Tamis in Manhattan
I'm trying to buy a tamis, but so far it's been an epic failure. I tried Sur la Table, Williams-Sonoma, Bowery Kitchen and Master Kitchen. Nothing. Most don't even know what it is.
Do you know where can I get one in the city?
Depending on what you need one for, the Indian version called a chalni might work. The ones I've seen are smaller and flimsier, and also much less expensive, than well-made French tamis, but might serve your purpose, at least temporarily. They usually have several interchangeable sieves, a couple of which are quite fine.
There are a couple of Indian shops around the near the corner of Lexington and 28th Sts, or you could be more sure of finding one out in Jackson Heights (Queens). For reference, this is the utensil I'm talking about: http://www.spicesofindia.co.uk/acatal... .
Both Sur la Table on Spring St. and Bowery Kitchen (the one in Chelsea Market) carry them, but I had the same experience as you. When I asked for a tamis, they had no idea what I was talking about, but when I explained that they're also referred to as drum sieves or flat sifters, they rang a bell. At Bowery Kitchen, they were hanging overhead by the cash register, and at Sur la Table they were towards the back on one of the racks against the left wall. The BK ones had metal sides, while the SLT ones had bamboo sides. From what I recall, the holes of the BK ones were much finer than the SLT tamis. Each store only had one mesh grade, but BK had various diameters to choose from.
Sur La Table
75 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Bowery Kitchen Supply
75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011