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In NYC for 1 day


stickyii
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I'll be in NYC this coming Monday for RumFest and want to maximize my time in the city. I've only visited a couple of times but never since I became a foodie and cocktail lover.

Ideally I'd like to hit:

- a delicious, unique, mid-priced ($20-40) restaurant for lunch

- a bar that Kaiser Penguin shouldn't miss (Pegu Club, maybe?)

- a fun market that has lots of interesting foods

- a liquor store that will have spirits / liqueurs I can't easily get in PA

- a cigar shop if there's time

Any help would be massively appreciated!

Rick

Pennsylvania

Kaiser Penguin

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I'll be in NYC this coming Monday for RumFest and want to maximize my time in the city.  I've only visited a couple of times but never since I became a foodie and cocktail lover.

Ideally I'd like to hit:

- a delicious, unique, mid-priced ($20-40) restaurant for lunch

- a bar that Kaiser Penguin shouldn't miss (Pegu Club, maybe?)

- a fun market that has lots of interesting foods

- a liquor store that will have spirits / liqueurs I can't easily get in PA

- a cigar shop if there's time

Any help would be massively appreciated!

welcome Kaiser Penguin! I've been an avid read of your blog for awhile now.

restaurant: Jean Georges (or if it's booked...Perry Street). best lunch deals in NY (you can get out for $40-50 with several courses and a glass of wine, tax and tip)

bar: Death & Co., P.D.T. or Pegu....these are the top three cocktail bars in NY....with Milk & Honey and Flatiron Lounge close behind. Anywhere else suggested is a tier behind those five. D&C and P.D.T. are only a couple blocks away from each other so you could do both easily.

liquor store: LeNell's...but that might not be convenient to get to. Astor Place has a massive selection and is in walking distance of the bars named.

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For a slightly different take on lunch, I'd recommend one of the Momofuku's.

LeNell's says it all for liquors, but if you're staying in Manhattan, Astor Place has a nice selection. Wherehouse too.

Bars - Nathan says it all. Monday is a good night for PDT.

Chelsea Market might fit the bill for your market choice. Greenmarket is always nice (MON, WED, FRI OR SAT).

Cigars - J&R, Barclay Rex.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Not sure when your "day" here ends, but this will certainly be useful to know....

Opening times of those top-tier cocktail joints:

D&Co - 6pm

Pegu - 5pm

PDT - 6pm

Milk & Honey - 7pm (res required)

Flatiron Lounge - 5pm

For a fun market, also in reasonable walking distance to many of the above-mentioned, you might want to check out Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side.

Christopher

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For a fun market, also in reasonable walking distance to many of the above-mentioned, you might want to check out Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side.

Christopher

I hate to say it, but the Whole Foods on Houston is also a great market to wander. Between the beer room with local beers on tap, the fromagerie inside (which, granted, isn't an amazing selection but is certainly not bad), the il laboratorio del gelato counter with more flavors than the store and a lot of great local products, it's really a pretty special store- especially for a chain.

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I'll be in NYC this coming Monday for RumFest and want to maximize my time in the city.  I've only visited a couple of times but never since I became a foodie and cocktail lover.

Ideally I'd like to hit:

- a delicious, unique, mid-priced ($20-40) restaurant for lunch

- a bar that Kaiser Penguin shouldn't miss (Pegu Club, maybe?)

- a fun market that has lots of interesting foods

- a liquor store that will have spirits / liqueurs I can't easily get in PA

- a cigar shop if there's time

Any help would be massively appreciated!

welcome Kaiser Penguin! I've been an avid read of your blog for awhile now.

restaurant: Jean Georges (or if it's booked...Perry Street). best lunch deals in NY (you can get out for $40-50 with several courses and a glass of wine, tax and tip)

bar: Death & Co., P.D.T. or Pegu....these are the top three cocktail bars in NY....with Milk & Honey and Flatiron Lounge close behind. Anywhere else suggested is a tier behind those five. D&C and P.D.T. are only a couple blocks away from each other so you could do both easily.

liquor store: LeNell's...but that might not be convenient to get to. Astor Place has a massive selection and is in walking distance of the bars named.

Because I know how important determining concensus can be when making these decisions, I thought I'd reinforce Nathan's suggestions.

Jean Georges is definitely the best lunch deal in town. Was just there the other day and found that the cooking is much the same as at dinner (which is to say, arguably the best restaurant in the city), but the prices are incredibly low for that level of service and food. The format also lets you design your own menu, by offering any two plates on the menu for about $30 and additional plates for about $12 each. You can do a gut-busting tasting menu that would have cost $150 at dinner for less than half that, when you factor in the free amuses, mignardises, etc.

Nathan's cocktail recommendations are also spot-on. However, as you may know, it can be tough to get into Milk and Honey, so why not stick with the top three he suggested (Death & Company, PDT and Pegu). Incidentally, the small plates at Pegu are quite good, so don't avoid them if you decide to go there.

Also, as for markets, while its contents are totally dependent on the season, and it's far from comprehensive, you may have fun visiting the Union Square Greenmarket. There's a variety of great food there, and many of the city's top chefs do a bunch of their shopping there. I'm pretty sure Monday is one of the days it's open.

Finally, while there are a few great old cigar shops downtown (Tribeca and Financial District, among others) where you can view people actually making cigars, I can't vouch for their quality. Are you going for novelty or to actually buy high end cigars?

Edited by LPShanet (log)
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I'll be in NYC this coming Monday for RumFest and want to maximize my time in the city.  I've only visited a couple of times but never since I became a foodie and cocktail lover.

Ideally I'd like to hit:

- a delicious, unique, mid-priced ($20-40) restaurant for lunch

- a bar that Kaiser Penguin shouldn't miss (Pegu Club, maybe?)

- a fun market that has lots of interesting foods

- a liquor store that will have spirits / liqueurs I can't easily get in PA

- a cigar shop if there's time

Any help would be massively appreciated!

I'd recommend Jean-Georges, but only if you have the proper time for lunch (figure 1 1/2 to 2 hours; I can never get out in less than 2). For something quicker, you may want to do the Spotted Pig, which is actually reasonably uncrowded at lunchtime during the week and quite tasty, or better still Momofuku Noodle Bar, which is definitely "unique" and quite delicious.

While LeNells is indeed the liquor store to hit, it's also terribly out of the way for a single day. The advantage is that you can go there late (it's open until 11 or midnight most days), but getting to Red Hook is a bit of a pain. (I usually only go when I'm already in Brooklyn Heights or Park Slope and can take the bus; I have no idea how to do it directly from Manhattan via public transport.) Therefore, I would instead recommend Astor. They have an excellent selection (including a bunch of rums and liqueurs, such as the R&W apricot and violette, that are either unavailable or just becoming available in PA).

I'd definitely suggest Essex Street over the Greenmarket for "interesting" quotient; while the Greenmarket has excellent produce, it's not big on the interesting foods for the visitor option. As an alternative, I'd actually recommend wandering through Chinatown, which is essentially one big "market" and certainly big on the interesting take-away food (Mei Lah Wah Tea House for baked pork buns, the Ice Cream Factory, Excellent Dumpling House, "Roated" Meats, etc.).

Cigar stores are tricky since Nat Sherman's closed. I prefer J R Cigars on the corner of 5th Avenue and 46th Street: Prices are gentle, and their house smokables are often quite good. They also usually have insane fire sales on smoking accessories.

Bars: You could theoretically hit all the best bars in NY if you tried! Start with Flatiron, move to Pegu, then tromp to the East Village to hit Death & Company and PDT, maybe winding up at Little Branch. (Incidentally, Nathan, I rate Little Branch a shade above both M&H and Flatiron these days.) If you had to pick one or two, I'd pick D&Co. first, followed by Pegu.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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(Incidentally, Nathan, I rate Little Branch a shade above both M&H and Flatiron these days.)

I wish that were true...(Little Branch is the closest to my home). Little Branch has bartenders that have no off-menu knowledge (maybe they're in training?).

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Could be; either Sam or Richard is always there when I go, and they're both veterans with *vast* repertoires and experience.

Actually, that does illustrate a good point for stickyii: If you're after the best of the best in terms of cocktail experience, I'd really target Death & Co; there are three main bartenders working there now, and they're all spectacular, so you are *assured* the best cocktails in town if you go. PDT seems to maintain a similar level of quality, though I'm not as familiar with the bar staff. Pegu is generally excellent, but there are definitely a couple of bartenders still in training.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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I'll put it this way:

me at Little Branch the last time: "I'll have a Last Word please." bartender: "I don't know what that is."

me at Pegu with new bartender: "I'll have a Horse's Neck please." (no, it wasn't super-crowded then). I see him go look it up in a book, make it and then tell me it's his first.

Little Branch is great if you get the right bartender...but that's true of any number of places.

but yeah, D&C is very very reliable...and has an awesome assortment of bitters. at PDT, two of egullet's own work there, Jim is sometimes there, and Cervantes is awesome.

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You are all proving to be massively wonderful at determining my schedule. Thank you so much. Keep the ideas coming! It seems like Jean Georges is the way to go. I'll give them a call to make a reservation.

More as I decide.

And Nathan, thanks for the kind words for Kaiser Penguin.

Rick

Pennsylvania

Kaiser Penguin

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but yeah, D&C is very very reliable...and has an awesome assortment of bitters.  at PDT, two of egullet's own work there, Jim is sometimes there, and Cervantes is awesome.

And those two eGulleteers work together on Monday nights.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Just noticed you are coming in on a Monday, which means you *definitely* should hit PDT, since IIRC both eGulleteers johnder and donbert are behind the bar Monday nights!

(BTW, Nathan: my point was that I simply would not expect to have the experience you did at LB, not that I rate the place highly simply because of a couple of noteworthy bartenders. Yours is a disappointing anecdote; at minimum, I expect the bartender to have done what the new ones at Pegu do, and look the cocktail up if it's a classic. However, someone who's just visiting would want a truly interesting cocktail experience, and that means some technique and creativity *as well as* competent execution of the classics. If LB is falling down even on the latter, my esteem for the place falls a few notches, but I have had some of the best off-menu drinks and seen a great deal of really impressive technique [and materials, like their ice], there.)

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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For a liquor store with a good selection and excellent prices, I'd vote for Astor. Ask for Greg, he won't lead you astray.

And now for something completely different: A liquor store that has a huge selection of sakes is Ambassador, on 54th and 2nd. Excellent choices, prices and knowledgeable staff that's never done me wrong.

Lastly, Jean Georges is the way to go.

Welcome to NYC!

Cheers! :cool:

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There's also a wine store on W. 23rd that has a HUGE selection of sake's....I went in and was amazed. They told me, when I commented, that they had the largest selection in NYC. Landmarc, 167 W. 23rd....on the north side of the street between 6/7 avenues.

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Ok, here's my plan:

Sunday:

3:30pm - Meet my host at Astor Wine and Spirits

5:00pm - Pegu Club

7:00pm - excellent rum / tiki party and meeting lots of fun strangers (including Scott from Scottes' Rum Pages - http://scottesrum.com/)

map: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&hl=en&geoc...=UTF8&z=15&om=0

Monday:

12:00pm - Jean Georges

next - Essex Market

next - Chinatown

next - Chelsea Market

5:30pm - Rumfest at Valbella

9:30pm - PDT

??? - Death and Company

map:

Suggestions for changes or additions?

Suggestions on transportation? I'll have my car on Sunday, but we'll be training in (from Stony Brook) and out of the city on Monday.

Edited by stickyii (log)

Rick

Pennsylvania

Kaiser Penguin

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Looks like a fine plan to me!

IMO, you're better off not having your car Monday in any case. I might recommend going from JG to Chelsea Market and then further downtown, though; it's a nice fast subway ride straight down from CPS to Chelsea on the 1 9 or A C trains.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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well, the problem is that Valbella is close to Chelsea Market.

so, after JG I would walk to 57th and take the F down to Essex Market.

then he can walk through Chinatown and walk up Lafayette to Bleecker (since Monday is supposed to be a nice day) and then walk along Bleecker (an excellent way to see disparate parts of the WV) all the way to Hudson...and then go up Hudson to Chelsea Market. and then double back a few blocks to Valbella.

that's what I would do.

alternatively, he could from JG take the A or C (the Columbus Circle stop is right next to the restaurant) to 14th/8th. walk out of the 15th street entrance and Chelsea Market (which is more in the MP than Chelsea) is right there.

then you have two options...there's a complicated train route involving a transfer which will get you to Essex Market. or just walk down 8th ave or Hudson to Bleecker. then take Bleecker all the way down to Lafayette (its an excellent way to see several disparate parts of the WV) and then walk a few blocks down Lafayette to Chinatown. but then you're going to have to walk or cab back to Valbella.

Edited by Nathan (log)
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  • 1 month later...

If you want a 'big name' place there are plenty of recs on other threads.

My out-of-towner recs for something other than the usual (PerSe, Babbo, WD-50, etc) or ethnic standouts are:

Prune or Red Cat

There is no shortage of opinion on the "one meal in NYC" question and I'm sure you'll get a lot. That's just my 2 cents.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I'm spending a weekend In New York two days of which are preplanned, but I have one night on my own to have hopefully the best meal in the city.

Any suggestions? price doesn't matter as long as it's worth it.

If price were no object, my short list would be (not in any particular order): Masa, Jean Georges, Sugiyama, Per Se, Daniel, L'atelier de Joel Robuchon, 11 Madison Park, The Modern, WD-50.

Also, if you're going to make a night of it, you should hit one of the city's top cocktail destinations (also in no particular order): Death & Co., Pegu Club, PDT, Little Branch.

Edited by LPShanet (log)
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if price is no object, the city's best restaurants are:

Per Se, Masa, Jean-Georges, Les Bernardin, Daniel....and then you'll have arguments for Esca, Babbo, Robuchon, Eleven Madison Park, Picholine, WD-50 and the Modern. all of these restaurants can give you a special meal.

for something different, consider Momofuku Ssam Bar....where every chef that visits NY goes right now...and for good reason, it's the most exciting restaurant in the city....and very casual. for something different, consider Tailor.

Prune and Red Cat (???????) are nice neighborhood places. I'm incredulous that anyone would even cross town for them as a destination. you can find restaurants like them in every city in the country...I find it kind of absurd to send a visitor to them.

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