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Tom G

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Everything posted by Tom G

  1. Trying to bump this up, as I'm off to Paris in 6 weeks (and an avowed chicken-o-phile). I've searched and found multiple mentions, but most of them old. What does the board think of Chez L'Ami Louis these days? Overpriced and touristy? Or worth it? Atelier Maitre L'Albert? Allard? Astrance? Le Coq Rico? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. How about best Flushing Chinese for a group of 8? I want to take my colleagues...(and we would like to BYOB some wine, too). Any suggestions? Thanks!
  3. Based on two entrees you discount EVERY entree served at the place? Don't you think that's a little much? I'll gladly take your spot at Lupa any day!
  4. So i had two nights...and made rookie mistakes both nights. Ate at the bar at an old sentimental fave (The Enterprise in Knightsbridge)...the scene of my first overseas date with my now wife... The food, the atmosphere, the service all seemed great then (this was 10+ years ago and amongst other memorable things it was ones of the first times we had South African wine - an eye-opening Hamilton Russell Chardonnay). I walked in, sat at the bar, was ignored for five minutes (I should have left then, but wimbledon WAS on, so i cut them a little slack), and had a decidedly mediocre meal. And they didn't even have the Bannofi (sp?) Pie we remember so fondly. Night #2, i decided to go for the new & hip and went to Conran's new Albion/Boundary empire. I chose to eat downstairs when I think i was really in the mood for upstairs. I orderedly oddly, so maybe it was my fault. I had heritage (a.k.a. heirloom here in the USA) tomatoes. I figure they would have had something on them. Nope, just tomatoes on a plate. OK, then I had the pint of prawns not understanding that they would just be boiled prawns served sauceless (but for mayo) and cold in a bowl with heads-on. And on the side? An order of beef-dripping chips (i.e. fries cooked in beef tallow). What could be better, right? They were mostly tasteful...and hard. Next time, I go with the experts. Two Soho finds I did quite enjoy for lunch - Princi and Piada. Really delicious Italian at both. Very different, but both very good. At Princi i really felt like i could be in Milan. A nice feeling on a sweltering day in London.
  5. Lots of great options. Thanks all. I will report back after my trip!
  6. I'm coming in from NY on business and while I'll have a few meals with friends, i'll probably also be flying solo a few nights. And would love some recommendations of places where eating at the bar is welcomed and encouraged (and where the experience is not a never-ended parade of wankers elbowing past you for a drink). I'll be staying in Marylebone, but willing to travel wherever - especially for good food & good atmosphere. My top choices for genre: modern brit, italian, french bistro, indian, gastropub. I welcome all suggestions. Thanks!
  7. Tom G

    Dutch Kills

    Anybody know if they have started serving food yet? There were apparently going to get it from the yummy Sage American Kitchen nearby.
  8. The article/recipe in this month's NYMag got me craving squash blossoms (http://nymag.com/restaurants/recipes/inseason/35787/) but instead of the kind they are making, I'm looking for great fried ones...with cheese... It's a bit of an odd craving, I know. Had some at Centovino a few weeks ago that were quite good... But who's got the best???
  9. Tom G

    Del Posto

    The wife and i had dinner at the Enoteca last night. It was our first visit at all to Del Posto. Aesthetically, it truly could be a transportative experience. As my wife said, we could be in a hotel lobby anywhere in Europe - for better or worse. But then came the crowds. No offensive meant to anyone, but there were far too many jeans, far too many sneakers, and far too much chest hair for my likes - in a place that was supposed to be greatly upscale. And then the food. We had a topsy-turvy meal - starting with a cheese course (quite good) and then pastas (i'll get to those in a moment) and then desserts (wonderful tiramisu and trio of lemon desserts). The pastas - admittedly not meant to be the main part of a meal - were tiny. And the waitress should have mentioned that. Four bites of my foglie (?) and i was done. And the wine ordering left a lot to be desired too. I asked the waitress if i could talk to the sommelier. She told me she knew a "fair amount" about the wine list and it helps her to "practice" by talking to customers about their wine wishes. I told her i was interested in a Friuilian white and further helped by offering some Friuilian whites on their list that i had had before and really liked. Her first suggestion was to turn the page to Alto Adige...then i reminded her that i wanted to stick with FRIUILIAN whites...so she turned the page back...and recommended EXACTLY the wines I had told her i had had before and liked. VERY unhelpful. At this point I should have summoned the sommelier, but didn't (my bad). When the sommelier finally DID come to open with my bottle. He said this was a great wine from the "Colli Orientale". I was having a Lis Neris Confini which is decidedly NOT from the Colli Orientale. And I told him as much. "Oh", he said. For a meal that cost over $200 for two, it just wasn't half as impressive as I had hoped and dreamed it would be. I won't rush to go back.
  10. Not to disparage Chalet BBQ... But any nicer spots? For instance, does L'Express do a poulet frites?
  11. Do any of the finer bistros carry that classic french bistro dish? Do any of the finer restaurants carry any sumptuous chicken dishes? I read somewhere (maybe even on these boards) that the chickens in Quebec leave a lot to be desired...hence very few restaurants in Montreal serve chicken... But i am (somewhat ashamedly) a chicken lover... Any favorite dishes (beside the hole-in-the-wall rotisseries)?
  12. As a sidebar to this question: does anybody in montreal do a great chicken dish? Especially at any of the nicer and better restaurants in town? A great version of the classic bistro dish poulet frites perhaps? Or what have you? I know i risk being laughed at for asking such a question... But thought it was worth a shot!
  13. I'm planning ahead...i turn 35 in may...my wife and i are planning a little get-away up north...two precious nights away from our precious little 1 year old! I'm thinking Montreal or Quebec City... I'm afraid to admit this on the board, but accomodations might be almost as important as food. Thinking Auberge St. Antoine in QC and Hotel St. Paul in Montreal. Opinions? Paramount though is the food...we live in NYC, so we can get plenty of big city, big attitude, big fuss at home...and we don't want any of that. Just looking for great food and wine...budget is really not an issue... So which city should we go to? Which is more fun for a 30-something couple from NYC? Where should we stay? AND, most importantly, which city has better restaurants for what we seek? And what are those restaurants? Thanks in advance...will report in full after the trip...
  14. Tom G

    Swiss Wine

    People warned me...but i didn't listen and maybe i should have... I bought two bottles of Chateau D'Auvernier Pinot Gris (i love the grape in many other guises from many other countries) and two bottles of Domaine Tissot Cotes du Jura Pinot Noir (ditto...and although it's not from Switzerland, it's from right next door). Neither was terribly interesting...especially the swiss pinot gris...dull...and it cost me $26.99 per bottle. The pinot noir was a little better...at least more interesting...but was really very "country"...had no finesse...and was a young 2004... Next time I think I'll match my wines by what i know...rather than trying to match the terroir which was my silly snobby idea! But i thank the respondents for their informative opinions...they were most helpful.
  15. Tom G

    Swiss Wine

    My friends and I are making fondue for New Years, as we often do...and I usually do a last minute search for Swiss wine, feeling like I need to imbibe the wine that is made side-by-side with the cheese. And invariably any stores that have Swiss wine are sold out of anything decent by the time I get there, since everybody else has the same idea...and good swiss wine seems to be hard to come by in NYC. So... 1) Any recommendations on great Swiss wine? Both red and white? 2) Any recommendations of stores in NY-area that have good depth and breadth of selection of good Swiss wine?
  16. Does anybody know if Chix ever opened on Peters St?
  17. Tom G


    We just got back from 2 nights on-island... And had really terrific dinners both nights - first night at Black Eyed Susans, and the second night at Sfoglia. Black Eyed Susans - we made reservations for the 6p seating (the only seating you CAN make reservations for) and it was well worth it, in my opinion...when we arrived there was a line to the corner of people who did NOT have reservations...i was much happier to eat early than to wait on line...remember it is a) cash only and b) BYOB...on the later point, i would skip the liquor store on main street (murray's) and go a little farther afield to Island Liquors on Washington Street - the two extra blocks will yield a much better selection of wine. Sfoglia - Incredible bread, great (mostly) simple italian food, good small wine list, and the dessert - a peach/blueberry tart with corn gelato - was to die for...we liked it all so much that we booked while in the nantucket Sfoglia for a table at the New York Sfoglia for this coming weekend (we live in NYC)... Other meals: We had lunch at the Wauwinet (where we were staying)...was quite good and the wine list is impressive...it was just too expensive for us to stay there AND have dinner there... We needed a quick lunch in Nantucket town one day and got sandwiches at Provisions...they were better than average, with a very interesting sandwich menu....
  18. Thanks for all of the advice... We ended up going to Mill Tavern and had a really great meal... The wife had a perfect filet mignon...i had a really flavorful roasted chicken (i know, boring)... They had an impressive wine list - including our favorite South African chardonnay, Hamilton-Russell... And it was literally a hop, skip, and a jump to waterfire...where we quickly found a seat and enjoyed the night. Thanks again!
  19. I'm hoping to go to Waterfire next Saturday in Providence...and would like to dine someplace great...where i can park once and not have to re-park (i.e. dine close enough to the river to be able to walk to Waterfire)... Any suggestions?
  20. I'm on a mission to grill some really big shrimp this weekend...like Mayan shrimp or Mozamiquan (sp?) shrimp...the kind that are like 4 to a pound... And i can't find any in my local fish store...nor at whole foods...nor at citarella... I'm not savvy on the best fish stores in town... Any advice on who might carry such a thing? And any advice on the best way to grill them once i find them?
  21. Tom G


    I hate to be a naysayer...but the wife and I have been there twice now (it's right around the corner from us) and i am not half as impressed as the rest of the posters... I find the service to be terribly slow and inattentive (forgetting dishes, drinks, credit cards, etc)... I find the atmosphere loud and chaotic... And I find the food to be just OK...certainly not transcendant...not even out-of-the-ordinary... We so much WANTED to love this place...to have a great Italian restaurant literally right around the corner...and maybe that's why we're so disappointed...
  22. Thinking of swapping out La Couronne...and going to Moyo at Spier instead...anybody have any experience there?
  23. My wife and I are going to South Africa for 12 days in February. I'm slowly but surely making my bookings for meals, both there and in the Winelands. Take a look...tell me what you think... Any musts that i've missed? One obviously glaring hole is Afrikaans or Malay food. Do i need to remedy this? Here goes... CAPETOWN 1st night dinner - Savoy Cabbage (right around the corner from hotel) 2nd night dinner - Blues OR Codfather in Camps Bay - thoughts on which is better? 3rd night dinner - one.waterfront WINELANDS 1st day lunch - La petite ferme 1st night dinner - Haute Cabriere 2nd day lunch - Tokara 2nd day dinner - La Couronne Any suggestions for a lunch spot along the Garden route (btwn Franschoek and Wilderness)? And we've got 1 night in Wilderness - any favorite dinner spots there?
  24. I can never get my guanciale to taste as good as yours in your bucatini. A) Where do you get it? Rumor has it your source is Sallumeria Biellese, can you confirm? B) What's the best method for preparing it, then cooking it?
  25. Just a report - ended up going to Cafe Spice Namaste and had a terrific meal there...the wife had a lamb special (sorry, can't remember details) and i had a ginger chicken dish that was aces. Had a good but reasonable bottle of wine. The service was great and the restaurant itself was better than expectations. Some review had called it very DIY, but i thought it was rather lovely - high ceilings, nice bar, etc... Other notes - lunch at St. John Bread & Wine: food was quite lovely, the service was terrible and the hostess was ruder than just about any i have ever run across. we were seated at the ledge running along the wall by the front door, so we heard almost all of her dealing with customer and potential customers. she was incredibly hostile to anyone who deigned to come in without a reservation, getting into verbal fisticuffs with at least a few of them. Dinner at Osteria Basilico - one of my faves. Just a great homey italian restaurant with a wonderful feel to it. Dinner at The Enterprise - another old fave (maybe we fell back on too many old faves on this trip and didn't try enough new). Warm and cozy. Great food. My kind of place. HOTELS: The Great Eastern Hotel - this is a joint project by Terrance Conran and the Wyndham Hotel Group. Got a great deal through luxurylink.com. Essentially paid for 3 nights what the rack rate of the room would have been for 1 night. Wonderfully modern hotel in the frame of an old railroad hotel. Great comfy beds, good water pressure, biggest hotel room i've ever stayed in in London. Nice serviceable restaurants and bars on-site (as it is a Conran hotel). Competent service. Very conveniently located right on top of Liverpool Street Station - which is on 3 or 4 different tube lines. The Barnsley House - Barnsley, Gloucestershire. This is Rosemary Verey's old house - she apparently of great English gardening fame. The owners of the village pub took it over and turned it into a high class inn with a restaurant with multi-star intentions. Booked this room on a deal, too - through their site if you book less than 14 days in advance you get a good rate that includes dinner and breakfast and champagne (apparently unlimited quantities), and an upgrade to the best room possible when you check in. We got the best room in the house as it was an empty Monday. Highlight of the room was two huge bathtubs right next to each other - with a flat screen television at the bottom. The wife and i were thrilled to consider watching a DVD - while each lounging in our OWN tub. But alas the DVD connection was broken. Like the Great Eastern, theme here is stark modern in an old shell. Very well executed. Restaurant is less well executed. When I asked for a slight change on something was told by snobby French maitre d'/waiter that i was essentially going to ruin the dish. Same snobby French maitre d'/waiter was easily heard in the dining room excoriating fellow staff members for tiny errors. And food was fussy, without the reward for fussiness (hence my request to make something a little less fussy). Also, exact same menu for lunch and dinner. Not very inventive. THANKS TO ALL FOR THEIR SUGGESTIONS!
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