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Where to Eat in NYC 2009


weinoo
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If you click here, you will step back into history and into that wonderful, old, topic about 2008. But, this is a new year, a fresh start, and it's time to eat.

Many restaurants opened last year while others were retooled or rechefed, and some of those have yet to be reported on in depth, except by a few initial posts. There's Shang and Scarpetta, Ko, Corton and Convivio, Bar Boulud, Bistro Benoit, Terroir, Bacaro, Gottino, John Dory, Ippudo, and the list goes on and on.

So, for all those "where should I eat?" questions that can't be easily categorized in any other way, your humble host has created this topic - and I'm looking forward to see if any of the newer places replace the Lupas and Perry Sts. of yore - with the knowledge that nothing can replace Katz's or Ssam - long may they serve.

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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Hi,

I have a special attachment to No. 7 in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. This new restaurant is owned by Tyler Kord, formerly of Perry Street and Matt Suchomski, formerly of Li'l Frankies. Contemporary American with hints of Korean and Hungarian cuisine. A wonderfully refreshing and reasonable wine list. A hip and casual neighborhood bistro that draws sophisticated diners from Manhattan.

The restaurant has received raves from The New York Times and Time Out New York. Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appetit's Restaurant Editor said, "If it was in Manhattan it would be the talk of the town" and named it one of the top four new restaurants in NYC.

All, that and it is very affordable.

Tim

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In terms of pizza recommendations, especially in Manhattan, I think Co. (aka Company) is going to become very popular, very quickly. I stopped into the soft opening of Co. two nights ago on a tip-off from a friend. (They were taking lots of walk-ins from the neighborhood, too.)

It opens officially tomorrow (Friday, January 2). It's a new pizza-centric restaurant by Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery and the infamous no-knead bread recipe. He is making excellent Naples-style pizza and challenging Una Pizza Napoletana (formerly my favorite) with lower prices, more interesting topping combinations, a much more spacious room than UPN, and an actual bar and space inside to wait for your table. The pies are about the same size. One pie is about the right size for a hungry person. They also come pre-sliced into quarters.

The crust is delicious. Not as puffy and light as UPN, but has a nice hole structure and the oven gives the crust a good char on the bottom. The pies are also well-seasoned (I often need to add a bit of salt to UPN's).

I really liked the "Ham and Cheese" pizza ($14): pecorino, gruyere, buffalo mozzarella, proscuitto, and caraway. It reads as very heavy and filling, but it's surprisingly light. The other standout I tried was "Boscaiola," ($17) which was tomato, mushroom, buffalo mozzarella, pork sausage, red onion, and chili. The red onions were just assertive enough to balance out the other ingredients, and the addition of a little bit of chile pepper gave it a satisfying kick on the finish. There are also cheeses, salads, toasts, gelato, etc. on the menu. Cheapest pie there is the cheese-less one, only $7.

If you're after a good margherita pizza, I still think UPN's is better, as I found Co's tomato sauce to be too acidic. However, UPN charges $21 and Co charges $13. And for the unique topping combos and all other non-food amentities, I think Co. wins.

Edited by kathryn (log)
"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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Kathryn, where is the place, and are they going to be serving wine?

Chelsea, 9th avenue, on the NW corner of 24th. It's kind of a desolate block that doesn't have any restaurants but has a surprising amount of foot traffic. Co is located literally across the street from Grand Sichuan International. And they have a wine list:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/200812...-menu-menu.html

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
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We decided to go to NYC in late May for my husband's birthday for a long weekend (5 nights/4 days). Haven't been there for about 4 years. Am looking for some restaurant recommendations with the following (and - like I said - somewhat idiosyncractic) requirements:

1. Excellent food - preferably high end. Although - with 5 dinners and 4 lunches - some alone - some with friends and family - we'll be doing meals in the "middle" too. Any cuisine is acceptable.

2. In Manhattan.

3. None of this reservation at 5:30 or 10:00 stuff for non-regulars. We want to eat dinner at dinner time (about 8) - with no bum's rush so the table can be turned over for a second or third or fourth seating.

4. We prefer sitting at tables - not counters. Would accept a counter with comfy seating (my husband has a bum leg and a bum back).

5. Fun atmosphere. Not a place with 30 serious out of town foodies all taking pictures.

Just to give you a "for example" - last time we were in New York - we dined at - among other places - Per Se and David Burke & Donatella. We liked DB&D better than Per Se because - although Per Se had the better food - I hated eating dinner at 5:30 (only reservation we could get at Per Se) - and DB&D had a really nice upper east side buzz (the food at DB&D was really good when we dined there - but I've heard the food there is not as good now as it was then).

Don't know whether it makes a difference - but we'll be staying at the Four Seasons and I assume the concierge staff there can make difficult (although not impossible) reservations for us. Anyway - all suggestions would be appreciated. Happy New Year, Robyn

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Corton sounds about perfect. EMP, too. One of the new Italian spots, either Convivio or Scarpetta. Maybe one of the four-stars. Come May, maybe one of the haute barnyard spots like Blue Hill or Gramercy Tavern.

I'd skip Ko actually, given your preferences.

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Since you're staying at The Four Seasons, definitely do Robuchon. Your concierge should able to help you with the time.

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Hi,

Txikito, at 240 9th St is a wonderful new Basque restaurant that is small (30 seats), inviting and inexpensive. The restaurant is owned by Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero, who ran the kitchen at Tia Po. The delightful food ranges from pinxtos (as small as the room) to large plates.

There is an excellent review in the The Village Voice. You can see the beautiful food in Serious Eats. The Pipperak, salt roasted Basque peppers are sometimes referred to as roulette peppers. While most of them are mild, the occasional hot pepper will excite your mouth with heat.

The restaurant carries a nice selection reasonably prices Spanish wines. The friendly and knowledgeable staff add to the enjoyment of this small treasure.

Tim

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Well, you said "preferably" on the high end requirement, so I'll second EMP but add Hearth and Devi, which are both very nice but a notch or two under "high end" in NYC. In both cases, I'd advise having a little discussion with them and asking them to cook for you. At Hearth that'll mean a couple of extra courses of menu items (probably nothing off the menu). At Devi it can mean almost anything, especially if Suvir is around... some of it might be dishes not on the menu but that they're trying from his "American Masala" cookbook (or whatever he'll be working on by May).

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Lunch at a four-star restaurant is almost always a good deal. Frank Bruni said that his best meal of 2008 was lunch at Le Bernardin.

If you'd like to sample a Canora/Grieco place, and you should, I'd recommend Insieme, their best production, which unlike Hearth is new since your last visit here.

Veritas has a new chef, and though I haven't been yet, others say it's practically a new restaurant—and an excellent one.

Another suggestion is Allegretti, one of the better debuts of 2008.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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Corton sounds about perfect.  EMP, too.  One of the new Italian spots, either Convivio or Scarpetta.  Maybe one of the four-stars.  Come May, maybe one of the haute barnyard spots like Blue Hill or Gramercy Tavern.

Good ones. In just 4 replies almost all of my favorite restaurants in this city have been mentioned.

I thought the food at Scarpetta was excellent, and the atmosphere is definitely lively. Robuchon and Le Bernardin are phenomenal. Blue Hill is always enjoyable.

If you plan/call ahead, there are very few places that will tell you they can seat you only at 5:30 and 11. As long as Babbo isn't on your list you should be ok.

I'm a fan of the food at both Insieme and Hearth, but atmosphere-wise Hearth wins for me. The dining room at Insieme is a bit too sedate for my taste.

Gramercy Tavern has been at the top of my list for 10 years and remains there. I have to (again) recommend Cru. My meals there have been unbelievably amazing.

If you're looking for less expensive but excellent food, I'd recommend Peasant, dell'anima/L'Artusi, Perilla, Lupa, Boqueria (no resys).

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If you'd like to sample a Canora/Grieco place, and you should, I'd recommend Insieme, their best production, which unlike Hearth is new since your last visit here.

I'm a fan of the food at both Insieme and Hearth, but atmosphere-wise Hearth wins for me.  The dining room at Insieme is a bit too sedate for my taste. 

I greatly prefer the room at Hearth as well. Even though the Insieme menu is more wide ranging, I also think that the food is a bit better at Hearth.

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Kathryn, where is the place, and are they going to be serving wine?

Chelsea, 9th avenue, on the NW corner of 24th. It's kind of a desolate block that doesn't have any restaurants but has a surprising amount of foot traffic. Co is located literally across the street from Grand Sichuan International. And they have a wine list:

http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/200812...-menu-menu.html

Thanks, kathryn.

There's an entire block of art galleries on 25th St. between 10th and 11th, so if this place is even middlingly good, I think it'll get a lot of business.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Thanks for all these replies. I have heard of some of these restaurants. The names of others are new to me (guess things can change a lot in 4 years - especially in Manhattan). Will look up all of them in the next week or so.

No problem with Babbo. We went there on our last trip. Didn't care for our meal (I wrote it up here - probably in the Babbo thread). And we won't be returning.

Robuchon sounds like a great idea for the night we arrive. We're always tired after a trip - and we usually wind up dining badly our first night because we don't make reservations (in case our flight is delayed). And then we wander around at dinner time and usually manage to find a lousy place. But since the restaurant is in the hotel - if we are late - the hotel can take care of things.

I love the phrase "haute barnyard' - and I do like restaurants like that. Places like Bacchanlia in Atlanta - Chez Panisse in California - etc.

Ko is Momofuku Ko? The place where you have to tie up the speed dial on your phone for a week to try to get a reservation? Bryan - you're right - it's not our cup of tea.

I know Le Bernardin is considered one of the top restaurants in New York. I will have to decide whether to get over my 20+ year old grudge against the owner (arising out of a nasty incident at the Miami restaurant having nothing to do with the food - which we liked a lot - my husband and I were regulars at the restaurant until the nasty incident).

What do you think are the other top restaurants in Manhattan these days? We've been to Jean Georges - but that was so long ago (8 years) that I doubt that our past dining experience is relevant. We've been to Per Se. Food was pretty good in both places - but my husband thought the wine service at both was deficient. Don't think he'll want to try either again. Don't know about Masa. We had very high end sushi in Japan a couple of years ago and I don't think we want to spend twice or thrice what we spent in Japan to have fish that has made a round trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Tsukiji fish market and back. But I will see what my husband thinks - it's a birthday dinner "possible".

Have never been to Daniel. What do you think of it for a birthday dinner? My husband loves French food with a slightly contemporary flair (I'd probably have to drag him kicking and screaming into a place like WD-50 :wink: ). And since it is *his* birthday - I will go over the possibilities with him (after I've screened them) and we'll try to pick a restaurant that we are pretty sure he will like. We've been to Cafe Boulud in Palm Beach a couple of times (liked it) - and to Cafe Boulud in New York (didn't like it - tables too close together). But I suspect Daniel is a different level of restaurant. OTOH - it is kind of old. Is it tired? Some restaurants of that vintage are - others aren't.

That covers the NYT 4 stars. There aren't many of them. Any places that haven't been "anointed" but which you think deserve to be? BTW - I'd rather eat at a place that seems to be on its way up (like Corton) than one that hit its peak 5 years ago and is on its way down.

I know I'll have other questions. E.g., the place that will work for my husband's birthday won't work for a family get-together (if I can arrange one - and especially if my almost 90 year old aunt can make it in from Queens). And we'll have 5 nights in NYC - so we can cover a fair amount of ground. Robyn

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If you're looking for less expensive but excellent food, I'd recommend Peasant, dell'anima/L'Artusi, Perilla, Lupa, Boqueria (no resys).

I don't know if I'd consider Peasant less expensive food, but it is excellent. Different price level than Lupa, however, which I think can be considered quite reasonable in price for the food.

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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If you're looking for less expensive but excellent food, I'd recommend Peasant, dell'anima/L'Artusi, Perilla, Lupa, Boqueria (no resys).

I don't know if I'd consider Peasant less expensive food, but it is excellent. Different price level than Lupa, however, which I think can be considered quite reasonable in price for the food.

Oh, I just meant that Peasant is less expensive than EMP, Gramercy, Robuchon, Cru, etc. I think that both Peasant and Lupa could get expensive, but don't have to be.

Btw, I went to Curry-Ya for lunch yesterday - I think that was one of your recommendations on the 2008 thread. Delicious!!

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If you're looking for less expensive but excellent food, I'd recommend Peasant, dell'anima/L'Artusi, Perilla, Lupa, Boqueria (no resys).

I don't know if I'd consider Peasant less expensive food, but it is excellent. Different price level than Lupa, however, which I think can be considered quite reasonable in price for the food.

Oh, I just meant that Peasant is less expensive than EMP, Gramercy, Robuchon, Cru, etc. I think that both Peasant and Lupa could get expensive, but don't have to be.

Btw, I went to Curry-Ya for lunch yesterday - I think that was one of your recommendations on the 2008 thread. Delicious!!

Ahh, definitely true about Peasant.

Curry-Ya - we had lunch there on Thursday - that curry IS delish, especially with the pork cutlet.

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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Kathryn, where is the place, and are they going to be serving wine?

Chelsea, 9th avenue, on the NW corner of 24th. It's kind of a desolate block that doesn't have any restaurants but has a surprising amount of foot traffic. Co is located literally across the street from Grand Sichuan International.

I'm confused. Google maps shows Grand Sichuan on the NW corner.

This sounds like a good candidate to add to my "short list" to visit next time I'm in New York. Thanks for posting about it.

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Hi all -

Looking for some lunch suggestions. We'll be in NYC for one night and eating at Le Bernardin and Corton. I am looking for something interesting (Indian, Latin, Spanish or other non-American cuisine) that is big on flavor and quality of the ingredients. I've eaten at Casa Mono dozens of times and I would like to try someplace new. What is the current thinking on Devi? How does it compare to Bread Bar (eaten here at the bar twice) or Tabla (never eaten here).

Thanks in advance!

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Hi all -

Looking for some lunch suggestions.  We'll be in NYC for one night and eating at Le Bernardin and Corton.  I am looking for something interesting (Indian, Latin, Spanish or other non-American cuisine) that is big on flavor and quality of the ingredients.  I've eaten at Casa Mono dozens of times and I would like to try someplace new.  What is the current thinking on Devi?  How does it compare to Bread Bar (eaten here at the bar twice) or Tabla (never eaten here).

Thanks in advance!

Haven't been to Devi but have heard good things. It seems more traditional Indian than Tabla/Bread Bar, but I'm sure someone else can share more details.

For tapas I like Tia Pol (it's not convenient to anything - way the hell over on the west side - but is open for lunch except for Mondays - Tia Pol Website). I also really like Boqueria, which just opened a second spot in Soho. The one time I went to the 19th St. location for lunch it was empty. I would expect Soho to be much busier for lunch just given the location. Boqueria Website

If you haven't been to Momofuku Ssam or Noodle Bar, I (and the rest of egullet NY'ers :smile:) would highly recommend either them. The spicy rice cakes with sausage at Ssam is high on my list of things I'm craving right now. And the new Momofuku Milk Bar is behind/around the corner from Ssam - fantastic for dessert.

Ippudo (ramen) is also in my rotation lately for lunch.

I hope you're going to have time for cocktails!

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