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Thai & Italian Report: Sriraphai & Trattoria L'Incontro

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Thai & Italian Report: Sriraphai & Trattoria L'Incontro

Chicago Mike | Aug 28, 2003 03:17 AM

Here's report on this weekend's dining at these Queens eateries:

Sriraphai: This is unquestionably REAL Thai food. Not the sugared up stuff that appears at 99% of Thai restaurants. My ex is Thai so I guess I'm a bit of an expert. NOW...We had: 1) Papaya salad (basic w/ small shrimp only) 2) Tom Yom Soup (shrimp not chicken) 3) Pad Kra-Pow (Basil Chicken)....these are "benchmark" dishes for a true Thai place. We split a bottle of German Riesling which along w/ Gewurztraminer is one of the very best food matches w/ Thai. Sriraphai overall ranks very highly. Papaya salad is near perfection BE SURE to ask for a good-size lime wedge to squeeze over it and a fire extinguisher for your throat. Tom Yom soup is very nice...could use a bit more lemongrass, galanga, etc. but very serviceable. The Basil Chicken was very good and awesome match with the wine. I've had somewhat better Tom Yom and Pad Kra-Pow but just narrowly...Sriraphai MAKES THE TOP TEN list for Great Queens restaurants. Only possible drawback: this place has as much ambiance as a vinyl kitchen from the 60's.

NOW, one tip for you "real Thai" lovers...many times an Ameri-Thai place can cook real Thai if you ask...and if you know what real Thai is (use Sriraphai for comparison)

Trattoria L-Incontro: Did someone mention the noise in this place ? Honestly they must pipe in the chatter...Also, I was just overwhelmed with the list of specials.... FAR TOO MANY to have the waiter rattle off...should have been printed. I scurried to write them on the paper tablecover but the average diner would be totally lost. Now to the food: Complimentary tomato & herb spread was fantastic. Calamari fritta was good, very fresh, but otherwise not remarkable in any way. A "special" appetizer of shrimp in vermouth reduction w/ pasta pillow somethings was a funky taste that just didn't work at all. For main dish we tried a benchmark: Chicken parmigiana which was very very good. A large portion with beautifully melted parmigiana over just the right amount of pasta...easily enuf for 3 persons. Dessert was Tiramisu which was tasty but not particularly memorable. At $65 for two with tip and incredible noise level we probably won't be going back.

STILL LOOKING for the Best Tiramisu ANYWHERE in Greater NYC...please advise. Next Trip is in 2 weeks...will report then.

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