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NFT (Not For Tourists): NYC dining


MarkIsCooking
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For that special occasion, like most egulletiers, I'm game for the kind of off-the-charts meal that you can get at places like Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Nobu and the like. However, for the nights when you want a good meal for a lot less than $200 a head and don't want to deal with lines of tourists, where do you go? Those little nuggets of gold some refer to as "neighborhood favorites". No celebrity chefs. No pretentiousness. Certainly no dress code.

What have you got NYC????

I'll throw into the hopper The Mermaid Inn, which I just found not long ago. Totally casual. Had 2 really good meals there in the last month. Service was very low key and perfectly fine. Jeans - no problem. Lobster salad on a brioche roll = happy me.

Edited by MarkIsCooking (log)

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"If you don't want to use butter, add cream."

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For that special occasion, like most egulletiers, I'm game for the kind of off-the-charts meal that you can get at places like Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Nobu and the like. However, for the nights when you want a good meal for a lot less than $200 a head and don't want to deal with lines of tourists, where do you go? Those little nuggets of gold some refer to as "neighborhood favorites". No celebrity chefs. No pretentiousness. Certainly no dress code.

There are only about 10 restaurants in the whole city with a dress code, and pretentiousness is in the eye of the beholder. The folks who eat at Daniel three nights a week—yes, they do exist—no doubt find David Chang's places pretentious. The idea that good restaurants are associated with 'lines of tourists' seems a little strange too. Indeed, the presence of locals, regardless of price, is often seen as a strong indicator of quality.

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All right, what the hell, I'll bite. I think I understand what you're asking. Try these:

Manhattan

Redhead

Piccolo Angelo

Supper

Bianca

Arturo's

I'd also recommend going just over "the bridge" to my side and trying Henry's End, Noodle Pudding & Queen.

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All right, what the hell, I'll bite. I think I understand what you're asking. Try these:

Manhattan

Redhead

Piccolo Angelo

Supper

Bianca

Arturo's

I'd also recommend going just over "the bridge" to my side and trying Henry's End, Noodle Pudding & Queen.

As I recall, the OP didn't want "to deal with lines of tourists." At prime times there can be long waits at Redhead. Who they are is another question.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, that's the problem with this kind of discussion. Arturo's is a real New York place that locals, people from the regions (New Jersey, et al.), and former locals coming in for their New York pizza fix frequent, along with plenty of tourists (though not as many as Lombardi's, which is much more of a tourist trap in the negative sense). The fact that tourists go somewhere doesn't automatically make it less authentically New York.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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NYC is quite large; anyone's list is probably going to reflect the neighborhood in which they live.

For me, I like Socarrat in Chelsea, Grand Sichuan International on 9th Ave/24th St., and John's pizza on Bleeker St. Just some places that come to mind.

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All right, what the hell, I'll bite. I think I understand what you're asking. Try these:

Manhattan

Redhead

Piccolo Angelo

Supper

Bianca

Arturo's

I will absolutely second that suggestion of Supper. It's especially not busy for brunch. And their brunch IS particularly delicious.

I'm not sure if this is AS casual as you'd like, but I've had fine meals at 26 seats in the east village. And John's Shanghai in midtown. If you want dumplings my personal fav is Vanessa's Dumpling House in chinatown (NOT the one in union square)

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Well, that's the problem with this kind of discussion. Arturo's is a real New York place that locals, people from the regions (New Jersey, et al.), and former locals coming in for their New York pizza fix frequent, along with plenty of tourists (though not as many as Lombardi's, which is much more of a tourist trap in the negative sense). The fact that tourists go somewhere doesn't automatically make it less authentically New York.

For some reason, the word "tourist" is practically always used as a pejorative on these threads, which is why I prefer the less-judgmental word "visitor." Some visitors are extremely keen on finding excellent, but lesser known, dining options. Several of the places mentioned on this thread are very well known. A visitor who does his homework in advance is quite likely to find out about them. Does that make them bad?

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For some reason, the word "tourist" is practically always used as a pejorative on these threads, which is why I prefer the less-judgmental word "visitor." Some visitors are extremely keen on finding excellent, but lesser known, dining options. Several of the places mentioned on this thread are very well known. A visitor who does his homework in advance is quite likely to find out about them. Does that make them bad?

Nope! And I've had wonderful food as a tourist in other cities, sometimes thanks to posts on eGullet.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Well, that's the problem with this kind of discussion. Arturo's is a real New York place that locals, people from the regions (New Jersey, et al.), and former locals coming in for their New York pizza fix frequent, along with plenty of tourists (though not as many as Lombardi's, which is much more of a tourist trap in the negative sense). The fact that tourists go somewhere doesn't automatically make it less authentically New York.

For some reason, the word "tourist" is practically always used as a pejorative on these threads, which is why I prefer the less-judgmental word "visitor." Some visitors are extremely keen on finding excellent, but lesser known, dining options. Several of the places mentioned on this thread are very well known. A visitor who does his homework in advance is quite likely to find out about them. Does that make them bad?

Great point, Marc. After all, I've been a tourist during most of my (extensive) food travels. Now, "B&T" on the other hand.... ;)

NB: I do think that on a thread labelled "Not For Tourists", there must be better suggestions for non-touristy pizza than Arturo's (and Lombardi's), real NY or not. I think the gist of the OP's question was finding places that are known mainly or exclusively by locals and are off the radar of non-locals.

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With the exception of Peter Luger's, I suspect that just about anything outside of Manhattan is going to be off the radar for most non-locals.

How many people are going to take one or two trains and a bus to try the Grandma slice at Rosa's pizza on 69th St. two blocks north of Grand Ave. in Maspeth? We'll just keep it as our little secret.

Our friends Romy Dorotan and Amy Besa who owned Cendrillon on Mercer near Grand in Soho for 13 years--a Filipino fusion place with a solid following and two stars in the NYT--recently opened their new restaurant, Purple Yam, at 1314 Cortelyou Rd. in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn (Cortelyou Rd. stop on the Q train). It was a long wait for permits and inspections, and service was a little chaotic the first week or two with some new staff and new computer system, but they seem to be settling into their groove, and the food is still interesting with a mix of old favorites from Cendrillon and some new Korean influenced dishes. I highly recommend the lechon kawali, chicken adobo, and Romy's spareribs. I haven't compared the new and old menus side by side, but the check was less than I expected last time we were there, so I think they've lowered the prices a bit for the neighborhood. Info at www.cendrillon.com

Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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With the exception of Peter Luger's, I suspect that just about anything outside of Manhattan is going to be off the radar for most non-locals.

How many people are going to take one or two trains and a bus to try the Grandma slice at Rosa's pizza on 69th St. two blocks north of Grand Ave. in Maspeth? We'll just keep it as our little secret.

Our friends Romy Dorotan and Amy Besa who owned Cendrillon on Mercer near Grand in Soho for 13 years--a Filipino fusion place with a solid following and two stars in the NYT--recently opened their new restaurant, Purple Yam, at 1314 Cortelyou Rd. in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn (Cortelyou Rd. stop on the Q train). It was a long wait for permits and inspections, and service was a little chaotic the first week or two with some new staff and new computer system, but they seem to be settling into their groove, and the food is still interesting with a mix of old favorites from Cendrillon and some new Korean influenced dishes. I highly recommend the lechon kawali, chicken adobo, and Romy's spareribs. I haven't compared the new and old menus side by side, but the check was less than I expected last time we were there, so I think they've lowered the prices a bit for the neighborhood. Info at www.cendrillon.com

Is the goat app they used to serve at Cendrillon on the menu at Purple Yam? I hope so...I'd go just for that. It was one of the great lesser known dishes of NY.

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Is the goat app they used to serve at Cendrillon on the menu at Purple Yam? I hope so...I'd go just for that. It was one of the great lesser known dishes of NY.

They have a goat curry with rice pancakes as a main on the new menu. Is that it? I think I remember having goat there once a long time ago, but haven't had it for ages.

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Is the goat app they used to serve at Cendrillon on the menu at Purple Yam? I hope so...I'd go just for that. It was one of the great lesser known dishes of NY.

They have a goat curry with rice pancakes as a main on the new menu. Is that it? I think I remember having goat there once a long time ago, but haven't had it for ages.

It might be, but it's hard to tell without either seeing the dish or having more description.

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