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Apr 18, 2012 09:26 PM

Feedback on NYC food itinerary

Hi everyone!

My wife and I have planned a visit to NYC in mid-May. It is our first time visiting since we lived there 7 years ago. We have thrown a couple of old favorites into our itinerary for old time's sake, but I'm on the fence about a number of our meals:

Wed Dinner -- Westville (our old standby)

Thurs Breakfast -- Russ & Daughters
Thurs Lunch -- Eataly (maybe dessert at Shake Shack after)
Thurs Dinner -- Luke's Lobster (before Fuerza Bruta)
-- Is the R&D/Eataly/Shake Shack plan a bit aggressive for a weekday morning??? --

Fri Brunch -- Clinton St. Baking Co.
Fri Dinner-- Momofoku Noodle Bar (fried chicken dinner with friends)
-- Is Clinton St. our action here or should we do something else? I've seen Locanda Verde mentioned on several posts. --

Sat Brunch -- Prune (before TBD musical)
Sat Dinner -- HELP!
-- Saturday's dinner is our "go big" date night. I would love to do EMP, but would love some tips on how to score a reservation (none available on OpenTable, haven't tried calling yet). Babbo, Maialino, and WD-50 would also be strong contenders, but same reservation situation as EMP. I'm holding a reservation to Gotham right now, which I've enjoyed before, but would love to try something new and exciting.

Sun Brunch -- Balthazar Bakery (before War Horse)

I would love feedback on all of the trip plan, and especially on what I should do for Saturday night.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Wed- I've never been to Westville
    Thurs- breakfast- Russ and Daughters doesn't serve breakfast, they don't have tables,Was that a take home smoked fish breakfast? Zucker's in Tribeca has smoked fish and seats and tables
    Thurs Lunch,,, Eataly,,that's worth checking out... they have desserts in Eatlay, You might try Chikalicious for dessert though.
    Thurs Dinner- Luke's is more of a lunch place ( i like the shrimp rolls there) Across the street from Lukes is Porchetta, try the potatoes with crispy pork , between meals there. Do Pearl Oyster Bar for dinner instead of Lukes.
    Friday Brunch,, Clinton St Baking is fine
    No lunch? maybe do lukes and Porchetta friday between brunch and dinner,, just a snack,,, or go to Nam Peng on 12th and University for a Cambodian pork belly sandwich or coconut shrimp sandwich, ( share one, so you don't fill up too much)
    Friday Dinner- i'm no fan of Momofuko, if you want Ramen go to Ippudo instead, they have pork buns too.
    Sat Brunch- Prune is good
    Sat Lunch- aww get a little snack,,,, how about a Char Siu Bao at Hop Shing. or a Japanese hot dog at Japadog on St Marks Pl... something light,,, get a gelato laborotorio gelato on houston St.
    Saturday Dinner- you havent had any good Japanese ,,, how about Kyo Ya for dinner, if you can't get in maybe Osteria Morini
    Sunday- Balthazar works

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodwhisperer

      Russ & Daughters serves breakfast but it's takeout only. If it is nice out, you can eat on a bench outside the store. Since the OP used to live here, I assume they know that.

      They are getting the special group fried chicken dinner at Momofuku Noodle Bar, not ramen.

    2. Overall your plan looks good.

      Keep the Momofuku Noodle Bar fried chicken dinner reservation. Those aren't super easy to come by.

      Locanda Verde is stronger in pastries and egg dishes for breakfast. Their pancakes and French toast are solid but not amazing. Try their sheep's milk ricotta with burnt orange toast or the Ouvo Modenese. Clinton St is better for pancakes, eggs, bacon, and their biscuit breakfast sandwich. It is definitely simpler. It really boils down to what dishes you like for breakfast.

      EMP books at exactly 28 days ahead of time (4 weeks ahead counting the current day) at exactly 9am on both OpenTable and via phone. You must be ready exactly at 9am. If you try at 9:05am you might be too late.

      Maialino is similar--28 days in advance, but the reservations don't go quite as fast as EMP. They are on OpenTable.

      Babbo takes reservations at 10am, one month ahead to the numerical date. For example, this morning is April 19th and they will start taking reservations for May 19th. Babbo just started serving lunch, at a lower price point, so that might work too. They are on OpenTable but only book for parties of 3-4 right now.

      WD-50 takes reservations 30 days in advance at midnight. They are also on OpenTable.

      1. Why not Ciano for Saturday dinner?

        1. Thanks for the responses!

          Good call on Ciano. I moved my reservation from Gotham to Ciano, although I would still prefer EMP/Babbo/Maialino/WD-50.

          Unfortunately, I waited too long to post to Chow to learn the OpenTable tricks and I'm now just three weeks away from my preferred reservation date. Do any of these have waiting lists?

          Point taken on Luke's being a better lunch option than dinner. I'm trying to stay close to Union Square, since I'm seeing a show there at 8. I looked at Tocqueville/15 East, but both seem a bit more pricey than I was hoping for. Friend of a Farmer is about the right distance and price, but seems like more of a brunch spot than a decent dinner option. Cha-an looks interesting, though I don't understand their menu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bluskey

            I believe Maialino keeps a waiting list. It is also quite close to Union Square -- perhaps you could go there Thursday night (I see 6:30pm on OpenTable right now).

            Also nearby Union Square are ABC Kitchen (I'd walk in around 6pm to dine before your show), Casa Mono (6pm available on OpenTable right now), Union Square Cafe (lots of availability on OpenTable).

          2. Quick Update:
            EMP is closed for a private event and Babby is completely booked for my evening.

            However, I was able to get reservations at both WD-50 and Ciano for Saturday evening.

            Which is the one to keep?

            2 Replies
              1. re: Bluskey

                I went to WD-50 precisely once. A friend said it was like Barcelona's innovative restaurants, but it's so not. The food is intellectual and pretentious--interesting but devoid of sensuality. There's not much good molecular gastronomy in NYC. EMP's tasting menu is leagues above WD. Corton is also better than WD. Adara in Montclair is also much better than WD. But, more to the point, do you want molecular gastronomy because you won't get it at Ciano from what I've read. So, in short, go to Ciano, unless you want molecular (or looking to have more of a truly unique intellectual experience than a great meal). I'm sure others here will disagree so please take my opinion for what it's worth.