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Memorial service / Wedding anniv trip to NYC


Kim Shook
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Ok, guys - I need a couple of things. Mr. Kim and I are going to be coming to NYC for a sad visit. A dear, dear friend of mine passed away back in December and the memorial service is going to be March 19 (lots of issues to be dealt with is why it is so long in coming). We are coming up a couple of days early and will be staying with some friends in NJ. Other friends will be coming in for the service and I'm sure that restaurants won't be on everyone's minds then, so I don't need any help for that.

But here's the thing. Our 25th wedding anniversary is 3/20. So what I think we will do is to check into a hotel in the city that day, spend the 20th just wandering around and enjoying the city, having lunch and then dinner somewhere. So here's what I need from y'all: hotel ideas (not horribly expensive), lunch ideas, dinner ideas. Lunch could be somewhere fun, not too expensive. Dinner should be special, but I need to keep in mind: I have had a gastric bypass, so tasting menus are just a waste for me - too much food! We love all kinds of food - hardcore Asian and Indian probably not for anniversary, though. Also, no sushi - I know, I know - I am impossible - Mr. Kim loves it, but me - not so much.

Thank you all so, so much!!! Kim

Edited by phaelon56 (log)
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'ino for lunch. Portions are small (e.g. you could have a selection of bruschetta, or the larger tramezzini or panini), the space is small but cozy, the prices are reasonable. The staff is friendly and there's a fairly large wine selection. The location puts you between the Village, Soho, and the West Village. I don't think they take reservations, but they should be less busy during lunch.

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budget?  including food, wine, tax and tip.

For the dinner, probably $200 inclusive - - keeping in mind there will be no bottle of wine (I can't drink more than a few sips without getting ill due to the bypass. Mr. Kim may have a cocktail or two.)

Is there a particular part of Manhattan that ypu prefer to stay in?

We're open. Mr. Kim wants to park when we leave NJ (maybe at Port Authority?) and take cabs in the City rather than show everyone how "small town" his driving is. So if we can plan on a hotel near the food and vice versa, that saves a lot of cab fare for tooling around town during the day.

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D&Co. does have non-alcoholic specialty cocktails, though... although I imagine, given the overlap in staff, that Pegu could do them too.

As to food: L'Atelier de JR is probably a good choice, although even as light diners, you may need to watch the bill a little.

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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For the hotel, I would suggest the Helmsley Middletowne (http://www.helmsleymiddletowne.com/). I have stayed there multiple times since I moved and its pretty nice, in a good location (48th and 3rd) and cheapish by NYC standards. I'm not sure if anything will be going on when you're in the ctiy, but I got a room for 190 for next weekend to give a ballpark estimate.

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Hey, Kim! The gastric bypass issue is an interesting one...I would still suggest Degustation. The portions are pretty small (particularly in the first and second sections of the menu), and they're not overly fatty, so digestion shouldn't be a huge issue. You could even do a couple first courses and then a small plancha (a grilled shrimp or two?). It's a wonderful experience, and you could really enjoy it even with small portions. Dinner for two, with wine, will probably put you in the $150 range.

Another good, smaller-plate spot is the Bar Room at The Modern. You could just do one plate, or two small ones, and you'd be fine and well within your gustatory and budgetary limits.

Snacking at the bar at Pegu or D&Co is a good idea...avoid Pegu at prime weekend times (go on a Sunday night, earlier, for instance) - you can't even get to the bar on Saturday night. It's ridiculous - they just aren't controlling the door the way they should. D&Co, on the other hand, has a well-controlled door, which may make it difficult to get in. But at least once you're in you can actually get a drink.

Hotel-wise, I'm not too savvy, having grown up in Connecticut. I've stayed in hotel rooms in the city probably fewer than 10 times, and my mom stays at the Harvard Club (cheap if you have a friend/relative who's a member - ditto for Yale Club, Princeton, NYC Yacht, etc. - exploit a connection if you have one). That said, if I had my pick, I'd probably stay somewhere more boutiquey and avoid Times Square like the plague. If you're willing to be a bit out of the thick of things, Hotel Wales on Madison in the '90's is lovely.

How about dim sum? You can control the amount you eat, but still have the fun Chinatown experience?

"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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  • 2 weeks later...

We have decided some things and are set for dinner and hotel. We're doing Degustation for dinner (thanks, Megan!) and staying at the Omni Berkshire (thanks Amex points :wink: ). We are going to Pegu after dinner for drinks - anyone want to join us there? We'd love to meet some egulleteers! Our dinner reservations are for 7:30 - don't know how long that should take, but we'd go over to Pegu from there - how about it??

I'm going to post our tentative plans/ideas. We won't get to see all (or even much of them), but they are things we are interested in. If you have time, please look them over and let me know your thoughts/reccomendations/warnings. Thanks! Kim

NYC Trip

3/20/2007

Dinner – Degustation 7:30 239 E 5th St (212) 979-1012

Drinks – Pegu Club (212) 473-7348 77 West Houston Street,

Hotel 3/20/2007

Omni Berkshire 21 East 52nd Street at Madison Avenue (212) 753-5800

Places to see/eat:

Chelsea Market

Food Stores -

Citarella 1313 3rd Ave

Little Italy

Fries –

Pommes Frites 123 2nd Ave. (2nd Ave. between 7 & 8 St.)

St. Patrick’s

Broadway Panhandler - (212) 966-3434 - 477 Broome St

Jacques Torres 350 Hudson at King Street (1 block South of Houston)

La Maison du Chocolat 1018 Madison Avenue 212 744-7117

Kee's Chocolates 80 Thompson St just south of Spring – sounds

like the most interesting

Breakfast ideas –

Teresa's 103 1st Ave 6th/7th 212-228-0604

Lunch ideas –

BALTHAZAR 80 Spring Street 212.965.1785

Pizza –

Arturo's - (212) 650-1358 - 1617 York Ave

Sal's & Carmine Pizza (212) 663-7651 - 2671 Broadway

China town -

Dim Sum -

Jin Fong 20 Elizabeth Street

Dim Sum Go Go 5 E Broadway

Dumplings –

Fried Dumpling at 99 Allen Street between Delancey and Broome

Dumpling House at 118 Eldridge

Bakeries/Pastries -

Cupcake Café 522 9th Avenue (at 39th Street)

BOULEY BAKERY m-th 7:30am - 10pm 120 W Broadway

Make My Cake 103 Central Park N., 110th St.

Sugar sweet sunshine 126 Rivington Street between Essex &

Norfolk. The closest train is the F to Delancey.

Financier 62 Stone Street 212 344 5600

Payard Patisserie & Bistro 1032 Lexington Ave.

Between 73rd and 74th Sts 212-717-5252

Lady M Cake Boutique located at 41 East 78th Street (off Madison Avenue)

Patisserie Claude - (212) 255-5911 - 187 W 4th St

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Broadway Panhandler has moved to 65 E 8th Street.

(links showing this below)

http://www.broadwaypanhandler.com/broadway...=0&dept_id=602&

http://stg1.uniteu.net/broadway/assets/images/location.html

I think Pommes Frites is overrated except for the sauces. Try the frites (and moules) at Cafe des Bruxelles and try the selection of Belgian beers and experience nonchalant European-style service. ;)

Kee's has nice chocolates and if you're doing the chocolate tour you should definitely try the hot choc at La Maison du Chocolat. However, try Marie Belle and Chocolate Bar, too. Particularly the spicy hot choc at Chocolate Bar. City Bakery's hot choc is too sweet for my liking. However, if you're down there, try the pretzel croissant and avoid their regular croissant at all costs.

Bakeries:

Add Bouchon in the Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle. Try anything there... croissants, pain au chocolat, brioche, savory scones (I normally dislike scones) are excellent. Order at the counter instead of sitting down, though you may have to wait for a seat at one of the few tables or a spot along the standing counter.

La Bergamote (169 9TH Ave) has better pain au chocolat than Balthazar.

Cupcake Cafe ... overrated IMO.

If you're going to be on the UES, you might try the excellent calamari salad at E.A.T. (1064 Madison Avenue betw 80/81). It's pricey but had a spectacular flavor and mouth feel. Pair it up with the lentil salad for a $16 "2 salad plate" and eat it with Zabar's breads (the baguette is so-so, the other breads are better), finish off with the orange pound cake (or something like that). The 3-bean salad also went well. Maybe try some smoked sturgeon while you're at it.

We took a "big" tub of the calamari salad to go... cost a eye-opening $60 but it was really good.

If you're doing pizza, why not the original Patsy's... where's that, up on E 103rd?

re: Little Italy... what's left of it. You're better off walking along the eastern (but perhaps not far-eastern... e.g. not past bowery) parts of Chinatown, like around Grand St and Chrystie.

While you're on Grand, head east a few blocks to Doughnut Plant. Guss' Pickles.

And finally, I'll cross-link to my other Chinatown post.

Edited by larrylee (log)
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Please DON'T go to Jin Fong. Their dim sum is so poorly done. I've heard Dim Sum Go Go is better. If you want soup dumplings, go to Goodie's. Very tasty, not too fatty, and well-priced.

You could try the following in Chinatown:

Congee Village

Egg Custard Tart King

Great NY Noodletown (Lobster & E-fu mein is good there)

New Big Wong

Big Wong's

Mei Lai Wah

Vosges Chocolate and Grandaisy Bakery (formally Sullivan Street Bakery) are near Kee's Chocolate and they would be worth taking a gander. If you're on the UES, why not try Cafe D'Alsace? That's a great little bistro with wonderful food. I love the marrow bones.

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Ta, y'all (as you can see, I am bilingual :wink: )! I have taken your advice and made adjustments to our 'itinerary'. Just to be clear - Little Italy is just somewhere I'd like to wander through a bit (I've only dashed through on my way somewhere else) - not trying to eat there - don't think we'll go hungry :wink::laugh: !

Kim

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Speaking of La Bergamote, depending on the time of day you get there, the pain au chocolat are good, but their almond croissant, altho a little on the dark side sometimes, are even better...and if you're lucky, you can have their...wait for it...almond AND chocolate croissant, which is even better.

later in the day, I'd have one of their dacquoise...so few places in the city make them anymore!

Lilac Chocolate in the West Village is always worth a go as far as old-fashioned American chocolate shops are concerned. Their dark chocolate pecan turtle is a particular favorite.

Enjoy!

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Two Little Red Hens & Lilac Chocolate are now both on my list. I just have to say that it is so nice to show my list to someone and not have them say, "are you actually doing anything besides eating?" :laugh: Even Mr. Kim looked a little askance when he saw it. BTW St. Patrick's is his suggestion :raz: .

Kim

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Degustation and Pegu should be nice. I'll be trying Degustation this Sunday for the first time, which I'm quite excited about. Pegu, I've still yet to try, but have heard great things. I'll have to go sometime soon.

Re: food store. Chelsea Market has some nice places. I especially enjoy Buon Italia, the Italian grocery, but that's not surprising, given my love for all things Italian! Citarella is nice. I'd also suggest Dean and Deluca in SoHo, a very nice upscale (read: pricy) grocery with very nice stuff (and right around the corner from Balthazar, if you go there). If food shopping in Little Italy, be sure to check out DiPalo's. Ooh, and I'd also add Murray's Cheese to your food shopping list as well.

Pommes Frites, is, to me, highly overrated. The fries are much too thick for my taste, and the interesting selection of sauces is not enough to save them, in my book. My friends and I jokingly refer to the place as the Baskin Robbins of french fries -- lots of different flavors, but the quality just isn't that great! :raz:

Broadway Panhandler is fun to browse in, and as others have already pointed out, they have recently changed locations.

I've not found the chocolates at La Maison du Chocolat to be anything spectacular. Those found at Kee's will be infinitely fresher, and in my opinion, more delicious. I would definitely recommend a stop at Kee's.

Personally, I prefer breakfast at Balthazar to lunch, but it's a solid place regardless, and worth a stop for sure. Don't know anything about Teresa's, but my favorite breakfast in the city is probably at Clinton Street Baking Co. Mmm pancakes.

Re: pizza...Arturo's and Sal and Carmine's are both nice. The former's location is convenient to SoHo shopping, etc. Sal and Carmine's is good for the UWS, but definitely not enough to warrant a special trip. Besides, if you're presented with only one opportunity to eat pizza in the city, there are much better options. Patsy's east harlem (1st ave/117th), Grimaldi's, Una Pizza Napoletana, or even Naples 45 (a short walk from your hotel) are all better, I think.

Re: Chinese...I'm not the one to ask about Dim Sum. While it's not in Chinatown and certainly not cheap, Chinatown Brasserie is the dim sum place highest on my go-to list right now. For dumplings, I prefer Dumpling House to Fried Dumpling, but they are both filling and cheap. The scallion pancake at Dumpling House is also quite nice.

Re: bakeries/pastries... Jacques Torres I'm kind of ambivalent about. Not bad. But not great. Just kind of....eh. Please, oh please, do not go to Cupcake Cafe. Their cupcakes are nice to look at, but taste absolutely horrid. Bouley Bakery is nice. The 110th street location of Make My Cake is no longer open, but the one further uptown is really good, if more than a little bit out of the way. Their red velvet cake is really nice. Sugar Sweet Sunshine's cupcakes are nice, and to me, better than Magnolia (ick!), Billy's, et al. Financier is solid. Payard I've found to be hit-or-miss, but they do have a beautiful looking selection of pastries that makes choosing difficult. Lady M Cake Boutique is tasty, if a bit stuffy. Perhaps combined with La Maison du Chocolat, as they are merely a block apart. Or even better yet, make it a trifecta with a cappuccino or gelato from Sant Ambroeus also on Madison. Patisserie Claude is great, but get there early! Two Little Red Hens is also a nice little bakery, with more traditional American items.

Other suggestions: As others above have suggested La Bergamote is outstanding. I am a sucker for the chocolate-almond croissants. The regular almond or pain au chocolat versions aren't shabby either. Definitely recommended. Larry also mentioned Bouchon, which is a nice idea. Could make a nice light lunch one day as well. Given your hotel's location, I'd also add Fauchon (56th/Madison) to the bakery/patisserie list you've got going.

Sounds to me like you've got a nice trip in store! Hope you enjoy it!

P.S. Sorry for making you read so much! I didn't realize how much I'd typed until I stopped! :biggrin:

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Re: sweets - Lady M (try the fabulous Lady Grey tea with a slice of the mille crepes) and Chocolate Bar.

As Lady M goes...it's not stuffy (have to differ with Tupac here), but is definitely elegant. The service can taper off toward the end...it sometimes takes a long time to flag someone if you want the check, so just assert yourself.

If you're making an uptown afternoon of it, try the steak tartare at La Goulue...I love having lunch there. Yes, it's overpriced, but it's great people-watching (I have seen Ivana Trump - hilarious - and Renee Fleming - so neat - among others).

Chocolate Bar is just a couple blocks south of Chelsea Market, so it should fit right in! Also about a block north of LiLac. :wink:

"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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Thank you so much for the additional info Megan and tupac! I think that I will be making adjustments in my list until the day before we leave. :laugh:

Not sure yet how much time we'll really have in the city. Definiately all day the 20th, maybe a couple hours on the 21st before we leave and possibly some time on the 19th depending on what time our out of town friends arrive for the memorial service that night. We'll try to fit in everything that we can!

Tupac - don't worry about giving me too much info - I need all I can get. Thanks so for mentioning DiPaulo's in Little Italy. My daughter had mentioned it after her last trip to NY and I had completely forgotten it.

I am very glad that I got my crocs for Xmas! I am going to be doing a lot 'o walking!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, guys - here we come! We should be leaving tomorrow morning as the weather allows. We deliberately planned this memorial service for after the bad weather and now we get a snow storm. :angry:

Don't forget that on the 20th we plan to go over to Pegu after dinner - should be there about 10pm, I guess. We'd love to meet some egulleteers.

One more question re: Pegu. I am a big ol' sissy when it comes to drinks. One thing is having had the gastric bypass, it is like drinking with a two year old: two drinks and I am bombed, then sick in about 5 minutes :raz: . I am also a bit immature when it comes to flavors - no scotch or bourbon. If an umbrella wouldn't be out of place in a drink, you can bet I'll love it (to temper that a bit, I do love an absolutely perfect VT). Will they think I'm an utter dweeb if I confess all to the bartender/server and just let them surprise me? Can someone recommend something within those guidelines? Luckily Mr. Kim drinks anything and appreciates all kinds of flavors, so we won't be complete rubes.

Hope to see some of you!

Kim

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