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Marty L.

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  1. But Don, by all accounts Mario Almeida is a great chef, just as James W. is. Is there any reason to think the quality will diminish at SE -- and rise at Maketto -- with the change? And anyway, it's not as if James's presence, as such (i.e., as opposed to the quality of his cooking) was responsible for the good press. There's something else going on here, methinks.
  2. Marty L.

    New Orleans, LA

    Just spent 48 hours. Four great, can't-miss--virtually perfect--meals: Lunches at Marjie's Grill and Turkey & the Wolf. Dinners at Herbsaint and Coquette. Coquette is the only one of the four I'd been to before, and it was just as good this time around. Would go back to all four in a heartbeat. Was sorry I didn't have time to try these, all very highly recommended: N7, Compère Lapin, La Petite Grocery, Saba (NOT Shaya--avoiding Besh places). (Nor did I have time for Cochon and Peche, both of which I enjoyed on my previous trip. I think it's very safe to say the forthcoming Link/Wilcomb Italian place will be great, too--they seem to care a great deal about keeping the quality high across multiple restaurants.) OK, sazeracs and po' boys: Sazeracs at Herbsaint and Coquette were great. Decided also to try one at the Sazerac Room, in the Roosevelt Hotel. Horrible (but what do I know?). Not balanced at all, and the (too strong) whiskey overwhelmed all other components. And $17. What a racket (understandably trading on its legend, but still). As for po' boys, I've come to think that one could ask 30 or more trusted people for their favorites and not get a single duplicate answer. I like that about New Orleans. Anyway, taking the word of one such person (a bartender at Coquette), I decided to get the shrimp po' boy at Rampart Food Store. It was as good as advertised, albeit not life-changing. Would have been better if I had eaten it within five or so minutes of its making, which would have meant, I suppose, finding a spot in Louis Armstrong Park. But it was 95 degrees, humid, and I had to get to the airport . . . . Next time, think I'll try the Peacemaker at Bevi Seafood, also highly touted. One more thing: Found a great little -- and I mean little -- coffee spot in the French Quarter: Spitfire. They really know how to pour a cup, and the cold brews were fantastic. Only three or so stools, though, so plan to carry out.
  3. Any idea why the flip? I got the sense they were both really excited about the work they were doing in the two places.
  4. Marty L.

    Portland, ME

    I haven't yet been but have it on very reliable word that Drifter's Wife is exceptional. Last time I was in Portland I had a great meal at Central Provisions.
  5. Happened a while back. The Powers That Be in Italy imposed new rules involving something or other -- "peel usage," apparently -- and Peter politely decided not to play ball. Can't say as I blame him: "Il Disciplinare" verges on self-parody. For example, with respect to the wooden "peel" used to insert the pizza into the oven: The insertion must be done "with a quick wrist movement, holding the peel at an angle of 20-25° from the base of the oven." Good riddance. BTW, 2 Amys is closed for a couple of days due to a "technical issue" (per Instagram).
  6. Marty L.

    Mid-Coast Maine

    If Edan Macquaid ("Pizza Man") still haunts these pages, he'll be able to tell you just where to go. Beal's was my standby for lobster, but it's been a few years. If the Somesville Union Meeting House church pies are still running when you get there (usually through the third week in August or so), line up for those on Wednesday morning.
  7. I was just there tonight, prompted by the Carman rave and good experiences in the past at their other joints. Afraid I have to concur: The brisket was very moist, and certainly the best thing we ordered. But it wasn't all that flavorful, and certainly not as delicious as the brisket I've had at Hill Country. The other items, alas, ranged from mediocre (pulled pork; ribs) to virtually tasteless (pulled chicken; mac & cheese). Decent and fairly priced beer selection, though.
  8. Amazing that they're here -- been to the one in Portland and it was great. Abundance of (sweet) riches now on Mt. Pleasant St.: Choosing between Elle/Paisley Fig chocolate oat almond cookies and MDI ice cream is gonna be agonizing.
  9. I, too, thought it was very good, and perhaps even worth the $$ (if not the need to rearrange my daily schedule to be there during the short window). But these days I much prefer the breads (esp. the sesame) at Elle, and at Tail Up Goat.
  10. Pretty sure they renamed/rebranded The Cereal Bowl as "Milkbar." 😉
  11. Concur. I completely understand virtually all the other Chang-related obsessions, many of which I've shared, but except for the first few seconds of being whisked back to memories of what the milk tasted like after you completed your bowl of Fruity Pebbles or the like, I simply don't get the attraction to MilkBar's goods.
  12. What dslee said. James Wozniuk, Matt Crowley and crew are having a blast (and working very hard) cooking and serving food they obviously love. It's wonderful, esp. the chicken yakitori "flight." And unlike B&S and Rake's Progress, which are (understandably) priced for a trendy hotel crowd, Spoken English is a great value--not cheap by any means, but very high quality ingredients and surely worth your $$ (akin to 2 Amys, Seki, Tail Up Goat, Thip Khao, Chiko--i.e., my faves). The chicken yakitori, for example, is a steal at $25. I hope Eric B-Y is able to keep the prices at this level, because I'd love to be able to make this a regular haunt. (And yes, I will try the $98 duck soon--James assures that with an order of two or three other, small things, it can comfortably feed four--and it sounds delicious.) P.S. Most seating is now by reservation, with limited room for walk-ins--and the kitchen is open 'til midnight!
  13. Did you eat an entire sandwich? If so, I hope you won't have any desire to eat again for several days . . . .