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Reservations for late July in NYC

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So far, we've got

Lunches:

The Modern - The Bar Room
Tabla
Lupa

Dinners:

Gotham Bar & Grill
Veritas
Eleven Madison Park
21 Club (party)

Is there anywhere else we must hit?

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  1. How long a period of time are you talking about - the whole 2nd half of July or less? Also, from your selections, it looks like you like medium-to-high-end restaurants, with some emphasis on American, New American, Italian, and "fusion" food. If you're interested in anything else, let us know.

    16 Replies
    1. re: Pan

      Vice Versa

      1. re: idia

        I've never heard of Vice Versa. Please tell us more about it.

        1. re: Pan

          I posted a while back for recommendations in the neighborhood where we are staying (Times Square) and Vice Versa came up often. We are visiting for a convention and I was holding this place in my back pocket for those - "let's go get something to eat" with vendors. It is a place I should make a reservation at and not leave to chance?

          1. re: Pan

            Pan,

            ViceVersa is an Italian restaurant in the Theater District. We haven't been, mainly because we usually go to the theater on Sunday, and VV is closed. While it does have lots of Hound fans, I don't consider it a "destination" restaurant, and though the food is probably quite good, it's certainly not on the culinary level of the mainly upscale restaurants on Ndelible's list.

            http://www.viceversarestaurant.com

            1. re: RGR

              so, you're saying I can leave it on my list for those last minute meals near the hotel and be quite satisfied????

              1. re: Ndelible

                Obviously, I don't have first-hand experience though it is on my "go to" list. Since you are staying in the vicinity, I think it's worth a try.

                Trattoria Trecolori is a favorite Italian of mine in that area. They finally re-opened in their new location on 47th St., b/t B'way & 8th Av. We had lunch there a few days ago, and the new digs are very attractive -- way nicer than their old spot. (Not that you'd know the difference, but it's info for other Trecolori fans.) The food is as good as ever, and the friendly staff continues to provide excellent service. Definitely an excellent choice for last-minute dining near your hotel.

                http://www.trattoriatrecolori.com

        2. re: Pan

          I will be there for one week. I tried to make reservations for either lunch or non-peak hours. We arrive Thursday morning, via red eye. I would totally love good food, less money for our free spots or even something (somewhat) interesting. My travel companion is not as adventurous as I with food.

          Thursday late lunch - The Modern
          Thursday later dinner - Gotham Bar & Grill
          Friday lunch - Tabla
          Friday very early dinner - Veritas
          Friday late night food/drink - free
          Saturday lunch - Bouley
          Saturday dinner - free
          Saturday late night food/drink - free
          Sunday lunch/brunch - free
          Sunday later dinner - Eleven Madison Park
          Monday lunch - Lupa
          Monday early dinner - free
          Tuesday lunch - free
          Tuesday later dinner - free
          Wednesday early lunch - free

          We fly out Wednesday evening.

          1. re: Ndelible

            That sounds like a great itinerary. Are you into other ethnic food like Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, Latin, etc? More casual, no reservations spots? What about the NY greats: jewish delis, pizza, bagels and smoked salmon?

            Also, you have 3 Danny Meyer restaurants on your list; are you a big fan? I love his restaurants but you might want to, ah, diversify... :)

            1. re: kathryn

              I'm from LA and don't know Danny Meyer from adam... Guess it just worked out that way. I've been reading the posts for the last two months and those restaurants came up most often, although I think Blue Gans was on my list too. I generally checked out the website and if the menu looked interesting, it was on. I'm good for ethnic food - although we have pretty good ethnic out here. And although I am not a big deli fan, I was planning on visiting at least one (everyone says I cannot judge deli food by the dreck that passes for it in LA); Katz's I think was the name that came up most often. And wouldn't I get the lachs at the deli or would I get that somewhere else? For pizza, there are a million choices right, I'm thinking just a slice, not a whole pie or sit down...

              1. re: Ndelible

                Well, if you really want to complete the circle of Danny Meyer, do maybe an early lunch or late dinner at Shake Shack for a slightly more upscale version of In 'n' Out, plus hot dogs and midwestern style frozen custard. It's in Madison Square Park and is quite pleasant when the weather's nice. There's also the (no reservations, more casual) Tavern Room at Gramercy Tavern.

                Definitely go to Katz's and get the pastrami on rye. There's rumors flying about them moving/closing all the time now so don't chance it!

                Perhaps split the sandwich with someone, and then go next door to Russ & Daughters for smoked salmon on a bagel. It's on the pricey side. Their bagels aren't fantastic, but the smoked salmon is. Maybe Ess-a-bagel for bagels?

                For pizza, I really like the slices at Patsy's in East Harlem. Unfortunately, most of the better known places in Manhattan don't do slices, only pies. If you wanna make the trek, go to Di Fara (search around on the Outer Boroughs boards).

                Coming from LA, you're right, I'd skip the Mexican and Chinese, although NYC's high-end sushi is pretty competitive in comparison to LA's (especially if you splurge on Sushi Yasuda, etc.)

                For other places you definitely can't get in LA, I'd say:
                WD-50 for dessert done molecular gastronomy-wise
                Momofuku Ssam Bar for David Chang's Korean-fusion love letter to pork and local ingredients

                I'd also research some of the nicer cocktail bars/lounges like Pegu Club, Milk & Honey, Death & Co., Flatiron Lounge, PDT, Brandy Library, Little Branch.

                For lunch and brunch, I'd pick places that are supercrowded at prime time dinner or on the weekends: Clinton Street Baking Company, Balthazar, Spotted Pig.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Thank you, I was so needing good recs for bars/lounges with food! However, I'm terribly unhip & old, I like places that just let me walk up, order food & drink and sit. Are these restricted places?

                  1. re: Ndelible

                    Some do require advanced reservations, like Milk and Honey and PDT, or they have a line if there's too many inside already like Death & Co. But the rest are fairly easy to get into if you go off-peak. A lot of these places get rather crowded on weekend nights, so I'd go on, say, a Tuesday evening.

                  2. re: kathryn

                    I'd get the lox to go at Russ & Daughter and pick up bialies at Kossar's (not too far from Katz's). Ess-a-bagel is my favorite NYC bagel. If you like whitefish salad it's very good at Russ & Daughter. Russ & Daughter also sells cream cheese, usually has tomatoes and onion so you can eat your bagel/bialy and nova like a NYer.

                  3. re: Ndelible

                    lachs - Do you mean lox? I would go to Russ & Daughter near Katz's for nova (type of lox).

                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                      Yes, lox. sorry, I used the german spelling....

                2. re: Ndelible

                  I would make reservations for anywhere you really want to be sure you're going to get into. Convention usually spells crowded restaurants. and the end of July is also Restaurant Week. You can always cancel any reservation you cannot use -- even up to a couple of hours ahead of time.

                  You might want to add Cru to your dinner list.

              2. To round things out a bit, I would add Aquavit Cafe for lunch or dinner (for the best herring), Telepan (much more of a variety for Sunday lunch than most brunch options), Hearth, Urena and Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Galerie (if you are including the Met or other upper east side museum in your trip.)

                2 Replies
                1. re: David W

                  I have Cafe Sabarsky on my list. As a matter of fact, I found many German-Austro places that I wanted to try. They were overwhelming my list!!!!

                  1. re: Ndelible

                    I think the descriptions of Vice Versa here have been pretty much on the money.
                    It certainly is not up there with Per Se, Gotham etc. but it is a chic, NY type experience with excellent food and a classy atmosphere -- and even a lovely garden area. And conveniently in the theater district.
                    Here are some opinions:
                    http://menupages.com/restaurantdetail...

                2. IMO, you are missing a great dinner at Balthazar...And I would do Tabla for dinner or a late dinner, and do it at the Tabla Bread Bar, instead of the upstairs restaurant...

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: jinet12

                    Balthazar is also great for lunch - I think a lot of the menu items are available at lunch as well as dinner. I particularly like the steak tartare, the frites, plateau de fruits de mer and the profiteroles. The wines by the carafe are quite reasonable and good - helpful for us so that we can have white with the seafood, red with the tartare, without ordering a bottle of each - or more expensive half bottles.

                    1. re: jinet12

                      I was thinking Balthazar for lunch or breakfast -- the drawback was that they don't do reservations on Open Table and for an out of stater, calling is a bit too much. I think I'll keep Tabla for lunch - if only because of the convention, there are quite a bit of night time events that I'll be attending and won't always be able to keep reservations. Thursday & Friday are the for sure keeps because they're before the convention. I'm not giving up Gotham or Veritas though...

                      1. re: Ndelible

                        ...And you'll be missing a truly spectacular meal if you give up Eleven Madison Park. If you can go with at least one other person, an absolute *must* is the duck for two! What can I say? Unbelievable!! But no matter what you order, Chef Daniel Humm's cuisine is stellar!

                        1. re: RGR

                          Oh goody! This dinner is a party of six and I'm not footing the bill!!!! And I love duck! Yipee!!!

                        2. re: Ndelible

                          I've always gotten through to the reservationist at Balthazar/Pastis/etc. in 5-10 minutes. It shouldn't be all that much of a hassle and it's worth the effort.

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Can we have the same experience for lunch or breakfast - or perhaps early dinner (late, late lunch)?

                            1. re: Ndelible

                              I've been there at different times of the day and always had a good experience.

                          2. re: Ndelible

                            since you'll be in the theater district, i would consider insieme for lunch or dinner. it's certainly more upscale and interesting italian than vice versa. another place i would try for lunch is casa mono, in the flatiron district. great spanish inspired small plates in a laid back setting. also, don't bother with shake shack, as in-n-out is half the price, twice as good, and takes one fifth the time to get (i'm from LA and i miss it terribly) have fun!

                            1. re: MBShapiro

                              Eh, I grew up in California and while I'd say both Shake Shack and In-n-Out are similar styles (thin patty, sauce), they aren't really in the same category. In-n-Out is still fast food. Shake Shack is more upscale, the patties are a combination of high-grade sirloin and brisket, offers Midwestern frozen style custard, and a nice atmosphere. Eating outdoors in the park on a nice day, surrounded by the bustle of the city? No comparison.

                              1. re: kathryn

                                Though I've never had an In-n-Out burger, I concur with your view of the overall Shake Shack experience. As you noted, it isn't just the delicious burgers, tasty fries, superb soft ice cream, etc., it's also that you eat al fresco is a lovely park setting. That said, I would *never* stand on a ridiculously line to get it. No burger, no matter how fabulous, is worth it!

                              2. re: MBShapiro

                                I wasn't really planning on going to Shake Shack -- dunno, a hamburger just doesn't motivate me, like say a bagel or pizza or even cupcakes. Dunno why.

                          3. MOMOMFUKU or SAAM BAR!!!!

                            Ramen
                            asparagus with miso butter

                            AMAZING!!!!!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hobokenhound

                              Momofuku Noodle Bar has alright noodles, but I'd try Minca or Setagaya first.

                              Momofuku Ssam Bar is great, but for dinner. However, last time I went, they didn't have the asparagus on the menu.

                            2. Also...Sullivan Street Bakery.

                              Used to be on Sullivan just south of spring. Long story short (and not too sure about the accuracy) but seems that the husband and wife split. He got the name (makes product out of comissary in midtown west and she got the location. She renamed it GranDaisy ( http://grandaisybakery.com/ ). Both locations have basically same product (i guess the recipes were commom property). Original location has a few small italian sandwiches (on great bread) sweets from Cece-Cela and amazing bread. The best part is the "Roman Pizza"-generally no or little cheese but square slices like tomato puree, pecorino, potato-rosemary-oliveoil, zuchini-greuyere, fresh baby artichoke (seasonal), and my favoite mushroom-onion-thyme-oliveoil.

                              (I know the mid-town location ( http://www.sullivanstreetbakery.com/g... ) has pizza and bread but not sure about the other stuff.

                              )

                              After a slice (or three) ob the bench outside stop in next door to the greek yogurt place for a full fat yogurt to go with a fruit compote and nuts.