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Best restaurant you've ever visited? ...
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cmeisenzahl
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Aug 26, 2009, 02:56 PM
 
Define that any way you wish. ;-)

Where is it? And what did you have?
     
nonhuman
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Aug 26, 2009, 03:12 PM
 
Grill 23 in Boston. Both the food and service are so good that I've never though twice about tipping over 30% on a $300+ dinner.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Aug 26, 2009, 03:23 PM
 
It's always tough for me to narrow down a "best restaurant" - usually it's all mixed up with the particular meal and the night and the feeling - but if I had to pick one it would be:

Bacalao restaurant, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada: Phenomenal dishes combining traditional Newfoundland cuisine with a modern touch. I had the cod tongue salad, Newfoundland caribou medallions in partridgeberry sauce, and Newfoundland blueberry wine.

greg
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olePigeon
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Aug 26, 2009, 03:25 PM
 
Arcadia in downtown San Jose.

The kind of place where you never see the waiter replace your napkin, refill your drink, or set the silverware for a course. They're ninjas.

$200 a person without wine. I go about twice a year. Absolute best, best, BEST steak I've had in my entire life.
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olePigeon
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Aug 26, 2009, 03:29 PM
 
It occurred to me I have a favorite restaurant for various foods. Arcadia would be steak. My favorite hamburger joint is a tie between Foster's Freeze and The Garrett. Favorite west coast pizza is Frank's Pizza Pan in Grass Valley. Favorite east coast style pizza is Amicci's (they're pretty much the only good east coast pizza in San Jose that I've found.) Favorite Mexican food is Casa Orozco in Livermore/Dublin. Favorite Indian food is Sansar, also in Livermore. Favorite Cuban food is Habana Cuba in San Jose. Favorite regional Chinese is Liu's Kitchen in Milpitas.
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andi*pandi
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Aug 26, 2009, 04:01 PM
 
Blue room was always so fabulous.

Actually, I miss dining out at places without a kids menu.
     
The Final Dakar
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Aug 26, 2009, 04:02 PM
 
Food? Pffffffffft
( Last edited by The Final Dakar; Aug 26, 2009 at 04:12 PM. )
     
LegendaryPinkOx
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Aug 26, 2009, 04:12 PM
 
Plaza III steakhouse. Tres swanky!
are you lightfooted?
     
olePigeon
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Aug 26, 2009, 04:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Food? Pffffffffft
So what's the best oil change you've ever had?
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The Final Dakar
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Aug 26, 2009, 04:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
So what's the best oil change you've ever had?
Any one where she swallowed.
     
dav
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Aug 26, 2009, 04:32 PM
 
don't recall the food, but best memorable experience:
the rainbow room, rockefeller center
le bec-fin, philadelphia
one post closer to five stars
     
Eug
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Aug 26, 2009, 07:50 PM
 
Susur

It was the best restaurant in Toronto. But then he packed up and moved to New York and started Shang.

He went up against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America, but it was a tie.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Aug 26, 2009, 08:15 PM
 
Susur's still operating though right? I'd heard he was just expanding....

greg
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Eug
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Aug 26, 2009, 11:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Susur's still operating though right? I'd heard he was just expanding....
Lee is still there. The food is good and above average for the price, but is no comparison to Susur.
Susur has been replaced by Madeline's. It's completely different cuisine. I haven't tried it, but I'm told it's also above average for the price, but no comparison to Susur.

Susur isn't actually the chef at either restaurant usually. He runs the restaurants and sets the menus, but the chefs are other people most of the time.

BTW, while Susur got great reviews, Shang in New York has gotten at best mixed reviews. Maybe I'll try it the next time I'm in NYC, but the menu has me a little bit worried.

P.S. A few years ago when I was in NYC, I went to Nobu. Pretty good restaurant but it didn't blow me away. It might be the place to go if you're into celebrity spotting or something though. It was amusing to see Conan O'Brien there with his very large head and a couple of groupies. My sis has been there too and ran into Brooke Shields there.
     
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Aug 27, 2009, 12:06 AM
 
Le Grand Vefour.

My in-laws took my wife and I as a wedding present. We still talk about this meal 7 years later. The most amazing dining experience of my life.
     
Randman
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Aug 27, 2009, 02:29 AM
 
Burj-Al-Arab in Dubai. Was bloody expensive but worth it as well.

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ctt1wbw
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Aug 27, 2009, 07:34 AM
 
I've always thought Benihana in Atlanta was the best I've ever had. I simply love that food.

And as for steak, I had filet mignon at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse that I could cut with a spoon.
     
Paco500
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Aug 27, 2009, 07:39 AM
 
The best dining experience I ever had was at K-Paul's NYC. Favorite pub is The Bell in Aldworth, Berkshire. Best steak I think was as Annie Gunn's in St. Louis. Current favorite pizza is Costco's cafe (seriously, it's good).
     
paul w
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Aug 27, 2009, 09:30 AM
 
I don't know but next week I'll be eating at Peter Luger's in Brooklyn. That's a potential candidate.
     
torsoboy
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Aug 27, 2009, 09:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
$200 a person without wine. I go about twice a year. Absolute best, best, BEST steak I've had in my entire life.
Wtf? $200 a person? It had BETTER be the best steak you've ever had for that outrageous amount. Twice a year for $200 steak? Wow.
     
turtle777
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Aug 27, 2009, 11:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by ctt1wbw View Post
And as for steak, I had filet mignon at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse that I could cut with a spoon.
Really ?

My two times at Ruth's were so mediocre, I will never go there on my own dime (it was company paid).
Completely overrated.

-t
     
olePigeon
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Aug 27, 2009, 11:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
Wtf? $200 a person? It had BETTER be the best steak you've ever had for that outrageous amount. Twice a year for $200 steak? Wow.
You could get the A2 kobe. That's $150 for just the steak.
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subego
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Aug 27, 2009, 12:16 PM
 
Hostaria dell’Orso in Rome, where they had mind-blowing cheese pastries and an equally mind-blowing tomato and cream mousse. The rest of the meal wasn't very good, though.

Back home (Chicago) is Alinea. The "hot potato, cold potato" (also an appetizer) made the biggest impact, though the rest was superb.

I like appetizers.
     
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Aug 27, 2009, 12:47 PM
 
I had a very good steak at Morton's.

The rest of the food on the menu is pretty unimpressive though. I'm not a steak person anyway really, so I'd rather just spend my money elsewhere.
     
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Aug 27, 2009, 03:58 PM
 
edit
( Last edited by hayesk; Dec 3, 2016 at 06:45 PM. )
     
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Aug 27, 2009, 03:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
Wtf? $200 a person? It had BETTER be the best steak you've ever had for that outrageous amount. Twice a year for $200 steak? Wow.
If a restaurant has the best food in its class, why is it surprising to you that it would be expensive. Should the world's best chefs charge $10 per plate?
     
torsoboy
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Aug 27, 2009, 06:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by hayesk View Post
If a restaurant has the best food in its class, why is it surprising to you that it would be expensive. Should the world's best chefs charge $10 per plate?
There's a huge difference between $10 and $200 per plate. I've spent $70-$85 per person and thought that was a lot, but $200 per person is almost mind-blowing to me for a single meal.

I think the most expensive item at the most expensive restaurant in my city is about $35, so that probably skews my thoughts on this subject quite a bit.

But, back on subject... I like the cheaper food as much as the more expensive food, and my personal favorite place is the Panda Garden (chinese food) in St. George, UT. I'm not real picky about my foods... a $1 burger tastes about as good as an $8 burger to me.
     
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Aug 27, 2009, 09:03 PM
 
Red Cedar Grill in Williamston, Michigan. Great service, good basic menu with gourmet food and low prices. My wife and I can eat there for around $100 including drinks.

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Really ?

My two times at Ruth's were so mediocre, I will never go there on my own dime (it was company paid).
Completely overrated.

-t
Agreed. Big for Ruth's Chris. First place ever in 37 years I had to send a steak back. Rare means RED in the middle, not pink. And for their best cut of beef it was amazingly chewy. And the Carpaccio appetizer had frozen bits of meat in it.

NEVER again.
     
Eug
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Aug 27, 2009, 09:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
There's a huge difference between $10 and $200 per plate. I've spent $70-$85 per person and thought that was a lot, but $200 per person is almost mind-blowing to me for a single meal.

I think the most expensive item at the most expensive restaurant in my city is about $35
Nope, not even close. For example, the raw seafood appetizer bar is $72 at Canoe. (I've never been there, but I suspect people often get that for their main meal, not just an appetizer.) It's not uncommon at the higher end Toronto restaurants to have mains over $40, and sometimes over $50 (albeit rarely).

Oh, and the tasting menu at Susur was $125, without wine.

But, back on subject... I like the cheaper food as much as the more expensive food, and my personal favorite place is the Panda Garden (chinese food) in St. George, UT.
I've never been to Panda Garden, but in my experience more of the better Chinese restaurants are up north, north of Lawrence. It depends on what you're looking for though.

If you want cheap and not too far from the university, I like the restaurant Chinese Traditional Buns on Dundas. There are a few others in that Chinatown too.

I'm not real picky about my foods... a $1 burger tastes about as good as an $8 burger to me.
Check out Dangerous Dans. It's only $4.55 and you won't find any $1 burger that comes close, even if you make it yourself. Some people might think it's disgusting, but I like the massively fattening bacon, peanut butter, and fried banana burger, for $5.75.

P.S. I've had the $35 burger at Bymark, and thought the burgers at Dangerous Dans were better.
     
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Aug 27, 2009, 09:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by ctt1wbw View Post
I've always thought Benihana in Atlanta was the best I've ever had. I simply love that food.

And as for steak, I had filet mignon at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse that I could cut with a spoon.
I've had filet at Chris' steakhouse (before the divorce) in New Orleans and at the Melborne Beach steakhouse in Florida and both were fantastic. That was long ago before our society degenerated!
sam
     
olePigeon
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Aug 27, 2009, 11:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
There's a huge difference between $10 and $200 per plate. I've spent $70-$85 per person and thought that was a lot, but $200 per person is almost mind-blowing to me for a single meal.
You're also paying for the service. Like I said, the waiters are ninjas. They really do wait on you and pick the opportune time to provide service, and 90% of the time you don't even notice they've done their job! If you're having a romantic evening with a certain someone, they'll bend over backwards for you to make it special. It's like having your own personal ninja butler.

It's $200 a person because you're pretty much guaranteed to have the absolute best service and food ever.

Oh, and three words: Duck Fat Fries
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
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you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
olePigeon
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Aug 27, 2009, 11:29 PM
 
By the way, I understand your reasoning. I wouldn't go to Arcadia for a hamburger. Granted, it'd be a great burger, but I can get a burger just as good or possibly even better someplace else for $3. I don't need someone waiting on me hand and foot for a hamburger, I'll just go to the local burger joint. I listed Foster's Freeze as one of my alltime favorite burger places (they also do awesome fried burritos, corn dogs, onion rings, fries... well, pretty much anything that's grilled or fried they do awesome.)

For a steak? I'll take an expert. Someone who knows what sides go great with it, what wine I should get, after dinner drinks and deserts... man I'm clueless with that kind of stuff.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
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torsoboy
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Aug 28, 2009, 02:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Check out Dangerous Dans. It's only $4.55 and you won't find any $1 burger that comes close, even if you make it yourself. Some people might think it's disgusting, but I like the massively fattening bacon, peanut butter, and fried banana burger, for $5.75.

P.S. I've had the $35 burger at Bymark, and thought the burgers at Dangerous Dans were better.
Oh man, that place looks awesome! Check out this burger from their menu:

"Collosal Colon Clogger Combo"
24oz burger served with a quarter pound of cheese, a quarter pound of bacon, and 2 fried eggs. Also comes with a large shake (flavor of your choice) and a small poutine.
Only $ 23.45"

And for desert, I'll have one of these please:

The Beast $ 14.44
1 Deep Fried Mars Bar
6 Deep Fried Cheesecake Triangles
6 Deep Fried Brownie Squares
2 Scoops of Vanilla Whip Cream
2 Scoops of Chocolate Syrup
2 Scoops of Chocolate Chips

And all of this for less than the price of an entree at a fancy restaurant. I'd go with D. Dan's anytime (unless I was trying for a romantic dinner).
     
ctt1wbw
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Aug 28, 2009, 06:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Really ?

My two times at Ruth's were so mediocre, I will never go there on my own dime (it was company paid).
Completely overrated.

-t
I went to the one on Tropicana Blvd in Vegas when I had to go to Nellis AFB. That might have made a difference, I don't know.
     
ctt1wbw
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Aug 28, 2009, 06:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by SVass View Post
I've had filet at Chris' steakhouse (before the divorce) in New Orleans and at the Melborne Beach steakhouse in Florida and both were fantastic. That was long ago before our society degenerated!
sam
Well, back in the day, Outback used to be excellent. That was when there was only one or two per state. Now they are like Taco Bell. They are everywhere and not so great at all.
     
turtle777
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Aug 28, 2009, 08:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by ctt1wbw View Post
Well, back in the day, Outback used to be excellent. That was when there was only one or two per state. Now they are like Taco Bell. They are everywhere and not so great at all.
Uugh. I made the mistake to go to Outback last year. Horrible. HORRIBLE.

I will never have a steak there again.

-t
     
torsoboy
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Aug 28, 2009, 09:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Uugh. I made the mistake to go to Outback last year. Horrible. HORRIBLE.

I will never have a steak there again.

-t
But what about their "bloomin' onion"? I love that thing. And their wheat bread that they give to every table is great also.
     
turtle777
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Aug 28, 2009, 09:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
But what about their "bloomin' onion"? I love that thing. And their wheat bread that they give to every table is great also.
I agree, the bloomin' onion isn't bad. But I probably wouldn't go to Outback for just that.

-t
     
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Aug 28, 2009, 10:41 AM
 
El Gaucho in Seattle is great. Also Carl's in Colorado Springs is pretty great.
     
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Aug 28, 2009, 10:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Any one where she swallowed.
That is what she said.
     
ctt1wbw
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Aug 28, 2009, 01:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Uugh. I made the mistake to go to Outback last year. Horrible. HORRIBLE.

I will never have a steak there again.

-t
Well, it used to be good. I remember when they first came out, what, 20 something years ago? The one down the street where I grew up used to be standing room only to get in. Standing room only. 30-40 minute wait. Now, well. I wouldn't go back either.
     
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Aug 28, 2009, 02:20 PM
 
I always find that my favorite restaurant experiences are not all that expensive, and are definitely not chains either, and for me personally, not American food since I generally prefer ethnic food.
     
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Aug 28, 2009, 02:24 PM
 
Anyplace with Blue Moon on tap.
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Eug
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Aug 28, 2009, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by torsoboy View Post
Oh man, that place looks awesome! Check out this burger from their menu:

"Collosal Colon Clogger Combo"
24oz burger served with a quarter pound of cheese, a quarter pound of bacon, and 2 fried eggs. Also comes with a large shake (flavor of your choice) and a small poutine.
Only $ 23.45"

And for desert, I'll have one of these please:

The Beast $ 14.44
1 Deep Fried Mars Bar
6 Deep Fried Cheesecake Triangles
6 Deep Fried Brownie Squares
2 Scoops of Vanilla Whip Cream
2 Scoops of Chocolate Syrup
2 Scoops of Chocolate Chips

And all of this for less than the price of an entree at a fancy restaurant. I'd go with D. Dan's anytime (unless I was trying for a romantic dinner).


Good call on the romantic dinner. Some of the seats are seats ripped out of old vans and the like, complete with the seatbelts.

BTW, the last time I went, the guy behind me in the next table ordered that crazy collosal combo. He actually finished it. Or at least, by the time I left he had already finished the burger and most of the shake and poutine, and was still going. He looked like he was only about 175 lbs, but obviously had quite the appetite. And for those of you who don't know what poutine is, it's french fries with cheese curds, drenched in gravy.

     
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Aug 31, 2009, 09:34 PM
 
The Bazaar in the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. I ate there last night, my last meal in LA before returning home to Hawaii today. The food was absolutely outstanding, by far the best meal I've ever eaten.

It's Tapas style dining, and the two of us tried about 70% of the menu. Everything was exceptionally well prepared, presented, and it all tasted amazing. The atmosphere is very unique, pretty much indescribable. My only "complaint" is the wine list, it's fairly light in terms of selection, but the restaurant does allow you to bring your own bottle, and there's no corkage fee.

By far the best dining experience I've had, ever. 10/10.
     
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Aug 31, 2009, 10:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
And for those of you who don't know what poutine is, it's french fries with cheese curds, drenched in gravy.


That actually sounds like it could be good, but I don't think I'd put my face that close to a plate of it. Better to keep at fork's length.
     
Eug
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Aug 31, 2009, 10:38 PM
 
Poutine is frickin' awesome, in a decadent clog-your-arteries sort of way. It's a very Canadian thing, mostly in Quebec, but I'm told it's also on the menu in parts of Florida (because of the Canadians who spend their winters down there).

P.S. A friend of mine was told it was pronounced like "putain" and happily asked for putain at restaurants. He finally figured out after a few weeks the reason he kept on getting weird looks was because "putain" means "prostitute".
     
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Aug 31, 2009, 11:31 PM
 
Most expensive meal I ever had: The restaurant at The Compleat Angler Inn in Marlow, England (about $350 for two people)

All-Time Favorite Restaurant: Mandaly Restaurant and Cafe in Silver Spring, MD
(I call this place my "last meal restaurant". If I am ever on death row I want my last meal to come from this restaurant.)

Favorite Burger (fast-food style): Five Guys (They are all over the place but I first had them in the early 1990s at their original location on Leesburg Pike in Arlington, VA)

Favorite Burger (restaurant style):

Favorite Irish pub: Molly's Shebeen in New York, NY

Favorite middle eastern place: Bedouin Tent in Brooklyn, NY

Favorite pizza place: Franny's in Brooklyn, NY

Favorite tapas place: Jaleo in Washington, DC (the original one on 7th and F Streets NW)


Place I would most like to dine: Inn at Little Washington in Washington, VA
(Have some wealthy friends who go there annually. They love it: the food, service, ambiance, everything.)
( Last edited by dcmacdaddy; Aug 31, 2009 at 11:38 PM. )
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Sep 1, 2009, 10:16 AM
 
Hey fellow Brooklynite! I'm going to put Franny's and Bedouin Tent on my list of places to try (they're both close).
     
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Sep 1, 2009, 06:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by paul w View Post
I don't know but next week I'll be eating at Peter Luger's in Brooklyn. That's a potential candidate.
Lugar's is hit or miss -- but when it's a hit, it's outstanding.

Do not stray from the basics: porterhouse and spinach.
     
 
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