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First Visit to NYC - 3 Nights & 2 Days - HELLPP

a
Attknee Feb 4, 2009 02:20 PM

Hello Everyone, I am bringing my Girlfriend to NYC for her birthday. We live in the Toronto area. We have 3 nights and 2 days and really want to experience, as much as our short time permits, the flavour of New York City. We are staying on Lexington near Central Park. We love to walk and also have no problem cabbing it or taking the subway.

I would like to experience a "real" New York Deli. I have heard of Katz's. Is that THE place to go? Aside from that, all suggestions are very welcome. I won't say that price is not important as the Canadian dollar is not doing well against the USD right now but, if it is worth it, I will pay it.

So, please tell me how to best enjoy the flavours of New York in the short time we have.

Thanks.

  1. a
    Attknee Feb 20, 2009 12:01 PM

    Well, the big weekend has finally arrived. Looking forward to reporting back to all of you as to how we did. Thanks again for your input and please post any last minute suggestions.

    1. j
      Jack_ Feb 6, 2009 03:57 PM

      Drinks at the Top of the Tower in the Beekman Hotel 50th St and 1st Ave, the view is spectacular in all directions. Take a ride on the tram to Roosevelt Island and back

      1. c
        cmm3 Feb 5, 2009 01:58 PM

        Ess-a Bagel for breakfast
        Carniege Deli
        Jean-Georges for lunch (28 prix fixe - best prices in town)
        San Pietro on 54th and Madison is my favourite Italian place and is very cheap

        4 Replies
        1. re: cmm3
          p
          Pan Feb 5, 2009 02:53 PM

          You rate Carnegie above Katz's and 2nd Av. Deli?

          1. re: Pan
            s
            silencespeak Feb 6, 2009 07:14 AM

            I also side with Pan. Katz and 2nd Av. Deli are rightful classics.

            1. re: Pan
              c
              cmm3 Feb 6, 2009 07:32 AM

              No, but it's a landmark.

            2. re: cmm3
              MMRuth Feb 6, 2009 07:50 AM

              San Pietro is cheap? I've not been for awhile, but recalled it being on the more expensive side.

            3. p
              Pan Feb 5, 2009 01:46 PM

              Yes, Katz's is the place to go for pastrami, and if you decide to get another sandwich and don't want to get two pastrami sandwiches, go for the brisket. Ask for your sandwich(es) to be juicy, make sure to tip the counterman at least $1 per sandwich, and don't lose the ticket you'll be given upon entry. If you're on Lexington Av., you can take the 6 train to Bleecker and either walk from there to Ludlow St. and Houston or change for the F or V and take those one stop to 1st Av. for a shorter walk.

              Nice list, kathryn.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Pan
                a
                Attknee Feb 5, 2009 02:21 PM

                Yes, that is a great list. Thank you both for your suggestions and your directions. In answer to one question posed, I believe in getting value for my food dollar. If a dinner costs $250 and it is worth it, I will pay it. If I can pay $100 for a great dinner, so much the better. Toronto is very ethnicly diverse when it comes to food and that is why I was looking for places that scream out "You are in NYC" when I visit them. They don't have to be fancy and in fact I prefer more down to earth places than really fancy ones. Bottom line. They have to be good.

                1. re: Attknee
                  k
                  kobetobiko Feb 6, 2009 09:03 AM

                  I didn't go through all the links that kathryn included so it might be already included, but Keens is definitely one of those places that scream NYC and has really good steaks.

                  And don't miss RGR's LES food excursion.

                  1. re: kobetobiko
                    b
                    bronwen Feb 6, 2009 02:00 PM

                    Yes, Keen's is utter NYC, also Delmonico's. Cafe des Artistes is very atmospheric and special and you really should have a drink at Tavern on the Green (don't eat there!) and Russian Tea Room.

              2. k
                kathryn Feb 4, 2009 03:10 PM

                What is the most you are willing to spend on a given meal, including tax, tips, and drinks? Any cuisine preferences? Any avoids or allergies? Are you looking for anything in particular? The area you are staying in is definitely one of the more expensive neighborhoods in NYC so it is good that you are willing to venture outside of the immediate area.

                For the greatest hits of NYC, my list would probably be:
                Bagels and smoked salmon
                Egg cream
                Black and white cookies
                Cheesecake
                Halal chicken and rice
                Bialys
                Knishes
                Pastrami on rye with mustard (Katz's)
                Pickles (including quarter sours, half sours)
                Recession special with papaya juice from Gray's
                A beer from McSorley's
                Egg and cheese sandwich from a street cart (not gourmet or of great quality but the everyday breakfast of many a New Yorker)
                Freshly baked bread (Sullivan Street, Grandaisy, etc.)
                Lunch at Jean Georges (not on Sundays, make sure you are in the formal room)
                Shack burger from Shake Shack
                A properly made cocktail (fresh juices, etc). from Death & Co
                One of Mario Batali's restaurants (Otto or Lupa for the budget minded)
                One of Danny Meyer's restaurants (maybe the front room at Gramercy Tavern)

                I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/493333

                Good foodie shopping:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585538

                Essential eats for visitors:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/510567

                NYC for visitors from Toronto:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/544817
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/545802
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/546884
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/541052

                7 Replies
                1. re: kathryn
                  b
                  bronwen Feb 6, 2009 06:53 AM

                  I agree with everything on that list and would add:

                  Smoked fish platter - Barney Greengrass
                  Champagne cocktail at Cipriani then walking a few feet to Grand Central Oyster Bar for some oysters.
                  Something cheesy at Artisanal
                  Caviar at Petrossian
                  Greek Salad at a diner
                  Drink and tour of Fraunces Tavern
                  Lunch at the Boathouse
                  Breakfast at Balthazar
                  High Tea at the Pierre
                  Drink at Oak Bar in the Plaza

                  1. re: bronwen
                    k
                    kathryn Feb 6, 2009 07:14 AM

                    I think Russ & Daughter is actually slightly better than Barney Greengrass, but it's been a while.

                    Grand Central Oyster Bar is a great recommendation, I heartily concur.

                    1. re: kathryn
                      thew Feb 6, 2009 07:47 AM

                      i dont think there is anyplace to sit at russ & daughters

                      1. re: thew
                        j
                        johleer Feb 7, 2009 12:04 AM

                        They have a bench outside and there is a small park...forget the name...one block away...kinda cold i know but these are Canadians!

                        1. re: johleer
                          p
                          Pan Feb 7, 2009 02:07 PM

                          First Park.

                    2. re: bronwen
                      p
                      Pan Feb 6, 2009 09:35 PM

                      bronwen, is the Boathouse good lately? I haven't been there in quite a few years. I've played some gigs there and had some of the food they catered; I wasn't impressed, at the time.

                    3. re: kathryn
                      b
                      Brian W Feb 6, 2009 09:41 AM

                      I'm a big fan of an egg & cheese sandwich but I have to say that anytime I was forced to eat at a breakfast cart I usually took one bite, or sip, then went looking for the nearest waste basket.

                      I don't know why I thought of this but you could try eating at La Flor, or Donovan's in Woodside, Queens. From your hotel walk to E 59 Street (if you are staying near 57 St) and take an M32 bus over the Queensboro Bridge. Even at rush hour the ride to Woodside runs about 20 minutes and you will love the view. La Flor can be terrific if you stick with the specials and not the menu. Donovan's is the best place to get a great hamburger and a perfectly poured pint of Guinness.

                      La Flor is on the corner of 53 Street and Roosevelt Ave not far from where the bus ducks underneath the elevated train. Donovan's is one or two stops beyond La Flor at 58 Street. The return bus is across the street and runs every ten minutes.

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