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Friday - Saturday NYC Trip

e
ericS Mar 14, 2011 06:13 PM

My girlfriend is taking me on a NYC road trip for my birthday this weekend. We will get into town on Friday and check out of the Hotel Saturday morning.

We are planning on going to Murray's for some gourmet cheeses, and Katz's deli, but need some recommendations for other places to eat.

We are big fans of Italian, and are spoiled by some of Boston's North End, and home cooking. We enjoy sushi, and Asian noodles favorite spot King Fun in Boston's Chinatown. Seafood, well I guess there's not a particular type of food that we do not like.

I look forward to some of my fellow ChowHounder suggestions.

Thanks,
Eric

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  1. g
    gutsofsteel Mar 14, 2011 06:15 PM

    Budgets?

    5 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel
      e
      ericS Mar 15, 2011 07:44 AM

      50-$100 / pp I mean if there was going to be some big time restaurant we could go more.

      Also forgot to mention staying at the Courtyard New York Manhattan on Varrick Street.

      My girlfriend said something about Carmine's in Times Square. I would generally prefer a smaller place like we are used to from Boston's North End.

      I look forward to some local suggestions!!!!

      1. re: ericS
        g
        gutsofsteel Mar 15, 2011 07:50 AM

        In order to be helpful to you, you really need to be more specific. There are thounsands of restaurants in NYC. Perhaps you should read through the hundreds of posts here on CH and see what interests you, and then narrow down and ask questions about a few places you are considering. Your request as it is now is too broad.

        Also you need to be more specific - do you want to spend $50, or $100? Does it include tax, tip, and drinks? Do you want to go upscale or casual? How many restaurant meals are you planning and seeking input for? Where is your hotel located?

        1. re: gutsofsteel
          b
          bronwen Mar 15, 2011 08:11 AM

          I agree, you need to read up on the posts that interest you, you don't seem to realize how huge New York is - it's not tiny like Boston's North End!

        2. re: ericS
          buttertart Mar 15, 2011 08:22 AM

          Don't go to Carmine's, it's nothing special.

          -----
          Carmine's
          200 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

          1. re: ericS
            s
            scotty27 Mar 15, 2011 08:26 AM

            Yo, Boston! I'm a NYC/NJ emigre living in Boston. The Ital places in NYC are wonderful. Nothing remotely like them in Boston. I'm talking here of: Locanda Verde, Maialino's. EATALY, Osteria Morino, Esca, and Del Posto. Del Posto has a great lunch special for something like $29 s head...

            www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

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

            Esca
            402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

            Locanda Verde
            377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

            Maialino
            2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

            Eataly
            200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

            Osteria Morini
            218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

        3. f
          fm1963 Mar 15, 2011 08:09 AM

          You might enjoy Torrisi Italian Specialties. No reservations, so go early to avoid a long wait.

          -----
          Torrisi Italian Specialties
          250 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

          23 Replies
          1. re: fm1963
            g
            gutsofsteel Mar 15, 2011 11:48 AM

            If you are coming from the North End, do not bother with Torrisi.

            Maialino is a great choice.

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

            1. re: gutsofsteel
              p
              peter j Mar 15, 2011 11:58 AM

              The OP's girlfriend suggested Carmine's. Torrisi would be a much closer fit than Maialino.

              Maialino is good but for that price point, Babbo and Scarpetta are better.

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

              1. re: peter j
                r
                RGR Mar 15, 2011 01:17 PM

                I don't agree that Scarpetta is better than Maialino. They are both excellent. But if I had to choose between the two, it would be Maialino. We've not been to Babbo.

                Maialino photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157625993221593/

                Scarpetta photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157622038539682/

                http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                1. re: RGR
                  g
                  gutsofsteel Mar 15, 2011 01:23 PM

                  Torrisi is not special enough for a meal during a trip to NYC.

                  Carmine's is also far from worthy of a meal during a trip to NYC. It's a plain old family style red sauce place. Fine if you need such a thing for a big group, but really not special at all. And certainly not for people who have access to Boston's north end. Carmine's is a dime a dozen.

                  And I agree with RGR, I would choose Maialino over Scarpetta (and Locanda Verde). And I am not a big Babbo fan.

                  -----
                  Babbo
                  110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

                  Locanda Verde
                  377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                  Maialino
                  2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                  1. re: RGR
                    e
                    ericS Mar 15, 2011 02:26 PM

                    RGR,

                    The pictures of Scarpetto were awesome the Halibut makes me want to stop and get some fish from the market for dinner.

                  2. re: peter j
                    e
                    ericS Mar 15, 2011 02:24 PM

                    Peter,

                    Thanks for your input. Maliano looked goof, as did the pictures for Scarpetta. As I asked GutsofSteel

                    What do What are your thoughts on Babbo, Becco, and Del Posto - I like watching Lydia on TV it reminds me of a lot of dishes my Nana used to make, and Mario Batali is interesting to watch as well ?

                    -----
                    Babbo
                    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

                    Becco
                    355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

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

                    1. re: ericS
                      p
                      peter j Mar 15, 2011 02:53 PM

                      Babbo is Mario Batali's best and most personal effort. Even though he may no longer cook there on a regular basis, the menu still retains his distinctive stamp and is much more unique than Maialino. The bar area is available for walk-ins, though it's best to arrive before 6 pm to avoid a long wait.

                      I am not a fan of Becco, and have not been to Del Posto since it's recent 4 star NYT review.

                      -----
                      Babbo
                      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

                      Becco
                      355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

                      Maialino
                      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                      1. re: peter j
                        e
                        ericS Mar 15, 2011 03:21 PM

                        Peter thank you for a reply to my question without a reprimand. I appreciate our response.

                        1. re: ericS
                          r
                          RGR Mar 15, 2011 04:12 PM

                          I would steer clear of Becco. At one time, the food was very good, but because of Lidia's fame (she and her son, Joe, own it; Batali is not involved), it has become a victim of its own success. There is far better Italian food in that area (Times Square/Theater District), the rooms are jammed to hilt with tables within an inch of each other, and the noise level is so insanely high that one has to shout in order to communicate. Not my idea of a pleasant dining experience.

                          We've not been to either Babbo or Del Posto. However, if you do want to go to a restaurant that Lidia has had a big hand in, I would recommend Manzo in Eataly. (We were told that she more than Batali is responsible for the menu.) It's the only restaurant there with table seating that accepts reservations, and it's located so that you don't have people streaming through the aisles around the tables (which, btw, have tablecloths). The food is delicious, there's a very good wine list, and service is pleasant and professional.

                          Manzo in Eataly photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157625847020198/

                          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                          -----
                          Manzo
                          200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

                          1. re: RGR
                            d
                            dancehound Apr 16, 2011 07:53 PM

                            Hopping over from my Batali restaurants thread from a couple of days ago April 14 2011 - (specifically asking for Mario restaurants recommendations.)...Manzo keeps coming up...high on my list right now! =)

                          2. re: ericS
                            p
                            peter j Mar 15, 2011 09:50 PM

                            Hey Eric,

                            Your question was fair. We're all curious about celebrity chefs and their food, so there's certainly no need to reprimand anyone who is upfront about that.

                            If you also like to watch Scott Conant on Food Network, Scarpetta would be a great intro to his style of high end Italian dining. I just had dinner there last night and the food was as good as ever - crispy vegetables with artichokes and herbs, seared duck breast with hen of the wood mushrooms and celery root puree, and coconut panna cotta with guava soup and caramelized pineapple.

                            The bread service includes an amazing stromboli, eggplant caponata, and mascarpone. In the past I have also enjoyed his signature polenta with truffled mushrooms, spaghetti with tomato and basil, and ravioli with duck and foie gras.

                            Don't forget to look at the separate vegetarian menu, even if you're not vegetarian. Like Babbo, the bar area is available for walk-ins, and since it has more seats you shouldn't have much of a wait if you arrive before 7:00 p.m.

                            If you are looking for a Lidia Bastianich restaurant with food similar to her cooking show, you might consider Felidia on East 58th Street. I haven't been there in a few years but my dinners there have always been wonderful. For what it's worth, Felidia still gets strong reviews on OpenTable, which I generally find to be more reliable than Yelp or Zagat.

                            -----
                            Babbo
                            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

                            Felidia
                            243 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022

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

                    2. re: gutsofsteel
                      e
                      ericS Mar 15, 2011 02:22 PM

                      Gutsofsteel,

                      Thanks Maliano looks pretty good, the pricing is not that bad.

                      What are your thoughts on Babbo, Becco, and Del Posto - I like watching Lydia on TV it reminds me of a lot of dishes my Nana used to make, and Mario Batali is interesting to watch as well ?

                      -----
                      Babbo
                      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

                      Becco
                      355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

                      1. re: ericS
                        g
                        gutsofsteel Mar 15, 2011 02:26 PM

                        I think choosing a restaurant based on a person's appearance on a TV show makes no sense whatsoever. Lydia Bastianich is not in the kitchen at any of those restaurants. And if I have to bet, nor is Mario Batali. And it doesn't matter. A good restaurant is not chef-dependent.

                        That being said, I am not a fan of any of those 3 restaurants.

                        1. re: gutsofsteel
                          e
                          ericS Mar 15, 2011 02:53 PM

                          have you ever been to any of them, or is that your humble opinion about the restaurant's owners and their television shows?

                          1. re: ericS
                            g
                            gutsofsteel Mar 15, 2011 03:03 PM

                            I have been to all of them. I don't give a damn about the owners or the television shows - I care about restaurants as restaurants, not as celebrity vehicles.

                        2. re: ericS
                          linguafood Mar 15, 2011 03:46 PM

                          I hope you are flexible w/regards to your dining hours... if you are talking THIS coming w/end, I doubt you'll be able to get a reservation at any of these places, unless you're fine eating there at 5:30 or 10:30 pm. I called a number of them a week ago and they were booked already.

                          1. re: linguafood
                            e
                            ericS Mar 20, 2011 08:50 AM

                            I've never been to a restaurant that needed to have so many tables pushed together to have patrons be seated and to leave. I now know what it feels like to be a Sardine jammed in a pull top can. With it being so overly packed the noise was a bit over bearing, and these factors took away from the food, and why it was rated a three.

                            Osso Buco was was delicious and the little bit of marrow from the bone was dressed with some breadcrumbs when combined with the sauce was delightful. The Veal Chop parm, was very good and was a real nice treat three hours later. I was able to add the pasta trio for a $9 up charge to my entree, and it was worth it. The linguine with clams was the perfect mix of garlic and oil, but could have had more clams. The Spinach ravioli w/ butter was good, but the bow ties with tomato basil was ok.

                            The Italian cheesecake was very good, someone ordered the dessert sampler and I wished I ordered that because it looked phenomenal and would have made the difficult decision much easier.

                            The extensive wine list for $25 a bottle was quite impressive.

                            If they took 10 tables out of this place and didn't rush people through the dining experience being worried about seating another 30 people it would have been a better experience.

                            -----
                            Becco
                            355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

                            1. re: ericS
                              r
                              RGR Mar 20, 2011 09:07 AM

                              Becco has become a victim of its own success. When it first opened, it was actually pleasant to dine there. Of course, that was before Lidia became a television personality, at which point, she and son Joe, who co-own it, began jamming as many tables into all the rooms in order to accommodate the hoards of fans who descended upon it like the proverbial plague. Of course, not a plague to the restaurant's bottom line.

                              Our last time there -- and it will be the last time -- several years ago, the pastas were mediocre; the seating was, as you described, uncomfortably sardine-tight; and the noise level was so hideously high that we literally had to shout across the table to communicate. There are so many far better Italian restaurants both food-wise and with regard to ambiance.

                              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                              1. re: RGR
                                e
                                ericS Mar 20, 2011 09:49 AM

                                I was a victim of the reservations thing, with the exception of one other restaurant, which I wasn't enthused about the menu, were available for last minute reservations.

                                1. re: ericS
                                  r
                                  RGR Mar 20, 2011 10:09 AM

                                  Because previous post are not open (imo, the software on this board is awful), I never looked at my posts upthread before posting this time. I just looked at the one dated 3/15, and so I apologize for repeating myself about Becco. Well, at least you liked the food.

                                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                2. re: RGR
                                  e
                                  ericS Mar 20, 2011 10:04 AM

                                  We walked to this place from our hotel it was about a ten minutes walk and so well worth it. Albeit, it was $110.00 for some appetizers and two large martinis. It was so very good I can't wait 'til the next time I'm in NYC to go there again.

                                  We had 3 1/2 dozens of Oysters; started with the Duxbury being from MA and all it is like a defacto starter. Then we asked our waiter, who was extremely knowledgeable in the different characteristics of the 25 + Oysters they had available. After a good description from the waiter we chose Canoe Lagoon from Alaska, they were large with just enough liquor and paired with the shallot / cider vinegar sauce was phenomenal. Again from the waiter's on point description we had the Moonstone Oysters that were a bit more on the briny side.

                                  The Chilean Sea Bass Spring Rolls were excellent as well.

                                  The Jalepeno Thirst Quencher was pretty good just enough bite from the Jalapeno, and my other half enjoyed her Aquaduct Martini, we got the large size versions and both were under $20.

                                  The only thing that we didn't like was the fact we had to wait for the Spring Rolls because the kitchen wasn't open yet, but they started seating for dinner @ 6:00.

                                  -----
                                  Aquagrill
                                  210 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                                   
                            2. re: ericS
                              s
                              steakrules85 Mar 20, 2011 08:19 PM

                              I'll throw my two cents in here. Babbo is without a doubt the best restaurant in Batali's repertoire in my opinion. The food is totally sublime and really inventive. I think if you are going to choose ONE place for Italian on your trip to NYC make it Babbo. However, steer clear of Del Posto. I think the place is a rip off honestly. The food is good but portions are small and the place lacks soul. It's really all show and I get a sense from the staff that they are actors rather than genuine people providing great service.

                              As other have said, Scarpetta and Maialino are also terrific. Two of my favorite restaurants in the city. I had a very good brunch at LV but have yet to go for dinner. Still, I do not think it could be better than Scarpetta or Maialino (that maialino al forno is one of the best plates of food I have ever eaten for sure). It is a shame Convivio and Alto have closed because both were great. I have not tried White's new ventures- Osteria Morini or Ai Fiori but plan to soon. For other recommendations for Italian, I really love Marea and Il Mulino- although both are very expensive. For something a little cheaper but still great, how about Crispo? Very reasonably priced, comfy setting, good service, great food.

                              -----
                              Babbo
                              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

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

                              Crispo
                              240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

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

                              Marea
                              240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                              Maialino
                              2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                              Osteria Morini
                              218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

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

                              1. re: steakrules85
                                keithwdixon Mar 21, 2011 06:01 AM

                                SR, lately i find i'm recommending otto as often as i recommend babbo. it is, admittedly, a strange dining experience, particularly if you choose to stand out front rather than sit out back, or at the bar -- but i think that's what makes it fun. and i love the way you can pick 7 or 8 sublime snacks and experience a lot of different plates. plus the wine choices are varied and fun. i agree that babbo provides a more traditionally-flavored "wow," but i think otto is worth suggesting, at least for those who aren't scared off by the idea of actually standing through dinner!

                                http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cooking...

                                -----
                                Otto
                                1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

                        3. BrookBoy Mar 21, 2011 06:27 AM

                          So where did you end up going and how did you like it?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: BrookBoy
                            d
                            dancehound Apr 16, 2011 08:00 PM

                            He went to Becco and Aquagrill. Check through the thread for his posts. He did nice job of reviewing. thanks Eric S!

                            -----
                            Becco
                            355 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10010

                            Aquagrill
                            210 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

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