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Suggestions for NYC trip

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I've been reading all the reviews, etc over the past few weeks. I'm overwhelmed by all the information, so I'm hoping one thread with everything will help!

Anyway, here's what I'm looking for...A LOT. We'll be in town for 7 nights at the beginning of August. We'll be there for the ABA annual meeting, so my husband's firm will pick up the tab for most of the meals (within reason...7 dinners at Per Se probably won't fly), but we don't want to eat all expense account meals all the time. Where's the fun in that? We're major foodies, going so far as to plan trips around certain places we want to eat, so this is such an exciting trip for us. Anyway, we love all kinds of food and eat all most anything. We need suggestions for romantic dinners and for business type dinners. A place to eat after a show would be great. Brunch Also, any good lunch places close to the Hilton Midtown (I know that close is a relative term up there, so use your best judgement.). My husband will be in meetings all day during the week, but will have long lunch breaks. We're going to see a friend's husband who is the sous at CraftSteak, but that's the only meal we really have planned. We've had a couple of restaurants suggested to us~Fiamma, The London, and Babbo, Oh, we're staying at the London NYC, if that matters. If you couldn't tell, this is my first trip, though my husband has been there numerous times.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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  1. Well, The London and Hilton Midtown are both close to Bar Americain, one of Bobby Flay's restaurants. Pretty corporate clientele, but not bad. If you want to use that expense account, Le Bernardin is in the area. Not Per Se, but it'll garner a lot of bonus points on the charge card if you know what I mean. Wu Liang Ye on 48th Street is great, spicy Sichuan(don't know how hot you like it), and much more reasonable price wise than the other two places I mentioned. If you're up for some walking, on 10th Ave and 51st St is Azuri Cafe. My absolute favoite Israeli/Meditteranean place in NYC. The owner is a hoot. Gruff, no frills Israeli guy. Not much in the way of decor or space for that matter. But the falafel platter is excellent, and they have some great salads. If you want a cheap, but good meal, I like Sapporo 48th(or 49th...) for ramen(the real kind, not the $.39 packs from the grocery). And if you just wanna get a bite and move on, Midtown has lots of food carts. Rafiqi's is better than the usual, they have more than one location.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JSHAFT78

      You may want to travel a little to eat. Babbo is incredible and for foodies, it's really a great night. I would also recommend Keen's for an old school NYC experience. Order the mutton chop and some great wine or bourbon. Le Bernardin is special and very elegant. Jshaft isn't kidding when he/she mentions the price but it's really a treat.

      Any specific cravings? NYC almost has too many restaurants!

    2. Hey Kate, welcome to the city.

      I had a great long response then the computer bit it and I lost it all! Oh well. Here is a short version. Not always the "best", but some good spots IMHO.

      Quick Lunch:
      Bouchon Bakery in the Time Warner Center. Quick, fun, Keller.
      Bar Joint in lobby of the Le Parker Merdian. Best burger in midtown. Literally, a hole in the wall. Cash Only.

      Pre-Dinner/Post-Dinner:
      Goto the Bar at the back of Smith's on Macdougal. Get a drink and try the steamed egg.
      'ino on Bedford St (not 'inoteca in the LES). A classic. Get Truffled Egg Toast.

      Some Lunches / Dinner: (I assume you are going to Per Se)
      Bar Boulud (haven't been but high on the list)
      Bar Blanc (surprisingly good)
      Chanterelle (for your romantic night)
      Nobu/Nobu Next Door (two words: black cod)
      Sushi Seki (killer sushi- get the omakase)
      The Red Cat (just really nice)
      Perilla (Top Chef Harold Dieterle's place and it's good)
      Spotted Pig (everyone loves it- I hate it)
      Momofuku Noddle Bar and/or Momofuku Ssam Bar (all the rage- and quite good)
      Patsy's Pizza or John's or Angelo's (you're in NYC you MUST get Pizza once)
      Centro Vinoteca (Batali protege: Anne Burell)
      Del Posto (skip Babbo and go to Batali's best. Think lard instead of butter on the table and four amuse bouche- it is an experience.)
      Blue Ribbon
      Pearl Oyster Bar (still the best lobster roll)

      Brunch:
      Prune
      Five Points

      Wow, it is overwhelming isn't it! Hope this gives you some ideas outside of the super high-rated stuff!

      3 Replies
      1. re: winemonkey

        Perilla (Top Chef Harold Dieterle's place and it's good)
        ~I was looking forward to trying his place. Looks great. He was one of my favorites. I'm so ashamed!
        Del Posto was our choice over Babbo as well. I'm glad to hear somebody second it.
        My husband loves Burger Joint. He usually stays there and lives on those burgers for lunch!

        All the other suggestions look great as well. I'll let y'all know what happens!

        1. re: winemonkey

          What makes Del Posto better than Babbo? I have heard more recs for Babbo. Seems like they have better pastas and entree selections. Although Del Posto is a really beautiful spot.

          1. re: steakrules85

            I think that you are replying to winemonkey, but if not, we're choosing Del Posto over Babbo simply because we like the look of the menu more and my BIL's best friend says it's great! No scientific date or anything.

        2. One of my favorite post-theater places is Artisanal since they're open late and are usually too crowded early.

          The tasting menu at Anissa is wonderful.

          I also recommend The Tasting Room, A Voce, and L'Atelier du Joel Robuchon for nice meals.

          For seafood, I recommend Shaeffer City and Aquagrill (their seafood tower w/ a bottle of champagne makes a great afternoon for two).

          For more casual meals, I'd recommend Les Deux Gamins, Wu Liang Ye, and North Corner.

          My favorite places for cocktails (due to the really good, inventive cocktails) are The Tasting Room and Spice Market.

          1. Some fine suggestions here, but I would add Dovetail to the list. Absolutely not to be missed. Seriously interesting food, nice ambience, excellent service and not ridiculously expensive. I would pick Jean-Georges or Picholine over Chanterelle. If you are looking for casual Italian, Crispo is the best. If you like organ meats, Chez Napoleon is a classic, simple French bistro that does things like brains, kidneys, sweetbreads, liver etc. really well. For slightly snazzier but casual French, Marseille is very nice. Annisa is very good. Re the recommendation for "North Corner", I think the poster meant North Square, which is very good also but with your limited time could be skipped, and Les Deux Gamins is just forgettable.

            1. Great Manhattan steakhouses include BLT Steak (new twist) and Keens (old classic). Outside of my Manhattan the best is of course Peter Luger.