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Jun 7, 2012 01:00 PM

Traveling to NYC with sons23,25, and 29 yrs. Where should we eat

Will be in NYC next week 6/15-6/22 with my wife and 3 sons from SF California. We have reservations at Sardies for Fathers day, and Jean Georges on last night. Lookung for some good casual restaurants for other dinners and perhaps lunches. Staying at Marriot Marquis. We heard Katz for Rueben sandos. HELP

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  1. Perla
    Momofuku Ssam Bar
    Bar Boulud

    1. How much do you want to spend on your other meals, which neighborhoods do you want to go to, which cuisines do you most enjoy?

      1. A few things to note:
        - You're planning rather last minute as many of our popular restaurants may already be fully committed
        - Your party is rather large for some Manhattan restaurants, who may not have many tables for 5-6 people
        - However, if you are willing to leave Times Square and wait for a table, you can still try a lot of interesting places
        - It's hard to gauge how old your children are, are they the picky sort? Old enough to wait a little to eat?

        You haven't really indicated your price range (somewhere casual can also be kinda pricey here), your preferred cuisines, and your preferred neighborhoods.

        Given the thousands of restaurants in Manhattan, it's difficult to make recommendations without knowing a little bit more about what you're looking for. I would recommend you focus on things that are either unique to NY, feel very New York-y, or that you can't find in SF.

        Only in NY type food examples: bagels and smoked salmon, pastrami on rye (at Katz's), hot dogs & papaya juice, black and white cookies, cheesecake, egg creams, pickles, halal carts.

        Are you interested in street food, too?

        Best bagels in NYC:
        Summary: the freshest bagels are the best; bagels don't age well at all.

        I'm fond of red onion, capers, regular cream cheese, and tomato on mine. Try a few smoked salmons before you settle on one, they're surprisingly different (and lox is not the same as smoked salmon, because lox is salmon cured in salt brine, and most people actually prefer the more modern, Nova-style smoked salmon). You can get a mini-sized bagel sandwich at Russ & Daughters, too, if you wish. Takeout only. Very close to Katz's.

        Best breakfast/brunch in NYC:
        It is (IMO) at the Breslin, Locanda Verde, Shopsin's, Clinton St Baking Co., or Minetta Tavern.

        Best pizza:
        Really, it depends what you're looking for: gas oven style, coal oven style, Naples style? A slice? A pie? Takeout? Sit down? Or is standing up OK with you?

        There are a few distinct styles of round pizza found in NYC: New York gas-oven style, Neopolitan style, and a hybrid style of the two that is also unique to New York (usually coal oven). Then to throw another wrench into things, some places are known more for square pies (like Artichoke).

        Note that lot of famous places like John's of Bleecker, Grimaldi's, and Lombardi's are pies only. Hard to make a recommendation without knowing what you're looking for: whole pies or slices, gas oven vs. coal oven.

        If you are limiting yourself to only Manhattan, my favorites, agnostic of oven type:

        John's of Bleecker, if you ask for it well done. Get it plain or with one topping, max. I'm partial to their green peppers. This is classic coal-fired NY-Neopolitan hybrid style pie. They do sometimes undercook/under char it, though. Whole pies only.

        Motorino for Naples style. Delicious but not really historically "New York" style. Crimini and sausage, spicy soppressata, or whatever their special pie is. Wonderful crust, quality toppings. Whole pies only.

        For both you may have to wait in line. I have also enjoyed Patsy's in East Harlem (coal oven) in the past but it is a bit far uptown dependent upon where you are starting from, and I've not been very recently. Whole pies OR slices if you want.

        South Brooklyn Pizza or Joe's for a slice (gas oven). Joe's is a bit less crisp/more chewy and on the more cheesy sied and has a more uniform appearance. South Brooklyn is more crispy and has an interesting cheese blend (mozzarella, grana padano, and fontina) with fresh basil, and the cheese and sauce are more scattered, which you usually don't see at slice joints.

        IIRC SF has pretty good Asian food. BUT we have some of the harder to find Chinese cuisines: Shaanxi (Xian Famous Foods) and Fuzhou in Manhattan, and many more in Queens and Brooklyn (Shangdong/Qingdao, Henan, and Dongbei to name a few). As well as creative Asian at Momofuku Ssam Bar, Ma Peche, Fatty Cue, or Wong.

        Most of these are easy on the wallet, too, which is nice.

        My favorite unique places in NY serve Xian (Chinese) food, Issan (Thai) food, organic/local/sustainable Japanese BBQ, authentic Basque (Spanish) tapas, creative diner food, pretzels, hot dogs, halal food, steak, upscale rustic Italian, Italian subs, creative Italian-American, high end non-sushi Japanese (like kaiseki), creative desserts, molecular gastronomy, mixology/creative cocktails, and upscale brunches (brunch is served every day here, sometimes even for dinner).

        My favorites are here:

        Also I'm not sure what is available in SF, but do you have good Southern food? BBQ? How about New England style lobster rolls? These foods might be fun and interesting for you to have while on the East Coast.

        I might look into Pies 'n' Thighs, the Redhead, Blue Smoke, Hill Country, Pearl Oyster Bar, Luke's Lobster, in addition to classic NY places I mentioned above like Russ & Daughters, Katz's Deli, John's of Bleecker, etc.

        Don't leave NY without eating these foods

        I highly recommend RGR's self guided Lower East Side Gustatory tour but sub in Pickle Guys for Guss' Pickles and note that Economy Candy's address is incorrect:

        You may wish to peruse these related conversations:

        Wkend itin for SF couple, staying in soho

        SF Hound coming to Manhattan for one day

        Heading your way for 2 nights from San Francisco

        Arriving from SF next week, any suggestions, recos or changes to out itinerary would be appreciated.

        4 Replies
        1. re: kathryn

          <- It's hard to gauge how old your children are, are they the picky sort? Old enough to wait a little to eat? >

          Psst, kathryn. The sons are adults - 23, 25 & 29 years old, according to the thread title (at least as I interpret it). Otherwise, awesome info as usual.

            1. re: small h

              Ha, not sure how I missed that!

              1. re: kathryn

                Blame it on the heat. I'll back you up.

          1. I'm curious why you picked Sardis??

            1. Katz's @ 1-2 AM in the morning Friday or Satuday night is not to be missed. It will be buzzing with clubbers going to and from in addition to the usual colorful patrons. Order a variety of pastrami sammich, corned beef sammich and reuben sammich. They are big enough to mix and match. Get a couple of knishes too!
              Also check out Great NY Noodle co in the wee hours. You'll be amazed at how busy they will be.