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Please Ctritique my 5 day/4 Night Food Schedule

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Hello, my wife and I will be on Manhattan for a short vacation from 4/12 - 4/16. Although this is not our first time in NYC, we want to taste various cuisines and dine in different neighborhoods. We want to keep the budget under $100 p/p including tip + tax (not included alcohol). Here it is, Please critique...

Day 1 (Thu):
Late Lunch-Shake Shack
Dinner- Tamarind TriBeCa

Day 2 (Fri):
Late breakfast- Balthazar
Early Dinner- Babbo (got the reservation!)

Day 3 (sat):
Brunch- Untitled
Diner-Boulud Sud

Day 4 (sun):
Breakfast- ??
Lunch: Momofuku Ssam Bar or Noodle Bar
Dinner-Commerce

Day 5:
-Breakfast-Clinton St Baking Co.

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  1. Day 1: If it's "haute Indian" you're after I'd trade in Tamarind for Devi, Junoon, or Tulsi. Tamarind is okay, but those three are a step above. If it's just a place in Tribeca you're after because you'll be in that part of town, there's better in the neighborhood as well. You might want to check out the menu at Marc Forgione - judging from some of your other choices, his food would probably be up your alley.

    Day 2: Lucky you, scoring a rez at Babbo. Can't complain about that. I'd recommend going four courses, if you can budget it, to get the "full Italian" experience - antipasti, pasta, secondi, dolci. Keep in mind that most dishes there are sized with that in mind. You could always split a secondi to keep yourselves within budget, some of them are a bit more substantial.

    Day 3: Untitled I find a little unexciting. Maybe consider Public - considered by many the best brunch in town, certainly among the most creative.

    Day 4: Maybe just grab bagels & coffee for breakfast, since Momo could be a pretty good size lunch (do Ssam Bar, get the duck over rice for sure, slather it up with the amazing ginger-scallion sauce at the table, and add on any other dishes that catch your fancy) - Russ & Daughters would be my (and nearly everyone else's choice) for bagels & lox. You can each get a different kind of lox from the dozen or so selections, all fantastic - I've been partial to the New Zealnd Maruka Wood lox of late if I'm feeling like one of the "premium" ones, but their gravlax, pastrami salmon, and even regular Nova are always among the best in town.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sgordon

      Hey! Thnxs for the reply! Heard a lot of "meh" for Tamarind, although I really enyoyed Tamarind 22 couple of years ago 2007. Will try Junoon (looks gorgeous)...that leaves a hole for dining in TriBeCa... Will try to accommodate Marc Forgione somehow... Public looks great for brunch!

      1. re: FDJL78

        For your dinner on Thursday in Tribeca, I highly recommend Jung Sik. Superb French-influenced Korean cuisine, excellent service, and lovely ambiance. The 5-course tasting menu is beyond your budget. However, there is a 3-course prix-fixe for $80. With tax (8.75% & tip (20%), you should just make it.

        Jung Sik photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        Edited to add: Good decision to switch to Junoon.

        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

        1. re: RGR

          Junoon it is! And since we already tried Tamarind previously, it makes all the sense in the world to make the switch.

        2. re: FDJL78

          We've found Untitled to be "meh" as well, but I second sgordon that Public is consistently one of our favorite brunch spots in the city. Can't go wrong with it!

      2. A couple of lunch ideas...Spotted Pig, ABC Kitchen, or the fish restaurant in Eataly

        3 Replies
        1. re: VinoEd

          Looking forward to accomodate Eataly in the schedule...also ABC for a farm-to-table experience...WOW! too many options!

          1. re: FDJL78

            If you are going to include Eataly on your itinerary, I urge you to avoid it on the weekend when it's a total zoo. While it's still crowded midweek, it's more bearable. Also, the only dining venues that take reservations are Manzo and the Birreria.

            http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

          2. re: VinoEd

            All good choices for weekday lunch.

            Spotted Pig is much harder to get into for dinner (long waits) and ABC Kitchen books up quickly for dinner (3-4 weeks in advance). Eataly can have long lines for dinner as well (except for Manzo, the upscale one, and Birreria, the beer garden).

          3. Solid. I'd swap out Commerce for Sunday dinner. If it's American cuisine you want - try Gramercy Tavern - Tavern Room. If it's the W. Village you're looking for, maybe Fatty Cue, also adds a new flavor profile / genre to your itinerary. Or Blue Ribbon Bakery is nearby.

            9 Replies
            1. re: thegforceny

              Location was my priority when selecting Commerce, American cuisine just happen to balance my selection... Fatty Cue looks pretty cool, and delicious too!

              1. re: FDJL78

                Also in Commerce area, but better (similar) food: Market Table, Little Owl, Joseph Leonard, Fedora.

                1. re: loratliff

                  Little Owl was my first choice but is fully booked for the evening. Very tempted with Market Table. Also Mas (Farmhouse) seems like a very good idea.

                  1. re: FDJL78

                    I didn't mention Mas at it is another price bracket than Commerce. But if that's cool - that's your best bet in that hood and for modern, farm-driven American. Romantic/sexy too.

                    1. re: FDJL78

                      Mas is great, much less casual than the other options, though. It reminds me of a cooler, downtown version of Gramercy Tavern.

                      Out of Mas, Market Table, Little Owl, Joseph Leonard, Fedora, and Fatty Cue, though, I think Fatty Cue would provide the most contrast w/ your other meals. Especially if you are doing ABC Kitchen.

                      1. re: kathryn

                        Ok, Mas will be my Sunday/Greenwich dining spot!... at this point I think I'm done with the schedule...

                        Day 1 (Thu):
                        Late Lunch-Shake Shack
                        Dinner- Junoon

                        Day 2 (Fri):
                        Late breakfast- Balthazar
                        Early Dinner- Babbo

                        Day 3 (sat):
                        Brunch- Public
                        Diner-Boulud Sud

                        Day 4 (sun):
                        Breakfast- Still open, not in a rush for deciding, probably near hotel (29th btwn 6th & 7th)
                        Lunch: Momofuku Ssam Bar
                        Dinner-Mas (Farmhouse)

                        Day 5:
                        -Breakfast-Clinton St Baking Co.

                        1. re: FDJL78

                          This is a great, great itinerary!

                          Breakfast- Still open, not in a rush for deciding, probably near hotel (29th btwn 6th & 7th)

                          How about The Breslin?

                          1. re: thegforceny

                            The Breslin is so perfect! Thanks!

                          2. re: FDJL78

                            My experience with the 5 day/4 Night Food Schedule review:

                            Day 1 (Thu):
                            Late Lunch-Shake Shack: very good burger, love the little wax bags that keeps your hands clean while eating the burger... I haven't eaten in other famous burger places (Burger Joint, 5 napkin, etc.) but I can highly recommend SS.

                            Dinner- Junoon: Had the eggplant appetizer- very crisp and delicious. My wife ordered the lamb chops...very tender and strong meaty flavor. I ordered the chicken masala, wich came very juicy and spicy. For me, the highlight of the night was the coconut rice pudding w/ ice cream, figs, bananas and toasted almonds... what a beautiful plate! full of textures and different flavors but very clean and coherent. Ideal dessert after a spicy meal. Highly recommended place for dining!

                            Day 2 (Fri):
                            Late breakfast- Balthazar: meh... The pace is beautiful, vibrant, loud, trendy, beautiful people....BUT the breakfast was just ok... The french toast where good, but I felt my brioche had a very thick crust that did not allowed me to enjoy the fluffiness and sweetness (the crust had a hint of a bitter taste) of a good french toast. My wife ordered the egg benedict plate...the two poached eggs were cooked in different doneness... one egg yolk oozed beautifully as the kniffe cutted through the poached egg while the other yolk was almost solid. The cafe au lait was excellent. Guess Balthazar is better for lunch or dinner.

                            Early Dinner- Babbo: ordered the pasta tasting menu....it was a very rewarding experience but it was a LOT of food! Our dinner was at 5:30pm, we finished at 7:15pm aprox and still at midnight I felt bloated. Confession: We added the tounge plate as an appetizer before the tasting plate arrived. I don't regret it. I'm not an offal fan and I can have this appetizer everyday! For me, the smoked ricotta and poppy seeds ravioli was the best dish of the night...until the desserts maked their appearance! The 3 desserts were outstanding: olive oil cake with olive oil gelato was delicious; the zeppola filled with dark chocolate was good althoug I prefer sweeter desserts. My favorite dessert was the "cema di caprino con caramello e mosto" served in a shot glass, creamy and very sweet. I highly recommend the pasta tasting menu but recommend not to finish every pasta dish (difficult to do given the deliciousness) and leave space to enjoy the desserts.

                            Day 3 (sat):
                            Late lunch: Momofuku Ssam Bar: duck over rice and pork buns.. A++. Also, I can have this for lunch everyday. After lunch we crossed the street to the Milk Bar and have a delicious cereal milk soft serve with a compost cookie... the soft serve was amazingly good and tasted exactly as that, cereal milk...wow that was good!

                            Day 4 (sun):

                            Brunch: Emporio...Surprisingly good. We met with a friend there and although I wanted to do Public, my friend insisted in Emprio. Wow! the French toast with fruit compote was very, very good (no crust on the brioche). The english plate was also very good. Also enyoyed the biscotti served as a complement to the cafe latte.

                            Dinner: We were tired and grabbed a pork loin panini at Eataly's Rosticceria...the panini consisted only of bread, pork loin, olive oil, salt and pepper. Who need anything else?! We really enjoyed the panini and finished it wth a ricotta and almond gelato... it was so good!

                            Day 5:
                            -Breakfast-Clinton St Baking Co.: really good blueberry pancakes. I think next time I will order the banana walnut ones. I saw a lot of them being served that morning, I guess they are as good (or better) as the blueberry ones...

                            Well, that was it... I really enyoyed my eating in Manhattan. Thank you guys for all the recommendations!!!

                2. For weekend brunch, I would do Prune, The Breslin, Minetta Tavern or Locanda Verde.

                  Locanda Verde also has excellent weekday breakfast.

                  Best weekday breakfast:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8330...

                  Best weekend brunch:
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831766

                  And I would definitely choose Ssam Bar over Noodle Bar.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kathryn

                    I stopped doing brunch alot, but it should be noted that many (most) brunch spots do not take a res and waits can easily be over an hour. Breakfast at Clinton on monday morning will treat you right, brunch on a weekend there is a 2 hour wait on a nice day. Which is why I've eaten there twice in the last 5 years.