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Feb 8, 2010 08:13 AM

Former NYC dweller needs suggestions for weekend trip - what's new?

I used to live in the city from '99 - '03 but it has been over 6 years since I have lived out of state. My husband and I are coming up to celebrate our 1 year anniversary and I would love some suggestions. I used to be much more familiar with the restaurant scene but I am very out of practice! As much as I would love to splurge, we can't do any of the super-expensive top of the line places on this trip.

Here's what I am looking for:

Friday lunch - (solo) quick lunch near Grand Central before I take the Metro North to Westchester to visit a friend.

Saturday night- dinner with friends. Not sure if I get to choose, but I would like to have some suggestions ready. They live on UWS, but would be open to other neighborhoods too.

Sunday brunch - UWS with baby. My default is Sarabeth's - anything else worth trying? I have been to 5 Points downtown on another trip an enjoyed that very much. Maybe something similar...

Monday - dinner to celebrate anniversary, under $150 check (we're not drinkers). Last trip we went to Little Owl and loved it. I eat anything but husband is less adventurous. Need somewhere with a steak/shortrib type option on the menu but NOT a steakhouse. We have plenty of those here in Miami.

Tuesday - free day to get some treats. Last trip I discovered the Momofuku pork bun and loved it. Might have to go back! Feel free for any bakery or unique to NYC suggestions.

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  1. Friday lunch: La Fonda del Sol is in the MetLife Bldg,, just down the block from Grand Central. We had lunch in the dining room, but there is a large casual lounge area where you can have excellent tapas. My photo set includes the tapas we had as well as a shot of the lounge:

    Saturday night: Dovetail, on the UWS, serves first-rate Contemporary American cuisine. Good service and pleasant atmospherics.

    Dovetail Photos:

    It's not anything like Sarabeth's, but Bar Boulud, one of 4-star Chef Daniel Boulud's restaurants, is baby friendly at weekend brunch. The charcuterie is some of the best in the city. The rest of the food is not too shabby either.

    Bar Boulud Photos:

    Anniversary Dinner: Allegretti serves superb Proven├žal-style cuisine. There is a steak on the menu. Excellent service and lovely ambiance.

    Another option is Seasonal Open just over a year, it has been deservedly awarded a Michelin star. The Austrian cuisine served there is fabulous (there is a steak on the menu), service is friendly, and the ambiance is very appealing.

    Seasonal Photos:

    Hope you have an enjoyable visit. Happy Anniversary and Bon Appetit!

    1. Friday lunch-Although I usually take metronorth into the city from westchester I pretty much never eat at grand central because I am usually coming into the city for food. :-P But since you no longer live in nyc. I think pizza or bagels are a good lunch. My classmates have enjoyed pizza at Two Boots in Grand central but I personally never tried it. You can also get a cheesecake at juniors. And a couple of blocks away from Grand central is Essa Bagel.
      Saturday night-From my very limited food experiences in the UWS my favorite restaurant is Salumeria Rosi. And I've also had a good meal at Fatty crab. And of course I love Shake shack but that's not really a dinner place.
      Sunday brunch-sorry, I don't do brunch much. But in the UWS there's barney greengrass. I've still haven't gone but if it's similiar to Russ and Daughters it is probably very good! And a very NY experience. BTW for brunch the amazing kathyrn has a post somewhere of her favorite brunches. I recommend looking over that I believe it's titled best brunch 2009.
      Monday-I like Craft. The short ribs there are delicious and their desserts (especially donuts and their ice creams) are awesome. And the Jersaleum Artichokes and sweetbreads are addicting.
      Tuesday-Since it seems like you'll be in the UWS a lot you have to get a cookie at Levain. Their cookies are monstrous! It's like superman cookies on steroids. Screme is also in the UWS so you can combine gelato with the cookie. I would definiatly try to visit Kee's chocolates. If you don't try barney greengrass I would highly recommend Katz and Russ and daughters (super heebster sandwich!). Also the dessert truck now has a store that is somewhere in the LES called DT works. At night I would suggest going to the east village because things close late there; you can try a square at artichoke, maybe try some ramen at Ippudo or stop at Chikalicious, whatever you're in the mood for. NYC is one of the most diverse places in the world I would take advantage of that. Personally I love Indian food, but I would definiately not leave without a trip to Chinatown. In chinatown I would try to get some bahn mi sandwiches, egg custards, dollar dumplings, hand pulled noodles, soup dumplings and buble tea lol (if you never had it). My favorite restaurant in Chinatown is Great noodletown. Hope this helped.

      1. For a quick lunch near grand central, you can do cipriani dolci if you really want something quick but still good. It's directly outside of grand central. I would also recommend checking out the mexican spot (is it zocalo?) in grand central.

        Saturday night dinner - on the UWS, my favorite spot is Ouest. Very cozy, comfort food. Also you can try Bar Boulud as recommended, above. Any sort of criteria for this dinner?

        Sunday brunch - if you like five points, you will love Cookshop brunch. I think it's even better and really a treat. I also really like Resto for brunch, it's a bit different than the usual but the food is wonderful and the space is very nice in the afternoon.

        Monday - You might like Bobo for dinner, it's romantic and has a very good shortrib on the menu. My other recommendations would be Scarpetta (Italian with great short rib app and steak), Market Table (quite similar to Little Owl), or Minetta Tavern (american comfort food, i.e. burgers, veal chop, lamb, chicken, fish, etc but very good)

        Tuesday - Try a bahn mi sandwich at Baoguette (I have only been to the lexington ave location)