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Jul 20, 2009 10:34 AM

30 Last days in NYC, what restaurants to hit

Sadly after living 10 good years (despite the last abysmal 12 months since the crisis) in NYC, I will be leaving New York City for a job offer in Shanghai, China. I will probably not return to the United States for several years.

While I am excited for what the Far East, especially in this case the Greater China has to offer, I know I will miss some of the best restaurants we have here in NYC.

So I will spend the next 30 days in August to make sure I satisfy my future craving of NYC's best. Please help me to compile the list, any suggestions or inputs are welcome .

Basically I am going for all the best (but unique) restaurant only can be found in NYC that I will miss for many years to come.

I am actually staying away from all the Asian/Indian food since I won't have problems getting better food in Asia later.

I am thinking I should hit these restaurants

- Jean Georges (though I think he has one in Shanghai and Felix is a great establishment in HK)
- Gramercy Tavern

- Corton
- Babbo
- Lupa
- Scarpetta
- Inoteca

- Peter Luger
- Keen
- BLT Steak

- John's
- DiFara's (pizza)

- Casa Mono

- Pearl Oyster Bar

- Katz

- PJ Clark on 3rd Ave
- Shake Shack
- BLT Burger
- Burger Joint

- Shopshin's
- Norma's

- Bouchon Bakery
- Ceci Cela
- Payard
- Bouley Bakery
- Petrossian

- Shake Shack
- German cart on 54th St
- Halal Cart on 53rd St (Sixth Ave)

Outer Borough/outside NYC

- Blue Hill at Stone Barns (tasting)

Did I miss anything ?

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  1. All your choices are great, but I would also consider:

    Bar Boulud - for the pates
    Cafe d'Alsace - for the marrow bones
    Molyvos - for the amazing Greek food
    La Grenouille - for the flowers, the Dover sole, the ile flottant

    Good luck and enjoy Shanghai.

    1 Reply
    1. i'd add The Stand after hearing the way everyone talks about the Toasted Marshmallow shake!

      3 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Heard but never tried The Stand. I might actually give this a try this weekend.

        1. re: foodoof

          That milk shake really is fabulous. Also, if you have not been, I would highly recommend Salumeria Rosi on the UWS.

          You can take Payard off your list since it is closed.

          My favorite burger place is Ottomanelli on the UES, followed by Shake Shack - which I like very much, but they are different styles of burgers. I prefer Ottomanelli to PJ Clarke's, but have not tried the other places on your list.

          1. re: MMRuth

            Payard's flagship here closed but if you are going to Tokyo I believe he has a shop there.

            Also, I would add 2nd Avenue Deli to the list for the hot pastrami alone. Don't forget to get a bagel w/ schmear from H & H or Ess a Bagel before you leave.

      2. i think your list is outstanding.

        definitely concentrate on italian, burgers, bistro before leaving. add pizza to your list.
        you'll have a great time in china.

        remember, you're not running from great food, rather, you're running toward great food.

        have too much fun.

        7 Replies
        1. re: steve h.

          Well I will have Asian, especially Chinese food fiesta for the next few years.

          I wonder if there's any other Pizza place I should include on the list. I must say (and this is no offense to these restaurants and their patrons) that neither Lombardi's nor Grimaldi's impressed me with their world famous pizzas, the food was good but short of excellent for my taste bud.

          1. re: foodoof

            What about Neopolitan style pie at some place like Una Pizza Napoletana or Keste? I'm not sure how common that is in China.

            1. re: foodoof

              deb and i are fans of una pizza napoletana. simple, understated and impossible to duplicate in either china or hong kong. mangieri is rumored to be packing for the west coast so you may want to act soon.

              off topic: you may want a sunset meal at river cafe so you can view the battery at its best. take the water taxi there or walk the brooklyn bridge. maybe do both.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Interesting - and I never made it there!

                  1. re: kathryn


                    i did a fast google search and you're absolutely right.
                    here's a link to the nyt's blog that came out less than an hour ago.


                    i think mangieri's pizza oven will be in good hands with the motorino folk. we'll see.

                    1. re: steve h.

                      sorry for the duplicate link.
                      kathryn was first.

            2. I recently went to Babbo. I wasnt impressed. Id recommend only getting the pasta there.

              Normas is great for brunch.

              One of my fave's is Red Cat, which i didnt see on your list.

              1 Reply
              1. re: drschwartz

                Thank you, I knew I forgot something. I will add Red Cat to my list.

              2. I don't think I saw Clinton St. Baking Co - one last order of their pancakes would be good to have.

                I also didn't see any Mexican food on your list - not sure if that is something you're interested in and while I know NYC's offerings are somewhat lacking, still I imagine it would be something you couldn't get in China. If you want to combine that with an Outer Borough experience you could go to Tacqueria Coatzingo in Jackson Heights or tacos or tamales at Nixmatal Tortilleria in Corona (the latter followed by a frozen custard at Timmy O's which is just a few blocks away).

                Do you care about missing BBQ at all since you won't be in the States for quite some time? I know it's not native to NYC but there are some great options: either RUB or Daisy May's would be my choices.

                Good luck with your new job and exploring Shanghai!

                4 Replies
                1. re: pellegrino31

                  Ah of course. thanks for the reminder. I think I am going to stop over Tacqueria Coatzingo if I have time. Mexican food in NYC is not my forte, but then again, this isn't California/Arizona/Texas.

                  The problem with Coatzingo's highly affordable selection is that they fill you up fast

                  Any suggestion for some latin or nuevo latino food in Manhattan would be appreciated.

                  1. re: foodoof

                    It's one of those good problems, right ;)

                    I don't go out often for Latino food in Manhattan but I do like Paladar on the Lower East Side (then you can follow it up with a beer or two or three at Spitzer's Corner which is just down the block).

                    1. re: foodoof

                      Look into Pampano. It's non-greasy, non-street food, upscale (expensive) nuevo Mexican. Very good, with nice cocktails and wine to boot.

                    2. re: pellegrino31

                      Mexican's a great suggestion, pellegrino. There's a really bad Tex Mex place or two that I know of in Shanghai, but no real Mexican, as far as I know.

                      There are, however, a number of Spanish places, including tapas bars.