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Jul 9, 2011 08:04 AM

3 Days// NYC with my Sister... need advice

I drove my little sister back to culinary school in 1999. That was the last time we traveled together. In 2004, she left her culinary life behind to take over our late fathers construction business. I want this trip to be special for both of us. She's already booked the Mandarin Oriental for our stay. I am handling our meals. She's been out of the food loop for so long, she doesn't feel comfortable giving me any input. I've read many, many pages of threads and I am beyond overwhelmed.

We both love good food, but are not the most adventurous eaters. Plus, we both are not big meat eaters. We are coming from Chicago for 3 days (July 16-19). This is my first time visiting NYC and my sisters first in 10 years. I've already booked Monday lunch at SHO, and Monday dinner at Telepan. Have I chosen well?

We arrive at noon on Saturday and plan to spend the day getting acquainted with the city. We would rather just drop in to places (pizza, burgers, gelato) while shopping. I'd still like to plan one or two more "nicer" meals for Sunday. I'd love to try to keep meals under $30pp before drinks, tax, and tip. I am extremely grateful for any advice and recommendations you can provide me.

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  1. Here's a pretty similar thread that might be helpful in terms of places to grab a bite while shopping, as it makes a big difference whether you're near Herald Square/Macy's, Soho, or 5th Avenue:

    Unfortunately, a lot of the best/most famous pizza, burger, and gelato places aren't near the big shopping districts, but if you're in Soho, you could easily walk to some of them. You could start the day off with a pie at John's of Bleecker, then try some gelato at either Grom or L'Arte de Gelato, and then walk over to Soho for shopping.

    If you're coming from Chicago definitely make sure you have some NY style pizza, a pastrami sandwich from Katz's, smoked salmon & bagels, etc.

    Perhaps on Sunday, you could take RGR's self guided Lower East Side noshing tour for a good taste of New York:

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

    L'Arte del Gelato
    75 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

    John's Pizzeria
    278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    11 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Kathryn... Thank you so much for your thorough reply. I'll read through the threads you've provided. Thanks again!

      1. re: Gelato_in_Roma

        kathryn has once again been kind enough to recommend my tour. There are a couple of changes and one correction. Guss' Pickles has closed, so substitute The Pickle Guys, on Essex St., just off Grand St.; Il Laboratorio has moved to 188 Ludlow St., near Houston St., though they may re-open the Orchard St. location as a satellite; and Economy Candy is at 145 Rivington, not 108.

        We've had dinner several times at SHO and had a superb experience each time. It's been quite some time since our one dinner at Telepan. While I wasn't bowled over by the food, it's certainly more than decent. So, while I think SHO is definitely the better of the two, Telepan is still a good choice.

        SHO photos:

        I would also highly recommend that you have a meal at The Dutch, in Soho. (Maybe Sunday night?) We just had lunch there for the first time. Perfectly prepared, very delicious American-style food. Great for those who are not especially adventurous. Also, the ambiance has a comfortable New York feel.

        The Dutch photos:

        72 W. 69th Street, New York, NY 10023

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

        The Dutch
        131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

        1. re: RGR

          Thanks RGR! I've made note of your tours changes. And your flickr photos are fabulous!

          Is there a good place to go to just for dessert in the evening (sat or sun)? Maybe even late?

          1. re: Gelato_in_Roma

            Thanks so much for the compliment, Gelato_in_Roma! :)

            ChikaLicious Dessert Bar is a favorite of ours. The small, elegant desserts are served as a 3-course prix-fixe. Not exactly inexpensive but, imo, worth it. It's open until 10:45 p.m. Directly across the street is Dessert Club ChikaLicious, which offers a variety of delicious sweet things. On Sat. & Sun., they are open until midnight.

            ChikaLicious photos:


            203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

            Dessert Club, ChikaLicious
            204 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

            1. re: RGR

              I looked at Chikalicious' website. Looks wonderful! I also saw your photos for Spot dessert bar, which I've added to my list.

              Is it acceptable to go to a "restaurant"(ex: The Modern- Bar Room) for dessert?

              1. re: Gelato_in_Roma

                Absolutely acceptable to go to the Bar Room at The Modern just for dessert.

                The beignets are a signature (always on the dessert menu):

                And all the desserts at the lunch we had on July 4th were seriously delicious:

                Re: Spot. Only been there once and would not go back since just one of the three desserts we tried appealed to me. But it does have many Hound fans.


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

                Spot Dessert Bar
                13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

                1. re: RGR

                  Thank you so much! I can't begin to tell you how helpful your replies have been. This trip is coming up fast and my head is spinning with all the reviews I've read that I haven't been able to make heads or tails of anything.

                  One last question... Are there any other restaurants we can go to for just dessert that you'd recommend?
                  My sister was a pastry chef in her previous life, so I'd love to surprise her with a special late night dessert.

                  1. re: Gelato_in_Roma

                    By "late night," how late were you thinking?

                    And, btw, don't hesitate to ask as many questions as you need so that you can plan the best trip possible. :)


                    1. re: Gelato_in_Roma

                      Considering I'm in normally in bed by midnight, my idea of late is actually early in NYC.

                  2. re: Gelato_in_Roma

                    My husband and I go to the Bar Room at the Modern *just* for desserts all the time - I think they have some of the best desserts among sit-down restaurants in town.

                    I personally love Spot, but I can see how their flavors won't work for some people. I also love Chikalicious, Kyotofu, and Momofuku Milk Bar (no sitting though.) I think they all have some great desserts. All of them are open at least till midnight - do you need a place that opens later than that?

                    Just wanted to add - I haven't been there, but buttertart posted Nobu 57 has amazing desserts, and I believe it looking at the menu. Another option for a sit-down restaurant w/ a bar and good desserts. This is assuming you like Asian-influenced desserts - Spot and Kyotofu also come under this category.

                    705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

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

                    203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

                    Momofuku Milk Bar
                    251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

                    1. re: uwsister

                      uwsister... Thank you for additional suggestions. My sister and I would be open to all sorts of desserts. I'll take a look at the menus of the other places you've mentioned. I'd love to have an itinerary nailed down by tomorrow.