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Restaurant Recommendations - Page 9

post #121 of 1428
Thread Starter 
ADNY was recently lowered to 3 stars, but IMO it is still one of the better restaurants in NYC. I think Per Se and the French Laundry are the best places I have eaten at period, better than any of the Lyonnaise places...
post #122 of 1428
The standard greeting: "Good evening folks, my name is Michelle and I will be taking care of you guys (me and my wife) tonight." I do not care what her first name is (and think that she is being too familiar by telling it to me), my wife is female, not a "guy," and although I am a commoner, I do not like being reminded of it by being called a "folk." I have begged waiters at the Buckhead Life Group restaurants not to do this and have been told that they would be fired if they did not tell me their first name. Why, about 25 years ago, did American waiters become salesmen (with a strong "sales pitch") instead of servants for the evening?
Yes, rather annoying, though I'm finding the practice is declining at the more formal places (at least in the Northeast/Mid Atlantic states). I think one of the essays in Jeffrey Steingarten's "The Man Who Ate Everything" discusses this when he goes to school for restaurant service - this and other practices designed to upsell. And to turn the tables quickly - probably the practice I despise most, especially when I just return from Europe.
post #123 of 1428
Thread Starter 
Pinot Provence, in the Westin South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA: March 21, 2005: Absolutely stunning dinner tonight: Appetizer: Sauteed Foie Gras with Pear emlusion and mini brioche Absolutely amazing. Buttery, incredibly smooth, awesome richness, perfectly seasoned. 2002 Arcadian Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir Opened for about 30 minutes before serving (which may have been a slight mistake) Nose of crushed blueberries, a little bit of raspberry, cassis, but a bit restrained compared to the usual domestic Pinot, palate was certainly Burgundian, a little bit of heat initially but quickly resolved into a smooth integrated pinot, just sublime. Great stuff, and an awesome value for $20. Glad to have 11 bottles left. 93 points Main courses: Moroccan spiced pork short ribs. These just fell off the bone, absolutely awesome tenderness and exotic seasoning that was just stunning with the pinot. Shrimp with new green olives and brioche These were seasoned with a nice cream sauce, and were just great Breast of Poulet with carmelized onions and new potatoes This chicken was extremely tender and flavorful. The carmelized onion was great and the potatoes were nicely flavored. Dessert wine: 2002 Navarro Cluster Select Late Harvest Riesling Opened about an hour before pouring and chilled. This was just awesome. I had this about 3 months ago and it was wonderful but it has evolved since then, beautifully so. Outstanding flavor, notes of creme brulee, apricots, and just wonderful sweetness. Incredible smooth and 45 second + finish. This is one of the best dessert wines that I have ever tasted. 98 points Dessert: Flourless chocolate cake, with "After Hours" ice cream, chocolate mousse, and a cappucino mix. This was AWESOME. Best dessert I have ever tasted. Just stunning. This was incredibly concentrated, explosions of mint in the after hours, outstandingly smooth mousse, incredibly concentrated and smooth flourless cake, and incredibly sweet and smooth chocolate cappucino mix. 100+ points. This is a great restaurant, free corkage, a good list, and outstanding food. Highly recommend. about $130 for four people including appetizers, dinner and dessert.
post #124 of 1428
drizzt, where is this place? i'd like to check it out. (crossing my fingers that it's not in orange county...)
post #125 of 1428
Thread Starter 
Pinot Provence is in Orange County, but not to worry, it's part of the Patina Group, and they have about 4 similar restaurants in LA county. Pinot Bistro is in the Valley, Cafe Pinot is in downtown LA, Pinot Hollywood is obviously in Hollywood, and Patina is is the Disney concert hall, and is the flagship restaurant of the group. I believe all have free corkage except possibly Patina. They have some other restaurants as well, including some of the ones in downtown disney.
post #126 of 1428
Thread Starter 
Pinot Provence, 3/24/05: Yes, this is the second time that I have dined at this restaurant this week, but that's just the way the timing worked out with the wine dinners, oh well. Luckily, the second time proved to be a charm as well as the first. Appetizers: Tuna Ahi Tartare: This was absolutely wonderful, flavorful and nicely prepared. The foie gras was outstanding as well, and the endive salad was nice as well. Starters: Hamilton Sauvignon Blanc, Central Coast, California This was a very fruity Sauvignon Blanc, with a nutty, buttery feel, and a nice chewy mouth feel. However, the finish wasn't stellar and it didn't feel integrated. Not bad for the price point, and OK for daily drinking, but not my style 84 pts The main courses, were spectacular, yet again: Kobe Beef Carpaccio with fresh parmesan. Sublime, very tender, with great flavor, the cracked pepper and parmesan gave it a wonderful medley of intense flavors. Veal Cheeks: Extremely flavorful, these braised veal cheeks were wonderfully tender and melted in your mouth. Sea Scallops: Amazing, with new potatoes and vegetables, these sea scallops were just stunningly buttery and went down extremely smoothly. Lamb Ribeye: This was tender, and the dolma were a nice offset that gave this dish a very mediterrean feel. Angus Beef Ribeye with morels: Again, very tender, wonderfully prepared, melted in your mouth and was just delightful. 2nd Flight (pinot): We opened the pinot about 30 minutes before drinking but didn't decant. 2000 Whitcraft Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir (Central Coast, CA) Wow, what a big pinot. This had a dark inky feel, with some oak and tannin initially, with tons of jammy fruit and a nice integrated feel to it. After about 10 minutes in the glass, the oak dissipated a bit and the fruit came out to play. This is a very nice pinot, but perhaps not the typical central coast style, with the tannins and oak, it could be mistaken for a cab initially but its finish was pure Pinot Noir. 93 pts. 2003 Hitching Post Santa Barbara County (Central Coast, CA) This was a young Pinot, and had abundant fruit, with notes of blueberries and crushed violets on the nose. Palate was nice, with less oak than the Whitcraft, but more fruit. Finish was long and graceful. Not quite as stately or integrated as the Whitcraft, the SBC was exuberant and enjoyable. 92 pts. For dessert, we again enjoyed the Chocolat Degustation, which was again amazing. After Eight ice cream, with an espresso cup, chocolate mousse, and a flourless chocolate cake. Just divine. This was accompanied by: 1999 Chateau Rieussec (Sauternes, France) We opened this 3 hours before drinking, and the air time certainly helped. Nose was absolutely delightful, with apricots, creme brulee, and an extremely slight petrol note. Thick, concentrated, and abundantly sweet, the Rieussec was a complex symphony of flavors. Not at all restrained, this young Sauternes pranced about and greatly impressed. Not quite as great as its 2001 brethren, the 1999 still deserves a solid 95 points.
post #127 of 1428
thanks drizzt. i forgot to check this thread after i asked you that question. i'm going to check out the hollywood location on monday and i'll post a review then.
post #128 of 1428
Have any of you LA area guys been to the Old World in Huntington Beach?  That place was almost exactly like Bavaria/Austria, the food was very similar as well.  I'm really used to that type of environment being from WI (heavily German, lots of such places) but haven't seen it in Cali at all.
reminds me of the Bavarian Inn that was in San Gabriel (RIP)
post #129 of 1428
What a great thread.  I've never ventured over here from the other forum, but this is fun.  We love good food. Drizzt~ Chuck and I like the Mansion at Turtle Creek. It's actually one of our favorites.  But it's rather overpriced, IMO.  I love the pecan crusted snapper, but I can make it at home, using Chef Fearing's recipe, for about $6 (compared to $30+).  I say this, not because I'm a great cook or prudent steward of $$.  To the contrary on both counts..  I was just AMAZED at how SIMPLE it is.  (Then again, I don't spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  That's Chuck's domain.)  And I'd rather spend more $$ on wine. We like to go in the club (piano bar) and watch people.  Marlin Perkins would be amused. Our other favorites in Dallas are: Del Frisco's - Steak & piano bar Sipango - although I've not been there since Mark (the chef) left The Grape - wine cellar and restaurant Oar House - Italian & misc - small, independent place near the lake.  Has more of a small town feel to it, but the food is wonderful - especially the filet w/ cognac reduction. 2900 - try the avocado w/ lobster. NYC: San Domenico (I think Koji mentioned this) - excellent food, but I'm pretty sure I've never paid $107 for breakfast before.. Porta Rossa - Italian.  Small, not fancy.  But good. Detroit: Rattlesnake Club Chicago: Nick's Fishmarket - steak and seafood.  Lobster Thermidor is AMAZING. Other end of the spectrum . . . Dallas: Snuffers - burgers & cheddar fries Atlanta: VARSITY.  I gotta go in for an oil change every time I'm in town.  It's been a few years since I was last there, but I Looooove their fried peach pies. Jerrysfriend ~ is it safe to assume that you don't hail from the South? Anyway, thanks for letting me join in your fun.
post #130 of 1428
thanks drizzt. i forgot to check this thread after i asked you that question. i'm going to check out the hollywood location on monday and i'll post a review then.
my date cancelled... then left the country. so i'll have to post a review another time.
post #131 of 1428
Addendum ~ Blue Fish - Found my favorite new sushi restaurant in Dallas last night on lower Greenville
post #132 of 1428
Jerrysfriend ~ is it safe to assume that you don't hail from the South? Anyway, thanks for letting me join in your fun.
I was born in North Alabama (B'ham), educated in New Orleans and live in Atlanta, so I think I may qualify as a Southener. PS Your stomach must be younger than 40 to abide the lube job at the Varsity, so enjoy it while you can.
post #133 of 1428
Well, yes, doggonit, I think you qualify as a bonafide Southerner.
Your stomach must be younger than 40 to abide the lube job at the Varsity, so enjoy it while you can.
To be honest, I've not had the opportunity to endulge since I crossed over to the dark side.  So it may not work out as well as I recall..
post #134 of 1428
Went to Pazo in Baltimore last night. It's nothing new, food-wise (enjoyable, affordable tapas), but it's a really beautiful space and certainly an anomaly in Baltimore, which is more of a crabshack kind of town. The owners run the Charleston and Petit Louis (sp?), which are also gems in Bmore. Pazo has the loungey feel of some DC clubs, with soft lighting, eclectic decor and a jazzanova-type house music soundtrack. They're apparently trying to go clubby after the kitchen closes, but I just had some drinks and Tapas early. Anyway, I'd recommend it for people who like some olives and cheese and a glass of good wine in a cool setting, but are put off by nyc prices and dc club snobbery.
post #135 of 1428
My take on the world and others. Only restaurants in which I have eaten in the past year. Atlanta Bacchanalia- Great, best cuisine in Atlanta Varsity- Greasy V rules. Have taken taxis to the airport during layovers for it. Bones- Good, but not wowed. New Orleans Gallatoires- heavy sauce, but very fun. Go with a lawyer on Friday early. Delachaize- Bar, but most selective liqour selection anywhere in the world. Dallas Steel- trendy, but food not bad for not being in NYC. Napa The French Laundry- cute but overrated. I don't get how this has the hype it does. I found it trite. $1200 for two was a bit steep, though they did introduce me to Merus, which I love. NYC Daniel- Still the best restaurant in NYC. My fave anywhere, but he is now a personal friend. His 50th birthday party was exceptionally fun with amazing food and wine. Il Mulino- amazing Italian but cramped. Campagnola- my local Italian with a great crowd and great food. Frankie, Sal and Nicco take care of you very well. Da Silvano- bad food, great crowd. Blue Ribbon- great late night dining and James is the best bartender in NYC. Donguri- hidden gem on 83rd St. Serious sashimi. Nobu- not serious sushi but great food. Per Se and Masa- sorry, I don't eat in malls. Europe next.
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