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From Silicon Valley to NYC

Coming to NYC in July for 6 days, we are a family of 4 with 2 girls ages 14 & 11(their first time). Looking for casual places with great food, lively atmosphere, and great cocktails a plus. Please advise if children will not be welcome in any of the places I've mentioned. DD#1 has Serendipity on her list & DD#2 has Dylan's Candy Bar on her's (I've noted Economy candy). We'll be staying near 52nd & Madison.

Realize NYC has tons of great places so if I've missed any closer to hotel, please do tell. On my last trip 10 yrs ago, then hotel concierge recommended two places for lunch nearby which were memorable...French place on Madison or 5th few blocks north of 57th, oh the beautiful sole meuniere & an Italian place right behind Four Seasons with tasty artichoke app & pretty good pizza. As for work friend's rec of Mercer Kitchen...cool place but I honestly don't recall what I ate :) Cafe Boulud was highlight of trip.

BREAKFAST - anything near hotel? bagels, bakery or quick sit down; any weekend brunch nearby? We'll try to go to Clinton St. Bakery one day.

LUNCH- Five Napkin Burger (dd#2 doesn't eat beef); shake shack; midtownlunch.com - Any must try for Indian cart? Is there a dosa one somewhere (saw it on tv once)?
Any recs as we return from Statue of Liberty? Either quick or sit down. Good time to go to Katz, Momofuku or pizza? Also, is Momofuku doable for someone who doesn't eat beef & is allergic to shellfish?

DINNER-

Peter Luger's if we get res. or Keen's - btw, should we skip this as sis recently moved to Chicago?
Keste/motorino/other - Really just looking for great thin crust pizza with tasty sauce/toppings. BTW, loved Pizzeria Mozza in LA.
Japanese Fusion - 15 East? Probably would prefer a notch less on price point.
Casa Mono- any other tapas recs where res. is not impossible?
Perilla
L'Artusi (beautiful website, menu looks great)
Public
Degustation
Marseille - any other French brasserie/bistro recs?
Tabla, Tamarind or other upscale Indian? (dh's inquiry)
Nougatine or Boulud equivalent ? I would throw in Tavern Room but they don't accept reservations.
Convivio - too sedate for teens?
Lupa & Dell'Anima- opentable res. looks impossible unless 6:00 p.m.

Really appreciate any comments & suggestions you have, especially on Japanese. As for Italian, we absolutely love Perbacco in SF.

Thank you.

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  1. great list...i'd only suggest reconsidering Tabla for Indian. i had a meal there last month and left thinking i wouldn't return.

    what about DBGB? it's a fun place in a great neighborhood and easy to get to.

    also, Marseille...it's a fine place, but a bit over-rated on the CH board, IMO. have you thought about Pastis or Balthazar instead?

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    DBGB
    299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

    1 Reply
    1. re: coasts

      Although not "pure Indian" the flavors and pureness of the food at Tabla still makes it my #1 restaurant in NYC...along with the service and ambience! (I never eat at Indian restaurants). Sit upstairs the glow at nite in this room is the best!

    2. Hey ceekskat

      You'll be a couple of blocks from Petrossian's excellent croissants, and Ess-A Bagel's decent bagels. Also, never underestimate the joys of an egg and cheese sandwich on a Kaiser roll from a cart.

      I remember reading only so-so reports on the dosa cart, though I have to say that the dosas I've had at Pongal are consistently better than the ones I've had in the Bay Area (Upupi, Dasaprakash, etc). Their other stuff is hit-or-miss, mostly miss, but I haven't had a bad dosa there yet.

      I like Shake Shack, but you'll find very mixed opinions on whether it's worth the wait/price.

      Momofuku is doable for someone who doesn't eat beef (it's really a temple to pork) but Katz's is not. I've never seen children your daughters' age at any of the Momofukus, but NYC residents with more data points should weigh in.

      Keste seems to be favored among people who really love the floppier, authentic Neapolitan slice - Motorino's crust is crisper and more similar to Mozza's. I liked Motorino's better (and thought their toppings were higher quality).

      Consider Lupa for lunch instead of dinner. They're open all afternoon, so it's easy to walk in during off-hours.

      I think Perilla is a really good choice, and I would look into Aldea as well. Degustation is an interesting idea - since it's all bar seating, around an open kitchen, it could be really great if the girls are into watching the food being prepared. Four-way conversation probably won't be possible though, with the bar seating. I didn't see children at any of these three, but I think Perilla and Aldea would be pretty comfortable for a family.

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      Lupa
      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

      Perilla
      9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

      Shake Shack
      Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

      Petrossian
      182 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019

      Aldea
      31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

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

      1. If your daughter doesn't eat beef, I can enthusiastically recommend a) the 'Shroom Burger at Shake Shack (it's a portobella mushroom stuffed with cheese and deep fried, served burger-style) and b) the veggie burger at 5 Napkin Burger (I think it's made from mushrooms and beets, which sounds weird but it's very good).

        If you are in midtown, I also really love the Doubles at the Trini-Paki Boys cart -- 43rd St. and 6th Ave. (not far from the Public Library/Bryant Park). I haven't had the dosai from the cart. But I can agree with daveena that the dosai at Pongal are tasty.

        You might want to check out Artisanal or Balthazar too.

        Enjoy your trip.

        1. if you can't get into Dell'Anima, take a reservation at its sister restaurant L'artusi. Great pastas. Sexy vibe. Good service. Unique wine list. Not crazy expensive.

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          Dell'Anima
          38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

          1. > BREAKFAST - anything near hotel? bagels, bakery or quick sit down; any weekend brunch nearby? We'll try to go to Clinton St. Bakery one day.

            Sarabeth's on Central Park South is kind of nearby. As is the new branch of Milk Bar (take out) and I think they have breakfast breads now. Never really patronized these locations those, I typically go to their other locations. There's also the Eggstravaganza cart:
            http://midtownlunch.com/2009/08/21/eg...

            > Any must try for Indian cart? Is there a dosa one somewhere (saw it on tv once)?

            The Dosa Man is in Washington Square Park; I think I read somewhere that he sometimes takes the summer off though because his audience is often NYU kids who are gone for the summer. It's also pretty far away from where you are staying.

            > Any recs as we return from Statue of Liberty? Either quick or sit down. Good time to go to Katz, Momofuku or pizza? Also, is Momofuku doable for someone who doesn't eat beef & is allergic to shellfish?

            Depends what time of day -- IIRC both Momofuku Noodle Bar and Momofuku Ssam Bar close in the middle of the afternoon to prep for dinner service, so double check hours before you go. I think you can easily avoid shellfish and beef at both and they are pretty good regarding allergies. I've definitely seen kids there, even as late as 9pm, and ones smaller than your girls! You'll be fine.

            > Keen's - btw, should we skip this as sis recently moved to Chicago?

            Keens is also really fun as a historial artifact due to the clippings, old photos, pipes on the ceiling, etc.

            > Keste/motorino/other - Really just looking for great thin crust pizza with tasty sauce/toppings. BTW, loved Pizzeria Mozza in LA.

            None of these are really "New York" style thin crust. They are Naples style (smaller, puffier). Is that what you are looking for?

            > Casa Mono- any other tapas recs where res. is not impossible?

            Go for lunch, it's much less crowded. And they are on OpenTable.com now, IIRC weekday lunches are pretty easy to reserve.

            > Degustation

            Party of four is going to be difficult here as it's a U-shaped counter wrapping an open kitchen.

            > Marseille - any other French brasserie/bistro recs?

            It gets recommended a lot because it's a solid brasserie right in the Theatre District, if it weren't in the Theatre District I'm not sure I'd ever go, though.

            Re: cocktails
            Your hotel is a long way geographically from places that are in the same tier as, say, Bourbon & Branch, The Alembic, etc. in SF. The only ones that I can think of nearby are Campbell Apartment (though the drinks tend sweet, I think they freepour, too) and the cocktail list at the Chambers Hotel since the bar is done by Ma Peche.

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            Casa Mono
            52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

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

            Momofuku Noodle Bar
            171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003