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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Scalini Fedeli

Great MEal all around

I have been to SF a number of times between Chatham an NYC. One thing I can say is that for $65 per person NYC and $54 per in Chatham, you CANNOT beat this place for ambiance, service and most of all, FOOD.  Michael Cetrulo knows what he is doing. I had the pleasure of taking my sister in law and my brother to their Chatham location in June.

To say the least, the food was AWESOME as always but I did get a feeling of a stuffier crowd at the Chatham location. Not that I really give a shit but I like people like me. People who know how to smile without the use of Botox. The best thing I have always liked is the fact that the Northern Italian cuisine is always seasonal, fresh and full of flavor. I will say this. SF has a menu that stands up to the best of them but still holds true to the Northern Italian heritage that it came to be the top shelf dining experience that we all expect and respect.

From another point of view, my brother, who has tremendous experience in the Steakhouse world praises SF from start to finish (is a major thumbs up in my book). This place, weather in NYC or NJ, shines like the gold on Mr. T's neck and they have  carved their way into the spotlight and should be respected like Scarpetta, Marea, Il Mulino etc etc. All of the above are awesome restaurants but give credit where it is due.

Blue Ribbon

Interesting First date

So we end up going out on a first date and we end up at Blue Ribbon (which we have both been to and find the place great)

 The apps we had were good (oysters and a grilled shrimp remoulade). While I had not had good fried chicken in quite a while, I had to go for it. It tasted like a home made southern dinner and it beat my expectations. dessert comes and it's three types of Sorbet (raspberry, mango and lemon)...So I get three kinds of Sorbet and all three kick ASS. Blue Ribbon is a great place because the crowd is so diverse, the service was great and the food speaks for itself. After dining at BR about 4 times now, it has not been anywhere close to a disappointment.

Downtown Brooklyn was in need of a place like this and at no time will you find it empty. I don't think you will ever not like the menu since it has many options but if you are not crazy about what they offer, try heir Sushi place right next door. FRESH fish like it just came out of the ocean and a pretty good wine list to match the cuisine. As of now, there are many Blue Ribbons popping up and I intend on hitting all of them. The Brooklyn Bowl location in Williamsburg is supposed to have great fried chicken and I think 2011 is the year where fried chicken places will be all the rage. I will be sure to post my opinion regarding their chicken when I make my way down that neck of the woods.

Capital Grill

So what can I say????? The place was very good from a STEAK standpoint. My brother, and I, dined at CG last week and we had a good meal but not the greatest service or knowledge about our meal. The whole experience was good to me but John being an expert on STEAK was just too much for me so I let him do the talking. (gotta say that Issac was awesome, while the main server was not so good) She had the knowledge of a beach ball!!!!!!!!

I 100% respect  my brothers opinion about service and overall dining experience and I strongly agree that the meal was good, but not much else. The decor is nice, always some drunk Wall St types (unlike myself YEAH OK) are getting HAMMERED at 4:30 on a Monday (not like it's not the norm for me) but when we sat down, I just felt like I was a jerkoff, eating STEAK. Not the best experience. The apps were really good (Calimari w/Cherry Peppers and Crab and Lobster Cakes). We both ordered the Ribeye (medium) and it was a very good steak that had some kind of a light sauce on it.

The meal was good and the Lobster Mac and Cheese (which could have held down Ray Lewis at a Bar Room Brawl) But the real Fuck Up for me was the Onion Rings. They just flat out SUCKED!!! Breaded Onions with ZERO help from anything else (dipping sauce etc etc). Any time I have had rings (even in a diner) they had more of a personality to them. If I had to rate the Onion Rings at CG, I'd have to put them up there with OJ beating the case with Nicole.....Just a flat out robbery.....

I would suggest CG for drinks (even dinner) but with so many other places (DelFriscos, Gallagher's) I would not waste time, let alone money, but time invested, is time spent so you  make the call

Babbo

My brother and I went to Babbo over the winter months of 09'. I had never been there prior, but my mouth was watering for Batali's HUGE neo, Italian flavors. I actually felt like a kid in a toy store. The dining experience was nothing short of (u gotta be kidding me) excitement.

I, as well as John, will experiment in any type of cuisine (unless Indian,,,,Sorry Floyd Cardoz). What happened next was like a Jew, eating pork, was just unheard of!!!!!!! We had an incredible meal, minus the drink (because with my tolerance, the bill would have been $900). I mean superb pastas, and even more tasteful sides just put us over the top as far as Mario Batali can justify.

This guy can cook and if there is anyone out there who will disagree with me, I say go to Olive Garden! We had Venison and Short Ribs and the only complaint I have is that, we could have eaten 2 more portions of each. BTW, great atmosphere with better than average service and a knowledgable staff. Worth the wait in my opinion!!

Strip House

OK, so what do you call a place that has RED leather Fuckin seats, but is not considered a Fuckin Whore House???? I'll Tell Ya. It's called the Strip House. Located directly across he street from Gramercy Tavern (never eaten there yet). and I plan going very soon...... We waited about 40 minutes for our table to be prepared and while we soaked up the crowd, it was sooooo well worth the wait to be seated.

When we got to the table, we were greeted by a very well versed server who not only knew the wine list but also knew what would suit our dining experience. We chose a Fransican RED (that I had drank before) but then again, what have I not drank??? The server had suggested the Seafood Tower, that was UNREAL (for a steakhouse) on the specials menu for the evening. Next, came he thick cut SLAB bacon that made me wish I had used bacon as toothpaste before consuming it.

So, we take the advice and indulge on a combo between RAW seafood, bordering on the slightly cooked. To our despair, we were bowled over by the preparations of the Seafood, as well as the expectations that (this a is Fuckin Steakhouse, what do they know about Seafood). To take it another step further, it was delightful (I must sound like a real Pussy) saying that but honestly, it was superb..Next came the thick cut bacon that Annette never had (I don't know why) but maybe for the best???????

When we actually got our Rib Eye's, we were like WTF????? Are they kidding???? First of all, the flavor of the steak was incredible (which I was hoping for) and we were not the least bit disappointed. The sides were actually CUTE (which sounds like a real Fuckin gay thing but) the creamed Spinach comes in this little Copper Pot that looks like it was prepared by Gary Coleman, but with a chef spin on it. The next side that came out was the Duck Fat Potato and the salt factor could have melted most of the ice in Antarctica. I mean Fuckin hard core SALT, SALT, SALT......

For the most part, the dinner was spot on, including the dessert (which I only like Sorbet or Gelato) instead of Cheese Cake and the other usual suspects. If I had to rate Strip House up there with the Big Players, I would say, it can handle it"s own. One thing I really like is that Strip House is a smaller, more eloquent Steakhouse in the NYC BEEF consumers realm but it holds it's ground and I would not hesitate to go back!!!!!!!!!

Last weeks brunch

I, by no means am a BRUNCH guy but I will tell you this. We went to Marc Forgione in Tribeca for Brunch last Sunday and I was blown away!!!!!! First of all, the Bloody Mary's should be brought back into prohibition because someone could get hurt drinking them. The overall flavors combined in this drink will have the non drinker start to drink, and the drinker like me, continue to hurdle towards AA.

That was only the start of or day. First of all, it was a rainy, shitty day to say the least, but the clouds passed and it turned out to be less than a Monsoon, but still a Shitty day (weather wise). When we arrived (early by 1/2 hour) we were told to chill and they would get us a table. So, we sit down and just soak up the atmosphere with the intention of dining in the "Newest Iron Chef's" joint.

What we quickly discovered was a knowledgable staff and best of all, a pleasant waitress. We ordered drinks and were immediately put in our place because, since then, I thought Pastis had the best BM's but after 1 drink at Marc Forgione, we were enlightened. Next, they give us a menu which had everything a normal BRUNCH person would eat, but also a TWIST on what BRUNCH should be.

Steak and eggs was my frontrunner going in and let me tell ya one FUCKIN thing, if you don't like the Steak and eggs at MF, you should become a vegetarian and dine at Olive Garden at least three times a week.

 Let me describe our experience.

First, we had, of course the Steak and Eggs but there was also the Eggs Benedict (no English Muffin may I add) Imagine that. It was eggs on a formed bed of fried Potato's and Marc's version on Chicken and Waffles (which involved a small Quail who just got Fucked for being in the wrong place at the wrong time). Next came the sides which in my opinion, blew the Fuckin doors off the whole day. Thick, North country bacon, home made maple glazed fennel breakfast sausage (that any normal American would eat as their last meal on Death Row).

 Ohhhh wait, it get's better. Next, the home fries (or whatever you call potato's done right) come out on a cutting board (that same kind of cutting board that my mom would smash over my brother's head when he broke balls back in the day). So now, let me describe the Steak and Eggs.....It's a PRIME piece of Rib Eye that even an Amish, Jewish, Born Again Christian would approve of. The Eggs Benny, was so off beat and original that if I liked to dance (and I don't) I would have done windmills on a piece of cardboard while listening to a radio that required 20 D batteries playing old school classics (Native Love, Disco Circus, Etc, Etc). The Chicken and Waffles, while very good,  just needed more BIRD. I felt bad for the Fuckin Quail and I guess that's my Bensonhurst roots.

All in all, I would HIGHLY recommend Marc Forgione to anyone who wants to have a great time (and we suggest a great crowd who spends $$$$$$$$) while experiencing a great space (as they call it, Country, chic)

BTW: we never ate there for dinner yet but if dinner is like BRUCH, there may be an Epiphany very soon because this place jus Kicked Fuckin Ass.

Kevin Colelli