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Casa Mono and Bar Jamón


Jason Perlow
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No food at the bar in a tapas bar??? Heck, there are loads of restaurants where you can order dinner at the bar.

Pan,

Maybe I wasn't clear. The point was that the hostess wasn't satisfied that we were going to eat enough. The bar seats are meant for diners, and apparently only for diners who understand the "concept."

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  • 3 months later...

I couldn' find this thread elswhere (although it if exists I hope sombody will point me to it) but has anybody eaten at Casa Mono? I love to hear about the food.

(admin: merged into main thread)

Edited by slkinsey (log)

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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We ate there quite some time ago. What I recall is that the longer-cooked dishes were wonderful - really delicious - but that the short-order stuff wasn't prepared with the care it might have been. Delicious wine; pleasant service. All in all, a happy evening.

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Casa Mono/Bar Jamon elicit such polar reactions from people. I personally love eating at both places; the only drawback being that it can get cramped. The food is well made and the service can be very pleasant. (Only one bad experience with a server out of infinite lunches and dinners there.)

If I remember an older Time Out article correctly, it should be noted that the chef wanted to steer clear of what he called "the T word". The dishes are small plates you can share, but they definitely amount to a meal for one person. If you want traditional tapas, they never claimed to serve it here.

People tend to like Xunta for tapas, yet when I go all I see are plates of shriveled potatoes stabbed with toothpicks. Tapas, small plates, whatever the heck you want to call it, I'd take Casa Mono's food over that stuff any day.

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I just ate at Casa Mono recently for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed it. I sat facing the kitchen which added to my experience. I realy like Andy Nusser (the former chef de cuisine at Babbo) as a chef and the ability to watch him that closely in action was a treat. I have never sat at an open kitchen that was that close, if you sitick your arm out you would parcticaly be touching the chef. I have read some complaints that you can walk out of there smelling like the cooking. I did not notice it, but you are close to the action, at one point something coated in smoked paprika hit a hot pan and had me coughing. All part of the fun if you ask me.

I had a wide array of dishes. The thing I enjoy most about Nesser's cooking is the fact that it is fairly uncomplicated and utilizes just a few ingredients, experty cooked.

I started with a simple deep fried soft shell crab, smaller and denser than what I have been usualy served. Very good and meaty. Then I had Sepia a la Plancha, small cuttle fish cooked on Casa Mono's plancha. These were great, properly charred, tender, served with a salse verde.

I was less impressed with the fried anchovies. I love anchovies as well as fried food, but I did not enjoy these. The batter used is thick, similar to what would be used in British fish and chips. That is great on a large piece of plaice or cod, but too thick for the little anchovy. I would have prefered them simply dredged in some flour or corn meal before frying.

The sweetbreads were as good as they have been described, certainly one of the best renditions I have had. Deep fried, they come out almost like a popper, the size of a baby's fist. Crisp on the outside, they are juicy and incredibly tender within, with none of the chalky texture that is sometimes present in sweetbreads. A light sprinkling of a grated hard cheese, whose type I do not know, added to the flavor.

The tripe was delicious. As I have read on this thread, it is similar in style to a cassoulet. Very tender tripe cooked along with slices of blood sausage and another type of sausage I was unfamilair with, only about the width of a pencil and dense. All of this was coked beneath a thin layer of breadcrumbs. A great dish.

Cocks combs were very, very tender, not at all rubbery as I have read in some reviews. They had the texture of very tender cartlidge, like the pad of a chicken foot. They were sweet in their red wine reduction.

One of my favorite things of the evening were the simplest item of all. Baby artichokes were tossed in olive oil, cooked on the very hot plancha until a bit charred, then tossed in a bowl with salt, a little lemon juice and whole leaves of fresh mint. The result was simple and spectacular. Mint and artichokes go incredibly well together (something I learned from Lidia Bastianich), the mint accentuating and highlighting the artichokes flavor. The artichokes were just cooked through, maintaining there texture.

I had absolutely no room for dessert by meals end and instead opted for what serves as a garnish at Casa Mono. Some dessert plates come served with Spanish Marcona almonds that have been covered in a thick coating of dark, very deep flavored chocolate and then dusted in a light coating of unsweetened cocoa. Perfect with the remaing bit of Spanish Rioja I had and the aged sherry that followed. The almonds are not listed seperately but are definitely worth getting a plate of, they are positively addicting.

Despite the fact that the restaurant was packed when I was there, the service was very good and the person in charge of the wine very helpful.

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I was there on Saturday night. My friend and I were contemplating Pure Food & Wine (right next door) but there wasn't a menu outside and the smells of Caso Mono's meats was irresistible. We sat at the kitchen bar and also had the softshell crab and the artichokes. Both were great. We also had the pumpkin goat chees croquettas, and wild boar with a supplement of shaved summer truffles (which wasn't worth it, even at a mere $10 extra, not much aroma). Our server was great, as was the wine person. I'd definitely go back.

"If it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's a Fall gig'' -- Mark E. Smith

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Dinner tonight at Casa Mono with myself, Bux, his wife and two other eGers who may choose to identify themselves.

Before I get to my comments, here is their current menu:

Pan con Tomate (3)

Jamon a Mano (15)

Ensalada Mono with Manchego (7)

Bacalao Croquetas (cod croquettes) with Orange Aioli (7)

Fried Anchovies (9)

Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Croquetas (8)

Calamares Fritos (9)

Terrina de Lengua (9)

Cockles with Huevos Revueltos (11)

Sepia a la Plancha with Salsa Verde (12)

Pulpo a la Plancha (12)

Mussels with Cava and Chorizo (13)

Razor Clams a la Plancha (13)

Soft Shell Crab with Artichoke Aioli (12)

Duck Egg with Mojama (12)

Quail with Figs (12)

Tripe with Chickpeas and Morcilla (11)

Sweetbreads with Fennel al Mono (14)

Cock's Combs with Favas (11)

Crispy Dorada with Gazpacho (15)

Guinea Hen with Cherry Mostaza (13)

Rabbit with Spring Peas (13)

Lamb with Favas and Mint (15)

Wild Boar with Escalivada (15)

Skirt Steak with Onion Marmaleda (14)

Pequillo Peppers with Oxtails (12)

Artichokes a la Plancha (7)

Asparagus a la Plancha (7)

Scallions with Romesco (7)

Patatas Bravas (7)

Setas with Garlic (7)

Torta y Helado de Chocolate (6)

Chocolate Cake with Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

Crema Catalana con Bunuelos (6)

Burnt Vanilla Custard with Deep Fried Bay Leaves

Torta de Queso (6)

Cheesecake with Caramel Ice Cream

Mono Sundae (6)

Plum Brandy Ice Cream with Arrope and Almonds

Moscatelo, Sorbetto y Blueberries (6)

Cantaloupe Sorbet and Sweet Wine

Manchego con Membrillo (6)

Sheep's Milk Cheese and Quince Jelly

We had several of the offerings listed above: specifically the fried anchovies, the mussels, tripe, sweetbreads (2 plates), cock's combs, oxtails, wild boar and guinea hen, along with the artichokes, calamares and one other that I can't quite remember. Maybe Bux or the others will fill in. As for the wine, I don't remember except that the white was quite nice (if a bit on the dry end) but with some nice fruit, the red was not to my taste (no surprise there, I'm not a big wine drinker and generally prefer whites to reds).

Desserts were everything except the cantaloupe sorbet.

Comments:

1. Someone in the kitchen needs to restrain their use of salt. Maybe it's just me, but I found at least three of the appetizers way way salty. The sweetbreads were a bit on the salty side. The rest of the mains were fabulous however. Now, I realize that these types of dishes are meant to be drunk with wine, but it does me no good if I can't taste the food because its overpowered by the salt shaker.

2. The busboys are way too eager taking plates away. I was working on my dessert when someone swiped my plate before I could finish up. Mario, if you're reading this, you need to, or someone in your restaurant needs to tell them to calm down. I understand that tables need to be turned but grabbing a plate when I'm not looking is a bit ridiculous.

3. Bread was stale. (The olives made up for them however.)

4. Music was a bit loud (not to my own taste, but to certain others in my party, it was).

Will I be back? Perhaps, down the road. These issues aren't the end of the world, they can be corrected. I didn't feel that the evening was marred, only that it leavened what was otherwise a good introduction to the restaurant for me with a dose of reality. It wasn't all bad -- I am a HUGE HUGE fan of tripe and the version at Casa Mono, while not as good as the tripe alla parm at Babbo, was a nicely prepared dish that passed my test. The calamares had a nice foil with bits of blood orange strewn throughout the plate. However given the comments above, it's worth telling that I'd sooner be back to Otto -- and I'm not exactly a fan of Otto to begin with -- than I would with Casa Mono.

Soba

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I found the meal very pleasant, and I thank the ones who were most responsible for organizing it (one of whom was SobaAddict). Good food and drink, good company. Some of the food was indeed pretty salty, especially the anchovies (which were a bit over the top salty for me). And I did find the volume on the music a little too loud, as it tended to prompt me to yell. I agree with you about the busboys; they also tried to clear the calamares when two pieces were still left on the plate (which I rescued and ate). The waiter was good, though. In general, I found the food solidly good, some better than that. The cock's combs were cooked in a delicious red wine sauce that really came through. The morcilla was delicious. The calamares, though indeed salty, were also quite tasty and had a bit of bite - from cayenne pepper, maybe. And I liked the sweetbreads, which were a bit moist inside and had a nice consistency. The oxtail was a little tough and stringy, though.

But what really did it for me was my dessert: A cheesecake that was full of lemon zest and accompanied by a very powerful lemon zest sauce, in addition to the caramel ice cream. It may be that this is a type of dessert that's traditional somewhere; I don't know, but I felt like it took guts and it was certainly to my taste.

I also liked the white wine better than the red, which was just OK.

My main problem is the relationship between how I feel about the food and how much a dinner costs at Casa Mono. It's a solidly good place to eat and drink, and I wouldn't mind going back some time, but I don't expect it to be soon. ~$60 for dinner is a splurge for me, and I'd like to be more wowed by a meal at that cost. After the meal, I had a conversation about subtle food vs. aggressively seasoned food. I can enjoy subtlety, but it's easier to wow me with more assertive food. And in that context, my dessert was probably the most assertive thing I had tonight, while some of the dishes were merely tasty and well-executed. Don't get me wrong; in the context of restaurant prices in New York today, Casa Mono is definitely no ripoff, and the food is certainly meritorious. But whether you feel justified in paying that much for that food repeatedly depends on both your feeling about shelling out that amount of money and your taste. Because I prefer their more assertive Indian cuisine, I'll probably go to Devi, Suvir and Hemant's new place, before I go back to Casa Mono.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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A few quick thoughts. Prices have gone up a few dollars a dish since I've been here last. I still think it's well enough priced for the quality of the food, but it's a place to grab a bite. It doesn't provide the comforts I'd ask for if I were "dining." It's rather loud and conversation can be difficult across a table of four or more. The noise is partly a product of the hard surfaces and number of people in the space as well as due to the music level. Elbow room is also a bit less than desirable. My guess is that it's more comfortable sitting at the bar, but you can't converse with four or more people at the bar. I'd also suggest not going with an odd number of people as they're likely to squeeze three at a table almost big enough for two. But the food is very good and maybe better than it appears to many for the less than ideal comfort level. It's a pity the place doesn't operate as a tapas bar encouraging patrons to order a bit at a time as the mood strikes. We were very much encouraged to place the complete order at the beginning although the food was brought out in courses as we requested. Beyond the comment's made about clearing plates, almost a necessity at such small tables when trying to share dishes, the service was very good. The whole sharing and we are not a tapas bar is an issue. The first two times we were there, we were encouraged to share, but I guess they've realized it doesn't work well. Old habits die hard and we shared dishes last night. I don't think it's the best way to eat there, but it does have the advantage of allowing one to try as many different dishes as possible. Still one has to decide how much value one places on eating there. I'm sure many diners will prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and then again, maybe some people come for the frenetic atmosphere of Casa Mono. For me, it's the food that will bring me back when I'm in the mood

The white wine we had, a 2003 Basa Rueda is not what I'd call a very dry wine. For it's price, which, although marked up three or four times retail at the restaurant, is at the low end, it offers a considerable degree of floral bouquet and fruit. I would not really classify if as a dry wine in terms of food wines, but it is a clean, and even somewhat crisp easy drinking summer wine. The red, although I thought it serviceable enough, had less character, but I wonder if Soba prefers another type of red, or didn't like this simply because it was red wine.

It's easy to see how subjective taste is in food. I didn't find the food objectionably salty, with the exception of one of the orders of sweetbreads. It is also precisely what I'd describe as assertive food. I'm hard pressed to name a restaurant at that price that offers non assertive food of similar quality. It probably doesn't exist except at a more expensive restaurant. Good and bad are quite subjective. I suppose assertiveness is also subjective.

To a great extent all food and restaurant reviews are going to be subjective and relative. For instance, I didn't find the oxtails stringy. Rather they were what I'd expect of oxtail, or even short-ribs when used as a stuffing in ravioli. It's not much different than ropa vieja. On the other hand, I have found that in Spain, such preparations are often cooked almost to a paste. I enjoy that too, but the style of the oxtail stuffed piquillo peppers was very much to my taste.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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As for the wine, I don't remember except that the white was quite nice (if a bit on the dry end) but with some nice fruit, the red was not to my taste (no surprise there, I'm not a big wine drinker and generally prefer whites to reds).

You get what you pay for, specially when it refers to wine. The Basa from Rueda , IIMHO was excellent for the money. Clean, with a hint of a floral bouquet, easy drinking and great with the salty anchovies. :raz: The red "Abrazo", also inexpensive at $30 needed airing, it was a bit harsh, it got better towards the end of the meal. We should have had the waiter decant it into a carafe and it would have been ready to drink sooner. But if you don't like red wine then there is nothing more to say.

Besides the Piquillo peppers, my other favorite was the wild boar with Escalivada (similar to the French ratatouille). One cannot go to Casa Mono expecting to leave satisfied and get out under $60 per person including tax, tip and wine; all those small dishes add up. I thought it was funny when Pan said he had brought his camera to take photos of the meal, it is so dark in there one can barely see what you are eating. Even though I was disappointed with the buñuelos the last time there, I ordered the Crema Catalana with buñuelos and this time the crema was too liquidy. The buñuelos with the bay leaf inside should come with a warning, to the unsuspecting diner, not to eat the bay leaf. It is there only to give taste and shape to the buñuelos.

I have two theories about restaurants with excrutiatingly loud music - it is a "first date" place since you cannot really speak to your date because she can't hear across the table (even though the tables are so small you can play kneesies) then you have to have a second date; and everybody wants to get to the second date, no? The second theory is that they want you to eat fast and get out of there and not dawdle at the table so there is a big turnover, and that is how you make money. Don't get me wrong, though, this is the third time we have been to Casa Mono, you just have to be in the mood for a loud and dark place with good food. :hmmm:

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Hey, I love anchovies. I'd have eaten more but one was enough for me given the level of saltiness.

As for reds, if the red is loaded with fruit (like a banyul), I might like it. I'm kind of picky when it comes to red wine. I will almost always choose a white over a red and usually a chardonnay, a zinfandel or a sauv blanc. Hey, what can I tell you, I'm not a sophisticated wine drinker. I didn't start drinking until fairly recently and its been a slow process.

Soba

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I agree with Bux that the white wine was not dry. I found it fruity and delicious. The red wine was drier and had a considerable degree of smoky oakiness (or something like that).

Just to clarify one point, Bux: Saltiness doesn't count for "assertive" in my book. Or, rather, for the most part, if something is so salty as to seem assertive in that respect, that's usually a demerit to me. I thought that the savory dishes that were most assertively seasoned, other than being purely salty like the anchovies (well, the dumpling[?] they were contained in had some sugar in it), were probably the calamares, the mussels, and I suppose the mixed-vegetable accompaniment to the oxtails. The cock's combs really worked for me because they must have been marinated in a red-wine-based sauce and were suffused with the flavor of a good red wine. The morcilla was not an extremely strong-flavored sausage but was delicious, and essentially, likewise for the boar. The artichoke was also a good dish. I guess going over the dishes in retrospect shows them all in a good light, but though I was certainly pleased, I wasn't wowed, overall. L'Impero wowed me; Union Pacific wowed me; Casa Mono didn't wow me. Clearly, that's a matter of taste, though, as I'm comparing my reactions to three pretty dissimilar restaurants.

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Hey, what can I tell you, I'm not a sophisticated wine drinker. I didn't start drinking until fairly recently and its been a slow process.

Ok, then your wine comments for last night's wine will be taken with a grain of salt :wink:

I will admit that the anchovies were very, very salty. I think the problem was that the batter was also salted so it did not help tame the saltiness of the fish. I didn't find anything else salty, but then, I need a lot of salt in the summertime and seem to have a great deal of tolerance for it.

I forgot to mention in my first post that the mussels with chorizo did not work as well as when he was serving the chorizo with big scallops in their shells. I found the mussels too small and sort of dried out like they had been steamed sometime before combining them with the chorizo, et al. and serving them. Unfortunately, the bread was miserable, stale, it should have been crisped in the oven before serving and it might have helped. We could have used some bread to soak up the wonderful mussel/chorizo juices which was the best part of that dish.

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I have two theories about restaurants with excrutiatingly loud music - it is a "first date" place since you cannot really speak to your date because she can't hear across the table (even though the tables are so small you can play kneesies) then you have to have a second date;

I actually considered going to Casa Mono for a first date of sorts many months ago when I was in the city for a weekend visit. It was a friend I knwe via email but had not had an opportunity to sit with in person. She suggested Casa Mono as one choice and Etats-Unis as an alternative. I chose Etats-Unis and am glad I did - we were able to really talk at length over dinner and get to know one another much better. This discussion does have me wanting to try Casa Mono.

The loud music/first date scenario just doesn't make sense to me but perhaps current thinking for younger people (I'm in my 40's) is contrary to my mind-set. I wouldn't dream of doing anything on a first date that precludes conversation - movies, concerts and any other event that either drowns out or discourages conversation are all out of the question.

and everybody wants to get to the second date, no?

Oh definitely not :wink: That's the whole point of the first date - to get the weeding out process done so one can decide whether a second date is in order. It's probably an age/generational thing but I'd choose a noisy, lively place like Casa Mono for a second or third date (moot point for me but the theory is valid).

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I think it's a generational thing by Mrs. B's implications. She thinks young women today feel they're not sluts if they wait for the second date to have sex and thus there's a lot of pressure not to get to know your date on the first date. :laugh:

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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As for reds, if the red is loaded with fruit (like a banyul), I might like it. I'm kind of picky when it comes to red wine. I will almost always choose a white over a red and usually a chardonnay, a zinfandel or a sauv blanc. Hey, what can I tell you, I'm not a sophisticated wine drinker.

Banyuls is a fortified wine--alcohol is added to stop the fermentation of the grape juice and preserve the sweetness. For most of us, it's a wine whose place is reserved for a chocolate dessert or perhaps a blue cheese.

As for zinfandel, you may find yourself directed to the red wine section if you ask for one in a good wine shop.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I have two theories about restaurants with excrutiatingly loud music - it is a "first date" place since you cannot really speak to your date because she can't hear across the table (even though the tables are so small you can play kneesies) then you have to have a second date; and everybody wants to get to the second date, no? The second theory is that they want you to eat fast and get out of there and not dawdle at the table so there is a big turnover, and that is how you make money.

Some people just love loud music — for whatever reason. Frankly, whether it's the first date or the hundredth date, I want to be able to conduct a conversation. But NYC is full of trendy nightclubs in which it's virtually guaranteed you won't be able to hear a thing your companion says. A place like Casa Mono seems to be trying to emulate that environment, with good food as a bonus.

But if one must have a Machiavellian theory for it, your second option fits the facts much better. If the music's that loud, patrons aren't going to hang around for light chit-chat.

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But NYC is full of trendy nightclubs in which it's virtually guaranteed you won't be able to hear a thing your companion says. A place like Casa Mono seems to be trying to emulate that environment, with good food as a bonus.

Earlier I said:

I'm sure many diners will prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and then again, maybe some people come for the frenetic atmosphere of Casa Mono.

I probably should have left off the maybe. I think a lot of people younger than I am find what I consider noise, to be a part of the vibrant scene they are searching for. The music, is probably a draw for many more than it is a turn off, but it's also true that those who are drawn by the loud music probably linger for a shorter time, having places to go and scenes to make that night. I also enjoy Balthazar where the noise at peak hours is at least as loud as it is at Casa Mono and the tables just as small.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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I grew conscious toward the end of the meal that they were playing music with repetitive, thumping bass lines. That's distracting. If the music had been just about 10 decibels softer and not as thumping in the bass, it would have been OK with me.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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There was a point in the evening when the music became more noticeable, now that you mention it. I wonder if that was random. That is if someone just thought it was a good idea to turn up the sound, or if it's something that's programmed the way restaurants often dim the lights at a particular time at night. I've never quite understood the thinking behind the latter practice. I mean I could understand a lower wattage at dinner than lunch, but lowering the lighting level in the middle of dinner seems weird.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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  • 3 weeks later...

so lunch at casa mono this tuesday- my only experience there

no loud music- none at all that I noticed- half full if that and the bar jamon next door is not open during the early day now- opens later now at 5 or so

bacalao was perfectly fried deep golden and crispy with good orange mayo

anchovies were still sort of salty and not very crispy which was curious considering the perfectly fried bacalao fritters that came out at the same time- I ate them but they were not in the best form- the batter was not right

terrin de lengua- this was really very good- sliced thin on the plate with some favas and shaved fennel and well dressed with good acid to balance the tongue- well seasoned too

lamb with favas and mint- best lamb preparation I've had in a long time- tiny chops perfectly cooked with a sauce of favas, crushed mint, and whole grain mustard plus

boar w/ escalivada- not bad but not great- the boar was a little dry and the escalivada was too oily (and I don't mind the oil if it's in balance but this was not)

pequillo peppers stuffed with oxtail- rich and really good to my taste- also very oily

bread is still stale but this seems kind of the norm in nyc- correct me if I'm wrong

excellent espresso and decent service.

first post- I've been reading this site for awhile- and enjoying

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the current issue of Vogue magazine, Jeffrey Steingarten had nice things to say about Casa Mono, a Spanish restaurant at Irving Place and 17th Street. I would like to know how Casa Mono rates in quality and value with other Spanish restaurants in Manhattan. My only point of reference is Ibiza in New Haven.

Thanks!

Roz

Edited by rshorens (log)
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I think I sum up my thoughts on value in my Aug 2 2004, 10:42 AM post above. It's been many years since I've eaten in New Haven and I don't know Ibiza. I haven't eaten in too many Spanish restaurants in NY either. There was Meigas over on the lower west side that was very interesting. The food was much subtler there and in some ways more authentic, although without the same quality ingredients available in Spain, Mario's more assertive recipes are probably a more reasonable approach. I've only eaten in Bolo once, we had excellent appetizers, but three of the four of us had the same main course and it was exceptionally disappointing dish and not particularly Spanish. That might be unfair as Casa Momo doesn't have any main courses. Three appetizer size dishes should get you a reasonable meal. You may want more, you may want to share some things. I remember a few old Spanish restaurants around the Village or Chelsea and truthfully these were tired places well over a generation ago. There are one or two Spanish restaurants uptown, but I've never eaten at any of them. The big drawbacks to Casa Momo are the tight seating and the noise level. The food is excellent.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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      I LOVE pickled ginger. In fact, in some instances, moreso than sushi or sashimi itself. When I was first introduced to sushi, it was my least favorite part of a sushi meal. Now it's the opposite.
      Besides sushi/sashimi, what other uses for pickled ginger are there? And how do you make your own? What goes in the pickling solution? Fresh pickled ginger (not premade) is undyed and a pale beige in color, whereas the premade version is a slight tawny pink.
      Any suggestions?
      Soba
    • By Smarmotron
      What sorts of mustards do you like? The type of mustard I like is pungent without a hint of sweetness (fie upon honey mustards), but not too vinegary. Inglehoffer's Stone Ground tends to be rather good, but it's got a little too much vinegar (overpowers the taste of the mustard). What sorts of mustards do you like? Any brands? Or do you make your own?
    • By Eldictator
      Any ideas on how I could put a honey centre in a jelly pastille
    • By Keith Orr
      Sorta Secret Aardvark Sauce (Habenero Hot Sauce)
      I thought I'd submit my recipe which is a clone of a locally available sauce here in Portland OR called Secret Aardvark Sauce.
      Sorta Secret Aardvark Sauce
      1 – 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes or roasted tomatoes chopped - include the juice
      1 – 14.5 oz of rice wine vinegar. Use the now empty tomato can to measure
      1-1/2 cups of peeled and grated carrots (packed into the measuring cup)
      1 cup of finely diced white onion
      1/4 cup of yellow mustard
      1/3 cup of sugar
      2 teaspoons of Morton’s Kosher Salt
      1 teaspoon of black pepper
      13 small Habaneros – seeded and membranes removed. (This was 2 oz. of Habaneros before cutting off the tops and removing the seeds and membranes)
      2 teaspoons curry powder
      1 cup of water when cooking
      5 or 6 cloves of garlic - roasted if you've got it
      Put it all in the crockpot on high until everything is tender. About 3 hours  Note: I used the crockpot so I don't have to worry about scorching it while it cooks. 
      Whirl in food processor – Don’t puree until smooth – make it lightly/finely chunky.
      Makes 3 pints - To can process pint jars in a water bath canner for 15 minutes
      I've thought about making this with peaches or mangoes too, but haven't tried it yet.
       
      Edited for clarity on 11/9/2020
       
      Keywords: Hot and Spicy, Carribean, Condiment, Sauce, Easy, Food Processor
      ( RG2003 )
    • By Sheel
      Prawn Balchao is a very famous Goan pickle that has a sweet, spicy and tangy flavor to it. 
      For the balchao paste you will need:
      > 8-10 kashmiri red chillies
      > 4-5 Byadagi red chillies
      > 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
      > 1/2 tsk turmeric powder 
      > 1 tsp peppercorn
      > 6 garlic cloves
      > 1/2 tsp cloves
      > 1 inch cinnamon stick
      > Vinegar 
      First you will need to marinate about 250 grams of prawns in some turmeric powder and salt. After 15 minutes deep fry them in oil till them become golden n crisp. Set them aside and add tsp vinegar to them and let it sit for 1 hour. Now, make a paste of all the ingredients mentioned under the balchao paste and make sure not to add any water. In the same pan used for fryin the prawns, add in some chopped garlic and ginger. Lightly fry them and immediately add one whole chopped onion. Next, add the balchao paste amd let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the prawns and cook until the gravy thickens. Finally add 1 tsp sugar and salt according to your taste. Allow it to cool. This can be stored in a glass jar. Let this mature for 1-3 weeks before its use. Make sure never to use water at any stage. This can be enjoyed with a simple lentil curry and rice.
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