September 2006

Nuestra Cocina logoHopefully a good time was had by all at Nuestra Cocina, one of our most successful turnouts. A mix of old and new faces feasted on the delicious south of the border inspired food and drinks at this always hopping SE hotspot for Urban Mexican Cuisine. Although getting a table for eight without a reservation on a Friday night can be a scary proposition, our timing was just right, the necessary over 50 percent showing up for us to be seated after less than 15 minutes sipping our delicious Long Island Ice Teas in the bar (these concoctions can be lethal, but NC blends them into sweet and delicious elixer of divine intoxication.) Also yummy here, several choices of fine Magaritas and a refreshing Mojito. This is a restaurant that has done everything right since its inception a couple of years ago, from the modest but appealing decor to the crisp and casual service, not to mention the delicious aromas wafting around the restaurant from the open grill blackening onions and peppers and griddling the soft and warm stacks of handmade tortillas.



Plainfield's Mayur logoThe dining group did absolutely nothing to improve Plainfield’s seemingly flagging fortunes, as there were only three of us. Plainfield’s opened in 1977 (in a different location,) and at this point it’s hard not to sadly surmise they are circling the drain. This restaurant seats 210 people inside, and 50 people outside, and during the time we ate there, 7:00 – 8:45, there might have been 10 total people inside, and 10 total people outside. This is not a good sign for a restaurant, especially one that seemingly only employed two wait people on a Friday night. The food is certainly decent enough, full of flavor and unusual preparations, put still exceedingly small portions for $22. They actually gave us a portion of cucumber raita (the yoghurt salad,) that was at most 1/2 a cup, for three people to share. I certainly didn’t leave this place hungry, but for that amount of money, I wanted to see more something, perhaps variety, or ambience, something that would explain why Plainfield’s deserves to charge more than any other Indian Restaurant in town. Also, the menu seemed a bit too etched in stone, there were no specials, and I got the impression they have probably had the same exact items on their menu since 1977.


Ciao Vito logoHere’s what our friend Frank, discerning restaurant goer, has to say about Ciao Vito:

Greetings to all in the dining group.

My name is Frank. Jackie graciously asked me to write the summary of our experience at Ciao Vito.

Ciao Vito, to those who are unaware, is located on NE Alberta Street. It is in the same area as Alberta Street Oyster Bar & Grill, Siam Society, Bernie’s Southern Bistro, etc. By the time I arrived, everyone else had been seated. A total of eight members of the group were there.

The d├ęcor of the restaurant is muted. There is some music that is playing in the background; however it did not seem overly loud.