4 days in New York - how are these choices?
Well, after hours spent searching forums and review sites, we've decided on the following choices. We're staying in Midtown.
High end - Gilt
It's not 3* like Le Bernadin, but décor and ambiance is important to the missus.
Sushi - We were going to go to Sushi Yasuda, but i've heard the head chef is leaving. Any other recommendations? We'd rather not go anywhere TOO expensive.
Steak - Uncle Jacks in midtown
Heard mixed reviews about Keens, and Peter Luger is too far away (we're planning on going the night we arrive). Uncle Jack's sounds like a safe bet
Pho - Pho Grande
I've heard pho isn't that good in Manhattan, but this place always seems to get a good write up
Deli - Katz
Eaten there before, so know all about it!
Aside from that we're looking for a good diner in Midtown, and maybe a decent pre-theatre place. Any suggestions very welcome!
204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017
Where have you read mixed reviews of Keen's? I've read almost nothing but universal praise for it on this board. It's also a real old school NYC institution, so it's great for visitors.
Uncle Jack's isn't even remotely in Keen's league. I mean, when you hear about the great steakhouses of NYC... it's Luger's, Keen's, S&W... Uncle Jack's doesn't even fit into the picture. If you're dead-set on doing a steakhouse, stick with Keen's.
Pho Grand is one of my personal favorites of the Pho joints in Chinatown. A lot of the people who insist Pho isn't that good in Manhattan are simply Reverse Boroughphobes who have a compelling need to believe that if something is harder to get to it must be qualitatively better.
Pho, though, is a personal thing. Some may like a little more anise in the broth than others, some might like a touch of cinnamon, or clove, or lemongrass - there are as many "authentic" phos as there are people making it.
That said, at Pho Grand the meat is always good quality, the broth is flavorful, and it's generally pretty solid. I prefer Cong Ly on Hester just slightly, though perhaps CL's hole-in-the-wall ambience adds to the experience somewhat.
As to sushi... I must admit, I'm not sure how "We'd rather not go anywhere TOO expensive" and "Yasuda" fit into the same sentence - next to Masa, it's probably the most expensive Sushi meal in the city. I wouldn't worry too much about Chef Yasuda's departure, though - his replacement Chef Mitsuru (did I remember the name right?) has been by his side for the last seven years.
Gilt - okay, but at that splurgey high-end there's better. If I had one big splurge meal it'd be Eleven Madison Park, though reservations aren't terribly easy to come by. The room is lovely, though not gaudy. If you want ambience, and are willing to take the subway one stop into Brooklyn, go for The River Cafe and - like I tell everyone - insist on a table by the window when you make your reservation, and try to have your meal overlap sundown. The price is a little high for the food - but sometimes that special ambience costs a little extra. And theirs is magical.
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010
124 Hester St, New York, NY 10002
I guess it depends on if you're ordering a prix fixe (which is fine for lunch) or going full-on omakase. Like any high-end sushi place, the cost can depend on whether you're filling up on less expensive fish or the top tier. But one can easily spend $100-$200 per person at SY for a full dinner of sushi.
A thread from 2007, when things were cheaper: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/426125
Still, Yasuda is cheaper than other high-end sushi places like Kurumazushi. I even spend more than what I spend at Yasuda at 15 East, but that may be because we tend to order a lot of cooked dishes. Yasuda's not "cheap" but for that level of sushi, it's relatively inexpensive, IMO.
No Italian? Pizza, Russ & Daughters, other ethnic?
Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002
Thanks to everyone for taking their time to reply. It is much appreciated.
After spending more time reading up, i've booked us a table at Keens :)
Anyone else got some feedback about Gilt?
EMP looks amazing, but it's just a touch too expensive - the tasting menu at Gilt is $110 compared to $195 at EMP...
As for Italian - are there any good Italians that do pre-theatre menus?