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Your 2010 "Must Try" List

s
steakrules85 Jan 8, 2010 11:22 AM

OK so we are now officially into 2010 so it is time to look ahead to another great year of eating out in NYC!!!! Yeah Baby!

2009 was a great year for me and I was priveleged to hit a lot of my "must try" spots. These included Craft, Babbo, Daniel, Gotham Bar and Grill, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Modern Bar Room, Minetta Tavern, Del Posto, Old Homestead, BLT Steak, Strip House, Quality Meats., Momofuku Ssam Bar and more! Some lived up to expectations, some exceeded, some fell flat. But this is why we try them....

Now onto 2010... I thought it would be fun for everyone to share what spots are on their "Must Try 2k10" list. I have come up with a bunch off the top of my head but there really are so many. Here is my preliminary list and I am looking forward to seeing everyone else's too!!

Steakhouses- Wolfgang's, Ben and Jack's, Sparks ( even though they don't serve bone-in I must see how they stack up to make my steakhouse rankings completed), Mark Joseph

Italian- Convivio, Scarpetta, Alto, Maialino, Il Mulino, Locanda Verde, Lupa, Otto, A Voce, Peasant, Marea, Max, Hearth, Apizz, Inoteca, Felidia, Esca, Dell'Anima, Bellavitae

French- Per Se, Jean Georges, Bouley, Le Bernardin, Adour, La Grenouille, Veritas, SHO Shaun H, Cafe Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne, Nougatine, Picholine

French (Bistro)- Balthazar, Artisanal

American (fine dining)- Aureole, Blue Hill, Dovetail, BLT Market, David Burke Townhouse, Telepan, Tocqueville, Union Square Cafe

American (mid-level, gastropubs,etc)- Little Owl, Commerce, Blue Ribbon, Spotted Pig, Perilla, Prune, Momofuku Noodle (Fried chicken dinner only)

BBQ- Daisy May's, Hill Country, Dinosaur

Portugese- Aldea

Pizza- Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, Artichoke, Luzzo's, Totonno's, Co., Keste, Franny's, Bleecker Street Pizza, Lucali, Nick's

Spanish/Latin/Cuban- Casa Mono, Boqueria, Caracas Arepas Bar, Cafecito, Asia de Cuba, Mama Mexico, Pampano, Toloache, Soccarat

Burgers- Corner Bistro, Black Iron, BLT Burger, Stand

Chinese- Amazing 66, Congee Village, NY Noodletown, Joe's Shanghai

Brunch- Norma's, Freeman's, Permanent Brunch, Cookshop, Pastis, Morandi, Veselka

German - Heidelberg (Pork shank babe)

Eclectic- Fatt Crab, Stanton Social, Wd-50

Rest of the Pack- Pommes Frites, Katz, Defonte's, Porchetta, Mary's Fish Camp

Soul Food- Sylvia's, Miss Mamie, Char No. 4

Desserts and such- Chickalicious, Max Brenner ( I know), Cafe Sabarsky, Veniero's, Ferrara's, Rocco's, Chinatown Ice Cream Factoy, Laboratorio del Gelato, Grom, Serendipity 3 (I know)

Brooklyn- Diner, Dressler, Dumont, Marlow and Sons, Brennan and Carr, Al Di La, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, Egg

This is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG! I know I am nuts but once I started I could not stop. Definitely forgetting tons and I am sure a lot do not even belong on the list or should warrant a visit. But hey let's see your lists guys.

  1. a
    AriB Jun 21, 2010 06:42 PM

    Here's to hoping I make a serious dent in this list!

    Al Di La
    Aureole
    Bar Boulud
    Blue Hill at Stone Barns
    Blue Ribbon Bakery
    Bouley
    Burger Joint
    Co.
    Corner Bistro
    Craft
    DBGB
    Fatty Cue
    Gilt
    Gramercy Tavern
    Great NY Noodle Town
    Grocery
    Henry's End
    'inoteca
    Le Bernardin
    The Little Owl
    Luke's Lobster
    Ma Peche
    Marea
    The Mermaid Inn
    Mientta Tavern
    Mosutache
    Perry St
    Peter Luger (only had a burger there)
    Prune
    Shopsins
    Sushi Yasuda
    Tabla
    Telepan
    This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef
    WD-50

    1. m
      maxmack13 May 9, 2010 08:39 PM

      So far this year, I have eaten at a few on my list including The Spotted Pig, Locande Verde, Ouest, Picholine, The Breslin, Mesa Grill, Colicchio and Sons, Motorino, and Norma's for brunch. Still on the list...

      Prune
      Scarpetta
      Daniel
      DBGB
      Eleven Madison Park
      Torrisi Italian Specialties
      Momofuku Ssam
      Saltie
      Num Pang
      Faustina
      Franny's
      Saltie
      Franny's
      El Quinto Pino
      Otto
      Le Bernardin
      Gramercy Tavern
      Babbo
      The Little Owl
      Buddakan
      Barbuto
      Calexica Cart
      Telepan
      PDT
      Del Posto
      Sushi Yasuda
      La Grenouille
      Bierkraft
      Buttermilk Channel
      WD~50
      X'ian Famous Foods
      Blue Hill NYC (Blue Hill at Stone Barns was best meal I have ever eaten)
      Convivio
      Degustation
      Ma Peche
      Hearth
      Dovetail

      Hmm... The list is definitely longer than I even realized. Not sure I can afford to get to all of these, so I am definitely going to be looking to create a list of less expensive options...

      -----
      Eleven Madison Park
      11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

      Gramercy Tavern
      42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

      Babbo
      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

      Blue Hill
      75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

      Buddakan
      75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

      Sushi Yasuda
      204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

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

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

      Telepan
      72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

      Le Bernardin
      155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

      Little Owl
      90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

      El Quinto Pino
      401 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011

      Mesa Grill
      102 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011

      Ouest
      2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

      Picholine
      35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

      La Grenouille
      3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

      Scarpetta
      355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

      Convivio
      45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

      Num Pang Sandwich Shop
      21 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

      DBGB
      299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

      The Breslin
      20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

      Ma Peche
      15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

      Torrisi Italian Specialties
      250 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

      Motorino
      349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

      1. t
        tocon May 9, 2010 07:48 PM

        Boqueria's churros was not good at ALL. It's acceptable for people that don't know better - no comparison to the ones in Barcelona. It's a rip-off, very disappointed and a turn-off.

        -----
        Boqueria
        53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

        1. s
          steakrules85 May 5, 2010 07:22 PM

          OK a few more to scratch off the list= Il Mulino, Oceana, Alto. Loved them all,

          -----
          Il Mulino
          86 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012

          Oceana
          120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

          18 Replies
          1. re: steakrules85
            daffyduck May 7, 2010 07:02 AM

            great, how was alto compared to convivio?

            1. re: daffyduck
              s
              steakrules85 May 7, 2010 08:34 AM

              Daffy,

              I must say that I really loved both. Michael White is really doing some special things in the kitchen. Now all I have to do is get to Marea to complete the NYC trifecta for him.

              I found a lot of similarites between the two. You get 4 courses at both with the prix fixe, but Convivio is cheaper. As far as cost goes, I do not know if Alto's food quality outshined Convivio to justify the higher price. I found the decor and atmosphere more to my liking Convivio. Convivio had beautiful red booths and was brighter. Alto was smaller and quieter but still a very nice restaurant. I think Alto would appeal to an older crowd. While both had incredible service, I think Alto's was a tad more attentive and refined- but then again that could be subjective based upon the waiters that I got at both. I thought my waiter at Alto was superior to Convivio, however the other staff members (the bus boys, bread server, etc.) were equally accomodating.

              As for the food you cannot go wrong at either. I liked that Alto gave you a few more bread choices. The focaccia was delicious. At Alto they also provided a free amuse buche (again they are charging $84 as opposed to $62). Also, since I got the veal chop I had to pay a $12 supplement which irks me. As for the "battle of the appetizers" I thought the scallops at Alto were some of the best I ever had and I would give a slight edge to them over the quail at Convivio. The pastas at both were delicious, but I will give a slight edge to Convivio's malloreddus with crab and sea urchin over Alto's pappardelle with braised lamb. The entrees were a tie for me- the duck I had at Convivio and the Veal Chop I had at Alto were equally extraordinary!

              For dessert, I enjoyed the affogato at Convivio over the torrone at Alto. So you see it is kind of like a back and forth battle between the two. Can't go wrong at either and I will be back to each without question to sample more of their cuisine.

              -----
              Convivio
              45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

              Marea
              240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

              1. re: steakrules85
                r
                RGR May 7, 2010 10:14 AM

                steak,

                You did an A+ job with what is called in English composition "comparison and contrast"! :)

                True, that supplement for the veal chop on the prix fixe is irksome. (Mr. R ordered it when we were there last time but a la carte @ $42.) But, hey, EMP has supplements for the foie gras and the lobster on the dinner menu, and they're charging $95 for three courses.

                Photo of the veal chop: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                Glad to hear you found the service at Alto to be excellent. We had one major service issue -- our water glasses were not refilled. Unacceptable for a 2-star Michelin/3-star "NY Times" restaurant.

                With regard to the ambiance, the rear dining room which has a very tall ceiling and is surrounding by glass walled wine racks is very noisy. So, I presume you were seated in one of the two much quieter rooms?

                In addition to Marea, it looks as though you will have two other Michael White restaurants to check out in the not-too-distant-future -- one downtown and another in the new Midtown Setai Hotel.

                1. re: RGR
                  a
                  a213b May 7, 2010 12:18 PM

                  My biggest problem with Alto is that, while great, we were RACED through our meal.

                  Both of us agreed it was one of the most poorly timed meals we've had. I think we were in and out in an hour and a half, which is not lightning quick 'til one recalls we did not order for the first half hour.

                  1. re: a213b
                    r
                    RGR May 7, 2010 12:59 PM

                    Was that for four courses? And what was going on during the first half hour? Were you being ignored?

                    We've been to Alto twice, had three courses each time, and didn't feel rushed either time.

                    An hour and a half is, I think, pretty normal for two people having three courses in most restaurants -- presuming diners are not lingering long over cocktails, and the order is taken with alacrity. More likely two hours or even a bit longer in an upscale restaurant where there are hors d'oeuvres, amuses, pre-desserts, and mignardises.

                    We just had a superb dinner in The Modern Dining Room. We were seated promptly for our 9:30 p.m. reservation, our 3-course meal was correctly paced, and we were finished a few minutes after midnight.

                    Photos of our dinner in The Modern Dining Room: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                    1. re: RGR
                      a
                      a213b May 8, 2010 06:14 AM

                      We were not ignored, per se, but we waited interminably with our menus closed and on the table before our server finally came and took our order. And from that point on, it was like the Kentucky Derby.

                      I double checked with my wife, and she told me I was out of my mind if I though we were there any longer than an hour and 15 minutes, TOPS. That means a 3 course meal (including dropping the dessert menus and giving us time to look over them) took at the MOST 45 minutes.

                      Not acceptable.

                      But I will say the food was damn good!

                      1. re: a213b
                        r
                        RGR May 8, 2010 08:01 AM

                        "...we waited interminably with our menus closed...before our server finally came and took our order."

                        That sounds to me like being ignored. Period. In all, definitely unacceptable service, especially for a Michelin 2-star/"NY Times" 3-star!

                        Excellent cuisine but totally unacceptable service is precisely how we felt during our last experience at Daniel in Oct. '07. Service completely deteriorated with several glaring faults during the second half of our dinner because they were obviously intent on turning our table. And Daniel is a Michelin 3-star/"NY Times" 4-star! Plus, it received the JBA for Best Service in '09 and Best Restaurant for 2010. Needless to say, I do not agree!

                        Tomorrow being your departure day, a213b, I bid you "Au revoir!" It's always a pleasure reading your posts and comparing notes on our dining experiences. I hope you and Mrs. a213b will be back in August so that we can make good on that EMP meet-up. :)

                        Edited to correct the date of our Daniel dinner.

                        1. re: RGR
                          a
                          a213b May 8, 2010 09:04 AM

                          Definitely!

                          Also, with respect to Daniel, we ate there last Fall and had a really fabulous meal. Service was not the same as EMP, mind you, but there's really nowhere else that is. It was much akin to the service at Per Se, and we had no problems with our pacing/service/wine etc ... granted, we went at 8:45 or 9, so I don't think there was a possible table turn to consider.

                          Point being, it was really enjoyable, and while I would not tell you to put it at the top of your list, I would urge you to try it once more; unless you're not going to for the principle of it, which I understand.

                          We've had another lovely stay in NYC, and we're looking forward to returning soon ... and we'll definitely have to have a CH meetup!

                          1. re: a213b
                            r
                            RGR May 8, 2010 09:24 AM

                            If not for the fact that we've been to Daniel twice before and had extraordinarily fine service both times, we probably would never go back.

                            We did go ahead and have a cocktail wedding reception for our daughter and son-in-law in the Bellcour at Daniel in late June '08, after they came back from their honeymoon in Japan. Private functions at Daniel are a totally separate operation from public dining, including a separate kitchen. (The wedding ceremony, which was private, took place in early May, followed by a wedding dinner for the immediate families -- 8 of us -- at EMP.)

                            We will have dinner again at Daniel at some point, but the reservation will be midweek and later in the evening, i.e., after 9 or later, when there will be no chance that they can turn the table.

                            Looking forward to meeting you in person when you return. :)

                            1. re: a213b
                              daffyduck May 8, 2010 10:37 AM

                              i dont fine dine as often as many of you guys. but by far the meal with the best service i ever had was at le bernadin.

                              1. re: daffyduck
                                r
                                RGR May 8, 2010 12:19 PM

                                The first time we went to Le Bernardin more than 10 years ago, the service was so icy, they could have shut down the a.c. (It was a hot June evening.) Last year, I was finally convinced to go again. The service at the table had "warmed up" from icy to reserved. Not that servers have to fall all over me, but I do prefer service that is more "approachable." What most definitely had not changed was the demeanor of the reception desk personnel. Not one scintilla of warmth or graciousness. Very unwelcoming.

                  2. re: steakrules85
                    daffyduck May 7, 2010 11:33 AM

                    thanks alot for the comparison steak! marea's menu actually interests me the most out of the 3. the main reason i wanted to go to alto was because of the torrone which seriouseats made sound like the greatest dessert ever lol http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/0...
                    im graduating this friday so my parents will probably treat me to a place of my choosing. ill probably do marea since they have an affogato and you think it beats the torrone. ill probably like the afforgato more too since gelato is my favorite food.

                    1. re: daffyduck
                      r
                      RGR May 7, 2010 11:39 AM

                      The affogato at Marea was seriously delicious! They have a torrone on the dessert menu though I think it's different from the one at Alto. (I haven't had either one.)

                      Marea photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                      Congratulations on graduating, dd!

                      1. re: RGR
                        s
                        steakrules85 May 7, 2010 01:26 PM

                        Thanks for the props RGR and daffyduck. In regards to the pace of the meal, I felt it was just right. There was a nice 8-10 minute lag between each course and then did not rush me in the least. I was in and out in 2 hours.

                        I actually did sit in the area with the high celings. The wanted to seat me closer to the door but I requested to sit in the "wine room". Even so, it was rather quiet. But a cool atmosphere. Just very dark. As a matter of fact, the two elderly people sitting next to me were complaining that they couldn't read the menu so I gave them my candle! AHAA.

                        In regards to the torrone, I was really looking forward to it because of the raves and the pictures of it looked terrific. While it was a perfectly fine dessert, it was far from a mindblower. I actually think the chocolate sauce was unnecessary but the actually nougat semifreddo and hazlenut crunch on the bottom were delicious.

                        The affogato at Conivivio though? One of the best desserts I have had and it deserves a special recommendaton.

                        1. re: steakrules85
                          r
                          rrems May 7, 2010 03:27 PM

                          steak,

                          Next time you go to Convivio try the budino for dessert. I hadn't had it in a while as I usually have the affogato, but they gave us one as a freebie last week, and I ended up eating it all in addition to the affogato, combining bites of both which made it even better.

                          -----
                          Convivio
                          45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

                          1. re: rrems
                            s
                            steakrules85 May 7, 2010 06:22 PM

                            Yes definitely on my to try list rrems.

                        2. re: RGR
                          uhockey May 8, 2010 08:23 AM

                          The Torrone at each of the White enterprises is indeed different - I asked. I had the one at Alto and it was excellent (pics in the review in my blog) but it was nowhere near as impressive as that darned Budino at Convivo - wowsers.

                          1. re: uhockey
                            s
                            steakrules85 May 8, 2010 12:10 PM

                            Yes they are indeed different and when I go to marea I plan on ordering the torrone for comparison. Check the pics below:

                            Alto's- http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathyylchan/3468626522/in/set-72157617129955091/

                            Marea's version- http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrispy_...

                            Alto's torrone is more of a semifreddo, where the one Marea is putting out looks like an ice cream sandwich of sorts. Very interested in having that ice cream sandwich!!!

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

                2. b
                  bronwen May 5, 2010 10:47 AM

                  My list is Sammy's Roumanian, Rao's, Pastis, Le Relais de Venise and BABBO's (can't believe I haven't been to the latter!)

                  -----
                  Sammy's Roumanian
                  157 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

                  1. c
                    chewbie Mar 25, 2010 06:27 PM

                    Marea
                    Degustation
                    Table at Brooklyn Fare (again)
                    Minetta Tavern

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

                    Marea
                    240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                    1. s
                      steakrules85 Mar 24, 2010 03:55 PM

                      Went to Maialino on Monday and it was fantastic. Full review coming soon.

                      -----
                      Maialino
                      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                      1. bigjeff Mar 24, 2010 10:00 AM

                        it's not my own list, but I found New York Magazine's list to be pretty good:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/695766

                        1. daffyduck Mar 23, 2010 02:51 PM

                          dude add degustation to that list. and do the 10 course meal. madre de dios, u will not regret it.

                          1. a
                            a213b Mar 21, 2010 04:47 PM

                            Great thread Steak!

                            My wife and I were so fortunate to have two separate "work trips" last year in which to enjoy some of the amazing food in our old home. We managed to make it to all of the following, many more than once:

                            Aldea
                            Alto
                            Amy’s Bread
                            Apizz
                            Artichoke
                            Arturo’s
                            Babbo
                            Back Forty
                            Balthazar
                            Bar Boulud
                            Biryani Cart
                            Blue Hill
                            Bouchon Bakery
                            Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
                            Burger Joint
                            Butter Lane
                            Caracas Arepa Bar
                            Chikalicious
                            City Bakery
                            Clinton St. Bakery
                            Co.
                            Commerce
                            Convivio
                            Crif Dogs
                            Cupcake Stop
                            Daniel
                            Degustation
                            Dessert Truck
                            Difara
                            Dinosaur BBQ
                            Doughnut Plant
                            Dovetail
                            Egg
                            Eleven Madison Park
                            Empanada Mama
                            Fat Witch Bakery
                            Five Napkin Burger
                            Five Points
                            Frankie & Johnnies
                            Gramercy Tavern
                            Grand Sichuan
                            Grimaldi’s
                            Grom Gelato
                            Halal Cart
                            Hallo Berlin
                            Il Laboratorio del Gelato
                            Ippudo
                            Irving Mill
                            Jacques Torres
                            Jamaican Dutchy
                            Jean Georges
                            John’s of Bleecker
                            Katz’s Deli
                            Keens
                            Keste
                            Kyotofu
                            La Maison
                            Lazarras Pizza
                            Locanda Verde
                            Lombardi’s
                            Lupa
                            Magnolia Bakery
                            MarieBelle
                            Massawa
                            Minetta Tavern
                            Momofuku Ko
                            Momofuku Milk Bakery
                            Momofuku Noodle Bar
                            Momofuku Ssam Bar
                            Motorino
                            Otto Pizzeria
                            Patsy’s Pizzeria
                            Per Se
                            Pierre Marcolini
                            Pinisi
                            Pommes Frites
                            Popover Cafe
                            Rahman’s Kwik Meal Cart
                            Rice to Riches
                            S’MAC
                            Sarabeth’s
                            Saravanaas
                            Scarpetta
                            Schnitzel & Things
                            SD-26
                            Shake Shack
                            SHO Shaun Hergatt
                            Shopsins
                            Socarrat Paella Bar
                            Sugar Cake Bakery
                            Sugar Sweet Sunshine
                            Sweet Revenge
                            Telepan
                            The Little Owl
                            The Redhead
                            The Spotted Pig
                            The Stanton Social
                            Two Little Red Hens
                            Una Pizza Napolitano
                            Van Leeuwen
                            Waffles & Dinges
                            WD-50
                            Wichcraft
                            Zabar’s

                            That beind said, it's 2010 and we're coming back next week for another 6 weeks, so aside from revisiting some/many of our favorites, here are a few of the places we're looking forward to trying:

                            A Voce
                            ABC Kitchen
                            Abraco
                            Al Di La
                            Apotheke
                            Barney Greengrass
                            Bouley
                            Corner Bistro
                            Corton
                            Cru
                            DBGB
                            Decibel
                            Eighty One
                            Freemans
                            Gruppos
                            Hearth
                            Hell’s Kitchen
                            ‘inoteca
                            La Grenouille
                            Le Bernardin
                            Lucalis
                            Luzzo’s
                            Ma Peche
                            Maialino
                            Matsugen
                            Milk & Honey
                            Olana
                            Ouest
                            Pegu
                            Perbacco
                            Picholine
                            Prune
                            Pulino
                            Quality Meats
                            Smith & Mills
                            Soba Ya
                            Spot
                            Sripraphai
                            Strip House
                            Terrior
                            The Bar Room at the Modern
                            The Standard Grill
                            Tocqueville
                            Totonnos
                            Ward III
                            West Branch

                            ... but I'm sure there're some we're missing!

                            1. s
                              steakrules85 Feb 22, 2010 09:40 AM

                              Since posting this I had the pleasure of eating at Convivio. Review is here for any who would like to see..http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/689412. Long but hopefully a good and entertaining read if you want to kill time.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: steakrules85
                                h
                                heWho Feb 23, 2010 02:08 PM

                                Hey steak, the link is broken!

                                1. re: heWho
                                  s
                                  steakrules85 Feb 23, 2010 03:39 PM

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/689412 Try this.

                              2. c
                                chocokitty Jan 24, 2010 07:07 AM

                                My list of places I want to go:

                                Maialano
                                Convivio
                                Scarpetta
                                Locanda Verde (had lunch but wanted to try again)
                                Blue Ribbon (been meaning to go for years but haven't for some reason)
                                Lupa
                                Peasant
                                Esca
                                Dell'Anima
                                Keste pizza
                                Soccarat
                                Corner Bistro
                                Amazing 66
                                Per Se
                                15 East (I want their tuna flight)
                                Daniel
                                Cafe Boulud (haven't eaten after the renovation)
                                Del Posto (ditto; heard it's better now)
                                La Grenouille
                                Adour Alain Ducasse
                                An Choi
                                Annisa (hope Anita Lo will reopen soon)
                                Chikalicious
                                ...and many others
                                Want to revisit:
                                Cafe Sabarsky
                                Prune

                                Tina
                                http://thewanderingeater.com/

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: chocokitty
                                  s
                                  steakrules85 Jan 24, 2010 08:09 AM

                                  Thanks chocokitty. Awesome info as usual from you!

                                  1. re: steakrules85
                                    w
                                    wreckers00 Feb 2, 2010 08:41 AM

                                    My short list--

                                    EMP (going soon)
                                    Le Bernardin
                                    Corton
                                    Momofoku Empire
                                    w-d 50
                                    Marea
                                    The Modern (tasting menu)
                                    Babbo (pasta tasting)

                                2. c
                                  chocokitty Jan 24, 2010 06:42 AM

                                  Steak,

                                  Here's some input for some places you wanted to go that I've been to:

                                  SHO Shaun Hergatt - Just went there the past Friday for lunch and thought it was pretty good. The service was prompt and not overbearing. The only thing that bugged me was that the person who kept refilling my glass keeps standing behind me and refill it (granted, my seat was along the windows so my right isn't free). The food, I ordered from the prix fixe, reminds me vaguely of Jean Georges' cooking from the Asian influences with the French technique. Nothing grossly buttery or rich and everything was cooked spot on. The dessert I had named "Chocolate and Jasmine Inspiration" was amazing. It's the most memorable thing I ate for that entire meal. A mellifluous harmony of creamy textures, crispness from the tempered chocolate and hazelnut chocolate disc that surrounded the jasmine infused cream. That was a revelation.

                                  Aureole - I went there probably around the first or second week of opening for lunch at their Dining Room, taking advantage of their pre-grand opening discount. The food wasn't particularly inspiring but it was enjoyable. The service was attentive and friendly.

                                  Little Owl - I went there to lunch two times and enjoyed it thoroughly. It's a small space but comfortable. You must get the meatball sliders (something about the garlicy buns that's makes it so unforgettable) and the burger.

                                  Casa Mono - Get a seat at the bar, order the razor clams, their housemade chorizo, chopitos, ...Frankly, you can't go wrong with their food here. Except I'm not a fan of their cock's combs. I found it too gelatinous for my preference even though it doesn't taste bad.

                                  Fatty Crab - I did like their tea sandwiches, pork buns (moderately fatty compared to Momofuku's but not as lean as Ippudo), and their chili crab (the sauce this crustacean is cooked in is bread mopping worthy).

                                  WD-50 - Some savory courses were hits and some were misses. The desserts never failed me so far.

                                  All gelati places:
                                  il laboratorio del gelato - I haven't been in a few years but I never loved it as some do. I remembered I did like their unusual flavors.
                                  Grom - Pricey but very dreamy texture. I loved their pistachio gelato.
                                  L'Arte del Gelato - This is my dependable source to get gelato since it's not terribly expensive and it tastes very good.
                                  (The place that has my gelato-lovin' heart is Otto.)

                                  Tina
                                  http://thewanderingeater.com/

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: chocokitty
                                    daffyduck Jan 24, 2010 03:11 PM

                                    I totally agree about the cock's comb. sometimes the waffle and dinges truck is by christopher street. I suggest going to L'Art del Gelato and then going across the street to get a waffle. Last time I had a Liege wafel with nutella banana and I added banana gelato from L'Art del gelaro. it was awesome. Also this may just be me, but I didn't think the spekulos topping was any good.
                                    Also if you're ever in Queens I highly recommend a patacon. It is your choice of meat with fried cheese, tangy mayo sauce, lettuce and tomatoe all piled between 2 huge, fried\flattened plantain.
                                    http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/x7Y30Y...
                                    my favorite one is the pork one.

                                    1. re: daffyduck
                                      c
                                      chocokitty Jan 24, 2010 04:07 PM

                                      Holy shizz, I want that patacón.

                                      Even though this question is for the "Outer Boroughs" board, what else do you suggest eating around there? I'm thinking of fooding out with a couple of friends if it works out...

                                      Thanks, daffyduck!

                                      1. re: chocokitty
                                        daffyduck Jan 24, 2010 04:58 PM

                                        I use to live right around there, I honestly think it is a true food mecca.
                                        Besides the patacon, Jackson heights/elmhurst does indian food really well.
                                        I highly recommend Delhi heights. My favorite dishes there are the chicken makhani (best I've had), sag paneer, and manchuarian cauliflower. If you go there do not order biryanis, they are weaker at these. For biryani I prefer a place called Kababish, it is a hole in the wall take out place though but they also have killer kebabs and curries. If you're there early in the afternoon many indian restaurnats have buffets. All the restaurants that have buffets will allow you to see the items they are serving. The items vary from day to day so I would check all the restaurants you can find before choosing one, my best experiences with buffets have been from Delhi Heights. Delhi Palace, and Jackson Diner. There are also cool stores in the area to check out like the Patel Brothers which is a grocery store that have many hard to find items. There are also a lot of Indian pastry shops, my favorite indian desserts are kulfi and gulab jamun. I believe the big avenue with all the indian places is 37th avenue it is near the 74th street roosevelt avenue train station.
                                        Also in the area is Sripraphai (thai food) and Spicy Mina (authentic bengali). But they are further down near 64th street and roosevelt avenue. People really love Sripraphai, I've only been there twice but was not really that wowed. I think other thai places in the area are just as good BUT I'm not an expert on thai food and do not eat it frequently.
                                        If you go the other direction on rooesvelt avenue (farther up around the 80s) there is a lot of authentic latin food like taco stands and bakeries. I haven't had a bad taco at any of the stands.
                                        For asian food there is a viet place on broadway and one on grand avenue, a joe's shanghai, and some korean and thai places. Except for the Thai places I don't think any of them are better than places in manhattan.
                                        For street food there is Sammy's halal cart, but I haven't tried the carts from 53rd and 6th so he might not be any better. BUT there is an arepa lady that comes out at night. lol From my memory she comes out around 10pm between 78th and 79th street. I like her arepa con queso best.

                                  2. crazyspice Jan 23, 2010 06:22 AM

                                    This is fabulous! We are coming to Manhattan this spring and This thread is incredibly helpful. Thank you!

                                    1. k
                                      kellymoliver Jan 22, 2010 11:56 AM

                                      How come there is no category for Mexican?

                                      1. s
                                        steakrules85 Jan 22, 2010 07:04 AM

                                        I'm addin Wafels and Dinges truck also.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: steakrules85
                                          Jess321 Jan 24, 2010 08:53 AM

                                          Just tried the Wafels & Dinges truck for the first time the other night, and it was AMAZING! Get the Liege waffle, it tastes very similar to the street waffles I tried in Brussels and still dream about! Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside...mmmm. It comes with one free topping, or "dinge", and if you check out their Facebook page before heading there, you can get an extra free topping by saying the password they post daily. They also recently won against Bobby Flay in a throwdown, FWIW.

                                          -----
                                          Wafels & Dinges
                                          New York, New York, NY 10001

                                          1. re: Jess321
                                            s
                                            steakrules85 Jan 24, 2010 02:21 PM

                                            Yeah I know about TD. That is where I saw them and my mouth was watering throughout the show. Awesome. You can also get the Wafel of Massive Deliciousness which is unlimited toppings!

                                        2. h
                                          heWho Jan 21, 2010 02:10 PM

                                          Great thread! I've got a google map saved that keeps track of all the places I've been meaning to hit. Here's the short list in no particular order:

                                          Porchetta
                                          Co
                                          The Jamaican Dutchy Cart
                                          Blue Hill
                                          Little Owl
                                          Cookshop
                                          DBGB
                                          Ippudo
                                          Sigiri - Sri Lankan
                                          Pampano
                                          Awash - Ethiopian
                                          Corton
                                          Laut - Malaysian
                                          La Lucha Tacos
                                          Xian Famous Foods
                                          Balthazar (feel I need to go there at least once)
                                          Spotted Pig
                                          Keste
                                          Fatty Crab
                                          A Voce
                                          Shopsin's
                                          Locanda Verde
                                          Maialino

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: heWho
                                            financialdistrictresident Jan 24, 2010 09:59 AM

                                            heWho, one of my friends just went to Cookshop and suggested I go.

                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                              s
                                              steakrules85 Jan 24, 2010 02:22 PM

                                              I really wanna try Cookshop. I am considering going on Sunday for brunch because I heard they do a great brunch. Thinking of some other great brunch options too like Five Points, Locanda Verde (although would prefer to try for dinner one night), Balthazar, or Permanent Brunch.

                                              Anyone try Permanent Brunch? Worth it or should I go someone else for brunch??

                                              1. re: steakrules85
                                                uhockey Jan 24, 2010 02:34 PM

                                                Skip Balthazar - all hype, no substance.

                                                1. re: uhockey
                                                  k
                                                  kathryn Jan 24, 2010 03:28 PM

                                                  I really love brunch at Balthazar but it's a little more expensive than other places and they are weaker on the egg dishes. Sorry you had a less than stellar meal, uhockey. I'm surprised you say "all hype, no substance" when your own review does concede that it had good points.

                                                  1. re: kathryn
                                                    uhockey Jan 24, 2010 04:53 PM

                                                    The service and the $5 coffee?

                                                2. re: steakrules85
                                                  Ashibi Jul 2, 2010 02:19 PM

                                                  I just had a lunch at Cookshop. We started with squid fritto. They had very little batter; crispy and golden brown & Delicious! Smoked paprika aioli was nice and light. I had mussels but I was disappointed. They were steamed with beer which gave them an interesting leathery bitter flavor but not in a bad way, at least at the beginning. The mussels were plump and yummy, but the sauce was too bitter. I ended up eating just a half of the serving. Another peculiar thing that I noticed was the shells was too brittle and they kept breaking into pieces in my bowl while I was picking out the mussels.

                                                  -----
                                                  Cookshop
                                                  156 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  1. re: Ashibi
                                                    s
                                                    steakrules85 Jul 2, 2010 05:46 PM

                                                    Great pics thanks for sharing!! I wish more would add pics to their posts.

                                                    1. re: steakrules85
                                                      princeofpork Jul 2, 2010 06:16 PM

                                                      SR85, where have you been all summer? No reviews in a while whats up?"

                                                      1. re: princeofpork
                                                        s
                                                        steakrules85 Jul 3, 2010 08:42 AM

                                                        I know my man been a quite summer on the dining front for me unfortunately so far. Been very busy but I am definitely going to try to get to some more of my destination spots real soon. Keep an eye out hahaaaaaa.

                                            2. lawyerlady Jan 20, 2010 07:38 PM

                                              great list! i predict you'll gain weight this year! my list this year is all about the French--Per Se, Jean Georges, Bouley, Le Bernardin, La Grenouille, Cafe Boulud, DB Bistro Moderne...happy eating!

                                              1. shaogo Jan 14, 2010 01:58 PM

                                                Everybody wants to bash Sylvia's. I like the place, but I know I'm in the minority.

                                                I can't believe that steakrules85 hasn't yet been to Spark's. I like the place.

                                                This year, I *swear* I'm going back to La Grenouille -- places like that are an endangered species in NYC.

                                                I really want to try Maialino, Keste, and Il Mulino.

                                                We will return, after too many years, to: Le Bernardin, "21," and the Grand Central Oyster Bar.

                                                1. princeofpork Jan 14, 2010 06:40 AM

                                                  SR85-
                                                  Not a single Asian pick for all of next year? Not even Srip in Queens. I think you are missing out.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: princeofpork
                                                    s
                                                    steakrules85 Jan 14, 2010 08:36 AM

                                                    I included some Chinese spots. Again, I kind of just did this off the top of my head believe it or not and just started typing away. I will consider more.

                                                  2. financialdistrictresident Jan 14, 2010 05:16 AM

                                                    steakrules85, thanks for starting this thread. I hate to be a nit . . I believe SHO is French Asian . . .

                                                    1. daffyduck Jan 13, 2010 10:58 PM

                                                      i just ate at Babbo for the first time, I know you have eaten there. But if you have not tried it. You must try the maple cheesecake. oh mon dieu. mario batalli that fat **** really knows his food. I also really loved the bbq octupus and goat cheese tortelloni if you haven't tried. but seriously that cheesecake is bananaballs. Go to the bar there and just order it

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: daffyduck
                                                        s
                                                        steakrules85 Jan 14, 2010 05:00 AM

                                                        I love Babbo and have to get back there again real soon.

                                                        1. re: daffyduck
                                                          w
                                                          west79chiro Jan 20, 2010 01:15 PM

                                                          Best cheesecake I've ever had. I've never used the term bananaballs but it does seem appropriate in this case.

                                                          1. re: west79chiro
                                                            bermudagourmetgoddess Mar 24, 2010 07:59 AM

                                                            Babbo is fandamntasic! the BBQ Octopus was amazing as was the Sweetbreads!!

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

                                                        2. ChefJune Jan 13, 2010 06:31 AM

                                                          I thought you were talking about places you've never dined before when you said "try." Have you really NEVER been to any of the places on that looooooooong list?

                                                          If you like msg in your food, you will LOVE Sylvia's. I can't eat that food at all. Cafe Sabarsky is waaaaaay more than desserts.

                                                          Places I've never been but want to try this year: Aldea, Scarpetta, Corton, Perilla, any of the Momofuku's, Eighty-One, Salumeria Rosi.

                                                          Places I haven't been back to in way too long: La Grenouille, Le Bernardin, Blue Hill

                                                          1. p
                                                            Pookipichu Jan 13, 2010 12:18 AM

                                                            To add to your list...

                                                            Chinese - Hunan House - The only authentic Hunan restaurant in New York and possibly the best Hunan chef in the US. Lacks the polish of an upscale establishment but if you gave this chef the ambiance of a Manhattan white-glove restaurant, berkshire pork and some heritage blue foot chickens, you'd have a multi-star establishment. His understanding of flavor and heat is just that good.

                                                            Nan Shan Xiao Long Bao - Superior soup dumplings to Joe's Shanghai. Excellent beef noodle soup. The noodles are ropey and toothsome in a most satisfying way.

                                                            Soul Food - Charles Fried Chicken puts Sylvia's to shame. There is no comparison. Sylvia is a tourist trap on the level of Junior's in Brooklyn. You'd be better served going to Applebee's.

                                                            Burger - Burger Joint - Better than Corner Bistro and without the stench.

                                                            Barbecue - Smoke Joint - MUCH better than Dinosaur BBQ, Hill Country and Daisy Mae's. Dinosaur BBQ is mediocre, the sides at Hill Country are just disgusting. No exaggeration the sides are DISGUSTING. I think the deviled eggs I ordered had "turned". Daisy Mae's is overpriced. Smoke Joint has off nights but is consistently better than all three and has decent sides.

                                                            Fette Sau - Rivals Smoke Joint but has lousy sides. Has some eclectic barbecue choices that you won't see elsewhere, e.g. lamb ribs.

                                                            Thai - Sripraphai - The best green mango salad with crispy catfish outside of Thailand. There is no other. Sripraphai is THE Thai restaurant. Sure their pad thai is meh, but no place is perfect. It will be the most authentic Thai food you could experience in NYC.

                                                            Indian - Southern Spice - A gem of regional Indian cooking. The authenticity of the flavors is what should compel you. You have not tasted Indian food until you've tasted Indian food in an ethnic ghetto. Indian food in Manhattan is universally tempered for Western palates. Their chicken 65 is aggressively spiced and a bold signature dish.

                                                            Greek - Helios - Probably the best home-style Greek restaurant in the boroughs. Better than the woefully overrated Taverna Kyclades. The ambiance is lacking, the service is wonderfully cheerful and warm but distracted and slow, they are often out of menu items... That being said, you just can't find Greek food as good as this in Astoria. I've tried all the big names in Astoria and they just don't hold a candle.

                                                            Chocolate - Kee's Chocolate - It makes Max Brenner taste like a box of Russell Stovers that have been congealing in a Walmart for a year. If you like chocolates, don't walk, run. They sell out by afternoon.

                                                            Too tired to continue, but happy eating.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Pookipichu
                                                              s
                                                              steakrules85 Jan 13, 2010 05:07 AM

                                                              Burger joint stinks IMO.

                                                              1. re: steakrules85
                                                                p
                                                                Pookipichu Jan 14, 2010 07:43 AM

                                                                If you don't like Burger Joint, I don't see how you are going to like Corner Bistro. The burgers are of similar quality, only Burger Joint doesn't reek of beer and the soupcon of urine/vomit.

                                                                1. re: Pookipichu
                                                                  e
                                                                  ESNY Jan 14, 2010 01:20 PM

                                                                  How is Burger Joint similar to Corner Bistro... besides both being vastly overrated and most definitely not worth waiting on line for, Corner Bistro more so. Their burgers are nothing alike.

                                                                  1. re: ESNY
                                                                    p
                                                                    Pookipichu Jan 15, 2010 05:08 PM

                                                                    Did you read "similar quality"... what part of that don't you understand?

                                                                    Secondly neither burger is revolutionary, ground beef on a bun, and they are nothing alike? Hyperbole much...

                                                                    Lastly, I don't like either establishment, however, Corner Bistro is just as busy and smells, so between the two, Burger Joint.

                                                                    The original poster has been to Burger Joint and does not care for it, so I doubt that Corner Bistro would be a better experience. I have eaten at Corner Bistro for many years, and it is as you mentioned, overrated. It was cheaper and a better value until the hype machine, similar to what happened with Magnolia Bakery and those disgustingly sweet cupcakes.

                                                                    My suggestion was made in the same vein as the original selection, otherwise I would have mentioned my preferred burger, which IS nothing alike.

                                                              2. re: Pookipichu
                                                                k
                                                                kathryn Jan 13, 2010 07:32 AM

                                                                Have you tried Bespoke Chocolates, BTW? They're the only one that really comes close to Kee's in terms of freshness AND originality.

                                                                Max Brenner isn't chocolate, they shouldn't even call it that! At best, it's chocolate-flavored artificiality.

                                                                1. re: kathryn
                                                                  p
                                                                  Pookipichu Jan 13, 2010 11:06 AM

                                                                  I respect the intelligence and care of Bespoke Chocolates, and we clearly have talented chocolatiers in NYC in addition, but Kee's is simply the best.

                                                                  I no longer yearn for Maison du Chocolat in Paris when I have Kee's kaffir lime chocolate, creme brulee chocolate and lavender macaroons.

                                                              3. Jacquelyn Jan 12, 2010 03:23 PM

                                                                Great topic! I've had a very long to-go-to list which I've recently been checking off one by one (L'Orange Bleue, Via Della Pace, Hundred Acres, Five Points, Prime Meats, Public...all new favs!) Here are the ones I haven't tackled quite yet:

                                                                Antibes Bistro
                                                                Apiary
                                                                Cafe Katja
                                                                Cafe Select
                                                                Doughnut Plant
                                                                Elizabeth
                                                                Fat Hippo
                                                                Fatty Crab
                                                                Jacques
                                                                Kafana
                                                                Kinski
                                                                La Superior
                                                                L'Ecole
                                                                Le Cubain
                                                                Northern Spy Food
                                                                Pravda
                                                                Prune
                                                                Pure Food and Wine
                                                                Russian Samovar
                                                                Sanctuary Tea
                                                                Shopsin's
                                                                The Clerkenwell
                                                                The Stanton Social
                                                                Union Sq Cafe

                                                                1. financialdistrictresident Jan 12, 2010 01:12 PM

                                                                  The Basement Bistro.

                                                                  1. MVNYC Jan 12, 2010 11:00 AM

                                                                    As far as "must try" I would say that Marea tops my list. The menu really intrigues me and I love seafood more than anything else.

                                                                    1. f
                                                                      fm1963 Jan 12, 2010 10:44 AM

                                                                      I had some great meals in 2009 thanks to Chowhound recommendations, including Alto, all the Momofukus (except Noodle Bar), SD26, Bar Boulud, Locanda Verde, The Harrison, Amazing 66, Szechuan Gourmet (whoever suggested the crispy lamb with cumin deserves a hug), Rhong Tiam, Zabb City as well as Gary Danko and Michael Mina in San Francisco, Central Michel Richard and Oval Room in DC, and Craigie and Rendezvous in Cambridge.

                                                                      This year's top 10 must-tries in NYC (in alphabetical order):

                                                                      Convivio
                                                                      Corton
                                                                      Eleven Madison Park
                                                                      Ippudo
                                                                      Kajitsu
                                                                      Keene’s
                                                                      Marea
                                                                      Momofuku Noodle Bar (fried chicken)
                                                                      Per Se
                                                                      Scarpetta

                                                                      1. Asumnuthin Jan 12, 2010 08:27 AM

                                                                        My list is super random…
                                                                        Al Di La,
                                                                        Aureole,
                                                                        Babbo,
                                                                        Le barricou,
                                                                        Golden shopping mall,
                                                                        Le Bernardin,
                                                                        Mas,
                                                                        DGBG,
                                                                        jewel bako,
                                                                        alma,
                                                                        Caracas Arepa Bar,
                                                                        Co ,
                                                                        buttermilk channel,
                                                                        Great NY Noodle Town,
                                                                        Sorella,
                                                                        Rye,
                                                                        Kati Roll Co,
                                                                        Picholine,
                                                                        Lombardi's,
                                                                        Pommes Frites,
                                                                        Blue Hill,
                                                                        Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar,
                                                                        Pinisi,
                                                                        toloache,
                                                                        cabrito,
                                                                        Di Fara,
                                                                        Super Taste,
                                                                        Southern spice,
                                                                        Per Se,
                                                                        SHO,
                                                                        Grimaldi's,
                                                                        Dinosaur bbq,
                                                                        Chickalicious,
                                                                        Little Owl,
                                                                        Momofuku Noodle,
                                                                        Brooklyn star,
                                                                        fatty cue (when it opens),
                                                                        prime meats,
                                                                        sushi yasuda,
                                                                        sorriso Italian pork store,
                                                                        bozu,
                                                                        xinjian bbq cart,
                                                                        mile end (when it opens),
                                                                        L & B Spumoni gardens

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Asumnuthin
                                                                          s
                                                                          steakrules85 Jan 12, 2010 08:39 AM

                                                                          Woww I'm real happy this thread is picking up some.

                                                                          1. re: Asumnuthin
                                                                            Asumnuthin Jun 22, 2010 05:25 AM

                                                                            My Must Try List Again, with a few additions

                                                                            Al Di La, Aureole, Babbo, Le barricou, Golden shopping mall, Le Bernardin, Mas, jewel bako, alma, Caracas Arepa Bar, Co , buttermilk channel, Sorella, Rye, Kati Roll Co, Picholine, Lombardi's, Blue Hill, , toloache, cabrito, Di Fara, Super Taste, Southern spice, Per Se, Grimaldi's, Dinosaur bbq, Chickalicious, Little Owl, Momofuku Noodle, Brooklyn star, fatty cue, prime meats, sorriso Italian pork store, bozu, xinjian bbq cart, mile end, L & B Spumoni gardens, Monday Room, Kuma Inn, Kyo Ya, Sake Bar Hagi, burger joint, Mad for Chicken, Bohemian

                                                                            So Far we have made it to the following places, and counting…

                                                                            DGBG, Great NY Noodle Town, Pommes Frites, Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar, Pinisi, sushi yasuda, Crif Dogs, Death & Co, Angel's Share, Degustation, Sakagura, Artichoke Pizza

                                                                          2. princeofpork Jan 12, 2010 06:17 AM

                                                                            My 2 top trys are going to be Conivio and SHO for upscale and I plan on eating Black Iron inthe next week. Wish they served beer though.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: princeofpork
                                                                              m
                                                                              my3sons Jan 12, 2010 06:35 AM

                                                                              Joseph Leonard & SHO

                                                                            2. steve h. Jan 11, 2010 04:24 PM

                                                                              What I would like to do and what I really do are two different things.

                                                                              I went to A Voce Columbus last week before seeing Levon Helm at Terminal 5. A Voce is a keeper.

                                                                              I'll backfill this post as things happen.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: steve h.
                                                                                steve h. Jul 2, 2010 02:51 PM

                                                                                Had a wonderful meal at Daniel Wednesday night. The room is gorgeous, the staff superb. The food with wine pairings met expectations (three star Michelin, four star NY Times).
                                                                                Only a churl could cavil.

                                                                              2. l
                                                                                littlecmad Jan 11, 2010 04:12 PM

                                                                                Good timing, making my list for Restaurant Week 2010 and NEW places are at the top of my list; they are: Locanda Verde, Scarlatta, Via Emilia, Vice Versa, Maze, Sardi's, Aureole, Craft, Grotto and Macelleria.

                                                                                1. MVNYC Jan 11, 2010 03:52 PM

                                                                                  That is quite a list. Having been to a lot of these places I would just add that Per Se to me has been the best meal of my life. Really just mindblowing and worth a once in a life time splurge.

                                                                                  All of your Chinese spots are on my rotation. If you have never had a soup dumpling before, you are in for a real treat at Joe's. Wait until late spring for Noodletown. That is soft shell crab season and their salt baked version is out of this world.

                                                                                  Good luck with the whole list, some of those I have loved and others not so much.

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: MVNYC
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    steakrules85 Jan 11, 2010 03:56 PM

                                                                                    Thanks for the advice. Can you elaborate on which you liked and disliked please?

                                                                                    1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                      MVNYC Jan 12, 2010 10:59 AM

                                                                                      You have a lot of restaurants there so I will comment on those that I have the strongest opinion of.
                                                                                      Heidelberg-The pork shank here is good but pretty expensive. You are better off heading to Greenpoint to a Polish place called Karczma. They have a beer roasted shank that is less than half the price and much better. It is half a block from the Greenpoint ave G station. This or Lonyznianka should satisfy your Eastern/Central European food cravings much better than Heidelberg or Veselka.

                                                                                      Artichoke-I can see the appeal. There are those who enjoy spinach and artichoke dip , I am not really one of them. I certainly don't like it on what they call crust.

                                                                                      WD-50--this place has its detractors but I really enjoyed my meal there and will be back. Not too many places doing things like this in NYC.

                                                                                      BBQ-I like Fette Sau better than the three places you listed though I liked Dinosaur quite a bit. Hill country was the worst of the bunch.

                                                                                      Labratorio Del Gelato-Get an affogato here, a shot of espresso over vanilla ice cream. I like all of their less traditional flavours too. Better than Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory(which isn't bad just not something I would go out of my way for)

                                                                                      Katz--Personally I love Katz and never would have thought others didn't until i heard all the whining on this board. I prefer tongue to pastrami but both are excellent here.

                                                                                    2. re: MVNYC
                                                                                      uhockey Jan 11, 2010 05:31 PM

                                                                                      Having been to all the 3-Star Michelin spots aside from MASA and many of the 2-Stars, Per Se is LEAGUES above anything else in New York. Admittedly I went over the top with an extended tasting, but honestly there are only two restaurants that can be compared to it in the US - Robuchon and TFL. Alinea is simply on a whole different planet from everything else, so I'll not include that. :-)

                                                                                      1. re: uhockey
                                                                                        hcbk0702 Jan 11, 2010 05:57 PM

                                                                                        I think the extended tastings at Per Se and TFL can definitely beat out Alinea's Tour, depending on the diner's preferences. It certainly isn't on a "different planet" IMO. If you include Europe, El Bulli and The Fat Duck are much more similar to Alinea's style and they are likely a notch or two better, though perhaps it's not fair to compare any restaurant to El Bulli.

                                                                                        1. re: hcbk0702
                                                                                          uhockey Jan 12, 2010 02:39 AM

                                                                                          I've not been to either El Bulli or Fat Duck, but I've heard from 3 people that have been to Fat Duck and Alinea within months of one another say the Duck is more shocking but Alinea is better service and taste.

                                                                                          I only know one person who has been to El Bulli and she actually preferred TFL. Different strokes, I guess. I still think what Achatz is doing is leaps and bounds above any other chef in the US right now - but TFL and Per Se are both sublime (albeit nearly 2x the price for an extended tasting to Alinea's Tour)

                                                                                          1. re: uhockey
                                                                                            MVNYC Jan 12, 2010 11:04 AM

                                                                                            While Alinea may have been the most creative meal I have ever had, Per Se was the BEST meal I have ever had. Hopefully one day I can make it to El Bulli and Fat Duck and compare

                                                                                    3. CantStopEating Jan 11, 2010 09:16 AM

                                                                                      Let's not forget about "low-brow" places that put up some of the best food in the country. A favorite of mine (and many others) is Charles' Pan Fried Chicken. It's a little bit out of the way but totally worth it when you're in the mood for some proper chicken. Get there when the chicken just comes out of the cast-iron pans and you'll know what I mean.

                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: CantStopEating
                                                                                        foodie4life Jan 11, 2010 03:29 PM

                                                                                        In response to the earlier question re: Minetta Tavern's steak. Their cote de boeuf is incredible. It's a mountain of thick cuts that are charred on the outside, perfectly rare on the inside + luscious bone marrow. Bruni called it "the best steakhouse in New York" btw, if you trust his opinion, which I do.

                                                                                        My Must Try List (abbreviated, since it's over 100 restaurants long!):
                                                                                        Locanda Verde
                                                                                        Marea
                                                                                        Esca
                                                                                        Abe & Arthur's
                                                                                        Sushi Yasuda
                                                                                        Kurumazushi
                                                                                        Convivio
                                                                                        Dirt Candy
                                                                                        Kajitsu
                                                                                        Kyo Ya
                                                                                        Sushi UO

                                                                                        http://www.StrumErika.com

                                                                                        1. re: foodie4life
                                                                                          s
                                                                                          steakrules85 Jan 11, 2010 03:35 PM

                                                                                          I have to admit I have not tried the steak at Minetta Tavern, but it really annoyed me when he labeled it "best steakhouse in New York". It is NOT a steakhouse. It is a restaurant that serves steak.

                                                                                          1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                            foodie4life Jan 11, 2010 04:26 PM

                                                                                            haha, you are right!

                                                                                          2. re: foodie4life
                                                                                            g
                                                                                            ggbrock Mar 19, 2010 10:47 AM

                                                                                            Esca is very good but imho, overhyped and overpriced.

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Esca Restaurant
                                                                                            402 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036

                                                                                          3. re: CantStopEating
                                                                                            financialdistrictresident Jan 13, 2010 05:47 AM

                                                                                            Ditto CantStopEating. Gotta love Casa Adela . . .delicious and budget friendly. Feel like I'm eating baccalau in a relative's kitchen :) A must eat for me in 2010!

                                                                                          4. r
                                                                                            roze Jan 11, 2010 08:54 AM

                                                                                            I do a list like this every year. Already hit one New Years day!

                                                                                            Perilla
                                                                                            Dressler
                                                                                            Union Square Café
                                                                                            Corton
                                                                                            Bonnie’s Grill (wings)
                                                                                            Marea
                                                                                            PDT
                                                                                            Tpoutine (can’t believe I haven’t gone yet!)
                                                                                            Loconda Verde
                                                                                            Del Posto
                                                                                            Char No 4
                                                                                            Le Bernardin
                                                                                            Maialino (completed 1/2/10)
                                                                                            Shopsins
                                                                                            Yerba Buena
                                                                                            Keens

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: roze
                                                                                              s
                                                                                              steakrules85 Jan 11, 2010 09:15 AM

                                                                                              What are your thoughts on Maialino?

                                                                                              1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                r
                                                                                                roze Jan 11, 2010 10:58 AM

                                                                                                I only had some appetizers in the bar section of the restaurant but I absolutely loved it. The space, the service and the food were all fanatstic! I can't wait to go back for a full fledged meal in the main dining area. Some pics and full review here:

                                                                                                http://nyctastes.blogspot.com/

                                                                                              2. re: roze
                                                                                                Jacquelyn Jan 12, 2010 03:09 PM

                                                                                                Have to say I was really disappointed with Tpoutine. I was really excited about it's arrival after getting back from Montreal but it was nothing like the excellent poutine places there. Plus I waited about 40 mins for 3 to go orders when there was no one in the place. Maybe it was an off night though?

                                                                                                1. re: Jacquelyn
                                                                                                  financialdistrictresident Jan 13, 2010 05:26 AM

                                                                                                  Add Montreal . . .I had more memorable meals there in 2009 . . . with the exception of SHO, Aldea and Falai in NYC. Terroir, Graffiti, Casa Mono were also quite good and a bit surprising for the taste buds. Also, Montreal has several African restaurants.

                                                                                                  PS Montreal hounds, please forgive me . . .I'm very delinquent on my full report . . .

                                                                                              3. daffyduck Jan 10, 2010 07:44 PM

                                                                                                Hey steakrules, if you haven't tried I think you should hit Queens. Woodside/Jackson heights has some great thai food, indian, and spanish food. My favorite places include Delhi heights, Sripraphai, Spicy Mina, and various carts (Sammy's, the Arepa Lady, various taco stands, etc). Flushing is also great for asian food like hand pulled noodles. If you go to flushing you definiately don't want to miss the Lamb cumin burger in the mall there. =/ I miss living in Queens.
                                                                                                BTW I think the best steak I have ever had was 2-3 years ago at Ruth Chris. I haven't really been that many steak places so I'm not really an expert. But you haven't tried their steak I recommend it. I believe the steak I had was the bone in ribeye or the t-bone. Sorry I can't exactly remember but it had a bone! Cause those are the only steaks i eat. I don't remember any of the sides or desserts I ordered being good, but I've only been there once.

                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: daffyduck
                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                  steakrules85 Jan 11, 2010 04:28 AM

                                                                                                  Good job at selecting a bone-in cut as that is the ONLY cut you should order at a steakhouse. However, I have to say Ruth's Chris is well.. Ruth's Chris. Just an upscale chain steakhouse that is fine for what it is. Good for when you are on vacation or something and crave a good steak and there are no other steakhouses around. But to say it was the best steak you have ever had explains to me that you really haven't experience many steakhouses =).

                                                                                                  1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                    daffyduck Jan 11, 2010 02:08 PM

                                                                                                    yeah, I've only been to a few steakhouses (Smith and Wollensky, Morton's, Old Homestead, Striphouse, and Willet House) and each of them only once or twice. But i really like how the steak is still sizzling on the plate at Ruth Chris. I haven't been anywhere else that does that. But my opinion may be distorted because Ruth Chris was the first steakhouse I have ever dined in.
                                                                                                    i have to do Luger and Keens in 2010

                                                                                                    1. re: daffyduck
                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                      steakrules85 Jan 11, 2010 03:34 PM

                                                                                                      Ruth's Chris does not hold a candle to Strip House, Old Homestead, or Smith and Wollensky.

                                                                                                      1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                        daffyduck Jan 12, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                                                                        lol. alright I was just suggesting it if you never tried it. But for some reason I enjoyed my steak there better than the other steakhouses. I even remember being able to cut the steak with a butter knife.
                                                                                                        You probably think I'm a clown but here is another example. The best burger I ever had (other than the shake stack) are white castle burgers. Again I'm no burger expert, but I have tried a few places that others considered good (Donovan's pub, shake shack, spotted pig, a couple of places in Westchester, etc). I thought those places were good but I honestly liked White Castle better than them. And would recommend White Castle to anyone that has never tried it. I think those little burgers are pretty damn tasty.

                                                                                                        1. re: daffyduck
                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                          steakrules85 Jan 12, 2010 09:12 AM

                                                                                                          Everyone has their own opinion and taste. To each his own I guess.

                                                                                                      2. re: daffyduck
                                                                                                        MVNYC Jan 11, 2010 03:43 PM

                                                                                                        If you want sizzling steak get some fajitas, this is no way to eat a good steak. That hot plate continues to cook the steak and prevent even juice distribution. It is just a gimmick.

                                                                                                        1. re: MVNYC
                                                                                                          e
                                                                                                          ESNY Jan 11, 2010 05:33 PM

                                                                                                          Ruth's Chris needs all the gimmicks they can get to hide the fact that their steaks are subpar.

                                                                                                      3. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                        mnipon May 4, 2010 09:16 AM

                                                                                                        agreed - always opt for Bone-in if possible... way more flavor. Striphouse, a personal favorite for its swanky lighting and unique take on a NY steakhouse, has a Bone-in filet thats awesome. Most steak lovers aren't filet lovers - less fat means less flavor. But the Bone-in gives the cut a strip-like flavor with that buttery filet texture. Its pretty perfect with their creamed spinach. Altho you can always get the porterhouse and have it all!

                                                                                                    2. uhockey Jan 10, 2010 07:51 AM

                                                                                                      Just a note on Max Brenner - I went to the original to pick something up for my aunt on last visit - I thought the Chocolates were good, the customer service was fantastic, and the setting pretty nice as well.

                                                                                                      Then again, I'm one of the few who "doesn't get" Donut Plant - it is so average. I'd add Sweet Revenge to the list of places to check out - mindblowing cupcakes (and that is tough to do)

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: uhockey
                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                        steakrules85 Jan 10, 2010 08:10 AM

                                                                                                        Thanks u hockey. This is what I really wanted to get out of this thread! Great feedback from others who have already visited the places on my list. And recommendations for others. Keep em comin! Good job everyone.

                                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                                        Simon Jan 10, 2010 04:04 AM

                                                                                                        nice list...but on the Spanish list, i'd say skip Boqueria and definitely skip Asia de Cuba (90's faux-trendy junk)...instead go to Tia Pol and get the suckling pig...cheers

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Simon
                                                                                                          p
                                                                                                          pookie77 Feb 22, 2010 09:28 AM

                                                                                                          I would have to disagree. I hit Boqueria this weekend with a group of 15 people and it was fabulous. Because of the size of the group, we were doing a pre-fixed/chef's choice meal but everything was outstanding. The only low note was the anchovy pizza which wasn't a hit with everyone. The paella, steak, shrimp, bacon-wrapped-dates, churros were all wonderful and I'd highly recommend it. Best tapas I've had in the city so far.

                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                          Boqueria
                                                                                                          171 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                          steakrules85 Jan 9, 2010 07:12 PM

                                                                                                          Adding L'Arte Del gelato to "the list". lol.

                                                                                                          1. e
                                                                                                            ESNY Jan 9, 2010 06:48 PM

                                                                                                            You got your work cut out for you. I'd say skip Sparks. Average steaks (not even dry aged). Mediocre service and crowd too.

                                                                                                            The only things that I'm really looking forward to is going back to Totonno's in Coney Island. Best pizza I've ever had and I can't wait for them to reopen, if they haven't already, and getting some of that amazing pizza.

                                                                                                            1. daffyduck Jan 9, 2010 11:11 AM

                                                                                                              great list! here is a short list of best things i had this past year, hopefully you can add something to your list.
                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678452

                                                                                                              i would skip brooklyn ice cream factory. i have never been there, but i had dessert at clinton st baking company which serves that ice cream and it really wasn't good. I tried the butter pecan with their pecan pie. And another time I tried a coffee milkshake. I love clinton st, but seriously that was the worst milkshake I ever had.

                                                                                                              My dinner hit list this year is Luger, Babbo (I have reservations this Wed), the uvo at SD26, the corn at cafe habana, Otto, and quality meats.

                                                                                                              I am a dessert guy so my hit extends to this
                                                                                                              http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/1...

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: daffyduck
                                                                                                                s
                                                                                                                steakrules85 Jan 9, 2010 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                Yeah you know I has a coffee milkshake at Clinton Street also and I didn't think it was anything special. Really the only part of my meal there that was not great.

                                                                                                                1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                  w
                                                                                                                  windycity Feb 1, 2010 09:40 PM

                                                                                                                  Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory serves pretty mediocre ice cream. I had a very hard time finishing my ice cream and had the impulse to give it to a nearby dog, but then decided to punish myself for being greedy and ordering a double of an unknown quality.

                                                                                                              2. m
                                                                                                                metfan630 Jan 9, 2010 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                damn thats a lot of restaurants! I love the ambition.

                                                                                                                2009 was a great year for myself as well. Top restaurants for me that I tried in 2009 on the higher end (listed in chronological order, Tasting menu = "T)): Blue Hill at Stone Barnes, Strip House, Dovetail (T), Veritas (T), The Modern (T), Frasca Food & Wine (Boulder, CO), Momofuku (Fried chicken), Perry Street, Xavier's (Piermont), Scarpetta, EMP, Del Posto (T).

                                                                                                                2010 goals: Convivio, Keens, WD-50. Short list so far, need to build it up!

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: metfan630
                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                  steakrules85 Jan 9, 2010 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                  Definitely gotta try keens!

                                                                                                                  1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                    metfan630 Jan 9, 2010 10:46 AM

                                                                                                                    Yeah I hear such great things, its at the top of my list. I've been to a lot of the NYC steakhouses - Sparks, Del Frisco, Lugar's, Strip House - need to get Keens in there!

                                                                                                                    MInetta Tavern is also a place I was thinking for steak (omitted from first draft). How was it?

                                                                                                                    1. re: metfan630
                                                                                                                      s
                                                                                                                      steakrules85 Jan 9, 2010 06:35 PM

                                                                                                                      Haven't had the steak at Minetta- only the Black label burger which was very good albeit a bit overpriced and over hyped. Still a great burger. Their fries however are horrible. Great grand marnier souffle. Have to go back for the ribeye for two also.

                                                                                                                      1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                        NAtiveNewYorker Jan 10, 2010 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                        burger was worth it; the wait, the hype, IMHO

                                                                                                                2. uhockey Jan 9, 2010 07:33 AM

                                                                                                                  I'll probably make it back later this year - the list is getting much shorter, though:

                                                                                                                  Veritas, GILT, Locanda Verde, Esca, Tocqueville, Bouley, Artisanal, Le Grenouille, Corton, Del Posto, Gotham Bar and Grill, Rice to Riches, Lombardi's, Co.

                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: uhockey
                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                    steakrules85 Jan 9, 2010 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                    Uhockey you would love Gotham Bar and Grill. It is great. Del Posto was a bit of a disappointment for me.

                                                                                                                    1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                      kathryn Jan 9, 2010 11:13 AM

                                                                                                                      Del Posto significantly revamped their concept and menu a few months ago, though.

                                                                                                                      1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                        uhockey Jan 9, 2010 11:45 AM

                                                                                                                        A lot of people don't love Del Posto - but Batali's food has never failed me (service has been hit or miss.) Honestly, I have trouble eating Italian outside of New York these days - the scene here in Cbus is bad and my visit to Spiaggia was one of the biggest disappointments of 2009 - so I try to get as much upscale Italy as I can when in town. :-) FWIW, even Il Mulino (I actually really enjoyed our visit there) tops anything we have in Ohio.

                                                                                                                        1. re: uhockey
                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                          steakrules85 Jan 9, 2010 06:39 PM

                                                                                                                          Yeah its real weird. I love Babbo but Del Posto was so overpriced and the portions were minimal.The food that they did give you was very well executed but again I felt ripped off and felt that I could have spent my money elsewhere. I had much better experiences at Craft, Gotham Bar and Grill, Babbo, EMP, etc. and paid less. Kathy says they have revamped their concept but I do not know if that means larger portions.

                                                                                                                          I mean I don't need HUGE portions because it is great to be able to sample a lot of different dishes but I mean cmon it would not kill them to put a few more vegetables or sides dishes on the entree plate would it?

                                                                                                                          1. re: uhockey
                                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                                            jakecola Jan 19, 2010 09:40 PM

                                                                                                                            we went to Del Posto in October of 2008 - have they changed their menu around? Honestly, the main room prices seemed very big, but we sat in the "bar" area, which is much less stuffy and still has great service and ambience, and got 5 courses for something absurd like $50 pp. plus a bottle of alto adige white wine, dessert wine, and tip was all around $250 for two people. we were totally satisfied. it looks like what is currently called the "Il Menu Del Posto" on their website for $95. and there seems to be no mention of the bar menu. too bad, it was the best deal in town!

                                                                                                                            1. re: jakecola
                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                              kathryn Jan 20, 2010 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                              Correct, there's no bar room vs. main dining room distinction any more.

                                                                                                                              http://ny.eater.com/archives/2009/11/del_postos_enoteca_gets_the_ax.php

                                                                                                                              Serious Eats went for the $29 prix fixe lunch and got the impression they were reaching for a fourth star and becoming more Jean Georges like with the amuses and petit fours:

                                                                                                                              http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/1...

                                                                                                                          2. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                            h
                                                                                                                            hellobuddy Jun 14, 2010 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                            Del Posto, in my one experience, is a failed bull-market corporate event space. Impersonal, expensive, push the bottled water, overpour your wine, clear you too fast, the full suite of annoying money-grubbing soul-less stuff.

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

                                                                                                                          3. re: uhockey
                                                                                                                            financialdistrictresident Jan 13, 2010 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                            uhockey, enjoy reading your reports.

                                                                                                                            Locanda Verde was okay - to be fair we went once and for lunch. Many hounds love it. Corton underwhelmed for the price point and I was disappointed. Having read RGR's more recent report it may be worth a try again. I broke my rule of waiting 6 months to go to new restaurants several times in 2009 and was rewarded (SHO, etc.). Been to Artisanal several times for lunch and dinner. Good if I'm in the neighborhood, not a destination place IMHO. SO had a very good dinner at Gotham.

                                                                                                                            Gotham, Veritas and Tocqueville are on my list, so I'll look forward to reading your reports when you go later this year.

                                                                                                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                                                                                              s
                                                                                                                              steakrules85 Jan 13, 2010 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                              Definitely make Gotham a destination. Here is my review. Great meal and overall time.

                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/625925

                                                                                                                              1. re: steakrules85
                                                                                                                                financialdistrictresident Jan 14, 2010 04:33 AM

                                                                                                                                Thanks, steakrules85. I read your Gotham post right after SO ate there and raved. Still don't get why it seems to be underrated? My new pet peeve is over-hyped restaurants. . .

                                                                                                                              2. re: financialdistrictresident
                                                                                                                                f
                                                                                                                                foodwhisperer Feb 4, 2010 08:48 PM

                                                                                                                                Laconda Verde is mediocre at best, the desserts are ok, the portions are small yet they say family style. I'd go back for a drink but not to eat.
                                                                                                                                Falai is one of the best places ive been lately, every dish is great and creative. The choice of ingredients in each dish compliment each other ,,
                                                                                                                                Casa Mono very good tapas a notch higher than Boqueria

                                                                                                                              3. re: uhockey
                                                                                                                                g
                                                                                                                                ggbrock Mar 19, 2010 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                La Grenouille is a classic NYC experience, the food is exquisite, the service is delightful (even though you know they are serving many other "more important" people, they make you feel special). The atmosphere is old, classic NY. I suggest saving this one for the Christmas season. I was taken there for my birthday the last 2 years in a row (December 15) and it was incredible. The dover sole...amazing.

                                                                                                                                -----
                                                                                                                                La Grenouille
                                                                                                                                3 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

                                                                                                                              4. LeahBaila Jan 9, 2010 05:14 AM

                                                                                                                                Love this. What a great post!! Will think of all of mine and reply a bit later. Happy New Year, steak!

                                                                                                                                www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: LeahBaila
                                                                                                                                  LeahBaila Jan 10, 2010 06:39 AM

                                                                                                                                  In no particular order:
                                                                                                                                  Locanda Verde
                                                                                                                                  Egg (Bklyn)
                                                                                                                                  La Superior (Bklyn)
                                                                                                                                  El Paso Taqueria
                                                                                                                                  Shopsin's
                                                                                                                                  Max
                                                                                                                                  Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote
                                                                                                                                  Num Pang
                                                                                                                                  Gramercy Tavern
                                                                                                                                  The Redhead
                                                                                                                                  Doughnut Plant
                                                                                                                                  Per Se
                                                                                                                                  Telepan (brunch)
                                                                                                                                  Sushi Yasuda
                                                                                                                                  Daniel
                                                                                                                                  Jean-Georges
                                                                                                                                  Da Andrea
                                                                                                                                  Abe & Arthur's
                                                                                                                                  Minetta Tavern (burger)
                                                                                                                                  Schnipper's
                                                                                                                                  HB Burger
                                                                                                                                  Stumble Inn (burger)

                                                                                                                                  www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                                                                                                  1. re: LeahBaila
                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                    steakrules85 Jan 10, 2010 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                    From your list I will opine on the ones I have been to.

                                                                                                                                    Shopsin's- I love it. Have gone twice and had great meals both times. I personally think his cuisine and combinations are quite inventine, although as you probably know this is a HUGE topic for argument on this board. Go for the slutty cakes, mac and cheese pancakes, sliders with grilled onions, and one of his shakes. I cannot wait to go back. Definitely one of those NYC places you "have to experience".

                                                                                                                                    Daniel- I left Daniel feeling satisfied but not totally blown away like I did twice on my visits to EMP. However, that is not to say that this is not a great restaurant. The food and service were terrific, however I thought pricewise it was a little much compared to quality. The beef duo was one of the best dishes I have ever had and I only wish it was 3 times larger. The vacherin for dessert is a work of art. Still, I think you should definitely experience it.

                                                                                                                                    Doughnut Plant- I have only been once and got a bunch of different donuts to sample. For me, it is hit and miss. Some were great but some feel short and were just... eh.. donuts. Stick to their signatures like the blackout and tres leches and you won't be disappointed.

                                                                                                                                    Gramercy Tavern- Again, another one of those fine dining spots that fell a bit short for me. Maybe it was because of all the high ratings and tremendous expectations I had going in? I thought the appetizers and desserts were great and the strengths of the meal. For me, entrees were really uninventive and portion size was just minimal. I ordered the sirloin and short rib and it was overcooked and paltry (probably a mistake on my part since I realize more and more that these type of places cannot deliver on my rare request). Sent it back for the duck which was tasty and cooked properly rare but lacked side accoutrements. For the main, I would recommend the lamb because my father had it and it was delicious, actually had somewhat of a side dish component, and was pretty large. But yes, you should go at least once if you are a true foodie since it is an "NY classic". For dessert do not miss the chocolate bread pudding and whatever sundae they are featuring. Their pastry chef is a master. Although it was a bit of a letdown, overall the service, atmosphere, and the food (with the exception of the main) was top notch. I'd go back just to give it another shot at trying to "wow" me.

                                                                                                                                    Minetta- Had the Black Label burger and it was really good. Great quality meat, pretty distinct taste, juicy and cooked rare, but I have to say I thought it would have been a tad thicker. Enjoyed the bread also. But for $26 I thought I would say to myself "This is the best burger I have ever tasted". But to be honest I did not leave with that feeling. One huge letdown was the fries... just awful. I recommend the mushrooms, which are delicious. One other annoying thing is that it is incredibly hard to get a table and they do give that "prefential" treatment to certain patrons. I had reservations and was left waiting 15 mins for a table, while this other party who clearly was walk-in was promptly escorted to a table as soon as they gave their name. Definitely an intriguing place, but next time I HAVE to go for the cote de boeuf. Saw some other tables orderings steak and I was envious! Get the souffle for dessert it is one of the best ever had. It was delicious indeed!!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LeahBaila
                                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                                      LBNJNY Jan 10, 2010 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                      Locanda Verde - was there for a private party - delicious lamb chops and dessert, but main room was crazy noisy. Private room is GORGEOUS
                                                                                                                                      Egg (Bklyn)
                                                                                                                                      La Superior (Bklyn)
                                                                                                                                      El Paso Taqueria - LOVE this spot. Found it on a whim doing charity work. Go!
                                                                                                                                      Shopsin's
                                                                                                                                      Max
                                                                                                                                      Le Relais de Venise L'Entrecote
                                                                                                                                      Num Pang
                                                                                                                                      Gramercy Tavern
                                                                                                                                      The Redhead
                                                                                                                                      Doughnut Plant
                                                                                                                                      Per Se
                                                                                                                                      Telepan (brunch)
                                                                                                                                      Sushi Yasuda - There are better values.
                                                                                                                                      Daniel - spend the money elsewhere
                                                                                                                                      Jean-Georges - Absolutely...for Lunch!
                                                                                                                                      Da Andrea
                                                                                                                                      Abe & Arthur's
                                                                                                                                      Minetta Tavern (burger)
                                                                                                                                      Schnipper's
                                                                                                                                      HB Burger
                                                                                                                                      Stumble Inn (burger)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: LBNJNY
                                                                                                                                        LeahBaila Jan 10, 2010 02:38 PM

                                                                                                                                        My goodness, thank you both so much. This is great info and I value both of your opinions.
                                                                                                                                        steak, I totally feel your pain when you go to a "what's supposed to be one of the city's best restaurants," only to find that the most memorable items are the bread basket, appetizer and dessert. I've only come across a handful of places that impress me from start to finish.
                                                                                                                                        Great post/topic!

                                                                                                                                        www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                                                                                                      2. re: LeahBaila
                                                                                                                                        uhockey Jan 10, 2010 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                        GT's lunch in the main room is a steal - I VASTLY prefered it to Jean Georges.

                                                                                                                                        Donut Plant - Meh....not really much better than Dunkin, IMO - I realize they're "healthy and organic" and such, but really - if I'm eating a donut I'm not really looking for health food.

                                                                                                                                        Per Se - well, I wrote a friggin' novel on it - it is a beautiful experience and #3 on my places to return to across the US (behind Alinea in Winter and Alinea in Spring.)

                                                                                                                                        Daniel is fine-dining-by-the-numbers - it is super classy, a great room, great food, but not the "knock your socks off" experience that is Alinea, Per Se, Robuchon, Guy Savoy, Providence, L2O, TFL, etc.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: LeahBaila
                                                                                                                                          Asumnuthin Jan 12, 2010 07:16 AM

                                                                                                                                          Lunch belle

                                                                                                                                          We had lunch at La Superior yesterday for the first time, we literally got one of every taco on the menu, side of guac and the plate of salsa, everything was delicious and we spent less then 40 bucks for the two of us. Loved it!

                                                                                                                                          Great pick

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Asumnuthin
                                                                                                                                            LeahBaila Jan 12, 2010 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                            Wow, great report! Thanks for the info. I hope to get there soon!

                                                                                                                                            www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                                                                                                      3. ellenost Jan 8, 2010 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                        OK steak, here's my list of restaurants that I would like to try this year:

                                                                                                                                        Veritas, La Grenouille, SHO, Marea, Aldea, Craft, Tocqueville, Picholine, and Scarpetta.

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