Sweet 16 for a foodie..a celebration in NYC
I am planning my teen's Sweet 16 b day and she wants to spend it in NYC of all places. It's her dream and I can fullfil it. My teen is a gourmet food eater. She loves sushi most of all so recommendations are welcome. We also seek a great lunch spot and a brunch spot. We hope to center our dining around where we are staying near 14th between 2nd and 3rd. Also, please we will be seeking a boutique hotel near 14th between 2nd and 3rd..a few miles around that area is fine. We are big walkers but prefer not to take taxis.
Any tips are most welcome.
Any idea as to budget (for both the restaurant and the hotel) and party size, not to mention any preferences of atmosphere, etc., would be helpful. What springs to mind most obviously in that area for sushi is Jewel Bako, nine blocks south of you, which is excellent and almost a pastiche of New York hip restaurant, but given the number of sushi restaurants in Manhattan this is almost a question or personality as much as anything else. Similarly, brunch or lunch could be anything from Eleven Madison Park ($$$$$ but worth it) to Mayrose ($) in your area.
If budget is not an issue, the W on Union Square is nice, but the Inn at Irving Place is amazing, and they have a wonderful tearoom, which might be nice for your daughter.
Not at all surprising to me that a 16-year-old foodie would want to spend her birthday in NYC.
The areas in the vicinity of 14th/2nd & 3rd -- Union Square, Flatiron, Gramercy Park -- are choc-a-bloc with excellent restaurants where you can enjoy a fabulous lunch and brunch.
I agree with cjd260 about Eleven Madison Park. It would be first on my list. Note: If you do brunch there, skip the breakfast items in favor of Chef Humm's exquisite lunch dishes.
Other places I would hightly recommend for lunch: Fleur de Sel (French), Gramercy Tavern (New American) and Devi (Indian).
I don't do sushi, but my daughter and her boyfriend love it, and they are big fans of Yasuda, which is on 43rd St., b/t 2nd & 3rd Avs. Since you say you like to walk, this will give you an opportunity to work up an appetite.
Re: boutique hotels. If you have no budgetary constraints and want luxury, the totally refurbished Gramercy Park Hotel recently re-opened. http://www.gramercyparkhotel.com
Happy Sweet 16 to your daughter. Have a great visit to NYC and Bon Appetit!
If you don't mind a very short subway ride, Balthazar in Soho is a really nice spot for a celebratory brunch. I took my teenage niece there and she loved it. It is very much a NY scene.
i second the rec for Inn At Irving Place: elegant and cozy and perfect location for you...
my favorite sushi place is Ushi Wakamaru: the fish is superb, though the vibe there is more casual than somewhere like Jewel Bako...i used to love Jewel Bako but i haven't been there since they changed chefs a few months ago...
for a casual E.Village brunch, you might try Cafe Mogador: great eggs w/ Moroccan ingredients and whole grain pancakes...sidenote: i disliked Mayrose when i went there a few years ago...
for lunch (or brunch), Balthazar would be fabulous fun...great bistro food if she likes oysters, they have great shellfish platters...you might even consider it for dinner if you decide not to do sushi...
although easily accessible from Union Sq is the Grand Central Oyster Bar (just one stop on the 4 or 5 express train): sitting at the counter there is a classic NY dining experience...
And if you are wandering the East Village, Lucien is a nice mellow bistro at lunch (it's very crowded at dinner though)...bouillabaise, escargot, endive salade, and chocolate cake are all delicious...