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Heading Back to New York - Trying to Narrow the List.

Hello folks - heading back to New York for a concert, hockey, and galleries in mid-February. I have room for 4 dinners, 4 lunches, and 1 Sunday Brunch.

Having been to NYC 4 times in the last 3 years I've already been to all the Michelin 3* and NYT 4* spots except for MASA and many of the 1-2* restaurants as well. On my target list currently are the following:

Dinners: Corton, Osteria Morini, Gordon Ramsay at the London, WD-50, and Gilt.

Lunches: Lincoln, Del Posto, Aldea, Bouley, Cafe Boulud, EMP (I've been to EMP and was not 'wowed' as many are - it makes me want to go back to see what I missed)

Brunch: Dovetail vs. Locanda Verde

From the list, which are absolute MUSTS and which are hit-or-miss?

Anything not on my list that I should be paying more attention to?

Note, there is a day in there completely reserved for a pizza walking/subway tour, as well.

Cheers and thanks.

http://uhockey.blogspot.com

-----
WD-50
50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

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

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

Corton
239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Aldea
31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

Locanda Verde
377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Osteria Morini
218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

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  1. Great list. Corton is a must. Aldea and Osteria Morini are very good. Lincoln, Cafe Boulud, and Bouley are also great for lunch.

    Although I also wasn't wowed with EMP in the past, this recent lunch thread had me intrigued.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7557...

    I would include Ma Peche and maybe Ai Fiori (I haven't been yet but plan to go soon). Have you been to Casa Mono? For brunch, The Breslin, Maialino, or DBGB.

    -----
    Casa Mono
    52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

    Corton
    239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

    Aldea
    31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

    DBGB
    299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

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

    Maialino
    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

    Ma Peche
    15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

    Osteria Morini
    218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

    Ai Fiori
    400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

    15 Replies
    1. re: peter j

      Been to Casa Mono and Maialino - the first impressed, the second did not.

      Ma Peche intrigues me as I like Chang's food (even if I did find Ko vastly overrated, I loved Noodle and Ssam.)

      http://uhockey.blogspot.com

      -----
      Casa Mono
      52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

      Maialino
      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

      Ma Peche
      15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

      1. re: uhockey

        Could you maybe post where you've gone already, since you've already accomplished so much?

        1. re: kathryn

          I don't know if I'd call it an "accomplishment," I just like good food.

          The blog has all the places listed but is admittedly difficult to navigate as it is not "sorted."

          Il Mulino, Nobu, Bouchon, Patsy's, Norma's, Otto, Gramercy Tavern, EMP, Momofuku Noodle, Babbo, Payard, The Modern, Alto, Jean-Georges, Ssam, LeBernardin, Scarpetta, Picholine, Marea, Per Se, Convivio, Maialino, A Voce, Casa Mono, Ko, Balthazar, Daniel.

          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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

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

          Babbo
          110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

          Casa Mono
          52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

          Il Mulino
          86 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012

          A Voce
          41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

          Nobu
          105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

          Picholine
          35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

          Momofuku Noodle Bar
          171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

          Scarpetta
          355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

          Convivio
          45 Tudor City Place, New York, NY 10017

          Marea
          240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

          Maialino
          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

        2. re: uhockey

          You went to Maialino for breakfast, no? I'd say give it another shot for lunch or dinner.

          -----
          Maialino
          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

        3. re: peter j

          Is the Ai Fiori menu listed yet? I've yet to dine at a Michael White spot that didn't wow.

          As a matter of fact, I generally avoid Italian on vacation as it often fails to live up to the hype, but when I visit NYC I generally go out of my way for it since the New York Italian scene is so very strong.

          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

          -----
          Ai Fiori
          400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

          1. re: uhockey

            Here's an Ai Fiori menu that I found online (click on the pdf at the end of the blurb). I'm not sure if it's current.

            http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/11...

            -----
            Ai Fiori
            400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

            1. re: peter j

              Thanks - looks good, but imo Morini's menu looks more appealing.

              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

              1. re: peter j

                Here are the current menus at Ai Fiori.

                http://aifiorinyc.com/

                -----
                Ai Fiori
                400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                1. re: H Manning

                  Interesting menu to be sure - I actually really like their breakfast options and dinner moreso than the lunch.

                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                  1. re: H Manning

                    For what it's worth, the menus seem incomplete, i.e. Ai Fiori usually serves a few pasta options for lunch and brunch, which are not listed online for some reason

              2. re: peter j

                Breslin's brunch is quite good. Also consider Minetta Tavern, Prune, Clinton St Baking Company.

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

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

                1. re: kathryn

                  Breslin's brunch and breakfast look quite similar - I do believe they'll make the final cut for one or the other - thanks.

                  As much as I want to try Clinton St. pancakes, last time I went the wait was 2 hours! I'm sure its good, but that seems a tad much.

                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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

                  1. re: uhockey

                    Clinton St serves weekday breakfast and I've found the wait much less then. 2 hours sounds like a typical weekend wait there, unfortunately!

                    1. re: kathryn

                      ...and it appears February is National Pancake Month, as well - I'm sold. :-)

                      http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                    2. re: uhockey

                      I recommend Breslin for brunch simply because their cocktails are pretty good too. :)

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

                2. I did not care for Corton, thought it was overpriced and not up to the level of other high-end places like Picholine, EMP, the Modern, etc. Have you considered SHO? I've had a number of great meals there. Aldea and Osteria Morini are great. Other places I've been impressed with recently are Nuela, Ciano and Kittichai.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rrems

                    SHO is a place that intrigues me, for sure. I considered slotting it in for Ramsay, but The London is very close to Radio City Music Hall where the concert is being held, so it seemed a logical fit.

                    http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                    1. re: uhockey

                      If you're willing to walk a little bit further, Ma Peche is on West 56th and 5th, a short walk from Radio City Music Hall. You could also do the Bar Room at the Modern, which is very different from the formal dining room.

                      -----
                      Ma Peche
                      15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                  2. Del Posto's lunch deal is great.

                    For Aldea, are you thinking the lunch prix fixe? Or is it lunch just because the others only offer dinner service? Ask to sit at the chef's counter regardless.

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

                    Aldea
                    31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: kathryn

                      Re: Aldea - because the others are dinner only.

                      As always, your input is one of the most valued on this board.

                      Thanks.

                      http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                      -----
                      Aldea
                      31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                      1. re: uhockey

                        just dined at the chef counter at Aldea and have to say the counter added a lot to the experience, even though Chef Mendes wasn't in. Thought all the food was at least very good (although was slightly disappointed by the small bites to begin the meal). But especially for the price, Aldea was great.

                        -----
                        Aldea
                        31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                    2. NYC is definitely known for its fine dining but I think where it truly shines is in the "ethnic" cuisine. There are immigrants from all over the world here so maybe you should try some other cuisines out.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: MVNYC

                        This gets suggested pretty much everywhere I go. For me, the "dining" experience is just as imporant as the food. If there were excellent ethnic experiences that also offered quality seating and service, I'd be all ears. Aldea seems to be that sort of place.

                        http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                        -----
                        Aldea
                        31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                        1. re: uhockey

                          Upscale Japanese, maybe? Kyo Ya? 15 East?

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

                          Kyo Ya
                          94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                          1. re: kathryn

                            Those are both excellent choices for what he is looking for.

                            I understand that you like fine dining but you can miss out on some fantastic food if you limit yourself to one style of dining. Especially in NYC.

                            1. re: MVNYC

                              I certainly agree - felt the same in San Francisco and Toronto - especially after the upscale Dim Sum in Toronto at Lai Wah Heen. I'll look into Kyo Ya and 15 East for sure - have also heard excellent reviews of Yasuda and Sushi of Gari from people I respect.

                              Any ethnic spots do small enough portions of a "signature" dish that I could wander a neighborhood and check out a few spots?

                              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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

                              Gari
                              370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

                              Kyo Ya
                              94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                              1. re: uhockey

                                Yasuda is excellent but I wouldn't call it a fine dining experience. You are there simply for the excellent quality and variety of fish. Yasuda himself is leaving soon btw.

                                Gari is also minimalist in decor. Their sushi is more modern with interesting sauces and preparations. I prefer more traditional sushi but I know many people who love Gari.

                                From reading your blog I think you would enjoy Kyo Ya and 15 East.

                                You could certainly do a Chinatown crawl eating signature dishes, sampling various dumplings, Bahn mi, roast meats, etc. Would you be interested in that?

                                1. re: MVNYC

                                  Potentially - bearing in mind that I don't fancy beef in most cases, but that I do take interest in less "steak tasting" offal like sweetbreads, heart, and oxtail (not so fond of marrow or tendon.) If there were places that did quality egg custards, duck dishes, fishes, etc I'd be interested.

                                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                      2. Re your dinner options: I think it depends on what you type of experience you're looking for. While I enjoyed my meal at Morini, the rest of the options you listed all are Michelin rated. That said, I'd suggest you consider WD 50 more, especially considering how much you loved Alinea.

                        As for lunches, since Jean-George and EMP's price increases, some consider Del Posto to be the best lunch option. Also, Bouley's 5-course lunch menu seems like a steal, though I've yet to try it myself. Despite Richman's glowing review of Lincoln, I've read mixed reactions. Also, its another Italian restaurant if you're already set on Morini.

                        I second kathryn's advice re Clinton St. weekday breakfast, but also really like the brunch at Locanda Verde, especially the Sheep's Milk Ricotta with Truffle Honey.

                        Btw, what pizza places were you thinking of going to?

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

                        Locanda Verde
                        377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: TheDegustationAsian

                          WD50 is just below Corton on my list - while I think Wylie's food is interesting, my primary interest is Stupak's desserts. I'll probably go with the tasting menu in either case. With Alinea and Twist (Gagnaire's Vegas Spot) amongst my favorite meals all time I certainly have "mg" leanings.

                          As I said above, I tend to hit Italian hard when I visit NYC as aside from Philly (Vetri/Amis/Osteria/Modo Mio) I've not found many other cities doing "haute-Italian" to my liking. I experienced Benno's food for an extended tasting during his last month at Per Se and was wowed - I feel somewhat obligated to check out Lincoln and I've meant to do Del Posto on my previous 2 visits but missed out.......if any were to be skipped it'd be Morini, though I've yet to taste anything less than excellent at a White restaurant.

                          re Pizza - Was planning to meet up with a local hound or 2 and defer to their opinions - places that interest me most are Motorino and Keste, but if I had the means to get to Brooklyn I'd love to try some coal fired.

                          Could probably do Brunch at Locanda Verde on Sat, Dovetail on Sunday, and Clinton St. during the week.

                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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

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

                          Corton
                          239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                          Locanda Verde
                          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                          Motorino
                          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                          1. re: uhockey

                            Ha, I actually have a Corton reservation in a few weeks. Not sure when your trip is, but in case you didn't know, Stupak has already announced he will soon be leaving WD 50 to open his own. I've had the pleasure of doing both, a tasting menu as well as the 5 course dessert tasting menu of Stupak just two weeks ago. The dessert tasting menu was very good, the "Rainbow Sherbet" in particular, especially if you like savory elements in your desserts. If you're feeling especially gluttonous, you could always make a reservation just for the dessert tasting menu. Also, their seasonal cocktails were nice.

                            I agree with your statements re White's food, but I'd call Morini his furthest venture from "haute-italian," especially compared to Marea and Ai Fiori, now that he and Cannon split.

                            Interesting to see that both Motorino and Keste, while good, are both Neapolitan style. If you want coal fired, I'd suggest skipping Lombardi's and trying Grimaldi's or Totonno's. Also, if you like square slices, you might want to try Di Fara's.

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

                            Marea
                            240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                            Motorino
                            349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                            Ai Fiori
                            400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                            1. re: TheDegustationAsian

                              February 16th I'll arrive.......and gluttony and I get along well on vacation.

                              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                              1. re: TheDegustationAsian

                                IIRC Stupak's taqueria doesn't open until March BTW.

                                1. re: kathryn

                                  Personally I would get the dessert tasting at wd-50. While I never got the savory tasting at wd-50, it's always been met with mixed results....it seems most have success picking and choosing the savory dishes at wd-50...just an idea.

                                  Looks like a great list of restaurants for your trip...I'm not sure how easy it is to get a reservation now...but maybe Brooklyn Fare?

                              2. re: uhockey

                                There's coal fired in Manhattan as well. Try a slice at Patsy's in East Harlem. You could easily do a slice there, take the 6 train down to a square slice at Artichoke, then go to Motorino for a pie, followed by a gas oven slice at Joe's. Or go to Joe's for a slice and end up at Keste for a pie.

                                I love Totonno's and Di Fara but both are hefty commitments in terms of travel and time. Not a huge fan of Grimaldi's and I'd say if you're gonna wait in line, do it at Di Fara instead. :)

                                -----
                                Totonno's
                                1544 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                                Motorino
                                349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                                Grimaldi's
                                47 W 20th St, New York, NY 10010

                                1. re: kathryn

                                  Agree with your suggestions, my comment was geared toward the OP since he mentioned he may want to try coal fired and he had reserved an entire day for it.

                                  1. re: TheDegustationAsian

                                    Coal fired in manhattan?
                                    Arturo's and ask for fresh mozz. I had a delicious pizza there in November. Not earth shattering, just very good.
                                    Totonno's also has locations in NYC, not sure if they are coal fired though.

                                    -----
                                    Totonno's
                                    1544 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                                    1. re: AdamD

                                      I had a not great pie at Arturo's recently and for someone visiting and on a pizza quest I'm not sure I'd send them there. Of course pizza's a fickle beast and always prone to consistency problems.

                                      The other Totonno's locations are not good, sadly.

                                      -----
                                      Totonno's
                                      1544 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                                      1. re: kathryn

                                        I have heard arturo's suffers from consistency problems. But I liked my pie just fine.
                                        I thought the pies at Totonno's 26th were pretty good. Again not earth shattering, but a lot better than most run of the mill greasy cheese pizza available in NYC.

                                        I get your point, coming from out of town to seek the holy grail-better than average NYC pizza probably not the best suggestion.

                                        -----
                                        Totonno's
                                        1544 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                                        1. re: kathryn

                                          This is my experience as well. I would go to Motorino, since it's great and the location is so much more convenient compared to the long journey to DiFara's or Totonno's (and, the Manhattan branch is just does not deliver the same pizza -- only the name is the same). Also, after Motorino, you could pop into the small Chickalicious for an excellent cupcake or two (they're small).

                                          Regarding your original list, I'm afraid that you may be disappointed with Gordon Ramsey, and maybe Gilt. I agree with The Modern suggestion, either the Dining Room or the Bar Room. The egg in the jar (now with scallops) is one of my favorite dishes in New York. Also, if you have lunch at Cafe Boulud, I would suggest ordering from the a la carte menu and not the reduced price prix fixe. The latter is a bit disappointing, I think, compared to what's on offer on the main menu.

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

                                          Totonno's
                                          1544 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                                          Motorino
                                          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                                          1. re: Nancy S.

                                            Nancy - I don't believe anyone suggested The Modern....I've been there and rank the egg in a jar (lobster and uni on my visit) amongst my top 5 favorite savories of all time.

                                            I've also been to DCChickalicious, but never to Chickalicious itself.....I'm pretty sure it is Dessert Club Chickalicious that offers the cupcakes as I had 2. :-)

                                            What would you say is disappointing about Ramsay? What else would you recommend with knowledge that I'm attending a 8:00pm starting time concert at Radio City?

                                            http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                            1. re: uhockey

                                              Have you been to Oceana? It's very close to Radio City, and the food is superb. Aside from the seafood, the side dishes are exceptional, and the desserts rival those at the top restaurants.

                                              -----
                                              Oceana
                                              120 W 49th St, New York, NY 10020

                                      1. re: uhockey

                                        I recommend Artisanal for lunch, especially if you love good cheese.

                                2. For dinners, the only one I'd keep would be WD-50. Corton is good but a bit precious for my taste, Morini you can experience just as well for brunch or lunch, which may be better as the food is VERY heavy and fatty, and eating less of it is just as satisfying, Ramsey and Gilt both good but a little personality-less.

                                  WD-50, on the other hand, I think is a great choice - playful, not too precious, and one of the best cocktail programs in NYC right now.

                                  I might consider switching Del Posto to dinner. While the $29 lunch is, in many people's opinion (mine included) about the best lunch deal in the city right now, what it mainly did was make me salivate to go back for a full dinner. And at the price - $95 for four courses (not three as is the standard high-end prix-fixe) it's a relative steal, comparatively, for the quality of the food.

                                  The reviews on Lincoln have been so lackluster that I think giving them more time to sink or swim might be warranted before the splurge. Even their recent changes - lowering the prices - seemed out of touch. When people complain that $26 is too much to pay for one single scallop, adjusting it to $24 is kind of a joke.

                                  I'd also move Cafe Boulud into the dinner column. Gavin Kaysen is knocking out some of the best food in the city right now, in many people's opinions (again, mine included) in every way superior to Daniel's flagship.

                                  Also, I agree that doing some high-end Japanese might be good to break it up a bit. Kaiseki (or even a la carte) at Kyo Ya, an uni-fest at Soto, or even Morimoto for some fun fusion-y eats - stick to the composed dishes, though, for the latter, not so much the sushi, except maybe for a mid-course.

                                  SHO:Shaun Hergatt has been getting much better, as well, but they're very out of the way. Unless you happen to be doing something in that part of town, it might be a harder one to fit in.

                                  -----
                                  WD-50
                                  50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

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

                                  Soto
                                  357 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

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

                                  Morimoto
                                  88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                                  Kyo Ya
                                  94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                                  SHO Shaun Hergatt
                                  40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

                                  1. uhockey:

                                    The CH moderator deleted my reply to you on the LV board so I'll try to rewrite it here (where it belongs).

                                    Glad you have Bouley for lunch. Bouley is one of my most favorite restaurants anywhere (yes, up there with Alex :-)).

                                    I love Ma Peche (yes, I'm a "regular" there), but I hesitate recommend you going there (especially after your disappointment with Ko, but I know you did like both Noodle and Ssam Bar). The food is excellent. It would be a great spot for you to have dinner pre-Radio City. The food is French-Vietnamese and delicious. Decor is minimalist, and the service is friendly and relaxed. There is an outpost of Milk Bar on the main level so you could get some cookies or the new cake truffles to take with you as a snack. My favorite cake truffles are the chocolate malt and the apple pie.

                                    Riverpark, the new Tom Colicchio restaurant, is fast becoming a new favorite of mine. It's located on E. 29 St. between First Ave. and the FDR Drive in a medical science building. Food is consistently excellent. I've been there three times since it opened in October and have loved it all three times. Had a great NYE dinner there last week.

                                    I had a great dinner at Gordon Ramsay last year (early December 2009), and posted my review on this board (sorry, don't know how to link to other threads). The food/decor/service are of the same quality as Picholine (BTW, thanks for that recommendation!).

                                    Dessert Club ChikaLicious is still my favorite place for cupcakes. My personal favorites are the red velvet and the premium caramel. Usually after I finish dinner at Ko, I walk down the block to get my cupcakes to take home with me.

                                    Not sure in what part of town you're staying, but a great breakfast place is Barney Greengrass on the UWS (Amsterdam & W. 86 St.). They're famous for the scrambled eggs with either sturgeon or lox. My sister and I finally went for breakfast and liked it very much. Scary how a native NYer like me takes forever to discover places that everyone else loves. The tables are very close together, and decor is non-existent, but service is prompt. It might be another good place to try if you're on the UWS. There is usually a line for weekend breakfasts, but during the week should be better.

                                    As always, I look forward to your NY reviews! Have a wonderful time!

                                    -----
                                    Dessert Club, ChikaLicious
                                    204 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

                                    Ma Peche
                                    15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                    Riverpark
                                    450 E 29th St, New York, NY 10016

                                    15 Replies
                                    1. re: ellenost

                                      Been to Dessert Club and actually liked it quite a bit.

                                      Thanks for the tips!

                                      I'm beginning to think you have a bit of a David Chang crush going on, however.

                                      http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                      1. re: uhockey

                                        I see from your blog you visited Ssam Bar in spring of 2009. Tien Ho was the chef de cuisine at Ssam Bar and left to open up Ma Peche. Many of the dishes on the old Ssam Bar menu were his creations.

                                        -----
                                        Ma Peche
                                        15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                        1. re: kathryn

                                          Assuming "normal" traffic on a Saturday, how long (timewise) from Ma Peche to Nasau Colliseum out on Long Island?

                                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                          -----
                                          Ma Peche
                                          15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                            1. re: uhockey

                                              If you're lucky, it might be an hour. But I'd give yourself at least 90 mins, and be pleasantly surprised if you make it earlier, rather than push it and only give yourself an hour and be late.

                                              Are you going to the Coliseum for your concert, or for a hockey game?

                                              1. re: ml77

                                                Game. Trying to decide on pre-game dinner plans.

                                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                          1. re: uhockey

                                            The funny thing is that I've never even met David Chang. Probably have crushes on the chefs at Ko and Ma Peche :-). Love the food at both restaurants, and the staffs at both restaurants always treat me as if I am family. That's why I go so often.

                                            1. re: ellenost

                                              I really didn't dig the Ko vibe, especially at that price point (and consider the fact that I loved Schwa) but I found the service and food exemplary at Ssam and Noodle.

                                              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                          2. re: ellenost

                                            Ellenost: I'm going to Ma Peche for the first time tonight. Can you suggest a few must-try dishes?

                                            uhockey: Maybe this is old news to you, but I figured I'd mention a few must-try dishes just in case: Arroz de Pato at Aldea, sheep's milk ricotta crostini at Locanda Verde is simple and perfect. (I think you're not a wine drinker? If you've got others with you, the Vespaiolo on Locanda Verde's wine-by-the-glass list is unusual and delicious.) And SHO Shaun Hergatt--if you do make the special trip, the pearl barley risotto with maitake mushroom and an egg yolk on top is utterly fantastic. And one more thing - if you haven't been to Amada in Philly yet, that's a must-try.

                                            -----
                                            Aldea
                                            31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                                            Locanda Verde
                                            377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                                            Ma Peche
                                            15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                            1. re: loriannkru

                                              My favorite dishes from the current Ma Peche dinner menu are: ama ebi and ricotta gnocchi for appetizers; the steak frites, the duck and the cod for main courses; all of the vegetable side dishes. and the king crab and the squid salad from the shellfish menu. I think I'll probably try to go back next week for dinner. Have a wonderful time!

                                              -----
                                              Ma Peche
                                              15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                              1. re: ellenost

                                                Thanks so much! Loved the duck, the gnocchi, and the carrots. We also loved the oysters and the crispy pig head. Wasn't so wowed by the mackerel or the pork & duck terrine. We also loved the seven spice sour cocktail. We brought home crack pie (delicious) and compost cookies (bleh) from the milk bar. We'll definitely be back!

                                                1. re: loriannkru

                                                  So glad that you liked my favorites (duck, gnocchi and carrots). Haven't had the pig head or the mackerel yet. Isn't the crack pie yummy? I'll probably go to dinner at Ma Peche next week. Thanks for reporting back.

                                              2. re: loriannkru

                                                Went to Amada - its in the blog - was largely unimpressed, though perhaps it was due to the fact we did the whole roast pig as a group.

                                                The Arroz is absolutely on the "must" menu.

                                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                1. re: uhockey

                                                  I really enjoyed the caramelized brioche dessert at Aldea...and thought the arroz de pato was good but wished there was way more duck breast. definitely try it anyways.

                                                  but may I ask what concert you're going to?

                                                  1. re: wreckers00

                                                    Interpol. While not "food related" the timing of the show is 8:00pm (doors) and it is seated (no need to get there super early) so I should have plenty of time to eat if I get early dinner reservations.

                                                    http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                            2. I wasn't completely wow'ed by Aldea, though I did enjoy it. Perhaps Recette in the West Village? Jesse Schenker offers a lengthy tasting menu with creative new dishes. Torrisi Italian Specialties gets rave reviews as well, but I have yet to wade through their no reservations lines. It is really well-prepared mom and pop Italian-American food (from what I've read).

                                              Kin Shop had some delicious food as well. Harold Dieterle (Top Chef Season 1 winner) offers Thai inspired food with some interesting twists.

                                              Millesime (a French brasserie, just reviewed by NYT, 2 stars) and Ciano (New Italian restaurant) have generated buzz amongst Chowhounders. These could be ones to keep an eye on over the next few weeks. I will have tried both of them by then, I will report back.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Rich D.

                                                I wasn't wowed by either Kin Shop (made me basically just want to go back to Sripraphai) or Torrisi (seemed too much like food I could cook myself). I wouldn't send an out of towner to either.

                                                I found Aldea much more interesting and delicious.

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                                                Aldea
                                                31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                                              2. uhockey, Just catching up with this thread.

                                                I suggest that you not include Gilt on your dining itinerary. We were there last January. The room is gorgeous and the service was excellent. However, while the food was not bad -- well, actually, one of the desserts was awful -- it was not even close to a wow experience. Very disappointing and, imo, not deserving of two Michelin stars and maybe not even one.

                                                Gilt photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                                Re: EMP. Since the menu format change, lunch is a totally different experience. The menu is now identical to the dinner menu. The only small difference: fewer amuses.

                                                Re: Cafe Boulud. Absolutely! We were just back there for lunch a few weeks ago. Outstanding! Imo, Gavin Kaysen is a 4-star chef cooking in a 3-star restaurant.

                                                Looking forward to once again reading your terrific reports.

                                                http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: RGR

                                                  I was talking to Jessica who stated she bumped into you at a concert - she noted you were a big fan of the new format at EMP and were considering heading back soon. Your opinions are always valuable - just need to decide which I'd skip to check it out once again.

                                                  http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                  1. re: uhockey

                                                    Thanks for your kind sentiments, uhockey. We've been to EMP several times since the new menu format was unveiled, and I think it works very well. You can either pick the word and opt to be "surprised" or ask for details about the dishes, which the captains are more than happy to provide. In any case, for me, it's all about Chef Humm's cuisine which, imo, continues to be sublime.

                                                    We celebrated New Year's Eve at EMP. The menu was a set 7-course tasting + lots of extras. There were a couple of new dishes as well as some old favorites, including Chef Humm's signature duck. The 6-piece jazz band was terrific. Photos can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                                    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                                    1. re: RGR

                                                      Do you know if he ever does the duck at lunch, if requested?

                                                      http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                      1. re: uhockey

                                                        It's never on the menu card; however, it is now available all the time at dinner upon request, so no harm in asking. But here's the "problem." If they are willing to do it, unless you are planning to dine with someone else, it would mean an entire duck just for you. Ergo, two duck breasts, which are substantial in size, and two sides of the confit. Of course, they will happily doggie-box the leftovers.

                                                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                                        1. re: RGR

                                                          ...I could do it, but perhaps I need to recruit a dining buddy so I can have more than one item. :-)

                                                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                          1. re: uhockey

                                                            Mr. R. and I would be happy to be your dining buddies. :) Sharing the duck amongst three people would make for even smaller portion sizes than splitting it between two people. Check with the restaurant, and if they are willing to accommodate you, let me know how you feel about us joining you.

                                                            You can contact me via my blog.

                                                            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                                            1. re: RGR

                                                              Message sent - thanks for the offer and recommendations.

                                                              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                2. Cafe Boulud's lunch is fantastic, and the prix fixe is an amazing deal.

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

                                                  11 Replies
                                                  1. re: jaba

                                                    I have heard - I'm working on a way to fit this in.....unfortunately Aldea, Del Posto, Lincoln, or Bouley would likely have to be dropped.

                                                    http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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

                                                    Aldea
                                                    31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                                                    1. re: uhockey

                                                      If you want to drop one of your lunches, I'd drop Lincoln (athough we do love Chef Benno). Lincoln has received very mixed reviews from the professional critics and this board. Also, since you have Del Posto, you already have Italian cuisine in your line-up. (Just my opinion).

                                                      1. re: ellenost

                                                        I agree that Lincoln would be the best to drop. Though I also agree with Nancy's comment that the CB prix fixe lunch menu is limited. If you can swing the expense, I'd order a la carte.

                                                        1. re: ml77

                                                          Prix Fixe is rarely a good deal, and if the food is good I can/will swing the expense. :-)

                                                          http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                          1. re: uhockey

                                                            When it comes to 3-course prix-fixe lunch deals, nothing beats Tocqueville's @ $24.07 + $15 for wine pairings. We do them fairly regularly, they are usually composed of dishes from the regular menu, and we have never been disappointed. Service is very pleasant and professional, and the dining room is one of the most beautiful in the city.

                                                            Photos of our most recent lunch at Tocqueville a few weeks ago can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                                            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                                            1. re: RGR

                                                              That is a really solid lunch menu, actually.

                                                              .....adding more places is only making it more difficult to decide! :-)

                                                              http://uhockey.blogspot.com

                                                            2. re: uhockey

                                                              I think Lincoln is a much more interesting lunch venue than Cafe Boulud. The dishes are original and expertly prepared, and the space, especially the front room, is gorgeous during the day.

                                                              Cafe Boulud is pleasing for lunch, but the a la carte preparations are rather straightforward and not very creative. Desserts in my experience have been subpar.

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

                                                              1. re: H Manning

                                                                I have to agree, though I don't think Cafe Boulud lacks "expert preparation."

                                                                I really like Benno and will probably end up at Lincoln, but I may also end up at CB as well.

                                                                http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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

                                                        2. re: uhockey

                                                          I think it would be a shame to drop Aldea since upscale Portguese cuisine isn't easy to find.

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                                                          Aldea
                                                          31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                                                          1. re: kathryn

                                                            Aldea is on the "must" list - it ranks behind only Corton on the list of places I know are 100% certain.

                                                            Out of curiosity - at Del Posto, is one required to order the $95 menu at dinner, or can you order a la carte?

                                                            http://uhockey.blogspot.com

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

                                                            Corton
                                                            239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                                                            Aldea
                                                            31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

                                                          2. re: uhockey

                                                            Be prepared that the Cafe Boulud lunch prix fixe is extremely limited. My father and daughter were a bit disappointed by the selection last week.

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