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October 2009 Trip Research Thread

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Hey Manhattan CH’ers – I’ve historically eaten extremely well just reading the board discussions without asking for additional input, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to get some help prioritizing/refining my itinerary this time. Coming back for a 9-day trip in October – feeling a little restless. Looking mostly for places new to me this time. I have a strong affinity for quirky, personal places (Prune, Perilla, Degustation, Momofuku Ssam), and a deep love of all things carb. No price range (although I’ve recently found myself eschewing the high end for super-cheap soulful, and creative mid-range.)

One specific question – I’ll need one dinner between NYU Med and Grand Central – under $70 with tax and tip, no drink – I was thinking about Da Ciro (haven’t been in years, but the focaccia robiola was a special treat for me when I was young and broke), and Ali Baba. Any other suggestions for the area?

East Village and Midtown East recs in general are welcome - in the last few years, a lot of my friends have moved either to Brooklyn, or out of NYC entirely, so access to Grand Central or Brooklyn-bound trains has become more of a priority when planning meals...

Have reservations for:
Sushi Yasuda
Aldea
Graffiti
Perbacco

Planning to return to:
M. Ssam
Lupa
Absolute Bagel
Kee’s Chocolates

Definitely want to go to:
Keste
Taam Tov
Azuri Café
M. Milk Bar
M. Ko

Considering:
Corton
Matsugen
Onya
EMP
Halal Cart
Obiko
Kyo Ya

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  1. Daveena! So glad you're coming back! Let me see if I can pull up your past trip reports so that we don't repeat anything.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/565948
    Spotted Pig
    Little Owl
    Perilla
    Patisserie Claude
    p*ong
    City Bakery
    Taralluci e Vino
    Murray's Bagels
    Cookshop
    Kee's
    Grandaisy
    Balthazar Bakery
    Lupa
    Babbo
    Doughnut Plant
    Kossar's
    Katz's
    Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodle
    Degustation
    Otafuku
    Momofuku Ssam Bar
    Ippudo
    Setagaya
    Caracas Arepas Bar
    Abraco
    Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Truck
    Petrossian
    Alice's Tea Cup
    Absolute Bagel
    Casa Mono
    Sushi Yasuda
    Kyotofu
    Macelleria

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/522185
    Day 1: Sook
    Day 2: Barney Greengrass, Madeleine, Casa Mono, Tarallucci e Vino, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Tailor
    Day 3: Jean-Georges, Patisserie-Claude, Sushi Yasuda
    Day 4: Katz’s, Cupcake Café, Peking Duck House
    Day 5: Grandaisy (UWS), Le Bernardin, Bar Boulud
    Day 6: Ali Baba, Degustation

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/393597
    Day 1: Alouette
    Day 2: Pongal, Degustation, Prune
    Day 3: Landmarc, WD-50
    Day 4: Lupa, Sushi Yasuda
    Day 5: DiFara, Lupa (again), Degustation (again), Momofuku Ssam Bar, Room 4 Dessert

    Did I miss anything?

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Ha ha! You're the best. I was going to link to those old threads, but couldn't find them. I bow to your Chowhound Search-fu and/or your extraordinary record keeping.

      That's pretty much it for the last three years - I guess I must have missed a few - from your list below, I've been to Tailor, Chickalicious (but not the Dessert Bar, so will add that to the list), Otto, and La Maison. I think my 1998-2002 eats are sufficiently out of date that they probably don't count any more.

      How do you think Bespoke compares to Kee's?

      Is Stumptown your current top pick for espresso?

      Locanda Verde for breakfast, going on the list. I hadn't realized they had a pastry bar - thanks!

      Do you know how Taim compares to Azuri Cafe?

      Thanks for the Txikito rec - I got a little overwhelmed by all the recent tapas recs, and ended up dropping tapas entirely. Putting Txikito back on the list.

      Also - as you seem to be the cocktail guru as well - do you have any particular favorites for gin-based cocktails? I esp love herbal ones, but any citrus ones make me pretty happy too.

      1. re: daveena

        I think Bespoke is excellent but much smaller selection than Kee's. Kee's stuff is also a bit more straightforward. Both are run by super nice ladies who put a LOT of effort into hand making things fresh, which puts them ahead in the game for me.

        Stumptown and Abraco are in the top for me, although I'm more of a drip coffee drinker lately.

        Never been to Azuri sadly. I tried going on a Fri night at 11pm a few weeks ago, only to realize they had already closed. Drat!

        I love Degustation and Casa Mono, so that's why I recommended it -- I like Txikito a lot (although it's a bit overpriced). It's Basque style, which isn't super common in NY anyway.

        If Tailor is still around I'd hit it up before they disappear, especially for cocktails.

        For cocktails -- have you been to Death & Co, Pegu Club, Milk & Honey?

        1. re: kathryn

          Haven't been to any of the upscale cocktail places - Death & Co seems to be the only one with an online menu - there's plenty there alone to keep me busy. Thx!

          1. re: daveena

            D&C's online menu is probably old and out of date. Pegu Club doesn't have an online menu... and Milk & Honey is "Bartender's Choice" really -- you give them parameters and they recommend a drink. But I highly recommend all three.

    2. I'd recommend Tailor (assuming it's still around, gah), Txikito, the new Stumptown, maybe the new Cupcake Truck, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Chikalicious / Chikalicious Dessert Bar, Locanda Verde (esp. baked goods), gelato/pastas at Otto, Szechuan Gourmet, maybe Rhong Tiam, Motorino EV (old Una Pizza space), La Maison du Chocolat, Bespoke Chocolates. Maybe Sushi Azabu or Ushiwakamaru? Taim? The new DBGB?

      Oh, and one of the Van Leeuwen trucks now has an espresso machine and does affogato!

      1. If you;re going to hit Brooklyn I can't urge you strongly enough to try Al Di La - really exceptional and one of my all-time NY favorites.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ann900

          Thanks Ann - Al Di La has been on my to-try list forever, and I somehow have never made it. Am going to try to make it there this time.