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June itinerary - critique/suggestions welcomed

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Hi all - my first post to the board :)

Am flying to NYC on June 25th for my honeymoon - we get married the day before.

This isn't our first trip to Manhattan, it was here I popped the question Easter weekend 2009.

Last time our favourite spots were BLT Prime, Delmonico's, John's, Burger Joint and Norma's. We both love steak, grilled meats. I love nose to tail dining, pâté, terrines, shellfish but unfortunately my OH does not like any of these things.

This time I'm aiming to break up the steakhouses with some fine dining options.

Let me know what you think of my lunch and dinner choices so far and feel free to make any recommendations if you think I'm missing out on anything or have any clashing selections etc...

Arrive Monday 9pm staying Mondrian Soho, hoping to get to Mudville 9 for beers and wings if not too tired.

Tues, Katz - BLT Prime
Weds , Fatty crab - EMP (booked)
Thurs, Blue Smoke - pre theatre (thinking red sauce Italian, suggestions?)
Fri, Spotted Pig - River Cafe (booked)
Sat, Minetta Tavern - Keens
Sun, Balthazar - Gramercy Tavern (Just booked!)
Mon, Brooklyn (undecided) - Marc Forgione
Tues, Shake Shack - Fly home PM

I'm happy with the choices, but except for BLT am only going on reviews, articles etc.. I had considered Babbo, Del Posto for Italian but decided on GT for American cuisine instead. I loved the sound of The Breslin's menu, but not being able to make reservations steered me towards Minetta Tavern. We never got to Balthazar last time and is a must-do this trip.

20 more sleeps to go!

Thanks in advance, Scuders

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  1. Since you like meat, I'd consider Fatty Cue instead of Fatty Crab.

    For Brooklyn, you need to post on the Outer Boroughs board.

    Your list does not seem very diverse. What about Russ & Daughters? Motorino? More Asian?

    Since you like grilled meats, look into Mas Grillade and Takashi.

    Any Spanish, Mexican, Japanese, etc? Where are you traveling from? Does the SO's aversion to shellfish extend to regular fish?

    5 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Hi, we're travelling from England, near London.

      I chose Fatty Crab due to it's proximity to the Gansevoort entrance to The Highline. I was planning on pork bun take out and a picnic up on the park.

      Unfortunately she doesn't like any seafood, I'm hoping to get my fix at the fine dining joints, and intend to get a lobster roll whilst on the move at some point.

      Also intend on grabbing from the doughnut plant, Big Gay ice cream, Russ and Daughters as well as anywhere else that takes our fancy.

      We make twice annual trips to my Dad's Andalucian home and go to our fave local Argentinian restaurant regularly. Also OH very fussy, so Asian can be difficult. Was considering Buddakan for one night, but I guess it's American cuisine were most interested in.

      Thanks for your reply.

      1. re: Scuders

        Near the High Line is Chelsea Market where there is a collection of stores. You can satisfy your shellfish craving and she can get something else, like a sandwich or something.
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844638

        There are also food vendors on the High Line itself. I think a picky eater might like Northern Spy's menu.
        http://www.thehighline.org/about/high...

        Don't forget to have a backup plan in case there is a sudden thunderstorm, though.

        For Italian you might want to consider Scarpetta. Also note that Babbo is now serving lunch Tuesday through Saturday.

        1. re: kathryn

          Was planning on browsing Chelsea Market after the Highline, maybe we could hold off and eat lunch there. I still think I'll pick up pork buns from Fatt crab, I can eat two lunches!

          Thanks for your help + the North Spy recco, Babbo lunch info.

        2. re: Scuders

          Go to Mission Chinese, its brand new. It's the most innovative shit going down right now

          1. re: AubWah

            It's pretty spicy, right? If his SO is picky, maybe not the best choice.

      2. Pretty decent list - much along my own tastes to some degree.

        Tuesday: I'd skip BLT, for sure - it's good, just nothing terribly exciting. And you've got another (superior) steakhouse on your agenda already. No reason to do two in one trip. I'd consider replacing it with Craft or Babbo if you're lucky enough to get a rezzie at the latter - they serve what I consider the best non-steakhouse steaks in the city. That way if you still have the hankerin' for a big ol' slab of beef, you've got it - and an excellent one at that. But the sides, appetizers, etc, will be much more interesting. Babbo is also great for "mixed" dining - i.e. one of you is more adventurous than the other.

        Weds: sounds good to me.

        Thurs: for pre-theater - which theater? You'll want to be nearby. Sometimes there isn't a whole lot of time between meal and show.

        Fri: River Cafe I'm 50/50 on. The food is good but quite overpriced for what it is. They're charging four-star prices for what is usually three-star food. On the other hand - is there a more romantic, beautiful view in NYC? I think not. If you've a window table (request one - it makes a BIG difference) and you're dining around sunset... wow. Worth the extra $$ for the right occasion. If only the food were up to where it used to be - but they had quite a lucky run of chefs for awhile there, not every one can turn out to be a Palmer or a Burke...

        Sat: That a seriously beef-heavy day.

        Sunday: Balthazar brunch is a mob scene. It might very well be booked solid already. In the same neighborhood, think about Public - many (self included) consider it the best brunch in town, and by far the most creative. If you're craving red meat, their venison burger is spectacular - and for more traditional "brunchy" fare they do fun spins on classics - eggs benedict comes with tea-smoked salmon and yuzu hollandaise, waffles are streaked with blood pudding and topped with foie gras butter (hello, nose-to-tail...) and things like that. No rezzies but the waits usually aren't too long, and you can always dine at the bar as well.

        Gramercy is good, a solid reliable one, but... not terrifically exciting of late. I'd look nto either Craft or Babbo (as described above) given your tastes - or one of our other fine Italian choices (Marea, Lincoln, Ai Fiori, Del Posto, Scarpetta...) as a replacement for this or BLT or both.

        Mon: If you want Forgione (and it IS excellent of late, I highly recommend) book SOON. They fill up quick, although a Monday night might not be quite as hard. Must orders: BBQ oysters, Chili Lobster, Halbut w/ Sauce Proposal.

        Tue: Nothin' wrong with a Shack Stack before a flight.

        That said, looking over your list for the week... I hope you're bringing a portable defibrilator.

        7 Replies
        1. re: sgordon

          Thanks for your input.

          I may need a de-fib with me as I have been dieting very hard for the last 5 months... red meat, hollandaise and Foie Gras could mean a near fatal week long indulgence!

          Unfortunately my OH has her heart set on BLT, she really enjoyed the dry aged beef last time. Will look at Craft though, thanks for that suggestion. Do they dry age their steaks?

          I intend on getting tickets from the seaport TKTS thursday morning so currently unsure of theatre location.

          I think I may have missed the boat on Babbo, having no online res is a pain.

          I'm totally sold on River Cafe, view, romance etc.

          Beef heavy is totally our cup of tea!

          I may take on your suggestion on Public, Balthazar could fall by the wayside. I loved the look of the Public menu.

          I will book Forgione tomorrow at 1400 GMT. That place looks incredible.

          I'll be sure to post a trip report, thanks for all your help.

          1. re: Scuders

            Yeah, the Craft steak is well-aged. They've even had a 50-day aged one on the menu in the past now and then. Their steak is generally better than most steakhouses... Also should include Minetta on that short list as well, their Cote de Boeuf is superior to pretty much any hunk of beef you'll find. But you're already going there for lunch, I noticed - I assume for the famous burger. I will withhold my opinion on said burger, as I've blathered it on these boards too many times already.

            Yeah, sadly Babbo only does tables of 3 or 4 through opentable. But if it's just the two of you and a weeknight, and you're cool with eating on the earlier end, it's not TOO hard to get seats in the bar room - you just need to get there a little early and wait in line. If you can wait in line for Shake Shack, I mean...

            1. re: Scuders

              Babbo does lunch, too. I can't imagine they're fully booked for weekday lunch three weeks from now. Tuesday through Saturday.

              1. re: kathryn

                I think I'll try calling for a res at Babbo for lunch Thurs, bump SP to Thurs post-theater and do Blue Smoke Fri lunchtime instead.

                I was stressing about making an international call... but I guess hesitating about a $3 call when dropping $200 on lunch is pretty stupid!

                1. re: Scuders

                  That's funny. I always feel the same way. But you're right: it's silly to care about a few dollars calling Europe (as it is in my case) when the meal will cost hundreds.

                  1. re: Sneakeater

                    Just bit the bullet. I was on hold for nearly ten minutes, but got a reservation no problem for lunch on the Thursday. I'll see what the call cost next month!

                2. re: kathryn

                  You were right Kathryn, they had reservations available from 1130 right through to 1330 every 30 mins. Thanks again!

            2. Depending on the time of the show you go to, you may want to do The Spotted Pig after. It's open until 2AM and so far I have never had to wait more than 30 minutes after 10:00 PM on a non-weekend night (or at least I've been really lucky).

              Take a look at Red Farm.

              When you're near the High Line get coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee.

              1 Reply
              1. re: von_levi

                Thanks for Late pig suggestion, good idea.

                Also will check out Red Farm and Blue Bottle.

              2. A little OT for this board but for Brooklyn I would look at Marlow & Sons/Diner or Roberta's. Unfortunately neither takes reservations I don't think. Also, if you haven't been, recommend trying Momofuku Ssam.