Visitor from Toronto needs advice
I will be visiting Manhatten in late October and I really need some recommendations near the Chelsea area of Manhatten.
I love all foods, but I'm hoping to focus on foods that are not really done well in Toronto. I prefer food on the spicy side.
Mexican is one example.
Spanish is another.
Something very typically New York would be nice.
Maybe Moroccan...never had that before.
I'm sure there are some real interesting cuisines out there that are available in NYC but rarely elsewhere on the continent.
We plan to eat reasonable for most of our trip but do plan a nice evening out, with a view of the city...any suggestions?
I also lived in Toronto in the past. I don't recall seeing Scandinavian cuisine in Toronto (unless they now have it). You may want to try Aquavit where you can find some amazing cured fish like gravlax and herrings, not to mention a lot of lingoberry-ish condiments.
While the Cantonese food in Toronto is much much better in Toronto, I think there is less Sichun restaurants there. You can try Szuechen Gourment in midtown, and that's definitely spicy!
You have plenty of Spanish suggestions already, and the ones that RGR mentioned are all very "New York". Katz's is a must!
Having been a former resident of Toronto, I agree with your quest for Spanish and Mexican.
I have no advice for Mexican restaurants here as we spend part of the time in San Francisco where we're spoiled with tremendously good Mexican establishments and none here are really worth spending time in.
As far as Spanish is concerned, our offering here in NYC trumps any in Toronto and the good ones are at Socarrat (good tapas and best paella in the city); Casa Mono, Tia Pol, Boqueria adn Pintxos, in that order) for the best tapas in the city. La Nacional and Sevilla for hearty dishes in the West Village are also better than any that I've been to in TO.
You should definitely not limit yourself to the Chelsea area. Not that there aren't good restaurants there. But some of the cuisines you are looking for are best found in other neighborhoods.
You can't get much more typically New York than deli and appetizing.
Katz's, on the Lower East Side, is a NYC institution where it's all about the pastrami. However, Sarge's Deli, on 3rd Av., b/t 36th & 37th Sts., is closer to Chelsea, and the pastrami is excellent.
For appetizing, Russ & Daughters epitomizes the best, but you can only do take-out. For a sit-down restaurant, the place to go is Barney Greengrass, on the UWS.
Also, the egg cream is the quintessential NYC drink. You can get a good one at Gem Spa, on the corner of 2nd Av. & 8th St.
For Mexican, Pampano, on 49th St., b/t 2nd & 3rd Avs., serves food that is contemporary in style with an emphasis on fish and seafood.
For Spanish, I like Pamplona, on 28th St., b/t Madison & Park Av. S. The incredibly delicious "hamburguesa" is not to be missed!
Unfortunately, the few restaurants in Manhattan with views have food which is mediocre at best. River Cafe, in Brooklyn, has a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline and the food, from what I've heard, while not equally spectacular, is pretty good.