Five days visit (Tribeca) - recs appreciated
We're coming in from Seattle and we'll be staying in Tribeca for five nights in about three weeks. We're not bound to this area for restaurants. In the past we've eaten at Lupa, the Red Cat, Lombardis, Molly's (burger), Anna(? -- Indian where Suvir Saran used to be before Devi), Les Halles. You can see we like the good food but without pretense. This time we're thinking of Harrison, Grimaldis or Arturo's for pizza, maybe Lupa again, and ?? We're thinking: Italian, Steak (Strip House, Keens??), burger, pizza, NYC-American bistro type, Indian. Recommendations greatly appreciated.
Suvir and Hemant's previous restaurant was Amma. If you haven't been to Devi, you should go. The food is every bit as sensational, but the surroundings are quite different, i.e., a large space on two levels with very unusual, elegant decor.
Keens would be my steakhouse pick. Excellent food, good service, and unmatchable old NY ambiance.
Since you've been to Molly's, our favorite indoor spot for a burger, you might want to check out our favorite outdoor venue, the Shake Shack, in Madison Square Park. Delicious burgers and fries, as well as terrific soft ice cream. Lots of tables where you can enjoy al fresco dining. Best to go off hours in order to avoid the exceedingly long lines.
You might want to consider taking my (in)famous Lower East Side eating "tour," which is an opportunity to sample foods emblematic of NYC. I'm appending it here:
LES Food Excursion
For the quintessential NYC deli experiences, no place beats Katz's, on the corner of Houston (pronounced "how-stun") & Ludlow Sts. You're there specifically for the pastrami sandwich. When you enter, you will be given a ticket. Instead of opting for table service, do what the "natives" do and get on line for counter service. When you reach the counter, put a $1 for each sandwich in the counterman's tip cup – though not mandatory, it is a tradition -- and order pastrami on rye. He'll give you a piece to taste. If you like it (the best pastrami is juicy and has some fat on it), tell him o.k., and he'll make your sandwich, give you some sour pickles, and punch your ticket. Then, continue along the counter for sides – the cole slaw is good -- and drinks. Find seats at a table in the center of the room. (Tables along the wall have menus on them and are reserved for waiter service.) When you’re done, take your ticket to the cashier in front, where it’s cash only. To pay by credit card, go to the counter at the rear where the salamis are sold. Note: For the purposes of this tour, unless you have a gargantuan appetite, it would be best to share one sandwich in order to leave room for more tastings along the way.
When you exit Katz’s, turn left and continue along the same side of Houston St. You will come to Russ & Daughters, famous for all sorts of smoked fish and many other goodies. It's not a restaurant, but they make sandwiches to go.
After leaving the Russes, continue west a couple of blocks until you reach Yonah Schimmel's. Get a tasty potato knish, and make sure to ask them to heat it up.
Now it’s time for the quintessential NY drink – the egg cream. So, reverse yourself and head east on Houston until you come to Avenue A. (Note: Avenue A becomes Essex St. on the south side of Houston.) Turn left on A and head north until you get to the block between 7th St. and St. Mark’s Place. Look for a hole-in-the-wall candy shop, closer to 7th, with an overhead sign jutting into the street that says, “Belgian Fries.” (The place’s official name is Ray’s, but there is no signage to that effect.) One of the women behind the counter will make you a delicious chocolate egg cream.
When you’re finished licking your lips, go back to Houston St. and make a left (east) one block to Norfolk St. Turn right and walk down Norfolk until it ends at Grand St. Two places to look for at the corner of Grand and Norfolk: Kossar's, for freshly baked bialys (another very NY food) and the Donut Plant (self-explanatory).
Next, walking west along Grand St., you will come to Orchard St. Turn right. At 87 Orchard, snack on a pickle from Gus's World Famous Pickles.
Then, continue to 97 Orchard, b/t Broome & Delancey, where you will find the Tenement Museum. The tour will show you what life was like for immigrants to NYC at the beginning of the 20th century. ( http://www.tenement.org
Once you have finished the tour, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, right next door at 95 Orchard, is a must for some of the best gelato anywhere.
If your sweet tooth is still not completely satisfied, the final stop on this tour should do it. Continue ahead (north) on Orchard, crossing Delancey, then one more block to Rivington St. Make a right and you will find Economy Candy at 145 Rivington.
Note: It’s best not to take this tour on a Saturday since some of the spots are closed because of religious observance. Also, Donut Plant is closed on Mondays.
Hope you have a wonderful visit to NYC and Bon Appetit!
If you're looking for a change from Lupa, Crispo is very good.
In Tribeca, Upstairs and Blaue Gans are great. They don't fit into your categories, but they're both worth seeking out.
My favorite burger is still the Shake Shack
For American, I haven't been to the Harrison, but Little Owl is very NYC and very solid, if you can get a reservation. Also Hearth, Perry St., Perilla.
Harrison is definitely a place without pretense. The food is consistently good, though if you're looking for creativity or flair, you'd probably want ot try some place else.
Some recs among their staples:
- Vegetable Risotto. Depending on the time of year, its highlight ingredient is different. Last June, I had an asparagus with morels which was excellent. As is the sweet corn with blistered tomatoes. The latter is my favorite. On a hot day when I'm not too hungry, I'd usually opt for this as my entree.
-Pork Chops. Doublecut, I've never managed to finish one. I think it's the same chops that are/were popular at Red Cat.
-Crispy Chicken. Nothing spectacular, just juicy everytime with skin that tastes like butter.
Enjoy your stay. I'm sure you'll find tons of places on both Greenwich and Hudson Sts.