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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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    New York City

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  1. Chinese food, preferably in Chinatown, although that Chinatown could be in Queens as well as Manhattan. I'm not a fan of take out food. Stir fries suffer ignoble damage. (Put good pizza in cardboard box and it suffers in terms of taste and texture as well.) Appetizing, as a noun. Basically smoked fish and non-meat NYC Jewish specialties. Barney Greengrass on the upper west side and Russ and Daughters on the lower east side. In both cases, it's always been take out for me, Barney Greengrass serves tables. The great Jewish traditions of bread baking have all gone downhill. There's little to be
  2. As has already been pointed out, Ruhlman has his own blog now, but since following his blog on megnut.com I've been making it a point to check it out regularly. Ruhlman and Bourdain are frequent commentors there and it's an interesting site on its own.
  3. Bux

    Sincerest Form

    Pete Wells explores the mysterious world of kitchen spies, copycat chefs and copyright lawyers who might, one day soon, change the way we eat. -- Pete Wells in Food&Wine. Cantu is going to great lengths to protect his intellecutal property. EGullet gets significant mention in Pete Wells' article. First about a charge of plagiarism thread and then about Steven Shaw's hopes to convene a summit meeting with some of the smartest people in the food world to hammer out a workable model for copyrighting food. Yesterday (Oct. 10) posting on her megnut.com, Meg Hourihan said Shaw's suggestions soun
  4. I read an advance copy a few months ago. I imaging it's basically the same as published minus most of the typos. It's as much a book about Business as it is about the Restaurant business and as such may require some skimming by those only interested in the restaurant aspect. Note that it's published as a business book and some less than astute booksellers may neglect to put some copies in the food aisle. Business is not my forte or interest and I found it dragged a bit later on in the book, but only for a while. I've always been a fan of Danny's, yet I've never completely agreed with his phil
  5. It's easy to get around in a city like NY. Most of us rather enjoy an excuse to eat in someone else's neighborhood just for the change in scenery. We'll do it on no excuse at all, or make one up. I live in SoHo and have met upper east siders on the upper west side for dinner and the upper west side is hardly a destination neighborhood for dining. I've been known to reserve a table in advance in Paris at neighborhood restaurants about as remote from my hotel as possible. I'm not alone. At one such restaurant, I ran across some fellow Americans who managed to find my restaurant in spite of the f
  6. I now the difference between a destination restaurant and a tourist trap, but I don't know that I could articulate the difference in a way that would make sense to someone who wasn't a dedicated gastronome. There are restaurants in every capital city in the world that are world famous and a destination for the rich and famous as well as the tourist, but many of them don't make my wish list.
  7. Do most people dress up to go there? If a restaurant is enough of a special occasion place for people to dress up for the purpose of going there, I don't think it's a neighborhood restaurant. ← Spain, which not all that long ago I thought of as a stuffy country with a stuffy population, has become very casual. You can still find the old set in suits with their wives dripping in gold jewelry, but the new restaurants, even those with two and three stars, expecially outside Madrid, can attract a very casual crowd. ElBulli is seven kilometers to the east of a beach resort. It's not uncommon to
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    Shanghai Cafe

    Had a quick lunch there. We thought the xiao long bao had thick wrappers--a little too thick. On the other hand, none of them broke between steamer and mouth. In fact, they could be treated rather roughly without fear of breaking. I don't find that a plus. The Shanghai noodle soup was quite a bit different from that served at Joe's Ginger which used to be right across the street, but now gone. It was more like my favorite Shanghai Noodles. Joe's' was mostly noodles, chopped cabbage, pork and broth. Shanghai Cafe had pork, a few shrimp, vegetables, mushrooms and very al dente noodles. Both vers
  9. I have been disappointed by my one meal in the Bar room at the modern and thoroughly satisfied by two meals in The Modern dining room. One was a dinner some time ago and the other was a lunch very recently. The meal at the bar room might not have even brought me back, had I not had Kreuther's food at Atelier when he was chef there. It may be that the menu in the bar room is less interesting or less accomplished.
  10. Define "fine meal." It shouldn't need dessert any more than it needs any other course, but there's a reason most fine restaurants have fine pastry chefs and I think most diners think of a fine meal as a series of fine courses, nicely served. As for Blue Hill, I tend to agree with Dave H. Blue Hill is my favorite restaurant in NYC and a contender for best restauurant in the city, but then again I was remarkable impressed with my one dinner at the French Laundry. By the way, Blue Hill, does not, I believe, have a resident pastry chef.
  11. What's the opposite of classical--romantic? expressionistic? or do you need Greek columns? The design of The Modern stikes me as very classic, although perhaps there's some drama in the proportions of it's very high ceiling in relation to the floor space. In spite of the exciting proportions, I find the space quite sedate, or at least the restaurant is sedate, perhaps the bar is less so, but that's probably true at every restaurant I can think of. I've been in the restaurant at both lunch and dinner. I probably prefer lunch because of the view to the garden and the natural llight, although wit
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    Shanghai Cafe

    Is this place that old?
  13. What kind of a New Yorker are you? New Yorkers complain about everything and anything. What's to understand? However, a fine meal without a fine dessert is simply defective in my opinion.
  14. This seems like a totally subjective decision you need to make for yourself, but may I ask how great a part the food plays in your overall "fine dining" experience? I know there's only so much classical elegance I can eat. The Modern far surpasses my subjective need for an elegant setting. It really is an elegant setting and I like its style, but the design of a restaurant almost always plays second fiddle by a long shot to the food for me. Then again, as at many fine restaurants, the best food may be on the most expensive menu or the a la carte menu.
  15. Indeed, Michelin rather precisely defines its stars in terms of "destination." A three star restaurant is "worth a special journey." A two star restaurant is "worth a detour." A one star restaurant is very good in its category and "worth a stop on your journey." Of course this tends to apply to country restaurants and motorists. The aspect of special journey and detour manifest themselves a bit differently in an urban city and a subway or taxi ride for pizza may be no longer than one to Daniel, le Bernardin or Per Se. I've often wondered if one might classify urban restaurants on the basis of
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