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Feb 20, 2008 12:11 PM

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Mother and two adult daughters(20 & 27) visitng Manhattan week before Easter. We are staying at the Palace Hotel and enjoy walking as much as possible but are comfortable as well taking muni transit/subway or cabs. Our wish list includes great pizza, a street vendor hot dog, a perfect bagel, authentic deli, ethnic must haves,good coffee and pastries ($-$$$)
Monday: Arrive early AM and plan on staying around hotel shopping so we are looking for an early lunch spot. We have made late afternoon reservations at Serendipity for frozen hot chocolate. Dinner at Bar Americain.
Tuesday: Statue of Liberty,Ellis Island,Battery Park,sightseeing during the day so need both lunch and breakfast suggestions. We are going to a play PM so after reading Chow reviews made reservations at Marseille for dinner.
Wednesday: Museums Day and Central Park need breakfast,lunch hints. PM seeing play at Imperial Theater any suggestions for dinner?
Thursday: Exploring Greenwich Village,Riverside Church,more Central Park need breakfast,lunch spots, dinner reservations made for Babbo
Friday: Plan on attending Mass at St. Patricks and leave for home late afternoon. Suggestions for brunch/late breakfast around hotel?
Any/all suggestions are welcomed. Thank you so much.

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  1. Because you are about to see the most spectacular play of the season, you need to have the best meal to go with it (and only a few blocks away) at Vice Versa (51st bet. 8 & 9)
    Have a wonderful evening. You're in for a treat!

    6 Replies
    1. re: idia

      Thank you so much for your reply. Checked out Vice Versa-we love Italian so that wouldnt be a problem even with Babbo the following night. After checking the menu wondering if the price fixed menu is a good choice and what about their desserts-are they as good as their reviews? Good choice and thanks for Wed night.recommendation. Still looking now for a vendor hot dog (is there one better than another like a taco truck location),pizza, deli, coffee, and bagels. Thanks again.

      1. re: foodseek

        As far as Hot dogs go, my favorite in the city is grays papaya on the upper west side. There is something magical about papaya juice and hotdogs...

        Pizza is a very heated topic on this board. My personal favorite in Manhattan is Patsy's in harlem.

        If you want the best pizza in the universe. you will need to go deep into Brooklyn to DiFara's and get a square. You frankly seem be too busy to make the time to do this as it is an hour train ride each way, plus you will probably wait 45+ minutes for your pizza.

        1. re: tpigeon

          My favorite pizza place (also well located for your touring) is Angelo's. Thin crust pizza, great salad. On 57th Street, north side, between 6th & 7th Aves. Two blocks below (south of) Central Park.

          1. re: tpigeon

            Wednesday - museums day, if you're lunching near Mus of Natural History or the NY Historical Society then go to Isabella's right behind there. If it's MOMA, then how about something light at La Bonne Soupe? If it's the Met Museum, there's Caffe Grazie, or something light at Pain Quotidien, both only a couple of blocks away. The restaurants in MOMO and the MetMus are pretty good too, so you might just stay there.

          2. re: foodseek

            I never have the prix fixe at Vice Versa. The choices are not the best by any means. The a la carte menu is the way to go. By the way, you can have a half order of any pasta as an appetizer. Yes, the desserts are excellent. We don't usually order dessert but at V V we always do.

          3. re: idia

            Vice Versa is my favorite restaurant in NYC (and it has been for many years). You must try their signature dish of homemade veal/raisin/amaretto cookie raviolis, sauteed in a light butter & sage sauce.

          4. On Tuesday for lunch go to Katz's for pastrami sandwiches. The best in the universe (search the boards for ordering instructions for katz's).

            For breakfast, you can go a few stores down to Russ & Daughters to pick up bagels, cream cheese and lox or any other one of their amazing fish spreads.

            Both Katz's and R&D are NY institutions that have been around for about 100 years (Katz's more R&D a little less) for good reason...

            Very near R&D is Kossars (yet another institution) which has awesome bialis (easily the best I ever had) and I am sure their bagels are excellent too -- you may want to buy spread at R&D and put it on a Bagel at Kossars (I eat bialys with butter only, but that is just me...) - I will let others opine on the bagel strategy as the bagels at R&D are great too.

            Be warned -- Donut Plant (which is awesome) is right next to Kossars :).

            Thursday, if you are in the west village, go to Patisserie Claude. You will have to go to France to get better pastries.

            2 Replies
            1. re: tpigeon

              Thanks so much for response, tpigeon and rrems. I live in San Francisco and realize how often you all must get requests for help. Great ideas for lunch at Katz's we will go and order the pastrami- we are proud of our food choices in San Francisco but sadly no great delis or bagels. Can we fit in Patisserie Claude on the day we go to Greenwich Village? Thanks again so much!

              1. re: foodseek

                Patisserie Claude is in the West Village

                Patisserie Claude
                187 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

            2. Not sure if you can fit these options into your schedule, but you might enjoy:

              Balthazar -- esp nice in the late weekday afternoons for salads and oysters and wine and's also nice late at night, so might be a fun place to cab to after seeing a play...

              Il Giglio...Tribeca old-school upscale Italian...

              Malatesta...or Cacio e Vino...two moderately priced downtown Italian places...

              and, as already mentioned, definitely get a bagel&lox to go from Russ&Daughters...

              Have a great trip...

              p.s. while i haven't been there, Bar Americain gets very mixed reviews here, and i'm not a fan of Bobby Flay places in general...i'd consider looking at other options for your first night dinner in NYC...

              3 Replies
              1. re: Simon

                Katz' for deli
                Gray's Papaya for hot dogs (just walking by will pull you right in -- if you catch "their" drift!)
                Best bagels in the world - H & H Bagels

                1. re: idia

                  I agree with this entire post.

                  1. re: Adrienne

                    If I may add another question:we arrive on Monday, St. Patricks Day, and our hotel is across from the parade route I am wondering if there is a nearby Irish pub or restaurant we could stop at for lunch near the Palace Hotel? Or on route to shopping? Thanks so much.

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. Update to itinerary: Thursday breakfast at "ino and after checking menu the fontina/egg/pancetta panini caught my eye as well as the truffled egg toast. Sounds great-for lunch will hunt out a Gray's Papaya hot dog in the area, hopefully.
                  And you are correct-this trip is extra special since we don't have the opportunity to visit New York often and schedules allow few trips. Sorry to hear about Serendipity that was an ode to the Food Networks hype about the place sans RR. Any other hints for area around our hotel for treats and or lunch. We are looking into reservations at Le Bernardin for lunch- any suggestions on what is not to miss there? Thanks again so much!

                  1. re: foodseek

                    Papaya King is almost as good as grays. Between the two, you should be able to get a great hot dog almost anywhere in the city. Don't forget the papaya juice.

                    1. re: foodseek

                      I would suggest doing lunch at Jean Georges instead of Le Bernadin. I have only had tasting menus at both and I believe they change seasonally. Both are amazing but I think JG edges out Le B. I am also not sure how much Le B is, but I know the JG lunch @ $40pp ranks amongst the best bargains in the city.

                      Also you should be aware that Le B is predominantly seafood, if that makes any difference. Also the space at JG is nicer than Le B, which has more of a business meeting feel to it.

                      I would normally reccomend Per Se (If you can get a res and have absolutely no budget constraints) but you are from SF, so I don't think that is a worthwhile choice.

                      1. re: tpigeon

                        Checking out possibility of switching to Jean Georges-we do love seafood though. The price of the lunch at JG does make it seem like a great deal. What is recommended for lunch there? We will report back on our trip and so appreciate all the help.

                    2. I am going to have to dissent on the pasta tasting at babbo. I have done both and the best dishes are a la carte and are well published on this board. The pasta tasting menu is excellent, it is just not quite as good as the very best dishes at Babbo.

                      1. re: tpigeon

                        I'd also dissent on the pasta tasting. too much pasta and too much of the same texture. With three people, esp. three family members, you can all share the pastas and cover a good portion of the menu.

                        1. re: ESNY

                          Any hints on which pastas to order if not the tasting menu? We could share entrees but arent sure which ones are worth an outstretched arm.
                          We were originally thinking of one of us ordering the tasting menu and other two their favorite pastas. Thanks.

                          1. re: foodseek

                            Unfortunately they won't do that. They'll only do the tasting menu for the whole table. pretty much all pastas there are great. I love the bucatini alla amatriciana and any of the ragus. Also, for entrees I always recommend the sweetbreads.

                            1. re: foodseek

                              the mint love letters with sausage is really unique and tasty.

                        2. Corrico,
                          Since you are very familar w. the West Village I'm wondering if you could also give me some recs for a Sunday brunch or early lunch in the area. Do you have any recommendations that are not typical american or italian spots that would be appropriate for late morning (not latin please as I'm having that the day before). Also any must go to places to hit for a snack later in the day? Thanks so much in advance!

                          1. re: Lotus7

                            For Sunday brunch in the W Vill, some of my favorites are good, 'ino, Morandi, Cornelia St. Cafe, August, Jane, and Extra Virgin. Otto is open if you're in the mood for lunch. For a great prix fixe lunch deal in a more upscale environment, you could also try Perry Street, where the focus will be on lunch, instead of brunch, food.
                            Sweet snacks: Bird Bath, Amy's Bread, Rocco's, Cones, and Chocolate Bar are some favorites. If you're willing to venture a little further out, Chelsea Market is also a great place to grab snacks.

                            1. re: Lotus7

                              I appreciate the input on the pasta tasting. I'm gonna do a little research on this board, and try out some new dishes the next time I go to Babbo. As far as breakfast,

                            2. If the OP is going to Babbo, then i'd recommend not doing Lupa...sure, the brussels sprouts and some other dishes are tasty, but the Batali joints are just a trendy crazily hyped subset of all the Italian food available in NY...going to both on a short trip is Batali overkill...

                              personally, i've boycotted all Batali places (with the possible exception of latenight at CasaMono) because of obnoxious service, especially from the hostesses: snide attitude seems to be the quality most desired when they hire...

                              1. re: Simon

                                It's a shame that you've had that experience. The Babbo servers were very nice and not at all snooty towards me -- and I'm 26 but I'm told I look *maybe* 20 so usually I get the shortest end of the service stick available.

                                1. re: Simon


                                  It's funny that while I agree completely that going to both Babbo and Lupa would be overkill, I disagree regarding attitude. The fellow at the front desk at Babbo could be a bit more cordial, but otherwise the staff has been very welcoming, and the same is true for Lupa. That said, my problem is that I don't really think it is worth having to plan a month ahead and call at just the right time to get a reservation at either of these when it is easy to get a res at Crispo for moderate price or L'Impero for a more high-end experience. The Batali name carries more weight than it deserves to. I still try to get to them once in a while though, for certain dishes that I really like.

                                  1. re: rrems

                                    Fair enough. Glad you had better experiences than i. To be fair, i didn't have poor experiences every time (sometimes people were very cordial, etc and for a brief time, i went to Lupa semi-regularly), but there were enough annoying times that i decided i could do without the places (and mainly the rudeness i've encountered was at Lupa, CasaMono, and Otto -- although my last few Casa Mono visits were happy).

                                    I've only been to Babbo twice. The food on the first visit was fantastic (the roasted porcini wrapped in pancetta was one of my fav dishes i had that year); on the second visit, i didn't care for food: the beet salad was so sickly sweet i sent it back, and the chop was bland.

                                    1. re: Simon

                                      Also interesting that you mention Otto. We went once and will not go back. Not the attitude, just mediocre food. I don't get why many hounds recommend it. I remember having the pizza with bottarga and it had hardly any bottarga. I told the waitress and she brought more bottarga right away, but it still did not have much flavor, as opposed to bottarga I have had in Italy which was powerful.

                              2. If you are going to the Met Museum or others nearby, there is another interesting museum which also has a great restaurant in it for lunch. The Neue Galerie on 86th St. and 5th Ave.near the Met has Cafe Sabarsky, which serves wonderful Austrian food, and the best pastries and coffees anywhere. If you go there, be sure to eat in the cafe on the main floor, not the one in the basement. They both have the same food, but the atmosphere of the main one is worth waiting for.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: rrems

                                  Great-one of the museums/galleries we were going to visit so this is a terrific tip. We don't have much Austrian/German food in San Francisco so it is a terrific choice for museum day/Wed. lunch. Thanks so much.

                                  1. re: foodseek

                                    I agree that Sabarsky is an excellent option. Just be aware that they don't take reservations, so there can be a substantial wait for a table.

                                    1. re: foodseek

                                      If you don't make it there, you can also try Wallse, in the West Village, which also serves wonderful Austrian inspired food (same owners).

                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                        or Blaue Gans in Tribeca--also same owners.