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Where to Eat in NYC 2009


weinoo
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Dinosaur is a good suggestion. I lived at 125th and Riverside for four years, and we went there with some regularity.

The big red bus even stops close (on one of the routes at least) in front of Riverside Church (or maybe the stop is one block up by Sakura Park), across from Grant's Tomb. From there just walk north past the big highrise on your right and then The Cotton Club down the hill underneath the viaduct, and it's about a 5-minute walk on your right. With kids, make a reservation to be sure you get a table, if you'll be there on a busy night. Without kids, it's usually easy to jump the line, if you'll take a table in the bar area, but they're tall tables with stools that won't work with a two year old.

Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

?

OK, going to the well here again.

Saturday lunch/brunch in the Madison Square Park vicinity with the kids again. Looking at Blue Smoke but would like some other reccommendations for the area. Just needs to be kid friendly(2 and 5 year old) and can be pizza, street food or just about anything, but no shake shack.

cliff notes

-kid friendly

-madison square park area

-saturday lunch

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If you wanted super casual for either a meal or a snack City Bakery is always fantastic (mac & cheese, pretzel croissants, soups, salad by the pound, cookies, tarts, lemonade, hot chocolate), and there is even a kid play area under the stairs near some of the tables in the event they wanted to do their own thing. 18th between 5/6 Aves.

La Pizza Fresca on 20th between Broadway and Park Ave South - also have salads and pasta, not expensive, easily kid friendly. Also I like L'Express on 20th & Park Ave South for brunch or a late bite (excellent omelettes) and it's so loud in there no one will even notice you have children with you :)

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We visited New York for my best friends wedding during September. What with bridesmaids breakfasts, brunches and rehearsal dinner with a cast of millions, we only really had one meal out to ourselves, so we plumped for WD 50.

We got a 10pm booking the evening we flew in from the UK, so after a quick nap in the afternoon (by that stage we had been up and going 20 hours)we arrived on the street, walked past the place 3 times and found our way in with our 9 year old begging us not to have the tasting menu because she was too tired to keep going that long.

We decided to have 4 starters and 4 main courses brought out in any sensible order so that we could see as many dishes as possible. They came out in pairs and we shared with our daughter.

Stand out dishes were the Aerated Foie, the Scallops and the Skirt Steak, although we didn't find a duff dish all night.

Service was friendly and really relaxed which was just what we needed after a stressful transatlantic flight (last time I ever go coach). Whilst hubbie was happy to push on, by midnight I was too zombified to continue, so after a quick nose in the kitchen we called it a night.

I wish I had a restaurant like this on my doorstep.I can't really compare it to anywhere else in NY as we ate one night in Little Italy (il Cortile) and at the wedding reception (The Water Club) we are now planning our return trip, can't wait to get back.

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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What did you think of Il Cortile? I haven't eaten there since a friend's brother had a pre-wedding dinner there several years ago (his oldest child is now 5). I thought it was fine, though a bit pricey for the quality, but with generous portions.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Great service, OK food, but perfect for the rehearsal dinner. Way too much food though- I felt guilty leaving so much when my best friend was picking up the tab!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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  • 5 weeks later...

Here's a cheap and interesting Indian recommendation.

Preface: I've been here 2 weeks, have tried maybe a dozen places (maybe more if you include cafes, food shops etc.), not one, not even Jean-Georges' main dining room, inspired me enough to open eG and type this.

Preface 2: I worked for a few months in North Mumbai, for an Indian company with Indians. This was a very different experience from a later business trip doing the 5* hotel round (the chef's idea of "not spicy" for breakfast means 2 chopped green chillies in your masala omelette rather than 3). Whilst there I tried 6-7 different "dabbawallahs" (this is when a group of housewives clubs together, bakes meals and sends them to you in boxes via a dabbawallah which means mealboy) until I found one that hit the spot. If you are around Vikroli, give Meals 'n More a ring (+91 932 1999 599) and get the exec veg tray. Despite being French, and therefore a "raw, bleeding meat" carnivore, I quickly gained a taste for vegetarian dabbas (and a tolerance for capsaicin - two whole dried red chillies in one portion of dal is just overkill!). Ever since, I have not been impressed by any restaurant this side of the Himalayas, either in the UK, France or US - there really is such a thing as too much ghee. Indeed, I find even the food at the Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore 5*s (or at least the 10 or so I've tried) to be less satisfying than a good ol' exec tray delivered by bike in sweltering summer heat (although I draw the line at leaving the food outside for 4-5 hours - "but it will be cold!" - sure, but I'll remain healthy).

I have found a place that does this style well: Ayurveda Cafe on Amsterdam and 94th. You have to eat the menu of the day.

Meal starts with a cup of water, served in a steel cup just like in an Indian canteen. Maybe that's the main difference with India - I'd never drink tap water there! The meal arrived on a steel tray (look on their website for a picture). 6 cups. Some yellow dal, some vegetables (peppers + potatoes; peas + carrots + mushrooms + green beans); cabbage + carrots + lettuce; yogurt + raw carrots; that South Indian semolina breakfast whose name escapes me. Some basmati rice. Some rotis fresh from the oven, very thin, very edible. And then dessert is that Muslim noodles boiled sweet milk dish whose name I never bothered to learn. That was the only downside of the meal; the milk was too thick, not flavoured well, and the noodles burnt. The rest was good. The temperature set at 25 Celsius inside the restaurant added to the experience, and for a minute I couldn't help but think I was at a table in the corner of the office with 5 co-workers from Gujarat, Bengal, Punjab etc. all eating their own unpronouncable things (but either delicious or painful - ever tried Rajahstani mango nut pickles?) out of metal boxes and talking in fast Hindi, or maybe at a sunny factory canteen South of Pune.

Maybe the experience won't be quite as striking if you haven't experienced India, but I still think it's worth a shot to experience "Indian" that isn't meat boiled in ghee with loads of spices and cream.

Especially at $10 for lunch, $15 for dinner.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll be visiting NY for a week overlapping 09-10 and I'm assembling a list of places for a series of good meals. I've abused the eaterny 38 list and perused some of the forums for suggestions. A few criteria:

* Avoiding the celeb chef scene, sort of. I'd prefer to do something with name recognition on another trip (thinking of Colicchio's places, etc).

* Most of the time I'll either be eating with one other person or just myself. The other person will either be my mom or one of my friends who posts on egullet a significant amount.

* I am going without a set budget, so price is no object, at least not until I'm back home and reviewing the damage.

* I am already planning on hitting Corton for one particularly upscale meal.

My map so far

I'm sure I will get a lot of feedback on this from Bryan, but I thought I'd throw this out there and get suggestions. Thanks!

eat();

Spring Break '08 - First culinary tour of NY

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I'll be visiting NY for a week overlapping 09-10 and I'm assembling a list of places for a series of good meals. I've abused the eaterny 38 list and perused some of the forums for suggestions. A few criteria:

* Avoiding the celeb chef scene, sort of. I'd prefer to do something with name recognition on another trip (thinking of Colicchio's places, etc).

* Most of the time I'll either be eating with one other person or just myself. The other person will either be my mom or one of my friends who posts on egullet a significant amount.

* I am going without a set budget, so price is no object, at least not until I'm back home and reviewing the damage.

* I am already planning on hitting Corton for one particularly upscale meal.

My map so far

I'm sure I will get a lot of feedback on this from Bryan, but I thought I'd throw this out there and get suggestions. Thanks!

To address some of the "?" on your map:

I loved my meal at Aldea. Perfect for solo dining; there's a counter overlooking the kitchen in the back. Not crazy expensive either.

Tailor is closed.

If you can afford/get into Per Se and Momofuku Ko, go. Both are incredible in their own way.

Corton and Marea are on the top of my list of places I want to go, so you should naturally want to eat there too.

Ippudo is excellent, crowded, and inexpensive. I'd try to go at a non-peak time unless you want to wait for an hour.

Gramercy continues to be one of my favorites. Just had lunch there again recently and they are putting out great food. Get the smoked trout app.

Your BBQ places I can't really comment on but your fine dining choices are very well selected. As for Death & Co, well, yes, of course you should go there. Mayahuel too, just down the street. Blue Ribbon bone marrow should be enjoyed at 2am after some cocktails :)

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I would say skip Cluck U. There is absolutely NO reason to go there. Now if you want amazing wings/chicken, I can suggest either Mad For Chicken (madforchicken.com) in Koreatown - it used to be a Bon Chon franchise. Another great korean chicken option is Boka on St Marks bet 2nd and 3rd - that still IS bon chon.

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aldea is a must and as daisy17 says, the counter is the place to be. diner is not douchey at all. we ordered all the entrees with a few apps and the staff served everything else on the house, including the entire dessert menu and espresso from marlow & sons. great food and staff. i love wd~50 but not everyone gets it. ko is currently my favorite restaurant in the city. you should also lock in ippudo, little owl and blue ribbon brasserie. i'd go to hill country before rub but i'm not a big fan of any bbq joints in nyc. you might enjoy keste or motorino over barbuto. cosmic cantina and cluck u are questionable. la superior might be a better option and i agree with jpropaganda's chicken recos. i'd reco momofuku's fried chicken but it's a pain to get and requires a large group. save má pêche for january when it moves into its new space from the mezzanine of the chambers hotel. i highly recommend adding degustation, casa mono, sorella and kyo ya to your list if you haven't been already.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

I'm in NYC in late December and have reserved 3 evenings for really nice meals for my wife and I. Tried Per Se but they're fully booked so I'm on waiting list. Also tried Babbo but they're full too.

Any suggestions for a really nice meal for 2 for these 3 evenings?

Many thanks

Martin

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Hi

I'm in NYC in late December and have reserved 3 evenings for really nice meals for my wife and I. Tried Per Se but they're fully booked so I'm on waiting list. Also tried Babbo but they're full too.

Any suggestions for a really nice meal for 2 for these 3 evenings?

Many thanks

Martin

Any other parameters you want to give us? I take it price isn't a factor given the Per Se mention (and you should go if you get in) but what about location, cuisine, atmosphere?

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Hi

I'm in NYC in late December and have reserved 3 evenings for really nice meals for my wife and I. Tried Per Se but they're fully booked so I'm on waiting list. Also tried Babbo but they're full too.

Any suggestions for a really nice meal for 2 for these 3 evenings?

Many thanks

Martin

December is one of the toughest months of the year to book on short notice. It's the industry's busiest time, with lots of celebratory dinners.

In lieu of Babbo, try any one of Michael White's restaurants (Convivio, Alto, or Marea). In lieu of Per Se, try The Modern. These are very good places where I think you have a shot at getting in on a few weeks' notice.

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I just easily booked a 4 top at a prime hour for the end of december at Gramercy Tavern, so you shouldn't give up. Babbo and Per Se are the hardest tables to get any day of the year.

I would suggest Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison, the Modern, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin - in my book these are the top (and pricey) spots after Per Se. They're all kind of different in feel (as well as food), so I'd look them up on nymag.com or somewhere else, and if you have questions let us know. Don't know if it's up your alley but i've always enjoyed L'Atelier Joel Robuchon. Haven't been to Corton or Marea but have heard excellent things and they're on the top of my list of places to try, especially Corton. On the rung just below these (in my mind and in price), I've recently had excellent meals at Aldea and Scarpetta.

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Hi

Thanks for replies. OK - I've spent all afternoon trawling these boards for restaurants that are mentioned in a good light. I've now checked availability for them all.

The one's I can get a reservation for a good time (i.e around 8pm) are:

Aldea

Apiary

Blue Water Grill

Cru

Gilt

Jean Georges

Picholine

The Modern

Turquoise

The one's I can get a reservation for at a bad time (i.e 5:45 or 10pm)

Eleven Madison Park

Daniel

Maialino

Scarpetta

The one's I can't seem to get a reservation for

Corton

Gramercy Tavern

Le Bernadin

Minetta Tavern

I was desperate to go to EMP - but can only get a 10pm reservation which I feel would be a bit late to enjoy their food properly.

Are any of the 'bad time' reservations SO good that I should just go?

If not - if picking 3 of the 'good time' reservations, which would be a nice 3 to pick so that it's balanced (i.e not eating the same kind of food at all 3).

Many thanks

Martin

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Here are the places we are going to the last week of the month:

Lupa, Jean-George (for lunch), the Carnegie Deli and Nice-Matin, the last is a place a member here, ate at a couple of Sunday's ago and said they had a great meal there.

Just reserved Eleven Madison Park for a lunch :smile:

Edited by Aloha Steve (log)

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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I am tempted by EMP even though it is a 10pm booking. Could try for lunch I suppose.

Spice Market menu looks great - would this place be better for lunch or dinner?

If there's any other suggestion not on my list please mention them.

Thanks

Martin

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The one's I can get a reservation for a good time (i.e around 8pm) are:

Aldea

Apiary

Blue Water Grill

Cru

Gilt

Jean Georges

Picholine

The Modern

Turquoise

Apiary, Blue Water Grill and Turquoise, whatever their merits, are not in the same class as the others. Cru has recently hired a new chef, and there are no reviews yet, so you would be entering uncharted territory there. Any of the remaining ones could be good choices, and it just depends on what you are looking for.

The one's I can get a reservation for at a bad time (i.e 5:45 or 10pm)

Eleven Madison Park

Daniel

Maialino

Scarpetta

I was desperate to go to EMP - but can only get a 10pm reservation which I feel would be a bit late to enjoy their food properly.

Are any of the 'bad time' reservations SO good that I should just go?

It really depends on how you feel about eating that late. Personally, I would not. Your idea (mentioned in a later post) of trying Eleven Madison Park for lunch might be better, and it's also a lot less money that way. Daniel does not serve lunch, and I am not sure about the other two. I should point out that I had a 10:15 p.m. reservation at Daniel recently, and we weren't seated until almost 11:00.

Spice Market menu looks great....

I have to disagree with the earlier poster. As I understood the original premise, you tried to book Per Se and Babbo, and as those are full, you were looking for comparable substitutes. Even at its best, Spice Market was never in the class of those two places, and by most accounts it has gone way down in the ~6 years since it opened. The Times recently demoted it from three stars to just one.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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In my opinion Spice Market & Nice-Matin aren't remotely in the league of these others. Doesn't mean you shouldn't go, but we're talking apples & oranges. Same with Blue Water Grill, and I don't know what Turquoise is. Apiary is in my opinion very good, but also not at this level, although when the chef was at his previous place (Veritas) the food was phenomenal.

Cru used to be one of my favorites. The chef left a few months ago and I haven't heard anything since.

Scarpetta has a dining area by the bar that I believe is reserved for walk-ins. Same menu (and if you get there before 7 I can't imagine you'd have a problem getting a table).

Gramercy has a Tavern Room in the front with a slightly less expensive menu that's also reserved for walk-ins and while it's popular, again if you got there on the early side you should be ok. You could also go there for lunch in the main dining room or the Tavern Room. I'm kind of surprised that you can't get a reservation for a deuce there the last week of December. It's a popular spot but not usually in the 5:30/10pm only category. Same for Le Bernardin. For both Eleven Madison & Gramercy I would ask them to put you on a wait list for an earlier spot if you end up booking the 10pm. And if you're using open table to see what's available I would instead give a call to the restaurant, tell them you're in from out of town on specific days, and I am certain that they will do their best to help you.

Minetta Tavern has made it clear that unless you're a celebrity you're not getting any time other than 5:30/10pm. Lovely.

I really do recommend you go to Aldea. I found it highly enjoyable and not nearly as expensive as these others, especially in our seats at the counter overlooking the kitchen.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like. Happy to help narrow this down for you.

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