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Winter Weekend in NYC - help feed us

t
tlubow Jan 4, 2011 05:46 AM

My husband and I are celebrating our 1st anniversary in NYC the weekend of 1/21. We just booked the trip and are staying at the Hotel Giraffe on Park Ave. South and 26th. I managed to get a 10:00 p.m. reservation at Eleven Madison Park on Saturday night. Although that's kind of late, it will allow us to eat first lunch AND second lunch on Saturday - something we love to do when we're on vacation! I have a couple of questions.

Barney Greengrass vs. Russ & Daughters: Which is better? Is there really no where to sit at Russ & Daughters? I'd prefer to go there but without seating, I'm not sure where we'll eat our bagels.

Does Xi'an Famous have seating?

On Friday night, we're going to a synagogue off of 15th street between 2nd & 3rd, where the band that performed at our wedding plays. We will probably not be ready for dinner until 10:00 p.m. Are there any places in the general area where we can go in without a reservation and eat at the bar? I want to have bone marrow at either Blue Ribbon or Minetta Tavern but I'm not sure of proximity or whether we will be able to get in. Other options? Ssam?

Also, we're looking for good bars near our hotel for drinks and maybe one appetizer before our 10:00 pm. reservation at EMP.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions and advice!

-----
Barney Greengrass
541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Russ & Daughters
179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

  1. s
    scotty27 Jan 4, 2011 05:50 AM

    Barney Greengrass is iconic, amazing, and iconic, amazing.

    Gotham Bar and Grill or Maialino after shul. Not around the corner, but close by.

    www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

    -----
    Barney Greengrass
    541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

    Gotham Bar and Grill
    12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

    Maialino
    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

    1. k
      kathryn Jan 4, 2011 05:55 AM

      R&D has benches outside the store.

      Xian has a few tables at their East Village location. The Chinatown one I think may only have a counter against the window.

      For Friday night, Minetta and Blue Ribbon are likely to be still packed at 10pm. Blue Ribbon's bar is also very small. Four seats, I think. But at Ssam you'll probably get sat pretty quickly. Casa Mono, Maialino, Hearth or Redhead might work too. A friend went to Minetta on Sunday and said there were 10 other people waiting just for bar seats!

      My office is right by your hotel and there arent a lot of places with good cocktails nearby. EMP has a good bar. You could go to Hurricane Club which as decent tropical drinks and good food (from what I've heard, have only had drinks). The bar at inoteca Gramercy might work too for cocktails and a snack. Don't go to Primehouse for drinks--it's super close but the cocktails are not good.

      -----
      Hurricane Club
      360 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010

      1. Motosport Jan 4, 2011 05:57 AM

        Barney Greengrass is excellent and has table service.

        Russ and Daughters is excellent but is basically a take out place. When the weather is nice we walk across the street to the park and eat.

        -----
        Barney Greengrass
        541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        33 Replies
        1. re: Motosport
          t
          tlubow Jan 4, 2011 06:10 AM

          Thank you all for your suggestions so far. We are from Ft. Lauderdale and will probably not be able to tolerate sitting outside (even in "nice" weather). I think we will go to Barney Greengrass and while we're up there we can go to the Museum of Natural History. As far as dinner on Friday night, I will check out your suggestions (if only my job didn't interfere so much with my chowhounding). Kathryn, I will check our Hurricane Club but we are looking for more classic cocktails - we can get our fill of tropical down here. Thanks again.

          -----
          Barney Greengrass
          541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

          Hurricane Club
          360 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010

          1. re: tlubow
            k
            kathryn Jan 4, 2011 07:47 AM

            The bar at Eleven Madison Park will probably be the best bet for classic cocktails. The immediate neighborhood is pretty lacking.

            -----
            Eleven Madison Park
            11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

            1. re: kathryn
              loratliff Jan 4, 2011 07:52 AM

              Raines Law Room is in the general vicinity and is quite good for classic cocktails.

              -----
              Raines Law Room
              48 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

              1. re: loratliff
                r
                Rich D. Jan 4, 2011 08:25 AM

                Rye House is also nearby, though it may be more crowded. How about strolling around Eataly (which is near EMP) before doing the cocktail thing?

                1. re: loratliff
                  k
                  kathryn Jan 4, 2011 08:43 AM

                  Rye House will likely be crowded and noisy. And if you're dressed for EMP, you might be a little overdressed for the Rye House crowd.

                  Raines Law Room and Flatiron Lounge are better calls but a long walk from 26th and Park Ave for out of towners (though most NYers would think nothing of it, perhaps it depends how high the lady's heels are).

                  -----
                  Flatiron Lounge
                  37 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

                  Raines Law Room
                  48 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

                  Rye House
                  11 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

                  1. re: kathryn
                    t
                    tlubow Jan 4, 2011 09:11 AM

                    This lady will not have high heels on. Though it's our 1st anniversary, we are WELL into our 40s. If it's not bitter cold, we can walk. My husband will be thrilled to be able to walk w/out perspiring profously. For Friday night, I looked at Gotham (closes at 11:00), Maialino and Casa Mono. I really liked the tapas at Casa Mono and the chichetti (sp?) at Maialino so they are definitely great options. Thanks for the recommendations. I will slowly made my way through the rest.

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

                    Maialino
                    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                    1. re: tlubow
                      k
                      kathryn Jan 4, 2011 11:09 AM

                      If it's between Maialino and Casa Mono, I love both, but it'll probably be less cramped at Maialino's front room. It's also a larger restaurant so you'll be able to get a seat more quickly.

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

                      Maialino
                      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                      1. re: kathryn
                        r
                        Rich D. Jan 4, 2011 11:11 AM

                        I'm heading to Ciano this weekend, which is right near your hotel. It is a new Italian restaurant that has a working fireplace with a pretty celebrated young chef, Shea Gallante. I will post a quickie review on here for you!

                        -----
                        Ciano
                        45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

                        1. re: Rich D.
                          t
                          tlubow Jan 5, 2011 09:15 AM

                          Thanks Rich. The cocktail list looks nice. Please let me know you impression after you visit.

                          1. re: tlubow
                            t
                            tlubow Jan 6, 2011 11:48 AM

                            One last question: I currently have Sunday brunch reservations at both Minetta Tavern and Stanton Social. Which one do you like more?

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

                            Stanton Social
                            99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

                            1. re: tlubow
                              k
                              kathryn Jan 6, 2011 04:02 PM

                              Minetta.

                              1. re: kathryn
                                t
                                tlubow Jan 7, 2011 07:39 AM

                                Thanks, Kathryn. The latkes looks good. I just wish they had the bone marrow for brunch, since it looks like that will be our only chance for it....

                                1. re: tlubow
                                  k
                                  kathryn Jan 7, 2011 07:43 AM

                                  If you find yourself near Blue Ribbon Brasserie (they open at 4pm), you might be able to stop in and have some. Blue Ribbon Bakery also serves continuously every day of the week, I might also stop there if I found myself in the West Village and in need of a snack in the mid-afternoon!

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

                                  Blue Ribbon Bakery
                                  33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

                                  1. re: kathryn
                                    t
                                    tlubow Jan 7, 2011 07:59 AM

                                    I was actually thinking of stopping in there at 4 pm on Saturday just for that - since our dinner at EMP is not until 10 pm. I didn't realize the BR Bakery had it all the time. Thank you.

                                  2. re: tlubow
                                    t
                                    tlubow Jan 10, 2011 07:55 AM

                                    Another question about brunch: Would either Minetta Tavern or Stanton Social be appropriate with a 7-year old fairly well-behaved young girl? Our friends are now joining us for brunch. Thanks.

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

                                    Stanton Social
                                    99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

                                    1. re: tlubow
                                      k
                                      kathryn Jan 12, 2011 09:24 AM

                                      You'll be fine at either -- both get enough people dining that there's a healthy buzz in the atmosphere.

                              2. re: tlubow
                                r
                                rrems Jan 7, 2011 09:28 AM

                                If you search this board for Ciano, you will find some comments (all positive) on other threads.

                                -----
                                Ciano
                                45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

                      2. re: loratliff
                        k
                        kathryn Jan 7, 2011 07:41 AM

                        Loratliff: Does Raines Law Room have any small bites or a bar menu? I know that Flatiron doesn't.

                        -----
                        Raines Law Room
                        48 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

                        1. re: kathryn
                          t
                          tlubow Jan 26, 2011 06:41 AM

                          Thank you all for your advice. We had a great weekend, although plans did not pan out the way we had hoped. We didn't make it to any of the suggested places Friday night, but had to allow the band to drag us from one mediocre bar/restaurant to another. We had fun but I was a little disappointed not to have made it to either Casa Mono or Maialino. We had a late lunch on Friday at Momofuku Ssam and were very satisfied with the various buns we tried (including a special pork belly bun). We followed lunch with two cupcakes each at Butterlane. I liked the fact that they were not huge and didn't have a huge mound of icing on top. Also, their salty chocolate icing is very good.

                          On Saturday we ate well. Late amazing breakfast at Barney Greengrass (reported on another thread), followed by the unplanned but fantastic late afternoon pizza at Patsy's in E. Harlem. I was not hungry at all when we sat down, but nevertheless, ate half a pizza in about 10 minutes. We had to see some relatives after that, so we never made it out for drinks before our reservation at Eleven Madison Park. Dinner there was a wonderful experience. The food was great, the service was so warm and friendly and we had a great kitchen tour. Oh...we also were seated next to Chelsea Clinton and her husband and friends.

                          On Sunday, we had to cancel our reservations at Minetta Tavern for brunch - very disappointing, but our friends with the young daughter decided that they wanted a more kid-friendly place, also closer to the Tenement Museum, so we ended up at Little Giant. I was not impressed. They seemed to have real issues with the temperatures of the eggs they served. One of my poached eggs was completely cooked through. 3 people ordered scrambled wet, but I guess because they ordered scrambled well done for the little girl, all the scrambled came out well done. The bisuits were like heavy bricks. The mac and cheese was very good though.

                          We didn't make it to Katz's (too full), but we ordered pastrami and a corned beef sandwiches from Sarge's and swung by in the taxi on the way to the airport to pick them up. We ate them when we got home to Fort Lauderdale and they were delicious!

                          My husband and I decided that the winter is a great time to visit NYC and we will try to fit in another weekend before it's over. And this time, we'll make it to Minetta for both bone marrow and brunch! Thanks again for the recommendations.

                          -----
                          Barney Greengrass
                          541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

                          Eleven Madison Park
                          11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

                          Casa Mono
                          52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                          Momofuku Ssam Bar
                          207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                          Minetta Tavern
                          113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                          Little Giant
                          85 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

                          Maialino
                          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                          1. re: tlubow
                            t
                            tlubow Apr 8, 2011 11:41 AM

                            Hi NYC chowhounders! I'm resurrecting my thread from January because DH and are coming back to town for the weekend of 5/20. I hope to be able to do some of what we missed back in January including Russ & Daughters, now that the weather will be more conducive to eating outside, and Minetta Tavern for brunch. What I need help with is our dinner Saturday night. My sister and her husband are coming in from NJ to meet us and celebrate my sister's birthday. We probably want to spend about up to $135 p.p. all inclusive. My brother in law does not eat pork or shellfish - which is proving to be more difficult than it sounds. When did chefs start putting pork products in fish dishes?? Why do all the pasta dishes have either pork or shellfish???!!! Help!! I'd like him to have more than 1 or 2 choices per course, if possible. I made a short list of places that interest me and I welcome all your feedback and suggestions.

                            Marea
                            Lincoln
                            Corton
                            The Modern Dining Room (what about the bar room -is it too casual?)
                            Cafe Boulud
                            Bouley (too expensive I think)
                            Ciano
                            Maialino

                            Lastly, please keep in mind that my husband does not want to bring a jacket with him!

                            Thanks in advance.

                            -----
                            Russ & Daughters
                            179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

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

                            Minetta Tavern
                            113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                            Corton
                            239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                            Ciano
                            45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

                            Marea
                            240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                            Maialino
                            2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                            1. re: tlubow
                              r
                              RGR Apr 8, 2011 12:15 PM

                              Since people's drinking habits can differ substantially, it would be more helpful if you gave us your per person budget for *food only*, keeping in mind that you will have to add the cost of beverages, the almost 9% tax & 20% tip.

                              Without breaking it down, I'm not sure that $135 figure would be sufficient for the first five restaurants on that list. For example, The Modern Dining Room's 4-course dinner prix-fixe is $98. Unless you are planning to drink only tap water... Well, I think you can see where I'm going. Also, if your husband doesn't want to bring a jacket, then The Modern Dining Room is out because they are required at dinner (but not at lunch).

                              We just had a sensational meal in the Bar Room at The Modern. The food is just as fabulous as in the formal dining room. It is, of course, much more casual. The menu is a la carte, so depending on which dishes you choose and what you drink, you can probably meet that $135 all-inclusive budget.

                              Bar Room at The Modern photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157626424601064/

                              I'm not a fan of Marea, but I do love Michael White's new restaurant Ai Fiori, where we've had two superb meals. And where, btw, I had pastas that did not include pork or shellfish.

                              Maialino is one of our favorites, and we've had one excellent meal at Ciano. Both have casual ambiance and somewhat more moderate prices.

                              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                              -----
                              The Modern
                              9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

                              1. re: RGR
                                t
                                tlubow Apr 8, 2011 12:24 PM

                                As far as drinking goes, my sister is a bit of a lush, but her husband doesn't drink at all, so I figure they even each other out. My husband and I are moderate drinkers. Let's do what you suggested though, and say $75-$85 p.p. just for food. Good to know about The Modern Dining Room jacket policy which I didn't notice on the website. The Bar Room menu looks wonderful and your pictures are mouth-watering! I'll have to decide if we're looking for something less casual.

                                I looked at Ai Fiore and the online menu seemed limited regarding our dietary restrictions. Is the online menu just an example?

                                What are your thoughts on Cafe Boulud?

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

                                1. re: tlubow
                                  r
                                  RGR Apr 8, 2011 12:58 PM

                                  Ai Fiori's menu is not an example. However, unfortunately, it isn't up-to-dat either (one of my restaurant peeves.) For example, the diver scallop dish is no longer being served. And there are a few other changes as well, including on the dessert menu. In any case, other than your brother-in-law not eating pork or shellfish, what other dietary restrictions do you have?

                                  Ai Fiori photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157626404002836/

                                  Cafe Boulud is one of our favorites. Chef Gavin Kaysen is cooking some of the best food in the city right now, and we've had two spectacular meals there within the past few weeks. There's a first-rate wine list, service is cordial and polished, and the space has lovely decor. Though many of the men do wear jackets, they are definitely not required. In fact, my husband did not wear one at either of those two dinners.

                                  Cafe Boulud photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157626251539228/

                                  and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157626281943793/

                                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                  1. re: RGR
                                    t
                                    tlubow Apr 8, 2011 01:31 PM

                                    Thank you for so much information. It's just my brother in law. I love the online menu at Ai Fiore but I was concerned that he could only chose from among 2 pastas (not sure if he can eat escargot) and two fishes. (Your pictures are delectable!) Do they have nightly additions to the menu?

                                    You've provided so much information - but one last question. Does Cafe Boulud have a prix fixe or just a chef's tasting menu. The food looks incredible and I think my bil will have more options.

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

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

                                    1. re: tlubow
                                      r
                                      RGR Apr 8, 2011 05:39 PM

                                      Thanks for the compliment regarding my photos. :)

                                      Ai Fiori does not have daily specials.

                                      Yes, Cafe Boulud's food is incredibel! The four regular menus and the menu of daily market specials, which is always printed out with prices, are all a la carte. The only prix-fixe is the tasting menu.

                                      If you have more questions, don't hesitate to ask.

                                      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                      1. re: RGR
                                        t
                                        tlubow Apr 11, 2011 08:41 AM

                                        Thank you. I guess I'll solicit my sister's opinion and give her a few choices. I'll be happy with any of them.
                                        On another note, we will definitely make it to Ellis Island this time, now that the high won't be in the teens, and we were thinking of pizza for lunch on Saturday after getting back. Last time we went up to Patsy's in Harlem and adored (and inhaled) the pie. We need to stay closer to lower Manhattan this time around. Any ideas? If we loved Patsy's, where should we go?

                                        -----
                                        Patsy's Pizzeria
                                        2287 1st Ave, New York, NY 10035

                                        1. re: tlubow
                                          r
                                          RGR Apr 11, 2011 10:11 AM

                                          We've not been to Patsy's in Harlem, so I don't know what style is served there. And I'm certainly far from the pizza maven as others on the board are. But I liked the pizza at Keste and at Motorino.

                                          Pizza photos:

                                          Keste: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157624745521502/

                                          Motorino: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157623999255016/

                                          Perhaps it would be a good idea for you to put up a separate post asking the specific question, "If we liked Patsy's in Harlem, where else should we go for pizza?"

                                          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                          -----
                                          Keste Pizza & Vino
                                          271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                                          1. re: tlubow
                                            k
                                            kathryn Apr 11, 2011 10:47 AM

                                            Patsy's is old school New York coal oven pizza and one of the best in Manhattan. It would be in the same genre as Grimaldi's, Lombardi's, John's of Bleecker. Of course, for Saturday lunch, there will be lines at all of these. My pick would be John's of Bleecker if you want to stay in a similar style as Patsy's.

                                            However, I would encourage you to try one of the more "nouveau" places. Keste and Motorino are both excellent, and below 14th street, and typically far less crowded for lunch than dinner. Those would be my pick -- I prefer Motorino over Keste.

                                            -----
                                            John's Pizzeria
                                            278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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

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

                                            1. re: kathryn
                                              t
                                              tlubow Apr 11, 2011 11:29 AM

                                              Kathryn, I was hoping you'd chime in. I was just looking through some of your earlier posts regarding pizza! I think we will try Motorino. Thanks again.

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

                                  2. re: RGR
                                    t
                                    tlubow Apr 14, 2011 12:28 PM

                                    I think we've decided on Ai Fiore, Maialino or Ciano (though my sister has thrown Gramercy Tavern into the mix also). How hard will it be to get reservations? It's too early on opentable, but none of the websites say when they open for reservations.

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

                                    Ciano
                                    45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

                                    Maialino
                                    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                                    1. re: tlubow
                                      k
                                      kathryn Apr 14, 2011 12:34 PM

                                      I'd call them to ask exactly how many days in advance they start taking them, and at what time. I've successfully gotten Saturday night 8pm reservations for some restaurants by knowing this in advance.

                                      1. re: tlubow
                                        r
                                        RGR Apr 14, 2011 01:30 PM

                                        From my experience with those three, Maialino has been the most difficult reservation to get, especially on the weekend. They take reservations 28 days from the date you want.

                                        The first time we went to Ai Fiori, it was a Saturday. We called for a reservation just before we wanted to go, and had no trouble gettig a table. However, that was before Sifton's 3-star review, so Fridays and Saturdays are probably more difficult now. We went again a few weeks ago on a Monday, and iirc, I reserved about a month in advance.

                                        We just went to Ciano for the second time this past Sunday. No problem getting a last-minute reservation, and they never filled up while we were there. I'm sure they are much busier on Friday and Saturday.

                                        Ciano photos (2nd dinner): http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157626348323429/

                                        ETA: I'm not a fan of Gramercy Tavern's dining room. Like Maialino, they take reservations 28 days in advance of the date you want. In fact, it's the same for all Danny Meyer restaurants.

                                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                        1. re: RGR
                                          t
                                          tlubow Apr 14, 2011 02:03 PM

                                          Thank you. I'll let you know if I'm successful.

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