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Seth Gordon

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Posts posted by Seth Gordon

  1. 2 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

    It's funny but I was going to (should have) asked @Sneakeater for the breakdown. 

    $13 beer

    $10 fries

    $16 sandwich???

    That’s about the going rate (maybe even a little low) for Trendy Gen-Y Chef Asian Chicken Sandwiches. That’s the same price at Double Chicken Please, while it’s $19 at Nowon, although the latter is notably larger  

    The chicken sandwich at Saigon Social (RIP) eventually hit $22 - though that included tater tots or (dreadfully inferior) shoestring fries. But I’d happily pay $16 or more for the sandwich alone if she would put it back on the menu. (I actually don’t think I’ve been back since she dropped it, which might be me holding an unconscious grudge.)

    Comparative deal: bun aside (the pao roll wasn’t working for me) the small Rowdy Rooster for $9 (or go large for $12) plus a $4 potato pakora side and an icy Modelo from a nearby bodega was a perfectly satisfying under-$20 lunch.

  2. 9 minutes ago, Anthony Bonner said:

    Oh my. Just got hit with "Hi AB its your cousin from Long Island. Our Cousins from Montana are in town. Do you want to meet us for dinner"

    Where can I get in 6 reliably that will be a little scene-y for the out of towners.

    Tonight?

    Browsing Resy: Crown Shy, Kimika, La Mercerie, Charlie Bird (are they still scene-y?), Dirty French (ditto), Sona, Ssam Bar… maybe Zou Zou’s, but I wouldn’t know since I guess you have to be an Amex Plutonium Global Dining Access™ Member just to see.

    How scene-y any of them will feel on a Monday is TBD.

  3. 4 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

    Just walked by - they are open and there is much roasted stuff hanging in the window.

    There's a "Grade Pending" sign hanging on the front 

     

    1 minute ago, Tubbs said:

    Aren't they closed for health violations every couple years?  That's why you gotta drink a lot of wine there...kills any bugs. 

    A search of the DOH website shows C grade scores for nearly three years, that took a even further nose dive over the last year. Plus they’ve been docked repeatedly for not displaying the sign. Honestly I’m surprised they were allowed to reopen that quickly with a Grade Pending.

  4. Dinner at Atomix the other night. First time back since the pandemic. We were supposed to go when they first reopened, but due to a surge during those pre-vaccine days they had to postpone the reopening. 

     

    There are some differences. There’s no more bar, so to speak. Now there’s a bar tasting menu (that also books up solid the moment reservations go online) so there’s no arriving early for a cocktail. In fact there’s no arriving early at all. Doors open ten minutes before the rez time and everyone is ushered downstairs. It’s not a relaxing start to an evening, having to time out a subway ride or a cab (with Friday night NYC traffic) to arrive somewhere within a ten-minute window.

     

    Perusing the wine list online beforehand, it is much shorter than before. Typically if we’re not doing pairings we do a bottle of champagne (since it plays well with everything) and the current list was a bit… eh? It used to be dotted with all kinds of grower-producer wines, Special Clubs and the like. Now it’s mostly Grandes Marques (Moët, Krug) or wine whale bottles (Egly, Philipponnat). When last we went, there were lots of bubbly bottles in the sub-$300 neighborhood, many under $200. Now there are only two under $300, and after the uninspiring $225 bottle it jumps up to nearly $500 for the next. 

     

    The still wines had bit more variety, and it still has budget bottles under $100 for those not looking to add too much to the already steep bill.

     

    So we did corkage, because I’m feeling better about spending $400 en toto for a $300 bottle than $500 on a $200 one. (Also since we already had the wine it doesn’t “feel” like we’re actually spending that much)

     

    Jhonel is no longer the in-house somm, but the wider bev director for the increasingly expanding Ato Industries. The new one - Tim, I think? - was great though. 

     

    As for the meal… it’s still lovely, no surprise. They’re being bolder with esoteric (to Americans) ingredients… jellyfish and sea cucumber making appearances, along with the usual suspects like fermented whelk sauce and powdered duck. Did they win me over to sea cucumbers, finally? I don’t hate them but I’m never going to crave one. So the talk about how it took two days to prepare left us a bit “to what end?” since it’s still flavorless crunchy jello.

     

    Many of the interesting ingredients were a bit lost among the whole of their dishes. Could I actually taste the “beltfish innard foam” on the pork? I dunno. Could I?

     

    Caviar course was a feast of the seven fishes in one bowl. Two kinds of crab, scallop sauce, a dashi of anchovy, clam, and dried shrimp…Excellent but I can’t say the caviar wasn’t a bit overwhelmed by all that.

     

    Desserts were very good - plum sorbet with snap pea juice, and a burdock ice cream with surprisingly flavorful summer truffles. They were perhaps a bit over-enamored with the cleverness of truffles in dessert, while we’re thinking of Falai a decade and a half ago. But I guess to many diners it’s a new idea, so okay, be excited. One thing of note - there’s no longer a truffle supplement, now you just get them, and it’s just part of the ever-increasing cost. Not that summer Burgundies should warrant a supplement.

     

    Still worth the price? We can’t do these kinds of dinners as often as we used to, but they’ll remain in the top few choices for when we can. The awkwardly tight arrival-time window is unpleasant, but soon forgotten once you’re downstairs.
     

    The staff are still the most pleasant and engaging in town.

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  5. Upon entering PALPAL, it is quite obvious you are in a Hand Hospitality restaurant. They have very specific aesthetic, for sure.

    We wound up there for lunch because HNIH was mobbed and this was around the corner. We were already seated when we found they were not doing the lunch sets shown on their website, but rather just handed the dinner menu.

    Lunch was fine, if underwhelming - a serviceable lamb bulgogi, one-note spicy squid, flavorless steamed buns, and the curiously named “cilantro kimchi” which as far as we could tell contained no kimchi whatsoever.

    The menu is unfancy and mostly traditional, with a couple Japanese and Chinese touches here and there, which I guess is what they’re getting at when they call it “a new take on Korean food” on their website. Hardly. Though there was some vile-smelling truffle oil something on the table next to us, which may be new to someone somewhere.

    I remain curious, though, as other items on the menu were grabbing my attention. It’s Hand, so of course we’ll give it another shot eventually. 

  6. We went down to check it out this weekend. Was not particularly enamored. We didn’t dine at any of the restaurants, so some of those may be interesting on their own, and I’m sure we’ll wind up trying a few - but wandering through the market (with the exception of the Bordier butter) I kept thinking I couldn’t possibly imagine purchasing anything. I’m sure the quality is quite good but the prices all seem pretty high, even for what it is. Most of it just a little high… fine, it’s a tourist destination, you expect that - but not much reason for locals (at least this local) to shop there. 

     

    You could say the same for Eataly, I suppose, and that seems to have worked out fine for its investors. So maybe this will be the same. 

     

    The premade stuff for takeout… I’m sure it’s all fine, but it felt a bit uninteresting. Chilled baked salmon filets with pasta salad or whatever just weren’t catching my attention.

     

    There will probably be items of interest among the oils and vinegars, though my cabinets are already bursting at the seams with those so I probably shouldn’t be adding too much to the existing collection. (That said, I probably will.)

  7. Kajitsu ending its run. Hadn’t been in some time but I’m a little sad to see them go. No one else (that I know of) really doing what they did in town. 

  8. On 10/19/2021 at 7:16 PM, Sneakeater said:

    Michael Solomonov’s Laser Wolf is opening in Williamsburg!

    And now it’s open. 
     

    Is it a destination? No. 
     

    Would I go again if I had other things to do in Williamsburg? Sure. Maybe. If someone else suggested it I wouldn’t be mad at the idea.

    It was reminiscent of a neighborhood place we used to hit now and then when we didn’t feel like cooking, Chou Chou - minus the supernaturally attractive waitstaff, but with much cheffier attention to preparation and seasoning. Good, sure, happy we went. Far better than Chou Chou in the food regard. But are we thinking of going back? Nah.

    Side note: the lobby of the Hoxton is weirdly very, very, cold. Like it was 50° out and raining but they had the AC running full blast. 

     

  9. 15 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

    Looks as if the Market Line is closer to additional vendors happening. I don't see much online about it, but I did see some signs implying this to be the case.

    Upstairs at Essex Market, the fresh pasta place known as Two Fat Tomatoes, is now doneski. (FWIW, I bought some fresh pasta recently, and it was quite good, if not double the price of Raffetto's, or what one pays up on Arthur Avenue).

    One of the vendors I'm friendly with was also not exactly sure what went down; rumors, innuendo, all very intriguing.

    And this, on his IG account:

     
    They had some nice equipment in there.
     
    Who knows? (Ori????)
     
    As I know from the neighborhood, you can bring nice stuff down here; it doesn't necessarily mean everything will be loved by the 'hood.

    I was wondering what happened to them. That’s too bad. I liked those guys. Their squid ink pasta was excellent. 

    15 hours ago, small h said:

    I think that spot might be cursed. Harlem Shambles closed there as well. It's hard to figure out why some places seem to be doing alright and others fail. I would have bet on the Super Fancy Fruit People, and against Rivendel. And yet.

    Fancy Fruit Bro was a joke. Dude had no idea how to operate a business. The product was often not very good, just esoteric. He didn’t really care for it - a day or two after arrival it would all be desiccated and nasty. Many days they wouldn’t be open, and I guess they just hoped the guys at Ends Meat would stop people from stealing shit. After awhile I began to wonder if it  was just a bad installation art piece and not a store. 

  10. On 4/26/2022 at 6:00 PM, Wilfrid said:

    The Beatrice Inn wasn’t cheap; maybe that crowd isn’t into this kind of food. 

    While one COULD drop a ludicrous amount of money at the Bea, it wasn’t always necessary. We had meals for $500 (a couple) all in with drinks, tax, and tip - and meals for $200. (Still ludicrous to some, fine.)

    At LTC you’re looking at close to $500 a couple, minimum, before you’ve even touched a drop of wine. For two courses and a fruit plate. Though I’ve heard she actually has a rudimentary dessert program now.

    The Bea we could go to on a (splurgy) whim. Chevaux is a “special occasion” joint. They’re not in the same price category at all, really. Which is part of the reason why we haven’t bothered, despite being fans of The Bea - and I thought she was doing the best work of her career during their final run, and it was arguably the best Hot Pandemic Summer restaurant in the city. 

    It took some chutzpah to have a higher price of entry than Le Bernardin… for essentially a two-course menu. I really wanted to want to go… but the more I read the less interested I was, and we just couldn’t be bothered.

    Also I don’t have any non-jeans that fit and I’m not buying new pants just to go to dinner.

    Anyway, that was the thought process of a former regular at Beatrice who left those empty tables on Resy. At this point, though, since I’m making about half the salary I was pre-pandemic, there are now other reasons I’ll probably never get to LTC before their inevitable closure or revamp.

  11. 10 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

    That chicken sandwich (at $25) was very good. Spicy. But some of the rest of the food we had was just kinda not rushing back stuff. I could see this being a good lunch spot and actually want to try a few other dishes.

    Additionally had garlic noodles with fried soft shell crab, Imperial rolls (does anyone dry the lettuce they serve with these things?), and quite tasty spare ribs.

    Man, the price has gone up. I think it was like 19 when I first had it. But I guess that’s the case everywhere with everything…

    i like their pho, it’s inconsistent but always good. Not as good as Hanoi House, but up there. 

    The burger is also pretty decent, but a little much. 

    Disappointed that they’ve stopped take-out. Sometimes I want a chicken sandwich while watching pro wrestling on my couch, not sitting in a restaurant. 

    The got a new CDC recently, and the first time we went with her at the helm her salt levels were pretty inconsistent. The crepe we had didn’t have a single grain in it, as far as we could tell. Also she replaced the tater tots with fries, which did not make me happy. 
     

  12. 2 hours ago, Steve R. said:

    Oh, I fully get that its almost impossible to eat in NYC for $50pp if you have even one drink.  I just don't think that a plain pie and a drink is what I'd consider a restaurant meal.

    Exactly. Even if the general QPR in NYC isn’t where it was in the Before Times, there’s still far better value for one’s dollar out there.

    Even if it is the best pizza dough on the planet - is flour, water, and time ever worth their price? Not for me, personally - not unless it was zhuzhed up more. Or at least had toppings that managed to cross the radius’ halfway point.

  13. On 4/5/2022 at 10:55 AM, Jesikka said:

    I felt they had lost quite a few steps.  Zero non pizza items to start (unless you count olives or dramatically undercooked beans) and every red wine by the glass on the list is aglianico with absolutely no differentiation between them other than a few dollars.  No staff member at the bar could explain anything about the wine beyond “this one is best with pizza.”  On the pizza front, all of the pizza options are one ingredient away from one another which I know Mangieri thinks is “classical” but is certainly not the case in Naples these days.  As it stands, I can only imagine eating there for lunch or a snack over wine with a couple of people because you can’t really make a meal of it unless you want two pizzas that are more or less the same but differ by an ingredient or two.  I don’t see this lasting for long- it was more than half empty on a Friday night at 8.

    Those beans are terrible.

    We left the other other night really feeling the fact that we’d spent $150 on two flatbreads, four glasses of gallery wine, and a bowl of shitty bean salad. I think I’m done trying to let that place win me over  it’s just not happening 

    i hate to use the term “overpriced” as things rarely truly are. Most people calling something “overpriced” don’t know the cost of ingredients, labor, rent, etc that all go into what a restaurant charges for a particular dish. But this place is fucking  overpriced. $6 extra to scatter four anchovies around your $24 tomato bread? Get outta here. There was a rumor that there was some kind of salami on the $28 special  I think we found about three nubs not-quite-the-size of pencil erasers. 

    I’ gonna say if I’m in the pizza mood in the neighborhood, Li’l Frankie’s > UPN. 

  14. On 3/12/2022 at 11:57 PM, Wilfrid said:

    Solid. Worth $245 plus wine, plus, plus? 

    Well, for the time being they’re a little cheaper than Ko, Atomix, Atera… which I guess puts them in the mid-range of evening-length tasting menus? Plus the reasonable wine markups, and a surprising number of decent sub-$100 bottles for a place in their price range, if one wants to keep the cost down. And it includes a cocktail, so sure. There were fewer courses than at those places, though we didn’t leave hungry or anything  

    Whether it’s worth a revisit… that’ll depend on how much the menu eventually changes. If you just want to go for the view you could go to the cocktail bar upstairs and have dinner at Crown Shy before/after. 

  15. Based on our dinner last night, it appears they’ve dialed down the “culty” elements of the dinesperience. In fact there wasn’t any mention of the chef at all. Maybe they picked up on the fact that we were jaded diners who’d laugh at the storytelling, I dunno. But I didn’t hear any extraneous spiel at other tables either.

    Solid - occasionally great - food. It’s not, say, an Atomix. Buuuuut… it’s like The River Cafe. The view is part of the cost. That’s fine. The food is certainly a lot better than TRC. 

    Reasonably priced wine list - some bottles not even 2X retail, including the Paul Bara champers we had through most of the meal. BTG glasses we had with the final entree were very interesting, not the typical generic crowd-pleasers. 
     

    Only thing questionable… most of the menu appeared nearly identical to what I’d  seen others posting last August / September. If it’s not changing with any frequency it reduces the revisit impetus. 

  16. On 2/11/2022 at 9:01 AM, mitchells said:

    Staying on the Blue Ribbon theme, (Sushi Bar and Grill) we went to their new outpost in the Financial District last night.  It is on the corner of Maiden and William and I forgot what was there before.

    Wasn’t it another BR before? Blue Ribbon Federal Grill, I think?

  17.  

    I was reticent to write about Cha Kee here because - caveat - I’m friends with the chef. Not a close friend, but we’ve worked a couple gigs together and enjoyed a few drinks.

    But the current Lunar New Year’s specials are something worth noting before they disappear. And the kitchen is way more on point than when they first opened, in general. Our first couple meals there were solid enough, but I knew she was capable of more. I don’t know what precipitated the changes, but that more is happening.

    Standouts from the other night were miso Oysters Rockefeller, some surprisingly gamy (in a good way) cumin lamb dumplings, and duck with an XO sauce that did not pull its funky dried seafood punches. Though I think everyone’s favorite savory dish was the (vegan) romaine braised in soy milk. (Lobster and uni fried rice is also good because whatever it’s fried rice with lobster and uni.)

    Of the two desserts available one we all agreed was a knockout - a yuzu-shiso gelee flan thing that was barely sweet, sharply acidic, and a touch bitter in a really bracing way on the finish. The other dessert - chocolate & five-spice - was also good but kind of paled in comparison. 

    They’re still BYOB, which brings down the price of dinner considerably, so a bottle of champers to start followed by a rose Cava and two palomino finos (one not-Sherry, one Sherry) accompanied it all well.

    Popped into their basement bar next door after (named “basement”) where the drinks were frankly too sweet for my taste but the crowd was very attractive. 

  18. 11 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

    I’m not sure that there are many people, however rich, who would think it’s a good idea to pay tens of thousands of dollars so that they and a date could eat beef from EMP’s catering menu. 

    Every Martin Shkreli wannabe would totally do that.

  19. The latest from the Quality Branded group, a Middle Eastern / North African joint helmed by someone who doesn’t hail from anywhere remotely near either region. Which is fine, I don’t care - but clearly they’re being culturally sensitive to the point they don’t even serve “hummus” but rather “chickpea dip” - the intent being thus no one can accuse them of inauthenticity or cultural appropriation I suppose? I dunno. 

    Not the biggest fan of the QB portfolio, but the SO likes MENA cuisine so we figured we’d try the new place. 

    Anyway, the food was fine. Some quite good. We didn’t have too much. A selection of dips - aforementioned “chickpea” but also “eggplant” (take a guess) as well as green tahini (excellent), whipped ricotta with apricots, and a squash-brown butter thing that didn’t taste remotely MENA but more like a Thanksgiving side dish.  Eh. 

    For mains we went surf & turf: beef kabob and lobster tagine. Both were spot-on, perfectly cooked, well seasoned, but nothing making either of us feel like we had to rush back. It’s kind of an if-you’re-in-the-neighborhood place, not a destination. 

    There is one big problem, though. The design is terrible. Well, terrible for some diners. The main dining room where the four+ tops are looked nice enough. And if you’re dining at either bar it seems okay. But the row of two-tops by the window… oh boy. I don’t know who dreamt this up (actually I do, it was AvroKo) but they’re weirdly sequestered off from the main dining room, with big walls that serve no purpose just kind of… there. Like, in one direction we have the window, with a view of an empty alley and a Peloton store across it. In two other directions we have this beautiful view:

    8C73B681-9C72-41F9-9795-435522E56CCD.thumb.jpeg.41fea3657a708cdcdf7776f5d2c251f5.jpeg

    and then this stunner:

    8B513D7B-5C5B-46C6-BAE6-414B3634501D.thumb.jpeg.b14f3950e5cf50b7d387d098fa6d63fa.jpeg

    There’s literally no view of the main dining room, it’s very closed in and uncomfortable. It felt like everyone dining there was relegated to the “uncool kids” section where they can’t see or be seen by the other customers. Very strange. 
     

    If one goes, my recommendation would be to dine at the bar. Cocktails were okay if a bit slight. Wine prices were what you’d expect from QB - ludicrous. No beer list, oddly. 

  20. On 1/16/2022 at 9:59 AM, Anthony Bonner said:

    was there another Scandy theme bar downtown before white slab palace? 

    Also a bar? With a good drink menu? And I don't have to drive home...magical sounding.

    Maybe Good World? Fun little barstaurant. Skal came along a bit later. 

  21. 4 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

    Double Chicken, Please?  

    115 Allen street.

    ???

    I found the chicken sandwiches strangely mushy texturally. Flavor… ok but they both read more exciting on paper than they actually wound up being. Didn’t come close to Saigon Social, as far as new chicken sandwiches from young hipster Asian restaurants go.

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  22. My last couple visits to The Islands did not compare to my meals at their old location. Not sure if there was a Chef Shuffle but it all seemed a bit… bland? No longer the destination it used to be. (Nor is there the fun of climbing the rickety staircase to the 5’7” dining attic anymore.)
     

    +1 for Rangoon. 

    couple other places perhaps of interest:

    Ix isn’t too far, for something a little different - Guatemalan. 

    The appropriately named for this thread Mitchell’s Soul Food (Though I haven’t been in awhile. Can’t imagine it’s changed much.)

    Alta Calidad isn’t nearly as “innovative” as they claim to be but they’re not bad. 

  23. 11 minutes ago, Sneakeater said:

    I think Cozcal de Allende is a cut -- several cuts, actually -- above the run of Sunset Park places.  The cooking is better, more precise.  The tortillas are nuts.  And none of the Sunset Park places (indeed no other NYC Mexican) has such a good (albeit concise) wine program.  To tell the truth, this is my current favorite Mexican spot in NYC.

    Amuni (among others) (although fewer others than before) for Sicilian.

    Leske's Bakery, although not perhaps what it was, has what may be the best Danish in NYC.

    And, in neighboring Gravesend, Joe's of Avenue U, which while not as atmospheric a focacceria as my deeply beloved Ferdinando's, has a broader selection.

    If we’re stretching out to Gravesend, I’ll second Joe’s. Clemente Fine Foods and John’s Deli both make solid roast beef n’ mutz. And Mtskheta Cafe for Georgian, despite the wine list comprised entirely of plonk that would taste sub-par at a gallery opening. Particularly fond of their kuchmachi, which is like chicken salad made of gizzards and hearts and other whatnots. 

  24. 4 hours ago, Steve R. said:

    they haven't turned me on to a better than mediocre place yet.  Lots of mediocre Italian, burger bars & Middle Eastern places.

    Oh don’t get me wrong - many of the places I listed are mediocre. With the exception of Tanoreen and perhaps Le Sajj none are destinations. They’re just neighborhood places that most would be happy enough to have in their neighborhood. Comfortably mediocre can be fine when you don’t feel like cooking but also don’t feel like going terribly far.

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