traveling to nyc, need help filling in the blanks
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.
dinner: Momofuku Ssam
breakfast: Russ and Daughters
lunch: Bar Room at the Modern
brunch: Locande Verde
dinner: Blue Smoke
dinner: Eleven Madison Park
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...