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Places we're curious about

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I went a few months ago. I liked the wings; the potato mochi are good if you don't mind the typical mochi texture. They're served with a sweetish sauce and lots of butter. The place really is small; the only seating is a little counter with a few stools.

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Bob, our favorite and most beloved of doormen, is from Kosovo. He brings us back bottles of the slivovitza his cousin makes every year. Stuff is great - can burn the hairs outta your nose. He's completely nuts, and we love him.

 

Anyway, he knows I'm a foodie, and today he hands me a a business card from the new Ben & Jack's Steakhouse. This the place that was just opened by people who defected from Wolfgang's, which is the place opened by people who defected from Luger's.

 

Anyway, turns out that 4 or 6 (he wasn't sure) of Bob's nephews are at the place - one is the manager, one is a chef, and who the hell knows what the others do. Bob said it's the best steak he ever had, for whatever that's worth.

 

The business card is a complete ripoff of the Luger's card - same font, same logo, same colors. The place is on E. 44th.

 

Don't suppose anybody's been yet... ?

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Why I was at the door just last Friday, thinking I was going to Jimmy Sung's for Chinese, only to discover it is now a steak house. It looks like a boring midtown restaurant, but that means nothing.

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Guest Suzanne F
. . . the new Ben & Jack's Steakhouse. This the place that was just opened by people who defected from Wolfgang's, which is the place opened by people who defected from Luger's.

 

. . .

Totally OT: sounds rather like someplace(s) on the Internet with which many of us are familiar . . .

 

Carry on.

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On the corner of Houston and just east of the Landmark Sunshine is a place called Oliva...walked by there tonight and great live music is playing - a bunch of old latin men playing traditional acoustic salsa...what's the deal with this place? I was dying to go in but was on my way somewhere.

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Nice writeup of Ben & Jack's in the new TONY. Now I'm really curious. TONY said the steaks are as good as Luger's, fwiw.

 

And I was wrong - they didn't defect from Wolfgang's - they defected right from Luger's.

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On the corner of Houston and just east of the Landmark Sunshine is a place called Oliva...walked by there tonight and great live music is playing - a bunch of old latin men playing traditional acoustic salsa...what's the deal with this place? I was dying to go in but was on my way somewhere.

They used to serve some reasonably good basque dishes and a very good crab bisque, but it's become a shitty tapas bar a while back.

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that would be advisable. Or you can just get boquerones - they're very successful at taking them out of the package.

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Guest Suzanne F
On the corner of Houston and just east of the Landmark Sunshine is a place called Oliva...walked by there tonight and great live music is playing - a bunch of old latin men playing traditional acoustic salsa...what's the deal with this place?  I was dying to go in but was on my way somewhere.

They used to serve some reasonably good basque dishes and a very good crab bisque, but it's become a shitty tapas bar a while back.

Oh, no! :o What a shame. We were there early last winter (late 2004) and had some good dishes. The one that sticks in my mind was sauteed mushrooms, so I thought Omni's typo about not allowing "a morel of food to pass [her] lips" was pretty funny. Too bad if it's gone downhill -- it IS a cozy place, and they have a pretty good selection of sherries (for NYC).

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Yes, I noticed that TONY write-up on Ben and Jack's, given added credibility by the comments on Wolfgang's steaks. As I said, the TONY pages, based though they may be on press hand-outs, are much improved, and this Randall Lane guy seems to have his head screwed on.

 

Nevertheless, the somewhat strained piece on New York's "hidden" restaurants disappointed. In no sense can the Grand Central Oyster Bar be regarded as some sort of secret hideaway. :o

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Wilf, there's a cuchifrito joint on Houston and I think Avenue C, on the northwest corner. On the wall is painted a sign right now about "shampoozled" - you know the one I mean? Is it good?

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You think Avenue C? I think not. The one on the corner of Houston and Avenue D, Ristorante Ignacio, is where we sourced the cuchifritos for Joselito's last time. Everyone now goes there for their blood sausage (don't we, Orik?). I think that must be the one you mean.

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