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Your Top 5 "must visit" chow-related stores in Manhattan

I plan on spending this weekend in Manhattan and would like your to know what you think are the Top 5 places that will convince me that NY is the chow epicenter of the world. I was thinking of places like Dean & Deluca, Petrossian, or Bridge Kitchenware, but I'd really like to hear what you think!

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  1. This is a very broad category, but off the top of my head, and aside from the encyclopaedic places (like Zabar, Citarella, Dean and DeLuca, Grace's, Gourmet Garage, Williams-Sonoma, Sur la table etc.), here is a very partial list:
    1. Di Palo in Little Italy for italian cured meat & cheeses, and various and sundry italian imports.
    2. Murray's for cheese.
    3. Russ and daughters or Barney Greengrass for smoked fish.
    4. JB Prince or the varioius Bowery stores for cookware / kitchenware.
    5. And finally, not in Manhattan, but worth the trip: Mitsuwa marketplace in Edgewater NJ (literally across the river from the UWS) for all manner of Japanese food and a bowl of ramen in the food court.

    1. DiPalo's
      Russ & Daughters
      Salumeria Biellese

      Don't bother with Petrossian and Dean & DeLuca. Bridge is great.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gutsofsteel

        I don't think Salumeria Biellese would make anyone think NY is the culinary epicenter of the world. It has pretty good italian subs, that's about it. Faicco's is a much better sandwich.

        I would totally recommend ess-a-bagel (the one on 21st and 1st) for bagels; Russ and Daughters for fish; DiPaolo's for Italian cheeses; etc.

      2. Murray's - cheeses
        Kalusytians - spices
        Di Palo - Italian
        Vino - Italian wines
        Fairway - a bit of a stretch as a grocery

        3 Replies
        1. re: carbonara

          I'm curious why you added "a bit of a stretch as a grocery" after Fairway?

          1. re: PeterJB

            makes sense to me - i LOVE fairway, but "grocery" puts me in mind of a more intimate little food shop... fairway's more like a supermarket. but i guess that's just semantics.

          2. re: carbonara



            Faicco or Manganaro's Groceria


            And whatever unnamed, in English, places I stumble upon in Chinatown, when looking for stuff such as bok choy, dried mushrooms, or new cheap untensils.

          3. kalustyan's, russ and daughters, di palo, murray's, and... hmm. perhaps dynasty on elizabeth street or hong kong supermarket all the way down allen street below canal for east/southeast asian goods.

            1. Biellese sells wonderful salumi. Better than Faicco's. We're not talking about prepared foods like sandwiches here.

              1. I second

                Murray's - I might also add ideal cheese (1st btwn 51st and 52nd)
                Ess-a-bagel (though I go to the one on 53rd and 3rd)

                I would also add:
                Korin for knives - even if you don't buy just drool

                Kees Chocoloates - if you haven't discovered Patricia Kee please don't do it now and ruin it for the rest of us. (Thompson st in Soho). Try the one with chilis, the champagne truffle, and the one with the creme brulee (I think that is what she calls it - it has a custard like filling) - oh yeah, she makes these by hand fresh everyday with crisp dark chocolate outer cases so you can't keep them around and nibble. We always stand on the sidewalk outside and consume them. They have made it home once to be paired with a nice pino noir.

                1. I haven't heard anyone on any of the threads talk about Arthur Avenue in the Bronx: 1) the Ravioli Store there makes the best ravioli I've ever had the pleasure of tasting (they only have one kind, ricotta, but it's good enough to call the whole store "The Ravioli Store"), 2) the Calabria Pork Store, one of the last places that makes its own sausage (fresh and dried), 3) any of the bakeries along the way here, and 4) the Arthur Ave Market itself. Yum!

                  1. Excellent so far! I plan on loading up the car with goodies for the trip home.

                    Great rare (raw) and local cheese.... yummy
                    Ethnic/Asian markets are always welcome shopping....NY only stuff like bagels or maybe Doughnut Plant?

                    I must go to Korin. I remember finding their website when I was looking for Aritsugu knives.

                    Wine stores - YES! Especially if they have a good selection of Armagnac.

                    Great ideas....keep them coming!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Blaine_s

                      If you arrive in New York on a Friday, there is a guy in the Union Square market who has the most incredible raw milk cheeses...but he produces so little cheese that he's only at the market on Fridays. Actually I did see his cheeses at the farmer's market by Lincoln Center on a Saturday. He has an artisanal dairy in New Jersey. I'm so senile I can't remember what the business is called. I think it might be Bobolink.

                      1. re: ballulah

                        bobolink is from upstate new york, so you might be thinking of a different farm.

                        oops - just saw your post below. what dairy am i thinking of?? i could have sworn the one i went to in ny was bobolink.

                        1. re: ballulah

                          Bobolink's cheeses are not as good and overpriced. I like the guy that comes on Saturdays.

                          1. re: ballulah

                            And the Chelsea Market is just up the street...

                        2. Murray's Cheese

                          Blue Ribbon Bakery Shop (the shop, not the restaurant nearby)--absolutely everything there is wonderful..the open face half sandwiches on thick bread, the honey tastings, the breads, the lemonade, the hot sauce, the duck breast...


                          Despaña Brand Foods (spanish market)

                          Chelsea Market (variety of great shops)

                          Astor Wines

                            1. Not in Manhattan but I think Sahadis on Atlantic is a must.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ChowHappy

                                Sahadi's is fantastic, but if time constraints keep you in Manhattan, Kalustyan's will do you right for a lot of the same things.

                              2. kam man food market on Canal St. and for serving your asian food, Pearl River Market on Broadway

                                1. At the moment only one to add to the nice list so far: Minamoto Kitchoan for work-of-art Japanese pastries.


                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Peter Cherches

                                    Second Kam Man on Canal (they also have dishes but Pearl River is cheaper) for Chinese. For Korean (and lots of Japanese stuff too), Han Ah Reum on 32nd Street.

                                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                                      second that! they're gorgeous. also the crepe layer cake in takashimaya.

                                    2. How about some old school Jewish bakery items while you're down on the Lower East Side or in the East Village? For the former hood, I recommend just about anything at Gertel's, on Hester Street, and, in the East Village, Moishe's Bakery. I could stuff myself all day long on their hamantashen. I also second Murray's Cheese Shop and Russ-n-Daughters. Enjoy. P.

                                      1. Definitely don't miss Kee's chocolates, but get there in the late morning for the widest variety of flavors. Too early and they aren't all ready--too late and they're all gone. I am addicted to Kee's chocolates. Try the turtles she's been making lately they are perfection in chocolate form!

                                        And definitely go to Russ and Daughters.

                                        Chelsea Market is also pretty cool, the Italian shop in the market has some interesting unique stuff, like honeys and mustards, the biggest container of nutella you've ever seen, bottarga, truffles, and an amazing home-made puttanesca sauce.

                                        1. When you're stocking up on bagels, don't forget to leave room for some Kosar's bialies.

                                          1. definitely

                                            Buon Italia in Chelsea Market
                                            Manhattan Panhandler for kitchenware
                                            Dynasty Food Market in chinatown for asian good galore
                                            Polish Butcher across the street from Velselka on lower 2nd avenue (sounds like Bazynskis)
                                            Sullivan Street Bakery

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jenniebnyc

                                              The butcher shop you're thinking of is Baczynski's. I believe I have the spelling right.

                                            2. Thank you so much Manhattan! Really I *am* going to go to these places and enjoy the wonders of you have to offer. I plan on stuffing the car full of chowish goodies.

                                              Here is a list that you have provided - it is sounding like some places are going to have to be "must visit". However, this trip I have Saturday and half of Sunday.

                                              I would like to find something special for my oh-so-food-loving wife, she is the best and it is that time of year. I will also have my wonderful 10yr old daughter in tow (likes the idea of Doughnut Plant, soba noodles, or a good butcher with aged prime)

                                              Again, thank you NY!

                                              Di Palo
                                              Russ and Daughters
                                              Barney Breengrass
                                              JP Prince
                                              Mitsuwa (not close)
                                              Salumeria Biellese
                                              Bridge Kitchenware
                                              Dynasty Food Market
                                              Hong Kong Supermarket
                                              Kees Chocolates
                                              Ravioli Store
                                              Calabria Pork Store
                                              Bakeries in Arthur Ave
                                              Arthur Ave Market
                                              Farmer's Market
                                              Blue Ribbon Bakery Shop
                                              Despana Brand Foods
                                              Chelsea Market
                                              Astor Wines
                                              Kam Man
                                              Pearl River Market
                                              Minamoto Kitchoan
                                              Han Ah Reum
                                              Hoishe's Bakery
                                              Boun Italia
                                              Manhattan Panhandler
                                              Polish Butcher
                                              Sullivan Street Bakery

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Blaine_s

                                                So you don't have trouble locating it, a slight spelling correction: Kalustyan's. Also, as noted above, it's Broadway Panhandler.

                                                1. re: RGR

                                                  Sorry, wrote this after a few margaritas at Dos Caminos....(new 51st street location...margs and guac actually very good... everything else very average!!!) Thanks for the correction.

                                                2. re: Blaine_s

                                                  "Hoishe's Bakery" is actually "Moishe's", with an "M". It is on 2nd Avenue, near the corner of 7th I believe, in the East Village. While
                                                  I sing the praises of their Hamantashen, others on this board have
                                                  raved about their black and white cookie. There is another Moishe's,
                                                  on Grand Street (I'm not sure if they're related), a few blocks east of Kossar's Bialys (not on your list, definitely should be), which
                                                  was mentioned by another poster above. I believe Kossar's to be a
                                                  true, unique NYC experience - and should not be missed. Around the corner, on Essex, is another absolute New York must: The Pickle Man, (across from the handball courts). You can sample from about 20 or more incredible varieties. Enjoy, and please report back. P.

                                                  1. re: Polecat

                                                    I third Kossar's. I walked in there and suddenly felt like I was in another era. A crusty, grizzled old dude with a big unlit cigar hanging out of his mouth was croaking out some odd funny comments to the lady behind the cash register. Those bialys are like nothing else. Yum.

                                                3. Oh--you will be having a foodies buying heaven! I highly recommend all the places above on your list. If you venture out to Jackson Heights, there is a fantastic Indian grocery store on 74th Street, right off the subway stop. Very ethnic, even selling pan on the street.
                                                  The best meat market in the East village is the East Village Meat Market on 2nd Avenue and 9th Street (east side of the street)--everything is primo. I ran into Helen Mirren the other day stocking up on $50 worth of goodies and not one person in there recognized her. She was speaking Russian with the best of them and I could tell she loved every minute of it. After all, she is "The Queen!"

                                                  There is also a very good Mexican chili and spice market called the Kitchen Market next door to the Bright Foods on 8th Avenue and 21st Street. Authentic and a nice selection.
                                                  Enjoy your weekend and eat your heart out! Keep us informed of your favorites ,. . . . . .

                                                  1. economy candy on rivington st on the les
                                                    wherever the original guss' pickles is now for new 'kraut
                                                    amys bread in chelsea market
                                                    murrays bagels on 8th ave near 23rd st in chelsea
                                                    carry out tea & sympathy on greenwich st in the west village for strawberry rhubarb custard hard candies

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: ericalloyd

                                                      I second the vote for Economy Candy! They have delicious chocolate covered dried cherries, fantastic Australian Kookabura licorice (red and black), and every possible candy you remember and loved from childhood that you thought they stopped making and plenty of new stuff to discover. Amazing place.

                                                    2. I'd make sure to go to Zabar's

                                                      1. Zabar's is definitely at the top of my list on 80th and Broadway. Bridge Kitchenware is fabulous. Go early to Kee's chocolates - if you wait too long in the day she runs out! Il Laboratorio de Gelato; Chelsea Market; Kitchen Arts and Letters for cookbooks; Sullivan Street Bakery; Kam Man in Chinatown; Chinatown Ice Cream Factory; Veniero's - love the old style Sicilian pastries - a favorite of my Italian grandmother's; and I completely second others who have suggested making the drive to the Bronx for that ravioli store - it's well worth the trip!

                                                        11 Replies
                                                        1. re: isabellaflynn

                                                          I neglected to mention Veniero's because I don't think the original
                                                          poster is looking for sit-down places, but it's an excellent
                                                          suggestion. I also second (or third, or fourth) Economy Candy, on
                                                          Rivington, as well as the Sweet Life on Hester (same block as
                                                          Gertel's Bakery), for some sinfully sweet chocolate-covered
                                                          marshmallows on a stick, as well as other treats.

                                                          1. re: Polecat

                                                            i second the sweet life. it's a wonderful little store with a very carefully-chosen selection of merchandise, great prices on fresh nuts, and fantastic but not fussy homemade candies. i'm partial to the peanut butter cups and the dark chocolate-dipped pistachio marzipan.

                                                          2. re: isabellaflynn

                                                            Those ravioli are amazing, aren't they? No comparison to any other I've tried.

                                                            1. re: ballulah

                                                              Really? How do they compare to Borgatti's?

                                                              1. re: Striver

                                                                You know what, I just Googled Borgatti's and THAT is what I've been referring to as "The Ravioli Store." Haha. I was at the Calabria Pork Store and I asked them where to go for good ravioli in the neighborhood, and they said, "The ravioli store just up the street and around the corner." (I guess I added my own caps.) They only have the one kind, right? And they're unbelievable.

                                                                Now that I think about it "The Ravioli Store" is on Grand in Little Italy, and they're not really very good at all.

                                                                1. re: ballulah

                                                                  Whew! That's a relief. Borgatti's ravioli are outstanding (as is their fresh-cut pasta in general) - I thought there was some other place I didn't know about!

                                                                  They also do meat and spinach ravioli, but AFAIR they're only made in the small size. The large ricotta ravioli are just as you say - out of this world good.

                                                                  1. re: Striver

                                                                    When I went in the first time I asked them what kind of ravioli they had, and the lady at the counter shrugged and smiled and said, "Only one kind."

                                                                    1. re: Striver

                                                                      I'm obsessed with Borgatti's, and have been going there lots recently. (Lots of us sung their praises here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/... ). They sell three kinds of ravioli: large ricotta (yes, as Striver says, out of this world good), small ricotta, and small spinach and meat. The filling is silken salty goodness. The pasta shell is fantastic too, with great flavor and great chew.

                                                                      But in my opinion, the filling to pasta ratio is better with the large raviolis. I have yet to sample the meat and spinach ones, but when I was in the shop the other day they were cooking up the meat. The garlic meaty smell was hit-you-in-the-pit-of-the-stomach incredible.

                                                                      They also sell fresh egg pasta, cavatelli, manicotti, and dried carrot pasta, squid ink pasta and others.

                                                                      As for what else to add to this great thread, I'm tempted to organize this geographically:

                                                                      Soho--Kee's, sullivan street bakery (under a new name), the yogurt place (get the greek yogurt with fruit puree, and nuts on top), then walk up to Raffetto's, a great old-school fresh pasta place in its own right (the saffron pasta is fantastic).

                                                                      Chelsea Market--would add ronnybrook farms yogurt drinks, amy's bread for sourdough dark chocolate chip twists, pain du matin from sarabeth's

                                                                      LES--start at russ and daughters, then head down to the pickle guys on essex, the doughnut plant, kossars +/- gertels. the candy place. then laboratorio di gelato (closes at 6 pm, watch it


                                                                      or skip it all, and go up to Arthur Ave--Calabria pork store (get the fresh ricotta), beloved Borgatti's, and Morrone's (more on this place later, deserves its own thread, on Outer Boroughs, of course!)...and while on the outer boroughs digression, you can go to atlantic avenue and hit sahadi's and damascus bakery (incredible fresh pita)

                                                                      1. re: rose water

                                                                        I would like to add two things to the Soho/tribeca section - Korin and if you go to Sullivan Street Bakery (under its new name) there is a great greek yogurt store right next door. I went on a culinary tour with Mitchell from the James Beard Foundation and he introduced us to Kee's, Sullivan Street (we got to go in the back and get a pizza bianca demo - if they have it hot you have to buy some), Reffetto's, Korin and the greek yogurt place along with a ton of other stuff.

                                                                        1. re: rose water

                                                                          oops. to continue my geographic chow shopping jaunt--head up from raffetto's to blue ribbon bakery for olive oil salt foccacia bread and incredible honey. then go to porto rico for cheap organic fair trade coffee. grab a spicy beef bing at roll and dough, then head over to amy's bread and murray's cheese.

                                                                      2. re: ballulah

                                                                        Rafetto's on Houston near 6th Avenue. There since 1906 I think and has raviolis, the best dry pasta and lots of other gems.

                                                                        Still family run.

                                                                2. Rocco's on Bleeker for canoli's and whats the name of the knish place on Houston down from Russ & Daughters

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. The meat store in Fairway in Harlem
                                                                    The vestibule in Balthazar on a snowy evening
                                                                    Eating sushi at the window of Dean & DeLucca on a summer's day
                                                                    The coffee section of Zabar's any time

                                                                    - Sean

                                                                    1. despana for thier jamon iberico products
                                                                      dean and deluca cheese section ain't bad either. . .i'm currently hooked on monte enebro, which you can get at any of the three places above.
                                                                      balthazar bakery
                                                                      wine therapy on elizabeth for unique wines

                                                                      1. Holy smokes - what a thread! The original poster posted just a day ago or so, and look at the response. Can you imagine if the request actually pertained to all 5 boroughs? We'd be breaking records here.

                                                                        By the by, where exactly is Borgatti's anyway?

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Polecat

                                                                          Borgatti's is just off of the main drag at Arthur Ave, on 187th Street.


                                                                        2. wow, I am totally overwhelmed. This thread is going to be the basis of *several* trips to load up the car with all things wonderful. A sincere thank you to everybody that has posted.

                                                                          So much for a Top 5!

                                                                          But at least there seem to be several favorites that are going to have to be "must visits" for this trip. Google Maps and TomTom are going to get a workout on this trip!

                                                                          Here's the list so far:

                                                                          Di Palo
                                                                          Russ and Daughters
                                                                          Barney Breengrass
                                                                          JP Prince
                                                                          Salumeria Biellese
                                                                          Bridge Kitchenware
                                                                          Dynasty Food Market
                                                                          Hong Kong Supermarket
                                                                          Kees Chocolates
                                                                          Ravioli Store
                                                                          Calabria Pork Store
                                                                          Bakeries in Arthur Ave
                                                                          Arthur Ave Market
                                                                          Kossar's Bialys
                                                                          Blue Ribbon Bakery Shop
                                                                          Despana Brand Foods
                                                                          Chelsea Market
                                                                          Astor Wines
                                                                          Kam Man
                                                                          Pearl River Market
                                                                          Minamoto Kitchoan
                                                                          Han Ah Reum
                                                                          Moishe's Bakery
                                                                          Boun Italia
                                                                          Broadway Panhandler
                                                                          Polish Butcher
                                                                          Sullivan Street Bakery
                                                                          Cheese Guy at Lincoln Center Farmer's Market
                                                                          The Pickle Man
                                                                          East Village Meat Market
                                                                          Kitchen Market
                                                                          Economy Candy
                                                                          Amy's Bread
                                                                          Murray's Bagels
                                                                          Laboratorio de Gelato
                                                                          Kitchen Arts
                                                                          Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
                                                                          Sweet Life
                                                                          Borgatti's (aka "The Ravioli Store")
                                                                          The Yogurt Place
                                                                          The Pickle Guys
                                                                          Doughnut Plant
                                                                          Damascus Bakery
                                                                          Yonah Shimmel
                                                                          Wine Therapy
                                                                          Balthazar Bakery

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Blaine_s

                                                                            Just thought I'd point out that Mitsuwa is actually in Edgewater, NJ. I think the original recommendation mentioned that, but thought I'd throw it out there again. It's a great spot, despite it's NJ location. Don't go on Sunday if you plan to visit, it's in Bergen County, and most retailers in Bergen County are closed on Sunday (bizarro local ordinance that attempts - quite well - to keep New Yorkers on their own side of the river on Sundays).

                                                                            The Polish Butcher and Baczynski's are one and the same...although none of the Eastern Euro butchers in Manhattan hold a stubby little candle to the Polish butchers in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I have 5 different ones for 5 different kinds of sausage, but I'll spare you for the moment!

                                                                            And the cheese guy in Lincoln Square Market is Jonathan White from Bobolink Dairy.

                                                                            And for ease of finding it, it's Barney Greengrass rather than Breengrass. Best white fish salad ever!

                                                                            1. re: ballulah

                                                                              you should post your greenpoint polish sausage recs on the outer boroughs board when you get a chance.

                                                                              1. re: wleatherette

                                                                                Hi wleatherette, I took your advice and wrote a veritable paean to Greenpoint sausage on the Outer Boroughs board.


                                                                              2. re: ballulah

                                                                                is it a Polish butcher or Ukrainian? We are talking about the place on 1st btwn 5th and 6th streets, correct?

                                                                                1. re: jth

                                                                                  I thought they were Polish, but there is a lot of cross-pollination between Ukrainians and Poles and I could be wrong, or the lines could be hazy. I know there are several in the general East Village area, and I've tried them all, but in my opinion they've all seen better days.

                                                                            2. Myers of Keswick on Hudson for pork pies, bangers, cadburys and curried lamb pies with salt and vinegar crisps-cheerio!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                Oh my gosh, I think I have to swing by there after work now. I read "pork pie" and felt a wash of nostalgia come over me. I haven't had one of those in almost 20 years.

                                                                              2. Lobels
                                                                                Schaller and Weber
                                                                                Russ and Daughters

                                                                                In any order you wish.

                                                                                Honorable mention Kalustyan's.

                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Daniel76

                                                                                  Finally someone mentioned Schaller and Weber. Try their double smoked bacon that was written up in NY TImes magazine a few weeks ago....very nice store with great meat selection as well as Eastern European canned and packaged things....

                                                                                  1. re: erica

                                                                                    Schaller & Weber is fantastic! It reminds me of when I was a kid and my mother bought all of our cold cuts for my school lunches from this little out of the way place (in NM) called the Alpine Kitchen. They used to make a lot of their own cold cuts. There's nothing like real bologna!! Haha.

                                                                                    1. re: erica

                                                                                      If you do smoke, please try Schaller and Weber..

                                                                                      Thats the bacon I use.. I buy it in slabs and its the butters.. I dont like to cook with any other bacon..

                                                                                      1. re: Daniel76

                                                                                        What do you mean.."it's the butters?" I bought the double-smoked, after reading the Times story..it is sold already packed in pound slabs...I think I paid $9 for the whole package. A little goes a long way...it imparts a fabulous flavor...that entire store is so grat, I guess it is because of the neighborhood that it does not get mentioned more on chowhound...and the guys working there are very nice. They have about a billion other things that looked interesting to me..or maybe a million..

                                                                                        1. re: erica

                                                                                          its the butters is the 1998 equivalent to it's boss.

                                                                                          1. re: jasmurph

                                                                                            Actually, they used to have the best butter in big lumps,and the very best rye and pumpernickel, I'd go there just for that.

                                                                                  2. i haven't been food shopping in the city in a decade, but i remember going to balducci's and they had wonderful stuff. can someone that's still in the metro area tell me what's up with balducci's? i know it closed and i heard when it reopened it was way too overpriced... is it still around? and if so, is it crappy compared to these other places? i'm only 25, so i don't know how discerning my taste was when i was 15, and i was also using my parents' $, so i don't remember prices.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: MOOKIECOOKIE

                                                                                      ridiculously high prices, higher even than some of the expensive nyc options, and without commensurate quality.

                                                                                      1. re: MOOKIECOOKIE

                                                                                        a new one opened on 14th and 8th, in the old carpet store bank building. if anything, it's at least worth a trip to check out the building. they restored the frescoes on the ceiling and it's just beautiful in there.

                                                                                        they have a great selection, but a lot of it can be found cheaper elsewhere. if you were to go to balducci's, i'd say help yourself to some of their prepared food, which is quite good.

                                                                                      2. Katz's - they'll hand slice the pastrami or corned beef and cryo-vac it for you. If nothing else, stop by for a sandwich on the way to Russ & Daughters.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: applehome

                                                                                          Can you tell me more about this? This might be a dumb question, but how long would/could the meat last, etc?

                                                                                          1. re: Beans

                                                                                            I have no idea.

                                                                                            In my house, it lasts about 30 minutes after I get home off the Acela...

                                                                                            I think that it will last a very long time as far as bacteria is concerned. When I get home, it has been unrefrigerated for 3 1/2 hours or more with no ill effect - it is vacuum sealed, after all. You could freeze it and later put it in boiling water to thaw and reheat. The question is whether or not the texture would be the same as when you stand in line and the guy hands you that wonderful hand-sliced meat on real NY rye.

                                                                                            It's pretty good when you have it within hours with bag-in reheating in boiled water (I never nuke the stuff). It does fall apart a little - but nobody cares... it tastes the same! Whether keeping it longer in the fridge or freezing it would really turn it to mush, I don't know. I think that if I wanted to keep it longer, I would get a whole piece and slice it myself when ready to eat. My experience with my own pastrami is that I cook it in the smoker a little less done (to 175 instead of 190), then seal it and throw it in the fridge. When I want to eat it, I take it out and braise it for 2 hours at 275 - what comes out is moist, tender, and looks a lot like Katz's - just doesn't taste the same. So maybe you could get Katz's whole (or say a 2-3 pound chunk), then keep it as long as you wanted (sealed in the freezer), and thaw, braise, and slice it when you're ready to eat.

                                                                                        2. We're getting ready! Thank you to everybody that posted. I let you know where we ended up.

                                                                                          1. Think you've hit a nerve...As if you needed more, I'll echo 5 mentioned and attempt 5 more:

                                                                                            DiPalo Italian specialties in Little Italy
                                                                                            Murray's Cheese in West Village
                                                                                            Il Laboratorio dei Gelato in the Lower East Side
                                                                                            Russ and Daughters

                                                                                            Dumpling House on Eldridge in Chinatown
                                                                                            Junior's Cheesecake in Brooklyn or Grand Central Station
                                                                                            Union Square Greenmarket, especially the Lamb farmers
                                                                                            Ottomanelli's Butchers shop in W. Village
                                                                                            Blue Ribbon bakery (the actual bakery) in W. Village

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: yurasia

                                                                                              On the Lamb farmers: I'm crazy for the lamb neck sold by the women with the booth on the North side of the market. Amazing stew meat.

                                                                                            2. i don't think anyone's mentioned jefferson's market. its on 6th and... 11th? i think? they have great prepared food.

                                                                                              another specialty shop i sort of think is fun (for your daughter too) is rice to riches. all different kinds of rice pudding.

                                                                                              1. I just realized that no one, including me, has mentioned the Essex Street Market (on Essex and Delancey). It's close to all the LES establishments we've sent you to. If you have a moment to pop in you'll find wonderful and unusual Latin American produce.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: ballulah

                                                                                                  Not to mention Saxelby's Cheese and Essex Formaggio-see NY Times this past Wednesday and my past posts on fromageries.

                                                                                                2. Here are wo more that I like although they might not be in anyone's Top 5:

                                                                                                  International Foods 9th Avenue and 40th Street....Greek-owned store with excellent taramasalata, fresh yougurt, spices, Greek cheeses, olives, etc.

                                                                                                  Agata and Valentina..first Ave and 79th Street...good for the times when you cannot get to DIPalo. Italian-heavy general market; semi-good prices on fresh produce, and excellent chese dept, fresh pastas, good meats and fish. One of my favorite prepared dishes: glazed duck legs..

                                                                                                  1. I'm not sure why one would venture to Sahadis and not go to Court st. pastry, arguably, the best old school Italian bakery in nyc.

                                                                                                    1. Kee's chocolate is terrific, but please also add La Maison du Chocolat to the list. Transcendental champagne/cognac truffles will blow anyone away. These days I eat mostly Amedei's (chuao and porcelana) and Domori's chocolate bars and occasionally Michel Cluizel (Hacienda "Los Ancones") which has a store in Manhattan as well. But Kee's and La Maison du Chocolat's creations are sublime in very different ways. Nothing in NYC comes close.

                                                                                                      My top 5 in Manhattan: 1. for my sweet tooth, La Maison du Chocolat or Kee's if the weather is cool, Il Laboratorio dei Gelato if it is hot. 2 Sullivan Street Bakery or Grandaisy Bakery for bread. 3. Murray's cheese for cheese, 4. for interesting gourmet foods: Dean and Deluca or Fairway or Zabar's or Russ and Daughters , sorry, just can't decide at the moment, 5. For Asian grocery: Dynasty food market or Kam Mam.

                                                                                                      1. We had a fantastic, and all I can say is "Thank You New York!"

                                                                                                        Before I started this thread the original plan was to just see La Bohème at the Met, we really wanted to hear the Spanish tenor Rolando Villazón.

                                                                                                        So I thought about dinner, read many of the Chowhound threads on Lincoln Center and where to eat, then thought that we could arrive earlier and do some shopping and we have Sunday free until we have to drive home. So we did our best to get around Manhattan on what seemed to be a busy weekend even by your standards.

                                                                                                        First thing, we arrived by around noon and were starving. Turned out our hotel was in a predominately Korean neighborhood on W 32nd near Broadway. We didn't make it more than a block away before we ducked into a little place that looked too good to pass up....and we were starving!

                                                                                                        It was called Gahm Mi Oak and it did not dissapoint! We sat at the traditional tables - "do yo mind sitting on the floor" our server asked? Nope, just fork over one of those pots of kim chee and a pair of scisors and we'll be fine. The kim chee was some of the best we've had - although others may say that their Mom's is better :-) My daughter had the squid entre - very fresh, tender, simple, large portion. My wife had the scallion pancakes and I had the sollongtang which is a milky white broth with rice hiding in the bottom, white noodles and very thin slices of beef. It had a wonderful beef flavor without being heavy at all. Add your own green onions, salt, pepper - tasty! Seriously wonderful bowl on a December afternoon.

                                                                                                        After that it was a cab up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see "William" and check out some mummies. Every visit has to include a trip to the Met because there are just so many wonderful things.

                                                                                                        It was a short visit and we needed to run back to the hotel and get ready for the opera.

                                                                                                        Dinner was at Compass which we chose based on other Chowhounds and it's proximity to Lincoln Center. We had an early 5:30pm reservation to be sure we had enough time to dine. We started with glasses of Vouvray Sec (nice, light bodied). The amuse bouche as a small tile of perfectly rare seared tuna that was tender and what you would expect. Next was the wine list. It was fantastic. You could find great wines in any price range. It was a toss up for us between CA Pinot and Burgundy, but as usual Burgundy won. The wine steward helped us with our selection and I highly recommend his service. He was unpretentious, knowledgeable, and just guided our decision. Ended up with a young 2004 Gran Cru Echézeaux from Mongeard-Mugneret (tight, pretty, mostly red fruit, good length). My wife had two first courses - skate wing with cauliflower, capers and arugula in Brown Butter that was light crispy rich and wonderful with the wine despite the cauliflower. Then the duck confit risotto with butternut squash, soy beans and black truffles - rich duck, earthy truffles and the soy beans were a nice foil. My daughter had the grilled 21day dry aged sirloin smoked fingerling potatoes, salt roasted onions and oyster mushrooms in Bordelaise sauce - ordered medium rare and came medium. I cut them some slack since it was a dry aged steak. The oyster mushrooms were blown out of the water buy the Bordelaise and only really provided texture. Luckily the sauce was good. Fingerlings were sliced thin and were tender and firm without falling apart. The steak was fine but nothing special. I started with a grilled whitefish (I forget - it was like white sturgeon) dense, fresh, sweet, outstanding. Then I had the Colorado leg of lamb with chick peas, cardoons, Swiss chard and braised shank stuffed prunes. The leg was small cubes of tender medium rare lamb that was pretty but the braised shank and stuffed prunes was just what the Echézeaux was looking for and really paired well. For dessert I had the study of apples - four types of apples made four ways. The surprise of the four was the fresh apple with small sections of white chocolate and fresh black truffle. It really worked! My wife had sorbets (all very well done) and daughter vanilla ice cream (rich and again, well done), 10 yr. Grahams tawny, smiles all around. The last surprise came with the chocolates. One was pork rind in white chocolate - don't knock it until you try it!!! WOW, we loved it. Salty, crunchy, and just a bit creamy rich - taken strictly in moderation.

                                                                                                        Coffee, and it was off to the Opera.

                                                                                                        Sunday was more food-focused but I'll have to type that up tomorrow.

                                                                                                        to be continued....

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Blaine_s

                                                                                                          Great report! I look forward to the continuation.

                                                                                                        2. OK - Here's Part II

                                                                                                          What I forgot to mention was that after our visit to the Met, we took a cab over to Kitchen Arts and Letters. What a wonderful little bookstore with the best (by far!) cookbook collection I've ever seen. I couldn't put down the volumes from el Bulli. At first I didn't want to pick them up because the chalk looked real and I thought I'd better not ruin a very expensive book. Then I noticed they were display copies and carefully thumbed my way through. We picked up a few rare Japanese books and chatted with the people working behind the counter. We told them how we lost hundreds of cookbooks last year in a flood and of all the things we lost, the cookbooks are some of the things we miss most. It was nice to see so many of them in one place again.

                                                                                                          The next day we checked out of out hotel at a leisurely time and claimed our car so that we could drive, eat, and fill up the car as we shopped.

                                                                                                          Breakfast first. My daughter is a bagel fanatic so it was off to Ess-a-Bagel on 3rd Ave. The parking gods were with us as we found a spot on the same block. As we were trying to feed the meter there was a shout from a man entering his building -
                                                                                                          "you don't need to pay on Sunday". "Thanks!" we yelled - nice people in NY? You bet.

                                                                                                          Around the corner was the best bagel we've ever had. There was a line but we still were able get a small table by the door. I watched "Richard" barking out orders to the customers - I only know his name because he had it hanging around his neck on a bicycle-sized license plate. Plain with cream cheese, toasted plain, plain with lox - they were unreal. Our jaw muscles got a workout. These are some of the larger bagels I've had and they have a wonderful chew. The outside was glossy and a touch crispy, the smell...yummmm. The coffee was really not so bad and very hot :-) . But it was the seriously good bagels that had our attention. We loaded up on a dozen for the road along with an Ess-a-Bagel T-shirt for my daughter.

                                                                                                          We drove past Bridge Kitchenware, which unfortunately was closed on Sunday, on our way to Rockefeller Center to visit Minamoto Kitchoan. Ok, what are the chances that on the first try we could pull up to Rockafeller Center and park right in front of Morrell Wine Bar / Dean & Deluca on a weekend full of holiday events? I'm telling you the parking gods were with us.

                                                                                                          My wife was off to Minamoto and I had to check out the selection at Morrell. Usually they aren't open on Sunday but we lucked out that they were open by 10 AM on Sunday - "Holiday Hours". I spent an hour talking wine with August and loaded up on some bottles that I usually can't find such as Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc - come on! My wife returned loaded with goodies from Minamoto and we moved over to the Japanese bookstore to pick up even more books and anime T-shirts for my daughter's stocking.

                                                                                                          We hated to leave our prized parking space but the police were starting to block off the plaza and we had places to go.

                                                                                                          Next was down to Kee's Chocolates with the hopes that she hadn't sold everything yet. Again, the parking gods were with us and we parked about a block away. We rushed over to Kee's and sure enough, there was a line with people scraping up what ever she had. With the tiny tiny space of her store it is clear that she makes them and sells them. I am glad to see that people support such a small business. When it was our turn we just said "We'll take two of each- whatever is left". There were 8 types left along with a dark chocolate "creme brulee" that had to be eaten in one bite within the day. I didn't hesitate and ate mine right there on the spot - oh so good....the chocolate had a good snap and the creamy center was fresh, liquid, and delicious. I can't wait to try the others. Kee was making the next round of chocolates and my daughter decided to ask her some questions what she was doing. Despite the crowd she was so polite and asked my daughter what she liked. It turns out that my daughter isn't such a big chocolate fan but said she liked the idea of green tea. Kee picked out a white chocolate truffle with green tea from the case and handed it to my daughter and said "see if you like this". She was so nice. We wanted to support her store and buy more chocolates but at this point the line was well out the door and it was clear that she didn't have any problems selling her beautiful chocolates! We'll be back.

                                                                                                          I wanted to go to Sullivan Street Bakery next which should have been right where we parked the car. Then I remembered that somebody posted that their name changed and I realized that Grandaisy Bakery was the place Chowhounds had recommended. We bought ciabatta, and other breads along with a sandwich with fresh arugula, cured meat, and parmesan - it hit the spot. A pre-lunch if you will. The ends of the breads were chewed off before they made it to the car. I really liked how they balanced a very crispy crust that was still delicate and a yeasty chewy middle that just had a real authentic flavor. Few things beat a good loaf of bread.

                                                                                                          Next door was the Ravioli Store. Here we bought both fresh and dried pastas along with fresh mozzarella. Then it was two doors down to the greek yoghurt store - "The Yoghurt Place II" to stock up on strained yoghurt, and Greek pastries. They look so good!

                                                                                                          Then it was off to our next destination - Murray's Cheese. When we found the location the streets were packed with people enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon but despite the crowds we parked within three blocks within minutes. On our way we had to make a detour. John's Pizzeria just said - "eay NY pizza you fool" and we were sucked in the door to have a slice of NY goodness. After we ordered (only cheese - we wanted to have focus) and I had a pint of Yuegling, I asked if I could have a look at the oven. They were more than happy to show me the coal fired wonder. I wish I could cook pizza at 700F. I went back to the table and the pizza arrived. Thin, crisp, yet still had a chewy layer between the slightly blackened bottom crust and the bubbly brown top. I could also smell a nicely fermented dough. Yum!

                                                                                                          Murray's didn't disappoint either. We have a good cheese store (Formaggio Kitchen) but the staff at Murray's was so helpful. We may have picked up a few too many washed-rind cheeses including a very stinky Epoisse but our cooler had a very ripe odor on the way back. The cheeses are now out in our shed (at ~45F) because they are way too stinky to put in our refrigerator! Stink is good.
                                                                                                          I can't wait to try some of the olive oils including the EVO and the "Pugliese" along with the San Marzano tomatoes. Another T-shrit for my daughter and we were off.

                                                                                                          We drove past Di Palo's but time was starting to run out and we needed something sweet. Down to the bowery and Orchard St. to Il Laboratorio di Gelato. We saw some at Murray's in the freezer but wanted to get some from the source.

                                                                                                          The parking gods again were on our side and we parked in front of Il Laboratorio de Gelato. I couldn't believe it.

                                                                                                          I had Guinness (sweet, not too beer-ish) and espresso (rich coffee and some grounds). My wife had passion fruit (slightly bitter and very concentrated and very good) and my daughter vanilla (rich and excellent). They were all tasty and we loaded the cooler with to go portions of malt and dark chocolate. We can't wait to try them.

                                                                                                          We walked up the street to find a pickle market - Guss's Pickles. Now based on the chowhounds I wanted to take my wife to "The Pickle Guy" but she had to have something from these blue barrels of goodness. We tried the fresh "greenies", more sour pickles, and the spicy pickles. All excellent and even more fun just bought on the street from these big barrels. Again, we'll be back. There could be nothing like these fresh NY pickles. Eating such good inexpensive simple food in a part of NY that has so much immigrant history really made us think of how so much of your food is sculpted by the wonderful mix of cultures that have made their way through this part of the country.

                                                                                                          At this point we had one more non-culinary stop at the Noguchi museum on our way out of town. It was a wonderful place to reflect and think.

                                                                                                          As you can imagine it was a great trip and we are looking forward to visiting so many of the places mentioned in this thread that we did not make it to. You are all so lucky to live in a city so rich in culture and food! We love to visit and hope that next time we will be as welcomed as we were this time.

                                                                                                          Again, to everybody that has posted here on chowhound, and to all of the great people we met, thank you.

                                                                                                          1. Thanks for taking the time to write it all up. It sounds like you had a really great trip. It's a wonderful place to visit, (but you couldn't pay me enough to live there... oh, maybe...).

                                                                                                            1. I live in the Village and you described what I do every weekend (including buying the T-shirts, although I don't yet have one from Ess-a-bagel!). Thanks for reminding me not to take any of it for granted. Bon apetit!

                                                                                                              1. I noticed that http://saxelbycheese.com has only been mentioned once. Well, here it is again, should be mentioned more and more on future lists.

                                                                                                                1. I think Gus's Pickles should be on here as well.