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PaulaJK

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Everything posted by PaulaJK

  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!
  15. Thank you for your recommendations. We will meander from Montpellier to Collioure to Carcassone to Toulouse. Of course, we'll be doing day trips to other cities.
  16. We are considering a rather casual, wandering exploration of this region in early September. We'd appreciate any dining recommendations. Also, has anyone dined at Jardin des Sens?
  17. PaulaJK

    Bouley

    Bouley in 3 venues---Two weeks ago we dined at Secession. It seemed a restaurant seeking an identity. The garish decor of the now defunct Danube endures while pulsating music blares in the diningroom. The Parisian bistro meets NY palate menu has given way to a lmited and unexciting menu. C Delouvier is the toque. I was just about to order the steak frites when it arrived at an adjacent table, both steak and frites in a black cassarole pan where I assumed it would continue cooking. We ordered entrees which were decent but boring. The service was good but seemed out of place with the decor and music. We won't return here. We finally made it to the new Bouley. We found the setting fabulous and the service good if a bit jumpy....too much movement. The sommelier could have identified himself. We chose the $95 tasting menu. The amuse was a puree of cauliflower w. tomato and a dab of basil. .,,loved the service dish. We proceeded to the silky porcini flan with its generous chunks of crabmeat,again an eye pleasing presentation. The next course offered a choice of the egg or an orange scented salmon. I had read so much about the egg that I tried it...admittedly not a usual selection by me.. I hated it. I have loved many of Bouley's fish dishes, but this firm salmon was not one of them. The poached lobster in a port sauce was an A+ dish, simply splendid. The duck entree was mealy, coarse textured and totally without interest. The lovely puree potatoes came in both white and green...some things should not be green! For dessert, I had a cheese plate, all in prime condition while my husband was underwhelmed with the meringue snowball. We were remembering the wonderful white chocoloate snow previously enjoyed at Bouley and this didn't approximate. Delicious coffee and adequate mignardises. For me, this was an uneven meal with delicious [lobster], interesting [porcini flan], uninteresting [snowball] and poor [egg + duck] dishes. I hope for better as they go forward. We had browsed the new bakery before dinner, purchasing some croissants for today's breakfast. They looked gorgeous but were tough rather than flakey & buttery. Not up to the 2.50$ tariff.
  18. Negeen's Persian Grill occupies the storefront space of an older Chinese [Phoenix]restaurant on the Short Hills end of Summit town. The interior has been freshened and an effort has been made with the colorful decor. Unfortunately, in its current state, I doubt it will survive. Why? you ask. Well, our party of 4 approached with enthusiasm. Old friends, we welcomed the opportunity for conversation but not the 45 minute wait that it took to acquire basic appetizers. The room temperature water in our glasses did not help. The menu has many offerings. The hummus was decent although under spiced as everything seemed to be. A small basket of pita bread accompanied it but it took ages and ages for the solitary waiter to respond to our request for more. At the end of an hour the appetizers had just recently made their appearance. Among them, the yogurt & spinach appetizer was adequate but the pickled vegetables seemed to consist mostly of vinegar laden cabbage. We still had quite a portion of these remaining, when staff announced that our entrees were ready and must be served now. I had ordered lamb chops, insisting that they be rare or give me a 2nd [pre selected ] choice. The waiter said that the grill was very hot, for the beef...huh? I suggested that the answer was to remove the items sooner. Of course it was unwise of me to proceed and predictably , the lamb chops were totally well done and dry. On the other hand, my friend's cornish hen had red areas, causing her to leave a goodly portion of her dinner...the combo of filet mignon and chopped meat appeared never to have seen a skewer as it was so flat and the 'chuncks of veal' was unappealing,not least of all for its topping of [?canned] potato sticks. The salad was generous in size but accompanied by the sole salad dressing offering that everyone voted 'vile'. We tried to hang in there...........through the additional wait........for dessert & coffee. The waiter arrived announcing they had but 3 desserts. Persian ice cream? "Hard to describe." Did the baklava have walnut or pistachios? "Yes, nuts." The latter well said, we departed sans dessert and coffee. Only the lovely Persian rice will be happily recalled.
  19. sorry for the typo...it's Taverne
  20. A friend & I had lunch here today. In this era of chefs/restaurants trying to negotiate/navigate economic stresses, this restaurant seemed over priced while at the same time the cuisine was underwhelming. Red wines by the glass were $11-15. Many 'small plates' were in the $12-13 range and regular lunch entrees were closer to 13-17$. The menu was not enticing. We ordered the individual tomato-mozzarella pizza which was tepid, bland and oddly sectioned. The mussels were tender but also tepid despite the broth they sat atop being quite hot...made me wonder if they had been cooked separately. The apple tart was unavilable. Cappuccino was $4.49.
  21. We were pleasantly surprised with our recent visit to Vincent's. It was a Friday evening and the cozy bar had a wonderful combo playing which added to our pre and post dinner libations. The mood is casual and happy. The Inn, as you may be aware, is historical. Greg Marasco joined the partnership a few months ago and now plans are afoot to shed some of the historical decor. The bar area will be enlarged. The glass paneled room will become a salumeria of sorts and you will be able to collect orders there. Increasingly, it seems, folks are asking to take home the Inn's southern style lasagne and other pasta dishes. Through these windows you also will be able to watch Vincent as he prepares his fresh pastas. So we have covered Inn past and future. Now the present. We were a party of six and decided to dine family style. We shared several appetizers. The zucchini fritti and calamari fritti were lightly battered, non-greasy and sweet and tender, just what I hope for in such dishes. Stuffed mushroom caps often suffer from a surplus of breadcrumbs; here, they were filled with crumbled sausage...and rate as the best that I have experienced. We all enjoyed the penne a la vodka, followed by the salad. Our entree choices included several veal dishes, all of which had tender veal deliciously prepared. My husband enjoyed a special of the evening, pork chops giambotta [?sp]. For those among us who like the mixed shellfish dishes, Vincent's offers 3 choices..fra diavolo, in a cream sauce or in broth as cioppino. We were too full for dessert but succumbed to the waiter's description of the tiramisu, a house special. We passed it around, enjoying its delicacy [i hate those leaden and gluey.] and taste.
  22. A sliver of a restaurant, Takasushi on Summit Ave is enjoyed by many.
  23. Does anyone know whether the new location is operational yet?
  24. The 'new' Bouley appears to be one room [no left, right/white/red] with a library area in the back. That area is not separate from the main diningroom as far as I could discern. An opening date has not been set as they are awaiting additional materials from some artisans...but the end of October seemed to be the goal.
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