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Everything posted by gastrodamus

  1. mitch, you've described sorella far more eloquently than i could. i'm planning on going back tonight or tomorrow and considering the 2-course (or 3?) menu depending on what the rest of the table wants. will report if i go that route. @ marc, you're correct. no reservations.
  2. it really depends on what you order but 2 small plates, 2 contorni and a dessert should be enough for two. you could also do 3 plates, a dessert and skip the sides. and yes, there's dessert and def try the salty caramel gelati. i'm not familiar with the daily 2 course menu and if the portions are larger. we were a party of six and ordered 6 plates, 2 sides, 2 desserts, 2 bottles of wine and a 1/2 bottle of moscato d'asti and found it comfortably filling. the check came to $45 each w/tip, which i think is very fair. here are some pics of the small plates and sides to give you a better idea of the portion size.
  3. i had a spectacular meal of small dishes and wine at sorella last night. the fried veal sweetbreads may be the best i've had in the city. even my fellow diners who have never tried the offal loved the dish and the accompanying quince bacon marmalade. the dish resembles the nuggets that momofuku noodle used to serve (presented in paper cone as well) but even better and more delicate. pate de fegato (english muffin bread w/duck fat and chicken liver mousse topped w/bacon and fried egg) is outstanding. i also recommend the hearst ranch beef carpaccio, gnocchi, potatoes w/pork cracklins, brussels sprouts w/bacon & apple and tajarin in lamb ragu. the pastry chef just added salty caramel gelati/sorbetti to the dessert menu last night. fantastic balance of sweet and savory. bicerin tastes like a darker, bolder affogato. great dessert. our check at the end of the night was very fair. like terroir and gottino, interacting with the staff is half the experience. chef emma hearst is affable and can seriously cook. she says that piedmont region is influenced by french cuisine, which imho gives her menu a unique contrast to other italian spots in the city, down to the presentation of her dishes. the friendly staff is knowledgeable about the ingredients and the approachable wine list. a little over a month in, nothing missed a beat. i look forward to tasting my way through the menu. i think sorella is going to gain a lot of fans this year.
  4. i called shanghai cafe last year and they do have it but haven't made it over there. has anyone tried? i'm still in the quest to find the best tong po rou. my friend and i thought yeah shanghai's version was a little too tough in texture and chewy. he says it used to be much better. nice green bo's version is incredibly tender and the fat melts nicely in your mouth but the sauce can be too sweet. any recos on the best?
  5. forgot about kanoyama. excellent sushi/sashimi especially for the price. i've been able to make same day reservation for a sunday dinner but fri and sat are walk-in only. loved the live lobster special (not the type that's alive while you eat). i grabbed a late lunch at blue ribbon about a month ago. their nigiri pieces and hamachi kama were spectacular though i cannot vouch for their maki or the quality when busy. i also had the sushi and sashimi omakase at jewel bako over the summer and thought they were solid. the sushi rice was cooked perfectly and all the pieces were served at the right temperature and proportion. had one of the best hamachi there. great service too. having said that, i too have heard that the quality at both of these places have slipped over the past couple of years, which fortunately wasn't the case when i visited.
  6. i agree with everyone else. there's no good sushi in LES. as adrian posted, ushiwakamaru is nearby and would be my first choice. also nearby are blue ribbon in soho and jewel bako in east village, though the latter two are considered somewhat overrated. jewel bako's $50 sushi or sashimi omakase is one of the better deals for the quality IMO.
  7. Thanks. Can you describe those black sesame rolls a little? They look moist. Are they agar agar with black sesame? [Edit: I realized I've gotten these elsewhere. But go ahead and describe them if you like.] ← it's gelatinous like agar but stickier and not as moist. it jiggles a little on your chopsticks and people with texture issues aren't going to like it. it's mildly sweet with a nutty sesame flavor. not sure how it's made so i'll defer to everyone else. lung moon bakery (83 mott) has pretty good ones if you want a quick try.
  8. Look forward to trying Kings Seafood - has anyone else been? ← here are some photos from king's to give you a better idea. a couple of tips. arriving before noon usually guarantees you a seat in the main dining room, and ordering specialty items from the main table requires patience on the weekends but well worth it.
  9. I definitely appreciate the recommendation, but what do you mean by "more authentic"? I understand that Dim Sum Go Go is new-style Hong Kong style, whereas most other places serve 1980s Hong Kong style. ← i saw go go hamburger and vegetarian dim sum on the menu and assumed that it was trying to cater to everyone. big assumption, i know. i thought only CB is new hong kong style and didn't know that go go is as well. thx for the info.
  10. i agree that CB's quality is unrivaled and the service these days is solid. for the minimal fuss dim sum, i recommend trying kings seafood (not to be confused with ping's), my go-to in manhattan. it's on 39 e. broadway, 2nd floor. make sure to sit in the main dining area and not the side/back rooms where the cart traffic is scarce. it's consistently piping hot unlike 88 palace or jing fongs and more authentic than go-go. chatham square restaurant (no carts) and of course golden unicorn are also good standbys.
  11. fergus received an ovation from the diners then sat down at april bloomfield's table. i agree that the portions were miniscule. it sometimes felt like we were picking at scraps. still a great evening filled with unique flavors. here are pics of some of the dishes we had. warm pig's head & bean salad (bev eggleston, va) confit pig's cheek & dandelion (niman ranch) grilled chitterlings (niman ranch) and the highlight of our night, deep fried lamb brains & green sauce (jamison farm, pa)
  12. Good question - that and the sweetbreads and the shrimp and grits are what I'm missing the most. ← bummer about the sweetbreads. the fried morsels were up there with babbo and prune's versions. hope it regularly appears on the chalkboard or ssam picks it up.
  13. kind of late on this but i agree with others. little branch, white star and death & co are your best bets. if you get to death & co around 6:30, you should be fine unless they have a private event. little branch should be fine at 7 though they don't have stools at the bar. white star and milk & honey are the only places that consistently serve a proper traditional absinthe in the correct glass. m&h will be members only by the time you're in town but they don't open til 9ish anyway. apotheke has one of the tightest doors right now. avoid it. it's not worth the hassle nor the cost. skip PDT unless you have a reservation. resy line opens at 3pm but you may get a busy signal for 30 mins on fri & sat. i'm not a big fan of pegu, flatiron lounge, east side co, employees only, b flat or angel share. i'd choose tailor or even back forty before the aforementioned. if you want to try freemans, i recommend going there for brunch between 11 and 11:30 on sunday instead of schiller's. the wait can be long if you get there past noon but brunch has a better vibe than lunch. try the buckwheat pancakes w/blueberry if you go and the artichoke dip. you may also want to consider ssam for lunch on friday and prune for brunch on saturday before 11:15. yeah it's early but they serve 11 types of bloody mary. food at schiller's is uninteresting so def skip it. allen & delancey is good but not spectacular. for dining in pairs, i recommend blue hill or degustation if either of these places still have room. the $50 tasting menu at degus is still the best deal in town IMHO.
  14. whenever i've had my fill on eater, SE, grub st. and diner's journal, i go to eating in translation. if you haven't been, dave picks up where other blogs leave off, covering various holes-in-the-wall in every borough. by no means does his blog belong in the same ranks in content or numbers as the big hitters, but i like the unpretentious coverage of places that most would find incongruent to their dining preferences. sure there are some misses, but it's also a handy blog if you're bored with the ubiquitous pedestrian menus and are craving new foreign flavors. dave seems to be like a bourdain 6-pack when it comes to asian cuisine and street vendors.
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