Best restaurant lineup for a 3-day trip in NY
I'm based in Asia and am going to pass through NY (3-day layover) on a trip in late March. Which restaurants would be must-eat places? I am fairly out of the loop.
My last foodie visit was way back in 2002. I was impressed with the Mercer Kitchen, Cafe Boulud, Peter Luger, Pearl Oyster Bar and a number of others. Really wanted to, but did not manage to get a table at Babbo. Was not impressed by Nobu, or Lupa. Are Per Se, Jean Georges, Craft etc worth looking into? Any value deals (set meals, early bird etc) I should be looking for?
Would like some advice and input on which places would be best. Unfortunately my stomach is not huge... can probably manage 1 tasting menu and 1 full meal a day. Or one full meal and a few smaller snacks.
Here are a list of my favorites:
Babbo...although it is difficult to get a reservation, they do have 5 tables in the front reserved for walk-ins. If you get there at 5 when they open you shouldn't have a problem scoring a table, especially earlier in the week.
Del Posto - My GF's favorite and another Mario Batali place. A bit more formal dinning.
Asiate - Located in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Great food accompanied by awesome views.
Momofuku Saam - Love this place. No reservation policy for parties less then 6. Korean influenced small dishes. Casual trendy atmosphere. Highly recommended.
Momofuku Ko - Tasting menu only. Hard to get reservation.
Blue Ribbon Sushi - Soho sushi place with an authentic Japanese feel.
Sundaes & Cones @ 95 E. 10th St. - Best ice cream in NYC.
Magnolia Bakery - Great southern style deserts. Albeit a little touristy.
Caracas Arepas Bar - Located in East Village. Casual South American and good for a light lunch.
Una Pizza Napoletana - East Village Pizza.
Per Se is arguably the best restaurant in NY, so if you have the $$, try to get on the waiting list ($275 pp not including wine). Like the previous poster said, Jean Georges has a prix fixe lunch M-F for $25. Personally, I wasn't impressed with the food. I'm guessing their dinners are much better. In my opinion, Babbo is not that extraordinary, so don't worry about not scoring a table. There were items that blew my mind, but other items that missed the mark. I really enjoy the food at Daniel (although the atmosphere is a bit stuffy and old money)...you might really like it since you enjoyed Cafe Boulud, which I don't think even comes near the quality of Daniel. Gramercy Tavern and Gotham rarely disappoint. Places that I haven't personally eaten at but have heard are great are London (Gordon Ramsay) and Modern. For places that might not carry the celebrity chef name, but are upscale and not touristy are Annisa and Gradisca.
You're definitely going to get more responses on the Manhattan board. (If you want to explore the outer boroughs, mention that in your post and I'm sure many hounds will happily include their favorites.)
We just had Restaurant Week (special pre-fixe lunches $25 and dinner $35) and many restaurants have extended their deals through Feb, March, even the end of the year, so you should keep your eye out for that if you're looking for a deal. If your schedule allows, fabulous lunch deals can be had at many top restaurants, such as Jean Georges.