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May 25, 2011 06:58 PM

First trip to manhattan, suggestions please

Ok, I'm overwhelmed...
Arriving June 1st (late) and leaving June 4th (mid-day)

Looking for breakky (simple), lunch (unique), and dinner (simple to fancy) ideas. We are staying in the ACE hotel, stumptown coffee seems like a good place to start the day.

So far I'm considering:

Clinton St. Baking Co. (Sat. Brunch)
Bluesmoke BBQ (lunch for one day)
Pearl Oyster Bay (lunch for one day)
Please note - we eat almost anything.....
Looking for great food for good value. One night out for something special for food and wine.

Great discount shopping (more than cloths)
Great deals on wine and spirits
Great deals on tourist tickets (Empire State Bldg, etc).

Many thanks in advance.

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

Blue Smoke
116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

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

18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

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  1. Can you give a dollar figure per person for these meals? How much do you wish to spend on food only (before tax, tip, drinks/wine/etc)? It's best if you spell it out exactly as Manhattan restaurants can get very expensive. And what is "reasonable" to an out of towner can be "cheap" to a New Yorker.

    So... how much for breakfast, lunch, regular dinner, and your one special dinner?

    Where are you coming from?

    What cuisines are your favorites or maybe things you can't get at home? Something you'd like to try for the first time?

    Are you planning around sightseeing activities and plan to be in certain neighborhoods?

    We can't give tips on discount non-food/drink shopping or tourist activities, these boards are "all about the Chow." You'll have to post elsewhere for that.

    If you're staying at the Ace:
    - definitely have breakfast at the Breslin at least one day
    - I'd also try for dinner there, they don't take reservations so there will probably be a wait
    - you're one of the FEW people who gets to make a reservation at the John Dory Oyster Bar, so I'd eat dinner there at least one day. Everybody else has to wait!
    - Clinton St is better on a weekday -- fewer crowds, do you really want to wait 2.5 hrs for a table?
    - Blue Smoke is very good (try deviled eggs, mac and cheese, ribs, pulled pork, burger) but check out Hill Country as well for brisket and other items
    - I assume you know that Pearl Oyster Bar only serves weekday lunch
    - Check out Madison Square Eats before it closes:

    For deals on wine/spirits check out Warehouse Wines.

    Similar request for someone staying in that general area a little while ago:

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

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

    Blue Smoke
    116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

    Warehouse Wines & Spirits
    735 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

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

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

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Hi Kathryn,
      Thanks for all the helpful insight. Didn’t realize there were great places to eat at our hotel, a bit of luck there I’d say.
      We are driving in from Toronto arriving Wednesday evening and will most likely hit John Dory after check in.
      I'm formalizing our itinerary at present but one big opening is Friday dinner. Something nice for about $300 (ttl) would do it. I've looked into Ai Fiori, Babbo, and Cafe Boulud but cant decide. We like French, Italian, and Fusion. Susur Lee's Shang would be one but we eat at Lee in Toronto quite often.


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

      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

      187 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

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

      1. re: KraTToR

        Babbo is quite popular so if they have any reservations left (esp. on a Friday night coming up so soon), you may end up dining at 5:30pm or 11pm. They could also be completely booked for the time duration you're here.

        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

    2. if you're staying at the ACE you HAVE to go to the Breslin. You can get reservations there as a guest of the hotel, and the food is simply divine. I recently did a review for the restaurant for - you can see the slideshow here:

      Bresline Review:
      Entering the The Breslin Bar & Dining Room (29th street between 5th and 6th avenues), is like stepping into a trendy, British hunting lodge. The staff is made up of young, attractive hipsters, and the clientele is much the same. This combined with the fact that the restaurant sits in the middle of the über-chic Ace Hotel makes dining here an adventure. You will have to fight your way through the dance club in the lobby to get to the restroom, but might have a celebrity sighting on the way.

      The cocktails at the bar are inspired by the classics. The London Calling is a tart, updated version of a cosmopolitan made of vodka, blackcurrant syrup and topped with Prosecco. They also mix a killer martini, which comes with three large olives. That said, be aware that the olives contain a large pit. And if beer is your preference – especially this week during American Craft Beer Week - they have a variety of cask beer, along with Spotted Pig Bitter made exclusively for The Breslin and The Spotted Pig.

      The best part of April Bloomfield’s nouveau gastropub; however, is the eclectic menu of comfort food that has an option (or two, or three) for every palate. Though best known for the Chargrilled Lamb Burger, make sure to start with some of the unique snacks and small plates.

      The Beef and Stilton Pie is the perfect four bites to start your meal. The crust is golden brown and crispy and the beef on the inside is as tender and juicy as a slow cooked pot roast. The stilton cheese melts on the inside, creating a delicate sauce that engulfs the meat.

      Even if you don’t like caesar salads, this version is unsurpassed by all others. The Herbed caesar salad with anchovy croutons is a bit pricey at $14, but worth every penny. The dressing provides an explosion of lemon and salt, and the surprise on the plate is the pork-fried parsley. It’s also big enough to share with up to four people.

      The Chargrilled lamb burger, which was named one of the Top 25 Best Things to Eat by Wined & Dine, comes on a hearty bun and is topped with creamy feta cheese that brings out the zesty seasoning in the ground lamb. It is served on a cutting board along with “thrice cooked” fries and homemade cumin mayo served on the side. The tender, juicy meat visibly drips back onto the plate with each bite, meeting the basic requirement for any good burger: messy, messy, messy. To note, you will not be asked what temperature you prefer. They only serve this burger medium rare.

      The Ribeye with ramp béarnaise and chips (aka the same “thrice cooked” fries that come with the burger) is in one word, succulent. The ribeye is a boneless cut that comes from the same part of the animal as prime rib. Because of the luscious marbling throughout, this steak is loaded with flavor and remains tender and juicy from the grill to your plate. The ramp béarnaise sauce adds a layer of garlicky, lemon zest that stands up to the bold flavor of the steak.

      For sides, consider the Asparagus with lardo or the Cabbage and bacon. Both options are extremely fresh with a crisp, tangy finish.

      No meal is complete without dessert, or “pudding,” as they say at this restaurant. The Brioche doughnuts are the perfect ending to a decadent meal. This dessert comes with five, plump doughnuts rolled in sugar that are unexpectedly light and fluffy. They are accompanied by three dipping sauces: spiced maple butter, dark chocolate, and salted caramel. Feel free to mix and match to try all of the different flavors.

      One important note: The Breslin does not accept reservations unless you are a guest of the hotel or a group of 8-12 people for one of the chef’s table tasting meals. You have a choice of either the Suckling pig dinner, featuring a whole-roasted suckling pig or the Lamb dinner featuring all parts of the lamb including lamb chops, the head, liver, kidneys andleg of lamb. These tasting dinners can also be accompanied with a wine pairing for an extra fee.

      Continue reading on The Breslin Bar & Dining Room: Where hipsters and fine dining converge - New York fine dining |

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

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