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Too Few Days & fewer meals


Kouign Aman
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We're headed to New York for 3 1/2 days,

arriving on a red eye on a Thursday morning, to attend a concert in Carnegie Hall that evening, and leaving early Sunday afternoon. The trip is arranged around the piano addictions of the members of an internet bulletin board, and thus will not, sadly, be particularly food-friendly. I am not the piano addict in our family.

However, I will have at least one chance to influence our choice of dining location.

We wont be able to hit the haute cuisine highlights of the city, but if we've got a choice between mediocre and noteworthy, I'm all about noteworthy. Particularly as I'll be celebrating our mobility, free from the constraints of our munchkin for these few days.

We're staying near Carnegie Hall.

Thursday we'll need either a late breakfast, early lunch, or brunch.

We'll probably head toward Ground Zero and possibly Chinatown on Thursday, before taking naps.

Dinner before the concert is to be at Bello, with the piano-addicts.

Friday breakfast and lunch are semi-free; I think we're checking out "Piano Row" on Friday (I have no idea where that is). Friday dinner is set.

The group tried to arrange a Steinway factory tour, but no success as of yet.

Saturday and Sunday are currently open for 3 and 1 meal respectively.

I doubt they will stay that way, but we can try. I might gain some bargaining power since one of the 'highlights' of the tour for the Tenor will be observing someone's grand piano get tuned. (Be still my beating heart.)

Is Papaya King still worth a visit?

I've heard Elk Candy/Chocolates (what was it?) closed - they were a 'must go' for marzipan - is it true?

If we can get to one gelateria a day, which ones, and in what order of priority?

If we have time for one meal at a fine dining establishment, of the newly casual or the more traditional men-in-jackets variety, which should we aim for?

I'd love to visit a farmers market, tho I doubt my ability to drag my Pacific Standard Time-fanny out of bed that early in the am.

Thanks for any suggestions, comments, links or names or hints for searching other threads.

ETA: Like this one I found while searching the NY forum:Favorites

Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Thursday we'll need either a late breakfast, early lunch, or brunch.

My favorite weekday brunch is at Clinton Street Baking Company on the Lower East Side, because they have unbelievably good, fluffy blueberry pancakes with maplbutter. And an addictive bacon/cheese/egg sandwich on their house-baked biscuits, with homemade tomato jam. You might also enjoy breakfast at Balthazar, Sarabeth's, or Barney Greengrass.

Other favorites of mine for out of towners: Eleven Madison Park, The Bar Room at the Modern (not the dining room), Katz's Deli, Shake Shack, Momofuku Ssam Bar (dinner).

The Union Square Greenmarket is open from early until 6pm, so you'll be able to stop by at any time on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday.

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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re: Friday lunch -- I'm not sure, either, to be honest, where "Piano Row" is. But if I had to guess it's around 57th/58th streets between like 5th and 7th aves. I know I've seen a lot of piano stores there, if that's any indication. If that is indeed it, could do casual lunch at Burger Joint in the Parker Meridian, nicer lunch at Bar Room at the Modern, or fancy-pants lunch at Jean Georges (highly recommended for any weekday lunch you may have free).

re: gelato -- My vote goes to Il Laboratorio del Gelato.

re: breakfast -- Depending on what part of town you want to be in, my favorite breakfast spot is Clinton Street Bakery. Balthazar is also nice. And brunch or lunch at Prune.

re: farmer's market: Definitely check out the big one in Union Square open Mon-Wed-Fri--Sat, and you don't even have to wake up early to do so!

Have a great trip!

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Although I love Clinton Street Baking Company for lunch it takes no reservation so at most times even during the week, there's a wait. So unless you have the time, skip it. For someplace good near Carnegie Hall for brunch try Whym. Their biscuits and gravy were excellent. 9th Avenue and 57th Street.

I much prefer the Bar Room at the Modern over 11 Madison Park in fact I really disliked 11 Madison Park. And I would still put Gotham Bar and Grill high up on any list.

Oh and you can get Il Lababorio de Gelato at the new Whole Foods at 1st and 1st on the Lower East Side. But the new place everyone is talking about is Grom on the UWS. Haven't tried it and am not sure exactly where it is.

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In the neighborhood of the hotel and Carnegie Hall is Yakitori Totto (do a search - there's a thread on it). The breakfasty pastries at Bouchon Bakery, also right in the neighborhood, are probably the best in the city - croissant and brioche variations, etc. Or you could buy some things there and picnic in the hotel. Elk Confectionary is indeed gone. And of course there is Jean Georges, as has been noted.

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it'd be helpful to know a lot more about price points and tastes.

with that said, the best gelato in the city is at Otto....you can definitely just stop in for gelato in the afternoon....or late (after 11)

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Huh, I've never had to wait for a table at Clinton St. for weekday breakfast (around 10am, 11am).

Note that Prune only serves their famous brunch on the weekends, like many NYC spots.

Oh, and il Lab closes at 6pm or so each night; if you want after-dinner gelato from them, you can hit up the new Whole Foods on Bowery and Houston Street (not 1st and 1st), which has an Il Laboratorio del Gelato counter inside. Same product, more choices, and open later.

Grom, the new spot in town, is on the Upper West Side, on Broadway and 75th. My friends tell me it's quite good but 1) there may be a line and 2) it's pricey in comparison to other options.

If you want chocolates, by the way, the spot to go to is Kee's Chocolates in Soho, with Jacques Torres being a close second. Kee's specializes purely in inventively flavored truffles. Jacques is more general.

Edited by kathryn (log)
"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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Although I love Clinton Street Baking Company for lunch it takes no reservation so at most times even during the week, there's a wait. [...] I much prefer the Bar Room at the Modern over 11 Madison Park in fact I really disliked 11 Madison Park.  [...]

I've never encountered a wait for weekday breakfast (which is wonderful...mmm pancakes...), but admittedly, I've never been any other time. I notice the pancakes are also on the dinner menu. If I lived in the area, I would have definitely given that a shot by now, too!

What did you dislike so much about Eleven Madison? I think Chef Humm is among the best young culinary talent in the city.

[...] The breakfasty pastries at Bouchon Bakery, also right in the neighborhood, are probably the best in the city - croissant and brioche variations, etc. [...]

While I'm not such a fan of their croissants or the brioche, I do love their sticky buns. The corn muffin isn't bad, either.

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Ah, this is lovely. :smile: Thank you!

I'll have some fun compiling and checking out websites this weekend, based on all your suggestions, and figuring out a map.

It looks like we are good for breakfasts, thanks to you guys. Friday for Clinton St Baking Co, and play it from there on the weekends. I'm excited to see the Union Square Greenmarket. I hope it fits with the addicts' plans. :hmmm:

it'd be helpful to know a lot more about price points and tastes.

Tastes - so far, I havent found an entire class of food I dont like. My husband has expressed a lack of fondness for Korean, but could probably be brought round with the right menu choices. Most bugs are out, and offal isnt high on the list.

We live 17 miles from Mexico, so we'll not be looking for Mexican food in NYC.

We'd like to keep the average <~ $100/day for food each, so if there's a splurge lunch or dinner, we'll work it out over the other meals. Food carts are good friends, as are hole-in-the-wall places, and sandwiches. If it helps us get good food, I can talk the Tenor out of drinking wine, which will help the budget some.

If this budget is absurdly low, lemme know now please, so I can mortgage the munchkin. Thanks.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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well..you could do a splurge dinner but then you'd have to go way downmarket on the other meals.

instead, I'd highly suggest doing lunch at Jean Georges on Thursday or Friday in the main dining room (be careful not to accidentally get the Nougatine)...its not open on Saturday or Sunday.

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with that said, the best gelato in the city is at Otto....you can definitely just stop in for gelato in the afternoon....or late (after 11)

Second.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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I'll put in another vote for lunch at Jean-Georges. It won't bust your wallet for a hgh-end place and it is close to Carnegie Hall and Piano Row (57th St.)

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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  • 3 weeks later...

Many thanks, once again. I have my fingers crossed for a splurge lunch.

I was just sent the info that we've been invited to lunch here.

Pho Viet Huong in Chinatown

I am now headed to search, but would like feedback on this place.

It looks like mostly out of towners. Should I be pleased, or carefully directing the party elsewhere?

(ok, Im not thrilled - its for Friday, our best chance for Jean-Georges. Sigh.)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I would give Pho Viet Huong a big fat no--it's acceptable to go to once in awhile if you live in the city, but there is too little time for you to waste on so-so Vietnamese (esp. being from California). NYC Chinatown is not known for it's Vietnamese food by any means, though it is cheap. Re-direct, stat.

Edited by seisei (log)
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I would give Pho Viet Huong a big fat no--it's acceptable to go to once in awhile if you live in the city, but there is too little time for you to waste on so-so Vietnamese (esp. being from California). NYC Chinatown is not known for it's Vietnamese food by any means, though it is cheap. Re-direct, stat.

I'd add that if you have to have Vietnamese food, get a sandwich for lunch at Banh Mi Saigon Bakery on Mott St. a bit south of Grand.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Thank you! I shall get started on the redirection.

Turns out its a favorite place of a Bronx-inhabitant who's part of the piano-addict group. So he'll survive missing it this one time (yes, we have LOTS of Vietnamese options out here!). Besides, we'll have to track down gelato - thanks for all the good info on that too. We've only found one decent source here, that my husband will return to. Nothing lives up to Italy, but the search remains fun.

Right now, it looks like Saturday may be a free day for self-guided activities. That means food!

I've been asked to bring something back from Zabar's. While we are getting that, should we eat?

Buy _____ to bring home? Save the money for other options?

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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[...]I've been asked to bring something back from Zabar's. While we are getting that, should we eat?

Buy _____ to bring home? Save the money for other options?

I'll let others make suggestions on what to get, but beware that on weekends, the crowds, pushing, and sometimes elbowing can be terrible at Zabar's. That's pretty much true of Fairway on 75th St., too. But in a brief trip, go to Zabar's when you can.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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We're headed to New York for 3 1/2 days,

arriving on a red eye on a Thursday morning, to attend a concert in Carnegie Hall that evening, and leaving early Sunday afternoon. The trip is arranged around the piano addictions of the members of an internet bulletin board, and thus will not, sadly, be particularly food-friendly. I am not the piano addict in our family.

However, I will have at least one chance to influence our choice of dining location.

We wont be able to hit the haute cuisine highlights of the city, but if we've got a choice between mediocre and noteworthy, I'm all about noteworthy. Particularly as I'll be celebrating our mobility, free from the constraints of our munchkin for these few days.

We're staying near Carnegie Hall.

Thursday we'll need either a late breakfast, early lunch, or brunch.

We'll probably head toward Ground Zero and possibly Chinatown on Thursday, before taking naps.

Dinner before the concert is to be at Bello, with the piano-addicts.

Friday breakfast and lunch are semi-free; I think we're checking out "Piano Row" on Friday (I have no idea where that is). Friday dinner is set.

The group tried to arrange a Steinway factory tour, but no success as of yet.

Saturday and Sunday are currently open for 3 and 1 meal respectively.

I doubt they will stay that way, but we can try. I might gain some bargaining power since one of the 'highlights' of the tour for the Tenor will be observing someone's grand piano get tuned. (Be still my beating heart.)

Is Papaya King still worth a visit?

I've heard Elk Candy/Chocolates (what was it?) closed - they were a 'must go' for marzipan - is it true?

If we can get to one gelateria a day, which ones, and in what order of priority?

If we have time for one meal at a fine dining establishment, of the newly casual or the more traditional men-in-jackets variety, which should we aim for?

I'd love to visit a farmers market, tho I doubt my ability to drag my Pacific Standard Time-fanny out of bed that early in the am.

Thanks for any suggestions, comments, links or names or hints for searching other threads.

ETA: Like this one I found while searching the NY forum:Favorites

Papaya King is still worth a visit if you liked it before. Still largely the same, and still the best of that genre. However, I'd say only the East 86th Street iteration is worthwhile. The other franchises are not authentic.

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[...]I've been asked to bring something back from Zabar's. While we are getting that, should we eat?

Buy _____ to bring home? Save the money for other options?

I'll let others make suggestions on what to get, but beware that on weekends, the crowds, pushing, and sometimes elbowing can be terrible at Zabar's. That's pretty much true of Fairway on 75th St., too. But in a brief trip, go to Zabar's when you can.

Oh, I don't know, I kinda think that the surly crowds and often gruff service is part of the *charm* of Zabar's. :smile:

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Oh, I don't know, I kinda think that the surly crowds and often gruff service is part of the *charm* of Zabar's.  :smile:

Have you ever been there the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas? :shock: Didn't think so. :wink: But yeah, we both agree it's well worth going to.

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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