HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Top 5 "Must Eats" in NYC

  • 163
  • Share

Hounds,

My sister's coming to NYC and I want to give her the gastronomic time of her life. But I'm not talking about a blow-out $2,000 dinner at Le Bernadin. I mean little, incredible experiences here and there, whether upscale or downscale (kickin' it old-school-chowhound.com here!).

Here's a few I already have in mind:

1. Cereal Milk soft serve at Momofuku Milk Bar ($4)
2. Foie Gras Cree Brulee at Jean George ($20)
3. Halumi Eggs at Cafe Mogador ($9)
4. Maialino at Mailino ($70)
5. Short Ribs Rendang at Fatty Crab ($25)
6. Pork Sandwich at Porchetta ($8)

Please name your ultimate 5 NYC dishes, inc restaurant and (approx) price. Thanks!

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

Cafe Mogador
101 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

Fatty Crab
643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

Porchetta
110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

Momofuku Milk Bar
251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

Maialino
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Lupa.

    nestled between row homes, this place will undoubtedly lead you into a great ny evening. Try the Cavolo Nero con Guanciale. My personal favorite. Sit at the bar.

    Im already jealous just thinking about it. :)

    -----
    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    3 Replies
    1. re: Chingale

      is that their famous black pepper dish?

      1. re: pork_buns

        Cavolo Nero is Tuscan Kale, a leafy green.

        I think you're thinking of Cacio e Pepe, the pasta dish.

        -----
        Cacio e Pepe
        182 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

      2. re: Chingale

        What restaurant are talking about?

      3. If I had a sister visiting, I'd probably hit up:

        1. Momofuku pork buns, if you're at Milk Bar anyway ($9)
        2. Dessert at ChikaLicious, especially the "cheesecake" ($14 prix fixe, $21 with wine pairing)
        3. Sushi at Sushi Yasuda (varies, there are set meals in the $30s, and a la carte is however much you want it to be).
        4. Ten-course tasting menu at Degustation for $75 or five-course for $50.
        5. Pasta and small appetizers at Otto (~$20 a person)

        I avoided single dishes at really upscale restaurants, as they're probably less useful, but spaghetti with tomato and basil at Scarpetta ($23, ridiculous but so good), fusilli with red-wine braised octopus and bone marrow at Marea (something ridiculous also, but unbeatable pasta), burger at Minetta Tavern ($26, again).

        Also, Doughnut Plant and Otafuku for quick tasty nibbles.

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

        Minetta Tavern
        113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

        Doughnut Plant
        379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

        ChikaLicious
        203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

        Otafuku
        236 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

        Scarpetta
        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

        Marea
        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

        4 Replies
        1. re: junipersong

          > 4. Ten-course tasting menu at Degustation for $75 or five-course for $50.

          It's now $80 and $55.

          1. re: junipersong

            1. Momofuku pork buns are great

            1. re: junipersong

              Sushi Yasuda for $30 per person? I've never gotten out of there for under $100 a person (not including liquor.) That being said it's worth every penny!! If I had one meal left in my life it'd be at Sushi Yasuda.

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

              1. re: chazfitzm

                The lunch prix fixe is less than $30 I believe.

            2. Coffee and a roasted pork bun at Mei Li Wah on Bayard St.

              1 Reply
              1. re: gutsofsteel

                nice. low key. thanks.

              2. top 5 "nyc" savory
                1. degustation (if i had to pick one dish it would be the duck egg mousse, or maybe the croquetas, or the sea urchin soup) ($5-10) (10 course tasting is 75$)
                2. bbq octupus-babbo ($15)
                3. pizza del re-keste ($19)
                4. mutton chop-keens ($45)
                5. super heebster-russ and daughters ($10.45) of course while you're there you should stop by Katz for a pastrami reuben (15.75$) tell your sandwich maker to grill the rye bread. The sandwich needs the crunch of the griddle. while you're at russ and daughters you should try their fishes, bagels, rugelahs, etc.
                i would have said the Fregola sarda with veal sweetbreads from EMP but it's no longer on the menu =[.
                top 5 "nyc" sweets
                1. Kee's Chocolates
                2. Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie-Levain ($4)
                3. Nutella Mocha Milkshake-Shopsin's ($5.95)
                4. Babka-Andres Bakery ($12), they don't sell slices. If you don't want a whole loaf you could get a slice of chocolate cheesecake at Katz or a blk\white at donut pub.
                5. Cannolo gelato-Bruno Bakery ($4), if you sister likes her ice cream\gelato thick she'd like Otto more.
                I was going mention the maple mascarpone cheesecake at Babbo but that's no longer on the menu the maple budino at locanda verde. The things I listed are more ny oriented since well executed restaurant desserts can be done anywhere. If my sister were coming I would go to the outer boros a lot since there's tons of stuff there that can't be found anywhere else. so you should try posting this there. you should also try a walking tour of chinatown if you search the boards you should find it.

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

                Babbo
                110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                5 Replies
                1. re: daffyduck

                  Thanks, guys - I really appreciate it and am noting everything into Notes on my phone.

                  Please keep 'em coming. I'm particularly interested in the high vs. low experience.

                  1. re: daffyduck

                    > 1. degustation (if i had to pick one dish it would be the duck egg mousse, or maybe the croquetas, or the sea urchin soup) ($5-10) (10 course tasting is 75$)

                    It's a small place and all counter seating, so I would reserve and make a meal out of it. Not sure those prices are accurate as I walk past the place often and the ten course tasting is now $80. Also their menu is market driven and those particular dishes may not be on the menu when you visit.

                    > 2. bbq octupus-babbo ($15)

                    To clarify, this is GRILLED octopus. Not BBQ. There is no barbecue sauce or barbecue spice rub and it is not cooked low and slow for hours overnight..

                    1. re: kathryn

                      whoops sorry. i think Babbo changed their menu. it may have been called something else but i remember an octupus appetizer with a bbq sauce-like component to it?
                      the croquetas are 5 dollars at degustation and the sea urchin soup is 10 dollars. the duck egg mousse with lamb bacon isnt on the menu but it was on the 10 course tasting, i dont know if it still is. but it's a very nice place so i would also make a meal out of it.

                      1. re: daffyduck

                        awesome. thank you. :)

                    2. re: daffyduck

                      Levain cookie - yes! Get one of each, have the shop cut them into quarters for you and use them as your daily calorie intake for the next two days.

                    3. 1. Langoustine (the prep changes regularly), Le Bernardin (varies)
                      2. The Laiskonis Egg, Le Bernardin (Free! Well, sort of...)
                      3. Roasted bone marrow with baguette soldiers and shallot confit, Minetta Tavern ($15)
                      4. Sicilian slice straight out of the oven, Di Fara ($5)
                      5. Fresh champagne truffle, Kee's Chocolates ($2.45)

                      -----
                      Per Se
                      10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

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

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hcbk0702

                        nice list. thanks, hcbk! :) will definitely be trying a few of those.

                      2. with all due respect, i loathe most of the places mentioned in this thread:

                        -- all Mario places: Lupa and Babbo, etc, serve uneven over-salted food w/ offensive attitude...i want them all to close/burn-inside-a-giant-coal-fired-oven...

                        -- Momofuku is a sham: bad faux-Asian/ill-conceived fusion food...cereal milk??...DIY and save yourself a few bucks and the smug attitude of the cashier as he/she serves it to you w/ a smirk and a lame grasp for a tip...

                        -- i love Russ&D but i'd say get some Eastern Gaspe and other lox and whitefish salad rather than the jokey sandwich mentioned above...

                        -- i like the mutton chop at Keens though...but to keep the cost low, go to the Pub Room at Keens and split it, as a snack...

                        -- i love Manhattan, and am a NYer, but i think the city's biggest advantage is it's variety rather than it's quality...it's a (truly fantastic) Jack of All Trades...i love that within a few minutes walk of my old place in Union Sq i could get several varieties of specific cuisines...but were any of them all that splendid?...no...they satisfied a craving...but they were usually a "B" version of whatever that cuisine would be in places that did it top-notch...

                        -- the things i think NYC does well are things like bagels and pizza...and Italian-American food...and we do have a better variety of Japanese food than most cities in North America and Europe...and yeah, there is some good gelato...and better Sichuan than most cities in North America...

                        to the OP, i think your list should be based on whatever your sister doesn't get in her hometown, rather than a Holy Grail of Manhattan Bests...

                        re: Maialino, i like the place to eat at the bar, but the Maialino pasta dish i had there was gluey and bland...but i like the wine, vibe, and the fried cod...

                        One of my fav places in NYC is Malatesta: simple pasta and grilled lamb chops, eaten outdoors in a rustic neighborhood setting near the Hudson River...it's one of the few Manhattan restaurants that i miss when i am out of town...

                        If she likes sushi, i'd consider Ushi Wakamaru...

                        Hope the trip is fabulous...just my two cents :)

                        -----
                        Lupa
                        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                        Malatesta
                        649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

                        Babbo
                        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                        Maialino
                        2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                        61 Replies
                        1. re: Simon

                          -- all Mario places: Lupa and Babbo, etc, serve uneven over-salted food w/ offensive attitude...i want them all to close/burn-inside-a-giant-coal-fired-oven...

                          Wow, I have not tried Lupa but have dinned at Babbo everytime I have been to NY and never experienced over salted food or bad service. So I would offer the exact opposite experience as balance.

                          -----
                          Lupa
                          170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                          Babbo
                          110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                          1. re: Simon

                            momofuko is not faux asian in any way, except they guys name is chang.

                            as for DIY, well that is true for every dish in every restaurant ever in the history of restaurants. you can do it yourself for cheaper, but that is not why one goes out to a restaurant, to get the cheapest possible iteration of a food.

                            momofuku ssam is high end takes on street and comfort food. if that doesn't float your boat, no problem, don;t go. but to miscategorize it, and then call it a sham because it doesn't fit the niche you miscategorized it as isn't quite fair.

                            ive never been disappointed at ssam

                            1. re: thew

                              i think pouring milk over store-bought junk-food cereal and then straining it and selling it takes the easily-DIY to a whole new level of absurdity and pretentiousness...sham?...yes, indeed...

                              1. re: Simon

                                perhaps. but i remember mimi sheraton once based a review on a ukrainian restaurant on their french toast. i would submit that judging momofuko on the cereal the same sort of nonsense

                                1. re: thew

                                  i didn't enjoy either of my meals at Momofoku Saam, so i am not judging based on just cereal milk...

                                  1. re: Simon

                                    Just curious, which dishes in particular did you find disappointing at Ssam? Some dishes incite pretty polarizing opinions. I still remember a few years back when everyone in my party hated the sea urchin with whipped tofu and pearl tapioca while I relished its unique flavor + texture. Agree with you that some of Momofuku Milk Bar's staff has no grasp of hospitality/customer service and needs to be fired. For reference, my favorite items at Ssam are the raw oysters with kimchi consomme, and the hanger steak ssam, which is no longer offered.

                                    I could see where you and Silverjay are coming from with regards to the "faux Asian" comments to a certain extent. To me, a Chinese American who grew up in Hong Kong, the Momofuku pork bun is the embodiment of that sentiment. It reminds me of the bun served with peking duck, but instead of duck, you get kakuni inside. Don't get me wrong, I love the Momo empire, but I do see where you guys are coming from... I think ;) It really depends on what you order.

                                    -----
                                    Momofuku Milk Bar
                                    251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                                    1. re: Noodle fanatic

                                      i can't really remember most of specific dishes of either time: i didn't *hate* anything, but nothing particularly worked well together nor made me want to return...i do remember that at lunch i had the pickle assortment as my starter: and while i love pickles, kimchi, etc, it was kind of ill-conceived as a starter for one person: it'd be nice to share w/ a few people, but alone as a starter, it's like consuming a pint of vinegar...the statement seemed to be: "Look how many cool kinds of pickles we can serve at one time!" as opposed to creating a starter that was actually pleasant to eat...(the Milkbar concoctions seem to follow a similar plan: "Look how much processed candy/cereal and extra sugar and salt we can cram into one thing! Aren't we cool and clever?!"...

                                      both times at Saam i found the staff to be pretentious/arrogant...

                                      this impression was confirmed for me by steakrules' review of Saam, where he described how, when he ordered the $140 steak for himself at the bar, and then requested a small amount of butter, that he was told "no" and that the kitchen does not allow "tweaking" of the dishes...for a place which even some fans admit has some hits and some misses, this is unacceptably snide service/management...

                                      1. re: Simon

                                        Yeah, that whole attitude really turned me off on the whole Momofuku empire. I experienced Ssam twice, saw what it was all about, and honestly don't have any craving to return any time soon.

                                        1. re: steakrules85

                                          Sorry to hear. I've always had amazing service at Ssam and Noodle, especially when I eat alone at the bar or bring out-of-town guests. Although the same can't be said about the staff at Ma Peche or Milk Bar downtown, both of which have very inconsistent and at times rude service. I should have taken the name down of the girl who recently took my order at Milk Bar in the East Village - if you can't even smile or say thank you, you really shouldn't be working in the service industry.

                                          -----
                                          Ma Peche
                                          15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                          1. re: Noodle fanatic

                                            I've been going very frequently to both Ma Peche and Milk Bar (midtown), and the service has been great at both. It may be that Milk Bar (midtown) doesn't get (yet) the crowds of downtown, but every time I've gone (lunch time and after work), the staff at MB has been very helpful and friendly.

                                            The service at Ma Peche is very professional, yet friendly. On one of my earlier visits, one of the busboys was a bit too "grabby" by clearing plates of some at my table while others were still eating, but that has been corrected. Cory Lane has done a wonderful job with his staff. I wouldn't hesitate having either a business lunch or dinner at Ma Peche knowing that my table will be treated with the utmost of professionalism. The food is great too! I guess that's why I return so often.

                                            -----
                                            Ma Peche
                                            15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                      2. re: Noodle fanatic

                                        In fact, the pork bun at Momofuku is basically the popular traditional street food in Taiwan called Gua-bao (刈包). For some reason, Gua-bao had been entirely under the radar of New Yorkers until Chang came up with his own version like it was a new concept. One can get the Taiwanese version at Baohaus in LES for half the price, and can probably get even cheaper and better ones in Flushing.

                                        1. re: mountsac

                                          Actually, David Chang was inspired by Peking Duck buns in Japan. Makes sense to me because he opened Momofuku Noodle Bar after spending time in Japan. His buns have pork, cucumber, scallion, and hoisin. Gua bao are similar to that but have a different flavor profile due to the peanuts and bitter greens.

                                          http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Story...

                                          Chang said that in Japan the "awesome" and "delicious" buns are made with Peking duck, but he makes it with pork. "It was one of the few dishes that just sort of happened, and I was like instead of Peking duck, what if we just sort of stuck pork belly into that sort of bun."

                                          1. re: kathryn

                                            You could only get something like those buns at a Chinese restaurant in Japan. So they are based on something Chinese. Anyway, there's too much sauce on them to even consider them inspired by Japanese cooking.

                                            1. re: kathryn

                                              I am aware that the flavor profile he employs is similar to that of Hong Kong's version of Peking Duck (northern Chinese use sweet-flour-sauce, not hoisin). My point, however, is that substituting the duck with pork belly is nothing new.

                                              As you quoted from him: "what if we just sort of stuck pork belly into that sort of bun."

                                              Well, it's been done. And there are examples of that concept in the very city he lives in. He might subjectively think that he organically came up with the creation from what he tasted on the street of Japan - I don't really care where and how he came up with the dish. My original comment was addressing the fact that many New Yorkers as well as some prolific food bloggers seem to think that Chang's concoction is the creation of the century, while in fact similar flavor profile and the exact protein-carb combination have existed in the city for years.

                                              Synthesizing the two ideas is something novel. And it surely worked, as his dish received more attention than either of its predecessors. I guess my cynicism got the better of me - if another person raves to me about how genius and interesting that dish is, I'm gonna puke. Please, just act like you know!

                                              1. re: mountsac

                                                I honestly don't think many people think the Momo pork buns are "genius" or even "interesting" - nobody's comparing Chang to Wylie Dufresne or anything. People like them because they're tasty. That's it. If Chang has a kind of genius, it's as a restaurateur, not as a chef - and he'd be the first to admit that. He might have some genius chefs on his staff (Peter Serpico, and perhaps Tien Ho) but he himself - he knows how to run a great restaurant, he's tapped into the current food Zeitgeist. He's had his moments in the kitchen, but many of the dishes we'd ooh and aah over in Momoland were creations of Serpico or Ho, DC's just the one who gets to go on Martha Stewart.

                                    2. re: Simon

                                      Is this less work than putting a great porterhouse under a salamander?

                                      1. re: Simon

                                        Here is the Cereal Milk recipe, it's a little more involved than just pouring and straining.
                                        http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/c...

                                        Regardless, as someone else points out below, it's not Chang's recipe.

                                      2. re: thew

                                        >momofuko is not faux asian in any way, except they guys name is chang.

                                        I 100% agree. I'm Asian (of two different descents) and find Momofuku to be refreshing and not a "sham" in any way. Are all of his dishes hits? Of course not. He's got his share of misses. But "faux-Asian" he is not. He's a Korean guy growing up in NoVa - he knows what good Asian food is.

                                        Not to mention cereal milk is Christina Toshi's creation, not Chang's.

                                        1. re: uwsister

                                          I agree with Simon. The cuisine, not the man, is faux Asian. I don’t get the impression anyone there knows what good Asian food is- or at least if they do, it’s not reflected in the food. I think the take on it is more American than Asian. It’s like Ruby Foo’s with better sourced ingredients and more clever combinations. It’s a cute mini empire though and it certainly has the media’s attention.

                                          1. re: Silverjay

                                            I don't think they have ever claimed to be serving Asian food at Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam Bar, or Ko.

                                            See the FAQs on their sites.

                                            q: what kind of cuisine is it?
                                            a: we try our best to serve delicious american food

                                            “ethnic crossovers also occur when distinct elements meet in a single recipe. this country is, after all, a huge melting pot. why should its cooking not illustrate the american transformation of diversity into unity?” – wolfgang puck

                                            From:
                                            http://www.momofuku.com/

                                            1. re: Silverjay

                                              do you call the hamburger faux german food? are french fries faux belgian food?

                                              he isn't trying to make asian food. that was my point. the only thing asian about the menu is the chef's ancestry. it isn't faux anything. it is modern global cuisine with an emphasize on comfort and "fast" food.

                                              1. re: thew

                                                There is definitely Asian influence in some dishes.

                                                1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                  There are Asian influences in the food at Jean Georges as well but no one would call that Asian food.

                                                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                    yes. and american influences. and french influences. and middle eastern influences (which are asian too). etcetc

                                                    does their use of whipped lardo make them faux italian? does the use of virginia and kentucky hams make them faux american? the have sea beans, does that mean he making inauthentic dutch food?

                                                    it is ridiculous to call a menu to task for not being good at something it isn't trying to do.

                                                    1. re: thew

                                                      I'm not calling it to task. I like the food at Ssam Bar....I don't think it's as good as it was when Tien was at Ssam, but still good.

                                                      1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                        no, you did not call them out. that was further upthread

                                                2. re: Silverjay

                                                  Chang's flavor vocabulary happens to draw from a wide range of places, among them Korea (as well as Japan and the American South). That does not mean he thinks his cooking is Korean (or Japanese, or Southern), as much as some devotees of the original cuisines might wish it were so.

                                                  Let's not unfairly pigeonhole chefs who want to incorporate the flavor of kimchee, for example, in their food, and slam them as "faux" when what they cook tastes nothing like what they eat in Seoul. That's missing the point.

                                                  1. re: squid kun

                                                    Well he calls the restaurants Momofuku, you eat with chopsticks there, and they serve Japanese sake, etc. So he's trying to pass it off as Asian dining more than just cooking with kimchi and shoyu. I called the food American in my post and didn't outright slam the restaurants- though I concede going overboard on the Ruby Foo's comparison. Some of the dishes at Momofuku Ssam I have enjoyed. I was responding to the above poster who claimed Asian descent and tried assert Chang's Asian food chops. I don't think you can do that through the food at those restaurants. They're Asian influenced dishes, yeah. But there's a faux-Asian aspect to the entire experience. And that's my take having lived and traveled in Asia most of my adult life.

                                                    1. re: Silverjay

                                                      I agree with that.

                                                      1. re: Silverjay

                                                        so now to take influences from around the world is to be faux?

                                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                                          The only thing I can think of that is served with chopsticks is the noodle dishes other wise you get a knife and fork and as Kathryn pointed out up thread, the FAQ on the website states very clearly that he is serving American food so he's not trying to pass off anything.

                                                          1. re: Silverjay

                                                            I guess to my ear "faux" implies that someone's trying to put something over on us. What I see in Momofukuland is Asian influence, sure, but not an attempt to "pass off" the experience as authentic Asian.

                                                            1. re: squid kun

                                                              Faux simply means fake. As in fake Asian. And I think Momofuku *is* faux Asian. It's not trying to be authentic Asian, it's trying to be faux Asian. And it succeeds. That is not in any way a criticism.

                                                              1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                                My point is that fake is pejorative, implying an attempt to deceive, and that Chang's places are more about cross-cultural borrowings.

                                                                1. re: squid kun

                                                                  I don't think faux is pejorative. I think there is an effort there toward faux Asian, and it succeeds.

                                                                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                                    i don't agree at all. i don't think he's going for faux asian at all, he's going for american food as seen through the lens of a korean-american

                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                      Well the reason people say Faux Asian is because his restaurants do seem to have different themes for their signature dishes. Ssam would be Korean, Noodle Bar Japanese for the Ramen and Chinese for the Pork Buns, Ma Peche would be Vietnamese for their Beef 7 ways and Ko would be a mix of all of them with European/Asian techniques.

                                                                      So there is definitely an Asian theme here.

                                                              2. re: squid kun

                                                                I was provided chopsticks for all my dishes when I ate at Ssam a few weeks ago... I don't think they're trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. But they have an Asian shtick and when it comes to the food, some of the dishes work and some of them don't because of this. Regardless, they're attempting to frame the experience as partially Asian- with Asian influenced ingredients, cooking methods, and the decor. Nobody can call it Korean comfort food or Japanese izakaya food because it's not. So yeah, it's American.

                                                                1. re: Silverjay

                                                                  When we had lunch at Ma Peche, there was exactly one eating implement at each place setting: chopsticks. That says "Asian" to me.

                                                                  1. re: RGR

                                                                    I don't hesitate to ask for a knife and fork; the staff doesn't hesitate to bring them (nor am I made to feel incompetent for asking for them). The staff automatically sets the table with a knife and fork for the steak dish. Same thing at Ko (if I'll be more comfortable with a knife and fork, I'll ask for them and the staff doesn't hesitate to bring them).

                                                              3. re: Silverjay

                                                                "Claim[ing] Asian descent" - now that's funny.

                                                                Having a Japanese restaurant name and serving food with chopsticks are the basis for calling his cuisine "faux-Asian"? That's ridiculous. Nobody's saying his cuisine is authentic Korean or Japanese or whatever (though I have a problem with the word "authentic" and how it's used related to cuisine - but that's whole 'nother thread.) I simply don't believe "American" and "Asian" cuisine are mutually exclusive. He's a Korean-American chef who grew up in Northern Virgnia (where good Korean food is plentiful) and studied French and Japanese cuisine. Of course he has Asian influences in his food. However I see his food as a natural culmination of all of his influences. I don't see any make-believe or pretense about his food. I don't detect "schtick" or "sham." He's not putting wasabi or yuzu on a piece of protein and calling it Asian. His restaurant doesn't need heavily-accented Asian waiters yelling over bad Asian pop music to be "Asian." Is his apple kimchi faux-Korean because it's not made with cabbages and served with bacon? No. To me it perfectly captures the essence of kimchi, which is the combination of crispy-crunchy texture and sweet-spicy taste. It's not at all "authentic" but it triumphs all over the watered-down, weak kimchi served all over Koreatown.

                                                                And that's my opinion, having spent my formative years in Korea and Japan before moving to the United States ;)

                                                                Now if you wanted to criticize him on his restaurant policies or the not-so-comfortable benches, you might have a point. But then again, try customizing your food (vegetarian-friendly, omissions and additions) at a normal restaurant in Seoul and most likely you will have a similar experience.

                                                                1. re: uwsister

                                                                  It's not the cuisine per se I think is faux Asian...it's the experience.

                                                                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                                    i find the experience not faux asian, but pure new york.

                                                                  2. re: uwsister

                                                                    alas, i'm responsible for this bruhaha by using the word "faux"...

                                                                    but what i originally wrote was "bad faux-Asian/ill-conceived fusion food"...i think it's a bit of either depending on what you order: if you order bad ramen, no one can claim that Chang is merely making "American food"...but it seems that had i merely written "ill-conceived fusion" it would have been easier for us all to agree or disagree...

                                                                    Clearly they are polarizing places...i won't be returning, but for all those who like them, i'm happy you can enjoy...

                                                                    (unless, of course, you feel -- as i do -- that certain kinds of restaurant policies/pretentiousness are detrimental to a city's food culture ---- but that's a totally diff thread too, maybe for the Not-About-Food board)...

                                                                    1. re: uwsister

                                                                      Calm down. We've all acknowledged that he's out to serve what he calls American food with Asian influences. Nevertheless, I haven't had anything there that supports your assertion that he knows Asian food well. Some of the dishes I've had even slip into sublime parody similar to your description. The combination of this and the packaged experience as a whole comes off as faux Asian.

                                                                      1. re: Silverjay

                                                                        >Some of the dishes I've had even slip into sublime parody

                                                                        What were they? Just curious.

                                                                        To each to his own - I suppose every successful chef in "ethnic" cuisine will have somebody calling his food not authentic enough, faux-whatever. Funny thing is I'm not even a huge David Chang fan (haven't been to Ko, for example) but I do like occasional visits to Ssam Bar, especially later in the night. Where else would I be eating pork buns and other assorted "faux-Asian" food listening to Stone Roses and Joy Divison at midnight?

                                                                        And like ellenost, I always ask for a fork and a knife and it's never a problem - I hate using chopsticks.

                                                                        1. re: uwsister

                                                                          There were a few dishes from several visits to Noodle and Ssam...As cantankerous as I may be coming off, I'm quite interested in Chang and his cuisine.

                                                                          1. re: Silverjay

                                                                            I'm hungry. When do we eat?

                                                          2. re: Simon

                                                            most of that "jokey" sandwich is their whitefish salad on a bagel. unless you really dont like their wasbi caviar i dont see how you can recommend their whitefish salad if you find that sandwich jokey.

                                                            1. re: daffyduck

                                                              i don't like the wasabi caviar...

                                                              1. re: Simon

                                                                fair enough. i think the sandwich is pretty delicious with it. if the OP stops by Russ\Daughters he\she can ask half the bagel to have the caviar and the other half without. i never tried it without it, but i personally think it's probably better with it.

                                                                1. re: daffyduck

                                                                  The Wasabi Caviar to me is a gimmick. Whitefish salad is tasty enough without gilding the lily so to speak. While the whitefish salad is good at Russ and Daughters it is no where near their best. If I were to tell someone to go there I would suggest an open faced bagel of their choice with half Sable and half Gaspe or other smoked salmon. Those are truly what they excel at and what is very hard to replicate outside of NYC for some reason or another. That said, there are many other places in town to enjoy this type of food.

                                                                  I would equate a whitefish salad bagel to a spicy tuna roll. They both may taste good but there is too much other crap in there to truly enjoy the fish (scraps). If you want the good stuff you need it as minimally adorned as possible.

                                                                  1. re: MVNYC

                                                                    i sampled quite a bit of salmon from russ and daughters i dont remember if i tried the gaspe in particular but I definitely will the next time I stop by R & D, i'm always open to try new foods. BTW who do you think has the best whitefish salad? My taste is kind of weird (I like the chicken liver at Katz over pastrami) but I prefer whitefish salad over smoked salmon. So if you point me to better whitefish salads you'll be my hero :).

                                                                    1. re: daffyduck

                                                                      R&D Whitefish is very good. I would also say Zabar's is excellent as well. I go for the bigger chunks of fish which Zabar's has.

                                                                      Have you tried Smoked Sable? It is delicious but for some reason takes a back seat to smoked salmon in terms of popularity It has a great texture to it. If you never have had it, please try it. I think people who like whitefish salad would like it.

                                                                      As to the salmon, I like most of them but prefer the brined belly Lox. It is not for the weak of heart as it is really fishy and salty. The texture and fat content is superior to cold smoked salmon to me. I am definitely in the minority here but always try to promote it as I am afraid it will be less readily available as the other belly lox enthusiasts die off.

                                                                      1. re: MVNYC

                                                                        i was at russ and daughters yesterday, i tried 4 more sandwiches the meshugge, heebster, daughter's delight, and fancy delancey. they were all fantastic! i named the sandwiches in the order i thought best. the meshugge was great, best thing i've tried there so far. you can get these sandwiches in mini bagels to sample more. i also sampled some gaspe and belly lox, both were very good. if you're a fan of salty things the belly lox is definitely something to get.
                                                                        http://www.russanddaughters.com/menu-...

                                                                2. re: Simon

                                                                  The wasabi caviar at Soto is awesome.

                                                              2. re: Simon

                                                                I liked the cereal milk soft serve. Although in reality it tasted like a soft serve malt-vanilla. The Strawberry milk tasted like frozen strawberries and milk blended.

                                                                1. re: Geo8rge

                                                                  i agree - i LOVE the cereal milk soft serve and, despite the ease with which i could make it at home, i enjoy the cereal milk flavored milk as well. with all due respect to simon's point, i don't want to make it at home; i'd rather buy it for $5 and go watch the dogs at the dog run in tompkins square park while i enjoy it and munch my pork buns. :)

                                                                2. re: Simon

                                                                  Must disagree! Lupa absolutely blew my mind the times I went. Nothing short of outstanding. Momofuku a sham? Come on. Some people seem to be bitter because Chang has become a celeb chef and want to condemn his restaurants because of that. The reality is his food is brilliant and delicious. I'm missing the "sham" part. Also, I've only had great service there.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Lupa
                                                                  170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                                                                  1. re: billyeats

                                                                    Not sure which one 'Momofuku' has come to refer to down here in this thread, but based on my experiences at Ssam, I'll agree with you halfway. The food is all there, but the service lacks refinement. Competent but nothing more. From what I know about Ko, most people feel a lack of sincerity from the service. On that level, I can somewhat understand where people might come from when they look down upon Chang - basically, in the extreme sense, being served outstanding food while being treated like dirt (Actually, I'm sure you'll find that exact wording in more than one place). I will say though, that I do disagree with the particular usage of 'sham' here - the quality of the food is undeniable, and at Ko, I shouldn't think the price objectionable; it's just the other aspects of the experience that are lacking when you're talking about the elite level.

                                                                    1. re: ramenbound

                                                                      my service at ssam has never been anything but friendly and helpful. once in while , if the place is slammed, it might take a minute to get someone's attention, but other than that i've always been happy with the way i've been treated there

                                                                3. Wow this is a great topic, however I find it impossible to narrow down the Top 5 best eats in NYC. There are just WAY too many unbelievable tastes out there. I will have to think about this one and report back.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: steakrules85

                                                                    look fwd to hearing what you come up with. :)

                                                                  2. Roasted bone marrow with oxtail marmalade on challah toast. - Blue Ribbon Brasserie
                                                                    Korean fried chicken - Mad For Chicken

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Blue Ribbon Brasserie
                                                                    97 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: chow_gal

                                                                      1. Bone Marrow at Blue Ribbon ($16)
                                                                      2. Soup Dumplings at Joe's Shanghai ($5)
                                                                      3. Katz's Pastrami ($15)
                                                                      4. Pizza Bianca with Ricotta/Stracciatella pizza at Co ($10 / $17)
                                                                      5. Beef Cheek Ravioli and Pork Chop at Babbo ($23 / $29)
                                                                      6. Double Shack Burger at Shake Shack ($8)
                                                                      7. Spicy Duck Meatballs ($13)
                                                                      8. Sandwiches at Alidoro ($9)

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Babbo
                                                                      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

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

                                                                      Alidoro
                                                                      105 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                      1. re: craft21

                                                                        "7. Spicy Duck Meatballs ($13)"

                                                                        Where, Perilla? Sounds tempting...

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Perilla
                                                                        9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                        1. re: fm1963

                                                                          Spicy duck meatballs at Perilla are indeed delicious!

                                                                      2. re: chow_gal

                                                                        I loved the dish, but preferred the oxtail marmalade to the less seasoned bone marrow.

                                                                        I also had the Fried Chicken and Collard Greens. I bought the cookbook as that was such a great dish. The fried chicken was good, but I couldn't believe that what I ate were collard greens. They never tasted that good when I'd made them.

                                                                        I regret that I didn't try any of the raw bar selections at Blue Ribbon. I was a single, in town for business, and I ate at the bar. As such, I saw such care given to the prep of the shellfish - I tipped the guy, even though I didn't eat the shellfish!

                                                                        I can tell you that at my nexxt supper, at another well known NYC restaurant, the shellfish wasn't prepared with the same care.

                                                                        1. re: chow_gal

                                                                          nice. thanks.

                                                                        2. OK - it was hard not putting Keste or Motorino on this list, but...

                                                                          Madison Square “Park Dogs” at the bar at 11 Madison Park
                                                                          Manchurian Cauliflower at Devi
                                                                          Spicy Rice Cakes at Momofuku Ssam
                                                                          Lamb Hand pulled noodles at Xi’an Famous Foods
                                                                          Chocolate chip walnut cookie at Levain

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: seal

                                                                            seal,

                                                                            Have you been to Devi since Chef Hemant Mathur left (to open his own restaurant)? I have not and until I hear good reports from people whose opinions I trust -- like you! -- I would hesitate to go there or recommend anything on the menu right now.

                                                                          2. In no particular order:
                                                                            1) Thrice-cooked chips, The Breslin: $7
                                                                            2) Katz's pastrami, Katz's Deli: $15
                                                                            3) Boureka, Gazala's Place: not listed on menu, though assume $5-10
                                                                            4) Meatball slider, Kenmare or The Little Owl: $5
                                                                            5) Tropea sandwich, Salume: $11.50

                                                                            www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Little Owl
                                                                            90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

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

                                                                            Salume
                                                                            330 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: LeahBaila

                                                                              just for fun... you can never go wrong w/any of these.

                                                                              1.) Mexican style corn - Cafe Habana
                                                                              2.) Whole Wheat Pizza with Clams - ABC Kitchen
                                                                              3.) Pork Buns, Momofuku Ramen, Rice Cakes - Momofuku Noodle/Ssam
                                                                              4.) Razza (Oven Baked Skate) - apizz
                                                                              5.) Steak au Poivre - Raoul's

                                                                              www.immaculateinfatuation.com

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Cafe Habana
                                                                              229 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                              ABC Kitchen
                                                                              35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                                              1. re: LeahBaila

                                                                                2) Katz's pastrami, Katz's Deli: $15

                                                                                Yes!

                                                                                1. re: LeahBaila

                                                                                  Agreed on the Breslin's chips. Will give the others a shot. Thanks.

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

                                                                                2. I completely disagree with your opinion of Momofuku, Simon. I am Chinese, have spent some time living in East and Southeast Asia, and eat Asian cuisine at least 4 nights a week. I believe that David Chang takes traditional Asian flavors and dishes, and reinvents them in a way that no other chef has. I find his dishes both creative and deliciious.

                                                                                  Now on to my 5 "must eats" in NYC:
                                                                                  -Piccolo Angelo's osso bucco
                                                                                  -Momofuku Ssam Bar's pork belly buns
                                                                                  -Babbo's Pappardelle with Porcini and Thyme
                                                                                  -Jean Georges' foie gras brulee (I wasn't a foie gras fan until I tried this!)
                                                                                  -I was stumped for my 5th, so I'm devoting it to everything that screams NYC: Grimaldi's pizza, Katz's pastrami on rye, Shake shake's cheeseburger...

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: monamiestephanie

                                                                                    LOVE the osso bucco @ Piccolo Angolo

                                                                                    www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Piccolo Angolo
                                                                                    621 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                    1. re: monamiestephanie

                                                                                      You couldn't pick better pizza than Grimaldi's? :-)

                                                                                      1. re: gutsofsteel

                                                                                        I understand where you're coming from, gutsofsteel. The quality of Grimaldi's pizza has deteriorated in recent years. I just had it for lunch this past Sat, and it certainly isn't what it use to be...but then again, it seems that most pizza places I used to frequent haven't been quite the same. Perhaps it's time for me to find another. What's your pick?

                                                                                        1. re: monamiestephanie

                                                                                          For NY-Neopolitan style, I'm partial to Patsy's in East Harlem and Totonno's in Coney Island over Grimaldi's, Lombardi's, etc.

                                                                                          I'm deliberately excluding Di Fara because IMO Di Fara makes a Di Fara style slice (uncategorize-able!) and Co./Keste/Motorino/Frannys which I classify as Naples style or Naples inspired.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          Totonno's
                                                                                          1544 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                                                                                    2. sidestepping the chang/momo debate to suggest:
                                                                                      - lobster roll @ luke's ($14 i think)
                                                                                      - pork burger (better than lamb, i think), liang pi (cold) @ xi'an famous foods (cheap!)
                                                                                      - pretzel croissant @ city bakery ($3.50?)
                                                                                      - peking duck sesame pancake sandwich @ vanessa's (cheap!)
                                                                                      - oyster po' boy @ cheeky sandwiches
                                                                                      - sweet coconut bun @ golden dragon boat on the bowery (85 cents?) (probably more a personal favorite than a consensus choice)

                                                                                      someone recommended lupa -- i could make a meal of their house-made charcuterie/carne -- incredible lingua, speck, testa...$20 for the platter, i think, which is plenty for two people to try everything!

                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: ellabella

                                                                                        IMO the cumin lamb hand pulled noodles ($5 I think?) are better than the liang pi, which are good but on the oily side.

                                                                                        I believe also that you can purchase the pretzel croissant at any Birdbath locations as well as City Bakery.

                                                                                        Do you think that Lupa's charcuterie/carne plate is better than, say one of Boulud's? I stopped in last weekend and ordered the $15 plate from the bar bites menu (I think it's on the brunch menu too) and received a tasting of country pâte (2 good sized slices), saucisson sec, another unnamed cured/dry sausage, pork rillettes, AND fromage de tête (3 slices), plus cornichons!

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Lupa
                                                                                        170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                        City Bakery
                                                                                        3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                        1. re: kathryn

                                                                                          i love the cumin lamb hand pulled noodles at xi'an too -- but on a 95+ degree night, those cold liang pi noodles really hit the spot for me (along with the tiger vegetables). i think it's the wheat gluten squares -- i love the texture. and the noodles are just the right amount of chewy. plus, if you order them cold, they are ready in seconds, and you don't have to jockey other takers out of the way!

                                                                                          sad to say, but i've never tried the charcuterie at bar boulud -- but after your description, i can't wait to do so. sounds like a great deal, and very classic french preparations. at lupa, if i remember correctly, the affetati piccolo came with several slices each of prosciutto di parma, speck, and coppa cotta; a bowl of the divine lingua, served with slivered onions in a kind of vinaigrette; and a mosaic-like salad-sized plate of the testa.

                                                                                          1. re: ellabella

                                                                                            I neglected to mention that the $15 plate I had was at DBGB.

                                                                                            The Bar Boulud one is also awesome but more expensive:
                                                                                            http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/07...

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Bar Boulud
                                                                                            1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                                                                                            DBGB
                                                                                            299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                                              Here's the grand charcuterie platter we had at Bar Boulud: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                                                                              It's served with an assortment of condiments: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                                                                              1. re: RGR

                                                                                                What did you think of the plate there, RGR?

                                                                                                1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                  As I noted in my comment to u.e., some of the hams didn't send me (but I've never been big on ham). I liked all the terrines with the exception of the lamb tagine, which surprised me because I usually love lamb. This platter was from April of last year. We hadn't been back until a few weeks ago but didn't have any charcuterie. Have you been to Bar Boulud lately?

                                                                                                  Btw, we did not have charcuterie at DBGB. We had sausages, which were delicious.

                                                                                                  DBGB photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                                                                                  1. re: RGR

                                                                                                    I haven't been back to Bar Boulud lately, unfortunately!

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Bar Boulud
                                                                                                    1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                                                                                      2. I love the Nasi Lemak at Fatty Crab. A lot.

                                                                                        -----
                                                                                        Fatty Crab
                                                                                        643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                        1. Let's see...

                                                                                          Everyone (practically) has mentioned the pork buns at Momofuku, so no need to go into that here. I'd just say get them at Noodle Bar and split a bowl of Momofuku Ramen with them.

                                                                                          Also, you never know what will be on the soft-serve menu at Milk Bar. On a given day / week they might not have the cereal milk flavor.

                                                                                          Anyway, on to some of my (current) top fives:

                                                                                          Top 5 foie gras dishes that I'd eat in a second before the Creme Brulee at JG, that don't involve getting a reservation at Momofuku Ko:
                                                                                          1. Foie Gras with Soup Dumplings and Jicama (Annisa, $18) - Anita Lo has really been firing on all cylinders since reopening. This is one of her classics, and deservedly so.
                                                                                          2. Oysters Foie Gras (Morimoto, $21) - briney oysters, decadent foie gras, and creamy uni (because it was, y'know, missing something luxurious with ONLY oysters and foie gras...)
                                                                                          3. Aerated Foie (WD-50, $19) - with pickled beets and mashad plum. Clever presentation aside, it's just delicious. While most chefs go for the sweet pairings with foie, Wylie almost always goes for a bit of acid as well (his previous foie incarnation had a sherry vinegar gelee) and it works beautifully.
                                                                                          4. Foie Gras Mi-Cuit (Aldea, $18) - I must admit, I haven't been the biggest fan of Aldea, but this dish - with birch beer and cocoa nibs - stood out.
                                                                                          5. Rabbit Rillettes with Foie Gras (11MP, $21) - with pistachio bread and cherries. Available at the bar.

                                                                                          Top 5 desserts (3 it's worth getting a whole meal just to get to at the end, plus 2 other places where they only make dessert):
                                                                                          1. Raspberry Souffle with Black Truffle Gelato (Falai) - just amazing. Tart, sweet, with earthy undertones from the truffle. Bah gawd it's good.
                                                                                          2. Sfera Di Caprino (Del Posto, $15) - with an amazingly refreshing Celery Sorbetto. Also available as part of the prix fixe. While dinner is quite expensive, the lunch PF, at $29, is one of the better deals in town, especially given that you wind up getting nearly six courses what with all the amuses and post-desserts and such.
                                                                                          3. Pretty much anything made by Alex Stupak (WD-50) - they don't call him the "boy wonder" for nothing. His flavor pairings and textures are amazing.
                                                                                          4. Any Ice Cream or Sorbet (Cones, Bleecker St.) - I'm partial to the Corn Ice Cream and the Grapefruit Sorbet, but regardless what flavor you choose they beat the pants off those "GROM" interlopers down the street.
                                                                                          5. Seasonal Dessert Tapas (Spot Dessert Bar) - Pichet Ong's rotating selection of sweet goodness.

                                                                                          Top 5 appetizers:
                                                                                          1. Bone Marrow & Oxtail Marmalade (Blue Ribbon) - as good as everyone says.
                                                                                          2. Bone Marrow (Prune) - also as good as everyone says.
                                                                                          3. Butter Poached Oysters (Collichio & Sons) - luxury in every bite. A bit pricey, though.
                                                                                          4. "Eggs Benedict" (WD-50) - Wylie's take on the classic becomes a new classic.
                                                                                          5. Tuna Rellena (Rayuela, $14) - shrimp, crab, and avacodo stuffed in a "Rellena" made of raw tuna in a soy vinaigrette. A good restaurant, overall, but a great appetizer in particular.

                                                                                          Top 5 noodle dishes:
                                                                                          1. Cavatelli with brown butter, sage, and spicy sausage (Frankie's 17)
                                                                                          2. Hand-rolled Pici with wild boar ragu (Falai) - a touch of black truffle, a little tang of Romano. And perfect, perfect, housemade noodles with amazing texture.
                                                                                          3. Mount Qi Pork Hand-Pulled Noodles (Xi'an Famous) - some prefer the Liang Pi "cold skin" noodles, I like the hand-pulled. Personal taste, I guess.
                                                                                          4. Cavatelli with pig’s head, baby corn, and cotija (Momofuku Ssam)
                                                                                          5. Spicy beef noodles (Super Taste OR Sheng Wang - they're right across the street from each other) - though perhaps not the best choice on a hot summer day.

                                                                                          Top 5 proteins placed between carbohydrates:
                                                                                          Cubano (Cibao on Clinton St.)
                                                                                          Pastrami. Or Corned Beef. Or Tongue. (Katz's)
                                                                                          Any Lox & Cream Cheese (Russ & Daughters)
                                                                                          Stuffed Sesame Pancakes (Vanesssa's Dumpling House)
                                                                                          Banh Mi (Sáu Voi Corp) - although Banh Mi Saigon, Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches, and (dare I say it without there being a flood of anti-Baoguette comments) Baoguette are decent other Banh Mi options. But there's just something about getting your Banh Mi from an old lady at a counter in a store selling Vietnamese CDs, cigarettes, and underwear, that can't be beat and makes Sau Voi Corp special. And they're good.
                                                                                          Pork or Lamb Burger (Xi'An Famous) - okay, so I listed six sandwiches.

                                                                                          If just had to pick a Top 5 places to get dinner, this week I'd choose:
                                                                                          WD-50
                                                                                          Momofuku Ssam
                                                                                          Falai
                                                                                          11MP
                                                                                          Soto

                                                                                          Top 5 things I think are overrated or not worth bothering with:
                                                                                          1. Steakhouses - I'm sure your guest has steakhouses wherever they came from. We have some exceptional ones here, yes, but they're certainly not "only in NYC" kinds of things.
                                                                                          2. French Bistro fare - i.e. Balthazar, etc. Again - we have some good places, sure. But nothing you won't find similar to elsewhere.
                                                                                          3. Porchetta - I hate singling them out. I think they have a good idea. I just find the sandwich an underseasoned grease-bomb. And I love me a greasy fatty sandwich (see: Cubano, above) - but I know I'm in the minority on this one.
                                                                                          4. Brunch at Clinton St. Baking Co. - mind you, I like the place. Just not "wait in line two hours" like.
                                                                                          5. "Crack Pie" at Momofuku Milk Bar - I dunno, it just tastes like sugar and fat to me.

                                                                                          -----
                                                                                          WD-50
                                                                                          50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                                                                                          Cones
                                                                                          272 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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

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

                                                                                          Banh Mi Saigon
                                                                                          198 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                          Sau Voi
                                                                                          101 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                          Rayuela
                                                                                          165 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

                                                                                          Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches
                                                                                          150 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009

                                                                                          Annisa
                                                                                          13 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                          Falai
                                                                                          68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                                                                                          Morimoto
                                                                                          88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                          Momofuku Ko
                                                                                          163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                          Prune
                                                                                          54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                          Cibao
                                                                                          72 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                                                                                          Porchetta
                                                                                          110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

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

                                                                                          Momofuku Milk Bar
                                                                                          251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                          Spot Dessert Bar
                                                                                          13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: sgordon

                                                                                            > 4. Cavatelli with pig’s head, baby corn, and cotija (Momofuku Ssam)

                                                                                            No longer on the menu sadly! Also no longer on the Momofuku Ssam Bar:
                                                                                            spicy rice cakes & sausage - for dinner at least
                                                                                            cured hamachi
                                                                                            sake lemonade
                                                                                            bbq rib sandwich

                                                                                            BTW Momofuku Milk Bar downtown always rotates 3 flavors but keeps cereal milk on the menu, or at least has since they opened.

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

                                                                                            Momofuku Milk Bar
                                                                                            15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                                              The cereal milk soft serve is always on the menu at the midtown Milk Bar.

                                                                                              1. re: ellenost

                                                                                                A little birdie says they may be reconcepting the Milk Bars so we'll see if that remains the case.

                                                                                              2. re: kathryn

                                                                                                No more spicy rice cakes & sausage at Ssam? I shall cry.

                                                                                                1. re: uwsister

                                                                                                  They were gone for a few days and the kitchen swore it was off the menu. But as of last week, they were back. There must have been some customer complaints. :)

                                                                                                  1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                    their menu is always rotating

                                                                                                    1. re: thew

                                                                                                      Yes a lot of the menu is seasonal but some items stay on the menu for long periods of time and have never gone away (country hams, buns, pickles, bo ssam).

                                                                                                      For others, only the accompaniments change, sometimes with the seasons (oysters, jonah crab claws, bread and butter, pork shoulder steak, ribeye, pig's head).

                                                                                                      The spicy rice cakes have been on the menu for a long time now.

                                                                                                    2. re: kathryn

                                                                                                      Oh, I would have complained for sure! Glad to hear it's back on the menu.

                                                                                                  2. re: kathryn

                                                                                                    Strange that they would come off now... definitely one of the longest-lived and most popular dishes.

                                                                                                    Funny thing I would read this thread today, as I'm almost exactly a year removed from the first time I tried that dish, and today was about the umpteenth time I made the dish at home.

                                                                                                    In any event, good to hear that they're back!

                                                                                                    1. re: ramenbound

                                                                                                      It's my opinion that the kitchen there has a bit of ADD. They bore easily of serving the exact same dish all the time, which is why you'll see constant tweaks of dishes. And sometimes, they just remove it all together (like the cured hamachi or rib sandwich).

                                                                                                  3. re: sgordon

                                                                                                    sgordon:

                                                                                                    What a great list! Thanks for putting it together.

                                                                                                    1. re: sgordon

                                                                                                      Great thread! I will bring this list when I go to NYC next time.
                                                                                                      The five things that I always eat when in NY (left in '05) are (not necessarily in that order):
                                                                                                      1. Soup dumplings at Joe Shanghai (Pell St, Chinatown)
                                                                                                      2. Black cod at Nobu or Nobu57
                                                                                                      3. Blueberry pancakes at Clinton St.Baking
                                                                                                      4. Creme Brulee chocolate from Kee's Chocolates
                                                                                                      5. Parnigiano Reggiano Cheesecake at Basta Pasta (well, after I eat the spaghetti made in half a wheel of parmigiano...)

                                                                                                      It seems that I will have to stay longer in NY next time to try all the favorites I've seen in this thread... =D

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

                                                                                                      Nobu
                                                                                                      105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                                      Basta Pasta
                                                                                                      37 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                    2. Upon further review I do not think I can answer this. It's impossible.

                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                        I agree, but steakrules you could categorize like sgordon. For instance I'd love to hear about your top five steaks/chops, apps/sides, and desserts.

                                                                                                        1. re: fm1963

                                                                                                          fm1963- Soon I will be posting what I'd like to call "The Steakhouse Bible". It is going to be a very in depth post outlining everything about the top steakhouses in NYC. Apps, steaks, desserts, service. Best dishes in each category ex. french fries, hash browns, creamed spinach, overall side dish, dessert, each cut, ETC.

                                                                                                          I will post ratings and everything. It will hopefully become the main steak resource on the boards. Still in the works but stay tuned as it is coming before long. Still have to make a few more stops before it's definitely final and complete.

                                                                                                          1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                            Excellent. Can't wait!

                                                                                                            1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                              for your steakhouse bible you should put sides, desserts, cuts, that you haven't tried in case they're some sleepers.

                                                                                                              1. re: daffyduck

                                                                                                                Definitely thats a great idea. Obviously, it is impossible for me to try EVERY SINGLE dish at a steakhouse. I am going to leave the floor open to everyone else to give their opinions too.

                                                                                                              2. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                                did you ever write this? I'd love to see it!

                                                                                                                1. re: uniqueusername

                                                                                                                  I haven't yet but I promise it is on its way. i am just waiting to hit up a few more spots that i have not tried.

                                                                                                          2. Today's top five:

                                                                                                            1. uni panini at El Quinto Pino
                                                                                                            2. Crispy cumin lamb at Szechuan Gourmet (or the tofu, or the dumplings in smoky hot oil...)
                                                                                                            3. Bavette con cacio e pepe at Lupa (tho I haven't had it in a while, since Lupa is such a pain to deal with)
                                                                                                            4. Marinated white anchovy sandwich with frisee, caramelized onions, and poached egg at 'wichcraft
                                                                                                            5. Socca at Nizza

                                                                                                            Wait, one more:

                                                                                                            6. Spanish goat cheese, buttered brown bread, and pickled onions at Prune

                                                                                                            This does NOT count dessert - that's a whole 'nother list!

                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                            Lupa
                                                                                                            170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

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

                                                                                                            Nizza
                                                                                                            630 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036

                                                                                                            1. Not really in this order, but definitely on my list:

                                                                                                              1. Shack Burger w/ cheese fries in Madison Square Park - ($10)
                                                                                                              2. Bone Marrow at Blue Ribbon Brasserie ($16)
                                                                                                              3. Pork Belly Sandwich - or any of their sandwiches, really- at Num Pang on 12th St. ($7.50)
                                                                                                              4. Banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery ($4)
                                                                                                              5. Crispy pork dumplings at Prosperity Dumpling on Eldridge (4 for $1)

                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                              Magnolia Bakery
                                                                                                              401 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                              Blue Ribbon Brasserie
                                                                                                              97 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                                              Prosperity Dumpling
                                                                                                              46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                                                                                                              Num Pang Sandwich Shop
                                                                                                              21 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                              1. 1. The Egg at Le Bernardin
                                                                                                                2. Baked Lobster at Le Bernardin
                                                                                                                3. Uni nigiri at Sushi Yasuda
                                                                                                                4. Snake River Farms "Calotte de Bœuf" at Per Se
                                                                                                                5. Sicilian Slice at Artichoke

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Bko

                                                                                                                  nice.

                                                                                                                2. In no particular order
                                                                                                                  1) the amatriciana and carbonara at babbo/lupa/otto (surprisingly similar at all his restaurants with otto being by far the cheapest)
                                                                                                                  2) ramen at ippudo (the ribs are also amazing)
                                                                                                                  3) margarita pizza at di fara
                                                                                                                  4) pork buns at momofuku (really, theyre worth mentioning...again)
                                                                                                                  5) duck three ways at Morimoto

                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                  Morimoto
                                                                                                                  88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                  1. Ill add 5 more with a few notes
                                                                                                                    1. Locanda Verde-Uovo Modenese ($17 only for brunch and breakfast) also worth noting is the Sheep's Milk Ricotta (12$)
                                                                                                                    2. Maialino-Toffee Glazed Brioche ($3 only for breakfast and brunch) try it with their fior de latte gelato (why not people eat waffles with ice cream) also worth noting salsicca sausage stuffed with pecorino and spinach ($7) and thick cut bacon ($6)
                                                                                                                    3. 15 East-eel! their
                                                                                                                    4. Shopsins-pick a milkshake ($6) that interests you. my favorite so far has been nutella mocha but they have all been stellar. im a fan of their duck quesadillas too.
                                                                                                                    5. Russ and Daughters- Mushugge ($19.95)

                                                                                                                    1. in no particular order:
                                                                                                                      Red Snapper Crusted with nuts and seeds, sweet and sour jus - Jean Georges
                                                                                                                      Seared Langoustine, Mache, Wild Mushroom Salad; Shaved Foie Gras; White Balsamic Vinaigrette ( was not part of lunch prix fix as of end of May but they serve you as an extra course, available at dinner) - Le Bernardin
                                                                                                                      Baked Wild Striped Bass;Corn "Cannelloni"; Light Perigord Sauce - Le Bernardin
                                                                                                                      Monkfish liver (off the menu special) - Prune
                                                                                                                      Skate/Turbot with Chateau Chalon sauce - Jean Georges
                                                                                                                      Trippa alla romana - Lupa

                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                      Lupa
                                                                                                                      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

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

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: gatilgan

                                                                                                                        In no particular order:

                                                                                                                        1.) Eggs benedict from WD-50
                                                                                                                        2.) Pork Buns from Momofuku
                                                                                                                        3.) Brussel sprout pie from Motorino
                                                                                                                        4.) Bone Marrow from Prune
                                                                                                                        5.) Crispy Pork Belly and Pickled Watermelon Salad from Fatty Crab
                                                                                                                        6.) Burger from Spotted Pig
                                                                                                                        7.) Cold Skin Noodles from Xi'an Famous Foods
                                                                                                                        8.) Soup dumplings and smoked tea duck from Grand Sichuan
                                                                                                                        9.) Truffled egg toast from 'ino
                                                                                                                        10.) Chocolate bread pudding from the Desert Truck

                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                        WD-50
                                                                                                                        50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

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

                                                                                                                        'ino
                                                                                                                        21 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                        Fatty Crab
                                                                                                                        643 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

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

                                                                                                                      2. 1. Fideos with Chorizo and Clams @ Casa Mono
                                                                                                                        2. Nutella Pannini @ Bar Veloce
                                                                                                                        3. Lobster Roll @ Pearl Oyster Bar
                                                                                                                        4. Crescent City Smothered Eggs @ Great Jones Cafe
                                                                                                                        5. Goose fat mashed potatoes @ Strip House

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

                                                                                                                        Casa Mono
                                                                                                                        52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                        Bar Veloce
                                                                                                                        175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                        Great Jones Cafe
                                                                                                                        54 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

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

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Sweetbreaddoc

                                                                                                                          You win !
                                                                                                                          Just happened to try the Fideos at Mono last week
                                                                                                                          WOW....
                                                                                                                          1. No one mentioned Chick Parm at Vagabondo
                                                                                                                          2.BLT at Bubby's!
                                                                                                                          3.Bacon Cheese burger at JG Melons
                                                                                                                          4.Steak sammy at Lobels Yankee Stadium
                                                                                                                          5.Any sundae at Seredipity3....

                                                                                                                        2. Foie Gras at Per Se
                                                                                                                          Egg in a Jar at The Modern
                                                                                                                          Red Velvet Cupcake at Sweet Revenge
                                                                                                                          Bread Pudding at Gramercy Tavern
                                                                                                                          Scottish Wood Pigeon with Almond Polenta and seasonal garnishes at Picholine

                                                                                                                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                          Per Se
                                                                                                                          10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                                                                                                          Gramercy Tavern
                                                                                                                          42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                          Picholine
                                                                                                                          35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

                                                                                                                          Sweet Revenge
                                                                                                                          62 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: uhockey

                                                                                                                            love this thread!

                                                                                                                          2. I most certainly haven't made a dent in the NYC culinary scene, but here is my list so far (sorry, I'm too lazy to look up all the prices):

                                                                                                                            1. The (corner) Sicilian Slice at Di Fara in Midwood, Queens.
                                                                                                                            2. The Liang Pi Cold Noodles at Xi'an Famous Foods in Flushing, Queens
                                                                                                                            3. The Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake at Stand in Greenwich Village.
                                                                                                                            4. The Pretzel Croissant at City Bakery in the Flatiron District.
                                                                                                                            5. The housemade grits at Mesa Grill in the Flatiron District.
                                                                                                                            6. The Chargrilled Burger with Roquefort Cheese at The Spotted Pig in the West Village.
                                                                                                                            7. The Sheep's Milk Ricotta at Locanda Verde in TriBeCa.
                                                                                                                            8. The Brussels Sprout Pancetta pizza at Motorino in the East Village.
                                                                                                                            9. The Sweet Potatoes with brown sugar at Daisy May BBQ USA in Hell's Kitchen.
                                                                                                                            10. The Sassy Red Velvet Cupcake at Sugar Sweet Sunshine in the Lower East Side.

                                                                                                                            For a full write-up with pictures check out my blog post here: http://microcosmk.blogspot.com/2010/0...

                                                                                                                            I love this thread. Keep it up.

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

                                                                                                                            City Bakery
                                                                                                                            3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                            Mesa Grill
                                                                                                                            102 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                            Sugar Sweet Sunshine
                                                                                                                            126 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

                                                                                                                            Locanda Verde
                                                                                                                            377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

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

                                                                                                                            1. I'm heading to NY in December and definitely keeping an eye on this thread! Some places I definitely want to try: Minetta Tavern, Luke's Lobster, Momofuku (I've had the ramen and it's sublime, hoping to score a lunch time res at Ko), Degustation, City Bakery, Ippudo and a bunch of pizza places!

                                                                                                                              -----
                                                                                                                              Minetta Tavern
                                                                                                                              113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                                                              City Bakery
                                                                                                                              3 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                              Ippudo
                                                                                                                              65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: tvham

                                                                                                                                Do ssam. Save the big dollar meal for somewhere more friendly, less a hassel, and equally or more impressive.

                                                                                                                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                1. re: uhockey

                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the input, everyone. I'll admit it, I've wanted to dine at Ko ever since seeing it on Bourdain's food porn episode. Not sure if I can even secure a reservation but thought that I should give it a shot...then if I can't get in have Ssam as a backup (Ssam doesn't take reservations, correct?)

                                                                                                                                  Luke's is on my radar because a good friend from SF moved to NY and raves about it and really wants me to go with her...maybe I'll steer her to Pearl's.

                                                                                                                                  I definitely want to get to both Ippudo and Degustation - and Kathryn, I was just saying I've already been to Momofuku Noodle, will not be doubling up with Ippudo.

                                                                                                                                  I've had somewhat bad luck with Batali restaurants (average visits at both Lupa and Pizzeria Mozza in LA) but feel the urge to try Otto unless anyone feels otherwise. As a comparison, my last trip out I loved the pizza at Motorino and Keste. Also on my pizza list is Donatella's and Di Fara.

                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                  Lupa
                                                                                                                                  170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

                                                                                                                                  Ippudo
                                                                                                                                  65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

                                                                                                                                  Donatella
                                                                                                                                  184 8th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                                                                                                                2. re: tvham

                                                                                                                                  speaking only to my own taste, luke's is not my favorite lobster roll around. underseasoned. a lot of lobster, sure, but, not the taste i want when i want a lobster roll. so far i havent found one i like better than the one at pearl oyster bar.

                                                                                                                                  i've never been to Ko, but i love momofuku ssam. ippudo and degustation are must go's in my book

                                                                                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                                                                                    Pearl Oyster Bar also uses more mayo than Luke's (which is a really minimalist lobster rolls, and a takeout joint) and has fries (but also costs about twice as much). I like both but for different reasons.

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

                                                                                                                                  2. re: tvham

                                                                                                                                    If you go to Ippudo, it doesn't make to go to Momofuku Noodle Bar.

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

                                                                                                                                    Ippudo
                                                                                                                                    65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                    1. re: tvham

                                                                                                                                      -- yes, try Ippudo, and you might decide to change your assessment of Momofuku's ramen from "sublime" to "eh" or even "ugh"...

                                                                                                                                      -- if you have had average visits at Lupa and P.Mozza, why give Batali more of your time and money?...try the bar room at Scarpetta if you want upscale Italian or get some orchiette and lamb chops at cheap and rustic Malatesta...and for pizza, you might have a better evening at Arturo's than Otto...

                                                                                                                                      my two cents...hope the trip is great :)

                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                      Lupa
                                                                                                                                      170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

                                                                                                                                      Ippudo
                                                                                                                                      65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                                                                                                                      Scarpetta
                                                                                                                                      355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Simon

                                                                                                                                        Simon, valid point on the Batali thing...I'm not sure why I'm such a glutton!

                                                                                                                                        Malatesta looks great, I've bookmarked it to check out.

                                                                                                                                        -----
                                                                                                                                        Malatesta
                                                                                                                                        649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                        1. re: tvham

                                                                                                                                          I have really been digging Scarpetta and Po lately (although I'm a frequent visitor to Otto, too, but that's more of a antipasti/pasta/dessert meal at the bar thing for me.)

                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                          Scarpetta
                                                                                                                                          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                                                                                                    2. The focaccia robiola di ciro, drizzled with white truffle oil, $21
                                                                                                                                      at Da Ciro, available at both lunch and dinner. Yum.

                                                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                                                      Da Ciro
                                                                                                                                      229 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                                                                                                                                      1. My brother lives out in San Fran and when he comes back we do a walking eating/drinking tour

                                                                                                                                        This year, it went like this
                                                                                                                                        1) oyster bar in grand central for bloody marys and raw oysters and clams-walk down third towards the east village
                                                                                                                                        2) stop at otafuku for takoyaki
                                                                                                                                        3) stop at McSorleys for a couple of pops-head towards the lower east side
                                                                                                                                        4) stop at Katz's and split a pastrami sandwich-walk around LES a bit, grabbing an espresso
                                                                                                                                        5) stop in Chinatown for some take out duck tongue and liver
                                                                                                                                        6) indulge brothers girlfriend and window shop in soho
                                                                                                                                        7) stop at arturos and share a small pie with a couple of makers manhattans
                                                                                                                                        8) stop at boqueria for some wine and tapas
                                                                                                                                        9) stop at the shake shack and split a shack stack
                                                                                                                                        10) return to the oyster bar for a couple of scotches before catching the train home

                                                                                                                                        Sounds like a lot, but we did this over 11 hrs, and the food was shared by three people.

                                                                                                                                        1. Esca: Pasta with sardines, walnut and fennel-$20
                                                                                                                                          Barney Greengrass: Eggs and sturgeon-$18
                                                                                                                                          Lombardi's: Pizza-$17
                                                                                                                                          Second Avenue Deli: Corned beef and pastrami on seeded rye with two Cel Rays-$22
                                                                                                                                          Sushi Yasuda: Anago, toro, unagi, hamachi-$32
                                                                                                                                          www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

                                                                                                                                          -----
                                                                                                                                          Barney Greengrass
                                                                                                                                          541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

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

                                                                                                                                          Second Avenue Deli
                                                                                                                                          162 E 33rd St, New York, NY 10016

                                                                                                                                          Esca
                                                                                                                                          402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: scotty27

                                                                                                                                            Why Lombardi's? Compared to which other coal-fired whole-pizza places?

                                                                                                                                          2. 1. Pastrami from Kat'z
                                                                                                                                            2. Dim Sum at Num Wah Tea Parlor
                                                                                                                                            3. Sicilian Tom+Onion at Ben's Soho
                                                                                                                                            4. Beer at McSorely's
                                                                                                                                            5. Steak at PL.

                                                                                                                                            I'd be happy with that for an eating weekend. Of course only five is hard, so I stick to some old school favorites. I really need a top 20.

                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: SpiceJunkies

                                                                                                                                              What? Not pastrami and corned beef combo? And, say, do you remember to tip the counterman?
                                                                                                                                              www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

                                                                                                                                              1. re: scotty27

                                                                                                                                                tipping the countermen is nice. it does nothing to improve the sandwich in anyway

                                                                                                                                              2. re: SpiceJunkies

                                                                                                                                                Nam Wah? I haven't eaten there since the 1970s, probably. You like them compared to which other dim sum houses?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Pan

                                                                                                                                                  Something's up at Nom Wah, which has been closed for a makeover. Next-generation management and (who knew?) a Facebook page.

                                                                                                                                                  http://www.boweryboogie.com/2010/12/n...
                                                                                                                                                  http://www.facebook.com/nomwah

                                                                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                                                                  Nom Wah Tea Parlor
                                                                                                                                                  13 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: squid kun

                                                                                                                                                    I wonder if the manager's or/and owner's son who I used to play with when we were both 4 might be involved. :-)

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Pan

                                                                                                                                                    only compared to gogo or what I've had in Flushing. But really it's the scene that wow's me. I've been going there since the mid-80's, my family is friendly with the owners and it just feels so much like a scene out of a movie. Particularly when ma jong are being played on a back table. I do think their shrimp balls, rice balls, pinched meat/pea dumplings and almond cookies are all standouts.

                                                                                                                                                    Wow...I only now read the posts about the renovation. They sure needed they were being continuously closed by the Health Dept.. I'll miss the old managers, but the rennovation really was long over due. I just hope the dumplings maintain that taste memory for me when all is new.