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5 nights in NY. Hungry as hell...

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Hey guys, just wondered if I could pick your brains a little.

Heading over from Australia in June. We've got 5 days/nights to play with. Big eaters, food/wine/cocktail obsessed and don't want to miss out. Happy in a fine dining place or a local pig out joint.

Here's a list of places we're keen to check out. Any thoughts one ones that are a MUST and ones that we could probably give a miss?

Momofuku Ssam, Noodle + Milkbar.
ShakeShack
Red Rooster
Spotted Pig
Mad For Chicken
Torrisi
Motorino
Minetta Tavern
Blue Ribbon (late night)
Roberta's
Blue hills
La Esquina
Ippudo
PDT/Crif Dogs
The Dutch
Burger Joint
Lukes Lobster Rolls.

Already have bookings at WD-50 + Eleven Madison. Missed out on Per Se I think. :(

Keen to experience more American focused cuisine as we don't get much of that here in Oz. Also interesting snack options like The Doughnut Plant ect....

Any hot tips would be massively appreciated.

Cheers!

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Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

WD-50
50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

Burger Joint
118 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

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

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

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

La Esquina
106 Kenmare St, New York, NY 10012

Ippudo
65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

Luke's Lobster
93 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

Motorino
349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Red Rooster
310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

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  1. These are all good choices. The only other quintessentially "American" places that I can think of are Gotham Bar & Grill, Craft, Keens, and Peter Luger.

    Besides La Esquina, another good Mexican place is Empellon.

    Besides the Momofukus, look into Ma Peche and Kin Shop for pan-asian.

    Since you're considering Spotted Pig, I'd also recommend The Breslin.

    If you can't get into Torrisi, try Rubirosa.

    Before you book Roberta's, try to get a reservation at Brooklyn Fare. The mostly seafood 20 course tasting menu is amazing.

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

    Gotham Bar and Grill
    12 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003

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

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

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

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

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

    Rubirosa
    235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

    Empellon Taqueria
    230 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

    5 Replies
    1. re: H Manning

      It was my impression that Australia was good at Pan-Asian. Ma Peche is kind of French-Vietnamese but modern, and Kin Shop is modern Thai/Thai-influenced (but not classic/traditional).

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

      1. re: kathryn

        The OP inquired about Momofuku Ssam, Noodle & Milkbar. I assume he (or she) knew these restaurants are pan-asian, which is why I suggested Ma Peche and Kin Shop as alternatives.

        I didn't want to assume too much about the OP's culinary agenda.

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

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

        1. re: H Manning

          Just pointing out what kind of restaurants they are.

          1. re: H Manning

            I would not consider Momofuku Ssam pan-Asian, at least not at dinner - the new all-duck lunch menu might lean that way, though.

            While there might be some dishes that touch on Asian flavors, there are just as many that don't. Asian-influenced? Sure, but so are Jean George & Bouley and no one would call them pan-Asian. Shoot, I've had entire meals at Ssam that didn't include one single Asian flavor. Except the pork buns, which seem to get ordered at every meal...

            Noodle Bar I could almost say the same about - other than the buns and ramen, it's really another New American joint with a variety of world influences scattered about.

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

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

            1. re: sgordon

              Ok, Asian influenced then. I won't argue the semantics.

      2. Re: Ssam Bar. The all-duck lunch is not-to-be-missed!

        All-duck lunch photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        I think you mean Blue Hill NYC (in Greenwich Village)?

        If there are two of you, per se almost never puts tables for two on OpenTable. So, it's worth a call to see if they have anything. Friday/Saturday/Sunday lunch is often the easiest reservation to get there. If nothing at all is available in the dining room during your stay here, you could eat in the Salon. You don't need a reservation, but you will need a jacket.

        As mentioned by H Manning, I would strongly suggest including Keens, which has been in its 36th St. location since 1885. Thus, in addition to fabulous steaks, chops (including the signature mutton chop not found anywhere else), side, etc., there is the unmatchable charm of the Old NY ambiance -- walls filled with authentic American memorabilia and row-upon-row of old clay smoking pipes suspended from all the ceilings + smoking pipes belonging to famous people dating back to the 19th century in display cases in the vestibule.

        Keens photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        I don't see anything on your list about such quintessential NY foods as pastrami, smoked fish, bagels, etc. So, you might want to consider taking my famous self-guided Lower East Side Gustatory Tour.

        Here's the link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/493333

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

        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: RGR

          Strongly second Keens and RGR's self-guided tour.

        2. Skip Momofuku Noodle Bar if you are already going to Ippudo.

          Are you doing Torrisi for lunch or dinner?

          Skip Roberta's if you are going to Motorino already, unless you have already booked the chef's table. I liked my pizzas there a lot but not so much the kitchen dishes (was unable to book the chef's table).

          Burger Joint is OK but not as high quality ingredients as others like Minetta or Shake Shack.

          ETA: I like Luke's a lot but it is takeout / counter service as opposed to table service; for dine in, try Pearl Oyster Bar.

          See also other itineraries from Aussie visitors:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781406
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/783026
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/782728

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

          Burger Joint
          118 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019

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

          Ippudo
          65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

          Motorino
          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

          16 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            The flagship Luke's is not entirely take-out since there are half a dozen counter seats.

            Luke's Lobster photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            I agree that Pearl is another great option for a different style of lobster roll, which comes with excellent fries. But it's also a lot more expensive than Luke's.

            Pearl photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

            1. re: RGR

              Good point, I'll edit my post.

              1. re: kathryn

                Wow - thanks for all the feed back and tips. Greatly appreciated.

                The LES side tour looks great - definitely keen to do that.

                Torrisi's will be for dinner if we can get in. Will probably choose Motorino over Roberta's as I must try the brussel sprout pizza!

                What about Diner or The Brooklyn Star?

                If we were going to have one BBQ experience...where would you choose?

                -----
                Motorino
                349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: marksound

                  Haven't been to the new Brooklyn Star.

                  Really like Diner but I don't know if it's worth a "only in town for 5 days" meal.

                  Re: BBQ, do you prefer pulled pork, or beef brisket, or pork ribs, or something else?

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Hmm, I've actually never had real deal BBQ before. I definitely want to try pulled pork, I love ribs, and also a huge wing freak!

                  2. re: marksound

                    Im a hard-core Motorino lover, but it should be pointed out that Roberta's does a brussel sprout pie also (and i think - gasp - it might just be better than the one at motorino). i actually love both places a ton but they have different vibes - Motorino has, in my opinion, the best crust in the city, i love the lunch special, and the East Village location is very convenient to many other places i love, Roberta's is a bit more scene-ey, considerably larger, offers many options beyond just pizza (with which i have had better luck than kathryn, but i agree the other plates arent as uniformly awesome as the pizzas). Roberta's may feel a bit more out of the way but it is a very easy subway ride into brooklyn (its about a block from the morgan stop on the L)

                    For BBQ id send you to HIll Country, though the ordering is somewhat unusual (everything is sold by weight, there are set plates, you order at a counter and the meat cutters/side dishers mark the price on your meal ticket, which you give to the cashier at the end of your meal) hands down the best beef brisket in nyc (get the moist, not the lean) and pretty good (pork) ribs - the only meat id steer (ha!) you away from are the beef ribs which end up being a terrible value because of the pay-by-weight scheme and can be tough.

                    -----
                    Motorino
                    349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                      I was at Roberta's last week and there wasn't a brussels sprouts pizza on the menu. Maybe they took it off, given that it is spring? To that end, I'm not sure if Motorino has theirs year-round or if they take it off the menu in the warmer months.

                      Hill Country would be really fun. It's central Texas style BBQ which is typically sold by weight, not really about the sauce, eaten with your hands, and brisket and sausage focused. But their pork ribs are actually pretty good as well. Everything is given to you on butcher paper which can be fun. For pulled pork, I'd go to Dinosaur BBQ instead but it's a bit far uptown and may feel like a trek.

                      Also I don't see a place for fried chicken on your list. My favorites are Amy Ruth's, the Redhead, and Pies 'n' Thighs in Brooklyn.

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

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

                      The Redhead
                      349 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

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

                      Motorino
                      349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                      1. re: kathryn

                        It's been quite a long time since our last visit to Hill Country. I found that the fatty brisket, which I prefer, could be rather uneven. Sometimes perfect, olther times so much fat that there was barely any meat. Out of curiosity, I tried the lean brisket once. Like shoe leather. Blech!

                        I'm really a ribs fancier but never cared for their pork ribs, which I felt were too dry and not very meaty.

                        The sausage and the beer can cornish hen (whole): delicious.

                        As for the sides, none of them ever struck me as being particularly great. The best of the lot: the sweet potato bourbon mash.

                        One other problem I found was that because service is cafeteria style, and the line does not always move quickly, by the time I got to the table, hot food -- especially the meats, which are gotten first -- would no longer be hot.

                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                        1. re: RGR

                          Hill Country sounds fun and definitely unique. I read Dinosour BBQ does great wings so may have to squeeze in both! Don't mind a trek anywhere and would welcome the chance to see other neighbourhoods.

                          How could I forget fried chicken! Heard it's pretty good on the late menu of Blue Ribbon? Staying in SoHo so that could be an option. Pies n' Thighs looks good too. What about Mad For Chicken?

                          Bars I'm keen to check out are: Terroir EV, 6 Bells, Anfora, Angels Share, Death & Co, Pegu. Any others doing serious cocktails? Keen to try some barrel aged negroni's and martini's.

                          How we are going to do all this in 5 days I'm not sure but will give it a damn good try!

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

                          Terroir
                          413 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

                          Death & Co.
                          433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

                          The Ten Bells
                          247 Broome St, New York, NY 10002

                          Anfora
                          34 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014

                          1. re: marksound

                            Best cocktail bars:
                            Death & Co (great, huge menu, always surprising)
                            PDT (new school + lots of ingredients + interesting infusions)
                            Mayahuel (temple to tequila and mezcal)
                            Pegu Club (most of Audrey's menu have become modern classics - gin gin mule, jamaican firefly, french pearl, the fitty fitty, pisco punch, etc. and she trained so many people working today)
                            Lani Kai (Julie Reiner's classy and elegant tropical / Hawaiian bar ... most of the bartenders working today also came through her other bar Flatiron Lounge) -- just tried some of their new menu, it's great
                            Milk & Honey (the bespoke cocktail bar that kickstarted a movement)

                            Yes, I know that's a ton. Not sure I'd put Angel's Share up that high these days. There's more details in the threads I linked to

                            For barrel aged cocktails, try The Dutch, Summit Bar, PDT, Fedora, Rye (in Brooklyn), Dram (also in Brooklyn), Gramercy Park Hotel, and I think Del Posto does as well. Call ahead, quantities are typically limited, and I'm not sure all of them will still have them by June.

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

                            Angel's Share
                            8 Stuyvesant St, New York, NY 10003

                            Please Don't Tell
                            113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

                            Pegu Club
                            77 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

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

                            Death & Co.
                            433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

                            Gramercy Park Hotel
                            2 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010

                            Milk and Honey
                            134 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                            Mayahuel
                            304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

                            Summit Bar
                            133 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009

                            The Dutch
                            131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

                            Lani Kai
                            525 Broome St, New York, NY 10012

                            1. re: kathryn

                              Apparently the Dutch's barrel aged cocktail is SO popular, they're already out of it and it takes 6 weeks to age! Hope this doesn't put a damper on your trip!

                              1. re: kathryn

                                ...and apparently Dram has sold out of their barrel aged Martinez BUT I think they've got something else up their sleeves, so it remains to be seen if it's ready in time for your trip.

                                A friend of mine went to Fedora the other night and it looks like they are out of theirs as well. However, there's a new place called the Beagle that recently opened and theirs might be ready in time for your trip. Good luck!

                        2. re: kathryn

                          I was at Motorino a little over a week ago and the brussel sprout pizza was still on the menu.

                          -----
                          Motorino
                          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                2. re: kathryn

                  agreed re: skipping Momofuko Noodle...personally i despise all the David Chang stuff, but i can understand the desire to try Saam...but Noodle is just lame regardless...

                  i'd say try some of the nice Italian choices we have like Scarpetta (esp at the bar), Maialino, and for a sunny casual meal near the Hudson i love Malatesta as a neighborhood joint...

                  also love the Kin Shop rec...one of my favs...

                  enjoy your trip and please report back w/ impressions :)

                  -----
                  Malatesta
                  649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

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

                  Maialino
                  2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                  1. re: Simon

                    If I could hug you all I would!

                    Isn't Milk&Honey impossible to get into if you don't know the number or something? We're two guys travelling so struggle with those places where you need girls draping off your arms to get in.

                    Will definitely report back with our thoughts!

                    1. re: marksound

                      If you can't get into Milk & Honey, its sister bar Little Branch would work. Show up at 7pm for the best chance at getting a table. I like LB a lot but it doesn't have a bar w/ stools that you can sit at so I don't end up there quite as much.

                      -----
                      Little Branch
                      22 Seventh Ave South, New York, NY 10014