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I'm going to sound like the kind of New Yorker who is hated by many but disputable by few, but people from other cities have lower standards for food. For the record, I don't hold New Yorkers in much higher regard either but that's saved for NY reviews.
This place was packed with people who don't know better, either because they actually like this garbage or because they followed the recommendation of those in the former group.
We ordered wings. Half wet half dry. And I wish I remembered anything about them except that the wet sauce was disgusting and the "dry" wings were coated with ranch powder. If I wanted great American trash food, I would've made a Sandra Lee recipe myself at home. Wings were also over fried and dry.
The donuts were fine as far as consistency but again the colored sugar they call flavoring leaves much to be desired. Edit: "Strawberry lavender" is exactly as successful as an attempt by Sarah Palin to be French chic would be.
Music never needs to be deafening much less when it's not a dance party. That said, I wasn't mad at the music here - mostly late 90s to early 00s hip hop and rnb aka the only kind that matters. Current Jayz fans and "real hip hop heads" can all step to the left, because I don't care.
Good service and it was a pretty big space so I assume stress free seating wise.
I have no problems paying premium for quality food but expect your price premium here as you would for food at a bar lounge. Drinks err on the side of too sweet. Food err on the side of too-from-frozen. The little plastic vessels used for "dipping sauce" looked all too familiar to ones I had to dole out as a cocktail waitress during happy hour (shameful but true), plated with an order of exactly 4 Cajun shrimp, it was one of the sadder sights I've had to bear.
In sum, I would return only if I did not feel inclined to order food or cocktails. So, whiskey on the rocks but only if they'll play excuse me, miss era Jay.
The success of Magnolia's Bakery is less a testament to the quality of the goods it sells than the power of Sex and the City's legacy. I hold this truth to be self-evident, and yet, I found myself picking up two cupcakes last night for a friend's bday. It is conveniently located by the office and is open until late, but mostly, I was feeling ironic.
Whatever it was, I'm sure I won't feel it again any time soon, because the cupcakes are horrible. To be fair, I've had cupcakes at the Bleecker St location years ago and while it didn't blow my mind with goodness, it also wasn't gross. So, complacency at work again? Ain't that a bitch tho.
If I wanted not so fresh fish, I would've gone to the Cheesecake Factory.
I'm first to defend a restaurant against negative reviews written after one single meal, but there are factors that can indicate quality without multiple visits - namely, the management and customer service, which reflect how a restaurant is run and therefore its quality overall.
I'm sure Hatsuhana has had its glory days, but the best restaurants/people/whatever are able to take to criticism and make timely and appropriate responses to shortcomings.
I understand that there are difficulties experienced by sushi restaurants as a result of the toxic spill from Japan, however, my sympathies end when 1. you dismiss my concerns about the quality of uni relate to freshness that may or may not be tantamount to health issues (ie slimy and sticky uni that has nothing to do with flavor or creaminess). 2. you offer to replace it with another item but limit my options. 3. your replacement hamachi is 100% cold with frozen spots in the fish.
The uni in my "box of dreams" was SLIMEY and the color of sadness, when I raised it to the waiters, he barely stayed long enough to care before he summoned a manager to whom I had to relate the story who then turned around to ask one of the sushi chefs behind the counter to taste it who then said this is how it should taste. OH, OH, I know uni has a weird texture, but this was straight up St. Marks 50% off quality sushi. So now, not only have you made a poor attempt to save yourself but you've insulted me by suggesting that the difference in taste is attributed to its origin from Maine rather than California. First, if that were the case, it should have been made clear to me at the time I ordered that the uni included in the set may be different from my expectations, not offer it as a thinly veiled excuse after something goes wrong. At this point, I didn't even bother arguing because this manager was obviously a poor example of hospitality. Fine, he offers to replace it with something else but only something else that's served in the box of dreams, such a limitation would be completely reasonable if I were requesting a substitution as a result of preference at the outset, however, when the replacement is compulsory as a result of the restaurant's fault, you can afford to go a little above the standard. Fine, I ask for a serving of hamachi to replace the rotten uni, and the two pieces I served were 5 minutes shy of being completely frozen.
I love sushi, and nothing really pisses me off more than a ruined sushi meal. I've gotten better delivery quality sushi.
Could not be more ordinary, even writing this review makes me bored with how far off the mark the meal was from my expectations. The flaws were inane - calloused service from waiters who try to maintain airs. Fanciful dishes which were merely fine and ordinary. The pastas were blah, at this price point I'd rather go to Babbo or Ai Fiori.
Please, for the love of god, if you're a simpleton stop contributing. In what world is the attire here considered dressy? Maybe the main dining area is a bit more deserving of its fine dining aspirations but the front portion and the outdoor patio style tin furniture are just bizarre and leaves much to be desired. Ie so ugly.
Decent range of wines by the glass, capped out at $28 for a glass of Brunello which is about 40 euros a bottle at retail (haven't tried to cop stateside because my day to day choices max out at $15 a bottle.)
The bread basket was fantastic and seriously blew expectations out of proportion. What's the rule for just having wine and the bread basket with spread at the bar? Because I would be all over that. Mascarpone butter is ace.
We had the mozzarella and short rib risotto as starters. Still pretty happy at this point although the dishes were lukewarm upon the first bite and frozen before we finished. The cheese was fresh and paired well with the tomatoes. The short ribs and risotto is the winner of the two.
My enthusiasm began to wane when the waiter came to check on us after the first course. He stayed for the praise but when we mentioned that it was strange that dishes were cold he was gone after just a grunt. Two from my party ordered gin and tonics; one was served with the tonic poured at the table the other was just served the made drink. Careless inconsistency. The entrees were dropped off by the back waiter without the waiter being present to present the dishes, which I think is a pretty minimal requirement for service.
Typically I ordered the black tagliolini which was represented as seafood ragout and crispy breadcrumbs. Served with a plastic dome which I suppose had some function when it was conceived but just was ugly because plastic never classes up anything.not a crunch was had in the entire dish I kept looking for them however subtle they may have been maybe I was too clumsy to have detected the texture. Seafood ragout was absent save for some strands of squid. This is no match for Ai Fioris version.
The red snapper over black rice was great if a little unsalted and i found the mussels to be kind of a pointless addition (what have mussels ever enhanced except frites).
Bathroom situation was also pretty shabby considering. The faux gold faucets, while not the tackiest fixtures in the place (hello, mepa clientele) certainly didn't help any argument against Scarpetta as being kind of a classless place.
I'm assuming Eric Kayser goods are baked in a central location and distributed to its growing number of branches in the city, if so, then color me confused as to the discrepancy in quality. (I could be very wrong about this, because Bouchon suffers the same inconsistency - Rock Center baguettes taste like supermarket "French bread" whereas the TWC branch turns out the best baguettes in the city IMO.)
All things being equal - time of the day and goods purchased and tried, the almond croissant I had from this branch was terrible enough to make me rescind my decision to give the Kayser another chance after my almond croissant at the Columbus Circle location. Super heavy and doughy, just blegh.
That aside, the cashiers work at the pace of snails and yet still appear frazzled by the task of ringing up pastries. As speedy as New Yorkers claim to be, bakery visits here are just not the exercise in efficiency as they are in Paris, where a moment of hesitation waives your spot in line. You're not choosing a watch at Tourneau, heau, move it along.
Did Bouchon discontinue triple chocolate croissant because it was too delicious or is there no God? Tried the chocolate almond croissant as substitute was way too heavy, dense and sweet, just all around clumsy and disgusting. Decent apple pie and cream puff. That nutter butter cookie is still a magic pill for the sweets craving.
Still my first choice for macarons were I to crave one based on comprehensive evaluation of accessibility, price and quality.
This branch is a hot mess all year round, but from November on, it's been impossible. Like, I'd rather deprive myself of the goods than suffer the insufferable tourists who act like they've never seen a croissant. Peasants.
Yo, can the discerning Ippudo fans do us a favor: stfu and take your ass there if it's so glorious. I promise you not a single person would protest the missing body on this line, because not a single person cares that your favorite ramen place is Ippudo in a Totto review. If you're making the statement for some singularity of opinion against the current, do a search and take a number, everyone in NYC has had a bowl from Ippudo. It's about as relevant as mentioning your ex in your wedding vows, girl, no one is here for it.
There was an article in Slate a few weeks ago on whether we still have a reason to go to Europe when most anything we could want from Europe can be had stateside. On some level, Europe can be overly romanticized by Americans. Is it the perpetual colonial inferiority complex?
By contrast despite growing popularity of Chinese food, and the elevation of food as an art form, most people are not making the connection between these two trends. Unless it's a Jean-Georges venture, Chinese and southeast Asian food seem to be most authentic when it's found in a dive or hole in the wall, which is ironic because I almost never eat at anything less than banquets in China...
Yet, a too fancy venue has never detracted from authenticity of an Italian or French place. Au contraire, I think it's not an uncommon practice to use fancy interiors to create the illusion that here is a place to be taken seriously despite the very average and pedestrian food.
The food here is not the occasion, it's not worthy of the decor. Some of the appetizers appeared more promising but after tasting the cacio e pepe introduced by the bartender as "Italian Mac and cheese", I had no inclination to try anything else. Frankly, if you're going for a class act, you might not want a self proclaimed foodie bartender to make such clumsy presentations of the food, who incidentally can't make any proper cocktails outside of the house menu (my old fashioned tasted like it came from a fake Irish bar in midtown). Aside from that everything else is simple as can be, which is fine if I were just looking for a cheap lunch time option in Florence, but the pomp and circumstance led me to believe this would have been a more exceptional meal. It's like going to Spice Market (I've never been) for pad Thai. But then again, you would, right.
American and European bakeries use sugar like drag queens use make up, so as much as I like the occasional macaron and pastry from Bouchon, when it comes to birthday cakes for family, I always buy them in ktown. As much as I hate on Koreans, their baking game is levels above what's available in Chinese bakeries in New York.
Generally, I prefer Paris baguette. All their baked goods are superior to Tous Les Jours. I don't think the two are competing on the same thing. Tous les jours is more of a leisure cafe than a drop in bakery, so they can rely on the space and their shaved ice desserts rather than work on their mediocre baked offerings.
The cakes are not bad - very nearly identical to Paris baguette except with more Western flavones like red velvet which doesn't impress me because red velvet is just food coloring. Moreover they do not offer any sort of birthday accompaniments gratis whereas Paris gives free candles and a free happy birthday sign to put on the cakes. Pretty minimal service but it's more than enough reason to draw me away this unapologetically unaccommodating bench warmer - unless of course my first pick can't take credit cards for the day.
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"got diamonds on my neck; patron in my cup"
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