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Where to take french visitors?

happytoo Mar 14, 2008 09:19 AM

I will be meeting some french friends in NY. This is their first trip to the US. This is what I have planned so far. Sushi Seki the night they arrive (thursday night) Luppa for lunch on friday. We will be seeing a Knicks game, so hot dogs and beer at the game. Saturday I wanted to take them to Babbo, but have been having a hard time finding a place, so I reserved at Craft bar, but now that I read the blogs, I might take them early to Babbo instead of Craft.

Sunday is brunch..maybe then Craft, but what I am trying to find is a place equivlant to 9 Park in Boston or Hatfield's in LA..something along those lines.

Any ideas?Thanks

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  1. w
    Will4Food RE: happytoo Mar 14, 2008 09:29 AM

    Don't think you need Babbo if you're going to Lupa. Why not a place for great American cuisine--Dovetail, Blue Hill, Union Square Cafe, Cafe Gray? And for brunch, try the expansive and beautiful Fig and Olive in the Meatpacking district.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Will4Food
      MMRuth RE: Will4Food Mar 14, 2008 09:33 AM

      I agree - I wouldn't necessarily do two Batali places on this kind of visit. Gramercy Tavern might be another option.

      1. re: Will4Food
        happytoo RE: Will4Food Mar 14, 2008 09:36 AM

        Thanks, I tried Blue Hill but they have no places, so I reserved at Craft Bar..And as for Babbo, shall I cancel Luppa and go to Babbo?. I love both places.

        1. re: happytoo
          Lucia RE: happytoo Mar 14, 2008 11:41 AM

          I wouldn't recommend Craftbar. Pretty uneven.

      2. r
        rrems RE: happytoo Mar 14, 2008 09:35 AM

        I wouldn't do both Babbo and Lupa. Both are great but the food is too similar. If you want to stay away from French food, I would sugest Olana or Dovetail. Both are contemporary American, with a hint of Italian at Olana.

        1. r
          RGR RE: happytoo Mar 14, 2008 09:39 AM

          When our French friends first came over many years ago (they've been back often since), we took them to a steakhouse. Nothing more American than that! My pick would be Keens. It's been in its 36th St. location since 1885, so in addition to delicious food and excellent service, there's the charming and unmatchable old NY ambiance.


          For Sunday"brunch," you could consider taking your friends on my (in)famous LES food "tour." Nothing like starting the day with a delicious pastrami sandwich at Katz's and/or a smoked fish sandwich from Russ & Daughters. lol If you've never come across the tour on this board, let me know, and I'll post it here.

          5 Replies
          1. re: RGR
            happytoo RE: RGR Mar 14, 2008 10:03 AM

            I have read your decadent "food tour" and might just do that too.

            1. re: RGR
              JoanN RE: RGR Mar 14, 2008 10:46 AM

              I agree with Keen's. Had French visitors a couple of weeks ago and took them to Katz's, Lupa, Daisy May, Dovetail, and Keen's and Keen's is the one they're still talking about.

              1. re: JoanN
                MMRuth RE: JoanN Mar 14, 2008 10:47 AM

                What did you think of Dovetail (sorry if I missed a post on you about it)?

                1. re: MMRuth
                  JoanN RE: MMRuth Mar 14, 2008 10:51 AM

                  I did a sort of quickie report here:


                  1. re: JoanN
                    MMRuth RE: JoanN Mar 14, 2008 10:52 AM


            2. k
              kobetobiko RE: happytoo Mar 14, 2008 09:40 AM

              By the way, Craft and Craftbar are two different restaurants under the same management, and two total different leagues in terms of quality of food. Craft is much superior to Craftbar, and I will highly recommend it.

              Similarly, Lupa and Babbo are both under Mario Batali, but the food is not exactly the same league. I find the food at Babbo much better, but that may vary by person. If you can go early and get the bar seating at Babbo (depending on how many peopel are there in your party), by all means go for it!

              1 Reply
              1. re: kobetobiko
                idia RE: kobetobiko Mar 14, 2008 10:27 AM

                Isn't there a Craftsteak as well as Craft? Which is better?
                I also recommend Fleur de Sel which is a small, charming venue with excellent cuisine.

              2. h
                happytoo RE: happytoo Mar 14, 2008 11:03 AM

                Well, now I have a lot of choices to ponder...I tried the Dovetail web sit but couldn't open it, did anyone succeed?

                3 Replies
                1. re: happytoo
                  rrems RE: happytoo Mar 14, 2008 11:46 AM

                  No, their website is still not operational. If you want to get an idea of the menu take a look in Menupages. It is not fully up-to-date, as the menu changes regularly, but it will give you a good idea of the type of food and prices. Also take a look at the link JoanN posted above. It has lots of comments on particular dishes. There is also a New York Times review you can google (3 stars).

                  1. re: rrems
                    happytoo RE: rrems Mar 14, 2008 01:28 PM

                    Thanks..I did all of that..but would have liked to see the ambiance..

                    1. re: happytoo
                      RGR RE: happytoo Mar 14, 2008 02:05 PM

                      Photo of Dovetail's interior via eater: http://eater.com/archives/2007/12/eat...

                2. a
                  adorno RE: happytoo Mar 14, 2008 07:09 PM

                  I had French visitors in the Fall (and I myself lived in France on and off for 16 years so so sort of sense what intrigues them and not in US culture). Mine were here for 2 weeks and we went to lots of places, both upscale and not. For what it's worth, they most loved: hot dogs at a street vendor, lunch at the UN (this was a gigantic hit), panchan before the main courses at a restaurant in K-town, dim sum in Chinatown, Katz's deli. For some of these, it wasn't the meal itself as the experience that was the memorable aspect -- for example, the dimsum (which was Jing Fong).

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