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Jun 9, 2009 08:53 AM

Unique Places that do ONE thing great?

I will be dining solo tomorrow and would love to have some recommendations for places that do only ONE great thing on the menu. Places that you go to to specifically for a certain item to satisfy a craving. My reasoning is that I do not want to go to a place with an extensive menu of great items because then it will be too hard for me to choose! I would like to save those type of places for when I go out with a group of people so that I can sample everything. Places like Craft (one of my favorite restaurants) are incredible because of their extensive menus chock full of delicious items, however I feel it is a waste to dine alone in a place like this. There is only so much ONE person can sample alone.

Some places that come to mind in the category of doing ONE good thing especially well would be like Porchetta, Caracas Arepa Bar, Pommes Frites, Katz, Peter Luger or something like that. Cuisine and budget is not an issue. Whether it is a hole in the wall or an upscale place I welcome all input.

I am open to any and all suggestions.... just a place that when you go there you KNOW what you are having before you even look at the menu. At Luger you know its the steak for two, at Katz the pastrami, porchetta.. well you get it.

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  1. OmsB for japanese rice balls...FANTASTIC

    1. La Nacional or Soccarat Paella Bar.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Hurner

        I have heard good things about Soccarat.. keep the suggestions coming people!

        Other places I am considering are Spotted Pig for the burger or Little Owl for the pork chop.

        1. re: steakrules85

          At Spotted Pig, I'd get the gnudi rather than the burger. The burger was good, but the gnudi are amazing.

          1. re: MMRuth

            totally agree. gnudi is the thing there.

      2. Forunately/Unfortunately, that's how I feel about the majority of the restaurants in NYC.
        Here's some ideas:
        A Voce: Ricotta di Bufala antipasti
        Mia Dona, L'Artusi: Spaghetti & Meatballs
        Marseille: Burger
        44&X: Mediterranean chopped salad
        good: Green-chile mac n' cheese
        Stanton Social: French onion soup dumplings
        La Esquina: Burger
        Artisanal: Gougeres
        Les Halles: Steak frites
        L'Express: Croque madame/monsieur
        Clinton St. Baking Co: Biscuit sandwich (bkfast/brunch)
        Dhaba: Shrimp malai kabab
        Agave: Santa Fe Shepard's Pie
        Petite Abeille: Quiche
        El Centro: Chips & salsa (trust me, they're incredible)
        Hecho en Dumbo, La Palapa: Queso fundido con rajas
        Landmarc: Grilled shrimp salad
        Markt: Frites
        Otto: Olive oil gelato and eggplant caponatta (sp?)
        Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop: Grilled cheese

        5 Replies
        1. re: LeahBaila

          Wow thanks for the long list Leah. However, I think the MUST thing to get at CSB is definitely the blueberry pancakes... and I think their menu has lots of other yummy items on it. I have been there though and would like to try something different.

          Stanton Social I think is a place where you HAVE to go with a group- it is a huge menu designed for sharing. I have wanted to go to Artisanal for quite some time, but their menu has so many tempting options for me as well. I'm really looking for places where the options are not endless and they really excel at one particular thing on their menu.

          1. re: LeahBaila

            side note - i had several things at dhaba i really enjoyed

            1. re: thew

              Oh, me too...I love everything at Dhaba, but I especially love (and make a point of getting every time) the shrimp malai kabab. :)


              1. re: LeahBaila

                I'm a big fan of dhaba and always seem to get the paneer khali mirch.

                1. re: ESNY

                  my point was that they are not a place that just does one thing great - which is what the thread is about

          2. Just another idea I am throwing out there- How about the burger from DB bistro moderne? Worth it?

            2 Replies
            1. re: steakrules85

              Its good but i think its one of those things that you enjoy it once and would probably never get it again. The flavor is good but its the shape of a large meatball and is tough to eat like a burger. Also, I dont remember if you can order it to doneness, since the patty around the foie gras is relatively thin.

              Spicy beef hand pulled noodle soup at SuperTaste
              Fried Pork and Chive dumpling at Prosperity Dumpling
              Pulled Pork at RUB
              Square slice at Artichoke
              Burger on the bar menu at Primehouse (trust me, better than the steaks)
              Omakase at the bar at Yasuda
              Corned beef hash with two overeasy eggs at Sarges
              Steak tartare at Les Halles - the entire place (food and service) is mediocre with the exception of the tartare

              1. re: ESNY

                I felt the same way about the burger at DB - had it once, don't need it again.

                Peace Passage Oysters at Yasuda.

                Tangerine sorbet at Chinatown Icecream Factory.

                Pork buns at Ssam

                Banh Mi at Saigon Bakery.

                Edit - (a) I see you are "doing" Chinatown separately and (b) at Casa Mono - the mojama with poached egg and potatoes and (c) lobster roll - my preference is Pearl.

                Have fun!

            2. Fun topic. Here's my contribution:

              Kati Rolls from Kati Roll Comapny
              Falafel from Alfanoose
              Pork Chop over Rice from Excellent Pork Chop House
              Oxtail Soup from Pam's Real Thai (they have a large Thai menu but the soup is a clear "stand out" item)
              Ramen from Ramen Setagaya

              Wish I could come up with more but most of my places are in Brooklyn/Queens. You open to that?

              3 Replies
              1. re: demigodh

                Sorry one thing I did forget to mention was strictly Manhattan for tomorrow. But thanks for your recommendations. Chinatown seems like it actually has a lot of places that may be good... Big Wong King or NY Noodletown for their roast duck/ pork, Congee Village or Amazing 66 for their Crispy Chicken with garlic?

                Is the Ramen at Ramen Setagaya better than Momofuku Ramen??

                1. re: steakrules85

                  Cafe Habana for Spanish corn on the cob and a cuban sandwich.

                  1. re: steakrules85

                    I've never had the Ramen at Noodle Bar (every time I go there I find it a better use of my time to order off the rest of the menu) but I like Setagaya more than Ippudo if that helps.

                    I want to reiterate Excellent Pork Chop House, it's truly delicious.