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weinoo

Where to Eat in NYC 2009

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From your "can do" list, I'd personally pick Aldea, Jean Georges, and The Modern.

I habitually eat late, but even I'd find a 10 PM at EMP rather trying.

I would NOT go to Spice Market if I were you.

I love it when we all post at the same time and say the same thing.

These are excellent picks (and just from glancing at Open Table, The Modern does have significant availability), although I might do some switching around myself - like Jean-Georges for lunch and squeeze Gramercy Tavern in there somewhere.

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

To clarify, Minetta Tavern has made clear that if you're not a friend of the house, you won't get A RESERVATION any time other than 5:30/10:00 PM. There are tables reserved for walk-ins during more normal times, and I've seen waits vary from a couple of minutes to 45 minutes to 2 hours.

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I'd also suggest that the results on Open Table are not necessarily the last word. A couple months back, I was looking to book Corton for my birthday, and Open Table listed an early and a late seating. I grabbed something at, like 6pm. Then, on a whim, I called the reservation line and very easily scored an 8pm reservation. So don't assume. If there's someplace you'd like to try, don't rely solely on the online reservation results.

Christopher

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To clarify, Minetta Tavern has made clear that if you're not a friend of the house, you won't get A RESERVATION any time other than 5:30/10:00 PM. There are tables reserved for walk-ins during more normal times, and I've seen waits vary from a couple of minutes to 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Minetta Tavern is very good for what it is, and I am a fan, but I don't think it's on quite on the level the O.P. was asking for. Then add the high level of uncertainty about when they would be seated, and I would scratch it off the list for a 3-day stay.

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Thanks so much for all the replies. Really good advice.

I guess if being picky, we're looking for different experiences with the 3 meals.

Maybe 1 really upmarket one (like Per Se would have been), 1 quite upmarket one but not quite as fancy or long as experience as a Per Se would be and maybe 1 more 'regular' place - still with really good food but where we won't be there for 3 hours plus and maybe in an area we could do a nice cocktail bar after it.

So sorry for giving the impression I was looking for the 3 most high 'upscale' places.

Martin

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I haven't been but would really like to try Aldea. Nothing but positive reviews. Jean Georges is a no brainer if you can get in. Lunch is easier and the best deal in town. The Modern is also a great choice and a lovely setting. Also love WD-50. The room is not as swanky as the others but the food experience more than makes up for it.


That wasn't chicken

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To clarify, Minetta Tavern has made clear that if you're not a friend of the house, you won't get A RESERVATION any time other than 5:30/10:00 PM. There are tables reserved for walk-ins during more normal times, and I've seen waits vary from a couple of minutes to 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Minetta Tavern is very good for what it is, and I am a fan, but I don't think it's on quite on the level the O.P. was asking for. Then add the high level of uncertainty about when they would be seated, and I would scratch it off the list for a 3-day stay.

I couldn't agree more.

(My last post was directed more at Daisy, who seems to be under the impression that she CAN'T EVER EAT THERE.)


Edited by weinoo (log)

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As much as I think of EMP, I wouldnt go at 10pm either. But, I might call them, explain that you're in for only 3 nights and ask them to call you if a table opens up on any of those nights. They're friendly folk and probably will.

Not on the same level but quite good, Miailino maintains a well organized waiting list. We got in this week by putting our names and phone #s on the list for a range of hours and they called us 2 days later to let us know that's we were in.

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while it's not "upscale" in the traditional sense, momofuku ko is a very memorable experience. i prefer it over daniel. now getting a reservation is a whole different battle. for "regular" options, i concur w/aldea recos. not to sound like a broken record on here, but it's been my favorite dining experience this year. if not aldea, blue hill, kyo-ya, degustation or casa mono are worth looking into.

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(My last post was directed more at Daisy, who seems to be under the impression that she CAN'T EVER EAT THERE.)

Yeah, I've thought about going in and just sitting at the bar (which is always my preference anyway) but the whole "declared" 5:30/10pm thing for us common folk had so far just pissed me off too much. I recognize that many restaurants do this without making a statement about it. This is the NY dining attitude I just can't deal with. There are great burgers elsewhere.

@christm's last post: Aldea is more of a "regular" meal than Eleven Madison, or even Gramercy for that matter. I say call and explain your situation and I bet you get more tables than you can even handle for a 3 day trip. People really do cancel all the time, and at Danny Meyer's restaurants (EMP, GT, Modern, Maialino) they really will try their best to accommodate you even though you may not technically be a rock star.

There are long discussions about other "regular" places for dinner on the Where To Eat thread in the NY forum. Most of us love Momofuku Ssam Bar, for example, which is strikingly different than anywhere else I've ever been, but doesn't take reservations and is thus more accessible.

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(My last post was directed more at Daisy, who seems to be under the impression that she CAN'T EVER EAT THERE.)

Yeah, I've thought about going in and just sitting at the bar (which is always my preference anyway) but the whole "declared" 5:30/10pm thing for us common folk had so far just pissed me off too much. I recognize that many restaurants do this without making a statement about it. This is the NY dining attitude I just can't deal with. There are great burgers elsewhere.

What's funny about MT is that if you call them to ask for a reservation, they don't tell you it's impossible. They do what everybody else does: they make a show of looking in their book, and then say that all they have is 6 and 10. (Sometimes they tell you they're totally booked, even at 6 and 10 -- which I assume is honest.) So except for that one slip -- which they later recanted -- they don't have a "declared" policy but rather have the same hypocritical policy as every other hot restaurant in New York.

Frankly, I liked it better those five minutes or so when they were honest about it.

(It's more than just great burgers, I should add.)


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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Tried EMP and pleased my case but still only a 10pm sitting. Have been put on waiting list though for earlier time - oddly they said they won't call Internationally to confirm reservation if one becomes avaiable. This seems odd to me. Is it standard practise in US?

Thanks

Martin

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Hi

Thanks so much for advice previously on this thread - things are coming together and we've booked most of the places. Have a couple of gaps and hoping for advice.

1. We're seeing a lot of theatre. Any good places to go for a drink after the theatre nearby the theatre district?

2. Dinners are booked at Les Halles (Park Avenue), Aldea and Jean Georges. Again, any nice places to go in those areas after dinner?

3. We will be at the Lincoln Center for a matinee - any nice places for a lunch (nothing too massive as we're going to Aldea that evening) in the area around Lincoln Center?

Many thanks

Martin

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1. Theatre district cocktails -- depends how far you wish to walk from your theatre. Personally, I'd drop into Ma Peche, Bar Room at the Modern, maybe the lounge at Le Bernardin. Maybe Oak Bar at the Plaza or King Cole bar at the St. Regis for something fancier. Campbell Apartment also has a wonderful setting but I've found my cocktails there to be overly sweet.

2. After Les Halles, I might get a drink at 'inoteca liquori bar, Eleven Madison Park's lounge area, or perhaps the new cocktail bar, Rye House. After Aldea, I'd go to Flatiron Lounge (although it can get loud and crowded in there as the night progresses). Raines Law Room is also near Aldea, but I've not been. Post-Jean Georges, there's nothing really in the immediate area but this thread about cocktails post-Per Se will be enlightening.

3. For an interesting lunch around Lincoln Center, I might share the charcuterie board for two at Bar Boulud.


"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure

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Thanks for that - some great ideas.

Should probably also have said I'll be staying at the Affinia Shelburne in Murray Hill so any good places nearby it to eat or drink could be useful as it's an easy stagger back!

Thanks

Martin

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Thanks for that - some great ideas.

Should probably also have said I'll be staying at the Affinia Shelburne in Murray Hill so any good places nearby it to eat or drink could be useful as it's an easy stagger back!

Thanks

Martin

As Kathryn mentioned above, 'inoteca Liquori Bar is in the 'hood, at 24th and 3rd. Open late, good place to grab a bite, some vino or a cocktail.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

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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I was going to recommend ko as well. One of the benefits is that you can't plan too far in advance so you still have a chance. It is worth the hype. We ate at Marea for lunch recently and it was terrific. Jean-Georges is always amazing for lunch as well. EMP is high on our list for a return dinner but a recent lunch was just ok. I think the fireworks come out at night.

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We had a lovely experience at Jean Georges for lunch, and would recommend it.

In the theatre district, I have a soft spot for Chez Josephine. For drinks, I like Therapy. Casellula, a wine and cheese bar, has been highly recommended by a friend, but haven't made it there yet.


Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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1. We're seeing a lot of theatre. Any good places to go for a drink after the theatre nearby the theatre district?

This may be hard to believe, but the answer to this is actually no.

2. Dinners are booked at Les Halles (Park Avenue), Aldea and Jean Georges. Again, any nice places to go in those areas after dinner?

The Rye House, which just opened down the block from Aldea, is very nice.

There's nothing good near Les Halles. (You'll be sorry you're eating there, BTW. It's pretty bad.)

For Jean Georges, you might consider the lobby bar in the Mandarin Hotel across the street. (Non-guests can still get in, right?) I wouldn't be caught dead there myself, but you might not be as much of a snob as I am. The view is concededly great.

3. We will be at the Lincoln Center for a matinee - any nice places for a lunch (nothing too massive as we're going to Aldea that evening) in the area around Lincoln Center?

I can't help but recommend Bar Boulud, which IMO towers over everything else in the area (with the caveat that you order gently).


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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WAIT! I just thought of a good place for drinks near Les Halles: the uptown 'inoteca, on 25th St. (I think?) & 3rd Ave. (Also, when you see the food they serve you'll feel even sorrier you ate in Les Halles.)

Also, in the Theater District, the Blue Bar in the Algonquin Hotel is Not Terrible. Just don't expect to see any New Yorkers there (or in anywhere in the Theater District, for that matter).


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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Also in the Theater District, Casallula (52nd St. -- I think? -- just west of 9th Ave.) for wine and a snack. Great place (even if their legendary cheeseologist -- OK, what's the word for that? -- recently left).

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Also in the Theater District, Casallula (52nd St. -- I think? -- just west of 9th Ave.) for wine and a snack. Great place (even if their legendary cheeseologist -- OK, what's the word for that? -- recently left).

Affineur (a word I learned on these boards).


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Hi. Thanks for suggestions. Might change les halles. Especially as we now have reservations that night at birdland (is birdland ok?!?). So to approach it from a different angle - if you have a 9 30 show at birdland to see - where would you eat before it?

Really like bar boulud for pre lincoln. Sounds ideal.

Thanks

martin

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Hi. Thanks for suggestions. Might change les halles. Especially as we now have reservations that night at birdland (is birdland ok?!?). So to approach it from a different angle - if you have a 9 30 show at birdland to see - where would you eat before it?

Really like bar boulud for pre lincoln. Sounds ideal.

Thanks

martin

A: Change Les Halles - for a meal in that price range, I'd choose 'inoteca in a snap. While it's not Murray Hill, you also might be close enough to see if you can grab a couple of seats at the bar at the newly opened Maialino.

B: Eat somewhere else before your show at Birdland. Nothing wrong with an occasional 7 P.M. dinner.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

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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Birdland is great.

If I had a 9:30 show there, I'd try to snag a hard-to-get 7 PM reservation at Esca.

Barring that, consider the not-great-but-perfectly-acceptable Chimmichurri Grill.

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