Tag Archives: dining experience

Colicchio & Sons, New York, N.Y.



It is a rare thing when I ride my sister’s coat tails. The first time it happened was earlier this year, when I went to a work-related fundraiser in Washington, D.C. to meet her former boss, a Long Island Congressman of note in the Democratic Party. We spent a couple of minutes talking about her. The only reason I was at this really cool event was because I had a tangential connection to this individual. So, score one for The Sister there.

Score two and thensome for her on Friday evening. Back in her Congressional staffer days, she worked with Tom Colicchio’s team on a presentation of his documentary on hunger in America, A Place at the Table. She met and became friendly with someone on his personal staff, they remain in contact to this day, blah blah blah, and we were able to get a reservation with ease for the dining room at the Top Chef judge’s restaurant on 10th Avenue, across the street from Chelsea Market.
Continue reading Colicchio & Sons, New York, N.Y.


317 at Montgomery, Syracuse, N.Y.

Photo Feb 21, 6 13 57 PM

The allure of dining week is the opportunity to try places you would not ordinarily go for dinner. Two years ago, our trip to Pastabilities during dining week renewed my faith in their dinner service (I’ve long been a fan of their lunch). A Syracuse-area economic development group, the Downtown Committee, organizes the local version each year. With the exception of a couple of outposts, the concept is three courses for $25. Pretty simple.

We had childcare for Friday evening and planned to take part. When looking at the menus for this year’s event, I mentioned to The Wife that I thought the 317 at Montgomery, Pastabilities and Bistro Elephant/Lemongrass had the most attractive menus. Sometimes places will prepare special menus of smaller or lesser quality items to make it economical. These three looked as if they were just restricting portions of their menu for the event. I left it to The Wife to choose where.

The space occupied by 317 has seen a lot of traffic over the past five years. It’s longtime inhabitant, the Brick Alley Grill, closed a few years back following a flood. Something called Checkers Cafe followed it, then a Persian restaurant called Parisa. This past fall, The 317 opened with a local heavy-hitting chef named Chance Bear and a Japanese-American fusion menu. It didn’t last long; Bear flew the coop for the aforementioned Bistro Elephant/Lemongrass. The reboot is called 317 at Montgomery. Continue reading 317 at Montgomery, Syracuse, N.Y.

Grocery List: January 19, 2014

listOn my right wrist is a blue band. Ever the gadget guy, I took a dive on a Fitbit Force this week from Best Buy (Side note: I ordered it online and it arrived within 48 hours, which is pretty nice.).

Fitbit makes a couple of these wearable fitness trackers. I chose the Force because it has a silent alarm built in, a visible screen, and allegedly measures floors climbed. I say “allegedly” because it measures your floors climbed much in the same way sports watches track altitude. It’s all based on atmospheric pressure changes, of which there does not seem to be in my house (I can’t wait to see what happens when I get on a plane in a couple of weeks.). Personally, I like this for two reasons: it measures the steps I take and my sleep, which I’ve suspected has been poor recently. Based on movement, it gives me a reading on how restless I am at night and how long I was awake.

It’s all part of my technology-based plan to start living healthier. Actually, to call it a “plan” would be a overstatement. That would imply that I have a, you know, plan. I think I’m going to start by making a more concerted effort to live healthier before committing to a plan. We’ll see how that goes.


On Friday night, The Wife and I had one of our best restaurant experiences. It marked our first visit to Laci’s Tapas Bar in Syracuse’s Hawley-Green neighborhood. The menu was very reminiscent of the Meddlesome Moth in Dallas — gastropub small plates — but that was not why. At every turn, someone was talking to us, asking us how we were, if we had ever been there before, what kind of food we like so that they could suggest something. Based on the roster of staff listed on the website, we talked to both owners, two hostesses and two servers. Now, some would find this annoying or overbearing. I see this as taking pride in the business, not unlike the experience we had in Rochester this past May. It’s not often in Syracuse that a restaurant owner walks through the dining room to check on the customers. It’s also not often that you see them bussing tables either, but they were knee deep in the operation.

There is a fine line between micromanagement and being involved. It’s the idea that I would never ask someone to do something that I wouldn’t do. While there will be plenty more later on the food, I thought it was worth mentioning that the overall experience was among the best that Syracuse offers.