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2nd Timer Foodie - Need a local's view on my plan

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I'm coming to NYC next for my second time. The last time was for 30 hours only but I still managed to hit about 12 restaurants. I just love to go to these places I've read so much about. Can I get any opinions, advice or DONT DO ITS on my plan?

Friday Night - Arrive

Tia Pol

Saturday

202 Brunch
Mesa Grill - late Brunch (I know you guys mostly hate it, but I hate a hot dream about Bobby Flay and I think its a sign.)
August - Dinner

Sunday

Chinatown Brasserie - like 3 pieces of dim sum, just to check the place out
Late Lunch - Spotted Pig
Dinner - Lupo
After - freeman's

Monday

Lunch - Grimaldi's
Dinner - Restaurant walk through meatpacking district - I just hit the bar in these places and have 1 item and 1 drink - Spice Market, Son Cubano, Markt, Morimoto, Del Posto (bar) - better ideas here?

Tuesday

Zabars for picnic breakfast
Davidburke & donatella - late lunch

Help - thoughts? better plans?

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  1. Markt moved and is now in a different neighborhood.

    You might want to go to Chelsea Market.

    1. I'd scratch David Burke & Donatella and try and get reservations for Babbo

      1 Reply
      1. re: ChowDiva

        You might want to add another upscale restaurant for lunch and skip Grimaldi's. Unless you are dying to walk across the bridge for pizza.

      2. Partyplan, what 12 restaurants did you hit in your last trip here?! That's very impressive. And if you told us what you did like and didn't like, we'd be able to give more recommendations. Plus, that way we don't recommend somewhere you've already been...

        It seems like you have a lot of sit-down restaurants in your itinerary...would you be wiling to consider more casual, maybe street food or grab 'n' go places? Do you want to hit up any desserty or snack type places?

        Also, Chinatown Brasserie does dim sum in dishe of 4-6 pieces, so you might be done after ordering one dish.

        4 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Any suggestions on how to get reservations at Babbo. I called 1 month to the day ahead of time for each day I'd be there, starting at 10am when their reservation line was open and it was busy for 2 hours solid and then when I got through it was booked. For Sunday night, I literally called 100 times. Redial, hang up, redial hang up. ugh.

          I went to les Halles, Bar Jamon, Chelsea Market, pastis, balthazar, some Italian place in the theatre district, Cafe Cubana, Gramercy Tavern, Rose Mexicano and some others I can't remember. I shouldn't even call myself a foodie, because its not even about the food, its about the feel of each one and just getting that first taste of what they are like. I actually ate something in about 1/2 the places, in the others, I had a drink or a coffee and just soaked it in.

          1. re: partyplan

            Hopefully Les Halles was better than the downtown location which is inconsistent. You have seen and tasted quite a bit on your previous visit. Sounds like you might want to explore East Village (EV) or Lower East Side (LES) on your next visit. Have you done RGR's LES tour?

            1. re: partyplan

              For Babbo, with a price, check out: www.tablexchange.com

              1. re: partyplan

                An option (although not an ideal option) is getting rez somewhere else and calling Babbo the day of for cancellations.

            2. I would suggest tacking on Tia Pol and their new tapas bar, El Quinto Pino (very close by) onto Monday's itinerary. Tia Pol can be very daunting on a Friday night and it fits nicely into your crawl. There is also a Japanese restaurant with small plates next door to Tia Pol called Izakaya that would fit nicely. Craftsteak is next door to Del Posto and has a nice bar - good oysters and beer list if your into that. If you like Bobby, you gotta like Tom.

              1. I'd scratch Son Cubano, the focus there isn't the food. Monday night will be pretty quiet in the area, but I'd switch locations for the restaurant walk anyway, to the West Village for instance.

                4 Replies
                1. re: jsgjewels

                  What would you hit up in the West Village - I'm open to changing it up for sure!

                  1. re: partyplan

                    Some possibilities (not all technically in west village proper): Alta, Aurora Soho, Extra Virgin, 'ino, Bobo (brand new, but good feedback so far), Centro Vinoteca (right near Morandi, don't know which would be harder to get into at this point), Employees Only, p*ong

                    1. re: jsgjewels

                      def Centro Vinoteca over Morandi, unless if you like Epcot center decor. you can probably get into Centro early but it's pretty busy right now. Bobo needs time - my food was unseasoned and the kitchen is a mess. P*ong you can do later for dessert. I agree with steeltowngrl that Izakaya next to Tia Pol is fun. I'd take the drinks at Pegu over Employees Only though

                    2. re: partyplan

                      Suggest you do a search re: Centro Vinoteca there is a recent thread.

                  2. i dont know this 202 place but id skip it and go to freemans for brunch that saturday. you mentioned going to freemans after lupo dinner...its not really big enough for people to linger at the bar area...its also a bit uncomfortable unless you have a table...and their desserts arent anything worth going crazy for.

                    id skip chinatown brasserie...its a bit lame and deserted lately. id go to momofuku ssam bar instead...or the noodle bar which is open for lunch.

                    spotted pig gets hella crowded so be aware.

                    grimaldis isnt very good...id go to 'ino in the west village instead...get a cheese plate, egg toast, and quattro panini...cheap and delicious.

                    im not a meatpacking fan at all...id go to blue ribbon bakery or market table for a bit of a nice nyc night out.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sam1

                      I really appreciate all the advice. I've definitely made some changes as a result.

                      Do you think Spotted Pig will be slammed at 12:30am?

                      Friday Night - Arrive at Midnight

                      Spotted Pig (Tia pol not open late enough)

                      Saturday

                      202 Brunch (its gotten good reviews and its in the Chelsea market which I want to go to)
                      Rocking Horse Mexican (after shopping @ H & M)
                      Babbo - no reservation but I'm going to get in line at 4pm if I have to.
                      Central park carriage ride (I know, I"m ridiculous)
                      Carnegie Club for drinks

                      Sunday

                      RGR's LES tour - donut plant for sure
                      Late lbrunch Freemans - if we're not stuffed
                      Dinner - August

                      Monday

                      Lunch - Grimaldi's (my husband insists)
                      Dinner - Restaurant walk through meatpacking district and chelsea - I just hit the bar in these places and have 1 item and 1 drink - Tia Pol, Spice Market, Son Cubano, Markt, Morimoto, Del Posto (bar)

                      Tuesday

                      Zabars for picnic breakfast
                      Cafe Boulud - lunch res

                      1. re: partyplan

                        Glad to see you added RGR's LES tour and another visit to Chelsea Market. Good additions for your second visit to the city. I usually eat somewhere in Chelsea Market and don't remember seeing 202 inside the Market, I think it's in the clothing store. There is also a new tea salon in the Chelsea Market. The same owner of the T-Salon (sadly, long closed) that was in the SoHo Guggenheim Museum. Her new place is very different. The T-Salon was a special place.
                        We had brunch at Markt recently and while I preferred the previous, larger location in the meatpacking district it was still v. good (especially the mussels). Please let us know how Grimaldi's is. I have not been in ages.

                        Have fun!