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Coming to NY next month...need ideas/help!

Coming in for our second visit to NY next month. Very excited and going to try the following restaurants...input/thoughts appreciated. We're staying on the far UES (106th and Lexington) at Margot Guest House, so any good ideas for quick breakfasts up that way are appreciated.

Friday: Will arrive late afternoon and looking for a dinner spot. Originally wanted to have a foodie splurge, but decided we want something more low-key and casual our first night since we have lots going on in the evenings this trip! ! UES/UWS/Midtown preferred...casual, but GOOD food is a must!

Saturday: Doughnut Plant, brunch at Stanton Social, dumplings in Chinatown, and a late dinner at Balthazar.

Sunday: Breakfast at El Paso Taqueria and late lunch/early dinner at Lombardi's (after the Astros/Yankees game). We're catching a jazz show at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, so we'll have a snack there to meet the food/drink minimum per table.

Monday: Pitstop at Levain Bakery to get more of their AMAZING choc chip cookies!! Lunch at Shake Shack (UWS location) and BILs birthday dinner at BLT Prime.

Tuesday: Lunch at Candle Cafe (SIL's a vegan). Looking for a late post-theater dinner location after we see Wicked at the Gershwin Theater. Money may be running low by this point if last trip is any indication :lol:.

Wednesday: Walking the Brooklyn Bridge...any ideas for a quick lunch in Brooklyn that's walking distance from the bridge...other than Grimaldi's? We have a Grimaldi's in my city, so we can get it anytime!

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

Stanton Social
99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

Doughnut Plant
379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

BLT Prime
111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

Levain Bakery
167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023

El Paso Taqueria
237 E 116th St, New York, NY 10029

Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
33 W 60th St, New York, NY 10023

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  1. Any takers? Appreciate any/all advice and tips. This is our second trip to NY, but we didn't get to have many foodie adventures last time because we were with two other couples. We did have dinner at Babbo...great food, BAD service! We vowed to eat at some good places this time!! A friend recommends the Lexington location of Rare for rooftop drinks and a good burger to kick offer our trip.

    2 Replies
    1. re: wendytexas

      Just had dinner at Babbo on Thursday and both the food and the service were great. If your comment shook things up, I thank you. I went for all the offal kinda things that I never see on menus at home (Providence) -- pig's foot, sweetbreads, etc. I loved everything. And, really, the service was just perfect.

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      Babbo
      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

      1. re: ccferg

        Glad to hear that...our food at Babbo was truly wonderful. Our waiter wasn't :lol:!

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        Babbo
        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    2. Wendy, if you're coming in from Texas, don't waste your time eating Mexican food in NYC. Remember those Pace Picante Sauce commercials ("New York City? Get a rope!")? I've lived here for 6 years now and, while I've found some gems, nothing compares to the Mexican food in Texas.
      What other types of foods are you interested in? You cannot leave NY without eating a bagel or hitting a deli.

      www.thelunchbelle.com

      2 Replies
      1. re: LeahBaila

        Oh yes...we plan to have bagels for breakfast at least once or twice ;)! I had H&H last time and loved them!! Would it be convenient to get lunch at Katz's on the last day of trip, then head over to the Brooklyn Bridge to walk it...and then have a picnic lunch at the little area at the base of the bridge?

        We love good food of most varieties. Open to suggestions...especially for a good post-theater dinner that (1) has good food, (2) good proximity to Gershwin Theater, and (3) mid-price ($50/person or less). Also want to try Ruby et Violette after seeing it on Travel Channel. What do you hear?

        And yes...I'm in San Antonio. Mexican food capital of Texas ;)!

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        Ruby et Violette
        457 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

        1. re: wendytexas

          Just a thought - take the subway to Brooklyn and walk BACK over the bridge - can eat lunch at Katzs, or just walk right into Chinatown.

          Not quite in your neck of the woods of 110th and Lexington, but as a visitor, I'd suggest Salumeria Rosi near 73rd on the other side of central park. If you're the least bit interested in Italian charcuterie, its a gem.

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          Salumeria Rosi
          283 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023

      2. The neighborhood you're in isn't a culinary destination for most Manhattanites, aside for from aficionados of Latin cuisine. For a low key dinner, you might want to jump on the 6 and head down a bit to Beyoglu, for Turkish. There will also be night life in the area for after dinner. Pio Pio and some of the Argentine restaurants near it would also be good.

        Saturday you may want to combine Doughnut Plant and dumplings into one itinerary as they are closer together than they are to Stanton Social. Have you chosen your dumpling provider?

        The area around the Gershwin abounds with reasonable restaurants: Kashkaval, Wondee Siam, Island Burger, Azuri Cafe, Marseille, though I more often find myself at Lucky Burger which is almost as great as Shake Shack, but has the added benefit of satisfying my onion ring addiction. Carnegie Deli is nearby, as well, if you are a fan of NY deli-style sandwiches and I think I saw a food menu at Valhalla if you are interested in adding a nightcap to your meal.

        Sunday I would skip El Paso. You could get better food at Fonda Mexicana just down the street or Cafe Ollin if you want good Pueblan cooking. Itzocan Bistro is a higher end Mexican restaurant that might also be the perfect place for brunch, convenience and ambiance.

        For restaurants on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, you would be better off asking on the Outer Borough boards. Were you to take the train to Brooklyn and cross the Manhattan Bridge back into Manhattan, there are some very out of the way culinary destinations on our side of the bridge, such as the Western Chinese cuisine at Xi'an, the lamb and cuttlefish grills and of course Prosperity Dumpling.

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        Beyoglu
        200 E 81st St, New York, NY 10028

        Itzocan Bistro
        1575 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10029

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

        Stanton Social
        99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

        Doughnut Plant
        379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

        Carnegie Deli
        854 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

        Azuri Cafe
        465 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

        Wondee Siam
        792 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

        Kashkaval
        856 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

        Prosperity Dumpling
        46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

        Island Burgers & Shakes
        766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

        Pio Pio
        210 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016

        El Paso
        134 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

        Cafe Ollin
        339 E 108th St, New York, NY 10029

        10 Replies
        1. re: JungMann

          Thanks for all the great input! Our Saturday brunch at Stanton Social is set...we're meeting a friend who lives in Jersey. It looks to be quite a fun place with good food. Thought we'd start off at Doughnut Plant first since we're not meeting her until noon. Maybe we could hold off on Chinatown until after we do our Brooklyn Bridge walk on Wednesday. I know there's a lot of debate about best dumplings...input?

          Any of you have experience with Ruby et Violette? I HAVE to make a return stop at Levain Bakery after only having enough cash to buy two cookies on my last trip :lol:. I had to share with my husband, but I didn't want to. Those cookies kick some serious ASS!

          -----
          Stanton Social
          99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

          Doughnut Plant
          379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

          Levain Bakery
          167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023

          Ruby et Violette
          457 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

          1. re: wendytexas

            Stanton Social is best enjoyed at night, with a group. It's more of a PM party scene. Never think of it for brunch, so I've never been for brunch.

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            Stanton Social
            99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

            1. re: chow_gal

              Stanton Social is one of the best brunches in the city last I checked (though it has been a while). The dishes are all creative, and tasty small plate versions, and it solves the problem of trying to decide between say, the eggs benedict or the lemon ricotta pancakes, because it's small plate style. Brunch for 2 will run about $55, which isn't cheap, but I've found it memorable each time. There are a few clunkers on the menu, so take your waiters advice. Unlike the evening hours, the restaurant is calm, without the nightlife vibe.

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              Stanton Social
              99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

              1. re: sugartoof

                A third nod to brunch at SS. I actually prefer it to their dinner/after-dark scene.

                www.thelunchbelle.com

                1. re: sugartoof

                  >The dishes are all creative, and tasty small plate versions, and it solves the problem of trying to decide between say, the eggs benedict or the lemon ricotta pancakes, because it's small plate style.

                  You've convinced me w/ that one! I'm always the one torn between sweet (pancakes, French toasts) and savory (egg Benedicts usually) at brunch - I'll be heading there soon!

              2. re: wendytexas

                I've got to agree that Stanton Social doesn't seem like a brunch place, or even a before 8pm place. But you could have a good experience. If you are picking up dumplings to go, I am a fan of the pork dumplings at Prosperity Dumpling, though I think the sesame pancakes with beef are really the go-to item. Joe's Shanghai is popular for soup dumplings, but I haven't had xiaolongbao in a very long time.

                I haven't been to Ruby et Violette. I prefer truffles or macarons over cookies and there are many worth chocolatiers in the city worth a visit.

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                Stanton Social
                99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

                Prosperity Dumpling
                46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                Ruby et Violette
                457 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

                1. re: JungMann

                  I'd never heard of Stanton Social before my friend recommended we meet for brunch, but it has a really fun-looking menu. She brunches there often and says it's fun, but quieter than in the evening. Check out the brunch menu on their website...it's not your typical brunch, but shared plates.

                  Another friend recommended Rare on Lexington as a fun place to go on Friday night when we get to town...casual, but fun. With great views and drinks on the roof bar. Any input?

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                  Stanton Social
                  99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

                  1. re: wendytexas

                    I love brunch at Stanton Social, and find it a very nice experience with a lot of variety.

                2. re: wendytexas

                  Re: Ruby et Violette, if you like a Levain style cookie, I don't think it's really the same.

                  http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/1...
                  http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/0...

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                  Ruby et Violette
                  457 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

                  1. re: kathryn

                    I'm an equal opportunity cookie lover :lol:!

              3. I would pass on Lombardi's and opt instead for Patsy's or Arturo's, which are both WAY better, in my opinion, and more convenient when coming back from Yankee Stadium. Lombardi's is a tourist trap, and the past few times I've been, it's been disappointing.

                4 Replies
                1. re: jenhen2

                  Will keep that in mind for Sunday after the game, but we really loved Lombardi's last time we were in town (2008). We have lots of good Tex Mex in San Antonio, but not a lot of really good pizza. We have a Grimaldi's, but it's an offshoot of the original in Brooklyn. Isn't there a Zagat-rated pizza place in the Bronx? Maybe that could work...I can't remember the name, but is it near Yankee Stadium?

                  1. re: wendytexas

                    Have you been to Dough Pizzeria in SA? He has VPN certification and it's as good as I've had anywhere ( I grew up in S. Jersey and lived in NY for 3 years, so I do know what good pizza is.)
                    Definitely skip Mexican in NY, post on the TX board or search for suggestions for great authentic (not Tex-Mex) Mx food.
                    The things I miss the most about NY food that we can't get in SA are Deli, really good Italian (although Il Sogno in SA is really good), fine dining (now that Le Reve is closed), bagels and lox/whitefish and authentic Chinese.
                    There are some great Szechuan rests in NYC.
                    You may want to walk the Brooklyn Bridge and then do RGR's LES food tour (just search for it)

                    1. re: saeyedoc

                      I have been to Dough several times...they are the best pizza in town, and great wine pairings! Love their burrata! And yes...Chinese food in San Antonio is a very sad state of affairs. You know you're in bad shape when PF Chang's is the best Chinese option :lol:!

                      1. re: wendytexas

                        Try China Inn on Military, make sure you order from the Chinese part of the menu. Ask what fresh Chinese veggies they have that day.

                2. Hmmm...we just got a lead on a fab studio apartment on the UWS (85th St.). So...we're most likely going to be staying there now. That changes a few things on the foodie itinerary for Friday night. How's Telepan? I'm quite intrigued by it for a great prix fixe dinner! We had a wonderful meal at Gary Danko in SF last spring, and this reminds me of it just a bit...looking at the menu.

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

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: wendytexas

                    You're exhausting. If you do a search out for "upper west side" or UWS you can get ideas for that neighborhood. a million times better than Spanish Harlem where you were staying, btw.

                    1. re: chow_gal

                      Yeah...I was thinking that it would be a better location food-wise, too. Sorry for being exhausting :lol:!

                    2. re: wendytexas

                      if its not too late....i was not blown away by telepan. would send you to Ouest if you want to stay UWS. i also hear that Dovetail is quite special. Around the courner from shake shack.

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                      Ouest
                      2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024