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Mar 30, 1998 02:44 PM

where's the best?

  • d

my parents are flying in next week for a much longed for week in NY. thing is, they're sceptical about their guidebook and wanted to know where would be best to go and eat in new york. they're not too worried about the budget but simply wnat to know where new yorkers would go and eat italian etc.

any help would be appreciated,


david wilder

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  1. They should get a copy of the Zagat guide and consult
    the list of favorite restaurants. This guide is
    compiled by polling restaurant-goers, so it is exactly
    what you're asking for.

    My suggestions. I don't claim these are the best in
    any of these category; I just like 'em. They are all
    popular, good, and fun.

    French: Trois Jeans, 79th St. just east of Lexington

    Italian: Orso, 46th St. near 9th Ave. I suggest they
    make a reservation for 8:00, when the pre-theater crowd
    is gone and the restaurant in nearly empty.

    More Italian: Scaletta, 50 W 77th St.

    Chinese: Joe's Shanghai, Pell St. between Mott St.
    and Bowery Ave. They don't take reservations, so
    be prepared for a bit of a wait. When you get a table,
    order _both_ kinds of soup dumplings.

    Japanese: Japonica, 100 University Place, just south of
    Union Square

    Greek: Niko's, 2161 Broadway, near W 76th St.

    Indian: Haveli, 100 2nd Ave., near 6th St.

    Steak: Peter Lugar's in Brooklyn. It's a bit of a trip
    to get there, but it's the best steak in the city.

    1. I would look through the posts on this page in order to get an idea of the best of NY. Look under this message board as well as the Manhattan board. There are some devoted Chowhounds out there who have put in countless hours scouring the streets of NY for the greatest food out there. I would rely on these views before counting on Zagat's, although it might be a good place to start.

      A few suggestions:
      Pizza - Lombardi's, John's or Patsy's(in Brooklyn).
      Mexican - Zarela, Mi Cocina

      High end, but worth it - Lespinasse, Daniel, Le Bernadin.

      New American - Union Square Cafe or Gramercy Tavern.

      Steak - Without a doubt, Peter Luger's in Brooklyn (an inexpensive cab ride).

      Bistro - Soho Steak, Le Jardin Bistro, Le Tableua (french-mediterranean).

      Chinese - Joe's Shanghai or for a more ritzy (and expensive alternative) Shun Lee Palace.

      Italian - Felidia and Il Mulino for high-end Italian, for more casual and fun - Bar Pitti and Velli

      Fusion - Jean Georges, Vong, Le Tableau, Union Pacific

      Seafood - Le Bernadin, Oceana, Estoria Milos

      Romantic - Cafe des Artists, March (the food is top notch here as well), One if By Land Two if By Sea

      Japanese - Sushishay is supposed to have the best Sushi according to the experts but I find it overrated and expensive. Marumi in the village is an undiscovered gem. Others, Hasaki, Japonica, Yama (the uptown location).

      Whew! Now I'm hungry.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Alex

        I've heard that Cafe des Artiste is still under
        renovation, but don't take my word for it. Also, I've
        heard wonderful things about the restaurants at the
        Essex House (both high end) -- Cafe Botanica (for
        brunch, for dinner) and Les Celebrites.

        I'm a new Honmura An convert, it's a soba house in

        Also, I've enjoyed an excellent italian meal at Il
        Bagatto in alphabet city.

        1. re: Sandy Paik

          Dawat on East 58th, I think it is, for the best Indian
          ever. Miles from Curry Cayon on 6th St.

      2. b
        Barbara Sweeney

        So many good restaurants, so little time......

        Here's a couple more that were left off the lists of others:

        Park Ave Cafe - have had great meals there, and the desserts are outta this world.

        Becco - theater district, all-you-can eat pastas of the day. fun, more casual than big sister Felidia.

        L'absinthe - in the sixties east side. Tres bon.

        Hope your parents have a great time and that they get here in time to enjoy this unbelievable weather!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Barbara Sweeney
          Frank Language

          Felidia - you mean the one with the sauce paintings? I
          swear, we were taken there for a Christmas lunch by my
          ex-boss last year, and I knew as soon as we walked
          through the door that at least one course would be on a
          sauce painting.

          1. re: Frank Language

            A sauce painting? I'm not exactly sure what you are talking about.

            1. re: Alex
              Frank Language

              Sauce paintings are something every chi-chi chef who
              has a cooking show has up his sleeve: a sauce painting
              is simply where the chef takes two sauces, one light
              and one dark, and drops spoonfuls of one on the other.
              He swirls the knife through the two like a marble cake,
              so the effect is like marbelized paper, then drops his
              artfully prepared piece of meat or fish on it.

              Of course, it isn't entirely for effect, since you can
              dip pieces of your meal in it while you eat. Having had
              it once, though, I can't say I was overwhelmed - only
              that I expected it at that particular restaurant, and I
              wasn't disappointed.