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Last minute trip to NYC - need some help

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Visiting New York next week for the first time in too many years, I have not kept up with what's still worth visiting and I'd welcome some guidance. Sentimental favourites include Lupa, Prune, Daniel (before the renovations!), Cafe Boulud. Are any of these still worth visiting?

Any other suggestions for lunch or dinner? Thinking about Jean Georges for lunch. - are reservations recommended for lunch in January? Friends recommended Nobu (I'm on the fence about this). Would love to try Babbo and Per Se but since this is a last minute trip, we have not made the necessary advance reservations :( Is it really too late?

Not a fan of Danny Meyer and there's a Scarpetta in my city that I like (so would prefer to try something else while in NY). Willing to walk, take a cab, or take subway so location is not an issue. Budget allows for one pricey dinner but otherwise, willing to consider all suggestions for all kinds of cuisine. Thanks!

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  1. Perhaps this year-end roundup will help you decide:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/din...

    Or this:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/29/din...

    Lupa was recently officially reviewed by the New York Times and given one star:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/21/din...

    If you are interested in Jean George for lunch, there are some number of tables available on OpenTable.com right now. I would book ASAP. I see 2:30pm for 2 on the 3rd, and 11:45am available for Weds, Thurs, and Fri.

    Del Posto might be another good upscale lunch choice. I see an opening for 2 people on Thursday, January 5 for lunch on OpenTable right now.

    Regarding Nobu, what kind of Japanese food are you looking for? There's a plethora of options in NYC these days and many of them are specialists: sushi, ramen, yakiniku, kaiseki, etc. Being that Nobu is also a chain, perhaps you want something more special to NYC.
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/821500

    Per Se unfortunately will be closed January 1st through the 11th.

    Babbo always reserves some tables for walk-ins (I would arrive a little bit before the bar opens and hope for bad weather). And of course it doesn't hurt to call and ask if they have any availability during your travel dates (as well as the day of for late minute cancellations).

    For Italian that is excellent and a little more casual, I'd recommend dell'anima, which is run by ex-Babbo employees.

    If you're not into Danny Meyer (therefore, no Maialino) and there's a Scarpetta in your city, what about Locanda Verde?

    > Budget allows for one pricey dinner but otherwise, willing to consider all suggestions for all kinds of cuisine. Thanks!

    Can you give a little more detail as to what you mean by pricey? What's your estimated budget, for food only (excluding tax and tip and wine/drinks), per person, for the pricey meal? What about the non-pricey one?

    -----
    Lupa
    170 Thompson Street, New York, NY 10012

    Babbo
    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

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

    Nobu
    105 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013

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

    Locanda Verde
    377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks for your thoughtful, detailed information and all the suggestions Kathryn! Walk-ins at Babbo is great news. :)

    2. I would recommend the sushi bar at 15 East over Nobu. If you haven't been to NYC in a few years recommend checking out on of David Chang's places (I am partial to Ssam Bar). If you looking for good fresh pasta, A Voce at Columbus circle while not the most charming of spots has excellent fresh pasta and a bar where you can comfortably walk in for a meal. Have a great trip!

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

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

      A Voce
      10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

      1 Reply
      1. re: The Cookbook Addict

        Forgot about David Chang. Good suggestion! He's coming to my town too so would love to give it try. Thanks TCA.