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Unique Places that do ONE thing great?

steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 08:53 AM

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. n
    notsochubbychubette RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 09:02 AM

    OmsB for japanese rice balls...FANTASTIC

    1. h
      Hurner RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 09:04 AM

      La Nacional or Soccarat Paella Bar.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Hurner
        steakrules85 RE: Hurner Jun 9, 2009 09:12 AM

        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
          MMRuth RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 12:50 PM

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

          1. re: MMRuth
            mrnyc RE: MMRuth Jun 9, 2009 08:04 PM

            totally agree. gnudi is the thing there.

      2. LeahBaila RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 09:15 AM

        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
          steakrules85 RE: LeahBaila Jun 9, 2009 09:21 AM

          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
            thew RE: LeahBaila Jun 9, 2009 08:17 PM

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

            1. re: thew
              LeahBaila RE: thew Jun 10, 2009 04:25 AM

              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
                ESNY RE: LeahBaila Jun 10, 2009 08:09 AM

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

                1. re: ESNY
                  thew RE: ESNY Jun 10, 2009 09:11 AM

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

          2. s
            steakrules85 RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 09:25 AM

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: steakrules85
              ESNY RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 09:49 AM

              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
                MMRuth RE: ESNY Jun 9, 2009 12:52 PM

                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. d
              demigodh RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 09:36 AM

              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
                steakrules85 RE: demigodh Jun 9, 2009 09:52 AM

                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
                  notsochubbychubette RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 10:07 AM

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

                  1. re: steakrules85
                    demigodh RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 12:20 PM

                    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.

                2. s
                  steakrules85 RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 12:37 PM

                  Yeah I actually am crossing off any Chinese/Asian suggestions. I will be heading to Chinatown over the weekend!

                  1. m
                    mch RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 12:48 PM

                    i think sitting at the bar of spotted pig is a great idea. ippudo is yummy as well. get an order of buns and soup, you'll be full and happy. i've never been but salumeria rosi might fit the bill.

                    1. h
                      harrison RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 01:31 PM

                      how about something like una pizza napoletana? (or co., or keste, etc.)

                      or wedging yourself in for a black label burger at minetta

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: harrison
                        steakrules85 RE: harrison Jun 9, 2009 07:51 PM

                        Was actually thinking about Minetta tavern, but I think I am going to wait for some more friends to come so I can sample the ribeye for two also.

                      2. x
                        xigua RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 02:43 PM

                        or the newly opened le relais de venise for steak frites?

                        1. iFat RE: steakrules85 Jun 9, 2009 09:23 PM

                          Second on the Pork Chop at Little Owl. Was not that impressed with the rest of our meal there, as fully documented here: http://www.immaculateinfatuation.com/reviews/read/28/little-owl

                          Couple others that come to mind
                          Habana to Go: Steak Sandwich
                          Tree: Braised Short Rib

                          Also, the (cheap) grilled tuna at Esperanto: http://www.immaculateinfatuation.com/...

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