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First trip to NYC...

c
cathyrenee Aug 25, 2007 05:56 PM

My brother and I are treating each other to a Christmas holiday in NYC; staying at the Loew's Regency. I've been to NY many, many times, but this is my brother's first trip. I'd like to hear some suggestions re: restaurants to visit, so that he can have a true "NY" experience.
He loves the Food Channel and is a fabulous cook.
Places I've been and would try again if somebody thinks we should:

1. Cafe des Artistes
2. Cafe Luxembourg
3. Sardi's (pre-Broadway play)
4. Mesa Grill
5. BLT
6. Tabla
7. Mas
8. Bryant Park (fancier restaurant)

That's all that come to mind right now. Don't want to do anything "touristy." This trip is for my brother and I want him to be able to say he's 'done' the NY restaurant scene. We'll be there three nights; and if it helps, he's 48 and I'm 50. But we're quite immature :).
Thanks very much -

  1. LeahBaila Aug 25, 2007 06:00 PM

    Sounds like you all are going to have a great time! Your list of restaurants is fine, but I suggest trying some great new places. What types of cuisines do you all like? Are you partial to one part of town, or are you willing to travel?
    BTW...you will LOVE The Regency!

    3 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila
      c
      cathyrenee Aug 26, 2007 01:07 PM

      Thanks, Leah - I should have added before my list that these were restaurants I had visited but didn't necessarily want to return to, unless someone had a strong (good) opinion about one of them. We're going to Mas for sure.
      I think we'd be willing to try all parts of the city and we eat everything! What about a fabulous sushi place?
      And you know what? I spent a week at the Regency in October (my best gal pals and I for my 50th b'day), and it was sooooo scrumptious! Can't wait to get back.
      And as MMRuth pointed out, we do need to make reservations ASAP.

      1. re: cathyrenee
        LeahBaila Aug 26, 2007 07:07 PM

        Though I personally haven't been, Sushi Yasuda is supposed to have the best in NYC. There's also the ultra-splurge, Masa, in the Time Warner Center/Columbus Circle.
        I would definately try: Eleven Madison Park (a true experience, even if you only go once in your life; impeccable service and interesting food), Pylos (fantastic Greek food that is perfect for the chilly weather), August (American food...great brunch and my favorite burger in town), Piano Due (lovely Italian food)...there's so many others! Are you looking for a particular meal? Lunch or brunch?

        1. re: LeahBaila
          s
          sam1 Aug 30, 2007 01:04 PM

          definitely sushi yasuda...

          also:

          wallse
          veritas
          katz's deli
          da andrea
          corner bistro
          freemans (brunch)

    2. MMRuth Aug 26, 2007 06:22 AM

      I would skip Sardis and Cafe des Artistes - IMO, touristy and mediocre food - and I don't think those would be included in the current "NY restaurant scene". That also goes for Mesa Grill - though there have been some postive (and also negative) reports of it lately. I'd suggest looking into Eleven Madison Park and Veritas for starters. There are also a lot of interesting restaurants on the Lower East Side - a neighborhood that has changed dramatically over the past couple of years, including Orchard:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/423117

      Some other threads to look at:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/413684

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/422417

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/407937

      As you probably know, Christmas is a v. popular time for visitors to NY, so I'd make sure to make reservations well ahead of time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MMRuth
        r
        RGR Aug 26, 2007 11:20 AM

        I agree completely about nixing Cafe des Artistes and Sardi's. CdA is well past its prime, and I don't think anyone ever went to Sardi's for the food. I'd also drop the restaurant in Bryant Park from consideration because of mediocre food. Sad, really, since the location is lovely.

        Re: Veritas. Although it's always been a favorite of ours, and every meal we've had there has been stellar, acc. to eater and other sources, Chef Scott Bryan is leaving to become chef at a new restaurant. Therefore, until we know who will be replacing him and how that chef's cuisine stacks up, I'm going to refrain from recommending Veritas

        I do, of course, heartily endorse your suggestion of Eleven Madison Park.

      2. jinet12 Aug 26, 2007 08:54 AM

        Great places listed, though I might skip Sardi's...I would definitely add Balthazar for dinner and Otto's for lunch or dinner....I also recommend that you do a little "foodie tour" in the Village, stopping by Mamouns for incredible falafel/hummus/lamb/pita, and then proceeding to Faicco's for a rice ball, and ending at Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake...

        1. Doghouse Reilly Aug 26, 2007 03:32 PM

          Sounds like a good list, but I'd agree with the others to skip Sardi's. I would also recommend trying Chumley's and Mary's Fish Camp, both in Greenwich Village. And if you're lucky you might get Amy Sedaris as your waitress at the Fish Camp. Another great place in the Village is Red Bamboo, a vegitarian joint. Their soy "chicken" tastes just like the real thing.

          12 Replies
          1. re: Doghouse Reilly
            MMRuth Aug 26, 2007 04:03 PM

            Is Chumley's open again? I though it had closed down?

            1. re: MMRuth
              i
              idia Aug 26, 2007 06:33 PM

              Don't get angry with me but I find the first 3 definitely "touristy."
              I'd much prefer:
              Le Bernardin
              Picholine
              Eleven Madison Avenue
              Vice Versa
              David Burke & Donatella

              1. re: idia
                n
                notafoodie Aug 26, 2007 07:44 PM

                idia - I think you mean "Eleven Madison Park"

                1. re: notafoodie
                  i
                  idia Aug 27, 2007 05:20 AM

                  Oops! But of course I do! Thanks!

                  1. re: idia
                    r
                    RCC Aug 27, 2007 06:53 AM

                    Without being too technical, idia is correct. Eleven Madison Park's address is 11 Madison Ave.

                    1. re: RCC
                      r
                      RGR Aug 27, 2007 07:29 AM

                      Yes, 11 Madison Av. is its address, but it's not the restaurant's name. So, for visitors to the city, especially first-timers, having the correct name makes it easier for them to do searches on this and other food forums.

                2. re: idia
                  c
                  cathyrenee Aug 28, 2007 06:16 PM

                  No, no - not angry at all. I clarified in a response to LeahBaila that those were places I had been, but didn't care to return to unless someone really thought a first-time visitor should experience them.
                  As of now, we have reservations for dinner at Aureole and Mas; ck'g into Spring Awakening, and if we go to a matinee there, I could use a good recommendation for lunch/brunch in the area ( I HATE riding in cabs and don't do subways - too little time to figure it out); also looking into Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola for Ann Calloway one evening, for the entertainment, not necessarily the food. Anybody been there?

                  1. re: cathyrenee
                    financialdistrictresident Aug 28, 2007 06:45 PM

                    We went to Marseille before Spring Awakening (thanks again, RGR). You might want to do a search of this site. I probably posted a mini-review.

                    1. re: cathyrenee
                      r
                      RGR Aug 28, 2007 11:53 PM

                      Yes, as fdr says, Marseille is a good pre-theater brunch choice. The menu has a French/Mediterranean tilt. Attractive, bustling brasserie setting.

                      http://www.marseillenyc.com

                      I also like West Bank Cafe for brunch. I've had one of the best versions of the classic quiche there. Quiet, pleasant ambiance.

                      http://www.westbankcafe.com

                      Trattoria Trecolori, our favorite Italian restaurant in the Theater District, serves their regular menu for pre-matinee lunch. Pastas are especially delicious, and I love the tiramisu. Very nice atmospherics.

                      http://www.trattoriatrecolori.com

                      1. re: RGR
                        c
                        cathyrenee Sep 3, 2007 07:54 AM

                        I'll ck out those recommendations - I appreciate your replies.

                  2. re: MMRuth
                    d
                    David W Aug 27, 2007 07:04 AM

                    Last I heard Chumley's was supposed to open in Ocober, but don't quote me.

                    1. re: David W
                      financialdistrictresident Aug 28, 2007 06:48 PM

                      I hope Chumley's re-opens soon. What a NYC gem! Great beer! Okay food (great lobster special in the summers).

                3. financialdistrictresident Aug 28, 2007 06:36 PM

                  If your brother has never been here strongly suggest RGR's LES food tour (plus Shopsin's for a breakfast, in Essex Street Market). Agree with other posters' comments regarding your list. Also suggest Pylos (Greek) in EV. We went there Saturday night and it was delicious. Their grilled fish, sardines are very good and the apps too (skip the 3 cheeses in a clay pot). A favorite app is the haleumi with grapes and toasted pignolia nuts. It is consistent, lively and a bit noisy. They have Anny's Animus, a lovely organic wine. Chelsea Market might be fun. Maybe Degustation?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: financialdistrictresident
                    k
                    kathryn Aug 29, 2007 10:48 PM

                    I, too, recommend RGR's LES food tour.

                    As for Pylos, I love the food, and the pita bread, especially, but service has been...lackluster the last few times I've been.

                  2. p
                    paulbunyan Aug 30, 2007 12:52 PM

                    If he is a food channel fan, check out Cornelia Street off Bleeker in the W. Village. Batali's restaurant Po is there along with 3-4 other great restaurants. And its the street on which you will recognize the carriage house in which the next food network stars stayed.

                    Bleeker between 6th and 7th Ave.is a foodie paradise-fresh meat/fish markets; two of the best pizza joints in town (Joe's and Johns); Kobe burgers at Rare Bar & Grill.Br

                    Two of my other favorite restaurants: Hearth in the E. Village; and Craft at 19th and Park.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: paulbunyan
                      r
                      RGR Aug 30, 2007 06:55 PM

                      Po is no longer a Batali restaurant. He severed his relationship there quite some time ago.

                      1. re: RGR
                        g
                        G3B Aug 30, 2007 07:04 PM

                        Food is still good though. I went for the first time last night and enjoyed everything I had. Roasted beets, pasta with veal ragu and strawberries with ricotta gelato. Very yummy.

                      2. re: paulbunyan
                        c
                        cathyrenee Sep 3, 2007 07:53 AM

                        Thanks - those are great suggestions.

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