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Xmas & New Year in NYC

Hi, I know this question has been done to death, however our situation is probably a bit different, so here is our story.

Family of 5 (two girls 16 & 14, boy 12) from Perth Australia, arriving New York on 24 December staying until 1 January. Husband been to NY before, about 12 years ago, the rest of the family no.

We are staying at the Marriot in Times Square, was thinking about the Tavern on the Green for Christmas day lunch, ideas? We have already booked the Lion King, nice wholesome family entertainment. Looking for ideas for other more tradional restaurants, you know the truly "Americian" style. Husband constantly travel around in Australia so he eats out often, 5 star expensive is his liking, however we would like something "different". We like seafood, Italian, Thai, Chinese, in fact we eat everything, and mexican, though I suspect our Australian mexican isn't like yours.

Any other ideas during our stay would be welcomed. Have tried to get New York Jets tickets for 30 december, but no luck, Even thinking about catching the train from Penn station to Washington DC for a day, worth it?

And of course shopping, with two teenage daughters, I'm sure they'll be in heaven!

We intend to bring empty suitcases and only one days worth of clothes, then load up big time. Any ideas in the shopping department please advice.

Of course, I suspect we'll do the normal, statue of liberty, empire state tours, any other suggestions are welcome.

As for New Years eve, as we're staying at the marriot, I imagine it's just a walk out the door and soak up the atmosphere?

Thats about it, on the 1 January we head of to San Francisco for 2 days before finishing our holiday in Los Angeles staying at the Roosevelt for a week. Hopefully be then we'll be all shopped out!

Thanks and I hope see you in the Big Apple!

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  1. TOTG is a wonderful experience, good food and beautifully decorated for the Holidays. Warning, other chowhounds will bash this place. Fun place in time square, family oriented, is Virgils BBQ. Enjoy!

    1 Reply
    1. re: nyebaby37

      Thanks nyebaby, I've written them down.

      I was hoping for a few more responses, maybe my topic is boring. I'm new here, so I'll use the search function.

      Any other ideas for our stay, don't be shy!!

    2. Chowhound has a very narrow mission--where to find deliciousness. General travel planning questions, like shopping or what else to do while visiting a town, are off topic for our boards. Please keep your replies focused on helping the poster find great chow, as off topic replies will be removed.

      1. Eating Chinese food for Christmas dinner is a tradition for some in NYC - I'm not familiar with Chinatown places, but I know that Shun Lee West is open that day, and we quite like it, though I've not been on Christmas Day. I also like Chin Chin for "upscale" Chinese, and Wu Liang Ye is excellent Szechuan food.

        I'd recommend spending a day wandering around Soho and going to Balthazar (bustling French) for lunch - be sure to reserve ahead of time - and also stop into Kee's Chocolates for divine truffles and interesting chocolate flavors.

        You might also enjoy RGR's Lower Eastside food tour - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44980... - great chow and a good way to explore a neighborhood.

        If you are planning to visit any museums, such as the Metropolitan, up on Fifth Avenue on Museum Mile, Cafe Sabarsky, in the Neue Galerie (German/Austrian art) is a wonderful place to stop in for Austrian pastries and coffee, or a lovely lunch - no reservations though, and it can get crowded.

        It would probably also help other posters if we could have a sense of your budget for meals - the places I've mentioned are on the pricey side (other than the LES tour and Wu Liang Ye), and with a family of five I'm guessing you might also want some fun but more inexpensive options for some of your meals during your visit.

        Hangawi might be an interesting place to try - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44587... - Korean vegetarian - v. good food, great atmosphere - you take off your shoes and sit at tables that are in "wells" on the floor - I'm not vegetarian but always enjoy it. They have a website I believe.

        You might also want to try searching the Manhattan board for "teens" and/or "teenagers" for ideas that others may have suggested in the past - I don't have children so am less in tune with what they might like!

        Edit - Re: Tavern on the Green - I've not been for about 15 years and the food was pretty lousy for the price, and nyebaby is right that lots of people bash it on the board for the food. It is beautiful in its glamourous way, and might be a fun place to stop and have a drink.

        2 Replies
        1. re: MMRuth

          Here's a recent thread on the UWS that might be of interest - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/447617# - thought of it because another fun thing to do would be to go to Barney Greengrass for bagels/lox etc. for breakfast. You could then wander back downtown - the Museum of Natural History is in the area, as are wonderful food stores such as Zabar's which are fun to browse through, and in a area with a lot of non-food stores as well.

          1. re: MMRuth

            For Chinese, Peking Duck house might be fun; perhaps your sons would get a kick out of them carving the duck tableside. I'd also consider dim sum -- it would be cheap and also fun, bustling, etc.

            I second Balthazar and Kee's.

            Perhaps you'd be interested in some other cuisines that are not so readily available in Australia? I'm not sure what you do and don't have access to. Different types of Indian? All the various Japanese styles? Malaysian? Vietnamese? Anything South American? Middle Eastern?

            For some quintessential NY foods and restaurants check out these threads:
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/397225
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/401880
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/405260
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/394041

          2. Ok folks, this is what I have booked so far.

            Christmas day lunch at Tavern on the Green, $85 per head (12 y.o boy will eat about $5 worth!) the Cristal room was booked out ($125 per person) I intend to keep calling them in case of cancellation.

            Dinner on 26 December has been booked at "The view" at marriott marquis. We are staying there so that was an easy one.

            I intend to eat out every night at a different place, plus most lunch times as well.

            If I don't log on while in NY, I'll give you all my feedback upon my return to Australia

            Thanks for your suggestions and please keep them coming

            cheers

            6 Replies
            1. re: magpie78

              I know that for Holiday meals usually what makes it great is the people there and everything else is secondary. With that being said I would suggest you take another look at your TOTG Christmas lunch. The blush has been off the rose for a while now and TOTG is not the gem it once was. It WILL be beautifully decorated for the Holidays but it will be very touristy. If you are going for the fact it's TOTG and it's Christmas in NYC then go and drink it in but if food is a key factor I think you may want to look elsewhere.

              1. re: Spiritchaser

                Thanks Spirit.

                please provide an alternative, if you can i'd greatly appreciate it.

                thanks

                1. re: magpie78

                  I don't have details about thier Christmas schedule but look into Park Avenue Autumn (although by Christmas it should be be Park Avenue Winter - they change with the seasons).

                  1. re: magpie78

                    I posted this on another thread: I just had an email from what used to be the Restaurant Associates group - this site will give you their menus and hours for the holidays:
                    http://www.rapatina.com/holidays/hour... -
                    you can watch the ice skaters @ the Rock Center rink from The Sea Grill and Rock Center Cafe. Sea Grill is way better.

                2. re: magpie78

                  I would suggest you go to the bar next to The View for drinks/coffee AFTER dinner somewhere else. There are much better options for dinner than The View.

                  1. re: magpie78

                    Up scale, good food and beautiful..........Del Posto, Asiate in the Time Warner building. You can have fun checking out all the stores and restaurants there.
                    Good steak house.............if you can get to brooklyn, Peter Luger is the standard. In nyc we like sparks for steaks.
                    The chinese recs are all pretty good.
                    Have fun, enjoy our city, it is a great time of year to be here.

                  2. For a fun and different experience, try Korean BBQ! I'd recommend KumGangSan (49 West 32nd Street) or WonJo (23 W. 32nd Street). Dishes that generally please kids and people new to Korean food are:

                    "Man Doo Gui" - Pan Fried Dumplings
                    "Pa Jun" - Korean Pancakes (i like the seafood ones best)
                    "Jap Chae" - Vermicelli noodles stir-fried with vegetables
                    "Kalbi" - Korean BBQ grilled boneless short ribs marinated in special sauce

                    After your meal, you can stop by Pinkberry (7 W. 32nd) for dessert.

                    In addition, all the Korean restaurants on 32nd Street are super convenient to the Empire State Building and 34th Street / Herald Square / Macys / Manhattan Mall shopping. There will be tons of inexpensive and trendy stores for your daughters, such as Forever 21 on W. 34th St and 6th Ave.

                    http://www.wonjo32.com
                    http://www.kumgangsan.net
                    http://www.pinkberry.com

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: KittyK

                      Thanks KittyK

                      I've made a note of them and we'll try one or two

                      I have also booked dinner at Keen's as I've read a bit about it here.

                      I intend to eat my way through NY

                      Thanks for the shopping tips!. We're bringing empty suitcases, I think we'll need them!

                      1. re: magpie78

                        If you like seafood, you might want to consider Esca which is at 43rd & Bdwy.
                        Without a doubt, you must take the kids to Serendipity for decadent desserts and luncheon fare. It is a teenage eater's dream. 225 E. 60th.
                        If you are planning on seeing The Nutcracker Ballet at Lincoln Center, Josephina's is right across the street and popular with the Lincoln Center crowd.
                        Enjoy your wonderful vacation.
                        NY is magical at Xmas.

                        1. re: idia

                          Serendipity is currently closed for Dept of Health violations.