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May 26, 2000 11:16 AM

Manhattan restaurants

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Being sent from Northern Ca. to Manhattan for the food show. Never know where to go when there. Whats great right now?

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  1. Vanessa, a request like this will do better on the Manhatten board. However. I suggest first reviewing the recent posts to that board--you'll get a lot of great ideas. Don't overlook the other boroughs--I've had lots of great food experiences in Queens, for instance.

    Link: http://webpages.ainet.com/gosner/

    12 Replies
    1. re: george osner

      Thanks for answering. I'm new here, and just kind of figured that out the other day. Don't know what I was thinking.

      1. re: Vanessa

        Always good to have another northern Californian on the board--hope you'll share some of your NoCal faves. btw, nice too-the-point post on Sonoma pizza--ouch!

        Link: http://webpages.ainet.com/gosner/quot...

        1. re: george osner

          George, Don't understand btw. Please explain. Jumped right in on that first post about pizza, and then really started reading around and felt perhaps I was a bit too flip. (even if it happens to be true). I apologise to all you regulars for that. Now, I'm a little intimidated. This is certainly a community of quality minds and palates. Thanks for answering me George. Anyway, I do have a real experience to share. There's a new restaurant in Geyserville that I think will help the rather bleak dining scene in Sonoma County. That assesment is not meant to offend any Sonoma county restaurant people, but really in an area with so many raw materials for delicious food and so many people ready to spend good money on meals, you'd think that the restaurants would try a little harder. To the point, Its called Santi and it just opened last week. I can't guarantee that it will be great, but it seems pretty darn good. I went to one of their opening practice dinners. They did a nice job with the room, but didn't do too much. They spent money on the furniture, which I like. It's a historic building and they left the very cool outside of alone. (For any Sonoma County people or Bay Area frequent visitors you would know the old place as "Catelli's The Rex"- certainly not to be remembered for the food) The service was nice, unobtrusive and only a little tentative (not bad for an opening night) I could tell that someone had really trained the staff carefully. The food was mostly delicious. Highlights: The ribolita soup. Rich and comforting, and beany. You could taste good olive oil and parmesan in it. All the flavors melded perfectly. Just the thing I was craving about a week before when it was raining and dismal in Healdsburg. Until now I have wouldn't have thought that such a bowl of soup was possible any closer than SF. The pasta with fava beans was simple, tasty, and unadorned. The rabbit with soft polenta was tender, flavorful, juicy, and the polenta flawless. I couldn't believe I was eating rabbit in Geyserville. The risotto with shrimp and peas was OK. The mussels, very good, not exciting. In general, simple Italian food, well prepared. Only bad thing, and not that bad: One dining partner's veal chop was really really rare, I mean raw. (he had ordered it medium rare) They took it back, and it came back quickly, hot, and most amazingly, medium rare. Nice to know that the kitchen doesn't have a sadistic streak. I encourage anyone to at least check it out, even if it is a little early to tell. They have a huge outdoor deck that looks pretty promising. Will update when I hear word of mouth reports from locals. Are there many Sonoma County chowhounds out there? Anyone else been to Santi yet?

          1. re: Vanessa

            Nice to hear that Santi is open and already doing well. I'm friends with both the chef/owners, Franco Dunn and Thomas Oden. They have both (together and seperately) worked as winery chefs for Jordan Winery. Last year, I tasted some superb wild boar salame that they made. Too bad Franco tells me that it will not be served at their restaurant. If you go there again, please say hi to Franco and Tom for me. Thanks.

            1. re: Gary Cheong

              I will definitely go there again. I'm acquainted with Thomas, met Franco once, but not really friends. I will say hi. These guys definitely know how to cook, and it seems like they know how to train other people and run a restaurant. The locals are pretty excited about the place. I really hope they do well.

              1. re: Vanessa


                Sounds like you're in the Sonoma/ Healdsburg area. Have you tried Healdsburg Charcuterie or La Salette (Portugese?) yet? I'm interested in trying both of these restaurants and would like to know any thoughts.


                1. re: Tida

                  It's a big county, and the town of Sonoma is a field trip for us, (about an hour) so I haven't been to La Salette. I have heard very good things about it. I can recommend The Girl and the Fig in Glen Ellen (ten minutes from Sonoma)
                  Trivially, MFK Fisher lived there. She was a true chowhound.
                  Charcuterie is old fashioned and heavy for my taste, but OK. Lots of cream, butter, steaks, and not exciting. Certainly not a destination. If you want a destination in Sonoma County, it's gotta be Mariposa in Windsor. The guy is a true talent, and it's a sweet little place. Always a stellar meal there and truly nice people. Tiny, but if you call a couple of weeks ahead, you shouldn't have any trouble getting in unless it's a big weekend.

                  1. re: Vanessa

                    Thanks for the recommendations. Girl and the Fig is also on my list to visit so I'm glad to get the good feedback. Sounds like Mariposa is just the kind of place I'm looking for. I'm looking forward to enjoying the experience. Thanks!

                    1. re: Tida

                      You should try calling the Healdsburg Charcuterie and ask if it is serving the Poached Pears in Saffron and Star Anise, with Mascarpone, Honey and Black Pepper Cookies -- it is to die for. If it does, you can always go by after dinner for dessert.

                      1. re: Gary Cheong

                        Wow, I never saw anything like that on their menu. I'll have to check that out.

                        1. re: Vanessa

                          I don't think it's on their menu. You may try to ask if he will make it for you.

                      2. re: Tida

                        Tida, I'm so glad you are going to try Mariposa. It is my favorite place up here. A few suggestions: In my opinion his strengths are any meat dish, (I once literally swooned over a lamb shank), any risotto dish, his soups in general, anything with foie gras, and the mussel appetizer with curry. The menu changes weekly, but the mussels are one constant. Hope you like it.