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Everything posted by eatpie

  1. You won't find much in Montauk. Pretty depressing food scene overall. We prefer to grill rather than overpay for so-so food and typically salty service. U never know who is cooking year to year so if you find anything decent, please report back. Topside at Gosmans has beautiful views of the fleet coming in and out of the lakes. That said, it is also a great place for a Bloody Mary in the late afternoon. Personally, I would suggest steering clear of Gosman's touristy, overpriced, mediocre food. Their market is pricey but quite good by Montauk standards. Also, the takeout area at Gosmans used to have a grilled lobster tail for $18 that was good. Clam and Chowder House (near Star Island): Consistently the best restaurant in Montauk with decent cooked food, very fresh sushi (w/lousy rice) and a marina style vibe. Expect to wait. The Dock (just south of Gosmans): The place is dark so save it for a rainy/overcast day. Way above average bar food. Im a fan of their tuna melts which are served with a 6 oz slab of tuna, melted american cheese and a toasted english muffin. Good nachos, fresh cut fries, burgers, etc. Rick's Crabby Cowboy (across from airport on E Lake, next to Gone Fishing): This place works if you are a big family. I crave their pulled Pork and Fried Onion Loaf once a year and never go back. Duryea's (go to train station lot and take road just past Rough Riders entrance): One of last lobster shacks out east. Beautiful setting, shit food. Lobsters are acceptable, byob. Expect to wait an hour, get a salad and a lobster, bring lots of wine, go around 7 and catch sunset, bring a sweatshirt. Dave's Grill: $30+ entrees. Best food in Montauk but a place you would not be running to in nyc. Famous for his boullabaise and in-person ressie policy. ENE and Harvest: Same owners, family style pan-asian and italian respectively. Fun, family style vibes with ENE being the slicker of the 2. Dont go with less than 4 people. Food is probably on a similar level to Carmines and Ruby Foos and the prices add up quickly. Navy Road (tucked in on Industrial Rd): Great spot for sunset. No idea who is cooking but could be worth a try. For breakfast: The deli down at the 4 points (4-way stop) has a nice sit down annex (also make good lunch sandwiches) run by a spanish couple, the Bake Shoppe in town has decent crumb cakes and makes a nice greasy egg sandwich. Right next to the beer distributor and video store (just south of 27 in town) is a good sit down option as well...cant remember the name but it gets packed. Avoid the Pancake House and the other lousy breakfast joint across the street on 27. For lunch: Herb's deli/butcher in town makes a decent cold cut sandwich and has good (albeit salty) fried chicken. Joanies is the defacto quasi-healthy, overpriced, service-sucks option, Health Food store in town is the only true healthy option and makes an acceptable salad. St Peter's Catch (just north of town, behind White's) will fry u up fresh calamari, Ditch Witch trailer at Ditch Plains can be tasty, Continental is spanish run and is there to feed the large latin workforce...food is ok but good value and perfect pre-naptime. In Amagansett, you may want to check out the Fish Farm for lunch (which is a visual trip) and the spanish place partially owned by Nick and Tonys...which is tasty (la fondita?).
  2. I usually smoke pork butt upto 13 hrs and brisket for 23hrs. Trying to figure out how to raise the temperature in my smoker, shorten the cooking time, without burning my rub. I use brown and/or sugar-in-the-raw. Even at the 185-215 levels Im finding that my sugars carmelize too quickly...usually after a few hours. Ive tried leaving the sugar out of the rub and the flavor sacrifice is too much. Ive tried adding sugar later in the process thru sugared apple juice and although that helps the carmelization process, in my opinion, sugar needs to be in the rub. Adding rub later in the process is another option. That said, I come from a school where one tries to disturb the meat as little as possible. Anyone have the answer, a resource to consult or similar problem? Im testing with Stevia but shhhh, dont tell.
  3. I had an excellent lunch there with a client on Monday. For some reason, CM is a bit off the radar with the biz lunch scene. Ive never had a problem getting last minute lunch reservations. I had most of the same dishes discussed in the last post. We also ordered a fried manchego app from the prix fixed menu that was out of this world. It came with the best honey I've ever had. I asked the chef where they sourced it from and realized (duh!) they infused it with Safron. Great stuff and a definite must-try.
  4. Not a food style and Im not sure if your friend's will even appreciate this but, something I miss everytime I leave NYC is our incredible late night dining scene. We have better choices between 10p-4am than most cities have during prime time. Florent, Odeon, Schiller's, Blue Ribbon Brasserie are quintessential ny style bistros. If you want asian, NY Noodletown in chinatown can satisfy a weekend craving for Soft Shell crabs until 4am and Kang Suh is amongst numerous places in Koreatown (32nd st) open 24 hrs. Grab a pastrami sandwich from Katz's at 2am, a slice at Joe's on Bleeker at 3am and a falafel sandwich at Mamouns on MacDougal at 4am...u r right, we do have it good :)
  5. eatpie


    Friends are all coming in from different places (Amstdm and UK) and being that our great USA cell system is only available IN the us, my cell is useless. Le Metro Bleu is the closest landmark spot and supposedly very close to our friend's flat where we'll be staying. Bottom line, if there are train lockers we'll be checking our bags and off in a cab to Mon Vieil Ami, if we have to deal with baggage drop off then a fall back plan is needed. Worse comes to worse its a day of street food and then dinner at Dominique Bouchet (thanks for the tip, John). So looking forward to a paris chow (what is ----hound?) extravaganza! Ill be sure to post upon my return...oh yea. Off to go pack...thx for all.
  6. eatpie


    Sorry for this Chowhound type ? but I know I can trust the E-Gulleters for an accurate response and Im a bit rushed for time being that I get into Paris tmw. Should be arriving at the Gare de Lyon around 1pm. Ill rendez vous with some friends at Le Train Bleu for a cocktail then planned to drop our bags off at the flat in the 11th and head via metro to Mon Vieil Ami for our first meal. Looks like we may be cutting it a bit close considering I recall they finiish seating for lunch at 2pm. That said, considering Le Repaire de Cartouche as an alternative choice. Is it walking distance from the Gare de Lyon? Is there a better choice within a 15 minute walk of the Gare de Lyon?
  7. eatpie

    The 17th

    John, thanks for the reply...looks like the groom is vetoing the flat "way out in the 17th." Instead, he's arranged for us to stay in the 11th. Should be much easier to navigate but ironically further from Wednesday's dinner at Dominique Bouchet's.
  8. eatpie

    The 17th

    Next week, Im in Paris for 2 days of eating prior to a wedding in London. Have not been to paris in over 12 years. Been sorting through these boards and have a decent itinerary consisting of art, food, food, food, art, food - Can't wait. Im staying in a flat in the 17th Ar. John Talbott mentioned it's an up and coming restaurant area but I haven't been able to unearth any specifics. Can anyone point me in the proper direction of a solid bistro, cheese shop, patisserie etc in the general vicinity?
  9. eatpie


    I had a new special there on Friday night that was excellent. Green Chicken Curry with Fried Bread on the side...down on the bottom of the specials menu. Tasty stuff.
  10. eatpie

    Shake Shack

    I waited an hour in line on Saturday - around 2pm. It was a beutiful day so I actually enjoyed the wait. Double Shack Burger was outstanding. I recalled the fries being so-so and ended up being pleasantly surprised although our order of cheese on the "cheese fries" had coagulated by the time our food was ready. Choc Shake was over mixed and had too much milk, Arnie Palmer was delish. $16 was a steep price tag but I def overindulged. I had a few bites of a their tasty fried Portobello Burger - good stuff.
  11. There's also a place on E B'way, just east of Bowery, on the north side of the square - that makes hand pulled noodle soup. Little sliver of a place - think the exact address is #9 E B'Way but I don't recall an english sign. They make a good Stewed Beef Noodle Soup and for an extra .50 a runny fried egg tops it off nicely.
  12. Monica, The tips of my fingers are tingling with anticipation for my first trip to India. I land in Delhi on 2/12 and these pix and your editorial transported me. Thx mucho, Mark
  13. FYI - last year the city was offering tax abatements for businesses moving into the area that Dinosaur is now occupying...coincidence?
  14. Just a heads up to those Mets fans complaining about the food at Shea - and yes, it generally sucks. Mama's (Leo's) from Corona has a sandwich stand on the 3rd base side of homeplate at field level. They offer excellent fresh Mozz and Turkey sandwiches on good bread with small containers of marinated mushrooms and peppers. Sandwiches run $9 and are big enough to share if you're not too hungry. On certain days of the week (Thu-Sun?) they also offer a Pork Special. For those without Field Level seats, walk to the 3rd base side of homeplate and descend the ramp. Then ask security for the entrance to Mama's. There's a backdoor they allow entry to those wanting food without field level seats (at least there was last year).
  15. You might think Im crazy here but Noodles on 28th has great ribs. Meatier and leaner than most, they have a slightly reddish sugar based crust that crisps up nicely under the broiler and the meat stays tender and properly "porky." Just to be clear, the ribs are not fall-off-the-bone tender but instead a bit firm and chewy. If you go, try asking them for your order "cut in half" resulting in bite sized ribs. Overall, Noodles is NOT a great (or destination) Chinese restaurant, but their ribs rock.
  16. eatpie


    When a young couple starts a mom and pop pizzeria "restaurant" that focuses on organic produce and ingredients from LOCAL purveyors, I for one will gladly support their cause. That being said, isn't this the kind of place those of us "in-the-know" who "get it" should be RUNNING to support. The fact their pizza and food rocks doesn't surprise me - they sincerely care! So what if they charge a little more. These guys are doing it the right way, the hard way, the only way. For christ's sake, they f'ing cure their own meats in a custom curing room. No one opens a pizza "restaurant" to get rich! Well, then again, this is not part of the Battali empire. Their time, effort, care and ethical responsibility should be applauded. No, I dont work at Franny's, they are not friends of mine and Ive only been there once....So, I'll get off my soap box now and calm down. Sorry
  17. eatpie


    I dined at Barbuto a few weeks ago. Within :30 seconds of sitting at the bar, 6 oz's of Chili Marinated Skirt Steak were placed in front of us. The steak was a bit overdone but they get major points for the gesture. Great start. The menu was simple yet stimulating. Tons of intriguing seasonal choices. I also started with the Asparagus with Pecorino Salad which was lovely. The mixture of white and green Asparagus worked so well with the salty Pecorino. For an entree, I opted for a simply grilled Black Fish, an indigenous fish to our waters (in the spring) but one I rarely see on menus. Two very large filets were prepared simply with Olive Oil and salt. Fish was cooked properly allowing the obvious freshness to shine. Simple side of Broccoli Rabe was exemplary. We ate around 9pm on a rainy Monday night. Every table was full. That being said, I prefer eating at the bar and we had no problem bellying up for dinner. Ive walked by Barbuto on numerous nights when the place is a zoo, super crowded and noisy. Although I had an excellent meal, in my mind, Barbuto is not a destination dining spot. Like Giorgione, if Im in the area, I make a point of stopping by. Maybe once the hype dies down it will be a little easier to just walk in and grab a bite? I for one, certainly hope so.
  18. The midtown branch of PG may have been originally opened by the son-of-owner but there is zero doubt who runs the show now. DAD's the man. Dad's an old fashioned, no-nonsense, hands-on owner. Most importanly, he's a tremendous food enthusiast. He takes most of the dinner orders himself and always makes suggestions when solicited. Inevitably, I crack a wise ass comment that manages to piss him off...its been an unplanned (and unfortunate) ritual of mine for a decade. Somehow, I still feel like a proud child when he approves my order (I need therapy). For a few years the son was out of the biz. I think he went to SF during the internet gold rush. Now, the wife and son are usually at PG but its all about Pops since the NJ branch closed 7-10 years ago. The crowd at PG is usually 50-75% Chinese. They have 2 large tables towards the back of the place that accomodate 8-10(?) which are almost always exclusively Chinese diners. PG is by no means cheap. Its easily 2-3x the cost of Chinatown and I can't recall them ever accepting credit cards. My mother tipped me off about PG after hearing about them on Arthur Schwartz's WOR show. At the time, I worked around the corner and used to do their luncheon specials weekly. Their lunch menu changes frequently and runs about $15 when all is said and done. Once I got to a place where I could afford dinner at PG, lunch became a rare occurence.
  19. That quote is genius -LOL For what it's worth, I called Totonno's earlier today to deal with a lost umbrella. If Mark loses his umbrella on a Tuesday, expect a Noah's Arc deluge on Wednesday. Anyone look outside lately? Anyway, Rene the owner picked up the phone. Before I could deal with the umbrella, she asked me what I thought of the pizza. My response, "it was eh" and "it just wasn't crispy enough." She told me that her customers at the Upper East Side location complained about the "burnt" crust so often that they started pulling out the pies earlier. Now, its the norm. So, if you decide to give Totonno's in NYC a try and want crisp and charred crust, make sure to let your server know.
  20. I remember reading that Angelo's on W 57th St found an old bakery's coal oven and moved it into their 57th St locale. That was the first I heard about the pre-1968 grandfather clause. I ate there a good 5 years ago and remember the $20+ pie pissed me off and vowed never to return. When the much lamented Picasso Cafe (anyone know what happened to Michael "the pizza maestro"?) opened on 29th St I had a few discussions with Michael about getting his pizza oven installed. He had a beautiful clay oven built that the city would not let him use. The cost of fixing his smoke outlet to meet city regulations was cost prohibitive. He ended up purchasing some kind of modern steel type oven while the clay/brick oven sat unused in the kitchen. Regardless, he still made crisp, wafer thin, tasty Neapolitan pies...that guy was a legend!
  21. The new Totonno's on 2nd and 26th claims to have a coal-burning oven. It was my understanding that for environmental emission reasons coal-ovens are no longer permitted in NYC. Those coal-ovens that existed pre-regulations are grandfathered, but new ones are not permitted. The new Totonno's does have a beautiful, brand new, double brick-oven setup. With the oven door ajar, a substantial pile of red-hot material that appears to be coal (or charcoal?) is easily visible. Couple ?'s for those qualified to answer. Is it likely that this material is coal? If so, is there now a way to construct coal-fired ovens that meets NY emission standards? Is it common practice to rest the smoking coals ON TOP OF the pizza stone (at the same level as the pizza)? I seem to recall Lombardi's, Patsy's, Sally's, Grimaldi's etc feeding their coal-fired ovens from BENEATH the cooking surface. Does it make a difference? I feel like the "curious child" at Passover dinner, sorry for all the ?'s. The new Totonno's pizza was not particularly impressive. Sauce had absolutely no soul, the cheese had a nice creamy flavor but a slightly rubbery texture. The crust had a quasi-charred appearance which got my blood flowing but, in the end, lacked the smokiness and crunch of a coal-oven charred pizza. That's what turned me into "curious child"
  22. Damn, I had 2 incredible soft shell crabs from NYNT last night. Perfect, huge, satisfying, orgasmic, crispy...Im running out of adjectives. The other highlight of the meal was a mixed Seafood Casserole. Nice combination of conch, non-tenderized octopus, prawns, squid, tofu and a few veggies. in a powerful ginger based sauced. Highly recommend this dish.
  23. eatpie


    Im sure there are some serious winner dishes at Megu. I certainly dont have the bankroll to find them. That said, no one will argue the place is a designer's wet dream. It is quite the spectacle. Its like Matsuri on steroids with an ex-Vegas decorator. Personally, I felt the room was stunning and the attention to detail admirable. If you decide to go, do NOT miss the small vestibule between the upstairs bathrooms...look down and try not to lose your balance. In terms of the menu/food, there is a lot lost in translation. $25 edamame served on the branch is never going to fly. I asked my server for "one twig" and she declined. No doubt after the buzz subsides, they will need to tweak their menu, improve the food OR lower the costs. Even the sushi is expensive per piece and confusing in pricing. For example, one column will say Sushi: Fluke $5. The next column says, Sashimi: $30. Ends up the Sashimi column is for 6 pieces, but one needs to extract that info from your server...and the list goes on. Personally, I was exhausted after reading through the entire menu. I chose the easy way out and ordered a $48 "Chef's Selection"...which consisted of Kobe Beef with garlic chips on top, Seared Ochu Toro with fresh wasabe on top, Asparagus Tips and Cherry Tomatos wrapped in bacon. Kobe is not my fave so I will reserve judgement but the garlic chips were so tough and candied that I needed to pry them from my molars after each bite. The Toro was excellent and fresh wasabe is always a treat. Both servings were about 1.5-2 Ozs. I was starved afterwards and ordered their "Flying Squid Pinchos" which had a lovely rice based coating but came out at room temperature. The 8 long wooden toothpicks vertically presented was a bit much for me. The Squid was like nothing I have tried before. Purple in color, meaty in an innards kind of way. Not my cup of tea, but definitely a subjective call, not the restaurants fault. They came with 2 japanese grapefruit jelly cubes, which were sweet and tart...they were delicious. At $14, it was one of the cheapest things on the menu. We also had an excellent spicy Miso with fresh tofu. The soup had a nice kick and was definitely not the garden variety dehydrated miso often served throughout NY. My girlfriend had a vegetarian sushi platter ($30) which consisted of 12 pieces with some lovely exotic selections of both fresh and pickled veggies. I particularly enjoyed my taste of the Ginger Blossom sushi. We finished with some kind of a multi-layered crepe cake layered with Rikyu (?) cream which was definitely green tea based in flavor. An excellent desert. 2 Martinis, 3 glasses of wine, veggie sushi, chef selection and the squid - $240 w/tip.
  24. eatpie


    You are dreaming if you think Babbo doesnt have "family" dining there. You are also dreaming if you think Parkside is at the level of any of the great Italian spots in nyc. Regardless, the Corona Park area is a treasure. Some salty Mozz from Louie's and a kiss from the sisters, dinner at the Parkside and a handshake from Tough Tony, desert at the Lemon Ice King while watching Boci under the lights - thats an evening well spent.
  25. Yes, Im meant Chowhound...a not-so-subtle dig at their policy of not mentioning EGullet on their site.
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