New York City Restaurants

Second this. If either of you like porchetta, their sandwich is excellent.

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A few recent meals to note.

With the exception of the Skate dish I had an excellent meal at Momofuku Ko Bar. The wine list is great.

Atomix was its usual mindblowing self.

Porcelain did an incredible job with the food for Rieslingstudy15. It is such a special place. I recommend a trip to Ridgewood to see what it is going on there.

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I went back to Al Coro for the new pasta tasting menu last night. It’s priced at $125 for 5 courses of pasta, an amuse bouche, and a small dessert. It wasn’t all great, but I could see myself going back more for this menu because the price point is more reasonable and I like the setting at Al Coro with nice big tables, good glassware, etc. Corkage is $75, which isn’t low but I’m fine with it given the setting, and it beats the highly priced wine list.

  1. First course is a potato-filled dumpling in a sauce of white wine, butter, and caviar. This is similar to a dish on their opening menu, but for some reason last night wasn’t nearly as good as I recall. The texture of the dumpling was a bit heavy / gloopy and the sauce overly acidic.

  2. Course 2 & 3 are meant to be a play on Italian-American food. Course 2 was a linguine with clams, which was well executed and had a nice texture with some crunchy bread crumbs, but overall this didn’t feel quite elevated enough to make sense in this setting. Course 3 was smoked ricotta cappelletti in a tomato vodka sauce, which was very tasty.

  3. Course 4 was tortellini in brodo, with the brodo the same as the agnolotti in brodo on their main menu, but this time the pasta is tortellini filled with swiss chard and black truffle. Their brodo is exceptional, and the best I’ve had at a restaurant. They make a capon broth and then use the stock from the first broth in place of water with a fresh round of capon in making round 2, and they then add parmigiano and clarify it afterwards, so it is a very concentrated clear broth. This is the kind of dedication and luxury that I wish would come through in all the dishes here, but unfortunately this is an outlier.

  4. Final pasta was a cocoa garganelli with a duck ragu. This was very tasty, and the second best pasta of the night behind the brodo. That said, I still found it a bit lacking and not at a 2-star level, although it’s better than many pasta dishes in NYC. The flavor and texture of the duck ragu at humble Hosteria Giusti in Modena is far superior to what Al Coro is serving in my view.

Service remains kind of inconsistent and amateur. Not that anything was majorly off, but it still feels like the team isn’t fully working in harmony yet. For example, you have to specify you want to do the pasta tasting menu when you book, but our captain brought us the 7 course menu and had no idea we had booked the pasta menu. No big deal, but kind of amateur.

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Had my 5th meal at The Foul Witch last night. Every meal has been extremely good. At this point I have almost had the entire menu. I also enjoy eating the same things over and over. The sun choke pasta is great and reminds me so much of Blanca.

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really want to go do they accept walkins? pretty much gave up on a reservation.

They do have a bar area that they use for walk ins. I am guessing if you went early or late you would have a good shot. They have been overwhelmed by the positive response.

awesome great to hear that.

i went twice and both times we had reservations but were sat earlier than our designated time (our choice). id opt to come and im pretty sure theyd have room.

i liked the veal ravioli in brodo, the mushrooms and the sunchoke pasta best. i dont think we had any mains.

i just hope they change the menu up with the seasons.

my new favorite is noortwyck. had an excellent night out with my wife last week and going back tomorrow with friends. we brought a bottle of lafarge and paid $50 for corkage. the food was excellent (truffle ravioli…something i tend to avoid was one of the best pastas in recent memory), the service was friendly and exemplary…and we enjoyed the space. we’ll be back often.

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A couple recent meals:

Laser Wolf was good but not exceptional. They are very generous with the salatim, but in terms of skewers/mains, I’m not sure there’s a meaningful difference in comparison to some other less-hyped restaurants. Brief wine menu, and our server steered us away from the cocktails on their list. I’m not running back.

Torien was an interesting and unique meal. It’s yakitori and seemed to me to be an authentic representation of the cuisine based on my experience in Japan. Service was great and attentive without being stiff. They are willing to work with other diners on some of the more out-there skewers (cartilage, etc.) and made substitutions willingly. There are two main chefs working the grills. Ours was engaging and talkative, and provided some detail around the specific binchotan they source and strategies for maximizing its use. It’s a substantial meal. Best bites were somewhat surprising – knee and tail – which to me is part of the beauty of eating at a place like this. The drinks list included a fair amount of sake (including kikuhime), wine, and beer, though pricing is pretty high. I think corkage is $100.

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Friends are taking me out for my birthday and have identified several Chinese restaurants from which I can choose. I can’t change the selections. These are my choices — I don’t know anything about any of them. I’d appreciate any thoughts anyone might have about any of them:

Hutong
Chinese Tuxedo
Phillips Chow
Hidden Leaf

Thanks

Anyone been to Bad Roman?

I have a work dinner there in mid-April.

Looks interesting, but some bad service reviews on Yelp.

Tom

I found Chinese Tuxedo to be terrible. Wouldn’t return if you paid me.

Philippe Chow is good (enough).

Hutong good but pricey.

There are much better Chinese restaurants in NYC but if the places you mention I’d pick either Hutong or Philippe.

I like Victor Hong’s . Best noodles around .

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Thanks Wilfred. Appreciate the feedback. Rez made at Phillipe Chow uptown. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised given the low expectations.

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I went to bad roman, it was ok, it was more of a scene and looked more like a Mexican restaurant than an Italian one. Services was rushed but I got them to settle down and the experience was not memorable. Wine list was ok. I won’t go back would rather go downtown to Don Angie.

Thanks Dan.

No choice on this one, as it’s been booked. We have a private room for about 40. So, hopefully, service will be better. Food looked good.

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Visited Atomix for the second time last night. Based on my palate and experience, I can’t think of a better tasting menu in the city. Of the dishes we were served, at least two were holdovers from the menu last fall – the jellyfish and sea cucumber (playing the hits, I guess!). Several ‘wows’ – dishes of nuance, balance, and depth – and only one dish that felt a little off in execution. They did offer a black truffle add-on… I’m not huge on this practice at already pricy restaurants… But they seem to know their audience as about half those seated with us bit.

Nice drink/wine list with very good cocktails. We had a bottle of '20 Emrich-Schonleber GG and a glass of 2019 Dureuil-Janthial Rully.

The one thing that struck me the most about this visit was how much the environment, service and general vibe shifts depending on the guests. It’s a small restaurant. Only 14 seats, I think. The first time I went, the crowd was older with more of a couples-on-date-nights feel. The group was fairly sedate, and the restaurant felt intimate and calm. This time, my friend asked if I thought I was the oldest guest… scary thought! The guests were much younger with a couple of larger parties. The service and environment felt more casual. Not to suggest I have a preference between the two – I would happily eat here with either group – but it was impressive to see the restaurant shape-shift and flex to meet the guests.

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I could not agree with you more! And if you have a relationship with the team it is an even better experience.

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Going to Fradei tonight to check out the new menu/approach. Anyone tried it since the chef changeover?

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One can dream…

Fortunately, have secured a reservation in April already. Looking forward to going back even if it’s a similar menu.

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