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Top 5 Most Overrated in Manhattan

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demigodh Jun 29, 2009 10:10 AM

This is not a comment on the quality of any of these restaurants. Some on my list I personally find to be excellent and others I believe are terrible. The point here is to list restaurants where the quality falls well below the hype. The hype could come from a number of sources including hyped up on Chowhound, by newspapers, by word of mouth etc....

1) Babbo -- The end all be all of Italian food in NYC (maybe America) falls short. Battali may be a wiz with noodles but he needs more to justify the several month wait for a good reservation.

2) Carnegie Deli/Stage Deli -- this one is more for tourists but as any local knows, just go to Katzs

3) Juniors -- maybe a Brooklyn place but they have a Manhattan location and their cheesecake is nothing special. come to new york and get a pastrami at katz's and a cheesecake at juniors is what I was told (by a carver at Katz's) but I couldn't disagree more. No graham cracker crust?!? Get that cheesecake away from me.

4) Clinton Street Baking Company -- Good pancakes, not nearly good enough to be considered the clear favorite in the city on chowhound.

5) NYC Hot Dogs (dirty water dogs) -- I think everyone on this board would agree with this. Somehow people outside of the city tend to think of New York as a great destination for a hot dog. The ubiquitous hot dog vendors throughout the city stand as a testament to that belief. Having lived in DC for years where hot dog vendors are also common (and excellent), i can't for the life of me figure out why people love the dogs in nyc. if tourists started getting chicken over rice, then they'd be on to something.

Places that almost made my list but in the end live up to the hype: Doughnut Plant, Shake Shack, Momofuku Ko

Honorable mention to the single most overrated dish: Uni Panini

What would be in your top 5 most overrated places?

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  1. princeofpork RE: demigodh Jun 29, 2009 06:31 PM

    Spotted Pig, I love pork more than anyone but have not walked away from here feeling like I just had a great eating experience.
    Shake Shack, there is so much hype no burger could live up to the expectations.
    Virgils, doesn't even crack the top 10 BBQ joints in NYC
    Pizza 33, overpriced and under cooked
    Del Friscos, 3 times there and my steak has never been cooked to the correct doneness.

    5 Replies
    1. re: princeofpork
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      Crepe Suzette RE: princeofpork Jun 30, 2009 08:23 AM

      I must disagree with Spotted Pig - was just there on Friday and it reminded me how much I love the gorgonzola burger and devils on horseback...

      1. re: Crepe Suzette
        o
        outofphilly RE: Crepe Suzette Oct 29, 2009 09:36 AM

        LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Spotted Pig! Sweetbreads with Stewed Peppers one of the best things I have ever tasted! Followed that with Hampshire Pork Belly with Bean Purée & Chard We were just there this past week and savored every moment! I love restaurants that have a casual vibe, not pretentious, but server excellent food. BRAVO!

        -----
        Spotted Pig
        314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

      2. re: princeofpork
        s
        stefathena RE: princeofpork Jan 22, 2010 06:12 AM

        I agree with your comments on Spotted Pig. I just don't understand the hype and the LONG WAIT. Total disappointment.

        1. re: princeofpork
          w
          woodydaniel RE: princeofpork Jun 11, 2011 04:50 PM

          I agree with Spotted Pig. Over priced and mediocre food.

          -----
          Spotted Pig
          314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

          1. re: princeofpork
            a
            Anniexlol RE: princeofpork Jun 12, 2011 06:37 AM

            Agree with shake shack being totally overrated. The lines are always long and the burger is always a bit tasteless. The price of it also makes you feel a bit ripped off. Howevr they do have great shakes, but burgers are really subpar. I rather go to Paul's place in st marks.

          2. scoopG RE: demigodh Jun 29, 2009 06:35 PM

            Joe's Shanghai, Soup Dumplings.

            9 Replies
            1. re: scoopG
              b
              bearmi RE: scoopG Jun 29, 2009 07:22 PM

              5 is a bit hard for me to come up with but I will have to agree with Joe's Shanghai. I will also put Congee Village, Ippudo, Union Square Cafe and Jaiya (Murray Hills) on my list too.

              1. re: bearmi
                YummyInTheCity RE: bearmi Jun 29, 2009 09:34 PM

                I agree with Joe's Shanghai and Spotted Pig. Also Fatty Crab - but that one I am on the fence about and think I should give it another chance, hehe.

                1. re: YummyInTheCity
                  a
                  AYSConsulting RE: YummyInTheCity Nov 20, 2010 05:43 AM

                  I agree about Fatty Crab. Not a fan. I thought the service was awful and the food just not good.

                  -----
                  Fatty Crab
                  643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

                  1. re: AYSConsulting
                    p
                    PastryBunny RE: AYSConsulting Jul 13, 2011 07:22 PM

                    I agree with Fatty Crab....I was totally let down....my boyfriend and I were on a separate pilgrimage when we spotted Fatty Crab out the cab window we stopped immediately having heard all the hype. It was awful before we even finished some appetizers he was asking for the check. It didn't help that it's a semi open kitchen displayed the dude cooking who had a massive beard and no facial net thing gaurding it from getting in the food. I refuse to believe that he is the only man alive who's beard doesn't shed!

                2. re: bearmi
                  c
                  cimui RE: bearmi Jun 29, 2009 09:50 PM

                  Is Jaiya that well liked on this board? I thought that the general impression was that the food is decent, not great.

                  Yummy, I'm with you on Fatty Crab. I know Chowhounds are less sweet on it than Bruni for the most part, but his awarding of two stars was overly kind IMO. It's really no more than a one. But I might be judging it too harshly for the really fourth-rate Hainan chicken rice I had recently... In my book, this dish is something divinely inspired. The version at Fatty Crab was heretically bad.

                  1. re: cimui
                    d
                    demigodh RE: cimui Jun 30, 2009 08:02 AM

                    joe's shanghai, how did i leave that off my list. ippudo i initially included but decided against it. i agree though, it's overrated. spotted pig i've never been to but i do love me some fatty crab.

                    1. re: cimui
                      b
                      bearmi RE: cimui Jun 30, 2009 07:44 PM

                      I think there is a loyal following for Jaiya out there, although it's probably not the most discussed or most liked Thai restaurant on the board. I also feel that Jaiya is brought up often at other venues, probably because it has been around for a while...

                  2. re: scoopG
                    chowmeow RE: scoopG Dec 12, 2010 07:48 AM

                    Can you recommend a good soup dumpling place? Thx!

                    1. re: scoopG
                      a
                      Anniexlol RE: scoopG Jun 12, 2011 06:42 AM

                      I think it really depends on which Joe shanghai you went to. Personally the one in Manhattan Chinatown is really ... Not that great. Every time I go there for a soupy dumplings fix, the dumplings are deflated and just generally sucky. But the Joe's Shanghai in flushing is a totally different story, actually I just went there yesterday in the mid afternoon at 4pm when there we no crowds and the dumplings were ridiculously plump and filled with soup, so yeah Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown, Manhattan = overrated but Joe's Shanghai in Flushing = awesome

                      -----
                      Joe's Shanghai
                      24 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                    2. a
                      addictedtolunch RE: demigodh Jun 29, 2009 06:42 PM

                      I'll dodge the verbal brickbats for saying this, but my last couple of visits to Katz's were nothing special. Pastrami is now just good, not life-altering- and nothing else there is worth the shlep.

                      42 Replies
                      1. re: addictedtolunch
                        OC Mutt RE: addictedtolunch Jun 29, 2009 07:52 PM

                        Katz's is just good NY Deli, not life altering. the Carnegie is every bit as good, with better cheesecake. The Stage however, is just not that good.

                        1. re: OC Mutt
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                          sam1 RE: OC Mutt Jun 29, 2009 09:18 PM

                          i think carnegie's food is miles more enjoyable than katz's...i will say that my last trip to katz's actually seemed like they were on the decline. my meat plate was small, cheap, and dried out...service was abysmal...and ive been eating here for 15 years.

                          langer's in LA beats them all though.

                          1. re: OC Mutt
                            j
                            johnindabronx RE: OC Mutt Nov 16, 2009 06:26 AM

                            I fail to understand how the pastrami at Carnegie can even be compared with the same at Katz's.

                            1. re: johnindabronx
                              h
                              Hoc RE: johnindabronx Apr 5, 2010 10:08 PM

                              I agree with you, but the Corned Beef at Carnegie is better. So is the cheesecake.

                          2. re: addictedtolunch
                            s
                            sugartoof RE: addictedtolunch Jul 9, 2009 10:33 PM

                            Katz's would top my list too. I've had worse, but I hate to say it, I've also had much better.
                            I find the sandwiches to be chintzy, and tough, with a predominant flavor of greasy salt water.

                            -----
                            Katz's Delicatessen
                            205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                            1. re: sugartoof
                              k
                              KTinNYC RE: sugartoof Jul 10, 2009 04:34 AM

                              Where can I get better pastrami than at Katz's?

                              1. re: KTinNYC
                                z
                                ZaZa RE: KTinNYC Jan 28, 2010 10:01 PM

                                You can't. Katz's is the BEST.

                                1. re: ZaZa
                                  ellenost RE: ZaZa Jan 29, 2010 07:27 AM

                                  Sarge's pastrami is much better than Katz's. This has been a subject of much discussion.

                                  1. re: ellenost
                                    g
                                    gutsofsteel RE: ellenost Jan 29, 2010 07:44 AM

                                    I disagree. I like the pastrami at Katz's better.

                                    1. re: gutsofsteel
                                      thew RE: gutsofsteel Jan 29, 2010 07:50 AM

                                      +1

                                      1. re: thew
                                        Daka RE: thew Jan 3, 2011 04:25 AM

                                        2nd Avenue deli better than Katz's and easier to get to.

                                        1. re: Daka
                                          thew RE: Daka Jan 3, 2011 05:38 AM

                                          i dont agree with either of those assertions

                                    2. re: ellenost
                                      hcbk0702 RE: ellenost Jan 29, 2010 07:54 AM

                                      Not really, Katz's is by far the overwhelming favorite.

                                    3. re: ZaZa
                                      BTaylor RE: ZaZa Jun 11, 2011 09:00 AM

                                      2nd Ave Deli is the BEST.

                                      1. re: BTaylor
                                        The Professor RE: BTaylor Jun 11, 2011 03:57 PM

                                        2nd Ave's is not bad...for that matter, neither is Carnegie's, really ...but ZaZa is right.

                                        None hold a candle to Katz's, at least as far as Pastrami is concerned.

                                        Katz's OWNS it.

                                    4. re: KTinNYC
                                      l
                                      lalaw05 RE: KTinNYC Jul 19, 2010 12:55 AM

                                      Langer's on the corner of 7th and Alvarado in Los Angeles.

                                      1. re: KTinNYC
                                        s
                                        serious RE: KTinNYC Apr 3, 2011 01:25 AM

                                        Pastrami Queen on Lexington

                                      2. re: sugartoof
                                        thew RE: sugartoof Jul 10, 2009 05:28 AM

                                        chintzy? i can understand not liking the flavor ( i don't agree, but i understand) but chintzy? it's not a small sandwich by any means......

                                        1. re: sugartoof
                                          Bob Martinez RE: sugartoof Jul 10, 2009 06:59 AM

                                          "I find the sandwiches to be chintzy"

                                          A quick Google search shows this definition of chintzy - "cheap: embarrassingly stingy."

                                          I think that word does not mean what you think it means.

                                          1. re: Bob Martinez
                                            s
                                            sugartoof RE: Bob Martinez Jul 10, 2009 08:53 PM

                                            It's posts like that which prove Katz's is numero uno on the hype meter.

                                            Feel free to consult your dictionary all you want, it's not going to erase my memory of mediocre meat plopped on top of two dinky pieces of bread. It's a chintzy offering for $15.

                                            1. re: sugartoof
                                              k
                                              KTinNYC RE: sugartoof Jul 10, 2009 09:38 PM

                                              Please, please let me know where I can find better pastrami!

                                              1. re: KTinNYC
                                                s
                                                sugartoof RE: KTinNYC Jul 10, 2009 10:48 PM

                                                I never claimed to have a key to a secret stash of pastrami.

                                                Any place I've had better at, I've also had worse at. To me this is like arguing over who has better shoe tongue. I've never had a sandwich at Katz's that thrilled me, felt worth the money, or the hype. I never left craving it the next day, and I don't know anyone outside the internet who loves the place, but I know it's still sacrilege to express this opinion. The best Pastrami I've had personally was in LA.

                                                (I'm glad people here have been satisfied and had better luck at Katz's though, honestly. I've always felt I was missing out on what's just seemed to be a huge myth)

                                                1. re: sugartoof
                                                  c
                                                  cimui RE: sugartoof Jul 11, 2009 11:15 PM

                                                  Hey now, folks. Lay off a bit. I agree with sugartoof that there's an aura of untouchable greatness that surrounds certain Manhattan Institutions -- and those kinds of assumptions can only be the enemy of open discussion when it comes to food. sugartoof's point, as I take it, is to say: Set aside the boundaries. Set aside what The General Populace considers sacred. Consider food on its own merits and then decide.

                                                  I really respect that RGR was able to come out and say that Sarge's serves as good (if not better, IMHO) pastrami as Katz. I agree. I also have also enjoyed the pastrami at 2nd Ave. Deli very, very much, though I understand from other posters that the quality may be uneven. (The times I've tried it, it's been wonderfully flavorful and moist.) And I humbly submit that I've helped make better pastrami with friends than what I've had at Katz's.

                                                  So I agree, ultimately, with sugartoff: Katz is good... but to call it the best in NYC? Just think about the hype factor before you make any assumptions. Think about all the places you haven't tried.

                                                  Keep the discussion alive. Free your mind. :)

                                                  Peace, love, good eats...

                                                  1. re: cimui
                                                    Bob Martinez RE: cimui Jul 12, 2009 08:34 AM

                                                    Would you describe the sandwiches at Katz's as "chintzy?"

                                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                                      c
                                                      cimui RE: KTinNYC Jul 12, 2009 11:01 AM

                                                      I definitely agree that people should question what they disagree with... but at the same time, give the good 'Hound a chance to back down from a stronger statement than perhaps intended without losing face, eh? It pains me to see such a pile on...

                                                      [Ok, sorry to take this discussion OT. I guess it belongs more in Site Talk than anything.]

                                                      Back on the subject... Bob, nope, I wouldn't call the portion size at Katz small, but I know plenty of folks think the price tag is pretty steep for a mere sandwich. Perhaps sugartoof was talking about relative value?

                                                      1. re: cimui
                                                        Bob Martinez RE: cimui Jul 12, 2009 05:28 PM

                                                        I've never heard anybody say that the amount of meat in a Katz's sandwich is anything but enormous. It's really enough for two sandwiches. To call it "chintzy" is .... eccentric. The statement "I've also had much better" begs the question "Where?"

                                                        I'm not an absolutist. Maybe some other place is serving pastrami that's as good or better than Katz's. Why not share that information on the board? Cimui, I'll buy you sandwich at Katz's if the OP volunteers that information.

                                                        1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                          Polecat RE: Bob Martinez Jul 14, 2009 03:16 PM

                                                          "You've said you've had better pastrami than Katz's. Well, that's good news, even if the restaurant is in another city."

                                                          Agreed. Although a long-time fan of Katz's pastrami on rye, I've never felt threatened or offended at the prospect of their being something out there that is better. On the contrary: it gives me something to look forward to.

                                                          sugartoof refers to arties, mendys and sarge's. i've also had some very good pastrami at arties and sarge's - never been to mendy's - but I don't put them in the same league as katz's, so i'd disagree there. then again, there's room for more than one good pastrami sandwich in manhattan, and i'd never blame a place for not being katz's.

                                                          the place i hear more about than others in the whole best pastrami argument is Langer's, in LA, which is yet one more reason to pull me out to the Left Coast for a bang-up gorge and eatfest. On a previous thread, however, I've read about a place in Jersey that some enthusiasts swear by. Someone help me out here.

                                                          If Katz's is, indeed, #2, I'm fine with that. Bring on #1.
                                                          P.

                                                          1. re: Polecat
                                                            h
                                                            Hoc RE: Polecat Apr 5, 2010 10:40 PM

                                                            Langer's is very good. But it's a different kind of pastrami sandwich than Katz's. The bread (rye) is better, and the pastrami is aged, so it's a different kind of pastrami. The sandwich is served with coleslaw on the sandwich and swiss cheese. In all, a great sandwich, but if you're looking for pastrami on rye with mustard, Katz's is the place. I like both for different reasons. 2nd Ave. is too salty (like everything there), but I haven't found a better pastrami in NYC than Katz's.

                                                            1. re: Hoc
                                                              Pigeage RE: Hoc Apr 11, 2010 02:56 PM

                                                              The rye in L.A. (Langer's, Nate & Al's) is corn rye, a different rye experience IMHO. The meat - that's a toughie. Katz's is MY personal favorite, but I love Langer's, Carnegie, even Artie's on the UWS, (that last just to get the heat from whomever out there ;-) ) . . . A quality corned beef or pastrami on a couple of nice pieces of rye with some great deli mustard . . . that's a treat (east, west, or even north - I love smoked meat sammies in Montreal), and best in this category is similar to saying you like Granny Smith apples over Golden Delicious - a matter of opionion. But can you be RIGHT? Best we can determine would be: 1) which is most popular. 2) whose standards are slipping or holding or (God forbid) improving. But it's fun to discuss, absolutely. And BTW - Nate & Al's in Beverly Hills makes the best chopped liver app. Go ahead, tell me I'm wrong! ;-)

                                                  2. re: KTinNYC
                                                    r
                                                    RGR RE: KTinNYC Jul 10, 2009 11:27 PM

                                                    I think the pastrami at Katz's is superb, but I have also found the pastrami at Sarge's to be consistently top-notch. Different in style from Katz's, but equally delicious.

                                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                                      j
                                                      johnindabronx RE: KTinNYC Nov 16, 2009 06:27 AM

                                                      In NYC it's Katz's. That all.

                                                    2. re: sugartoof
                                                      MMRuth RE: sugartoof Jul 11, 2009 04:40 PM

                                                      So, do you think there is too little pastrami on a Katz' pastrami sandwich? Or just lousy pastrami? Where do you think we can get better pastrami in Manhattan?

                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                        r
                                                        RGR RE: MMRuth Jul 12, 2009 02:01 AM

                                                        MMRuth,

                                                        It's hard for me to imagine anyone saying there is too little pastrami on the sandwiches at Katz's. From my experiences, the sandwiches are always bulging with meat. So much so, that the flimsy bread (there's no disagreement about that) can't support the juicy meat and literally falls apart. Note also that Katz's countermen still hand-slice their pastrami, so pieces are much thicker than when a machine is used, as is the case at every other deli.

                                                        At Sarge's, even though the machine slices are thinner than at Katz's, if you specifically order "fatty" pastrami, the meat remains very succulent. Also, the spicing is different from Katz's. But I think in its way, the pastrami at Sarge's is just as delicious. And the rye bread at Sarge's is more substantial, so it holds up better to the mound of juicy meat.

                                                        The thing to keep in mind is that pastrami should never be ordered lean because it's the fat that provides the juiciness and flavor. Lean = shoe leather.

                                                      2. re: sugartoof
                                                        c
                                                        condiment RE: sugartoof Jul 12, 2009 11:15 PM

                                                        You obviously didn't slip the counterman a buck!

                                                        1. re: sugartoof
                                                          a
                                                          addictedtolunch RE: sugartoof Jul 13, 2009 03:39 AM

                                                          Yes, the tip leads to a slightly thicker sandwich. And it's a very good sandwich. But at that price point, where a sandwich costs, with tip, about as much as an entree in many decent restaurants, I'm over-paying for something that is about as good (or within 10% as good) elsewhere, for much less money. And it's the only thing there that's even arguably a "stand-out" at all-the rest is just O.K. if not mediocre deli. Which means we have a place here that's existing off of past glory. When a restaurant, like a boat, "coasts", it slowly sinks lower in the water. If you are about the food and not about nostalgia or hype, a visit to Katz's is now a let down.

                                                          1. re: addictedtolunch
                                                            k
                                                            KTinNYC RE: addictedtolunch Jul 13, 2009 05:24 AM

                                                            The tip for a larger sandwich is also a myth. You can try it for yourself. Put your tip in the cup before once and then try it another time and tip after, the sandwich is the same size. These guys make so many sandwiches they are on auto-pilot. I've tried it myself and there is no difference when the tip is presented.

                                                            1. re: KTinNYC
                                                              s
                                                              steakrules85 RE: KTinNYC Jul 13, 2009 07:34 AM

                                                              Will they gladly give you a taste of the pastrami if you ask beforehand? Or do you need to tip them in order to get a sample. I have never been to Katz, however I have heard they are pretty gracious about giving out tasting samples before you decide what you want.

                                                              1. re: steakrules85
                                                                k
                                                                KTinNYC RE: steakrules85 Jul 13, 2009 07:53 AM

                                                                Yes, you get a sample. Trust me, the second you get to the front to the line the cutter is already getting the "sample" ready for you. These guys must make scores of sandwiches a day, they are on auto-pilot.

                                                                1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                  s
                                                                  steakrules85 RE: KTinNYC Jul 13, 2009 08:55 AM

                                                                  Awesome.. thanks. I would like to sample the brisket and pastrami before I decide what to get. Even though I know I will most likely be going with the pastrami. Brisket tends to be too dry at these places.

                                                                  1. re: steakrules85
                                                                    j
                                                                    joebloe RE: steakrules85 Jun 5, 2011 12:06 AM

                                                                    The pastrami was heavenly but the brisket at Katz suxs! I would have forced for my brisket money back and show it on youttube if the line wasn't so long.

                                                      3. re: sugartoof
                                                        NAtiveNewYorker RE: sugartoof Jul 13, 2009 08:26 AM

                                                        "but I hate to say it, I've also had much better. "

                                                        Where?

                                                        1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
                                                          w
                                                          windycity RE: NAtiveNewYorker Jul 15, 2009 02:20 PM

                                                          2nd Avenue Deli. I've had an off pastrami day or two there, but mostly I've had really delicious and moist pastrami. As for Katz's I just have little reason to return based on pastrami.

                                                    3. w
                                                      windycity RE: demigodh Jun 29, 2009 06:47 PM

                                                      1. Shake Shack. I'm from Chicago and Danny Meyer's shack doesn't match up in terms of dogs or custard. Don't even get me started on the burger and the fries are mealy and miserable.

                                                      2. Max Brenner

                                                      3. Carnegie Deli

                                                      4. Serendipity 3 - overpriced, overhyped, and the one time I was there they artificially inflated the wait time (plenty of open tables inside)

                                                      5. Sarabeth's - I still like the lemon ricotta pancakes though

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: windycity
                                                        c
                                                        CathleenH RE: windycity Jul 4, 2009 05:04 AM

                                                        Yes, definitely Sarabeth's.

                                                        1. re: windycity
                                                          m
                                                          mrcrassic RE: windycity Oct 5, 2010 02:57 AM

                                                          Serendipity 3 is okay to go to ONCE. I loved the Frozen Hot Chocolate the first time I went. It tasted much duller the second time around, though.

                                                          -----
                                                          Serendipity 3
                                                          225 E 60th St, New York, NY 10022

                                                          1. re: windycity
                                                            a
                                                            Anniexlol RE: windycity Jun 12, 2011 06:46 AM

                                                            I didn't know there was much of a hype over Max Brenner. I'm originally from Sydney, Australia and I can tell you that the max Brenner in Sydney tastes a whole lot better, because it's not ... As rich? I find the max Brenner here wayy to rich and that their menu has too many items. Max Brenner in Australia only concentrates on the treats none of this wrap and chicken business. So I think the lack of concentration on a particular food is killing their quality

                                                            -----
                                                            Max Brenner
                                                            841 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

                                                          2. Slob RE: demigodh Jun 29, 2009 08:34 PM

                                                            1. Porchetta--dry, dull, tasteless.
                                                            2. Little Owl--cramped, one of the worst pasta dishes I've had in awhile was the gnocchi. The sauce was watery and tasteless;
                                                            3. Minetta Tavern--$26 hamburger wasn't as good a $5 burger at a good burger place, bone marrow was feeble, foie terrine wasn't very good;
                                                            4. Keste--crust turned to soup after a couple minutes, sausage looked like dog food and had NO taste;
                                                            5. Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery--WAY too much hype for what tasted like a Duncan Hines cupcake.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Slob
                                                              s
                                                              sam1 RE: Slob Jun 29, 2009 09:23 PM

                                                              100% agree on porchetta...an absolutely ridiculously lame place.

                                                              my other picks:

                                                              1. una pizza nepaletano - no choices, overpriced pies, no ice for my diet coke...this place must die.
                                                              2. spotted pig - the wait, the crowd and the star f$cking...the inconsistent kitchen...im not going back.
                                                              3. momofuku noodle shop - i know they barely serve ramen anymore but its so goddamn overrated, they need a new word for it.
                                                              4. babbo - besides pasta, this place just does not deliver. very disappointing.
                                                              5. little owl - the food does not warrant the constant attention. cute place but the food does not deliver.

                                                              1. re: sam1
                                                                Slob RE: sam1 Jun 29, 2009 09:29 PM

                                                                sam, I couldn't believe just how bad Porchetta was after the crazy hype I read on it. I couldn't even finish my sandwich because it was so dry and devoid of taste.

                                                                And I think Little Owl's secret to their hype machine is the fact that they can only fit 3 people in there at a time, so it's always full and gives the appearance of being busy.

                                                              2. re: Slob
                                                                s
                                                                Stuartmc910 RE: Slob Jun 30, 2009 07:26 AM

                                                                I agree with you onthe bone marrow at Minetta Tav. BIG disappointment after all of the hoopla. Loved the burger, tho.

                                                              3. h
                                                                Hinterlander RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 01:56 AM

                                                                I will put the Carnegie Deli's corned beef sandwich against other deli in NYC.

                                                                And, original poster, why do you care if people want to eat hot dogs from sidewalk carts?

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: Hinterlander
                                                                  d
                                                                  demigodh RE: Hinterlander Jun 30, 2009 08:04 AM

                                                                  why do you care if i like another corned beef more than carnegie?

                                                                  it's the same thing, i just think the hot dogs are crappy and very overrated (in this case by tourists).

                                                                  1. re: demigodh
                                                                    h
                                                                    Hinterlander RE: demigodh Jul 1, 2009 03:03 PM

                                                                    What sense does that make? A $1 hot dog purchased on the go from a street cart isn't a dining experience as eating in a restaurant is.

                                                                    1. re: demigodh
                                                                      b
                                                                      boccalupo RE: demigodh Jul 1, 2009 06:38 PM

                                                                      I think Sabrett makes some of the tastiest hot dogs I've ever had. Tasty with a nice natural casing snap.

                                                                      They are better grilled (a la Papaya King and Gray's Papaya) than boiled, but still not bad from a cart.

                                                                    2. re: Hinterlander
                                                                      r
                                                                      RichardW RE: Hinterlander Jul 3, 2009 08:35 PM

                                                                      30 years ago, the corned beef at Carnegie Deli was really great.
                                                                      I have been there 3 times in the last 10 years and each time resolved never to go again. Nowadays the corned beef is just dry and there is lots of it.

                                                                      I don't know where to get good corned beef sandwiches anymore in Manhattan.
                                                                      The pastrami on club at Katz's is still great.

                                                                    3. l
                                                                      lawgirl1984 RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 05:19 AM

                                                                      Aquavit

                                                                      1. janethepain RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 06:43 AM

                                                                        1. Degustation - constantly and consistently fawned upon by members of this board. Unfortunately, I just wasn't wowed by anything. Thought I was perhaps missing something, but right now, I can't even remember what I had there.

                                                                        2. Corner Bistro - kinda surprised it gets any hype at all. And I don't like how the fries taste like bacon. If I wanted bacon-taste, I'd order bacon.

                                                                        3. Katz's pastrami - granted, I've only had it once, but my whole family left the place like, "really?? that was it?!" It's a pile of salty meat on some rye bread. Nothing to get so excited about.

                                                                        4. DiFara's - don't shoot me. But it's just too parmesan-y to me and the extra drizzle of olive oil doesn't do anything for my taste buds but does to my waistline. Yes, the pizza is good. But worth the trek out to Midwood and lingering at the counter for 1.5 hours for a pie? Ehhhh....

                                                                        5. Clinton Street Baking Co. - I did love the pancakes. I love pancakes, period. Yes, they are a bit crispier on the outside and nicely thick. But is it light years beyond another competently-made pancake? No. If there wasn't a 2 hr wait at brunch, I'd pick this place over others, but that's not the case. Also, was kinda saddened to see that Bobby Flay beat them in the Throwdown.

                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                        1. re: janethepain
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                                                                          crovito RE: janethepain Aug 18, 2009 09:26 PM

                                                                          I agree with most of your comments -there is NO WAY DiFara is worth the hike to Midwood and no way Clinton street is worth the wait ( and I LOVE pancakes!)...

                                                                          1. re: crovito
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                                                                            johnindabronx RE: crovito Nov 16, 2009 06:31 AM

                                                                            Agreed indeed on DiFara. Ditto on Zero Otto Nove. The crust is amaturish.

                                                                          2. re: janethepain
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                                                                            nooyawka RE: janethepain Sep 4, 2009 04:29 PM

                                                                            With you on DiFara's. If anyone shoots you, I'll step in front and take the bullet.

                                                                            1. re: janethepain
                                                                              janethepain RE: janethepain Jan 28, 2010 06:33 AM

                                                                              Ugh, I guess I'll have to add both Minca and Ippudo to this list. Minca was just no good to the point that I'm shocked it's constantly one of the top picks for ramen in the city. In short, broth very rich/greasy with no balance of flavor.

                                                                              Went to Ippudo for the second time yesterday, and while it was good (got the Akkamaru Modern), it's nothing I had a food revelation over. Tasty and much better than Minca, but not worth waiting 1-2 hours for.

                                                                              1. re: janethepain
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                                                                                windycity RE: janethepain Feb 1, 2010 09:29 PM

                                                                                The state of NYC ramen is mediocre at best. When I go to Minca, I enjoy the springiness of the noodles and the fatty pork pillows. I do not enjoy the broth and hardly drink it.

                                                                                On the other hand, Menkuitei has a very serviceable broth but the noodles aren't as springy and the meat is used much more sparingly. I guess Ippudo would be the best happy medium, but I'm never happy after waiting 2 hours for a seat.

                                                                                1. re: windycity
                                                                                  janethepain RE: windycity Feb 2, 2010 06:11 AM

                                                                                  I agree, Ippudo's noodles were perfect - even after sitting in broth for a while, it maintained its springiness and avoided waterlogging. But Minca's broth is just inexcusable. There's no pleasure in eating the noodles, etc. if the broth is just blechhh.

                                                                                  Strangely, i had a sip of the tonkatsu broth at Village Yokocho and it was amazing - very milky-boney. I was drunk at the time so I'll have to go back and confirm.

                                                                              2. re: janethepain
                                                                                janethepain RE: janethepain Jul 19, 2010 08:41 AM

                                                                                Revisited Katz's to confirm my original opinion. The pastrami was ok I guess, but nothing that I'd ever have a craving for. I guess I just don't pastrami is that great. But the prices reflect the heavy tourist premium.

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                                                                                angelhair RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 07:02 AM

                                                                                1. Shake Shack - good burgers and custard and if I'm in the neighborhood and hit them at an off time with no waiting I'll gladly buy their food. But worth more than a 10-minute wait? Are you kidding?

                                                                                2. Doughnut Plant - I appreciate that they use first class ingredients and try different flavors and combinations but I'm always disappointed. The doughnuts are tough and the overwhelming sweetness overpowers any other flavor.

                                                                                3. Any cupcake bakery - Sugar Sweet, Magnolia, they're all mediocre.

                                                                                4. EMP - Much beloved and hyped by this board, my meal there was very good if a little uneven but in no way was it as amazing as I expected it to be based on the Chowhound raves.

                                                                                5. Barbeque in general - Blue Smoke is the best of a mediocre lot but why does NYC 'que have to suck so badly?

                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                1. re: angelhair
                                                                                  princeofpork RE: angelhair Jun 30, 2009 07:48 AM

                                                                                  I am shocked to hear you think Bluesmoke is the tops of NYC BBQ. It doesnt even crack my top 3. Please venture up to 131st and get some Dinosaur Pulled Pork or Hill Country for the Beef ribs

                                                                                  1. re: princeofpork
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                                                                                    angelhair RE: princeofpork Jun 30, 2009 10:45 AM

                                                                                    I've been to Dinosaur and it was okay but certainly not memorable in any way. Is it better than Blue Smoke? Probably a toss up depending on personal preference though I do like the sides at Blue Smoke. Fette Sau is (was?) better than both of them but even that is a far cry from even average barbeque in a place like Memphis. My lament was for the overall mediocre quality of barbeque in this city in general. I haven't tried Hill Country yet so can't speak to that but given the poor quality of 'que in NYC I'm not expecting much.

                                                                                    1. re: angelhair
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                                                                                      planetjess RE: angelhair Jun 30, 2009 01:19 PM

                                                                                      Please do try Hill Country, and PLEASE start with a quarter pound of each of the moist and lean brisket, as I've noticed that a umber of people love one but hate the other, while I adore both. Focus on the meat. The sides are adequate, but forgettable, but then again, the sides aren't that great at the temples in Lockhart, either.

                                                                                      p.s. I'm pretty ecumenical in my bbq tastes, and when I'm wanting saucy, I also head to RUB (and sometimes it's the beans that push me over the edge--they are damn good).

                                                                                      1. re: planetjess
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                                                                                        ZaZa RE: planetjess Jan 28, 2010 11:20 PM

                                                                                        When HILL COUNTRY first opened, I bought both the moist and lean brisket at the same time. My decision was that the moist was the one to go with-- until that summer day, when I bought the moist brisket to go.

                                                                                        By the time I got home, the bag was dripping with fat onto my wood floor! It was awful. When I opened the wrapper, there was so little meat, I threw the whole thing out and never returned.

                                                                                        I've tried just about everything there. The only things that remain favourable are the spicy Texas Link and the whole chicken to go. However, after that experience, I wouldn't go back there.

                                                                                      2. re: angelhair
                                                                                        k
                                                                                        KTinNYC RE: angelhair Jun 30, 2009 01:29 PM

                                                                                        angelhair, where are you from? I've spent the last month in both Austin and Memphis and I have to say that overall the barbecue is better in both cities I don't think the best places in NYC are that far behind. I really like RUB and Dinosaur and I while don't think they are as good as the best in Memphis I think they can hold there own. BTW, the beans at RUB are better than those at either Central or Interstate but then again, who goes to barbecue for beans?

                                                                                        1. re: KTinNYC
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                                                                                          demigodh RE: KTinNYC Jun 30, 2009 07:10 PM

                                                                                          I'm from Dallas and while the barbecue is better elsewhere in Texas, I'd take the worst places in Dallas over the best in NYC by a longshot. I haven't been to all of them (ie. Hill Country, Blue Smoke) but the sampling I have had leaves me no reason for hope. The much hyped places that I have been severely disappointed by include: RUB, Smoke Joint, Dinosaur, Fette Sau.

                                                                                          You might enjoy the 'cue here as much as in Memphis or Austin but I just don't feel the same way.

                                                                                          Tangent: I miss fried okra at BBQ places in this city. Not that this would effect anything I've previously stated but if anyone knows a 'cue place that has fried okra please let me know.

                                                                                          1. re: demigodh
                                                                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 07:50 PM

                                                                                            "if anyone knows a 'cue place that has fried okra please let me know."
                                                                                            ~~~~~~~~~
                                                                                            look beyond straight 'cue places.

                                                                                            Amy Ruth's may be worth a shot...
                                                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/272486

                                                                                            other places that serve it include Acme Bar & Grill, Alias, Delta Grill, and Mara's Homemade.

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Amy Ruth's
                                                                                            113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

                                                                                            Alias
                                                                                            76 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                                                                                            Mara's Homemade
                                                                                            342 East 6th Street, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                            Delta Grill
                                                                                            700 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                                                                                            Acme
                                                                                            9 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                            1. re: demigodh
                                                                                              baldwinwood RE: demigodh Jul 1, 2009 10:00 AM

                                                                                              Why would people expect the BBQ in NYC to be anything but okish-good at best!?!?
                                                                                              When i travel to Alabama for a football game, i m not looking for the best kinish in Birmingham(regardless of the hype a place gets). When i m working out west, regardless of how bad i want a bagel with lox with thinnly sliced red onion, i know i m not getting one(a good one).

                                                                                              New York is NOT a real BBQ town, no ifs ands or butts(no pun)about it.

                                                                                              1. re: baldwinwood
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                                                                                                angelhair RE: baldwinwood Jul 1, 2009 08:03 PM

                                                                                                I can't imagine that anyone would think NY is a real BBQ town - I certainly don't. I was responding to the request for overhyped restaurants. And it seems that some barbeque place is always being hyped by somebody so to me, just about any and all NYC 'que is overhyped and mediocre.

                                                                                                1. re: baldwinwood
                                                                                                  Asumnuthin RE: baldwinwood Jul 21, 2009 10:50 AM

                                                                                                  fette sau, is way better than even average

                                                                                                  1. re: baldwinwood
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                                                                                                    ZaZa RE: baldwinwood Jan 28, 2010 10:55 PM

                                                                                                    I agree.

                                                                                                    1. re: baldwinwood
                                                                                                      unami RE: baldwinwood May 12, 2011 09:52 AM

                                                                                                      It was a BBQ town back in the 1970's and 1980's when Smokey's had 2 locations. One was in Chelsea 24th and 9th Ave., the other was on the upper west side. Fantastic and very much missed!

                                                                                              2. re: princeofpork
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                                                                                                steakrules85 RE: princeofpork Jul 9, 2009 06:46 PM

                                                                                                I have always wanted to try the beef ribs there but have heard they do not have a lot of meat on them these days. Is this true or no??????????

                                                                                                1. re: princeofpork
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                                                                                                  mrcrassic RE: princeofpork Oct 5, 2010 02:59 AM

                                                                                                  I second Hill Country; AMAZING BBQ

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  Hill Country
                                                                                                  30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                2. re: angelhair
                                                                                                  LeahBaila RE: angelhair Jun 30, 2009 09:02 AM

                                                                                                  Agreed w/ you re: EMP and Shake Shack.
                                                                                                  Have to add Babbo to the list, as I'd describe my 2 experiences the same way that you described EMP. Good but not orgasmic.
                                                                                                  Bouley
                                                                                                  Perilla, Dovetail: Again, both are good, but they didn't live up to my inflated hopes

                                                                                                  www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                                                                  1. re: angelhair
                                                                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: angelhair Jun 30, 2009 01:18 PM

                                                                                                    agree with EMP. all three my meals there were disappointingly mediocre.

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                                                                                                      fdb RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 18, 2009 10:31 PM

                                                                                                      Another vote for EMP. Worst meal I ever had on my numerous trip to NY this year.

                                                                                                    2. re: angelhair
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                                                                                                      organicgirl RE: angelhair Aug 19, 2009 09:49 PM

                                                                                                      wildwood has been much better lately! give it another try.

                                                                                                      1. re: angelhair
                                                                                                        johannabanana RE: angelhair Oct 28, 2009 03:22 PM

                                                                                                        what flavors did you get at donut plant???? try the tres leche - it's delice

                                                                                                      2. x
                                                                                                        xny556cip RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 08:49 AM

                                                                                                        1) Pizza -It's changing rapidly with all the new places opening,but generally 99% of the slice joints are forgettable.

                                                                                                        2) Cup Cakes - Any Girl Scout could match this garbage.

                                                                                                        3) Co. - To associate the things they make with the word pizza is just downright deception.

                                                                                                        4) Five Guys burgers - Greasy,burnt grease tasting and on par with white castle as the worst burgers IMO.

                                                                                                        5) Tabla -If it wasn't a DM joint it would be out of business relying on the food alone.

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: xny556cip
                                                                                                          foodie4life RE: xny556cip Jun 30, 2009 10:18 AM

                                                                                                          5) Eleven Madison Park- went twice and both times had rude service and tiny portions that were not mind blowing

                                                                                                          4) Spotted Pig- sure it's good but michelin-star-worthy? Nope.

                                                                                                          3) What is with the cupcake craze! I'm with you guys on that but I'm also not a dessert person.

                                                                                                          2) Del Posto- wildly overpriced and inconsistent food.

                                                                                                          1) Blue Hill- This is a controversial one to list (don't hit me!) but I really had the worst service there. A smug waiter, dishes that sat in front of us far too long, etc. The Spanish mackerel was bland.

                                                                                                          I do have to disagree with Babbo on this list as I had the highest expectations and it still exceeded them. It's not just the pasta but all of the incredible innards there. Sweetbreads mmm! And focused, doting service even when packed.

                                                                                                          I also want to say that it seems like some people are just listing places that they think suck, but aren't necessarily that hyped. Is Virgil's really supposed to be great BBQ? Not as far as I know. I've never really heard that NY is supposed to have great hot dogs, maybe I've missed something.

                                                                                                          http://www.StrumErika.com

                                                                                                          1. re: foodie4life
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                                                                                                            FazaMonster RE: foodie4life Jul 2, 2009 07:50 AM

                                                                                                            I'm going to EMP in a few days. If it isn't mediocre, I'll be sure to let you know =P

                                                                                                          2. re: xny556cip
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                                                                                                            vinegarhill RE: xny556cip Jul 22, 2009 11:41 AM

                                                                                                            I beg to differ about Five Guys. Their burgers are only above average but their fries are fantastic. Then again I like White Castle, so what do I know?

                                                                                                            1. re: vinegarhill
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                                                                                                              steakrules85 RE: vinegarhill Jul 22, 2009 12:08 PM

                                                                                                              Five guys burgers are horrific. Burnt to a crisp yucky!

                                                                                                            2. re: xny556cip
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                                                                                                              starbucksbrew RE: xny556cip Dec 3, 2009 05:43 PM

                                                                                                              I'm so glad to find someone else who thinks Five Guys is disgusting! But what I really wanted to say on this thread is THANK YOU to everyone for this thread. I'm making a list of places to avoid in NYC when we're just walking around looking for a place to grab lunch.

                                                                                                              1. re: xny556cip
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                                                                                                                mrcrassic RE: xny556cip Oct 5, 2010 03:03 AM

                                                                                                                Grimaldi's made me change the way I think about pizza, and Lombardi's wasn't too far off. I do agree that there are way too many average pizza shops, though.

                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                Grimaldi's
                                                                                                                47 W 20th St, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                              2. Miss Needle RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                Shake Shack -- I like it but it's not worth the huge wait. I only go when the line is on the short side.

                                                                                                                Lombardi's -- May not get the hugest love on these boards, including me. But you'd never know it from the long lines in front of the restaurant.

                                                                                                                Di Fara's -- I agree with jainthepain that it's overrated, but perhaps for different reasons. I used to live near there and went before all the hype. I thought it was great. But there's no way I'm going to trek to Midwood these days and deal with the wait and "watching" my pizza to make sure nobody swipes it from me unless I was going at an off-hour.

                                                                                                                Magnolia -- OMG! What a tourist trap! Horrible dry cupcakes. Only thing I liked there was the banana pudding. But I refuse to set foot into that place anymore.

                                                                                                                Buttercup -- While not as hyped as Magnolia, it's still pretty popular. I actually think the cupcakes are even grosser than Magnolia's.

                                                                                                                Doughnut Plant used to be on my list before I tried the cake doughnuts. The yeast ones are way too heavy and greasy. Cake are heaven!

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle
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                                                                                                                  crovito RE: Miss Needle Aug 18, 2009 09:20 PM

                                                                                                                  Agree with the Magnolia review...the cupcakes are NOT good but the banana pudding is worth the wait (NO more than 15 minute wait)

                                                                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle
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                                                                                                                    ZaZa RE: Miss Needle Jan 28, 2010 10:34 PM

                                                                                                                    Apart from the chocolate cupcakes with either chocolate or mocha icing, the cupcakes at Magnolia are uneatable. Ouch !

                                                                                                                    The cake/cream donuts at the Doughnut Plant are a magnificent creation and wondrous gift to humanity--the black-out chocolate, hazelnut, creme brulee, the tres leches guarantee a one-way trip to Heaven--and there's no turning back. Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you !

                                                                                                                  2. k
                                                                                                                    kinggofg RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 01:06 PM

                                                                                                                    I think greys papaya has some of the best dogs in the world. I love them so much. maybe its the combination with the papya juice, but they are perfect just crispy enough and just the right size. Other cities hot dogs are too damn big and taste like old ham.

                                                                                                                    As far as the street vendors, they are just fine, but a bargain at $1. Plus the onion sauce is awesome, that makes the dirty water dog.

                                                                                                                    The dog vendors around the tourist areas also seem to have different dirty water dogs and often charge mare than the $1 standard. So maybe you only go to time square.

                                                                                                                    1. k
                                                                                                                      kinggofg RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 01:26 PM

                                                                                                                      1. Nobu: was great when it opened, but now seems dated and there is a much larger selection of great Japanese out there now
                                                                                                                      2. Burger Joint at Parker Meridian: Not sure why people think these are great burgers. They are like fast food burger IMO. Like Shake Shak, they are overhyped
                                                                                                                      3. Aquavit: it can be inventive but it still has to taste good. yuck.
                                                                                                                      4. Anthos: Not sure why this got a star. just seemed like nothing special
                                                                                                                      5. Steakhouses in Manhattan - None of them live up to the high bar set by Peter Lugers (I'm really talking about the copycat ones like Wolfgangs).

                                                                                                                      19 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: kinggofg
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                                                                                                                        LVI RE: kinggofg Jul 9, 2009 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                        Simply a silly comment about Wolfgangs. I am a Luger's fan. It sets the bar for others to be judged. When original Wolfgang's opened it was, decent, AT BEST. I would never step foot back into the original on Park. But the Wolfgangs in Tribeca is, IMHO, is a different story and is as close to Luger's as it gets (at times better). It does not have as good bacon, but as far as steak, spinach and potatoes are concerned, why drive to Brooklyn and be forced to pay cash when you can have almost as good (if not better) in Tribeca? Have I mentioned the homemade potato chips served at the bar? OMG!!!

                                                                                                                        1. re: LVI
                                                                                                                          princeofpork RE: LVI Jul 9, 2009 11:53 AM

                                                                                                                          Both wolfgangs use the same meat in the same ovens. The spinach and potatoes use the same recipe. How can one be so much better than the other?

                                                                                                                          1. re: princeofpork
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                                                                                                                            LVI RE: princeofpork Jul 9, 2009 12:12 PM

                                                                                                                            Different staff, different meat aging lockers, different approach. It is not uncommon for restaurants of the same name to differ. Just look at those who say the Great Neck Luger's is inferior to the Brooklyn location. And lastly, try having a conversation at each bar. The decibel level at the Park Ave. location is off the charts loud.

                                                                                                                            1. re: LVI
                                                                                                                              princeofpork RE: LVI Jul 9, 2009 06:42 PM

                                                                                                                              Completely agree about the noise at Park. The one at Park also never seats you anywhere near your reservation time. However, I have had some fantastic steak there.

                                                                                                                            2. re: princeofpork
                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                              johnindabronx RE: princeofpork Nov 16, 2009 06:38 AM

                                                                                                                              It's called technique, skill and consistancy. That's what make Lugar's the standard. And pardon me for being direct but who do you know it's the same meat?

                                                                                                                            3. re: LVI
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                                                                                                                              nooyawka RE: LVI Jul 10, 2009 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                              I'll give you one reason why Brooklyn Lugers over Tribeca Wolfgang's. Because it's the original. That, for me, is reason enough. It's my little way of paying tribute to the guy who first came up with the idea.

                                                                                                                              1. re: nooyawka
                                                                                                                                thew RE: nooyawka Jul 10, 2009 07:38 AM

                                                                                                                                lugar invented the steakhouse?

                                                                                                                                1. re: thew
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                                                                                                                                  nooyawka RE: thew Jul 10, 2009 08:05 AM

                                                                                                                                  All of the Lugers signatures that all of its copycats copy.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: nooyawka
                                                                                                                                    thew RE: nooyawka Jul 10, 2009 09:10 AM

                                                                                                                                    original is nice, but doesn't necessarily equate to best

                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew
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                                                                                                                                      steakrules85 RE: thew Jul 10, 2009 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                      Peter Luger is unequivocally the best steakhouse in the world IMO.

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                                                                                                                                        LVI RE: steakrules85 Jul 10, 2009 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                        The beautiful thing about CH and other sites is that it enables us all to voice our opinions. And voice we do. However I would hesitate to call any place "unequivocally the best...in the world", even elBulli.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: steakrules85
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                                                                                                                                          mountsac RE: steakrules85 Sep 30, 2010 08:38 PM

                                                                                                                                          "Peter Luger is unequivocally the best steakhouse in the world IMO." - steakurles85

                                                                                                                                          I hope that was a hyperbole, either that or you haven't been to Japan or Argentina. PL is good. The steaks are marbled and tender. But I think there is such a thing as over-aging. I feel that the steaks at PL are aged a bit too long such that the beefy flavor is almost a bit bitter, if not spoiled. I feel that the more marbled the meat is, the more careful you need to be about dry aging. The butter finish at PL is also way too greasy for my taste. I actually found the cheesecake there much more memorable than the steak.

                                                                                                                                          In terms of service, I think the actual waiters are fine. Both times I was there, the waiters were friendly and had a sense humor. But the seating hostess (this short old lady) is beyond rude. The first time she gave us an attitude when seating us. The second time we arrived 20 min early and the restaurant was still getting ready. The bartender let us in - so we were going to order drinks at the bar to wait for our reservation. The lady came over to tell us that the restaurant was not open yet and basically threw us out. Was that really necessary? Pretty egregious IMO.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mountsac
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                                                                                                                                            Simon RE: mountsac Oct 1, 2010 01:52 AM

                                                                                                                                            yeah, the butter finish is icky...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: mountsac
                                                                                                                                              daveena RE: mountsac Oct 13, 2010 05:26 PM

                                                                                                                                              I had a really bad experience with that woman too - I had an 11:45 lunch reservation and was directed to her to be seated. She led me into a nearly empty dining room, and, with a grand flourish, exclaimed "Enjoy"! and showed me to the absolute worst seat (the corner next to the bathroom and the waiter station. It's so bad that it's actually detrimental to the waitstaff to have someone there - after someone finally accepted the seat, I noticed that the waiters were no longer able to stand there to survey the room b/c it was too close).

                                                                                                                                              I politely asked if I could move away from the bathroom and she shrugged, "sure". As I walked toward a table by the window, she barked "Stop! You can sit *there*" and pointed to the third table from the window. Later on, a couple (led in by a waiter, not by the woman) rejected their first table and asked for and were given the window table I'd been eyeing, so she clearly wasn't actually saving those tables for anyone in particular.

                                                                                                                                              I have never, ever had anything like that happen to me before - indifference, snottiness, sure. Full-on outright rudeness was a new and unpleasant experience. In retrospect (esp given the mediocrity of the burger), I wish I'd walked out at that point, but I was too stunned to think. At least my waiter was nice.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: nooyawka
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                                                                                                                                      LVI RE: nooyawka Jul 10, 2009 11:31 AM

                                                                                                                                      If I lived in Brooklyn I may agree. And if I always had a wad of cash I may agree. But for a steak that is marginally better (can be marginally worse sometime too) I find the drive too annoying and the cash only policy out dated. This is not a statement that Lugers is inferior, by any stretch. All I am saying is Wolfgangs is a contender and I would choose it 9 times out of 10 because of the reasons I listed above. .

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LVI
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                                                                                                                                        nooyawka RE: LVI Jul 10, 2009 01:02 PM

                                                                                                                                        I totally agree Wolfgang's and most of the other major NYC steakhouses are extremely competitive. Each one has its defenders and detractors, for different reasons. And NYers love to engage in this debate ad infinitum b/c it's fun. I totally understand your reasons. I'm just saying that, all other things being relatively equal, I would always prefer the original. Because the 1 time I ate at Park Ave Wolfgang's, I couldn't help but compare it to Luger's. So, I figure, instead of having a whole complex during dinner, why not just go to the original.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: kinggofg
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                                                                                                                                    nooyawka RE: kinggofg Jul 10, 2009 07:32 AM

                                                                                                                                    I've recently become a fan of Burger Joint. For one thing, I like that their burgers are a modest size and they don't try to overwhelm you. Whether it's worth $7-$7.50 for one, well, only the individual can judge. I find that a burger with "the works" as they call it, really does work. $7 is really pushing it for me, so I have them sparingly.

                                                                                                                                    I agree with you on all of the copycat Lugers. Whatever people might say about Lugers, positive or negative, at the very least, Lugers is an original.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: kinggofg
                                                                                                                                      babiemindy RE: kinggofg Apr 17, 2010 09:44 AM

                                                                                                                                      Peter Luger's
                                                                                                                                      Minetta Tavern
                                                                                                                                      Momofuku
                                                                                                                                      Blue Smoke
                                                                                                                                      Porterhouse tied with BLT Prime

                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                      Minetta Tavern
                                                                                                                                      113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                                                                      BLT Prime
                                                                                                                                      111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                      Blue Smoke
                                                                                                                                      116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

                                                                                                                                      1. re: kinggofg
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                                                                                                                                        wincountrygirl RE: kinggofg Apr 25, 2010 04:47 AM

                                                                                                                                        Went to Aquavit last night.The food had no taste at all. My mom had a pork chop that was dry,Ihad the chicken which was dry - and the "spring onion" cream sauce had no taste. Neither did the chocolate pots de creme. We had a gift certificate. That's spent and so are we!!

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                                                                                                                                        jonasblank RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                        Spotted Pig
                                                                                                                                        Shake Shack
                                                                                                                                        every single BBQ restaurant (agree with the other poster - BBQ in this city is generally weak. Yes, I've been to Dinosaur and Hill Country, probably think it or Fette Sau is the best I've had, but neither that great. See what $5 can do for you in Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, etc. etc. etc. and compare it to these spots).
                                                                                                                                        Degustation - a phenomenon on Chowhound for some unknown reason.
                                                                                                                                        Peter Luger - one of the worst restaurant experiences I've had in any city. Atrocious.

                                                                                                                                        Babbo is so revered and talked-about on this board it kind of cannot help but be "overrated", but I would still say it's very, very good.

                                                                                                                                        YMMV and all that.

                                                                                                                                        27 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: jonasblank
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                                                                                                                                          KTinNYC RE: jonasblank Jun 30, 2009 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                          I've eaten a lot of BBQ in Memphis and $5 will get you nothing. Maybe I've been going to the wrong places?

                                                                                                                                          To be fair you can't compare food prices between the places you mentioned and NYC. Rent here is greater by at least a factor of 3.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: jonasblank
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                                                                                                                                            planetjess RE: jonasblank Jun 30, 2009 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                            Won't argue with you on price (which will apply to just about any kind of restaurant in NYC compared to the places you name), but you have to compare apples to apples, and saying a Texas-style bbq place isn't "that great" followed by references to a number of states that aren't Texas and have their own different styles of bbq may say as much about what type of bbq you prefer as it does about whether Hill Country is doing a good job of it. Not quibbling with your right not to think it's that great within it's own genre, but I guess I'm just pointing out that it's never going to be Memphis or Carolina bbq, but then it's not trying to be. A fairer comparison is how it stands up to Kreuz's, Black's and Smitty's--IMO, it does so very well (grading on a curve with allowances for this being NYC, of all places) or pretty well (no curve).

                                                                                                                                            Kinda with you on Luger's though. Didn't find it atrocious, but it's the first restaurant that springs to mind when I do a word association for "overrated".

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                                                                                                                                              jonasblank RE: planetjess Jul 1, 2009 10:02 AM

                                                                                                                                              Sorry, the BBQ remark was (by definition) heavily overgeneralized. A better way to put it might have been, it is a regional cuisine which I don't find well represented here, regardless of which specific region is in question.

                                                                                                                                              I think BBQ annoys me more than some other things because of the excessive hyping of it on food blogs, etc.

                                                                                                                                              I've also never understood why the Mexican and Tex-Mex food here doesn't seem to be as good as it should be, but that's another topic....

                                                                                                                                              1. re: jonasblank
                                                                                                                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: jonasblank Jul 1, 2009 06:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                "I've also never understood why the Mexican and Tex-Mex food here doesn't seem to be as good as it should be"
                                                                                                                                                ~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                why "should" it be better than it is here?

                                                                                                                                            2. re: jonasblank
                                                                                                                                              Slob RE: jonasblank Jun 30, 2009 03:16 PM

                                                                                                                                              jonas, You are DEAD ON with your Pete Luger call. It was the worst restaurant experience I've had ANYWHERE. I'm talking overall experience.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Slob
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                                                                                                                                                Mmmango RE: Slob Jul 11, 2009 07:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                Thank you! Ugh! Luger's! They kept my party of 6 waiting over an hour past our reservation time. I would have left within 15 minutes but it was my brother-in-law's birthday and the restaurant was his choice.

                                                                                                                                                There was no room in their crowded bar area and we were constantly bumped around by the service staff as they walked past the maitre d's station. Were we offered anything other than a bland apology? Ha! Overrated is a compliment!

                                                                                                                                                You can have a far better dining experience at Dressler across the street. Their sirloin and short rib combo is lovely.

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                                                                                                                                                  RGR RE: Mmmango Jul 11, 2009 08:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                  Luger's reputation for surly service is no secret. It's a major reason we've never bothered to go there.

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                                                                                                                                                    KTinNYC RE: RGR Jul 11, 2009 08:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I've never experienced surly service at Luger's. Granted I only go at lunch but to me it's another urban legend.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                      thew RE: KTinNYC Jul 11, 2009 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                      brusque, perhaps, but not surly

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                                                                                                                                                        RGR RE: KTinNYC Jul 11, 2009 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Urban legends generally have at least a kernel of truth to them. Even if it's brusque rather than surly, that still doesn't exactly fill me with a great desire to go to Luger's. I don't need to be slobbered over, but it doesn't take all that much for service to be pleasant. The other steakhouses I've been to do manage to provide that.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KTinNYC
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                                                                                                                                                          johnindabronx RE: KTinNYC Nov 16, 2009 06:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I agree, just an urban legend. I've been to Peter Luger many times and the service has never been surly.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: RGR
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                                                                                                                                                          steakrules85 RE: RGR Jul 11, 2009 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Luger's service is always top notch for me. "Surly" is such a myth it is ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                                                            baldwinwood RE: steakrules85 Jul 11, 2009 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                            agree 100% rules, if you know how to talk to the GM(Tommy) you will not have any issues with really long waits or bad service.

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                                                                                                                                                              RGR RE: baldwinwood Jul 11, 2009 01:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Patrons should not have to "know how to talk to the GM" in order to get good service.

                                                                                                                                                              Long waits are a whole other issue. If a restaurant takes reservations, then you should be seated promptly; if there is a no reservations policy, then you take your chances about how long the wait will be.

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                                                                                                                                                                KTinNYC RE: RGR Jul 11, 2009 01:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I have never meet nor to the best of my knowledge have I spoken to Tommy and the service I receive is always competent. At a restaurant like Peter Luger there isn't too much interaction with the waiters.

                                                                                                                                                                There is one waiter with the black hair that is graying who is very friendly and all the others I consider very competent rather than brusque or surly. I'd rather have that than a waiter who introduces himself, gets down to my level acts like we are going to be friends after the meal.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                                  OC Mutt RE: KTinNYC Jul 11, 2009 02:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  oooo, yeah, that "getting down on my level" gives me the cold toilet seat shivers. I could care less about "friendly." All I want is my food served. To me, personality in a food server is absolutely irrelevant. In fact it's a major turn off. If they can answer my question, get my order right and bring my food hot, I'm happy as a clam. Note to waiters: I tip MORE if you don't force the fake friendly routine upon me!

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                                                                                                                                                                  steakrules85 RE: RGR Jul 11, 2009 05:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Everyone on here knows how much I love Peter Luger. I have never had to wait more than 5 minutes to be seated and I have been there dozens of times. I have had several different waiters and they have all always been polite and accomodating. Will they be kissing your ass? No but they will provide you great service and will be very attentive. The best server there is Shabo!

                                                                                                                                                                  I always try to request him when I go, however last time I couldn't manage to get him. I forget the kind gentleman's name who served us last time, but he was an older gentleman with gray hair who was the nicesttttttt guy and was bending over backwards for our party of 8 (maybe Al??) and he was great!

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                                                                                                                                                                biga290 RE: steakrules85 Jul 12, 2009 08:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                I have always found the service at PL to enhance the meal. I never understood the "surly" myth either. Anyway that's what it is a myth.

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                                                                                                                                                                  steakrules85 RE: biga290 Jul 12, 2009 09:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Bingo. It just seems like people tend to believe everything they hear or read., Go there and experience it for yourself and then draw your own conclusions.

                                                                                                                                                                  Have there been people who have experienced bad service on occasion? I am sure they have but obviously the same can be said for any restaurant in existence. I thought Eleven Madison Park had the best service of any restaurant I have ever stepped foot in. But I am sure there are some people who have had bad experiences. The point is things like this happen sometimes for whatever reason.

                                                                                                                                                                  Nobody is perfect and there will be bad experiences along the way it is just impossible to think it will be flawless every time. However I would definitely maintain that bad service at Peter Luger is without a doubt the exception and not the rule.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: biga290
                                                                                                                                                                    Slob RE: biga290 Jul 12, 2009 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    To call it a "myth" is an insult to the people who have ACTUALLY experienced the rudeness/surliness first-hand. When the jackass waiter tosses the menus on the table and grunts out inaudible slop as he walks away, that qualifies as "surly", and it's not a "myth". When he flings the stupid little coins on the table at the end of the meal without so much as a "thank you" or any other words for that matter, that's not a myth. When he acts as if it's a total chore when you ask him a question that should easily answerable, then he's a douche.

                                                                                                                                                                    On top of the surly treatment, they like to keep people waiting for extended periods of time even when they have reservations. I guess they can get away with that garbage, though, because of the "myth" regarding the excellent food.

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                                                                                                                                                                      r
                                                                                                                                                                      RGR RE: Slob Jul 12, 2009 10:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      As I said upthread, "urban legends" tend to have some basis in fact. Thank you, Slob, for proving that surly, dismissive service at Luger's in *not* a "myth."

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: RGR
                                                                                                                                                                        Bob Martinez RE: RGR Jul 12, 2009 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        If one or two negative posts are enough to prove the point that the waiters at Luger's re surly, why aren't the larger number of positive posts equally convincing?

                                                                                                                                                                        I've read these threads for years. My guess is that either a few waiters, but not a majority, are in fact gruff ^or* some people go in looking for gruffness and manage to find it.

                                                                                                                                                                        The French have a similar reputation. I've been to Paris a dozen times and never found the French any ruder than New Yorkers but people swear that this is the case. I've learned to be suspicious of similar claims. People usually find what they're looking for.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                                                                                                                                          Slob RE: Bob Martinez Jul 12, 2009 09:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          All I look for is a good meal and competent, pleasant service and treatment. Any insinuation that I go out looking for a beef with waiters is a weak stab at propping up a sad dinosaur of a restaurant and deflecting from reality. One could just as easily claim that those so intent on shouting down Luger's critics are just lost in some cyclonic hype vacuum.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: RGR
                                                                                                                                                                  Slob RE: RGR Jul 11, 2009 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  RGR, their putrid service is one of the main reasons we will never return to Luger's. I can forgive a dicey meal when the place treats me well and has a good reputation. I know there are some ups and downs with food prep. But when it comes to surly treatment from a bunch of ahole waiters there is no forgiving it.

                                                                                                                                                                  Ms. Munchie and I received the absolute worst treatment we've ever had at a restaurant when we went to Luger a few months ago. And the food certainly wasn't nearly good enough to overcome the rotten treatment.

                                                                                                                                                                3. re: Mmmango
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                                                                                                                                                                  mbargeron RE: Mmmango Oct 19, 2009 03:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I just ate at Lugers this past Wednesday and can give my 2 cents.
                                                                                                                                                                  So crowded, no where to stand, 20 minute wait with reservation.
                                                                                                                                                                  Steak was good, but definitely not the best ever. Spinach not so good.
                                                                                                                                                                  Bacon was the best I have ever had, someone please tell me where to buy it!
                                                                                                                                                                  Potatoes very nice also.
                                                                                                                                                                  Am I dying to go again, no. Cash policy does suck. Prices are high and I would expect more. Desserts were very good. Service was good also.
                                                                                                                                                                  Was a nice experience overall, but I have had better in other states. Charlie Palmer in Las Vegas is one of my favorites!

                                                                                                                                                                4. re: Slob
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                                                                                                                                                                  bklynbiker RE: Slob Jan 21, 2010 10:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  For all the complaints about Lugers' service, or cash only policy, or remote location, having been there several times none of those were issues for me. Service was , well, serviceable (sorry!), there was an ATM nearby, and I live in Brooklyn. But I just never found the steak (yes, the porterhouse signature steak) all that transporting. Good, yes. Worth the money? I didn't think so. Best I ever had? Definitely not. And no, I'm not a 'filet mignon' fan, and I do prefer aged steaks and know the difference. Definitely nominate as overrated, although that's a minority stance.

                                                                                                                                                                5. re: jonasblank
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                                                                                                                                                                  ChristineR RE: jonasblank Apr 4, 2010 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm in Austin and $5 in most quality BBQ places (including Lockhart, Luling, Driftwood, Spicewood...) won't go far either.

                                                                                                                                                                6. thew RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 03:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  id have to tiknk about my 5, but until then - i disagree about the hot dogs.

                                                                                                                                                                  there are a lot of different brands out there - the golden d brand, and whatever they sell inside central park, for example, are awful. the sabretts can be really good.

                                                                                                                                                                  shake shack would certainly be on my 5 - i can't stand those thin fast food style burgers,, and carnegie deli might, although i can imagine there would be 4 more overhyped places that would knock it off the top 5

                                                                                                                                                                  i love degustation.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. financialdistrictresident RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 04:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    Three come to mind:

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Clinton Street Baking (pancakes were good . . .people wait in line for this? It's cult like . . .)
                                                                                                                                                                    2. Corton (sauces were the high point, bread and desserts left alot to be desired for the price point)
                                                                                                                                                                    3. Dovetail

                                                                                                                                                                    I hope I'm not disappointed by Aldea and Locanda Verde . . .breaking my rule of going to newbies again . . .

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident
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                                                                                                                                                                      bethiecLA RE: financialdistrictresident Aug 19, 2009 05:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, thank you. I was actually reading this board to see if anyone would post anything about Dovetail, which was the place that came immediately to mind for me. I was visiting last month for a weekend, and my disappointment over having wasted a precious meal in that place cast a pall over much of my food memories as a whole. Bitter, yes. I know that's my own fault, but my goodness-- it was like a roller coaster, where the amuse was the highest point, and it may have gone up and down after that, but there was no denying that we were on the descent after that first tease of what we had hoped would be a (pleasantly) memorable meal to come.

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                                                                                                                                                                      orthorunner RE: demigodh Jun 30, 2009 07:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Where is Tavern on the Green in this discussion? Or is it too obvious to mention?
                                                                                                                                                                      Others I would pick include GROM and (don't shoot me) Momofuku Ssaam. I may have gotten the wrong things at Ssaam but it was far from blowing me away. I recognize that it's naturally on a different level from Ko but still...

                                                                                                                                                                      18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: orthorunner
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                                                                                                                                                                        Simon RE: orthorunner Jun 30, 2009 08:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        i've been M.Saam twice and both meals were entirely forgettable...didn't dislike it, but the hype baffles me...

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Simon
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                                                                                                                                                                          SamanthaNYC RE: Simon May 17, 2010 09:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          I agree Momofuku and Momofuku Ssam are both not worth repeat visits. There are better Asian and Asian-inspired places in town. For traditional Asian noodles, try Soba-Ya - very good, but traditional, so you have to be into the food, and not the hype. For more hyped up scene (yet elegant) and good casual food, but expensive, there is of course Bar Masa.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SamanthaNYC
                                                                                                                                                                            thew RE: SamanthaNYC May 18, 2010 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            momofuku ssam is not asian, and while it has some asian flavor profiles i wouldn't really call it asian-inspired. If you go in expecting "asian" you will be disappointed. If you go in expecting a global fusion high end casual comfort food place, you will be more at home.

                                                                                                                                                                            also, the last time i was at soba-ya, a place i really love, the broth was kind of flat. i'm hoping it was just an off night.....

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SamanthaNYC
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                                                                                                                                                                              lelebruiser RE: SamanthaNYC Oct 4, 2010 05:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              Completely agree. At Momofuku, the food was barely mediocre and the service was of the "too cool" vibe. Left the restaurant feeling like just another victim of the PR machine.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: orthorunner
                                                                                                                                                                            MMRuth RE: orthorunner Jul 1, 2009 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            I've been to Ssam twice in the last week (various guests in town etc.) as well as a number of other times, and I've always enjoyed everything I've eaten there. I don't know about "blowing me away" but for pure porky deliciousness, it hits the spot for me every time. And just love the new BBQ sandwich. I will add that I've never really waited more than five minutes, if that, for a table, as we usually go for an early dinner or late lunch. I think because of that, generally, I'm able to ignore the so-called hype of places and just enjoy the chow. Same goes for Shake Shack and Spotted Pig. I just can't imagine waiting 45 - 2 hrs for food anywhere, and if I did so, it would surely affect my perceptions of the food and increase my expectations.

                                                                                                                                                                            Edit - I just realized, as an aside, that I will wait an hour for a pie at Di Fara. But that is the only place I'll do so.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                              Slob RE: MMRuth Jul 1, 2009 07:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              MMRuth, That's a great point you make about a long affecting perceptions of the food. We went to Clinton Street Baking three times and really enjoyed it. Those 3 times we had virtually no wait. The 4th time we went was on a cold March morning, and we waited outside for a seat for over an hour standing in the cold.

                                                                                                                                                                              Not surprisingly, that 4th experience kind of stunk. We haven't been back since because we didn't feel it was a meal worthy of standing around and waiting for such a protracted time, especially given that people just seemed to linger in there forever after they finished their meals making the wait even more excruciating.

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                                                                                                                                                                                msarap RE: MMRuth Aug 17, 2009 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                I am not from the area but when I and the hubbie go on one of our NYC urban hikes (like this weekend), we stop by and get the pork belly steamed buns. The first night after coming home, I literally dreamed about the buns - SO GOOD!!! Drool on my pillow. And, please, if there are other foodstuffs akin to these steamed buns out there in NYC that is as good or better, I would love to know for our next hike!

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: orthorunner
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                                                                                                                                                                                planetjess RE: orthorunner Jul 1, 2009 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Maybe it's just me, but I pretty much never see anyone arguing that Tavern on the Green is any good, so that's why I wouldn't put it on my list--it seems generally identified as an egregious tourist trap.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: planetjess
                                                                                                                                                                                  LeahBaila RE: planetjess Jul 1, 2009 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  TotG is a horrific mess. Not only does the food royally suck, but the prices are outrageous. The reason you don't see anyone arguing over it is b/c people stopped debating the place atleast 10-15 years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                  www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LeahBaila
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                                                                                                                                                                                    KTinNYC RE: LeahBaila Jul 1, 2009 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Yet it is still the highest grossing restaurant in the nation....

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                                                      princeofpork RE: KTinNYC Jul 1, 2009 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      That is not true. The top grossing restaurant in the USA in 2008 was TAO in Las Vegas.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Del Friscos is the top in NYC

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: princeofpork
                                                                                                                                                                                        princeofpork RE: princeofpork Jul 1, 2009 08:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Correction, the top 5 for 2008 are as follows;
                                                                                                                                                                                        Tao - Las Vegas, 66 mil
                                                                                                                                                                                        Tavern on the Green, 37 mil
                                                                                                                                                                                        Joes Stone Crab - Miami, 30 mil
                                                                                                                                                                                        Smith and Wollensky - NYC, 28 mil
                                                                                                                                                                                        Tao - NYC, 26 mil

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: princeofpork
                                                                                                                                                                                          k
                                                                                                                                                                                          KTinNYC RE: princeofpork Jul 1, 2009 08:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I stand corrected. Second highest grossing restaurant in the nation.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: LeahBaila
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                                                                                                                                                                                      itryalot RE: LeahBaila Jul 9, 2009 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Just took it off my list of places to go. However, I would like to LOOK at it all lit up and maybe go for a drink or dessert in the evening; is that reasonable? Or should we literally, just look! A friend wants me to buy her a bracelet there; would I be able to without eating there?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: itryalot
                                                                                                                                                                                        LeahBaila RE: itryalot Jul 10, 2009 05:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Sure, have a looksie and a non-alcoholic beverage (b/c those, too, are overpriced and crappy). You can def go w/o eating.

                                                                                                                                                                                        www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: orthorunner
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                                                                                                                                                                                    msny98 RE: orthorunner Jul 1, 2009 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Tavern on The Green is not highly rated (though it may still be overrated)

                                                                                                                                                                                    No one but tourists goes there and maybe the clueless recent transplant

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: msny98
                                                                                                                                                                                      Striver RE: msny98 Jul 1, 2009 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      TOTG also does lots of corporate functions (been to two of them) and a huge number of weddings, bar-mitzvahs, sweet sixteens, weddings, and other social receptions.

                                                                                                                                                                                      They're actually more a catering hall than a restaurant - which partly accounts for the totally mediocre (at best) food, and probably for the lion's share of the grosses.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: orthorunner
                                                                                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                                                                                      jonasblank RE: orthorunner Jul 1, 2009 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think the only reason it hasn't been mentioned is I don't think anyone "rates" it highly anymore... but I agree that it is certainly one of the worst very-crowded, very-profitable restaurants I've been to (though I hear now they are having problems).

                                                                                                                                                                                      I admittedly am on the Ssam bar love train, but to each their own.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. The Professor RE: demigodh Jul 1, 2009 08:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Have to disagree with you about the Carnegie Deli...
                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm very particular about my deli food, and I have never been disappointed by food at the Carnegie. Pricey, maybe, although I've always had plenty left over for another meal (and sometimes more). No complaints whatsoever about the food quality though. Their corned beef and pastrami (made at their wholly owned plant in NJ) is certainly as good as or better than anything out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. tastyeating RE: demigodh Jul 1, 2009 12:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Park Avenue Winte: Forgettable food. Lack of service. Lack of communication between servers/hosts/kicthen.

                                                                                                                                                                                        BLT Steak: Just so many better places in NYC for steak

                                                                                                                                                                                        Primehouse: Even worse than BLT

                                                                                                                                                                                        OTTO: Food was 'eh. Price wasn't worth the try.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Del Posto: small servings, extreme prices.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                          Simon RE: demigodh Jul 1, 2009 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          ok, i'll add mine:

                                                                                                                                                                                          Babbo, Lupa, Esca, Otto, Spotted Pig...notice a theme?...*smiles*

                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Simon
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                                                                                                                                                                                            Scotty100 RE: Simon Jul 1, 2009 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Cannot agree with you on spotted pig. Top 3 burger in NYC. I've also had outstanding entrees, roasted monkfish and bone marrow stands out as does the gnudi. Sure, it's hellishly small and the wait can be dreadful but go when it's quiet and it's a fantastic food venue. IMO of course...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Simon
                                                                                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                                                                                              rrems RE: Simon Jul 11, 2009 03:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I strongly disagree about Lupa. We just had dinner there again the other night, and the 2 of us had 2 courses and a bottle of wine for about $125 including tip. The food is absolutely delicious every time, the wine list is fabulous, even the cheapest bottles are excellent. I don't know of anywhere else that can compare.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. guttergourmet RE: demigodh Jul 2, 2009 05:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              per se http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/394539

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. kelea RE: demigodh Jul 9, 2009 03:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                DEFINITELY BABBO! It was good but far from expectations...Joe's Shanghai. I gave it 2 chances. Now I don't think you could PAY me to eat there. Burger joint - just not worth the wait for those miserable fries, that measly burger OR that price tag. Jean Gorges...Like babbo i thought it was good but definitely not great and i'm not rushing to go back. and Cookshop...one of the least enjoyable brunch meals for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                  steakrules85 RE: demigodh Jul 9, 2009 06:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Definitely Del Posto and Burger Joint. Del Posto should be totally ashamed of their portion sizes for the prices they charge. And Burger Joint gets so much hype but their burger is nothing special at all. Just a regular burger on a crappy bun. I made a better burger in my backyard last night for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  As for Babbo I loved it and I don't know why so many people have decided to hate it on this thread. Same goes for EMP= Probably one of the best meals of my entire life!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                                                                                                    penthouse pup RE: steakrules85 Jul 10, 2009 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Some of the seating is very uncomfortable; they push certain dishes (I realize that most places do this) even when the table indicates that it is not interested (not everyone finds offal enticing) and more than once, a wine on the list chosen was reported not to be available (though a more expensive substitute was readily proffered.) Does this make it over-rated? I'm not playing that game, since most people here are just reacting to their several (or singular) encounters...let's just say that I understand their game, but now that I have experienced it, I prefer to go elsewhere. (Oh, and Sicilian Life Guard Calamari tasted more to me like Life Boy Soap.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: penthouse pup
                                                                                                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                                                                                                      steakrules85 RE: penthouse pup Jul 10, 2009 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      You know what they say to each his own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. n
                                                                                                                                                                                                    nooyawka RE: demigodh Jul 10, 2009 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I partly agree and partly disagree with #5 NYC dirty water dogs. I used to love them. They had to be from a street vendor, and they used to be Sabrett's. I found them to be tasty and to have snappy skin. Combined with ketchup and the sweet onions...mmm...that used to be one of the most satisfying fast-food meals for me. Then over the years, I sensed a change. The hot dogs were no longer so good. I can't explain why, but I've definitely discerned a decline over the last 10 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                      CocHoliday RE: demigodh Jul 11, 2009 03:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1) Babbo, hands down. I think it's flat-out awful from soup to nuts. It's become the new Il Mulino (B&T like it because they're supposed to).
                                                                                                                                                                                                      2) Luger - Lame. Craftsteak, Wolfgangs are both better.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      3) Jean-Georges - Change the menu already.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      4) Daniel - Boring.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      5) Le Bernandin - Fish on a plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: CocHoliday
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                                                                                                                                                                                                        halo RE: CocHoliday Jul 13, 2009 03:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        daniel, jean-georges, peter luger, le bernardin, and babbo. wow. these were the top 5 restaurants in nyc for the past 10-15 years minus per se. mind telling us what restaurants you DO like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: halo
                                                                                                                                                                                                          kelea RE: halo Jul 13, 2009 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          i haven't tried the other three but jean-gorges and babbo were both disappointing for me. it must be all the hype build up in my head and the food just couldn't live up to it

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kelea
                                                                                                                                                                                                            beaulieu RE: kelea Jul 14, 2009 05:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree: Babbo and Jean Georges were big disappointments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. q
                                                                                                                                                                                                        quon RE: demigodh Jul 14, 2009 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sweets: Magnolia - the lines are shorter these days so I think it's catching on that there are better spots for cupcakes now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        DIMSUM: Dim Sum Go Go - true, the food is hot, and the food is "good" but not at the level of praise that this place gets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Brasseries": Pastis/Balthazar - certain dishes are good, but the ambiance is greater than the food

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Steak: Del Frisco's - never again, just too many choices

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Japanese: Haven't really had bad experiences at the top japanese restaurants, but if there was one to put on the list it would be the Yama chain even though it's not really considered a top spot

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: quon
                                                                                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                                                                                          LimonZang RE: quon Jul 20, 2009 11:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with Babbo's. I could not wait to try his dishes; however I was quickly disappointed. The only thing truly savory to my palate were the desserts. Too bad the pastries are made by a different chef!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Although, I disagree with the Carnegie Deli being listed...the pastrami has always been top notch since my first visit as a child. I always loved the green tomatos, which have remained the same in taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. guttergourmet RE: demigodh Jul 21, 2009 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          DBGB

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Asumnuthin RE: demigodh Jul 21, 2009 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Korhogo126
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Perilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tribeca Grill
                                                                                                                                                                                                            One if by Land, Two if by Sea
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aquavit Dining Room
                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Modern - Bar Room

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. VAfoodie RE: demigodh Jul 22, 2009 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spotted Pig.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                sockster RE: demigodh Aug 17, 2009 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's funny..NO ONE on this topic has mentioned the 2 most overrated restaurants in NYC..both of which give you NO BANG for the buck.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1- Momofuku KO- For $100, tiny portions, no atmosphere, stuck up chefs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                2-Morimoto Sushi Bar- Beautiful restaurant, mediocre (at best) sushi, friendly service, totally overpriced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sockster
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  _emilie_ RE: sockster Aug 19, 2009 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  THANK YOU! Yes, the entire Momofuku empire actually has never ceased to disappoint. I always leave wondering how my tastebuds are that different from, oh, everyone else's in the entire city. And right on with Morimoto too. Food was a major snooze.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The OP definitely has it right on Clinton Street. Even I can make better biscuits than that, and I am about as inept in the kitchen as they come.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Porchetta, Little Owl (how can you ruin gnocci??? ask them!), Una Pizza... absolutely agree with you, Slob and Sam!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love Babbo and Shake Shack though. Call me crazy. I will wait in that line for 45 minutes, no problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: _emilie_
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    thew RE: _emilie_ Aug 19, 2009 01:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    see - that's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    why tastes are different. i find shake shake totally dull, and love momofuku ssam

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sockster RE: _emilie_ Aug 19, 2009 09:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Love Babbo too. For real porchetta, there's this little nothing of a store front in Rome...father and son...third generation, right near the train station....it doesn't get much better than that..... And one more word on KO, on egullet, there about 300 pages of KO lovers. When I posted my negative review...I got SO lambasted, it was amazing....what a waste of a meal...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    crovito RE: demigodh Aug 18, 2009 09:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it is rare for me to write such negative reviews but here goes a first....I just got back home from a meal at LOCANDA VERDE.....I had been looking forward to it since it opened . Tonight I brought two of my friends and father there (he is a restaurant owner). The service was fine but most of the pasta dishes were very bland- I was actually embarrassed when he tasted his spaghetti al pomodoro ....there are SO many great Italian restaurants in the city and the decrease of Ago prices simply will not cut it. At nearly 20$ a plate, NYers rightly expect the best pasta this city has to offer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      biryaniboy RE: demigodh Aug 19, 2009 09:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      can't believe people would even discuss katz's as a viable option. let the dead bury the dead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1) Luger's - erratic and obnoxious. plus, the meat is too old-school for me. i like to know a little more about my red meat before i eat a whole platter of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2) Motorino - Boy, was that one lame pizza. Doughy, puffy. Naan with good tomato sauce and cheese. For real. I want to be reimbursed for the year it took me to get to East Jesus Nowhere to try it. Nice people, but very over-confident. The good new-generation pizzas are actually, I find, the least hyped ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3) Momofukuniverse - I love the ingredients and i like the preps but David Chang is not the new Food Christ; I think he is fully aware of this and laughing at you right now. Fried chicken suppers? Fun, but come on, lets keep it real.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4) Blue Hill - I can also go to the greenmarket and pull a great dinner together. It's lovely. How much genius is there at work here?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5) All NYC BBQ - I've no idea why anyone expects NYC to suddenly be a great BBQ town after years of having nothing to speak of. Enjoy it for what it is, and when it's great, be glad. but why waste a lot of your money in this category...save it for when you're in Texas (my favorite regional style, and no, Hill Country doesn't work for me). Besides the pulled pork at dinosaur, truly the best thing I've had at an Manhattan BBQ resto (and I've been to most you could name) were the chili cheese fries at Virgil's.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        organicgirl RE: biryaniboy Aug 19, 2009 09:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1) Spotted Pig -- have been three times and each time there was a tragic flaw in the food; twice too salty to eat; 1 overcooked protein; every time bad attitude
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2) Five Points brunch -- really?!?! it's just baked eggs with a lot of butter, people
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3) Union Sq Cafe -- not creative, not interesting spices or ingredients, not great ambiance or presentation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4) Nobu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5) Felidia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        6) Waverly Inn (for those who make the mistake of thinking this place exists to serve food)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          fm1963 RE: organicgirl Sep 4, 2009 06:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whoa, I love Felidia. But I agree that Spotted Pig was too salty. Also, loud and uncomfortable.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            stefathena RE: fm1963 Jan 22, 2010 06:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree. Felidia was fantastic 10 years ago. Has consistently gone downhill since.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pookipichu RE: stefathena Jan 28, 2010 10:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I loved Felidia 10 years ago. They had the most amazing tasting menus. They were called Tastes of Italy and would focus on individual regions. I went during "Emilia Romagna" and had the most sumptuous, sensuous Italian meal, not to be rivaled by any other for nearly 8 years (a special tasting menu at Fiamma courtesy of the chef).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Felidia is a shadow of its former self. The plating is amateur, the technique lacking and there is no creative spark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Gastronomos RE: demigodh Sep 21, 2009 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Del Friscos. Overrated to a Fault. Can't understand the place in the least. Someone in this thread said that it wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the business expense lunch. I agree wholeheartedly. Really crappy service, whatever steak, sides were as abysmal as expected. Hate this chain. Really HATE this place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ShakeIt RE: Gastronomos Oct 19, 2009 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have to disagree with the Dirty Water dogs being overrated. I can't tell you how many times I have eaten them and they never get old to me...gross-maybe, but delicious nontheless :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Jacquelyn RE: demigodh Oct 23, 2009 01:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think almost every restaurant that serves pork belly is overrated - I'm sure there are exceptions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love reading this because it reminds me what I'm not missing! I've been to a few of these fancy places - Allen & Delancey, Avoce, Ippudo etc - good food but not at all memorable. I remember places like Mara's where Mara gave me great suggestions like special pecan bourban she had just gotten in, Ivo & Lulu where the friendly frenchmen cork my wine and pour me a glass while I wait for a table, and Blue Ribbon Bakery where the waiter insisted on buying me the chocolate chip bread pudding dessert because I just had to try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also, someone mentioned Lombardi's - have to agree. If you're going to wait I think John's is much better - but I know pizza is a very, very personal taste :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh and I went to Grape & Grain for brunch and it was terrible but everyone raves about it so maybe they had an off day - don't we all?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jacquelyn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            janethepain RE: Jacquelyn Oct 23, 2009 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think pork belly itself is overrated. this is stuff that NYers wouldn't touch a few years ago, now it's "omg so luscious and rich!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: janethepain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              KTinNYC RE: janethepain Oct 23, 2009 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "this is stuff that NYers wouldn't touch a few years ago"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Speak for yourself. This NYer has been eating pork belly his whole life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                kelea RE: KTinNYC Oct 23, 2009 06:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not a born and raised NYer...but I've loved pork belly ALL my life as well :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kelea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  KTinNYC RE: kelea Oct 23, 2009 06:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Not a born and raised NYer"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Not many of us are, lol!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  janethepain RE: KTinNYC Oct 23, 2009 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ok, ok, maybe i meant the average NYer... I've been eating pork belly all my life too - I'm Korean. SAM GYUP SSAL BABY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: janethepain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    KTinNYC RE: janethepain Oct 23, 2009 07:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But certainly isn't "overrated". People may be late to the game but there is no denying the deliciousness of pork belly. Anyway whether most people knew or not they were eating pork belly in the form of bacon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: janethepain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thew RE: janethepain Oct 25, 2009 06:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  there was a time, a zillion years ago, when this new yorker wouldn't eat sushi either. so what? i was wrong.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NewYorkNewHaven RE: janethepain Oct 13, 2010 09:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Robert Sietsema talked about this craze. He pointed out that pork belly is difficult to do right and inferior to pork shoulder. I agree on both counts. But I still really like pork belly. You would understand if you had eaten some in Shanghai.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://turntableskillets.wordpress.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  steakrules85 RE: demigodh Oct 23, 2009 07:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I hate to say it but I think Gramercy Tavern in a tad overrated. Momofuku Ssam as welll!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    chroma RE: demigodh Oct 26, 2009 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    NYC hot dogs are Gray's Papaya, not the junk from the street carts!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chroma
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      johannabanana RE: chroma Oct 28, 2009 01:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Momofuku Milk Bar -- for me, this is the only truly bad Momofuku. Yes, the hype may make them all seem overrated but, come on everybody, the other Momofukus are decent enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perbacco -- everybody says it's about ordering the right stuff, but Perbacco is not that good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, Fatty Crab is utterly over-rated. The UWS one especially is such a theme park and the cooking is sloppy / the food overly fattified. (And I typically appreciate lardo, etc.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have to defend Blue Hill, though. Most of the food I've eaten there has been amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Clearly, some of these things are just a matter of taste -- those who aren't impressed by Blue Hill probably prefer more invention -- but the actually "overrated" places should be doing flat-out disappointing food for the money.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Blue Hill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perbacco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      234 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Momofuku Milk Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: johannabanana
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        orthorunner RE: johannabanana Feb 1, 2010 06:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think many who would list Momofuku's iterations would not do so because it is "bad" but instead simply because it is overrated-being vaunted as highly as it is, this is much easier to do than for a less visible restaurant. I am one of those who posted it and I felt it was good, but not anything craveable. Perhaps I had the wrong dishes, but anything raved about as much as it should have had at least one completely on target dish, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To Jacquelyn, re Grape and Grain, perhaps the brunch isn't as good as dinner? I have only had dinner and thoroughly enjoyed it but could see how the concept wouldn't work as well for brunch. It gains something from being somewhat of an oasis in the middle of the outreaches of alphabet city-can imagine this is not quite as appealing for a brunch as in the evening with a bottle of wine and great music playing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: orthorunner
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          OC Mutt RE: orthorunner Feb 2, 2010 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Momofuku has decent to good food, but the culinary payoff is nowhere near meriting the waiting times, enduring the crowds, the higher prices and overly effusive praise - which is why many including myself consider it to be quite over-rated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: OC Mutt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            thew RE: OC Mutt Feb 2, 2010 09:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i've never had more than a 15 minute wait at Ssam.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              KTinNYC RE: thew Feb 2, 2010 09:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You're right, the wait times at Noodle Bar and Ssam are exaggerated by many people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                MMRuth RE: KTinNYC May 11, 2011 06:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, I went for lunch on Saturday around one, and there were lots of empty tables. And I do love the food there, and the wine selection.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      bsully78 RE: demigodh Nov 16, 2009 06:45 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think Union Square Cafe is one of the most overrated places in the city. I have been there several times and never a good experience. I even work in the same company. I dont think I will be returning for a while, if ever! I can spend the same at many other places that I now I will love>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        eade RE: demigodh Dec 13, 2009 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is it not true that traditional NY cheese cake does not have graham cracker crust?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Junior's is uber-traditional in that respect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Graham cracker crust may be an innovation you like, but it should not mar a rating of a real true traditional NY cheesecake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sirene RE: demigodh Dec 13, 2009 10:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Most overrated waste of time and money. Benehana's.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great places would be Benny's Burritos on 6th Street and A or &A on the corner of 7th and A. Once a week, Benny's has this shrimp pesto burrito to die for, and &A has the best and cheapest breakfasts available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I never eat hot dogs from a stand. You need to go to Grey's Papaya on 8th Street in the West Village.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            KTinNY RE: demigodh Apr 3, 2010 07:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Top overrated restaurants:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Momofuku and sister restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Daniel
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Yasuda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Del Posto
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Mesa Grill and Bobby Flay restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Babbo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Babbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Del Posto
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mesa Grill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            102 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            23 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KTinNY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              a213b RE: KTinNY Apr 4, 2010 05:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just curious KT, but what do you find overrated about Daniel? Wondering because I've only been once, but my wife and I had a fantastic meal there. Granted, we did NOT do the tasting menu (not sure which menu you chose), so perhaps that plays a role?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Babbo has been excellent the times I have been, but I can certainly see how many consider it overrated. It is ripe with hype, and when taken in conjunction with the hassles that some customers get when it comes to reservations/greeting, I get it (though I don't necessarily agree).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Never been to Yasuda, Del Posto, or Mesa (been to the one in Vegas which was ... well, fine), and I generally like the Momofukus but will not put up with long waits to go ... though that being said, I think the continual complaints about the reservation system are overdone -- it's really not that difficult either to operate or to secure one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: a213b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                KTinNY RE: a213b Apr 4, 2010 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've always done the tasting menu at Daniel; except for once, all times were on expense account. Nothing particularly bad about the food, but the preparation and menu are uninspired.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Momofukus are simply bad food, strangely adored by the foodie-wannabes, simply hilarious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: KTinNY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hcbk0702 RE: KTinNY Apr 4, 2010 07:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's reasonable to call Momofuku (which one specifically?) overrated given the enormous hype that follows David Chang, but they do not serve "simply bad food." Also, Ko is completely different from Ssäm Bar and Noodle Bar, so grouping them all together doesn't make a lot of sense.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hcbk0702
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    _emilie_ RE: hcbk0702 Apr 5, 2010 10:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am totally with KTinNY on Momofuku. And yes, I do think grouping them all together does make sense as they all seem to share the same ethos and make the same mistakes. More does not equal better. Weird does not equal inventive. As for their dishes that are neither of those -- they're better on 32nd street, in Chinatown or at tons of other restaurants nearby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Also agree with the Bobby Flay and Yasuda comments too. Yasuda isn't bad, just not the best in town. Bobby is just plain embarrassing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: _emilie_
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hcbk0702 RE: _emilie_ Apr 5, 2010 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you're seriously comparing Momofuku Ko to the terrible restaurants in K-Town (only Madangsui and Don's Bogam are pretty decent IMO) or the mostly middling Cantonese fare in Manhattan Chinatown, I don't know what to tell you. Besides, Momofuku dishes are not remotely authentic Korean or Chinese by any stretch of the imagination. If you're looking for authentic Asian cuisine, then stay away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Madangsui
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Don's Bogam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      17 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Momofuku Ko
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hcbk0702
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        KTinNY RE: hcbk0702 Apr 5, 2010 07:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Manhattan's Madangsui can't hold a candle to the NJ location, but both Madangsui's have gone downhill in recent years unless you're into MSG-infused BBQ. If you're headed out to NJ, Zen Zen BBQ is still good for now for beef BBQ. Don Bogam in the city is good if you're in the mood for pork.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm afraid I can't recommend any of the Cantonese restaurants in Manhattan; all are fairly mediocre IMO; but what can you do?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Momofuku serves extraordinarily salty but average-tasting food that is neither here nor there, much like the thankfully closed Vongs. mKo's food would be an embarrassment to even the most modest of ryokan kaisekis; then again the kaiseki restaurants in Manhattan (Sugiyama, Kyoya, and Kai) were all pretty disappointing. mKo's silly reservation process makes you want to like the food, but I can recall the wistful hope as we progressed from one disappointing plate to the next. The worst of the group has got to be Milk. The ice creams are too salty (LOL...like the restaurants), and strangely I didn't feel a bit sad as I chucked out the cookies because they were simply bad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: KTinNY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a213b RE: KTinNY Apr 6, 2010 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          KT, I can totally understand your frustration; coming from LA we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to many different regional Asian cuisines.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will say that I feel like Daniel is up and down, based on the reviews here ... we had a stellar (though certainly non-inventive) meal there, but it seems like more than a few others have had "good" but not great ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Out of curiosity, what are some of your favorite places in NYC? I'm always looking for more to add to the list, and you strike me as someone who lets neither hype nor review interfere/weigh upon your thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: a213b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            KTinNY RE: a213b Apr 6, 2010 07:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            LA is amazing for Asian food; for Asian in NY, I prefer Taste Good in Elmhurst for Malaysian, Mapo Kalbi or HahmJiBahk in Flushing for Korean, Sushi of Gari/Masa/Tomoe/15 East for sushi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Daniel...; I shudder when anyone suggests Daniel. For Western, I prefer Bouley, Gramercy Tavern, Milos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wher do you like, a213b?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: KTinNY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              a213b RE: KTinNY Apr 7, 2010 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I quite enjoyed Gramercy Tavern, though we did dine on the Tavern side. Also am (along with RGR) a huge fan of EMP. Per Se is superlative, of course, and while we have yet to go to Bouley it is on our "must hit" list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We both liked SHO, think Minetta and Balthazar are outrageously overrated, and while everyone else seems to love it, we LOATHED Deugstation -- really liked the idea behind it, but it was the only time I can ever recall having a tasting menu where halfway through the meal I just desperately wanted it to end. Maybe we just hit it on a REALLY off night?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm sure there's a slew of places I'm forgetting; do you have any other recs?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: a213b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                janethepain RE: a213b Apr 7, 2010 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sure I put Degustation on my list of overrated on this thread, but I wholeheartedly agree (and on this board, am a freak for not liking it). I'm just baffled at all the praise it gets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: a213b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ellenost RE: a213b Apr 7, 2010 09:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Like you, I'm also a big fan of EMP and Per Se. Even though Bouley doesn't get much love (or like) from this board, it's one of my long time favorite restaurants. I've just made a reservation to return to Bouley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: _emilie_
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thew RE: _emilie_ Apr 5, 2010 12:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          with the exception of the eponymous ssam, the dishes at momofuku ssam bar are small plates for the most part, so your comment that more does not equal better makes close to zero sense to me

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            _emilie_ RE: thew Apr 6, 2010 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I get that criticism of the momo empire makes zero sense to anyone on chowhound. You guys all drank the kool-aid, and I should realize that its pointless to argue on the internet. Heaven forbid someone dislike momo -- I'm a glutton for punishment I suppose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As for my comment, I don't mean "more" in terms of size, I mean more in terms of salt (to KTinNYs point above - and I love salt), in terms of overuse of hoisin and other sweet flavors (completely masks the flavors of the food), and in terms of throwing ideas/flavors together on a plate with no sense of balance or restraint just because it will look *badass* to all the foodies ("Oooo look I threw rice crispies on my pork! Aren't I a culinary genius!").

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The desserts at milkbar are over the top, cloyingly sweet to the point of being inedible, except when they are so instead due to oversalting (agree about the ice cream). Dumping the entire contents of a pantry in a dish and calling it a pie is exactly what I mean by more not being better. I'm sure you love its childish whimsy, and I'll admit it sounds fun. But I just want it to taste good. It doesn't. Rosemary ice cream - wow, that sounds really interesting. Does it taste good? No. It tastes like salt ice cream. Verbena ice cream - cool! How is it? Yuck - in the garbage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Over at noodle bar, they ruin delicious, perfectly cooked sweetbreads with an overpowering glaze of hoisin. Same with the rice cakes -- so crispy-perfect in texture on the outside, but drowning in a bath of red sweetness and desperately in need of some acid note or spice for complexity. The tongue burns out after just a couple of bites. These are things I love to eat, and yet could not finish (and I'm a clean plate kind of gal). As for the noodles and pork buns, they are fine, but nothing revelatory. Other things like apple kimchee at ssam sound wonderful, but have no flavor whatsoever. I'll admit, the techniques are there, the creativity may even be there, but the palate just isn't. Makes me wonder if you guys are just reading the menu and not actually eating the food?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I get that momo is not trying to be authentic -- I never said that it was. What I am saying is that you can get anything you get there (pork, inventive small plates, fake-homemade desserts, korean and chinese inflected dishes, pork buns, noodles), elsewhere, done better, and without the surrounding bs. Believe me, I wanted to like them, and gave them second chances (because HOW could THAT MANY people be wrong?), but the momos are just so disappointing every time. And if I'm comparing the momos to restaurants that are mediocre and unremarkable (Ktown and Chinatown - and yes, I agree), its because the momos are likewise mediocre and unremarkable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: _emilie_
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              steakrules85 RE: _emilie_ Apr 6, 2010 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am also in the camp that Momofuku is overrated. I agree with you on many points. Tried it twice and got to experience it but overall I felt underwhelmed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: _emilie_
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thew RE: _emilie_ Apr 6, 2010 07:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i have no problem with anyone liking or not liking anyplace. I have no problem with negative criticism of places, even places i happen to like. Now that you explain what you meant by more i have no issue with what you said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i have not eaten at ko. i am not crazy about milkbar. i only tried noodlebar once, the ramen was pretty good, but not outstanding, but id like to explore the menu further. Ssam on the other hand is one of my favorite places. I enjoy their approach to food. not because CH says so. Not because it is hip to like them. because the food pleases me - or i wouldn't return. would i put them in my top 5 meals ever? no. but ive gone there more than the place i would put in the top 5. because i enjoy it. that's all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: _emilie_
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  hcbk0702 RE: _emilie_ Apr 6, 2010 08:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "throwing ideas/flavors together on a plate with no sense of balance or restraint just because it will look *badass* to all the foodies ("Oooo look I threw rice crispies on my pork! Aren't I a culinary genius!")."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure that's *exactly* what David Chang and his cooks think when they come up with dishes. /sarcasm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stop your inane projecting. If anything, Chang has a well-publicized and rather vitriolic distaste for self-professed "foodies", perhaps to the detriment of the service at his restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "Makes me wonder if you guys are just reading the menu and not actually eating the food?...because HOW could THAT MANY people be wrong?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure that's *exactly* the case as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hcbk0702
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    _emilie_ RE: hcbk0702 Apr 6, 2010 10:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Really? He hates foodies, that's why he participates in all sorts of foodie-focused industry PR events and is in every other episode of No Reservations? If you don't see how that show -- or these restaurants -- are built for foodies, you aren't being very honest. I'm sure he sees it. He does very well as a result.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The only people I've heard him come out against are picky eaters, vegetarians, and people who complain about the Ko resy system. He may hate the *word* foodie, like, oh EVERYONE, but the people -- he knows those are his bread and butter. Case in point: his recent addition of fried chicken -- a foodie phenomenon long before he tried his hand at it. Which hot foodie trend will he conquer next?! And the crowd goes wild!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: _emilie_
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    KTinNY RE: _emilie_ Apr 6, 2010 07:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Using that much hoisin should be illegal in a restaurant kitchen outside of a Peking duckhouse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: _emilie_
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      princeofpork RE: _emilie_ Apr 7, 2010 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What a fantastic, intelligent reply emilie. As far as what foodie trend he will conquer next, I would bet on a $25 pig liver (foie gras) topped burger with hoisin sauce or asian mac and cheese made with pig milk curds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: princeofpork
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        _emilie_ RE: princeofpork Apr 7, 2010 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm embarrassed to admit I'm really intrigued by pig milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: _emilie_
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        dagoose RE: _emilie_ Apr 7, 2010 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ahhh...It is so refreshing to find these posts. I am returning to NYC for my 2nd trip. We tried ssam bar last time we were in town and it was like the emperor had no clothes! We found it average, decent food, maybe a bit pricey for what it was, and like the chef needed to have one less (at least) ingredient on each dish. And yet, people would look at me like I was crazy when I didn't rave about the place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now that we're returning, I keep doubting myself, wondering if we just were there on a bad night or what, should we try again, but given that you all seem to have the exact same issues, I feel confident in my decision to not try again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: dagoose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thew RE: dagoose Apr 7, 2010 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          not we all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: KTinNY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ellenost RE: KTinNY Apr 4, 2010 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agree with you 100% about Daniel. The service is the most "snooty" I've ever experienced. I thought the food was not memorable either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. theAVE RE: demigodh Apr 4, 2010 08:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DBGB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pastis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Momofuku Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Babbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Virgils
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sylvia's

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Babbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DBGB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Momofuku Milk Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: theAVE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                KTinNY RE: theAVE Apr 6, 2010 08:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                'virgils is bad
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sylvias is horrible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Milk is worst

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: theAVE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  menuvore RE: theAVE Apr 13, 2010 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Haven't tried Babbo, have you ever eaten at Batali's 'Luppa'? This has a lot less hype and is pretty awesome. Spaghetti carbonara and swiss chard tortellini are two of my favorite meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Babbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  kessdarln RE: demigodh Apr 12, 2010 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like your #5. Where I come from (Olympia WA), there is no where to get a hot dog unless you cook it at home or get it at a ball game for 10x the price and even then, no onion sauce -- which IMHO makes the dog -- to me what makes a NYC dog the best! I saw a Nathan's in Vegas and they had chopped onions.. big deal. I think there is a dog place on the waterfront in Seattle but that would not be my one meal while up there so never tried it.. I'm sure it is just a dog place - not a GREAT dog place. Oh wait, my mistake.. you can buy a dog outside the big box hardware stores -- I think those are actually polish sausage. Anyway, so that is why I think NYC Hot Dogs are so great, because they aren't great anywhere else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. sgordon RE: demigodh Jul 3, 2010 09:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Jean Georges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tried it twice. Once doing a regular prix fixe, the second time doing "dueling tasting menus" (one of us had the seasonal one, the other the chef's) - both times completely underwhelmed. Desserts were better, but I don't think Iuzzini is the best on the city like a lot of people do. Top ten, maybe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Daniel & DBGB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A tie for his flagship and supposedly "cheap" downtown joint. The main restaurant I find stuffy and the food kind of uninteresting. DBGB I find overpriced and while there's a great selection of sausages, I didn't find any of them terribly earth-shattering. Eating in the main restaurant part is better, but the bar menu kind of blows. That said, his middle-range places - Cafe Boulud, Bistro Moderne - I love. I'd eat at CB before Daniel any day, price irrelevant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Clinton St. Baking Co.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Specifically brunch - it's fine, but it's not worth waiting an hour+ in line for. Dinner there is very nice, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Porchetta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've attempted Porchetta twice as well. Both times I felt like I was eating a grease sandwich lightly flavored with fennel. They were undersalted and the fat-to-meat ratio was way off, and don't get me wrong - I love my pork fat. I don't see what the big deal is. Get a good Cubano (I'll go with Cibao) for half the price, you'll get a much better pork sandwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5. TIE: Lobster Rolls at Mary's Fish Camp and/or Pearl Oyster Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Rip-off. The cost is twice as much as it should be. The onslaught of $14 lobster rolls that are just as good should make anyone think twice before ordering one for nearly $30. And they're both overdressed, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Honorable Mention: The "Black Label Burger" at Minetta Tavern.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Delicious? Yes. Worth it? I've posted the math before so I won't do it again here, but here's the link:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://foodimade.blogspot.com/2010/06...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cafe Boulud
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pearl Oyster Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jean Georges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Minetta Tavern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mary's Fish Camp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    64 Charles St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Porchetta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DBGB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sgordon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pdquinn RE: sgordon Jul 8, 2010 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. UNDERRATED
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ---------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maialino, Travertine, Aldea, Apiary, Colicchio and Sons

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. SIMPLY NOT OVERRATED AT ALL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -----------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jean Georges, Daniel, DBGB, Le Bernadin, Bouley, Sparks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. SOMEWHAT OVERRATED AND/OR PAST PRIME
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Post House, Peter Luger's, Market Table, Del Posto, La Esquina, Mas Farmhouse, Felidia, Annisa, Veritas, L'Atelier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. DEFINITELY OVERRATED
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dell'Anima, Faustina, Maze, Clinton Street Baking, Japonais, WD50, Magnolia Bakery, Junior's, Fishtail, Cru

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jean Georges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Magnolia Bakery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Del Posto
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Felidia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      243 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Veritas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      La Esquina
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Market Table
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      54 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Annisa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Japonais
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      111 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dell'Anima
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Post House
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      28 E 63rd St, New York, NY 10021

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aldea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      DBGB
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maialino
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pdquinn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        thew RE: pdquinn Jul 8, 2010 05:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i cannot agree about wd50. i was happily wowed. food with style, flavor and a quirky sense of humor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pdquinn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          rrems RE: pdquinn Jul 8, 2010 07:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Have you been to Annnisa since the reopening? If so I can't imagine how you could call it overrated or past prime. And Veritas? Are you joking? The food is spectacular. When was the last time you were there? Cru? Underrated if anything. A steal at their current prices. Aldea is not underrated. In fact it is generally recognized as superb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rrems
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pdquinn RE: rrems Jul 9, 2010 04:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To be honest, I have not tried Annisa since it reopened and will have to give it another shot. Historically, I think the press/ foodie community has considered Anita Lo a "chef's chef" with her classical training etc. making them more inclined to print positive reviews.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I first dined at Veritas five years ago and found it to be one of the five best restaurants in the city. I recently returned last year and although still very good, the current incarnation seemed to be resting on its laurels just a bit. The overrated label is more due to the lofty perch that I originally placed it in my mind.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had a big Christmas dinner at Cru a while ago and was extremely excited after all I had read. People were dressed like they were at TGIF's, the room was drab, service was only modestly friendly and the food was forgettable. I think it would be "lost in the shuffle" of NY restaurants if it wasn't for the publicity it gets for its wine list.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hype has certainly been building for Aldea as of late and I wasn't in love with the dining room but I just found the menu to be particularly innovative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Veritas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            43 East 20th St., New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Annisa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Aldea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: pdquinn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pedr0 RE: pdquinn Nov 29, 2010 04:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Agreed on Apiary. Food and service are both excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wouldn't go to WD-50 if you're either hungry or paying for dinner. The molecular gastronomy thing is beyond played out at this point.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm convinced Batali's publicist has a crack team of review writers out there too...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            WD-50
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Pedr0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thew RE: Pedr0 Nov 30, 2010 03:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i can understand not wanting to pay. i can understand being bored by MG (though i am not). but saying you will be hungry? that does not jibe w/ my experience at wd-50

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: sgordon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            eviemichael RE: sgordon Jul 19, 2010 10:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I completely agree about Jean Georges. I had the seasonal tasting menu and my date had the chef's...to be fair there were two or three plates that were good. But seriously underwhelming! And the desserts...I couldn't believe it, but packaged Starbucks desserts would have been a better end to the meal. EMP the next night outshone Jean Georges.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm not a difficult person...it really was that lackluster and disappointing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jean Georges
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4. thew RE: demigodh Jul 9, 2010 06:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i would put SHO Shaun Hergatt on my list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            SHO Shaun Hergatt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cousincole RE: demigodh Jul 19, 2010 12:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PORCHETTA! Why do people praise this place for transforming a perfectly good pig into the the worst dry chicken breast?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cousincole
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                stevel RE: cousincole Jul 19, 2010 04:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Momofuku KO. One of if not the most disappointing meals I've ever had!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                steakrules85 RE: demigodh Jul 19, 2010 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I hate to put down a Danny Meyer place but I must say I went to Union Square Cafe yesterday and was a bit disappointed. Maybe it's popularity has overhyped it and caused the quality to suffer? I did not think that he would allow that to happen, however I found the food to be very unimaginative and just decent. For the price, there are so many meals that are head and shoulders above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: steakrules85
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nancy S. RE: steakrules85 Jul 19, 2010 06:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Union Square Cafe has been mediocre for at least the past 10 -15 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Nancy S.
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    steakrules85 RE: Nancy S. Jul 19, 2010 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah that's a shame. I guess when you are that popular and you know that you will be getting business no matter what you lose the edge to be the best. I find it very difficult to believe that a Danny Meyer institiution would let this happen but it certainly seems like that is the case.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know comparing it to EMP is apples and oranges but I could never see this happening at Eleven madison ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hcbk0702 RE: steakrules85 Jul 19, 2010 10:09 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The quality of the food is largely dependent on the chef and how he/she leads the kitchen; Danny Meyer won't be able to do anything if his chef puts out food that's mediocre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Keep in mind that before the arrival of Daniel Humm in 2006, EMP was a pretty average restaurant. A lot can change, and very quickly at that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hcbk0702
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        steakrules85 RE: hcbk0702 Jul 20, 2010 05:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        While that is a valid point, I do not believe that the chef at USC has changed recently. Carmen Quagliata has been there for awhile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As for EMP, I cannot speak of how it was before Chef Humm, however I have had 2 meals without Humm in the house and had spectacular meals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          hcbk0702 RE: steakrules85 Jul 20, 2010 07:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Carmen Quagliata has been there since 2005 (I think) and USC has been unimpressive through his entire reign in the kitchen. It was also rather middling for several years before that. At least it's pretty consistent mediocrity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: hcbk0702
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pookipichu RE: hcbk0702 Jul 20, 2010 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Prior to Humm, EMP was not just average, it was a spectacular mess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nancy S. RE: steakrules85 Jul 20, 2010 09:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I had an unbelievably salty dinner at EMP on Friday. It started out nicely, but the last three savory courses and pre-dessert were outrageously seasoned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Nancy S.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ellenost RE: Nancy S. Jul 20, 2010 12:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm going to EMP this week. What dishes were improperly seasoned?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. re: Nancy S.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          RonWV RE: Nancy S. Apr 1, 2011 07:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've always liked USQ, but never understood why it was always on the Zagat's favorites list. It's a fine neighborhood place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SYCRoberts RE: demigodh Jul 24, 2010 08:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Absolutely agree with NYC hot dogs. They are exceptionally bad, most uneatable. So inferior to any frankfurter you can eat in a nowhere gas-station in Germany, for instance, as well as many other places in Europe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agree with Carnegie Deli/Stage Deli. Katz is declining as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would add:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NYC pizzas:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Despite the perception it is very hard to eat good pizza in Manhattan. Thousands of pizza places in NYC, most serve lousy pizzas. Lowest quality of cheese and horrible toppings. Many pizzas are really scary to eat, especially the pepperoni disks drown in industrial glue named “cheese”. These horrible pepperoni discs seem to me poisonous, a real threat to the public’s health.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Manhattan Cheesecakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Represent the epitome of how-not-prepare (good) cheese cakes and how not to bake in general. I believe the monstrous sizes intend to put the eater in a coma before he can realize how bad it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: SYCRoberts
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NewYorkNewHaven RE: SYCRoberts Oct 13, 2010 09:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Months later, I'm pretty thrilled that you said this about Manhattan pizza. Most of it is rubbish, which leaves me unsure where to take people in neighborhoods i'm not too familiar with (because pizza is good everywhere in NYC, right?). As I rule, if the place looks tacky or I don't know it, the more expensive it is the worse. I prefer the $1 slices at 2 Bros at St. Marks to most of the $2.50-$4.00 garbage littered throughout the city, taking advantage of the craze and mythos. The ingredients might be second-rate, but at least flavor isn't absent and there isn't an artificial feel to it. For a chain, Famiglia does an alright job though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          k52 RE: demigodh Oct 12, 2010 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          recette: bad food, pretentious service and overpriced wine list...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          that is not a "recipe" for success...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a trendy experience we could have lived without...only the fish dish was larger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          than a tiny tapas...you'll definitely leave hungry...a few of the dishes were
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          truly awful combinations...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          if you're going to "share"...be prepared for a hefty bill...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          another bad fashionable restaurant for the west village...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: k52
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ricky RE: k52 Oct 13, 2010 01:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I disagree, thought the food portions were generous, and well executed. Theres definitely a lot of out of the box thinking in the dishes which isnt for everyone. Wine lists are way overpriced everywhere in NYC, this isnt europe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: k52
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              nmprisons RE: k52 Apr 1, 2011 07:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              yep!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              maneki neko RE: demigodh Oct 13, 2010 08:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The credited list is:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (1) Grimaldi's - completely not worth it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (2) Shake Shack - this place is nothing special. It's basically an overpriced Steak n' Shake.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (3) Babbo - incredibly mediocre
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (4) Magnolia Bakery - way too much butter in the frosting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              (5) Spotted Pig - decent beer selection, but the food is lackluster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Babbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Magnolia Bakery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spotted Pig
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Grimaldi's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              47 W 20th St, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: maneki neko
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sam1 RE: maneki neko Oct 13, 2010 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                i agree with this list but i disagree with shake shack...its the best fast food burger in the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. grandma Zaza RE: demigodh Oct 13, 2010 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think that you guys got it right.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Especially Aquavit, by has that place gone South!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  twolous196 RE: demigodh Oct 13, 2010 03:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would add Artichoke Basilles pizza to the tippity top of this list. It is constantly getting written up for being delicious and it was one of the worst pizza eating experiences of my life. A greasy, overcooked crust that lacerated the roof of my mouth, topped off with what tasted like scalding hot, bad cream of broccoli soup. It's been over a year since I had it and everytime i walk by I still get mad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. thew RE: demigodh Oct 14, 2010 04:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    sho shaun hergatt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. brancron RE: demigodh Oct 14, 2010 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Momofuku Ssam Bar by far. (SP best restaurants in the world? No. 26? WTF)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Momofuku Ssam Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Lalalove RE: demigodh Nov 19, 2010 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Momofuku Noodle Bar. I wanted to love it. I still wish I did. Sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Momofuku Noodle Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          steakrules85 RE: demigodh Nov 20, 2010 09:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I hate to bring it up but I had a disappoiting meal at Prune last week.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            sockster RE: demigodh Nov 22, 2010 05:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Boy, am I glad I saw this thread again: MAREA would be my choice. I expected to love it...Didn't.....not at all!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sockster
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              thew RE: sockster Nov 22, 2010 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i loved marea - what didn't work for you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sockster RE: thew Nov 22, 2010 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                See my previous post in Manhattan section called sooo disappointed. I am not alone!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sockster
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thew RE: sockster Nov 22, 2010 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  not my experience there at all. our waiter was helpful, our food was tasty. the uni app could have been larger,as it was marketed as for the table, but thats about my only complaint

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sockster
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                dafunk RE: sockster Dec 12, 2010 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                how do you not like Marea? It's phenomenal. I could eat the fusilli every day for the rest of my life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Marea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                serf420 RE: demigodh May 11, 2011 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Im a little late to this topic but i def agree with momofuko, way overrated, and too full of hipster douches
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Im surprised that no one here has mentioned caracas or westville. Both places are always mobbed and the food is not so great or cheap at both, sure the prices are cheap but the portions are tiny. Anyways my list

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Caracas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Westville--any location
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Prime meats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. Lugers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5. Shake shack

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: serf420
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  cortez RE: serf420 May 11, 2011 07:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Serf,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You've resurrected a great topic. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For me, my disappointment is Le Bernardin. Full disclosure: my wife really enjoyed it and we both loved Chef Ripert's place in the Cayman Islands. In NYC, however, it was not great. Why?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  *. Atmosphere is cold, corporate and impersonal. Decor is boring.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  *. I'm a wine geek and sought pairing recommendations from the Sommelier. He suggested very standard stuff from the wine by the glass list. And, he added two doses of condescension with his comments.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  *. The seafood was delicious
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  * in the end, I felt like a corporate stiff on an expense account (I was paying with my own $) rather than a valued customer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  At this reputation and price point, I want the experience to be special. It wasn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cortez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    janethepain RE: cortez May 13, 2011 02:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Haha, I'd have to agree with the underwhelm. Not that it wasn't good - it just wasn't OMGAMAZING like I thought it would be. In fact, the thing I remember the most about the meal is the chocolate egg dessert that they gave me for free because they didn't have the wine I wanted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: janethepain
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      steakrules85 RE: janethepain May 13, 2011 04:12 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think by now everyone knows how I felt about my lackluster experience there as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: cortez
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      RonWV RE: cortez May 15, 2011 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, I feel pretty much the same way as you do. The food is great. But I don't really enjoy eating there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: serf420
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NAtiveNewYorker RE: serf420 May 17, 2011 07:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Westville burger and Shake shack cheese fries are fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Westville
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      210 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      arisp RE: demigodh May 14, 2011 09:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% with Minetta Tavern and its burger. Talk about overrated. Dry, tasteless and small. I've had better and tastier burgers at about 50 other spots in the city. Why the love for this place, on this website, I will never understand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: arisp
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        nmprisons RE: arisp May 15, 2011 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        couldn't disagree more. actually heading over there in three hours for some burger awesomeness. my top five overrated (some of which I actually enjoy) would be:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Recette
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Babbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Milk Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Any place claiming to have a good lobster roll. (i've tried them all and they are various degrees of bad and overpriced)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5. Spotted Pig

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Babbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spotted Pig
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Recette
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        328 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nmprisons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          MMRuth RE: nmprisons May 15, 2011 07:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with you on Minetta Tavern's burgers - I've had both and have never found them to be dry and tasteless - don't remember noting the size one way or the other.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Minetta Tavern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            steakrules85 RE: MMRuth May 15, 2011 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I agree. I think Minetta serves one of the best burgers around without a doubt. I mean the wonderful superior quality of the meat blend they are using alone makes it incredible. Add in those caramelized onions and the soft brioche bun and its tough to knock it. The fries on the other hand...... not so ethereal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              nmprisons RE: steakrules85 May 15, 2011 10:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              just came back from eating one and i can confirm that my initial very, very high rating of them was, if anything, an underrating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i don't eat the fries. just let them sit there. they don't deserve to be on the same plate as that burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: nmprisons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            princeofpork RE: nmprisons May 16, 2011 11:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just had lunch at Lupa last week. Completely underwhelmed. Scarpetta blew it away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lupa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Scarpetta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: princeofpork
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LVI RE: princeofpork May 24, 2011 11:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Scarpetta? And it's not totally over-rated, uninspiring food? Like Scott himself, the place is WAY TOO full of itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Scarpetta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. re: arisp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            cousincole RE: arisp May 15, 2011 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Did you order it well done? I don't see how it could be dry and tasteless otherwise.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            brian211 RE: demigodh May 18, 2011 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Babbo and Union Square Cafe would be on the top of my overrated list.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Babbo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: brian211
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              princeofpork RE: brian211 May 18, 2011 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just went to USC on a business dinner and to be honest it was pretty good. Did it match the top spot in NYC reputation is had for years no, but if it opened downtown, under a different name and offered the same food and service I bet a lot of folks would be saying how good it was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: princeofpork
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                brian211 RE: princeofpork May 18, 2011 02:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fair point.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OC Mutt RE: princeofpork Jun 9, 2011 04:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with Prince about USC, it is a top notch restaurant. Is it the be all and end all of culinary experiences, no - but what is? The service was excellent, and the food was both interesting/enticing and the execution was perfect. I walked away not only satisfied and very happy, but had my expectations exceeded. It earned it's well deserved reputation. Oh, and I'd add value to that as well, the prices were quite fair all things considered.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                EGranados RE: demigodh Jun 7, 2011 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Not sure I have five, but here's three.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1) 90% of NY pizza, as in a NY slice. The vast majority of pizza places completely phone it in and use bad dough, low quality cheese, and absentminded cooking to produce a totally forgettable product. Of the top of my head I've know two slices that were worthy of all the shouting about NY having the best pizza in the country. One was at Tony's Pizza on Bedford Park in the Bronx, now closed, and one was at the original Little Italy in Midtown, in the late 90s before it moved. I think all the places selling regional Italian styles that have arrived in the past few years are a huge improvement over the current dross.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2) Bagels - again vast majority of places completely phone it in, not as bad as Dunkin Donuts, but not much better either. David's Bagels at 14th and 1st are/were wonderful (haven't been in a while) and Ess-A-Bagel also is great.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3) Peter Luger's - I went as part of a group of 8, between myself and my s.o., I spent $180 for greasy steak, had a jerk of a waiter who spilled salad dressing on my girlfriend and me and didn't apologize, the appetizers are a joke, and the sides nothing special. And I don't get all the fuss about the bacon, I'd take some good irish rashers over Luger's bacon any day of the week.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                David's Bagels
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                331 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JessicaMadeline RE: demigodh Jul 12, 2011 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Magnolia Bakery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The cake is too dry, and the icing is not sweet enough for me. (It's more buttery than sweet.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  While others might turn up their noses at Crumbs, I think that place makes the bomb-diggity cupcakes. There is a reason why they're dominating the cupcake game!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Magnolia Bakery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    nooyawka RE: demigodh Jul 13, 2011 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Recently hit up Carnegie for a Woody Allen (pastrami plus corned beef). Unbelievably overwhelming sandwich. Plenty of seeds in the rye. Could have fed a family of 6 for a week. Definitely not overrated. I think the Second Avenue Deli (current incarnation) belongs on the list in its place though.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Carnegie Deli
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    854 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Second Avenue Deli
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    162 E 33rd St, New York, NY 10016

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. _emilie_ RE: demigodh Jul 22, 2011 02:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Can I add The Dutch? Been twice now and it is seriously blah (and way overpriced). I can't believe the internet hype machine that place has going for it. Their PR people must be fabulous. Too bad the kitchen can't deliver, with the exception of the mini oyster sandwiches (which they were out of last time). I do actually like Locanda Verde, but The Dutch is a dud.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Locanda Verde
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

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