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  1. Ellen..Happy 50 to you & 85 to your Mom........what a wonderful joint occasion to enjoy & remember forever! We had lunch at EMP. I had become disenchanted.......... and I am reconverted. I can't wait to return!
  2. Mrud, Clever of you to deduce this. We chatted with our waiter who stated that this Aureole had een designed on the Vegas model. I offered that what happened in Vegas should have stayed in Vegas!
  3. PaulaJK

    China Grill

    What is Club USA?
  4. Why ever would one taut a rapid service tasting menu? That seems to capture the essential conceptual difference between the Aureole(s). Most of the folks arond us ordered the hamburger, inexplicably leaving those delicious looking onion rings. We,too, loved the old Aureole.
  5. Aureole's new location at 42nd & 6th perhaps should have forewarned us that a shift in definition was part of the deal here. I thought of the olde Aureole as an elegant upscale dining venue in its intimate townhouse, enrobed in stellar flower arrangements. The new Aureole is sleek and mod with lots of marble & wood. The lofty glass enclosed wine cellar is georgous. There is a bar area off to one side and then a front room which might have been thought of as the bar room had there been no divider. The menu here offers bar snacks, firsts and mains. The appetizers included some items of interest including a foie gras tourchon , scallops w. rubarb, a sashmimi & calamari. A slight Spanish feel seems to be present w. chorizo, a la plancha,etc. But the entree offerings at lunch seemed disappointing... a soft shell crab sandwich, a burger accompanied by magnificent onion rings, organic chicken and skirt steak. The tables in this room have only placemats but fine wine glasses and a lovely vase w. a sole calla lilly. There is also a rear room w. tablecloths. Huh?? A 3 course prix fix menu is served there. Today it was English pea soup or slow cooked salmon..roast leg of lamb or swordfish...a chocolate dessert or shortcake w. red/black raspberries. My companion enjoyed the salmon with its gentle sauce while the texture [which I experienced as fleshy rather than silky] didn't work for me. Both entrees were very good although a cautionary note might include the question of the swordfish sauce being meat based. I thought so and asked the waiter but he did not know. All 3 ingredients of the shortcake [dry], verbena cream [pale taste] and berries were undistinguished. The coffee was good but for some reason it was stronger than the cappuccino. Service was very good.
  6. The Ladies Who Lunch continued last week with a visit to the China Grill. This restaurant is cavernous but most particularly appealing. We selected from the restaurant week menu after perusing, but not being seduced by , the regular menu. Our apps were Tempura Sashimi and Chicken Satay. I have eaten satays in a variety of places, both countries & restaurants and these were the first and only awful ones I have ever been served....nor were we engaged by the darkness of the sashimi. The skirt steak entree arrived drowned in a cloying sauce. Did we miss something essential here??
  7. In an embarassment of riches, I had both lunch & dinner at JG this past week. Lunch was the fabulous Tuna Ribbons, a delicate rendition of the garlic soup w. petite frog legs and a most delicious sliced veal tenderloin on artichoke heart. I considered these delicious although, once again, I found the dessert plate far below the level of the savory. [i had the 'strawberry']. There were those very tiny macarons [where soft center is lost to shell] and 3 marshmallows, of which the ginger was exciting. Three days later the dessert plate of 'chocolate' was horribly weak w. a cube of bread pudding that could not be dented with the fork & another selection equally inedible. The marshmallows were white only & our waitress told us that this was want JG wanted...perhaps to match the stark white of the room? Not as interesting. We did the Signature menu where a different batch of garlic soup was the loser and the egg, squab & lobster tartine were excellent.
  8. We spent a leisurely lunch along with several other tables of ladies who lunch. Cleanliness of restaurant: D Service: C Quality for pricepoint: B- There is a cute $1 per item list of foods which can be apps or make your meal. It includes items such a tuna sushi, BBQ chicken or shimp lollipop, satay, shrimp tempure, slidder, chIciken truffle salad sandwich & several others. Fun! The quality , preparation & tastiness varies. There also are a la carte apps that include salads and other offerings. Among these the chinese dumplings would have been 'good enough' if accompanied by a sauce for dipping. There were several attractive sounding entrees. The burger is very good and can come with gooey garnishes, There was a nicely portioned salmon w. pureed seasonal vegetable andtopped w. okra tempura. The mussels were fetchingly served in a sand pail which had a bunch of silverfoil inside to make the portion look far larger than it was. A secondary problem with that was all of the wonderful sauce had settled on the bottom, hard to reach around the foil. The mussles themselves were sweet and perfectly cooked. We had to request a dish for the shells. The 1/2 l. of wine at 34$ ..filled a few inches below the neck of the carafe, only provided the two glasses [12$] that we were trying to enhance...so forgo that seduction.
  9. Our first visit to Cercle Rouge revealed a casual bistro w. friendly reception, bar and staff. The menu is typical Parisian bistro , well balanced with a variety of offerings. Unfortunately, the food is uneven. We began with the excellent pate de campagne and a limp, undefined endive-pear salad. One good item per two. Our entrees were an underwhelming magret/confit platter [The fact that the frites arrived after it was consumed didn't help.] and the boullibaise. The latter had perfectly cooked [neither falling apart nor rubbery] fish & shellfish but the accompanying rouille added neither pungent garlic nor cayenne zip. Atypically, the boullibaise base was a soupe de poisson---then the maitre d explained that this had been the soup de jour the day prior. The fact that the waiter forgot the frites and delivered them after we had finished our entree did not help. One for two. For dessert we had chewy crepes with a bland sauce and excellent profiteroles. One per two. Both were accompanied by some fresh raspberries & strawberries, proclaimed the best part of the meal by my dinner companion. Upon leaving, I found myself wishing that the kitchen were more consistent as I felt there was some 'good cooking' potential here.
  10. I agree that either the Grand Cafe or Copeland would provide a decent setting with decent food. We usually enjoy lunch at Copeland but had a weak experience there this past week.
  11. Thanks Kathryn...Wednesday...JG sounds good.
  12. Ladies who enjoy an annual 'special' lunch seeking recommendations for 'deals' in New York's high end restaurants. Any tips?
  13. PaulaJK

    Del Posto

    We arrived in advance of our reservation & each enjoyed a bar side glass of wine, perfectly matched by bartender Matthew to our palate preferences. The restaurant is very attractive but seemed spookily oversized as there were so few luncheon patrons. Our table captain and service staff were superb....if only the cuisine had matched! We shared the lobster appetizer, its meat tasty but the dish lacking any interest or luster. We opted for the 3 pasta course tasting menu. The first was al dente spaghettini w. chunks of dungese crab, scented w lemon and totally overwhelmed w. jalapeno peppers & scallions. The agnolotti, shaped closer to mini tortellini, were scrumptious. The dark, dark green [spinach] garganelli had a pleasant if understated bolognese sauce. All portions were too petite for their $28 tariff. The dessert menu was IMHO bizarre...olive oil gelato, parnsip sorbet, celery sorbet and the like. We finally found a chocolate listing but it was described to us as an 'after dessert dessert'...4 chocolates w 4 rums. Even with our choice of a cheese plate, we departed the restaurant not stuffed...........but mostly without good memories or an intent to return. I wonder about their future at this price point for less than exciting cuisine.
  14. Last night's balmy skies graced our cocktail hour in the garden of the James Beard House. Apparently there are a lot of Bordeaux Wine Lovers a bout since this sold out event was subscribed by a diverse age group. The only 'difficult' part of the evening was making one's way past the swarm of staff from The Highlawn Pavilion & Manor who were hard at work in the petite kitchen to make each plate picture perfect. The appetizerrs [Frogs Legs w. black garlic, Spoons of Lobster w. mango, shots of spring pea soup w. jamon froth, wagu beef w. leeks and FG torchon] lept off the plates. Perhaps it was the Perrier-Jouet that helped them slide down? As Chef Mitchell Altholz slaved away in the kitchen ad the Knowles dynasty kept a laid back but watchful eye, the rest of us enjoyed this multi-course meal that began w. a plate of assorted crudo and ended with desserts typical of Bordeaux. An oil poached halibut, pheasant w foie gras & truffle & beef w. Bordeaux & blue cheese filled the gap between first and last courses. Michael Giulini of Deutsch & Sons supplied some excellent wines from Chateau Bonnet Rose to Ch Coucheroy Blanc to a Margaux, and a St Emilion. Surely the spirit of James Beard was hovering overhead on this wonderful evening...and me, I was the luckiest, as I got to enjoy all of it!
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