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Nov 27, 2008 08:09 AM

Advice for a Limey!

Hi New Yorkers!
I am coming to NYC next weekend and and booked the following to eat : Sat night The river Cafe Brooklyn and Sunday Del Friscos as we all fancy a decent steak!, have i done the right thing ...I know nothing about either places.Oh i still need to book Sunday night and was fancying a Genuine Thia restaraunt, any thoughts?
I the Uk we are familiar with the fabled New york Deli's that we see in sex in the city etc , but which is the best.
What insider information can you guys give me?

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  1. Rich,

    While there will be arguments about which steak place to go, Del Frisco's is(hopefully) not on the top of anybody's list.
    You are already doing a Brooklyn trip but if you care to go again there is Peter Luger.
    In Manhattan, you have some Peter Luger clones such as Wolfgang's(go to Tribeca location) and I have heard a few people like Ben and Jack's.
    There is also Strip House, Sparks and Keens that get more love than Del Frisco's. There are others and out of the ones I mentioned I won't get into which are the best or not. Any of them should be good enough and better than Del Frisco's to which I have been.
    Not that it was bad, actually, but it should not be first, second or third choice since you are making an effort.

    Hope yours is good wherever it is.


    1 Reply
    1. re: dietndesire

      Thanks for your reply..
      I will be altering the booking for the steak house as it seem others seem to think the same ..

    2. Hey, Rich,


      I've not been to the River Cafe, but it's common knowledge that it has a dynamite view of the Manhattan skyline. As for the food, most people seem to agree that while it's fine, there is far superior cuisine to be had elsewhere. If money is not an issue, I suggest considering the following: per se (difficult to get a dinner res at such short notice, but Sunday lunch is usually available), Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, and Jean Georges. All except J.G. are on OpenTable.

      For steak, I would highly recommend that you ditch Del Frisco's (not bad but a chain) in favor of Keens, which has been in its 36th St. location since 1885. Thus, in addition to delicious steaks, chops, etc., there is the unmatchable charm of its Old New York ambiance -- walls filled with American memorabilia and row-upon-row of old clay smoking pipes suspending from all the ceilings, and pipes belonging to famous people dating back to the 19th century in display cases in the vestibule.

      For deli, *the* place to go is Katz's, on the Lower East Side, where it's all about the pastrami. When you enter, you'll be given a ticket, which you must hold onto for payment upon leaving. Then, do as the natives do and get on line for counter service. When it's your turn, order a pastrami on rye and put a dollar or two in the tip cup (not mandatory, but it's a tradition). The counterman will give you a slice to taste. The best pastrami has some fat on it and is juicy. If you give him the o.k., he will make your sandwich and mark your ticket. Continue along the counter to your left for sides (cole slaw is good) and drinks. A Dr. Brown's soda is a must! (My flavor or choice is cream.) Find a seat at one of the tables down the center of the room. (The tables along the wall are for waiter service. That's for tourists! *big grin*) When it's time to pay, you have to present your ticket. At the front cashier, it's cash only. If you want to pay by credit card, go to the take-out counter at the back.

      Enjoy your visit to NYC and Bon Appetit!

      4 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Jean-Georges is now on OpenTable, by the way.

        Restaurants may not put all their tables online, so do call if you can't find what you want.

        1. re: RGR

 have excelled yourself with this fantastic reply!
          I have copied a link to my mates that are coming along, i am sure that we will be changing the steak house reservation, the river cafe might not get changed as the other restaraunts that you have mentioned are least according to open table..but i may call the restaraunts to double check...I love pastrami so looking forward to Katz's...maybe i will try not to be so obviously an Englishman on holiday!
          Maybe i can return the favour of reccomendations if you are ever in North Yorkshire
          Thanks again

          1. re: RichtheGent

            for thai - rhong tiam on laguardia in the village

            1. re: RichtheGent

              Hey, Rich,

              Glad you found my suggestions helpful. There's certainly nothing wrong with acting like a tourist, i.e., gawking at skyscrapers and skyscraper-sized sandwiches! *big grin* But I do think it's more fun to do certain things as the natives do. And ordering at Katz's is one of them.

              I should have mentioned that if you are going to Katz's and have the time, you and your mates might want to consider taking my (in)famous LES food "tour." As you walk the streets of this interesting, historic neighborhood, you will sample foods emblematic of NYC. The tour actualy begins with a stop at Katz's, then continues as follows:

              (For the purposes of this tour, unless you have a gargantuan appetite, it would be best to share sandwiches at Katz's in order to leave room for more tastings along the way.)

              When you exit Katz’s, turn left and continue along the same side of Houston St. You will come to Russ & Daughters, famous for all sorts of smoked fish and many other goodies. It's not a restaurant, but they make sandwiches to go.

              After leaving the Russes, continue west a couple of blocks until you reach Yonah Schimmel's. Get a tasty potato knish, and make sure to ask them to heat it up.

              Now it’s time for the quintessential NY drink – the egg cream. So, reverse yourself and head east on Houston until you come to Avenue A. (Note: Avenue A becomes Essex St. on the south side of Houston.) Turn left on A and head north until you get to the block between 7th St. and St. Mark’s Place. Look for a hole-in-the-wall candy shop, closer to 7th, with an overhead sign jutting into the street that says, “Belgian Fries.” (The place’s official name is Ray’s, but there is no signage to that effect.) One of the women behind the counter will make you a delicious chocolate egg cream.

              When you’re finished licking your lips, go back to Houston St. and make a left (east) one block to Norfolk St. Turn right and walk down Norfolk until it ends at Grand St. Two places to look for at the corner of Grand and Norfolk: Kossar's, for freshly baked bialys (another very NY food) and the Donut Plant (self-explanatory).

              Next, walking west along Grand St., you will come to Orchard St. Turn right. At 87 Orchard, snack on a pickle from Gus's World Famous Pickles.

              Then, continue to 97 Orchard, b/t Broome & Delancey, where you will find the Tenement Museum. The tour will show you what life was like for immigrants to NYC at the beginning of the 20th century. (


              Once you have finished the tour, Il Laboratorio del Gelato, right next door at 95 Orchard, is a must for some of the best gelato anywhere.

              If your sweet tooth is still not completely satisfied, the final stop on this tour should do it. Continue ahead (north) on Orchard, crossing Delancey, then one more block to Rivington St. Make a right and you will find Economy Candy at 145 Rivington.

              Note: It’s best not to take this tour on a Saturday since some of the spots are closed because of religious observance. Also, Donut Plant is closed on Mondays.

              I've been to Yorkshire a couple of times, albeit not recently. Gorgeous territory!

              Love you Brits! :-)

          2. The views at the River Cafe are some of the best in the world and, as RGR said, the food is fine. It's a solid pick. I've taken European visitors there and they've enjpyed it tremendously.

            For Thai food I'd strongly consider leaving Manhattan and heading out to Sripraphai in Queens. It's widely considered to be the best Thai food in the city. Transportation is easy - a subway stops a few blocks away.

            Here's a recent thread -

            For more details please search the Outer Boroughs board.

            64-13 39th Ave, Queens, NY 11377