Museum mile trip questions
We are coming to NYC for a long weekend (w-sat ) starting July 4, for a mostly museum and theatre trip. We will be staying at the Surrey in the UES. Looking for restaurants that are your neighborhood favorites there, chinatown , maybe UWS. I love places where you can eat outside. French, Italian , everything is great for us, but I tend to prefer a chef driven local ingredient sort of place. I don't think we have the budget for Babbo this time. My husband loves dessert--I don't care.
Where would we get the most bang for our buck and have 4 special dinners ( lunches? ) ?
Oh, and what about breakfast in that area. We can buy stuff and keep in our room ( it has a kitchenette ) if that is a better choice.
I have asked a lot of questons -sorry--but we don't get to NYC often and are looking forward to a special trip --even in hot July!
TWO DOWNTOWN IDEAS:
Not outdoors but I like Goody's for soup dumplings on Chatam Square at East Broadway (this is the Manhattan outpost of the Queens original). I guess this would qualify as a 'bang for your buck' place. BYOB friendly, closes on the early side like many places in Chinatown.
Also the original Landmarc on W. Broadway (haven't been to the new one on Columbus Circle). I think I could safely say they are 'local ingredient place' but I wouldn't say they emphasize it. Wine list is best value oriented list in city IMO (most bottles appear to be roughly $10-$15 over retail). If you go early, see if you can sit upstairs as close to the window as possible (to get a view uptown); otherwise, open til 2:00 am
Staying on the Upper East Side, I won't tell you Sel et Poivre is the worlds greatest, but the staff is wonderfull and the focus is on doing justice to classic recipes at a fair price.
As for the kitchenette, I wouldn't bother but if you do, shop Fairway market on the UWS at 75th & Broadway. 'nuff said.
If you will be on the upper west side, there is a good breakfast place called Sarabeth's. They technically have breakfast, lunch, and dinner but the place is really known for breakfast. Also, I should disclose that it is technically a chain restaurant since she has one restaurant on the upper west side and one on the upper east side and a bakery somewhere in the city. With that being said, the breakfast is amazing. They have beautiful breads and rolls and home-made jam.
Nearby the Surrey hotel:
Via Quadronno - 73rd and Madison, great for lunch. Very good paninis and espresso. They do serve dinner but it is a bit pricey.
Desserts: Payard at 74th and Lexington. It is also a quite good bistro. Very much an Upper East Side experience... Lady M at 78 St, bet. Madison and Park has great (and very expensive desserts). Maison du Chocolat (Madison and 78) is also very good for desserts, if you like chocolate.
Le Refuge: it's a very good neighborhood bistro. They have a garden in the back. It's on 82nd St, bet Lexington and 3rd Avenues. The menu is listed in menupages.com if you want to check it out.
In my view, you're extremely lucky because one of our very favorite NYC restaurants, Cafe Boulud, is right at the Surrey! While it may be 4-star chef Daniel Boulud's second-tier restaurant, there's nothing second-rate about the cuisine at CB. In a word: Superb! They serve lunch and dinner, service is cordial and polished, and the small interior space has stylish contemporary decor. There are tables outside if you prefer to dine al fresco.
Cafe Sabarsky, located in the Neue Gallerie, on the corner of 5th Av. & 86th St., serves wonderful Austrian food courtesy of Wallse chef Kurt Gutenbrunner. The dining room is elegant and gorgeous! They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They don't accept reservations, and you do not have to visit the museum to eat there -- though I would you will probably want to include it on your "tour" of "Museum Mile."
The Petri Court Cafe inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art serves surprisingly delicious food in a large, very pleasant space with views of Central Park.
The Boathouse in Central Park (enter at 72nd St.) has good food, al fresco dining, and a stunning lake view.
Enjoy your stay in NYC and Bon Appetit!
Gungadin, would you report on your best meals and your stay at the Surrey? We're planning a trip next month and would be grateful to know how you liked the hotel and neighborhood restaurants.