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Private dining in NYC

In June I hosted a birthday dinner for 12 at L'Artusi in their wine room. The space is small but it was cozy and the food was fantastic. It's separated from the restaurant by glass doors, so you don't feel you are off in another world. We felt very taken care of. I highly recommend.

The Food Lab: Sautéed Green Beans With Mushrooms and Caramelized Cipollini Onions

I usually prefer haricot verts to regular green beans. Do you think they would work just as well, or are regular preferable for this recipe?

Ask the Critic: My Brooklyn 'Vacation,' a Guide for Manhattanites

Hello Carey and all serious eaters. Thank you for all your advice. My husband and I just returned from our Brooklyn weekend. We ended up staying on Smith Street in Boerum Hill for its proximity to restaurants within walking distance. We loved the tasting menu at Battersby, and the second night we ate at The Grocery - not the newest or hippest game in town but we enjoyed it. We decided in the end, after hitting many different neighborhoods during the day, that it would be nice to walk to dinner.
Another highlight for us was lunch at Roberta's. I have to say this is the best pizza I've had outside of Naples. Truly wonderful. We may even make the trek out to Bushwick again just for this.
We honestly wish there were more "Brooklyn-type" restaurants in upper Manhattan, but at least we know now what everyone's talking about!

Where to Eat Ice Cream in New York City

I recently had a gelato at Sant'ambroseus on Madison Ave and thought it was really good. Not sure if they make it or who supplies. I second the vote for Van Leeuwen. Also, there is a new shop on Broadway and 89th St called Scoop that sells Blue Marble ice cream. Very welcome in that neighborhood.

What about Ciao Bella on E. 92 Street?

Chef's tables for birthday dinner in Manhattan

Just reporting back on the birthday dinner in the Wine Room at L'Artusi. The dinner was a great success. The Wine Room is small but very comfortable and all my guests were impressed with the setting. We were 12. The four-course menu was served family style and there was PLENTY of food. In retrospect the 3-course probably would have been fine. My only disappointment was the special cake I ordered ($80)- it was a flourless chocolate cake which was on the heavy side. We would have been fine with the small cookies and fruit included in the menu. (But it's nice to have a cake for a birthday.) I didn't care for any of their regular options - but they might have been better.
I pre-selected very reasonably-priced white and red wine beforehand and everyone also loved the lambrusco bianco. These were all great.
The staff was very accommodating and nice. I highly recommend this venue for a special dinner of this kind.

Chef's tables for birthday dinner in Manhattan

I decided to go with L'Artusi. They have a small wine room on second floor, and serve a family-style 4-course dinner for $75@. Maialino was booked and Il Buco has a very high guarantee plus a room charge. I will report back!

Chef's tables for birthday dinner in Manhattan

I guess I'm not really sure. I was hoping for something a little more unusual and fun than just a private dining room. The group might end up being as small as 8, but I really prefer not to be seated in the main body of a restaurant. Barbuto has a Chef's Table that seats up to 12 I believe. If I go the private dining room route, I was also looking at Il Buco, Maialino, Ciano or L'Artusi. If anyone has any experience with any of those I'd love to hear it.

Lunch near Carnegie Hall and budget dinner suggestions!

A reasonable lunch can be had at Le Pain Quotidien on 58th St & Seventh.

For dinner I would suggest Whym, on 58th St & 9th Ave. The food is unadventurous but tasty, the service warm, and the prices good for the area. You could also try PizzArte, 69 W 55th St. Very good Neapolitan pizza and good pasta. I guess that could be a lunch option too....

The Crisper Whisperer: How to Handle Eggplant Overload

I make an eggplant gratin from the Greens Cookbook which is divine (I roast the eggplant slices though, rather than fry them.) It's the best eggplant dish I know.
Also, ratatouille freezes exceptionally well.

Famous people, famous food quotes

One cannot eat breakfast all day,
Nor is it the act of a sinner,
When breakfast is taken away,
To turn his attention to dinner.

-WS Gilbert (Trial by Jury)

This quote graced the fridge door at my father's house until the day he died. The same handwritten note now hangs on mine.

I need a vegan recipe or two for Thanksgiving

I always make ratatouille which everyone is thankful for as it's not heavy. For the bird-eaters, it also goes well with the turkey. My personal favorite is Julia Child's recipe. The secret is cutting the eggplant and zucchini into bigger pieces, and sauteeing before you put it all together. This is not the mush most people think of as ratatouille!

Save Prime Burger, A Burger Shop With Real Character

My grandmother took me to this place when I was a child in the late 1960s....I had skating lessons at Rockefeller Center and then we always came here for Hot Chocolate and a burger. I thought the swing out trays were so cool! I had no idea it was still there. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Ed.

La Quercia Prosciutto - Where to buy?

You can get it at Whole Foods at the deli meat counter.

Cook the Book: 'What We Eat When We Eat Alone'

Ratatouille (Julia Child's recipe) with some rice or farro. I make big batches of it and freeze it in dinner-size portions. 15 mins slowly reheating (from frozen) on the stove and I have a fantastic dinner.....

Quintessential NYC Eats

Do breakfast at Barney Greengrass. (Weekday, not weekend). I think this place is much more authentic than some delis mentioned above. There is really no place else like this in the world, in my opinion. Quintessential NY, (without the tourists)

Broccoli Brainstorming

Jacques Pepin makes a great risotto with broccoli stems. I think it's from his current series/book "More Fast Food my way" He compares them to artichoke hearts. (You do need to peel them)


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