decided to eat at the bar area (BYOB place - no alcohol license so this was a "bar" in name only) and had nice chats with the owner, the waitstaff and a customer or two. From the baked ricotta w/dried sausage, to the veal tortelloni w/gorgonzola tomato sauce, to the lemon tart -- all was very nicely done & portioned well (medium sized, but enough). The place was charming, with things like a rotary dial phone, old fans, photos and antique store decor. Everyone was friendly, the room full of regular customers. Its more than worth going & we're glad we did, but only if you're looking for a locals informal place & not an upscale setting/meal. Cash only & very reasonable, partially due to the BYOB.
  15. robirdstx -- Well, this is on our short list for when we pass thru this Jan (somewhat tongue in cheek, since I noticed where you're from): https://www.zzqrva.com
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