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  1. Carnegie is terrible. Katz's for pastrami and a homemade potato knish (round, not square), 2nd Ave Deli for everything else (matzoh ball soup especially). I would note that Russ & Daughters is for appetizing, not deli. Appetizing is the dairy side of Jewish food (and includes smoked fish, bagels, cream cheese, etc), while deli is the meat side. The laws of Kosher dictate that dairy and meat not be mixed, and so there were traditionally separate stores for each. Neither Katz's nor R&D are Kosher, but for the most part the food they're each serving is traditional. Both are definitely worth a visit. Russ & Daughters is one of my absolute favorite places in this entire city. Their whitefish salad is laced with crack.
  2. Haven't done the tasting menu. The chicken is really a problem for me. I'll probably never order anything else there again. But it's your anniversary, so let's not make your wife feel badly .... really everything I've had there has kicked ass, except perhaps the halibut. Love the marrow, trout, tagliatelle, snow peas. and the scallops. oh and the egg. Highly enjoyable all around. Where is that NYT review already? I've really talked it up - hope it impresses.
  3. Several of my friends have done that; I should have specified. NoMad is well worth an early Friday dinner. Ease in with some of Leo's fantastic cocktails and the fruits de mer (unlike anything I've ever had), you'll be very happy. Why don't you pull up some of the reviews and see if it's what you want? I think of it as EMP-lite, which frankly to me is more enjoyable than a 4 hour gigantic meal (which is lovely sometimes, but not all the time). You had initially mentioned EMP, hence the NoMad rec. I've been there twice and it only opened a few months ago, and I have two reservations coming up in the next month with friends who have been with me already. We are all dying to go back for the chicken, which haunts us, and so we are. The food is phenomenal, and many of the dishes (including the chicken) are EMP faves. For Ssam Bar, my experience is that between 7-9 it's the most busy. However, if you're only 2 people, I don't envision you having to wait more than 30-45 minutes. Their cocktails are fantastic too (and Booker & Dax is in the adjacent space on 13th street, you might be able to snag seats there). Summer weekends here are weird and a little unpredictable, but in my experience it's considerably easier to go out on weekends than during the rest of the year. The two are hard to compare, and kind of worlds apart: Ssam Bar is East Village/almost all stools/backless chairs/shared table space/loud music, and it skews young, and your food comes when it comes, so perhaps that's a consideration for you. I've never had a bad meal there, but it's definitely it's own kind of thing (and has garnered some criticism as a result). NoMad is a beautiful space in a new hotel; it has a great energy and a cool vibe, but it's more of a comfortable, paced, service-oriented, traditional kind of meal.
  4. I'm pretty sure that Ssam is only doing the duck and some small plates at lunch now, right Mitch? So if you want a full menu, dinner is it. For two people for dinner I wouldn't worry too much about the wait. The earlier you go, the better off you'll be, but I've never waited more than 20-30 mins tops for 2 people. I think that Ssam beats out Sorella in terms of uniqueness/interesting cooking - while Sorella is Italian, it's not traditional Italian, but still Ssam Bar continues to be my top rec to people from out of town.
  5. Actually have never been to Tocqueville. People who love it are loyal, but it's just never drawn me in. So so far you have Fri night Tocqueville; Sat J-G and NoMad, and Acme on Sunday? when is Ssam Bar? If you go on the early side, you can fairly easily snag bar seats at Marea and Maialino. Not sure if you're into that, but I love dining at the bar. Gramercy is trickier at the bar, and the bar room (which they don't take reservations for) fills up quickly. I believe that Maialino also saves room for walk-ins at the tables in the bar area. I'm sure they keep a waitlist too. For Italian, I also love Osteria Morini (more rustic & meaty) and Sorella (less traditional, small plates, beautiful dining room). Those look to have availability on Open Table. I don't know that Sorella is as much of a destination as the others we've been discussing, but I have only had lovely and delicious meals there, and everyone I've ever brought there has loved it as well. I've eaten well at Lincoln also. I only had brunch there so far but I really liked North End Grill (Floyd Cardoz/Danny Meyer) and will definitely go back for dinner. I think NoMad and Acme are fantastic, I really do. I have no idea what Acme is like other than for dinner but that should not stop you. Add to that J-G and Ssam Bar and you've done quite well for yourself (it would be a great mix even if you had 3 months to plan). The chicken at NoMad is one of the best things I've ever eaten in my entire life.
  6. Some very random thoughts, apologies for the lack of synthesis here, but you can easily look these all up for more info. They are not Per Se and EMP but they're great .... (and Ssam Bar should stay on your list - hit Booker & Dax next door for a cocktail) Recent faves: NoMad - open a few months - same chef/owners at EMP - I think the food is very bit as good as EMP, just more relaxed and accessible; excellent cocktails too. Has to be best new resto in nyc this year. I think about that chicken every day. Acme - also new, Nordic cuisine - there's a thread on it somewhere. Very interesting flavors and combinations, different from anything else I've had in this city. Red Farm (no reservations) ABC Kitchen - truly, I am in love with their food. Excellent brunch too. Kajitsu - shojin cuisine, vegetarian - one of the most unique, thoughtful meals I've ever had haven't been but you should certainly consider: Roberta's (in Bklyn) Atera wd-50 - I've personally never been a huge fan but certainly am in the minority. They just completely overhauled their food and cocktail menus. Would fit your "innovative" request for sure. I always LOVE Gramercy Tavern and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Marea, The Dutch, Maialino (they do a great breakfast/brunch too)
  7. I'd have to heartily second Maialino, Gramercy and ABC Kitchen - all for lunch or dinner. ABC Kitchen can be impossible to get into at night, but boy are they putting out some amazing food. Get the kabocha squash toast. I like the bar for lunch. I've been to Lincoln twice, and the second time was this summer. I thought it was excellent all around - attentive service, delicious food. My only hesitation was the price point, which seemed high to me (I wouldn't say that about many other restos that might be more expensive, like EMP). But I thought it was terribly underrated in the media and by word of mouth and we all loved our meal. Recently revisited Craft and again thought they were cooking at a very high level. Would definitely go back. I personally enjoy Momofuku Noodle Bar more than Ssam lately, but that hasn't always been the case for me. I would look at the menus and see what appeals to you personally. Noodle Bar for lunch is my go-to. Other personal faves lately in addition to Maialino, Gramercy and ABC Kitchen: The Dutch Red Farm Sorella Osteria Morini or Marea (very different, but same chef) Buvette - a sweet little wine bar with delicious small plates in the west village, great for a late afternoon snack on a weekend
  8. I'm not sure what you mean by my having to take them at their word. If they eat in my home, I'll honour their wishes and take care to ensure they don't get that food. I'll not prevent them from taking on whatever diet they want. In fact, I point out new GF food sources around town that I trip up over to my GF friends. But I most certainly will not accept it as true simply because they said so, nor will I necessarily 'agree' with them by keeping silent if keeping silent would indicate consent. Self observation is pretty close to hopeless. If people want to try out various things and make their conclusions, that is ok, but you can't expect everyone to roll over an agree just because those people have found comfort. I wish I could explain exactly why this offends me so - this, and many of the other posts on this thread. First of all, please do a little reading and have some idea of the facts. There is no test for gluten sensitivity, or other food sensitivities that don't rise to the level of an allergy or celiac. You go on an elimination diet, you see how you feel, and your doctor tells you not to eat what made you feel sick. There is NO TEST. The science has not caught up, and it remains a guessing game. You do not have to agree with what I think or what I eat. My doctors agree with me, and that is more than enough. It is my body and I will eat what I want. I'm not asking anyone - including restaurants, or you - to make accommodations for me. But the constant denial of my experience on these boards - and that of thousands, if not millions, of other people - is beyond insulting. Just because there's not a test to prove to you that I'm right doesn't mean I'm not. To Country's and Darienne's point, allergies (as well as autism - another phenomenon there is no explanation for) have skyrocketed in recent years. Our food systems are practically beyond repair, and grains are often genetically modified. Is it truly surprising that there might be a backlash? I would think that there have been enough posts on here and elsewhere reflecting experiences similar to mine for some of you to have a little more consideration for what we are saying. My experience does not depend even remotely on whether or not you agree, but it would be awfully considerate if you could open your minds and ears a little.
  9. It's not easy at times, so please tell her to hang in there! Well worth doing an elimination diet, in my personal experience.
  10. Of what you've listed, SHO, Tocqueville and L'Adour are barely on my radar. I haven't been to Corton but still want to go. I've had several magical meals at Le Bernardin. They just reopened after a pretty major renovation and if I were you I'd keep it on the list. I haven't been to Craft in years, but it was just re-reviewed by the Times and kept its 3 stars, and people I know and trust love it. We had my dad's 70th bday in their private dining space in November and the food was pretty awesome. Last weekend I had a delicious dinner at Lincoln. The food was very good, but given the extremely high price point I'd personally give going back a second thought if I were paying. Non prime time at Noodle Bar or Ssam Bar yes, you won't have to wait long (unless you're more than 2-3 people). Lately, I prefer Noodle Bar at lunch, but I haven't tried the duck at Ssam Bar for lunch yet, so that's up for debate. If you're looking for any casual meals, I think that ABC Kitchen, The Dutch and Red Farm are putting out some excellent food. Oh, and Sorella is a favorite. I also love Maialino, and they do a great breakfast/brunch. On the higher end, perhaps consider Marea. Definitely keep EMP on your list. I've never had a bad meal at the Modern, although I might ask why you want to go back to both the Modern and JG. I find much of both menus kind of predictable at this point, and I might suggest mixing it up a bit. I'm also still a huge fan of Gramercy Tavern. If there's any way for you to get up to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, it's well-worth the trip.
  11. Lots of judgment on this thread. Not liking it. This is not accurate. There have recently been several studies that show that gluten sensitivity does in fact exist, and 2 gastroenterologists have confirmed for me on a personal level that they have seen numerous patients with a gluten sensitivity but not celiac disease. There is no test for gluten sensitivity. So while you are entitled to your opinion, this isn't a matter of opinion. It's a matter of fact and science. Anecdotally, I've had a host of gastro issues my entire life. I've never been allergic to anything and certainly never thought that food, which I love, would be making me sick. Last summer it had reached a point where it was no longer tolerable - the abdominal cramps alone were incapacitating. In desperation I went off gluten on an elimination diet and three days later my issues had resolved almost completely. No bloating, no cramping, no running to the bathroom. I do not claim to have a gluten allergy, but there is no doubt that I have a sensitivity. I seem to be able to tolerate small amounts of gluten in my diet, and it seems to have a cumulative effect. I do my best to avoid it, but do not avoid it 100% - which is extremely difficult to do - in an effort to stay sane and enjoy my life and food as much as possible. It seems to be working well for me. I'm really taken aback by the amount of judgment I see here, and on other threads on the topic. There are thousands of people who anecdotally have had the same result i have by avoiding gluten - many people report decreased symptoms for migraines, joint pain, and a host of chronic gastro issues. Just because there isn't a test yet does not mean that gluten sensitivity does not exist. For me, this is not a fad diet whatsoever, it's a personal health decision. Why do you care if avoiding gluten makes me feel better? ETA: here is a link to a recent WSJ article on the subject: WSJ Article
  12. Well worth a long wait on Saturday night. Had almost all the dishes described above - soup dumplings and duck dumplings (the curry it was served with was perfection) among my favorites. And the crispy beef. And the marinated ribeye. And the braised chicken. And the spring rolls. Seriously, it was out-of-control delicious. The food had a fun and humorous element to it, and the flavors were gorgeous. There wasn't anything we didn't love. [One in our party knows Ed, and he very generously brought several dishes out for us.]
  13. Round are also referred to as "homemade," though I don't know that they are. The square are nasty and out of a box.
  14. Tell me more. It's gin, Lillet blanc, crème de cacao and lemon juice. You can either go 1 1/2 for the gin and 3/4 for everything else (2:1:1:1), or 2 for the gin and 1/2 for everything else (4:1:1:1), or 2 for the gin, 3/4 for the lemon and lillet, and 1/2 for the crème de cacao. Samuel - how would you describe the taste of this? Sounds like an odd combination. It tastes like delicious. I would try the gimlet with fresh lime and simple. (2 oz gin, 3/4 lime, 3/4 simple (1:1)) I realize that Rose's is "traditional," but fresh lime is so much better.
  15. It's not crazy: many NY fine dining spots have private dining rooms, and 12 is a good size for some of the small options (I recently planned a private party for 40 and we went with craft's private space, which might be too large for your group, but they did a truly lovely job and I would highly recommend it). A lot of the spaces I looked at were smaller, so I don't think you should be in bad shape. Call soon though. Near Central Park you have A Voce in Time Warner (multiple rooms), Le Bernardin, the Modern, Bar Boulud (multiple rooms), Marea and Per Se with private dining spaces. Downtown I'd look into Gramercy Tavern, Maialino, Eleven Madison Park (these 3 would probably top my list if I were you), Locanda Verde, Blue Hill, Lupa - they all have private rooms. Oh, the Harrison has a private dining room/wine cellar also. I was just at the Dutch and I think I'd give them a call too. Kefi is very casual - nothing at all like J-G.
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