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Seth Gordon

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Everything posted by Seth Gordon

  1. I don't have a problem with that, in theory. Short of water, coffee, and tea, every other beverage you might get at a restaurant arrived at their door prepackaged. If it's good it's good, if not it's not. (Though from the sound of it, the latter seems to have been the case)
  2. I'm not sure they actually have editors there anymore. There's people they call editors but what they do doesn't appear to be editing. And it's gotten worse over the last year or so.
  3. Another place in the hood - Ernesto’s. Not sure what the scene is like at night, but we popped by around 2PM yesterday, had the whole outdoor area by the cafe to ourselves. Just a nice spot to relax with snacks & sangria. Though I do prefer Despaña for that stuff (just compared to the cafe, not the main restaurant) as their menu is more extensive.
  4. Oh, I actively avoid even walking on Orchard at night. It’s one of the biggest shitshows in the city. I cheered when that one place (Las Lap?) was shut down temporarily, but the mass of places open and packing them in just makes it all unpleasant, even if they’re all -technically- following the rules. There was one night when Boys Don’t Cry and (I think) Regina’s threw a block party complete with DJ... oy vey. Our block of Ludlow had some problems - there was one night we actually had to shove our way through a crowd of revelers just to get to our door. Luckily the offending business (SE
  5. At same point in the late 70s (maybe 1980) my father happened to be in Kansas City on business and brought back a bottle of Bryant’s sauce. He treated it like it was a bottle of liquid gold and wouldn’t let anyone - even himself - use it. Because in those days, who knew when he’d be able to get more? Then Bryant died and it only exacerbated the problem. I’m 90% sure it’s still in my parents’ basement, and I’m 90% sure it’d still be good.
  6. Kyo Ya. They weren’t able to do the outdoor thing - they could maybe fit two tables at most out front. Not worth the bother for them. I already bought a gift cert for a substantial amount, just to throw them some money until then. I’m not terribly worried about them going under (they own the building, i believe, so there’s no rent issues) but it could be awhile. Also looking forward to going back to Batali-less Babbo. I had popped in to the bar after his final divestment to celebrate simply being able to go back, and the kitchen was firing on all cylinders. We’ll pop by the Aqua
  7. Seth Gordon

    Aquavit

    Aw... Carl was so baby-faced (yet fully bearded) then.
  8. Seth Gordon

    Aquavit

    A half-pound there by my estimation, as someone who eats sliced cured fish pretty regularly. The portions were quite generous. Caveat: there might be a lingering PX or similar on my name since I was friendly with Jernmark, even though he’s been gone awhile. They do seem to know me whenever I show up, even though it’s only once or twice a year we get that far North. But note it’s possible we got a heavy hand with the salmon.
  9. Seth Gordon

    Aquavit

    For those near-ish enough to pick up from there, the Aquavit take home Smorgasbord ain’t bad. We’re not actually near-ish, and whether there was a point in this exercise when we’re in walking distance of Russ & Daughters and Nordic Preserves to start with, I dunno. But I wanted to get out of the hood for the afternoon. The “full” version ($115) easily fed two of us for dinner with enough left over for breakfast (a LEO... or technically a GER: gravlax eggs & ramps) and a light lunch (rest of the leftovers) The Prinskorv are the only thing I could do without. They’re basic
  10. Agreed with Anthony on Sushi not traveling well. The rice will congeal/cool. Getting a beautiful dry-aged steak and some great decadent wine could be a way to go. Easy enough to cook. We’re having “fancy dinner nights” every couple weeks. Saturday I’ll be attempting to do some sort of riff on the Tout le Lapin from Le Coucou. Next round we might do “classical luxury night” with dry-aged steak, lobster, and caviar (but us being us, we’ll plate it nicely for a photo op but then stuff it all into tacos.) If you don’t feel like cooking a full meal yourself, there’s a few good options
  11. I’ve been very tempted to get some delivery from them, but the delivery fee is so high for where I am I think I’d have to order like $250 worth of food to really make it worth it.
  12. Le B & Masa both got the five. But then for whatever reason he demoted them both later.
  13. One of the security guards said they were getting rid of all the seating downstairs, and some places might re-open for takeout only. Didn't seem 100% sure, though - everything's in flux. Ends Meat is still open for now - you can order online and they'll meet you upstairs with the goods.
  14. And in a weird coincidence, Tom Lubbe (of Matassa) is hanging out & pouring at Peoples tonight, and somehow I missed the announcement until just now.
  15. Everything is creeping up. The duck is $10 more than when they opened, I believe. For wine, depends what the dining companion orders / if you want funky or not. The duck (or steak) is a pretty straightforward dish that could be a neutral backdrop for a number of off the beaten path wines. Matassa's stuff can be pretty interesting... I haven't had the Brutal Rouge ($75) but I imagine it's something fun and a bit (or maybe a lot) outside the box.
  16. Tried this morning. One of each meat option - al pastor, pollo, carne asada. The al pastor shined, it's certainly one of the better renditions in town. The other two... fine. Found the carne asada a bit bland, actually. Pollo was better, good smoky char hiding in there. Wasn't crazy about the house salsa verde - too garlic-heavy for my taste, but others may love that. Good tortillas. The texture was reading more masa harina than masa fresca to me, but that's still better than typical and they had a nice pronounced corn flavor. Yeah, the al pastor is probably the best in town I've had. If I
  17. Fun Fact 2: We cooked our graduation dinner from Peter Kump's in that kitchen...I was head chef! And I volunteered any number of times to be a kitchen slave for visiting chefs - there were some great ones back in the day. And while the kitchen was not exactly great, Jim probably never cooked for 75 people, and I'm pretty sure it worked just fine for him and his coterie of food friends. I was just shocked that it's basically good for a la minute and not much else. They bring in these chefs (or in this case, about a dozen chefs) and it's like... just gotta find your own prep space som
  18. Maybe EN will be worth saving - appears Chef Abe Hiroki is dunzo (or maybe ousted, I dunno) - new chef is Akiko Thurnauer, who used to have that cute place Family Recipe on Eldridge. Very different, not the sort of chef I'd have expected them to pick up. Whether she's just overseeing the same old same old for them or actually remaking the menu, no idea.
  19. Well, that just gets back to what one values - the one gold medal vs. ten silvers and six bronze medals argument. For me, that diversity IS what makes it great. I get more from Roosevelt than Robuchon. Okay, one night in NYC: So last summer I was sherpa-ing for a group of Dutch chefs doing a dinner at the James Beard House. Sourcing ingredients, finding prep space & equipment, etc. (Fun Fact: the kitchen at the Beard House is UTTER SHIT.) Night after the dinner, a bunch of them along with a Dutch food journalist wanted to go eating, a little food tour, what neighborhood should
  20. Now I’m confused. Is everything in NY Leslie Gore or just the Italian-Anerican stuff? Granted, I don’t agree that a city needs an indigenous cuisine to be great, so it’s irrelevant to my assessment of NYC whether they’re good eatins or not.
  21. Name names. Don't tell me Altro Paradiso, either .Hm. Randazzo’s Clam Bar Emilio’s L&B, I suppose. I guess Carbone doesn’t count as mid-level. Haven’t been to Forlini in years... maybe I should revisit. Patsy’s, Totonno’s, if you want to include NY Pizza under the general category. Okay, maybe there aren’t a LOT. I’m sure there are some I’m missing because I don’t go out for it very often. C'mon. You're gonna tell me Randazzo's, Emilio's, L & B et al. are actually good restaurants? They always hit the spot.
  22. Name names. Don't tell me Altro Paradiso, either . Hm. Randazzo’s Clam Bar Emilio’s L&B, I suppose. I guess Carbone doesn’t count as mid-level. Haven’t been to Forlini in years... maybe I should revisit. Patsy’s, Totonno’s, if you want to include NY Pizza under the general category. Okay, maybe there aren’t a LOT. I’m sure there are some I’m missing because I don’t go out for it very often.
  23. I have no idea. These things are subjective. I might enjoy Atomix more while appreciating other aspects of #1 Fancy French Place more. I find it difficult to compare such chef-driven sui generis places. Beyond a certain level they’re all “great” - after that what you like the best is just going to be what speaks to you the most. Haute French, while I appreciate it, never spoke to me much. Maybe if I ate it in PARIS it would, but I’m not flying there just to find out.
  24. The point here isn't that French food in France is "slightly" better than French food in New York. It's that French food in France is MASSIVELY better than ANY food in New York. Also, when the Berlin Philharmonic plays in New York, they sound just like they do in Berlin -- except that our concert hall has WAY better acoustics than theirs does. Than ANY? French food in France is better than Atomix? Than Aska? (Well, better than my visit there a year ago I’m sure... but on a good night) This is all making me think it’d be a nice place to visit, but not necessarily live. I don’t want t
  25. I don't have a lack of interest in French/European food. I just have enough of it, and I don't feel any particular need to go to Paris to eat more of it even if it's slightly better, any more than I feel a need to fly to Bonn to hear Beethoven.
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