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Five Days June 6-10 Help!

j
Jake2043 May 19, 2011 07:12 PM

My friend and I are going to New York for the first time and we are looking for your guys help to pick places to go. I have read quite a few posts and will try to be as specific as possible and ask to the point questions. Here goes nothing!

The financials and basics:
We have decided that it may be cheaper to just do lunches at more expensive restaurants to still get top notch food but with a lunch special budget. For these days, we were thinking about keeping it anywhere from $30-$50 per person, including drinks. For dinner, we were thinking of some places that may have decent drink specials as well as reasonable food prices around $20-$30, not including the drinks. Keep in mind that we are hoping to budget maybe two expensive splurge lunches or dinners and spend about $150-$180, which will be explained later.

The dishes:
I figured if I threw out some favorite dishes, then some suggestions about which restaurant(s) would be geared towards this particular dish.
Specifics- Macaroni and Cheese (upscale and traditional mom-style), Hamburgers (particularly burgers of the black and blue style or with some sort of goat cheese), Lasagna (traditional style), cupcakes (red velvet and anything peanut butter inspired), Sushi (mainly into delicious roes or fancy roes), Pizza (a place that offers a nice thick sweet sauce and a place that offers a more acrid or tangy sauce and thick crust and mainly meat toppings), general tso’s/tsu’s chicken (needs to have a nice sweet and spicy sauce), Crab Ragoons (something a little on the sweet side), enchiladas (basic simple mole like a gravy but not green chili or red sauce),tiramisu (nice light and fluffly), Goat cheese inspired appetizers (not only those with bread points), any dessert containing peanut butter, quesadillas (something that contains different mixes of cheese outside of the shredded blend), black and white cookies, amazing bagels (with cream cheese or breakfast bagels with cheese and meat), chicken ( just a staple food and really any dish), medium/mild heat of spices, looking for some modern takes on food, looking for some traditional foods that have just been perfected.
Ideas and thoughts on places we’ve found online-
Is the luxury chocolate tour worth it? We both enjoy chocolate and want to enjoy a great experience!
Is the Greenwich village food tour worth it?
Where are the best places to do a menu tasting that reasonable and worth the expense ($150-$180 each). Also, when doing something like this is do you have to have a reservation, sorry still new to all of this? We were thinking either American foods, Italian, or French inspired foods.
Finally, we are staying in the northern part of Greenwich Village and just a few blocks shy of Chelsea on the Westside. If you can give any extra insight into little breakfast places (cheap prices but good quantity/quality), lunch (just great places), dinner (must tries), bars (with decent specials and not sports bars), and bakeries.

Thank you in advance for all of your help!! I have been blown away by how many people write and help others on here.

  1. j
    Jake2043 May 20, 2011 06:00 AM

    Any help on any portion is helpful!

    1. v
      villainx May 20, 2011 06:06 AM

      Where are you visiting from, by the way?

      1 Reply
      1. re: villainx
        j
        Jake2043 May 20, 2011 06:25 AM

        We are coming from Grand Rapids Michigan. The food here is pretty good and has an ecclectic mix. We don't always go to very high end; however, we do like a few upper end were we may spend 70-80 once and awhile for a good lunch with a bloody bar.

      2. k
        kathryn May 20, 2011 06:31 AM

        First off, this board is typically busier from 10am-6pm as people blow off steam at work, so patience!

        > Lunch: $30-$50 per person, including drinks.
        > Dinner: $20-$30, not including the drinks
        > 2 special lunches: $150-$180

        Your price ranges are a little confusing. Is lunch $50pp BEFORE tax and and tip? Or after? How many drinks are you including (typical cocktail price at a restaurant is like $12 these days)? What about dinner, is $30 before tax and tip or after? Same question for lunch....Tax (almost 9%) and tip (20%) can eat up a significant portion of your budget.

        Rather than just getting your favorite foods here, have you considered branching out and maybe trying some new stuff? Cuisines you can't get at home?

        Hard to make recommendations without knowing where you are coming from and if you can get good Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Latin American, Spanish, Southern, BBQ, seafood, etc. there.

        NYC also has a thriving cocktail culture and a few of those bars have some specials, but not a lot. IMO it's worth trying some of them at regular prices. For the $9-10 cocktails you'd have to go to Brooklyn. That said, try Lani Kai (brunch and/or happy hour), Summit Bar, and Back Forty (happy hour on Mondays) in Manhattan.

        http://www.thesummitbar.net/cocktailmenu.html
        http://newyork.timeout.com/restaurants-bars/the-feed-blog/953793/new-happy-hour-and-lunch-deals-at-lani-kai
        https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10150144708436572&id=163649606571

        > Macaroni and Cheese (upscale and traditional mom-style

        )

        What is traditional mom style? Can you explain more?

        > Hamburgers (particularly burgers of the black and blue style or with some sort of goat cheese)

        What is black and blue style?

        Look into the Breslin's burger, maybe Prune, Spotted Pig.

        > Pizza (a place that offers a nice thick sweet sauce and a place that offers a more acrid or tangy sauce and thick crust and mainly meat toppings)

        Thick crust? I think you're going to the wrong city. Unless you meant like a Sicilian or Grandma slice?

        > amazing bagels (with cream cheese or breakfast bagels with cheese and meat)

        I can't think of any proper bagel shops that do breakfast bagels here, but I could be wrong.

        > Is the luxury chocolate tour worth it? We both enjoy chocolate and want to enjoy a great experience!

        Why not create your own tour? If money is an issue, this is one place you can save a little. Visit Kee's, Jacques Torres, Vosges, MarieBelle, La Maison du Chocolat, Chocolate Bar, LA Burdick, etc. on your own.

        > Is the Greenwich village food tour worth it?

        Again, it is far cheaper to create your own.

        Some ideas:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780479
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/775501
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/728356
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/750143
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/711661
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/754497

        Try also RGR's famous self-guided eating tour of the LES!

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/493333

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

        > Where are the best places to do a menu tasting that reasonable and worth the expense ($150-$180 each). Also, when doing something like this is do you have to have a reservation, sorry still new to all of this? We were thinking either American foods, Italian, or French inspired foods.

        Yes you need a reservation. Given that you're coming in a few weeks, I would recommend starting to make reservations ASAP.

        > Finally, we are staying in the northern part of Greenwich Village and just a few blocks shy of Chelsea on the Westside. If you can give any extra insight into little breakfast places (cheap prices but good quantity/quality), lunch (just great places), dinner (must tries), bars (with decent specials and not sports bars), and bakeries.

        What intersection?

        -----
        Jacques Torres
        350 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

        Kee's Chocolates
        80 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

        Pickle Guys
        49 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

        Vosges Haut-Chocolat
        132 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

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

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

        Back Forty
        190 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

        MarieBelle
        484 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

        Prune
        54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

        Economy Candy
        108 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

        Chocolate Bar
        19 8th Ave, New York, NY 10014

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

        L.A. Burdick
        5 E 20th St, New York, NY 10010

        Summit Bar
        133 Avenue C, New York, NY 10009

        Lani Kai
        525 Broome St, New York, NY 10012

        4 Replies
        1. re: kathryn
          j
          Jake2043 May 20, 2011 07:40 AM

          Q/A's
          1)The lunch budget for the $30-$50 would be without tax/tip. Also, we’re not big on drinking any alcoholic beverages with lunch so that would be like an ice tea, pop, etc…
          The dinner budget of $20-$30 would be without tax/tip. We didn’t want to include a range for drinks because we know that it can get expensive and wanted to focus on the food mainly and if they have drink specials that would be great. We are really into micro-brews. My favorite beers are IPA’s such as Short’s Humalupalicious, Dark Horse’s Crooked Tree, Founder’s Centennial which are all brewed here in Michigan.

          2)Rather than just getting your favorite foods here, have you considered branching out and maybe trying some new stuff? Cuisines you can't get at home?

          **We have considered different cuisine and really hoping to explore with the tours or menu tasting, if you have any suggestions always appreciated. I’m more into trying a lot of different stuff. My friend isn’t always into high end or sophisticated foods, however, this may be what he needs to get outside of burgers and mac and cheese.

          3) What is traditional mom style? Can you explain more?
          **I just meant just your simple perfected baked macaroni and cheese that may contain bacon or ham as opposed to some modern takes with different goat cheeses and other meats.

          4)What is black and blue style?

          **Black and blue burgers usually are bacon, blue cheese, and sometimes caramelized onions.

          5)What intersection (are you staying near)?

          We are going to be on Jane Avenue and Washington on the Northwest side of Greenwich Village

          6)Rather than just getting your favorite foods here, have you considered branching out and maybe trying some new stuff? Cuisines you can't get at home?
          We have considered different cuisine and really hoping to explore with the tours or menu tasting, if you have any suggestions always appreciated. I’m more into trying a lot of different stuff. My friend isn’t always into high end or sophisticated foods, however, this may be what he needs to get outside of burgers and mac and cheese.

          Kathryn thanks for your very great suggestions and responses. I will definitely jump on which menu tasting(s) that we are looking at and make a reservation. I greatly appreciate your time and efforts!

          1. re: Jake2043
            k
            kathryn May 20, 2011 08:04 AM

            This might help:

            Bars for beer geeks -- note that you should definitely get out to Brooklyn if you are a beer nerd
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/733207
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/572919

            1. re: Jake2043
              r
              RGR May 20, 2011 08:18 AM

              You are staying not too far from The Spotted Pig. One of the things they are best known for is their burger, which comes with blue cheese. However, no bacon or onion even upon request. Still, it is a fabulous burger.

              The Spotted Pig photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157626548589197/

              Btw, to be geographical correct, it's Jane *Street* (and Washington St.).

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              1. re: RGR
                v
                villainx May 20, 2011 02:51 PM

                Yeah, since you are in the West Village, go in the early/odd time slots and get in on either Spotted Pig or Minetta Tavern for the burgers. Those places are usually slammed pack. You can take advantage with your more flexible schedule.

                Corner Bistro is another popular neighborhood place, but I think of it more as an above average fast style burger. Not sure how to differentiate it, it's not gourmet or upscale, I guess that's what I'm saying.

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

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

                Minetta Tavern
                113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

          2. r
            RGR May 20, 2011 07:12 AM

            "Where are the best places to do a menu tasting that reasonable and worth the expense ($150-$180 each). Also, when doing something like this is do you have to have a reservation, sorry still new to all of this? We were thinking either American foods, Italian, or French inspired foods."

            Restaurants always list tasting menu costs for the food only. Wine pairings are usually available, and that cost is provided separately. Presuming you mean that $150-180pp budget you have given to cover everything (food, beverages, tax & tip), it would be much more helpful if you would give us your per person budget for *food only*.

            http://thewizardofroz,wordpress.com

            7 Replies
            1. re: RGR
              j
              Jake2043 May 20, 2011 07:23 AM

              The $150-$180 would be per person food only. We don't plan on doing any of the wine pairing. Also, can you do the menu tasting at the lunch hour or is is usally only dinner? Thanks again for your help and insight.

              1. re: Jake2043
                k
                kathryn May 20, 2011 07:27 AM

                Policy differs for each restaurant. Check their web sites for menus or call and ask. Some do a shorter tasting at lunch than dinner.

                If you have $150-180 for food only, you might as well do dinner!

                1. re: Jake2043
                  r
                  RGR May 20, 2011 07:35 AM

                  In most cases, tastings are available only at dinner. However, there are a few restaurants that offer them at lunch as well. Picholine immediately comes to mind. They offer several tasting menu options at different price points both at lunch (Friday and Saturday only) and dinner (every evening). The menus are on the website. Needless to say, the French/Mediterranean cuisine is superb! Service is pleasant and polished, and the atmospherics are lovely.

                  Picholine photos (tasting menu): http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157622875676042/

                  http://thewizardofroz.worpdress.com

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

                  1. re: RGR
                    j
                    Jake2043 May 20, 2011 07:42 AM

                    Thanks we will check that out, but, we are flying out on Friday by 7:30pm.

                    1. re: Jake2043
                      r
                      RGR May 20, 2011 08:04 AM

                      You could make a lunch tasting menu at Picholine your final meal before you leave. OpenTable shows a table for two available on June 10th at 12:30 p.m.

                      With regard to dinner tasting menus, there are many that fit your budget. Two that would top my list right now: Cafe Boulud and SHO Shaun Hergatt.

                      Cafe Boulud photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157626281943793/

                      Sho Shaun Hergatt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157626669210098/

                      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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

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

                  2. re: Jake2043
                    k
                    kathryn May 20, 2011 08:31 AM

                    Some prices of dinner tastings in your range:

                    Jean Georges $148 chef's, $168 spring
                    Del Posto $145
                    Le Bernardin $140
                    The Modern is $140
                    Corton $155
                    Cafe Boulud $125
                    Bouley $175
                    WD-50 $140

                    Some but not all of the New York Times 4 star restaurants have tasting menus out of reach, but you do have some choices in your price range for dinner tastings. And a lot of the three star restaurants are in your price range.

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

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

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

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

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

                    The Modern
                    9 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019

                    Corton
                    239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

                    Bouley
                    163 Duane St, New York, NY 10013

                    1. re: kathryn
                      j
                      Jake2043 May 20, 2011 08:52 AM

                      Wow kathryn you definitely have a breadth of knowledge! Thanks again!! I will start researching those on my lunch break

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