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Apr 24, 2012 07:09 AM

Walk-in Recs

Greetings Manhattan Hounds, my wife and I will be traveling to your great city this Thursday, departing Sunday. This trip came up short notice, and so far I have only booked The Modern for Friday night. A slight panic is setting in as I worry we wont be able to have the NYC food experience I desire.

It seems we will have to brave being walk-ins for Thursday and Saturday nights, and I was hoping to get some feedback and direction from you kind folks. I am considering the following spots to try either night :


-Momofuku Noodle or Ssam


-A Blue Ribbon establishment

-Mark Forgione



I guess my questions are where might we have the best success at snagging a table, the wait times we might encounter at say 7:30-8ish or 9:30-10ish, and if you have any other alternative recommendations. We enjoy a fun atmosphere, but lo-key works as well. Price isn't super important as long as it's worth what is being charged.

*Also, has anyone seen anything decent still available on OT for this weekend? Saturday night we will be joined by a third, FWIW



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  1. Public is showing availability on Thursday at 8pm for 2. RedFarm has gotten a lot of press, though I think reviews have been a little mixed beyond raves of their soup dumplings, so you'd probably have a tough time walking in there, even on the later side. Wong is showing a table at 8pm - that might be worth trying instead.

    Jungsik also has availability on Thursday at 8, as does Tocqueville (which I like but isn't new by any means, and is above the others you listed in price-point). I've done Ippudo for lunch, right when they open, with great success if that is an option for you (even on a Saturday). As for the Momofukus, if you can get there by 7, you should be ok. 7:30-8 is prime time, and the waits can be long.

    2 Replies
    1. re: EBT

      Thanks EBT! How do you like Public? Their menu looks great to me, lots of interesting flavors and ingredients, but I wonder if my wife would feel the same. Do they offer consistently good daily specials, not found on the menu?

      1. re: fatskinny

        Public is very good, especially for their quite reasonable price point. Last time I was there, a few weeks ago, they had 2-3 specials not listed on the menu. We went with a venison rack special served with fava beans, which is pretty good, but not as good as the starters we had. For appetizers, the kangaroo is excellent, as is the foie gras on French toast. We also loved the toffee pudding with Armagnac ice cream for dessert.

    2. I was at Blue Ribbon Brasserie on Sullivan on Saturday night. At 8pm, if my entire party of 4 was present the wait was less than half an hour, however this was due to some no-shows. Once the entire party did arrive, the wait was closer to 1 hour from 8:20. We went to the Dutch and had some drinks and when we got back the bar section was PACKED. We were seated in 10 minutes as the table was just wrapping up. Recommendation - if you walk in any later than 8pm on a Saturday, likely 2 hour wait.
      It was worth it though. The fondue, bone marrow with oxtail marmalade, chicken wings and fried vegetables were excellent. I was underwhelmed by the sweetbreads but still ate them all. :)

      1. > - Boqueria

        I would call Txikito ASAP and make a reservation. It's usually not too hard to book there and I think the food is better than Boqueria.

        > -Momofuku Noodle or Ssam

        They do turn tables over at both quickly. A meal will last only about an hour or so, and I don't think the wait will be insanely long for dinner. Also consider doing one of them for lunch. Ssam has an all-duck menu for weekday lunch; the weekend lunch menu is closer to the dinner menu, but they also have a duck section. Basically, the duck dishes are only available during lunch service, not dinner service.

        > -Ippudo

        Walk over in the afternoon and put your name down for an evening table. They only take same day reservations, and only in person.

        > -A Blue Ribbon establishment

        Blue Ribbon Bakery is easier to get into than Blue Ribbon Brasserie, as BR Bakery is much bigger.

        > -RedFarm

        I would do lunch/brunch here, it is easier to get in. Overall, the dim sum dishes get stronger reviews anyway.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          Thanks Kathryn, great to know about Ippudo

          I've repeatedly found myslef on Txikito's webpage over the past few days and it looks great! I figured such a unique restaurant would be booked up on the reg. Will definitely try for that reservation.

          1. re: fatskinny

            It never hurts to check. Good luck!

        2. Ive walked into all of the above recently . Mark Forgione, if tables are full you can eat at the bar, if you like spicy the lobster dish is real good. Ippudo will probably be the longest wait.
          I'd put Brushstroke on your list, there have been several open spots lately and the food is great and better than ever ( some new staff)., Ive walked into Recette 3 times ( good food), Jung Sik I always walk in, Da Andrea and Bar Pitti for Italian food easy walkins but some wait at BP), Casa Mono if you are willing to sit at counter. Enjoy ( i just rad kathryn's comment about get on list in afternoon, I know you can put your name down say at 6 and walk around and come back at 7 , ive done that, The tip about the afternoon is great idea. I thank Kathryn for that info also.