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Everything posted by dr_memory

  1. Hm, I really should have typed up notes after my meals at WD-50... but lameness rules all, and the above commentators have said much the same thing about the food that I would, so I'll restrain myself to making two practical suggestions for people considering dining there: 1. Despite being nine courses, I would agree that the tasting menu is a little underfilling. If there are only one or two diners, it might be worth getting anyway (with the understanding that you're getting an overview with an eye toward further study later, not a grand meal in itself), but if you're in a group of four or more, I'd strongly recommend getting N+2 appetizers, N+1 entrees and N desserts, and then passing around: you'll be much more satisfied at the end of the night and won't have paid substantially more. 2. If you do get the tasting menu, non-regular drinkers should probably pass on the paired wine tastings, lovely though they are. The staff pours generously, and at a glass (or more) per course, you may have a great deal more difficulty standing up and walking out than you would expect.
  2. At the risk of adding what's basically a "me too" to this thread, I caught a quick dinner at NYBC last night, and was a little peeved by the near-missness of it all. As noted above, the condiments, bun and extras are all top-notch. The egg glaze on the bun and its general texture reminded me of the roasted pork buns at the better dim sum joints in Chinatown, and the store-made ketchup and bbq sauces were good enough that if they bottled them, I'd buy them. ...so it was kind of exasperating that the burger that I ordered "medium" came out on the charred side of well done, and the fries were limp and soggy. I'm willing to give it another shot on the burger: I'll just order it rare next time and hope that translates to "medium" in the local argot. But the fries were just inexcusable: making crisp french fries isn't exactly rocket science: all you need is two fryolaters and a working digital timer. For all the money they've obviously invested in the place, you'd think this would be a no-brainer...
  3. dr_memory

    Per Se

    At the risk of asking a relatively straightforward question in the midst of all of the more metaphysical hand-wringing on this thread... does anyone here remember offhand whether Per Se's confirmation policy is 2 or 3 days prior to the reservation? Like an idiot, I have lost the piece of paper on which I jotted it down, and their website is singularly unhelpful on the topic.
  4. What an utterly lovely evening. My thanks to all of you. Easily the highlight for me: The tea duck. Words fail. Going back for this, and soon. Biggest surprise: the ox tongue. Ever-so-slightly gristly, but my god the flavor... meaty, meaty, meaty goodness, plus that wonderful sichuan burn. Not something I'd ever have ordered under my own power, but I'll be getting it again. When I got home and described the evening to my SO, her first question was: do they do hotpot? She worked in sichuan province for a year and has been craving proper hotpot ever since she got back.
  5. They sell tiny jars of cubed hakarl in the duty-free shop in Keflavik Airport in Iceland. It even looks nasty. Luckily for all concerned, it is sold in airtight (if sadly transparent) cannisters.
  6. I cannot tell you how happy I am to find that I am not the only egulleter with this aversion. They are satan's snot. Sulfurous, congealed, quivering mucous. Not food. No way. Non serviam. I disbelieve. Needless to say, I will not be trying the fetal duck eggs any time soon!
  7. This is Bourdain. He'd just eat it. :)
  8. Yow. Okay, I'm sold. Maybe not this week, maybe not this year, but before my 35th birthday, sold sold sold. Tony -- I'd be very curious to hear your impressions of the food at Bar Masa by way of comparison. Obviously the allover experience isn't going to be even close, but realistically it's going to be what a lot more mere mortals experience.
  9. They're back? Cool. I'd stopped working in the financial district a few months before 9/11, and I always kinda wondered what happened to those guys.
  10. Yike. Thanks for the pointer -- I would probably have gotten around to trying that cart in the near future. Hm. Time to dig up and bump the Inwood thread.
  11. I worked on 30th street between 7th and 8th for about a year in 2000. Gotta say: the immediate 2-block radius around MSG is as close to a complete culinary black hole as this city possesses. About the only palatable food I ever found within those boundaries was the Bagel Maven cafe on 30th and 7th, and even that was no more or less than "decent bagels." Beyond that: at best, places like Mustang Sallys that serve undistinguished bar/pub food at 3X the normal price. Walk east to Koreatown or south to Chelsea, and of course things change significantly. :)
  12. Sheesh, you people with your "jobs" and your "ethics" and your "contractual obligations"... what good are you?
  13. Yes; a very polite and apologetic young woman called me on Sunday afternoon to let me know that they wouldn't be able to honor my reservation for tonight, and promised that they would call me back to reschedule as soon as they knew when they would be re-opening.
  14. Arrrrrrrrrgh. So much for my Monday night reservation. I'm merely annoyed -- these things happen, after all -- but I do feel sorry for the friend who flew out from California to go with me.
  15. dr_memory

    Per Se

    Speaking only for myself: much. That said, the whole "is it suburban / is it neo-urban" argument strikes me as intrinsically silly: it's not as if this is some pristine exemplar of a noted architectural school here. Shiny vertical urban shopping centers and sprawling suburban ones have been taking design cues from each other for decades now: these are functional spaces, and if a design idea works, it's going to get replicated with wild abandon. On the gripping hand, New York needed another J. Crew like we needed an outbreak of scabies.
  16. One note in re the often-complained-about noise level at Les Halles: their downtown (John St.) location, while still certainly a busy place, was entirely tolerable noise-wise the one time I ate there. My companions, both of whom were regular patrons of the uptown Les Halles, remarked that it was <i>much</i> more civilized than the other location. Making a reservation there after 7:30pm, at which point most of the Wall Street types have swum back home, probably helps a lot.
  17. Okay, I'll bite. What's the protocol on this? I'm perfectly used to tipping after the staff has done me a solid, but this edges up on proper old-world bribery/baksheesh, and I've got no idea how to approach it. Hand the guy a 20 outright as you're asking if there's a table available? Try to casually put the bill down on his table? Hold it up and wiggle it significantly as you ask? Eye contact? No eye contact? Try to hide it from the people in line behind you? Make a big show? Obviously, I lack proper High Rolling Bastard skillz. :)
  18. In case anyone is wondering: You probably don't want to try this. There are safer and much more pleasant ways to get a buzz.
  19. See also: http://www.gothamist.com/archives/2004/01/...ama_insults.php
  20. I encountered durian in the flesh for the first time quite by accident during a trip to SE asia last year; at the time I wrote: (The full travelogue is here for the curious.) My theory on durian: like cilantro, the ability to taste the horrific bits may be a genetically inherited trait.
  21. My vote for the best american-style (ie: mcdonalds-size) fries goes, hands down, to the Odeon on West Broadway. They're pretty close to my platonic ideal of the french fry: perfectly consistant crispy/chewy ratio, and not at all oil-sodden (and at >$10/plate, they'd better be).
  22. Would that I had had egullet around to provide such advice five months ago: I could have saved myself quite a bit of work, not to mention the experience of one of the most horrible tastes I have ever encountered. As a follow-on to this most excellent piece of advice, let me suggest tasting your yuzu juice before pouring it willy-nilly into your other ingredients, so that you can be 100% certain that you have not accidentally acquired the salted variety. Does anyone have any idea what one does with salted yuzu juice? I still have four bottles of the damn stuff in my fridge, and at $9/per, I'm loathe to simply dump them into the sink.
  23. Salt-free cooking seems to be one of the common threads here. Thank god that fad seems to have mostly passed. Almost all of my nastiest childhood food memories involve dinner at the house of some family friends who had apparently fallen for every moronic "healthy" food fad of the 70s and 80s save for outright Macroneuroticism: no-salt, no-sugar, no-gluten, you name it. I swear to god their 'lasagne' was made primarily with elmer's glue; our mom used to have to cook us actual food when we got back home.
  24. "Timeless wood furnishings fill out the natural ambience and charm of the Brooklyn Peter Luger Steakhouse." Apparently roaring 22,000 BTU in-wall Fedders air conditioners are part of the ambience and charm. Who knew?
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