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David Corcoran

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  1. David Corcoran

    Fortunato Ristorante

    Hi, all ... thanks for the feedback. I was obviously imprecise in my use of the word "factory," a holdover from my days as a meadowlands reporter for the Bergen Record in the 1970's. I guess if there's still a factory in town it wasn't exactly wrong, but I'll ask the Web site to adjust the wording in the online version. Best, David
  2. David Corcoran

    Ordering wine

    Many thanks to all who have posted. Your fascinating & lively responses exceeded my high expectations. I may be getting in touch with some of you individually. Best, David
  3. David Corcoran

    Ordering wine

    Great point. I'm also speaking to a retailer or two for their BY0 advice. Thanks and albest, David
  4. David Corcoran

    Ordering wine

    I'm writing an article for the New Jersey section of the New York Times about ordering wine in restaurants. A daunting subject for many, if not most, diners. Amid a bewildering array of choices, how to proceed? In your experience, are servers usually helpful and knowledgeable? How can you tell when you're being steered correctly? Anecdotes welcome. I won't be able to publish all responses, but if I do include yours, I'll want to use your actual name and hometown. Thanks! David
  5. David Corcoran

    Sunday Times NJ Section

    You can access this article by going to www.nytimes.com and typing "best of the sweets" (don't forget the quotation marks) in the search window at the top of the screen. It is not, in fact, a compilation of reviews. The editor of the Best of New Jersey special section asked Karla Cook and me to write a few original paragraphs about a few of our favorite desserts. On a related matter: the John Foy who wrote about top chefs is not the Foy whose shore restaurant was involved in the flap over a painting of a nude in the window. That's his brother Dennis.
  6. David Corcoran

    Soul food desserts

    Authentic sweet potato pie, or banana pudding? Tbe NY Times would like to know ...
  7. David Corcoran

    Food and science

    I have to say this isn't a topic I've paid much attention to. I know there are some good books on the subject but I confess I haven't read them. The connection between my day job and the restaurant gig is minimal.I try very hard not to let the one get in the way of the other.
  8. Thanks, Rosie. I have not been to Frankie & Johnnie's. David Bonom of the Bergen Record gave it 1 star (fair) on 2/12/99.
  9. David Corcoran

    Wine Programs

    You make an excellent point. We do comment on the wine list in the summary box that contains the overall rating. And I always try to expand on that comment in the body of my review, though usually in no more than a sentence or two. The reason I seldom say more is that I usually visit a restaurant only twice. Typically, that allows me to taste no more than two or three wines on a list that may number in the hundreds -- hardly a representative sample. So my comments tend to be rather general, based on the interest level of the list and the fairness of the prices. That said, I agree that wine is a fundamental ingredient of the dining experience and I promise to give it more thought in the future. Thanks.
  10. Chicago? Haven't been in a long time. Have I been recognized? Not to my knowledge.
  11. David Corcoran

    Judging a restaurant???

    The food is very important. The other factors are much less so, and while they occasionally affect the final rating, I'd say that's pretty rare. To put it another way, great food forgives a lot of sins.
  12. David Corcoran

    Your favorites?

    The Ryland Inn, on all counts. A couple of others have come close, notably Nicholas, Rat's and the sadly closed Raku in Westwood.
  13. David Corcoran

    Second State Syndrome?

    New Jersey is certainly overshadowed by New York, but then everything is overshadowed by New York. On the other hand, I've never found that the differences in restaurants are all that glaring. Many New Jersey chefs have cooked on both sides of the river, and some choose to relocate not because they're any less good but for the same reasons other people relocate: life in the suburbs is much less complicated than in the city. If I did a blind tasting between, say, Jean-Georges and Nicholas, or Alain Ducasse and the Ryland Inn, I bet you I couldn't tell you which was which.
  14. David Corcoran

    Palm greasing.

    No. Even in New Jersey, that kind of behavior is beyond the pale.
  15. David Corcoran

    Especially memorable?

    When you have to review them, they're all memorable. A few highlights, however: The Ryland Inn, for its herb garden, complete with slightly menacing dog, and for a late-summer tomato appetizer that was off every chart. Charrito's, in Union City, for its amazing and unexpected superrealist décor and (repeat all adjectives, including superrealist) chicken mole. Rat's, for the Sculpture Garden. The James Beard House in Manhattan, where the great man used to cook on a stove with electric burners (before my time, however). And La Mère Blanc, in Vonnas, France, a Michelin 3-star where my wife and I ate on our honeymoon. Georges Blanc, who looked impossibly young, came out of the kitchen and signed our menu, wishing us une bonne lune de miel.