Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Apr 22, 2011 09:45 AM

French person coming to NYC for the first time - I made a list for him

This is the list. I wanted to post this, first for comments, also just as a reference for other tourists or new arrivals. I tried to stick to Manhattan unless it was only possible to find food of similar quality and preparation in the outer boroughs. Ignore the French commentary! I sorted by type of cuisine

Une liste pour Antoine:

$$ Szechuan Gourmet (Manhattan: 39th and 6th ave): La cuisine Szechuane (très piquant)
- mapo tofu
- cumin lamb
- spicy sesame noodles (entrée - il faut demander que ce soit très 'spicy')
- braised whole bass with szechuan chili miso
- braised beef filets with napa
- sautéed lamb filets with pickled chili

$$ Imperial Palace (Queens: Flushing): Cantonese
- Dungeness crab with sticky rice
- Steamed scallops with bean curd in black bean sauce
- steam flounder

$ Nan Xiang (Queens: Flushing): Shanghainese
- Soup Dumplings (les meilleurs)

ou, si tu ne veut pas aller à Queens, à Manhattan il y a:

$ Joe's Shanghai (Manhattan: Chinatown)
- Soup Dumplings

$ White Bear (Queens: Flushing): Shanghainese
- spicy wontons

à mon avis ce serait cool d'aller à Nan Xiang pour les soup dumplings, et puis à White Bear pour les wontons, les deux sont des petits plats

$$ Spicy & Tasty (Queens: Flushing) Szechuan
peut-être le plus connu de tous les restos à Flushing - les meilleurs plats sont au comptoir, ils sont tous froids, tu peut demander pour ce que te parait frais et bon
- Double cooked pork belly
- dan dan noodle
- shredded beef with green chili pepper
- tofu with salted fish
- spicy tofu and celery
- water cooked fish

$$ Hunan Kitchen of Grand Sichaun (Queens: Flushing) Hunan (cuisine du campagne)
- homestyle braised tofu
- cold noodles
- casseroles
- clay pot
- big head fish
- cumin lamb
- braised smoked bamboo
- sauteed dried string bing
- shrimp with spicy salt
- sauteed lamb with hot pepper sauce
- pumpkin cakes

$$ Hunan House (Queens: Flushing) Hunan
- pumpkin cakes
- mao's braised pork
- lamb with cumin
- flat green bean noodles
- pickled diced string beans
- duck with white pepper and turnips
- fermented rice coated pork belly
- cold tripe salad
- pigs ears salad

$$ M&T Restaurant (Queens: Flushing) Qingdao
- qingdao noodle
- razor clams and eggs stir fried with chives
- sea intestines
- stir fried squid
- pig's head with cucumber
- pumpkin pancakes
- pork chop with shrimp sauce
- chilled fatty pork with ginger, vinegar and garlic
- dried tofu with mushroom

$$ Sripraphai (Queens: Elmhurst) (un restaurant extrêmement connu)
- Green papaya salad
- Crispy catfish salad
- Drunken noodle
- Whole spicy fish
- green curry with lamb (et demander pour les aubergines thai!)
- Tom Ka Gai (coconut chicken soup)
- pork with chilis, cilantro and lime
- coconut rice (ca vient avec)
- dipping noodles with northern-style curry

$$ Chao Thai (Queens: Elmhurst)
- Prik Khing with crispy pork
- Duck salad
- Ped Ka Krow
- soft shell crab and mango salad
- rice stuffed sour fish
- coconut ice cream
- duck in spicy basil sauce
- nam sod

$ Di Fara (Brooklyn: Midwood) Pizza à la New Yorkaise (coal oven)
Tu peux apporter une bouteille de vin ou des bières
- regular pie
- square pie

$ Motorino (Brooklyn: Williamsburg / Manhattan: East Village)
- pugliese
- Margherita DOC
- Rocky's Grandfather's calzone

$ Keste (Manhattan: West Village) Pizza à l'italienne
- margherita
- whatever else

$ Totonno's (Brooklyn: Coney Island) Pizza à la New Yorkaise
- margherita

$ Patsy's (Manhattan: Harlem) Pizza à la New Yorkaise (coal oven)
- slice of margherita

$ Ippudo (Manhattan: East village)
extremement populaire, il faut y aller soit tout seul, soit très tot ou très tard, car ils ne prennent pas des réservations
- Akamaru modern ramen
- pork buns

$ Totto ramen (Manhattan: Hells kitchen)
- ramen

$$$$ Sushi Yasuda (Manhattan: Midtown east)
Il faut réserver
- sushi

$$$ Matsuhana (Manhattan: Midtown)
- sushi

$$$ EN Japanese Brasserie (Manhattan: West Village)
Il faut réserver
- sushi
- chirashizushi

$ Southern Spice (Queens: Flushing) Southern Indian
je crois que c'est le meilleur resto indien aux États Unis
- chicken 65
- nilgiri mutton
- lamb vindaloo
- onion kulcha / chili naan
- lamb varuval
- fried pepper fritters

$$$ Amma (Manhattan: Midtown) Haute Indien
- le menu

$$$ Devi (Manhattan: Flatiron) Haute Indien
- le menu

$$$ Tamarind (Manhattan: Flatiron) Haute Indien
le resto préféré de mon copain (qui est indien), c'est une bonne idée de faire une réservation

$$ Nirvana (Manhattan: Murray Hill) Northern Indian
- lunch buffet

$$$ Tulsi (Manhattan: Midtown) Haute Indien
celui ici vient d'ouvrir
- lamb chops
- okra
- manchurian cauliflower
- portobello mushrooms

Middle Eastern / Falafel
$$ Tanoreen (Brooklyn: Bay Ridge) Palestinian
la meilleure cuisine traditionelle du moyen orient à nyc
- eggplant napoleon
- makdous
- sujok
- kibbe
- arak

$ Azuri Cafe (Manhattan: Midtown) falafel sandwich à emporter
- falafel

$ Hummus Place (Manhattan: East Village) Israeli
- falafel
- hummus

$$ Kabab Café (Queens: Astoria) Egyptian
une atmosphère spéciale, c'est plutot une table d'hôte
- hummus plate
- lamb chops
- lamb cheeks

$$$ ilili (Manhattan: Flatiron) Haute Lebanese
le meilleur resto de la cuisine créative du moyen orient
- eggplant meze
- brussel sprouts
- phoenician fries
- cocktails
- moujadara
- chicken shish tauoek
- duck shwarma

$$ Chavella's (Brooklyn: Prospect Heights) Brunch
- milanesa with chipotle mayonnaise
- mole
- tacos
- plato don

$ Dos Toros (Manhattan: Union Square) Tacos
- tacos
- burritos

$ Mexicocina (Manhattan: Harlem)
- tacos
- guacamole
- burritos

$ Tortilleria Los Hermanos (Brooklyn: Bushwick)
Ils font des tortillas à maison
- tacos (chorizo)

$$ Itzocan (Manhattan: East Village) Mexican fusion
- sangria
- guacamole
- epazote dumplings
- huitlacoche soufflé
- stuffed chicken breast with mole

$$ Hangawi (Manhattan: Midtown) Vegetarian
- le menu

$$ Don's Bogam BBQ (Manhattan: Koreatown) Barbecue
- barbecue

Bagels and Delis
Bagels sont pour le petit déjeuner, alors il faut arriver très tot pour prendre les bagels les plus frais
$$ Katz's (Manhattan: Lower East Side) Sandwiches
- pastrami on rye with pickle

$$ Russ & Daughters (Manhattan: Lower East Side) Smoked fish
- smoked salmon with scallion cream cheese on poppy bagel
- super heebster (whitefish salad)
- daughter's delight
- smoked herring, salmon à emporter

$ Ess-a-bagel (Manhattan: Gramercy) Bagels
- bagels

$$ Zabar's (Manhattan: Upper West Side) traiteur
très très très connu traiteur des spécialités juives

$ 2nd Avenue Kosher Deli (Manhattan: Murray Hill) Sandwiches
- corned beef
- matzo ball soup
- pastrami
- gelfite fish

$ Sarge's (Manhattan: Murray Hills) Deli
- matzo ball soup
- pickles
- corned beef
- reuben

Breakfast and Brunch
$$ Tom's (Brooklyn: Prospect Heights) diner
- lemon ricotta pancakes
- cherry lime rickeys
- omelettes
- grits
- waffles
- smoked turkey sausage

$$ Clinton Street Baking Company (Manhattan: Lower East Side) brunch tous les jours
- pancakes
- chicken and waffles
- waffles

$ Johny's (décrit ailleurs)
$$ Chavella's (décrit ailleurs)

Burgers and Steaks
$$$ Minetta Tavern (Manhattan: Greenwich Village) Steakhouse
Il faut réserver au moins un mois en avance
- porter
- burger
- bone marrow (moêle)

$$$ Peter Luger's (Brooklyn: Williamsburg) Steakhouse
Il faut réserver au moins un mois en avance
- porter for 2
- burger (lunch)

$ Shake Shack (Manhattan: Gramercy) Burgers
- burger

$ Corner Bistro (Manhattan: West Village) burgers
- burgers
- beer

$$ PJ Clarke's (Manhattan: Midtown) burgers
- burger

$$$$ Keen's (Manhattan: Midtown) steakhouse
probablement les meilleurs steak à nyc, il faut réserver
- porterhouse for 2

$$ DuMont or DuMont Burger (Brooklyn: Williamsburg) burgers/café
- burger
- macaroni and cheese

$$ Ruby's (Manhattan: Nolita) burgers / café
- burger

$$$ Pearl Oyster Bar (Manhattan: West Village)
- lobster rolls
- oysters (fresh or fried)

$$$ Mary's Fish Camp (Manhattan: West Village)
- lobster roll
- fish of the day
- oysters

$$$$ Le Bernadin (Manhattan: Theater District) haute cuisine
Il faut réserver un ou deux mois en avance; ce restaurant a trois étoiles michelin
- le menu

$$ Sabry's (Queens: Astoria) Egyptian
- fish of the day
- mixed seafood tagine

$$$ John Dory Oyster Bar (Flatiron)
- parker house rolls
- chorizo stuffed squid
- oysters
- smoked trout crudo

$$ Taverna Kyclades (Queens: Astoria) Greek
- fish of the day

$$$ Pylos (Manhattan: Union Square) Greek
pas seulement des poissons et coquillages, mais tous est très bon, surtout il y a un bon rapport qualité / prix
- shrimp pasta

$$$ Marea (Manhattan: Midtown West) Italian seafood
- lobster burrata
- octopus and bone marrow
- urchin spaghetti
- Dentice
- Uovo
- Ricciola

$$$$ Babbo (Manhattan: Greenwich Village) Mario Batali
Il faut réserver un ou deux mois en avance
- beef cheek ravioli
- pasta tasting menu
- bavette

$$$ Lupa (Manhattan: Greenwich Village) Mario Batali
Il faut réserver un mois en avance
- ricotta gnocchi with sausage and fennel
- pasta tasting
- charcuterie
- tripe garganelli
- carbonara

$$$ Scarpetta (Manhattan: West Village)
Il faut réserver
- duck foie gras ravioli
- spaghetti with tomato and basil
- cheese plate
- farfalle
- short ribs appetizer

$$$ Il Mulino (Manhattan: Greenwich Village) Italian American
Il faut réserver
- fried zucchini
- spaghetti alle vongole
- porcini ravioli

$$$ Maialino (Manhattan: Flatiron) Porc
Il faut réserver
- roast suckling pig
- tripe
- fried artichokes
- salumi

$$$$ Ai Fiori (Manhattan: Midtown) Haute Italien
- squid ink pasta
- lobster
- crab with avocado
- gnocchi with crab and uni

$$ Celeste (Manhattan: Upper West Side) Casual
Ils ne prennent pas des réservations
- pastas
- pizzas
- cheese plate

American - Traditional
$$$ Walter Foods (Brooklyn: Williamsburg)
- oysters
- lobster
- fried chicken
- cocktails!
- crab and artichocke dip
- short rib burger

$$$$ Gramercy Tavern (Manhattan: Flatiron)
il faut réserver
- le menu
- tout est très bon

$$$ Craft (Manhattan: Flatiron)
- short ribs
- halibut
- chicken

$$$ Blue Ribbon Brasserie (Manhattan: West Village)
C'est une bonne idée de faire une réservation
- marrow and oxtail marmalade
- fried chicken
- fried oysters
- fried shrimp
- trout

$ Johny's Luncheonette (Manhattan: Chelsea) diner
on s'appelle ce type de resto un 'greasy spoon'
- sausage
- eggs
- omelets

$$ Pies N Thighs (Brooklyn: Williamsburg) southern
- chicken biscuit
- macaroni and cheese
- barbecue
- banana cream pie
- apple pie

$$ Fette Sau (Brooklyn: Williamsburg) barbecue
- barbecue
- pork belly
- baked beans
- ribs

$$$ Spotted Pig (Manhattan: West Village) pub
c'est plutot anglais, mais c'est très connu et il faut réserver
- deviled eggs
- la carte change souvent

$$$ Buttermilk Channel (Brooklyn: Cobble Hill) restaurant gastronomique
- duck meatloaf
- fried chicken
- dessert

$$ Red Rooster Harlem (Manhattan: Harlem) soul food
Il faut réserver un mois en avance
- dirty rice and shrimp
- corn bread
- caesar salad
- mac and greens
- meatballs
- oxtail
- apple pie
- malted frosty
- fried yard bird

American - New
$$$$ Blue Hills (Manhattan: Greenwich Village) restaurant gastonomique
Il faut réserver
- le menu

$$$$ Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare (Brooklyn: Downtown Brooklyn) cuisine d'auteur
Il faut réserver
- le menu

$$$ Traif (Brooklyn: Williamsburg) tapas
- short rib sliders
- bacon wrapped dates
- strawberry cinnamon ribs
- tuna tartare
- cocktails

$$$ Dressler (Brooklyn: Williamsburg) restaurant gastronomique
- la carte est saisonale

$$$ Perilla (Manhattan: West Village) restaurant gastronomique
Il faut réserver
- duck meatballs
- cod
- seafood salad
- arctic char

$$$ Market Table (Manhattan: West Village) cuisine au marché
Il faut réserver
- le menu change souvent

$$$ Little Owl (Manhattan: West Village) cuisine au marché
Il faut réserver
- le menu change souvent

$$ Anella (Brooklyn: Greenpoint)
- brunch
- pork chop
- homemade bread

Fine Dining (trois étoiles michelin)
$$$$ Per Se (Manhattan: Hell's Kitchen)
le meilleur restaurant à nyc, il faut réserver trois mois en avance

$$$$ Daniel (Manhattan: Upper East Side)
il faut réserver un ou deux mois en avance

$$$$ Jean-Georges (Manhattan: Upper West Side)
il faut réserver un ou deux mois en avance

$$$$ Eleven Madison Park (Manhattan: Flatiron)
Il faut réserver un ou deux mois en avance

Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

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

Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

Gramercy Tavern
42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

Corner Bistro
331 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

359 1st Ave, New York, NY 10010

110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

72 West 36th St., New York, NY 10018

Blue Hill
75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

8 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003

41 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

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

2245 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

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

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

En Japanese Brasserie
435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

Hummus Place
109 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

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

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

Joe's Shanghai
9 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

502 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

Little Owl
90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

Mary's Fish Camp
64 Charles St, New York, NY 10014

Market Table
54 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014

Szechuan Gourmet
21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

12 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

Sarge's Delicatessen
548 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

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

128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

Don's Bogam
17 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

17 E 48th St, New York, NY 10017

Second Avenue Deli
162 E 33rd St, New York, NY 10016

43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

Azuri Cafe
465 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

P.J. Clarke's
915 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022

236 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001

Itzocan Cafe
438 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009

219 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

246 E. 51st Street, New York, NY 10022

355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

Patsy's Pizzeria
2287 1st Ave, New York, NY 10035

346 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10001

Keste Pizza & Vino
271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

Clinton Street Baking Co.
4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

124 W 25th St, New York, NY 10001

Dos Toros
137 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Totto Ramen
366 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

211 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

Red Rooster
310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

The John Dory Oyster Bar
1196 Broadway, New York, NY 10001

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would not send a French person to Daniel, Le Bernardin, or Jean-Georges.

    I think EMP is a better restaurant than Per Se, but for a French person I would recommend Per Se, it has more of an American flair to it than EMP.

    Katz's is a glaring omission from your list, and you need a good appetizing/smoked fish place - either Barney Greengrass (which has tables and service) or Russ & Daughters, which is a takeout place.

    Also Per Se is not in Hell's Kitchen - it's at Columbus Circle.

    Also send him to the Grand Central Oyster Bar for oysters.

    Barney Greengrass
    541 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

    Per Se
    10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

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

    Grand Central Oyster Bar
    89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

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

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

    6 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      Katz is on there, right under Bagels & Delis.

      1. re: Roadpony

        I initially missed Katz's too. A really pretty impressive list though.

        On burgers, I'd swap in Brindle Room in the East Village for DuMont.

        Scrap the Mexican/Latin American portion. I don't think any of them are places I'd go out of my way for, let alone from France. Check out Xochimilco in Sunset Park, Tulcingo de Valle in Hells Kitchen, Coatzingo or Tortelleria Nixtamal.

        Also add Roberta's in Bushwick (unless I missed it). Well worth the trip.

        Tulcingo del Valle
        665 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

        Brindle Room
        277 E 10th St, New York, NY 10009

        1. re: Roadpony

          And Russ & Daughters was right under that.

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

          1. re: MacTAC

            Oysters are terrific in Paris bistros ... everywhere when in season. I don't think Grand Central oyster will appeal, other than for the touristy aspect of the area.

            1. re: RCC

              I disagree with this. The oysters you get in France are different than those on the East Coast. As an oyster lover I get them wherever I travel in their natural environment.

              1. re: RCC

                agreed...unless he's specifically an oyster fiend (as i am) and would want to try some New World oysters to compare, i don't think it's going to be so appealing...and fwiw, the counter at GCOB is one of my fav places -- but the oysters in Paris are simply phenomenal and in a class by themselves...

        2. I'd say from that list, especially someone coming from France. Maybe less emphasis on the mid eastern/falafel stuff as there likely are many pocket neighborhoods in Paris and neighboring European cities that are better than NY. Unless the visitor is interested in comparing Lebanese vs israeli vs Moroccan falafel, or something like that.

          Probably less emphasis on the more formal Italian too, as it's so accessible on the continent. Except the pizza joints in NY should be a must.

          I notice you didn't include any dim sum places, or more Cantonese places. I don't think the dim sum or Cantonese places in NY are terrific, but compared to what is available in France NY is probably pretty good. And considering the French preference for various offals, most of your Chinese dish recommendations are light on offals. So I'd say add dim sum, Cantonese, and more intestine, ears, tails, tongues, and so forth.

          Since transportation don't seem to be a big problem, more Queens Korean places, minimally Sik Gaek. It's good food, with shock presentation.

          And there's probably more variety of Japanese food available here. The places in St Marks if you want down scale. Or Tori Shin for fancy yakitori. Katsu places. Onya for udon. Soba. Kaiseki. Etc. I guess NY is one of the better places to sample the range of Japanese cuisine, more so than Europe.

          Plus I'd throw more BBQ options, as NY has a fair number of decent places for a quintessential American food.

          All in all, terrific recs.

          143 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

          12 Replies
          1. re: villainx

            Agree, I would drop all French-style, as well as other European and Mediterranean venues. If you need an upscale restaurant, I would go with a Japanese place, or maybe 11 Madison; the second line of defense can be Minetta Tavern. A good American-style steakhouse seems like a good idea too.
            American BBQs is a great idea, too, but Blue Smoke is not!
            Re: Cantonese food. I think dim sum in NYC is just not good enough, and even The Chinatown Brasserie is on the downhill alert. If I had to pick one Yut place that would be Canton Gourmet in Flushing, a couple blocks from the subway stop. Overall, there is plenty of great Chinese restaurants in Queens, why not pick one? Bei Gang? M&T? Fu Run? Nan Xiang is somewhat simplistic but they offer well beyond XLB: Lau summed it up well in a resent post.
            Re Korean food; Up, up and away! from Manhattan, that is. Sik Gaek is a great choice.

            Minetta Tavern
            113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

            Chinatown Brasserie
            380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

            1. re: villainx

              Thanks for the input. I have to say though, that I disagree regarding middle eastern food. Most of the falafel I've had in France has been mediocre and way too expensive. In Paris for example you have l'As du Falafel, which is essnetially a tourist trap. There isn't like legitimate middle eastern food. There is a lot of food from the maghreb, which is a completely different type of cuisine. There is no Moroccan falafel, for example, or not that I've ever seen. A lot of French people I've talked to don't even know what falafel is, if they're not from Paris!

              I wanted to include some Italian, because I think first of all this city does Italian increasingly well, and this guy (Antoine) is not from Paris anyway, he's from Marseille. Restaurants in Italy are often not the amazing experiences you would expect, as Italy doesn't have the restaurant culture we have here in the US (although France has famously the best restaurant culture in the world). There is not good Italian in Marseille though, I can assure you that. I don't really know if there's amazing Italian in Paris, I haven't checked it out.

              Maybe right about le Bernadin. But French people can be picky! I know a French guy who's been in New York for five months, and the only nice restaurant he's been to so far has been l'École (he liked it).

              462 Broadway, New York, NY 10013

              1. re: sarah2k

                I had good Italian food in Nice when I was there in the 90s, but it was mostly of the inexpensive plates of pasta variety. And of course Nice is closer to Italy and formerly a part of Savoia.

                How did your French friend make out on his trip?

              2. re: villainx

                Agreee with not including Middle Eastern stuff. Paris (and especially if the the visitor is from further south) has a lot of great Middle Eastern spots. If just falafel alone, hard to beat the ones in Paris.

                1. re: RCC

                  Where did you get great falafel in Paris? Just wondering.

                  I mean, my friend is from Marseille, where there is one place that serves falafel, and it is mediocre on a good day. I don't really think it's true that France has a ton of great middle eastern spots, they have a lot of maghreban food, but it's completely different. Regarding Egyptian, Palestinian, even Lebanese, I think they're definitely better here

                  1. re: sarah2k

                    Both of these are in the Marais. L'As du Falaferl in the Marais serves the great ones. Chez Marianne is a good second. I've tried a few others during multiple visits at the market at 12th Arr in d'Aligre (I can't remember the names of the places) and around Place d'Republique area and they were better than any that I've had here in NYC, not that I eat a lot of mid-east foods here in NYC.

                    In Marseille, the Vieux Port area provides good, albeit somewhat touristy, places for good Mid-east foods including falafel. Au Falafel was still good when I tried last month.

                    1. re: sarah2k

                      I'll certainly take your word for it that in Marseille the Mid Eastern choices might be short, but at the same time it's probably pretty easy for your pal to hop over to a larger metropolis and get a decent sampling of it, some places in Paris or neighboring European cities.

                      What I would think would be harder - and how much it should factor in for dining abroad - is the wider ethnic food (including regional/local American) that won't be available or not as close as NY, like Japanese, Indian, Korean (anju stuff), cantonese, dim sum, bbq, pizza, and so forth. So I'd emphasize that. But at the same time, it'd also be fun and or comforting to try things as comparison or as a break for something more familiar. And like I said, as I guide or starting point, your list is plenty decent. I'm just playing with the margins a little.

                      Heck, I'm from NY, and if I went off your list, I'll be pretty content. I couldn't possibly afford it, but I'd wish I could.

                      1. re: sarah2k

                        Paris has superb Lebanese food -- nothing in NYC even comes close...i would absolutely say to avoid Middle Eastern food in NYC if one is coming from France...

                        1. re: sarah2k

                          "Regarding Egyptian, Palestinian, even Lebanese, I think they're definitely better here"

                          I'm not sure Falafel and Hummus are all that representative then. Especially 2 Israeli and 1 Palestinian/Israeli Arab restaurant.

                          If there's a distinctive Palestinian cuisine to be had, keep in mind your pick was born in Nazareth (Israel) and the Palestinian chef's dishes are very much informed by that.

                          Likewise, finding a straight up Egyptian restaurant would be difficult. Lebanese has more representation, but like many ethnic cuisines, in order to survive in the states, these restaurants typically open with more generic all purpose "middle eastern" menus.

                          Point being, don't mistake a falafel tour with a survey of regional Middle Eastern cuisines the way you listed them out.

                          1. re: Simon

                            In this case, yes. Have you eaten there? The dishes are not traditional.

                            1. re: sugartoof

                              Have i eaten where?...which place are you refering to?

                            2. re: sugartoof

                              Take a ride to Paterson NJ and get some Syrian food. The falafel is amazing, so is the kefta, and kebabs. Right on Main St. There is good Turkish food there too.
                              Your Manhattan Manhattan list is pretty complete. I would include Grand Daisy pizza (roman style). it is different from the pizza in France, and in Southern France (cote d'azur) there are many many pizza restaurants ( mostly very crispy) Robataya japanese grill. En is pretty easy to get in no reservation necessary( you say in French it is necessary). Maybe eat some Pierogis in East Village or Teres;s on Montague St ( formerly in East Village), or Greenpoint. Perhaps ,Maharlika for Filipino food ( East village) (sizzling sisig). Brushstroke or Kyo Ya for kaiseki style japanese food. Maybe Buddakan just to see what millions of dollars can build. Walsse has good Austrian food.Lastly Porchetta for the potatoes with crisp pork in them.

                              75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                              En Japanese Brasserie
                              435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

                              344 W. 11th St., New York, NY 10014

                              Grandaisy Bakery
                              73 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                              Kyo Ya
                              94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                              110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                              Robataya NY
                              231 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

                              111 First Ave, New York, NY 10003

                              30 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

                      2. I'll also agree that Grand Central Oyster would be worthwhile as a tourist and dining experience.

                        Plus Ippudo takes same day (I think in person) reservation. The formula would be to get there early and say what later time you'll like to return.

                        Grand Central Oyster Bar
                        89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

                        65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                        1. Loved the French commentary. FYI, Per Se takes reservations only one month in advance, and EMP takes reservations only 28 days in advance.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ellenost

                            Checking on opentable, the non prime days and times are like to result in availability at Per Se or EMP. And for some or a couple of the high end places, whether for $ or for availability sake, do lunch.

                            Per Se
                            10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                          2. I agree with other posters that any place French, Italian (other than for NY-style pizza) or Middle Eastern need not be considered by your friend. However I would add to your list the River Café, for a memorable meal with a spectacular view of Manhattan.