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Schedule - high end / mid-price looking for feedback

c
Chihab Nov 22, 2010 02:01 PM

Have a few days in NYC in Jan. Looking for comments (including suggested alternates) on proposed itinerary - much of which was put together looking back through prior posts on this board, as well as NYT reviews and so on.

Lunches (looking for innovative, mid-priced and casual):
Momofuku Ssam Bar
DBGB Kitchen
Bar Room at the Modern
Bouchon Bakery

Dinners:
Degustation Bar and Tasting Room - good reviews from NYT, sounds like a more informal / fun style of cooking and service
Cafe Boulud - know someone there so this is a definite
15 East - wanted sushi as a lighter "break" in the schedule
Corton - see below

I don't have a 3* (Michelin) on the itinerary. From what I have read it seems none of them is really a knockout on all dimensions and Corton sounds more interesting. I have been to plenty of 3*s before (including Alinea, TFL, JR at MGM) so am open to being persuaded otherwise. I like mg, but have been to wd-50 before, and although I enjoyed it would rather try somewhere new.

  1. thew Nov 24, 2010 12:19 PM

    your list is good.

    i happen to love degustation, you can speak to the chef while he works, and the food is damned tasty

    1. c
      cambridgedoctpr Nov 24, 2010 12:14 PM

      I recently had the tasting meal at Corton; the savories were amazing; the sweets less so and too much of a pretty good thing. That said, Jean Georges and Le Bernadin are also amazing places; I have not yet tried Per Se or Danielt. Lunch at J-G is cheap and a great value.

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

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

      Corton
      239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

      1. r
        rrems Nov 22, 2010 05:10 PM

        I would definitely stick with Degustation. It's not something you find everywhere. Watching the cooks prepare the food in front of you is fun, and the dishes are interesting and generally really good, especially if you like such things as pigeon, rabbit and sweetbreads.

        I would skip Corton. I had expected it to be unusual and interesting but it was pretty conventional and not wonderful, and I felt it was overpriced for what it is, especially the wine list. I would try SHO, Picholine or The Modern instead.

        8 Replies
        1. re: rrems
          c
          Chihab Nov 23, 2010 02:48 PM

          Thanks all good suggestions. Will re-look at DBGD and try Prune instead probably (by the way there was no need for it to be close by, am happy to travel to the right place). Related question - is the Spotted Pig up to the hype?
          Sounds like a few other sushi options worth looking at but 15 East is not a bad choice.
          Biggest question seems to be Corton....bit stuck on this one. Might be worth changing tack - as one poster asked I am from Chicago and have been to Alinea many times - perhaps something more traditionally "New York" might make sense like Gramercy Tavern? Thoughts?

          1. re: Chihab
            f
            fm1963 Nov 23, 2010 03:38 PM

            Gramercy Tavern is good but not that distinctive,

            Don't miss Corton. Liebrandt is one of a kind. Have a great time.

            -----
            Corton
            239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

            1. re: Chihab
              loratliff Nov 23, 2010 04:31 PM

              I'm a big Spotted Pig fan, but I know some people here aren't. I think the Pig (and its sibiling, The Breslin) are pretty unique.

              I haven't been to Gramercy Tavern, but Minetta Tavern is in the same vein and is very, very good.

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

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

              Minetta Tavern
              113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

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

              1. re: Chihab
                m
                ml77 Nov 24, 2010 09:44 AM

                I think Spotted Pig is great. It works best as a lunch option. The burger is great, as are the shoestrings fries. And the gnudi are amazing. Have one of their traditional English cask ales to drink.

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

                1. re: ml77
                  k
                  kathryn Nov 24, 2010 05:05 PM

                  Split the burger with someone. It's big. Then you can have the deviled eggs and bacon wrapped dates, too.

                2. re: Chihab
                  g
                  gutsofsteel Nov 24, 2010 12:20 PM

                  I don't like Corton, and I am not a big Prune fan either.

                  I'd recommend 15 East for sushi, and consider Craft.

                  The food at Minetta Tavern is quite good, but hard to get a reservation.

                  I like Ssam Bar at lunch (can't stand it at dinner).

                  -----
                  15 East
                  15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                  Minetta Tavern
                  113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                  Corton
                  239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                  1. re: gutsofsteel
                    k
                    kathryn Nov 24, 2010 05:04 PM

                    Minetta Tavern is much easier to get into for weekend brunch/lunch.

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

                  2. re: Chihab
                    p
                    peter j Nov 24, 2010 12:45 PM

                    Corton is wonderful. I would skip Craft. Gramercy Tavern, and Minetta Tavern if you're looking for culinary excitement and originality. You'll find similar restaurants all over the country.

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

                    Minetta Tavern
                    113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                    Corton
                    239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                3. sgordon Nov 22, 2010 03:57 PM

                  A good selection... I'd normally recommend WD, but since you've already been, we'll cross them off.

                  I agree with the other poster who suggested swapping DBGB for Prune. DBGB isn't innovative by any stretch. I like them - at least the restaurant half with the composed dishes (the burgers and hot dogs I think are overpriced and not terribly interesting to begin with) - but it's fairly standard (if good) fare. Prune is a bit more interesting.

                  I'm not as big a fan of Degustation as some on the boards are, although it's been awhile and I've been meaning to revisit.

                  I often recommend Falai - they've really upped their game since the last time they were reviewed by the Times ('06, I think?) and for the price it's top-notch. You can do a full four-course Italian meal for what you'd pay for a standard three-course at many of the other top Italian places. And while I wouldn't put them on the level of, say, Del Posto. I'd rank them a little below Babbo, mostly because the menu at Falai is significantly smaller - but it's all excellent. I would consider them in lieu of Degustation or Corton, perhaps.

                  Cafe Boulud is, for my money, the best resto in the Boulud empire. Better than the flagship any day. You'll have a great meal, for sure.

                  As to our Michelin 3's - meh. I'm not a fan of the Michelin Guide, personally, as I find they have - at least as far as the three-star rankings go - a fairly limited view. Of them I like Le Bernardin the best, though I find all of them stuffy to the point where I'm never excited about them, either. Well, I'd be excited about going to Masa, if I could ever afford it. But the rest of them don't really factor into My NYC.

                  The only other thing I'd suggest is maybe consider Kyo-Ya or Soto over 15 East. Not that 15 East is bad or anything, but the other two are a bit more exciting, I find.

                  -----
                  Cafe Boulud
                  20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

                  15 East
                  15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                  Babbo
                  110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                  Del Posto
                  85 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

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

                  Falai
                  68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                  Corton
                  239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                  DBGB
                  299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

                  Masa
                  10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                  1. s
                    sam1 Nov 22, 2010 02:52 PM

                    where are you coming from? it could help so you dont eat food that you can readily find back home.

                    barring that info...here's some changes id make:

                    -skip dgbg and go to prune instead. sort of forgetten these days but prune for lunch is excellent, chill, and a great value. it's only a 5 minute walk from dgbg.

                    -id skip degustation for txikito or el quinto pino. degustation is actually not very fun at all. its a bar but its not a lively environment. the food is merely ok. i think txikito has much better small plates and is a good time. no reservations and it does get packed as its small. id expect a 30-40 minute wait.

                    -corton...never been. was on my list originally but i missed it and now im not interested. not as creative but a favorite of mine is aldea on 17th street. upscale portugese food...great service, super meal.

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