Ultimate Foodie Tour of NYC
I'm turning to you Chowhounders for your expertise:
We have a couple of SF friends who are huge foodies coming to visit and we've promised to provide them the ultimate culinarian tour of NYC. They want to do a very nice dinner, then just fabulous food and culinary experiences.
For the expensive dinner, I've chosen Le Bernardin. For some of the other meals, I've chosen some of my faves:
Tia Pol for tapas
Sushi of Gari (UES) for sushi (YUM)
Pommes Frites for an afternoon snack
So my question to you guys is, what am I missing? What are the very best restaurants around, primarily in Manhattan but willing to try outer boroughs.
I concur. Babbo is all that and the last time I flew back to NY from SF, I ate at Babbo. I would have done Lupa also if time permitted.
I would also do:
3. Yasuda. They will thank you when you take them and curse you when they return. Remember, sushi bar only in front of Yasuda. Heck, even if you don't sit in front of Yasuda, it'll still be impressive.
4. Jean-Georges (consider replacing Le Bernardin)
5. Katz's for pastrami (THAT will blow them away)
6. H&H for bagel
7. Pizza. Lombardi's, Di Fara, or Una Pizza Napoletana
8. Sushi of Gari (after going to Yasuda)
9. Balthazar's or Pastis for the feel and the great fries.
10. Eleven Madison Park to visit the former SF Chef Daniel Humm.
Great list, porthos! But H&H is pretty close to Noah's, imo -- I'd suggest Murray's or Ess-A-Bagel instead. I'd also suggest Arturo's over Lombardi's for pizza (though DiFara's is indeed the way to go, if you can).
Also, depending on how adventurous the OP's guests are, I'd suggest WD-50. It's where I usually take foodie friends from the Bay Area...
All this talk about bagels and no one has mentioned Absolute Bagel on, I think, 106th and B'way (if not right there then very close). It's a family run place. I've sampled all the places mentioned and Absolute kills them all (at least in the new NYC BIG bagel category). Very good selection of cream cheeses, too, but no good for whitefish and the like. Hot & Cruty is also good and very underrated. One vote for Ess-a-bagel for best whitefish salad. Also, you must go to Barney Greengrass. Overpriced and uncomfortable, it is still the best smoked fish breakfast in the world. Also great latkes.
Tomasso on 86th street between 14th Avenue and 15th Avenue in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn shouldn't be missed. Taro Sushi in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn (on Dean Street between 5th Ave and Flatbush Ave) is sushi nirvana. Especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Katz's on E. Houston in Manhattan has awesoume deli. Gray's Papaya also in Manhattan on either W.8th street and Avenue of the Americas or W.72nd st. and Bwy have great hot dogs.
How about taking them shopping in the Village (Murray's Cheese, Amy's Bread). Lots of fun things to taste. Also, you guys could go to the bar at Cru. Friends of mine are amazed that a wine list (or 'portfolio' as they call it there) that large even exists. Enjoy the visit and please report back.
I would second a nice walk around the Village, especially if it can include a lunchtime stop at 'ino for a glass of wine and a few panini. Nothing comparable exists in SF.
I also heartily second the suggestion of Una Pizza Napoletana, because again, it offers a very different experience that the pizza "specialists" in SF.