Help me with my "12 places to eat in NY" game
In preparation for 12 weeks in Manhattan this summer, I'm trying to put together a list of 12 restaurants to try in NYC. I don't take it too seriously; it's just something I'm doing to learn about restaurants and get excited for moving. As you'll see, what I currently have is skewed towards higher-end restaurants, but not exclusively. It also skews towards Manhattan restaurants, but not exclusively. (Hope that's okay on this board!!)
My current list is in the order in which I'd like to try them. Again, I'm not really serious about that; it's just to make the game harder.
Places that were considered (should any of them be promoted?):
wd-50, Dawat, AquaGrill, Fatty Crab, Grand Sichuan International, Blue Hill, Anthos, Bar Boulud, Cheburechnaya, Amy Ruth's, Great New York Noodletown, L'atelier, Jean Georges, Gramercy Tavern, Craft, Masa.
Places to which I have already been that could belong on a similar list:
Absolute Bagels, Grimaldi, Megu (I loved it when I went two years ago. Has it fallen out of fashion already?) Carnegie Deli, Corner Bistro, Steak Shack, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Gray's Papaya.
What places seem strange on my list (or on my list of reserves)? Is it weird that I have Gordon Ramsay on the list but not Jean Georges or ...? Is Sushi Yasuda reasonable for my only Japanese restaurant? I had never heard of it till I started doing research here.... Most importantly, what places are missing?!
I like "institutions" and places with lively atmospheres. When I read a review that says "I don't like Restaurant X because it is too crowded", I take that as a big endorsement of Restaurant X.
We haven't been to Bar Boulud yet, but from what I've read about it, neither the food nor the ambiance is similar to Cafe Boulud.
While Cafe Boulud is much less formal than the flagship restaurant, Daniel, I have always thought the quality of CB's cuisine is quite the equal. We were at CB again a few weels ago for lunch and had the opportunity to try the cuisine of recently-hired Executive Chef Gavin Kaysen. I can say without hesitation that he is a true talent and is putting out food that is inventive without being extreme and seriously delicious!
The reports, thus far, about the food at Bar Boulud have not been anywhere close to raves. So, as long as you don't mind a more sedate environment, I would go with Cafe Boulud.
Don't forget to eat a Bahn Mi at Saigon on Mott. The #1, spicy. Perfect for lunch and wandering around.
Really good list. I might try and "promote" Gramercy Tavern. Also for Japanese I would try and hit Nobu