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London Chowhound coming to NYC again (long)

i
Ibrahim.Salha Aug 3, 2011 01:49 PM

Hello there New York City 'hounds! Long time no post on this board. In fact, the last time was nearly two years ago when I returned from this trip: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/623359 (I posted photos of what I ate here, if you can't be bothered to read that thread / want to see some food porn: http://willeatformoney.blogspot.com/2...

)

I'll be coming back in September from the 13th to the 20th.

I've got a long list of places which I've noted down and consider interesting - some of which I've been to before and enjoyed enough to want to eat there again.

I'll be coming over from London with my girlfriend and we're both in our early twenties, and can finally drink in the US (yes!). Not sure what sort of food I'm NOT interested in, but I guess we can rule out Indian (it's pretty good here), Middle Eastern (I'm Lebanese) and neither of us really has much of a tolerance for spicy food…I guess that's it?

Budget: doesn't matter apart from where noted. Not saying this while swimming around in gold coins as if I'm Scrooge McDuck, but we can spend a lot of money when we want to, but we are also into good cheap eats so I've included places to cater for all budgets, though bear in mind that we do appreciate variety. Location also doesn't matter - we'll go everywhere (will also consider posting on the Outer Boroughs board for recs outside of Manhattan but have included some below). No idea where we're staying yet...think either East Village or Williamsburg maybe?

Here goes:

Tuesday 13th September 2011:
Lunch - Slice of pizza somewhere (enjoyed Joe's, NY Pizza Suprema and Patsy's East Harlem last time)
Dinner - Shake Shack

Wednesday:
Lunch - Part of RGR's LES tour again (Katz's, Russ and Daughters mainly)
Dinner - Momofuku Ko OR Kyo Ya for kaiseki OR another place with an interesting tasting menu for around the same price (need some help here - realise the difficulties [still difficult?] of getting a Ko reservation, and have read up quite extensively on here and other sites about what I'd be getting with each place but still can't decide…some more opinions please! We prefer easy-going service if that makes a difference. In fact, if you want to recommend another high-end place with a tasting menu which shouldn't be missed then by all means go ahead)

Thursday:
Breakfast - Clinton Street Bakery OR Shopsin's (didn't make it down to the latter last time and I still really want to go, but also don't mind not being shouted at while eating breakfast, so the former could suit, even if we had to wait. Any other good breakfast options?)
Lunch - Red Hook Lobster Pound OR Luke's Lobster OR another good lobster roll place (I'm guessing it won't be as good as the stuff I had in Maine, but I really want a lobster roll)
Dinner - Minetta Tavern

Friday:
Lunch - Del Posto (we have pretty decent Italian in London but their set lunch seems great value...worth it?)
Dinner - Peter Luger OR Keens OR another steak house? (Once again I think I know the differences between Peter Luger and Keens, but what's the best for all-round experience? Is there a better steakhouse right now than these two that I should be looking at?)

Saturday:
Lunch - Smorgasburg
Dinner - Ramen place of some sort: Momofuku Noodle Bar OR Ippudo OR somewhere else?

Sunday:
Lunch / Brunch - Fette Sau OR RUB BBQ OR another BBQ place (went to Fette Sau last time and thought it was alright, but I think my friend ordered badly as a lot of people still seem to reckon it's the best you're going to do for BBQ in a city which isn't regarded for it's low and slow cooking. Thoughts? Josh Ozersky seems to like RUB, I've watched a few of his videos on the place and it looks decent. I know some will say the best option is to skip BBQ altogether but I'm pretty sure anything we get in NYC will be better than London's offerings)
Dinner - Mark Burger (I really like sliders...got a good review in A Hamburger Today. Any other good sliders in the city, apart from at Shopsin's?)

Monday:
Lunch - Motorino OR Paulie Gee's
Dinner - Torrisi Italian Specialties

Tuesday:
Breakfast - I guess we can use this final breakfast to go to Clinton Street or Shopsin's, depending on what we do for breakfast on the Thursday. Unless there are other places that you guys really rate for breakfast, of course...
Lunch - Sushi of some sort would be good - anywhere downtown which is great quality and isn't obscenely expensive? Say $60pp for some good nigiri?

Other considerations: walking around Eataly and seeing what's good; Otafuku for takoyaki as a snack; Prosperity Dumpling; Burger Garage (Long Island City); Smashburger; Steak N Shake (if their NYC location is open by September); Baohaus; Halal cart on 53rd and 6th; JG Melon.

Thanks a lot in advance!

-----
RUB BBQ
208 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

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

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

Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

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

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

Momofuku Ko
163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

Prosperity Dumpling
46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

Otafuku
236 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

Ippudo
65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

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

Eataly
200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

  1. k
    kathryn Aug 3, 2011 02:09 PM

    > Tuesday 13th September 2011:
    > Lunch - Slice of pizza somewhere (enjoyed Joe's, NY Pizza Suprema and Patsy's East Harlem last time
    Best Pizza or South Brooklyn Pizza (which has a branch in the East Village). Maybe the square at Artichoke. But Artichoke is inconsistent.

    Wednesday:
    > Dinner - Momofuku Ko OR Kyo Ya for kaiseki

    Kyo Ya has better service and is much more comfortable; part of it is because the servers are actually servers. Ko's servers are cooks first and foremost. You might also be interested in Degustation, the 10 course tasting is $80.

    Thursday:
    > Breakfast - Clinton Street Bakery OR Shopsin's
    No shame in hitting up both during your trip. I would strongly recommend a weekday brunch at the Breslin, too. Locanda Verde also does a good weekday breakfast. For weekend brunch, I'd also consider Minetta Tavern.

    > Lunch - Red Hook Lobster Pound OR Luke's Lobster OR another good lobster roll place (I'm guessing it won't be as good as the stuff I had in Maine, but I really want a lobster roll)
    Consider also Pearl Oyster Bar.

    Friday:
    > Lunch - Del Posto (we have pretty decent Italian in London but their set lunch seems great value...worth it?)
    In my experience, yes, just make reservations and dress appropriately.

    Saturday:
    > Dinner - Ramen place of some sort: Momofuku Noodle Bar OR Ippudo OR somewhere else?

    Momofuku Noodle Bar's ramen actually isn't that amazing; do Ippudo instead. Lunch has a shorter wait than dinner -- and weekdays are less insane than weekend. Saturday dinner is probably the worst time to go. Also note that you can drop by earlier in the day, put your name down, and not have to wait a zillion hours for dinner.

    > Tuesday:
    > Lunch - Sushi of some sort would be good - anywhere downtown which is great quality and isn't obscenely expensive? Say $60pp for some good nigiri?

    $60pp isn't much but you could do OK at Kanoyama; however, it's only open for dinner. If you're set on sushi for lunch, check out the prix fixe at 15 East. It changes on a frequently basis but here's one meal:
    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/0...

    You could also probably add on some nigiri if you wanted.

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

    15 East
    15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

    Shopsin's General Store
    120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

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

    Minetta Tavern
    113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

    Degustation
    239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003

    Kanoyama
    175 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

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

    Momofuku Ko
    163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Ippudo
    65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Artichoke
    328 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

    Locanda Verde
    377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

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

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

    South Brooklyn Pizza
    122 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn
      i
      Ibrahim.Salha Aug 4, 2011 01:39 AM

      Thanks a lot for the reply :)

      Degustation sounds really great, hadn't heard of it before. I think, if I'm completely honest, it's behind Kyo Ya and Momofuku Ko (in that order) right now as I've eaten at similar places in Spain and also in London. I'll bear it in mind though.

      Will consider swapping Ippudo for dinner another day or lunch some other time. I hear they do pork buns as well - any good?
      I haven't been to Momofuku Noodle Bar before but I totally buy in to the whole David Chang thing, plus I've been reading Lucky Peach recently...but I'll try out Ippudo :)

      It doesn't have to be sushi for the last lunch, actually, just thought I'd use that time to get something in which New York does better than London. The lunch deal at 15 East looks very good though, will note it down :)

      -----
      15 East
      15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

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

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

      Momofuku Ko
      163 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

      Ippudo
      65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

      1. re: Ibrahim.Salha
        MVNYC Aug 4, 2011 09:42 AM

        You can do a sushi lunch set at many places like Yasuda and it will be much cheaper. Granted you won't be served piece by piece but you can get out for under $60 even with ordering extra pieces after the set.

        1. re: MVNYC
          i
          Ibrahim.Salha Aug 6, 2011 02:07 PM

          Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense! Thank you :)

    2. sgordon Aug 4, 2011 08:09 AM

      Ko and Kyo Ya are very different, obviously, but both great meals. If you don't get into Ko and want to do something similarly adventurous, the tasting menu at WD-50 is always an option. Dave Chang and Peter Serpico (who really runs the kitchen at Ko) are very influenced by Dufresne, so it'd be in the same vein. Unpretentious, better service than Ko (which can be a bit gruff, depending which chef you're seated in front of) and more comfortable seats. Also since WD has a liquor license (Ko is strictly beer and wine), if you're a fan of creative cocktails theirs are among the best in the city.

      Del Posto - lunch is a steal. Great deal. A keeper, for sure.

      Momo vs. Ippudo: Depends. Lots of people decry Momo's ramen for not being "traditional" but personally, I could care less. As Chang once said, "authenticity is overrated" - he just wants to make good food. I'd say it would depend on what else you'd want to order alongside your ramen. If you'd want to go all-Japanese, Ippudo would be fine. Momo will give you a greater variety of local / seasonal small plates to have with your noodles, and of course their pork buns are legendary.

      Steakhouses: if you're going to do one, you've narrowed it down to the two to do already. They've got the best steak, IMHO, and both are classic old-school NYC. Can't go wrong at either.

      I am not a fan of Fette Sau for BBQ. It seems to me everything they make has the same rub, is smoked the same... and just tastes the same, regardless which meat you order. I prefer RUB (for pork) and Hill Country (for beef), and Fatty Cue for something a little outside the box - interesting mix of 'cue and Southeast Asian flavors.

      Prosperity Dumpling I liek okay. I prefer Vanessa's Dumpling House (the one on Eldridge) personally, but really it's six of one / half dozen of the other. The differences between dumplings are fairly minimal. I find them a little fresher tasting at VDH - probably on account of they're always so busy, they never sit around.

      Lobster rolls: please note that just because we're a few hours South of Maine, that doesn't make lobster rolls here inherently inferior. A lobster roll is a personal thing, ti's really just if you find the particular lobster salad in a given one to your liking. Myself, I grew up on "Connecticut Style" rolls - and in CT, we look down on Maine-style and consider them overdressed. CT rolls are just lobster, butter, maybe a bit of lemon juice, and served warm. Nothing more needed if you've got good lobster. Maine is the whole lobster salad thing. RHLP and Luke's are the only ones who offer CT-style rolls, and they're both decent in my book. Luke's is, obviously, easier to get to. Going out to Red Hook, unless your'e going to do a food tour and hit the ball fields, not much else to do once you're out there.

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

      Vanessa's Dumpling House
      118 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

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

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

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

      Prosperity Dumpling
      46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

      Ippudo
      65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

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

      7 Replies
      1. re: sgordon
        k
        kathryn Aug 4, 2011 08:27 AM

        Red Hook Lobster Pound has a truck now, too.
        http://redhooklobsterpound.com/

        -----
        Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck
        New York, New York, NY 10001

        1. re: kathryn
          Silverjay Aug 4, 2011 09:47 AM

          Red Hook Lobster Pound has a table at Smorgasburg selling both Maine and Connecticut lobster rolls. $18 each. They also sell shrimp rolls.

          Momofuku's ramen suffers from two problems more pertinent than authenticity- the soup is not good and the pork is near tasteless. Japanese style ramen has a pretty broad definition as far as authenticity goes, but the one thing that is worth sticking to is the penchant for specialization and Ippudo specializes in ramen. Momofuku merely offers it.

          -----
          Ippudo
          65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

          1. re: Silverjay
            i
            Ibrahim.Salha Aug 6, 2011 02:20 PM

            Thanks Silverjay! Might try and catch Red Hook Lobster Pound at Smorgasburg, which would free up a lunch - or I could use it to go to Luke's and compare the two. How exciting.

            What's the problem with the Momofuku ramen broth?

        2. re: sgordon
          u
          uwsister Aug 4, 2011 07:41 PM

          I also grew up with CT lobster rolls and prefer them to Maine style (though I have to say I've had some really excellent ones in Maine) but I didn't think Luke's Lobster hit it out of the park. Is RHLP better?

          I love your Thursday - IMO you can't go wrong w/ either Clinton St. Baking Co. or Shopsin's. They still are two of my favorite breakfast spots.

          I like Fette Sau a lot - I'm a fan. But if you didn't like it last time, why not try RUB? I haven't been, but a lot of people seem to like it, especially their burnt ends.

          Mark sliders are pretty good. Not sure if I'd want to use a meal there if I were from out-of-town, but I can't really think of another slider-specialist either. Well, there are White Castles. Ha!

          Don't bother with Prosperity Dumpling - they're cheap, decent eats, but it's not worth a spot on your itinerary.

          1. re: uwsister
            i
            Ibrahim.Salha Aug 6, 2011 02:29 PM

            Thank you very much for the feedback uwsister, it's really helpful :)

            From the sound of it, I think I'll prefer the CT style lobster roll...

            Good point about RUB. I think Fette Sau will be out and RUB will go in its place. I mean, the only reason I wanted to try Fette Sau again is because I've seen a few people suggest it's (*easily*) the best BBQ in NYC...i thought I just didn't get it. Will give RUB a go though :)

            Haha, I had some White Castle sliders a couple of years back for the first time...never again.

            I think you're right about Prosperity Dumpling. I just love the cheapness. I can't get enough.

            -----
            Prosperity Dumpling
            46 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

            White Castle
            525 8th Ave, New York, NY 10018

          2. re: sgordon
            i
            Ibrahim.Salha Aug 6, 2011 02:18 PM

            Cheers for the excellent reply sgordon :) That's really helpful.

            WD-50 is definitely in the running for one of our meals - especially after reading reviews on here and also from just hearing so much about Dufresne. The place seems to polarize people though, and it seems that it's the sort of place that people love or hate. It also seems that a lot of chefs absolutely can't get enough of the place, but some diners feel like they're being subject to a science experiment. Also, I read Kathryn's recent review and I get the feeling that going a la carte may be a shrewd move?

            I visited Vanessa's and Propserity last time I was in the city, actually...I think I preferred Vanessa's too, especially for the sesame pancake, haha. Not sure why I put down Prosperity instead!

            I agree with Chang that authenticity is overrated...plus I can't get enough of those Momofuku pork buns. I think Ippudo is still in the lead, though - a lot of people seem to love it, even Yelpers (*gulp*)

            Apologies for the lobster roll assumption! Will have to try CT style for sure!

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

            Ippudo
            65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

            1. re: Ibrahim.Salha
              sgordon Aug 6, 2011 07:59 PM

              ALL the best restaurants are polarizing. ;)

              ...at least on chowhound! Shoot, mention EMP or Per Se or Daniel and you'll get detractors. I specifically thought of WD for you, though, as he's a big influence on the Ko gang.

          3. g
            gort Aug 4, 2011 08:33 AM

            Paulie Gee's doesn't serve lunch, unfortunately. It's definitely worth a visit, though, if it's not taking you too far out of your way. Could you flip-flop Tuesday's itinerary and do Shake Shack for lunch and PG's for dinner?

            1 Reply
            1. re: gort
              i
              Ibrahim.Salha Aug 6, 2011 02:25 PM

              Ah, thanks for the heads up!! Would never have guessed that...or even thought to check. That's brilliant to know. The itinerary is definitely still workable. I've been following Paulie Gee for a couple of years - ever since noticing his comments on Slice, so I think I'll have to pay him a visit. Looks like a great operation.

            2. w
              wew Aug 7, 2011 02:48 PM

              Several of your walks will bring you near Chikalicious for a vanilla sundae with chocolate sauce - as American as Vindaloo.
              Might want to Grab a bao at Baohaus to have something in your hand.

              -----
              ChikaLicious
              203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

              BaoHaus
              137 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

              BaoHaus
              238 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

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