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Apr 5, 2009 09:16 AM

NYC Culinary Trip

Dear NYC Hounds,
I am returning to your great city in a couple of weeks obstensibly for a five day fantasy culinary trip and have made dinner reservations at the following restaurants: Veritas; EMP; Jean Georges; Gramercy Tavern; and Le Bernadin. As you will note, there is quite a French bias which is based on my love for the cuisine and the fact that unfortunately where I live (Calgary, Canada) there is a dearth of great French restaurants. I also love other cuisines but my focus this trip is mainly French and Italian which leads me my question.
I have three openings for lunch and have narrowed my choices to the following restaurants and I was wondering if you would so kind as to give me your opinions on same.

The Modern-Dining room
La Grenouille
Scalini Fedeli
Gotham Bar and Grill

Thanks so much.

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    1. First, just to note, Gramercy Tavern's cuisine is not French nor Italian; it's contemporary American. In my view, the food is not anywhere near as superb or exciting as the other four restaurants where you've already reserved.

      We had an excellent dinner at Maze recently. Highly recommended if you are looking for a more casual setting.

      The modern Italian cuisine at Convivio is first-rate, and the ambiance is best described by the restaurant's name: convivial.

      We haven't been to Gotham B&G in ages, but when we did eat there, I thought the food was fine but not rave-worthy. Again, New American, not French.

      I would suggest you consider having lunch at Tocqueville. It tends to travel under the culinary radar, which is a shame, since the French cuisine served there is delicious. In fact, we just had lunch there last week. The $24.07 3-course prix-fixe is a steal for cuisine of this high caliber. Service is friendly and efficient, and the grand space has understated elegant decor.

      Another tip-top choice for lunch is Allegretti. Mouth-watering Provencal-style cuisine. Lovely setting.

      1. Many food writers consider La Grenouille the finest classic French reetaurant in New York - if classic French is your thing, then I would chose it hand's down over any of the others. particularly, since some of your other choices, Jean Georges, EMP, for example, are more nouvelle than classic French cooking.

        1. I think Convivio would be a nice contrast to all the French and new American, and though Lupa is not quite on the same level, it would also be an excellent choice in its price category. Though not on your list, you may want to consider Perry St. for lunch. Wonderful food and the best bargain in Manhattan.

          1. I don't think the food is mindblowing at La Grenouille but the surroundings and flowers are so beautiful you hardly notice! I'd have lunch there. My other two choices would be Bouley and Scalini Fedeli. Very nice choices, by the by! Bon appetit!

            1 Reply
            1. re: bronwen

              Thanks very much for your suggestions! I appreciate GT is not French but it seems like such a popular and much loved NYC icon that I thought I would throw it into the mix. I was thinking of going to Daniel but it seems to get mixed reviews notwithstanding its pedigree. I also considered Per Se but I couldn't get a reservation. Oh well, that only means I will have to try it on my next visit.
              As for lunch, I think I will give La Grenouille, Scalini Fedeli and Convivio a try. Thanks again!