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Jun 23, 2008 06:12 PM

Visiting this week (June 24-28): specific queries in message

We’ll be arriving on the late side tomorrow evening (Tuesday the 24th) and staying through Saturday evening (the 28th). Tuesday night we stay at Wall St and William and then we move to 51st and 5th (by Rockefeller Plaza). I lurk around chowhound a lot, and I’ve spent some time on this board looking for ideas. I do realize some of my queries overlap with currently active or recent threads, and I am reading them, too, but this board can be pretty overwhelming --if you think I’ve missed something really obvious, I apologize and thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Background: We visit NYC fairly frequently (from Wash DC), and I used to live there, a long time ago, so are comfortable and know how to get around. But we never do much planning for our trips, especially for eating, something I’m trying to change. Also will be in neighborhoods this trip I don’t know so well. We are (or should be) on a pretty tight budget, so cheap eats is ideal, but we’re willing to pay more when the quality is that much better. Not so into trendy and loud, unless it’s really for good food (I love Momofuku Ssam). Partner will be attending a conference at NYU, so we’re not really being tourists, but hoping to get in some fun and good eating.

My very specific requests:

For our first night, down by Wall St, any suggestions for delivery or take-out, or a very comfortable and casual place? Maybe to get Chinese food delivered (American Chinese is fine, but not necessary; we like spicy). Anything worthwhile at South St Seaport, since a walk to the water might be nice -- or what would you suggest? We’ll be tired and getting ready for the conference, so not very ambitious.

Ditto for the hotel by Rockefeller Center. One or two nights, my partner may not want to go out, so any good delivery/take out/street vendor (within a few blocks) suggestions would be great. (I can search for street vendors myself, but thought I’d ask here, too.)

Near either of the hotels – or for that matter, near NYU’s Stern School -- where would you prefer to go for cappuccino (partner is a very avid cap drinker)? And/or, near Rockefeller Center, any suggestions for simple breakfast, like good bagels? (or, something more elaborate if it's a must eat -- I do know there are lots of Rock Ctr threads ;))

Since I’ll be on my own during the day and one of my favorite things to do is sit in a café with a pot of tea or coffee, reading and watching the world go by – where would by your favorite place in NYC to do that (where I wouldn’t annoy anyone with my lingering)? Any neighborhood. Table service would be great, but I know might be too much to ask.

We’re going to a performance at the Joyce Friday night (8th Ave at 19th St) – any suggestions for a pre-theater meal convenient to there? We won’t be able to get there until about 6:15 and performance is at 8 (we’ll be going there straight from NYU)….

I hope these are clear and not too boring questions, and that I’ve provided enough info. Sorry for waiting until the last minute to post, but I’ll have internet while there, so I will check for responses – and I’m good about reporting back.

Many many thanks.

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  1. Wu Liang Ye, a very good Szechuan restaurant, is on 48th St., b/t 5th & 6th Avs., which is close to Rockefeller Center. Take-out and delivery.

    Sarge's Deli is on 3rd Av., b/t 36th & 37th Sts., but they deliver all over Manhattan. The menu is vast. Very good food, especially the pastrami and the chicken soup with matzoh balls. Open 24/7.

    For your pre-Joyce Theater dinner, I recommend Gascogne, which is right there, on 8th, just off the corner of 18th. The French bistro cuisine is delicious, service is efficient, and their garden is one of the most charming in the city. With a 6:15 reservation, you should have no difficulty getting to your 8 p.m. curtain on time.

    A good cafe for relaxing, reading, and lingering is 71 Irving Pl. On Irving, b/t 17th & 18th Sts.

    Enjoy your stay in NYC and Bon Appetit!

    4 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Thank you, that's so helpful!

      Now if anyone has ideas for what we should do tonight when we arrive at the Wall St hotel....

      But we'll manage -- thanks again.

      1. re: RGR

        Just wanted to let you know that we really liked Gascogne (which the Joyce, it turns out, advertises also on their tickets) -- thank you so much for the recommendation, it was a lovely evening all around, the garden was perfect and we keep talking about what a good time it was. Only thing is, they had a cash-only prix fixe that we probably would have done... if we'd had enough cash on us ($29 each).

        71 Irving Place was another good rec, thanks!

        Quickly: other food highlights of the trip (and thanks to other ch threads for helping me figure some of this out), were:
        -Dumpling House on Eldridge (what a lot of food for, like $3, I had chive and pork dumplings in soup and couldn't finish, though I really tried. I guess there's some complaining about it not being as good since expanding [I even heard that in line], and the service was slow, but I loved it.)
        -breakfast at San Ambroeus in West Village
        -Think Coffee on Mercer was good and very convenient since we were at NYU much of the time.
        -My first Red Mango experience! (I still haven't tried Pinkberry, believe it or not.)
        -watching the line at ShakeShack in Madison Sq Park (and trying to calculate how long it would actually take to get to the front of the line -- maybe next time)

        Didn't end up getting any delivery after all, but will keep your suggestions for future reference.

        Merci bien!

        1. re: mselectra

          thanks for info--we are doing a similar trip and Gascogne looks very interesting--was there a time limit on the fixed price dinner--also would non-fish eaters be happy there with menu--thanks--bob

          1. re: bobstripower

            hi -- non-fish eaters would be happy. I don't remember times, but pretty sure they're on the website, and I think you can find more info elsewhere on here. Enjoy!