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Apr 20, 2009 01:59 PM

My NYC food experience, thank you for all your suggestions!

Arrived back in SF this weekend. My week in Manhattan began Easter Sunday eve after a 2 hour flight dealy and then waiting 2 hours for my bags before being told they could not get the door opened left the airport and luggage arrived midday Monday.

My hotel was in midtown about midnight went to Nizza on 9th ave had a Margharita and sausage pizza. tThe first was utterly tasteless and the sausage had a hot spice I believe was either serano or jalapeno chiles thrown on. Would have been just ok if chiles were absent.

Monday: Yonah Schm was closed as it was the second time I was in the nabe a few days later. Russ and Daughters had an onion bagel with plain cream cheese and scottish lox, very good except the bagel was too chewy should have had it toasted. Then had Herring and cream sauce with onions Outstanding!On to Katz's deli for pastrami only ate half the sandwich and took remainder with me. It was very good and not as fatty or salty as say Carnegie but would not make special trip from midtown would just go to Carnegie.
Next up Il Lab gelato for a scoop of hazelnut and banana. Good but again did not meeet expectations, can find similar or better back home. On to Schillers Liquor bar for a beer. Then to Inoteca for a glass of Gavi and the truffled egg toast. Was really looking forward to this dish but came away very disappointed as toast was under done and chewy.
Next up Crift dog, loved it got the spicey reneck!!! On to Mcsorelys for adark ale, not only good but a relaxing hideaway. I know its not always like that but it was early with just a few locals. On to Momofuku Saam for Pork buns and korean beer. Buns were good but again came away frustrated just didnt meet all the hype and can find similar or better quality at home. Last on the lunch list Artichoke for the sicilian slice. Like the cruuch on the bottom but otherwise doughy, messy and too sweet.
Dinner at Keens chophouse tried the pub mutton and the NY strip. Mutton was very good. But for me as far as the steak and even environment I'll take Lugers! Gin Martini was excellent

Tuesday H and H bagel very good. Mousaka for lunch at Nicks Greek on 9th ave. Cheap but tasted that way. Prefer a littler lamb in my mousaka. Next Pigalle for steak tartare and glass of sancere. Loved the tartare thought it had the right mixture of spices only wish it was done table side or spices fwere left out so I could mix. Dinner took train to meet friends in Stamford. Late night wine at Riposo 46 nice wines and atmosphere.

Wednesday: Clinton street Baking Co. Banana Walnut pancakes and cup of black coffee. Great coffee and pancakes wow that sauce to die for.Mars bar on 2nd ave and 1st for a budwieser and then back to Artichoke for a Margharita slice. For me just not the right porportion of cheese and again sauce too sweet.BXL cafe for mussels and frites and a Duvel. Nice soccer game on tv not the best musseles and frites. Studio 54 for Waiting for Gadot and then to Johns Pizza on 44th. Tried to pizzas at Johns have been here in the past and to the village location. Have enjoyed it in the past but really let down, is it me? have my taste changed or are they relying on their past laurels?

Thursday: Bagel and cream cheese and coffee from a store/deli between brdwy and 6th on 47th. $3.00 and delicious not sure where the bagels come from. Bar Piti for glass of prosseco and some nibbles good relaxing start. On to Ino for cheese plate, charcuterie, and again the truffled egg toast. This time the TET was fantastic the bottom was cooked well and had a little crunch to it. Glass of sicilian white and orvieto, On to Spotted Pig, great burger. Nice atmosphere. Beautiful day! Luch finally had to return to Famous Rays at 6th ave and 11th. One slice of cheese Uhg!, not the olds days with cheese that strung for two blocks. All in all did not have a decent pizza during my visit. In past have been to Difara, Patsy's original location, Lombardis and Grimaldis. Enjoyed them all in past unfortuantely only new one I tried was Artichoke. Oh well next time. Dinner at the bar at Gramercy Tavern, Had 4 apps the merguez was out of this world, the egg crepe with crab wery good. Did not like the grilled octopus its on many menus these days and i thought there was too much and not very tasty. Finally very much did not like the seafood chowder dish which they list as mussles. I thought it was going to be primariley a broth with mussels since that was in the title bit it turned out to be 3 mussels no shells, 1 shrimp and a few pieces of fish. Asked the bartender and his best guess was they list mussels in the title to steer people away in case they have a food allergy. Had two glasses of Oregeny pinot noir, yummy!

Friday morn room service bagel and cream cheese, coffee, bottled water and an orange juice. $45.00 and the bagel was unedible. But the water was good.

All in all great time thanks to many for your suggestions and links. Cheers!

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  1. Where did you eat in Stamford?

    1 Reply
    1. Thanks! Nice report and I like that you have high standards: people don't understand, they think complaining means you didn't have a good time. Sounds to me like you had a great trip.

      on Il Lab for the gelato, I would have said to go for fruit flavors, that's where they really show a lot of intensity of fresh flavor, without either delving into the perfumey end of the spectrum that you get a lot in Europe.

      I think Johns is resting on its laurels, rather than your tastes have changed.

      While I agree that Katz's is good, but not necessarily worth long travel, I have to disagree about Carnegie, they can serve up their pastrami mighty dry, which moves them into not worth eating at all, for me. Next time try Barney Greengrass for pastrami (and ambiance and smoked fish). They call him the sturgeon king. I think I'm the only one on here who carries a torch for the pastrami, but it's a real nice "high end" version. Not a huge pile, just high quality meat.

      Also, while I mentioned 'ino, I'm not sure why I forgot to mention Blue Ribbon Wine Bar which is right around the corner. Next time! Come back soon.

      8 Replies
      1. re: acidity

        I did have a great time, packed in quite a few meals. I probably should have checked on the boards re: Il Lab flavors to try I just went with favorites. Its been a year or so since I've been to Carnegie but I will try Barney Greengrass next time out. Can't get to everything but wish I would have tried Blue Ribbon Wine Bar. Is it next to the restaurant?

        1. re: mick

          Forgot Tueday eve after Riposo hit the halal cart at 48th&7th for an awesome Gyro!

          1. re: mick

            Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar:

            Re: Yonah Schimmel's. They were closed for the 8-day observance of Passover.

            There is no way the superb pastrami at Katz's is inferior to the pastrami at Carnegie, which, imo, is awful. Did you order at the counter or have waiter service?

            1. re: RGR

              I ordered at the counter, got a sample, gave a $1 tip, it was a fun and delicious experience. Having a few days to reflect it probably doesn't get much better. However my anticipation led to judging things to an almost impossible standard.I was planning on doing your les tour and got side tracked along the way. For example I was going to get an egg creme at Katz's but decided to wait for the place mentioned in your tour but I never got there. Next time,hopefully soon!

              1. re: RGR

                He didn't say Katz's was inferior, he said he didn't love it enough to make the "long" trip downtown.

                1. re: acidity


                  Perhaps you are right. However, considering that the last time I had pastrami at Carnegie, it is was exceedingly dry, his statement that his pastrami at Katz's wasn't as "fatty" seemed to suggest that mick felt it was inferior to Carnegie's.


                  To be honest, I've never had an egg cream at Katz's because, imo, *the* drink to have when eating a pastrami sandwich is a Dr. Brown's. For me, that would be Dr. Brown's Cream Soda.

                  You obviously did an excellent job of cramming a whole lot of eating into your week-long stay. I do hope you will come back soon, have that egg cream, do the rest of the tour (incuding getting the knish), and sample much more of the wonderful food offerings in NYC. :-)

                  1. re: RGR

                    I should not have tried and compared Carnegie and Katz's. My last time at Carnegie was a year ago. To have a fair comparison I think the time frame needs to ber a little closer. I was simply trying to say for me as best my memory serves Carnegie pastrami seemed a little fattier,salty, not drier but if I were in midtown it would not necessitate a trip downtown to Katz's. I could live with Carnegie. I would like to blind taste the two.Does Katz's get their pickles from Gus's?

                    1. re: mick

                      I understand your position, mick. But there's no way I would ever bother with the pastrami at Carnegie. When I don't want to make the shlep down to Katz's, I opt for the pastrami at Sarge's, on 3rd Av., b/t 36th & 37th Sts. In my view, just as good as Katz's but a different style. Sarge's is open 24/7, and they deliver all over Manhattan.

                      I don't know where Katz's gets their pickles. Btw., there is something of a pickle rivalry on the LES between Guss' and The Pickle Guys. Guss' used to be located on Essex St., but is now on Orchard, and the Essex St. spot is now occupied by the Pickle Guys.