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A foodie walks into a bar... (Looking for great a la carte / small plate spots)

askdrtodd Nov 20, 2011 01:29 PM

So my wife and I love nothing more than the amazing food in your amazing city. We come out there at least twice a year for 3 or 4 days and usually do nothing except walk/exercise/explore/eat/drink. Last visit we hit around 35 restaurants between Saturday AM and Monday PM (the usual trip duration).

The new caveat- we ate at Alinea a few months ago (not NYC, I know) and it forever cured us of wanting to do tasting menus. No longer worth the emotional/monetary/time investment in our eyes. We realized our favorite thing to do is sit a the bar, have a drink, a couple small plates, and get back out and continue exploring. I've been doing some research and found a lot of great places you've all recommended, just would love your input on any I've missed, or at least any with good a la carte menus (like WD-50, we went there last time and instead of the tasting menu just got 6 small plates and got stuffed for less than the price of one tasting menu!)

So where south of 90th (we're staying right by Columbus Circle) are your faves right now? I absolutely love the Kaiseki at Kyo Ya, it was one of the best meals I've ever had, and am looking at Corton and Jung Sik, but am not sure either does a la carte.

My current interest list:
Hagi
Bourgeois Pig
Kyotofu
Gastroarte
Megu
Jung Sik
Corton
Minetta Tavern
Bistro Moderne (Thanksgiving at the bar, at an odd hour like 3pm)
Stantion Social

Thank you x 1,000,000 for your input!!!

  1. k
    kathryn Nov 20, 2011 02:51 PM

    When is your trip? Given that you mention Thanksgiving it sounds like you want to dine out on Thanksgiving Day, when some of your choices may have different hours, prix fixe menus, or be closed entirely?

    I'm not sure that Stanton Social and Bourgeois Pig are up to the same level of cooking as some others you list, and that geographically/timing-wise your list is going to work... Are you going to do this all in one day? Two days? How many spots do you want to narrow it down to?

    -----
    Stanton Social
    99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

    Bourgeois Pig
    111 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

    1. Cheeryvisage Nov 20, 2011 03:08 PM

      Corton does not do a la carte. It only offers two tasting menus.

      Jungsik has a shorter 3-course prix fixe, in addition to the 5-course tasting menu.

      Neither is a la carte, unfortunately. But Jungsik should be a shorter meal at least if you choose the 3-course prix fixe. I actually prefer Jungsik's cuisine over Corton's.

      -----
      Corton
      239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

      Jung Sik
      2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

      1. askdrtodd Nov 20, 2011 03:58 PM

        We have Wednesday AM to Saturday PM this time. Bistro Moderne has a bar menu day of, with many of it's thanksgiving dishes on it, I'd planned to go at an odd/less busy hour and try to nab a seat at the bar.

        I guess I can scratch Corton off, maybe still do Jungsik. We had an excellent and really fun brunch at Stantion last time we were in the city, but I've not dined there other than brunch. Is it not as good/fun?

        -----
        Corton
        239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

        1 Reply
        1. re: askdrtodd
          Cheeryvisage Nov 20, 2011 04:18 PM

          I encourage you to do Jungsik nevertheless. It's quite special, unique, and worthy of a full dinner in my opinion. I raved all about my experience here: http://www.chow.com/topics/815513

          I see you also have Kyotofu on your list. While it serves food, I think people generally prefer the desserts since that's what they're known for, so let Kyotofu be your dessert stop. The nice thing is that the menu has 3-item and 5-item tastings in which you can sample a bunch of mini desserts on one plate. It should be fun.

          -----
          Kyotofu
          705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

        2. k
          kathryn Nov 20, 2011 07:12 PM

          Based upon your previous trip report here:
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7521...

          I would say you need to hit up:
          Laduree for macarons -- better than Bouchon
          Bar Boulud -- charcuterie
          Kuma Inn -- Thai-Filipino tapas
          Bar Room at the Modern -- one of the best bets in town for small plates
          Employees Only -- bone marrow poppers, get two orders!
          The Dutch -- lots of bar snacks on the menu
          Locanda Verde -- get a drink and some sheep's milk ricotta at the bar
          Tertulia -- chef is ex-Boqueria, I think it's better than Boqueria
          Txikito -- Basque small plates/tapas/pintxos
          Sorella -- Piedmontese small plates
          ABC Kitchen -- Jean George's farm to table place, great appetizers like crab toast with lemon aioli
          Prune -- excellent bar snacks if you can get in
          Blue Smoke -- great chips with dip, deviled eggs, etc
          Pegu Club or Death & Co -- great cocktails and bar snacks
          Spotted Pig -- deviled eggs, chicken liver toast, devils on horseback
          Fatty Cue -- get some seats at the bar, have a drink, get the deep fried bacon

          -----
          Jean Georges
          1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

          Spotted Pig
          314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

          Kuma Inn
          113 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

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

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

          Boqueria
          53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

          Employees Only
          510 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

          Prune
          54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

          Pegu Club
          77 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

          Bar Boulud
          1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

          Death & Co.
          433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

          Txikito
          240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

          Sorella
          95 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

          Locanda Verde
          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          ABC Kitchen
          35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

          The Dutch
          131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

          Tertulia
          359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

          Laduree
          864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

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

          1. k
            kathryn Nov 20, 2011 07:13 PM

            BTW, Momofuku Ssam has a bar room now where you can get some items from the Ssam menu (buns, hams, pickles, oysters, etc) while you drink, so you don't have to commit to a whole meal to eat only, say, the pork buns.

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

            9 Replies
            1. re: kathryn
              askdrtodd Nov 20, 2011 07:54 PM

              BTW, you are FREAKING AWESOME AND I LOVE YOU!!!!

              Thanks for the recos, I really appreciate it!!!

              All Hail Kathryn, trip report to follow.

              1. re: askdrtodd
                o
                orthorunner Nov 20, 2011 08:24 PM

                Not sure if you need any additional options, but here are a few more to consider:
                Have not been to Jung Sik, but another Korean place to consider is Danji; they do have small plates a la carte. Fantastic options-out of 10 we ordered, only one did not hit the mark for me. Especially recommend the whelk salad, sablefish, and steak tartare.
                Kin Shop-modern twist on Thai
                Torrisi Italian Specialties
                Saxon & Parole-new spot with small plates; the razor clams are one of their go-to dishes
                You have a lot of great options, and I don't think you will go wrong with any of them! I am impressed by your itinerary your last big trip.

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

                Kin Shop
                469 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                Danji
                346 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

                Jung Sik
                2 Harrison St, New York, NY 10013

                Saxon + Parole
                316 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

                1. re: orthorunner
                  k
                  kathryn Nov 20, 2011 08:56 PM

                  Speaking of Saxon and Parole, you can dine at the bar at the chef's other restaurant, Public. Also look into their "hidden" wine bar, the Monday Room. I recommend the seared foie gras with spicy French toast and bacon.

                  Torrisi is not small plates so much as a prix fixe (with multiple appetizers) or tasting menu. You can't just drop in, have a few items, and leave. You can reserve for the longer tasting but not the prix fixe (during dinner at least). For the prix fixe, your only choice is for the meat course. So you don't really get to try lots of different things off of a long menu.

                  http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.co...

                  -----
                  Public
                  210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

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

                  1. re: kathryn
                    o
                    orthorunner Nov 21, 2011 07:51 PM

                    Ah, yes, since they have opened up Parm, that would be the OP's option for a la carte. Thanks for the clarification.

                    -----
                    Parm
                    248 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

                  2. re: orthorunner
                    askdrtodd Nov 20, 2011 08:59 PM

                    Added them all to my google map, appreciate it!! If you're going to be in the area next week and want to grab a bite with us, my email is just my username on here @ gmail, be great to break bread with ya.

                    Thanks again!

                    1. re: orthorunner
                      u
                      uwsister Nov 21, 2011 09:13 PM

                      I liked Danji - good place for ordering small plates and sharing. I also haven't been to

                      Think you can do better than Hagi - any particular reason?

                      I would skip Megu. Probably Stanton Social too. Unless you wanna throw in a scene-y place.

                      -----
                      Hagi
                      152 W 49th St, New York, NY 10019

                      Stanton Social
                      99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

                      Megu
                      62 Thomas Street, New York, NY 10013

                      Danji
                      346 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

                  3. re: kathryn
                    askdrtodd Nov 20, 2011 07:59 PM

                    O and should mention also did Spotted Pig last trip (which was less of a food-trip so no report followed), wasn't blown away. Had the eggs and the DoH, and pig ear, and a few others but overall wasn't what I'd hoped it would be. Especially not after the hour wait when we got there before they opened on a weekday.

                    -----
                    Spotted Pig
                    314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

                    1. re: askdrtodd
                      b
                      bronwen Nov 21, 2011 07:41 AM

                      Casa Mono would be what you're looking for

                      -----
                      Casa Mono
                      52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

                      1. re: bronwen
                        k
                        kathryn Nov 21, 2011 08:06 AM

                        Here is askdrtodd's previous trip report where they weren't thrilled by Casa Mono:
                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7521...

                        -----
                        Casa Mono
                        52 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

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