Jim, Cornel's opened last week and we tried it Friday
night. Had terrific trout and very good cole slaw.
Bread was awful, veggies over-cooked. Service was
lovely. They allow smoking, which we hate, but,
luckily there was very little of that. So, thanks.
Nice tip. We'll be going back.
re: Allan Evans
Thanks, guys. I don't remember the specials being
mentioned so I will ask next time. Also will take your
suggestions on the cabbage, soup etc. We will learn as
we go now that they are just steps away from us
Sunnysider Gardeners. If you guys go, please take a
walk through the gardens. We don't look as good as we
once did but it is still a special place (planned
community from the 20s).
Jim, I will buy your book (but don't have it yet).
re: Allan Evans
Thanks one and all. We did have the crepes, luckily,
and they were terrific. We'll end our passover with a
meal there this weekend and hope they have some of the
great specials you describe.
Jim, I didn't think you were pushing the book so don't
worry. I agree that it's strange that our ethnic
restaurant friends leave the best "off the menu."
Didn't have that experience this weekend. We tried La
Gaviota (on Broadway near 63rd St) for Chilean food.
The owner made a special effort to introduce us to his
cuisine. We had some wonderful appetizers and a
disappointing main dish (our mistake, not theirs) and
very good, homemade dessert. They also made their own
bread (which we missed due to Passover but our friends
loved). So try it.
re: Jim Leff
We ordered the seafood casserole. We failed to ask
specifically what was in it. We figured it would have
fish and shellfish but it turned out to be only
shellfish and lots of stuff we don't love to have in
large doses. Usually we like a bouillabaise-type dish
to have chunks of fish, which this did not.
We liked the place and the owner a lot and my husband
asked me just this morning if I wouldn't like to just
return there and try it again. So clearly the overall
impression was very good. Hope I didn't turn anyone
"Jim, I will buy your book (but don't have it yet). Promise"
Oops, wasn't trying to shame you into it! I just thought you had it. Anyway I tried, when writing it, to be extra clear and careful about what to order, how to order, how to get to the good stuff. You know, the chowhoundy "take" on places. Newcomers need help in places like Cornel's, where the good, authentic dishes are hidden. Can't figure out why they do that.
This kind of thing is distressingly prevalent among lesser known nationalities. There was once a crappy "gourmet" pizzeria that quietly sold bannizzas (like boureks...pastry meat/cheese/spinach pies). I knew they are a Bulgarian specialty, but the counter guy had no idea about their background. One day I was served by a woman with a thick Eastern European accent, who was clearly a manager or owner. I asked if she was Bulgarian. She asked why I asked and I pointed out the origins of bannizza. She emphatically denied it; "No! I'm NOT Bulgarian! Bannizzas NOT Bulgarian!"
I got to know her over several months, and it came out that, yes, she was Bulgarian, but that she didn't want customers to know they were eating something from there. Her explanation was "Americans aren't interested in food from the old country. They like PIZZA!"