Beacon and La Goulue
Last week, I had two very enjoyable "Restaurant Week" lunches with my haute-cuisine partner at Beacon and La Goulue...
The plank-wood roasted oysters at Beacon are worth a return trip! Sorry to report that the peach melba at La Goulue was sub-par because it was Libby's canned peaches, mon dieu! But I loved their grilled squid on a bed of fresh green salad as a starter and the pan-seared striped bass. A glass of the house-white cost $13. Mon dieu! At Beacon, two glasses of a muscadet and a red cost $6!
Lunch at La Goulue was very fabuloso with all the beautiful people... I started with a plate of grilled calamari (squid) on a bed of green salad. Very well prepared with the correct squid texture and a fine salad dressing. Next was a plate of pan-seared striped bass on a bed on potatoes and a orange-squash sauce. Very well prepared dish with very fresh fish, moist and not over-seared. Finally a peach melba ... canned peaches, mon dieu!!! I thought I was eating at Howard Johnson's somewhere in the Deep South ... a glass of house white cost $13 ... not going back ... I think that Jean-George's Jojo or Nougatine is much better for their food and desserts...
Over the conversation with my haute-cuisine lunch partner, I suddenly realised that these happy times will be over next year. My lunch partner will be retiring from his professional job! We will celebrate this joyous occasion on his last train ride back to Westport with a party-ceremony to burn his final monthly Metro-North card!!! The Age of Aquarius and Let the Sun Shine, Let the Sun Shine... Living well is the best revenge...
The World's Best Restaurants?
First published by Restaurant magazine in 2002 and now in its seventh year, The S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants is recognised around the world as the most credible indicator of the best places to eat on Earth.The S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants. In the US:
- 5. The French Laundry, Yountville, CA [Yelp]
- 6. Per Se, New York [Yelp]
- 17. Jean Georges, New York [Yelp]
- 20. Le Bernardin, New York [Yelp]
- 21. Alinea, Chicago [Yelp]
- 37. Chez Panisse, Berkeley [Yelp]
- 38. Charlie Trotter's, Chicago [Yelp]
- 41. Daniel, New York [Yelp]
Rounding out the top 100:
52. Nobu, New York [Yelp]
54. Masa, New York [Yelp]
63. WD-50, New York [Yelp]
85. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York [Yelp]
87. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Las Vegas [Yelp]
NYC Restaurant Week. .. $24.07 pirx-fixed
From the list of restaurants participating in this event, I selected ASIATE, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 80 Columbus Avenue, 212-805-8881... for their very spectecular view and fine service. I was suprised that we were able to snare a reservation on the morning for a 12.30 pm lunch. Asiate, the restuarant is very beautiful and comfortable.
We declined the first choice of table which was set into a booth for private conversation. We wanted to see the view from the 35th floor. My 2 sisters and a niece joined me for this lunch which became a birthday celebration for Sophia (August 18) and Lisaa (August 19). I selected a bottle of Austrian Trabor Gruner Veltliner to accompany the fine meal. We each ordered a different appetizer of chilled pea soup with lobster meat, a seafood risotto, a friesee salad and a grilled tuna salad. Excellent dishes and we played musical chairs to sample all the four plates. What fun and nobody in the restaurant raised an eye-brow. For the main course, the 3 ladies ordered the Wild Salmon and I enjoyed the grilled flank steak. The deserts were very good and light. What a great meal to enjoy a small reunion with my 2 sisters and neice before they left for Paris and Alexandria, VA. that afternoon. During the lunch, the booth-table that we declined was occupied by Chris Rock, the comedian!!! One more week to sample and experience this fine dining.
Post by Peter
"Swallowing Clouds," by A. Zee
A playful journey through Chinese culture, language, and cuisine ... In "Swallowing Clouds", A. Zee
invites us to a veritable Chinese banquet full of charming explorations of food, language, and culture. Beginning with simple dishes from a typical restaurant menu, Zee launches into an engrossing voyage of discoveries about Chinese language and cuisine. With folklore and anecdotes, he uncovers the roots of Chinese characters in ancient pictographs, giving an absorbing and effortless introduction to written Chinese.
... why eating "won-tons" is like swallowing clouds ... he traces the origin and legend of the dish "Ma Po To Fu" pages 174-179 ... you will be able to recognize the Chinese characters on menus ... did you know that red hot peppers were imported by the Portuguese from Central America to Sichuan, China! Ay caramba ...
Also see "eating in chinese" for a good overview of Chinese characters on menus and restaurants
Davidburke & Donatella
I had a wonderful lunch at Davidburke & Donatella ... lobter bisque without the heavy cream but with Thai lemongrass, Alaskan King salmon with beets and string beans and a Tropical mango sherbet and fruit medley ... delicious glass of NZ sauvignon blanc ... with an old friend from London...
Eat at the best restaurants - without a reservation
Jill Conner and Barbara Peters have written a very handy guide to eating at the best restaurants ... without a reservation ... @ the bar: NYC Bar Dining Guide is a pocket guide to 30 of NYC's best restaurants that offer bar dining ... and at many restaurants, the menu is less expensive when eating at the bar ...
good restaurants for fine dining at the bar include Davidburke & Donatella ... a great bar to dine and enjoy the atmosphere ... (web site), 133 East 61st Street, bewteen Park and Lexington, 212-813-2121 [MenuPages | Openlist | NYT | Gayot | Citysearch]
Also, Circus, a fine Brazilian bistro on 61st Street between Park & Lexington Avenues, especially in the evening ... (previous reviews: A Guy In New York, Forbes (TWIR, September 30, 2005)) ... web site, 132 East 61st Street, between Lexington and Park Avenues, 212-223-2566 [MenuPages | NY Metro | NYT | Citysearch]
Davidburke & Donatella turns in to Circus
Last week I had hoped to impress a friend from out of town (the Dean of the Mathematics faculty from a well known university in Canada) by taking him to DavidBurke & Donatella. When I made the reservation they said I could be in the "lounge". What they didn't tell me was that I may as well have had a table in the middle of a subway car in rush hour.
Needless to say I had to run out of there rather than try a New York Jets offensive drive to get to my table. Fortunately for me and my out of town friend, Circus restaurant was just across the street. Great Lo had taken us there at one time (and I feel sure we shall return the favor one day soon).
At Circus we found a beautiful hostess with a great smile ready to seat us, a lively setting without the chaos, and a relatively quiet corner where we could carry on a conversation. The food was also a pleasant surprise. Given the late hour I asked for two appetizers - a tropical salad that included fresh fruit and was delicious; and a plate of steamed clams and muscles in a marvelous broth.
My friend had a well prepared halibut and we topped it off with a nice bottle of Chianti. The prices were reasonable, service was excellent (they were very pleasant about my two appetizer requests) and we appreciated it all the more due to our close call with disaster.
To top off a perfect ending for the evening I slept over at my old friend Peter Lo's apt. which was only 6 blocks away. Since I had a major round of events at work, this saved me a late commute and early morning return to and from Ridgewood. Not to mention the next day beginning with a nice cup of fresh brewed black coffee and a little chat with Lo before heading out into the concrete jungle.
Post by Roger
Winter Restaurant Week
Winter Restaurant Week starts January 23 and runs for 2 weeks, excluding weekends: January 23-27, 2006 and January 30-February 3, 2006 ... three-course prix-fixe lunches for $24.07 and three-course dinners for $35 ... beverage, tax and gratuity additional ...
Jennifer Steinhauer writes about Restaurant Week meals: "once a diner has added a glass of shiraz, some sparkling water and a side of spinach - not to mention tax and tip - the check swells far beyond what most people think of as economical." ...
In the list below, links are to restaurant web sites or to a MenuPages or Citysearch profile. These links open in a new window.
Davidburke & Donatella ... fancy dessert ...
Roger contemplating his $20 dessert from Davidburke and Donnatella ... lunch for the end of the season ...
Roger says, "It was a rip-off - I thought it was part of the 22.12 menu." Uh, OK Roger ... Roger did not read the fine print on the menu at Davidburke & Donnatella and we have to cover his $10 desert supplement ...
however, our other lunch partner, Hans, who is much more experienced, enjoyed the plain desert of apple pie with ice cream ... and he is smiling all the way to the bank ... p/s: we all met at NYU in 1968!!!
World's Most Expensive Restaurants?
Forbes has released its World’s Most Expensive Restaruant list. First, you will notice that there are no two restaurants from the same city. It seems the methodology was to choose a set of metropolitan centers in various countries and find the most expensive restaurant in each of those cities. The methodology excludes all American restaurants. I can think of more than a few New York restaurants with price tags well above most all of these restaurants.
"Forbes Names the World’s Most Expensive Restaurants," WineFetch, November 28th, 2005
The folks at Forbes have no idea what the heck they're talking about.
"The World's Priciest Meals? Hardly." Vinography: a wine blog, November 20, 2005
One fact the article reveals: Britain - once laughed at as a place for great food - now has some of the world's top restaurants.
"The world's most expensive restaurants 2005," Slashfood, November 19, 2005
"World's Most Expensive Restaurants 2005," by Sophia Banay, Forbes, October 20, 2005
"Most Expensive U.S. Restaurants 2005," by Sophia Banay, Forbes, October 13, 2005
"The world's most expensive lunch," by Polly Vernon, The Observer, April 18, 2004
"The world's most expensive meal," by Chris Dwyer, CNN, November 22, 2005
"Chef creates world's most expensive pie," Manchester Evening News, November 15, 2005
Technorati Tag: restaurants
Michelin New York 2006
Michelin New York is available Friday, but the stars are out ...
"Michelin’s stars: New York list," Financial Times, November 1, 2005
[N = NYT | M = MenuPages | O = OpenTable | G = Gayot | C = Citysearch]
- Alain Ducasse [N | M | G | C] ... Jean Georges [N | G | C] ... Le Bernardin [N | M | G | C] ... Per Se [M | G | C]
- Annisa [N | M | C] . . . Aureole [N | M | C] . . . Babbo [N | M | C] . . . BLT Fish [N | M | G | C] . . . Café Boulud [N | M | G | C] . . . Café Gray [N | M | G | C] . . . Craft [N | M | G | C] . . . Cru [N | M | G | C] . . . Etats-Unis [N | M | G | C] . . . Fiamma Osteria [N | M | G | C] . . . Fleur de Sel [N | M | G | C] . . . Gotham Bar & Grill [N | M | G | C] . . . Gramercy Tavern [N | M | G | C] . . . Jo Jo [N | G | C] . . . Jewel Bako [N | M | G | C] . . . La Goulue [N | G | C] . . . Lever House [N | M | G | C] . . . Lo Scalco [N | M | C] . . . March [N | M | G | C] . . . Nobu [N | M | G | C] . . . Oceana [N | M | G | C] . . . Peter Luger [N | G | C] . . . Picholine [N | M | G | C] . . . Saul [N | O | C] . . . Scalini Fedeli [N | M | G | C] . . . The Modern [N | M | C] . . . The Spotted Pig [N | M | G | C] . . . Veritas [N | M | G | C] . . . Vong [N | M | G | C] . . . Wallsé [N | M | G | C] . . . WD-50 [N | M | G | C] . . .
No stars but in the book
snack has the rest of the list in Manhattan
NYC's Michelin Restaurants," gothamist, November 1, 2005
"Big Red Lands: On Whether or Not to Care About Michelin," eater, November 2, 2005
"In Michelin's 1st Ratings of N.Y. Dining, Some Surprises," by Florence Fabricant, The New York Times, November 1, 2005
"Food (guide) fight: It’s Michelin vs. Zagat," by Pascale Le Draoulec, Daily News, November 2, 2005
"How come nobody ever talks about how totally obese the Michelin man is?" eat drink one woman, November 1, 2005
"Is New York Worth a Trip? Oui," by Florence Fabricant, The New York Times, November 2, 2005
Manhattan User's Guide says "the list is an embarrassment for Michelin. Of course no such list could satisfy everybody. But La Goulue and Fiamma Osteria each get a star and Chanterelle nothing? And where are all the two-star restaurants?" ... November 2, 2005
"A chef's surprise! Bistro owner stunned to be Michelin man," by Hugh Son, Daily News, November 3, 2005 ... "You'd expect chef-owner Saul Bolton to at least crack open a bottle of champagne after learning his Boerum Hill restaurant [Saul] earned a coveted star from the Michelin Guide. But Bolton merely gave his wife a kiss, thanked his staff, and cranked up the music at the Smith St. bistro that bears his name." ... we like this guy ...
"Michelin Takes On the City, Giving Some a Bad Taste," by Glenn Collins, The New York Times, November 3, 2005
Andrea Strong said: "My feelings about the Michelin guide are mixed, but mostly negative." ... "The Michelin Guide Hits New York City (LET’S SEND IT BACK!)", November 3, 2005
"Best part of the book, to me? The subway map inside the back cover is relatively to scale and shows, in the finest European style, which streets the trains run under." Twenty Bucks a Day, November 3, 2005
"It’s been 305 days since I first wrote about the red guide coming to New York City, and now I have finally the book in hand. In hindsight, the race for the story was much more exhilarating than the actual results." snack, November 4, 2005
"It's um, um good for boro: 2 eateries touted in Michelin guide," by Bob Kappstatter, NY Daily News, November 4, 2005
"Someone asked me yesterday what was my take on the Michelin Guides reviews? For New Yorkers, I truly think it is a non-event." ... her take: "Some good, some not." ... "Michelin Guide," Gotham Gal, November 6, 2005
"[A] $16.95, 480-page insult to the world's greatest dining city." ... "The book is so out of touch — and out of date — you wonder if its 'inspectors' even got off the plane at JFK." ... "The Idiots' Guide," by Steve Cuozzo, New York Post, November 7, 2005
"Star Wars: Did Michelin lower the bar for New York?" by Mike Steinberger, Slate, November 7, 2005
"Michelin Guide to New York City - Leaves a Bad Taste in Your Mouth," Opinionated About Dining, November 7, 2005
"In spite of the maelstrom of critical (and some downright ugly) press following the Michelin NYC guide’s debut, they’ll report a smashing success and complete sell out of the first 100,000+ books, necessitating a second printing." ... "hotsnack: Michelin the next release," November 21, 2005
Michelin Guide (Red and Green) New York, Zagat NYC, NYT
Malaysian food - Sanur
Sanur Restaurant, 18 Doyers Street, 212-267-0088 ... best roti canai in NYC ... chicken rice ... curry noodles ... ice kachang (ABC) ... curry puffs ... lunch for two big eaters total was $12.80 ... excellent authentic Malaysian food ... we did not try the Kuih, but it looked good ...
Our previous post on Sanur ...
AGINY Good Value
This Week in Reviews - August 26, 2005
Each Friday, A Guy In New York publishes "This Week in Reviews (TWIR)," with quick links to New York City restaurant reviews and mentions from the previous seven days in blogs, magazines, and newspapers.
- Robert Sietsema likes the three kinds of xiao lung bao (soupy dumplings) at Shanghai Café ... pork, pork with "a larger wad of crab than has ever been found in a [soup dumpling] before, and "gravy and pork in a doughier dumpling, fried crisp on the bottom like a pot sticker" ... "Nip and Squirt" ... "My favorite item on the menu, aside from the tiny juicy buns, is the Shanghai standard of shredded eel ninplo style" ... 100 Mott Street, 212-966-3988 [MenuPages | addyourown] ... see our post on how to eat a soupy dumpling ...
- Waiter Rant suggests that wait staff "Collect all the pharmaceutical pens you can lay your hands on. Then, when you get a problem customer, make a diagnosis and suggest some treatment options with the pen you give them to sign the check." ... some of WR's ideas ... "Zoloft – Good for the obsessive compulsive guy who double checks the bill 5 times. (OCD)" ... "Propecia – You may have money you rude arrogant bastard - but I have all my hair. (Baldness)" ... "Clozaril – Customer says “Do you know who I am?” No I don’t. And I’ll bet he doesn’t either. (Schizophrenia)" ... and closes: "So the next time you go out to eat dear customer, take a close look at the pen you’re signing the check with. Your server may be trying to tell you something." ... funny article, but take a look at the comments ... we tip based on the entire meal and insults do not increase it ... if you want to increase your tips, read the resources in our post on tipping ...
- Verbose Coma has some good advice for staff with a link: "Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work" ... and you might want to give an extra wipe to the tables at Bistro Du Vent
- The Kitchen Review states: "Please try and convince me that a national service charge wouldn't be an overall good for the industry." ... comments are open ...
- Sweet Blog o' Mine likes the huevos rancheros at Clinton Street Baking Company ... 4 Clinton Street, between Stanton and Houston Streets, 646-602-6263 [MenuPages | Citysearch] ... and has pics from her lunch at Aureole ... 34 East 61st Street, 212-319-1660 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- gothamist has an update on the ice cream war between the Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and the Nolita Ice Cream Factory ... asks if "anyone noticed a distinct difference in ice cream quality between the two shops?" ... see the comments ... we wonder if this isn't a PR stunt to sell so-so ice cream ...
- Plate of the Day tried the new Congee at 98 Bowery ... "Congee Village Chinese Restaurant NY Bowery" ... and liked ... the Thai chicken feet, which "is essentially a spicier pickled version...served cold...The bones have been removed so you just get the crunch of the skin." ... and the "steamed bamboo plate of chicken and mushrooms" ... "food overall was pretty good and the service was average" ... 98 Bowery, between Hester and Grand Streets, 212-965-5028 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- Hala Lettieri says the Roma Luncheonette "isn't quite as transcendently good as the old Bleecker Luncheonette, but it comes close in spirit and is done with a surprisingly light, clean touch." ... 636 East 187th Street, Bronx, 718-367-9189 [Gayot]
- A Hamburger Today in "George Motz Mania" ... links to a 90 minute seminar given by George Motz on October 6 ...
- cityrag lets us know that "2 Big Macs have less fat than 1 Chipotle burrito!" ... Ai yi yi! ...
- David Rosen, like Gael Greene, likes the Peking duck at Mainland ... "The wood aroma imparted on the duck is what makes this classic Chinese dish a standout at Mainland." ... in "Mainland Is Latest Addition to City's Club of Upscale Chinese Restaurants" ... 1081 Third Ave. between East 63rd and 64th, 212-888-6333 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- Elissa Meyers' Contrarian Quarterly says in "WD-50 Tasting Menu" ... "If there's a more fun place to eat in town we've yet to find it." ... the yellowtail was "terrifically delightful" ... also liked ... squab breast ... artichokes and ricotta ... lamb belly ... and "the quite phenomenal carrots confit" ... 50 Clinton Street, between Stanton and Rivington Streets, 212-477-2900 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- Pascale Le Draoulec says "Tides still looking for its sea legs" ... "A handful of dishes would lure me back, but an equal number suggests the kitchen needs a buoy - and fast." ... but that "washing your hands in the bathroom is the closest you'll ever get to being in an Herbal Essence commercial" ... another bathroom to see after 21 ... 102 Norfolk Street, near Delancey, 212-254-8855 [Citysearch]
- Gael Greene also visited Tides ... "Why Do I Feel a Sea Breeze on Delancey and Norfolk?" ... liked ... the lobster roll ... jicama-carrot slaw ... corn pudding ... but the red snapper was overcooked and "two out of five scallops are over the hill" ... we've smelled sea breezes like that ...
- Dana Bowen looks at the recently-opened You-Chun ... "Digging In With Chopsticks and Scissors" ... says the best dishes are "Dumplings; all versions of naeng myun; seafood noodle soups; pork belly" ... 5 West 36th Street, 212-239-5000 ... pics at hello, typepad
- Steve Cuozzo, in "Spice is Right, but Central not Grand" ... warns that the entrees at Havana Central are a "minefield" ... but says it "tames the island spices at prices that make it one of the Theater District's best bargains" ... 151 West 46th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, 212-398-7440 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- Joshua Bernstein likes the outdoor patio at "summertime oldie-but-goodie: El Rey Del Sol" ... "Pitcher-Perfect Salvation" ... "it serves some of the city's finer margaritas in a setting tailored to heat-induced lethargy and marathon intoxication" ... 232 West 14th Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues, 212-229-0733 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- Peter Meehan looked at ... espresso accessories made by Ken Nye's Espressocraft in "The Mad Scientist of Espresso, Way, Way Beyond Mr. Coffee" ... and links to CoffeeGeek, an amazing site for coffee lovers ...
- Frank Bruni reports that Spigolo "serves unpretentious Italian food in an uncontrived setting" ... while the kitchen "doesn't make the mistakes of flamboyant inventiveness and annoyingly cheeky conceits" ... yet "Spigolo's dishes aren't uniformly terrific" ... he liked ... the shrimp and baby octopus appetizers ... the salmon fillet ... pan-roasted wild striped bass ... and some desserts ... "Italian, Almost Home Cooked" ... 1561 Second Avenue at East 81st Street, 212-744-1100 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- Jules at The Bruni Digest ... also looks at "Spigolo: Bosomy Buddies" ...
- Tables for Two went to Mercadito ... liked the "guacamoles—traditional, mango, and pineapple—are piquant and addictive" ... and the wild-bass seviche ... the tacos ranged from "uninspired" to "superb" ... and helpfully suggests that "the back dining area provides a cooler, slightly less raucous refuge" ... 179 Avenue B, between East 11th and East 12th Streets, 212-529-6490 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- Hal Rubenstein reviewed Bette ... "No Velvet Rope" ... says owner Amy Sacco is "determined to make it feel more like a neighborhood restaurant than a white-hot scenesters’ hangout" ... "the menu won’t dazzle you with innovation" ... damning with faint praise "the food [is] sometimes spirited, generally good, and always serviceable" ... "But when the kitchen gets slammed, and it can happen as quickly as Beyoncé changes outfits, the young staff can get careless" ... Frank Bruni reviewed Bette last week ... Bette, 461 West 23rd Street, 212-366-0404 [MenuPages | Citysearch] ... and said Gusto "is the rare local spot worth a visit just for the food" ... but doesn't like "its sparkling but unnavigable design" ... Gusto, 60 Greenwich Avenue, near 7th Avenue and 11th Street, 212-924-8000 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- The Amateur Gourmet had a busy week ... nominates the Chicken Adobo at Cendrillon ... "my #1 favorite chicken dish for 2005." ... 45 Mercer Street, 212-343-9012 [MenuPages | Citysearch] ... also went to Prune for dinner ... had roast suckling pig that was "prefectly [sic] moist and succulent and flavorful" ... "heaven-on-earth delicious chocolate bread pudding with mmmmmmm sauce" ... and "a magnificent evening." ... 54 East 1st Street, 212-677-6221 [MenuPages | Citysearch] ... also posted James Felder's review of Mara's Homemade ... who declares, "Mara’s has the best BBQ combo in the city" ... 342 East 6th Street, 212-598-1110 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- Andrea Strong writes about Uovo ... "while the place gives good vibe and made me want to spend many a night dining there, the food gave me little desire to return." 175 Avenue B at 11th Street, 212-475-8686 [MenuPages | Citysearch]
- Clareified, in "THAT'S AMORE...OR 900 FAT GRAMS...ONE OR THE OTHER," says the best pizza in NYC is in Brooklyn ... and "the best pizza is DiFara's on Avenue J." ... Grimaldi's "the pies are perfect everytime" ... Totonno's ... Gino's ... and "Any neighborhood pizza shop. Look for placards advertising Italian ices and there should be a huge window that opens horizontally in the front." ... DiFara's, 1424 Avenue J, Brooklyn, 718-258-1367 [slice] ... Totonno Pizzeria Napolitano, 1524 Neptune Avene, Coney Island, 718-372-8606 [slice | Citysearch] ... Gino's Pizzeria, 831 Flatbush Avenue, 718-287-8800 [Citysearch]
- Alarming News responds "Totonno's [Coney Island] remains my favorite" ... and L&B Spumoni Gardens "deserves a second shot. I'm buying, Dawn, if you're driving." ... L&B Spumoni Gardens, 2725 86th Street, Brooklyn, 718-372-8400 [slice | Citysearch]
Did we miss your favorite review? Want to see your review here next week?Let us know: aguyinnewyork [at] gmail ... we're especially interested in hearing from NYC bloggers ...
To Tip or Not to Tip - NYT Op-Ed
Steven Shaw has an op-ed in today's NYT, "Tipped Off"," that advocates replacing the tip with a service charge.
Michael Lynn, an associate professor of consumer behavior and marketing at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, has conducted dozens of studies of tipping and has concluded that consumers' assessments of the quality of service correlate weakly to the amount they tip.
We like the practices of adding a standard service charge with no tipping and posting the full price of a dish, including tax and service charge.
My experience with being on the receiving end of a tip was during the years I drove a cab, and I can say unequivocally that the best tippers are waiters, waitresses, and bartenders. The worst tippers in my experience? Doctors, lawyers, and airline pilots (the pilots were usually condescending, too).
- "Mega tips: Scientifically Tested Techniques to Increase Your Tips," by Dr. Michael Lynn, 2004 (pdf)
- "Researcher in consumer behavior looks at attitudes of gratitude that affect gratuities," Cornell Chronicle, August 17, 2000
- "How much to tip," CNNMoney
- "How to Tip Properly" on eHow
- "The Economics and Etiquette of Tipping," by Steen Videbeck, Policy (The Centre for Independent Studies, Australia), Summer 2004
- "Tipping Your Server: Better With Cash or Credit," by Jay M. Allison, Missouri Western State College, December 5, 1995
Excellent Sichuan Food - Upper East Side
We have written about Wu Liang Ye before, the Lexington Ave. location.
Last Friday, we walked to the 86th Street & 3rd Avenue location for a meal at the Wu Liang Ye, 3rd ... it is up-town and I was fearful that the meal would not be as good as the mid-town location ...
Good news ... the dishes we ordered were very competently prepared in the Chinese manner ...
we started with three dishes ... Poached razor clams with Sichuan peppercorn and scallion vinaigrette ... Ox tongue and tripe with roasted chili and peanut vinaigrette .. Jelly fish julienne with scallion pesto ... yummy, yummy, yummy! ... the three dishes can be ordered as a combination for $20.95 ... worth every penny ... the sauces were delicious with the right strength of chili and green scallion ...
next ... we ate an order of Chengdu wonton with Sichuan peppercorn vinaigrette ... swallowing clouds! $4.95 ...
finally, we ate sauteed spinach with garlic $8.95 ... so very delicate ... with a bowl of steamed rice ...
a perfect meal ...
I had a glass of Wu-Liang-Ye, a colorless grain alcohol ... similar to vodka ... taste of lemon and lichi ... drink chilled ... can be considered as their house wine ... very smooth with the hot Sichuan peppercorns ... $6.00 with the meal ...
very good service, too ... I will be back to try other dishes.
And we got in some exercise ... walking twenty blocks each way on a Friday evening ...
215 East 86th Street, 212-534-6032
AGINY Good Value and Highly Recommended
This Week in Reviews - August 5, 2005
Each Friday, AGINY publishes "This Week in Reviews," with quick links to New York City restaurant reviews and mentions from the previous seven days in blogs, magazines, and newspapers.
New York magazine is on the web and the stands with its Eat Cheap issue (August 8, 2005) ... "Presenting the city’s best new places to eat like a prince, at pauper’s prices." ... our kind of list ...
The Amateur Gourmet tried one of the places on New York's Eat Cheap list ... Waldy's Pizza ... and although he would not "come from a far outer borough to sample this pizza" he would absolutely "go out my door and down the block" ... 800 Sixth Ave., 212-213-5042
Robert Sietsema reviews Bosna Express in Long Island City and recommends "grah ($6.95), a white-bean stew that tastes a lot like Campbell's Bean With Bacon, except there's no bacon, of course." 3129 12th Street, Long Island City, Queens, 718-932-5577. Subway: N train, either Broadway or 30th Avenue
eat drink one woman has "yet to be disappointed by a meal at al di la" ... where her favorite dish is "the genie pillow casunziei with fuchsia beet ricotta filling, glossy clarified butter and the subtle crunch of poppy seeds" ... we love poppy seeds ... 248 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, 718-783-4565
Want a grilled pizza? How about a pizza covered with Nutella for dessert? Peter Meehan likes Coals in the Bronx, "Pizza on a Grill in the Bronx" (NYT rr), and says the Pure Bliss and the Al Leiter pies are both "pure winners." but warns you to avoid the Rasta. He declares that "the Second Avenue panini ($6.25) is probably one of the best creative sandwiches in the city." Probably? 1888 Eastchester Road, Bronx, 718-823-7002
New York Daily News concludes that the best pizza in New York is in the Bronx: Di Fara Pizza (1424 Avenue J at E. 15th St., 718-258-1367) and Franny's (295 Flatbush Ave., between St. Mark's Ave. and Bergen St., 718-230-0221) in "Upper crust: Our team of tasters tracks down the best pizzas 'round" ... 3 stars each ... although we're not sure what to make of the 3 1/2 stars given to ... Totonno (1524 Neptune Ave., Coney Island, 718-372-8606) ... Sal and Carmine's (2671 Broadway, 212-663-7651) ... Luzzo (211 First Ave., 212-473-7447) ... or John's Pizzeria (278 Bleecker St., 212-243-1680) ...
The only reason this one is here is because it has "chug" in it: "Tiny Bubbles: What does a 40 really taste like?", by Nina Lalli in The Village Voice, compares 3 malt liquors: Olde English, Colt 45, and Saint Ides ... and concludes, "What really blew my mind was the fact that all the 40s smelled exactly like canned pineapple juice." ... hmmmm, canned pineapple juice has never smelled like beer to us ...
According to Moira Hodgson, New York Observer, the almond soup at Uovo is a "masterpiece" ... "An Icon of Simple Perfection Hatches in the East Village" ... The Humboldt Fog with sherry syrup also sounds interesting; Moira's waitress told her, "It’s like a piece of cheesecake, but it’s a piece of cheese." 175 Avenue B, 212-475-8686
Andrea Strong reviews La Esquina: "Their cold and creamy green tomato and avocado soup was picture perfect, served in a shallow terra cotta cazuela, topped with shaved radishes and bits of avocado and pineapple. It was quite possibly my most intense cold soup experience. I needed a moment after each spoonful." 106 Kenmare Street, 646-613-1333
Joshua Bernestin in "Beach-Blanket Beer-Sipping," asks: "La Esquina. Location? Nestled in Nolita's Corner Deli, behind a door marked EMPLOYEES ONLY. Reservation? Required. Phone number? Granted by a hostess who'll maybe (maybe) provide a table after you schlep upstairs and call. In the name of Milk and Honey, why is getting drunk a cool-approved privilege?" ... good question ... If you want to visit another place that is hard to find, go to Harry's LIC at Water Taxi Beach (Hunter's Point in Brooklyn) ... "Though the [WaterTaxiBeach.com] website touts, 'Finding the beach is easy!' I disagree. The 34th Street water taxi is the most direct route, but why drop eight dollars round-trip to drink? And it's a 15-minute hike from the 7 or G train. Instead, bike or drive and look for the bulbous Tennisport complex, beside a parking lot marked by a New York Water Taxi sign. Head to the lot's rear and—voila!—beach." ... here's the Google map, but this annotated one is better
(NoLita is an acronym for "North of Little Italy" ... just trying to be helpful ...)
Shazia Kahn took a tour of Il Laboratorio del Gelato ... rated number 1 in a Zagat ice cream survey ... John Snyder, the owner, got his start working in his grandfather's Carvel store .... they offer overnight delivery anywhere in the United States ... 95 Orchard St. (btwn Broome & Delancey St.s) 212-343-9922
Charlie Suisman of Manhattan User's Guide posted his list of "favorite sweet stuff" in ... "Sweet Stuff" ... he also likes Il Laboratorio del Gelato ...
Bob Lape gives the Harlem Grill 2 out of 4 stars ... liked the "clay-pot snapper, slow-cooked with other seafood, and taking on a smoky, spicy edge from chunks of andouille sausage in the pot" ... and says the bourbon butter pecan profiterole is "the star of the sweet show" ... "Table Talk: Harlem Grill taps local history" ... 2247 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (7th Ave.), 212-491-0493
Leo Carey says that "A has a besotted SoHa following, and is so endearingly tiny that it’s impossible not to root for it." ... "A" is for the A train ... although it also helps top any alpha list ... 947 Columbus Ave., 212-531-1643
... as is Jules over at The Bruni Digest, who interprets Frank Bruni's Cendrillon review: "Cendrillon: I Almost Entrechat Myself" ... hilarious
NYC Stories says of Shima (188 Second Avenue), "This was probably some of the freshest sushi I have had in NYC." ... there's another "probably" ... 212-260-6303
dailyheights.com reports on the new prix fixe restaurant, Sorrel, at Carlton and St. Mark's in Brooklyn. map
Probably (adverb): Most likely, presumably.
Did we miss your favorite review? Want to see your review here next week?Let us know: aguyinnewyork [at] gmail ... we're especially interested in hearing from NYC bloggers ...
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Teaching Teenagers to Take Orders - NYT
Today's NYT has an article by Dana Bowen, "Teaching Teenagers to Take Orders," (rr) about a two-week course by the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), that teaches kids how to properly wait tables.
Anything that improves service in the front of the house gets kudos from us. You can help one of these kids and C-CAP by becoming a sponsor.
2nd Annual Singapore Chili Crab Festival
The 2nd Annual Singapore Chili Crab Festival, Sunday, August 7th, 2005, DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Brooklyn, 66 Water Street (between Dock and Main Streets), 12 - 6pm. (rain or shine) ... a sensational experience for all ages in DUMBO's summery outdoors ...
enjoy Singapore chili crabs and other specialities prepared by The Global Culinary Society of the Culinary Institute of America ... free admission (you pay for food and beverages) ...
limited free transportation from South Street Seaport by NY Water Taxi ... or take a leisurely stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge ... the walkway feeds into Washington Street, then walk north toward the East River on Washington Street to the Festival ... www.tigerbeer.us/newyork or www.waterstreetrestaurant.com
From Tiger Beer
In addition to chili crabs, other Southeast Asian flavors including Beef Rendang, deep fried Beef Wontons, and Singapore Satay (bite-sized skewered meat) will be available. Entertainment will include live band performances, souvenir vendors, children's street entertainment and petting zoo, caricaturists, face painters, massage therapy, traditional lion dancers, East-West horoscope readings by Madame Tiger and kickboxers from Gleason’s Gym.
Best dim-sum update
When eating dim sim at the Chatham Restaurant some prefer to go to "Dim-Sum-A-Go-Go" ... where you place the order on a piece of paper and the trays are delivered to you ... that is only good for customers who do not speak Cantonese and want to pay three times more ... as we advised in our previous post
... keep an eye out for the fresh dishes carting out from the kitchen ... pick your choice and enjoy ...
you can do this even if you don't speak Cantonese ...
More fun things for summer visitors to enjoy - with a three-course lunch for $20.12
"Summer Restaurant Week" isn't over yet ... extended through Labor Day, some of New York's finest restaurants will continue to offer three-course lunches for just $20.12 (beverages, tax and tip are extra).
On the Upper East Side, before or after visiting the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, enjoy the fine French cuisine at Cafe Boulud, 20 East 76th Street, 212-772-2600 or at Dumonet at The Carlyle, 35 East 76th Street, 212-570-7192 ... classic French and delicious
On the Upper West Side, a visit to the New York Historical Society and the American Museum of Natural History must be combined with a lunch at Cafe des Artistes, 1 West 67 Street, 212-877-3500 ... Austrian-Hungarian and very cozy ...
On Columbus Circle, visit and shop at our own "Las Vegas" mall ... the new Time-Warner Center ... and lunch at Asiate in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street, 212-805-8881 ... a very spectacular view of Central Park from the 35th floor!
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- New York metro.com
- MenuPages - menu and reviews
- New York Press (scroll down)
- New York Times
Cafe des Artistes
Good Italian food
My friend from Rome told me a very long time ago ... the only place to enjoy a fine Italian meal is at home ... Gabrio Buitoni, a member of the Buitoni pasta family ... I went to NYU with him and he was responsible for introducing me to Italian food (I was fresh off the boat from Penang and did not have a clue about Italian cuisine. I have learned plenty since but he planted the seed) ... I really do not go out for Italian ... usually not worth the price and so simple to prepare pasta at home ...
Try this simple pasta ... dice fresh, sun-ripened tomatoes ... finely chopped garlic ... a cup of finely chopped fresh basil leaves ... mixed with a little olive oil and pepper flakes ... preferably prepare the sauce a few hours ahead of the meal-time ... in order for the garlic to marinade with the olive oil and the fresh diced tomatoes ... grind fresh black peppers ... toss the al dente pasta with the basil leaves and mangia over good noodles ... perfect ... here's a recipe
Also, see "How to Eat Spaghetti" by Anna Maria Volpi
Other's reviews of the best Italian restaurants in New York
- "10 Best Italian Restaurants in New York City" - from Gayot.com
- "100 Best Italian Restaurants," by Robert Sietsema, the Village Voice, June 9, 2004
- Best Italian Food 2005, from CitySearch
- Italian Restaurants - New York - from 10Best
|"The Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles," by Cooks Illustrated||"The Arthur Avenue Cookbook: Recipes and Memories from the Real Little Italy," by Ann Volkwein|
Great Sichuan cuisine - in mid-town
Wu Liang Ye Restaurant is a find for Sichuan cusine in mid-town.
The ma pao tofu (also called ma bo dofu, ma po dofu, etc. ... on the Wu Liang Ye menu as Chef's Ma Paul Tofu, which includes tofu, ground pork, green onion, green pepper, black bean sauce and spices) is the best we have had - anywhere ... spicy and served hot .. the tofu is fresh .. cooked just right ... try the razor clams cold appetizer ...
338 Lexington Avenue (between 39th St. and 40th St.), 212-370-9647.
Chef's Ma Paul Tofu
AGINY Good Value and Highly Recommended
Crab meat and ground pork soupy dumplings - Joe's Shanghai
Crab meat and ground pork soupy dumplings are a Shanghainese delicacy ... so one must patronise Shanghainese restaurants ... such as Joe's Shanghai on Pell Street (9 Pell Street) ... and Joe's Ginger at 113 Mott Street ... go and compare them both ...
- MenuPages - menu and reviews
- New York Times
- "In Search of the Golden Wok: A Yokel's Guide to Chinese," by Brian Bernbaum, The Black Table
Also see our quick review of Green Bo
Crab meat and ground pork soupy dumplings - Green Bo
Crab meat and ground pork soupy dumplings are a Shanghainese delicacy ... so one must patronise Shanghainese restaurants ... such as New Green Bo on Bayard Street, which is also famous for the scallion pancakes ... 66 Bayard St. (between Mott and Elizabeth St), 212-625-2359
To eat soupy dumplings - xiao long bao - ... carefully (you don't want to tear the skin just yet) lift one out of the steamer basket/off the plate with chopsticks and put it in a soup spoon ... pour a little vinegar (should be on the table) over the dumpling ... carefully bite off the top of the dumpling ... put a little more vinegar into the now open dumpling ... then slurp and eat the rest of the soup dumpling ... fantastic ... careful, soupy dumplings can be very hot when they first arrive at table ... and don't forget to eat the cabbage leaves ...
AGINY Good Value
Fine French prix fixe lunch $20.12
July-Labor Day: two-course lunch, $20.12
Labor Day-July: two-course lunch, $29; three-course lunch, $36
Elegant prix-fixed lunch with wine pairings for $32
Aquavit, 65 East 55th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues, 212-307-7311) for an elegant lunch at their new location ... very charming place ... three course prix-fixed lunch with wine pairings for $32, tax and tips extra. Very good value for fine Swedish cuisine...
Good food on the drive to eastern Long Island
On the drive out of the City to Southampton and eastern Long Island, stop for a light meal at Joe's Shanghai (136-21 37th Avenue, Flushing, Chinatown, 718-539-3838) ... preferably after 10pm. because of free parking and light traffic on the Southern State Parkway ... crab and pork soup dumplings ... a bowl of fresh shrimp noodle soup ... get back on the car and drive blissfully...
The next day, drive to Brewster's (the owner has his own high-tech deep-sea fishing boat and he is a very friendly guy) ... (Brewster's Seafood Market, 631-728-3474, 252 E. Montauk Hwy, Hampton Bays, NY) ... the freshest raw clams, steamers in a garlic soup, raw oysters, steamed lobsters, smoked sweet scallops and salmon, tuna sashimi, fried flounder, black fish, etc...bring your own wine or beer ... on the Montauk Highway and the Shinnecock Canal (across from the Mobil gas station ... get the cold beer there!)
Afterwards, drive north to Briermere Farm (4414 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, NY 631-722-3931) for fresh, delicious fruit pies ... locally grown peaches, blueberries, etc. .... a great gift for the folks you left behind in the sweltering City....
Heading back to the City on the LIE, take the Queens Blvd. exit (exit 19) ... drive a few blocks and turn right onto Broadway, continue till you pass the railroad over-pass ... you are now in Elmhurst, Chinatown ... where there is an Oriental mall with free parking, on your left ...
Park and visit the Vietnamese Pho restaurant (Pho Bang, which is a small NYC chain, 82-90 Broadway (Elmhurst Avenue), Queens, 718-205-1500) ... I love the rice noodles with fried spring rolls and grilled pork ... great quality. Also try the three-bean ice cold snack ... the Penang restaurant (8284 Broadway, Elmhurst, NY 718-672-1185) for spicey roti canai, Hainanese chicken, and laksa ... walk to the super-market and buy some groceries for the work week...
Best dim-sum in Chinatown
Best dim-sum in Chinatown ... Chatham Restaurant (it used to be called Hop Shing), 9 Chatham Square, 212-267-0220 ... you can eat for under $10 per person ... keep an eye out for the fresh dishes carting out from the kitchen ... pick your choice and enjoy ... the chicken feet are outstanding ...
I have been going there since I came to New York, circa 1968 ... the patrons used to spit the chicken bones onto the floor ... simply amazing, times have changed ...
Reviews of Hop Shing
AGINY good value and Highly Recommended