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Nov 3, 2008 04:44 PM

Can Someone Please HELP!!

My husband and I travel to NY once a year for our "foodie tour" and after watching a food special on Jewel Bako he really wants to eat there, however I have heard they are closed....

Does anyone know if they are open???

And if you might have any offbeat places for us to go suggestions is what we have planned so far.

Centro Vinoteca
Babbo (yes, I got reservations...this time!!!)
Bar Americana
Ed's Lobster bar

Places we have been in the past...
Umbertos (best fried clams)
Peter Lugers ( the best steak)
Mary's Fish Camp (Key Lime bar is out of this world)
Kitchen Commune (breakfast)
The Cupping Room Cafe (breakfast)
All the places in Chelsea Market

I am probably forgetting some too.

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  1. Jewel Bako is still open but is not quite the shining star it used to be. A friend recently went and reported that things have gone way downhill. Their previous sushi chef has moved on, to a spot called 15 East.

    Not sure why you'd want Centro Vinoteca AND Babbo. How long are you in town? Maybe some other genres of cuisine, to mix it up? What do you like/dislike? Where are you from? How much are you willing to spend?

    Offbeat for foodies, I would say, Tailor or WD-50, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Degustation, Yakitori Totto, Kabab Cafe (in Queens, ask about it on the Outer Boroughs board), Shopsins, the halal cart at 53rd and 6th, perhaps some sushi (Yasuda, et al), tapas (Casa Mono, Tia Pol)?

    8 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks for the reply and the Jewel Bako info. I will look into 15 East.

      Husband is a big fan of Anne, so he wanted to go to her restaurant...I figured since it's our 15th wedding anniversary I'd give in ;) and he has to pay for Babbo!

      There really isn't much we won't try or eat, so we are very open to other genres and cuisines...we really have no dislikes...OH, we are looking for a killer Greek place if you know any. We don't mind paying for great food, for we live in Bermuda and the cost here is pretty much up there to dine out. We go to NY once a year just for the food and Century 21 for me. We are in town for 4 days nov.19-23.

      The offbeat places sounds great will look them up. Again, it! the only thing my husband will not eat is beets! Me? sea urchin

      1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

        My favorite Greek place is Pylos (very popular, make reservations ASAP) but mostly because I love their freshly baked pita and sauces. It is also very interesting from a decor standpoint because they have hundreds of clay pots hanging from the ceiling. It's definitely romantic and in a hip neighborhood (East Village). Other hounds will probably have other recommendations (I have heard good things about Kefi). But my fiance loves Pylos so we invariably end up there...

        1. re: kathryn

          Pylos is great, I agree. I wish it weren't such a schlep for me to get there. The food at Kefi is just as good ,but very different: it's far more casual, has few seafood offerings, and is more small plates focused. The primary impediments to eating at Kefi are the fact that it doesn't accept reservations and that it's cash only. As much as I love Kefi -- it's a neighborhood favorite -- I'd go with Pylos for the combo of atm. and food, esp. fresh grilled fish.

          Kathryn always takes the words out of my mouth: I was also going to recommend Casa Mono. It's very loud, though, so make sure you're ok with that. Food and wine are good.

          1. re: cimui

            I thought Pylos does take reservations? At least when we've tried to call, they've offered us something like 11pm. Of course, we never plan ahead and end up calling on the day of!

            cimui, great minds think alike!

            1. re: cimui

              I also recommend Casa Mono - not so loud at lunch, by the way - do make a reservation, and agree with the suggestion that you try Momofuku Ssam.

              1. re: cimui

                Guess l am the rare one, had not good stuff at both Kefi and Anthos, not bad just not great. Pylos was wonderful; They had the best moussaka ever

            2. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

              FYI -- Anne Burrell is no longer at Centro Vinoteca.

            3. I actually don't think Jewel Bako has been good for at least 4-5 ears -- even before the sushi chef left for 15 East. I wouldn't choose to go there, myself. 15 East is very good, as are Yasuda and Kuruma.

              I still like Babbo after all these years (though I'm a little annoyed that their menu never, ever changes). I think it's a good choice, esp. if you've never been.

              Bar Americain evokes mixed feelings and I agree that it can be hit or miss. They do steak and raw bar offerings consistently well. And the plate of the day is inevitably excellent (esp. the fried chicken on Mondays... it's moist, flavorful and perfect). Appetizers and veggie preps tend to be weaker. If you pick well, the food can be great.

              Based on the places you've listed, I suspect you'd like one of the Blue Ribbon places like BR Bakery or BR Brasserie. (BR Sushi is forgettable.)

              1 Reply
              1. re: cimui

                If price really is no object, then Kuruma might be interesting...hell, go to Masa for that kind of money!

                Good call on Blue Ribbon Bakery or Blue Ribbon Brasserie. The Bakery is a little easier to get into due to its larger space, but the Brasserie is a little hipper and more romantic. They're both excellent, with a nice mix of comfort food and more interesting/out-there items.


              2. Check out Bourbon Street Southern gourmet Pantry at 529 Hudson St. between W. 10th and Charles. The food is unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Pauli514

                  Thank you to everyone with the great suggestions. We have been to Blue Ribbon and LOVED IT, so willing to go back, had reservations at Mesa, gave them up for Bar Americain, the menu looked better...I will try one of the recommended Greek places and let you all know on our return. We didn't want to make too many set reservations incase if we are partaking in tasty beverages somewhere...we did not want to have to get up and run to a reservation, we have been known to have too much fun tasting yummy beverages ;)

                2. If you go to Centro Vinoteca, I would also suggest The Little Owl, which is just around the corner. It is one of the most special spots in NYC, not too pretentious but delicious, cozy and highly sought after. There is also a great bar near both of these places called The Little Branch - it's a bit hidden and underground but a nice place to grab a pre- or post- drink.

                  Babbo is great, as is Otto, also a Batali restaurant.

                  There are so many great places to eat in NYC. Some of my favorites (and why) include:
                  - 202 (located in Nicole's clothing store, the restaurant is casual chic and very unpretentious.
                  - Cafe Brown (uses fresh local ingredients in the most delicious ways)
                  - Peasant (there is a downstairs no-reservation restaurant and an upstairs - go downstairs and sit at the communal tables - wood burning oven
                  - Cafe Cluny (best brunch spot/late afternoon snack in the West Village)
                  - La Esquina (best dinner - a bit noisy and a bit difficult to get in but the Mexican-fusion food is genius. The location is also fun, you have to walk down a set of stairs and through the kitchen to get in to the dining area)

                  1. I completely agree with kathryn's and cimiu's suggestions on 15 East and Casa Mono. Since it is your 15th anniversary, wouldn't it be nice to celebrate at "15" East? :D

                    As for tapas, Casa Mono has great food and most certainly better than Centro Vinoteca. If you want a unique experience, I will also suggest Degustation, a small cozy restaurant with open kitchen. Besides delicious small plates you can also enjoy watching the chefs preparing the food right in front of you. I think it is a nicer place for a couple to enjoy dinner mainly because Casa Mono is so cramped and noisy that I could hardly hear my companion talked everytime I was there for dinner. Lunch time, on the other hand, was less crowded.

                    I am not a Greek food expert, but I have always enjoyed the food at Ethos. I particularly enjoy their seafood.

                    Happy 15th Anniversary!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kobetobiko

                      Thanks for all the great suggestions, I will be 300lbs when I get back home! ;)
                      I have heard of Little Owl and thought of making reservations there, but will defiently try Little Branch for a tasty beverage! ...I have ready that Peasant is wonderful. Oh we are so going to 15 East after reviewing the website, my husband is a fisherman and loves when he can get super fresh fish he is a happy camper...he is not a big fan of NY he goes for the food and for me because I LOVE IT!

                      Thanks I know we will have bunches of fun even though it will be cold... come on we live on an island! We have been looking forward to this trip for awhile now!

                      1. re: bermudagourmetgoddess

                        Little Owl is a great place and if you can grab a rez you'll like it.

                        A place my GF and I have recently "discovered" is KLEE and I'm pitching it to anyone asking for a nice small place with great food. I encourage everyone that hasn't tried it yet to do so.

                        1. re: Spiritchaser

                          Thank you to all my new foodie friends for the great suggestions and after sowing them all to my husband we thought we would share with you what we decided to go with ....

                          Babbo, since we have tired for three years to get reservations and finally got hem (remember we get to NY once a year)

                          Plyos - Love good Greek food and it seems a bunch of you recommend it

                          15 EAST - after showing the web site to hubby, we was sure it was the place to go - thanks again for the info

                          Bar Americain - for lunch - their menu looks good

                          we have written down other places just incase and thank goodness your great city is a "walking" city becasue after eating at these great places we will need to walk EVERYWHERE!!!!!