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Nov 2, 2007 02:55 PM

Thanksgiving weekend itinerary- reassure me

WE'll be heading up for a long Thanksgiving weekend and I've compiled a list and made my dinner reservations. I'm still playing with lunch, and doubt there will be too many breakfasts, though I plan on snatching a couple bagels. Staying at the Hilton, and trying to hit places I haven't visited before, so let me know if any of my choices do not bode well for me.

Tuesday: nothing set, flying in
Wednesday: L'impero
Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner at Mesa Grill- eating with friends who go every year and love it, so we are going along. Menu does look good and I've liked the Mesa in Nassau.
Friday: Have Bouley ressies, but family loves steak and might switch to appease them. Been to Luger's, thinking either Keens, Craftsteak, BLT Steak or Sparks...thoughts?
Saturday: EMP- this is part of the reason I might drop Bouley, I'd love to go all out here

Lunch: no daily assigments

Burger at Shake shack or burger joint (been to joint, love the idea of it).
Lobster rolls- Ed's, Pearl, maybe Mermaid inn?
Chinese- no solid decisions here, suggestions?
Pizza- still deciding, might venture to brooklyn, might stay in manhattan
Momofuku Ssam
Balthazar or other bistro

Prune if we can stand the wait, maybe clinton St.

Obviously I have to ax a couple lunches, but I'm just not sure yet and the family won't really help. Any brunches near the Hilton that are worth it? Thanks for whatever you guys can scrounge up!

-last question- Is it worth it to drop another lunch and pick up a prix fixe somewhere like fluer de sel or JG? Or even a lunch at cafe boulud or db bistro?

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  1. What sort of Chinese are you looking for? If you like spicy food, Grand Sichuan might be good. If you're into dim sum, go to Chinatown Brasserie for pricey but delicious dim sum.

    Also: Mermaid Inn doesn't open until dinner, so might not be good to try to grab lunch there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Ha, yea I don't think I'll try Mermaid room for dinner then. I had thought about Chinatown brasserie simply for its approachability, as my sister and her husband aren't what I would call adventurous at all. However, i do love spicy food and might just drag them along.

      1. re: kathryn

        Grand Sichuan is great...also highly recommend Wu Liang Ye, which has been my favorite Chinese food in the city.
        For steak, I'd absolutely go to Keen's. Great atmosphere that's very old NY.
        Beware...the lines for brunch at Prune & Clinton St. are outrageous. If you must go to one of the 2, make sure to get there as soon as it opens, if not 15 min's earlier.

      2. At this point I think the food at 11 Madison is better than Bouley. If you're only going to do on, 11 Madison would be my choice.

        1. Fleur de Sel offers a very good lunch Tasting Menu. Delicious and reasonable.
          If you can, you should, :-}

          1. L'impero was disapoiniting for me. how about Jean Georges or the less expensive/less filling Nougatine for Wed before T-day?

            5 Replies
            1. re: gwags

              I was looking or some good italian that Wednesday. I have heard some mixed reviews on L'impero since the chef change, so assuming that I decided to switch, does anyone hae some great italian recs that I could actually get a reservation for? I had toyed with Crispo, which is still a possibility or even trying to walk in at Lupa, but I don't want to wait around for an hour and a half or eat at 10 just for Lupa. As far as great Italian in the city goes, any recs for wednesday before thanksgiving where i could score a reservation for 4?

              1. re: notgreg

                I had a wonderful dinner at L'Impero during the summer. While I liked the food of former chef Scott Conant, I actually thought Michael White's contemporary Italian cuisine was even better -- much lighter with more nuanced flavors. Dessert was the only thing that was a disappointment, but they've brought in a new pastry chef, so I'm hoping desserts will change for the better. All that said, if you are still hesitating about L'Impero....

                I highly recommend Osteria Gelsi, on the corner of 9th Av. & 38th St. Delicious Pugliese-style cuisine. Friendly, capable service. Very pleasant atmospherics. OpenTable shows availability at prime dining hours on Nov. 21st.:


                1. re: RGR

                  Also, as an aside, if we weren't going for the mutton chop but rather the steaks, would craftsteak or Sparks be better than Keens? Would one of them be better regardless?

                  1. re: notgreg

                    IMO, no. My steak at Keen's was much better than Spark's. The ambiance is classic old-school NY and the service was perfect.

                    1. re: notgreg

                      Since we've not been to Craftsteak or Sparks, I'll leave it to Leah and other Hounds to provide the comparison between them and Keens.

                      I usually have lamb chops at Keens and my husband has the mutton chop. However, last Sunday, for a change of pace, my husband and I shared a filet mignon. It was perfectly prepared to our specification, i.e., medium rare, and delicious!

                      As Leah mentioned, a huge plus is the unmatchable old NY ambiance -- walls filled with authentic American memorabilia and rows of clay smoking pipes suspended from all the ceilings, as well as pipes belonging to famous people in display cases in the vestibule.