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Hardest question in New York City - all time favorite restaurant that you hope will always be around.

aeros Jul 6, 2008 08:03 PM

The one question that will have as many opinions as people living in New York City. The trendy, the consistently reliable, the timeless, the hidden gems, the local favorites, the best kept secrets, the most gracious owners.

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  1. vonwotan RE: aeros Jul 6, 2008 08:11 PM

    This may be an impossible question for me - some of our long time favorites are already gone. It seemed like the end of an era... Now there are so many wonderful places it a matter of picking the best one for my mood or most recent cravings.

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      Lettucepray RE: aeros Jul 6, 2008 08:17 PM


      1 Reply
      1. re: Lettucepray
        vonwotan RE: Lettucepray Jul 6, 2008 08:46 PM

        Yes - Katz's is great in so many ways, the food, the service, the experience... Definitely one I would have on my list.

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        steakrules85 RE: aeros Jul 6, 2008 08:19 PM

        Does NYC include the outer boroughs- if so Peter Luger hands down for me ahhhh.

        1 Reply
        1. re: steakrules85
          foodwhisperer RE: steakrules85 Jul 7, 2008 11:12 PM

          Katz's is the first place that comes to mind. But there are some that have their own nostalgia and good for what they do. 17 mott Wo Hop downstairs, for their lo mein and chow fun . Big Nick's for the craziest menu. Nathan's coney island although it aint what it used to be. Peter Luger of course. Don Peppe's as the first family style italian restauarant in new york. And Veselka just because.

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          ex07078grrrl RE: aeros Jul 6, 2008 08:22 PM

          The Four Seasons

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            sam1 RE: aeros Jul 6, 2008 09:13 PM

            i prefer other food but the feeling i get from peter lugers supersedes all other restaurants. ive been going since i was a kid as it was my grandfather's favorite restaurant, and i take my dad there whenever i can. the food is not only always perfect but is nice to think my grandfather and his friends enjoyed it as much as i do.

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              nyc.girl RE: aeros Jul 6, 2008 09:47 PM

              I love this question because you could answer this many different ways. First, I suppose there's the restaurant that has the most history and tradition, the New York-iest of New York restaurants which, if closed, would signal the end of an era, as vonwotan says. That, I think, would be Katz's or Carnegie Deli. Other places that would make New York not quite the same for me if closed (although I admit that since I am young, my New York historical memory is quite short): Cipriani's, Balthazar, Lombardi's, Sarabeth's.

              Then there's the restaurant where I've had the best meal. I don't think I've tried enough good food yet to pick just one stand-out meal, but I have had some really great food at Sfoglia and Bouley.

              Then there are the restaurants I go to regularly, where I know I'll have good food and good company, where I go to meet up with my friends for the catch-up brunch or dinner. For me, that would be Mercer Kitchen and Nice Matin. And the neighborhood restaurant for minor celebrations and milestones: Chef Ho's on the UES, where we always get the peking duck (not exactly a a renowned restaurant, but I think Chef Ho's has the second best peking duck in Manhattan, after Peking Duck House)

              Lastly, and this interpretation is my favorite, the restaurants that will always have a place in my heart because something special happened there, or because they were among the first places I ate when I first moved to New York: The West End, Max Cafe, Deluxe, Koronet's, Tom's, Pinnacle and Strokos (both disgusting but fond memories), Symposium, Meridiana, 'Cesca.

              1 Reply
              1. re: nyc.girl
                aeros RE: nyc.girl Jul 7, 2008 05:29 PM

                I know. There are so many ways to answer. Like songs, different restaurants evoke different memories and times. I love Po - from its very beginnings until now. Mas Farmhouse is wonderful, Wallse - wonderfully comfortable. Piccolo Angolo - like coming home. Home - wonderful garden setting. Aperitivo on 56th that has long closed. And the list goes on and on.

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                chow_gal RE: aeros Jul 7, 2008 08:23 AM

                Raoul's. Blue Ribbon Brasserie. Balthazar. Four Seasons. Gramercy Tavern. DoJo's. Tortilla Flats.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chow_gal
                  bronwen RE: chow_gal Jul 7, 2008 08:40 AM

                  Delmonico's, Oyster Bar at GCS, Balthazar, Four Seasons, Katz', Carnegie, Sardi's, Tavern on the Green

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                  c11 RE: aeros Jul 7, 2008 08:42 AM

                  Orologio. Been going for years. Its always delicious.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: c11
                    Lucia RE: c11 Jul 8, 2008 12:32 PM

                    Was taken there last weekend and thought the food was very mediocre.

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                    offthebeatenpath1 RE: aeros Jul 7, 2008 08:57 AM

                    My answer to this would have been Provence, but it just recently closed. So, my new answer is Le Bernardin, with the caveat of Chef Ripert in the kitchen.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: offthebeatenpath1
                      taboo RE: offthebeatenpath1 Sep 10, 2008 12:25 PM

                      OMG...LOVE Le Bernardin
                      The Palm
                      Blue Ribbon restaurant and Blue Ribbon Sushi
                      way too many others to mention....

                    2. ny.foodie RE: aeros Jul 9, 2008 03:25 PM

                      Jean Georges


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                        chicken kabob RE: aeros Jul 9, 2008 03:28 PM

                        PETER LUGER'S!!!!

                        1. bigmackdaddy RE: aeros Jul 9, 2008 03:33 PM

                          The oyster bar at Track's, New Wonton Garden, Taro, David's Brisket House and Gray's Papaya.

                          1. Miss Needle RE: aeros Jul 9, 2008 09:17 PM

                            Oh, I think I'll probably be slammed on this board for saying this. But I'll say the White Castles in Sunnyside, Queens. It was there when I was a kid and it's still there now. Loved to eat it as a kid. As I got older, loved to eat it after drinking. Totally understood Harold and Kumar in that movie about how when you get a craving, nothing else will do. I really don't eat it anymore these days but I still have an affinity for that particular White Castles. If it closes, I'll really be sad. The one in Manhattan does nothing for me.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Miss Needle
                              foodwhisperer RE: Miss Needle Jul 10, 2008 06:06 AM

                              Miss Needle
                              it's funny because , I grew up near the White Castle on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn. I always thought these were better than any other white castle.
                              I also mentioned white castle in my list of burger places

                              1. re: foodwhisperer
                                Miss Needle RE: foodwhisperer Jul 10, 2008 08:34 AM

                                Ha! We should have a White Castle Throwdown -- the one on Atlantic Ave versus the Sunnyside one.

                                1. re: Miss Needle
                                  princeofpork RE: Miss Needle Jul 10, 2008 10:12 AM

                                  I must throw in the WC on the corner of Bell BLVD and Northern Blvd in Queens. Every 20 years they knock it down and build a new one right in the old parking lot.

                            2. bobjbkln RE: aeros Jul 10, 2008 08:32 AM

                              As we have expanded beyond Manhattan, I have to add DiFara's and Totonno's (Coney Island). [Although it is clear that no matter how much I hope, DiFara's will disappear in the next few years]

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                                banjolinana RE: aeros Jul 10, 2008 09:04 AM

                                Momofuku's Ssam bar, Balthazar, Otto (only for it's proscuitto and this one pizza i get)

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                                  speech23x RE: aeros Jul 10, 2008 10:55 AM

                                  primehouse, houstons, avra, milos

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: speech23x
                                    cricri7 RE: speech23x Jul 10, 2008 11:29 AM

                                    The bar room at the Modern in the MOMA for me. I went to Extra virgin last week and the bouillebaisse was incredible (friday night special).

                                  2. misnatalie RE: aeros Jul 10, 2008 11:38 AM

                                    Yes Luger's and Katz's also Patisserie Claude, Osm/b, Randazzo's in brklyn, Odessa on Ave.A and the Waverly diner

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: misnatalie
                                      y3n0 RE: misnatalie Jul 19, 2008 07:35 AM

                                      Afraid to say that Claude is closing shop sometime in September. I was wondering why he didn't close to go home to France for Bastille Day. Apparently, he's moving back to France! Sad news :(

                                      1. re: y3n0
                                        MMRuth RE: y3n0 Jul 19, 2008 07:44 AM

                                        Thanks for the update - that is sad to hear. I'll have to make sure to stop in before then.

                                        1. re: y3n0
                                          vvvindaloo RE: y3n0 Jul 19, 2008 09:32 AM

                                          oh no, i had no idea. that's too bad. i am happy for him, though. i'll stop in and wish him a happy retirement.

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                                        hamstrman RE: aeros Jul 10, 2008 08:31 PM


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                                          cimui RE: aeros Jul 10, 2008 09:31 PM

                                          i'm surprised no one has said shopsins!

                                          (i'm not saying it, either, simply because i'm incapable of answering this question. there really are too many that i love, all in very different ways. but i am surprised. maybe all the moving about has weakened the foundations of this institution.)

                                          1. thew RE: aeros Jul 19, 2008 07:42 AM


                                            grammercy tavern
                                            york grill
                                            sushi of gari
                                            sushi yasuda
                                            italian village pizza

                                            i could go on.... and on.....

                                            1. steve h. RE: aeros Jul 19, 2008 04:11 PM

                                              corner bistro
                                              spotted pig
                                              casa mono
                                              le bernardin
                                              shaffer city
                                              una pizza napoletana
                                              mike's deli
                                              ...and maybe 50 more.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: steve h.
                                                aeros RE: steve h. Aug 10, 2008 05:54 PM

                                                What about Po' and Arturo's Pizza?

                                              2. n
                                                NYCJosh RE: aeros Jul 19, 2008 09:32 PM

                                                La Bonne Soupe

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                                                  Heavy Ed RE: aeros Sep 10, 2008 11:09 AM

                                                  Daisy May's - where else can you get a bbq'ed 30 lb pig in NY?
                                                  Mei leh wah (the old version with the old toison guys, not the new version that passes DOH and has 15 year old girls up front)
                                                  Jean Georges
                                                  Fu Leen - Best $5.50 lunch intown
                                                  Hallo Berlin (cart and restaurant)
                                                  Big Nick's - home of the 1 lb Sumo Burger for all you low-carb people
                                                  Cafe Zaiya - Beard Papa cream puffs and great Japanese fast food

                                                  1. LeahBaila RE: aeros Sep 10, 2008 12:31 PM

                                                    Peter Luger
                                                    Tulcingo del Valle


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                                                      porkpa RE: aeros Sep 10, 2008 12:36 PM

                                                      Bravo Gianni.

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                                                        johnindabronx RE: aeros Sep 11, 2008 09:28 AM

                                                        I'm probobly gonna get beat up for such a low brow fave but for me there was really nothing to think about on this question. Kinsale on the UES. It's just such a great authentic NY Irish pub. Frank the owner, all the bartenders and Pauline the manager are like your best buddies every time you no matter how far between visits that may be. The Guiness pour is the best anywhere. They have a single malt slection that rivals many much higher priced, much fancier downtown places. And last but not least the shepards pie IMHO is the best in town. The burgers and lamb chop plate rival just about any of the venerables.

                                                        1. michele cindy RE: aeros Sep 11, 2008 09:38 AM

                                                          El Quijote - 23rd St.

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                                                            dlevine1781 RE: aeros Sep 11, 2008 02:19 PM

                                                            I second Po - for some reason, the food and service there is always great and its not expensive. I've recommended the place to countless people and no one has ever disagreed with me.

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