What's good in NY right now? Visiting soon...
- E. Rayno
Hi, We are visiting NY come Aug. 3-6th, and are interested in eating well. Right now, we have reservations at Vong and Union Square Cafe. Upon looking over these boards, we found mixed reviews of the two places. So, what are some amazing places to eat these days in Manhattan?
We also heard that Norma's was good for breakfast.
We may not want to spend as much as Lespinasse or Daniel, but we want REALLY good food.
Gramercy Tavern is always good. The downside is you may have trouble getting a reservation for the time you want at such short notice - well worth trying though.
It certainly is possible to have a great meal and not spend as much as you would at Daniel or Lespinasse.
Although USC and Vong are fine, IMHO Gramercy Tavern, Gotham Bar & Grill, Next Door Nobu, and Cafe Boulud are better choices (if, of course you can get reservations). Bear in mind that despite being cheaper than the 2 aforementioned 4-star places, none of these are bargain joints either. My experience has been that after wine, tax, & tip, I have always dropped at least $150 at all of the recommended restarurants. Let me just say that I mention Next Door Nobu vs. the original because getting a reservation at NOBU is an exercise in frustration and
also because I prefer NDN anyway. Also, you may be iffy on the Cafe Boulud idea if you've perused the Bux vs. Leff thread. To date my handful of visits to the Cafe at both lunch and dinner have all been very favorable and getting a reservation on short notice does not seem to be too difficult.
Enjoy your meals wherever you go. Seems like you really can't go wrong at any of the places mentioned so far.
Norma's is amazing for breakfast. It is expensive for breakfest but the two times I have been there I have been amazed.
I would go to Gotham, Babo, Ruby Foo's (upper west side location not time sqaure). If you are looking for a fun, good, cheap place my personal favorite is Stingy Lulu's on St. Marks by Avenue A. The food is good and inexpensive and your drag queen waitress will make the night a blast.
I think to get a sense of NY food you should try the upscale places but also some smaller gems like Pearl Oyster Bar on Cornelia St. or Taka Sushi on Barrow St. USC and Vong are great but to split hairs I may recommend Gramercy Tavern and Tabla over them though I am a USC and V. supporter. I would also venture out to another boro or at least a less trendy neighborhood in Manhattan with the use of Jim's Book for a great ethnic (hate that word!) experience. It's just that those "top-rated, it's my birthday, let's do a blow-out, omigod I am so stuffed" places is NOT what NY is ALL about. It's about that for dinner but awesome dimsum for brunch in Chinatown and a taco from the taco cart on 14th St for a snack and then a sweet treat from a stroll through the Chelsea Market or ice cream from Cones on Bleecker.
Good luck and enjoy!!