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Jul 24, 2014 11:45 AM

Quick overview of my weekend NYC trip

Hi all,

I spent last weekend in New York and had a great time with some very good meals. I'm not very descriptive, but here goes:

Txikito: second time there, first time with someone else. Loved the razor clams and cockles, the foie gras, the croquettes. Tomato salad (special) was just ok and I forget what else I ordered. Oh yeah, Boquerones. they were really tasty. I would have liked to try the dish with tripe and tendon, but my wife doesn't eat that stuff and it felt a bit heavy for the weather at the time. next time, i guess. Overall, i really enjoy the place, especially since Spanish in Toronto is a bit lacking.

Pok Pok (brooklyn). We were in Brooklyn visiting my wife's cousin, so it was a pretty convenient place. I won't lie, I also wanted to see if the fuss was worth it. Wasn't so sure when they told us it would be "180 minute" wait. We went to a nearby bar for a drink and to think of Plan B. As we were hailing a cab, less than an hour later, they called us and said the table was ready. I loved it. We don't have much (good) Thai food in Toronto and I'm not terribly familiar with the cuisine either. had the pork neck, wings, papaya salad, a noodle dish with pork and shrimp and the roast hen. It was all so delicious. My favourite meal of the trip. Sorry..Manhattan board, I should have omitted it.

Pearl & Ash. I read a few positive reviews about this place on the Board. I don't want to say it was bad, but it really didn't do it for me flavour-wise. The octopus dish, which I understand is a signature of theirs, tasted predominantly of carbon (i.e. burned) though texture was nice. Sweetbread dish was good, but not memorable. Hanger steak tartar was under-spiced for my tastes and the "chips" served with it were too fragile. had a veg dish, asparagus fava and egg yolk. there were maybe 5 small fava beans. I know it's late in the season for favas, but omit them if you're only going to put in a few. The other thing that bugged me, unless i missed something, only a single bathroom for a restaurant of that size is ridiculous.

The Dutch. just had a late snack. Some oysters, at $3.50+ a pop is pricey. 2 razor clams, albeit garnished, for $14 is the opposite of a steal. Aside from price, ingredient quality was very good.

Momofuku Ssam. I've been there before. Last time I had the duck lunch a few years ago it was better. I remember the duck being super juicy and cooked to perfection. This time was quite a bit drier.

Baohaus. I happened to walk by and saw the dude who owns it on youtube a few times, so figured I'd give a bao a try. I chose the fried chicken. Dry and pretty monotone flavours. I suppose there's a hype element to the place, so I shouldn't be surprised. But still...

I realize my reviews sound a bit negative, but I did have a great time. Next trip, i want to go to DBGB bar and Uncle Boon's.

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  1. Critical as well as laudatory reviews are much appreciated. I don't know if you'll like DBGB much, though. There are other eateries in the Jean-Georges empire that are a better bet. Which ones have you already gone to?

    7 Replies
    1. re: Pan

      DBGB is Daniel Boulud (DB?), not Jean Georges Vongerichten.

      1. re: thegforceny

        Oh right, yeah, sorry for getting confused. My remark otherwise stands, though.

        1. re: Pan

          Old French guys all look and sound alike to me too. LOL

      2. re: Pan

        i've been to Cafe Boulud. i liked it, but didn't love it. kind of a boring place actually.

        much preferred jean georges (different french guy, but since we're talking about both). really enjoyed that meal.

        i figured with DBGB, sausages. and i love sausages. and on the "best dishes 2014" on this board, there were a few DBGB sausages mentioned, so I'd like to give it a go.

        1. re: grandgourmand

          DBGB also makes all their own charcuterie if that appeals.... And a nice beer selection there.

          1. re: grandgourmand

            I thought their sausages were not exceptional. As a matter of fact, their merguez, when I tried it (which, to be fair, was a few years ago, not too long after they first opened) was quite inferior to the much cheaper merguez at Cafe Mogador. There were other things there that I thought were great. I especially remember a great tarte tatin, and I also remember a good foie gras dish. I went there a couple of times and haven't been back, though.

        2. Nice summary. I'm beginning to think that Chang maybe starting to coast a bit. I used to love Ssam Bar. Went a few weeks ago and it was just ok now. Never got the hype for Baohaus either.

          I like the "steal" analogy. Maybe better to say you were robbed?

          1. I forgot to add, I had lunch at Hot Kitchen, a Sichuan place on 2nd around 6th st. Really enjoyed that. had the following:

            Dan dan noodles - good flavour, noodles overcooked and soft
            wonton in spicy oil - amazing
            Crab & Pork soup dumplings - good flavour, but texture of the wrapper was a bit too soft (and i like more finely sliced ginger in my worchestershire...but that's nitpicky)
            Kung Pao chicken - spicy without being overbearingly so. had a nice sweet element to it, which I found surprising.
            Ma Po Tofu - really nice. tofu was a bit firmer than what I usually have, but was better that way, I think. Also, the sichuan peppercorn was subtle not totally numbing, which i liked.

            1 Reply
            1. re: grandgourmand

              They use crystallized ginger in their kung bao chicken, I believe.