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Jun 6, 2010 10:36 PM

Bay Area Hound Seeks Advice for 10-day Trip

Bay Area hounds heading to NYC this week to attend a family member’s wedding. I’ve noted the “must order” items but would love hearing about other “must order” items you think we should add to our list.

We're not big on fatty pork, lamb, “gamey” meats, foie gras, pate or dishes that taste strongly of truffles. We are big on seafood (esp shellfish), squid and fish. Hubby loves duck, I do not.

Both huge carb addicts. Especially love good bread and think nothing of traveling 45 minutes each way to purchase Tartine’s country bread which we prefer to Acme. Prefer “savory” to “sweet.”

Love all different kinds of cheese, hubby not so much. Both love burrata and other cow's milk cheese. Hubby enjoys chocolate chip cookies (Levain Bakery is on my list) and the occasional chocolate dessert, me not so much.

We’re spending our first 4 nights at the new Eventi Hotel in Chelsea (6th Ave btwn 29th & 30th) and the last 5 nights at the Beacon Hotel (W74th & Broadway). Reservations have been secured where appropriate, but we have three open dinner slots that we need to fill.

Day 1 – Lunch at Keen’s Pub (burgers), dinner at Scarpetta (stick with apps & pastas like spaghetti and black pasta with seafood; does the polenta dish taste strongly of truffles?)

Day 2 – Take-out lunch from Chelsea Market (lobster rolls, chowder and sushi from Lobster Place, burrata cheese from Buon Italia, mini cupcakes from Eleni’s, fennel roll from Amy's bread, espresso from 9th Street) to eat at Highline Park, friends & family dinner at Nobu 57

Day 3 – Brunch cruise from Chelsea Pier, wedding reception at Grammercy Park Hotel

Day 4 – Brunch at Locanda Verde (burnt toast & baked eggs), need dinner suggestion after touring Brooklyn with Big Apple Greeter (open to eating before/after walking from Brooklyn to Manhattan)

Day 5 – Lunch at EMP (scallop appetizer, poached lobster, cheese plate), take-out dinner from Fairway/Zabar’s/Cetrella (crab cakes) or Shake Shack on UWS (double stack & shack stack)

Day 6 – Lunch at café on Ellis Island, early dinner at Clinton St. Bakery (fried chicken, maple bacon, biscuits and pancakes) or Sarge’s (pastrami sandwich and 7-layer cake) after touring Wall Street and WTC tribute center

Day 7 – Lunch at Sushi Yasuda (requested seats at sushi bar, anyone have a particular chef to recommend for two sushi novice? peace oyster a must), drinks at Campbell Apartment before sunset at TOTR, late dinner at Strip House (ribeye & creamed corn)

Day 8 – RGR’s LES tour for snacks, late lunch at Motorino (soppressata & margherita with burrata), window shopping along 5th Ave after lunch, dinner open

Day 9 – Breakfast at Barney Greengrass UWS (scrambled eggs with nova with untoasted buttered bagel), lunch at Central Park Boathouse (crabcakes), exploring Central Park after lunch, dinner open

Day 10 – Lunch at Jean-Georges on route to JFK (is this a good choice given our other selections?)

On my radar if the opportunity presents itself around snack/meal time include Donut Plant (cake not yeast donuts, esp crème brule, tres leches, pb&j), Russ & Daughters, Artichoke (Sicilian slice), Wafles & Dinges, Babbo (grilled octopus at bar), Ippudo Ramen (ramen & pork buns hold the mayo), Mary’s Fish Camp/Pearl’s Oyster Bar/Luke’s Oyster Bar, Properity Dumplings (fried dumplings), Shanghei Café (stir fried rice cakes), Joe’s Shanghei (XLB), Noodle Town (salt & pepper soft shell crab), Joe the Art of Coffee, Halel cart on 6th Ave, Kee’s chcolates.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. I know it's a lot to read and the endless requests for itinerary reviews must get tiring, but would really appreciate hearing your comments/suggestions.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cvhound

      Go to Mary's or Pearl's for seafood.

    2. I wish I could help you. I will say this though you won't be feeling like lunch at JG's before you head to JFK. You will be stuffed NYC style which is rough because of all the rich food you will have devoured in 10 days. I'm always worn out the last night even if I'm there for 4/5 days. 10 is a long time. Why don't you have dinner at Jean George's the last night and get on back to your hotel. A quick cab ride after a good meal and you can pack then get some rest. I had a pretty decent meal at some kind of steak house at JFK not too long ago. Good luck.

      Jean Georges
      1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

      1. Looks like a great list overall.

        I'm skeptical of the quality of the lobster rolls and sushi (?!) from Lobster Place; I know you want take-out, but Pearl Oyster Bar and Mary's Fish Camp are much better bets for lobster rolls. Can't comment on mini cupcakes, as I'm anti-cupcake, pro-regular cake. Nobu is unfortunate, but it doesn't look like you can change that.

        Don't bother with take-out dinners from Fairway, Zabar's, or Citarella, as their prepared items are pretty bad across the board. Shake Shack is the better choice between the two, if you like fast food-style burgers. Levain Bakery is near the UWS location, so you can grab those chocolate chip walnut cookies as well.

        I'm sure you know the café on Ellis Island won't be any good.

        All the sushi chefs at Sushi Yasuda are very good. Naturally, most people try to get Yasuda himself, but you'll be fine with any of them.

        Try to keep your lunches at EMP and Jean Georges; they are incredible values.

        I like Artichoke's Sicilian slice quite a bit; it's not as good as Di Fara's, but it's much less of a hassle to get. Ippudo is definitely worth visiting if you can avoid the waits. On the other hand, Joe's Shanghai is definitely NOT worth visiting, as their xiao long bao are mediocre. Nan Xiang in Flushing has the best xiao long bao in the city, but I wouldn't make the trek during your limited trip unless you wanted to try other Chinese food in Flushing as well. The Halal Cart on 53rd and 6th is tasty, greasy comfort food, but nothing worth traveling far for. However, Kee's Chocolates absolutely merits a special trip.

        The New York Times has made a handy online map showing the locations of great coffee places all around the city (both Ninth Street Espresso and Joe the Art of Coffee are included):

        An additional suggestion: if you like seafood/shellfish and are willing to splurge, Le Bernardin, far and away the best seafood restaurant in NYC, is an absolute must visit. Their current octopus prep (charred octopus; fermented black bean - pear sauce vierge; ink - miso vinaigrette; purple basil) makes Babbo's version look (and taste) pedestrian.

        Kee's Chocolates
        80 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

        Pearl Oyster Bar
        18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

        Jean Georges
        1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

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

        Sushi Yasuda
        204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

        Joe's Shanghai
        24 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

        Le Bernardin
        155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

        Mary's Fish Camp
        64 Charles St, New York, NY 10014

        105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

        The Lobster Place
        252 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

        65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

        Strip House
        13 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

        1 Reply
        1. re: hcbk0702

          Thank you to hcbk0702, gutsofsteel and Littleman. The detailed feedback was incredibly helpful! Thank you again for your time. I really appreciate it!