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NYC Restaurants - New places since trip in 2009?

Hello,

I'm from Holland but have visited New York and Connecticut for at least 10 week(end)s in the past 10 years, getting to know the city pretty well. As a CHOW member, finding good places to eat is usually at the top of the to do list :)

I've visited places in the past ranging from Nobu to Gray's Papaya, from Sakagura (izakaya) to Katz Deli and from Doyers in Chinatown to the little roadside restaurants in the Village.

Last time I visited (May 2009) there was still a steamed pork bun / food from trucks / cupcake / bahn mi / bubble tea hype in the city.... and I'm curious to know what's happening at the moment. I heard maccarons are popular now and heard about the new Battali venture Eataly is supposed to be worth to visit.

So I'm hoping you could give me some tips on where / what to eat? I'm looking for unique or new places (since 2009) worth to visit. I'm thinking of the Milk Bar, Eataly, ABC Kitchen, Minetta Tavern.

Besides that I'm looking for the best places for some specific foods:
- xiao long bao (shanghai dumplings with broth inside)
- pork bons
- shredded pork
- ice-cream (tried Grom and Laboratorio del Gelato)
- black cod in miso
- bhan mi
- vietnamese crepes

Thanks a lot for any tips!

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

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

Nobu
105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

Gray's Papaya
2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

Grom
233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

ABC Kitchen
35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

Eataly
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

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  1. Pork, food trucks, cupcakes, and banh mi are still popular here. Not sure bubble tea ever really took off. Macarons have been growing in popularity for some time but I wouldn't say it's as hot as cupcakes. Eataly is interesting. It's got a confusing layout and high prices for some items, but bargains for others, and some hard to find ingredients. It really depends if you are there to eat (confusingly arranged restaurants, you're eating in a mall, hard to figure out where the host is sometimes) or shop (crowded aisles but good selection of certain items though can be very pricey). I'm not sure I'd send an out of town visitor there, though. It's certainly not got the same charm of Bleecker St (Amy's, Murray's, Lobster Place, etc.) or the Greenmarket or Despana or Di Palo.

    If you want to know what the critics thought of NYC dining in 2010, check out the Year in Eater:
    http://ny.eater.com/archives/2010/12/...
    http://ny.eater.com/archives/2010/12/...
    http://ny.eater.com/archives/2010/12/...

    Best New Restaurants 2010 from the New York Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/29/din...

    Shanghai Cafe for XLB, or Nan Xiang in Flushing Queens:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/768535

    For pork buns, you mean BBQ pork (char siu) or steamed pork (a la Momofuku)? You might be interested in Taiwanese pork buns, from Bao Haus.
    http://www.chow.com/food-news/51878/b...

    For shredded pork, I'm not sure what you mean. You mean pulled pork, American BBQ style? I think pork in general and bacon in general is a trend. Not sure about pulled pork specifically.

    For ice cream, well, Grom and Il Laboratorio are gelato, not ice cream. I would say you should try Cones and L'Arte de Gelato to round out some of the top gelato in town. Also Shake Shack for Midwestern style frozen custard (eggier than ice cream).

    Not sure I can help with the other dishes quite so much, but here's a thread on banh mi:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/701250

    And a Serious Eats taste test:
    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/0...

    -----
    Murray's Cheese
    254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    Cones
    272 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    Di Palo's Fine Foods
    200 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

    Union Square Greenmarket
    Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

    L'Arte del Gelato
    75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

    Despana
    408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

    Shake Shack
    Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

    Shanghai Cafe
    100 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

    Amy's Bread
    250 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    The Lobster Place
    252 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    Grom
    233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    BaoHaus
    137 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

    Il Laboratorio del Gelato
    188 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

    Eataly
    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    11 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Dear Kathryn,

      Thanks for your extensive reply - will start digging through your recommendations!

      Regarding bubble tea, this is one of my obsessions, so maybe I overestimated the hype :) '

      On pork buns, I know the char siu buns from Hong Kong, but am curious to try the ones at Momofuku or the Korean version.

      On shredded pork, I indeed meant pulled pork - which I had (at RUB I believe) and it is something that simply doesn't exist in Europe.

      On ice-cream, we don't really differentiate between ice-cream and gelato in Europe, more between milk-based ice-cream and sorbet. I have tried Grom in Paris and Florence... I'm looking forward to Il Laboratorio are gelato, last time they didn't have their rice or olive oil flavors and definitely will try the Midwestern style frozen custard.

      Again, thanks a lot for your tips!
      Rick

      -----
      RUB BBQ
      208 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

      Grom
      233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      1. re: yosemite44

        Re: pork buns

        Momofuku's pork buns are derived from Japanese/West Coast style of serving Peking duck. Pork buns a la Momofuku use a different kind of Chinese bun from a char siu bao. It is called a He Yeh Bao aka lily pad wrap and is open like a taco. I'm from California and I more commonly saw these buns being used in Peking Duck (even though the more traditional wrapping is more tortilla like). Momofuku's "steamed buns" are served with hoisin, scallions, and pickled Kirby cucumbers, but substitute the roast duck for pork (which is brined and roasted).

        Chang said that in Japan the "awesome" and "delicious" buns are made with Peking duck, but he makes it with pork. "It was one of the few dishes that just sort of happened, and I was like instead of Peking duck, what if we just sort of stuck pork belly into that sort of bun."

        See also: Taiwanese hamburger aka Taiwanese Gua Bao, which is similar to the Momofuku steamed pork buns but with peanuts and mustard greens so it has a fatty, nutty, bitter taste profile. It can be found in Flushing, Queens or BaoHaus on the Lower East Side.

        Re: pulled pork
        Try Dinosaur BBQ if you've already been to RUB. I think NYC BBQ is stronger in brisket, though.

        Re: gelato
        If you like olive oil gelato, definitely go to Otto and have the olive oil coppetta. I also like L'Arte de Gelato's olive oil. Call ahead to see if they have it, though, they rotate flavors a lot.

        -----
        Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
        777 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

        BaoHaus
        137 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

        1. re: kathryn

          Dinosaur is great (especially as a Syracuse alumn and have a ridiculous amount of great memories fro the original) but I might say check out Hill Country for BBW. I've been there a bunch of times and they always have great food.

          I can also STRONGLY recommend the Meatball Shop. Not always an easy wait (2 hours at 11pm on a saturday) but might actually be worth it. There are also plenty of places to throw a few back within a few blocks while youre waiting.

          -----
          Hill Country
          30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

          The Meatball Shop
          84 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002

          1. re: AYSConsulting

            Hill Country has pulled pork? I thought they didn't.

            -----
            Hill Country
            30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

            1. re: kathryn

              You're correct. No pulled pork at Hill Country.

              Hill Country menu: http://www.hillcountryny.com/menu.php

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

            2. re: AYSConsulting

              Never said that had pulled pork. Just good BBQ (not BBW hahah)

              1. re: AYSConsulting

                OP is specifically looking for pulled pork.

          2. re: yosemite44

            The rice gelato at il Laboratorio is elusive. I've had many of their flavors, including ones they only make in large batches (but put aside small tubs by special request), but never their rice.

          3. re: kathryn

            For gelato, there's a new place on 7th Ave, near Perry St. called Love Gelato that has a truly wonderful Bronte pistachio flavor. The other flavors I've tried (bacio, amarino) were also very good (good temperature, texture, flavor, etc...), but not as out of the world excellent as the pistachio, which is probably the best I've had in town. If you happen to like this flavor, it's worth a try.

            -----
            Love Gelato
            167 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

            1. re: michelleats

              Way too expensive and subtle in flavor. Grom is better

              -----
              Grom
              233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

              1. re: i8NYC

                Yes, I have to agree that Love Gelato is too expensive. But the pistachio is far better than Grom's -- very, very deep, intense flavor. I do like Grom, as well.

                (In Love's defense, the pistachios are all imported from Bronte, Sicily, they say, and I've read that Bronte only harvests every two years, etc, etc...)

                -----
                Grom
                233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                Love Gelato
                167 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

          4. For Bahn Mi, I suggest going to a place that I call "record store bahn mi" which is located on Lafayette, one block south of Canal on the East side of the street. It has a yellow awning. Best bahn mi in Manhattan as far as I am concerned. Get #11.

            Now that I think about it, I am going to go there for lunch today!

            -----
            Sau Voi
            101 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10013

            1. Thanks. Based on all your recommendations and reading through the Best of 2010 at NY Times and 38 Essential Restaurants at NY Eater, I am now considering:

              New Foods:
              - steamed buns at Momofuku
              - Gua Bao at BaoHaus
              - pulled pork at Dinosaur BBQ
              - bahn mi at Bành Mí Zòn
              - olive oil gelato at Otto or L'Arte de Gelato
              - rice gelato at il Laboratorio

              New Places:
              - ABC Kitchen
              - Balaboosta
              - Torrisi

              Good Old Favorites:
              - Nobu (which location is best?)
              - Sakagura
              - Katz

              What has surprised me reading through all these pages is the popularity of European-style gastropubs (Spotted Pig, Breslin) or brasseries (Minetta Tavern, Blue Ribbon) as well as 'deli plus' places (Mile End) with a Jewish / Eatstern European (borscht, kasha) touch.

              What also fascinates me is the love for food trucks and places such as Shake Shack and Gray's Papaya's.... fast food basically... but I'll give it a try :)

              On xiao long bao, soup dumpling: I read mixed reviews of both Shanghai Cafe and Grand Sichuan, which one would you recommend?

              Finally, I read that Mulberry St / Nolitta has seen a lot of trendy and / but good restaurants (and clubs) so I'll likely give that I try as well. Last time there were only typical tourist-trap Italian restaurants in that area.

              THANKS AGAIN!

              -----
              Katz's Delicatessen
              205 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

              L'Arte del Gelato
              75 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

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

              Otto
              1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

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

              Nobu
              105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

              Gray's Papaya
              2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

              Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
              777 W. 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

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

              Banh Mi Zon
              443 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

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

              BaoHaus
              137 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

              Balaboosta
              214 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

              ABC Kitchen
              35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

              5 Replies
              1. re: yosemite44

                Il lab rotates its flavors as well btw. I don't think the rice pudding is there all the time.

                1. re: tpigeon

                  As I said above, the rice gelato is almost never available at Il Laboratorio. They seem to have last made it over a year ago. I've bought about 50 of their flavors in the last 15 months, some by special order, but they've never been able to fulfill my standing request for rice.

                2. re: yosemite44

                  The Spotted Pig and the Breslin are owned by the same people and are really the only two places I can think of in that style. Or, at least, ones in that style with killer food. I highly recommend them both.

                  I would skip Gray's Papaya. Nasty fast food at that. Shake Shack, on the other hand, is pretty good and worth a stop if you're near one and need a fast lunch.

                  The typical tourist-trap Italian restaurants are still there in Little Italy, but Nolita (north of Little Italy) has had a resurgence this past year... Torrisi, Balaboosta, and Rubirosa are all along the same strip and all very, very good.

                  (Re: black cod in miso, Nobu is my favorite, and I personally like Nobu Next Door in Tribeca. You don't need reservations and can still get almost all of the classics, including the cod.)

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

                  Nobu
                  105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

                  Gray's Papaya
                  2090 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

                  Nobu Next Door
                  105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

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

                  Balaboosta
                  214 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

                  Rubirosa
                  235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

                  1. re: loratliff

                    Definitely The Breslin for their Lamb Burger. It lives up to the hype.

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

                  2. re: yosemite44

                    In an economic downturn it's harder for restaurants to get investors for big, flashy, high concept restaurants (too risky an investment, especially after some notable failures/closures this past year). And consumers turn towards comfort foods and cheaper foods in a recession... gastropubs, brasseries, delis, food truck, fancy fast food...

                    Grand Sichuan is really a Sichuan restaurant, and soup dumplings are Shanghaiese cuisine. But honestly I'd take the 7 train out to Nan Xiang in Flushing. :)

                  3. A few newer places I happen to really like:

                    Ma Peche -- a new David Chang place in midtown with nominal Vietnamese influence
                    Kin Shop -- a Thai-influenced place by Harold Dieterle
                    Fedora -- revamped old West Village institution serving new American, maybe with some Quebecois influence; particularly good if you like cocktails
                    Nuela -- Peruvian, Colombian and Argentinian influenced; good potato crusted seared scallop entree, interesting interp of causa with octopus, a few interesting ceviches; others like the arroz con pato
                    Takashi -- various beef sashimis and grilled beef cuts; Korean Japanese

                    For macarons, I am very, very fond of La Maison du Macaron. They are consistent, a bit less overly sweet than other NYC macarons, and the flavors are wonderful.

                    -----
                    La Maison du Macaron
                    132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                    Fedora
                    239 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

                    Ma Peche
                    15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                    Takashi
                    456 Hudson St, New York, NY 10011

                    Nuela
                    43 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

                    Kin Shop
                    469 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: michelleats

                      La Maison du Chocolat you mean. There's one in FiDi as well as Rock Center

                      1. re: i8NYC

                        Nope, La Maison du Macaron in Chelsea: http://www.maisondumacaron.net/

                        -----
                        La Maison du Macaron
                        132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                        1. re: i8NYC

                          Patisserie Madeleine changed their name a little while ago to La Maison du Macaron.

                          Both La Maison du Chocolat and La Maison du Macaron have macarons, though. La Maison du Chocolat imports them from France and has a more limited selection, and is more chocolate focused. I believe La Maison du Macaron makes them in house. They have a larger variety of flavors.

                          -----
                          La Maison du Macaron
                          132 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                          La Maison du Chocolat
                          30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020

                      2. Read about the $35 lunch at Jean Georges which seams to be a steal, especially at the current euro-dollar exchange rate. However, it seems to be fully booked for the month of May (website link to Open Table). Any tips on how go get a reservation?

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

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: yosemite44

                          Call the restaurant for any tables which are not on Opentable, or call the day before for cancellations.

                          Otherwise, you can eat at the bar at Nougatine (the more casual space next to JG), which serves the full JG dining room menu. Note that if you get a table at Nougatine, you'll only be able to order from the Nougatine menu.

                          Picholine, Bouley, and SHO Shaun Hergatt also have great lunch deals.

                          -----
                          Picholine
                          35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

                          SHO Shaun Hergatt
                          40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004

                          Bouley
                          163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

                          Nougatine
                          1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

                        2. Hereby a short recap of my NYC visit. Food was (unfortunately) not the key focus for the Friday-Tuesday trip, but I managed to squeeze some bites in :)

                          Arrived in the city around 3PM, took the subway from Penn Station to 14th St and walked towards Union Sq from there. Passed Vannessa's where I had the dumplings during my last visit. Then walked down 2nd Avenue to arrive at:

                          Momofuku Ssam

                          A few menu items were already sold out. Ordered the steamed pork buns and duck bun along with a Mexican Coke. The hyped pork buns were OK: juicy pork, Peking-duck style flavors but I felt the dish as a whole lacked stand-out flavors, largely due to the bland bun itself. I liked the duck bun better: tender duck, crispy/sour cabbage leafs and fresh plum sauce. Then walked across the street to:

                          Momofuku Milk Bar

                          Tried the cereal shake: great idea, very recognizable taste but couldn't drink more than a few sips. The compost cookie was OK, the crack pie way too gooey and sweet.

                          Walked down 2nd avenue to Otafuku, but that didn't appeal much to me at that moment. Then walked past Veselka, but having had true Ukrainian food and not seeing many authentic desishes on the menu (straganoff? goulash? mac & cheese?) I decided to skip this one as well and walk further down 2nd Av. Then onto Houston street where I passed Russ & Daughters and Katz (been to both last time). Stepped into:

                          Laboratorio del Gelato

                          They didn't offer their famous rice gelato, had one scoop of the olive oil flavor and one of fig. Felt the creamy base of the gelato was almost too thick and the flavors didn't really come true. May have been due to these fairly subtle flavors, remember I liked their gelato better last time - at the old location. From there I walked to:

                          Baohaus

                          Tried only one bao, the Haus variety. Loved the tender steak and cilantro, peanut topping. Could have eaten more, and thought this bao compared favorably versus the pork bun at Momofuku.

                          Then on to Chinatown. Shame to see the Vietnamese place in Doyers out of business. So stopped at:

                          Chinatown Ice-Cream Factory

                          Wanted to try their avacado flavor, but they didn't have it at that moment. Tried the green tea / matcha flavor. Was OK, not one of the best I've had. And at $3-4 a scoop, way over-priced.

                          Also had a bubble tea nearby and then headed towards Canal Street. Bought 3 yellow mangos (the Asian type that doesn't go from green to red) which were delicious. Next days I spent in Connecticut, enjoying fresh lobster cooked at a friend's place, salmon with pesto from the grill and my favorite Buffalo wings at Achie Moore's. On Sunday our friends drove us back into the city and we stopped in the UES for lunch, pretty randomly at:

                          Bocca di Bacco

                          They had just opened at this location and some items were unavailable. I settled for the ravioli with fava beans and artichoke, was was great: nice textures of the beans and artichoke, good pasta. Also had a portion of fried artichokes (off the dinner menu) and stole some of my wife's risotto, which had just the right texture and creaminess. Overall an unexpectedly good lunch.

                          Then in the evening we went to:

                          Nobu Next Door

                          Having been to Nobu in Milan & Hong Kong (and my wife to London as well) and loving their black code, we decided to have dinner here. Atmosphere was OK, not as nice of their locations abroad, service was pretty poor. Food was good as always: rock shrimp in creamy spicy sauce, black cod with miso and their menu (not the omakase) was nicely priced at $35. Yet the food seems just a bit less good as we've had it before at Nobu. But the bill at the current euro-dollar exchange rate was a positive surprise :)

                          The next day we had some Momofuku blackberry & lime ice-cream (just OK) at their Madison Square Park temporary location and some tacos at Chipotle near Union Sq before heading back to our hotel. We stopped for lunch at:

                          Mandoo Bar

                          Had their dumplings, one portion steamed, one portion fried. Dough was a bit thick, but the flavors excellent and a great combi with their spicy sauces.

                          In the evening friends invited us for dinner at The Park in Chelsea. The place was reserved for a private party and I couldn't convince them to go to Artichoke Basile, so we went to the Maritime Hotel for:

                          La Bottega

                          Had their ravioli: which was just OK, dry and more dough than filling. My wife had their prosciutto pizza, was was OK. The service was pretty poor, so overall not the best dining experience. Finished the night in the Grey Dog, a nice neighbourhood cafe.

                          Next day was our last before flying back to Amsterdam.

                          Walked from 32nd St towards Central Park via Times Square. Had a mocha coffee (off-taste) and fruit & cereals drink (nice, but maybe not the right choice with the cold weather outside) at Jamba Juice. Saw a musical and then took the subway uptown to have lunch at:

                          Shake Shake

                          Order cheese fries, their signature burger and the frozen custard with a topping of rhubarb (special item of the day). Food was surprisingly good: great juice burger, crunchy fries. A bit confused about the custard naming (custard is sth else in the UK) but it was very rich and creamy and the sweet, slightly sour rhubarb a perfect topping. Great snacks!

                          On our way back to the hotel we went for a late lunch / early dinner. Menu at Ma Peche somehow didn't appeal that much to use, so we decide to go to:

                          Joe Shanghai - Midtown

                          Had the xiao long bao, pan-fried dumplings and a portion of shredded pork with plum sauce. Xiao long bao were alright, dough was a bit on the thick side, but the broth was tasty and the sauce perfect. Somehow I don't understand that no place in the US or Europe (didn't go to Flushing though) can get these soup dumplings right. In HongKong they are excellent anywhere, from Crystal Jade to a small place inside a mall. But they are always freshly made, so maybe that's the difference. Anyway... the pan-friend dumplings were too oily and again the crust too thick; and the pork's texture was strange, the sauce not very "plummy" so we had only 2 bites and left.

                          On the walk back to our hotel on 32nd street we made a final stop at:

                          Magolia Bakery - Midtown

                          Had spent some time with friends two years ago on 11st, close to their original location, but never really liked their cupcakes. This time tried to red velvet variety (great glazing, a bit dry cake) and also their banana pudding as recommended on these forums. Loved the latter: fresh pieces of banana, nice cake, and gooey pudding!

                          So overall not the best food experiences this time. Highlights were the discovery of new Asian foods: baos and mandoos. We do have bao char siu over here, but that's a completely different bun from these Taiwanese ones. And some American fast good: Shake Shack for burgers and Archie Moore's for wings.

                          Better luck next time I guess :)

                          -----
                          Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
                          65 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

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

                          Joe's Shanghai
                          24 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                          Veselka
                          144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                          Mandoo Bar
                          2 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

                          La Bottega
                          88 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                          Magnolia Bakery
                          1240 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                          Nobu Next Door
                          105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

                          Momofuku Milk Bar
                          251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                          Grey Dog Coffee
                          242 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011

                          BaoHaus
                          137 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

                          Shake Shack
                          691 8th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                          Il Laboratorio del Gelato
                          188 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

                          Madison Square Eats
                          5th Ave E 26th St, New York, NY 10010