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Trip Planning


Ling
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Hi everyone,

I realize it's a bit early to be planning our itinerary for our holiday trip, but I'm just so excited to be eating through NY that I couldn't resist asking for suggestions now. :smile:

Here is a list of the places we're thinking of visiting. We would love to hear your ideas about what we should skip, or what we should add. Also, we would love to meet some of you for lunch or dinner, if possible. Perhaps we can start a member-organized event thread at a later date.

The list:

-Jacques Torres

-Room for Dessert

-La Maison du Chocolat

-Lady M Confections

-possibly Payard and Eli's

-Danube (tasting menu)

-Upstairs at Bouley

-lunch at Jean Georges (should we go to Nougatine or Jean Georges?)

-Casa Mono

-Momofuku

-Babbo (pasta tasting menu)

-Katz

-Blue Smoke

-possibly RUB, though I've read some mixed reviews

We are planning on staying for 3-4 days. We're passing on L'Atelier because we're going to Vegas at a later date and we'll probably eat there then. Also passing on Per Se as we've been to FL.

Thanks for your help. :smile:

Edited by Ling (log)
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^We have decent Japanese on the west coast, and there are other Nobu locations that we might go to in the future, so I am hoping to visit restaurants that I won't be able to find anywhere else. I have also heard mixed things about Nobu. I apolgize for not stating this earlier--I am probably not going to have time to eat Asian food in NY, as we're on a tight timeline and I have great Chinese food here in Vancouver (well, Richmond) already. :smile:

Edited by Ling (log)
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Gramercy Tavern (either the more casual tavern upfront or the formal dining room behind)

Pearl's Oyster Bar

Fleur de Sel

Oliva

very late night dining at Blue Ribbon and/or Florent

Breads and/or flat pizzas from Sullivan Street Bakery

Breads and coconut cream cake from Amy's Bakery

Triple chocolate mousse cake from Black Hound

Tiramisu and hazelnut gelato from Caffe Dante

Chikalicious

How to decide??? Happy planning!

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My vote would be for Jean Georges over Nougatine...Lady M? You'd better let me know when you're here...I want to see your face when you taste that Mille Crepes! :wink:

Don't forget Pegu (very convenient for pre- or post-Babbo). You might also have fun at Degustation, which is one of my very favorite places right now...

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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There are a lot of great chocolate shops in the city. I agree with the suggestions of Kee's and Pierre Marcolini. La Maison du Chocolat is great, and Jacques Torres is fun

My parents once ordered the mille crepes cake from Lady M to be sent home for a holiday, and I thought it was fantastic. When I visited the store and tried a different cake, I wasn't as enthused. I think it can be hit or miss. I really like Payard, and there's lots of eye candy in the store. For Italian pastries, I'm a fan of Rocco on Bleecker St.

The tasting menu at Danube is very good, although the atmosphere is a bit stuffy. For lower end Austrian food, I love Blaue Gans. I haven't made it to Wallse yet, but I've heard great things.

Upstairs at Bouley I haven't been to in a while, but I'm a big fan.

I haven't been to Jean Georges for lunch, but some other good picks are Bouely and Fleur de Sel

Babbo is great. I haven't done the pasta tasting menu, and I'm not sure I would go that route. Although pasta is supposed to be some of the best food on the menu, I've heard that after a few plates of pasta after pasta it can get monotonous. If you're interested in more relaxed Italians, I recommend Peasant and Apizz (same owners), Crispo, and Cacio e Pepe.

I think Blue Smoke is OK, but nothing I'd waste a trip to New York on. I've heard that RUB is better for BBQ (though inconsistent), but I haven't made it yet.

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A few thoughts:

I can understand your desire to eat things other than Asian on this trip, however, the only thing I would be curious about is your perception of the dim sum at Chinatown Brasserie. It is not at all run-of-the-mill and is quite refined. Some consider it the best dim sum in N.A. I don't have the experience or the perspective to make or refute that claim. Anyway, it may be something to consider.

If you want something that is truly of New York in upper end dining that you can not find anywhere else, I would suggest WD-50. Sure one can get great hypermodern cuisine in other cities, but Wylie's vision and execution is unique...and delicious. In addition, Alex Stupak is one of the most creative and talented Pastry Chefs around. I have mentioned several times that I believe that NYC is in the middle of a Pastry Revolution with an unprecedented concentration of wonderfully creative young (and not so young) Pastry Chefs in various kitchens. I am not sure of the status or timeline for Sam Mason's new restaurant, but I would consider heading there if it is open.

Definitely lunch at Jean-Georges. No question. It is the greatest haute cuisine deal around. Johnny Iuzzini's desserts are excellent too. Another top-end restaurant with an excellent Pastry Chef is Le Bernardin with eG member Michael Laiskonis .

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Though I haven't been, a restaurant that has received a lot of favorable opinion here is Eleven Madison Park.

BTW, it is definitely not too early to start planning this for Dec. in NYC. That is possibly the busiest season for the city.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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on the dessert front - defiantely chickalicious, Room4dessert. Also, note that if you forgo the WD-50 savory offerings, they also have a 3 or 5 course dessert tasting. A good idea to fit as much in as possible is to do savory in one place and dessert at another.

Katz delicatessen - NY deli experience.

Prune - Brunch

Gordon Ramsey new place will be open by Dec as well. If you want to go, you will need to book now - i believe that the number is in the appropriate thread.

Cru, Blue Hill (if you have a car, make a trip out to the Stone Barns edition), Annissa, Eleven Madison - all worth going to.

Masa - i know you said no sushi, but if you can afford it...

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Listen to docsconz, word for word. Drop the tasting menu at Danube and definitely do EMP. I've done both in the past six months or so and EMP is farrrrr superior. I'm not sure if Blue Smoke qualifies as destination worthy.

I'd also add Room 4 Dessert, given your pastry interest.

So in summary, if I was doing your trip I'd be SURE to include:

Dinner or at least a dessert tasting at wd~50

Tasting menu at EMP

Lunch at Jean-Georges

Degustation followed by Room 4 Dessert

The Babbo pasta menu, Casa Mono, and Upstairs are all great choices but not required, I feel.

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I completely agree with everything Bryan said.

(To amplify one thing, I think it would be sort of a waste to come all the way to New York and eat uncharacteristic good-but-not-great barbecue at Blue Smoke.)

Ditto - I agree.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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^We have decent Japanese on the west coast, and there are other Nobu locations that we might go to in the future, so I am hoping to visit restaurants that I won't be able to find anywhere else. I have also heard mixed things about Nobu. I apolgize for not stating this earlier--I am probably not going to have time to eat Asian food in NY, as we're on a tight timeline and I have great Chinese food here in Vancouver (well, Richmond) already.  :smile:

You said it yourself, you have "decent" Japanese on the west coast. With by far the largest Japanese population outside of Japan, NY is the place. Your list is mostly French, yet Japanese is the new French.

The only problem with Nobu is that his dishes are mirrored elsewhere; the menu hasn't changed much in a decade, but the world has... If I were you I'd add Masa (if I could afford it), Sushi Yasuda or Kurumazushi, Yakitori Totto or Aburiya Kinnosuke, Sugiyama, perhaps Matsuri or one of the other big rooms, I can keep going if you want...

If you are near VC definitely all manners of Chinese are skippable, perhaps Korean, Vietnamese too

BTW, How about Mas?

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New York in 2000 had about 26000- Vancouver in 2001 had about 27000 plus a lot of exchange students - Asian cuisine of all types is very well represented in Vancouver.

I am sure NY has great Japanese, but I, like Ling would probably focus on something else.

The sea was angry that day my friends... like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli.

George Costanza

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NY does have a large undocumented population of young Japanese...but yeah, people often underestimate the vast Asian (of all backgrounds) population in Vancouver....

Yeah that number for NY does not include the VAST majority who are here on student visas, shortterm work assignments, and just plain undocumented... it's a ton. There's a reason there are dozens of hostess bars operating just in the 5 boroughs... The population is so steadily rotated in that NY places demand authenticity. I know several Japanese in VC (mostly college students up there) and they say while Japanese is well represented and benefits from the amazing fish caught fresh in the pacific northwest, VC doesn't hold a candle to NYC...

I like her list + bryanz's suggestions, also agree nix BBQ, but if you're putting together a culinary tour of NYC but avoiding all asians because there are asians in VC, I think that's a shame... East Coast and West Coast asians of all type are pretty different for me, because you have so many more 2nd and 3rd generation asians on the west coast, east coast is, to put it bluntly, a lot more FOBby

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Raji:

actually, the majority of the Asian diaspora in Vancouver is first generation (I lived there in the 80's...right in the midst of the massive Hong Kong and, to a lesser extent, Sikh, influx)

Edited by Nathan (log)
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Raji:

actually, the majority of the Asian diaspora in Vancouver is first generation (I lived there in the 80's...right in the midst of the massive Hong Kong and, to a lesser extent, Sikh, influx)

Yeah I was talking west coast in general... and AFAIK it's Hong Kong East, yes - lots of Hongers and Indians

Edited by raji (log)
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Ling's travel companion chiming in.

How much can we expect to spend at Masa per head? (Excluding alcohol) I heard $600, but that can't be right! Can it? Are there cheaper options on the menu?

Looks like we will have 3 dinners, 3 lunches, and 3 breakfasts. Plus countless desserts and bakeries in between meals. Plus maybe a midnight snack or two.

If I had my way (taking all of your suggestions into account):

Dinner:

Danube or Upstairs or Bouley (personal connection, we have to hit one of these)

Babbo or Casa Mono

EMP or Masa (per recommendations)

Lunch:

Jean Georges

Momofuku

Katz

Breakfast:

I'll leave this to Lorna as I don't really eat much in the morning. I have a feeling we'll be hitting a bakery or 8. :laugh:

Late night:

Dessert Tasting at WD-50

Drinks at Morimoto (I love Tadao Ando and want to see the TyNant wall)

Milk and Honey (If I remember where it is)

Pegu Club

ETA: Bone Marrow at 3 am at Blue Ribbon (thanks Daniel!)

I've had some great Shou Long Bau in Vancouver (Top Shanghai, Shanghai Wind, and Shanghai River) and Taipei (Ding Tai Fung). Would a meal at Joe's Shanghai be a waste?

Any must hit places I left out?

Edited by hhlodesign (log)
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Nice... Looking forward to seeing and read about your trip over here... Have you guys been here before? I think I remembered someone saying they didnt like pizza, is this right? Even still, I am sure you are able to fit one slice into the schedule..

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