Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

New York Food Suppliers


woofy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guys,This topic seems to be drifting off from a conversation about D&D and Cittarella to be more of talk about organic chickens.  Let's try to keep this thread on topic, I will be happy to move the chicken thread to a topic of it's own if people wish to continue to discuss that.

See this topic:

Chicken farming and meat quality.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has D&D gone through a major change? The branch here in Napa is decidedly different and not better. I'm not sure what's going on and thought maybe they had been bought out.

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has D&D gone through a major change? The branch here in Napa is decidedly different and not better. I'm not sure what's going on and thought maybe they had been bought out.

There must be something up, I think mr dean and mr deluca live very close to the soho store and I can't believe that they think the store is acceptable, the fish counter is a joke, it's very prettily laid out but when you look at it a little closer the quality is terrible and the fish guy who's usually there in the afternoons knows very little (putting it kindly). The store's always full though, they must have cottoned on, you can let the standards slip, save a load of money and 99 percent of people don't even notice. I'm going to check Fiorelli's out on Saturday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to think it was great untill I left for a year in London a year and a half ago and found the quality of meat, fish, poultry, cheese, everything there is of a far better quality to what I can get in New York...
Man what?

I think you may have had the worst luck of anyone I've known shopping in NYC, if that has been your experience. The meat and fish purveyors at the USQ Greenmarket, Fairway, Chelsea, and Essex are IMHO far and away better than their Harvey Nicks/Sainsbury's/local tradesman counterparts, and substantially cheaper. The only stuff I've had a hard time with in NY is what's simply not available in North America (pata negra, particular species of game, , and a few fruits.)

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woofy what Citarella do you shop at.. I have been going to the UWS several times a week for the last couple of years and have never had a problem with quality..I agree that the butchers are meat wrappers in white coats for the most part..However, I think you are having a bit of bad luck.. I get ducks from them frequently and have never had a problem. In fact, you can ask them what day they get them in.. The service and products on the UWS are perfect.. I really do contribute a lot of this to the manager.. He hangs out by the left side of the fish department often.. He is extremely sharp and on top of things..

In terms of England vs the U.S however.. I am going to give it to the U.S for lack of Mad Cow scares..

Edited by Daniel (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woofy what Citarella do you shop at.. I have been going to the UWS several times a week for the last couple of years and have never had a problem with quality..I agree that the butchers are meat wrappers in white coats for the most part..However, I think you are having a bit of bad luck.. I get ducks from them frequently and have never had a problem. In fact, you can ask them what day they get them in.. The service and products on the UWS are perfect.. I really do contribute a lot of this to the manager.. He hangs out by the left side of the fish department often.. He is extremely sharp and on top of things..

In terms of England vs the U.S however.. I am going to give it to the U.S for lack of Mad Cow scares..

It's actually the 9th street and 6th ave. one I go to. With regards to your england comment, how much time have you spent at the good london markets?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not much at all actually.. I was really just kidding and should have put a smile after my comment.. However, I can tell you that on my last trip there about 3 years ago, I was very unimpressed with the quality of sushi available.. I became sick from an experience.. But in terms of going to markets, I cant make the comparison..

But, if you are thinking that all New York has is rancid duck and bad beef, I really think you had bad luck..

Edited by Daniel (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not much at all actually.. I was really just kidding and should have put a smile after my comment.. However, I can tell you that on my last trip there about 3 years ago, I was very unimpressed with the quality of sushi available.. I became sick from an experience.. But in terms of going to markets, I cant make the comparison..

But, if you are thinking that all New York has is rancid duck and bad beef, I really think you had bad luck..

Eye, that's too bad. No I don't think NY is just rancid duck and bad beef, in fact I'm just about to go to 2 of my ny favorites, union square farmers market for some of that great produce and then to union square wines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geez, Daniel, that sounds like a really horrible event at the Union Sq. Market.

I've been in a funk since I came back from Italy....I can't find meat or fish that has flavor.

The fish really bugs me...all there is fillets. Even the Lobster Place has gradually shifted to all nice, neat, clean fillets.

(Although scaling red mullet always sucks, Daniel!)

I've had bad luck in Chinatown with fish...looked good, smelled fresh, until I got it home and when it hit the heat it reeked of some sort of chemical. I can only assume they are treating the fish somehow to prolong the freshness.

I've always had good luck at Ottomanelli's meat market....so I guess that's where I'll head this afternoon. Butchers should be treated and protected like a rare species.

Dean & DeLuca's hasn't had real butchers or fishmongers for many, many years.

Thanks for the recommendation to try the Essex St. Market...I'll give that a look-see later this week. It's good to read everyone's strategies for finding products. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woofy wrote:

"There must be something up, I think mr dean and mr deluca live very close to the soho store and I can't believe that they think the store is acceptable, the fish counter is a joke, it's very prettily laid out but when you look at it a little closer the quality is terrible and the fish guy who's usually there in the afternoons knows very little (putting it kindly). The store's always full though, they must have cottoned on, you can let the standards slip, save a load of money and 99 percent of people don't even notice. I'm going to check Fiorelli's out on Saturday. "

Uh...Joel Dean passed away in 2004 and Giorgio DeLuca has nothing to do with it since he and Joel sold the store years ago. Though it must sadden him to see how the quality has dropped, there's probably not a thing he can do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Woofy wrote:

"There must be something up, I think mr dean and mr deluca live very close to the soho store and I can't believe that they think the store is acceptable, the fish counter is a joke, it's very prettily laid out but when you look at it a little closer the quality is terrible and the fish guy who's usually there in the afternoons knows very little (putting it kindly). The store's always full though, they must have cottoned on, you can let the standards slip, save a load of money and 99 percent of people don't even notice. I'm going to check Fiorelli's out on Saturday. "

Uh...Joel Dean passed away in 2004 and Giorgio DeLuca has nothing to do with it since he and Joel sold the store years ago. Though it must sadden him to see how the quality has dropped, there's probably not a thing he can do.

Oh thats too bad, I guess thats why the quality sucks, without a person at the top who really cares. I'm sure I saw Joel Dean in there a couple of years ago telling one of the deli people how to slice meat corectly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot about Otto's. They have always seemed to fly under the radar.

I think that it is pretty clear that this topic/thread is about a person (or persons) dedicated to quality and not compromising in bringing that quality to customers. It is all about passion and drive to deliver the best tasting food to one's customers.

The job becomes more difficult as one moves from a single (or a few items/categories) focus to a broader range of goods. it is also impacted by any deviation or watering down of that singular drive/goal to offer the best tasting food items.

I always thought that moving from say just meat or fish to adding a cheese counter and then dry goods and prepared foods and then fruits and vegetables and... required a strong hand in leadership and the ability to recognize employees who had the talent and drive to conform to the goal of offering the best quality.

Thus, a place like Zabar's excelled in some areas (cheese counter for eg) and fell short in other areas.

The accomplishments of the original Balducci's and Dean and Delucca who IMOP got everything right were astounding. There was a second tier of markets that got a few key things right and did well enough with the rest--Jefferson, Nevada Meat market, Akron Market , Citarella, Fairway.

Expansion is a huge challenge to these operations and few, if any, can maintain high standards across the board. Something always gives. How many of these mega markets have people behind the counter that are just competent let alone knowledgeable experts when's the last time you were inclined to ask for help or advice believing that the person behind the counter was an expert concerned with selling you the best and had a reverence for and knowledge of what they were selling?

When that expansion involves turning over management to people who are not driven to provide quality, and/or the singular goal of quality gives way to other goals--profits etc then these places really suffer.

I also believe that an operation like Whole Foods suffers from the fact that it has too many goals that inhibit their offering items that are the very best in their respective categories. Their attempts to make "ethics" and "health" as criteria often, IMOP, conflict with quality. Toss in the fact that growth/sales dollars are important and quality must now share its place with any number of criteria.

Balducci is owned by a large "gourmet" company and quality has suffered greatly. Who owns Dand D? Are they even in the store regularly?

We also have the problem of growing cost to do business that leads many fine markets (and butchers and fish mongers) to sell out. Only huge food courts that sell everything under the sun seem to be able to afford the rent anymore.

There is hope in farmer's markets and small "old time" butchers and bakers who operate in lower rent districts (Ninth Avenue, Arthur Avenue ethnic neighborhoods etc). And true artisinal producers and places that sell their efforts will always find a place in the market somewhere it is just harder to find them these days--one can't just walk into Balduccis anymore and have it all there!

Edited by JohnL (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Why do I do it? I have to admit, lazyness, I was going to go to murrays cheese shop but i was feeling lazy so I got my cheese from Citarella instead. I spoke to the woman at the cheese counter and asked her why it was that brie often smelled of amonia in America. She looked at me with suprise as though she'd never even heard of that before, such an obvious fault and she assured me the brie they had was of a very high quality so I thought I'd try it, I got it home and can you guess? Amonia, genius eh? The week before I bought some celophane wrapped jarlsberg from the same place and guess, what? Tasted like cellophane. I dont know why I keep going back, well I do, they have good fish and if I'm in a hurry I do try and buy other things there from time to time. They consistantly let me down, I got a chicken there recently, organic, and it tasted like it had been frozen it had that hard to put your finger on kind of taste, very strange. Recently I tried Essex street market as I had heard good things about the meat there, I've never seen such a pile of industrial meat. No idea where it came from, what it had been fed on and no-one was in the mood to tell me. Almost made me want to turn vegetarian, thats saying something. On the upside I have been going to Ottamenellis which has been very good indeed though why oh why do they take the skin off pork over here? The crispy skin on pork really elevates it. I can't help but be dissapointed with NY's food supply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do agree that buying cheese in this country outside of the best cheese specialty purveyors is an adventurous proposition. The frequency of cheeses being off is way too high in my opinion. I have had good luck with Artisanal and Murray's in New York and decent luck with the 125th St. fairway. Other than that it is really hit or miss. The situation is even worse upstate.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do agree that buying cheese in this country outside of the best cheese specialty purveyors is an adventurous proposition. The frequency of cheeses being off is way too high in my opinion. I have had good luck with Artisanal and Murray's in New York and decent luck with the 125th St. fairway. Other than that it is really hit or miss. The situation is even worse upstate.

I've had good luck at Artisanal too, always top notch. It is so strange how even some small boutique type suppliers at places like union square farmers market get it so wrong so often. It makes me wonder whether people realise what cheese should taste like. Also, the practise of wrapping cheese in cellophane seems rediculous to me and it's so often done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do agree that buying cheese in this country outside of the best cheese specialty purveyors is an adventurous proposition. The frequency of cheeses being off is way too high in my opinion. I have had good luck with Artisanal and Murray's in New York and decent luck with the 125th St. fairway. Other than that it is really hit or miss. The situation is even worse upstate.

I've had good luck at Artisanal too, always top notch. It is so strange how even some small boutique type suppliers at places like union square farmers market get it so wrong so often. It makes me wonder whether people realise what cheese should taste like. Also, the practise of wrapping cheese in cellophane seems rediculous to me and it's so often done.

The better shops don't wrap in plastic. In my experience they tend to use wax paper or something similar. Of course as with many products it is important to use suppliers/shops that move product with a sufficient and consistent turnover. There are few culinary things worse than buying a cheese well past its prime.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...