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For his valedictory Sam Sifton answers What is Best in New York?

Winterpool Oct 1, 2011 07:26 AM

If it needed confirmation, tomorrow's -New York Times- magazine spoils Sifton's final restaurant review:

http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/09/...

I realise we answer these questions every day on Chowhound, but I thought it might be fun (and helpful?) for punters to answer these questions themselves. Let's try to limit ourselves to the establishment name and a one sentence/phrase argument.

My nominations:

1. In Which to Eat Alone? ... Balthazar. Brasserie / bistro fare is my comfort food, and a man alone in the big city sometimes requires comforting.

2. To Have a Drink at the Bar? ... Maialino has a good selection of wines by the glass, the half-glass, and the quartino (flexibility is key), as well as interesting happy-hour snacks.

3. To Take My Parents for Their 50th Wedding Anniversary? ... Eleven Madison Park. Not quite 50th, but I plan to take my parents for their anniversary this autumn.

4. For Blowing the Mind of an Out-of-Town Guest? ... If they are from culinary suburbia, perhaps Momofuku Ssam Bar. If from socioeconomic suburbia, Red Rooster in Harlem.

5. Place Where I Can Be Discreet? ... A restaurant with private rooms!

6. For Vegetarians? ... There are people who eat only vegetables?

7. That's Not Actually in New York City? ... Not sure I understand this question or Sifton's answer, but I think l'Ambroisie the most beautiful restaurant in Paris. I'd quite like to visit Michel Bras.

8. Best Restaurant in New York? Period? ... Per Se for the technical accomplishment of their cuisine... but in my heart: Eleven Madison Park.

-----
Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

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

Balthazar
80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Maialino
2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Red Rooster
310 Lenox Ave, New York, NY 10027

  1. Delucacheesemonger Oct 12, 2011 08:54 AM

    1. Balthazar
    2. Apotheke
    3. Pietro's, this is where they had their 50th.
    4. Masa
    5. l have never been discreet, sometimes to my regret.
    6. Hangawi
    7 Le Cinq, in Paris
    8. Atelier de Robuchon

    -----
    Pietro's
    232 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

    Balthazar
    80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

    HanGawi
    12 E 32nd St, New York, NY 10016

    L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
    57 E 57th St, New York, NY 10022

    Apotheke
    9 Doyers St, New York, NY 10013

    Masa
    10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

    1. sgordon Oct 12, 2011 08:07 AM

      1. In Which to Eat Alone? Ah Ping Snack Bar or Sushi Yasuda

      2. To Have a Drink at the Bar? WD-50 or Vandaag

      3. To Take My Parents for Their 50th Wedding Anniversary? Mom: EMP or Del Posto, Dad: Peter Luger's

      4. For Blowing the Mind of an Out-of-Town Guest? Tehuitzingo

      5. Place Where I Can Be Discreet? Tehuitzingo

      6. For Vegetarians? Dirt Candy or Kajitsu

      7. That's Not Actually in New York City? If that means "but somewhat nearby" - I dunno, Vetri in Philly. Louis' Lunch in New Haven. And BH@SB, of course.

      8. Best Restaurant in New York? Period? 無

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

      Tehuitzingo
      695 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

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

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

      Ah Ping Snack Bar
      2 E Broadway, New York, NY 10038

      Dirt Candy
      430 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

      Kajitsu
      414 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

      Vandaag
      103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

      1. Winterpool Oct 11, 2011 01:55 PM

        What a surprise: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/811857

        1. Winterpool Oct 1, 2011 09:08 AM

          For question 7 ('Not Actually in New York City'), Sifton chose McCrady's, in Charleston, SC. This answer does not compute with the Europhile snob in me, which is why I don't quite understand what SIfton meant by this question/answer.

          http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/10/02/magazine/29mag-food-issue.html#/sifton

          http://www.mccradysrestaurant.com/

          1 Reply
          1. re: Winterpool
            n
            nmprisons Oct 1, 2011 09:52 AM

            Having eaten there. It is very good, but is not close to a place like Alinea.

          2. f
            fooder Oct 1, 2011 09:01 AM

            1. In Which to Eat Alone? ... 15 East. Just a man and his omakase sushi chef is the best personal solo dining experience.

            2. To Have a Drink at the Bar? ... Keens. A pure bar experience.

            3. To Take My Parents for Their 50th Wedding Anniversary? ... L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Wow, they'd be pretty old. Stronger flavors take priority over subtle combinations of flavors.

            4. For Blowing the Mind of an Out-of-Town Guest? ... Masa. No matter where they come from, the price will blow their mind.

            5. Place Where I Can Be Discreet? ... Not gonna say. Or else the girl I take there will know she's the mistress!

            6. For Vegetarians? ... Kajitsu. Going there next week. Extremely inventive.

            7. That's Not Actually in New York City? ... My guess is the question was going for NJ or LI or nearby upstate. In that case, Blue Hill Stone Barns, although my guess is Luger in LI would be good for the meat eaters.

            8. Best Restaurant in New York? Period? ... Per Se for the established restaurant class. Eleven Madison Park for the still improving constantly class. Lincoln when you consider the sheer volume of customers http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809840

            -----
            Per Se
            10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

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

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

            L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
            57 E 57th St, New York, NY 10022

            Kajitsu
            414 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

            Masa
            10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

            Lincoln
            142 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023

            2 Replies
            1. re: fooder
              princeofpork Oct 1, 2011 02:17 PM

              Your answer to #5 may be the best sentence written on CH in years.

              1. re: princeofpork
                coasts Oct 1, 2011 05:02 PM

                does that include that request for recs near MSG for a group of kids on LSD? that ranks high in my memory, no pun intended.

            2. k
              kathryn Oct 1, 2011 08:25 AM

              1. In Which to Eat Alone?

              Fedora/Joseph Leonard/Jeffrey's, if only because their bartenders and servers are insanely nice and friendly.

              Honorable mention to Otto, where the bartenders (Dennis!) there are also fantastic.

              2. To Have a Drink at the Bar?

              To me drink = cocktails and right now I'd do Fatty Cue because I love their cocktail list.

              Peels & Vandaag are also excellent, as is EMP.

              3. To Take My Parents for Their 50th Wedding Anniversary?

              I can't answer this fairly because my parents only eat Chinese food! :(

              4. For Blowing the Mind of an Out-of-Town Guest?

              Takashi, WD-50 (unless they're from Chicago), Xi'an Famous Foods, Sripraphai (but only if they have crappy thai where they live), PDT/Crif Dogs, Babbo, or, really, anywhere in the Golden Mall.

              5. Place Where I Can Be Discreet?

              Kyo Ya's private room.

              6. For Vegetarians?

              Craft or Hearth.

              7. That's Not Actually in New York City?

              Alinea in Chicago or Asador Extebarri in Spain.

              8. Best Restaurant in New York? Period?

              (Not sure I can answer this because I've done JG, Le B, and EMP, but not Daniel and Per Se)

              -----
              Per Se
              10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

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

              Babbo
              110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

              Hearth
              403 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10009

              Otto
              1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

              Craft
              43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

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

              Please Don't Tell
              113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

              Crif Dogs
              113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

              Fedora
              239 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

              Xi'an Famous Foods
              81 St. Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

              Joseph Leonard
              170 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

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

              Takashi
              456 Hudson St, New York, NY 10011

              Vandaag
              103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

              Peels
              325 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

              Jeffrey's Grocery
              172 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10014

              Fatty 'Cue
              50 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

              1 Reply
              1. re: kathryn
                coasts Oct 1, 2011 05:00 PM

                of everything you've ever said on this board, i found this comment to be the most insightful:

                3. To Take My Parents for Their 50th Wedding Anniversary?

                I can't answer this fairly because my parents only eat Chinese food! :(

              2. n
                nmprisons Oct 1, 2011 08:09 AM

                A lovely game:

                1. In Which to Eat Alone: I almost always choose the Bar at Craft.

                2. To Have a Drink at the Bar: Eleven Madison Park. Both the beer and cocktail lists are tops.

                3. Parents' Anniversary: My parents are divorced and I just can't picture this one. But, I'd take my mom to Le Bernardin for her birthday and my dad to Keens.

                4. Blowing the Mind of an Out-of-Town Guest: Depends on where they are from. I usually stick to bagels (Absolute), thai food (Ayada), Ssam Bar, or Katzs

                5. For Discretion: I've never felt the need.

                6. For Vegetarians: Kajitsu

                7: Not Actually in NYC: I assume this means not in NYC, but close to it. I love spending the day at the farm on Stone Barns and then eating at BHSB. (sorry, RGR)

                8: Best Restaurant in NYC Period: Per Se (but before the period, i would note that EMP is hot on its heals in many, many respects).

                -----
                Per Se
                10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

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

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

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

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

                Le Bernardin
                155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                Craft
                43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

                Absolute Bagels
                2788 Broadway, New York, NY 10025

                Kajitsu
                414 East 9th Street, New York, NY 10009

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