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Jan 17, 2010 08:04 AM

traveling to nyc, need help filling in the blanks

Dear Chowhounders,

We're traveling to nyc for our honeymoon, and I'm charged with planning our foodie experience. Below is what I have. I've called several places about Valentine's day but am at a loss on this one (Scarpetta wants $125 per person; EMP, $295). We're willing to go unconventional, but I'd like to keep Valentines under $200 inc tax, tip, and alc.

I'm trying to mix in expensive ($250) and cheep (< $75). We're willing to go anywhere in Manhatten. Willing to try anything... I would really appreciate suggestions (wd-50? degustastion?) to replace choices below or add on.


Sunday (2.14.10)
dinner: ???

brunch: ???
dinner: Momofuku Ssam

breakfast: Russ and Daughters
lunch: Bar Room at the Modern
dinner: Motorino

brunch: ???
dinner: Scarpetta

brunch: Locande Verde
dinner: Blue Smoke

lunch: Katz's
dinner: Eleven Madison Park

brunch: ???

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  1. For Valentine's Day, are you OK with doing something more casual or Asian? That might help with the problem. Or you could switch Momofuku Ssam to that night and do another restaurant on Monday night that you're interested in, like Degustation.

    For Monday brunch I'd do Clinton Street Baking Company, for Wednesday, I'd do Shopsin's, and for Saturday, Prune (but get there before 10am) or Five Points (make a reservation).

    9 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Russ and Daughters has no seating so I hope you have a place to sit and eat.

      1. re: kathryn

        Asian on Valentine's would be great but I'd like to find something with a romantic feel. Thanks for the other suggestions!

        1. re: JASfood

          You and everybody else in the city! Why do you think they call it "amateur night"? :) I try to avoid dining out on Valentine's Day at the usual romantic or fine dining suspects simply because of the crowds and prices and limited prix fixe menus.

          1. re: kathryn

            funny. i thought new year's eve and st patty's were amateur night

            1. re: thew

              There can be multiple amateur nights!

          2. re: JASfood

            Check out Picholine - I just looked at the menu and while it is certainly more limited than the "normal" menu and slightly more pricey, the options look glorious and when I was there on New Years they managed the "amateur night" crowd gloriously. They are one of those special places that reward you for taking interest, asking questions, and being courteous - and the room is quite romantic.

            1. re: uhockey

              I called Picholine and they want $145 per person on v-day.

          3. re: kathryn

            do you think the wait at Ssam on v-day around 9 pm would be ridiculous?

            1. re: JASfood


              I went last night (Sunday) around 9ish and the wait was about 10-20 minutes for 2 people.

          4. Perhaps consider Picholine for Valentine's - their menu was a steal on NYE and the food was sublime.

            Saturday Brucnh would strongly recommend A Voce Columbus.

            Would also consider lunch in the main room at Modern over the bar room and also consider a Jean Georges Lunch or Le Bernardin lunch on one of the open days.

            1. And for the "fine dining" side of life, I recommend searching for and reading uhockey's posts of his recent trip (December 09/January 10) carefully... also RGR's and kathryn's on relevant topics and places you are inerested in.

              2 Replies
              1. re: yebo

                RGR's photo links to her flickr page are a who's who of fine dining in Manhattan.

                I've been asking for recommendations recently and Trattoria Tricolori is mentioned an awful lot, and is very reasonably priced. We've booked Artisanal for our Valentines day meal @ $58 per person.

                If you want a real "Oooooh" factor, the River Cafe views are unparalleled, but it is over the other side of Brooklyn Bridge and I don't know if you'll have missed out on Valentines reservations by now :o(

                We also dined at the Four Seasons restaurant last time we were in NYC and the meal was amazing, but the service we received from the older gentleman waiter was poor, and he had a very bad attitude.

                1. re: yebo

                  Thank you for the nod - there are a plethora of previous NYC experience in there as well - just check the boards or the New York tagged photos.

                2. I strongly suggest the new Recette on 12th and Greenwich that just opened. It's truly amazing and if you call you might be able to get a spot for the 14th. Otherwise, the food is outstanding from apps to desert.

                  1. V-Day is a usually a problematic night to eat out in Manhattan...restaurants often have a set menu that's both expensive and less interesting than their usual menu (and the experience is often further degraded by long waits and heavy doses camp, e.g. heart-shaped amuse-bouche, etc)...

                    One option would be to have a casual meal (Chinese food, a dozen oysters at an oyster bar, etc) but also buy some great salmon from Russ&Daughters and enjoy it at home w/ a bottle of champagne later on...

                    You also could look into some of NYC's smaller Italian places like Malatesta and Cacio e Vino...both are charming, moderately-priced and rustic, though on V-Day i'd bet that Malatesta has a long wait since they don't take reservations...