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About Keithstg

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  • Birthday August 26

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    Paris, VA/ TriBeCa NYC/ GCI, ME

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  1. Headed to Fiola Mare for an early dinner last Saturday, pre-company holiday party. The restaurant was packed, the music was loud, and the atmosphere was hectic. We checked in for our reservation a bit early and were offered a seat at the bar. As we ordered drinks, I perused the wine list. Ruinously priced, many, if not most, bottles at 4x retail or auction. Few bottles of red wine under $100 (unless you like Dolcetto or Lagrein) - nothing from France under $100 - including a cru Beaujolais for $125?! Glanced at the bordeaux list only to see the 2000 Ducru-Beaucalliou pushing $900! I don't begrudge a business their markups, but damn. After a cocktail we chose an '07 barbaresco from Taliano for $130 that didn't seem like highway robbery. Once seated, we ordered two appetizers - first, the Hamachi Sashimi, with marinated eggplant, basil, and olive oil. This was an excellent dish, albeit a bit olive oil heavy. The basil and eggplant added to the hamachi, punching up the flavor but not distracting. Next up were two orders of risotto with white truffles - shaved tableside. The truffles were in great condition, and the captain shaved a generous portion over the two dishes. Great pairing with the barbaresco. We really enjoyed this course, though I'd love pretty much anything with truffles. For mains we had Ora King Salmon, with a mushroom ragout, ditalini pasta and winter truffle and a Bucatini with Red King Prawns, Uni and piment d'espalette. Both mains were excellent - the bucatini was probably the more "interesting" combination of the two, and was really more suited to a white wine, but we did that ourselves. The Salmon paired very well with the barbaresco, but perhaps better with a half bottle of Altesino Brunello that we ordered as well. While we enjoyed both dishses, all fell into the realm of very good, not great. The salmon needed a bit of salt, and the bucatini would have benefited from a bit of acid. Overall, service struggled to keep up with the kitchen. Granted, the place was filled, but we experienced waits to be seated, to receive our cocktails, wine, second half bottle of wine, etc etc. Service was perfunctory, but pleasant enough. The waits were nothing egregious, but enough to be noticed as glasses were empty. I came away thinking a few things - I'm not sure if the goal for Fiola Mare is a Michelin Star but our meal and service in no way merited one, the wine pricing is ruinous, bordering on predatory, and I bet they will do super in Miami.
  2. Jul 15, 2011 - "Wine Cocktails" on greensinner.com Second cocktail down looks pretty decent. Alternatively you could reduce one bottle down and use it as a sauce, either for seared foie gras, or potentially on ice cream? I'd probably lean in the foie direction.
  3. Keithstg

    Traveling Round-Trip, NY <-> DC

    Flying is pointless. There have been at least two occasions where a ground hold was announced for a Delta shuttle flight I was on, and I was able to get off the plane, get to union station, get on a train and STILL beat the flight. Budget travel aside, the train is absolutely the way to go.
  4. Honestly, I would walk up to Pesce and hope that it's fast enough. In my experience, it's pretty fast, but not carry-out fast. Personally also not sure if carry-out fast seafood is a good thing. Probably including sushi, but that would be my exception.
  5. "crave-worthy chef-inspired fast casual seafood dishes" My eyes bled just reading that nonsense. All those buzzwords reminded me of the initial Punk's Backyard BBQ menu. Ugh...
  6. Had a quick lunch in the tavern portion of the restaurant yesterday. The Pot Roast was perfect for a windy and cold day - and a GIANT portion. Between the roast and the accompanying mushrooms and pureed potatoes there was more than enough for two lunches. Not sure I would return for dinner, but perfectly suited to a convenient business lunch.
  7. Keithstg

    Power Restaurants

    I remember corresponding about this with you after my le paradou post. Gotta love that hospitality!
  8. Keithstg

    Power Restaurants

    Le Paradou was my first post on dr.com! I have to admit I liked the bar menu, and ate at the bar probably 9/10 times I went there. I also actually liked Nicolas as well, but may have been in the minority. Think he is in the Caribbean now. Agree that the wine pricing was predatory.
  9. Keithstg

    Power Restaurants

    Le Paradou? I liked it there, but it was definitely no Citronelle.
  10. Another brief check in. Unfortunately, Tom Whitaker and his family have left for Florida, where Tom now heads up the culinary program at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach. We really miss the Whitaker's and look forward to visiting them down south.Tom is extremely talented and the food/ service at the Inn were much improved from his predecessor - I could probably write a multi-part post on the chefs at the Ashby and their culinary styles/ ups and downs. Brad Spates has taken over for Tom, effective a few weeks ago. The menu has turned over, and is a bit more rustic than in the past. Appetizers were a round of oysters, tomato soup, and veal meatballs (x3). Mains last night in our group included a crabcake entree (x2), venison stew, and filet. Portions were large, to the point that I was unable to finish my venison stew. Rave reviews were given to the crabcakes, and I really enjoyed the venison, which was presented in a cast iron pot, set up similarly to shepherd's pie in that pureed potatoes covered the stew. Our group also had a few bottles of the '09 Peay Les Titans, which is in an excellent place right now, and paired well with the venison and filet. No so much with the crabcakes, as you'd expect. We had a great time and everyone loved their meal. The place was absolutely packed as well, which was a nice surprise. I'm a fan of the Ashby so take this review as you will from someone whose name is (literally) on the wall there, but seems like things are going well thus far. Now let's hope Chef Spates stays the course and is given the freedom he needs.
  11. Keithstg

    Lobster Rolls

    +1 on Ford's. Had a good rendition at P.J. Clarke's yesterday as well. My favorite in the "area" is the hot (CT Style) Lobster Roll at King Street Oyster Bar in Middleburg. Great value too, even for the larger portion of Lobster.
  12. Keithstg

    Restaurants near MoMA Thanksgiving Weekend with Two Children

    If it were me, I'd do the Grill. Carbone is also north of Chinatown, but Italian-American. Also has been a bit mixed lately. Maialino is excellent.
  13. Hello Andy, Thank you so much for participating here! I'm wondering about changes in the Michelin landscape post-social media. Have you noticed any changes in either the cuisine or the experience at Michelin-starred restaurants since the advent of social media? If you have, what changes have you noticed and do you see changes for the better, or worse?