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4 days in April (has my research paid off?)

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Hi, I’m visiting NYC from Australia in April for four nights. This is my third time to NYC but the first where I have really tried to plan out my meals.

Having spent the last two months researching what’s hot and what’s not, I have come up with the following restaurants to reflect what has appealed to me, and I have noted in brackets where I am undecided or where a specific food item has caused me to choose a particular restaurant:

Sunday
Breakfast – Normas (we went two years ago and the fiancé really liked it)
Lunch – Spotted Pig (burger with shoestring fries)
Afternoon tea – Hill Country Chicken (fried chicken)
Dinner – Momofuku Noodle Bar (pork buns, momofuku ramen)
Dessert – Momofuku Milk Bar (milk cereal soft serve ice cream)

Monday
Breakfast – Russ & Daughters (bagels with lox)
Lunch – Le Bernadin or Jean-Georges (which is consistently better?)
Dinner – R.U.B. or Blue Smoke (I am leaning towards Blue Smoke because I read somewhere the mac n cheese is excellent; my main interest for this meal is good pulled pork and mac n cheese)

Tuesday
Breakfast – undecided
Lunch – Motorino or Keste (pizza – open to other suggestions)
Afternoon tea – Artisinal (mac n cheese unless we go to Blue Smoke the night before and are satisfied with the mac n cheese there – the fiancé really loves mac n cheese)
Dinner – Yasuda (is it still good without Chef Yasuda?) or 15 East
Dessert – Momofuku Milk Bar (crack pie)

Wednesday
Breakfast - H&H Bagels
Lunch – Marea (bone marrow & octopus fusilli; any other stand-out items?)
Dinner – Per Se, Daniel or EMP in order of preference

Thursday
Breakfast – undecided
Lunch – Virgil’s (simply because I love bbq, it is next to our hotel and our flight leaves NYC at 3pm)

Any comments would be appreciated, specifically in relation to meal layout (noting that when or if I can get a reservation for Per Se will play a big part in this) or restaurants where I have indicated I am undecided.

Thanks to everyone for all their posts that have helped me compile the above list!

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Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

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

Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

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

Blue Smoke
116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

H&H Bagels
639 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

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

Momofuku Milk Bar
15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

Hill Country Chicken
1123 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

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  1. Nice list. Some thoughts:

    I'd drop Hill Country Chicken, as it's not very good. Doubly so for Norma's, unless your fiancé is absolutely dead set on it.

    Momofuku Ssäm Bar is more interesting than Noodle Bar. If you're after ramen specifically, Ippudo is a much better choice.

    There's no need for two separate visits to Milk Bar. You can find better desserts.

    Le Bernardin over Jean Georges (for me, over Per Se, Daniel, and EMP as well).

    Can't go wrong with Motorino vs. Keste or Sushi Yasuda vs. 15 East. The sushi quality at Yasuda hasn't declined.

    At Marea, the lobster with burrata, eggplant al funghetto, and basil is a standout antipasto. The desserts are quite strong across the board, but the affogato is a favorite.

    If you're after pancakes, Clinton Street Baking Company is worthwhile for a weekday breakfast.

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    Per Se
    10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

    Jean Georges
    1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

    Sushi Yasuda
    204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

    Le Bernardin
    155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

    Ippudo
    65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Marea
    240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

    Hill Country Chicken
    1123 Broadway, New York, NY 10010

    8 Replies
    1. re: hcbk0702

      Thanks for the feedback.

      RE: Noodle Bar v Ssam, I'm mainly interested in the pork buns and I guess for the rest of the meal I will see which menu intrigues me more closer to April.

      Do you have any dessert-only recommendations near momofuku ssam/noodle bar or yasuda/15 east to swap for one of the Milk Bar trips?

      I think I will definately go with Le Bernadin for lunch.

      1. re: namor

        If you go to Yasuda, the best desserts nearby would be at The Modern Bar Room on West 53rd (a few blocks closer that the Milk Bar on West 56th). The Bar Room serves a full menu, but you can certainly order just desserts.

        1. re: peter j

          I wasn't too interested in the Modern's main menu but I never considered going there just for dessert. Thanks for the suggestion!

          1. re: peter j

            Don't miss the beignets at the Bar Room at the Modern.

          2. re: namor

            ChikaLicious Dessert Bar and Spot Dessert Bar are very close to the Momofuku restaurants, and both are within reasonable walking distance of 15 East.

            As for Yasuda, I'd tell you to skip dessert and head across the street to Sakagura for some sake and izakaya fare. But if you're up for a longer stroll, The Modern Bar Room, as mentioned above, is a nice option. Within roughly the same walking distance, L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon might have even better desserts.

            Michael Laiskonis is the best pastry chef in the city, so you'll be fine at Le Bernardin. Consider requesting his signature "Egg" dessert (milk chocolate pot de crème, caramel sauce, caramel custard foam, maple syrup and Maldon sea salt served in an eggshell).

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

            Sakagura
            211 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017

            ChikaLicious
            203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

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

            1. re: hcbk0702

              Thanks for the recommendations. I certainly like the look of Spot Dessert Bar's menu.

              I will spending 7 nights in Vegas as well on this trip and going to L'Atelier and/or Joel Robuchon but thanks for suggesting the NYC version.

              I will definitely be ordering the egg at Le Bernadin!

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

              1. re: hcbk0702

                You should be aware that there are two Chikalicious' across the street from one another. One is a sit down dessert restaurant. The other is takeout with some seating.

          3. If you enjoy the food at the Spotted Pig, you might like The Breslin (another one of April Bloomfield's restaurants), on Tuesday. Or, if you're planning on being in the West Village most of that day, you could do breakfast at Joseph Leonard, then be close to Keste for lunch.

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            Spotted Pig
            314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

            Joseph Leonard
            170 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

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

            1. Gret list and preparation. Not sure if you know that H and H Bagels (on the west side, anyway) is a shop without seating so it's good for picking up baels that you'll put together with toppings from elsewhere and eat elsewhere.

              1 Reply
              1. re: yebo

                Yeah, we went to H & H Bagels two years ago and ended up eating our bagels nearby on a park bench in the middle of winter - good times!

              2. Monday lunch - Le Bernardin is consistently better than Jean Georges in terms of food and service. Much nicer atmosphere too.

                Wednesday lunch - Try the ricci appetizer (sea urchin on toast topped with a thin slice of lardo). It's not on the lunch menu but they will serve it upon request. Other favorites at Marea include the lobster with burrata, grilled octopus with smoked potatoes, crab spaghetti with sea urchin, risotto mare, roasted scallops with chestnut puree. For dessert, try the rosemary panna cotta, affogato, or the gianduja.

                Wednesday dinner - my top choice would be Per Se, followed by Daniel.

                The crack pie and cereal milk soft serve are the best items at Momofuku Milk Bar, glad they're on your list.

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                Per Se
                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                Jean Georges
                1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                Le Bernardin
                155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                Marea
                240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                Momofuku Milk Bar
                15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                2 Replies
                1. re: peter j

                  Sounds like Le Bernadin it is.

                  1. re: peter j

                    I like the pies and cookies at Milk Bar but I find the cereal milk ice cream very underwhelming.

                  2. Try the mini bagels at Absolute instead of H&H.

                    One good breakfast place for you to consider is Cafe Mogador. You can actually get brunch there any day of the week, and it's much better to go there on weekdays, when you don't have to wait and the atmosphere is relaxed. Their weekend brunch menu is longer, but their best items are available every day.

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                    Cafe Mogador
                    101 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

                    Absolute Bagels
                    2788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025