Visiting from Toronto - Suggestions?
I am comming in 2 weeks and have planned some what fo an itinerary and would like to get some suggestions/opinions on where to eat.
So far I have reservations at WD50 for the tasting menu and Babbo. I would also like to check out Momofuku, Spotted Pig, Balthazar, and Srand Burger? What do you reccomend? What about for sushi? Is Nobu worth it? I don't want to spend 350 at MASA.
I would return for the steak sandwich at pastis or schillers as well and the burger at shake shack.
What about in Brooklyn? Peter Lugers? I would try the burger for lunch. Anything else worth eating in Willaimsburg?
Momofuku Ssam Bar is a good experience. I wouldn't recommend going out of your way for Stand Burger. I think you'll have your burger needs filled by Shake Shack.
For Brooklyn suggestions, post your request on the Outer Bouroughs board.
Your restaurant choices are very good, but imho, with the exception of Momofuku Ssam Bar. Even as we are very fond of Momofuku, Toronto offers so much better Asian-inspired or pure Asian dishes than New York City.
Burger at Shake Shack for the terrific NY outdoor experience or at the Burger joint in the Parker Meridian would be something that's not easily available in TO.
I thought the tasting menu at WD-50 was OK and more of an "experience" since not every dish blew me away. If you're into molecular gastronomy, there isn't really much else here that does savory dishes, so if that's what you're going for, then you've got to try WD-50 at least once. Personally, I think the desserts at WD-50 outshine the savories.
Nobu isn't really the best at pure, traditional sushi if that's purely what you're interested in, and not cooked dishes. Try Sushi Yasuda, instead, or maybe Ushi Wakaramu. What's your budget for sushi?
If you want to go to to Spotted Pig, try lunch there instead, as dinner can be crazy.
Do you want Momofuku Ssam Bar or Momofuku Noodle Bar? If it's ramen you're after, there's other places that are more traditional. Ramen Setgaya just opened here, and it's straight from Japan.
As for Ssam Bar, I think it's great and very creative, and worth a trip for out of town visitors, especially if they're into pork or local ingredients or offal. It's definitely NOT traditional Asian or even traditional Korean. I love the atmosphere and wonderful food at a very good price point (dinner runs about $40/head).
You should probably ask about Williamsburg on the Outer Boroughs board.
See also, some other threads for out of towners:
For your third night, I would suggest Urena. Chef/owner Alex Urena, who spent time with Adria and has worked in some of the city's best kitchens, is serving superb Spanish-inspired cuisine. The restaurant is traveling a bit under the usual radar. I think that's mainly because, in initial reviews, the food aspect was overshadowned by negative comments about the somewhat awkward space (which it is) and the harsh lighting (which has been fixed). I think the overall ambiance now is quite comfortable. There's an interesting wine list, and service is both friendly and capable. So, go and enjoy some truly delicious food.
http://www.urena-nyc.com (Note: The website menus are not entirely up-to-date.)
I just went to 15 East for their Sushi Omakase and it would really good. The chef was from Jewel Bako and he's very informative if you sit at the sushi bar. I think you should do sushi for your third ressie. I had eaten sushi in Philly and in T.O. and I thought from a product quality stand point New York might have the best fish.
For steak, I would add Quality Meats and BLT Steak (not prime) to the list. These two are more modern and not traditional like Lugers or Keens.
One other suggestion is L'Atelier del Joel Robuchon at the Four Seasons Hotel. His execution is solid and my wife and I had a great time dining at their bar one time and did a "tasting" of six courses of small plates (they serve small plate portions).
I agree that Momofuko and Spotted Pig may not be worth it. Barney Greengrass on 86th and Amsterdam is the creme de la creme of jewish delis-- i'd have a lunch there, just don't go during peak hours (saturday or sunday brunch). Union Square Cafe is another good one.
In Brooklyn, Osteria Convivium (Park Slope), Ici (Fort Greene), and Totonnos Pizza (Coney Island) are all worth the trip.