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Saltydog

Where to Eat in NYC 2008? The Big Topic

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I will be in the big apple in mid January. We will be attending a dinner at the James Beard House and need some other suggestions on must-go places to eat or dine. We'll be doing the fancy thing at the Beard so more casual and less expensive would be great.


www.saltyskitchen.com

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tastes? likes, dislikes?

actual price category (i.e. per person with wine, tax and tip)?

I'm somewhat familiar with Wisconsin dining....are you looking for places like or unlike Roots, Sanford, Dreamdance, Bacchus or L'Etoile?

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Price isn't an issue. I'm looking for one of those places a native would go or something that is a can't miss. I'll be with my wife and adult daughter.

Dream Dance-Won't go. It's a principle thing.

Roots- More style than substance.

Bacchus- One of my favs

L'Etoile- Don't get to Madison often.


www.saltyskitchen.com

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Oh, and Sanford- I like if I get a four top and NOT the Banqette. (sp?)


www.saltyskitchen.com

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ok:

JG for lunch (if you're here during the week...if only the weekend, then Perry Street for lunch).

Momofuku Ssam Bar (the most interesting restaurant in NY right now)

Babbo or A Voce or Insieme.

Allen & Delancey or Hearth or Park Avenue Winter

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tastes?  likes, dislikes?

actual price category (i.e. per person with wine, tax and tip)?

I'm somewhat familiar with Wisconsin dining....are you looking for places like or unlike Roots, Sanford, Dreamdance, Bacchus or L'Etoile?

What? How do Wisconsin and th big apple have anything to do with each other?

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I think those places were meant as a reference. I understood the reason for mentioning them.

Ok, great. It will be during the week. Thanks.


www.saltyskitchen.com

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tastes?  likes, dislikes?

actual price category (i.e. per person with wine, tax and tip)?

I'm somewhat familiar with Wisconsin dining....are you looking for places like or unlike Roots, Sanford, Dreamdance, Bacchus or L'Etoile?

What? How do Wisconsin and th big apple have anything to do with each other?

in this context, quite a bit. just getting an understanding of their dining tastes.

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I am looking for some suggestions for some restaurants to visit whilst i'm in NYC for a long weekend from 31st Jan.

I'm going with 4 other friends and we're all up for visiting a few nice places whilst we're there. I was looking to visit a couple of really nice 2-3* places and some more casual places as well. Some of the places i had in mind were Le Bernardin, Daniel, WD-50. A recommendation for a good steak would be good too, I know Heston Blumenthal and Jeffery Steingarten's favourtie was in a strip club but i'm not sure the girl who is coming with us will appreciate that!

Any recommendations welcome, and it would also be good if you could give me an idea of what it's like to book such places? I know a 3* restaurant over here would usually need around 2 months notice so I'm hoping I haven't left it too late!

Ps. expect a full write up with pics of the trip!

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I have been to "Bern," "Daniel" and "WD-50" many times over the last 3 years. The latter is a lot more casual than the other two and it should be a fun (culinary) night out. It is not for everybody's tastes, as you will discover if you check the threads devoted to the restaurant.

For a very good steak, there are many options. I, personally, have enjoyed Craft recently.

I would also recommend "Aquavit" for a nice place and "Boqueria" for a noisy yet very good night out.

Enjoy,

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Booking either LB or Daniel will be easier than the other 4-stars (Per Se, Masa, and Jean-Georges), so probably not too bad on 3-4 weeks notice.

If I were you, though, I might consider some of NYC's more distinctive restaurants. WD-50 definitely qualifies there, but LB and Daniel are, IMO, a bit old hat. If you have lunch available, I would *definitely* reserve at Jean-Georges or Perry Street, since both of those have insane lunch bargains (Perry St is a bargain at brunch); at JG, you're getting a full-on 4-star experience for less than USD 100 a head, and that's if you go generously on the wine.

Adding to the high-end list, I'd also see about going to Sushi Yasuda and/or Tailor. The former is perhaps NYC's premier example of a fine sushiya, and the latter is an excellent modern gastronomic restaurant (plus they have interesting cocktails).

I might also try to hit (for more casual places) Lupa, Momofuku Ssam Bar or Noodle Bar, Fatty Crab or 5 Ninth, Upstairs at Bouley, Tia Pol and El Quinto Pino (which are far better tapas places than Boqueria, IMHO) and Alta. Others will have different lists.

[EDIT: It also depends on where you're visiting from. If you're coming from Europe, you should put NY's best sushi places (Yasuda, Shimizu, 15 East, Ushi Wakamaru, Kuruma) on the short list. If you're coming from elsewhere in the country and haven't hit the French Laundry, you may want to consider Per Se.]

As to a steak: I prefer Peter Luger, *despite* the fact that it's no longer as good as it used to be (meaning that it's, like, a 3* steak as opposed to a 3*+++ steak! ;) ). Wolfgang's (which essentially does the Peter Luger porterhouse plus a number of other great options) is a good choice in Manhattan. Otherwise, opinions on that topic can be divided. New York has a lot of good steak, so there are innumerable choices. Robert's (the place you mentioned) is actually quite good, but probably a bit too... er, distracting on the service side.


Edited by Mayur (log)

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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Adding to the high-end list, I'd also see about going to Sushi Yasuda and/or Tailor. The former is perhaps NYC's premier example of a fine sushiya, and the latter is an excellent modern gastronomic restaurant (plus they have interesting cocktails).

I might also try to hit (for more casual places) Lupa, Momofuku Ssam Bar or Noodle Bar, Fatty Crab or 5 Ninth, Upstairs at Bouley, Tia Pol and El Quinto Pino (which are far better tapas places than Boqueria, IMHO) and Alta. Others will have different lists.

Good calls all. I personally like Boqueria much more than Alta, but Tia Pol above both by far. I would add to that Mary's Fish Camp or Pearl Oyster Bar for lunch and possibly a stop at the Spotted Pig at some point.

You shouldn't have trouble getting into LB or JG or Perry St. May be easier for lunch, which are great values. LB is more formal, but the food is amazing, IMO. I still love Cru for a blow out meal.

There are lots of similar threads on the NY board on which many consistently recommend Eleven Madison, the Modern and Gramercy Tavern for excellent meals just below the LB/JG/Daniel range. I don't think that you can go wrong with any of them, for lunch or dinner. Both the Modern and Gramercy have more casual/less expensive front rooms.

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I like Alta best for price performance, format, and diversity of options, but agree that Tia Pol (and eQP) beats all of those hollow for quality.

As to other meals: I skipped the Pig largely because I find it ridiculously and uncivilizedly crowded at any sane dining hour. Mary's or Pearl are great calls IMO as well.

Also, I left out some of the vast array of non-Western casual dining places. Yakitori Totto and Aburiya Kinnosuke are my favorite picks for cooked sarariman-style Japanese fare, although there are about an infinity of others depending on your favorite specialty Japanese cuisine. Saraavanas is wonderful for South Indian food, Bread Bar at Tabla pretty great for North Indian (it's billed as fusion, but IME is closer to what you'll eat in Bombay or Delhi than anything outside of Queens or Edison NJ in this neck of the woods). I'm a fan of Shanghai Cafe, New Green Bo, or Yeah Shanghai for Shanghainese food, and Ping's, Oriental Garden, or Fuleen for Cantonese seafood. New York Noodle Town has great roasted duck and pork dishes (though less than great noodles, oddly enough). Dim Sum Go Go is my current favorite for dim sum lunch/brunch; the upscale Chinatown Brasserie has probably the best in Manhattan, but is more expensive (about $8 per dish as opposed to DSGG's $2.50).

Cru is really excellent, and a good call for a mix of adventurous and traditional cuisine. I'd also say that Eleven Madison Park is arguably in the same tier as Daniel and LB, formality-wise; some would put the cuisine on the same level as well.


Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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Just go to Masa. It's the be all end all.

Then have some Gray's Papays hot dogs, hot roasted nuts, and the waffle guy on 63rd and Broadway.

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I am looking for some suggestions for some restaurants to visit whilst i'm in NYC for a long weekend from 31st Jan.

I'm going with 4 other friends and we're all up for visiting a few nice places whilst we're there.  I was looking to visit a couple of really nice 2-3* places and some more casual places as well.  Some of the places i had in mind were Le Bernardin, Daniel, WD-50.  A recommendation for a good steak would be good too, I know Heston Blumenthal and Jeffery Steingarten's favourtie was in a strip club but i'm not sure the girl who is coming with us will appreciate that!

Any recommendations welcome, and it would also be good if you could give me an idea of what it's like to book such places?  I know a 3* restaurant over here would usually need around 2 months notice so I'm hoping I haven't left it too late!

Ps. expect a full write up with pics of the trip!

Do you mean Frank Bruni's favorite was Robert's? I'm not aware of Steingarten writing anything about Roberts. Can you post a link if he has?

I'd recommend Craftsteak, Striphouse or Quality Meats, depending on what steakhouse characteristics are most important to you. If you give more information I can be more specific.

Although I've had wonderful food at Le Bernadin, you should expect it to be quite stuffy. I'd very much recommend lunch at Jean Georges if possible.

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I am looking for some suggestions for some restaurants to visit whilst i'm in NYC for a long weekend from 31st Jan.

I'm going with 4 other friends and we're all up for visiting a few nice places whilst we're there.  I was looking to visit a couple of really nice 2-3* places and some more casual places as well.  Some of the places i had in mind were Le Bernardin, Daniel, WD-50.  A recommendation for a good steak would be good too, I know Heston Blumenthal and Jeffery Steingarten's favourtie was in a strip club but i'm not sure the girl who is coming with us will appreciate that!

Any recommendations welcome, and it would also be good if you could give me an idea of what it's like to book such places?  I know a 3* restaurant over here would usually need around 2 months notice so I'm hoping I haven't left it too late!

Ps. expect a full write up with pics of the trip!

Do you mean Frank Bruni's favorite was Robert's? I'm not aware of Steingarten writing anything about Roberts. Can you post a link if he has?

I'd recommend Craftsteak, Striphouse or Quality Meats, depending on what steakhouse characteristics are most important to you. If you give more information I can be more specific.

Although I've had wonderful food at Le Bernadin, you should expect it to be quite stuffy. I'd very much recommend lunch at Jean Georges if possible.

It was actually in Heston's first "perfection" book where he talks about going there with Steingarten. On the subject of steakhouses, really I was looking for the kind of place that worships beef! Dry-aged on the premises with a large variety of options. It would be good if there were non-meat options if we are brining along a vegetarian friend as well but we can always leave him behind if need be!!

I've booked WD-50 and i'm going to give JG a call later (fingers crossed i can get a lunch booking, if not it looks like it'll be Perry St). I'll definately look into some sushi, are most of them OK to just walk in to without a reservation? That will definately help.

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It was actually in Heston's first "perfection" book where he talks about going there with Steingarten.  On the subject of steakhouses, really I was looking for the kind of place that worships beef!  Dry-aged on the premises with a large variety of options.  It would be good if there were non-meat options if we are brining along a vegetarian friend as well but we can always leave him behind if need be!!

I've booked WD-50 and i'm going to give JG a call later (fingers crossed i can get a lunch booking, if not it looks like it'll be Perry St).  I'll definately look into some sushi, are most of them OK to just walk in to without a reservation?  That will definately help.

Lugers is your answer, although the vegetarian with you will be out of luck.


"All humans are out of their f*cking minds -- every single one of them."

-- Albert Ellis

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Cheers Johnny, I'll try and drag some people down there!

Just booked lunch at Jean Georges/Nougatine. I'm a bit confused though, how does it work, is there a Nougatine menu and a Jean Georges menu?

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Cheers Johnny, I'll try and drag some people down there!

Just booked lunch at Jean Georges/Nougatine.  I'm a bit confused though, how does it work, is there a Nougatine menu and a Jean Georges menu?

Yes, and you want to be dining in Jean-Georges for lunch, *not* Nougatine. Make sure to specify that you want the main dining room.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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Cheers Johnny, I'll try and drag some people down there!

Just booked lunch at Jean Georges/Nougatine.  I'm a bit confused though, how does it work, is there a Nougatine menu and a Jean Georges menu?

Yes, and you want to be dining in Jean-Georges for lunch, *not* Nougatine. Make sure to specify that you want the main dining room.

I thought that lunch was only served in Nougatine?? That was the impression i got. Never mind!

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I had a really awful experience at Robert's. My friend and I had extremely high hopes after reading Heston's recommendations. The steak was nothing special and cried for salt and proper cooking. It was a waste of $150. My friend made me an amazing steak a few days before, and I would take it over the Robert's steak anyway...and i'm ignoring the price tags too.

Maybe it was because we are a couple of youngins....because our server had absolutely no respect for us.

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Spent a quick few days in NYC on an eating tour. Always wonderful and a few highlights worth mentioning -- we stumbled into Bread Bar while waiting for our table at a restaurant around the corner (which, as an aside, turned out to be very disappointing after a terrific lunch there a few months back). We just loved Bread Bar and I simply can't wait to go back (I would have stayed Sun. night and eaten there for real but for the damn snow). Another new favorite was the Bar Room at the Modern. Fantastic. Divine terrines, flavors and presentations. Drinks and sliders at Death & Co. -- perfect. What a great and comfortable spot. A few plates at Casa Mono were, as always, very enjoyable (although I do not love the weekend crowds -- we have usually been there on a weekday). Lunch at Jean-Georges -- there is no restaurant that makes me sadder that I do not live in NYC than J-G for lunch. Always sensational flavors and presentation (and what a value). Overall, it was a great culinary weekend -- I can't wait to get back.

A few truly notable dishes -- the veal and goat cheese terrine, "egg in a jar" (with lobster meat and sea urchin emulsion), and lamb two ways (one was a shank terrine) were all terrific and all from the Bar Room. J-G had fresh wasabi on the ACK scallops, the amazing squab, a lemon sabayon with the sea trout ceviche (with fish skin crunch) and a simple skate with a to-die-for sherry sauce.

Speaking of getting back to NYC -- I know I will be returning to Bread Bar (I only tried a few small plates and fell in love-- I need to go back), J-G (until I eat everything on the menu twice I cannot skip it), Bar Room (again - a fantastic menu that need much more exploring). I also want to try Lupa, maybe Esca (a fish fix) and I welcome suggestions for other inspirational NYC places. Insieme perhaps? Any other suggestions?


Edited by Mussina (log)

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