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StephY

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About StephY

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 05/12/1972

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  • Location
    NYC
  • Interests
    Food, glorious food.<br>And wine.<br>And finding reasons to return to restaurants.<br>And finding reasons *not* to return.
  1. My mom ate at Sunset Cove, last Friday night, and told me that the food was good, but not great. It's a lovely location, right on the Hudson, but it also attracts the after-work suit crowd for drinks. If you want cozy & quiet, this won't be the place for you. Mighty Joe's, in White Plains (610 W. Hartsdale Rd), is very good for grilled fish & meats. It's also not a quiet place, but the food is consistently good, in my experience. Stay away from the Chart House, down by the waterfront & train station, in Dobbs Ferry. It's nice to sit on the patio, watching the boats on the Hudson, sipping a glass of wine, but that's about it. The food is notoriously mediocre & the prices make Alain Ducasse look like a bargain. They used to make a good key lime pie, but not even that is worth the trip, anymore. I never knew Scaramella's was any good! I lived in Dobbs Ferry for 18 years & that spot used to host Casa Mia & then a slew of other forgettable red sauce joints. I'm glad there's finally a decent Italian, there.
  2. StephY

    Prospect Heights

    Seth, Your insight is valuable - thank you. As mentioned, I plan on taking some time to wander around the neighborhood (at different times of day/night & on different days of the week). I've lived in areas that are supposed to be "luxury," yet a low-income housing project was 2 blocks away. I've lived in more down-at-the-heels neighborhoods & found them to be homey & lovely & safe. It's so individual, looking around & asking around are the only ways to really know what you're getting yourself into. If I have more questions, do you mind if I ask you? Steph
  3. StephY

    Prospect Heights

    Thank you all for the replies. I will definitely check the neighborhood out, very carefully. The nice thing about the apartment that's available, is that it's not ready until November. That gives me some time to futz around, before I agree to put down a deposit. (it's a rental) I'm cool with a neighborhood being up-and-coming, as long as I can get some vital services delivered (like FreshDirect). I'll do more research, but I'm glad to have restaurant names to specifically check out. I'll also visit Chowhound's boards. I figured I'd start here, because the members tend to be a little bit more discriminating.
  4. StephY

    Prospect Heights

    I have a dual purpose, here. 1. Find out what's good to eat in Prospect Heights, specifically the area within 5 blocks of Pacific & Washington; 2. Ask an off-topic question & see if anyone knows anything about that neighborhood, on the whole. Some of NYMag's cheap eats listings were for that nabe, but that doesn't tell me if it's the kind of place I want to live. Opinions? About the food & about the neighborhood? Thanks!
  5. I had wonderful Turkish-style coffee, recently, and I'd like to make it at home. I have a standard drip brew coffee machine and some good whole beans to grind up. I picked up green cardamom SEEDS (not pods) at Kalustyan's and I now need to find out how to do this properly . . . Do I grind up some seeds with the coffee beans? Do I add the whole seeds to the coffee grounds, before brewing? Do I hand-crush some seeds & add them to the grounds? Suggestions? Ideas? Thanks!
  6. More for the drinking part, because the food is mediocre-to-bad: Croxley Ales (Ave B & 2nd St). Huge, clean, well-organized deck. Partially tented with big-screen tv for sports. To date, this is the *only* place in all of Manhattan where I can watch a televised Yankees game, outside. The beer selection (tap & bottles) is enormous, service is usually good, prices are reasonable. The wings are nothing special, but they're cheap & good.
  7. StephY

    The Bruni Thread

    I am blissful in anticipation of how Regina Schrambling will tear Bruni apart, next week. This week's Gastropoda blurb lists BLTFish as mediocre, at best. For some reason, I trust her opinion far more than that of the man who fills the position I covet.
  8. I, too, enjoy the NYC al fresco experience . . . in rear gardens. Sitting street-side lends itself to being accosted by all manner of change-grubbing humans, not all of whom are clean enough to be within spitting distance of my food. Baldo Vino (E. 7th, near A) has a lovely garden and the Hummus Place (St. Mark's b/w 1st & A) is opening one, shortly. B-Bar for brunch on the weekends. Django (Lex & 46th) has a nice terrace . . . you still get some noise from the street, but you're removed from the masses. Great lunch. Luca Lounge (Ave B, near 14th) has a wonderful rear garden, but they are prone to mosquitoes & other small flying pests, deep in the humid months. Radio Perfecto (Ave B & 11th) has a quaint garden, but is also buggy in the summer. Bryant Park can be annoying, just like Luna Park (in Union Square) - too many fashionistas and young suits, milling around, spilling Cosmos all over themselves. The bar food (patio bar to the east of the formal restaurant & 2nd floor bar, directly above resto) is marginally edible and relies on the deep-fryer. It's a scene, if you want to be seen. My favorite warm-weather spot is Cafe Noir (Grand & Thompson) - there's no formal outdoor seating, but the French doors are flung open & tables are moved a few inches into the sun, by way of a little lip of wooden planking. The sangria is strong & fruity, the food is great for lazy days, and they have live jazz on the weekends. No bugs in sight.
  9. StephY

    Trip Report

    Thanks for all of the helpful recommendations & advice. The trip was a glowing success and I'm now looking forward to my next visit to Montreal, so I can try some of the restaurants that I missed on this trip. I'd like to start my report with a non-food comment . . . Auberge du Vieux-Port was absolutely one of the best hotels I've ever had the pleasure of patronizing. The service was kind, helpful, and accommodating; the rooms (I was in the Rue St. Vincent loft #602) were spacious, clean, and well-appointed; and the location was perfect (right on Rue St. Paul, near the sailors' church). I would stay there, again, in a heartbeat. Now, for the food . . . Friday night's dinner was at Chez L'Epicier and was easily my favorite meal of the weekend. There were 8 of us, so we were able to sample a wide variety of the menu items. The amuse was broccoli "milk" with sesame oil. I had the "variation autour du foie gras et de la framboise," with included a foie gras lollipop with raspberry reduction drizzle; a foie gras cube dusted with raspberry powder; and a mesclun salad with raspberry vinaigrette & foie gras shavings. Someone had the beet raviolis (actually ravioli *made* from sliced beets) stuffed with jerusalem artichoke puree & hazelnut oil, which were earthy, bright, and not heavy. The Malpeque oysters were presented 5 ways - a champagne shooter was the highlight (not very original, but perfectly executed). The carrot & sweet potato soup had a chive-oil floater on top and some melted parmigiana within. The stand-out entrees were the veal chop special (red wine reduction, black olive polenta, big enough chop to almost take up the entire plate) and the venison (braised in red wine, served rare, on the plate with a gravy boat full of sliced potatoes tossed with cream & chives). Desserts were mostly "variations on" something & I went with the apple selection. A shot of apple cider in a salted-rim glass with creme fraiche; an apple compote tart; apple mousse; apple fritters; and a poached apple ring with a scoop of vanilla-bean ice cream. In all, the service was fantastic and the food was very good. For the prices (appetizers $5-8, with the exception of the foie gras, entrees $21-33 - all Canadian dollars), it's well worth the trip. I picked up some bread & cheese at Olive et Gourmando, which I found to be a cute little cafe, but not really worth the trip. Service was snotty & not particularly helpful and the sandwiches were nice, but not very special. Juliette et Chocolat makes wonderful crepes (I had a sucre & citron) and the framboise-infused drinking chocolate was superb. But I waited over 30 minutes for my order (the shop was pretty much empty) and my server looked down her nose at me one too many times. A simple crepe & cup of chocolate came to $10 Canadian . . . easily the worst value for the money, out of the whole weekend. Les Chocolats de Chloe is a teeny, tiny storefront with an exceptional selection of hand-crafted chocolates. A box of 18 is $27 Canadian & I've already fallen in love with the fleur de sel flavor. It's a simple chocolate square (Valrhona chocolate is all that's used) filled with chocolate creme with a hint of salt. Brilliant. Saturday night's meal was held at Cocagne, on Rue St. Denis. We ate very early (6pm) and the place was just starting to fill up when we left, around 9. It's a sparsely decorated space with soft lighting, cool jazz music on the sound system, and impeccable-but-casual service. Our server translated the menu into English for us without issue and he was very accommodating of the 4-year-old in our group. Appetizers were simple & well-prepared: escargots & gnocchi in parsley-cream broth with garlic oil; seared scallops with warm leeks & bacon; grilled shrimp in a ginger vinaigrette; red endive with local bleu cheese and walnuts. Entrees ran the gamut, from blood sausage with onion "marmalade" and beef cheeks ravioli to chicken-thigh-under-a-brick and grilled swordfish. Nothing required additional salt, pepper, or other seasonings and all was cooked to bring out the best flavor & texture. Appetizers range from $5-10 (foie gras is more $) and entrees from $16-25.
  10. StephY

    Susur 2005

    Point of interest: The scallop had crisped lotus root with it . . . That's the mysterious perforated chip.
  11. StephY

    Au Pied du Cochon

    When looking for recommendations, recently, I got conflicting advice about APDC. Some said "Not worth it," while others said, "Very good." I'll be in Montreal, this coming weekend, and it is *not* on the list. Yet, Anthony Bourdain just published a pig testament in this month's Gourmet magazine, which basically hails Au Pied as one of the best of the best in Montreal. Is he just blowing smoke? I'm just looking for a little more info . . .
  12. StephY

    Food at the Target

    For very good udon soup, try Menchanko-Tei on 45th, a few doors east of Lex (north side of the street - don't walk into NoodleTown by accident). The namesake soup is only $8 and it's enough food for 2 lunches. On 3rd Ave & 43rd (southeast corner) is Prince Deli. Stacked sandwiches are in the $5-6 range, but the falafel is very very good. Yes, they nuke the balls for each sandwich, but they're tasty & moist with a pleasing texture. The guy behind the counter (tall Black man) has a fabulous personality & he'll load up your pita or wrap with all the fixin's. $4.50 for a huge meal. Don't forget to get the hot sauce. I love buying a fresh sandwich roll in the market (Corrado - right near the Lexington entrance) and a small tupperware of yellowfin tunafish or salmon salad (Wild Edibles - 2 counters down from Corrado). The whole meal ends up costing about $5. Wild Edibles also has single-serving portions of seaweed salad with sesame dressing & a wide variety of other take-away items. It's not impossible to eat frugally. Ceriello's sells chicken wings, eggplant parmigiana, and baseball-sized meatballs, all of which cost about $6 for a lunch-sized portion & can be heated in any microwave. At the German meat counter (sorry, can't recall the name), you can buy a variety of sliced salamis & then pick up a 1/4 pound of cheese from Murray's. With a crusty roll from Corrado, that's a meal for under $8. The meat folks also have some interesting "salads" available.
  13. StephY

    Cheap recs in NY city?

    I know that Jane has seen some changing of the kitchen guard, lately, and the Executive Chef has been spending most of his time up at Neptune Room. Clearly, the quality is suffering for the lack of steadfast attention. I am still a lover of Jane's Sunday brunch, but I haven't been to dinner in quite some time. I hope they can fix things, since it's been nice to support the team that finally broke the 100 West Houston curse.
  14. FYI - I emailed Cocagne & used my limited French to ask if they would accommodate a small child. They were exceptionally helpful, stating that we could arrange for a special menu for the little girl, as long as we reserved ahead of time. Steph
  15. Flyfish - MERCI BEAUCOUP! You're the best. I'll send these links to the matriarch of the group (the birthday girl) & she'll be thrilled. Steph
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