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Everything posted by JohnnyH

  1. In the eGCI section on knife sharpening and maintenance, there's a description of a makeshift knife sharpener constructed out of a mousepad and two different grades of automotove sandpaper. I'm intrigued, since I don't want to spend the money on an expensive sharpening rig and yet at the same time want to take good care of my knives (a range of Wusthoff classics and Henckels, for the most part). Has anyone tried this? I'd love to know more about how it works.
  2. One question: What does "Pittsburgh medium" mean?
  3. JohnnyH


    That, I must say, is the Craft premise. When it works, you don't mind spending all that money, because it's so mind-blowingly good. But when it fails (as it clearly did here) you're still left with that astronomical bill. ← True enough. Service issues aside, though, it's hard for me to imagine what about the meal we were served that had even the potential to be "mind-blowingly good." The steaks in particular did not seem to have it in them.
  4. JohnnyH


    I think what bothered me most was the completely un-subtle way the entire operation felt geared to suck as much money out of you as possible. Clearly that's the case regardless of where one dines; in my experience, though, one seldom feels quite as "taken" as we all did on Saturday. I've really never eaten anywhere -- anywhere -- where I felt such an incredible disparity between the prices charged and the quality delivered.
  5. JohnnyH


    Ate at Craftsteak with four buddies and our wives last night, and all were disappointed to the point, really of anger. The place charges extremely steep prices and the payoff, in our experience was nowhere near expectations. A $120 "grand" seafood tasting contained nowhere near a suitable amount of food for the price -- six shrimp, three crab claws, a small dish of octopus salad, half a lobster chick filled with salad and, I believe, six oysters and six clams (it may actually have been fewer). Expecting something truly grand along the lines of a tower, I was stunned. My grass-fed ribeye, at $55 for 14 oz., was no more than one inch thick and served sliced and off the bone. It tasted of nothing so much as the ridiculous amount of salt that had been applied to it in the kitchen -- so much that it actually seemed to have a crust. Further, the steaks are served in heated cast iron dishes, with predictable results; my steak, ordered medium rare, was so thin that it continued cooking to medium before my eyes. Others at the table had the hangar steak, the NY strip (both grass and corn fed versions), filet mignon, and a corn-fed ribeye. With the one exception of the corn-fed NY strip, all of us felt as I did. Extremely underwhelmed by the steaks and overpowered by the saltiness of the food. Sides included spinach gratin, brussels sprouts and bacon, jerusalem artichokes, onion rings and french fries. The onion rings and fries were quite good if, again, overly salted. The brussels sprouts were overcooked to the point of mushiness. Spinach was good but served in very small portions; the artichokes were utterly forgettable. Service was a major problem. Our waiter was nowhere to be found for the vast majority of the meal. I had to ask a busboy to summon a manager so we might place our wine order, after which our waiter -- not the manager I ordered from -- told me they could not find the first bottle we ordered and recommended another. After we sampled a bottle of that and found it agreeable, I asked for two more to be brought to the table -- we were, after all, eight people. After another few moments, I was told that there was only one other bottle of the wine he had recommended to us -- a large group -- in the house. We took it, but why would the waiter recommend it to a large group if they knew they didn't have more than 2 bottles, and I had specifically told him when seeking a recommendation that I wanted a reasonably priced wine (few and far between on Craftsteak's list) we could drink several bottles of? Our plates sat in front of us for nearly 10 minutes after we were finished with our entrees. Despite an incredibly large number of servers/busboys in the dining room, I had to ask our waiter -- when I saw him -- to have our table cleared. A busboy was sent to our table to take our dessert order. We ordered all six flavors of ice cream and a plate of cookies, along with coffee. He got the order wrong, and we received three flavors of ice cream and three of sorbet. Our coffee service arrived five minutes after our desserts. I flagged the waiter, who had once again appeared, to correct the dessert order and to let him know about the things I've written above; his response was that he was "sorry we were disappointed." Indeed. Tagged with an automatic gratuity for a large party, we were left without any way to express our dissatisfaction with both food and service other than the comment card that came with the check. Yes, I could have spoken with a manager, but it was late and everyone had to leave to get home to their kids/sitters; goodbyes to good friends took precedence. All in all, I believe the prices that Craftsteak is charging are, in light of the mediocre food and lackluster service, outrageous. I actually feel like I got suckered. To be clear, I eat out often and high prices don't scare me. As long as there is value, I have no problem with a heavy check. At roughly $130 a head, though, Craftsteak -- for at least the eight of us -- felt like robbery. Next time we're looking for steaks, we'll head back to Williamsburg. Or to Strip House or any of the other myriad places in Manhattan that are in my estimation turning out much better product at the same price points or ones that are even lower.
  6. Giving this a bump not so much to check in on Egan's, which I unfortunately know all too well has not improved much in the year or so since the last post, but to ask if anyone's heard anything about the seafood place they're putting in next door. In spite of what I'm sure will be my inevitable disappointment, I'd like to give it a try when it's open. Edited for lousy punctuation.
  7. Bumping this thread to see if anyone's got anything new to add. I just got handed responsibility for finding a reservation for 8 of my friends this Saturday -- being Thursday afternoon, I'm scrambling. Congee Village had a spot at 6:30, so I took it. Never been there before. The rez is earlier that I would have liked -- what time do you think we'll actually sit?
  8. Blue Ribbon Bakery might be a good bet. Tremendous variety of dishes, including unbelievable bread pudding that I'm sure they'd be willing to stick a candle in for you.
  9. Those pictures are awesome. I think my favorite part is the pickles.
  10. Submitted without comment; I'm too busy gagging. Cheeseburger in a can.
  11. Long Island's an awfully big place -- where are you in particular?
  12. Looking for a little advice here. I've got a Viking range hood, the corrugated metal underside of which seems to have built up a fair amount of grease with use. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to clean it? Thanks, as always.
  13. Looks great -- congratulations and good luck. One thought, though -- you may want to do something about those fluorescent lights. Always a mood killer; makes you feel like you're in a church basement.
  14. Lugers is your answer, although the vegetarian with you will be out of luck.
  15. What makes that link so great is that the googly eyes are used to make Flying Spaghetti Monster treats! How awesome is THAT? ← Yep. Those unaware of The Flying Spaghetti Monster, but interested in finding out more, click here: Flying Spaghetti Monster. Edited to add link.
  16. Pastafari! May you be touched by his noodly appendage.
  17. Yeah - a lot of the pork seems to come from Missouri (at least my previous orders). At Heritage each package is labeled with a control number that you can use to look up the farm the animal came from. They give you a bio of the farmer, etc. It's kinda fun - makes it feel a little more personal, IMO. And the turkey cam was pretty funny around Thanksgiving - one day they lined the turkeys up and had a parade of sorts, walking them all past the camera. I've never bought anything but pork and beef from them, so I can't speak to the poultry quality. ← I've bought turkeys from heritage foods the past few thanksgivings, and have always been very, very happy with them. Especially two years ago when, because of an error on their part, I was the lucky recipient of two 15-lb birds instead of just the one that I ordered. I called them to let them know but there was no way to rectify the mistake. So we ate 'em both.
  18. JohnnyH

    Cooking Rice?

    Gotta ask -- what's a confinement lady?
  19. Sorry -- you can tell I don't have one...
  20. What sort of liquid are you using in the pan to contribute to the "burble"?
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