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Help-Headed to NYC next Monday (one foodie and one non-foodie)

We are from Vancouver and coming to NYC for a week. We are staying in Mid-town west but are planning on visiting all the manhattan neighbourhoods.

I have been lurking on your boards for the last few weeks and have come away with a lot of ideas. My problem is that I am a foodie and my boyfriend is not. He basically eats pizza, burgers, sandwiches and pasta. He is not into fine dining or ethnic food and doesn't really like seafood (or spending a lot of money on food). He took one look at the menu at EMP and said "I can't eat anything here". Thankfully, he understands my interest and knows that half the fun for me is going to restaurants, so he agreed to do a lunch there. I am trying to come up with things we would both like or at least find lunch places where he can eat pizza and I can go next door or down the block and get something else.

Please review my picks and let me know if I am on track

-Keste (we both love Neapolitan style pizza)
-Eataly
-Otto
-EMP
-Modern Bar or Scarpetta?
-Shake Shack
-Peter Lugers-burgers
-Luke's Lobster
-Artichoke pizza
-Momofuku Ssam-is it worth dragging him to?
-Minertta tavern-heard it has a good transition to a lounge for after dinner fun (plus it has a burger)
-Terrior wine bar
-Blue smoke
-veggie places-Angelica kitchen, Souen, blossom, or dirty candy?

The other things I am looking for are good sandwich places (is Katz's worth it?), bagel shops, chinatown eats, and other asian noodle soups (love tom yum, pho and wonton soup)

Another thing I noticed from these board is that everything seems expensive and/or fine dining or cheap eats. What are the good moderate priced restaurants where you can sit down and enjoy yourself but not break the bank? If you go to a moderate-more expensive restaurant (in my mind $30+ per entree) is it a faux pas to just order a main dish? I know in Vancouver it is cool but not sure about New york.

Last thing, any great wine bars that do wine flights or wine by the glass? Would love to be able to get really great wines by the glass, even if pricey.

Also, if you have one dish or restaurant to convert a non-foodie what would it be? I did take him one place in Vancouver for a tasting menu where he eat everything in front of him.

On average, I eat fairly healthy so I have been dreaming about my NYC food extravaganza for weeks now. Didn't realize I had so many questions or I would have asked sooner. This board is, in my opinion, the go-to for food so thanks in advance for your help!

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Souen
28 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

Scarpetta
355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

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  1. > -Keste (we both love Neapolitan style pizza)
    > -Eataly
    > -Otto

    If you're going to Keste, then skip Otto. Unless you're just going for pasta and not pizza (which isn't that great).

    For Italian, look into also the happy hour at Maialino, dell'anima (they do a great and simple spicy roast chicken), Po, Lupa (especially for lunch, when it isn't that insane).

    Note that for Eataly, you're kind of eating inside of a mall/grocery store, and I'm not sure which restaurant you were thinking of. The pizza/pasta one?

    > -EMP
    > He took one look at the menu at EMP and said "I can't eat anything here".

    Which menu did you look at? It basically changes every week and they can probably work around his dislike of seafood. It sounds like it might actually work for him since he can choose the "ingredients" he wants and then give the kitchen a list of foods he does not like.

    > -Modern Bar or Scarpetta?

    In terms of Bar Room at the Modern or Scarpetta, both are good. Note that Bar Room at the Moden is open for lunch and dinner (and in between); Scarpetta is only open for dinner. It's kind of an apples to oranges comparison as the restaurants are so different.

    However, if your boyfriend doesn't like spending a lot of money on food, the small portions at the Bar Room at the Modern might scare him off. Scarpetta is a safer bet since you can get the bread basket, 2 appetizers, 2 pastas, skip the entree, and share dessert.

    Book now since it's a pretty popular restaurant and you're coming very soon.

    > -Luke's Lobster

    The portions at Luke's aren't huge either -- and there's nothing for him to eat if he doesn't like seafood.

    > -Artichoke pizza

    Get the SQUARE slice; skip the artichoke and regular slices. Too goopy. I had a square just yesterday and it was excellent. Buttery crust, good amount of sauce, and the cheese had baked up against the edge of the pan and turned crispy! $4, though.

    > -Momofuku Ssam-is it worth dragging him to?

    If he doesn't like ethnic food, fine dining, and seafood, then Momofuku Ssam Bar will probably be too weird for him. UNLESS you go on a weekday for lunch, and he likes roast duck on rice.

    > -Minertta tavern-heard it has a good transition to a lounge for after dinner fun (plus it has a burger)

    It's a fun place but also loud and popular and very crowded. They serve dinner until late and I'd feel odd taking up a table (if you can even get one!) for just drinks. It's not really a lounge in that way. You're thinking of having dinner at the bar? Or drinks?

    > -Blue smoke

    Great choice. For a picky eater I'd do places that do BBQ like Blue Smoke or Hill Country. Also Southern and comfort food is a good choice for picky eaters. Look into Blue Ribbon Bakery, Redhead, Pies 'n' Thighs (in Brooklyn), Little Owl, Five Points, Hundred Acres, Market Table, Clinton St Baking Co, Peels, Freemans. The Dutch is supposed to have great fried chicken during brunch/lunch, too.

    > -veggie places-Angelica kitchen, Souen, blossom, or dirty candy?

    Are you vegetarian? Is there a particular reason why you have these on your list?

    > The other things I am looking for are good sandwich places (is Katz's worth it?), bagel shops, chinatown eats, and other asian noodle soups (love tom yum, pho and wonton soup)

    Katz's is worth it; if you are worried about cost, split a sandwich.

    For bagels, I think it's less the bagel that's special in NYC these days, but the smoked salmon still is. Go to Russ & Daughters. Get a mini bagel sandwich with smoked salmon. Share it.

    See also:
    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2009/1...

    Best of Chinatown: if you're from Vancouver, the only place I'd hit up is Xi'an Famous Foods.

    Your Chinese food is likely leagues better than ours.

    NYC isn't great for pho.

    For wonton noodle soup I like Noodle Village. Great NY Noodletown can be good too -- roast meats on rice plus wonton soup. Cheap, too. But again, it probably won't seem as good/fresh as in Vancouver.

    > What are the good moderate priced restaurants where you can sit down and enjoy yourself but not break the bank?

    There are tons -- you just need to be more specific about your price range. How much do you wish to spend before tax and tip (aka just food)? $40-50pp? There are good places in that range.

    Some ideas:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/741958
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/801583

    > If you go to a moderate-more expensive restaurant (in my mind $30+ per entree) is it a faux pas to just order a main dish? I know in Vancouver it is cool but not sure about New york.

    I've never had an issue doing this.

    > Last thing, any great wine bars that do wine flights or wine by the glass? Would love to be able to get really great wines by the glass, even if pricey.

    I'm fond of the Monday Room. Great atmosphere, unusual selections, very good small plates, but expensive.

    > Also, if you have one dish or restaurant to convert a non-foodie what would it be? I did take him one place in Vancouver for a tasting menu where he eat everything in front of him.

    Favorite food/cuisine?

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    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    Russ & Daughters
    179 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

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

    Po
    31 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

    Eleven Madison Park
    11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

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

    Great New York Noodletown
    28 Bowery, New York, NY 10013

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

    Minetta Tavern
    113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

    Freemans
    Freeman Alley, New York, NY 10002

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

    Little Owl
    90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

    Noodle Village
    13 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

    Five Points
    31 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

    Otto
    1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

    Market Table
    54 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014

    Blue Ribbon Bakery
    33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

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

    Souen
    28 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

    Dell'Anima
    38 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10003

    The Monday Room
    210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

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

    Scarpetta
    355 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10014

    Hundred Acres
    38 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012

    The Redhead
    349 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

    Keste Pizza & Vino
    271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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

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

    Maialino
    2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

    Xi'an Famous Foods
    88 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

    Peels
    325 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

    Eataly
    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    The Dutch
    131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks for the suggestions and comments. I think we will probably end up at a lot of Italian places as there are so many seafood and other ethnic restaurants in Vancouver. As for the vegetarian choices, I don't eat a lot ton of meat on a regular basis, so I am not sure how my body will take the onslaught of grease and meat. We shall see.

      If you have any other suggestion is the moderate price range that would serve Italian, American, or French please let me know. Thanks again!

      1. re: van2380

        One place that's pleased and charmed several very conservative eaters at a good price is Tartine, which is nice if you don't mind cramped quarters. And it's BYOB. For affordable Italian in the East Village, no one doesn't like Supper or Frank...

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        Tartine
        253 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

    2. Kathryn touched well on the other points, but for wine bars, you can't beat Terroir. Huge selection of wines by the glass and very, very generous pours for the money.

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      Terroir
      413 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

      6 Replies
      1. re: loratliff

        +1 for Terroir - it's a great wine bar with a very knowledgable staff.

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        Terroir
        413 E 12th St, New York, NY 10009

        1. re: ANin

          Definitely go to Russ and Daughters. Being a native Vancouverite, almost any bagel in NYC beats Siegels and Bennys in Vancouver. Katz's is a must or you could also opt for the Second Avenue Deli. Again, nothing like it in Vancouver. I would avoid asian food and try other ethnic cuisines during your time in NYC. I am a big fan of Keste...it is very reasonable, but they don't take reservations, so be prepared to wait in line unless you are there early. I was recently in the city with my son who is not the most adventurous eater...I have to say we were underwhelmed by Ma Peche from the Momofuko group, but he loved the crack pie at the milkbar. It is very convenient to Midtown West where you are staying. I also hit up the Modern Bar Room- I loved everything about it, but the portions are indeed small.

          Have an amazing time!

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

          1. re: sherry f

            To add onto that: Keste's wait is much more manageable for lunch.

            1. re: kathryn

              Thank you everyone for the comments. We have waited up to two hours+ in Vancouver for Nicli Antica the best pizza in town, so we will definitely brave the crowds to try the pizza at Keste. Everyone thinks it is hilarious that we haven't decided on any attractions that we want to see in NYC but that I have been researching restaurants for weeks!

              1. re: van2380

                1. Walk through Washington Square Park.
                2. Pop out on 6th Avenue and walk to Keste and have lunch there.
                3. While waiting poke around Bleecker St between 6th and 7th Avenue so you can say you walked around the West Village.
                4. Afterwards, walk up to the Highline, go up for a little, then head over to Chelsea Market before it closes.

            2. re: sherry f

              Re: portions in the Bar Room at the Modern. It depends on which dishes you order. Some are small, the duck being a good example. Others, like the Tarte Flambée, are quite sizable. At our lunch there on July 4th, every dish we had was generous.

              Bar Room at The Modern photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

              and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

              http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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