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Oct 10, 2006 09:04 AM

Steak, Breakfast, Drinks and Jazz in NYC - Help

I would like your list of three things (I am after your personal favourites):

1. Best steak in NYC (eg Luger, Dylan?).

2. Best place for breakfast (eg a nice scrambled or poached eggs with smoked salmon and fantastic latte - egg quality being most important).

3. Best place for nice drinks (like an upmarket coctail bar).

4. Best place to see live jazz.

We are staying in mid-town in a few weeks, but anywhere manhattan would be great. Don't worry about price (I will do that!)

Thanks in advance.

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  1. For the best drinks, you have to go to Bar 89 (89 mercer street in Soho. They make the best cosmos in NY. I discovered the caipirinha last time I was there and they made me forget about the cosmos :) My boyfriend had the mojitos and he is still talking about them....It is a nice place. Not a trendy one where people dance on tables, just a nice place where you unwind with a drink and appetizers.

    1. steak - Peter Luger (no contest)
      eggs with salmon - Barney Greengrass (get the latte elsewhere)
      live jazz - totally driven by who's appearing where. Get a copy of TimeOut.

      1. For Jazz--see who is at Rose Hall when you are NYC. The view from there is worth seeing anyone who is performing...and you can eat in Time Warner Center restaurants or Mandarin Oriental.

        1. Luger is probably best, but, IMHO, the sirloin at Sparks is a very close second; and it's in midtown so you wont have to travel far.

          1. As for the jazz club question, there are literally dozens of venues in NYC presenting live jazz. If you are thinking of going to a jazz club, The Jazz Standard on E. 27th St. between Lexington and Park is to me the nicest of the city's major jazz spots, it has relatively comfortable seating, friendly help, pretty good acoustics, good drinks, and the pretty damn decent food from Danny Meyer's barbecue restaurant, Blue Smoke, which sits right above it (try the Memphis ribs and the homemade potato chips).

            In Midtown the latest incarnation of Birdland, on W. 44th St. just west of 8th Ave. is a very nice room with tiered seating and great sightlines. You can also sit at the bar here, which has a pretty good view of the stand, and get a drink included with your cover.

            The Village Vanguard down on 7th Ave. in (where else) the Village is the classic jazz club in NYC. It's also a bit of a dive with small tables, watered down drinks, no food, bad views from anywhere towards the back of the club, and not always helpful help. However, it's also a very good place to hear music, espcially if you arrive early and snag a place closer to the band. The acoustics are legendary and the atmosphere is certainly a throwback to an earlier era (although the prices are not).

            Iridium on Broadway in the theater district and the Blue Note in the Village generally get the biggest names. They are also the highest priced clubs and can be a bit unpleasant, with Iridium's policy of seating only dinner customers on the main level being particularly aggravating.

            The name of Dizzy's Club Coca Cola is a commercial abomination, and club itself can often show signs of the same spirit. It's part of Wynton's Jazz at Lincoln Center complex in the Time Warner Center and is priced at least as high as Iridium and Blue Note, if not higher, showing all the signs of a tourist trap. Except for 2 things: 1) fine to often truly great musicians, and 2) a hell of a romantic setting up above Columbus Circle.

            As I said though, these are just the major clubs, there are many other venues to hear great live jazz in the city, ranging from a large Lincoln Center theater, to the intimate jewel-like piano trio bar in the Kitano Hotel, to the folding chairs and get your own cheap wine setting of the Jazz Gallery, to the late night jam session barroom atmosphere of Small's, Fat Cat, or 55 Bar. As the poster above says, it really all depends on what you want to see. You should pick up a copy of Time Out, or for free the Village Voice, when you're here and check out what's going on. One recommendation though: if you want to go to a first or second set on a Friday or Saturday at a major club you really must call ahead for reservations and try to arrive early to get decent seats.