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Everything posted by davidbdesilva

  1. Over 100 views and not 1 reply? Really? Wow.....
  2. OK for restaurant week would you go to Porcini, Bistro la Baia, or Salento? Have eaten at Salento and enjoyed it but am leaning toward Porcini. Give it to me straight up, which one? Thank you!
  3. Considering dining here with a group of friends for Reataurant Week and wanted some opinions about it. BTW, also considering Salento as well (have eaten at Salento but not Melograno). Thank you!
  4. I think this place is average at best, doing neither Thai not Vietnamese all that well. Travel to the Lansdale area for places like Vietnam Cafe (Telford), Pho & More (Lansdale), Saigon on Main (Lansdale), Saigon 2 (Hatfield) and Nadia Thai (Lansdale), all much better in my opinion.
  5. Thanks for the recommendations! What do you all think of Convivium Osteria? The menu and setting look lovely.....
  6. Coming in from Philly to see Macbeth at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 17th at 3pm. Would like to have dinner afterward some place that has very good food. Am open to any cuisine at all. I've looked in the surrounding area and these looked interesting to me: Bacchus, Chez Lola, Chez Oskar, Miriam, Belleville Bistro, Kif, and Scopello. Within walking distance would be ideal (but will take a cab if needed) and I'll be dining solo. Please let me know what your opinions are of those I've listed as well as any others you like. Thank you all very much!
  7. I'll check out Bibou ASAP but it might not be right, I'll have to take a look. Thanks Rich for your help with Fri/Sat/Sun, I knew you would come through for me! I'll explain, no worries! Lemme throw one more out there, what about Chick's Wine Bar? Looks and sounds romantic, good wine by the glass, and I hear the food is good? Opinions please? Thanks!
  8. I need a small, cozy, low-lit restaurant to have a romantic dinner with someone I am trying to rekindle a relation ship. We will be in center city on Jan. 2nd walking around, taking in the post-holiday sites and hopefully walking arm-in-arm through Rittenhouse Square (or a similar venue). I am very familiar with the city so if I have to take a cab no biggie. BYOB would be really nice but not a necessity. Not uppity or expensive (which will make her uncomfotable) but definitely cozy and romantic. If I have to take a cab to get there (we'll be in center city) then fine. Am thinking of places like: August; Pumpkin; Caffe Casta Diva; Sat/Sun/Mon; etc. Cusine should be straight ahead and comfort food. Thanks for any and all suggestions. If all goes well I'll be a happy man come the new year.......
  9. Well all I know is that I have cooked Italian food from MANY Northern Italian cookbooks and eaten Saltimboca in MANY fine Italian restaurants and NEVER seen it as a huge patty the size of a plate! It was dry, overwhelmed by proscuitto and amateurish. And when a restaurant with this reputation gets a thumbs down on 2 of 7 entrees I'll skip them the next time I go, if I go back. All I hear is raves about Lupa but for for $200 I feel like we had an average meal overall. There are too many great restaurants in NYC to go back to a place that you had an average meal at! And yes, Saltimboca is often served as smaller pieces (perhaps not medallions) of veal and is a delicate dish. This thing coulda been used as a frisbee.
  10. We've had Saltimboca many many times but it never looked like this. It was visually very unappealing, at first we couldn't even figure out what it was. It should be medallions of veal in a delicate sauce not a huge, dry, patty-like thing. Secondly, and most importantly, it didn't taste good. The proscuitto completely overpowered the veal and the overall taste was quite unrefined and heavy-handed. We were both pretty shocked that a restaurant with this reputation would serve s dish like this. And, as I aid, my pork shoulder was way overdone. The entrees were pretty weak in our opinion.
  11. Took my wife to NYC for her birthday and stayed at the London in Midtown (very nice hotel with very nice bar but we passed on Gordon Ramsey and Maze). For her birthday we went to Degustation for a 9:00 reservation. It was still quite crowded when we got there (a Wednesday night mind you) but for having to wait we (and another couple) were given some rose cava to hold us over, very nice gesture.We ordered the 5-course tasting menu and the sous chef (forget her name, the executive chef was not there) was exceedingly accommodating, knowledgeable (about the food AND wine list) and friendly. We ended up seeing a course from a neighbors 10-course meal that looked appealing so the chef gave us that one as well (for an additional $10 of course). Well in short, the meal was incredible from start to finish and the wine the chef recommended (2001 Rioja Reserva) was incredible as well. Total with tip and tax: $240 and well worth it. We will definitely return. The next day before heading home we ate at Lupa and had mixed feelings. I love the setting, lovely tree lined street in the heart of the Village, front doors swung open, rustic interior. I think that Lupa's strengths are in the first half of their menu, meaning their antipasti's and pasta's and their weakness is in their entrees. We had two very good pasta special's (at $22!) that we really enjoyed and I picked out a very nice Salice Salento Riserva to go with them. For our entrees I had a special, pork shoulder, very tender an somewhat tasty but definitely too dried out. My wife had the strangest Saltimboca we've ever seen. It looks like a large round veal "patty" covered with proscuitto and sage. Strange looking and odd tasting, she said it was the worst Saltimboca she's ever had. So I think Lupa is good for a reasonably priced bottle of wine, some nice antipasti, and a nice bowl of pasta but definitely skip the entrees! Desserts were OK, my wife's cantaloupe sorbet being quite nice. On a side note, we sought out roof-top bars while there and our favorite was the bar on the roof of the Penninsula Hotel. Beautiful views with the down side being people with large attitudes and $22 cosmo's! We also like Ava Lounge at Dream Hotel, much more of a Miami vibe with younger people. We didn't think the roof-top bar at the Empire Hotel was all that great and didn't stay long.
  12. I am taking my wife to NYC for her birthday and we are staying over for the night. We're looking for a restaurant that offers very good (preferrably New American) food, nice/romantic atmosphere, and is under $200 (with wine, tax and tip). We have eaten in Manhattan many times so we are fairly familiar with the various neighborhoods. I have done some research and am considering places like Apiary, The Harrison, Public, Allen & Delancy, and Union Square Cafe (though that may be over budget). Please let me know your thoughts about the choices above as well as others. I would also like to take my wife to a nice rooftop bar/lounge after dinner. Is the Penninsula the obvious choice? Others? Thank you all!
  13. I'll be in the city on Saturday night and am in the mood for the best sashimi I can find. I'll be by myself so sitting at a sushi bar ordering by the piece(s) suits me just fine. Was thinking of places like Morimoto or even XIX (which has a very nice raw bar) but want some suggestions (including cheaper ones) from you all. Thank you!
  14. I KNEW that didn't look right! Thanks, maybe it being March I have B-ball on my mind too much? Anyway, Ellen Yin is a consumate professional and knows how to run a restaurant.
  15. Fork's new head chef is Terence Feury, of Striped Bass and various NYC restaurant fame, and he has changed the kitchen of Fork significntly. A year ago we attended a wine dinner at Fork which was, unfortunately, quite bad. Upon bringing this to the attention of Ellen Yao, owner of Fork, she promptly gave us a certificate to dine at Fork on another ocassion. I had basically written Fork off as having seen better times. Well my wife and I dined there last night and had a fantastic meal. For apps we had fall-off-the-bone tender duck confit that was delicous and a scallop eschabeche that was excellent as well (each $14 I think). The duck was a huge portion while the scallops were on the small side. An entree of sea scallops in a wonderful broth ($26) was fantastic and cod done with radicchio and baby clams ($28), while a little salty, was very good. An excellent bottle of Doamine Servin Chablis ($60) went perfectly with our dishes. For dessert we split an excellent coconut panna cotta ($9) with fresh strawberries that was both sweet and refreshing. Service (from Julie) was excellent, professional and very friendly. Atmosphere is still sexy and romantic. All in all an excellent meal and whereas not too long ago I had written them off, I'm now looking forward to returning to Fork soon.
  16. Our best and worst were in one weekend last year while visiting from Philadelphia. First night: impeccable and seamless service at Eleven Madison Park, from waitstaff to sommelier to manager, could not have been better. Sommelier poured wife a wine that she didn't like and he immediately rectified the situation with something she did like. Second night: rude, patronistic, snooty and aloof service at Bouley. It was like we should have been paying them to be there. Sommelier glugged wine into our glasses and walked away, didn't even wait for us to taste and see if we liked it. Waitstaff had similiar attitude. Won't return at those price to be treated like that and besides, the meal was so-so and paled in comparison to EMP
  17. Change of plans for our visit this weekend, we will be there Sunday instead of Saturday (deciding to avoid Valentine's Day thus the posting below about Little Owl). I know these are fairly different restaurants but which restaurant would you chose for the best overall experience? Both have multi-course options for about the same price, Hearth's wine list is much longer (and pricier!), Annisa looks more romantic while Hearth looks a little more casual. So, what are your opinions?
  18. I found La Sirene on the Opentable website and then checked it out on places like Citysearch and that "other" food website and it gets excellent reviews all around. The NYT article was a bit confusing but seemed positive. The food is rustic French and supposedly very authentic. I hear that it's in a deserted part of town near the Holland tunnel. The fact that you have a decent restaurant in Manhattan that is BYOB gets me going, being used to the myriad of very fine BYOB's we have here in Philly. And btw, I've heard positive things about Lavagna as well but perhaps calling it a favorite was inaccurate. Given that it is not and that there was a recent chef change at August, I'm leaning toward La Sirene (which actually also has a Sunday, cash-only price-fixe deal as well). They have a website as well.
  19. OK Manhattan egulleters, my wife and I have been fortunate in being able to spend a second night in NYC on Valentine's Day weekend and now need a second dinner spot. I'm trying to save some money so La Sirene attracts me with it's BYOB policy, Lavagna attracts me because of it's $29 three-course deal on Sundays (which appears to be open to the entire menu), and August just attracts me because it looks like a lovely restaurant (but would be the most expensive though). So, which one has the best food? I've read a very good review of La Sirene in the NYT and Lavagna seems to be a favorite of many, but I want your input please. The way I figure, La Sirene with the BYOB and Lavagna with the price fixe and a bottle of wine are probably about the same cost. But August's menu looks pretty good too. So....help!
  20. Thanks everyone, your opinions help a lot. From looking at their websites I tend to prefer the decor and location of Little Owl. Something about the decor at Hearth looks too rigid and clean to me, but that's not what I choose a restaurant based on. And, just to let you know, I ALWAYS do Valentine's Day dinner with my wife a few days before or after but this year she said "Valentine's Day in NYC would be really nice." Lets hope so. I did consider Allen & Delancy but I too am hesitant since the chef left.
  21. NY egulleters, I am coming up from Philly to your fair city for Valentine's Day and need help deciding where to eat before a show at the Jazz Standard (but closeness to that venue is not really of importance). I KNOW there are people who hate hate hate when somone makes multiple reservation but alas, that is what I've done. I plan on canceling two of them ASAP after your input. My reservation at Little Owl was made after dialing for 30 minutes straight at 10 am one month in advance and all they had left was 5:15 and 10:00! (I took the former). They'll be doing a $75 multicourse dinner as well as their regular menu (a nice option I think). Hearth and Country have not decided what they'll be doing for that evening. So my question is, which restaurant should I take my wife to? I am leaning toward Little Owl, followed by Hearth, but Country looks very pretty. Give me your opinions please and thank you! EDIT: Just found out that the formal dining room of Country is closed and that the Cafe isn't worth it. So that leaves two: Little Owl or Heath???
  22. Thanks for the recommendations but close to show/hotel isn't a necessity. I know eating at Blue Smoke would be the easiest but it doesn't fit the bill for a romantic place you'd eat on Valentine's Day while visiting NYC (in my opinion). And from looking at their website, it doesn't seem like Grammercy Tavern can be done for $200 or under. Right now I'm leaning toward Little Owl or Savoy, both cozy and romantic with very good food and short cab rides from the hotel and show. But please do keep the opinions/recommendations coming!
  23. OK OK OK, before you say "Why are you going out on Valentine's Day at all?" know that I always avoid it like the plague. But my wife and I have a tradition over the past few years of coming to NYC (from Philadelphia) for Valentine's Day weekend and have been able to avoid VD proper in the past, this year it happens to fall on the Saturday we'll be there. Last year it was an incredible evening of Eleven Madison Park followed by Freddy Cole at Dizzy's. This year it must be cheaper. We are staying at the Hotel Chandler in Murray Hill and seeing Esperanza Spalding at the Jazz Standard at 9:30. I need a good, moderate place to eat beforehand that WON'T be serving a pre-set, jacked-up, poor quality meal. I want opinions on the best combination of romance and food for no more than $200 (with wine). Wife's favorite cusine is New American but we enjoy ALL cuisines (usually steer away from Italian when we go out though). I am thinking of places like: Little Owl, The Harrison, Raoul's, Savoy, Market Table, Mas, etc. but I am open to any and all suggestions. Will take a cab anywhere but The Village/SoHo/Tribeca/Murray Hill/LES would be nice. Thank you!!!
  24. Will be in NYC next weekend and have reservations at both places (yes yes know, I will cancel one ASAP). We have eaten at BH a few years ago and loved it and now hear great things about The Harrison since the new chef arrived. I know the price for each meal will be fairly different, with BH being a good deal more expensive, but which would you recommend? And on a different subject, where would you recommend for dancing afterward for a very young-at-heart mid 40's couple who does NOT want to dance with seniors? I was thinking of Cielo, whatya' think of that? Please offer some other suggestions as well. Thank you!
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