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The Dining-Out Habits of NY Metro Area eGulleters

Fat Guy

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Would it also be of interest what restaurants in NYC specifically draw foodies from other parts of the world to the city?

I'd find that interesting. Perhaps a new thread?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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i love cooking and i'm on a strict budget for the rest of the year, so i try to save up for 1 or 2 really good meals a month rather than eating so so meals 2-3 times a week. but on average i'd say i eat out 5-6 times per month. but this month i have fully taken advantage of summer restaurant week. i've taken advantage of 5 RW menus already and have 3 more to go....

here's my run down: (# times this year/# times before this year)

Artisanal - 1/0

Asia de Cuba - 0/2

Atelier - 1/0

Aureole - going tomorrow

Balthazar - 1/4?

Cafe Boulud - 1/0

Cafe des Artistes - 1/0

Craft - 2/0

Daniel - 1/1

Eleven Madison Park - 1/0

Four Seasons - 0/1

Gotham Bar & Grill - 0/1

Gramercy Tavern - 0/1

Kuruma Zushi - 0/1

La Cote Basque - 0/1

Next Door Nobu - 0/1

Peter Luger - 1/0

Pico - 1/0

RM - 1/0

Town - i have appetizers and drinks there all the time, never a full meal

Union Square Cafe - 1/0

i have only lived in NY for about 18 months now. when i am willing to splurge, i am willing to make a trek and i usually try to pick a place i haven't been to. and i definitely do my research on egullet first!

hope this helped!

"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks."

-Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living, 1937

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I really appreciate all these responses, which in many cases have been surprising. It's also nice to hear from some new voices. Please, if you haven't given a response here, add one -- the more information we have about our users the better we can plan new editorial initiatives. Thanks.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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OK, since you asked, I'll play. I eat out 12-14 meals a week (lunch and dinner). Probably 75% places near either work or home (both midtown) and 25% "destination". I'm a semi-regular (known by face or name) at approximately 10 places. About 70% 2 or 3-star places, 10% 4-star places and 20% other. Most lunches and some dinners (depending on what time I leave work) I dine alone. Needless to say, food/wine is my biggest monthly expense (though I've been trying to cut back a little lately). Wish I had more time to cook, but alas...it isn't usually compatible with my schedule. Places I go to the most often include Cafe Boulud, DB, Grammercy, JG, Sushi Yasuda, Molyvos.


Alain Ducasse - 3

Aquavit - 2

Artisanal - 6

Asia de Cuba - 0

Atelier - 2

AZ - 1

Aureloe - 4

Babbo - 6

Balthazar - 6

Blue Water Grill - 1

Bolo - 0

Bouley - 5

Cafe Boulud - 15

Cafe des Artistes - 0

Chanterelle - 4

Craft - 4

Daniel - 3

Danube - 0

Eleven Madison Park - 1

Fiamma Osteria - 4

Fifty-Seven Fifty-Seven - 2

Four Seasons - 0

Gotham Bar & Grill - 2

Gramercy Tavern - 15

Honmura An - 0

Il Mulino - 0

Jean Georges (incl. Nougatine) - 10

Jo Jo - 5

Judson Grill - 0

Kuruma Zushi Restaurant - 2

La Cote Basque - 0

La Grenouille - 1

Le Bernardin - 2

Le Cirque 2000 - 0

L'Impero - 8

March - 2

Montrachet - 0

Next Door Nobu - 0

Nobu - 0

Oceana - 3

Olica - 2

Park Bistro - 0

Patria - 2

Peter Luger - 0

Picholine - 6

Pico - 0

RM - 1

San Domenico - 1

Sugiyama - 0

Sushi Yasuda - 12

Tabla - 2

Town - 8

Union Pacific - 1

Union Square Cafe - 1

Veritas - 1

WD-50 - 0

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How many times a week do you dine out?

5-10 would be typical, sometimes more, occasionally (very occasionally) less. I've gone as high as 20+ when specifically doing pizza, burger, deli, etc. reviews, or when researching travel pieces that require 5+ meals a day for several days in a row.

At what level of restaurant?

Usually either at the 2/3/4-star level or at the cheap eats level -- I hardly do any middle-market dining because it's just not interesting to me.

Do you tend to be a regular at just a few restaurants, or do you try to go someplace different almost every time you dine out, or a mix?

On account of my career, I try to diversify. My personal preference, though, is to dine at favorite places repeatedly. So it does wind up being a mix. I dine out for a variety of purposes and in a few different formats: pure personal pleasure, specific writing assignments, general professional education/background, audit assignments, media/wine/special events, etc. So, for example, in the past two weeks I've been to Eleven Madison Park (twice), Blue Smoke, Union Square Cafe, and rm all part of restaurant week (which I decided to investigate thoroughly this year); I've been to Avra three times and Billy's (one of the oldest restaurants in the city) twice on account of writing assignments; Blue Ribbon Bakery for a family dinner; McSorley's (bar only), the fried dumpling place on Eldridge, and the Kang Suh on account of a friend visiting from out of town; Papaya King because I felt like it; and Lenge (the standard neighborhood Japanese place I often go with my mother -- it's directly across the street from her apartment); I've had Chinese delivery twice; and I've cooked a few meals some of which were work-related (I've been evaluating some mail-order steaks). I was supposed to go to Craft twice but scheduling conflicts came up and I had to cancel; I also had a media lunch I was supposed to go to but it got rescheduled. Also snacked at the food court at Mitsuwa, had a hot dog at Costco, and had some vile Tasti-D-Lite -- not sure how to categorize those.

Do you mostly dine near your home or do you use restaurants as destinations, or a mix?

Other than takeout/delivery, I almost never dine near my home. I visit each of the major Carnegie Hill restaurants maybe once a year just to keep tabs and because, occasionally, someone says, "Let's just get something in the neighborhood," but I'm surrounded by exactly the kind of middle-market places I prefer to ignore (even though, in my neighborhood, the middle-market carries upmarket pricing). Luca is probably the only restaurant in my neighborhood that I actively pursue, though we do have some fun cheap-eats places like Sassy's Sliders and Papaya King, which I utilize for a snack on occasion.

In terms of the list, I don't have it journaled so as to be able to provide a 12-month cutoff, but I've recorded visits to the following between beginning of calendar year 2002 and now (it's possible I've been to a couple of additional places from the list in that time period, for example if someone else paid and I didn't write anything about it I might not have accurate records):

Alain Ducasse



Asia de Cuba





Cafe Boulud

Cafe des Artistes



Eleven Madison Park

Fiamma Osteria

Fifty-Seven Fifty-Seven

Four Seasons

Gramercy Tavern

Il Mulino

Jean Georges

Judson Grill

La Cote Basque

Le Bernardin

Le Cirque 2000


Next Door Nobu

Peter Luger




Sushi Yasuda



Union Square Cafe


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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