I'll tell you where I'll be! You tell me where to eat!
I'll be in NYC for a whole week! Can you please help me pick out some places to eat that I shouldn't miss. So far, the only place on my list is KATZ for a pastrami sandwich. I can't afford too much, I'm a teacher on a budget. However, I would like a nice dinner before we see Phantom! But not more than $80 per person, including wine and tip! There will be two of us, the only thing off the list would be Mexican, Sushi and Indian foods! I'll tell you where I'll be, you tell me where to eat!
Wed: Dinner -Rockefeller Center
Thur: Lunch- Time Square Dinner: Majestic Theater
Fri: Lunch- Harlem Dinner: Brooklyn Bridge
Sat: Lunch- China Town Dinner: Central Park
Sun: Lunch -St. Patricks Dinner: Radio City Music Hall
Mon: Lunch- Statue of Liberty Dinner: Time Square
Tues: Lunch Macy's, Bloomindales, etc. Dinner: Madison Square Garden
Wed: Lunch New York Stock Exchange
If you are steak eaters there is Del Frisco's near Rockefeller Center (49th and 6th) along with tons of other steakhouses in Midtown, however I can only comment on Del Frisco's which is very good. Near the NYSE there is a Bobby Vans and Delmonico's. I have heard Les Halles turns out a good steak as well.
Avoid Les Halles on John Street, it's inconsistent. IMO opinion one of the best lunches downtwn is at Table Tales on Water btw. Peck Slip and Beekman. No alcohol, no servers. You could also go to Mangia on Wall. No servers, no alcohol. Alternatively lunch at Bobby Van's (there are actually two restaurants) in the old bank vault or at Suspender's (pubby place) might also work. I'm a former NYC Teaching Fellow currently working part time as a substitute teacher so the best value and quality for a teacher's budget would be Table Tales.
Thinking ahead to midtown, Marseille has a nice prix fixe dinner (thanks RGR).
For your pre-theater dinner, Orso or Vice Versa.
For Chinatown lunch, Joe's Shanghai. Be sure to have the soup dumplings with crab.
For Chinatown lunch Saturday you could try Jing Fong on Elizabeth Street for dim sum. The food is good, cheap and it's a great scene--kind of "full contact dim sum" on weekends but a great experience. For your Times Square dinner you could go a couple of blocks west to Esca. Lunch in Harlem, how about the new location of "A Taste of Seafood," 125th between 5th and Madison, north side of the street (various kinds of fried fish with traditional sides). I don't know the area around Rockefeller Center well, but the "Tea Box" at Takeshimaya on 5th between 54th and 55th is a great urban oasis for lunch.
Here are my recommendations, all relatively inexpensive to medium:
Near Rockefeller, Times square, Majestic Theater, St. Patricks, Radio City -- DB Bistro (nice dinner), John's Pizza (not the best but decent for the area), Queen of Sheba, Sapporo, Sullivan Street Bakery (not a restaurant, but you can make a meal out of their pizzas), Virgil's
Near Harlem -- Charles Southern Buffet, Amy Ruth's, Max Soha
Near Brooklyn Bridge -- Noodle Pudding, Grimaldi's, Five Points
Near Chinatown -- dim sum at Golden Bridge (carts), dim sum at Dim Sum Go Go (no carts)
Near Central Park -- ? Central Park is really large
Near Madison Square Garden, Macys -- Han Bat, Won Jo, Kun Jip, Olympic Pita, Pick-a-pita, Artisanal, wichcraft, Le Pain Quotidien
Near NY Stock Exchange, Statue of Liberty -- Alfanoose, Financier Patisserie
Near Bloomies -- ? I'm never in that area
First, not to sound rude, but you are aware that Broadway is on strike right now and Phantom is not playing until further notice? For more info on that go to playbill.com and click on the "Broadway Strike" icon in red. On Wed, Bobby Flay's Bar Americain has been solid both times I went, Might be cutting it close with the $80 (all included), but really enjoyable. Lunch in Times Sq. not really sure, but a good pre-show dinner would be Le Madeleine on West 43rd St (near the corner of 9th Avenue) you can get prix fixe or order from the regular menu. My girlfriend and I went and the roast chicken was great!
Lunch in Harlem, you could hit Dinosaur Barbecue or Rack and Soul
Dinner near Brooklyn Bridge (my nabe)-Carmine's Italian Seafood Restaurant, Salud (pan-Latin).
NYSE-I gotyta throw in Les Halles on John Street. Been there many times and never ever had a bad meal. Always on the money. The service has been spotty once or twice, but I've found it to be more than worth it. My first experience there was probably the best restaurant experience I've ever had, so it really set the tone for me and It's always been special to me.