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Jul 17, 2010 10:30 AM

Top 5 "Must Eats" in NYC


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 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

110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

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

2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

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  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. :)

    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

        203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

        236 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

        355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

        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

              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. 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

                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.

                    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.