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May 8, 2009 01:18 PM

looking for the NY food experience

Hi heading to NY next Wed for 5 days and staying on W58th. Bringing my father for his 60th birthday from Ireland. My husband and i have been to NY before and want to show him some new spots (as well as ourselves).
No.1 on the list is a steakhouse, thinking of Keens from your recs-been to BLT and gallaghers before. Keens sounds like a good experience if mixed on the food and price.

Other places on our list are Katz deli (a must by your accounts)and the Maze, although i haven't seen many rave reviews on this!

Other then that I am in the dark but would like a great Italian in Little Italy (i know its touristy but my father wants to go there).
Looking also for a good

or any cuisine really with a bit of NY character & relaxed. Will go anywhere in Manhatten and price is ok, but nothing to high end.


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  1. NYC's best burger can be found on the lunch menu at Peter Luger Steakhouse.
    Both Katz's and Keen's are musts.
    You should probably add pizza to your list!

    1 Reply
    1. re: LeahBaila

      The PL burger is the best I ever had.

    2. We ate at Gordon Ramsay in the Dining Room earlier this year and enjoyed it very much. I think I forgot to post a report. Maze is in the same hotel.

      PS There is no GREAT Italian in Little Italy. It's better to go for a coffee if you must go and sit outside . . . or for shopping at Alleva or the other nearby and more renowned cheese shop.

      2 Replies
      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        thanks for the updates, where is the place for good Italian food in Manhattan. (Pizza also)

        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          Yes, I give a 2nd to Gordon Ramsay The London which is surprisingly good. Surprising because I think it will always feel like some sort of celebrity chef hotel transplant and never a part of NYC probably I'm being unfair but I will hardly ever recommend it. But I really liked the food there. Outside of the main dining room the food is completely different, I haven't tried it enough to comment, but there are actually 2 different restaurants going on in the one outside room, Maze and not-Maze.

          For people who insist on Little Italy, I (like some others here) insist that they walk around Little Italy and to eat stroll as far as Peasant (preferably choosing the basement)

          194 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

        2. Hey, Sarah,

          If your father insists on eating in Little Italy -- and it is his birthday, so he should get what he wants -- there are Hounds who give a "thumbs up" to Il Cortile. We've never tried it.

          Keens is our favorite NYC steakhouse. Delicious food, excellent service, and unbeatable Old New York ambiance, which I'm sure will charm your father, as well as you and your husband.

          A visit to Katz's -- where it's all about the pastrami -- is, indeed, a must! You might want to consider taking your father on my (in)famous self-guided Lower East Side noshing tour, which begins at Katz's. As you walk the streets of this historic, interesting neighborhood, you will be sampling foods emblematic of NYC. Here's the link:

          Shake Shack, in Madison Square Park, on the corner of Madison Av. & 23rd St. In order to avoid the hour-long lines, it's best to get there a few minutes before 11 a.m., when they open. Lots of tables for al fresco dining. Also, be sure to have some of their delicious custard.

          Blue Smoke, on 27th St., b/t Park Av. S. & Lex. While the bbq is just o.k., the burger is first-rate. They use the same meat as Shake Shack (no surprise since both places are owned by Danny Meyer), but the burger at Blue Smoke is much thicker.

          Our favorite is Lantern Thai, on the corner of 2nd Av. & 18th St. Good food, efficient service, and attractive modern decor.


          I highly recommend The John Dory, on 10th Av., b/t 15th & 16th Sts. Expertly-prepared fish and seafood. Friendly, competent service. *Very* eye-catching decor.

          Happy Birthday to your father! Hope you all have a great 5 days in NYC and Bon Appetit!

          2 Replies
          1. re: RGR

            Acidity, Pan thanks for your replies. I really appreciate the recs
            RGR -wow !so much advice is fantastic. It has given us some great ideas.
            I love NY and it is exciting to have some highly recommended places to eat. Well we have decided on Keens, shakeshack, Katz and the maze for sure. thanks also for the birthday greetings, i am sure he will have a great birthday in NY.

            1. re: sarah01


              Glad you found my suggestions helpful. You've got a great line-up. And, btw, for the sake of accuracy, it's Maze (no "the"). We've had dinner there, and the food is superb!


          2. For Thai, you could walk to Pam's Real Thai, 49th just west of 9th Av. Their food is pretty good, and if you ask them to make it in real Thai style and convince them you mean it, they will, and then it'll be even better.

            1. Thanks again for taking the time to reply, this is an excellent resource.
              Only two more sleeps now : )
              I'll be dreaming of food tonight.