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party of 5 dining itinerary

i
icorem Jul 11, 2011 06:00 AM

Hi all

we're a party of 5 who will be visitng the city on a business trip next month. I'll appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on this planned itinerary (budget up to $100 a head):

BLT prime for steaks
Morimoto or Bondst for sushi
Colicchio & sons for "american"
la fonda del sol or Alcala for spanish
buddakan for pan-asian

we don't like italian (they are all the same...) and we avoid those fixed price dinner menus recently popular.

Thanks in advance for all repliers.

-----
Alcala
342 East 46th St., New York, NY 10017

Morimoto
88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

  1. j
    JeremyEG Jul 11, 2011 07:49 AM

    Hello,
    I didn't love the sushi at Morimoto and I think you can do much better for the money. My favorite in the city is Shimizu. Gari and Yasuda also have lots of fans on these boards. Are you looking for traditional sushi or more Americanized rolls?

    Collichio and Sons is good though I think a bit overpriced. I've eaten in both rooms and posted a pretty extensive review here:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6957...

    For Spanish, I strongly suggest Txikito in Chelsea for Basque tapas. Really great cooking. Just went last week. I hear amazing things about their ribeye there as well. Could be a good place for you guys to do steaks.

    I'm not sure you'll get a lot of support on these boards that all Italian places are the same : ) Not sure where you're visiting from but it could be a good time to try some regional Italian that you don't have access to like the exquisite raw fish preparations at Esca or the Roman staples served at Lupa, or the whole fish preparations at Marea.

    You'll have a great time either way and please report back!
    JeremyEG
    HomeCookLocavore.com

    -----
    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    Shimizu
    318 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

    Sushi Yasuda
    204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

    Gari
    370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

    Esca
    402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

    Morimoto
    88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

    Txikito
    240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

    Marea
    240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

    Colicchio & Sons
    85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

    1. k
      kathryn Jul 11, 2011 08:14 AM

      For steak, how about Keens, especially if you are visiting from out of town? Excellent atmosphere and food.

      Sushi for 5 will be difficult as most people here will agree that the "best" experience will be in front of the chef, at the sushi bar, getting nigiri one piece at a time. I thought that Morimoto's cooked dishes were far superior to their sushi. Maybe Ushiwakamaru? Not sure if your $100pp includes tax, tip, drinks.

      2nd Txikito for Spanish.

      Not sure what you mean by "Italian restaurants are all the same."

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

      Ushiwakamaru
      136 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

      Morimoto
      88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

      Txikito
      240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn
        i
        icorem Jul 11, 2011 11:01 PM

        Thanks guys

        what I meant by "all Italian restaurants are the same" was that after beeing to Italy numerous times eating at local ma and pa restaurants in little villages I'm not intrigued by $ 150 dinners that are by far less seductive.

        As far as Keens - I've been there but had better meal at BLTs.
        I'll check Txikito out.

        Thanks so far

        -----
        Txikito
        240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

      2. s
        sugartoof Jul 12, 2011 01:22 AM

        Strip House is better than BLT Prime in my opinion, and the sides are excellent.

        -----
        BLT Prime
        111 East 22nd Street, New York, NY 10010

        Strip House
        13 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

        1. r
          RCC Jul 12, 2011 06:58 AM

          While I like Txikito, too, but purely as a tapas place, it just doesn’t replicate the restaurant ambiance that La Fonda del Sol has. Txikito is pretty much a tapas-bar, with tables, but it’s kinda dark and not as spacious as a Spanish restaurant like la Fonda del Sol.

          Besides, you won’t be able to order a whole cochinilio (roasted suckling pig) or a roasted whole baby goat or nicely-done chuletons at tapas bars. Tapas are also very good at LFDS and they serve as excellent starters, imho.

          -----
          La Fonda del Sol
          200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10020

          2 Replies
          1. re: RCC
            k
            kathryn Jul 12, 2011 07:13 AM

            Txikito does frequently have suckling pig on the daily specials. I think last time I was there, they had whole fish, too. I don't find the newer room all that dark or cramped, especially when they have the windows open.

            -----
            Txikito
            240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

            1. re: kathryn
              r
              RCC Jul 12, 2011 07:31 AM

              Yes Txikoto had suckling pig on plates. Not a WHOLE suckling pig (or baby goat) that LFDS does that was very nicely presented before being cut up and served. We had this and a bunch of appetizers and tapas for under $100 pp (exluding wine).

              Like I said, Txikito is just darker and much less spacious (you said "cramped', not me) than, say La Fonda del Sol or other traditional Spanish non-tapas bar restaurant.

              -----
              La Fonda del Sol
              200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10020

          2. sgordon Jul 13, 2011 09:56 AM

            I would not go to Morimoto just for sushi. Their specialty is the composed dishes. You can throw in a sushi course during your meal, but it's not the place to go specifically for that. They're very good (if the menu is a bit too long - if you decide to go, research it beforehand and figure out the most appealing dishes) but for just sushi / sashimi there's better.

            I also wouldn't do Bond St. For a straight-up sushi meal my top picks would be Gari or Yasuda. For composed Japanese, Morimoto, Kyo Ya, or Soto.

            I liked La Fonda del Sol, though I haven't been since Chef Josh DeChellis left, so I can't really say what it's like currently. Other Spanish options are Casa Mono, El Quinto Pino, and I'll second (third?) Txikito. For Iberian cuisine, I quite liked the old Alfama - they're Portuguese, though, not Spanish, but there's obviously a lot of crossover between the two cuisines. Haven't been to their new location yet.

            For Pan-Asian, I'm not such a fan of Buddakan. Kind of a touristy clubby place, the food nothing terribly exciting. You might consider aforementioned Morimoto for your Pan-Asian night (they're mostly Japanese, but there are touches of other cuisines dotting the menu) - also of note are Ma Peche (French / Vietnamese), Momofuku Ssam Bar (New American, but with various Asian touches, among a number of other cuisines... maybe they're better described as "pan-everything"), Double Crown (Continental / SE Asian fusion)... we have a quite a few.

            I like Colicchio & Sons for American, though they're a bit controversial on the boards here. Gramercy Tavern is always an option - a touch more formal than C&S, but generally very good (I've found C&S the more exciting of the two, of late). Also, of course, there's Blue Hill, our First Church of The Local and Seasonal.

            If you find all Italian "the same" you haven't experienced some of our best Italian restaurants: Babbo, Falai, Del Posto, Marea, Ai Fiori, Torrisi Italian Specialties (the last being Italian-American, not so much Italian...) - they're as far from generic "red sauce" joints as you'll find.

            -----
            Soto
            357 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

            Gramercy Tavern
            42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

            Babbo
            110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

            Casa Mono
            52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

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

            Blue Hill
            75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011

            Buddakan
            75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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

            El Quinto Pino
            401 W 24th St, New York, NY 10011

            Bond Street
            6 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012

            Gari
            370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

            Falai
            68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

            Morimoto
            88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

            Kyo Ya
            94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

            Alfama
            214 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022

            Double Crown
            316 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

            Txikito
            240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

            La Fonda del Sol
            200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10020

            Marea
            240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

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

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

            Colicchio & Sons
            85 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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

            2 Replies
            1. re: sgordon
              i
              icorem Jul 14, 2011 12:37 PM

              Sgordon

              thanks a lot for the detailed response. We'll swap Buddakan with Morimoro for highend asian.
              I really liked Gramercy Tavern when dined there a couple of years ago but some members of my party dont like pre-fixed menues so we'll skip some of the better places around town where pre fixed (pricy) dinners are very popular.
              As for my remark on Italian restaurants - I've been to babbo (twice) and to Falai and (what can I do) those hiend Italian places don't attract me anymore.

              -----
              Gramercy Tavern
              42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

              Buddakan
              75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

              Falai
              68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

              1. re: icorem
                sgordon Jul 14, 2011 01:07 PM

                Well, everyone's got the cuisines they prefer. I guess Italian just isn't your bag. I'm not terribly high on high-end French - I don't dislike it, I'm just bored with it and don't find it terribly adventurous or worth the price, often. But it's the standard of "Haute Cuisine" to many (most?) people, so who knows? It's all subjective.

                Morimoto can be great, but the menu is SO extensive it can be a bit bewildering what to order. My own personal favorites:

                Oysters Foie Gras: Cold oysters topped with hot foie gras, crazy luxurious. And topped with uni, because that wasn't enough. 3 to an order, get two orders so everyone can have one as a "pre-appetizer" and then fight over the last one. If there's one "don't miss" item, that's the one.

                Yellowtail Pastrami: silky and delicious, with a gin-scented creme fraiche and candied black olives to add a little twist.

                Toban Yaki: a Japanese "Frutti di Mare" of sorts, in a sweet red miso & sake broth.

                Also enjoyed: the lamb carpaccio (actually, any of the carpaccios), foie gras chawan mushi, roasted lobster, scallops w/ xo, kakuni, yose dofu, and halibut in black bean sauce.

                Skip: tartares (some people love them, I found them all kind of boring), the various soups / noodle dishes (fine, if nothing special) and various sushi / sashimi apps (also fine, if average) - stick with the stuff that shows a little creative flair, you can get traditional Japanese dishes at many other places.

                -----
                Morimoto
                88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

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