Kip's Bay/Murray Hill Options
Visiting NYC for around a week from San Diego - consulting at NYU Medical and staying close by - and looking for meals and unique experiences within walking (maybe short subway) distance. Most of my days will be pretty full, so I will probably be looking for quick solo lunches and later night eating options - which are non-existent in SoCal, so that's a bit of a novelty anyway. Also have 2 nights that the s.o. will be joining me that we'd like to dress up and do something a little more extravagant - again, dressing up for supper in SoCal just makes you stand out.
No need for Mexican or Sushi recs, would love some good Indian, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern as they are harder to find here.
OK here we go:
Late night L'Express on Park & 20th French bistro decent food open 24 hours
Lexington Ave between 34th St and 23 St is called Curry Hill with a plentitude of Indian/Pakistani places
Ali Baba on 34th just East of 3rd Av for Turkish
Al Bustan E 53 just off 2nd Ave is a bit out of the way but has fabulous Lebanese food
Penelope's on Lex and 30th for good breakfast/brunch
Mapo Tofu on Lex and 39th for interesting Asian/Chinese
Sarge's deli (24/7) on 3rd Av and 36th and 2nd Ave Deli on 33rd just W of 3rd Av for great pastrami sammiches
OK, I'm full!
319 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
249 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10003
338 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016
My wife is an NYU resident -- hope you're consulting gig goes well.
Saravanaas and Tiffin Wallah are good options for Indian.
riverpark is a good option for a nicer meal that isn't overly formal but where you won't stick out if you dress up. It's right next door to the Med Center at 29th st east of 1st ave.
If you want to go for a high end fine dining experience, then you'll find that many folks on this board consider Eleven Madison Park to be one of the best restaurants in the city.
Maialino's at 21st and Lex on the north end of Gramercy Park is an excellent option for Italian. You won't look out of place dressing up but you can also walk in and sit in the front room which is more casual. IIRC, the kitchen is open til 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, if not all week.
81 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010
127 E 28th St, New York, NY 10016
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010
It was a rock'n'roll 8 days on the ground - some days, I actually did not eat at all (other than finger foods at a couple of holiday parties I was invited to)!
Close by, I managed to hit:
Waterfront Ale House - had just beers one night and then, a couple of days later, had the pulled pig sandwich for a late lunch. It was decent, but I was definitely more impressed with the beer selection.
Ali Baba - This was really good and quite affordable. I was a little surprised by some of the bad service reviews on Yelp considering we had super prompt service, but that's par for the course with Yelp ;)
Barking Dog Cafe - Tried to get into Penelope at 9-ish on Saturday morning = 90 minute wait. So, we shifted gears and ended up a few blocks up at Barking Dog. This was a nice little place with a pretty extensive breakfast menu. Nothing to blow you away, but solid and probably the cheapest meal I ate in Manhattan.
2nd Avenue Deli - Ended up here one late night after leaving the lab around 10pm. Service was quick and friendly. Had the pastrami with a couple of pints. The pickles were great, but the pastrami (though leagues beyond anything in San Diego) fell a little flat.
Sarge's Deli - The night after my 10pm finish, I was out at 11pm and shifted to Sarge's, which is open 24h. Had the corned beef and pastrami combo. Great pastrami! Corned beef was solid, too. I think I liked the pickles at 2nd Ave a little better, though it could be just that the meat was so much tastier at Sarge's...
Paquito's - This was a coworker's choice the first day I arrived. Jet-lagged and disoriented, I wasn't in any shape to argue. Nothing stupendous, but the food was not "bad" either. I wouldn't return voluntarily, but would eat it again if offered.
Further away, I had 2 "sit-down" dinners with my wife while she visited for a couple of days over the weekend:
Gramercy Tavern - without reservations, we braved a 1.5h wait in the foyer, but the hostess was very attentive to my wife (who had a recent minor surgery on her heel and had trouble walking). We were encouraged to grab drinks from the bar and set up shop in the waiting area while the crowds shuffled in and out. We were horribly under-dressed compared to the average clientele, but were extremely well taken care of and had a great meal. The $38 prix-fixe in the tavern area is probably the best deal I saw for dinner in Manhattan. The seasonal ingredient selections were great and everything was perfectly executed.
wd-50 - This was very last minute. However, the endless array of fine dining options left us filtering selections by what was unobtainable in San Diego and our previous knowledge of Wiley Dufresne from the TV put it over the edge. We had the tasting menu, without the wine pairings, and I was very happy with our selection. It was a makeup dinner to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary and fit the bill as a great memorable experience. Not every dish was incredible, but the playful execution and attentive service was all that was necessary to make for a fun time we will talk about for quite awhile. Our server was a fellow Canuck and was nice enough to invite us back to the kitchen post-meal for a quick tour and introduction to the chef. This was made all the more memorable by the fact that wd-50 was featured on Top Chef this week and I ended up watching the episode on the plane during my return journey.
Thanks again for all the great rec's - next time, we'll plan for a more food-intensive, less work inclusive getaway!
50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003
Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine
212 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016
548 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016
Second Avenue Deli
162 E 33rd St, New York, NY 10016
Waterfront Ale House
540 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10016
160 E 28th St, New York, NY 10016
150 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016