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NYC Trip Report

b
boltsfan Feb 22, 2011 08:46 AM

Wow is all I can say... NYC is such an amazing place to visit. Standing in front of the Statue of Liberty for the first time was very emotional. The 911 Memorial, walking thru Central Park, shopping in SoHo, Times Square, top of the Rock, etc... are all things we will never forget. I tried to remember everything we ate and am mentioning the most memorable dishes. We also had multiple bottles of wine that I cannot remember the name of. If you have an questions please feel free to ask and I will try to recall. Back at work after 9 days off so here is a quick report on the food. Thank you to everyone for the advice on planning our trip.

Rue 57 - Chosen merely due to its proximity to our hotel after a long day flying from CA and getting to the city. Was not looking forward to eating here given the online reviews and our table had mixed reviews. I had the beefsteak salad and the steak frites and though over priced, it was cooked perfectly and fries were crisp. Sushi was just ok. Although, place had a cool vibe and we liked the music being played. Service was good. Oreo beignets for dessert were gross... do not order. Won't go back.

Carnegie Deli - Again... choose this over Katzs merely due to proximity to our hotel. Front of the house is disorganized and not friendly (guess they don't need to be). This place is a machine. Ordered regular pastrami and it was out in seconds. Sandwich was great. Service started out cranky but old lady was nice in the end. Let me tell you that the worst deli in NYC is better than the best deli in CA. Not sure if I would go back but am glad I went.

Tao - Restaurant is a fav of reps that were being taken out to dinner so we had no option. If I could just have made a meal out of the sea bass appetizer I would be happy. Appetizers and entrees were good to average. Pad Tai was very good as well as the sea bass entree. Donuts and fortune cookie for dessert were forgettable. Been to the Vegas location as well and it is almost the exact same. Won't be back.

Angelos Pizza - OMG. Had pepperoni and ricotta pizza. Crust was chewy, crisp and slightly burnt (love it) and toppings were perfect. Stella to wash it all down. Will definitely be back.

Craftbar - Cancelled Blue Smoke and decided to go here. Everything was great. The front of the house was a bit snobby but our server and Manager made up for it. Surprisingly they were very kid friendly and they mentioned that they wished some adults would behave as well as our friends baby did. Very accommodating for a 10 month old on V Day. Salumi and cheeses for appetizers were very good. Artic Char was cooked nice but the sweet potato agnolotti was the best dish. Hanger steak was also very good. Would probably go back.

Rock Center Cafe - Went to the top of the rock and decided to just eat here. Seated at end of lunch rush and then restaurant quieted down. Service was great. Food was good. Risotto crab cake and tomato fennel soup were delicious. Might go back one day just for the view of the rink.

Basso56 - Tired from sight seeing all day we did not feel like going all the way back downtown so we cancelled BLT Prime (I know... sucks). But... I found this great place a few blocks away. Service was outstanding. Started with mussels in a tomato broth and burrata wrapped in speck (a special that night) and a caprese salad. Burrata was smoky and creamy... a must try. I had the lobster crepes and it was one of the best dishes I have ever eaten. The raviolis and seafood risotto (special) was good as well. Gelato for dessert was perfect end. Was also given a complimentary glass of limoncello to finish our dinner. This is a hidden gem and we would definitely go back.

Eatly - After visiting Liberty\Eliis Island all morning we were starving. Took cab from Battery Park to Eatly for lunch. This place is like the SF Ferry Building Marketplace... but on crack. Grabbed a spot at the counter and had 5 cheese and 5 meat platter, some crudo, crusty bread and 2 bottles of wine. Nice way to end the day. Bought some dry goods to bring home (polenta, arborio rice, sea salt, etc...). Will definitely go back.

Otto - Front of the house was very nice. Back room was insanely loud, almost to the point of making you want to leave. Food was meh... salumi and cheeses were great. Pizzas (margherita and pepperoni) were just ok. Pasta (carbonara and agnolotti) were better than the pizza but still just ok. Too loud for dessert and could not wait to leave. Good place for screaming kids as no one would ever notice. Will not go back.

SoHo - Got to do about 6 hours of shopping in Soho. Had breakfast (eggs benedict) at Balthazar and it was good.

Marea - Had a reservation in Crudo Lounge at 8:45pm. We were almost too tired to go (yes... again) but we rallied and went and oh so happy we did. Just around the corner from our hotel so it was a nice evening walk. Front of house was very nice. We loved the decor (not sure why some people do not). Seated in Crudo Lounge on time but not sure we liked the lounge location as we felt kind of off to the side of the bar. Sommelier was nice but did not offer much help. Wine list is extensive so would have been nice if it was viewable online prior. Decided to not do the tasting menu. Ordered 2 crudos (spigola and tonno). Both were fresh and the best we have ever had. The spigola (butterfish) was a stand out. Also ordered a half dozen oysters, 2 each of 3 different but I cannot remember which ones. I ordered the fusilli and my wife the tortelli. The fusilli deserves the hype and was an entree I will never forget. The pasta as cooked to a perfect al dente. The sauce was delicious and the baby octopus was tender and clean and the bone marrow elevated the dish to a whole other level. The tortelli was also an incredible dish. Finished with the caramello for dessert... outstanding. Service seemed off for a restaurant of this caliber. After ordering, our server never came back once to check on us, except to take our dessert order. Never been to a 2 star Michelin restaurant before, so maybe they figure everything is perfect and they don't need to ask. A very memorable dinner on our last night in NYC. We will definitely go back.

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BLT Prime
111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

Carnegie Deli
854 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

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

Rue 57
60 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

Rock Center Cafe
20 W 50th St, New York, NY 10020

Marea
240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

Crudo
235 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

  1. m
    michelleats Feb 22, 2011 04:56 PM

    Nice set of reviews, boltsfan. It's always refreshing to see reviews of lesser known places like Basso56. I'd never heard of it, but I'm now intrigued given how much you liked the lobster crepes.

    1. f
      fm1963 Feb 22, 2011 09:24 AM

      Great review. Glad you liked Angelo's, Craftbar, and Marea.

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      Marea
      240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

      1. loratliff Feb 22, 2011 09:09 AM

        Thanks for reporting back. I see you missed the Spotted Pig? Too bad!

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: loratliff
          b
          boltsfan Feb 22, 2011 10:21 AM

          Yea... too little time to do everything. Will make it there next time for sure.

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