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NYC Christmas Vacation Dining Itinerary...

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My annual Christmas vacation dining itinerary is set. Very happy with my choices, some old favorites and some new ones too. Here’s the list:

Russ & Daughters
Katz Deli
Osteria Morini
Marea
DBGB
Szechuan Gourmet
Degustation
Pio Pio
Minetta Tavern
Perilla
Mas Farmhouse
Momofuku Ssam

Can’t wait to eat my way through the city over 7 days. If there’s any other MUST TRY places that you wouldn’t visit NYC without going, please feel free to share.

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  1. That's a pretty good list. There are places I wouldn't go out of my way for - Szechuan Gourmet, Perilla, Mas (Farmhouse), Osteria Morini, DBGB - but that aside, I expect you'll have some pretty good meals while you're here. Enjoy!

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    Perilla
    9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

    Szechuan Gourmet
    21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

    Mas (Farmhouse)
    39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014

    DBGB
    299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

    Szechuan Gourmet
    244 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

    Osteria Morini
    218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

    1. > Osteria Morini

      If you want something more casual but still excellent, try dell'anima (I am assuming you have already been to Locanda Verde, Babbo, Scarpetta, Maialino).

      > DBGB

      You might be interested in Bar Boulud or Boulud Sud as well.

      > Szechuan Gourmet

      I love Szechuan Gourmet, but keep Legend and Cafe China on your radar as well.

      > Degustation

      I hope that you know that the chef Wesley Genovart has left Degustation for Vermont.

      If you enjoy Spanish food you might also like Txikito or Tertulia.

      > Mas Farmhouse

      I like Mas a lot, for something a little more on the casual side, but also farm-to-table, ABC Kitchen.

      > Momofuku Ssam

      For other creative Asian(ish) food, try Fatty Cue, Wong, Kin Shop, or RedFarm.

      I don't see any pizza or Japanese on your list. Not a fan?

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      Babbo
      110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

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

      Szechuan Gourmet
      21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

      Mas (Farmhouse)
      39 Downing St, New York, NY 10014

      Bar Boulud
      1900 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

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

      Txikito
      240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

      Locanda Verde
      377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

      Maialino
      2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

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

      Legend
      88 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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

      Boulud Sud
      20 W 64th St, New York, NY 10023

      Tertulia
      359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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

      Wong
      7 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014

      RedFarm
      529 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

      Cafe China
      13 E 37th St, New York, NY 10016

      1. I love pizza and Japanese! The pizza stops will be more casual for me, so I'll probably just grab a slice or two as the week goes on. And while I love Japanese, I'd just rather spend my money on the other things this trip.

        For the Italian, I've yet to try Osteria Morini and love White's other restos, so I wanted to give it a shot. I've been to dell'anima, Babbo, and Scarpetta before, but not Locanda Verde or Maialino. Would you recommend any of those two over OM?

        My wife loves sausages, so I figured DBGB would make both of us happy as I can get pates as well there.

        I was not aware that Degustation had a new chef. Have you heard anything about the quality/experience suffering?

        Szechuan Gourmet and Ssam are old favorites, so there's no way I could come back to NYC and not go there.

        And Mas Farmhouse is where we're having NYE dinner. Been there before and loved it, and its also really convenient to the NYE party we're going to afterwards.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Corporate_40

          I'm not the hugest fan of Osteria Morini - I've found the meals I've had there to be fairly one-note, and a rather heavy note at that. I would definitely rank Locanda Verde or Maialino (or Caffe Falai or Ciano or Peasant, to throw in a few more Italian places around the same price point) higher. Also, Alex Stratta just recently opened Bigoli - but I haven't been yet, so I can't comment.

          As to DBGB - I'm torn. I found the burgers, sausages, etc (their ostensible reason for existence) a remarkable rip-off. Some of them were good, sure, but not as good as their prices warranted. In some (well, really all) cases, it was simply that the portions were ridiculously small for the price. I mean, for $19 I would expect a burger that does not - literally - fit in the palm of my hand. Were they any smaller, they'd have to call them sliders. And truth be told, as far as the flavor went - skippable. Not bad, but I've had better burgers. The sausages - none bad, some very good - but again, miniscule.

          Also the beer list, while well-curated, is VERY overpriced where it overlaps with nearby suds establishments. You can make a case for two similar plates of food having radically different prices, as who knows what went into them, and there may be differing qualities - but when two bars within two blocks of one another are opening the same pre-packaged product and handing it to you... a bit harder to justify. I did a comparison back when they first opened and there were a few bottles that were literally DOUBLE the price of bars in the same neighborhood.

          But that aside, I found the proper "restaurant" part of DBGB to be lovely, and very reasonably priced for what they were serving. Keep in mind that in the front bar room you can ONLY order the bar bites - sausages, burgers, etc - while for proper appetizers and entrees (as well as all the bar bites) you have to be in the main dining room. And unlike the overpriced beers, there were some decent tables wines at less-than-exorbitant prices.

          So it's weird. For me, what I can recommend about DBGB is everything BESIDES their supposed main focus - the burgers n' sausages n' beer, etc.

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          Caffe Falai
          265 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

          Peasant
          194 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

          Ciano
          45 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

          Locanda Verde
          377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

          DBGB
          299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

          Maialino
          2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

          Osteria Morini
          218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

          Bigoli
          140 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011

          1. re: Corporate_40

            For a slice of pizza, I've really been liking South Brooklyn Pizza lately. They have two Manhattan locations, one in the East Village, and one nearer Greenwich Village/NYU.

            For Italian, I like Locanda Verde and Maialino more than Morini but it's harder to get into those (for dinner, at least). As sgordon says, it's on the heavy side, and I also find the pricing to be a little bit higher than it should be.

            Here are some more recent reports on Degustation:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806468

            I also love Szechuan Gourmet but I found the dan dan noodles and the wontons in red oil at Legend to be much better than SG, and I've been hearing really good things about Cafe China.

            You should also note that Ssam Bar is offering an all-duck menu on weekdays for lunch.

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

            Locanda Verde
            377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

            Maialino
            2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

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

            Legend
            88 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

            Osteria Morini
            218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

            Percy's Pizza
            190 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

          2. Thanks for the advice. I'm going to look at the other Italian options and decide.

            I'm actually going to Ssam Bar twice, once for the reg menu and once to try the duck dishes.

            1. OK, so after reading some of the reviews of Degustation recently, I'm rethinking that dinner.

              Would like to stay around $200 for the meal for 2, everything included. You see that I'm already doing Italian, American farm to table, Asian, etc... To be honest, I'm just looking for a great meal so I'm open to really anything.

              Any suggestions or favorites in that price range?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Corporate_40

                -- i agree that Kin Shop would be a fine addition to your itinerary (certainly more interesting than going to Ssam twice)...

                -- you mentioned you've been to Scarpetta: i esp like dining at the bar there, so i'd say keep it in mind for spur of the moment Italian (if you haven't had the raw yellowtail, the soups, or black cod on your precious visit, i'd say it's worth a return)...

                -- i'm a big fan of DBGB: sgordon makes a good point that some of the dishes are overpriced and that it's not everything it could be...but i love the bar there, as i like the bartenders, the topnotch oysters, wines by the glass, etc and i think it's a good stop...the armagnac souflee dessert is pretty amazing too...if you go there w/ mere expectations of delicious bar food and fun, i think you'll be happy...but as a big foodie destination: no...

                -- i much much prefer Cafe China to Szechuan Gourmet...better food, better vibe, better wine that you can BYOB...