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Montrealers' Culinary Getaway to NYC

Hello! I'm looking for a few picks to fill out my list of restaurants to visit in Manhattan next week. I will need:

1. A french bistro
2. Sushi
3. An oyster / seafood bar
3. A wine bar / microbrewery that has great food
4. Your pick for best overall restaurant (regardless of price) that has space from Aug.14-17!
5. Something unique to the city (that isn't Katz's Deli)
6. Something a foreign foodie absolutely needs to experience

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  1. What is already on your list? Can't round it out until we know what you are starting with!
    What neighborhoods are you looking at?
    When I am in Montreal, what I feel is lacking is Mexican food. Venture out to Jackson Heights and try some.

    2 Replies
    1. re: carfreeinla

      I'm staying midtown, but I have no problem with going all over the place for some noteworthy food! I'm looking to appease my girlfriend and go shopping in the different neighborhoods, so food anywhere - or let's say, especially near some of the more interesting shopping spots!

      I'm not so much looking for what Montreal doesn't have, but more what New York does well. A bit vague, but any suggestions are appreciated!

      1. re: olivier1665

        Its funny about the Balthazar suggestions- I go to Cafe Cherrier when I am homesick for Balthazar.
        I second a lot of the suggestions- Blue Ribbon might cover a few categories for you. Aquagrill has never disappointed me. I might add something like Hill Country BBQ- somewhat unique to NY and user friendly since you order exactly as much as you want of each thing. Do add some pizza- can't give you a suggestion because I am gluten intolerant ( I eat at Risotteria). Maybe someone else can.

    2. 1. I'm kind of not sure why you'd want to look for a French bistro in NYC. Is it for comparison purposes? Is it because you want a taste of home? Or am I mistaken in thinking that Montreal has great French bistros? To answer your question, I would say Balthazar or Artisanal (if you're a cheese buff).
      2. Yasuda
      3. Aquagrill
      3. Not a wine bar per se, but Casa Mono
      4. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Eleven Madison Park
      5. Momofuku Ssam or Momofuku Noodle (just don't order then ramen); Degustation (Spanish-inspired small plates -- different from tapas)
      6. I won't name any particular restaurant but just throw out a few things that Montreal may not be as strong in -- burgers, BBQ, bagels (NY bagels are different than Montreal ones, though I like Montreal ones better), Szechuan Chinese

      2 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        From a Montrealer to another, here it is :

        1. Balthazar, but then again we're blessed with choice in Mtl.
        2. Can't help, allergies
        3.Same as 2
        4. Not a wine bar per se, but either Inoteca, Alta or Perbaccco would be really nice and we don't anything like Inoteca in Mtl.
        5. Try to get a table at Babbo on Tableexchange. Or you could try Daniel, Jean-Georges or Eleven Madison Park.
        6. BBQ, I'm partial to the little Georgia's Eastside BBq in the LES, maybe not the best but the space is cool as is service and you bring your own beer and the food is really good.
        7. One of my revelations over my last visits was smoked mozzarella. You can find Joe's Dairy smoked mozzarella at, er, Joe's Dairy or at Murray's on Bleecker St. Or try the halal currry chicken from a cart. We don't have any street food back home.

        1. re: Campofiorin

          7. Yes - their mozzarella is amazing. Next time, try the prosciutto rolled in mozzarella. The first time I took my husband there, en route to lunch in Soho, they cut up a ball of smoked mozzarella for him, and he ate the entire thing before lunch!

      2. 1. you're not going to beat au pied de cochon...id skip the french influence and try blue ribbon bakery on bedford street in the west village. tons of things to order from mushroom ravioli, rillettes, steak tartar, rack of lamb to fried chicken. dont skip the chocolate bread pudding. awesome service and great crowd always.

        2. yasuda...no contest...tables are less expensive than a seat at the bar but both are just head and shoulders above the rest.

        3. i like ed's lobster bar more than any other...beautiful (slightly cramped) long bar...great lobster roll and beer.

        3. wine bar? gottino has good pate and meats and cheese...wine is a bit expensive. people like bar jamon next to casa mono...probably not a bad idea. for something less expensive with amazing and similar food, i love 'ino on bedford as well.

        4. probably gotham or bouley or 11 madison park

        5. probably barney greengrass or a late night burger and beer at corner bistro (weekdays only)

        6. shake shack

        6 Replies
        1. re: sam1

          2. Why is a table at Yasuda less expensive than the sushi bar?

          3. I'm a big fan of Pearl Oyster Bar. Haven't tried Ed's. Mary's Fish Camp is good, and has the added benefit of being open for lunch on the weekends (as is Ed's I believe), which POB is not. Note that neither Mary's nor POB has a selection of oysters - they have one kind that's raw and one fried on any given day. As another poster suggested, Aquagrill has a great selection. I also love Casa Mono for great Spanish food, and an excellent wine list - all Spanish.

          5. Barney Greengrass is wonderful, but you may well have great "appetizing" places in Montreal. I'm a big fan of Ssam for excellent pork buns and various other pork dishes.

          6. Love Shake Shack, but the toasted marshmallow milk shake at Stand (another hamburger joint) calls me as well.

          1. re: MMRuth

            ive found that whenever im at the bar at yasuda, you end up getting a few things that the chef gives you based on what he thinks you may enjoy and in the end, it seems to cost me about 25% more at least.

            at the tables, i find i know exactly what im ordering and control the pricing a bit more. i can get out at 60-80/person at the tables while i end up paying 100-140/person at the bar.

            1. re: MMRuth

              MMRuth -- I put my vote in for Ed's...really love everything about the place.

              1. re: gramercyfoodie

                I have been meaning to try it - maybe next Friday .....

            2. re: sam1

              i really like the blue ribbon bakery suggestion for #1.

              and shake shack is a great idea, as well, for #6. the food itself is not so unique to nyc, but the shake shack experience is, probably -- from monitoring the line by webcam, if you're so inclined, to standing in the slowly snaking line in madison square park contemplating your options, to taking that first juicy bite while perched on a park bench by the fountain, washed down with, say, a sweet corn frozen custard.... it's kind of nuts, but in a fun way. :)

              i guess if i had to come up with an answer for #6 (diff from sam1's), i'd say street cart dining, generally. hit up as many as you can of:

              > sobre ruedas taco truck at W. 95th just west of b'way for tongue tacos or tacos con carne enchillada
              > the jamaican dutchy at w. 51st near 8th for jerk chicken
              > hallo berlin cart at 54th and 5th for a dictator's special
              > halal chicken and rice cart at 53rd and 6th (ave of the americas)
              > thiru's dosa cart at washington square park south for sri lankan style masala dosa
              > calexico cart on prince st. and wooster for cali style burritos

              maybe also try a gray's papaya, empanada mama, mamoun's falafel, and pomme frites (don't have the poutine, tho, since it'll compare unfavorably to the real deal in your fair city) for street-food type cuisine in a non-mobile setting.

              -----
              Jamaican Dutchy
              W 51st St and 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

              New York Dosas
              Washington Sq S and Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

              Calexico
              125 Prince St, New York, NY 10012

              Hallo Berlin Juicy Food Stand
              W 54th St and 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

              Halal Chicken and Gyro
              106 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

              1. re: sam1

                1. Ditto to sam1's suggestion. Don't forget the bacon bread at Blue Ribbon Bakery, or the bone marrow! The duck club sandwich is also awesome.

                3. For a wine bar, Terroir is nice, too and the food is really good.

                4. For upscale dining next weekend, the easiest way to check for availability is OpenTable.com. For August 14th, for 2, at 7pm, I see openings at Aquavit, Craft, Cru, Eleven Madison Park, Gotham Bar & Grill, Le Bernardin, The Modern - Dining Room....

              2. 1) Marseille, Balthazar, Pastis - Pastis is the hippest but I like the food at Balthazer and Marseille better.
                2) Yasuda or Masa omikase (Masa is super, super expensive)
                3) Pearl
                4) Masa - I really hope you mean it when you say regardless of price...
                5) Russ & Daughters (takeout only)
                6) Olive oil gelatto at a Batali Restaurant or a Difara Square slice (not in manhattan).

                1. 1. Ouest
                  2. Yasuda
                  3. Pearl Oyster Bar
                  3.5. Morrell's Wine Bar / Bar Boulud
                  4. hmmm.... no idea what's available. But favorites that aren't too hard to get into include the Modern Dining Room and Soto.
                  5. ------ There honestly isn't much that is completely unique to NYC.
                  6. Ditto

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cimui

                    3,5 Wine bar with good food: Gottino (italian); Blue Ribbon Downing Street Wine bar (jnternational list, great finds)

                  2. 5. Something unique perhaps is Ukrainian food. I'm Ukrainian so of course I'm biased but the East Village has some great Ukrainian food. For a sit down dinner try the Ukrainian National Restaurant on 2nd Ave between St Marks and 9th Street and for a more casual but, in my opinion, superior experience sit at the counter at Stage Restaurant also on 2nd between St. Marks and 7th Street. The signature dish is pierogis (varenyky) heavenly potato filled dough raviolis smothered in onions with sour cream on the side. So good! Both places are really authentic with waiters speaking Ukrainian, Polish and Russian and a bit of English of course.

                    1. 1. La Petite Auberge - traditional French bistro cuisine - http://www.lapetiteaubergeny.com

                      2. Yasuda

                      3. Tides - Not a seafood bar but a teensy fish/seafood "shack" - http://www.tidesseaffod.com

                      3(a). Bar Boulud - http://www.danielnyc.com/barboulud

                      4. Eleven Madison Park - http://www.elevenmadisonpark.com

                      5. An egg cream - Excellent ones can be found at the following spots: (Ray's) the hole-in-the-wall candy store on Av. A, b/t 7th St. & St. Mark's Pl.; Gem Spa, on the corner of 2nd Av. & 8th St.; Junior's, on 45th St., b/t B'way & 8th Av. & in Grand Central Terminal.

                      6. A bialy at Kossar's - http://www.kossarsbialys.com

                      Note: Numbers 5 and 6, as well as Katz's, are incorporated in my (in)famous self-guided Lower East Side food "tour." You can walk the streets of this interesting and historic neighborhood while sampling foods emblematic of NYC. Here's the link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/493333

                      1. 1. Les Halles
                        2. Kanoyama
                        3. Ocean Grill
                        3B. Le Bateau Ivre
                        4. Blue Hill
                        5. the Red Hook Ballfield vendors, the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
                        6. Whichever of the following you can't get in high quality in Montreal: Sakagura for non-sushi Japanese, Sriphraphai for Thai, Yuva for Indian, Rayuela for Latin, Nomad for North African, Queen of Sheba for Ethiopian.