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3 night visit: Scarpetta and Blue Hill booked; final dinner?

  • m

My husband and I are in for a long weekend at the end of the month and are still deciding the final dinner location. We were there last September and visited EMP, Sorella, Lupa, Veritas and Aldea for dinner and several other fabulous places for lunch. We get in late on a Thursday and are staying in Chelsea, so are going to go to Scarpetta (RGR, I think this is a favorite of yours) and are going to Blue Hill on Friday night. We're still deciding on Saturday night, but figure it is always good to make an advance reservation. No restrictions as far as cost, food type, etc other than probably to stay in Manhattan. I'm not a big sushi fan and we're both wine lovers, so are looking for a place with a nice list. We've heard good things about Mas, Prune, and Corton, but aren't tied to any of them.

Where should we go?

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  1. Hearth (wonderful list)

    Definitely not Prune
    I didn't like Corton

    239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

    2 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      I love Hearth and Craft but it may be too similar to Blue Hill.

      What's wrong with Prune?

      Blue Hill
      75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

      1. re: kathryn

        The OP is looking for a serious and good wine list. Prune does not qualify. It is also crowded and too close and rushed.

        Hearth has one of the more eclectic and well chosen wine lists in the city, and the food is terrific and the atmosphere is very pleasant. Same with Craft. Neither of these places is nearly as precious as Blue Hill, and the food is better at both.

        Blue Hill
        75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

    2. That's a pretty eclectic list (Mas, Prune, Corton), but Corton is easily the most ambitious and expensive (and I think the best by far).

      239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

      1 Reply
      1. re: hcbk0702

        I strongly agree with this. I would recommend Corton over probably anywhere else in the city. The wine list is solid too.

        239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

      2. Scarpetta books up rather quickly for prime times and opens its books a month in advance (and you may need to charm an 8pm reservation out of the reservationist) so I'd call ASAP.

        Since you're doing American and Italian already, I'd recommend mixing it up with some other cuisine type. Perhaps Degustation (since you liked Aldea)?

        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

        31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

        3 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Thanks for the tip--we have already made reservations at Scarpetta since we knew we were getting in a little later and wanted to make sure that we weren't just wandering around figuring out where to eat on Thursday night. I'll take a look at Degustation.

          1. re: mlc66

            The wine list at Degustation is relatively thin and quite uninspiring.

        2. I'm not sure that "favorite" is quite the right description for Scarpetta as we've only been there twice. Both meals were excellent.

          We've not been to Mas or Prune, but we have been to Corton twice. With the exception of the desserts the first time, which I thought were horrible, both meals were superb.

          I would also suggest you consider The Modern Dining Room. Again, we've only been there twice, but I think Chef Gabriel Kreuther's Alsacian-accented French cuisine is rave-worthy. And more "accessible" than Liebrandt's.

          Photos of our most recent dinner in The Modern Dining Room: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

          1. Take a look at Maialino too. Great wine list without a huge markup. Not huge, but interesting. Oh, and the food is great too.

            2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

            1 Reply
            1. re: clembeauchamp

              As much as I love Maialino, since they are already booked at Scarpetta, and even though the styles of their Italian cuisines are different, it seems to me it's a better idea to opt for an altogether different cuisine. It would appear mlc66 thinks so too since the three restaurants under consideration in her original post are not Italian.

            2. Given your list and the aim for some type of variety, I would suggest L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the Four Seasons Hotel. I know it's not very NYC per se, but it's very consistent, should fit the wine issue, and I think people often forget about it when recommending NYC restaurants. If you're booking ahead of time, see if they're willing to do Le Sucre, the dessert.

              Otherwise, SHO Shaun Hergatt is also a good pick in terms of adding variety, wine selection, and food quality. It's perhaps a little farther.

              L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
              57 E 57th St, New York, NY 10022

              2 Replies
              1. re: fooder

                We are headed to Paris on vacation in September, so maybe we should be looking for something other than French food in NYC since we'll have plenty of opportunity to get our French food fix in a couple of months. Thanks for all the suggestions from everyone so far.

                1. re: mlc66

                  Hearth. It's really just what you're looking for. The wine list is wonderful.

              2. So far there's not a mention of steak places.

                Minetta Tavern is a bistro-style restaurant with very good steaks and better French-style dishes (it's too bad that you want to reserve your French foods for your Paris trip).

                Other than Peter Lugers, which serve one of the best porterhouse anywhere, I'm sure there are other steak places that others can recommend if you want to pursue this option.

                Minetta Tavern
                113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                1 Reply
                1. re: RCC

                  Being from the Midwest, there are plenty of steak places to choose from and it's not usually one of our first choices, so that is why we haven't asked about them. We have heard some good things about Minetta Tavern though, so may take a closer look.

                  We do agree about the wine list at Hearth (one of the places we were likely going to go to was Terroir, the wine bar owned by the same folks.) It's definitely on the list and looks like we can get a Saturday reservation at whatever time we want, which helps.

                  Also considering The Modern Dining Room (even though we said we'd maybe skip the French oriented food). Ultimately, we're looking for a nice overall experience and September is a few months away, so maybe we can consider it an appetizer for Paris. :-)

                2. Have you considered Alto. Their wine list is outstanding and the atmosphere is very pleasant. I have had several excellent visits there in the past. It's Italian and I'm sure you will get plenty of French food in Paris. Good luck.

                  Alto @ 11 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 212 - 308 - 1099.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Littleman

                    I, too, like Alto. But they are going to Scarpetta, so why do another Italian? (Yes, I realize the styles of cuisine are quite different, but still....) Health does tilt very slightly Italian, but its menu is bascially Contemporary American. So, in that respect, I think it's a better choice.

                    1. re: RGR

                      For now, we have reservations for Scarpetta for Thursday (we are staying nearby and we don't get in until almost 8:00, so we're hoping we can even make our 9:30 reservation). Then Blue Hill for Friday. We've read some mixed reviews for Blue Hill, but we love farm to table and we got a recommendation from one of my husband's trusted colleagues. And for now, we have a reservation for The Modern Dining Room for Saturday.

                      We will likely go to Terroir or Hearth somewhere along the way--gutsofsteel is correct that they have wine lists that are very appealing.

                      And I'm guessing we'll be at Alto or Marea or Maialino on our next trip. Much as I love Chicago, I think the Italian restaurants in NYC are definitely winners.

                      Now we are working on lunches. They can't all be huge given the places we are going for dinner, but I will say the main reason for the visit is to eat, so I'm sure they will be nice. It may be controversial on this board, but we might even try to go to Ko for lunch. But, we're just as likely to be found at an inexpensive local joint!

                      If you have lunch suggestions now that you know our dinner locations--please let us know!

                      1. re: mlc66

                        If you go to Hearth you get "farm to table" and that wonderful wine list.

                        1. re: mlc66

                          What else are you planing to do during the day? What neighborhoods will you be in? How much do you want to spend on lunch? What are the "fabulous" places you went to for lunch last time?

                          For Saturday and Sunday lunch, most places will be serving a brunch menu. Is that what you're looking for? Or do you want more "lunch" type foods on the menu?

                          Anything here look good?

                          You could do a lighter lunch by splitting items. Katz's Pastrami sandwich or a Russ and Daughters bagel sandwich? A pizza at Motorino (it's more Naples style than NY style)? I know that hot dogs are a big Chicago vs. New York debate, what about a NY style dog at Papaya Dog or an NJ style dog at Crif Dogs? I think Chicago has us beat in Thai but what about Chinese? Szechuan Gourmet? Xian Famous Foods? A trip down to Chinatown? For sushi, Sushi Yasuda has an affordable prix fixe.

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

                          Szechuan Gourmet
                          21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

                          Crif Dogs
                          113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

                          Xi'an Famous Foods
                          88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

                          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                          1. re: kathryn

                            We tend to plan the rest of our day around where we're eating, so we can be in just about any neighborhood. We ate at Tia Pol, Fatty Crab, Ssam Bar, Katz's, Porchetta, Co., Pommes Frites and Vanessa's Dumpling House last time around.

                            We would prefer more lunch than brunch and I think we probably will go back to Chinatown or perhaps try Xian Famous Foods. We didn't make it to Shake Shack last time, so may try there if the line isn't super long. May take a look at all the pizza posts and go for a NY slice somewhere.

                            Thanks for the link and suggestions.

                            1. re: mlc66

                              If you liked Tia Pol, you'll probably love Txikito and/or El Quinto Pino as the main chef of Tia Pol left to found her own two restaurants (Txikito and El Quinto Pino). Not cheap but really delicious. Casa Mono is also really good but whenever I step in there I end up eating myself to oblivion. They serve raciones rather than tapas so the portions are pretty big in comparison.

                              Since you liked Fatty Crab, you might want to try Laut (stick to the Malaysian dishes and not the Thai or Japanese). It's also reasonably priced. If you fancy Thai, try Rhong Tiam in the East Village (and Sripraphai if you're willing to go to the Outer Boroughs -- it's really good). Try the khao soi or pork on fire, and stay away from the pad thais and currys.

                              Since you liked Katz's and Porchetta, I'd recommend the sandwiches at Lamazou, the sandwiches at Despana (it's a retail store but you can get food from the back counter, order from the menu, not the premade items), Di Paolo's (takeout and porchetta available only on weekends I think), Sunny and Annie's, Crosby Connection, (lunch only) or Defonte's.

                              And since you seem to have missed Russ & Daughters last time, I'd definitely make a stop there. Bagel sandwich, cream cheese, smoked salmon, with red onion, tomato, and capers. Eaten open faced on a bench outside or at the park across Houston St.

                              If you liked Co aka Company, you'll probably like Keste or Motorino. I prefer Motorino because its crust is puffy and the pies taste more of the wood-fired oven. Also Motorino has a lunch prix fixe that includes a salad or dessert.

                              If you're a french fry fan, check out the thrice fried fries at the Breslin, located at the Ace Hotel. They have the same chef (April Bloomfield) as the Spotted Pig. The Ace Hotel is also home to the sole NYC branch of Stumptown Coffee. Their mocha is fantastic: local milk, Brooklyn made chocolate from Mast Brothers, and high quality beans. No. 7 Sub is also around the corner.

                              Since you enjoyed Vanessa's Dumpling House, you might like another CH favorite, Prosperity Dumpling on Mosco Street:

                              Note that Xian Famous Foods has a Chinatown location with very few seats; the EV one has more but not by much.

                              If you're back in the East Village again, it's incredibly easy to do a food crawl up and down 7th Street. Caracas Arepas Bar, Luke's Lobster, Butter Lane cupcakes, Abraco, Porchetta, yum!

                              Russ & Daughters
                              179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                              Vanessa's Dumpling House
                              118 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                              408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

                              370 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

                              Casa Mono
                              52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                              Spotted Pig
                              314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

                              Tia Pol
                              205 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                              El Quinto Pino
                              401 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011

                              Caracas Arepa Bar
                              93 1/2 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                              86 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003

                              Prosperity Dumpling
                              46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                              Fatty Crab
                              643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

                              Crosby Connection
                              284 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

                              15 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

                              110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                              240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

                              Butter Lane
                              123 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                              18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

                              Luke's Lobster
                              93 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                              The Breslin
                              20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

                              Xi'an Famous Foods
                              88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

                              349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                              No. 7 Sub
                              1188 Broadway, New York, NY 10001

                              1. re: kathryn

                                Wow, thanks kathryn! This is really helpful--thanks for taking the time to provide all these suggestions. Looks like I may need to plan some more visits so I can fit in more eating! Thanks again!

                        2. re: RGR

                          Sorry if you see double language on my post--don't know why it comes up that way!