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  1. I think Marea has the best chance. Four star restaurants have great food, great service, and great design; Ko has no chance of ever getting four stars under any circumstances. Right now Marea is attempting to create something on the level of Le Bernardin. They've got a shot, in any case. Bruni gave Convivio three stars, and Marea is much better in every way. as is Alto. But Marea is the only place right now that has a chance at four, unless he decides to re-review Per Se or something like that.
  2. This is a reasonable point. I do say bad things sometimes, but only very rarely. Here's the thing: I eat everywhere, pretty much. If you don't see me writing about a place, it's either because I don't like it (Bloomingdale Road) or because I haven't gotten there yet (Apiary under Scott Bryan.) I have access everywhere, but I only write about places that I like. And if I like them, believe me, they give me access, for the simple reason that it's in their interest. (Or, sometimes, because they like me and the work I do.) But if you are looking for a reason to be skeptical, I will say that my experience at restaurants is definitely different from a civilian's. They know me and I make no attempts at anonymity or anything like that. So I'm always getting the soigne treatment. That's the biggest thing -- much more than my having an expense budget account. (Which I do, by the way.)
  3. Yeah, after seeing that whole burger video he did and his (IMO) shill for Pat Lafreida really turned me off to his site. ← Listen guys, here's the deal: The Feedbag is in the appreciation business. I'm not a critic. I don't write or shoot video about things I don't like. "hype masquerading as hype" means that there is no masquerade. I've been "hyping" things I like since I wrote Meat Me In Manhattan. I'm an evangelist for good food. How freaking hard is that to understand? Example: I liked the fried chicken at Perry Street. You saw it; you tried it; maybe you didn't like it as much. Whatever. It doesn't make me a shill. The same with LaFrieda meat, Mike White's spaghetti, or any of the other things I enthuse about on the Feedbag. The blog is a platform for liking things. That's what I do. Capisce? yours Josh Ozersky Senior Restaurant Editor, Citysearch
  4. Didn't this place used to be Candy B1?
  5. The sides in a steakhouse are enjoyable but what Marxists call "epiphenomenal." I don't got to a steakhouse to eat spinach. Josh
  6. Trish, I don't remember, but how right you were. Thanks! Josh
  7. I'm sorry to hear that. I haven't been there for a while; maybe the owner isn't breaking the bank anymore. I can't blame him. The place isn't hugely profitable, except maybe the bar. As for the S&W experience, it doesn't surprise me. Getting steak at steakhouses like drawing kings or aces in poker -- it can happen, but it's not likely, even at the best of them. Josh
  8. If you want to do the Brandts a good turn, tell your local restauteur about it. It's still not well known. I doubt they could keep the big steakhouses in supply; they only kill about 1000 animals a year. The steakhouses need a steady supply of quote-unquote prime beef, and can't go to artisinal sources like the Brandts to get it. But smaller restaurants can, and should, and if you are or know someone in the business, tell them Mr. Cutlets gives its his meatiest seal of approval.
  9. I am not overly impressed with Wolfgang's, yet another Peter Luger tribute restaurant that shares with its parent a debased level of steak. The truth is that almost none of the big steakhouses now serve really great beef. There simply isn't enough great meat to go around, especially now that there are so many steakhouses in the city. They're all buying commodity beef in boxes from big purveyors like DiBragga and Spitler or Masters, if they're not getting it from Sysco or the Restaurant Depot. Peter Luger supplements their boxed supply with some carcasses, I believe, from old-fashioned full-carcass shops like Walmir. Sometimes. The bottom line is that if you want to eat great steak, you are much more likely to find it in a great restaurant like Craft or Daniel than in any steakhouse. The best steak today comes from small farms and specialty ranches -- Brandt, Snake River Farm, the beef sold through Four Story Farm, and etc. Assume that if the steak isn't identified on the menu that it is commodity beef and a crapshoot, dry-aged or not. A word about cuts. In any steakhouse, you are much more likely to get bang for your buck in terms of beef flavor by ordering skirt or hangar steak, which now have the flavor you used to find in strips. The ribeye is also far more flavorful, but I have never had the Colorado steak Steven mentions above at S&W. (I've never had a great steak of any kind at any Stillman group restaurant.) My favorite steak meals in the last year have all been cote du bouef for two at good french places like Balthezar or Steak Frites. OK, all that said, my favorite steakhouses in Manhattan are as follows and not in order: 1. Robert's Steakhouse. Yes, the naked women are part of the appeal, but Adam Perry Lang's nose for great meat, and commitment (almost obsession) with the art of dry-aging separate Robert's from the pack. I also believe that his $125 wagyu strip steak is the best I've had. 2. Sparks. I'm not a huge dry-aging guy myself, and so I love Sparks, which has what I believe is the best beef of all the major steakhouses, even if it isn't dry-aged. I also love the way they serve it, exquisitely brown / black on the outside, perfect inside, unsliced and stark on a plate with no garnish. Also the best hash browns by a country mile, and also the best veal chop by far. 3. Nebraska (Financial District) This place is off the radar, but the owner spares no expense in obtaining great beef and serving it at what is barely a profit, given the size and quality of the steak. The place is not much for atmosphere, but what steakhouse is? The side dishes and appetizers are among the very best of any steakhouse as well. These are the places I go to eat the classic steakhouse cuts sucha as strip or porterhouse. For skirt, hangar, and other cuts I will also go to Sammy's (bone-on rib steak, skirt), La Portena (skirt), and Les Halles (hangar). Hope this helps. Buy my book! Mr. Cutlets
  10. I agree with Steven that Becco is a great value. But on the low end I would nominate the newly re-opened Foccaciaria, which not inhabits a mexican restaurant on 1st avenue, between 12th and 13th I believe. And of course its twin cousin in Brooklyn, Joe's of Avenue U. Josh
  11. Always glad to see this thread alive and well.... Steakhouse burgers aren't usually a favorite of mine, as they tend to suffer from gigantism, and rarely use a less-than-obtrusive bun. At their best, though (Wollensky's, Houston's, City Hall) they are wildly enjoyable, if less than exemplary as burgers. Other big burgers worthy of praise include the Manhattan Diner on 57th street, Blue Smoke (a twin of City Hall's burger), and the east side's Soup Burg. The worst of all steakhouse-style big burgers is Peter Luger's, which is always either underdone or overdone, even after multiple sendbacks. They just have no clue how to cook hamburgers there. The best new hamburger in the city, for my money, is less than a week old: David Burke's "hamburker sliders" at the new Burke Bar in Bloomingdales. See my essay at: http://www.slashfood.com/2005/12/11/the-slider-reinvented/
  12. How is it possible that a chef of Laurent Gras' caliber is working at a place like Bistro Du Vent? How galling for him -- especially with somebody else reopening Peacock Alley uptown. Josh
  13. Gee, I have to go back. I thought it was OK and worth reviewing in Newsday, but not as good as Plataforma by any means, though better than Greenfields. I liked the sister restaurant, sabor tropical, more...for rodizio meats in Astoria, I think Brazilville is better. Have any of you guys tried it? It's just a by-the-pound place that happens to be loaded with brazillian nationals. Really good meat, very cheap.
  14. Pan, First of all what was cryptic about my post? ← Only that you assumed that everyone had read to the end of the review recently enough to immediately understand what you were talking about. No big deal; maybe my brain was working slowly last night. ← It actually was really dirty. But good! I felt it deserved notice, but needed a wake-up call. Josh
  15. The place I am dying to try is the newly opened Adrienne's, on Stone Street, from Nick Angelis of Forest Hills fame. He's trying to do a Umberto / Di Fara style Grandma pie and I want to see what he comes up with. Josh
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