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Aug 15, 2006 04:47 PM

Suggestions for Ultimate Annual Manhattan Chow Crawl

Every year, my wife takes me to NYC for my birthday, primarily (okay, exclusively) to eat. I typically spend months researching my options, and only settle on my final choices after tortured deliberations. My primary criterion is deliciousness. Secondarily, I seek out food that I am unlikely to find in the DC area, where I live.

Recent years' highlights have included: WD-50 (dessert), Momofuku Noodle Bar (pig), Lupa (caio e pepe), Una Pizza Napoletana (pizza), inoteca (truffle toast), Shake Shack (burger), Otto (olive oil gelato!), Russ and Daughters (smoked fish), Casa mono (thrilling dining at the bar), Prune (a cocktail-soaked brunch), Dumpling House (dumplings), Sullivan Street Bakery (leek pizza), Kasadela (chicken skin), Caracas Arepa Bar (arepas), Blue Hill (chilled soup at the bar), Jewel Bako (omakase), Hearth (gnocchi), and, every time I go to NYC, Blind Tiger Ale House (IPAs).

This year, I am currently considering options such as the following:

Degustation Wine and Tasting Bar
Bouchon Bakery
Five Points
I Coppi
Wu Liang Ye
Tia Pol
Congee Village
Sushi of Gari
Pampano Taqueria

Please feel free to comment on these, or recommend any other singular tastes that I shouldn't leave New York without experiencing. Thanks in advance for your help.

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    1. take a pass on-
      bouchon bakery
      wu liang ye
      sushi gari
      you can do better!
      ie blue ribbon sushi, shun lee and levains (for choc chip cookies).... imhop

      2 Replies
      1. re: the save

        Thanks. I already had concerns about Bouchon Bakery, and will probably eliminate it from consideration.

        1. re: the save

          i dont know about shun lee and blue ribbon...wu liang ye and sushi of gari are both worlds better respectively

        2. Go to il Laboratorio del Gelato on Orchard on the LES. That's the place that makes and sells the olive oil gelato you got at Otto. They have a small retail space in the front and feature about a dozen flavors they are currently supplying to NYC restaurants.

          Also, put The Tasting Room on your list. They just reopened in a larger space on Elizabeth Street in Soho.

          2 Replies
          1. re: livetotravel

            Otto makes its own gelato.


            That's not to say that il Laboratorio is not worth a visit on its own. It probably is.

            1. re: livetotravel

              I've been to Laboratorio. Several times in fact. So, I thought I'd give it a pass on this trip for the sake of variety. But, thanks for the very good suggestion.

            2. how's about "rice to riches" on spring btwn mott and mulberry for a real rich treat. they have done some wild things with good ol' rice pudding...with flavors like "french toasts", "pina coloda", etc.
              definitely share the portion. they're huge and FILLING!!!!

              6 Replies
              1. re: ceeceee

                This suggestion sounds very intriguing. I have a weakness for rice pudding. Time to cross-reference. Any flavors you recommend as stand-outs?

                1. re: John Galt

                  They change fairly regularly. I had a cheesecake flavor not too long ago that was particularly decadent.

                  1. re: piccola

                    If you've never been there, then I would recommend stopping in for an afternoon snack. Decor is "fun and young" but they do make good rice pudding. Get the small size and split it with your wife; you might ruin your appetite for dinner! Lombardis is also across the street I believe.

                    1. re: fascfoo

                      We may well stop in for an afternoon snack. We won't need to go to Lombardi's, though, as I've been there several times before.

                  2. re: John Galt

                    I love the mascarpone with cherries. It's amazing. I like to add the graham cracker crumb topping...

                    1. re: John Galt

                      try eileen's special cheesecake...its awesome, they have individual sizes too

                  3. I'd try to get in to Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Degustation should also be a must (although Jose Andres' Minibar in DC is probably like a cross between Degustation and WD-50).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: keith

                      Degustation is my leading candidate for dinner right now. We usually do one "nice" dinner, and spend the rest of our time grazing among several less formal restaurants. Degustation is where I'm leaning for our nice dinner.