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Trip to NYC. Any suggestions??

Headed to NYC in May with wife and another couple (4 total). I'm the only one who has been so we'll have to do some sightseeing. Wife and I will be there for 2 days before the other couple gets there so there is some duplication, but please help me with any suggestions or revisions. Bars for good beer or cocktails would be helpful too.

We're all in our early 30's and easy going so we are ok with loud and funky places.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Itenary:

Wednesday
Breakfast – The Fat Radish
Lunch – Red Rooster in Harlem (RESERVATION)
5th Ave
Grand Central, Campbell’s Apartment
Check In
Dinner – Momofuku Ma Peche

Thursday
Breakfast –Locanda Verde
Lunch – Café Habana or Lombardi’s
Dinner – DB Moderne (RESERVATION)
Theater - Book of Mormon

Friday
Top of the Rock ~ 9am
Highline
Breakfast: Highliner
Lunch –Eataly and Biergarten
Wall Street
9/11 Memorial @ 530pm
Dinner –The Beagle

Saturday
Grand Central
Breakfast – Pershing Square or Joe Art of Coffee
MoMA
Shopping on 5th Ave
Central Park
Lunch – Food Trucks or Picnic in the Park
The MET
Dinner – Frankie Sputino’s or Tap Room at Colicchio and Sons

Drinks
Pegu Club
Death & Co
Blind Tiger

Pizza
Lombardis
Motorino

Hot Dog
Crif dog
Papayas

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  1. Wednesday: I believe the Fat Radish has a limited cafe breakfast menu. Why not Clinton St Baking Co? It's also on the LES. What made you choose Fat Radish?

    Campbell Apartment has an interesting room but the cocktails aren't great. The ones at Ma Peche are much better. Try also Lantern's Keep in Midtown.

    Skip Lombardi's.

    Your Friday is MUCH too ambitious. Top of the Rock, the Highline, then Eataly, then Financial District, and back up to the East Village.

    I assume on Saturday you'll be walking up 5th from MOMA to get to Central Park. It's a very touristy area, not a lot of grocery stores for a picnic or food trucks there on weekends.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      kathryn thanks for the response. I'm not sure how i cam across fat radish - it was yelp, nymag, family or friends that led me in that direction. If its the incorrect direction i'll assume it was family or friends. Would you recommend Clinton St Baking or Balthazar? My wife is really into a simple breakfast - eggs, bacon and potatoes.

      Would you recommend Motorino?

      I'm going to back off the stuff to do on Friday and Saturday. I thought it was ambitious and i appreciate the honesty.

      Would you recommend Frankie Sputino’s or Tap Room at Colicchio and Sons for the last night? We are looking to go out with a bang, but not break the bank.

      Thanks again. RBP

      1. re: rothbearpig

        i for one definitely recc motorino. the brussel sprout and pancetta pizza is awesome. have been craving it ever since i was there last. the sopressetta is also very good. (its also right by ssam bar if you wanted to stop and grab some pork buns for carryout... which i did).

        i enjoyed my meal at Tap Room. the menu that is on their site now has some dishes on it that i wish had been on it when i was there last, because they look very good!

        1. re: mattstolz

          mattstolz, thanks for the response.

          Couple questions:

          1. motorino or south brooklyn pizza?
          2. tap room or ai fiori?

          Lastly, any advice on places to get good beer? We're from CA and have access to Pliney, Lagunitas, Stone, etc so we appreciate a good IPA.

          Thanks, RBP

    2. MOMA and the Met in one day?? That is exhausting, especially with everything else you have planned. Plus they will both be crowded on a weekend day. Just a thought to consider. And as Kathryn mentioned your Friday is pretty full too. Travel tips are not really allowed on CH, but I thought I'd mention it.
      Now, on to the CHOW!

      For the Central Park picnic, there is a grocery on 6th and 55 or 56st Ernest Klein where you can get picnic-type fare, and it's just a short walk from MOMA. And on 6th from about 50th to the park there are several delis, Starbucks, etc if you want to grab something quick.

      Or, if you will be in GCT earlier that day, you can pick up some cheese, sausage and bread in the Grand Central Market to have in the park---Eli's bread and Murray's cheese both have stalls there.

      Joe Art of Coffee in GCT is not a sit-down place, just a small shop with coffee and cookies/pastry. Pershing Square is a full service restaurant.

      9 Replies
      1. re: iluvcookies

        iluvcookies thanks for the info.

        I am going to take your advice (and kathryns) and remove some items from Friday and Saturday.

        Would you recommend Frankie Sputino’s or Tap Room at Colicchio and Sons for the last night? We are looking to go out with a bang, but not break the bank.

        Also, are there any bars or beer places you would recommend?

        Thanks for the help. RBP

        1. re: rothbearpig

          I haven't been to Frankie Sputino’s or Tap Room so I will leave that for another poster.

          A few bars that I happen to like--these are beer and standard bar-fare places, not fancy cocktail places FYI:
          Red Lion on Bleecker St (west Village)--they have half price apps during happy hour and pour a decent pint.
          Slainte on the Bowery(E Village/LES area) has a good beer selection and happy hour
          Legends on W33rd off 5th is a good place for a quick pint if you are in midtown

          1. re: iluvcookies

            Come on, these are all dumpy bars (maybe even tacky dives), not a place to have a properly constructed cocktail or experience a thoughtful, mixology-driven drink.

            Listen, I love just getting my drink on...and if the OP is looking for just any old place that serves booze well those are three. As you say....

            Just not in the category of other proper cocktail spots or places with thought out beer menus.

            1. re: thegforceny

              And you can still get a good cocktail somewhere a bit less fancy than Pegu Club, etc.! Try the Randolph at Broome or Daddy-O's.

              1. re: thegforceny

                OP asked for bars or beer places... not fancy cocktails, and I even stated so in my post. Sometimes, when on a trip filled with otherwise high-end dining experiences, that is just what you want, a casual spot to have a beer.

                And I wouldn't consider these places dives.... Subway Inn, Botanica--those are dives!

                1. re: iluvcookies

                  Yes, at least Subway Inn has some character.

                  Legends? Legends?! Shudder. May as well suggest the bar at Applebee's Times Square

                  1. re: thegforceny

                    All right, enough drama. OP will think we're a bunch of nuts.

                    Let's hear your suggestions on where to get a good beer then.

                      1. re: thegforceny

                        I'm sure the OP will appreciate this... thanks :)

        2. Wednesday
          Breakfast – The Fat Radish
          Lunch – Red Rooster in Harlem (RESERVATION)

          Get a couple of cocktails there. I hope lunch isn't too early for you to drink, because if you don't have cocktails there, you're missing out.

          Thursday
          Breakfast –Locanda Verde
          Lunch – Café Habana or Lombardi’s

          I haven't been to Cafe Habana, but Lombardi's is really a place for sucker tourists to wait on line for nothing much. There are any number of better pizzerias in Manhattan, but it depends on what style you want. If you want to go downtown, consider South Brooklyn Pizza on 1st Av. just north of 7 St. It's a small room, but their pizza is excellent, and start with the margherita.

          Dinner – DB Moderne (RESERVATION)
          Theater - Book of Mormon

          Saturday
          Grand Central
          Breakfast – Pershing Square or Joe Art of Coffee
          MoMA
          Shopping on 5th Ave
          Central Park
          Lunch – Food Trucks or Picnic in the Park
          The MET
          Dinner – Frankie Sputino’s or Tap Room at Colicchio and Sons

          Frankie's Spuntino has its fans here, but I think it's nothing much at all. I'm not that impressed with Colicchio & Sons, either, though. I hope I'm allowed to say that my brother was served a dish that had a piece of plastic in it. Of course they handled the incident well, but as the manager himself very apologetically said, that kind of poor quality control should never happen, especially at that level of restaurant. If you want to go to a Colicchio place, why not Riverpark? http://www.riverparknyc.com/ It's a unique setting, and you should ask for a table with a view across the East River. I've been there twice without incident, and the food, though not in all instances revelatory, is pleasant and good, and the desserts have been the highlights.

          If you really want to go somewhere I've considered very-good-to-spectacular, consider Ai Fiori's Ligurian cuisine and great cocktails (get the great one that's bourbon based) and wine.

          13 Replies
          1. re: Pan

            Pan thanks for the response.

            My old college roommate lives near Cafe Habana so it has a dual use, but i am going to take your advice and try to include South Brooklyn Pizza. Have you been to Motorino? If so, which is better South Brooklyn Pizza or Motorino?

            Also, thanks for the Riverpark suggestion. It looks like a great restaurant with a great view overlooking East River.

            By the way - it's never too early for cocktails. Its always noon somewhere.

            RBP

            1. re: rothbearpig

              Cafe Habana is really quite good. I wouldn't hassle with the dinner time wait if I were a tourist (it's a small space), but for lunch, I think it's a solid option.

              I would swap out The Beagle in favor of Peels. The Beagle is good, but not great.

              1. re: loratliff

                Cafe Habana would definitely be a breakfast or lunch place. I remember it being ridiculous for dinner the last time I was there.

                Peels looks good, but question - are you recommending it based on the drinks or the food? Both are very important to me.

                Lastly, any suggestions on lunch near Central Park on a Saturday?

                1. re: rothbearpig

                  East side or west? How far north or south, Central Park is huge.

                  1. re: kathryn

                    We would be walking in from the Apple Store on 5th Ave.

                    1. re: rothbearpig

                      I assume you don't want Ma Peche again. Maybe Bar Room at the Modern? It's right next to MOMA.

                      This should help:
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/778868

              2. re: rothbearpig

                South Brooklyn to me is more of a slice joint that operates at a more artisanal level than most corner slice joints. Especially in terms of ingredients.

                Motorino is totally different and Naples-inspired. The pies are much smaller and much more puffy and charred.

                1. re: kathryn

                  kathryn, thanks again for checking in.

                  Which of the two (motorino or SBP) is more old new york? My wife is looking for the perfect slice and if I can't provide that I am sure I am going to have to make up for it on 5th Ave and I'd much prefer paying for a slice a pizza than a purse.

                  Would you recommend Clinton St Baking or Balthazar? My wife is really into a simple breakfast - eggs, bacon and potatoes.

                  Also, I've removed Frankie's from the running for the final night, but would you prefer the Tap Room or Ai Fiori for a final dinner?

                  Much appreciated. RBP

                  1. re: rothbearpig

                    In that case, South Brooklyn Pizza.

                    Clinton St is homier and more simple. Great pancakes and biscuit sandwiches for breakfast. Pretty good bacon, too.

                    If Ai Fiori ends up too expensive and more formal than what you seek, maybe L'Artusi or Peasant instead?

                    Best mixology/cocktail bars:
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/817210

                    Beer recommendations:
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/821796
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7987...

                    1. re: rothbearpig

                      My favorite "simple" breakfast that includes bacon is at Maialino. It would also give you a chance to explore the Union Square market which might provide you with picnic options.

                      1. re: carfreeinla

                        To the OP: Union Square Greenmarket is open M, W, F, Sa from 9-6.

                  2. re: rothbearpig

                    Riverpark is a great choice. The food is excellent and the views and atmosphere are very nice. They also have some great beers, I love the Captain Lawrence Porter.

                    1. re: rothbearpig

                      I have yet to go to Motorino.

                      I love your attitude about cocktails!

                  3. Thank you everyone for the input. I haven't had an opportunity to look through the beer suggestions, but we appreciate dives just as much as the nice places.

                    Below is an updated itinerary - please let me know your thoughts and would all these places be considered high end as iluvcookies mentioned? If so, are there any casual places you can suggest?

                    Wednesday
                    Breakfast – Clinton Street Baking Co
                    Lunch – Red Rooster in Harlem (RESERVATION)
                    5th Ave
                    Lantern’s Keep or Behelmans
                    Check In
                    Dinner – Momofuku (pick one)

                    Thursday
                    Breakfast – Locanda Verde
                    Lunch – Café Habana or Motorino (WIFE votes Motorino)
                    Dinner – DB Moderne (RESERVATION)
                    Theater Book of Mormon

                    Friday
                    The High Line
                    Breakfast: Highliner
                    Lunch –Eataly and Birreria
                    Wall Street
                    9/11 Memorial
                    Dinner –The Beagle or Peels (WIFE votes The Beagle)

                    Saturday
                    Top of the Rock
                    MoMA
                    Shopping on 5th Ave
                    Central Park
                    Lunch – Food Trucks or Picnic in the Park or Momofuku
                    Dinner – Ai Fiori or Tap Room (WIFE votes Tap Room)