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NYC summer dining

A foodie friend and I will be in NYC in August and need two lunches and two dinners. We are big foodies and do lots of research before we go, but we wanted some advice from the board about the tentative list we've generated. We are looking for a diverse selection (one Italian, one french, one fusion, etc.). We are also big wine and martini drinkers and want to visit some wine bars or martini stops before we eat.

We are thinking of:

Jean Georges and Felidia for lunch

For dinner we are having a hard time narrowing things down from the following:
Mesa Grill
Boyley Upstairs
WD~50
Blue Hill
Craft
Babbo
Spicy Mina
Spotted Pig

We are also looking for the best places to shop for bread, cheese and charcuterie.

We are hoping to hit Sullivan's bread bakery (what else might work?)

For drinks we were thinking
Angel's Share
Flatiron Lounge
PDT
Giottino

We were hoping that we could do lunch and then food shop (walking) our way to dinner so we have to consider location somewhat as well.

We would love to have some feedback about our list: what should we add? what should we get rid of? Thanks so much in advance.

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  1. Felidia and Mesa Grill have no business being there.
    I would include WD 50 in that but the novelty wows some.
    If only they had been to 71 Clinton maybe they would know how poor Dufresne is now.
    A couple of decent dishes sure, overall, well....not so much.

    There are so many threads on it all and if you take into account all of that info, at some point, SOMEONE loves every place, no matter how poor.
    Thus, I won't get into it too much and hate to repeat it all.

    If you are serious about food, not sure how you came up with Mesa Grill besides celebrity factor which has nothing to do with food quality.

    Felidia used to be good, never the best. Now, the disparity is too much to even consider it, especially for the price.

    You have way too many feats to accomplish in 2 days and way too little info on your own location and such as I see it. Add it and people can help a bit more besides yourself going through the old threads on your requested topics.

    1 Reply
    1. re: dietndesire

      Agreed...Felidia starts off great (w/ the bread basket and green-pea dip), then goes downhill with the entrees. Skip it.

      Here's my feedback:
      We are thinking of:

      Jean Georges and Felidia for lunch -- JEAN GEORGES

      For dinner we are having a hard time narrowing things down from the following:
      Mesa Grill
      Boyley Upstairs
      WD~50 - INTERESTING, UNIQUE DISHES
      Blue Hill
      Craft
      Babbo - IF YOU'VE NOT BEEN, YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT
      Spicy Mina
      Spotted Pig - DOESN'T REALLY FIT WITH THE REST OF THE LIST, BUT I DO ENJOY THE BURGER

      We are also looking for the best places to shop for bread, cheese and charcuterie. MURRAY'S CHEESE IS NOT TO BE MISSED. CHELSEA MARKET, KALUSTYAN'S, UNION SQ GREENMARKET AND ESSEX STREET MARKET ARE GREAT, TOO.

      We are hoping to hit Sullivan's bread bakery (what else might work?)

      For drinks we were thinking
      Angel's Share
      Flatiron Lounge - GOOD PLACE
      PDT
      Giottino - DO YOU MEAN "GOTTINO?"
      ADD: EMPLOYEE'S ONLY

      www.thelunchbelle.com

    2. Jean Georges for lunch is a no brainer. Just be forewarned that reservations are highly recommended, and they do not serve lunch on Sundays.

      I think you mean Bouley Upstairs, not Boyley?

      Personally I think WD-50 is not as good as Tailor, but I've heard from friends who follow that genre of cuisine that Corton is the best right now. Since you're coming in June, you'll probably be able to score a reservation as soon as they open their books. It is a very hot table right now. The molecular gastronomy genre has not really taken off in NYC.

      Blue Hill and Craft seem a bit redundant. I love Craft but haven't eaten at Blue Hill. I assume you mean the one in Manhattan, not the one at Stone Barns.

      Babbo is always worth it IMO.

      If you like bread, definitely hit up Sullivan Street and also maybe Blue Ribbon Bakery Market or Balthazar Bakery. For charcuterie, I would stop in and order the charcuterie platter at Bar Bouloud. It is excellent. Given that you like bread, cheese, meats, I might also stop in at Salumeria Rosi and/or Despana.

      For drinks, I would do Death & Co, Tailor, or Pegu Club before Angel's Share.

      1. Mesa Grill is really not good. I'd do Blue Hill and Babbo out of that list. I see no fusion on your list. Also, if you're here on a weekend, be forewarned that brunch can be more popular than lunch. Bread, cheese, and charcuterie? Maybe Murray's Chesse and Amy's Bread...they're right by each other in the Village. If your aim is convenience to pick up before a picnic in Central park or something, your best bet might be Whole Foods at Columbus Circle. If you like that type of food, you might like 'inoteca.

        3 Replies
        1. re: kim e

          "I see no fusion on your list."

          Jean-Georges has a fair amount of fusion on its menu, and in fact, I've preferred the more classic dishes on their menu, so far. (Caveat: One lunch only, to date!)

          1. re: Pan

            i might be totally off-base, but if i had to put jean georges in a genre, it would most likely go in french. when someone says they want a fusion restaurant, i don't know if jean georges would be first to come to mind. but that's just me.

            1. re: kim e

              I do see your point, but Vongerichten is definitely known for being fusiony. I sort of wish he had stuck to the kind of food he used to make at JoJo in the 80s, but he didn't.

        2. I would kill your Felidia lunch and swap it with Spotted Pig for lunch. I love the pig, but the waits at night are crazy. Unless you are going for scene, this place is much more pleasant during the day. My picks for dinner from your list would be Babbo and Blue Hill. If you can make it to the Blue Hill at Stone Barns I tihnk it is superior, but the one in Manhattan is a favorite as well.

          I'm also a fan of Spicy Mina, but if you are headed out to queens I would suggest check the outer boroughs board for some other great suggestions.

          1. Bread, Cheese and Charcuterie? I'd head to Chelsea Market. Everything is together under one roof. Amy's Bread's "big place" is there.

            Jim Lahey, late of Sullivan Street Bakery (not Sullivan's) has a place called Co. and the pizza there is FABulous.

            1. I would personally skip WD-50. I was really disappointed. Degustation; however, was completely wonderful and it was a terrific value!

              Definitely Jean Georges for lunch.

              Huge fan of Chelsea Market.

              And I agree with ChefJune that Co. is wonderful. Community table style dining with completely wonderful pizza. The chicken liver bruschetta is also terrific. They have a daily special pizza each day - if it comes with an egg on it, get it!! (You can skip dessert here, though)

              1. JG for lunch for sure.

                Babbo for dinner, followed by Craft or Blue Hill.

                Murray's is always good for cheese, on Bleeker. But, if you want the best Italian cheeses, go to DiPalo's. That's not such a bad walk from Sullivan Street either, so you that might make it easier. (now Daisy's, btw)

                Drinks... Angel's Share has great martinis and a laid back vibe, have always been a fan.

                Let me propose something else for you though... start out during the morning at Chelsea market... lots of stores to delight you there. You can have a morning muffin at Sarabet's and then some tea at the T Salon. Kill some time walking around the market, or doing whatever. Then, have lunch at the Spotted Pig in the village. Afterwards, walk over to Bleeker and check out Murry's and then walk downtown on 6th avenue to Sullivan Street Bread (now called Daisy). Then you can cut across Spring into Little Italy and go to DiPalo's and get some of the fun stuff in there. Also makes it easy for you to stop at Balthazar's if you want to pick up some of their baked goods (baguettes are fantastic). Do Jean Georges for dinner instead and then the second night do Babbo. That's how I would do it, anyway.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Farfalle

                  Thanks for all the great responses. Especially appreciate the Chelsea Market itinerary. We are going to go over the list again and see if we can incorporate all these good ideas.

                  thanks!

                2. I highly recommend Little Branch for drinks. It's a great vibe down there, and they have something called the "bartender's choice" where you tell your waitress what your general taste is and the bartender whips up something totally unique for you.