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Sep 25, 2007 12:44 AM

Advice on Food Itinerary

Hi. Coming to New York mid November for my boyfriends 30th birthday. I've been before its his first visit. We are staying in the Financial District - not that that will stop us from travelling for food! I've spent quite a lot of time on the boards taking your advice so my food plans have changed from what they were originally however I would really appreciate your comments/advice on the following choices:

Monday Night (his birthday but been travelling all day but something 'New York')
Either Tribeca Grill or Gotham Bar & Grill or Gramercy Tavern

Katz Deli for lunch (have read the LES food guide - looks fab)
Post theatre at either Marseille or West Bank

Lunch - not sure where we will be so a deli somewhere
Reccomendation for pizza place Financial District/Soho/Tribeca for Dinner?

Gray's Papaya for Lunch
Eleven Madison Park for Dinner

Lunch at Balthazar
Back to Scotland.....

Any good delis in the Financial District, we are staying at the Millenium Hilton, for breakfast? Any other suggestions welcomed.


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  1. Absolutely not Tribeca Grill - Gramercy Tavern is probably the better bet. Pizza I would go to Grimaldi's in Brooklyn - it is right under the Brooklyn Bridge and you can easily walk from downtown or take a taxi. Otherwise your two choices are Lombardi's and Adrienne's. Perhaps Wednesday lunch you could go to either Perry St or Jean Georges for the $28 2 course lunch deal. After theatre you should go explore one of the good late night dining options in NY - Blue Ribbon or Momofuko Ssam Bar.

    4 Replies
    1. re: john

      i agree not doing Tribeca Grill...of your three options, i'd say maybe Gotham

      For your post-theatre dinner, there are lots of downtown options you could do instead of Marsielle since you'll be heading downtown anyway...i like Balthazar late at night (or mid-afternoon) better than for lunch or dinner, and post-theatre Monday might be mellow and perfect...alternately, you could go to Lucien, small hipstery bistro in the E.Village w/ great bouillabaise and escargot

      -- another pizza option is Arturo's, on Houston St...i'd definitely avoid Lombardi's

      -- another fun late-night option for drinks/snacks is n33 at 33 Crosby, a small Spanish bar near is nothing spectacular but the sherry selection is yummy and it's a very fun spot...and while i'm loathe to recommend any Batali joint these days, you might have a great time at Casa Mono (it could even be your first night in NYC dinner if you wanted something less formal than Gotham)

      And if your bf likes raw oysters at all, i think going to Grand Central Oyster Bar and sitting at the bar/counter is a must

      Have a great trip

      1. re: Simon

        p.s. i'm also a big fan of Tides, cute tiny seafood place in the LES

        1. re: Simon

          Thanks for all the advice. Certainly given me plenty more to look into. I really like the thought of Balthazar after the theatre and the Grand Central Oyster Bar would be good to try too - we both love oysters. Read a lot of good stuff on the boards too about Perry Street and Jean Georges so will look into those. Will get back on the internet tonight and go through your suggestions. All this planning is getting me more excited about the trip. Too much food so little time....

          1. re: scottishgirl

            Hi scottishgirl. I totally agree with Simon. Do not pass up eating delicious oysters at the Grand Central Oyster Bar.

            This restaurant is a New York landmark with Rafael Guastivino tiled vaulted ceilings. Athough there are two dining rooms, and an oyster bar, I love sitting at the counters so I can look at the dining scene and take in the beautiful vaulted ceilings.

            GCOB was opened in 1913 when Grand Central Terminal opened. There is New York City history here. Sure the cooked fish may not be as good as other more trendy restaurants but they come and go. As a visitor to Manhattan, I strongly suggest you and your boyfriend stop by the Oyster Bar and also go upstairs to the main lobby. It’s beautiful with commuters dashing throughout - like living poetry -that always gives me a great feeling that I know I’m in New York City. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis saved the GC Terminal from being demolished like the original Penn Station was. Go and see for yourself.

    2. I also stand firm against Tribeca Grill. I found the food unremarkable and the service lacking. Perry Street would be a much better option! I'm not the biggest fan of Gotham Bar & Grill for dinner, though the ambience is certainly nice.

      As for pizza in the Financial District, there's only one place I know that's open at night, which isn't terribly good. I did, however, really love the sandwiches at New York's Best Deli on Water and Fletcher Sts. For something a little different, Alfanoose is a great local choice for falafel (which is VERY New York).

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. You've really done your homework and picked some great places. You might want to check out Chinatown, which is not far from where you are, and the food is incredible.

          About pizza, there are thousands of places and only ten are really good. Many of them are so bad that if they had photographed a slice of their pizza and tried to put it in the film "Trainspotting" , the censors would have cut it for being too gross.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Brian S


            I stored this tidbit from the messageboards some time ago. I am sorry I do not know to whom to attribute its authorship. (If you wrote it and are reading this, thanks!!) I kept it because it is a perfect explanation of NY pizza to me (a frequent visitor).

            ""My suggestion about the pizza is to do two things. First, avoid anything that's a chain or the size of a chain (Ray-Bari, etc.). Second, don't obsess. The more you worry about getting 'real NY pizza' the more disappointed you'll be when you take your first bite and say 'well, it's very good... but I thought my mouth would explode.' Hype kills everything. Find some local joints for a slice while you're walking between museums or sights or whatever you're doing. Sample them. Have a slice here and a slice there. And then some more at that place. You'll leave knowing that real NY pizza is an amalgam of all these pizza experiences coalescing into one great memory. Half of NY pizza is the attitude you have while eating it. Pizza is not a tourist food. Real NYers eat pizza. Tourists eat 'NY pizza'."

            1. re: Turtlejay

              I have to say, Im loving all this help and advice. Its lovely to have so many people as into food/dining out as I am - I think my friends (any maybe my boyfriend although he does love good food) think im slightly mad planning my trip around the food - sure i'll fit a few sites in though! Going to spend this evening looking into all your suggestions and will post my amended itinerary for further comment. Quite a few changes in mind already, And seriously, given the "Trainspotting" comment I might just give the pizza joints a miss!! Thanks again for the help.

              1. re: Turtlejay

                Turtlejay the source to your quote is It's a poster I dont recognize but he is quite prolific and has his own blog. It is well written but I totally disagree. Real NYers eat at McDonald's. That's why there's always a 20 minute line there. And they eat there for the same reason they grab a slice. They are overworked, they have only a few minutes to grab some food and eat it as they walk. (Ewww) That's the NY attitude. They are worried about their work, they are scared of being fired, they could be eating sawdust and wouldn't notice cause their mind is far away.

                My dad used to eat pizza when he was a kid. He wasn't in a hurry. He was probably hanging out with friends. The place, in one of the outer boroughs, probably had a coal burning oven. It was very likely incredible. He told me that they called the pizzas quarters cause you paid 25¢ for the whole pie!!! One day the guy told him he'd raised the price to 50¢ and he was heartbroken. Now THAT is my idea of a real NY pizza!

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Thanks. Extra question - Is opentable the best method for booking? How long in advance does it take reservations? I tried a couple of times for restaurants but it says its still too far in advance - Just under 7 weeks until we travel (cant wait!)

                1. re: scottishgirl

                  If you're out of the country, OpenTable is the superior method as you don't need to spend all that money on long distance fees when calling. But bear in mind that restaurants don't book all their tables on OpenTable. You might get lucky calling them.

                  1. re: scottishgirl

                    If a restaurant is on OpenTable, it should say how far in advance the restaurant accepts reservations.

                    Otherwise, I'd check a restaurant's web site, or, by calling them. Often times they only start accepting 31 or 30 or 28 days in advance. If your heart is set on a particular place, start dialing the second their book opens.