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Traveling in september

I am traveling to NYC in september and I having searching for good restaurant options and I have the next finalist and I wanted to see which of them are best, (we want to experience a bit of everithing from price to type of food) since I have to choose only 4.
ViceVersa
Asia de Cuba
Union Square Café
Balthazar
DB Bistro Moderne
Butter
Geisha
Gilt
Le Bernardin
Bann
Pepolino
Del Frisco's
Sugiyama
Ouest
Gramercy tavern
THANKS

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  1. Is Del Frisco's on there to fill your quality steak requirement? Did you choose that place for a specific reason?

    1. From those on your list I've been to, the only ones I'd say a definite "yes" to are Le Bernardin and Balthazar.

      I've not been to Del Frisco's, but if you want steak, I don't think you should go to a chain. Instead, it should be a quintessentially *NY* steakhouse. My favorite is Keens, which perfectly fits that description. Delicious food and unmatchable Old NY ambiance.

      http://www.keens.com

      1. Not sure how you made these selections. They are all over the map, literally and figuratively but right away, I'd get rid of the following

        Asia de Cuba
        Butter
        Del Friscos

        Of the remaining, I'd give top nod to Gramercy Tavern and Le Bernadin. Balthazar hits the spot if you are looking for a bustling french bistro place.

        I've personally never been enthralled with USC or Ouest but am aware others are.

        2 Replies
          1. re: ESNY

            We had a very disappointing dinner in Gramercy Tavern's dining room fairly recently, so I can't recommend it.

          2. I's scratch geisha off there as well.

            1. vice versa good for a meal in B'way area...best thing on the menu is the ravioli
              asia de cuba a bit tired but still fun if you go late enought
              Union Square always a good meal
              balthazar touristy
              DB good pre fixe menu
              Gilt have not been, former Le Cirque space
              Le Bernadin Excellent
              Del Friscos is chain--best steak in city to me is Ben and Jacks truly just like Peter Lugers without having to go to Brooklyn, but that is the best steak experience. make res now though
              Gramercy Tavern great
              Hope this helps

              5 Replies
              1. re: Somersky

                Balthazar may be considered "touristy" by some, but it certainly attracts a huge number of locals. And it does so because it provides delicious food and good service in an attractive and boisterous brasserie space.

                Re: Gramery Tavern. As I noted in one of my posts upthread, our dinner there not long ago was far wide of the "great" mark.

                1. re: RGR

                  Yes, I was there for a late lunch a week ago Friday and enjoyed it very much, as I always do. Yes there were tourists there (heaven forbid), but also regulars who were recognized by the staff.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    If we natives avoided all the restaurants where tourists turn up, we'd have to eliminate a huge boatload of really wonderful places. "Tourist traps" are an entirely different species of restaurant. Balthazar is certanly not that!

                    We should welcome tourists to our great city, especially since they are a financial necessity. And, as witnessed by the many, many posts on this board, lots of them are Chowhounds! :)

                    1. re: RGR

                      Oh - I agree completely - sorry if my attempt at humor did not come across!

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        Actually, MMRuth, it was plain to me that you were using humor. My error for not making that clear. I was just following up with some expanded thoughts on the topic of tourists.

              2. le bernardin is hands down the best one on the list. gramercy and union sq cafe are consistantly good. if you're going to go to balthazar, only go for brunch. most of the other ones on the list are overrated. and like everyone else said, don't go to del friscos. strip house, ben and jacks, keens are all better.

                5 Replies
                1. re: tkm616

                  As I said upthread, when a visitor wants to go to a steakhouses, choosing one with a decided NYC vibe is the way to go. While the food may be good at Del Frisco's, it is a chain, so I'd skip it.

                  While brunch is certainly a good option at Balthazar, there's a much more limited menu than at lunch and dinner. So I would not rule out going there for those meals.

                  Finally, I can't agree with you that Gramercy Tavern is "consistently good" because as I said above, our dinner there a few months ago was far from that.

                  1. re: RGR

                    when i said "and like everyone else said, don't go to del friscos", i was referring to yours and everyone else's upthread.

                    there are plenty of other restaurants that are better for dinner than Balthazar. while the service is great, the food is average. i was suggesting that if they really wanted to go and get the vibe of Balthazar, brunch should do fine without having to spend the time and money at such a mediocre place.

                    i've been to Gramercy 3 times in the last couple of yrs and i've never had a problem. everyone i've spoken with that has been there seemed to enjoy it as well. also, i mentioned that they were "consistently good", not great. it's a shame that your experience wasn't up to par, especially after getting that bill!

                    1. re: tkm616

                      Count me as another one who really likes Balthazar -- great food and a lively, fun, pretty place.

                      1. re: tkm616

                        Apologies, tkm616, as I somehow missed your lead-in to Del Frisco's.

                        I don't agree with you that Balthazar is "a mediocre place" with food that is "average." In the realm of brasseries, imo, it is a cut well above that.

                        This wasn't the first time we've had a disappointing meal in Gramercy's dining room. While it's the only one since Michael Anthony took over the kitchen, we had three dinners over a period of years when Colicchio was in charge. None lived up to the hype and, in fact, after a mediocre tasting dinner just before Colicchio severed his ties with G.T., we vowed never to eat there again. However, when Anthony arrived, we decided to give it another chance. Actually, we ate first in the Tavern Room (twice), and the food was excellent, so we had high hopes for the dining room. When we finally made it there, sadly, those expectations were dashed, and G.T.'s dining room is now off our list.

                        As you said, G.T. isn't exactly inexpensive. For the same money, we can go directly across the street to Veritas and have a sensational meal. Come to think of it, since the arrival of Chef Gregory Pugin last summer, Veritas seems to be traveliing under the culinary radar. Thus, it probably belongs on underrated thread.

                        1. re: RGR

                          i haven't been to veritas. i'll have to put that on my list

                  2. REMOVE:
                    Asia de Cuba
                    Butter
                    Geisha
                    Gilt
                    Del Frisco's

                    KEEP:
                    Balthazar
                    Le Bernardin
                    Sugiyama
                    Gramercy tavern

                    AMBIVALENT:
                    ViceVersa
                    Union Square Café
                    DB Bistro Moderne
                    Bann
                    Pepolino
                    Ouest

                    1. From your list I would go with Le Bernadin,Gramercy Tavern,Balthazar and Pepolino.