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Jul 15, 2009 09:02 AM

We'll be spending a week in NY- What can't we miss?

Hi there- I'm going to be spending a week taking a course at Columbia Teacher's College this August- and since I'm a newlywed, I'm dragging my husband along so we can enjoy a second honeymoon in NYC. I'll be in class all day, but we want to find some great places to enjoy dinner and enjoy the city.

We aren't able to break the bank...we just had a wedding, a honeymoon and moved into a new condo. I'm a teacher, he's a writer...we are willing to splurge, within reason though!

We will be staying at The Lucerne on West 79th.

All suggestions would be appreciated...and if I could find my husband jerk chicken or patties as delicious as those we had in Jamaica, I am sure he would be over the moon. (I wouldn't mind finding some great desserts, either!)

Thanks in Advance,

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  1. What's the most you're willing to spend on dinner for two? Including tax, tip, wine...? Any preferred cuisines other than Jamaican?

    Not sure I can help on the Jamaican food front but here's some suggestions in the immediate neighborhood of where you are (UWS, upper 70s, 80s). There's a lot of good stuff there nowadays with more ambitious places like Dovetail, Bar Bao, West Branch, etc. and the uptown branches of Joe the Art of Coffee, Fatty Crab, Grandaisy, Shake Shack, Mermaid Inn!

    A lot of restaurants allow you reserve in advance on (try calling if you can't find the time you want). And is good for looking up menus in advance, especially if a place doesn't have a web site (although the menu might be slightly old). And don't forget that you're close to the park and can easily do a picnic if you wanted to! Zabar's is very close to the Lucerne and Fairway is also not too far away, as is Salumeria Rosi.

    Oh, and not sure if you're been to NYC before or not, but out of towners are often surprised at how many places are cash only.

    Since you guys are writers and teachers, maybe some cheap eats/street food?

    Here's a recent cheap eats thread:

    New York Magazine and Time Out New York have the best street carts and cheap eats guides, respectively:

    Here's some threads on NYC in general:
    **Don't Leave NY Without Eating... (don't miss this thread)**

    NYC for visitors:

    I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour:

    Best pizza in NY:

    Places under $10

    Best brunch:

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thank you! We utilize Open Table all the time here in CA- why did I not think of that?

      We've both been to NY before, but it's our first trip together...and the most like a true getaway. Thanks for the tip about cash- I was not aware of that, and we will plan accordingly.

      I'd venture to say that we would be open to spending about $100 or so for one great evening out, and the rest of the time we'd likely mind our budget (my school is sending me to Columbia, and I've got a small per diem that will cover me at breakfast and lunch, anyways!) We've also got some family in NY who will likely take us out one evening we are there.

      We are open to all cuisines- (he doesn't like Thai or Indian) but otherwise, we are equal opportunity foodies.

      Thanks for all the links.


      1. re: Daisyducc

        Did you find Jamaican patties? My husband is from Jamaica, and we grew up in Queens. He's about to visit Manhattan and asked Me to but some down there. BTW, we are in California and use opentable too!

      2. re: kathryn

        I will be in NYC this weekend and am planning on following RGR's LES Gustatory Tour on Sunday. Any ideas on how long it will take?

      3. I just returned from a visit to NYC last week and one of the best meals I had while there was at Amy Ruth's it is a soul food and southern cuisine restaurant in Harlem. Don't let the line up outside the door put you off--it is well worth the wait and the service is swift and efficient. Prices are very reasonable. It's definitely on my do not miss list for my next visit.

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: ParsleySage

          Thanks so much for your reply...we will check it out.

        2. Nice Matin on West 79th and Amesterdam - close to your hotel.

          I would say Jean Georges should not be missed. It's reasonable compared to Per Se or Masa, and the experience is quintessentially New York.

          Enjoy your visit.

          2 Replies
          1. re: fm1963

            I believe it's actually connected to the hotel, if I am not mistaken.


            1. re: fm1963

              The reasonable thing to do at Jean Georges is to get the lunch prix fixe. Dinner is expensive.

            2. "enjoy the city"

              you're staying on the Upper West Side - after enjoying Barney Greengrass for a smoked fish breakfast/lunch, checking Zabar's, H&H Bagels and Jacques Torres, I'd promptly leave the area and venture into the rest of the city. (OK, Nice Matin has a nice burger but NYC's a big place to explore).

              Chinatown - Amazing 66 (search on this site), followed by Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
              Peter Lugar - your splurge in Brooklyn, take the subway. Steak for two, german potatoes and spinach will take you just over $100 (not inc. tax and tip). Optional bacon appetizer, dessert and drinks on top of that.
              Blue Ribbon or Blue Ribbon Bakery - alternate splurge in Soho/Village. good marrow bones and fried chicken (share!)
              Una Pizza Napoletana, followed by Momofuku Milk Bar for dessert.
              sorry, not good on jerk chicken or patties

              2 Replies
              1. re: Chuck Lawrence

                Una Pizza Napoletana has closed or will close very soon. However, Keste in the West Village serves great Neapolitan-style pizza with interesting toppings.

                I get Jamaican food in Brooklyn, not Manhattan. But has anyone tried Daphne's lately? I used to find them extremely downscale (ergo, inexpensive) and fine, though nothing extraordinarily exciting.

                1. re: Pan

                  UPN has already closed and will reopen under the management of the folks who run Motorino.

              2. I work at Columbia, so know this neighborhood pretty well. I love others' suggestions and have a few more of my own:

                Ouest for a special night out. The food is consistently great, and is close to where you're staying (Broadway between 83rd and 84th).

                If you like Ethiopian food, go to Awash on Amsterdam and 106. Food is consistently great, and very inexpensive.

                For brunch/lunch around TC, try Kitchenette. at Amsterdam and 12rd.

                For fun, go to Shake Shack either in Central Park or Madison Square Park. Great burgers and shakes, and great people watching.

                1 Reply
                1. re: susan1353

                  Have you tried Zoma? 113th & 8th Ave (or whatever is equivalent to CPW up there.) It's the best Ethiopian restaurant I've tried in NYC, including Meskerem, Awash, etc. Highly recommended.