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May 12, 2011 02:08 AM

Critique my NYC itinerary


New to the forum. I'm going to be in New York for five days and have assembled this list out of the recommendations I've read, both here and elsewhere. The main principle is to cast as wide a net over the food scene in NYC, so I'm trying to get balance as well as essential box ticking.

This is what I've got planned

Friday night: Dinosaur BBQ
Saturday lunch: Katz Deli
Saturday dinner: The National Restaurant, Brighton Beach for farcical entertainment (Bourdain was raving)
Sunday lunch: Pies and Thighs
Sunday dinner: Babbo (have a rez)
Monday lunch: Candlelight Inn for wings
Monday dinner: Daniel *
Tuesday lunch: Xian famous foods
Tuesday dinner: Fatty Cue
Wednesday breakfast: Shake Shack

* Have seen many suggestions to swap this to Cafe Boulud, which I intend to do today.

I'm particularly up for altering Tuesday; for instance, if I can get an EMP rez for lunch as there seems to be consensus that that's totally amazing.

Cafe Boulud
20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

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  1. You beat me to my first suggestion - swapping out Daniel for CB.

    I would do Cafe Glechik in Brighton Beach instead of The National (I think AB went there as well) - perhaps less entertainment, but the food is great.

    I'm sure there are more interesting options than Candlelight Inn (you could do lox at Russ & Daughters, Borscht at Veselka, pork buns at Momofuku... any number of other great options) - or, if you do switch up Tuesday and do EMP for lunch, make Monday your Xi'an Famous day (Xi'an should not be missed). Go to the Chinatown branch (way less crowded since the EV one opened), get some "burgers" and noodles and eat them at the tables in the East Broadway Mall among the locals and ginseng dealers.

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

    144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

    Xi'an Famous Foods
    88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

    1. Agree with sgordon about Candlelight Inn. NYC is not known for wings. And you'll be having fried chicken for lunch the day previous!

      Why not one of the ones he mentioned or one of our famous pizza places? Or Prune? The Spotted Pig or the Breslin?

      Also there's going to be two branches of Xian Foods in Chinatown soon. One near the East Broadway Mall and a new one opening on May 21st that is at 67 Bayard Street.

      Also consider RGR's famous self-guided Lower East Side Gustatory Tour, which begins at Katz's (for pastrami, of course) and includes Russ & Daughters, the Doughnut Plant, and several other tasty stops.

      LES Gustatory Tour:

      Note two changes: Guss's Pickles has closed, so substitute The Pickle Guys, on Essex just off Grand. And the correct address for Economy Candy is 108, not 145.

      BTW Shake Shack doesn't open until 11am, so not what sure time you wanted to have breakfast there....

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

      Pickle Guys
      49 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

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

      Doughnut Plant
      379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

      54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

      Economy Candy
      108 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

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

      Xi'an Famous Foods
      67 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

      1. The National in Brighton Beach will be a hoot...depends on what you're looking for, but I love Winter Garden on the boardwalk, particularly if the weather is nice enough to eat outside. Very good fresh fish and Russian specialties. For Russian/Ukrainian specialties in Manhattan I far prefer Ukrainian East Village Restaurant to Veselka.

        Ukrainian East Village Restaurant
        140 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

        3 Replies
        1. re: City Kid

          Stick with the National. You're not going for the food. It's a real experience.'

          I do like Glechik for the food.

            1. re: pancreas

              Yes I believe so. And if you know a Russian speaker, have them do it.

        2. You don't say when you are coming here, but now that EMP has won the James Beard Awards for Outstanding Restaurant and Best Pastry Chef, it's going to be very difficult to secure a lunch reservation at short notice. (Before receiving these accolades, if one was willing to have lunch around 1:30 - 2 p.m., a table was often available even the day of.) You can call and be put on the wait list. Or you can do a walk-in. A table could be available due to a last-minute cancelation. If not, you can eat at the bar where the lunch menu is the same as in the dining room.

          I'm glad to see that you are switching to Cafe Boulud, one of our favorites. Chef Gavin Kaysen is cooking some of the best food in the city right now, and we recently had two sensational dinners there.

          2 Replies
          1. re: RGR

            Thanks so much to those who have replied. I'll certainly do the LES gastro walk and will probably jettison the Candlelight in favour of one of the great suggestions. Daniel changed to CB.

            1. re: pancreas

              Unless I'm missing something, the Candlelight Inn famous for wings is in Scarsdale, Westchester. Not NYC. It's quite good but if you're coming to NYC for just a short period, I definitely wouldn't bother making the schlep there.

          2. Pies and Thighs isn't going to blow you away, but if you're dead set on this one, look into the Commodore, by the original chef/partner.

            Shake Shack is another one you could swap out. You have it slotted for breakfast, so considering your list of comfort food Southern slanted interests, I would look into Peels for their build your own biscuit menu.

            As a substitute for a burger that's nothing like the fast food from Shake Shack, check out Diner, or Henry Public.

            Fatty Cue should cover your bbq needs honestly, so two Harlem suggestions in place of Dinosaur are Red Rooster, and Amy Ruth's.

            Katz's as an experience is beyond compare, but for an actually good Jewish style deli sandwich, you would be better off hitting up Miles End on that same Saturday you're going to Brighton.

            Amy Ruth's
            113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

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

            325 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

            Red Rooster
            310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027