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3 day visit to NYC need specific recommendations please

ScoobySnacks20 Sep 16, 2010 04:12 AM

Good morning,

2 hounders coming for an anniversary trip this weekend. Open to anything but classical french (we are from Montreal after all!)

What do you suggest that would fit these "demands":

Mid-end fun Supper in Soho/LES on a Saturday night with the caveat that we don't have resy's yet and will actually probably walk-in at a random time depending on our explorations. Any classics or overlooked/outmoded places with solid food to suggest?

Sunday Breakfast/Brunch/Dim Sum around Central Park (we intend to walk through early morning)

Monday High-End lunch deal in Midtown (we're staying at the Roosevelt Hotel) before we have to head back out to the airport? (Birthday celebration too!)

Any other suggestions nearish of the classic NYC landmarks will also be appreciated as this is my wife's 1st visit to the big apple.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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  1. g
    gutsofsteel RE: ScoobySnacks20 Sep 16, 2010 04:56 AM

    For good dim sum you shouldn't eat near Central Park....better to head to Chinatown.

    Four high high end lunch I recommend Jean Georges.

    Perhaps breakfast Sunday should be at Barney Greengrass...a NY classic for sure.

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

    6 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel
      kathryn RE: gutsofsteel Sep 16, 2010 08:05 AM

      Second both JG and BG!

      1. re: gutsofsteel
        Pan RE: gutsofsteel Sep 18, 2010 09:49 PM

        I think for them, I don't recommend Jean Georges for lunch, because my sense so far has been that the dishes there that are closest to classic French cuisine are the best, and the fusion dishes can be unbalanced (too much chili, too much ginger, etc.). For almost anyone else, it's a great value and great experience, but perhaps not for these Montrealers.

        I definitely agree with you on dim sum - either Dim Sum Go Go in Chinatown or, if money is no object, Chinatown Brasserie in the East Village/NoHo.

        Dim Sum Go Go
        5 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038

        Chinatown Brasserie
        380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

        1. re: Pan
          gutsofsteel RE: Pan Sep 19, 2010 11:53 AM

          I find the Asian-influenced dishes at J-G to be on the whole quite good. How many times have you eaten there?

          1. re: gutsofsteel
            Pan RE: gutsofsteel Sep 20, 2010 10:35 AM

            Only a few (3 or 4), but I also had very negative reactions to the meals I had at Vong, so not loving his fusion dishes is a consistent theme for me. I really loved Jo Jo back in the 80s, when he was concentrating on using essences of fruits and vegetables in season.

            1. re: Pan
              gutsofsteel RE: Pan Sep 20, 2010 11:55 AM

              You can't compare Vong or Jo Jo to J-G. J-G is in a completely different league.

              1. re: gutsofsteel
                Pan RE: gutsofsteel Sep 20, 2010 07:03 PM

                I have never had dinner at J-G, only lunch, whereas I used to have full-on dinners at Jo Jo in the 80s when it was my family's favorite restaurant in the city. Anyway, I'm comparing dishes and concepts only. And I can only speak of my experience, not others'.

      2. k
        kathryn RE: ScoobySnacks20 Sep 16, 2010 08:05 AM

        In Soho and the LES, on a Saturday night, you're looking at some possibly long waits (1-2 hr) for a table somewhere "fun." What's your budget, $40 per person? $60? Don't forget about tax and tip either. In Soho, we often end up at Blue Ribbon Brasserie at random times but they'll probably have a long wait. Balthazar is also an iconic NYC restaurant that's fun and I think they also take walk-ins. On the LES, the most iconic restaurant is Katz's Deli. Great pastrami, but not really a fun, hip place. For that you'd have to do Stanton Social, Freemans, Schiller's, etc. But again, long waits for a table.

        For Sunday brunch, Central Park is big. Really big. Unseeable all in one walk. Where do you plan to be? East side? West side (more options, especially up in the West 80s)? By the Met? Or the Apple Store? And what time? My recommendation would be to nail down a more specific itinerary and time. Some places won't be open until 10am.

        Stanton Social
        99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

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

        6 Replies
        1. re: kathryn
          ScoobySnacks20 RE: kathryn Sep 16, 2010 01:16 PM

          "Fun" was referring to a more casual atmosphere; not trendy/supper club. 30-50$ before Booze Tax & Tip. I might go to Katz but for Lunch only. Not exact same area, but a friend recommended Woo Lae Oak in Soho; any thoughts?

          For Central Park, we were going to choose our route based on restaurant... so anything goes. As I mentionned we're sightseeing, so anything that will segway into our next (yet undetermined) destination or close to a main subway line will be best.

          Thanks a lot!

          Woo Lae Oak
          148 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10012

          1. re: ScoobySnacks20
            ramenbound RE: ScoobySnacks20 Sep 16, 2010 01:24 PM

            I would definitely go for the Jean-Georges recommendation for Monday's high-end lunch, and I would look into it asap - OpenTable only has a 2:30 resy as of right now.

            If I were in Soho, Balthazar or Boqueria would interest me much more than Woo Lae Oak.

            53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

            1. re: ramenbound
              kathryn RE: ramenbound Sep 18, 2010 09:54 PM

              I recently had a great meal at Boqueria and it's moved up in my estimation thanks to tr great salt cod croquettas.

              53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

            2. re: ScoobySnacks20
              Pan RE: ScoobySnacks20 Sep 18, 2010 09:51 PM

              I haven't been to Woo Lae Oak but my favorite Korean restaurants in Manhattan are both in Koreatown: Madangsui and Don's Bogam, both of which feature Korean barbecue.

              35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

              Don's Bogam
              17 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

              1. re: Pan
                uwsister RE: Pan Sep 19, 2010 10:05 AM

                I actually like Woo Lae Oak - I have to say I haven't been in a couple years but I've been to Manhattan branch as well as L.A. and as long as you don't think of it as a Korean restaurant, it's an enjoyable meal. It's a little passe now though, if you care about that at all.

              2. re: ScoobySnacks20
                kathryn RE: ScoobySnacks20 Sep 18, 2010 09:59 PM

                All sides of the park are near subway lines. The east side of Central Park is the only side where you're not close to the subway. But it's where the museums are. The south end is near a lot of the 5th Ave shops and you can walk to MoMA or Rock Center easily. And the west side is where the Natural History museum is. So that doesn't really help narrow it down.

                Rock Center Cafe
                20 W 50th St, New York, NY 10020

            3. sgordon RE: ScoobySnacks20 Sep 17, 2010 01:13 PM

              Saturday night with no rezzie is a tough one... be prepared for a wait.

              My recs, given your budget:
              SoHo: Blue Ribbon, Savoy, Hundred Acres
              LES: Frankie's 17, Essex, Stanton Social
              East Village, but close to LES: JoeDoe, Prune, Double Crown

              If you can up your budget by $5, Falai has a four-course (antipasti, pasta, secondi, dolci) prix fixe for $55. It has limited choices vs. a la carte, and the portions are scaled down a touch, but it's a heck of a deal and the food is fantastic. They often have tables open, and a couple of bar seats.

              And if you can up your budget a -little- more, there's always WD-50. Two savory courses would come to about $50 each, so split a dessert and you're not TOO far over budget. And there are often seats at the bar or at the no-res mini-tables in the bar area.

              50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

              Stanton Social
              99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

              68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

              Hundred Acres
              38 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012

              45 East 1st Street, New York, NY 10003

              Double Crown
              316 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

              1. u
                Upperwestsider RE: ScoobySnacks20 Sep 19, 2010 03:03 PM

                Monday High-End lunch deal in Midtown (we're staying at the Roosevelt Hotel) before we have to head back out to the airport? (Birthday celebration too!)

                With regard to this subset of your post, I would, at the very least, take your bride to the Four Seasons (www.fourseasonsrestaurant.com) for a glass or two of champange. It is a five minute walk from your hotel and truly, a NY icon. You may very well wish to stay for luncheon--pool room is better, grill room filled with ad, pub, etc. folks. Additionally, and I have no idea what your view of dead cow is, there are several wonderful steak houses in the immediate nabe of the R'velt (e.g. Smith & Wollensky, Palm, Bobby Van's etc). And don't ignore Convivio, (www.convivionyc.com) over by the UN; the prix fixe menu is a great deal. Espoir vous avez une grande visite, et svp faites-nous savoir où vous allez et elle toute établit!

                Smith & Wollensky
                797 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022

                The Four Seasons
                99 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022

                45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

                1. ScoobySnacks20 RE: ScoobySnacks20 Oct 13, 2010 05:52 PM

                  Weather played tricks on us... It was sunny, moderately hot.... Perfect for 3 days in fact! I never saw so many new-yorkers so generally happy and welcoming before (don't take this as a diss, but new-yorkers were in a really really positive mood)

                  Back to food.... The nice weather had us wandering around a lot and we ate when we were starving.... Here are a few outttakes:

                  Cognac on broadway: REALLY good charcuterie plate (I come from a french city and lived in france for a year); great value. The rest, overpriced but still good.

                  Pongsri (before catching Macio (Hilarious) Marina Franklin (funny) Rich Francese (soso) at Gotham: Hit & Miss: too large menu we probably chose the wrong things as what we saw on other tables looked fantastic! (Our papaya salad was spot on although I would order it extra hot (the Missus said it was perfect))

                  Woo Lae Oak: Very VERY good Korean Grill (we had the shortribs & lamb) although probably not worth the value in the "absolute" as I've been to Osaka and Vancouver. Never had lamb there though... Very astute choice of microbrews from asia, america and europe on tap. Great evening. We ended the evening at a fun dive at (I think) the corner of Hester & Baxter, but the delirium tremens (the beer taken at Woo not the actual intoxication state) was starting to take effect...

                  Thank you NYC for a great birthday weekend!

                  Woo Lae Oak
                  148 Mercer Street, New York, NY 10012

                  244 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

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