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Apr 29, 2008 08:20 PM

New York - Help me EAT!


Well I've been working on my schedule for New York (in town from Toronto for a wedding). Need some CHOW help on both where to eat and if the timing works. Here's what I have so far.

Day 1

4:00 pm: Arrive at hotel (Tribeca)

4:30 pm: Slice of pie at Bubby’s Pie Company

5:00 pm: Tour to Ground Zero, Wall Street, South Street Seaport

7:15pm: Rehearsal dinner at Sel et Poivre

Day 2

8:00am Empire State Building

10:00am walk or subway to Grand Central Terminal (Grand Central Station) Grab a bite!

11:30am Circle line sightseeing Cruise (Pier 83 on 42nd Street) – 2 hr semi circle tour

1:45pm – Lunch Clinton Street Bakery OR Katz’ Deli or anywhere else neat on LES? Suggestions?

3:00 pm LES noshing tour - Tenement Museum (if time), then back to b&b to change for wedding.

6:30pm Wedding (Central Park Boathouse)

Day 3

10:00 am Guggenheim Museum

12:30 pm Lunch at Café Sabarsky or ??? perhaps something a little more friendly on the wallet?

2:00 Metropolitan Museum of Art & Cloisters

GAP? not sure how long the Met & Cloisters will take. We'd likely go back to the hotel to change first.

7:30pm Dinner at BABBO or Degustation or Eleven Madison Park

Day 4

10:30 am MOMA

2:00pm – light lunch or brunch at La Bonne Soupe

5:00pm Early dinner at Marsailles or should we grab an early dinner at the Shake Shack?

6:00pm – Walk through Times Square and admire the lights

7:00 pm Theatre – Avenue Q: Golden Theater

Day 5

10:00am – Museum of Natural History

4:00pm – Cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Grab a slice of Grimaldi’s Pizza and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for dessert!

6:00pm Quick stop in LES to grab some goodies for the road.

6:30pm Depart B&B in Tribeca to go to airport (Flight leaves from Newark at 9pm)

Any help is appreciated! Many thanks!

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  1. "10:00am walk or subway to Grand Central Terminal (Grand Central Station) Grab a bite!"

    Unfortunately, I've never had anything special at GCT...the food court and shops there are very ordinary. And you probably don't want to visit the Oyster Bar at 10am, if it's even open. Maybe other hounds can suggest a quick bite on the way to GCT.

    "1:45pm – Lunch Clinton Street Bakery OR Katz’ Deli or anywhere else neat on LES? Suggestions?"

    Wait, you have a 2 hour boat tour at 11:30am (ending at 1:30pm) and you want to get down to the LES by 1:45pm? I think you will not end up getting to Clinton St until after 2pm if you are coming straight from 42nd Street. I've never been on that particular tour but in my experience getting on and off a boat always takes extra time...and who knows if the tour will be on time! And if you arrive at Clinton Street Baking Co. that late on a weekend, you will surely face a long line. Probably won't get seated until about 3pm, assuming they're still taking people on the list. AND if you do Clinton St. for lunch you'll be so stuffed you won't be able to eat for another several hours! Their portion sizes are pretty big. I'm always comatose afterwards.

    Additionally, the Tenement Museum tours only happen at set times during the day. The tour sizes are small and last a good length of time, and often sell out in advance. If you're planning on Clinton St. Baking Co. you might not make your LES Tenement Museum tour in time...I think you might be trying to do too much on this day given that you need to be a wedding at 6:30pm in Central Park!

    "5:00pm Early dinner at Marsailles or should we grab an early dinner at the Shake Shack?"

    Again, the lines at Shake Shack make this unpredictable. What if it's raining? Marseilles is also a popular pre-theatre restaurant, so reservations would be recommended.

    "4:00pm – Cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Grab a slice of Grimaldi’s Pizza and Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for dessert!"

    Grimaldi's doesn't serve slices. Only whole pies. I haven't been in a while, so I can't tell you what the lines will be like at 4pm (on a weekday?) -- you can post on the Outer Boroughs board for that.

    1. Your schedule is too agressive. A number of the places you want to eat at will have lines during peak (and in some cases off peak hours). For example, I had a late lunch at Shake Shack on Sat around 5pm. It was a cold cloudy day and we waited about 50 minutes before actually had any food in hand. I eat at La Bonne Soup ALL the time, there can be a wait during peak hours. Seeing the Met Mus of Art and Cloisters in a single day sounds exhausting if you plan to actually SEE anything in both places--which are fantastic LARGE museums. I think you should re-consider this schedule in its entirety, it just doesn't allow enough time to get around.

      1. Also, unless I'm mistaken, the Met and the Cloisters are not in the same location. The Met is on the east side around 84th and 5th, while the Cloisters is up near the Bronx. I don't think you could make it to both and back to your hotel before your dinner.

        Real NY pizza is a big one for my relatives from Toronto....and you can't go wrong with Katz's I think.

        1. I agree with the others that it's a very full schedule. Admittedly packed with some terrific stuff, but very tight. You probably want to leave more time not only to get around but also to wait in lines (unfortunately) and also to maybe allow for some spontanaeity in case something interesting comes along. That can be half the fun of living in NY! Also, please bear in mind that not all museums are open every day. MoMA is closed on Tuesdays. The Met typically isn't open on Mondays.

          13 Replies
          1. re: uwsgrazer

            Thanks for all the feedback. We've got all this stuff because we bought a CityPass and wanted to hit all the attractions. We know we'll only be able to see "highlights" of most mueseums.

            So here's the modifications, does this make sense?

            Day 2: head straight to the LES for lunch at Katz' (whatever time we get there) and skip the Tenement museum, would that work? How long would the LES tour take (the one from RGR). This will be a weekday btw so not sure if lineup at Clintons will be bad if we choose to go there?

            Day 3 Skip Cloisters. Any recommendations for lunch other than Cafe Sabarsky? Just that I'm German and I eat that kind of food all the time at home. Something quick and casual would be good!

            Day 4 - how about a slice of pizza for lunch instead so we're hungry for Marsailles? Any recommendations?

            Day 5 - skip Brooklyn bridge.

            Day 4

            1. re: Mintycake

              The cafeteria at the Met is really quite good, though in the basement, and there's also a nice cafe the name of which I do not recall. If Day 3 is a Monday, the museum will be closed though, as others said.

              1. re: MMRuth

                Day 5 is the Monday. So we're good for the Met! I will consider the Petri Court Cafe.

                1. re: Mintycake


                  Based in the fact that Day 5 is a Monday, if you do my LES Food Excursion on Day 2, that = Friday, so keep in mind that a few of the places observe the Sabbath and are not only closed on Saturday but also close early on Friday afternoon.

                  1. re: RGR

                    So should I do the LES on Monday you think?
                    Also thinking of switching the Circle cruise to either the 11am 75 minute cruise or doing a 7pm Harbour lights cruise....not sure where to fit it all in!

                    1. re: Mintycake

                      Check out NY Water Taxi where you get hop on/off at the different stops and not be committed to 2 hours, thus leaving more chow time.

                      1. re: Mintycake

                        I would skip the boat tour. Waste of time. Your better off being IN the city and not viewing the city from afar.

                        1. re: Mintycake

                          On Monday, the Donut Plant is closed and it would be a shame to miss it.

                          You can still do the tour on Friday, but start at around noon. That will give you plenty of time to finish before any spots close for Sabbath observance. Also, the tour is quite filling and since the wedding is that evening, starting early will give you time to regain your appetite before tackling the wedding dinner.

                  2. re: Mintycake

                    Hey, Mintycake,

                    Glad to hear you're considering doing my tour. :-) The length of time it takes to complete it (sans the Tenement Museum) depends on how long it takes to get served at Katz's, and how fast you walk. But you can probably finish in under two hours.

                    The cafe in the Met Museum that MMRuth mentioned is the Petri Court Cafe., a good choice if you want to go somewhere instead of Sabarsky. The food's nicely-prepared and very tasty, service is efficient, and the large, airy space has a view of Central Park.

                    1. re: Mintycake

                      DO NOT SKIP THE BROOKLYN's the most crucial thing on your list, the most glorious walk in the whole city, w/ tasty food options available on either side...

                      i'd also add that a bagel&lox from Russ&Daughters (part of the LES tour) is one of my favs...

                      a few others to add or substitute:

                      Il Giglio is a great upscale old-school Italian in Tribeca, so close to your hotel and maybe an option one night...classic caesar salad, gratis antipasti, nice wines, shrimp fra diavolo, grappa...

                      Balthazar is also fun and best for late-late-night or mid-afternoon meals, and is also near your hotel...

                      Grand Central Oyster Bar...sit at the counter/bar only, order only raw oysters, fried oysters, coleslaw, cup of soup, strong ale or wine by the glass...classic NYC experience and have someone show you have to talk into the opposite walls of the archway just outside

                      1. re: Simon

               is the view from the brooklyn bridge any different than the williamsburg bridge? Central Park is the best walk in the city btw..

                        1. re: tpigeon

                          my reply and yours are both off topic and risk being justiably deleted for being non-chow-related, but i'll bite:

                          -- the W-burg bridge has ugly fencing which obstructs the views...the Brooklyn Bridge has soaring gorgeous columns and better sightlines of the Statue of Liberty, downtown Manhattan,'s a more elegant structure w/ vastly better's walkways are wide and avenue-like: the W-burg's cramped corridors are like the gangways of a cement factory...don't get me wrong: i've walked the W-burg at least 50 times and enjoyed it every time in a gritty urban trudge kinda way: but it's ugly as hell, and comparable-to-far-better bridges can be found in about 100 cities in the world...the Brooklyn Bridge has a singular appeal...

                          Central Park is undeniably gorgeous and a crucial part of any visitor's experience...but deep within the park, when you are not peeking up at glimpses of the Sherry-Netherland or spying some of the delightful sculptures and stone overpasses, one could at least briefly imagine oneself in a park in Munich or Beijing...on the Brooklyn Bridge walk you are on a giant's tightrope of New York and nowhere else...

                          reply's saving chowish grace: the Brooklyn Bridge offers possibly more accessible Chow-ish pleasures immediately at either end: Grimaldi's, Jacques Torres, etc on the Brooklyn side, and a quick stroll to all of Chinatown and Tribeca on the Manhattan could argue that a bagel from Russ&Daughters would carry one from Houston St to the W-burg, but personally i'd be done my bagel by the time i reached Rivington and then would have a grey hike over the East River, with no Grimaldi's awaiting me at the other end...

                          the defense rests...

                          1. re: Simon

                            I accept your argument about the Brooklyn bridge being nicer, but from a food perspective, I will take Peter Luger over Grimaldi every time on the brooklyn end. You can get great chocolates in manhattan so I am not worried about JT. As far as the manhattan end goes, you are forgetting Katz's, doughnut plant, Il Lab (far far superior to brooklyn ice cream factory), gus's pickles, essex street market, kossars and a few others :).

                  3. <6:00pm – Walk through Times Square and admire the lights> "Admire?" what lights?

                    After the Museum of Modern History, you might enjoy seeing if 81 (across the street) is open for a late lunch. Chef Ed Brown makes outstanding food.

                    Yes, the Cloisters is nowhere near the Met. After 14 years in New York, I've still never seen them. The Cloisters is waaaaaaay off the beaten path. Unless there's a special show you want to see at the Guggenheim, I would recommend doing just the Met, which can easily take you all day.

                    Did you choose Marseilles because of its proximity to the theater, or because you've heard it's great, or you already love it? not a place I would seek out....

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: ChefJune

                      I picked Marsailles because of proximity to theatre. I actually don't want to eat French food since we'll be dining at Sel et Poivre earlier. Any other suggestions in the area? Doesn't need to be fancy.

                      Thanks for pre-answering my question too: if I could drop one attraction, what would it be? I was thinking Guggenheim but not sure.

                      1. re: Mintycake

                        Marseille is an excellent choice in the theater district. The French(Provencale)/Moroccan menu is completely different from Sel et Poivre, and the food is infinitely better, so you will not be duplicating. I would probably drop the Guggenheim if time is tight.

                        1. re: Mintycake

                          Although I agree that Marseille is quite different from Sel et Poivre both in cuisine and quality, i.e., the quality at Marseille being far superior, if you would prefer something different, I would suggest West Bank Cafe, on 42nd St., b/t 9th & 10th. Delicious New American cuisine; friendly, capable service; attractive decor, well-spaced tables, and a conversation-friendly noise level.


                          1. re: RGR

                            That looks like an excellent option, RGR, and more up our alley foodwise. Thanks!

                        2. re: ChefJune

                          81 is across the street from the Museum of Natural History across the street from the other side of the park from the Museum of Art.

                          1. re: ChefJune

                            81 is not across the street from the Museum of Art. It is on the other side of the park, across the street from the Plantetarium and the Museum of Natural History.