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Restaurant Recommendations - Page 10

post #136 of 1368
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Per Se and Masa- sorry, I don't eat in malls.
Spoken like a true New Yorker. My favorites for Japanese in the U.S.: New York: Megu, Sushi of Gari (NOT Gari on the UWS), Sushi Yasuda. I still need to go to Kuruma Zushi though. Los Angeles: Matsuhisa, R-23, Nishimura
post #137 of 1368
here are some cities that don't have much attention on this list.. toronto - nectar san francisco - foreign cinema and cafe zuni detroit - atlas and this is mostly from a food standpoint.. nectar is in a different league than the others, but they all have good eats.
post #138 of 1368
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(tgfny @ May 15 2005,12:17) Per Se and Masa- sorry, I don't eat in malls.
Spoken like a true New Yorker. My favorites for Japanese in the U.S.: New York: Megu, Sushi of Gari (NOT Gari on the UWS), Sushi Yasuda. I still need to go to Kuruma Zushi though. Los Angeles: Matsuhisa, R-23, Nishimura
Gari UWS is shite. Two good calls. Also, I like Hatsuhana in midtown. Very good fish.
post #139 of 1368
I'm looking for a good, semi-fancy restaurant to eat at for an impending trip to Chicago. Steak seems to be the clear front runner for both myself and my friends, although Italian or maybe seafood would be runner-up options. A semi-interesting atmosphere would also be a plus, though not if it's at the clear expense of the food. I went to Gibson's last year, and that would be my safety pick for this year. I'm not really interested in Gene and Georgetti, Chicago Chop House, or any chains (e.g. Ruth's Chris or Morton's, though the latter might be an exception since Chicago is the original one), so something lower profile might be interesting. While I'm at it, I'll toss out reviews from my trip last year: Gibson's: As mentioned, a lot of the appeal comes from the glitzy downtown hotspot atmosphere it tries to provide. However, the steak is also very good (I believe not dry aged, if that matters to you, though it didn't to me since I usually order filet mignon) and the sides are huge. One serving of twice-baked potatos was enough for three of us, with room to spare. I've been told that the bar is a well-known pickup spot, though for an older and more affluent crowd than I'm used to. Frontera Grill/Topolobampo: I went to Frontera Grill, which in fairness, is marketed as the more mainstream version of the pair (which occupy the same building). The wait was terrible, though not as much as the price/value ratio of the food. I spent $20 on what was advertised as a rich stew of shrimp, and got a mediocre and skimpy dish of three shrimp in a puddle of sauce and some inedible cabbage strip garnish. The service was great at least, but obviously is irrelevant when the food is a ripoff. Even if I hadn't spent my whole life in both California and Texas, I could say with confidence that the food in no way deserves to be called fine Mexican cusine. Just warning anyone who wants to follow up on the Rick Bayless hype.
post #140 of 1368
Guess I'll throw down some Philly spots. The Fountain at the Four Seasons:  This place is out-of-control good.  Straight 29s in the Zagat, and deservedly so. Le Bec Fin:  The Georges Perrier flagship.  Very good, but I think that they have started to slide over the past few years. That being said, this place is still one of the best places to have a meal. Morimoto:  An Iron Chef.  'Nuff said.  The only thing that could make this place cooler would be having Chairman Kaga there, biting peppers and talking that nonsense he does. The Mexican Post:  The BEST Mexican food anywhere near Philadelphia, hands down.  Inexpensive, always packed, and fun atmosphere.  This is the place to suck down Coronas, and the best homemade salsa I've had. Susanna Foo:  This place is great.  French-Asian fusion, with creative dishes that are packed with flavor. Conveniently, right across the street from Le Bec Fin. Oh, and to help with any cheesesteak debates: Pat's sucks. Everyone says they're great, they were in Rocky, whatever... Also, Geno's isn't that good, either. The best cheesesteak in the city, write this down, is Jim's on South Street (where all the hippies meet.)
post #141 of 1368
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(Patrick Bateman @ May 16 2005,14:01)
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Originally Posted by tgfny,May 15 2005,12:17
Per Se and Masa- sorry, I don't eat in malls.
Spoken like a true New Yorker. My favorites for Japanese in the U.S.: New York: Megu, Sushi of Gari (NOT Gari on the UWS), Sushi Yasuda. I still need to go to Kuruma Zushi though. Los Angeles: Matsuhisa, R-23, Nishimura
Gari UWS is shite. Two good calls. Also, I like Hatsuhana in midtown. Very good fish.
Haku, which just opened on Broadway and 89th, has better fish than Gari for like 1/2 the price. is there any difference between the Hatsuhana on Park Ave and the one on east 48th street?
post #142 of 1368
Quote:
Guess I'll throw down some Philly spots. The Fountain at the Four Seasons: This place is out-of-control good. Straight 29s in the Zagat, and deservedly so. Le Bec Fin: The Georges Perrier flagship. Very good, but I think that they have started to slide over the past few years. That being said, this place is still one of the best places to have a meal. Morimoto: An Iron Chef. 'Nuff said. The only thing that could make this place cooler would be having Chairman Kaga there, biting peppers and talking that nonsense he does. The Mexican Post: The BEST Mexican food anywhere near Philadelphia, hands down. Inexpensive, always packed, and fun atmosphere. This is the place to suck down Coronas, and the best homemade salsa I've had. Susanna Foo: This place is great. French-Asian fusion, with creative dishes that are packed with flavor. Conveniently, right across the street from Le Bec Fin. Oh, and to help with any cheesesteak debates: Pat's sucks. Everyone says they're great, they were in Rocky, whatever... Also, Geno's isn't that good, either. The best cheesesteak in the city, write this down, is Jim's on South Street (where all the hippies meet.)
Since we're talking Philly restaurants, here are a few suggestions picks, in descending order of price: 1. Lacroix at the Rittenhouse. Lacroix used to be at Four Seasons. The new place is basically a tasting menu composed by each diner. Fabulous French food, and not pretentious or inhospitable. 2. Vetri. Italian food in the Babbo vein but a much nicer atmosphere. You can expect to have a leisurely meal and the full attention of the staff. 3. Pif. French Bistro food in the Italian market neighborhood and BYOB to boot. Go there late and see Chef Lacroix. 4. Tre Scalini. In south Philly, but Italian Italian, not south Philly gravy. BYOB. 5. Lee How Fook. Salt baked shrimp to die for and phenomenally good sauteed snow pea shoots with ginger. I like Susana Foo very much, but be advised that the portions are small. Re Le Bec Fin, you can eat some of the same food downstairs at Le Bar Lyonnais for a lot less. And, finally, a question: What do the New Yorkers think of Yama?
post #143 of 1368
Dorsia, Barcadia, Espace, Texarkana, Crayons
post #144 of 1368
Dorsia? Nobody goes there anymore.
post #145 of 1368
Anyone visiting Austin, TX should PM me for restaurant recommendations. I'm the restaurant event director for the University of Texas cooking club. Here are some picks: Driskill Grill (high-end New American) Vespaio (contemporary southern Italian) T&S Seafood (Cantonese Chinese) Uchi (contemporary sushi) Austin Chronicle (www.auschron.com) is your friend.
post #146 of 1368
more philly recs django: top byob, book one month in advance second fountain at four seasons for a classic elegant meal to leave you satisfied but not in a glitzy way. understated, spotless service.  a decent wine list too, with maybe 20 wine-by-glass choices and quite a few half bottles.  my favourite philly restaurant but does have the ubiquitous four seasons feel. brunch at lacroix is sinful. deux cheminees: french in a townhouse. lot of good byobs; some no-res. (arrive, leave you info, get a table an hour later while you browse the vicinity) - melograno; citrus in chestnut hill is thoroughly recommended (don't wear fur, no land animals cooked, with the seafood/veg plates, you won't mind) chestnut hill in the evening is charming.
post #147 of 1368
To the entry above regarding yama - yama is very average, but since one of the locations is a block from my apartment, I will eat there from time to time. It's also cheap, and if you're just getting rolls, its not bad. For better sushi in the Yama area, try Ushi Wakamaru - which is about to get mobbed after a review in the Village Voice comes out this week. It's better than Yama/Tomoe/Blue Ribbon Sushi, but probably a notch below Yasuda - but one can eat quite well at Ushi cheaply (~$60 without alcohol). I'll also opine on Babbo since it doesn't seem to get many mentions here. At this point, Babbo is probably my single favorite restaurant in NY. The significant other and I try to stop by once a month or so (reservations are a pain, but make one on the way out each time for a month out is a good system). Beef cheek & squab liver ravioli, lamb's tongue salad, pumpkin lune, rock shrimp tagliatelle - phenomenal, never had a bad thing on the menu. Service great, though the maitre'd can be a bit of an ass (he is referred to on other websites as OBJ - old bald jackass). Other favorites: Blue Ribbon Bakery - brunch Diwan, Surya - Indian Men Kui Tei - Ramen Mr. K's - overpriced Chinese XO - cheap Chinese Saigon Banh Mi No 1 - Vietnamese sandwiches
post #148 of 1368
Over the last three weeks, I have been fortunate to eat at five of the best fine dining establishments in Northern California. Since there are many Californians here, I thought that I would take a minute to write up what I thought of the meals:

Ritz-Carlton Dining Room:

For years this was my favorite restaurant in San Francisco. The previous chef, Sylvan Portay, was a magician. He worked for years as sous chef to Alain Ducasse, and we were very lucky to have him in San Francisco.
The current state of food at the Ritz is not as good. We decided to have the salt and pepper tasting menu. This is known as the house specialty. As with so many "one ingredient" menus, the food had a tendency to be a bit jarring. The service was also overly present and took away from the dining experience. There are no particular dishes that I can suggest, as we had the menu. I should note that the Sommolier is still fantastic and that it is the one place in San Francisco that still has some bottles of Jacques Selosse Champagne in the cellar. The petit fours were also outstanding.

Masas:

The first two chefs to preside over the stoves at Masa's were, in my opinion, the two finest chefs that San Francisco has seen in the last thirty years. Since the departure of Julian Serrano, the food at Masa's has been a bit spotty.
While the current offerings at Masa's are not what they were at their peak, they are as good as they have been since then. The current chef was a student of Serrano's, and then worked for several years at the French Laundry. Short's food is very elegant and simple. It is the opposite of what is found in many trendy restaurants nowadays. There is nothing that ruins the harmony of any of the dishes. I was absolutly thrilled to see that Masa's has returned to the elite restaurants in San Francisco.
I ordered the Tete de Cochon, the Wild Striped Bass and the Veal with Sweetbreads and recommend them all heartily. What I remeber about my wife's meal is that her shortribs were sublime.

Gary Danko:

I was not a fan of Danko's when he was at the Ritx-Carlton or when he was at Draegers. For the first year that he had his eponymous restaurant in San Francisco, I refused to go. I have been three times since then, and have enjoyed the food very much each time. My main complaint is that the bar is too central in the room and it makes for quite a noisy dining experience.
The most memorable dish that I had at Gary Danko was the Osetra Caviar service. It was phenomenal. The blinis were cooked so perfectly that they melted in your mouth. Obviously, the caviar was also excellent, but the blinis were otherworldly. They were the best I have ever eaten. Other standout dishes were the seafood risotto and the duck breast. The service was a bit spotty, but the Sommolier was excellent and the wines he directed us to were very nice.

Cyrus:

Cyrus is the best restaurant in Northern California right now. This was our first visit, and we are already planning a weekend at the adjoining hotel with more meals at Cyrus. The dining room is run by the finest Maitre d'Hotel in Northern California. I believe that he is the finest in the United States. The young chef is excellent and opened Cyrus after working at many of the best restaurants in the area.
We started out with the Caviar Tasting, which included a half of an oz of three different caviars werved with potato sticks. It was great although it did not rise to the level of the caviar service at Gary Danko. From there we ordered the nine course tasting menu. Everthing was perfectly prepared and delicious. The courses were small enough that nobody felt overstuffed after dinner. The deserts were not nearly as good as the rest of the food. I cannot say enough about this restaurant. It is nearly perfect.

Michael Mina:

I wish that we went to Michael Mina second or third instead of last. It is a shame that our gastronomic tour of the Bay Area had to end on such a down note. The restaurant is large and loud. The service is below average and the food is not very good.
The food at Michael Mina is pretentious. There is no debating this. Every dish comes with three preparations of the same ingredient, along with three ramekins of something related at the top of the plate. I think that there must have been a sale on the special three part plates with ramekin holders when they were opening the restaurant. The food is not bad, it is just not very tasty. The parts that are served in the ramekins are annoying as you simply cannot cut food in ramekins. The result is taking huge bites of these parts. I do have to say that the classic mussel souflee is pretty good. I would order it if I had to go back to Mina.
I want to note that the wine list is offensive to the extreme. We often like to drink Champagne with dinner. It always goes well with all sorts of food. At Mina the champagne list is populated with bottle after bottle of $1000+ wine. This is in comparison to the above (better) restaurants where therer are many excellent bottles in the 150-200 range. At Mina the Krug NV was one of the cheapest on the menu. At most fine restaurants around the globe that I have dined at, there is a lot of attention paid to the midlle priced wines. These are generally the best wines with food. At Mina it was all pretens and no substance. I was unimpressed.
post #149 of 1368
My favorites in Norway:

Oslo: Mr. Hong, Chinatown Majorstuen.
Bergen: Mongolian Barbeque Restaurant, Søstrene (sisters) Hagelin (fish), Egon, Big Horn.
Voss, (winter resort in Western Norway, the country of Kari Traa): Café Stationen.
Bodø (Bodoe), North Norway in midnight sun: Pizza-kjellaren (underfloor SAS-hotel).
post #150 of 1368
A few additional unmentioned suggestions for the LA/OC crowd.

Pascal's - Costa Mesa: A sleeper. French (provencal). A real sleeper, since they've been in business a long time and isn't as trendy as the newer restaurants.

Napa Rose - Anaheim: Who'd have thought that a Disneyland restaurant can be serious and deliver on the goods. Fantastic wine list. GM/Sommelier Michael Jordan will not steer you wrong if you give him a chance to match some good wines with your meal.

The Hobbit - Orange: A dining experience. Make sure you have at least three hours to devote to the meal as it is prix-fixe and the meal include a tour of the grounds and the wine cellar.

Studio - Laguna Beach: Located in the Montage Resort. Most restaurant that have a beautiful ocean view figures they can get away with a mediocre meal. Not the case here. They'll deliver the goods, though definitely high on the price scale.

Diaghilev - West Hollywood: Located in the Wyndham Bel Age Hotel. Franco-Russian meal with the best selection of ice cold vodka to choose from. I have never had a meal where I have received better service than I did at Diaghilev.
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