advice for dining
All the other postings are top notch, but if you've never been to the city, I'd suggest you try the uniquely New York restaurants--even though they are less than great gastronomic experiences (Peter Luger would be an exception if you order the steaks. CASH ONLY). Thus, the Rainbow Room, Four Seasons (I hear the duck is exceptional) and yes, even Tavern on the Green (sadly Pat Clark died)while not the best in food, are uniquely NYC $$$$ restaurants. Personally, I'd opt for the delis, appetizing store/restaurants, Ninth Ave, and Coal Oven Pizza, but you only have two days.
The best, especially in dining, is quite subjective.
IMHO, it's Restaurant Daniel, Lespinasse, Le Bernardin.
I suspect they are all difficult to reserve for a
Friday or Saturday night. I've only been to Nobu once.
Although there was at least one clunker in our tasting
menu, the rest of the dishes were fine, some of them
reaching greatness. On the whole, I'd opt for Le
Bernardin unless I really wanted a Japanese slant.
That's a preference only. I'd certainly go back to
Nobu and we were generally excited by our meal.
Perhaps I'm also turned off a bit by any restaurant
connected with celebrity hype.
re: Robert Buxbaum
I agree with Robert that these three restaurants are fantastic, and also that it will be difficult to get a reservation. As an alternative to Le Bernadin, perhaps you should consider Oceana. The food is fabulous (although not quite as good as Le Bernadin - yet), the service impeccable and the decor beautiful. Also, the prices are reasonble - compared to Le Bernadin. Finally, you will probably have a better chance getting a recommendation on short notice.
re: Gary Cheong
Thumbs up on the marinated-for-days cod. If you go to
Nobu, it's a definite must. The flowers smell
wonderful there too. La Paella (9th Street between
2nd and 3rd) has yummy tapas (personally I like the
ceviche). On the more economical side, Yoko cho (also
on 9th street) has great non-sushi japanese including
the wonderful chawanmushi (though much more enjoyable
in the winter than the balmy weekend we're
expecting). I also like Omen and Honmura An in Soho.
Depends on your taste!