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Dining Out: Where would you go?


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Say for example you were willing to dine out in the near future, where have you really missed that would be high on your list to visit?

I'm not sure when I'll take the plunge, but I could use some inspiration after over six months of not even thinking about it.

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At one restaurant, we picked the fennel flowers from the planter next to us and used them on our fried anchovies. Can't do that indoors!

I don’t want to leave because I think somewhere else would be “nice”. I want to leave because I think American Death Capitalism is malicious and evil. 

Amazingly, I can wait - even though I love supporting my friends and acquaintances in the biz, and even though I love dining out, none of this sounds like what I consider a good, fun restaurant experi

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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 Aquavit outdoor scene at some point. They have that big plaza area removed from the street. Ko - where they’ve combined dishes from the main and bar menu - is on the list as well. Henry’s End for sure. Places that have all meant a lot to me at various points in my NYC history. 

We’ve been out a few times for outdoor dining, but I’m very picky. I kibosh places with tables exactly six feet apart (which leaves diners on either side of those tables... much less than six feet apart) - I need to see legit space between tables. 

We’ve done Beatrice twice since they started outdoor dining. Tables a proper distance. It’s very comfortable. The rabbit with oyster vinaigrette is one of the better restaurant dishes I’ve had recently (though it could’ve used a little more sauce) and the lamb with dandelion greens was great.

Public Village (from the wife of Kyo Pang of Kopitiam) was good, but I’ve only been once so far. (Not to be confused with Public Kitchen, which is drizzling shit)

Farra Wine Bar: okay. Spin-off of Atera. Nothing was bad but everything felt like it was a smidge more expensive than it ought to have been. Dishes tended to read more interesting on the menu than what was served.

River Cafe for the SO’s birthday. We’ve done Atomix for her last two and planned to do it again this year - it’s become tradition - but that obviously fell through. The set up away from the street made it one of the only places that still felt “normal”-ish. The food is what it is... that hasn’t changed. We found a decent bottle of champs amidst the mostly big-brand-name list, and, bonus, got arguably the best seats in the house, right on the water in the far corner of the patio, unobstructed view, and it was super-lovely. She’d never been before and loved the whole old-school vibe. They let us take cocktails out to the front garden before our table was ready... they’re really nailing it.

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6 hours ago, Seth Gordon said:

Public Village (from the wife of Kyo Pang of Kopitiam) was good, but I’ve only been once so far. (Not to be confused with Public Kitchen, which is drizzling shit)

Oh, I've been meaning to try, since it's basically in our backyard. But every time I walk by (maybe too early in the day), they appear to be closed.  Did you eat there out on Essex (oh joy), or take it home?

Since the original question is if I'd be willing to dine out in the near future, where?  Somewhere for sushi, most likely. Cervo's - mostly cause we have so much fun there. Possibly the same reason - Wildair. We missed a birthday dinner all booked at Le B, I wouldn't mind eating there.

But our one and only experience of going somewhere to literally have a beer and a pretzel (Cafe Katja) made us as neurotic as everything does these days. Everyone had to come over and say hello and chat, which is fine...sort of. And lower Orchard, even though closed to vehicular traffic, is busy with a number of places open, lots of people  (masked, unmasked, partially masked don't get me started) hanging out at the store called LAAMS (by hanging out, I mean getting high in front of, not that there's anything wrong with that), people working on their motorcycles...basically, I don't need any of this aggravation at this point.

 

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2 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

And lower Orchard, even though closed to vehicular traffic, is busy with a number of places open, lots of people  (masked, unmasked, partially masked don't get me started) hanging out at the store called LAAMS (by hanging out, I mean getting high in front of, not that there's anything wrong with that), people working on their motorcycles...basically, I don't need any of this aggravation at this point.

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 (SET LES) got a suspension/wrist-slap and they’ve been better since. 
 

Re: Public Village - they didn’t have their seats yet, just took a couple snacks across the street to the park. Keep meaning to go back, maybe do takeout. No need to eat right there. They were closed for a couple weeks for vacation but I think they’re back now. 
 

Re: Wildair - pretty easy to grab a snack during the day without having to be particularly near anyone. Always seems pretty chill. At night it may fill up more, haven’t really looked, but they seem to be pretty responsible overall. 

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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. 

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4 hours ago, Tubbs said:

The Nomad rooftop looks fantastic. 

When the NoMad opened in 2012, there was rooftop dining that summer, and we had dinner.  It was beautiful up there with wonderful city views, including the Empire State Building which was directly in front of our table.  Will Guidara eventually told us that doing that rooftop dining was a total nightmare for them.  Weather was a huge issue, especially since there was no overhead cover of any sort, so they only did it for that one summer.  Now that Humm and Guidara are no longer involved, it appears from one photo on the website ( a table with a curtain arrangement) that the hotel's owners have done something to address that issue.

 

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Momo Ko is pretty nice (and oddly, offers Pizza as well as Ko food). Corporate but in a cute way, and Extra Place comes with extra rats. 

Frenchette needs more of the kitchen back. 

Le Crocodile varies. 

I think I saw that Wildair and Cervo are serving in single use containers?

Wallse is a shadow of its former self but I don't know if it's specific to current conditions or if it's been this way for a while.  

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4 hours ago, Seth Gordon said:

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. 

Yep - Orchard is just not good.  My guess is Scarr's was participating in that block party as well. Because there always seems to be a party in front of Scarr's.

And yes - I don't even know if they're serving at all at Cervo's, or if it's all just to take out.

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2 hours ago, rozrapp said:

When the NoMad opened in 2012, there was rooftop dining that summer, and we had dinner.  It was beautiful up there with wonderful city views, including the Empire State Building which was directly in front of our table.  Will Guidara eventually told us that doing that rooftop dining was a total nightmare for them.  Weather was a huge issue, especially since there was no overhead cover of any sort, so they only did it for that one summer.  Now that Humm and Guidara are no longer involved, it appears from one photo on the website ( a table with a curtain arrangement) that the hotel's owners have done something to address that issue.

 

Looks like a semi-permanent tent with wired lighting, rugs, etc. Really impressive looking. 

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Tocqueville for some grand comfort food with lovely spouse. I'd like to think the room's big enough to dilute viral air.

Then, any random Sunset Park Chinese where I could find something I wouldn't have to share, like Hakka-style wine-lees sauce, or garlicky razor clams, or a superspicy fish-head soup, while she has salt-and-pepper squid or shrimp. 

A friend's little video of dessert and skyline on the NoMad roof: 

 

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