Suggestions for Chelsea and beyond?
I'm visiting New York for a week in April. My friend and I will be staying in Chelsea and would appreciate recommendations for good spots in that neighborhood. Also looking for recommendations for good dinners throughout Manhattan.
We are flexible on price range because we plan to save money some times (cooking at the apt., cheap breakfasts) and splurging on others (nice romantic dinners with good quality food). I love sushi and have always heard about Nobu. Are there other equally-recommendable places?
Last question - grocery stores. We live in the Bay Area and regularly shop at places like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Monterey Market, and when we feel crazy, Berkeley Bowl (if you've ever lived in the east bay, you know what I mean). I plan on hitting the Washington Square Farmers Market, but can you recommend good grocery stores?
Tia Pol along 10th Ave corner 23rd Street is a very good authentic Spanish tapas place ... and I very well know that good Spanish tapas is a super rarity in the Bay Area.
La Lunchonette, also along 10th Ave. and 18th Street is a small, unassuming, yet comfortable French bistro. Their simple, yet homey, dishes are more than decent.
hi there, as a bay area transplant (and chelsea resident), i think the previous posters have suggested some great places. i would just add Pearl Oyster Bar in the west village (very close to chelsea). It's a casual, new england style seafood place with legendary lobster rolls. although we get great seafood in the bay area, there is nothing quite like this. i always take friends visiting from the bay area and they love it.
right around the corner on bleeker is a fantastic cheese shop, Murrays. it would be a great place to stock up for a picnic. I go there when I get nostalgic for Cowgirl Creamery at the ferry building!
enjoy your visit!
If you're looking for good barbecue, you can go to RUB, which is on 23rd between 7th and 8th. For Thai, Pongsrii (23rd between 6th and 7th) is pretty good and not that expensive, although if you're willing to travel a bit go out to Woodside and Flushing in Queens for good Thai and Chinese.
I agree with the recommendation that you check out Chelsea Market.
Otherwise in the Chelsea area, I like Rocking Horse, Bright Food Shop, Elmo, Le Gamin for brunch. La Bergamote and Chelsea Market are good for breakfast pastries. Little Pie Company and Billy's for traditional desserts.
For other meals, Maroons (southern), Crispo (Italian), Le Zie (Italian, not as good as Crispo), Red Cat (American).
The places that other hounds have suggested are right on the money, but for sushi, I will suggest some options for you choice:
For sushi and sashimi:
Sushi Yasuda - best traditional types of sushi (not fusion) in NYC, expensive
Sushi of Gari - one of the best fusion (or new wave) sushi, expensive
Ushi Wakamaru - similar to Gari, but less expensive. the sushi, however, are equally good
****When you go to any of the 3 places above, you should only focus on their sushi (and try your best to get to the sushi and order omakase). Their cooked food is less impressive******
****For fusion Japanese food:
- Sumile - small cozy restaurant with extremely tasty french -Japanese fusion food. Moderate price. Get one of the tasting menus which wil include sushi and entrees
- Kanoyama - the best bargain in the city. Both sushi and cooked food are very delicious, and relatively cheap compared to others. Less innovative but the tasty food over-compensate for this.
- Le Miu - this is a smaller, less glamourous version of Nobu. In fact some of the chefs were from Nobu. Less focus on sushi and more innovative cooked dishes. Price is very reasonable.
For these places, you can go for sushi and cooked dishes, and for most just pick the tasting menu for a complete meal ************
Now back to Nobu. I USED TO love Nobu when there were less branches and less "commercial". But the Nobu's nowadays are not remotely as good as before. The food is good, but not great. The major problem is that the food can be very inconsistent, mostly because the main chefs either become famous and open their own restaurants (think Morimoto) and the management is weak when you have so many branches around. Service and decor are of course top notch. So if you are up to the scene, Nobu may be the choice. If food is your main focus, then go elsewhere.
You can find all these restaurant menus and links at www.menupages.com
As for market, if you like seafood, Chelsea market and Citarella both have excellent choices of seafood. There is also a smaller indoor market right at the Grand Central Terminal where they have fresh seafood, meat, ham, olives, condiments, and Murray Chesse Store! Dean and Deluca on Prince street has a wide selection of hard-to-find imported goods, plus their deli is excellent). Lastly, Di Palo and Despana, while much smaller in size, have a lot of great Italian food (parma ham, home-made mozzerella, and cheese) and Spanish goods (serrano ham).
Hope you have a wonderful trip!
I love Nobu (but only the downtown one) and Nobu Next Door (which is next to it!), and highly recommend them for a splurge. Stay away from the 57th Street Nobu - to me it is the McDonalds of Nobu.
For an inexpensive sushi meal near Chelsea, try Mizu at 29 E 20th.
My highest quality delicious lunch recommendation (if you eat Korean) is to go to Seoul Garden on 32nd street (40W? It is on the 2nd floor) and have seafood soon doo bu. It'll set you back just over $10 each which given the quality, taste, and volume of food, is pretty damn good value.
For markets in chelsea there is Garden of Eden as mentioned above, the Chelsea Market and Whole Foods on W. 24th and 7th ave. Some of the resturants above arent' Chelsea exactly. My favorite place specifically in Chelsea is Crispo for italian. If you want to get a glass of wine, cheese and sliced meats, go to Bar Veloce. For sushi I say sushi of Gari. The one in Tokyo is slightly better, but they are still good. My favorite places in the city are Blue Ribbon, Gramercy Tavern (have not gone since they changed chefs though) and Babbo
Just to note that I listed restaurants which are not in Chelsea in response to emery_jc's request for excellent places in other areas of Manhattan.
Re: Gramercy Tavern. Prior to Chef Michael Anthony taking over the kitchen, I had taken GT off my list because of the disappointing meals we'd had there. I waited until his own menu was in place, then we had dinner in the Tavern Room. Definitely a huge improvement! We really liked Chef Anthony's style of cuisine, and the food we had was excellent.
I concur that Sushi Yasuda is the best traditional sushi place in NYC at the moment. If, you want more creative rolls, I would recommend going to Sushi of Gari (Upper East Side location). In the Chelsea area, I would highly recommend a trip to Cookshop on 10th Ave. cor. 20th either for Brunch or Dinner. You can reserve a spot online for free via Opentable.com and I would suggest that you book well in advance as it is a popular place.
You should definitely check-out Chelsea Market as well on 9th Ave. cor 16th St. and check-out the different food stalls inside. You can do most of your food shopping there (Manhattan Fruit Exchange for Produce, Buon Italia for Italian deli stuffs at reasonable enough prices as per NYC standards and Amy's Bread among others). For Spanish tapas, you can head back to 10th Ave. and check-out Tia Pol.
I think you mean the Union Square Farmer's Market. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are located in the Union Square area. My favorite of the small food markets is Garden of Eden, which has a location in Chelsea, on 23rd St., b/t 6th & 7th Avs., and one on 14th St., just west of Union Square. http://www.edengourmet.com
Re: restaurants in Chelsea. Gascogne, on 8th Av., b/t 17th & 18th Sts., is a French bistro with very good food. They specialize in the cuisine of that eponymous region in France. It's a small place, very cozy, charming and romantic. If the weather is conducive -- and it can be in April -- their back garden is one of the loveliest in the city.
I don't eat sushi, but my daughter and her boyfriend love it. Their favorite is Yasuda. Definitely one of the top sushi restaurants.
There are literally hundreds of great dining options throughout Manhattan. Here are just a few of my favorites:
Eleven Madison Park - http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com
Veritas - http://www.veritas-nyc.com
Urena - http://www.urena-nyc.com
Fleur de Sel - http://www.fleurdeselnyc.com
Devi - http://www.devinyc.com
L'Impero - http://www.limpero.com
Hope you have a wonderful stay in NYC and Bon Appetit!