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5 Day NYC Trip - Fine Tuning Itinerary - Suggestions please!

I am planning a trip for my boyfriend and myself for April and I am having a bit of difficulty trying to decide on where to eat (and WHAT to eat when I am there). Any suggestions, recommendations on what to eat, if the restaurants are worth going to or not, would be greatly appreciated

In addition I have a few questions:
- Any recommendations for great places for after dinner drinks (great cocktails or wine bars).
- Recommendations on where I can find great spanish hams i.e. jamon iberico - Some other places I would like to fit in are Five Points for the Yukon Gold Potato Pizza (is this worth the trip?) vs. Pizza such as DiFara or other choices I am open to as well
- I am on the fence about the Black Label Burger at Minetta as I have heard many mixed reviews - your thoughts?

Day 1 Lunch:
Shake Shack and Luke's Lobster
Dinner: Scarpetta (Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil, Ravioli)
Wine Bar: Ardesia

Day 2

Breakfast: --
Lunch: EMP (4 course vs. full tasting, and wine pairing?)
Dinner (?): Ten Bells Wine Bar (Happy Hour) - is it worth staying for the bar snacks for dinner or should we move on at this point?

Day 3
Breakfast: Clinton Street Baking (pancakes -- other recommendations)
Lunch: Sushi of Gari (Chirashi) - should we order the Tuna of Gari (worth the $49?)
Dinner: Aldea

Day 4:
Breakfast: ???
Lunch: Maialino (spaghetti carbonara -- what else should I order)
Dinner: Txikito vs. Tertulia vs. Casa Mono?

Day 5 - Russ and Daughters (lox bagel)
- Caracas Arepas
- Momofuko Noodle Bar (Pork bun)
- Doughnut Plant (PB&J, and any other recommendations) vs. Bathalzar's Nut Donut??
- Sugar Sweet Sunshine (cupcake)
- Pomme Frites
- Porchetta

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  1. Day 1:
    Scarpetta is good, but now that they're becoming a national chain it's a bit less than exciting. Also, in general, I think we have better Italian options - Babbo (if you can get a rez, or go early to grab seats in the bar room), Del Posto, and Lincoln (which I was iffy on at first but have come around to after a second visit) are all better IMHO. And there are number of others I'd consider equal as well.

    Is the famous Spag with T&B good? Yes. But I can make it at home, it's not terribly complex. If I went, I'd order something else personally, something with a little more creative flair.

    Shake Shack and Luke's are both solid, though.

    Day 2:
    If you've got room for the tasting, not a bad idea - but if you go four-course, and each of you order different things, you'll get to try pretty much the same number of different dishes. There might be a few extra bells & whistles with the tasting, but I usually lean towards getting different dishes if dining with a companion - more fun, you get to share, etc.

    For dinner, you'll probably only want something light after that big a lunch. Bar snacks might be the way to go. But if you're feeling up to a full dinner, there are a number of good options in that neighborhood. Small plates at either Stanton Social or Beauty & Essex (also good cocktails at both) - or a full meal (and spectacular cocktails - among the best in the city) at WD-50. Though doing WD and EMP in one day could be amazeballs overload. If WD-50 grabs your attention, I'd more likely pencil them in lieu of one of your other dinners, like Aldea or Scarpetta.

    Day 3:
    I'm not as big a fan of CSBC as some others are, but then I don't go for sweet brunches, more of a savory guy. If in that neighborhood, and you're prepared for a wait in line, Prune is the better option for sure. That said, if it's a weekday, Prune isn't an option at all.

    Nothing wrong with Sushi of Gari, and between pancakes and Aldea you'll probably want something lighter like Sushi for lunch.

    I'm also not as high on Aldea as some others - maybe because I really like Portuguese cuisine and I found our meals there less-than-Portuguese (more like New American with a few Portuguese touches) - that said, they have some winners on the menu. The much-feted Duck Rice is excellent, I won't deny.

    Day 4:
    All good options. Tertulia you'll be able to get your Iberico Ham fix, for sure.

    Day 5:
    Russ & Daughters is not to be missed.
    Seems like it's a big day for carbs, overall. Might be a bit much.
    I'm not high on Doughnut Plant or SSS - but like I said, I'm not a sweets guy.
    I'd hit Momofuku Ssam Bar for lunch instead of Noodle Bar. The pork buns are good, but the "duck lunch" (especially to duck over rice) at Ssam Bar is outrageously good, especially slathered with the ginger-scallion duck fat sauce they leave at the table. Also, I think you can order the pork buns there during lunch as well, so two birds / one stone and all...
    Pomme Frites - an institution, but mostly for drunk NYU students. Nothing worth going out of your way for.
    Porchetta - not as big a fan, tthough I know I'm in the minority. I actually found the sandwich a bit TOO fatty / greasy, and woefully underseasoned. If I want pork between carbs, I'm going for a Cubano (I like Cibao on Clinton Street, personally, though there's great debate as to the best Cubano in town since Spanish-American Foods on 13th St closed a few years back...)

    Some other places to consider fitting in that it seems you'd like:
    Xi'an Famous Foods - three locations, the two in Chinatown tend to be less busy. A must-visit. The lamb and pork "burgers" are fantastic, as are any of the hand-pulled noodle dishes. Unlike any Chinese cuisine you've had before.
    Despana - for more Iberico goodness. They make little snacks at the back of the store.
    Blue Ribbon Brasserie - for the Bone Marrow with Oxtail Marmalade.

    Regarding the Black Label Burger: delicious? Yes. Worth it? I don't think so. YMMV, though. For me, there are much better things to order at Minetta that the BLB.

    Pizza: All the best places will be kind of out-of-the-way. Of the classics, I like Patsy's in East Harlem the best. John's on Bleeker is the only one in a part of town where you might find yourself doing other things as well though. Di Fara I like all right, but it's probably barely in my top five, and given the location nothing I'd go out of my way for.

    Five Points: nice enough place, but nothing worth excluding something else for. Probably the least interesting, to me, of their family of restaurants (Hundred Acres and Cookshop being the other two)

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

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

    Despana
    408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

    Babbo
    110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

    Shake Shack
    Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

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

    Stanton Social
    99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

    Doughnut Plant
    379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

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

    Blue Ribbon Brasserie
    97 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

    Gari
    370 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

    Pommes Frites
    123 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    John's Pizzeria
    278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

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

    Cibao
    72 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

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

    Patsy's Pizzeria
    2287 1st Ave, New York, NY 10035

    Porchetta
    110 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

    Aldea
    31 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

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

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

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

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

    Beauty & Essex
    146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

    Doughnut Plant
    220 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

    Xi'an Famous Foods
    67 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

    Tertulia
    359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

    18 Replies
    1. re: sgordon

      Thank you so much. I live in Toronto and do have a Scarpetta here but I do LOVE the spaghetti with tomato and basil. It is kind of something I need to do and want to try it in NYC.

      I was thinking about WD-50 but feel it may be too much after EMP. I would love to go for their cocktails though - sound very interesting.

      How do you feel about Tertulia vs. Casa mono vs. Txitkito? I am torn to make a decision but Despana sounds great. I was also thinking about Degustation tasting

      The last day is a bit of an overload but we plan to order one thing and share - hence why we are trying to go to many places. I am still trying to cut down the list as to what is worth it

      1. re: kyra2224

        Not to belabor it, but now that we know you're coming from a city that actually HAS a Scarpetta - why not do something "only in NYC" instead? Conant's a professional. I guarantee the SP will be the same - exactly - as back home. I mean, I wouldn't go to Scarpetta if I was visiting Toronto, that's for sure. I'd go with Toronto's specialties that I couldn't get back here.

        But if you're set on it, you're set on it.

        As to Tertulia vs. Txikito vs. Casa Mono - they're all good. Since you mentioned Iberico I thought Tertulia would be a good call, since Mullen uses it like other chefs use salt. But they're all excellent. Tertulia has some more adventurous things - i.e. barnacles - now and then, so they might be a bit more fun.

        Despana is more the kind of place to pop in for a snack, not a full meal, or to pick up foodstuffs to take back home. But there's a big ol' leg of Iberico in the front window - heck, you could just order a quarter-pound and walk around snacking on that.

        1. re: sgordon

          I might skip Scarpetta for one of Michael White's pastas at either Ai Fiori or Marea. (I've not been to Osteriai Morini, also in his stable.) You will find no pastas better than his in this city, to my taste.

          -----
          Marea
          240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

          Ai Fiori
          400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

          1. re: erica

            Michael White is no longer at Ai Fiori. I'm guessing it's still worth going there, though. They have fabulous cocktails, and I would hope the food is still up to their previous standard of excellence.

            1. re: Pan

              Pan,

              You've got it wrong. Michael White is the Executive Chef/Partner of Ai Fiori. It's the chef de cusine, Chris Jaekel, who left. White has appointed a sous chef to replace him.

              http://tthewizardofroz.wordpress.com

              1. re: RGR

                Correct.

                Any idea where Jaekel is heading? Seemed like a super nice (and very talented) guy when we were there.

                http://endoedibles.com

                1. re: uhockey

                  I haven't seen any reports re: (a) why he left, or (b) where he's heading.

                  http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                2. re: RGR

                  Oh, thanks for the correction.

                  I'd really like to know if the previous level of excellence has been maintained.

                3. re: Pan

                  When did Michael White leave Ai Fiori? He is still listed on the RW menu.

                  1. re: erica

                    See also the post by RGR and the followup by Pan, directly above.

                    "Pan,

                    You've got it wrong. Michael White is the Executive Chef/Partner of Ai Fiori. It's the chef de cusine, Chris Jaekel, who left. White has appointed a sous chef to replace him." -- RGR

                    "Oh, thanks for the correction.

                    I'd really like to know if the previous level of excellence has been maintained." -- Pan

                    http://endoedibles.com

                    1. re: uhockey

                      Thanks, UH! I should have delved further before asking.

              2. re: sgordon

                Despana is one of the few places selling jamon iberico hand sliced (and they give out samples as they slice). I know Murray's does it machine sliced, unfortunately. Despana also has the 5Js (Cinco Jotas) brand, which IMO tastes way better than the Fermin.

                -----
                Murray's Cheese
                254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                Despana
                408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

                1. re: sgordon

                  I also live in Toronto and have done a few big "foodie" trips to NYC recently. I would definitely pass on Scarpetta. I have been once in NYC (before it opened in Toronto) and twice in Toronto. The spaghetti and the polenta with mushrooms (2 of the most talked about dishes) were basically exactly the same in NYC and in Toronto. The service was slightly better in NYC. There are a number of Italian restaurants I would recommend you try in NYC instead including Maialino, Locanda Verde, and Babbo (although I was not as big a fan as some, I definitely think it is worth trying if you can get in). I also thought Dell'anima was very good on my last trip, but less "destination worthy" than the other 3 mentioned.

                2. re: kyra2224

                  Degustation lost their chef a little while ago, just FYI.

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

                  1. re: kathryn

                    Kathryn (or anyone else), is Degustation no longer worth making a trip?

                3. re: sgordon

                  I hear the Madison square location if SS is better? Does it matter which location i go to?

                  1. re: kyra2224

                    We're big fans of Shake Shack. The Madison Square Park location is the one we go to as it's just a few blocks from our apartment. However, we only go during the warm weather months because all seating is outdoors. While there are heat lamps, and people do sit out there druing the winter, you couldn't pay me enough to do that. You are coming in April, so the weather may be nice enough to sit outdoors. It is a delightful park, and we love eating our burgers al fresco.

                    Shake Shack photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                    http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                    -----
                    Shake Shack
                    Madison Ave and E 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

                4. At Despana, you can buy a bottle of wine at their wine store, and go into the food store where they will decant it for you. Then you can buy some jamon iberico and eat it in back.

                  Cocktail bar wise, try these:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/817210

                  If you really want potato pizza, get a slice of Roman style from Sullivan Street Bakery.

                  The black label burger at Minetta is fine but a bit gimmicky. The other excellent food they do is overshadowed by the burger.

                  I'd move the R&D bagel with smoked salmon (unless you're sure you want lox, but I'm guessing you really want nova) to breakfast before EMP. Then nosh for dinner somewhere like Pegu Club or Death & Co. Perhaps end with a slice at South Brooklyn Pizza in the East Village. Keep it light!

                  At Clinton St, share the blueberry pancakes and a biscuit sandwich with bacon and tomato jam.

                  For lunch, Sushi of Gari is known more for creative nigiri, so ordering chirashi doesn't make sense to me. Maybe look into the prix fixe lunches at 15 East or Yasuda, assuming this is a weekday.

                  For breakfast before Maialino, perhaps Locanda Verde or Balthazar.

                  At Maialino, I'm not sure these are all on the lunch menu, but try the tripe, cacio e pepe, carbonara, bucatini all’amatriciana, malfatti al maialino, maialino for two (special), olive oil cake, affogato.

                  I think sgordon is right and if you love jamon, go to Tertulia. I love the sardine toast, broken egg toast, croquettas, padron peppers, iberico rib special, and whatever shellfish they happen to be grilling that night. The grilled meat dishes are usually hits with us.

                  At Doughnut Plant, I think the cake doughnuts are best. Blackout, salted peanut, tres leches, whatever the seasonal fruit on is. The larger yeast raised doughnuts tend to be more chewy than most people prefer.

                  At Sugar Sweet Sunshine, I like the lemon or pistachio most. They have a terrible red velvet. I actually prefer Butter Lane's cupcakes more, but SSS is pretty good, too.

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

                  Despana
                  408 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

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

                  Sullivan Street Bakery
                  533 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036

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

                  Minetta Tavern
                  113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                  Doughnut Plant
                  379 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

                  Balthazar
                  80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                  Sushi of Gari 46
                  347 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036

                  Sugar Sweet Sunshine
                  126 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

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

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

                  Butter Lane
                  123 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                  Locanda Verde
                  377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

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

                  Maialino
                  2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

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

                  Tertulia
                  359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                  31 Replies
                  1. re: kathryn

                    Thank you for the cocktail suggestions - Death & co and Pegu Club look particularily appealing. How do you rate the food here? The cocktails look fantastic. As per Iberico, Despana is bang on. I am looking to have some slices of iberico with some wine.

                    You said Sushi of Gari is more for creative sushi - what would you order there? The Tuna of Gari looks interesting .. or at 15 East or Yasuda any suggestions?

                    I have been on the fence about Bathalzars - what would you recommend ordering for breakfast there? I am definitely doing to Clinton Street Baking one of those days so perhaps savoury items?

                    Tertulia seems like the better option in terms of what I am looking for so I may opt for that choice. Would it be too much to go to Txikito on another day as you say both are great options.

                    The duck rice sounds awesome at Ssams bar and will definitely check that out as well.

                    Perhaps instead of cupcakes, I am more interested in cake.. I was thinking Amy's Bread? I really enjoy Coconut Layer Cake and Carrot Cake ..

                    1. re: kyra2224

                      The food is slightly better at Pegu Club. Particularly the deviled eggs with smoked trout and curry. At Death & Co, we love the truffled mac & cheese, blue cheese fries, and grape/red onion/taleggio flatbread.

                      At Gari, we have only done nigiri omakase, where each nigiri often came with its own special toppings and sauce. It really depends if you want more traditional nigiri or not. If you're sensitive to cost, both 15 East and Yasuda have a prix fixe lunch (no choices IIRC). Call to confirm. I believe Yasuda's is a nigiri set with appetizer, whereas 15 East's changes frequently.

                      At Balthazar, I like the waffles and eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, but if you really want a great savory breakfast, try the Ouvo Modenese at Locanda Verde.

                      If you are here for such a short time, I think two Spanish places and also Despana is overkill.

                      Minetta Tavern and Balthazar (restaurant and bakery) has a great coconut cake (I believe Balthazar bakes it for both). There is a very recent thread on coconut cake on this board; do a search.

                      For carrot:
                      http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2010/0...

                      -----
                      Minetta Tavern
                      113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

                      Balthazar
                      80 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

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

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

                      Locanda Verde
                      377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

                      1. re: kathryn

                        You mention you are a fan of Michael White - what do you think of Osteria Morini?

                        1. re: kyra2224

                          I like it but I think it's a little crowded, noisy, and pricey for what you're paying for.

                          -----
                          Osteria Morini
                          218 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

                          1. re: kathryn

                            So you would recommend Al Fiori or Marea over Morini?

                            Also any other Italian places that you enjoy ?

                            1. re: kyra2224

                              I've not done Ai Fiori or Marea yet but from what I gather, they are both a notch or two up in terms of formality, if that matters. Morini is more casual.

                              1. re: kathryn

                                Formality does not matter. Just looking for really yummy pasta

                                1. re: kyra2224

                                  Then as someone who has been to all 3, plus his previous stops at Convivio an Alto (White was in the kitchen when I visited Marea, Convivio, and Alto - but not Morini or Ai Fiori) I can say Ai Fiori is the best choice of his group for pastas.

                                  I' still go to Babbo or Lincoln first if you want pastas that truly rival Conant's beautiful work at Scarpetta.

                                  http://endoedibles.com

                                  1. re: uhockey

                                    I am going to Motorino but thoughts of the slice at Artichoke or Difara? I have been reading the threads but am completely torn if its worth making a special trip or if I should go to one vs. the other i.e. DiFara vs. Motorino?

                                    1. re: kyra2224

                                      I'm one of those who doesn't think DiFara is worth the schlep. But if you decide you want to try that pizza, you're more likely to avoid the crowds by going mid-week between 2 and 4.

                                      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                      1. re: RGR

                                        DiFara's is worth it if you like pizza. If you're indifferent to pizza, other places are GREAT as well. I'm not a huge pizza fan but I've tried the heavies and I feel that DiFara's is recognizably the best, but I'd still be satisfied with a slice from Franny's, or Motorino or Keste, Artichoke, Lucali's etc...

                                        1. re: Pookipichu

                                          I really love Pizza hence why I am considering DiFara. How do you feel about Artichoke? As well, any other recommendations for a good NY slice? maybe perhaps vs. naples style?

                                          1. re: kyra2224

                                            Get a slice or two of the square (Sicilian) at Artichoke. It is similar, though not as rich, as Difara's version.

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

                                            1. re: Silverjay

                                              I was perhaps thinking of going to Motorino for lunch and grab a slice at Artichoke as it is not too far.

                                              I am crossing the Brooklyn Bridge and could cab to DiFara .. soo decisions to make!

                                              1. re: kyra2224

                                                Lucali > Difara.

                                                Also, the slices at Difara sit there waiting to be eaten. A whole pie is made hot.

                                                I liked Artichoke a lot, more than DiFara, but nowhere near Lucali (different style of pizza, obviously, so YMMV)

                                                http://endoedibles.com

                                            2. re: kyra2224

                                              DiFara's pizza has mystery pixie dust. Some sort of magical melding between fresh mozzarella and liberally drizzled virgin olive oil. The Sicilian has this rich crust that is caramelized in the heat of his oven, crisp, chewy, buttery.

                                              But then again, we are splitting hairs. You'll have a great pizza at Artichoke, top notch ingredients and an artisan's hand. It's just that Dom (Difara's) brings a little something extra to his pizza.

                                              Just don't go to Grimaldi's. Please. As a non-pizza person, I can't waste stomach space on a place like that.

                                              1. re: Pookipichu

                                                i think i will get a slice at Artichoke as it is close to Motorino and easy to access vs. traveling in Brooklyn. Is the margharita good as well? I don't know if I am crazy about the crab or artichoke slice? Also from reading some reviews, I hear the slices are HUGE. Should I go to Motorino vs. Artichoke? or two completely different things? I was thinking of having two pizzas to share at Motorino and walking over and sharing a slice (or two) at Artichoke? Also is the brussel sprouts and pancetta pizza worth the hype at Motorino? I am also liking the look of Sal & Carmine.

                                                1. re: kyra2224

                                                  The sauce they use for the margherita at Artichoke is too sugary IMO. I only like the square slice there. Also I find Artichoke to be a little inconsistent between locations. Their crust tends to be on the bready side.

                                                  Personally we (my husband and I) get filled up on two Motorino pies. You might have space to split a single square afterwards at Artichoke if you are big eaters. I know I couldn't. (Though they are two different styles, you may find Artichoke disappointing after Motorino. I love Motorino!)

                                                  The Brussels sprout pie at Motorino is good, I'd make sure to pair it with a tomato sauce based one, like the soppressata.

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

                                                  Motorino
                                                  349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                                                  1. re: kathryn

                                                    I definitely am getting the soppressata. I really enjoy white pizza as well, hence my natural lean to the brussel sprouts/pancetta pizza. Any other recommendations at Motorino?

                                                    1. re: kyra2224

                                                      The clam pie is good, as is the crimini mushroom and sausage, or prosciutto (daily special sometimes).

                                                  2. re: kyra2224

                                                    The crab and artichoke slices at Artichoke make me gag just thinking about them. Imagine you go to Houston's or some other crappy American chain restaurant and they dump that rich dip appetizer on a slice of pizza. I couldn't eat my artichoke slice.

                                          2. re: kyra2224

                                            I've been to Artichoke only once, but when I tried their crab pizza, I thought it was a mess, and the artichoke slice was worse - and I love artichokes, so that wasn't it. I haven't been back because I didn't see a good reason to give any of their other slices a chance.

                                            I also haven't been to DiFara's for years because while I've always loved everything I've gotten there, I don't think it's worth waiting more than an hour for it. I haven't been to Motorino, though, so I couldn't weigh in on that.

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

                                            1. re: Pan

                                              The crab and artichoke slices are gimmicky. The round is decent, the square is excellent.

                                              1. re: Pan

                                                Call me crazy, but loved the Artichoke.

                                                Planning another pizza crawl for my February trip to NYC and will see how Keste, Forcella, Rubirosa, Co. all stack up to the quality in Brooklyn from last year's trek.

                                                http://endoedibles.com

                                                1. re: uhockey

                                                  I won't call you crazy. I dug the Artichoke slice, too. It's kind of stoner food, but what the heck - stoner food can be satisfying.

                                                  1. re: uhockey

                                                    My big objection to the artichoke slice is that practically all I could taste was a huge amount of cream. When I got artichoke topping at DiFara's, I tasted wonderful California artichokes.

                                                    1. re: Pan

                                                      I don't disagree there. There is a difference between the artichoke slice and a pie that simply has artichokes added. We added the artichoke hearts to Lucali last year - still my #1 pizza ever.

                                                      http://endoedibles.com

                                                      1. re: Pan

                                                        True that. It's more of an "artichoke dip" slice than an "artichoke" slice. But I like it for what it is - especially if it's late I'm slightly drunk.

                                                        1. re: sgordon

                                                          The artichoke slice to me tasted exactly like the spinach artichoke dip from any generic bar or chain restaurant on a thick slice of flat bread. Some people like it and some people don't.

                                  2. re: kyra2224

                                    Sushi of Gari covers up their fish with distracting sauces. If you like pristine raw fish I would go elsewhere like Yasuda or 15 East.

                                2. Skip Doughnut Plant and ESPECIALLY Sugar Sweet Sunshine.

                                  Look into Sweet Revenge for cupcakes worth the calories.

                                  http://endoedibles.com

                                  -----
                                  Sugar Sweet Sunshine
                                  126 Rivington St, New York, NY 10002

                                  Sweet Revenge
                                  62 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

                                  Doughnut Plant
                                  220 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

                                  1. i really like the food at Ten Bells -- happy hour raw oysters, beet salad, crab/avocado salad, and the wild boar sausage are my favorites...

                                    -----
                                    The Ten Bells
                                    247 Broome St, New York, NY 10002

                                    17 Replies
                                    1. re: Simon

                                      OKAY so i decided to scrap Scarpetta. From all these previous comments, I agree it is probably the same here and should do something I can only get in NYC. I am loving the idea of Marea but my boyfriend isn't a HUGE seafood fan and Michael White's menus seem to be seafood centric. I am weary about Babbo or Del Posto - various reviews that either LOVE it or HATE it. I am perhaps thinking about the pasta tasting menu? Not sure though. I just love simple Italian food (i.e. went to Rome this past April) - any other suggestions?

                                      For Drinks I think I have decided Ten Bells Wine Bar, Pegu Club and Death and Co. Do you recommend going to Pegu Club or Death & Co before dinner drinks or after? I think one may occur on a Friday and another on a Sunday ..I am looking for a nice evening with my boyfriend vs. crazy club sort of vibe. I don't mind a wait as long as there is seating available

                                      If not doughnut plant, where would you recommend for a good doughnut? I do enjoy the ones that a fresh to order in restaurants and it doesn't have to necessary be a doughnut shop specifically. Or any other sweet treats you would recommend highly in NYC.

                                      1. re: kyra2224

                                        The Beagle is another option for drinks. Right now, their cocktails are my favorite in the city. Also, you can reserve a seat. The atmosphere there is perfect for the evening you describe.

                                        -----
                                        The Beagle
                                        162 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

                                        1. re: Nancy S.

                                          Hi Nancy, so you say you can reserve a seat. How far in advance can I book this and do they take late night bookings? I am thinking of going on a Saturday late night (after dinner) or would it be better to go before dinner?

                                          1. re: Nancy S.

                                            I am debating between the Beagle and Pegu Club for drinks when I return on June. The trouble is that I cannot look at the Pegu Club menu, thanks!

                                            1. re: kyra2224

                                              The left side of the menu:
                                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/hellokit...

                                              This side rarely changes -- it is all their house classic drinks. On the right side is seasonal drinks and champagne based drinks.

                                              Here is a photo from the end of April:
                                              http://campl.us/i7ak

                                              1. re: kathryn

                                                Thank you so much for this. I mean both places look great .. so hard to choose :) thanks again

                                          2. re: kyra2224

                                            As far as Pegu vs. D&C vs. TB - they're ALL going to crazy on a Friday. Ten Bells would be the easiest to get into without a wait, and probably the most relaxed. But you'll probably get in to the others, since you'll only be a two-top, with less than an hour's wait. Depends if you feel like wine or cocktails, really.

                                            Back on the Italian subject: I'm on the love side of the Batali restaurants, though I understand why some don't like the vibe at Babbo - it's a bit more bustling, can be a little loud, they don't play soft jazz in the background. Dining in the bar room can be a bit crowded. For me, though, as soon as the food hits the table the rest of the room fades away. That aside, I do prefer the more casual ambience. I'm not much for the jacket-required white-tablecloth scene.

                                            I'm not a big fan of the pasta tasting menu, as it's just carb overload to me. Assuming you do the "full Italian" four courses (antipasti, pasta, secondi, dolci) and are each ordering different things, (and assuming you share) you'll wind having your own "tasting" of eight dishes that you got to pick out yourselves, at basically the same price as you'd pay for either tasting, often a bit less.

                                            Also, Babbo is arguably THE hardest reservation in town (aside from, say, Brooklyn Fare or Momofuku Ko or the like) - I'd say give it a go, call them at exactly whatever time it was you're supposed to on whatever day is right (check the website, I can never remember the exact rules) - and if you get a table, lucky you. You're the envy of many people, so might as well go with it.

                                            Much of the lack of love for Del Posto seems to come from people who simply don't think Italian food can ever warrant four stars or that price point. I'd try to filter by the opinions of those who generally like Italian food to begin with. There are number of Francocentrics among us here, who seem to find Italian food is inherently "less than" Haute French.

                                            I'm guessing, though, that since your initial itinerary only had one resto that could remotely be called French (and I wouldn't even go that far), you're not in that category.

                                            The Michael "Midtown Mario" White suggestions are pretty good. I'm not as HUGE a fan of his as some others - I agree with the most common criticism of Marea, that up to the pastas they're great, but the secondi are lacking - not BAD, just a bit boring and uninspired. And I don't really do the whole / "simply grilled" / by the pound fish options because frankly, I can cook that at home for a third the price. At that price point, I want a little creativity for my money, not just flawless execution.

                                            But since your BF isn't terribly into the sea fare, there's always Ai Fiori (which has a bit of French influence) or Osteria Morini (whch is all about big, meaty, hearty stuff) - at the latter I've found a few dishes there almost TOO rich (to the point of being a bit greasy), but that's what a good bottle of Lambrusco is for, I suppose. Cuts right through.

                                            1. re: sgordon

                                              My boyfriend and I are 23/24 so we don't mind loud or bustling. As long as we will be eventually seated for drinks - or is Sunday, Monday, Tuesday a better day to go after dinner?

                                              I am also thinking of TRYING to get into Brooklyn Fare .. I am assuming as impossible as Babbo/Momofuko Ko.

                                              1. re: kyra2224

                                                Well, it's worth a shot - and since BF's rezzy line opens six weeks before the date (as opposed to a month for Babbo, or most other places, and a week for KO) it doesn't hurt to try. If you get in, great. If not, you've got two weeks to try the next option.

                                                That said, BF is VERY seafood-centric. If that's not your boyfriend's scene, might not be worth it.

                                                1. re: kyra2224

                                                  FYI Pegu Club has a bar and tables but allows standing, so it gets much more hectic
                                                  on weekends.

                                                  Death & Co doesn't allow standing.

                                              2. re: kyra2224

                                                I found Del Posto soulless and uptight - every other Batali spot was outstanding, east coast or west.

                                                For Italian I'd say Babbo, Lincoln, Scarpetta, Ai Fiori, A Voce, Del Posto, Marea in that order.

                                                For sweets the places I'd recommend are: Sweet Revenge (Cupcakes,) Two Little Red Hens (Cupcakes,) Dessert Club Chickalicious (Cupcakes,) Bouchon Bakery (anything,) Momofuku Milk Bar (Soft Serve and Pie,) Levain (Cookies,) Petrossian (Almond Croissant and Canelle,) La Bergamotte (French Pastries - particularly the Almond Brioche and Religeuse ,) Cici Cela (French Pastries - particularly the Brest and the Almond Croissant.)

                                                Visits for my upcoming trip will be Dominique Ansel, Dough, Laduree, Mille-Feuille, and Bosie Tea Parlor.

                                                http://endoedibles.com

                                                -----
                                                Two Little Red Hens
                                                1652 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10028

                                                Bouchon Bakery
                                                10 Columbus Cir, New York, NY 10019

                                                Ceci-Cela
                                                55 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                                                Babbo
                                                110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

                                                A Voce
                                                41 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                Levain Bakery
                                                167 W 74th St, New York, NY 10023

                                                La Bergamote
                                                169 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

                                                Dessert Club, ChikaLicious
                                                204 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

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

                                                Sweet Revenge
                                                62 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

                                                Marea
                                                240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

                                                Petrossian Boutique
                                                911 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                                                Momofuku Milk Bar
                                                251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

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

                                                Ai Fiori
                                                400 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

                                                1. re: uhockey

                                                  I'm not familiar with Sweet Revenge but would generally second your sweets recommendations. I don't find Sugar Sweet Sunshine too impressive. I'd add Spot Dessert Bar for great cupcakes and cookies and interesting "dessert tapas."

                                                  1. re: uhockey

                                                    I was recently in Paris so I am leaning towards avoiding French like pastries. I don't feel they will be worth my time. Thanks for the other suggestions. How do you feel about the coconut cake and carrot cake from amys bakery?

                                                    1. re: kyra2224

                                                      I went to Paris after New York (1 month later) and can say for sure that Cici Cela is up to snuff.

                                                      I went to Amy's a while back - don't remember it very well and I know I didn't order any of those options. Sorry.

                                                      http://endoedibles.com

                                                  2. re: kyra2224

                                                    Maybe Maialino or Locanda Verde?

                                                    Pegu opens at 5 and isn't too crazy then. D&C opens at 6. I'd recommend getting there before dinner, right when they open. For both, if you go later, there will be a wait. Especially on a Friday. You'll also likely be waiting outside.

                                                    For freshly fried doughnuts, I like Shopsin's, Bar Room at the Modern (beignets), Perilla. See also:
                                                    http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/0...

                                                    I find Sweet Revenge's cupcakes to have cake that is too light/not intensely flavored. Also they are quite ugly IMO. Meh.

                                                    -----
                                                    Perilla
                                                    9 Jones Street, New York, NY 10014

                                                    Shopsin's General Store
                                                    120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

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

                                                    Sweet Revenge
                                                    62 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                      Maialino is already in the schedule for sure.

                                                2. Txikito for exquisite Basque dishes you won't find elsewhere, let the capable staff guide you through the menu. You won't be disappointed.

                                                  -----
                                                  Txikito
                                                  240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: ronk212

                                                    I was recently in San Sebastian/Barcelona so I am indifferent to the type of experience I get between Tertulia and Txikito. I am leaning towards Tertulia because I want as much Jamon as possible! I am still trying to decide

                                                    Beagle sounds great as well -- i am thinking also about WD-50 for a few before dinner drinks as I hear they are great.

                                                  2. Consider leaving more slack in your schedule, both for more spontaneity with regard to eating choices, and so you don't rush through non- food activities to make a reservation. I used to overbook trips, speaking from experience.

                                                    1. I know you have a pretty full list already but have you considered soul food? I'm from Toronto too and I tried Amy Ruth's in Harlem. You definitely can't get anything remotely as good in Toronto. I know there are a number of soul food places in nyc but this was the only one I tried so I can only comment on this place but I was very happy. However, I suppose it's more regional American cuisine than specifically nyc.

                                                      -----
                                                      Amy Ruth's
                                                      113 W 116th St, New York, NY 10026

                                                      1. Instead of Sushi of Gari, you might want to consider trying Sushi Yasaka. They are on 72 Street between Broadway and West End. Their fish is the same quality of Gari but half the price. For $40 you can get the 12 piece omakase which as good as the one at Gari. If you have your heart set on Gari, I think the tuna of Gari is worth it to try once though I prefer salmon of Gari (same concept, different fish).

                                                        -----
                                                        Sushi Yasaka
                                                        251 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023

                                                        22 Replies
                                                        1. re: kawainekko

                                                          Thank you so much for all your suggestions. I am leaving in less than a month and have the itinerary basically set (some odds and ends still need to be filled)/secured reservations

                                                          Day 1:
                                                          Lunch: Shake Shack and Luke's Lobster
                                                          Snack: Levain Bakery
                                                          Drinks: Pegu Club
                                                          Dinner: Maialino (reso)
                                                          Drinks: Ardesia

                                                          Day 2 (Saturday)
                                                          Breakfast: Sullivan Street Baking (close to our hotel in Hell's Kitchen)
                                                          Lunch: Momofuko Ssams Bar (duck over rice, pork buns etc)
                                                          Snack: Dominique Ansel Bakery - made to order madeleines
                                                          Dinner: Tertulia
                                                          Drinks: The Beagle

                                                          Day 3 (sunday)
                                                          Breakfast: Ceci Cela
                                                          Lunch: Katz and Russ&Daughter
                                                          Dinner: drinks and snacks at both The Ten Bells and Death & Co. ?? Not much is open on Sunday and thought it would be a good day to check out both.

                                                          Day 4: (Monday)
                                                          Breakfast: Clinton Street Baking
                                                          Lunch: Aldea (reso)
                                                          Dinner: NOT SURE YET. Reso at Minetta but still not sure where we want to go. Either Minetta vs. Burger Joint vs. Motorino vs. Biryani Cart vs. Caracas Arepas/Porchetta etc .. still up in the air completely. Perhaps even walk around Eataly and snack but not really sure. Any recommendations would be good.

                                                          Day 5 Tuesday:
                                                          Lunch: EMP (reso)

                                                          Any further recommendations or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We thought about Gari but the Omakase is a little too expensive for our overall budget.

                                                          1. re: kyra2224

                                                            > Breakfast: Ceci Cela

                                                            Consider Mille-Feuille instead.

                                                            > Dinner: NOT SURE YET. Reso at Minetta but still not sure where we want to go. Either Minetta vs. Burger Joint vs. Motorino vs. Biryani Cart vs. Caracas Arepas/Porchetta etc ..

                                                            If you're already going to Shake Shack, Burger Joint is not a necessity. What are you thinking in terms of Minetta? Is it just for their famous burger?

                                                            Out of those you listed, I think Motorino would be the best choice.

                                                            For sushi, you can get in and out of Ushiwakamaru or Kanoyama for a reasonable amount (say $60-80pp) if you order one of the sushi sets and add on additional pieces.

                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                              Mille Feuille - what do you recommend there? I know he trained under Jacques Genin (whose mille feuilles I ABSOLUTELY LOVE). If that is good there, I know it is a must for me.

                                                              Minetta - was strictly for the burger. That's why I am hesistant because I don't really know if I am crazy for that, not because of the price but I do have excellent dry aged beef/steak regularly in Toronto. If it is really fantastic I would go but have heard very mixed reviews.

                                                              I will look into those sushi places - much more reasonable price vs. 140 plus for the omakase at Gari. OR would you recommend getting a couple sets at Gari and then finish dinner somewhere else?

                                                              1. re: kyra2224

                                                                The croissants at Mille-Feuille are great, I'm partial to the plain, but the chocolate ones and the almond ones are good, too. Oh, and the macarons are very good. Try the salted caramel and triple vanilla ones.
                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/788541

                                                                The Black Label burger at Minetta Tavern is tasty but gimmicky. I like it but I am not sure I'd go out of my way for it. Now, the souffles at MT, those I would go out of my way for...

                                                                I'm more of a traditionalist when it comes to sushi, so I typically lean more towards an Ushiwakamaru or Kanoyama type place.

                                                                1. re: kathryn

                                                                  Have you had a mille-feuille at Mille-Feiulle? I was leaning towards Ceci Cela for their plain croissant. I love salted caramel macarons so that is something I will be on the look out for.

                                                                  I am OBSESSED with Souffle .. so that is very enticing. But yes, I feel the burger will be great but also very overrated.

                                                                  I do love traditional sushi so thanks for the suggestion.

                                                                  I also do notice your love for Motorino -- if I were to go to any pizza place in NYC that is the one that appeals to me the most!

                                                                  1. re: kyra2224

                                                                    The Minetta Chocolate Souffle is worth the price/hassel/etc of admission - I've had maybe two better in my life and both were not in New York.

                                                                    http://endoedibles.com

                                                                     
                                                                    1. re: uhockey

                                                                      I'm assuming you haven't tried the soufflé at La Grenouille?

                                                                        1. re: uhockey

                                                                          RGR loves La Grenouille and its souffles. It's another restaurant that I haven't been back to in more than 10 years.

                                                                2. re: kyra2224

                                                                  Just FYI,
                                                                  We were in Manhatten over the weekend, walked along Broadway from Chinatown up to Madison Square Park. The line-up to the Shake Shack was ridiculously ginormous. I ain't kidding, it stretched throughout the park with >150 people in line. I'm guessing the wait was at least an hour, but more than likely >2hours.
                                                                  The beautiful spring weather was probably a big factor.
                                                                  I realize its the original location and theres something to be said for this, but maybe have a back-up plan if you don't want to stand in line for 2 hours. We passed the Shake Shack 8th avenue location 3 times over the weekend. Though busy, it didn't seem crazy.
                                                                  The wife loves Eataly (just across the park from SS). As said by others, it gets to be a zoo on the weekends. Might take a while and a concerted effort (split up and troll for seats), but seats can be had - although the seatless standing counters are usually easier to snag.
                                                                  If you want a non-harried drink in the area with cool decor, maybe stop in Live Bait (across from SS on 23rd). Cheap clams and oysters as well.

                                                                3. re: kathryn

                                                                  The Mille Feuille at Mille Feuille was SO bad I'd never return. While Genin's shattered under the fork this one smooshed so bad it might have been a "Napoleon" from Wal-Mart. The Almond Croissant was so filled with "paste" that any semblance of a cavernous interior was lost and it was nowhere near as crisp as a double baked. The macarons were "okay" at best.

                                                                  Cici-Cela is a far superior breakfast choice, as is Bosie Tea Parlor...........but really, forget the "madeline only" visit to Dominique Ansel and do Breakfast there. His pastry rivals Paris not only on my palate but on that of someone who spends half the year there.

                                                                  Below is a picture of the *gag* Mille-Feuille namesake.

                                                                  http://endoedibles.com

                                                                   
                                                                  1. re: uhockey

                                                                    I agree with Uhockey. He steared me away from Mille Feuille. I had the almond croissant at Ansel's. So good, I had two! The french couple beside me chuckled however they ended up ordering two as well.....the almond croissants are THAT good. I also sampled the cheesecake. Good but not great.

                                                                    1. re: six dower

                                                                      Interesting. I have had the plain croissant at both Dominique Ansel and Mille-Feuille, and found Mille-Feuille's to be superior (more buttery).

                                                                      1. re: kathryn

                                                                        Ansel vs. Mille-Feuille Almond - cross section showing the quality of craftsmanship. Even despite the sliced/double baked nature of the Mille-Feuille and the single baking craft used at Ansel the Dominique Ansel version had better texture, crumb, and flavor.

                                                                         
                                                                         
                                                                        1. re: uhockey

                                                                          Thank you. That mille feiulle looks disasterous. I may check out both in different days regardless. Both good for breakfast I assume?

                                                                          other options I have been exploring are the bar menu at monkey bar or parm?

                                                                          I am also struggling to decide between tertulia and txikito .really on the fence.

                                                                          1. re: kyra2224

                                                                            As previously stated, I would never go back to Mille Feuille - two of the workers were making fun of guests when they left (one probably deserved it as he was talking phony French and acting like a nit-wit, and one for her weight) and nothing I had there was even remotely on par with Bouchon, Dominique Ansel, Payard, Bosie, Petrossian, Cici-Cela, or others.

                                                                            http://endoedibles.com

                                                                            1. re: uhockey

                                                                              You know as I love Iberico, you suggested Tertulia vs. Txikito? I also plan to go to despana as well but most of the reviews I have been reading have been more favourable for Txikito vs. Tertulia? Any insight would be great.

                                                                              Also any thoughts on Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria? Lots of great reviews

                                                                              I was also looking into North End Grill as well.

                                                                              1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                Tertulia on a Saturday night will be insane. Get there before 6:30pm, otherwise it'll be an hour long wait.

                                                                                Txikito, on the other hand, takes reservations. The menu is not nearly as jamon heavy though. I don't think they even serve jamon on its own.

                                                                                1. re: kathryn

                                                                                  Minus the jamon, do you have a preference for one or the other?

                                                                                  1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                    Well, since Tertulia is ALL about jamon and pork products, it's a tough call. IMO the best items at Tertulia are the sardine toast, cojonudo toast, broken egg toast, jamon iberico from 5Js, jamon croquettas, padron peppers, and the iberico rib. The Crispy Brussels sprouts w/ bacon are also good. Out of all the things I listed, only two don't use pork! However, the wait can be maddening, and I think we usually spend way more on wine at Tertulia than at Txikito.

                                                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                                                      Thank you, that is exactly what I am looking for. I think I will try going before 630pm to Tertulia, thank you!

                                                                                      i love Jamon I just didn't know if you suggested it because I was being so biased with the jamon love.

                                                              2. re: kawainekko

                                                                I think I may try 15 east on my trip back to NYC next weekend. I booked the lunch time bar seating. I think I will get the sushi omakase, any other recommendations? The octopus looks great too.

                                                              3. If you are low on time, skip Shake Shack and get a californian hound to send you some in-n-out sauce. Apply to Wendys burger, and boom. No line, either.

                                                                1. i havent read through all 90 replies, but based on my recent trip here are my thoughts:

                                                                  extra breakfasts: Shopsins, the Breslin, Locanda Verde. At Clinton St. the biscuit sandwich is very good. if you want to try Russ and Daughters, you will probably have time to put your name in at Clinton St and walk to R&D and order something from there while you wait (they also offer mini-bagel servings of the salmon and cream cheese, if you dont want to stuff yourself, and remember they will sample for you, so take advantage of that!)

                                                                  my favorite bakeries (for cookies) were #1: Levain (dont skip levain!! youll be sorry), and #2 Bouchon. The candy bar pie and pretzel milk shake at Milk Bar are amazing.

                                                                  lunch at Del Posto was very good, but with the price increase, i dont know if i would recc it over the places you already have named.

                                                                  I noticed Katz's isnt on your list... any reason for that? it was a VERY good pastrami.

                                                                  i would actually save shake shack for a (very) late night food. how i played it worked perfectly: they close at midnight, so show up at 11:58 and you will have no line to wait in, and a delicious late night meal. try to go at lunch time, and you will actually end up having your dinner at shake shack.

                                                                  33 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                                                    Katz is on my list!

                                                                    Also we are not big breakfast people but Breslin is one I am thinking about.

                                                                    1. re: kyra2224

                                                                      its definitely worth consideration. when i travel i make it a pretty hard and fast rule not to hit the same place twice, but after my brunch at Breslin the first morning I had to go back the next day. If you dont like breakfasty-type foods or only want one or two breakfast meals, i would actually recc skipping Clinton street completely in favor of a Breslin brunch. not only because it will be a better meal, but also because you will be able to find a broader range of foods (three cheese sandwich and lamb burger!) besides just pancakes.

                                                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                                                        I love Breakfast foods but I don't want to try Breslin brunch on the weekend. I can't bother to wait - AT least with CCBaking, I am going on a Monday.

                                                                        1. re: mattstolz

                                                                          i do have the admit that the fried peanut butter and banana sandwich looks amazing.

                                                                          1. re: kyra2224

                                                                            Order it with a side of bacon. Then put the bacon IN the sandwich.

                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                              why in the H-E-doublehockeysticks didnt i think of that. brilliant.

                                                                              but then again i couldnt get that sandwich into my mouth fast enough as it was anyways.

                                                                              1. re: kathryn

                                                                                Okay so I may now consider brunch on the Saturday. I am thinking about Maialino, locanda verde and the breslin. It is a tough call to decide between the 3.

                                                                                Here is what I would like from the 3:

                                                                                Locanda – sheeps milk ricotta, burnt orange toast, truffled honey and fresh herbs + hazelnut French toast + fresh pastries + one of the egg dishes

                                                                                Breslin – grilled cheese with ham and egg + fried banana, peanut butter sandwich

                                                                                Maialino – carbonara, porchetta egg sandwich, fresh pastries (toffee brioche n particular and filled donuts).

                                                                                I am also debating if Maialino is worth going to for dinner if we don't end up getting the pork for 2 (it may be way too much food for two of us) plus ordering appetizers, pasta dishes etc.

                                                                                Thoughts please? Also any other dinner suggestions or musts I have missed in which I could possibly substitute if i change my mind. Thanks!!

                                                                                1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                  at locanda, ya have a lot of carb listed. id like to throw in a suggestion of the Uovo Modernese for your egg dish. basically an updated eggs benedict but with so much more flavor and excitement

                                                                                  the breslin, well ya already know my thoughts on that one.

                                                                                  all three good choices though! my (gluttonous) suggestion is all three, and double up on breakfasts one day haha

                                                                                  1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                    IMO the French toast at Locanda should be skipped in favor of the Ouvo Modenese or the porchetta sandwich. Consider adding the lamb burger with thrice cooked chips (weekends only) and/or some pastries to your list at The Breslin. Maialino has a great porchetta sandwich at brunch, but I found the pastries to only be OK. Maialino is better for dinner, I'd do LV or Breslin for Saturday brunch.

                                                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                                                      Okay awesome. I was thinking the Ouvo Modenese or the scrambled eggs with speck, mushrooms, the toast with ricotta, truffle honey and the french toast and possibly a pastry to share. I do like something sweet for breakfast but I do also like porchetta.

                                                                                      Breslin I am so on the fence because a couple o those items looks ridiculously good but I feel it will be an insanely heavy meal. Is the cheese and ham sandwich amazing?

                                                                                      Furthermore, is it worth having some sandwiches from any of those places such as Cici Cela, Mille Feuiile or Ansel Dominique?

                                                                                      1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                        The Breslin is pretty heavy but also delicious. I like the grilled cheese there a lot but think the other items (PB&J, lamb burger, pastries) are more special.

                                                                                        I wouldn't go to any of the patisseries you mentioned just to get a sandwich.

                                                                                        1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                          Re: Locanda Verde. I agree with the suggestion that you get the Sheep's Milk Ricotta. Totally addictive!

                                                                                          Photo of Sheep's Milk Ricotta: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                                                                          And even if you don't have brunch at Maialino, I highly recommend you stop into the bar area and get the Brioche Caramellato (Toffee Glazed Brioche). Seriously delicious!

                                                                                          Photo of the Brioche Caramellato: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                                                                          Btw, it's Dominique Ansel.

                                                                                          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com:

                                                                                          1. re: RGR

                                                                                            I can't find your link to dominique Ansel? Any sandwiches you would recommend? I already have a list of pastries I plan to have while I am there. Thank you

                                                                                            Yes that brioche caramellato looks fantastic. Would I be able to just stop in at the bar area for that and the porchetta sandwich?

                                                                                            1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                              kyra,

                                                                                              I haven't been to Dominique Ansel yet.

                                                                                              Re: Maialino. Afaik, the Brioche Caramellato is only served at breakfast and brunch. Looking at the menus on the website, I see a porchetta sandwich on the lunch menu but not on the brunch menu. Btw, the Bomboloni (Cream-filled Doughnuts with Warm Cider Syrup) are also delicious and are on the dessert menu. So, you can get those at lunch along with the sandwich at the bar.

                                                                                              http://thewizardofroz.worpress.com

                                                                                              1. re: RGR

                                                                                                On the brunch menu at Maialino, the porchetta isn't listed explicitly as a sandwich, but it is.

                                                                                                It's under "eggs" as:
                                                                                                Porchetta 14
                                                                                                Roast Pork, Fried Eggs & Ciabatta

                                                                                          2. re: kyra2224

                                                                                            personally, the first morning I was at the Breslin, I had the PB&Banana sandwich, an order of the sausage (two braut-sized sausages) and then left there directly for Doughnut Plant, where I had two doughnuts. so yes, while the breslin is decently heavy food, it didnt leave me feeling like i was weighed down for the rest of the morning or anything. also, the ham and cheese is ridiculously good. make sure to get it with the egg though!

                                                                                            1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                              Skip Mille Feuille entirely - and the sandwiches at Dominique Ansel didn't look all that special.

                                                                                              Locanda Verde had good food (not great) and the service was terrible. Perhaps consider The Dutch if you want to support Carmellini for breakfast?

                                                                                              The Breslin was freakin' awesome. :-)

                                                                                              http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                              1. re: uhockey

                                                                                                uhockey,

                                                                                                When we had lunch at Locanda Verde two weeks ago, the food was really delicious, and we couldn't ask for better service.

                                                                                                http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                                                                                1. re: RGR

                                                                                                  I am looking forward to Locanda Verde and perhaps will have a quick lunch at Maialino as well. I am on the fence about if I should go to the Breslin as well.

                                                                                                  I am just going to get treats at Dominique Ansel. Thanks!

                                                                                                  1. re: RGR

                                                                                                    RGR,
                                                                                                    Also do I need to book the bar at Maialino at lunch or walk in only?

                                                                                                    1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                      kyra,

                                                                                                      Maialino's bar is walk-in only. In addition to seating at the bar, there are a number of tables.

                                                                                                      Photos of Maialino's interior, including the bar area, can be seen in this set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                                                                                      http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                                                                                    2. re: RGR

                                                                                                      Perhaps they have improved. I'd still be hard pressed to go back - it just wasn't that special to me in a city filled with GREAT Italian food.

                                                                                                      http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                    3. re: uhockey

                                                                                                      uhockey,

                                                                                                      The treats are worth getting yes? I was thinking almond croissant, paris-ny, dka, made to order madeleines -- maybe the egg sandwich and croque monsieur?

                                                                                                      1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                        DKA, Almond Croissant, Paris-NY, Cannele de Bordeaux, Salted Almond Eclair, and any of the Macarons (particularly the Raspberry Balsamic.)

                                                                                                        I found his croissant, cannele, kouign amann, and macarons to be the best in New York City and would put the DKA and Cannele up against those in France.

                                                                                                        http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                        1. re: uhockey

                                                                                                          Croissant? That gives me hope, my favourites are from Pierre Herme Paris. Swoon.

                                                                                                      2. re: uhockey

                                                                                                        For breakfast/brunch, at Locanda Verde, the savories are better than the french toast/pancakes/etc options, IMO.

                                                                                                        I've brunched both the Dutch and Locanda Verde multiple times and prefer Locanda Verde.

                                                                                                        You should probably note, uhockey, that you are biased in favor of sweet breakfasts/brunches.

                                                                                                        I am not as adamant that Mille Feuille should be skipped entirely. I have been a handful of times and never experienced any pastry or customer service issues. But I have not as recently as uhockey (who visited very recently, but only once). So take that as you will. Perhaps it was just a bad day for them, who knows.

                                                                                                        1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                          Find me a picture substantiating their namesake as a legitimate pastry and I'll say "maybe" it was a bad day. All the pictures I've seen look Walmart/Costco.

                                                                                                          http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                          1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                            Kathryn,

                                                                                                            What are your thoughts on ABC Kitchen? I really like the concept but have heard mixed reviews. I am thinking of trying to squeeze it in or perhaps exchange for Minetta or Aldea?

                                                                                                            Thanks

                                                                                                            1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                              The food is delicious (that crab toast! that sundae!), the noise level isn't too bad, the decor is very cute (shabby chic), and it's conveniently located to a lot other places. I've had so-so service in the front area (walk-ins/bar) and much better service in the main dining room.

                                                                                                              Also, I find the chairs to be slightly uncomfortable, the tables to be a little small (at least for 2 tops), and it books up rather quickly for dinner (you can't get a 8pm reservation unless you are right on OpenTable 30 days in advance often). Lunch may be easier.

                                                                                                              We always have a good time when we go, though, it can just require a little bit of advance planning.

                                                                                                              1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                I was thinking about going for lunch but would you opt it out for Minetta or Aldea?

                                                                                                                1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                                  Tough choice! Aldea more refined and will be more upscale of an experience. Minetta is much more meat-heavy and a little bit overpriced for the cramped nature of the tables. The food is delicious, just very different from Aldea and ABC Kitchen. ABC seems lighter to me and given the menu, I'd probably end up focusing on the lighter, more spring-like dishes.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                    Thanks a lot. I am going to keep Aldea but maybe think about opting Minetta vs. ABC. I am so excited, so much planning and it is finally next week!!!

                                                                                        2. Just an FYI: Ten Bells is cash only. I went with a friend and we had lots of wine and food and the bill was quite pricey, so just make sure you have ample funds. There is an ATM outside but you may not want to pay the fee.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. For EMP, do the tasting menu. I personally don't think there is a better restaurant in the world. Enough said.

                                                                                            For the Day 4 spanish dinner, I prefer Casa Mono. It may be the best Batali restaurant, in my opinion.

                                                                                            Good Luck!

                                                                                            44 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: projectbennett

                                                                                              Kathryn, uhockey and everyone else who responded, THANK YOU! I enjoyed it so much I am returning in June for a weekend trip

                                                                                              We got around to most of the places but missed a few:

                                                                                              Recap of our trip:

                                                                                              Shake Shack: all american, greasy, flat top burger. Delicious, very enjoyable and the shack sauce was delicious
                                                                                              Luke's Lobster: loved the buttery bun, the perfect amount of seasoning, the juicy, succulent pieces of lobster but I was surprised the sandwich was so cold. Regardless delicious!
                                                                                              Maialino: Great meal. We had the fried artichokes, the carbonara, the malfatti, and the suckling pig. All delicious and well executed!
                                                                                              Momofuko Ssams Bar: Pork belly buns were tasty but a bit underwhelming. The duck over rice was delicious! I could not get enough of the duck fat scallion sauce and the duck was juicy, well seasoned, incredibly delectable.
                                                                                              Scarpetta: As I was a former employee of Scott Conants, after meeting with him he urged us to go to dinner that evening. It was a real treat as he sent out a full tasting with wine pairings and it was truly an incredible meal. The highlights were the taleggio ravioli, the spaghetti, the spiced lamb and the octopus dish (off menu).
                                                                                              Locanda Verde: Great brunch spot. Had the apple cider donut, the uova modenese (soooo good) and the sheep's milk ricotta with burnt orange toast.
                                                                                              Minetta Tavern: Loved the pistachio de la rosa cocktail (we had quite of few of these) and I LOVED the Black Label Burger. The dry age funky, deliciousness was fantastic. Would return for this.
                                                                                              Aldea: Wonderful space and food. We had the shrimp salad and oh goodness,the arroz de pato was really special. The layering of flavours of the duck confit, rice, olives, clementine and chorizo was just incredible. We also got the serrano ham bikini and the fresh fried little donuts. Excellent meal.
                                                                                              Tertulia: LOVED IT. Thank you for this suggestion -- we got the iberico (of course), the jamon croquettes, the potato bravas, the codero (lamb dish - really a stand out dish) and the rice dish with iberico and snails. The last one I was not crazy about and wish I got the paella instead (but am returning here in June).
                                                                                              Death and Company: fantastic cocktails. On the sunday night - no wait.
                                                                                              Elsa: great cocktails as well. I loved the one with the jalapeno in it, so great.
                                                                                              EMP: WOW WOW WOW! So fantastic, the best meal of the trip (not a shock). Everything was so seamless from the service to the food. It was my boyfriends birthday and they made it so special with all these small touches. In addition, we got to have a liquid amuse in the back kitchen - prepared with liquid nitrogen as we watched the on-goings in the kitchen. That was very special.
                                                                                              Katz Deli: Amazing. So glad we got to go here before we left -- we got the pastrami rueben. Wish we had taken another to the airport!
                                                                                              Russ and Daughters: got the nova with scallion cream cheese and red onion. Incredibly fresh and delicious.
                                                                                              Dominique Ansel: Loved the DKA and Madeleines.

                                                                                              I am still working on my blog posts for NYC but please feel free to check out my experiences: www.kyra-mylifeisfood.blogspot.ca

                                                                                              Also I may need some new suggestions for when I go back in June ! Some new places I may go are Brooklyn Taco in Essex Market, ABC Kitchen, Clinton Street Baking (my friends place where we are staying is on Clinton so I can avoid crazy lines up and just put my name down and come back), Caracas Arepas, GR Souvlaki (LES new location), Parm (meatball hero), Kestes/Motorino ... we will return to Tertulia, Minetta, Katz ... also any thoughts on the new Babbo lunch or Nomad? Thanks again :) my trip was incredibly wonderful

                                                                                              1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                Empellon Taqueria for creative, more upscale tacos, or perhaps Empellon Cocina.

                                                                                                Breakfast at The Breslin.

                                                                                                Despana for Spanish grocery, Txikito for tapas, La Churreria for authentic dark hot chocolate and freshly fried churros without cinnamon/lots of sugar (just like Spain) and bikini sandwiches.

                                                                                                Laduree for macarons.

                                                                                                North End Grill for the maple bacon croissant.

                                                                                                Pegu Club or PDT for cocktails. Try the Poquito Picante at Pegu. If you like spicy drinks, try the Hot Lips at The NoMad. Mayahuel might be good, too.

                                                                                                1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                  Pegu Club is a definitely on the list for next time. Do you think Saturday around 8pm will be okay time -- I assume it gets crazier later in the evening (we want to avoid that).

                                                                                                  Laduree - I am not crazy about their macaroons in Paris (had on mutliple occasions), except for the salted caramel.

                                                                                                  1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                    I went this past Friday around 8:30pm, lucked out and grabbed two bar stools just as someone was leaving. There were maybe 1-2 tables available, tops. It was tough to grab a seat after that. It was fairly loud, but not too crowded around the bar. Sometimes when it's too insane inside, they make people wait on the sidewalk. But that will probably be closer to 10pm.

                                                                                                    1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                      Good to know. Maybe we will try to aim a little earlier for arrival.

                                                                                                2. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                  Thanks for the report! I can't believe how many places you hit in 5 days, just amazing!

                                                                                                  Do you like chocolate? If so, consider La Maison du Chocolat and Kee's. Neither place is a sit-down shop, but both are worth going to.

                                                                                                  1. re: Pan

                                                                                                    Pan - you are always impressed by people who visit a lot of places. We need to take you on a pizza crawl next time. ;-)

                                                                                                    http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                    1. re: uhockey

                                                                                                      I'd be happy to go on a carb day.

                                                                                                    2. re: Pan

                                                                                                      Thank you for the support ha! Remember, the whole point of my trip is solely to EAT. Sights and shopping are a close secondary but the ultimate destination of each day are my meals :). I can't wait to go back in June.

                                                                                                      Has anyone been to NoMad? I know it is similar but different from EMP. I am really interested in perhaps going there .. the duck and pork dishes look good, and has anyone tried to chicken for two? i have read reviews that either it was ridiculously amazing or dry/burnt. So not sure if its worth it.

                                                                                                      I am also thinking about ABC Kitchen .. really good reviews but the menu doesn't completely excite me. Any standout dishes ??

                                                                                                      Uhockey: Ps. Pizza crawl? Where would you recommend as your favourites and what pies/slices to get at each place? I know about most of the places but the reviews are so all over the place, that its tough to make a decision.

                                                                                                      1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                        Going to the NoMad in two weeks, will report back.

                                                                                                        At ABC the menu is seasonal so by June, may have different dishes. But the crab toast is simple and delicious, as is the sundae. Those two dishes usually don't leave the menu. Neither do the whole wheat pizzas (but I am not a fan -- if you're going to eat pizza, why make it whole wheat?). It's not a haute restaurant but the dishes are very well executed.

                                                                                                        If you're only here for a short period of time, and staying in Manhattan, and already interested in it, go to Motorino. It is convenient, open for both lunch and dinner, and delicious.

                                                                                                        IMO, the diversity of reviews for all pizza places is a product of strong personal preferences regarding toppings, cheese, crust, and also the inconsistent nature of pizza-making.

                                                                                                        1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                          Kathryn,

                                                                                                          Thank you, I will be waiting for your NoMad review!

                                                                                                          Yes I hear ABC's food execution is fantastic, I don't need anything fancy, just good food. Is lunch an okay option as well?

                                                                                                          Motorino is something I have been thinking of. I am a huge fan of napoli style pizza but I feel I should try something more like an authentic NY slice. I would like to go to DiFara's but don't think I will be able to make it out to brooklyn.

                                                                                                          1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                            Lunch/brunch is also a good option at ABC. I just had a great brunch there with some of their fresh juices and I absolutely loved my dish: fried and battered oysters, served with soft scrambled eggs, and hot sauce butter.

                                                                                                            For pizza, I have a soft spot for Joe's on Carmine and 6th Ave, especially after some drinking, but I think the general consensus is that the whole pie places are better than the slice joints. It's not gourmet, but it hits the spot, for me.

                                                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                              I changed my reservation from ABC to Lincoln. Wonder if I missed out!!
                                                                                                              Just noticed we both shared the same 'surname'!!! Interesting!

                                                                                                              1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                Two TOTALLY different experience. ABC is more loud, crowded, rustic, casual, ingredient focused, and American with some Asian influences. Decor is shabby chic with reclaimed everything (cardboard menu holders, coasters, repainted tables, grandma plates). Lincoln is more Italian with some French influences, yes? And a formal, comfortable environment w/ prix fixe? I've walked past and it is gorgeous and modern in design.

                                                                                                                PS My surname is 游 (like swimming).

                                                                                                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                                                  I assure you that you didn't miss anything at ABC that you can't get in Toronto in terms of farm to table.

                                                                                                                  Aside from Buca, which still isn't on the level of Lincoln, I seriously doubt there is Italian food close to Lincoln up there.

                                                                                                                  http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                                1. re: RGR

                                                                                                                  RGR,

                                                                                                                  Thank you for the photos. I read your review but I did not see anything about your thoughts on the chicken, the pork or the duck. Those are the dishes I am probably most interested in. Please let me know your thoughts :) Thank you!

                                                                                                                    1. re: RGR

                                                                                                                      So you did not face any issues with the chicken being dry or burnt in some portions? I have been reading very mixed reviews, hence are very hesistant to order. Thank you for your responses.

                                                                                                                      1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                                        Our chicken was not burnt or dry. However, if you are concerned, go with the duck and the suckling pig.

                                                                                                                        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

                                                                                                                        1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                                          The chicken is fantastic, one of the best things I've eaten all year (and we did Next El Bulli earlier this year). Moist chicken breast with a brioche/foie/truffle stuffing under the skin. The skin is thin and a little crispy. It is dark but not bitter or burnt. The stuffing keeps the breast moist but doesn't really permeate the meat, so they add additional truffles on the plate with the white asparagus that comes with it. If you like truffles, you'll be in heaven. Make sure you get a little stuffing in each bite. The dark meat served with wild mushrooms was also very good and flavorful, but a bit overkill, so I was too full to eat much of this.

                                                                                                                          However, the duck and pork are also both very good. If you like those proteins more than chicken breast, and you require a thicker, crispy skin, maybe you'd like that more. The skin on the chicken kind of gets buried by the truffles, and at the end of the day, the chicken breast meat, while perfectly cooked and very moist, still tastes like chicken breast.

                                                                                                                          1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                            ...I went to Next El Bulli earlier this year. I've had at least 30 plates superior to any single item on the menu there. It was best taken as an 'experience' and....well....even at that I've had 4 better meals in 2012 already.

                                                                                                                            That noted, the chicken and duck at NoMad are both on my 'must' list.

                                                                                                                            http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                              Thank you for such a detailed report. I will be making my reservation next Friday, thanks !! I still have to decide what I want more :)

                                                                                                                    2. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                                      If you want an authentic New York pizza and are willing to do a whole pie, go up to Patsy's in East Harlem. You can get slices there, too, but the crust is so thin that you'll want a whole pie.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Pan

                                                                                                                        Definitely don't go to John's.

                                                                                                                        And, for neopolitan, Keste - or make that trip across the bridge and hit DiFara for luncha dn Lucali for dinner - still the best pizza I've ever had.

                                                                                                                        http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                                        1. re: uhockey

                                                                                                                          DiFara isn't really Neapolitan-style pizza, though. It's really good, thin-crust New York pizza with superb toppings.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Pan

                                                                                                                            Yeah, I didn't mean it that way. I meant Lucali was Neapolitan. Re-Reading what I wrote it doesn't come across right.

                                                                                                                            What I should have said was "if you want a great pizza day including a New York style pie AND a Neapolitan that trumps any I've had you should go to Brooklyn, do DiFara for lunch, and Lucali for dinner!"

                                                                                                                            http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                                              1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                                                One other pizzeria that is great but doesn't get much press is Luzzo's.

                                                                                                                                1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                                                  Luzzo's is OK but I find the crust to be bland / need more seasoning. It is also on the more "wet" side. If in the East Village, I'd rather go to Motorino.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                                    Eh, to each his or her own I guess. I don't eat the crust really so that doesn't bother me if it indeed was bland. I thought the pizza was great and they are using top notch ingredients and have lots of choices.

                                                                                                                  1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                                    There is a thread from our Brooklyn version and the Manhattan one. There is also a whole blog that is quite searchable. :-)

                                                                                                                    On the whole, our agendas (friends + eat>museums+music+sports>shopping) for travel are quite similar, though mine even more crammed.

                                                                                                                    http://endoedibles.com

                                                                                                                    1. re: uhockey

                                                                                                                      uhockey, thank you!

                                                                                                                      I have read quite of few of your blogposts, and the Manhattan pizza crawl. I will check out the brooklyn one as well

                                                                                                                      1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                                        I also really enjoy falafels, is Taim the best place? Is it worth the trip there?

                                                                                                                        1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                                          The falafel at Taim is good, but worth the trip? Depends on if you are in the area. The restaurant has perhaps 15 square feet of space in the dining area so don't expect to eat inside, it gets packed with college kids and the staff can be incredibly rude.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                                            Taim is really more a take-out spot, especially now that the weather's nice. We'll usually grab ours and either go West to Abingdon Square or the piers, or East to that tiny park across the street from Morandi - the little triangle surrounded by 7th, Waverly, and Charles.

                                                                                                                            I think they're worth it... also a fan of their "Sabich" - a sandwich with, like, 100 ingredients. Not only are the falafels great, their amba (a mango chutney) is excellent, and something you don't find at too many (any?) other falafel joints.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sgordon

                                                                                                                              Do you prefer Taim vs. Caracas Arepas? I am debating between the two. I know they are completely different but cannot make a decision for my last spot

                                                                                                                    2. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                                      I had a terrific brunch at ABC Kitchen this weekend. The maple bacon biscuits were incredible and the scramblled eggs with fried oysters and hot sauce butter was one of the most unique and outstanding brunch dishes I've ever tasted. The flavors in the dish kind of brought me back to New Orleans, which I have a soft spot for as one of my favorite cities.

                                                                                                                      I also highly recommend the NoMad. Humm and Guidara are doing things right just like they are at EMP. A lot of the same dishes but a much different, more relaxed atmosphere. If you go during the day, the atrium if a wonderful place to eat with the sunlight shining through. As for the food, the tagliatelle with king crab (holdover from EMP) is one of the best pastas you will ever have. Saying a lot for a chef who doesn't specialize in Italian food. And I loved the lobster dish as well. As always, the service from this team is top notch and superb. Both ABC Kitchen and the NoMad were two of my favorite meals of 2012 so far.

                                                                                                                      1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                                        Thank you for that review. I currently have abc kitchen as a dinner reservation but to be completely honest the menu does not excite me. Perhaps I will try for brunch instead.
                                                                                                                        NoMad is booked and I am very excited

                                                                                                                        1. re: steakrules85

                                                                                                                          Can anyone please tell me what the dress code is for the NoMad hotel? That would be greatly appreciated

                                                                                                                          1. re: kyra2224

                                                                                                                            The OpenTable page says Smart Casual.

                                                                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                              Thank you again for all your help for making my second Ny trip such a success .. here is a recap ...

                                                                                                                              First Evening:
                                                                                                                              - Minetta Tavern: Again for the BL Burger, I am such a fan.
                                                                                                                              - Ten Bells Wine Bar: very cute space, had some oysters and sparkling

                                                                                                                              First full day:
                                                                                                                              - Dominique Ansel Bakery: had the DKA again but tried the cannele and the almond croissant. I thought the cannele was okay, a bit too spongy/chewy for me but the almond croissant was awesome.
                                                                                                                              - cafe habana: mexican grilled corn, awesome treat for $2.00.
                                                                                                                              - brooklyn taco in essex market: cheap lunch, great tacos, loved the cola braised pork and the chilorio brisket tacos in particular.
                                                                                                                              the NoMad hotel: AWESOME. Such a delicious meal
                                                                                                                              - steak tartare with warm brioche: tartare melted in your mouth, well seasoned and the warm buttery brioche was a fantastic pair
                                                                                                                              - snow peas with pancetta and pecorino: very fresh tasty, crisp, crunchy.
                                                                                                                              - king crab tagliatelle pasta: AMAZING. Succulent king crab in this light, buttery, creamy pasta
                                                                                                                              - Suckling pork: fantastic crackling, juicy pork. loved the cherries in the dish
                                                                                                                              - Duck: I think was my favourite dish of the night. Perfectly cooked, loved the pairing with the peaches.
                                                                                                                              - Milk and Honey dessert: Awesome, loved the contrasting textures and temperatures. Truly special.

                                                                                                                              Late night:
                                                                                                                              - Pegu Club: Had a couple cocktails but the standout was the earl grey martini.
                                                                                                                              - Meatball Shop: Had the beef slider and lamb slider. Well executed but nothing too special.

                                                                                                                              Day 2
                                                                                                                              - Clinton Street Baking: Banana Walnut Pancakes with warm maple butter. Divine, best pancakes I have ever had. Really impressed but also easy as I lived down the street so simply just put my name down and came back. Very fluffy, light and not too sweet.
                                                                                                                              - Taim falafel: Got the Harissa and the Green. Both were AMAZING!! Really great falafels, the harissa had beautiful Mediterranean flavours and the Green was a classic falafel, very fresh tasting with the cilantro. Loved it.
                                                                                                                              - Parm: another spot I really enjoyed. We shared the meatball parm on a roll and the eggplant platter. The flavour of the meatball was truly outstanding, wonderful flavour combination of meats. Loved the tomato sauce (a bit sweet but I do enjoy that aspect). The eggplant platter was also fantastic. Nice medium thick slices of eggplant stacked, all covered in gooey cheese and sauce. Awesome.
                                                                                                                              Late night: GR Souvlaki - had the chicken pita, greek salad and the tzatziki dip. Fairly standard, nothing to rave about.
                                                                                                                              - Cibao restaurant on Clinton: had the cubano sandwich. Pretty good at $5.00 for the sandwich but the meat was ever so slightly dry. Very good though
                                                                                                                              - Nonna's pizzeria: we got just a cheese slice (no square slices available at this time). Nothing to rave about but definitely was not unsatisfied.
                                                                                                                              - Elsa (bar in lower east side): LOVE this bar, very reasonable drinks, favourite is the BLACK BOOK (bourbon based jalapeno drink)

                                                                                                                              Day 3:
                                                                                                                              -- Katz's Deli Pastrami Rueben : probably had one everyday we were there (we stayed right on Clinton in the LES so very close by). LOVE LOVE LOVE the pastrami. We also took some home with us!
                                                                                                                              - Despana + Ceci Cela: We went to despana and got 5J's Iberico, then headed to Ceci Cela for croissants and made sandwiches. AMAZING. The iberico was buttery, melt in you mouth delicious. The Croissants I was actually quite surprised, probably one of the best since Paris. Very buttery, flaky, light but crispy.
                                                                                                                              - Caracas Arepa: had de pabellon, la surena and la del gato. My favourites were probably the first two, last one was okay a bit bland. Overall fairly tasty for a cheap meal.
                                                                                                                              - il laboratorio de gelato: we tried to go to big gay's icecream but the line up too long and we had to get to the airport. here we tried raspberry and passionfruit (very good but standard flavours). MY FAVOURITES: Basil and Earl Grey Tea. Both were INCREDIBLE. love this place.

                                                                                                                              1. re: kathryn

                                                                                                                                I went to nomad with a short sleeve polo nice jeans and dark sneakers and they were fine with it.