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Need help planning week of foodie trip

p
pierrex Mar 8, 2012 03:25 AM

i've been to manhattan several times and this time looking to try a variety of exceptional places that are new to me, starting in a couple weeks. to give a sense of what i like, a big range of places i've loved in the past include mile end, shake shack, porchetta, bouchon bakery, sakagura, ko, per se, just to name a few. thinking about kyo ya, momofuku noodle bar, or any place on the 101 nymag best sandwich list...

i'll list a few categories of places i need to fill, as well as places i already have plans for, to balance out variety:

already planned:
- dinner at EMP
- lunch at 15 east. Q: in a 3-top, is it possible for two people to order omakase and another person who doesn't eat raw fish to order a la carte?
- shake shack
- lunch at ippudo

looking to get recs for:
1 - a nice lounge or bar, well lit, cocktails, good food a plus, where i can arrange to meet a bunch of people coming and going throughout the evening, probably 7-11pm ish
2 - two or three lunches anywhere in manhattan, dining by myself, price no object, prefer not-formal, not-uptight place that i can feel comfortable going solo in. i'll travel around just to go to the place.
3 - same thing as above (1), but for breakfast instead of lunch
4 - dinner at any place, <$20 per person, in a 4-top, no further up than midtown.
5 - best breakfast near times square, upscale ok but not necessary
6 - pre-theater quick bite near 50th/8th, 4-top
7 - post-theater dinner starting around 11pm, 4-top, upscale ok but not super formal
8 - lunch on the upper east side near guggenheim, 4-top, upscale ok

thanks everyone!

  1. sgordon Mar 8, 2012 10:24 AM

    1:
    - Depends which night. On a weekend, the better lounges / bars are going to be mobbed. Some of them have wait lists so you can't really have people coming / going all night. Would you be willing to go to a place where you can reserve a section, perhaps, so you can have space for your group guaranteed? That could be expensive, but may be a safer bet. The Monday Room at Public would be excellent for that, IMHO, if you can put down the $$$. That aside, I've been to "come & go" parties at d.b.a. in the East Village that worked out rather nicely - no food but you can order delivery form any number of excellent EV options. They're more of an artisanal beer & spirits place than a cocktail lounge, though.

    2:
    - Any of the lunch stands at Eataly - I'm partial to Le Verdure (veggies) and Il Pesce (fish) myself. Further up the price range, you could also dine at the bar at Manzo (beef-centric) as well.
    - Del Posto - even though they recently upped the price to $39, it's still oone of the best lunch deals in town. I assume it's still only $10 more to upgrade the three-course lunch to a "proper Italian" four-course meal as well, where you get pasta AND secondi instead of having to choose between the two. Upscale, but pretty casual during lunch hours, and in a good part of town for exploring before / after.
    - Upscaled Mexican at Toloache, Nordic at Aquavit, American at David Burke Townhouse, Monkey Bar, or ABC Kitchen. Also coming to mind: The Modern (Dining Room or Bar), Bouley if you want to go fancy-fancy. Morimoto for playful Japanese fare (skip the sushi, stick to composed dishes)
    - For a Haute Indian lunch, Devi, Tulsi, or Junoon.
    - The "duck lunch" at Momofuku Ssam Bar is extraordinary, especially the duck over rice slathered with the ginger-scallion sauce they leave at the table. Not too crowded for lunch either.
    - For "cheap eats" lunch with a bit of character: Xi'an Famous Foods (one of the Chinatown locations), Tehuitzingo

    3:
    - I don't know of any breakfast places where people can just wander in/out for four hours. Seems like you'd have to reserve a section somewhere.

    4:
    Is that <$20 after tax/tip? You could possiobly do that at Parm, if you stick to sandwiches and such. Or a number of cheaper Chinatown places (Xi'an, mentioned above for lunch, is good. Most of the better Cantonese places would break that budget though) - possibly Momofuku Noodle Bar, if you stick to simple stuff. Coppelia could be possible as well, if you stick with sandwiches / burgers as your mains. The "entrees" are in the high teens, which might put you slightly over with tax/tip.

    5:
    I know DB Bistro Moderne does breakfast, though it's a fairly limited and unexciting menu (at least as compared to the weekend brunch menu)

    6:
    Either Toloache or Tehitzingo, both mentioned above, could work for a quick bite - just order some tacos. The former for something fancier / more refined, the latter for dirt-cheap and full of character.

    7:
    Would be helpful to know the specific date, as some restaurants take rezzies until 11:00 on some nights but not others. If it's a weeknight, options are limited for upscale. Jean Georges books until 11:00 on weeknights, but they might be too formal (I heard they ditched the jacket requirement, but maybe that was only at lunch) - Marea and Esca also book late on weeknights, and they're more casual in vibe. And the above-mentioned Toloache serves pretty late - you could get cheap tacos before theater at Tehuitzingo, then go for a "fancy" Mexican dinner later, make it a theme night. If you want some casual American bistro food, The Smith in Midtown East serves quite late - until 11:30, IIRC - on weeknights.

    8:
    Cafe Boulud (I'd eat there over his flagship any day), hands down for that neighborhood / upscale.

    Okay, I'll stop there - I just realized how long the list below was starting to get!

    -----
    Tehuitzingo
    695 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

    Cafe Boulud
    20 East 76th St., New York, NY 10021

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

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

    Devi
    8 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003

    Toloache
    251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

    DB Bistro Moderne
    55 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036

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

    Esca
    402 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036

    Momofuku Noodle Bar
    171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Morimoto
    88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

    Public
    210 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012

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

    d.b.a.
    41 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

    Marea
    240 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019

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

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

    Tulsi
    211 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

    Eataly
    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    Manzo
    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    Il Pesce
    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    Junoon
    27 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

    Parm
    248 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

    Coppelia
    207 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

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

    Le Verdure
    200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    The Smith
    956 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

    1. Cheeryvisage Mar 8, 2012 10:30 AM

      For number 4, I'd go with Don Antonio, or Forcella for great Neapolitan pizzas. The decor / environment at both are great. That's what I'd do if I want a cheap dinner. Forcella takes reservations too and is on Opentable.

      1. f
        foodwhisperer Mar 8, 2012 08:40 PM

        I'd skip the table lunch at 15 East, it's nothing compared to dinner at the sushi bar

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

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