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Steve R.

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About Steve R.

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    ventworm
  • Birthday 02/04/1953

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    Male
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    Brooklyn, New York

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  1. Just bringing this back up to the top in case anyone is interested.
  2. Yep, regularly reading A View From the Wing finally convinced me to get off my butt and stop using my American Airline Citibank MasterCard & Amex cards as my primary credit cards, since I have spent years racking up AA miles and just as much time getting frustrated about ways they make it almost impossible to use them. I was hardly ever able to use miles for any international non-stop flights &, when I did succeed, was just about never able to get seats other than middle. And their partner, British Air, has many of AA's routes and charges a high $$ additional "surcharge" when you use AA miles. And AAs other mileage "partners" aren't even available on the web site for mileage usage -- you have to call. And now their domestic flights are almost as tough to book w/miles thru the web site.
  3. I'm not a major fan of the high end offerings in NYC. Most have either seemed way overpriced or have just not appealed to my tastes. One exception was Eleven Madison Park during the first couple of years of Humm's cooking - it was great. The other has been Le Bernardin, where I'm not sure that you could get a meal not worth it. Yes, the price tag is high. But its an all around great place.
  4. Yeah, but this GM won’t be paid much longer. Seems to me that he’s out the door, possibly to be replaced by Buck S., who isn’t going to be Manager much longer either. My own opinion would be that they should pay him and keep him; that is, if he wants to stay.
  5. I’m getting old. It never occurred to me that eater has a Philly section. As a(nother) aside, I was at a K.Derby party yesterday & a friend who lived in Philly got a kick out of hearing that we’d reserved at Mr. Martino, as he once lived down the block & liked going there for non-destination local eating. He especially liked the owners and the general friendly ambience of the place. eta: just looked at the eater listing and like what they’ve said about all 4 of our current choices. Think we’ll stick with them. However, if this trip goes well, I foresee a return as several other places seem very attractive as well (FridaySaturdaySunday especially). We also got the names of a couple of others yesterday that sound interesting.
  6. I’ll forego my usual pitch for Brooklyn & throw out some additional ideas for midtownish places. Keens is our favorite steak house. Great rooms, old Irish atmosphere that’s charming & lamb/“mutton” as well as prime rib & all cuts of beef. We also really like Gramercy (both rooms). And, although the space isn’t exactly charming, we love the food at Aquavit. If you want very good Szechuan without trekking out of Manhattan, Lan Sheng is the real deal.
  7. Thanks liam. I'll look into your recommendations -- some I'd heard of, many not. Always good to have 1st hand info. By the way, Russet does sound good & I look forward to trying it & writing up what we think afterwards. Le Virtu has been around for quite awhile, but recently changed chefs so I'm not sure what I'll find. It was recommended, over the years, by very trusted food/restaurant folk. We travel to Italy (mainly Northern Italy) a bit and it looks like it might be someplace we'd appreciate. We'll see. We got helm from a Visit Philly web site that had an article on notable BYO places and it seemed interesting. We may well change it up. And, lastly, the only reason we chose Mr. Martino is that my wife's last name is Martino (turns out that theirs isn't - it was taken from a chef that the owners met & loved in Italy - we asked) &, being from Brooklyn, NY, we always love trying local family run red sauce places when we travel around the country (if you're ever in Richmond, Va. try Edo's Squid). Again, thanks. I'll be looking into your list and possibly changing our plans accordingly. Much appreciated.
  8. Steve R.

    Building a Wall between the USA and Mexico

    Not so serious answer: they will put up signs every 50 feet saying "no ladders allowed".
  9. We're going to be in Philly for 4 nights in early June and plan to go to Russet, Mr. Martino's Trattoria, helm & Le Virtu. Any comments about these places would be appreciated, as would other recommendations to replace any/all. As you call tell, this is a pretty eclectic list, ranging from farm to table to Philly red sauce Italian to upscale-ish regional Italian, so we're open. We're intentionally not going to some of the major well known spots (like Solomonov's) & would love to hear about some hidden or lesser known places. Thanks.
  10. Follow the $$$$? Isn’t Russia’s economy benefitting from its relationship to Iran and Syria?
  11. We are used to trying to figure out what positive personal gain strategy these kinds of decisions are reflective of. However, in the age of Trump, I believe that some of these decisions, like Paul Ryan’s, are more about getting as far away from the upcoming shit storm as possible. There is no value in being anywhere near the front lines as indictments approach and I think that several of these guys hope that they can disappear into the woodwork before they are pressured into doing very questionable things to keep their party and friends afloat. They’ve already compromised their reputations, integrity & morals and I think Ryan realizes that he’s being drawn further and further into areas that might cost him everything. We’re quickly moving from a bad reality tv show to episodes of the Sopranos and it’s time to sell the restaurant before you’re asked to reserve a table for an upcoming hit and then use your kitchen to grind the bodies into burgers.
  12. Steve R.

    Wilmington, NC

    I'm not sure that this is at all what you're looking for but we were in the process of driving home from Fla. 2 years ago & stopped for a night in Wilmington, NC. Here's a post I wrote on another food board about our experience: "Where to eat? After asking the desk staff for a short list of what's nearby and then looking at TripAdvisor for ideas, we decided to chance a small French place called Caprice (rated #1 on TA). We didn't have high expectatations, but both the food and wine were just right. Throughout the meal, we kept asking each other what the hell was going on-- the onion soup was a solid broth w/ lots of cheese & onions, the pate home made and tasty, my fish stew had a ton of fresh shrimp, scallops, white fish and salmon with fresh mushrooms, all done well in a light cream sauce; Ginny's duck was excellent, with rounds of perfectly roasted potatoes. Large portions and apps under $10, entrees under $20. Good bottle of Rhone blend for $40. The owner was doing front of house duty and working the room with her charming French accent, so we complimented her place & asked her to move it to NYC. Her surprising answer was basically "been there, done that". Bottom line is that, 20 years ago, she and her husband sold their place and moved to NC. First to Charlotte, then the past 14 years in Wilmington. Their old place? Well, they were the original owners of Cafe Bruxelles on Greenwich in the W. Village. Small world. We loved that place too". I just checked and its still there: http://www.capricebistro.com
  13. As I said, I thought Alma Cocina Latina http://almacocinalatina.com was pretty damn good. I freely admit that I would never had gone there if not for our local friends who insisted that the food is way better than one would expect from the somewhat glitzy, dramatic website & is well worth the not cheap prices being charged. Besides, they had a 10% off coupon from the last time they went -- apparently the owner gives them to repeat customers & they had collected quite a few (we used one, after I unsuccessfully tried to get the waitress to accept 10 of them for a 100% discount). They were correct and the kitchen is churning out food that is rich in taste and unique. As there were 5 of us who like to eat, we sampled lots of dishes & just about all were interesting & satisfying. They have an overstuffed version of a "slow smoked pig" arepa that is crispy yet maintains the taste of arepa, with a filling that is plentiful enough to justify its $17 price tag. This could make a great large app. for 2 people -- we shared 2 of them. Both their yucca fries and their chicken wings were interesting and large enough to share as well ($10 each). Their salmon & tuna ceviche was also a winner ($19). So, 5 apps., enough really for 7-8 people, averaged around $15pp. Since 3 of the 5 of us live in Baltimore and can take leftovers home, we decided to go for 5 entrees as well. This resulted in about a 20% overage and I'd guess that 2 people could easily share 1 entree after the apps. The Short Rib dish ($23) was excellent, I didn't taste the Salmon ($32) but everyone else loved it, the 2 orders of Stone Pot Stew (Pan-seared octopus & morcilla, marble potatoes, lentils, Cotija cheese, garlic, corn, red onion, cilantro, vuelve a la vida sauce - $25per order) were great, but the Ossobuco ($30) was the standout dish. In each, the tastes came from spicing and saucing that made the dish more interesting and different from the run of the mill versions. We had wine (only one bottle), we had cocktails (4 total), we had coffee (2) and desserts (2). With the coupon, the all in total was $75pp. Yep, under $100pp -- money well spent. So, if in Baltimore....
  14. Steve R.

    Richmond, VA

    We spent a night in Richmond on the way down to Fla. from NYC and are now back in Richmond for a night while heading north. We went to L’Opossum in Jan and had an interesting meal. I say interesting because everything was, well, interesting. The room, the menu language, the art work and the food were all quirky (in a good way for us - not too cutesy, as this could easily be). Just look at the website and menu and you’ll see what you’ll get all the way through. Not all of the food was something I’d eat again, but that’s more a question of tastebuds than the kitchen’s ability & creativity. Ginny had the Snails w/Ham Biscuit for her app. & I had the 5 Spice (very rare, very thin sliced) Venison w/Lotus Chips & a little Chinese Mustard. Both were excellent and dishes that we’d eat again and again. Her entree of Halibut w/Wild Rice, Greens & Corn was also quite good, but my boneless pork chop was not to my liking. Whatever they brined it with ruined the texture for me and took away the porkiness I love as well. Oh well. Glasses of wine for each of us and one split dessert of Tarte Tatin & we spent $165 all in. A fair price for the quality, quantity and skill. We’d go back. Tonite’s meal at Edo’s Squid was just about perfect. We shared 2 apps. The Mozz., Roasted Peppers and Anchovies were the benchmark for this dish — nothing fancy, just solid, fresh food served well. The fried oysters were plump, juicy, tasty and fried in a perfect light crispy batter that sealed in the flavor. Entrees of Veal Piccata for her and Spag. Carbonara for me were huge and could feed 4. Or the 2 of us. Both were made exactly the right way — my Carbonara was egged and al dente as it should be. A bottle of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Avignonesi 2013 - $40) was a good match for it all. No chance at room for dessert. $140 all in. Highly recommended. Wish it was nearer to me — well, actually, maybe not as I would gain too much weight eating here.
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