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Which should I ditch?

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Please help – Based on excellent feedback from NYC hounds, below is my itinerary thus far for my short trip to NYC. Lunches on Mon & Tue are left open since I will be at a conference and not sure if I can escape. :-(

Want to work in Momofuku and perhaps Prune, which seems like favorites among locals. Should I ditch one of the below? If yes – which one(s)? Also, approximately how much does omakase at Sushi Yasuda run? I know it varies depending on daily offerings, but a ballpark figure would help me budget.

Sat – late lunch at Gordon Ramsey Maze – 2 course lunch (we arrive NYC 2’ish)
Sat – late evening – dessert tasting at WD-50 (have seen mixed reviews)

Sun – brunch at Balthazar
Sun – dinner at Sushi Yasuda

Mon – dinner at Babbo

Tues – either pre-theater dinner at db Bistro Moderne or post-theater dinner at Café Boulud

THANKS!

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  1. If you managed to get a reservation at Babbo, don't let that one go. That's like gold. I haven't been to Sushi Yasuda, but I hear it's absolutely ethereal. I think that one's a keeper, too.

    1. you could ditch Balthazar in favor of Prune.

      I agree with cuisinescene - you have to keep Babbo and I'll add Sushi Yasuda. Both are terrific. As for Tuesday night...tough call - coin flip. What are you doing for dinner on Saturday? I'd try to sneak in Momofuku Ko or Ssam in there.

      1. I'd stick with your itinerary, personally -- it looks absofreakinlutely great. I'm very jealous!

        Yasuda omakase runs anywhere from $70 for ppl who don't eat that much to $140 for people who eat a lot. I'd budget about $120 to be safe.

        1. I agree, I think you itinerary is great. I've heard Maze can be quite hit or miss, but I think it is still a good choice. You have a good mix of different cuisines. Personally, I would try for Cafe Boulud post theater rather than DB before, but that is just my taste. DB is perfectly fine.

          1. Ditch Balthazaar to eat in, but do stop by the bakery and buy baked goods to go. Sunday is a mad house there--literally. And, the last time I ate there it simply wasn't all that great. Ed's Lobster Bar isn't far from there, why not try that place.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Ora

              The OP could go for an early breakfast at Balthazar - might not be so bad.

              1. re: MMRuth

                REALLY early :)

                1. re: Ora

                  True!

            2. Cafe Boulud serves until 10 p.m., so I don't think post-theater is possible.

              3 Replies
              1. re: RGR

                Unless it's a 7:00 curtain on Tuesday...I think DB serves later,

                1. re: David W

                  I forgot about the 7 p.m. curtain time on Tuesdays. If the play is not longer than two hours or so, Moshi could grab a cab and get up to Cafe Boulud before they stop serving.

                  You're right about dbBistro. Except for Sunday and Monday, when they stop serving at 10 p.m., the rest of the week, it's 11 p.m. or 11:30 p.m.

                  Between the two, I would choose Cafe Boulud because while the food at dbBistro is certainly fine, C.B.'s is superb. Also, service is more polished at C.B. Of course, they have totally different vibes, i.e., more sedate at C.B., which can be a factor when choosing between them.

                  1. re: RGR

                    I agree. I think my best meal in recent memory has been at Cafe Boulud. It's just a very relaxing and genuine place to eat good food.

              2. My vote would be to lose wd-50

                www.thelunchbelle.com

                1. What I nix the brunch at Balthazar and replace it with Prune. And I would keep the WD-50 dessert tasting. I wasn't too keen on the food but thought the desserts were really good.

                  I haven't been to Cafe Boulud so I can't say anything about that. But db Bistro is a great pre-theater place. But definitely not in the same league as Daniel.

                  Your itinerary looks great!

                  1. I strongly advise you to keep WD 50, but be sure to do the tasting menu!

                    1. OK! Based on everyone's feedback, I have adjusted my dining excursion to accomodate for restaurant availability, show times, etc. Since we will be arriving Saturday 2'ish, I thought it best to leave Saturday lunch open and play it by ear as some restaurants (like Prune and Maze) stop serving at around 3'ish. And after further thought, sushi on Sunday may not be the best idea since I suppose the fish will be a day old at best. Finally, it must be my lucky day as I was able to change my 11 pm Monday Babbo res to a 9:45 pm Tuesday res!!! So here goes:

                      Sat - lunch - depending on mood and time allowing - either Momofuku or Prune
                      Sat - dinner - depending on how late and filling lunch was - Balthazar (is Prune a good spot for dinner too? or just brunch?)
                      Sat - dessert - depending on whether I eat dinner - WD-50 tasting

                      Sun - lunch at Gordon Ramsey Maze
                      Sun - afternoon jaunt through Chelsea Market
                      Sun - dinner at Cafe Boulud

                      Mon - dinner at Sushi Yasuda - made res & requested sushi bar seating in front of Chef Yasuda (should I go with omakase or off the menu?)

                      Tues - theater 7pm curtain
                      Tues - post-theater dinner at Babbo 9:45pm!!!!!!!! (what a great way to cap off my trip!)

                      Thanks all!

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Moshi Moshi

                        Omakase at Yasuda for sure. Looks like an amazing weekend. BTW try the Frisse w truffle dressing at Maze-memorable!

                        1. re: UES Mayor

                          Omakase it is! What are the dress codes for the restaurants I have lined up? I would prefer to wear jeans - nice, dark color jeans. I've perused the restaurants websites and it seems to me they all look fairly casual. But if anyone can confirm, please do!

                          1. re: Moshi Moshi

                            Certainly fine at Yasuda - but not, I think, at Cafe Boulud. Fine for Balthazar.

                            1. re: MMRuth

                              Daniel Boulud had originally intended Cafe Boulud to be extremely casual, i.e., jeans, sweaters, etc. However, because the restaurant has a large UES clientele of a certain ilk who are more used to "dressing up" when they dine out, you will find that many of the men do wear jackets (but not necessarily ties). And while women are not dressed "to the nines," they do gussy up just a bit.

                              However, there is no dress code, so you can dress more casually. During the winter, my husband usually wears a long-sleeved shirt with a vest and no jacket and feels quite comfortable there. The only time he's worn a jacket and tie is when we were celebrating a special occasion.

                              Btw, this is about dinner. At lunch and especially Sunday brunch, people definitely dress more casually.

                              1. re: RGR

                                Last time I ate at Cafe Boulud I work a nice pair of pants and tucked in dress shirt. Some men wore jackets, some wore nice sweaters and some just a tucked in shirt. I wouldn't recommend wearing jeans though.

                                1. re: offthebeatenpath1

                                  Ok, no jeans at CB. What about Babbo? The interior looks pretty classy. Are dark jeans fine there?

                                  1. re: Moshi Moshi

                                    Yes

                                    1. re: Moshi Moshi

                                      Moshi,

                                      Re: Cafe Boulud. One time when we were there for dinner, a fellow at the table next to us was wearing what I thought were rather ratty jeans and a not very attractive bulky pullover sweater. So, obviously, you can wear jeans. If you do, I think you should choose a really nice pair of dark ones along with a dress shirt and maybe even a jacket. Casual but sophisticated. :-)

                                      1. re: RGR

                                        Got it! Thanks for the tip!

                          2. re: Moshi Moshi

                            wow, I'm jealous. That is quite a dining itinerary. I don't think you will be at all disappointed by your experiences. I went to Sushi Yasuda last night and it was hands down the best and freshest sushi experience I have had.

                          3. If wd-50 is still doing the toasted coconut cake, you should consider ordering it.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: big o

                              I think Frank Bruni singled out the coconut cake in today's 3-star review of wd-50.

                              1. re: floretbroccoli

                                I wouldn't be surprised. About a month back, I was at the bar with my girlfriend and a buddy of ours. It was late and things were relatively slow, so we got to spend some time chatting with the bartender, Tona. We spoke about booze and Tailor, and he wound up detailing that night's stock of house-made liqueurs (raisin-infused whiskey, kumquat-infused gin, a concord grape something or the other). After lots of samples, and a few proper drinks, we ordered the coconut cake and the cherry-covered chocolates. We enjoyed the cherries, but the coconut cake just floored us. Such a warm, toasty, intense coconut flavor complimented wonderfully by the brown butter sorbet. It was a very simple, perfect treat.

                            2. Keep 'em all!