Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Jan 26, 2011 12:04 PM

Please critique my first NYC dining exp!

Hello hounds!

I've finally narrowed down my choices of restaurants and dessert places to visit in my short trip to NYC this weekend and I was hoping that you guys can give some inputs on what to order at the restaurants.

We are arriving in NY early in the morning so we're probably going to eat Clinton's bakery for breakfast then either lombardi's or Katz for lunch. After that we will probably get dessert at Sports Dessert Bar. As for dinner, I have yet to make a reservation, but was thinking of dining at a Blue Ribbon restaurant or something similar to that (any recommendations?)

Saturday we will probably get breakfast at Russ & Daughters and then head up to central park and have shake shack for lunch. Then maybe grab some cupcakes from Alice's Teacup. For dinner, our friends want to meet up at Pio Pio for some Peruvian food.

Our last full day in NY, we will have breakfast at Maialino. Any recommendations on what to order? Then we will try to get a spot at Ippudo for a late lunch. Our last meal will be at Marea after a show of lion king.

Sorry for the long post, but any tips is appreciated!


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

65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

Pio Pio
210 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016

240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Great lineup, though Sports Dessert Bar is unfamiliar (do you mean Spot Dessert Bar?). I'd say Katz over Lombardi, and Blue Ribbon on Sullivan Street for dinner.

    For breakfast at Maialino. don't miss the bomboloni. At Marea, the ricci, lobster with burrata, grilled octopus with smoked potatoes, fusilli with braised octopus and bone marrow, risotto mare, spaghetti with crab and sea urchin, and roasted sea scallops with chestnut ragu are exceptionally good.

    240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

    Spot Dessert Bar
    13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

    7 Replies
    1. re: H Manning

      On Sunday, Maialino serves brunch. It's been quite a while since we had brunch there, and the bomboloni were not on the menu. On the website menus, I see them listed for breakfast, but not for brunch. Are they available then?

      1. re: RGR

        We had brunch there last month and ordered the bombolini on a weekend afternoon.

        1. re: RGR

          The bomboloni were available for Sunday brunch last month. They even comped us a second order!

          1. re: fm1963

            Thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely try the bombolini if its available

            1. re: endyyy

              i think their brioche is better than the bombolini though the bombolini is good.

          2. re: RGR

            Yes the bomboloni was on the Maialino brunch menu a couple of weeks ago. Online menus are not always up to date.

          3. re: H Manning

            Yes, I meant Spot Dessert Bar! Made it sound like a completely different place haha. Going to try to go to Blue Ribbon on Friday for dinner.

            Spot Dessert Bar
            13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

          4. Clinton St. Baking Company is great for breakfast. I would choose Katz's Deli over Lombardi's for lunch.

            Blue Ribbon Brasserie is a great spot for dinner but doesn't take reservations so be prepared to wait.

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: kathryn

              Thanks for the tip kathryn! Any recommendations for Clinton St. Baking Company other than the blueberry pancakes?

              Hopefully the wait won't be too crazy at Blue Ribbon..

              1. re: endyyy

                For Clinton St Baking Company: The biscuit sandwich with egg, tomato jam, and bacon is fantastic. The only item I'd avoid is the waffles.

                Good luck at Blue Ribbon. It could be 1-2 hours.

            2. be aware that there is no place to sit and eat at russ and daughters. it is a shop, not a restaurant. and it's a bit cold for al fresco........

              fo cupcakes i way prefer two little red hens

              i'd go for katz's over lombardis, but they are so different it's really about the mood youre in

              3 Replies
              1. re: thew

                Thanks for the tip thew, will try to convince my significant other that Katz is better than lombardi's lol

                1. re: endyyy

                  Lombardi's is only OK when it comes to NYC pizza. Whereas Katz's is one of a kind.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    What Kathryn said.

                    endyyy: You may not have room for dessert after having lunch at Katz's, depending on whether you share one sandwich or two. (Are you a party of two? I shouldn't assume, really.)

                    Spot has great cupcakes, by the way. I've been there twice to sit in and once for takeout so far. I've had two cupcakes: One with green tea icing, chocolate cake base, and apricot jam filling, and one with Thai iced coffee icing, vanilla cake base, and caramel filling. I'm not positive which one was better; they were so different from each other and both were wonderful in their own way.

                    I've also had excellent lychee matcha bubble tea, impressive blood orange soda with passion fruit foam and just a bit of sugar at the bottom of the glass, and I shared an interesting dessert tapa with a friend: white miso semifreddo, raspberries, extra-virgin olive oil, almond tuile, raspberry sorbet. There were also bits of a tangy sauce on the plate, which I think may have been a combination of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. At first, I liked all of the elements except that I found the white miso semifreddo too aggressively salty for my taste, and definitely drank more water to counteract the salt (my friend loved the dessert from the first bite). However, after I finished the dessert, it left a good taste in my mouth, so I ultimately considered it successful.

                    And as my friend and I walked back from the dessert bar, we talked about how it's a pleasure to think while you're eating. Spot engenders that response, and thus, surpasses even the joy of its excellent ingredients and delicious execution. I realize my remarks are now sounding almost extreme, but I really like the place so far, and I also will praise the friendly, helpful servers I've encountered there, so far. Do go there.

              2. Alice's teac up I think is known for its eat-in teas; I never heard it's a great bakery. Others might have UWS cupcake nominations. There is a decent bakery on the uptown side of 72 between Columbus and Amsterdam if you don't get other more frined responses.

                6 Replies
                1. re: yebo

                  Buttercup Bakeshop? I find their cupcakes to be really dry and the frosting a bit paste like (chalky).

                  1. re: kathryn

                    I agree with you about Buttercup Bakeshop. I don't like Magnolia Bakery (Columbus @ 69th) but do like Crumbs on Amsterdam (76th/77th), where I think the icing is much smoother (more butter?) and there's a better ratio of cake-to-icing. To answer endyyy about Levain: there's barely any room for a line inside this tiny shop, and I've never seen any line outside, so I'd say you shouldn't have much of a wait. Another option for great cookies is Insomnia Cookies on Amsterdam (btw 79/80th).

                    1. re: boredough

                      Crumbs can be OK if you get one of the filled ones. Sometimes some of the varieties are huge though! Best to split with someone else.

                      I like Magnolia's cupcakes marginally better than Buttercup's (which is to say, barely at all) and I really wish my workplace would stop ordering the damned things every few weeks for people's birthdays! Each time I think to myself, maybe they've improved... alas, no.

                  2. re: yebo

                    I am a HUGE fan of Alice's scones...that's what they're known for (aside from their tea). They change the flavors daily but always have buttermilk, ham&cheese, and pumpkin (pumpkin is great), plus three or four more. The cupcakes have never wow-ed me there. However, since you'll be at the UWS Alice's, I'd also recommend grabbing chocolate chip cookies from Levain which is very close by, on 74th.

                    1. re: Jess321

                      yes - levains

                      although i wish they would make a plain chocolate chip w/out nuts (why take up value real estate that could be filled with chocolate?)

                      but the double chocolates are amazing. yeah - they cost a bit, but each cookie serves 3 people

                      1. re: thew

                        Thanks for the tips Jess and thew! I will definitely try to pick up some cookies(or cookie) from levain. Are the lines generally long?

                  3. Re: your plan to have breakfast at Maialino on Sunday. They don't serve breakfast on Sunday. It's brunch, starting at 10 a.m.

                    I do not order eggy things for brunch, but I make an exception for the delicious Raviolo al Uovo. The Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe is also wonderful.