please look over my itinerary and make suggestions!
i am coming to new york thrusday, march 13th (5.30 pm est) and leaving sunday, march 16th (11.00 am).
for dinner i have thought: thursday night- sushi yasuda (do they take reservations??), friday nite- prune, saturday night- momofuku (should i do ssam bar or noodle bar?!)
lunch- friday should i do katz's or 2nd ave deli? im going for pastrami, but i dont need some sandwich longer than my arm, saturday- shopsin's
what should i do/ see, foodwise (not eating, obviously) on friday (ill be in manhattan) and saturday (ill be around brooklyn, mainly) should i go see chelsea market, the green market (does that go on in winter?)? tell me! i really like to bring home ingredients from the places i visit to cook with at home, i cook by trade. unique things to use in my kitchen at home, that will last the train ride are helpful.
i am from rural virginia, on the chesapeake bay, if that tells you anything.
then, i was thinking friday i would get some takeout from daisy may's bbq usa for the train on sunday. and that i would swing by balthazar for breakfast sunday before i left.
i also was thinking about getting some gelato in brooklyn over at oro verde gelati espresso bar.
any help/thoughts would be greatly appreciated. what should i not miss?
Happy to hear you'll be visiting NYC. Here are answers to some of your questions.
Yasuda does take reservations.
The Union Square Greenmarket is outdoors. It's open Mon., Wedl, Fri. and Sat., all year round, rain or shine.
Chelsea Market is an indoor pavilion with a variety of food shops and restaurants. Since you've mentioned gelato, you can check out L'Arte del Gelato, located in front of Bowery Kitchen Supplies. Also, don't miss the delicious brownies at Fat Witch.
If you like bringing home interesting ingredients, you should check out Kalustyan's, on Lex, b/t 28th & 29th Sts. Every nook and cranny of this shop is crammed with a huge assortment of foodstuffs, especially those related to Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern cooking.
For pastrami, definitely Katz's! Reports about the quality of the re-incarnated 2nd Ave.Deli's pastrami have been mixed. If you're going to Katz's, you might want to consider doing my (in)famous Lower East Side food "tour," which starts at Katz's. While you walk the streets of this interesting, historic neighborhood, you can sample foods that are emblematic of NYC. Here's the tour:
LES Food Excursion
For the quintessential NYC deli experiences, no place beats Katz's, on the corner of Houston (pronounced "how-stun") & Ludlow Sts. You're there specifically for the pastrami sandwich. When you enter, you will be given a ticket. Instead of opting for table service, do what the "natives" do and get on line for counter service. When you reach the counter, put a $1 for each sandwich in the counterman's tip cup – though not mandatory, it is a tradition -- and order pastrami on rye. He'll give you a piece to taste. If you like it (the best pastrami is juicy and has some fat on it), tell him o.k., and he'll make your sandwich, give you some sour pickles, and punch your ticket. Then, continue along the counter for sides – the cole slaw is good -- and drinks. Find seats at a table in the center of the room. (Tables along the wall have menus on them and are reserved for waiter service.) When you’re done, take your ticket to the cashier in front, where it’s cash only. To pay by credit card, go to the counter at the rear where the salamis are sold. Note: For the purposes of this tour, unless you have a gargantuan appetite, it would be best to share one sandwich in order to leave room for more tastings along the way.
When you exit Katz’s, turn left and continue along the same side of Houston St. You will come to Russ & Daughters, famous for all sorts of smoked fish and many other goodies. It's not a restaurant, but they make sandwiches to go.
After leaving the Russes, continue west a couple of blocks until you reach Yonah Schimmel's. Get a tasty potato knish, and make sure to ask them to heat it up.
Now it’s time for the quintessential NY drink – the egg cream. So, reverse yourself and head east on Houston until you come to Avenue A. (Note: Avenue A becomes Essex St. on the south side of Houston.) Turn left on A and head north until you get to the block between 7th St. and St. Mark’s Place. Look for a hole-in-the-wall candy shop, closer to 7th, with an overhead sign jutting into the street that says, “Belgian Fries.” (The place’s official name is Ray’s, but there is no signage to that effect.) One of the women behind the counter will make you a delicious chocolate egg cream.
When you’re finished licking your lips, go back to Houston St. and make a left (east) one block to Norfolk St. Turn right and walk down Norfolk until it ends at Grand St. Two places to look for at the corner of Grand and Norfolk: Kossar's, for freshly baked bialys (another very NY food) and the Donut Plant (self-explanatory).
Next, walking west along Grand St., you will come to Orchard St. Turn right. At 87 Orchard, snack on a pickle from Gus's World Famous Pickles.
Then, continue to 97 Orchard, b/t Broome & Delancey, where you will find the Tenement Museum. The tour will show you what life was like for immigrants to NYC at the beginning of the 20th century. ( http://www.tenement.org
Once you have finished the tour, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, right next door at 95 Orchard, is a must for some of the best gelato anywhere.
If your sweet tooth is still not completely satisfied, the final stop on this tour should do it. Continue ahead (north) on Orchard, crossing Delancey, then one more block to Rivington St. Make a right and you will find Economy Candy at 145 Rivington.
Note: It’s best not to take this tour on a Saturday since some of the spots are closed because of religious observance.
Finally, I love Daisy May's, but cold bbq on the train on Sunday? That doesn't sound very appealing.
Edited to add: I did not see cimui's post until after I posted mine. Ergo, some duplication in answers.
you should make definitely make reservations at yasuda for a thursday night. yasuda san works on weekdays, so ask for a seat in front of him, if you can. afterwards, go across the street to sakagura for some great sake and dessert.
especially if you want to bring something back on the train, do stop by chelsea market on friday. i think it's a fun experience and at the very least, a good place to have lunch. (i love the green table for a sit-down lunch and the lobster place's chowder / bisques for more casual takeout.) the italian market, especially, has some interesting ingredients, though it's pricey.
if you're going to be in chelsea, you might as well venture just slightly further south to the meatpacking district on the same day and have dinner at fatty crab. it's a tasty and fun experience.
the green market is open on saturdays at union square. there may be smaller ones other places in the city, but the big one is at US.
given that you're from virginia, you are probably able to find better barbecue than daisy may's back home. DM is good for manhattan, but it's really not as good as you'll find down south.
enjoy your visit -- and welcome!
i made my reservations. i got a rez for two at 9.15 right in front of chef yasuda. i confirmed he was going to be there and i am absolutely thrilled at the prospect.
point taken on the bbq. being a southern girl, i just love good bbq and i had just seen the daisy may name pop up many times in recent new york food news. plus, i named my dog after that place (cuz i like bar-b-que and the dog looked like her name should be daisy may)
and a note on cold ribs- actually, they are delicious. and somehow that marrow inside the bones sort of solidifies so you can sit there and fill your mouth with barbequed meat butter of sorts. the foie gras of the south!