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A +/- Look at NYC Food

Telepan: Summer Menu

I’m not a huge brunch person. But half way through the Coddled Eggs dish at Telepan on Sunday night- I thought… if brunch eggs were like this- I could be converted. Had a really delicious dinner at Telepan the other night, Bill (JUdson Grille) Telepan’s greenmarket restaurant on the Upper West Side. And you might say the secret ingredient was eggs. 2 of the five dishes we ordered had some type of egg topping it. If you like eggs for dinner, or on your salad, this is the place to go. Not just good for eggs, it’s also got one of the best prix fix menu deals for a restaurant of this calibur in the city. For $55 you can choose one item off each of the four sections of the menu (Appetizers, Mid Courses, Entrees, and Dessert). For $65 you can add a cheese course to that. I remember reading when they first opened, you could just choose four items off any section… I’m sure leading to the four entree fat man meal. They’ve since changed the menu to address that problem, but allow you to supplement a different course for an extra charge.

I have to say, usually when I look at a menu, a few things jump out at me, and ordering is not too difficult (especially since my wife and I share everything). But this was the closest we came to a fight… There was not a single thing on the menu that didn’t look good- and it was difficult to decide what to get, and how much of it. In the end we choose 5 dishes (3 as a part of the prix fix, and an extra mid course and extra entree). A lot of food, but I can’t think of one dish I would have been willing to give up.

The meal began with an amuse bouche of three items. A pastry puff filled with cheese (how could that be bad???), a crostini topped with mushrooms and beans (also good), and a chilled carrot soup topped with olive oil, which was really delicious- and reminded you that the meal you were about to eat is one made with really fresh ingredients. The menu at Telepan changes based on the seasons and what the best available ingredients are- so don’t expect the menu to be exactly the same when you go.

What we ate, and the porn- after the jump…. Continue reading

July 5, 2006 Posted by | Food: American (New), Food: Greenmarket, Location: Upper West Side, Price: Expensive, Price: Very Expensive | Leave a comment

Craftsteak

Tom Collichio… you have answered my prayers.  Thank you for bringing Craftsteak to New York.  I love Craftsteak.  I ate at the one in Vegas.  I liked it so much, I ate there a second time… something I wouldn't normally do in a town with so many buffets (so many buffets, so little time).  Eating there is the reason Craft was at the top of my list of places to eat when I moved to New York.  See, before eating at Craftsteak, I had never heard of Craft, or Grammercy Tavern, or Top Chef, or the name Tom Collichio.  Oh, but how one grass fed Ribeye and one corn fed New York strip steak can change all that (the beet salad and mushrooms don't hurt either).

Which brings me to the first point about this place.  If you don't like Craft, you're probably not going to like Craftsteak.  It's pretty much the same restaurant, with alot more meat (hence the name).  Same concept, same sides… same deal.  If you went to Craft and thought "I didn't like ordering everything ala carte" or "This is too expensive", save yourself the trip and skip this restaurant.  If you love Craft, and you love steak, then I'm guessing you'll like this place.

Now if you've been to the Craftsteak in Vegas, there are a few differences between the two places.  First, the menu is much larger.  In Vegas you have a choice of about 8 different steaks cooked two different ways (fed corn or grass).  Well New York is no Vegas my friend, and Tom C. proved it with a whopping 14-17 different steaks, from 3 different providers, including an assortment of house dry aged New York strip steaks which you choose the length of time they were aged.  It's pretty mind boggling.

What we ate and the +/- after the jump… Continue reading

May 6, 2006 Posted by | Food: American (New), Location: Meatpacking, Price: Very Expensive | Leave a comment

Nook

Nook, Hell's Kitchen NYCNook is definetely an appropriate name for this tiny Hell's Kitchen restaurant. You could easily miss it walking down Ninth Avenue… and it's that kind of carelessness that has you missing out on some of the hidden treasures of the city!  Loser.  This one might not necessarily be worth the trip out of your way, but if you live in Hell's Kitchen, or are going to be in the area- it's definetely worth a visit. Features Chef Rachelle Rodwell formerly of Bouley.

What we ate, and the +/- after the jump… Continue reading

April 8, 2006 Posted by | Food: American (New), Location: Hell's Kitchen, Price: Moderate | 1 Comment

5 Ninth

As you may know from an earlier post, Zac Pelacio's Fatty Crab is my *FAVORITE* restaurant in New York, so it goes with out saying I was super excited to be going to dinner at 5 Ninth, his flagship restaurant.  Situated in the Meatpacking District, the restaurant is located in a 3 story unmarked brownstone, with no sign- it's name taken from the address of the restaurant.  If you weren't looking for this place, you'd never know it was there- which makes it cool right?  You've gotta be in the know- and that makes you feel special!  Already off to a good start… unless you can't find the place, get lost and miss your reservation.  Then you feel lame, and pissed, and wonder why these stupid Brooklyn transplants couldn't have just put a fucking sign on the door like everyone else.

Compared to most of the "hip" Meatpacking Restaurants, this place is pretty casual but in a calculated, I'm better then you kind of way.  The bartender is one of those "cocktail chefs", or whatever they call them, so there is a menu of interesting mixed drinks which are one or two bucks more expensive then they would be if it was from a normal bartender (I mean he is a chef for god sake!).  The friends we were meeting had ordered one of the cocktails, which they did not like- and I gladly took off their hands, and enjoyed.  The cocktails are all pretty interesting, and at 12-14 bucks a pop are still on par for the neighborhood.

As far as attitude when we entered, it's in the Meatpacking district!  It comes with the territory.  If you don't want to be condescended to by a host, or kept waiting 20 minutes after your reservation time while somone more important gets seated ahead of you without reservations- DON'T EAT IN THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT ON A SATURDAY NIGHT.  I've heard alot of complaints like "Would they have treated me like that if I was Robert DeNiro?"… well you're not Robert DeNiro- and if you were, you would definetely not want to kept waiting just so that some shmuck from the Upper West Side who heard that this place was "hip" could be seated at his correct reservation time. 

Now, don't get me wrong… I'm not condoning this behavior, and I will be the first one up at the front complaining that this is bullshit and we need to be seated.  But, when I do eat at one of these restaurants, I tend to give them a little more leeway then a restaurant that clearly prides itself on service.  Half the reason you go to restaurants like this is because they are considered "cool", right?  Well, there's a price to pay for cool.  You've been warned… no one's forcing you to eat there- and if it this type of thing really bothers you, I would definetely steer clear of this place- at least on a Friday or Saturday night.

Now on to the food… the most important part!  Right?  We were seated about 20 minutes after our reservation time (but before another party who had been there longer and were clearly very angry about being kept waiting- so that made us feel a little better)… and my excitement had not waned.  And therein lied the biggest problem for me.  My excitement… or as I have come to call it- the Babbo Curse.  I have come to realize that expectations play one of the largest parts in whether or not you enjoy a restaurant.  And my expectations for this place were big.  Fried pork with watermelon BIG Crab with Chili Sauce BIG .  And in that regard I was let down.  5 Ninth is refined new american with a Southeast Asian twist… Fatty Crab is twist-less.  It's more like a southest asian hammer to the skull.  That's not to say the food was not good…

What we ate, and the +/- after the jump… Continue reading

February 18, 2006 Posted by | Food: American (New), Food: Asian (New), Location: Meatpacking, Price: Expensive | Leave a comment

Market Cafe

You always have to be careful recommending a neighborhood joint to people who live outside your hood. Your enthusiasm for that suprisingly good little place, right around the corner, might be mis-placed when talking to someone who might have to jump on a subway or in a cab for the same meal. Market Cafe definetely falls into that category.

This little New American "diner", masquerading as a bistro, might not be worth a trip out of your way… but it still has a lot going for it. A casual atmosphere, with that dash of sophistication that dimly shines through on a few stand out dishes make it a great place to head to if you are already going to be in the southern part of Hell's Kitchen. Add to that prices that are borderline laughable (compared to similar restaurants in the area), and you've got a winner. Just don't expect too much… or you may end up disappointed.

What we ate, and the +/- after the jump…. Continue reading

January 28, 2006 Posted by | Food: American (New), Location: Hell's Kitchen, Price: Inexpensive, Uncategorized | Leave a comment