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Looking for Dining Tour suggestions for one guy (me) for this Friday

Hey everyone, been forever since I've been on here. My wife is in LA, my daughter will be staying with the in-laws and therefore I have Friday night to explore the city for a dine around.

I have a million ideas of what I want to do and what I want to accomplish but it's simply too daunting to decide.

Here's my request:

* Please provide up to 5 places (with specific dishes) I should try.
* Ideally I'd like to keep this all within walkable distances of each other or a short cab/subway rides away. I'd rather spend my money at the restaurants/bars this night than on fares.
* Any neighborhood(s) is/are fine but I'd like to keep it in either Manhattan or Brooklyn
* It can be thematic or not.
* Ideally it'd be a bar snack/cocktail at one place, an appetizer + drink someplace, an entree + drink at another and a dessert at another place. Maybe another drink someplace else?
* In other words, I want to get as many partial dining and drinking experiences as possible without overeating.

Thanks in advance for your help!

M.

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  1. So glad to see you again! If your food tour takes you to midtown, I highly recommend Ma Peche. Right now I'm in love with their new cold foie gras prep and chocolate dessert. Also discovered their new non-alcoholic cocktail called the "Cold Toddy".

    The cold foie gras prep has diced jalapeno peppers, quince jam/gelee, cubes of toasted brioche topped with marshmallow. The spice of the pepper is perfect against the richness of the foie and the sweetness of the marshmallow. This is my new favorite cold foie gras prep.

    The chocolate dessert is a chocolate ganache mixed with coffee for a wonderful mocha flavor with thai basil, coconut snow and honey.

    The Cold Toddy is a lovely mix of meyer lemon, chamomile and cinnamon.

    -----
    Ma Peche
    15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

    2 Replies
    1. re: ellenost

      That does sound good. I've been wanting to get there as well. Thanks for the suggestion!

      1. re: dkstar1

        Near Ma Peche, you could try the bars at:

        Marea - octopus/bone marrow or crab/sea urchin pasta
        Picholine - cochon or risotto (everything is good there though portions are small)
        Per Se (jacket required) - butter poached lobster
        Modern Bar Room - dessert

        The Lounge menu at Le Bernardin is also a possibility, though I haven't been there since the renovation.
        http://www.le-bernardin.com/lounge/

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

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

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

        Picholine
        35 West 64th St., New York, NY 10023

        Marea
        240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

    2. >>* Ideally it'd be a bar snack/cocktail at one place, an appetizer + drink someplace, an entree + drink at another and a dessert at another place. Maybe another drink someplace else?

      Fun! In the West Village, how about:

      1. Blood and sand + Scotch egg at the Highlands

      2. One piece of fresh uni + to one or two small plates containing uni with sake at Soto

      (If you're not very hungry, reverse the order of the above so you can really appreciate the lighter uni dishes.)

      3. The tongue experience and seasonal namul at Takashi + more sake. If you're brave and there is some available, have some beef liver sashimi, too. If you're still hungry, try a few of the stomach cuts, grilled.

      4. Either stop by Fedora for a Songbird cocktail for dessert or do a gelato hop at some or all of the following: L'Arte del Gelato, Grom, Love (pistachio is fantastic), Otto (olive oil gelato is the most interesting and lauded flavor).

      -----
      L'Arte del Gelato
      75 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

      Soto
      357 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

      Otto
      1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

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

      Grom
      233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

      Highlands
      150 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

      Takashi
      456 Hudson St, New York, NY 10011

      Love Gelato
      167 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

      5 Replies
      1. re: michelleats

        Takashi doesn't really have a bar where you can sit so I'd feel awkward only ordering 1-2 things and leaving. Takashi on a Friday night could have a pretty long wait, too. And if you're going to the trouble of waiting, and having them turn on the grill for you, might as well do a full dinner. :)

        I would try to elbow my way into places with bars and order a dish and a drink:
        - Deviled eggs at Spotted Pig -- maybe start here first at like 4pm?
        - Happy hour oysters at Mermaid Oyster Bar?
        - 5Js brand jamon iberico and a glass of wine at Tertulia
        - Deep fried bacon and a Chupacabra at Fatty Cue
        - Bone marrow poppers and a cocktail at Employees Only
        - Spicy duck meatballs at Perilla
        - Bone marrow with bacon bread and onion marmalade at Blue Ribbon Bakery
        - Maybe end at Babbo if it's getting to be really late, like 10pm-11pm

        Good luck! I'm struggling to think of places where the bar won't be insanely crowded on a Friday night. Personally, I like to get somewhere early, plant myself at the bar, and leave after my dinner is done. :)

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

        Babbo
        110 Waverly Pl, New York, NY 10011

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

        Blue Ribbon Bakery
        33 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014

        Employees Only
        510 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

        Mermaid Oyster Bar
        79 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

        Takashi
        456 Hudson St, New York, NY 10011

        Tertulia
        359 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

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

        1. re: kathryn

          These are good options too. Have had lots of the great things at Spotted Pig including the deviled eggs but I like the idea of starting off there. Oysters = great idea; Tertulia = great idea, Fatty Cue and Employees Only are all great as well. Might skip Blue Ribbon as I've had that dish before, twice. Love Babbo, so maybe a good way to end the night. Great ideas, thanks kathryn!

          1. re: kathryn

            "Takashi doesn't really have a bar where you can sit so I'd feel awkward only ordering 1-2 things and leaving. Takashi on a Friday night could have a pretty long wait, too. And if you're going to the trouble of waiting, and having them turn on the grill for you, might as well do a full dinner. :)"

            I just ordered a few items while sitting at the bar surrounding the grill, recently, actually. (It was a speed date so my husband and I could race back home to our newborn.) They seemed happy to turn the table and it didn't feel awkward at all. If you go when it first opens, there probably won't be a wait.

            The wait at Tertulia... Phew. That's the one that seems insurmountable to me! (Please divulge your insider secrets of how to experience this place with the least amount of pain and waiting, if you have them!) I guess if it's very bad, dkstar1 could always pop into Soto next door. Or pick up tamales from El Idolo to tide him over.

            1. re: michelleats

              Tertulia does serve lunch/brunch, and takes reservations for bigger groups....

          2. re: michelleats

            Hmm. Good ideas. Have been interested in that Scotch Egg. Have had the olive oil gelato - it is terrific. Thanks michelleats!

          3. when i'm on my own, the destination is fixed - the bar at Minetta for the Black Label Burger. it's easy to justify a $26 burger if i'm not paying for two and dining at the bar provides enough entertainment to keep me smiling throughout the meal.

            i would start the evening with a beer at Lederhosen, paired with a currywurst or pretzel. if you're a smoker, have a second drink at Circa Tabac and remind yourself why the smoking ban is a godsend. cleanse your palette with a lemon basil chocolate at Kee's, provided they're still open, and then make your way up to Minetta. do the burger because it's that good. if you still find yourself wanting to be out, hit the bar at Otto for an olive oil gelato and a night cap.

            maybe not the culinary tour that hounds dream of, but it works for me.

            -----
            Kee's Chocolates
            80 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

            Minetta Tavern
            113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012

            Otto
            1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

            Lederhosen
            39 Grove St, New York, NY 10014

            Circa Tabac
            32 Watts St, New York, NY 10013

            1 Reply
            1. re: coasts

              Thanks coasts. Great ideas as well. That is a terrific burger. Trying (successfully) to not smoke, so I might skip Circa Tabac. And yes, Kee's is awesome. I love that lemon basil chocolate though I'm partial to their Earl Grey, Green Tea, Kaffir Lime and Almond truffles. And the olive oil gelato is fantastic. All great ideas but on this dine around I'm going to go for some new experiences instead. Will report back.